Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer features business owners and CEO’s who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side happy, wealthy, and growing. Feifer, Entrepreneur’s Editor in Chief, pulls these stories out so other business can avoid the same crippling problems.
Hear the dynamic voices behind our featured podcasts. Our hosts interview experts in the field, founders who solved real problems in their businesses, sports icons that translated their success on the field into serial business achievements, and influencers that help us understand what makes excellence possible.
1155 How He's Used Stories to Build a $20m+ SaaS Platform for Scaling Content
Tom Gerace is the founder and CEO of Skyword, the leading content marketing technology and services company. Skyword liberates brands from ineffective marketing practices and inspires them to create deeper connections with their audiences through storytelling. With Robert McKee, award-winning story authority and best-selling author, Gerace leads Storynomics Seminars, which instruct senior executives and marketing professionals on how to apply storytelling structure to their business in order to drive revenue, margins, and brand loyalty. Prior to Skyword, Gerace founded Be Free, a publicly traded affiliate marketing platform and services company, which transformed online advertising from pay-per-view to pay-for-performance advertising. Early in his career, Gerace served as a senior business analyst at the Harvard Business School, where he wrote the first case studies on the emergence of the Internet in 1998.
1154 How we hit net churn of -5% in Loyalty Program space
Successful serial entrepreneur and investor, advisor, mentor to several startups. Currently the CEO of Zinrelo, a loyalty rewards and referral marketing platform. Has over 25 years of experience in technology industry and holds 19 patents. Loves trekking, running and biking. Currently training for SF-LA, unsupported bike ride.
1153 We just passed $4m in ARR, considering a raise for CPG CRM tool
Allen Bonde is VP of marketing at Repsly, and an advisor to several start-ups. He also held executive roles at Placester, OpenText, and KANA, and was co-founder at Offerpop (now Wyng). He has been a consultant at McKinsey and Yankee Group, and started his career as a data scientist. An avid speaker (on 4 continents) and writer, he blogs at Small Data Group.
1152 How Screenful monopolized Trello marketplace to drive $15k in MRR
Technologist & entrepreneur with a passion to product design, founder of Screenful (https://screenful.com). Before founding Screenful, I spent a decade building machine learning models for user analytics, content recommendation, and ad targeting. I co-organise Helsinki Business Analytics meetup and Atlassian User Group Helsinki. In my free time, I enjoy snowboarding and juggling.
1151 Weebly CEO: 50m Users, North of .5% Conversion to $8/mo
David Rusenko is CEO and co-founder of Weebly. Created in his Penn State dorm room in 2006, Weebly now hosts 50 million entrepreneurs in 225 countries around the world. He's helped scale the company to 300+ employees in 5 global offices. He's dad to a 1.5 year old and his hobbies range from stunt car driving to roaring game of bridge with his mother-in-law.
1150 Detroit Based Referral Program software passes $600k in MRR
Jeff Epstein is the founder and CEO of Ambassador (getambassador.com) a 40 person, venture-backed startup headquartered in metro Detroit. Ambassador provides relationship marketing software to some of the world's most recognizable brands. A lifelong entrepreneur, Jeff's first internet startup was in 2000 and provided online food ordering for college students. Jeff ran this startup while earning his BA from Michigan State University. While earning his J.D from Chicago-Kent School of Law, Jeff started an affiliate marketing company which he later sold before graduating to allow himself to pay off his law school loans.
1149 My investors kicked me out of my company, now personality tool at $1m+ ARR
Founder of Crystal for the past 3 1/2 years. Started multiple businesses before then, including an event software company (Attend.com), a pizza box advertising agency, and a bed bug extermination company. Private pilot, songwriter, runner, and local diner regular.
1148 We've passed $10m in ARR helping companies make sure their analytics are working
1147 We make $200k/mo helping people find financial products
Miron Lulic is founder and CEO at SuperMoney, a leading financial services comparison platform. Millions of people trust SuperMoney to shop for financial products and transparently compare their options in real time. Prior to SuperMoney, Miron was a co-founder at LoanNow, a direct online lender. Miron also helped to launch Optima Tax Relief where he lead digital marketing and product development efforts as VP of Digital. In 2015, Optima was named the #3 fastest growing company in America (#1 in financial services).
