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Startup Hypeman: The Podcast
61 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
Best Of Season 10: S10E4 - Jason Bay: How Do You Find New Customers?
Enjoy one of our favorites from Season 10!Any business owner will tell you the most important thing is customers. Last week's episode covered building relationships with them, and this week's episode we dive into finding them in the first place. My guest is Jason Bay, who joins the show for a record third time. Jason and I met in 2015 for, of all things, a podcast recording (his first appearance on this show). We've since become good friends. In late 2017, Jason Cofounded Blissful Prospecting, an innovative and unconventional lead generation service, with his wife Sara. Jason and I dig into very specific tactics and strategies to get attention and find customers.Get episode updates, full show notes, and strategies to build your startup's hype by joining the Hypeman tribe at www.startuphypeman.com.
40 minutes | Jun 24, 2019
S11 E12 - Will Herman: How Do You Figure Out Equity Distribution? (Season Finale)
I can tell you from experience with my first company - you should never do a 50/50 founder equity split. Or any math breakout that gives all cofounders equal ownership for that matter. But what should the distribution be? And how does that change when you bring on investors or employees? This area is one of the biggest aspects that most founding teams overlook, and ultimately have messy fights and sometimes fallouts down the road. What better expert to bring in for this conversation than the man I call the Tom Brady Of Entrepreneurship, Will Herman. Will has invested in over 70 companies, he's a 5x entrepreneur with 2 IPOs and 3 acquisitions, a Techstars mentor, and co-author of the book I recommend to every founder, The Startup Playbook. He's been around the block and seen the equity issue come up all too often. In this conversation he shares a path toward dealing with equity and getting it right upfront.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/will-herman-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Will where he breaks it down even further.
38 minutes | Jun 17, 2019
S11E11 - Jake Jorgovan: How Do You Create a Profitable Cash Flow?
"My first business did over a million in revenue and I don't think I ever took home more than 3 grand a month."Those are actual words from this week's guest, Jake Jorgovan, CEO of LeadCookie. We all push for revenue as our north star, but what good is revenue if you aren't actually making any money? Cash Flow is vitally important to running a healthy venture, and LeadCookie hit a point where 9 months in they had to layoff 6 people. As Jake admits, "It was largely due to me not knowing how to handle money in a growing business." That was the point when he decided to change things. Today LeadCookie is at it's most profitable point to date. As of when we recorded this episode, LeadCookie was at $60k MRR AND profitable. Get ready for a 200 level first-person lesson in how to build and manage your own financial dashboard.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/jake-jorgovan-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Jake where he breaks it down even further.
40 minutes | Jun 3, 2019
S11E10 - Amanda Greenberg: How Do You Create A New Category?
Do not adjust your television sets, what you are seeing is correct -- Amanda Greenberg is in fact back for a 2nd straight episode! Appearing as the show's first ever back-to-back guest (with two completely different topics), this time around the Balloonr CEO talks through how the company saw early on that it was not like the others. Oftentimes when we start companies we look for what's already hot. We look at areas where the market is proven. Balloonr took a different route. Rather than trying squeeze into an existing category, it has set out to create its own. In our conversation, Amanda walks through when it makes sense to opt for a new category entirely, and then the specific steps Balloonr has taken to attract market innovators as its customers.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/amanda-greenberg-podcast-2 for a bonus blog post written by Amanda where she breaks it down even further.
36 minutes | May 27, 2019
S11E9 - Amanda Greenberg: How Do You Land A Prominent Angel Investor?
You're in the midst of a capital raise. You keep hearing from angels that they are interested, but they want you to find a lead investor first. What if you instead targeted a more prominent investor? One who would go lead AND introduce you to other investors to help close out the round. In my conversation this week with Amanda Greenberg, Balloonr Cofounder & CEO, she talks through her process of landing Jason Calacanis. If you're not familiar with Jason, he's a big voice on the scene. His first company in the '90s was backed by Mark Cuban and sold to AOL. As an investor, he was an early backer of Uber, and 7 unicorns in total. And now he backs Balloonr. Listen here to how Amanda got on Jason's radar and ultimately received his backing.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/amanda-greenberg-podcast-1 for a bonus article on this topic!
45 minutes | May 20, 2019
S11E8 - Susannah Bailin: How Do You Build For Nontechnical Users?
