Foundr Magazine Podcast with Nathan Chan (general)

Justin Brown says it’s not too late to start and grow YouTube channel. Justin is a video strategist and, alongside his brother, built the YouTube channel Primal Video, which recently broke the 1 million subscriber mark. Justin shares his simple but effective strategies to grow a channel from zero and how framing your channel around solving problems can make a lasting impact on your business. 

 

Listen to Nathan and Justin discuss: 

  • Why YouTube rewards new and updated content 
  • Why comparing metrics to other channels doesn’t matter 
  • Understanding what people are searching for at 2 AM
  • How to use keyword research to validate your video ideas
  • Why you should create videos like nobody knows who you are
  • And much more YouTube tips and strategies

 

 

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Direct download: FP392_Justin_Brown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Reid Hoffman needs little introduction. He’s the cofounder of LinkedIn, former PayPal executive, author, podcaster, mentor, and all-around standout personality in the entrepreneurial world. His podcast Masters of Scale is one of the most successful business podcasts on the planet and he’s recently launched a book of the same name which curates the hundreds of interviews from the show into practicable business wisdom. 

 

In this episode, listen to Nathan chat with Reid about: 

  • What inspired the Masters of Scale podcast and the book
  • The importance of entrepreneurs to “always be learning” 
  • Why balance is a mistaken goal for entrepreneurs
  • What he thinks Elon Musk’s superpower is
  • His intense period as an executive at the “PayPal Mafia” 
  • Why he started LinkedIn instead of taking a year off
  • And much more scaling and entrepreneurship advice…

 

 

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Direct download: FP391_Reid_Hoffman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

We’re kicking off 2022 with one of our favorite returning guests, Ankur Nagpal, founder of Teachable and Vibe Capital. After selling Teachable last year for $150 million, Ankur created Vibe Capital, a global early-stage generalist fund. He promises to be the "least painful investor you have to deal with" because he knows how founders feel about investing. 

 

Listen to Nathan and Ankur discuss: 

  • Why founders prefer investing in other founders
  • Defining IRR (internal rate of return) and why it's a key metric for modern-day investors
  • Why he spends less than a week to decide to invest in a company
  • Why speed is so important when it comes to investing
  • The 3 most important things to look for when investing in a startup
  • His “red flags” when reviewing potential companies to invest in
  • And much more funding advice…

 

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Direct download: FP390_Ankur_Nagpal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

This year, we’ve conducted our best interviews EVER. In this epic roundup episode, we took our favorite moments from every interview this year and combined them to create: Foundr Best of 2021!

That’s right, in this very special episode, you’ll hear valuable insights from: 

  • Marc Randolph, Co-founder of Netflix, where he explains the surprising origins of the streaming giant.

  • Tamara Mellon, Co-founder of Jimmy Choo reveals THE TRUTH around what it takes to build a global luxury label.

  • Matt Pohlson, Co-founder of Omaze, on how his near death experience fuelled his outlook on life and business.

 

  • Joe Gebbia, Co-founder of Airbnb, on how they built one of the largest platforms in the world. 

 

  • Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates on how punching his boss in the face led to the creation of the world’s largest hedge fund.

  • Prerna Gupta, Co-founder of Hooked, on how going to #1 on the App store led to some of their biggest challenges in business.

 

  • Ann McFerran and Kevin Gould, founders of Glamnetic, on their advice for early-stage founders on doing things that DON’T scale!

  • Tim Draper, Founder of Draper University on how he’s shaping the next generation of leaders, and what it takes to become the next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs.

  • Verne Harnish, Author of ‘Scaling Up’ tell us about his experience in throwing a party for Steve Jobs, and how it led to the creation of the Entrepreneur’s Organization!

  • Alex Hormozi, Co-founder of ‘Acquisition.com’, on why providing value is the key to his success- and how he’s building his path to $1B.

  • Dany Garcia, Founder of The Garcia Companies, on how she manages her entire empire. Want to build an empire? Then you might want to start studying Dany Garcia- she’s co-owner of the XFL , produces blockbuster films with longtime business partner Dwayne Johnson, and recently launched a new fashion brand, GSTQ.

Thank you all for such an incredible year- and make sure to leave a review if you got ANY value out of the last 52 episodes. Can’t wait to see you all in the new year, for a whole new season of incredible stories, lessons and wins.


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Direct download: FP382_EOY21_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Want to build an empire? Then start studying Dany Garcia. 

 

The founder of The Garcia Companies is living proof that it’s possible to run multiple businesses—successfully—all at once. Her portfolio includes brands in entertainment, sports, food, business, and fitness. She’s co-owner of the XFL (making her the first woman in the U.S. to own an equal or majority stake in a professional sports league) and recently launched a new fashion brand, GSTQ. She also produces blockbuster films with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. 

 

How does the consummate multi-hyphenate manage her empire? 

 

Find out in this in-depth conversation. Garcia sat down with Foundr’s Nathan Chan to discuss: 

  • The two factors she considers before embarking on any creative project 
  • Why obsession is key to successful client relationships 
  • How to bond with your audience through immersive experiences 
  • How to integrate disparate brands and products under one roof 
  • Why she’s committed to “firing herself” regularly
  • How she finds time for self-care amidst her outrageously busy schedule

 

 

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Direct download: FP388_Dany_Garcia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am AEDT

Get ready for a crash course in bootstrapped sales, investing, and crafting an undeniable offer. 

 

Alex Hormozi sold everything and left a consulting job to work in the fitness industry—that’s when his love of business began.  

 

Alex now has a portfolio of 7 businesses valued at $85 million a year, including acquisition.com, which helps service-based businesses scale and multiply profits. In his new book, $100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No, Alex shares his lessons on crafting an offer to scale a business. 