1146 How Joomla Pays Bills With $0 Revenue, Opensourced
1145 How Eero is Locking Down Distribution Channel for "Home Automation Wars" With $100m
Nick is the CEO and co-founder of eero. Prior to eero, Nick worked at McKinsey & Company and then Menlo Ventures, where he sourced investments in startups such as Betterment, Periscope, and Ansible and worked with portfolio companies like Uber, Dropcam, and Roku. Frustrated by the WiFi solutions on the market and unable to find a better solution, he set out to build eero with his co-founders Amos Schallich and Nate Hardison. Nick is originally from Chicago, graduated from Stanford with a BS in Management Science & Engineering, and currently lives in San Francisco with his wife.
1144 Why I sold my profitable, bootstrapped $5.5m ARR company
Elastic Grid enhances the partner experience by delivering a scalable, easy-to-use channel marketing platform backed by personal support. The result is programs that meet the individual needs of each partner, increased campaign adoption rates, and measurable ROI that channel teams depend on
1143 Eloqua Founders Launch New Relationship Tool, $600k ARR first 5 Months, $7m Raised
Paul is the CEO and Co-founder of Nudge.ai, a relationship intelligence platform that helps businesses find and grow the right relationships to drive revenue. He is a successful technology executive who has run Services, Customer Success, Account Management, Support and Product Management teams. As part of Eloqua's executive team, Paul helped lead the company from $0 to over $100 million in revenue, then through IPO and a successful acquisition for $957 million by Oracle. He's a firm believer that company culture trumps strategy every time, and that storytelling is an essential part of creating a business. He has a successful track record as a leader with a strong focus on sales and customer engagement.
1142 Why went public, then sold to Vista for $564m on $100m in ARR
CEO of Xactly Corporation. Seasoned executive with more than two decades of successful senior management experience at both early-stage and public companies. Noted industry expert in issues relating to sales performance management, sales compensation, commission, employee engagement, incentive compensation, benchmarking, big data and software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery models.
1141 Not shopify, not stripe, $2b+ in transaction volume processed
1140 I only work 17 hours per week, don't trust Google, and make $1.7m+
John has helped thousands of entrepreneurs succeed in their business by doing outsourcing differently. He created and runs OnlineJobs.ph, the largest website for finding Filipino virtual workers, with over 500,000 Filipino resumes and over 100,000 employers from around the world using it. He works about 17 hours per week, choosing to spend his time with his family rather than working.
1139 We're about to close $5m round for our sales document tool
CTO & co-founder at TILKEE, Timothée has an engineering background. As the original founder of oXfoZ, he managed complex web-based projects. He was also a project manager at Traveldoo and carried out several missions for "Doctors Without Borders" as a volunteer. His last challenge was launching TILKEE with Sylvain Tillon in 2012 as the technical director.
1138 Goldman almost sold us for $12m, thankfully it failed
I'm a life-long entrepreneur, and have been building software for over 20 years. I co-founded Shopper Approved In 2010. In 2016 we made the Inc. 500. In 2017 we made the Inc. 500 again, and we were also #7 on the Utah 100 list - all with no outside funding or investors.
1137 David Skok Matrix Partners on Hubspot Pricing Axis, Category Leaders, $100b Softbank Fund
1136 Outreach.io CEO: "We'll hit $10m/quarter in 2018" with focus on ARPU expansion
1135 This app lets you use real money to compete with your friends in crypto, stocks
I describe myself as a recovering investment banker. I run a startup that is helping people invest together with those they know and trust. While I have devoted time across several sectors, the common threads are financial services and capital markets. I have extensive experience in the formation, structuring and financing of public and private companies. Transactions across international capital markets have provided me with considerable insight into valuation, positioning and strategy. I leverage this to contribute to the development and growth of successful businesses.
1134 Ad Network Pivots to On Demand Video Generation
Loren has spent the last 18 years involved in building consumer-facing applications, monetizing page views and working with publishers. He brings extensive start-up experience and leadership to his role as CEO of Answer Media. Previously, Loren was part of the management team at iModules Software, a start-up technology provider that sold to private equity and later with Litmus Media, an online search advertising start-up that was acquired by Inuvo (AMEX:INUV).
1133 How to slowly quit corporate, code your platform and land your first customer
I am an entrepreneur at heart. I love creating things and finding new and innovative ways to improve the quality of our lives, the way we run our businesses, and to make our world a more efficient place. My background is in Genetic Biology clearly I have take a few twists and turn in life, but I love meet new people, learning about what they are working on and discussing new ideas.
