Foundr Magazine Podcast | Learn From Successful Founders & Proven Entrepreneurs, The Ultimate StartUp Podcast For Business (general)

Many of us have been to one of those startup events where you're divided up into teams and have to whip up a company in the span of a weekend. You make great connections and have some fun, but typically the business idea you were working on for past 48 hours is gone by the time your head hits the pillow.

But Matthew Arevalo and his new friend, and soon-to-be co-founder, realized they were onto something special. While most people went back to their daily lives, Arevalo began dedicating all of his time and energy into this new business. The result was a company called Loot Crate, a subscription service that ships a mystery box of items made for geeks by geeks.

"Subscription boxes had been around, and had existed in the past. But a lot of the focus had been on sampling. It had been on trying to get samples of products into a box and get them out to folks," says Arevalo. "Loot Crate really was the first company to work directly and say, 'We're going to put full-sized apparel, figures, collectibles, and items that pop culture fans gravitate towards and have an emotional connection to.'"

Since that fateful weekend in 2012, the fledgling startup has grown into a powerhouse company with more than 650,000 subscribers, making it the fastest-growing company in the US.

But earning such an accolade took a lot of experimenting, perseverance, and a couple of setbacks along the way, all of which Arevalo was more than happy to share with the Foundr audience.

In this week's episode, you'll learn:

  • The secret to tapping into a niche and creating a true emotional connection with your audience
  • What your number one focus should be in the early stage of a fast-growing startup
  • Why it's important to always be looking for feedback from your customers
  • How to turn failure into a learning experience
  • The difference between running a physical business and a digital one
  • & much more!

This podcast episode was brought to you by Fresh Desk.

Make bad customer service a thing of the past with Fresh Desk. Whether it's with their live chat feature, their easy-to-use ticketing system, or their multi-channel customer support system, treat your customer to an experience like no other and keep them coming back.

Direct download: FP129_Matthew_Arevalo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:53am AEST

The internet marketing scene is not exactly known for being grounded and humble. It's often as bombastic and self-inflated as a hip-hop rap battle. That’s why it comes as such a surprise to find that Darren Rowse, one of the world’s most successful bloggers, is so … normal.

His down-to-earth nature is only the first thing that will surprise you. The second is where he's from—Rowse isn’t from Silicon Valley, or even the United States as many assume. Rather, he hails from from Melbourne in Australia’s southeastern corner.

Rowse currently has two active blogs. ProBlogger needs little introduction, as it’s been the internet’s go-to place for everything blog-related for more than a decade now. And his second blog, Digital Photography School, has long been a content darling of photographers worldwide. Both of these blogs boast readerships so large, they put national media outlets to shame. In the words of Ron Burgundy, he’s kind of a big deal.

Before every second person decided to set up a space to blog about their special interests, however mundane, there was Darren Rowse. He planted his flag deep into blogging soil before any of us knew it was a thing, and has since grown to become one of the world's leading authorities on blogging. As one of the world’s premiere bloggers, he’s breathing the rarefied air that comes with 5 million-plus monthly readers.

In this week's episode you will learn:

  • The secrets behind effective content marketing and how it can improve your business
  • How to understand who your reader is and what kind of content they're looking for
  • Why you need to network and the best way to do it
  • What the best practices for SEO are
  • The key to growing a business beyond yourself
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP128_Darren_Rowse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06am AEST

If you're interesting in learning how to market more effectively and land more sales, a quick Google search will bring up thousands of results, each one promising that their specific tip will be the one that changes your business forever. The trouble is sorting the wheat from the chaff. What's the stuff that'll actually work for you, and what's the stuff that's just clickbait?

According to Sean D'Souza, the secret to marketing is actually surprisingly easy to understand. At their very core, all marketing strategies follow the exact same model, D'Souza says. He has cracked the code, and he can prove it.

"What I do is I break down things into little pieces, and when I break them down into little pieces it becomes scientific. That's really what science is. Science is taking something very complex and breaking them down into little pieces and reconstructing it so that anyone can do it," D'Souza says.

Originally working as a freelance cartoonist, D'Souza somehow found himself indulging his talent for marketing and understanding consumer psychology by helping out others with their marketing efforts. It wasn't long before he started writing about his own experiences with marketing and slowly but surely, he began to gather an audience hungry to learn more.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The psychological triggers behind turning someone from a prospect and into a customer
  • Why growing your company might not be the best move
  • Sean's most effective marketing tactics and strategies
  • The myth behind innate talent and why it's all about the hustle
  • What the perfect marketer look and sounds like
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP127_Sean_DSouza.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:57pm AEST

There are many reasons people choose to become entrepreneurs. Some want to make money, others want the freedom of owning their own businesses, and some, like Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, want to make an impact. For Sivaramakrishnan, a self-described accidental entrepreneur, she never intended to become the founder of one of the fastest-growing companies in the world. It just so happened to be that it was only by doing so could she affect the change she wanted to see in the world.

