Foundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan

Parker Conrad is no stranger to hard times.

His first startup, Wikinvest, failed to take off during the seven years he was with the company. He then had a falling out with his co-founder, which caused him to leave and start over. Conrad’s next venture, Zenefits, faced scrutiny while he served as the CEO. And now, his current company Rippling is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Conrad’s strength has always been approaching problems with a realistic and humble attitude. Despite the fact that Rippling’s existing customer base has shrunk since the pandemic hit, the company's top-of-funnel performance hasn’t been impacted. They’re setting up record numbers of demos and doubling down on product investment. Most importantly, Conrad is being strategic about finances and still has three years of runway left.

In this podcast episode, Conrad shares his most honest thoughts on the challenges of Covid-19, what he’s been doing to get through this transition, and what he thinks other struggling founders should do.

If there’s any other type of content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • Conrad’s most challenging chapter as an entrepreneur of a failing startup, and why he chose to stay for seven years
  • The pain point that inspired the idea for Zenefits
  • How Rippling provides an employee system that goes beyond HR
  • How the pandemic impacted Rippling’s existing customer base
  • Why Conrad is focused on burn, and what he’s doing to maintain runway
  • The importance of acknowledging what’s not working while also looking toward a more promising future
  • Why Conrad hates working from home, and how he got through the difficult transition
  • Conrad’s unpopular advice for struggling founders
Direct download: FP313_Parker_Conrad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56am AEDT

It’s not every day that an entrepreneur creates an entirely new industry category and a nine-figure company at the same time. But that’s exactly what Dharmesh Shah did when he started HubSpot.

Before the company launched in 2006, marketing relied solely on outbound tactics such as cold calling, purchasing billboards, and buying email lists. Shah and his co-founder Brian Halligan saw an opportunity to completely change the game. Together, they founded the concept of inbound marketing, which is all about creating value for your audience to draw them into your company.

Since then, HubSpot has quickly become the most respected and recognized brand within the marketing world—known not only for being the inventor and category king of inbound marketing, but also for adopting an incredible company culture. In this interview, Shah touches on all these topics and shares his biggest takeaways from serving as the co-founder and CTO of HubSpot.

If there’s any other type of content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • How Shah and his co-founder Brian Halligan simultaneously came up with the idea for HubSpot and an entirely new category of marketing
  • The biggest challenges of inbound marketing in the early days
  • Why Shah decided not to trademark the term “inbound,” and how this decision helped the inbound marketing movement flourish
  • The history behind HubSpot’s famous 128-slide Culture Code deck
  • Shah’s tips for keeping culture consistent across a decentralized team
  • Why Shah recommends approaching your company culture as a product
  • What Shah and his team do to make sure their customers and employees stay happy
  • How a maniacal obsession with your craft will help you find success
Direct download: FP312_Dharmesh_Shah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:40am AEDT

Peter Yared has a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur. Not only has he built and sold six different B2B enterprise companies (making more than $500 million in exits), but he’s also lived through three different recessions and managed to stay afloat through them all.

In this conversation with our CEO Nathan Chan, Yared dives deep into the world of software businesses and takes us through his process of coming up with an idea, turning it into a company, and successfully selling it. He also explains the most important lessons from the three previous recessions he’s lived through, as well as what he’s learned during the current pandemic.

Whether you’re an engineer who wants to step into the world of entrepreneurship or a business owner who is struggling with the impact of Covid-19, this episode is jam-packed with helpful knowledge!

If there’s any other type of content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • How Yared initially fell in love with programming
  • Yared’s journey to building and selling six B2B enterprise companies
  • Why software businesses usually end up being bought out
  • An overview of Yared’s most successful exits
  • How Yared decides when to turn an idea into an actual company (and why he prefers to call them “projects”)
  • The importance of being part of trends
  • Why Yared’s last five projects started off self-funded
  • Yared’s best advice for engineers
  • The idea of push vs. pull selling
  • Why Yared doesn’t believe the superior product always wins
  • How to use an engineering perspective to successfully go to market
  • How Yared managed the impact of Covid-19 for his global company
  • Yared’s best advice based on his experience with multiple recessions, and how the current pandemic compares
Direct download: FP311_Peter_Yared.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:16am AEDT

What does it take to create, market, and sell a profitable online course?

This question is likely on the minds of many people⁠, especially now that the pandemic is pushing people to turn to online courses as a way to level up their skill sets. Ankur Nagpal has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this topic, from running his startup Teachable for the past six years to growing his online course platform to host 50,000 creators and reaching over 30 million people since its launch.

Nagpal shares insights on everything from how to create a full-time income from an online course to best practices to follow as a beginner course creator. He also predicts what the future of the online course industry looks like.