 

In this episode, Nathan and Alex discuss:

  • Alex’s goal to become a billionaire in 10 years
  • How he went from losing money in his business to making $36 for every $1 spent
  • Why he and his partner are giving away everything once they die
  • His tiny market, big money process of finding niche markets
  • Why you should sell less than your ability to sell
  • Why rushing is the biggest mistake by young entrepreneurs
  • And much more entrepreneurial advice...

 

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Direct download: FP387_Alex_Hormozi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Melisa Vong returns to the Foundr Podcast with her business partner Bryce Alderson to discuss Orphic Nutrition. Bryce is a former professional soccer player, and Melisa is a serial entrepreneur and cofounder of 2 multi-million dollar ecommerce brands. 

 

Four years ago, a catch-up over coffee led to the idea of building a nutrition business together. Using Bryce’s knowledge in sports nutrition and Melisa’s Amazon experience with her first company, Namskara, they identified complementary skills that could be successful. Fast forward 3 years later, and they built Orphic Nutrition into a multi-million dollar supplement brand on Amazon and exited the company in December of 2020. 

 

Listen to Nathan chat with Melisa and Bryce about: 

  • Bryce’s transition from being a pro athlete to business owner
  • The similarities of sport and business 
  • How they reconnected and started Orphic Nutrition
  • Using the location feature on Instagram to find microinfluencers 
  • The importance of finding a cofounder you can rely on
  • Mistakes and strategies navigating selling on Amazon
  • The journey of exiting the company and finalizing the sale
  • What’s next for the duo and much more...



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Direct download: FP386_Bryce_Alderson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Your relationship with a supplier is one of the most important aspects of running a business. That’s why we’re chatting with Kian Golzari, a sourcing specialist who has designed, developed, sourced, and manufactured over 2,500 products. Kian has manufactured products for the NBA, United Nations, Olympic Games, Ministry of Defense, and top athletes like Neymar Jr. 

 

Listen to Nathan and Kian discuss: 

  • How he sourced products for the 2012 Olympic Games in London 
  • How to source a supplier on Alibaba
  • Using whiskey and WeChat to build a personal relationship with a supplier
  • What you should look for when visiting a factory 
  • Why you should disassemble your product 
  • Canton Fair, China’s international import and export fair
  • Why you should have a universal specification sheet for negotiating with suppliers 
  • How to imitate and innovate products that manufacturers have already made 
  • And much more supplier and manufacturing tips...

 

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Direct download: FP385_Kian_Golzari.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Melisa Vong believes that if you’re running an ecommerce business, you can’t ignore Amazon. Melisa started and sold 2 multi-million dollar brands using Amazon FBA’s infrastructure. Now she’s taking her successful strategies and sharing them on the Foundr platform with a new course on how to sell on Amazon.

 

Listen to Nathan and Melisa discuss: 

  • How selling on Amazon changed her work/life balance
  • Launching her first brand, Namskara, and earning $30,000 in the first month 
  • Her PRIME Product Method for selecting products to sell on Amazon
  • The importance of being adaptable as an Amazon seller 
  • Why proper quality control can save you from expensive mistakes 
  • And much more… 


Sign up for Melisa's free training series to learn how to generate selling success on Amazon.




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Direct download: FP384_Melisa_Vong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

If you’ve never heard of Derral Eves, you’ve probably watched one of his hundreds of viral videos on YouTube. Derral currently owns 19 YouTube channels with “Gold Play Buttons” and collaborates with record-breaking YouTubers like Mr. Beast. 

 

Eves is a lifelong learner and created VidSummit 8 years ago as a conference specialized for YouTube professionals. He also has a book called The YouTube Formula, which reveals the proven strategies that have made his YouTube videos successful. 

 

Listen to Nathan and Derral discuss: 

  • Discovering YouTube on Craigslist in 2005
  • Breaking the all-time TV and film crowdfunding record with The Chosen 
  • Meeting YouTuber Mr. Beast and becoming collaborators
  • Hot takes on Star Wars and how it applies to nurturing an audience
  • Understanding the ideal viewer and how to increase retention rate
  • Tactfully growing an audience instead of just being “on” the platform
  • And much more...

 

 

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Direct download: FP383_Derral_Eves.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Adam D'Angelo was on the frontlines of the internet-startup boom. A passion for programming, which began in middle school, led him to work at Facebook in 2005 and launch Quora in 2009. Quora is a question and answer site that has 300 million visitors a month. He's experienced the highs and lows of the ever-evolving industry but is still motivated to use his skill set to give back to the world.

 

In this episode, Nathan Chan chats with Adam about: 

  • Going to high school with Mark Zuckerberg and becoming Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer
  • Why the day after Halloween was the most challenging day for engineers at Facebook
  • The decision-making process to leave Facebook and eventually start Quora 
  • Reorienting Quora on reuse of answers rather than just ask and answer
  • Building momentum from a community of the early-adopters 
  • Why it’s important to invest and think long term



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Direct download: FP382_Adam_DAngelo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Thomas Tull didn’t know anything about Hollywood when he started Legendary Pictures. However, he did know how to build a financial model and reach the untapped market of comic book fans. Legendary Pictures has produced films such as The Dark Knight, The Hangover, and 300. Under Thomas' leadership, they became a disruptor in the film industry by focusing on a global distribution strategy. 

 

After selling Legendary in 2016, Thomas started Tulco LLC, a holding company that invests in artificial intelligence and technology solutions. 

 

Listen to Nathan Chan chat with Thomas about: 

  • His origin story as a local laundromat owner
  • Raising half a billion dollars to launch Legendary Pictures
  • Working with directors Christopher Nolan, Zack Synder, and Todd Phillips
  • The portfolio theory of building a sustainable production company
  • The feeling of creating a product that becomes part of the lexicon
  • Behind the sale of Legendary Pictures to Chinese-company Wanda Group
  • His strategy for selecting partners to invest in

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Direct download: FP381_Thomas_Tull.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

JSHealth is one of the fastest-growing companies in Australia and sells a bottle of vitamins every 20 seconds. But for founder Jessica Sepel, JSHealth’s success is defined by how its products and philosophy change the lives of its customers. 