1132 How He Plans to Take on Moz, SEMRush, with 1500 customers, $180k MRR
Vaibhav Kakkar Co-Founded RankWatch, with an idea of making internet marketing an intelligent process. Apart from helping businesses succeed online and writing about Internet Marketing, he's usually found digging deep into the beautiful world of search engine algorithms.
1131 We do $70m Annually in Buyer Data Space, 50% Gross Margin
Jay Habegger is the co-founder and CEO of ownerIQ. Jay is a pioneer in digital media and advertising having over 20 years experience. He has built The Q from it's humble beginnings to leading the industry in second party data and as the leading programmatic solution for digital advertisers, retailers and brands. Previously, Jay was the CEO and president of Bitpipe, leading the company through to its sale to TechTarget in 2004 in a $40 million transaction.
1130 "We're way cheaper than Mailchimp", is that enough?
Brick and mortar engineer living in the body of a tech company CEO. Banking technology in the past (Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan), Marketing technology in the present. A Londoner at heart. Using technology to cook beautiful dishes.
1129 He Bought $70m Of ARR w/ Other Peoples Money, Kept 60%+ Equity for Common
H. John Oechsle joined small business CRM software provider Swiftpage in July 2012 and currently serves as chief executive officer. John came to Swiftpage (www.act.com) with a 30 year track record of building highly profitable and sustainable revenue growth for emerging companies and established global leaders. John is an advocate for entrepreneurship and small business growth.
1128 New CEO with New Funding Grows SalesScout from $35k to $260k MRR
1127 Why don't you sell SaaS Biz to Double Down on Agency?
Andy Beal is The Original Online Reputation Expert. The CEO of Reputation Refinery and Trackur, Beal is an online reputation management consultant, award-winning blogger, professional speaker, and coauthor of the critically acclaimed book Radically Transparent: Monitoring & Managing Reputations Online. His latest book, Repped: 30 Days to a Better Online Reputation is an Amazon bestseller!
1126 How Gong Hit $1m+ in ARR in 1st Year
Amit Bendov is the co-founder and CEO of Gong.io, the # 1 conversation intelligence platform for sales. He brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in hyper-growth enterprise software startups managing product, marketing, and sales for global corporations. Prior to founding Gong.io, Amit was CEO of SiSense and CMO of Panaya.
646: He Coined Term "Growth Hacking" After DropBox, EventBrite, LogMeIn Work, Now Launching Book "Hacking Growth" with Sean Ellis
Sean Ellis. He’s the founder and CEO of GrowthHackers.com, he coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010 after using it to ignite growth for Dropbox, Eventbrite, LogMeIn and Lookout. He also founded and sold customer insights company Qualaroo, growing it to millions of dollars in recurring revenue. Famous Five: Favorite Book? – The Hard Thing About Hard Things What CEO do you follow? – Peep Laja Favorite online tool? — The Calm App Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “I wished my 20-year old self knew things are going to be pretty good” Time Stamped Show Notes: 01:25 – Nathan introduces Sean to the show 02:03 – Sean speaks at The Capital Factory in Austin, Texas 02:07 – Sean’s talk was about viral coefficients and why it’s important to decrease the time of the original share to really drive growth 02:50 – If you don’t have a lot value at the foundation of the growth, it’s hard to make your business sustainable 02:56 – Sean tries to understands the value of the product first, then goes backwards from there 03:16 – Sean used the referral program for Dropbox 03:30 – Sean, together with the group, came up with the idea of giving away free storage for referrals 03:45 – Sean’s friend tested a double-sided referral program prior to Dropbox 03:53 – Sean’s friend is James Siminoff, founder of Ring and the previously the CEO of PhoneTag 04:45 – Sean provides advice on viral coefficients 04:55 – In the case of DropBox—“Referrals were strong before the referral program went in place” 05:12 – Understand what the motivation is for people to do refer 05:18 – Think about every step in the process; for example, what’s the prompt that gets people to share? 