You can, in theory, have high market need and a product that would be perfect to solve that need. But if the UX isn't on point, your market won't care. Especially when it comes to nontechnical people. The ones who aren't inherently tech-savvy are slow to adopt technology, and even when they do, they won't tolerate any friction in their user experience. Susannah Bailin is a seasoned entrepreneur, and Founder of AdviceCoach. Her product is used by physical and occupational therapists and their patients. A lot of people in this market prefer "the good 'ol days", so winning them over with product isn't easy. At first AdviceCoach struggled to build software that made sense for their target. Then they stumbled into an A-Ha moment that changed everything. I'll give you a clue: Context. Listen to our conversation for the rest.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/susannah-bailin-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Susannah where she breaks it down even further.
51 minutes | May 13, 2019
S11E7 - Humaira Ahmed: How Do You Conduct Effective User Research?
I can't tell you the number of times I've seen startups just start building without having done any research into their audience. What happens? They build, release, and wonder why no one wants what they have. User research is critical early on (and even ongoing) if you want to build a lasting company. We've all heard of Product-Market Fit, but this week in my conversation with Humaira Ahmed, Founder & CEO of Locelle, she brings to the table a new term that will change how you think about your audience: PROBLEM-Market Fit. She shares her story of how focusing on Problem-market Fit out of the gate is what's helped Locelle get off the ground and generate revenue early on while bootstrapped.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/humaira-ahmed-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Humaira where she breaks it down even further.
36 minutes | Apr 29, 2019
S11E6 - Richard Davies: How Do You Build Trust With Your Customers?
Have you ever paid waaay over face value on a site like StubHub to go to a concert or sports game? Yeah, me too. Richard Davies has too, and he decided enough was enough. So he created Twickets, an ethical ticket resale marketplace, to help fans resell their tickets to other fans at face value. Twickets has been endorsed as the official resale platform by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Sir Elton John, Muse, Pixies, and more. With names like these on its roster, and a user base of 750,000 and growing, it's fair to say Twickets has developed a high level of trust with its customers. In my conversation with Richard he shares why trust is the foundation to user acquisition, in both communication and technology, and takes us through a multi-step process on how he did it.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/richard-davies-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Richard where he breaks it down even further.
13 minutes | Apr 24, 2019
#HYPEtalk: Finding 'Superconnectors' To Grow Your Customer Base
Way before I was 'RajNATION', I was simply little Rajiv in elementary school. Every fall we had an assembly where this outside school fundraising group named Innisbrook would come talk to us about how our ‘cool’ factor could increase with the latest boombox, or a sleek-looking Wilson duffel bag we could take to baseball/softball practice, or they'd talk up other amazing prizes. I finished as a top-3 seller by building Superconnector relationships. Want to expand your own company's customer base? Listen up and learn how to think like a 3rd grader in this #HYPEtalk.
40 minutes | Apr 22, 2019
S11E5 - Emmanuel Straschnov: How Do You Get Customers To Fund Development?
230k total users. 10k monthly active users. $1.6 million ARR. $0 in outside capital raised. These are the numbers behind SaaS startup Bubble.is, Cofounded by Emmanuel Straschnov. Oftentimes when we think of achieving scale, we jump straight to "I need to raise money to get more users!" Emmanuel took the opposite route because he realized that if Bubble raised money early, investors would have required mass user adoption at a time when the product wasn't ready to be mass adopted. Instead, he took a manageable growth approach over a 5 year time period. This approach turned into acquiring paying customers as means to fund the company's ongoing product development. At $1.6 million in revenue, I'd say they've funded it pretty well. I ask Emmanuel some tough questions and he has great answers for all of them, going into not only HOW to get customers to fund development, but WHY that makes your product better and builds a deeply loyal following. Oh and, the product itself is pretty amazing -- think Squarespace but for any web or mobile app.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/emmanuel-straschnov-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Emmanuel where he breaks it down even further.
55 minutes | Apr 8, 2019
S11E4 - Chris Martinez: How Do You Build A Bulletproof Hiring Process?