 

JSHealth began as a health and recipe blog Jessica started at university while studying nutrition. The blog's success led to a book deal, content platform, and ecommerce business. Alongside her husband and CEO, Dean Steingold, Jessica is scaling her brand through vulnerability, honesty, and listening to JSHealth's powerful community. 

 

Listen to Nathan Chan discuss with Jessica and Dean about:

  • How 90% of their staff came from their community
  • Creating the “JSHealthGirls” ambassador program
  • Gaining 17,000 verified reviews on their product pages 
  • Starting a UK office remotely during the pandemic 
  • The pressure on female founders to perform in everything they do
  • How to scale by overcoming challenges
  • And much more...

 

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Direct download: FP380_Jessica_Sepel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Running a travel company in the middle of a global pandemic is not something Brian Kidwell would suggest for aspiring entrepreneurs. But Brian and his team were able to endure by trusting their product market fit and member base.

 

Scott’s Cheap Flights started in 2015 when Brian teamed up with his cofounder, Scott Keyes, to build a flight-tracking travel website. What started as a side hustle now has become a technology platform with over 2 million subscribers. 

 

In this interview, Nathan Chan talks with Brian about:

  • How a backpacking trip in Europe inspired him to start a travel company
  • Why he didn’t meet Scott in-person for over a year
  • "Duct taping" the early platform together using WordPress, Zapier, and ActiveCampaign
  • Why hunting down a reporter’s email changed their business
  • How they were able to survive the pandemic without making staffing cuts 
  • The craziest airline deal he’s ever had 
  • And much more...



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Direct download: FP379_Brian_Kidwell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

After growing up around a failed family business, Verne Harnish was determined to use his experience to help young entrepreneurs succeed. 40 years later, he’s helped startups across the world scale to become multi-million dollar businesses and worked with some of the most famous entrepreneurs of our time. 

 

Verne, known as the "Growth Guy,” founded the world-renowned Entrepreneurs' Organization, co-founded the Growth Institute, and has written 2 books including Scaling Up, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.

 

Listen to Foundr CEO Nathan Chan discuss with Verne about: 

  • Hosting Steve Jobs’ first public speech after being fired from Apple
  • Why sales is still the best proven way to get to $1 million in revenue
  • The traits of success he’s learned from entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban, Brad Feld, and Nate Blecharczyk 
  • Remembering “the look” of Mark Zuckerberg, Michael Dell, and Steve Jobs
  • Why cofounders scale further faster than single founders 
  • Why every entrepreneur needs to be a little crazy
  • And much more...



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Direct download: FP378_Verne_Harnish.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Tim Draper, one of the most successful venture capital investors on the planet, thinks all entrepreneurs should read science fiction. He believes anticipating what the world needs in 15 years is critical to creating an innovative business idea. 

 

As the founder of Draper Associates, DFJ, and Draper University, Draper has been an early investor in Tesla, Skype, SpaceX, Twitter, Coinbase, and Twitch—just to name a few. The billionaire has also mentored well over 1,000 early-stage investors.

 

Foundr CEO Nathan Chan sat down with Draper to talk about: 

  • The future-focused framework that will help you identify profitable opportunities 
  • How traditional schools fail to prepare entrepreneurs for success 
  • Why entrepreneurs must embrace mistakes
  • Why the early stages of business should be like throwing a party 
  • The value of focusing “a million miles deep and an inch wide” 
  • The future of blockchain, Bitcoin, and entrepreneurship 
  • And much more...

 

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Direct download: FP377_Tim_Draper.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Gabby started Catch of the Day in a garage with his brother in 2011. Within 4 years they were Australia’s most viewed online shopping site. Since then, Gabby and his brother have invested in 20 startups and are hungry for more opportunities. 

 

In this interview, Foundr CEO Nathan Chan sits down with Gabby to discuss: 

 

  • Starting his entrepreneurship journey at age 32
  • The explosive popularity of Catch of the Day
  • The formula for creating “luck”
  • How he identifies intrapreneurs within his team
  • Replicating his business toolbox with other brands
  • The 1+1=3 concept 
  • And much more...



Who do you want to see next on the podcast?
Comment and let us know! And don't forget to leave us a 5-star review if you loved this episode.

 

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Direct download: FP376_Gabby_Leibovich.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

After going bankrupt and losing his business, Aaron Marino launched a men’s lifestyle YouTube channel in 2008. Now he has over 6 million subscribers and is building his channel through sponsorships and ecommerce. 

 

​​Aaron is obsessed with optimizing his videos for YouTube and continues to test and tune to grow his audience. Now he’s ready to share what he’s learned.  

 

​​Aaron joined Foundr CEO Nathan Chan to talk about:

  • Why thumbnails are the most important part of a YouTube video
  • Why giving value up front keeps people watching 
  • Why click-through-rate and watch time are the most important metrics for creators
  • Why being a YouTube creator is like playing golf
  • The worst mistake a creator can make 
  • How Aaron became a more authentic version of himself on camera
  • And much more...

 

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Direct download: FP375_Aaron_Marino.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Ann McFerran met Kevin Gould at a photoshoot in LA and immediately connected on his shared passion to start a brand. Together they launched Glamnetic in 2019, which sells magnetic and fake eyelash extensions. In their second year, they went from $1 million to $50 million in annual revenue.

 

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, learn how a seemingly “overnight” success was developed through years of commitment to creating an innovative product and a personal brand. Foundr’s CEO Nathan Chan interviews cofounders Ann and Kevin about:

 

  • How Ann used her artist background to create a unique product in the market
  • Why it took a year of product development to create a quality magnetic eyelash 
  • ​​How their magnetized liner “blew people’s minds” in the competitive beauty industry
  • Being scrappy with product shots and finding free models on Bumble
  • How Ann used Instagram Stories to share her brand journey and build a loyal customer base
  • How they turned DMs into a sales prospecting channel
  • Creating an ecosystem of marketing channels by testing and scaling 
  • And much more…



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Comment and let us know! And don't forget to leave us a 5-star review if you loved this episode.

