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Founder Coffee - Intimate SaaS Chats
50 minutes | Apr 19, 2022
053 Matthew Cleevely - 10to8
For this fifty-third episode, I talked to Matthew Cleevely, Co-Founder of 10to8, a scheduling platform that is built for less digital environments, like the dentist or the national health service. When Matthew was doing his PhD in entrepreneurship, he and his co-founder talked with a dentist friend of theirs who wanted to digitize his business. They dug in, analyzed how his dental practice worked, and found out that he had a large no-show rate because scheduling was a pain. That’s when 10to8 was born. We talk about building water rockets and designing mouse mats, picking things apart to learn how to build things, the stress of running out of money, and how to make yearly plans you’ll actually realize.
54 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
052 Susanne Klepsch - MeetFox
For this fifty-second episode, I talked to Susanne Klepsch, Co-Founder of MeetFox, a platform for coaches, lawyers and other independent service professionals to schedule, meet and charge in one seamless flow. After brief stints in the tourism and automotive industry, Susanne took on sales at her father’s plastics companies after he passed away. After assuming a leadership position in which she was suddenly responsible for 120 employees, she went looking for a coach. That process took so long and was so intransparent that she decided to launch CoachFox, an online marketplace for coaching services. She spent a lot of time developing the technology behind that marketplace, creating a seamless coaching experience. And then she spun out that product into a separate company, which is called MeetFox today. That’s the very short story at least. We talk about how we got to love processes, why as a small business you should do things that don’t scale to compete, how difficult it is to convert freemium users, and why Susanne wishes she stuck with a niche much earlier.
55 minutes | Aug 26, 2021
051 Ai Ching Goh - Piktochart
For this fifty-first episode, I talked to Ai Ching Goh, Co-Founder of Piktochart, a software to build beautiful infographics and videos, with the goal of becoming a “business storytelling platform”. After Ai Ching had a burn-out working at P&G, she decided to start her own company together with her husband, at the time a web design agency, with the purpose of eliminating her Monday blues. This is where her journey began to build a company where people come first. One day, about 10 years ago, dreaming about the power of visual storytelling, she started working on Piktochart, software that allows you to easily create infographics. Today, she’s still working on Piktochart and Ai Ching and her team are in it for the long haul, building a sustainable company that constantly takes daring steps to improve the quality of life of everyone involved. We talk about why and how Piktochart introduced a 4-day workweek, how it feels to be working fully remotely from a tropical island, what it means to build a people centric company, and the immense power of deep work.
50 minutes | May 31, 2021
050 Dave Will - PropFuel
For this fiftieth episode, I talked to Dave Will, Co-Founder of PropFuel, a platform that helps associations better engage with their members. Dave started off his career in the corporate world, working at PwC on systems integration of big corporate systems like Siebel and SAP. The moments that changed everything for him were when his boss told him to walk faster and smile less when moving through the hallways… and when he got fired for lacking a sense of urgency. That’s when he decided he didn’t want to work for other people, and he started a small reseller business. From there, he rolled from the one thing in the other. Today he’s focusing on building out PropFuel, pushing boundaries one step at a time while enjoying the journey. We talk about walking slow and smiling more, focusing on controlled growth instead of building a high risk high growth business, why we don’t like the sitcom Silicon Valley, and the importance of the little things.
53 minutes | Nov 24, 2020
049 Lisa Popovici - Cartloop
For this forty-ninth episode, I talked to Lisa Popovici, Co-Founder of Cartloop, an SMS marketing service that offers you a team that helps customers with their abandoned shopping carts on your Shopify store. Lisa went to med school. While doing that, she wanted to earn her own money, and started a women’s fashion brand. She came home from classes every day, excited to work on her business, and found out she was more passionate about e-commerce than her studies. After getting her degree, she decided to focus herself full time on her passion. And then she wanted to do something even bigger: really solving a problem. The problem was right in front of her: abandoned shopping carts. We talk about why she chose entrepreneurship over med school, what motivates and what scares her, everything she does to stay healthy and balanced, how you make your customers the heroes, and why it’s important to build habits and set priorities.
55 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
048 Udesh Jadnanansing - Mopinion
For this forty-eighth episode, I talked to Udesh Jadnanansing, Co-Founder of Mopinion, an all-in-one user feedback platform for high traffic websites. Mopinion started when Udesh and his co-founders had a digital agency that developed websites and apps. One thing they noticed was that getting qualitative information about the user’s perspective beyond quantitative analytics was hard. And their customers were wrestling with it. That’s when they knew they had to develop a solution for this problem. Before Mopinion, Udesh started a t-shirt printing business. He had the idea for a t-shirt for young kids that was extremely customizable by using velcro stickers. The business ultimately failed because of issues with a supplier, resulting in a large amount of unusable stock. That’s when Udesh learned his first lessons as an entrepreneur, temporarily set his dreams aside to join the digital agency world, only to be back years later with his own digital agency and finally with Mopinion. We talk about why Mopinion focuses on the European market, how as a CRO he spends his time crunching data, the ethics of habit building in software, and why you should start selling your product as soon as possible. Welcome to Founder Coffee.