05:42 – Optimize all the steps of the referral process 05:47 – The more you have qualitative and quantitative insights about what’s happening, you’re going to be more informed in the tests that you are running 06:41 – Eventbrite didn’t have an incentive, but just a natural viral product in itself 07:18 – Eventbrite helps companies sell tickets 07:30 – Eventbrite doesn’t only offer a convenient experience but also good SEO, social integration, and other factors that will help you sell tickets 08:00 – Sean worked for LogMeIn’s marketing for 5 years 08:05 – LogMeIn is now a $5B company 08:07 – “Natural word-of-mouth was huge with LogMeIn” 08:10 – By the time Sean left LogMeIn, 80% of the users were coming in through word-of-mouth 08:15 – LogMeIn was spending more than $1M monthly with a 3-month payback on acquiring customers 08:21 – “Value drives word-of-mouth” 08:35 – At first, the majority of LogMeIn’s users didn’t really use the product 09:25 – The CEO and whole team worked together to find out the problem with the customer experience 09:55 – LogMeIn has always been cash flow positive 10:13 – Look up how Sean runs questionnaires in his Youtube videos and slideshows 10:31 – Qualaroo is about customer insights 10:45 – Sean acquired Qualaroo in 2012 10:49 – Qualaroo was acquired from KissMetrics 10:53 – Qualaroo was a side business and Sean was an advisor for it 11:08 – Sean built Qualaroo to millions of dollars of recurring revenue and sold it last year 11:45 – Sean bought it for less than a million dollars 12:00 – The revenue of Qualaroo was less than a hundred thousand dollars 12:25 – Qualaroo was acquired by Xenon 13:01 – Jonathan Siegel owns Xenon 13:14 – Sean wanted to sell Qualaroo and wasn’t trying to get top dollar for it 13:57 – Sean had a 7-figure advance on the book, so he’s not losing money 14:09 – Sean has signed with Crown Business 14:29 – Sean has self-published a book before 14:49 – Sean’s background and Growth Hackers allowed him to get a great deal with Crown Business 15:00 – Sean is the guy who came up with the term “growth hacking” 15:09 – There are already a lot of publishers who approached Sean to write a book about growth hacking 15:22 – Morgan Brown is Sean’s co-author 15:47 – Morgan and Sean hired an editor to write the proposal 16:10 – Sean’s agent is Lisa DiMona 16:30 – The process is getting an agent to invest in your book, they help you with the proposal and they pitch your book 17:21 – Sean’s plan to make the book a successful one 17:26 – First is to gain momentum to get on the New York Times’ Bestseller List 17:43 – The weekly sales is what will determine whether you make the list 18:05 – “If you get on the list, then it’s a lot easier to stay on the list” 18:32 – People’s perception on growth is often a bit flawed 18:45 – Growth hacking is more about testing stuff and doubling down when something works 19:04 – Sean has some copies of his book for his Microsoft presentation 19:20 – Sean also has some copies for different companies 19:31 – Sean offers ticket bundles for Growth Hackers Conference in May, in LA 19:37 – Growth University’s growth master training course has bundled with book sales 19:43 – Sean is running bundled ads, too 19:51 – Sean is getting sub $50 sales on their course with the book bundled 20:51 – Sean is currently at a ConversionXL conference 21:05 – Peep Laja was on Episode 620, and he is the founder of ConversionXL 21:37 – Sean didn’t commit to buying any books 22:35 – Why should people buy this book rather than the other growth hacking books? 22:39 – “Ryan Holiday’s book was awesome to bring attention to growth hacking” 22:47 – There hasn’t really been a guide book to what do you do as a team, especially for bigger companies who want to replicate what Facebook or Uber has done 23:12 – Marketing isn’t that hard, but you need cultural change, cross-functional coordination, and collaboration 23:31 – Hacking Growth has the methods for what you need to drive growth at its foundation 23:44 – It is powerful and people need help 24:06 – Crossing the Chasm provides observations regarding the growth process 24:20 – The main difference between this book and Sean’s is that it doesn’t tell you how to organize your team to exploit that growth situation 24:32 – “We’re not just telling you the fundamentals of how growth works, we’re telling you how to run a growth process across a team...” 25:02 – “You need to have a very integrated coordinated team and the best time to build it in your business is early, when the culture is malleable to do it” 27:20 – The Famous Five 3 Key Points: Regarding viral coefficients, the more you have qualitative and quantitative insights about what’s happening in the referral and sharing process, the more informed your tests will be. Growth hacking is more about testing stuff and doubling down when something works. You NEED a very integrated, coordinated team—the best time to build this into your business is early on, when the culture is still malleable. Resources Mentioned: The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. 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