 

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Direct download: FP374_Kevin_Gould_Ann_McFerran.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Want to create successful YouTube ad campaigns? Of course you do! 

YouTube boasts an audience of two billion (yes, billion) monthly users. The right ads can help you reach a big audience, build relationships with prospects, and enjoy a stellar return on ad spend (ROAS). 

If you need help getting started, this episode of the Foundr podcast will empower you to reap the benefits of YouTube advertising. Foundr’s Nathan Chan sat down with Tom Breeze, founder and CEO of the YouTube ads agency Viewability. Breeze has made a career out of crafting thousands of successful ad campaigns for high-profile clients. And he generously agreed to share his strategies with the Foundr community. 

Breeze joined Nathan to talk about: 

  • The “Four A’s” that you need to consider while crafting your YouTube ad strategy 
  • The three key elements that make up a solid YouTube ad campaign 
  • Why YouTube is more stable than other social media channels 
  • Whether or not your video ads need to be big-budget productions 
  • The key factors that will position your brand for lasting success on YouTube 
  • Why he’s so excited about the future of YouTube ads

 

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Direct download: FP373_Tom_Breeze.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

You’ve heard data has the power to make or break a business. Nobody knows this more than Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of biotech giant 23andMe. After 15 years of leveraging data to build a game-changing company, Wojcicki made headlines this summer when she became the latest self-made billionaire in the United States. 

 

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, learn how the newly minted billionaire built 23andMe from the ground upplus what the company plans to do next with all that genomic data. Foundr’s Nathan Chan sat down to chat with Wojcicki about: 

 

  • The moment that inspired her to pursue “the solution to life” 
  • How she became the first woman to achieve billionaire status via a SPAC merger
  • What it took to provide consumers with never-before-seen access to their genomic data 
  • The marketing plan that inspired customers to buy a product they didn’t know they needed 
  • How she grew her company from a tiny crew in a roof-less “office” to a team of more than 600 
  • What 23andMe plans to do with the genomic data from 11.6 million people and counting 
  • And much more…
  • fdsa


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Direct download: FP372_Anne_Wojcicki.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

It’s time to get the facts straight on how you can make money selling on Amazon. Scott Needham, founder of SmartScout and co-founder of BuyBoxer, shares how he built a top 25 worldwide Amazon seller and what practical steps you can take to grow your business on the platform. 

 

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, Nathan Chan chats with Scott to discuss:

  • Why Scott says selling on Amazon is the “Easiest, hardest thing to do” 
  • How he’s sold $250 million worth of products on Amazon
  • How Scott selects a product or category to sell on Amazon
  • A step-by-step case study on selling kids yoga mats
  • Why customers are already searching for your brand on Amazon.
  • The limitations of Amazon when it comes to customer data, upselling, and retargeting
  • And much more...



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Direct download: FP371_Scott_Needham.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:30am AEDT

Prerna Gupta is a serial entrepreneur who entered the tech spotlight when her Songify app hit #1 in the app store. She’s gone on to co-found several startups focused on music, dating, and short stories, and in 2011 Fast Company named her one of the most influential women in technology. She hasn’t slowed down since.  

 

Gupta is currently the CEO of Telepathic Inc., which developed the Hooked app. Hooked boasts a list of star-studded investors including Lebron James, Steph Curry, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Fox, and more. They’re betting on Gupta to disrupt the entire story industry. 

 

We chatted with Gupta about some of her biggest entrepreneurial lessons to date, including: 

 

  • How capitalizing on your success may not look like the typical path
  • Why taking an unexpected path could lead to your next innovation 
  • How putting yourself out there can create life-changing opportunities
  • Why you should use an inner barometer to measure the merit of your own ideas
  • Why resilience is key to finding success in the founder life



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Direct download: FP370_Prerna_Gupta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Ashik Ahmed doesn’t like the term “tech unicorn.” As the CEO and cofounder of Deputy, a homegrown workforce management solution, Ashik’s priority is creating impact for their customers. To date, the company has partnered with 250,000 workplaces across 100 countries. Ashik is aiming for more. 

 

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, Nathan Chan chats with Ashik to discuss:

  • Why Deputy’s goal is to have 1 million on their platform by 2023
  • How to get investors to chase you
  • Why founders are like LeBron James
  • The biggest marketing expense in their first seven years 
  • How Deputy bounced back from the pandemic and aims to grow their staff by 40-50% 
  • And much more...



Who do you want to see next on the podcast?
Comment and let us know! And don't forget to leave us a 5-star review if you loved this episode.

 

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Direct download: FP369_Ashik_Ahmed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Labeled the “Steve Jobs of Investing”, Ray Dalio is easily one of the most successful investors of our time. The Principles: Work & Life author is the larger-than-life mentor we all need in our day-to-day life. 

 

It’s incredible to learn that the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund firm which manages roughly $150 billion, began his investment journey at the age of 12 using his pocket money to buy stocks.

 

Listen as we delve deep with the living legend himself to hear first-hand accounts of Wall Street in the 70s and 80s, the cycle of Empires and Cryptocurrency, and Dalio’s Ocean X explorer traversing the ocean floor. 

 

Listen to learn:

  • What happens if you punch your boss in the face (Dalio has first-hand experience in this!) 
  • Doing business in the 1980s and what it’s taught Dalio about today’s entrepreneur space
  • Why losing everything and hitting rock bottom is one of the best experiences a person can have
  • The inspiration behind Dalio’s book Principles: Life & Work 
  • The secret formula to the ideal composition of a founding team 
  • Decision-making frameworks that built a billionaire
  • What transcendental meditation is and why Dalio meditates daily
  • Reddit, Robinhood, Cryptocurrency, and the changing face of entrepreneurs 
  • What Dalio is searching for on the ocean floor with Ocean X 




Ray Dalio is the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, and is the author of the new book Principles: Life and Work.