Originally intending to pursue a career in academia, by the time Sivaramakrishnan graduated from Stanford with a PhD in information theory, she realized that this was merely a milestone on a journey to something greater. After graduating she headed for Silicon Valley and found herself one of the original engineers of a soon-to-be successful startup.

"I felt like here was a place where I could create an impact," Sivaramakrishnan says.

By the time that startup was acquired by Google in 2009, Sivaramakrishnan had developed a taste for the intricacies of the startup world and soon began her own venture called Drawbridge. The company was all about helping other companies of all kinds understand their customers and their buying habits across multiple devices.

Impressively, since she's launched, Drawbridge now has over 150 employees and is considered one of the fastest-growing companies in the world. Growing by almost 2000% in just the past year alone, in regards to size and the amount of revenue it generates.

Not bad for an accidental entrepreneur.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Where mobile advertising is at now, and what the future holds
  • How to find data solutions to marketing problems
  • Why it's so important to find people who share your vision
  • Who you need to hire as your company starts to grow
  • The unavoidable, and the avoidable, pitfalls of running a fast-growing startup
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP126_Kamakshi_Sivaramakrishnan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:51am AEST

You can't talk about fast-growing SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies without mentioning Zapier. In about five years, they've amassed a customer base of over 1.5 million registered users, and grown their team from just three founders to 60 people. But perhaps what's most impressive and unique about Zapier, is the fact that those 60 people can be found all over the world.

While Wade Foster and his co-founders reside in San Fransisco, he is quick to mention that does not mean Zapier's headquarters are in San Fransisco. Not just employees, but also members of the executive team can be found on almost every continent, working remotely. Zapier is living proof that entrepreneurs and startups are no longer strictly bound by location, and that there is a whole world of talent out there.

"The internet feels like our true home," Foster says.

You might think that having such a team would be a detriment to a fast-growth company but, according to Foster, having such a large, distributed team is precisely the reason behind Zapier's impressive success. When it comes to managing and leading such a scattered team, all while building a fast-growing SaaS company, Foster is a master.

In this week's episode you'll learn:

  • How to validate your idea and find your first customer at the same time
  • The pros and cons of managing a distributed team of over 60 people
  • What a high-performing distributed team looks like
  • Keys to building a B2B company as quickly as possible
  • Wade's favorite apps and tools
  • & so much more!

This podcast episode was brought to you by Infusionsoft

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Direct download: FP125_Wade_Foster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:09am AEST

Over the past 20 years or so, the common understanding of what an "entrepreneur" is has undergone some massive changes.

It used to be that an entrepreneur was someone who wore a proper suit, courted investors over fancy lunches and dinners, and ultimately cornered entire industries. Then the term started to shift.

These days when you think of an entrepreneur, you're more likely to conjure some hip whiz kid, much more likely to wear jeans and a hoodie than a suit. The attitude has changed as well, with entrepreneurs these days less concerned about building Fortune 500 businesses, and instead wanting to take on creative pursuits that can fuel their lifestyles of travel, leisure, and adventure.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a person who fits that 21st century entrepreneur archetype better than Sol Orwell. At only 32, he has already bought and sold multiple online businesses, co-founded a 7-figure business by the name of Examine.com, and finds himself globetrotting three to four months out of the year for fun. So how does he do it?

Orwell is no stranger to the entrepreneurship life, having started his first online business of buying and selling virtual currency at the age of 14. Ever since, he's been in love with starting businesses, and everything that the online world can offer. As a tried and true digital nomad, Orwell knows exactly what it takes to build up the perfect business for anyone wanting to be a lifestyle entrepreneur.

In this week's episode:

  • How to find your niche in the online world
  • The importance of putting the business first before your ego
  • Why building evergreen content will always work better than anything viral
  • Orwell's no-nonsense guide to building a self-sustaining online business
  • The wonders of building a segmented audience and why you need to do it right now
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP124_Sol_Orwell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55am AEST

Wil Schroter never set out to become an entrepreneur. In fact, he didn't have that much interest in business in the first place. But in 1995, he found himself in the office of his college guidance counselor saying that he was dropping out to start an internet company.

The question she asked wasn't why Schroter was quitting college, but what was this "internet" he was talking about.