If there’s any other type of content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • How Nagpal got started with Teachable, the startup that converts passions into online courses
  • The three factors that are contributing to the growth of the online course market
  • How the pandemic has impacted Teachable
  • What it takes to create a full-time income from an online course business
  • The importance of an NPS, and how it distinguishes the top 1% of courses
  • Nagpal’s best practices for online course creation, especially for first-timers
  • Strategies to drive more sales
  • How to overcome limiting self beliefs
  • Nagpal’s best advice when it comes to niches, tools, and list building
  • A look into the future of the online course industry
  • What Teachable’s recent acquisition means for the future of the business
Direct download: FP310_Ankur_Nagpal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53am AEDT

Gina Bianchini has always loved working with creators. That’s why she co-founded Ning, an online platform for people and organizations to create custom social networks, with Marc Andreessen in 2005. Even after leaving Ning, she couldn’t stay away from the world of creators for long so she launched Mighty Networks in 2017.

Since then, the team at Mighty Networks has been obsessed with serving “creators with a purpose.” The platform powers brands and businesses that bring people together via online courses, paid memberships, events, content, and community.

In this podcast episode, Bianchini explains why she’s so passionate about providing more opportunities for creators. She also shares her best recommendations when it comes to creating successful online courses and communities, and how her team at Mighty Networks approaches these goals within their own platform.

If there’s any other type of content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • Why Bianchini has always loved working with creators
  • A brief history of Bianchini’s first company, Ning, and why she left in 2010
  • The three pillars that inspired the idea for Mighty Networks
  • Why Bianchini believes in the power of small communities
  • The reason why creators want to get away from Facebook Groups, and why it’s beneficial to encourage this migration
  • The story of why Bianchini launched her own online course, and why it’s the best thing she’s ever done
  • What makes a successful course
  • The most important things to know about community building in 2020
Direct download: FP309_Gina_Bianchini.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am AEDT

Henrik Werdelin has never been about chasing money, power, or fame. Instead, his focus has always been on creating cool things with people he enjoys being around. That’s exactly how BarkBox, now one of many subsidiaries under BARK, came to be.

Despite Werdelin’s non-material approach to BARK, the dog subscription box company has exploded in popularity since its launch in 2012. Today, it boasts hundreds of thousands of subscribers and it is a nine-figure business.

In our conversation, Werdelin shares the most important learnings he’s collected as an entrepreneur—from finding the right funding option for your business to maintaining the right headspace during challenging times. Werdelin also gives us a glimpse into BARK’s incredible company culture and how he managed to build a quirky, kind, and smart team of people to pave the path for the organization. As a bonus, we also get a sneak peek into Werdelin’s book, “The Acorn Method” to understand how companies can grow in an ever-changing environment.

If there’s any other type of content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • Why Werdelin and his co-founders decided to start creating cool stuff for dogs in 2012
  • The funny story of how Werdelin met one of his co-founders in a heart-shaped bed on a cruise ship
  • What the pet industry was like when BarkBox first entered the market
  • Werdelin’s advice on finding the right funding option for your business
  • How BARK has dealt with the pandemic, and why the pet industry is recession proof
  • The importance of staying in a good headspace during tough times
  • How Werdelin and his co-founders approach leadership and decision-making
  • Why BARK is an inside-out brand, and what that means
  • A sneak peek into Werdelin’s new book, “The Acorn Method” and the advice it shares on how companies can continue growing during uncertain times
  • Werdelin’s best advice for entrepreneurs who are struggling during the pandemic
Direct download: FP308_Henrik_Werdelin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02am AEDT

As we start thinking about re-opening our businesses and offices after Covid-19, many people are wondering what the new “normal” will look like.

While co-founder of Basecamp David Heinemeier Hansson doesn’t know for sure what the outcome will be, he certainly has an idea of what the new world of work should look like. As one of the biggest advocates of remote work, Hansson is hopeful that more and more companies will see the benefits of allowing employees to choose how and where they want to work.

But his vision for work doesn’t stop there. Hansson is also passionate about creating an environment where employees can protect at least a few hours of their day to accomplish deep work. This means no daily stand ups, no open calendars, and no unnecessary distractions that take away from your ability to get s*** done—an approach that’s imbued in Basecamp’s own culture.

If you’re fascinated by the topics of remote work and productivity, you don’t want to miss out on this conversation with Hansson.

If there’s any other content you’d like to see that would be valuable to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com.


Key Takeaways

  • The email from Hansson to Jason Fried that eventually led to the birth of Basecamp
  • Why it’s difficult to tell what the new “normal” for work will be after Covid-19
  • A look at the most common misconceptions about remote work, and how the pandemic has proven them to be false
  • Why Hansson believes we need to focus less on the number of hours we work and more on the quality of those hours
  • The reason why Basecamp isn’t renewing the lease for its Chicago office
  • Why Hansson doesn’t believe in daily stand ups and open calendars
  • How to maximize deep work
  • Why Basecamp’s approach to work is less about productivity, and more about human health and happiness
  • A sneak peek into Hansson’s upcoming project, HEY
  • Why the phrase ASAP is overused
  • What Hansson’s schedule looks like on most days
Direct download: FP307_David_Heinemeier_Hansson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:02am AEDT

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