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Direct download: FP368_Ray_Dalio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Full of wonderful ideas but don’t know how to make them a reality?

Our next guest had the same problem…until he managed to turn them into MULTIPLE startups, most of which he’s sold.

Paul English bought and sold his first business Boston Light Software for $33.5 million, within just 7 months of its founding. Paul went on to co-found the popular travel site Kayak, which he sold to Priceline for a whopping $1.8 billion.


So what has Paul learned through all this? Well, we asked him. In this episode of the Foundr podcast, Nathan Chan sits down with Paul to discuss: 

 

  • How you can recruit constantly to curate a team of only the most talented, energetic people
  • How to get employees to bring their best absolute best
  • How to validate your next winning business idea
  • How to solve the biggest problems with your tech company
  • The importance of vulnerability 
  • How to maintain a balance of skills at your company to ensure the business stays on track

    And so much more…

If you’re an idealistic entrepreneur who wants to build a business of true worth, this interview is for you. Don't miss it.

Who do you want to see next on the podcast? Comment and let us know! And don't forget to leave us a 5-star review if you loved this episode.

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Direct download: FP367_Paul_English.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

What do you get when you mix Daymond John, cozy toes, and a charitable mission? 

 

Bombas. 

 

That's right, you get the world's best sock company. 

 

Foundr CEO Nathan Chan recently sat down with Randy Goldberg and David Heath to learn how Bombas went from a growing ecommerce business to a Shark Tank sensation.

 

Randy and David talk about growing Bombas from heel to toe, including:

 

  • Why they bootstrapped as long as possible
  • How preparing for Shark Tank helped them boost their business—even before they got a little TV fame
  • The best advice Daymond John has given them
  • How an authentic, compelling mission inspires loyal customers and employees
  • The biggest mistake ecommerce entrepreneurs make
  • Why they're excited about the future of Bombas

 

If you're an ecommerce entrepreneur or just a sock-loving fan, this interview is a must. 


Who do you want to see next on the podcast? Comment and let us know! And don't forget to leave us a 5-star review if you loved this episode.

 

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Direct download: FP366_Bombas_Socks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

What does a savvy entrepreneur do when she sells her startup for $125 million? She starts another business, of course.

 

Radha Agrawal, cofounder of Thinx, has launched another passion project: Daybreaker. 

 

Daybreaker is a wellness community that offers sober dance parties in 100 countries around the world. With events at the top of the World Trade Center, Sydney Opera House, and even the White House, Daybreaker is quite literally on top. 

 

And now Daybreaker is offering virtual and hybrid options to increase accessibility to their events while the world navigates through the pandemic.

 

So how has Radha launched another wildly successful brand? Find out in the latest episode of the Foundr podcast.


Who do you want to see next on the podcast? Comment and let us know! And don't forget to leave us a 5-star review if you loved this episode.

 

Wait, there's more… If you enjoy the Foundr podcast, check out our free trainings. Get exclusive, actionable advice from some of the world's best entrepreneurs. 

 

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Direct download: FP365_Radha_Agrawal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

How do you raise capital for your startup?

Well, if you ask the co-founder of Airbnb Joe Gebbia, he’ll tell you what worked for him: 

 

Cereal. 

 

That’s right, the company that started with a single air mattress and grew to a $100 billion empire was kept afloat by selling custom cereal boxes. 

 

It was bizarre but it worked. Gebbia muses in this episode of the Foundr podcast:

 

“We made $20,000 in breakfast cereal, and we're able to basically pay off our credit card debt...The cereal, funnily enough, was how we were able to help keep the options open for us until eventually, the invitation came for Y Combinator.”

 

In undoubtedly one of our most riveting episodes, Gebbia recounts his incredible journey from struggling to pay rent, to Airbnb’s first angel investor, to one of the biggest brands in the world and Gebbia’s incredible charity work.

 

Gebbia is candid about how he overcame countless rejections and problems. Listen in as he shares specific advice for entrepreneurs looking to create the next industry disrupter: 

 

“You can see what’s hot. You can go after an emerging industry... Or you can solve a problem. Your own problem. Airbnb was our own problem. We had a rent check that we couldn’t pay. And it forced us to come up with a new way of making ends meet.”



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https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you are enjoying the Foundr Podcast,, please leave us a 5-star review and let us know who you want to see next.

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Direct download: FP364_Joe_Gebbia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Tommie Powers is a legend in digital paid advertising. He's consulted on $100+ million in ad spend, including $30 million on YouTube ads alone. 

 

So when Tommie talks about paid YouTube ad strategies, we listen. 

 

In a recent interview on the Foundr podcast, Tommie talked with us about everything from diversifying ad spend to crafting a powerful message to calculating ROAS (spoiler: most people are calculating ROAS all wrong). 

 

Check out the latest episode of the Foundr podcast as Tommie tells us how he taps into YouTube's 2 billion monthly active users to bring in his downright mind-blowing ROAS.


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you are enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please leave us a 5-star review and let us know who you want to see next.

Website: http://www.foundr.com
Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

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Direct download: FP363_Tommie_Powers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Inc. Magazine called her the most important entrepreneur on the planet. Fast Company called her the "brand whisperer." Emily Heyward of Red Antler is a master at helping a brand stand out from the crowd.

Heyward has elevated some of the biggest brands on the planet, including Casper, Yumi, Four Square, BirchBox, and All Birds. In this episode of the Foundr Podcast, she reveals her creative process  and tells us how she got started  in the industry. 

If you want a new perspective on building a brand your customers will be obsessed with, listen in on our interview with Heyward.