A 19 years old, Schroter was one of the first handful of people in the world building successful businesses based on this world-changing piece of technology. While dropping out of college to pursue a career in entrepreneurship is pretty run-of-the-mill today, back in 1995 it was practically unheard of. Everyone around Schroter told him it was insane, that it'd be suicide, that he'd never make it.

Fast forward a little over 20 years, he now finds himself as the founder of several multimillion-dollar companies, including Fundable, the world's largest business crowdfunding platform, and the internationally renowned startup launchpad startups.co. It's been a successful journey since that guidance counselor's office.

Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Schroter has not only witnessed, but also participated in many of the world-changing impacts the internet has had. He's pretty much seen it all.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to survive a business with less than zero business experience
  • The things you need to know on how to close more deals
  • Learn how to build a community
  • How to deal with growth pains effectively
  • Tips on what it takes to build a successful company
  • & more!
Direct download: FP123_Wil_Schroter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:06am AEST

After working in the children's media industry for over five years, there was something that was bothering Francesca Cavallo. She found herself asking the question: "Why does almost every princess in every classical fairy tale needs a prince to save her?"

It was something she didn't particularly care for. But the reality was that there just weren't that many fairy tales where the princess was the hero, and not just the damsel-in-distress. So Cavallo did what any other entrepreneur would do in her situation. If there wasn't a solution to the problem, then she was going to create one.

The result was a book called Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, a collection of 100 stories about great female artists, athletes, politicians, and scientists. Instead of hearing fairy tales like Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty, children everywhere could instead listen to the stories of extraordinary women like Frida Kahlo, Elizabeth the First, and Serena Williams.

In order to bring her idea into reality, Cavallo, co-founder of Timbuktu Labs, took to Kickstarter to reach her goal of $40,000 in order to print the first 1,000 copies.

The book was a smash hit. Within 24 hours, Cavallo's campaign raised half of its goal, and by the end of the month she had raised over $650,000 in funds and was the creator of the most successful publishing campaign in Kickstarter history.

It was a dream come true, but it was far from being a lucky break. Months before the campaign even started, Cavallo had begun planning. In our interview, she walks us through step-by-step how she engineered the massive success of one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns to date.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to validate your idea before you even try crowdfunding
  • Why the video is the most important part of any crowdfunding campaign
  • How to establish trust in both your campaign and yourself
  • The tools you can use to ensure your campaign's success
  • Step-by-step instructions for what to do before, during, and after your crowdfunding campaign
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP122_Francesca_Cavallo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:47am AEST

A unique product snags attention. A boring product does not.

Brad Munro says crowdfunding is most successful when you have the former—something innovative like Willi Footwear’s improved flip flops.

“The kind of people that are contributing to your crowdfunding campaign, especially if they’re buying a product, they’re doing so because they can’t buy it anywhere else,” he says. “They’re not going to jump on and grab something that they can go down to the shop and get, that’s just as good or the exact same thing.”

But they didn't rely on their product's uniqueness. By shoveling time into their campaign, both the preparation and execution, the team at Willi Footwear was able to integrate consistent messaging with outreach to people they knew, which earned them the money they needed to ensure the success of their fledgling company.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why Indiegogo might be a better platform for crowdfunders
  • How to strike the right tone for your campaign video
  • What connections you can immediately leverage to ensure your campaign is a success
  • The elements behind a high-converting project page
  • What you need to start planning for once you decide to start crowdfunding
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP121_Brad_Munro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11am AEST

Thirty years ago, Michael Gerber released a book called The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About it.

It carried within it lessons on what it means to be an entrepreneur, the importance of systems in building a scalable business, even the different types of people who start their own businesses. It laid out the common pitfalls that happen to most novice entrepreneurs and gave practical advice on how to avoid them.

The best-selling book has since inspired millions of people to start their own businesses, and is still considered to be a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere. Startup thought leaders like Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin have heaped praise on the lessons outlined in this book.

But before Gerber began changing the lives of a whole generation of business owners, he explains, he never intended to become an entrepreneur. It was only through a chance meeting with a distraught business owner that Gerber found himself with his first client and in the position to help someone grow a business.

"I discovered something I'd never known before, and that is the conclusion I've come to over the years—that despite the obvious differences between industries, between vertical markets, between kinds of companies, what I began to discover was that from a business development perspective, they're not different at all."

Despite all the technological changes that have happened since that first client, Gerber asserts that the key principles behind building a business have remained the same.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What exactly it is that makes an entrepreneur different from everyone else
  • How to be a dreamer, a thinker, a storyteller, and a leader
  • The difference between strategic and tactical thinking, and which one you should be doing
  • Why everyone should start thinking about building a business
  • How to make your business unique, even if your product isn't
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP120_Michael_Gerber.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16am AEST