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.
1158 School teacher developers software, other teachers buy it, $3k MRR
Highschool Teacher for over 8 years, entrepreneur in web design for over 15 and gamification expert for 8 years (3 as international expert).
1157 From Artist to $200k MRR SaaS Company for Content Publishing
Taj Forer is an experienced publisher, digital media executive, entrepreneur and artist. He currently serves as CEO of Fabl, the cloud-based publishing platform for content marketing, serving a global client base including CBS, Cond Nast, GE and Ducati, among others. Forer is Cofounder of Daylight, the celebrated international publisher of art books and is the author of two books of his own critically acclaimed art photography.
1156 YC Alum Burning $110k/mo in Cash To Scope Projects and Place Dev Talent Using Machine Learning
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.
866 SaaS: Sports Teams Use This $40m+ Company To Manage Communication
I really enjoyed this interview with Dave for two big reasons: He’s playing in a space that is not typical for B2B SaaS He’s using freemium consumer adoption to drive enterprise leads at a very low CAC of $80 which he makes back in well under 12 months. Dave is the CEO of TeamSnap. He has more than 20 years of experience in technology leadership positions. He was previously CEO of SANRAD, a venture-funded storage networking company, which he joined in 2006. He also helped found LeftHand Networks, a Boulder-based company sold to Hewlett Packard. Prior to that, Dave was with Hewlett-Packard. An avid skier and wannabe competitive cyclist, Dave lives in Boulder with wife Deb and two children, Mariel and Gabe. He enjoys reading, cooking and microbreweries Revenue Model: Over 1m teams use TeamSnap and 250,000 of those teams pay Dave $80 per year to use TeamSnap to manage team communication, logistics, and more. The average team has 30 people ranging from coaches, to players, to players parents. TeamSnap leverages 3 revenue streams with the SaaS component making up 40% of the total revenue mix. SaaS revenues are about $20m in ARR from 250k teams paying $80 per year. Total revenue is approaching $50m which Dave expects the company will cross in Q1 2018. Overall the business is growing over 100% year over year. On Launching in 2009 in poor economy: Dave: 2009 was best time for us to launch. The trough of a recessions is best time to get company going due to low opportunity cost. In recession there are talented people available for hire. 2009 revenue was less than $100,000. It took Dave just 3 years to break $1m in ARR which happened in 2012. Fundraising First 5 years from 2009 to 2014 the company was bootstrapped. Dupont funded the company with his own capital and local area angels. He put a couple hundred thousand in himself in early days. In 2014 they took their first institutional capital and have sense raised a total of $43.7m. On seasonal users and how that affects TeamSnap gross logo churn monthly: Teams pay $15 during the season then stop paying us off-season. We don’t look at this as churn because we know they come back next season. They are simply “in-active”. The company looks at revenue per customer on an annual basis which averages about $80. On customer acquisition: We use our consumer app which people use for free to drive enterprise sales in a land and expand strategy. 30% of new consumer customers come through referrals. We’ve boosted that up by spending about $500k per month on Google and FB ads mostly. Payback is pretty strong, under 12 months. They’ll pay $80 to acquire a customer that is worth about $280 over their lifetime which puts LTV to CAC ratio at about 3.5. Cash Flow: Net burn is really close to our discretionary marketing budget of $500k/mo. We are in good shape cash wise. Near September of next year (2018) we’ll be cash flow breakeven at much higher revenue level. We’ll figure out then what to do strategy wise. We are on the path to being a billion dollar company. I have no desire to sell out quickly to anybody. Build as big as can, shoot for IPO, create fantastic product over long haul. Strategy towards IPO: Large competitors like Comcast compete with us with their subsidiary called SportsEngine. Dicks sporting goods has a competitor in space called BlueSombrero and AffinitySports. Lastly, a private equity funded company called BlueStar Sports compete with us. Many of our competitors are purchasing small players and just aggregating. A short term private equity play versus a long term 20+ year deal. Would you accept $400m offer from Comcast? (minute 22) Well it would depend on the moment in time. In 2016 probably, in 2017 maybe, next year when revenue is higher, no way in hell! What is your favorite business book? The Hard Thing About Hard Things Is there a CEO you’re following or studying right now? Samir, SendGrid CEO Whats your favorite online tool? Apple pencil to evernote. How many hours of sleep do you get every night? 7 What would you tell your 20 year old self? I’m married with 2 kids, married for 30 years, and I’m “approaching a milestone birthday”. I wish my 20 year old self knew that “nobody does it alone”. Connect with Nathan: Website Twitter Facebook Page Snapchat Instagram
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