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you are enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please leave us a 5-star review and let us know who you want to see next.

Website: http://www.foundr.com
Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

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Direct download: FP362_Emily_Heyward.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, we speak with Omaze’s Matt Pohlson to discuss how a near-death experience taught him a powerful lesson about optimism—and how it changed his perspective on business forever.

 

Pohlson is cofounder and CEO of Omaze, an online fundraising platform that supports causes by offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Some of the experiences they offer include top-tier influential figures like Michelle Obama or George Clooney, or million-dollar prizes like cars and properties. 

 

In this refreshingly candid interview, Pohlson discusses his unique business model, gate-crashing charity events to pitch to Bryan Cranston, and how he found himself at the Vatican with the Pope.


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please leave us a 5-star review and let us know who you want to see next.

Website: http://www.foundr.com
Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

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Magazine: http://www.foundr.com/magazine

Direct download: FP361_Matt_Pohlson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

As the CEO and founder of TrendHunter, Jeremy Gutsche is at the forefront of trendspotting, innovation, and creating the future. In this ground-breaking interview, the New York Times Bestselling author reveals everything he knows about entrepreneurship and ideas. 

 

Gutsche’s TrendHunter is the world's largest, most popular trend spotting firm with billions of views, and over 10,000 projects for almost every major brand on the market, from Samsung and Disney, to RedBull and even NASA. 

 

The ultimate TKTK interview for entrepreneurs looking for an idea, his 3 methods to identifying a product idea (assessing the market) and the 6 patterns that TrendHunter look for when creating and validating a product idea.


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please make sure to leave us a 5-star review, and let us know who you want to see next.


Website: http://www.foundr.com
Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foundr/

YouTube:  http://bit.ly/2uyvzdt 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foundr

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/foundr/

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Magazine: http://www.foundr.com/magazine

Direct download: FP360_Jeremy_Gutsche.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, Nathan Chan speaks with Jeff Raider and Andy Katz-Mayfield to find out how they scaled Harry’s into a $20 million brand, and how they created other multiple million-dollar brands. 

 

The idea for Harry’s came about after Katz-Mayfield had a disappointing late-night shopping experience at the chemists, and noticed that all the men’s razors were overpriced and overdesigned. Almost 8 years later, Raider and Katz-Mayfield have multiple channels, over 1000 employees, and several multi-million dollar brands. 

 

Listen in as they discuss exactly how they successfully scaled their brands, how they identified potential gaps in the market, the dangers of launching something just to make money, and why they decided to pull the plug on their Harry’s brand of lip balm.


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please make sure to leave us a 5-star review, and let us know who you want to see next.

Website: http://www.foundr.com
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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foundr/

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Magazine: http://www.foundr.com/magazine

Direct download: FP359_Jeff_Raider_Andy_Katz-Mayfield.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:55pm AEDT

Quitting her promising job at Google, Heidi Zak decided to take the plunge and launch ThirdLove, an ecommerce brand for women’s underwear. Today, thanks to Zak’s masterful approach to scaling, ThirdLove is the third biggest ecommerce lingerie brand in America with no signs of slowing down. 

 

Zak’s journey into the entrepreneurial space began after she moved to the West coast and got swept up in the startup world. Launching as a small bootstrapped brand, she never thought that she one day be competing with titans like Victoria’s Secret. 


Listen in as Zak discusses the ins and outs of the ecommerce world, navigating scaling, product vs. marketing, and why she believes successful entrepreneurialism is based on perspective. 


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please make sure to leave us a 5-star review, and let us know who you want to see next.

Website: http://www.foundr.com
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Direct download: FP358_Heidi_Zak.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

This week’s podcast is a deep dive with Schmidt Natural’s co-founder, author, and investor Jaime Schmidt. Building her brand from a side hobby to a 7-figure annual income didn’t happen overnight, but Schmidt refused to let fear hold her back. 

 

Although Schmidt says she has had 22 previous jobs, Schmidt Naturals was her very first business. Living off $35k joint-income with a new baby, Schmidt first started creating her all-natural products at home, selling them at farmer’s markets. After years of dedication and very little capital, Schmidt reflects on her 9-figure exit, her journey into investing, and writing her first book Supermaker: Crafting Business on Your Own Terms. 

 

The perfect podcast for anyone who has a vision and a dream, Schmidt is an inspirational entrepreneur who continues to lift up others with her infectious positivity.


Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please make sure to leave us a 5-star review, and let us know who you want to see next.

Website: http://www.foundr.com
Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foundr/

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Podcast: http://www.foundr.com/podcast

Magazine: http://www.foundr.com/magazine

Direct download: FP357_Jamie_Schmidt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Joseph Einhorn is no stranger to entrepreneurialism. With almost 25 years of startup experience under his belt, Einhorn knows the ins and the outs of the game. 

 

In this interview with Nathan Chan, Einhorn discusses his incredible journey from becoming a self-taught engineer for Capital IQ, launching and selling the global ecommerce phenomenon Fancy.com, and how his life-long love for comic books evolved into founding Loot. 

 

With a penchant for satiating curiosity and deep respect for creators the world over, Einhorn will leave you inspired to chase your dream and to never give up.



Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please make sure to leave us a 5-star review, and let us know who you want to see next.


Website: http://www.foundr.com

Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foundr/

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Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foundr

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/foundr/

Podcast: http://www.foundr.com/podcast

Magazine: http://www.foundr.com/magazine

 

Direct download: FP356_Joseph_Einhorn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

As someone who always knew they had a passion for fashion, Tamara Mellon has come a long way from working in a PR firm. As founder of luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo, founder of a new direct-to-consumer brand bearing her own name, and author of In My Shoes, Mellon is a game-changer in the fashion industry. 

 

In this interview, Nathan Chan sits down to speak with one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry to discuss every step of her journey in the fashion industry. Not only has Mellon displayed an uncanny knack for marketing and branding, but she’s also redefined the way we think about shopping. 