Once you raise your first growth round, or achieve a certain revenue milestone, you're likely ready to hire. Your first hire is so critically important because the wrong person can set your company back 6-9 months, potentially tank you entirely. Your next few hires carry a similar weight. We know that 9 out of 10 companies fail, and one of the top reasons for failure is 'wrong team'. That means most companies have a hiring process in place that leads them to hire the wrong people, which ultimately dooms their company. How do you be not like them? Chris Martinez, Founder & CEO of the whitelabel backend web dev company DUDE Agency, has built a process that attracts great talent, includes addressing potential failure points, and ultimately makes sure the person coming on is a 10/10 by their standards. This is a really good conversation where he walks through their exact hiring process for other companies like you to borrow and tweak. He also shares some powerful backstory around his upbringing that you won't want to miss.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/chris-martinez-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Chris where he breaks it down even further.
9 minutes | Apr 3, 2019
#HYPEtalk: The Entrepreneur & The Homeless Man
Last week we had a cold and rainy day here in Chicago. I was downtown on Madison Street waiting for the #20 bus when a homeless man walked up to me and asked for a dollar. What happened next was a lesson in using social proof to build your case to customers or investors.Welcome to the first ever podcast #HYPEtalk! Short and punchy insight to help your startup.
40 minutes | Apr 1, 2019
S11E3 - Shilpa Prasad: How Do You Market To Multiple Audiences?
It's generally not a good idea to build a product that's for 'everyone'. But when you build a marketplace product (think AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, Yelp, etc) by nature you're building for more than 1 audience, with the intention that the different audiences interact with one another to drive commerce. Marketplace products are incredibly attractive, but can often be more like the Sirens song luring you in to more than you bargained for. The challenge is each audience has its own value proposition and marketing. Shilpa Prasad is Chief Growth Officer at YouNoodle, a marketplace technology connecting corporations, accelerators, governments, and startups to drive innovation forward. She spent more than a year obsessing over YouNoodle's value propositions, going back and forth on which market to focus their attention to the most, and how to get in front of the right people. I'm so excited to have her step to the mic for this episode, because she has some really valuable firsthand insight to share.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/shilpa-prasad-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Shilpa where she breaks it down even further.
39 minutes | Mar 25, 2019
S11E2 - Steve Glaveski: How Do You Create Rapid Revenue Growth?
There's revenue growth, and then there's rapid revenue growth. This week on the podcast I'm joined by Steve Glaveski, Cofounder and CEO of Collective Campus in Melbourne, Australia. He also hosts the Future Squared Podcast AND recently authored the book "Employee To Entrepreneur: How To Win Your Freedom And Do Work That Matters". Steve shares the strategies he's implemented that have led Collective Campus to be named one of the Fastest Growing Startups In Australia. What I really like about what Steve shares is that it's not only about 'build your funnel like this' -- rapid revenue growth, according to Steve, has as much to do with how you run your operations and allocate your time, as it does with figuring out upsells. There's a lot packed into this episode, and I highly highly recommend you grab his book after listening. Even if you've been an entrepreneur for awhile like I have, it has a lot of very helpful information on optimizing operations and identifying weak spots you may have overlooked early on that are having a larger impact on your business today.Head to startuphypeman.com/articles/steve-glaveski-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Steve where he breaks it down even further.
39 minutes | Mar 18, 2019
S11E1 - Ajay Goel: How Do You Scale With Minimal Customer Service?
We're back and officially kicking off as the renamed Startup Hypeman: The Podcast! To start the new season we welcome Ajay Goel to the microphone. Ajay is Founder of GMass and Wordzen, both gmail plugins that boost your productivity. As a bootstrapped venture, GMass has amassed 350,000 users and 10,000 daily active users in only 3 years. My conversation with Ajay is unique in that most conventional wisdom says "focus on the customer -- take care of the customer -- service the customer."Ajay's taken the exact opposite approach. He's built a product his customers love (I'm one of them), but he's done so by providing hardly any customer service -- and it hasn't hurt his sales! He has a different philosophy on how companies should interact with customers and there's a lot of value you can gain from understanding his viewpoint.Listen to the episode, then head to startuphypeman.com/articles/ajay-goel-podcast for a bonus blog post written by Ajay where he breaks it down even further.
15 minutes | Jan 10, 2019
DISCOVER YOUR INNER AWESOME IS DEAD.