51 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
047 Will van der Sanden - Dux-Soup
For this forty-seventh episode, I talked to Will van der Sanden, Founder and CEO of Dux-Soup, one of the leading LinkedIn automation tools in the market. Dux-Soup started when Will wanted to help his wife with reaching out to prospects for her business. As a developer, he built tools to scrape different sites, like Yahoo, the Yellow Pages and LinkedIn. When he showed his software to other people, he got quite some interest going for the LinkedIn scraping, so he decided to specialize on this. Despite the uncertainty of building a tool on top of another platform, especially unofficially, Dux-Soup has now been around for five years and has gathered over 60.000 users on its software. We talk about how to build a remote team, why Dux-Soup mostly employs freelancers, why they price their product lower than competitors, how Chrome sets the internet standards, and why listening is a founder’s most important skill.
46 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
046 Steven Benson - Badger Maps
For this forty-sixth episode, I talked to Steven Benson, Founder and CEO of Badger Maps, a leading mapping platform and route planning app for field sales people. After studying geography and doing an MBA, Steven spent his whole career in field sales at companies like IBM and HP and then went on to sell the Google Maps API to businesses. Being exposed to a lot of mapping problems, he figured there was a space in the market for a mapping product for field sales people. That's when Badger Maps was born. Almost 9 years later, Steven now leads a bootstrapped business with a team of 75 people. We talk about the power of podcasting, studying languages, doing three-hour bike rides on a stationary bike, and why he might move his company out of the Valley.
59 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
045 Nick Franklin - ChartMogul
For this forty-fifth episode, I talked to Nick Franklin, Founder and CEO of ChartMogul, one of the leading platforms to track and analyze subscription metrics for SaaS and mobile subscription companies. Previous to ChartMogul, Nick worked at Zendesk and he started up its EMEA and then Asian operations as a general manager. He experienced firsthand how difficult it was to track and analyze their metrics and he built up a system for it internally. It wasn’t user friendly however, nor did it answer all his questions quickly. So after 5 years at Zendesk, he went out on his own and started ChartMogul. We talk about the joys of building stuff and hiring the right people, how he’s looking to go deeper in the current niche, his plans with implementing EOS, living in Korea, and developing your own inner confidence.
54 minutes | Aug 18, 2020
044 Amir Salihefendić - Doist
For this forty-fourth episode, I talked to Amir Salihefendić, Founder and CEO of Doist, the company behind the leading to-do app Todoist and the asynchronous team communication platform Twist. Amir started working on Todoist in 2007 while he was a student, got some immediate coverage and a good amount of users, but then worked on other things for a while. He was the CTO of a social media company called Plurk and then tried building a project management system called Wedoist. Then in 2011, he decided to focus back on Todoist, which had hundreds of thousands of users by then and he’s been focused on growing it for the long term ever since. We talk about the advantages of building products for yourself, how synchronous team communication is stressing us all out, the difficulties of finding product-market fit in a busy industry, and how to stay competitive in the long run.
55 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
043 Randy Rayess - Outgrow
For this forty-third episode, I talked to Randy Rayess, Co-Founder and CEO of Outgrow, a leading platform for adding calculators, quizzes and other interactive elements to your site. Prior to Outgrow, Randy and his co-founder had a marketplace for mobile app development. As the sales team needed to be able to make quick price estimates, they built a calculator. Lots of people liked what they had built and wanted to use it in their sites. Outgrow was born. We talk about how to recruit the right people, how to select the right features to work on, the benefits of meditation and stretching, and why doing something for just 3 minutes per day might be the right way to start building a lasting habit.
68 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
042 Rand Fishkin - Sparktoro
For this forty-second episode, I talked to Rand Fishkin, formerly Co-Founder and CEO of Moz and now Co-Founder and CEO of Sparktoro, a new solution and data provider for audience intelligence. Rand started off leading an SEO agency and blogging about the topic and then started Moz 13 years ago as one of the first solutions for SEO research. A few years ago, he left Moz and started Sparktoro, continuing to work on his love for making big data and complex problems easy. We talk about SaaS vs. services, the innovative business model behind Sparktoro, how to stay authentic in marketing, how Rand organizes marketing in his new company, and why not to release any MVP but take it slowly.
44 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
041 Veronika Riederle - Demodesk
For this forty-first episode, I talked to Veronika Riederle, Co-Founder and CEO of Demodesk, one of the leading video solutions for sales demos. Veronika studied all about becoming an entrepreneur in university. After spending about 7 years in strategy roles at Bain, Audi and Telefonica, she decided to make the jump. She and her co-founder found a way to make the sales demo process more efficient, and they managed to enter Y Combinator with their startup. With a team of 20, they’re now working hard to build the product and the business. We talk about why to focus very hard on the product first before starting to sell, how to properly organize a remote team, and how to know whether you’ve reached Product Market Fit.