 

A must-listen for anyone with a love for fashion, shoes, and disrupting the industry, Mellon gives a refreshingly wholesome insight into the world of entrepreneurialism.

 

Get FREE, actionable advice from legitimate founders on starting and growing ANY Business… https://www.foundr.com/freetraining

And… If you ARE enjoying the Foundr Podcast’, please make sure to leave us a 5-star review, and let us know who you want to see next.


Website: http://www.foundr.com

Success Stories: https://foundr.com/success-stories

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foundr/

YouTube:  http://bit.ly/2uyvzdt 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foundr

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LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/foundr/

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Magazine: http://www.foundr.com/magazine

Direct download: FP355_Tamara_Mellon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this episode of the Foundr podcast, CEO and founder of eToro Yoni Assia sits down to discuss how he built his empire, getting dinner with Warren Buffett, and how he scaled the world's largest social media investment network.

 

As someone who has always been passionate about connecting finance and technology, Assia says that he was always someone who loved the intersection between technology and finance. As his second startup, eToro was created to simplify the user experience to make trading and investing something that is accessible for more people.

 

With a global company spanning 12 offices, over 1000 employees, and now reaching 20 million registered users, Assia’s ability to scale a business successfully is nothing short of incredible.

Direct download: FP354_Yoni_Assia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

After launching 9 companies, Jon Oringer didn’t really think that his 10th company Shutterstock would be the one to stand out from the crowd. Started as a side-hustle, Oringer launched the stock photography business with $10k. Today, his estimated net worth is sitting at $1.5B. Safe to say that Oringer’s journey has been pretty impressive. 

 

Based out of New York, Shutterstock is a global provider of stock photography, stock footage, stock music, and editing tools used by the world over. 

 

In this Foundr podcast episode, Nathan Chan sits down to speak with Oringer to discuss how he launched Shutterstock, creating the first pop-up blocker, and what he believes will be the future of Fintech and entrepreneurialism.

Direct download: FP353_Jon_Oringer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this digital age, music streaming and subscriptions have quickly become the norm. This week at Foundr, we were lucky enough to speak to an entrepreneur who was there for the rise of streaming and the music-tech space: Ola Sars.  

 

Before he was founder and CEO of the fastest growing B2B music streaming service, Soundtrack Your Brand, Ola was co-founder and COO of Beats Music, acquired by Apple and transformed into Apple Music, as well as the co-founder of Pacemaker, the world's first DJ driven music platform.

 

Foundr’s Nathan Chan sits down with Ola Sars to map out his incredible journey through one of the most complex industries in the modern world: the music industry.

Direct download: FP352_Ola_Sars.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this delicious interview, Nathan Chan sits down with CAULIPOWER founder Gail Becker to find out how she took her ecommerce company from $0 to $100M in just 3 years. 

 

Becker takes us on her tasty food brand journey, from her experience in corporate life as a marketer, to branching into the unknown to create something she wanted to see on the market: more food options for celiacs. 

 

Listen in as she discusses the process of getting her product into 25,000 stores on her first try and the future of Amazon.

 

This interview is perfect for anyone interested in entering the food industry, as Becker lays out everything she has learned along the way. And why in life, you should do something  that you love.

Direct download: FP351_Gail_Becker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Coming from a long line of shoemakers, it seemed only natural that Joe Foster follow in his family’s footsteps, but instead Foster decided to push his horizons even further and create a brand that would become a legacy. Listen in as Foster shares his incredible journey through generations of shoemakers to bring us the global brand we know today: Reebok. 

 

Foster’s entrepreneurial journey is nothing short of inspiring, as he took the company through ups and downs, broke into competitive markets, and created a niche in the market for his brand. Acquired by Adidas in 2005 for a whopping $3.8 billion, Foster has since retired and authored a book: “Shoemaker: The Untold Story of the British Family Firm that Became a Global Brand”.

 

In this astounding interview, Nathan Chan and Foster discuss the entrepreneurial journey, and everything Foster has learned along the way when it comes to business and brand.

Direct download: FP350_Joe_Foster.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

When his 10 year old daughter was upset by negative comments posted about her artwork, Hovhannes Avoyan decided to do something about it. Almost a decade later, over 1 billion app downloads and 150 million active monthly, PicsArt has become a global movement. 

 

Before founding PicsArt, Hovhannes Avoyan was already a successful entrepreneur with five startups that he sold to Lycos, Bertelsmann, GFI, TeamViewer, and HelpSystems. With a strong understanding of the market, scaling, and what it takes to build a viable business, it’s no wonder that PicsArt raised over $45m capital and now boasts partnerships with the world’s biggest influencers like Kim Kardashian.

 

In this inspiring interview hosted by Nathan Chan, Avoyan discusses the importance of creating a safe space for creative expression, why community matters for a business, the future of AI and its place in design and art, and why he believes failure is part of success.

Direct download: FP349_Hovhannes_Avoyan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Power up, level up, and get ready to take your business to the extreme, with this incredible interview with Single Grain’s Eric Siu. 

 

A former pro-gamer, Siu has been on the quintessential entrepreneur’s journey. He’s faced scaling issues, failure, and trying to do too much at once, and now he is ready to reveal why he believes gamers make the best entrepreneurs.

 

In this electrified interview with Foundr, Siu discusses why every founder needs to have a good understanding of marketing, essential long-term skills you need to have, and why he predicts Clubhouse will be the ultimate training ground for entrepreneurs.

Direct download: FP348_Eric_Siu.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

How does someone launch a $200 million beverage company with zero experience and four children under the age of six? Just ask super-mom, author, and Hint Water empire CEO and Founder, Kara Goldin. 