The Discover Your Inner Awesome Podcast is dead.Sort of.Introducing Startup Hypeman: The Podcast. Listen to this short episode where I give a eulogy for Discover Your Inner Awesome, share why I killed it, and what you can expect from its reboot as Startup Hypeman: The Podcast
59 minutes | Dec 10, 2018
S10E13 - Sir The Baptist: Where Do You Draw The Line In Marketing? (Season Finale)
What if your company reached a point where running an ad campaign challenged your personal values and set of morals? Where the upside means massive success, but the downside means doing something that you believe is wrong? In our Season 10 finale I tackle the topic of marketing vs. Propaganda with hip hop recording artist Sir The Baptist. Sir’s music is our show’s theme song — as the self-proclaimed Hip Hop Chaplain, he’s been endorsed by the likes of Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder, and collaborated with artists like Killer Mike and Chance The Rapper. He’s developed an incredible marketing acumen in his time, working at Leo Burnett and even conducting firsthand market research for his album while driving Lyft. He’s also had his own belief set challenged, and we dig into that fine line between marketing and propaganda. There are so many lessons for entrepreneurs packed into this one, and I’m excited to share it with you in our season finale.Get episode updates and strategies to build your startup's hype by joining the HypeNation at www.startuphypeman.com.
45 minutes | Nov 19, 2018
S10E12 - Amber McDonald: How Do You Raise Capital With No Revenue?
I have a feeling this episode is gonna get A LOT of downloads. If you're a pre-revenue startup, I'm sure you've thought to yourself, "How do we raise money??" Or maybe you've been out there trying to fundraise and having no luck. Well, brew a pot of coffee or crack open a cold one, sit back and take notes for this one. Amber McDonald is the CEO and Cofounder of Indemnis, a company expanding the commercial use of drones and enabling services like drone delivery. She is a Founder in arguably the most unique situation I've ever encountered -- 1. Indemnis operates in a government-regulated industry, 2. She had her first child while still in college, 3. Indemnis is based out of ALASKA.Indemnis has raised nearly $4 MILLION in outside capital without generating a single dollar in revenue. She shares her story and strategies with me here.Amber wrote an in-depth blog post that expands on this topic. Get the article, episode updates, and strategies to build your startup's hype by joining the HypeNation at www.startuphypeman.com.
58 minutes | Oct 22, 2018
S10E11 - Erin & Leif Frey: How Do You Build A Brand That Challenges Norms?
How different is your brand? No, really different? Without using the words 'disruptive', 'innovative', or 'game-changing' how are you truly challenging the incumbents in your industry and breaking norms? Erin & Leif Frey cofounded FREY--a clothing care line that I believe actually is game-changing. And they don't use a single buzzword to break the norms of their industry. Through branding, messaging, and a unique business model, the Brothers Frey are taking on a massive industry, going up against the P&G's of the world. In this episode, we have an incredible conversation around the strategic decisions these Y-Combinator graduates have made that I believe put them in position to actually disrupt the industry. Oh and, after we recorded this they sent me a sample kit. All I have to say is it felt like I was unboxing a BMW, and after I did my laundry it smelled so good that all I wanted to do was roll around in my clothes. Check out our story this week on Instagram @startuphypeman for videos of the unboxing.Erin & Leif wrote an in-depth blog post that expands on this topic. Get the article, episode updates, and strategies to build your startup's hype by joining the HypeNation at www.startuphypeman.com.
59 minutes | Oct 15, 2018
S10E10 - Allison Lee: How Do You Build Large-Scale Partnerships?
I've long held the belief that one of the best ways to gain access to potential customers is to find and leverage access points--hubs that give you access to many customers at one time. Some people call this channel marketing, I call these hubs "Superconnectors", but whatever you call it the point is these are partnerships. Allison Lee is CEO and Cofounder of Hemster. Before founding Hemster she was the Director of Monetization at IoT startup Peel, where she grew company revenue from $20K to $10M in less than 18 months. Hemster began when Allison saw a unique and efficient tool to understand consumers personalized fit when it came to tailoring and was inspired to start her own company. She wanted to create a holistic tailoring solution that allows shoppers to accomplish the perfect fit anywhere, while revamping a dying and outdated industry. Hemster's early success is due in large part to building large-scale partnerships, and in this episode she shares their strategy.Allison wrote an in-depth blog post that expands on this topic. Get the article, episode updates, and strategies to build your startup's hype by joining the Hypeman tribe at www.startuphypeman.com.
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