70 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
040 Jason Fried - Basecamp
For this fortieth episode, I talked to a very special guest, Jason Fried, Co-Founder and CEO of Basecamp, the famous project management and communication platform. Jason loves creating things he wants and selling them to other people like him. That’s how he started way back with selling stereo equipment and cordless phones and is now selling software to help teams do a better job. The very first thing we did when starting Salesflare was reading his first book and almost manifesto “Getting Real” and it shaped a lot of our early thinking at Salesflare, so I’m very glad to have him on the show. We talk about how to go about remote working the right way, why he puts sustainable growth over investor fueled growth, and how to apply stoicism in life and in business.
43 minutes | May 26, 2020
039 Max Armbruster - Talkpush
For this thirty-ninth episode, I talked to Max Armbruster, Founder and CEO of Talkpush, a recruitment automation platform that leverages chat interfaces for recruitment. After stints at companies like CNET, Altran, ATKearney and SAP, Max started Talkpush based on in-house software he built in a previous business to streamline their recruitment process. Despite being a US national with German origins, he leads his company from Hong Kong with half of his company being based in Latin America. And he sells his software worldwide. We talk about whether it makes sense to combine software with services, how the big internet giants get rich, and how to build great processes and have effective meetings.
42 minutes | Mar 31, 2020
038 Alex Theuma - SaaStock
For this thirty-eighth episode, I talked to Alex Theuma, co-founder of SaaStock, the first and leading conference dedicated to SaaS companies in Europe.. After a sales career of about 11 years, mostly selling software, Alex got an itch to start his own business. He started a blog about SaaS companies and invited experts to contribute. Very quickly a podcast followed, he started organizing meetups, and a community was formed. After this community expressed the need for a SaaS conference in Europe and the first sponsor signed up, Alex made the jump and founded SaaStock. We talk about how SaaStock is now going online during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, how to start a business starting with the audience, and why you should never forget that cash is king.
51 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
037 Rahul Vohra - Superhuman
For this thirty-seventh episode, I talked to Rahul Vohra, co-founder of Superhuman, the company behind the self-proclaimed fastest email client ever made. After Rahul sold his previous company Rapportive to LinkedIn and spent a while there as a product manager, he decided to take on the challenge to rethink one of the most fundamental software programs of today’s knowledge worker: email client. Rahul’s dream as a kid was to be a game developer and he taught himself how to code starting from the age of eight, which he first did alone and then later as a professional game developer at Runescape. It’s this gaming background that he leverages at Superhuman to try create the best possible email experience in the world. We talk about how Superhuman goes about prioritizing growth projects, his career detour starting a PhD in machine learning, how playing Dungeons and Dragons keeps him inspired, and why you need to aim for either growth of users or growth of revenue, but not both.
45 minutes | Dec 17, 2019
036 Mada Seghete - Branch
For this thirty-sixth episode, I talked to Mada Seghete, co-founder of Branch, the leading platform that makes deep linking to specific places in mobile apps easy. After Mada's mom helped her to get a full scholarship to study in the US, she studied computer engineering and got her first job as a software developer. She only did this for a year, after which she consecutively worked as a business consultant, worked as a product manager, went to Stanford Business School, and co-founded her first startup company. It was while working on that start-up company that she and her co-founders launched a referral program and discovered how difficult it was to link to specific places within their app. Branch was born. We talk about good reads and Goodreads (the app), about working 14-16 hours per day and being lucky, Branch’s big vision, and the excitement of building a team and making an impact.
38 minutes | Nov 6, 2019
035 Darren Chait - Hugo
For this thirty-fourth episode, I talked to Darren Chait, co-founder of Hugo, a platform that brings all your meeting notes together in one place and connects them with all the tools you use. Darren and his co-founder started Hugo off as a way to prepare better for meetings, but then found instead that the bigger problem was what happened after the meetings. Today, two years since their pivot, their software is used by great companies like Nike, Dropbox and Twitter. We talk about how having a baby makes you a better founder, the dilemma between raising VC money vs. not, how partnerships can boost your business, and why trusting your team makes all the difference.
41 minutes | Sep 17, 2019
034 Harrison Rose - Paddle
For this thirty-fourth episode, I talked to Harrison Rose, co-founder of Paddle, a leading subscription and commerce platform that helps SaaS businesses grow faster. Harrison started Paddle with his co-founder when they were 17, going on 18, right when they were due to join university. They dropped out before it even began. At first they built a marketplace for businesses, much like the App Store, but when it turned out nobody wanted another marketplace, they dropped the customer facing aspect and kept the platform for payments and the like. We talk about how he builds a solid team while hiring 100 employees in a year, why he gets up at 6am, how he keeps his high energy up, and why you need to keep learning faster than your organization.
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