 

Goldin was first inspired to launch her beverage company as an alternative to other unhealthy drinks on the market. Not only did Goldin manage to build a company that is now the largest privately owned non-alcoholic beverage company in America, but she placed Hint on the shelves of her local Whole Foods on the same day she went into the delivery room.


Revealing all of the ups and downs of her journey in her new book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubt And Doubters, Goldin speaks to Foundr’s Nathan Chan about relentless pursuit of your dreams, and overcoming fears and self-doubt along the way.

Key Takeaways

  • How Kara Goldin first began her mission of creating a healthier option for drinking water
  • Facing challenges everyday, and Goldin’s commitment to learning all she could about an entirely new industry
  • Why Goldin believes the best thing anyone can do for themselves is continue to learn and grow
  • Dealing with naysayers and doubters, and how Goldin decided to instead use their feedback to hone her business vision
Direct download: FP347_Kara_Goldin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Direct download: FP346_Marc_Randolph.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In 2011, Hiroki Takeuchi launched his first business GoCardless with his co-founders. Just under one decade later, they are processing over $15b in payments every year!

 

Takeuchi’s first business began as a service to help streamline the messy process of collecting payments informally. Over the next several years, funding, scaling, and pivoting led him to create a simple service that helped collect recurring and one-off payments from customers. 

 

Takeuchi’s approach to business is inspiring. Not only was he a first-time entrepreneur scaling a global business without experience, but he also knows the pains of imposter syndrome and anxiety over hiring overqualified experts. This interview with Nathan Chan serves to remind us all that greatness isn’t just past experience, it’s the willingness to learn that makes someone a great entrepreneur.


Key Takeaways

  • How Takeuchi launched GoCardless in 2011 as his first business, and how he developed the idea
  • Evolving the initial business idea from something that sought to solve the problem of collecting payments informally, to a global fintech empire
  • The importance of having a complimentary co-founder, and how Takeuchi first began planning with his co-founders
  • Why Takeuchi decided to leverage existing services in order to streamline launch
  • Demo day, and overcoming getting 64 “no’s” before they got a “yes”
  • The importance of focus on a singular product, especially in a global powerhouse like finances and payment
  • How Takeuchi approached scaling, planning, and proactive growth in a high-demand industry
  • The challenges faced by an international business and scaling
  • How Takeuchi tackles imposter syndrome, and how he continues to focus on learnings
  • The importance he places on his team and the people Takeuchi surrounds himself with
  • What you need to ignore if you want to hire the best of the best for your business
  • Why you should never underestimate the length of the journey ahead of you, and why you need to be ready for the challenge of being an entrepreneur
Direct download: FP345_Hiroki_Takeuchi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Building partnerships and mailing lists as an entrepreneur can be one of the trickiest and most elusive parts of the game. Targetting the right people, understanding brand identity - it’s all a delicate ecosystem to navigate. 

The good news is, when it comes to mailing lists and partnerships, we have all the answers you need from the mastermind and guru himself: Colin Darretta. 

Co-founder of a number of successful companies including WellPath, a health and wellness plan) and DojoMojo, a software company that helps you build partnerships, Darretta has all the answers. 

Not only has Darretta got decades of experience under his belt, but he also has the distinct honor of managing to build a 1million person email list in 1 year, and is the master of monetizing mailing lists.

Direct download: FP344_Colin_Darretta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

For Sarah Leary, entrepreneurship has always been in her blood. Growing up in a household of small-business owners including her grandmother who was also an entrepreneur, she knew she would eventually be one, too. She remembers that even when she was working for Microsoft as part of the founding team for Microsoft Office, she knew that being a business owner was her future.

From her development, launch, and successful scaling of Nextdoor into the world’s largest private social network for neighborhoods, Leary has experience in every aspect of entrepreneurialism. Her advice for budding entrepreneurs comes from years of experience in both scaling a business, building a community, and growing brands. 

In this interview with Nathan Chan, Leary reveals the absolute essentials every new entrepreneur needs to tick off when they want to start something new. As a venture partner at Unusual Ventures, Leary has advice straight from the frontline of what she wants to see in a pitch. 

Key Takeaways

  • How Leary grew up in a household of business owners and entrepreneurs and why that means she always knew she would be one too
  • Finding herself in the early start-up culture of Silicon Valley in the 90s
  • Her first business and how she faced failure, the decision to pivot, and a whole new frontier
  • The beginning of Nextdoor, and it’s growth internationally over the past decade
  • Joining Unusual Ventures, and why she wants to dedicate her time to helping others build companies from the ground up
  • Why founders need to be comfortable validating their ideas and assumptions
  • The two essential questions entrepreneurs need to ask themselves before starting
  • How Leary developed Nextdoor through a combination of brainstorming, customer research, and why you need to consider customer painkillers
  • Why every entrepreneur needs to learn to do extraordinary work for a narrow band of people, and then expand
  • How Leary fuelled the Nextdoor community, and why networks need leaders
  • Why Leary believes authenticity is the most important part of community strategy, and why you need to start with it
  • Why Leary stepped down from Nextdoor, and how the team of Unusual Ventures is rolling up their sleeves to help new entrepreneurs 
  • Leary’s reveals the secret to pitching ideas correctly, and what Unusual Ventures looks for in a new business idea

 

Direct download: FP343_Sarah_Leary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

When Alli Webb founded Drybar in 2010, it started as one small salon in Brentwood, California that was designed to do one thing and do it well: blowouts. 

Today, her brand has grown to over150 stores in 33 states, a hair care product line that she sold for over $250 million, her own podcast Raising The Bar, and a NY Times best-selling book Good Hair For All

Best of all, Webb is Foundr magazine’s cover girl for issue 95 (check it out, it’s a good one!)

Guess you could say that Alli Webb is an entrepreneurial genius. 

This week’s interview gives you an insight into Webb’s journey from working as a receptionist in a hair salon during high school to the decision to chase her passion for hairstyling. 

That decision to pursue her passion is what has led Webb to a $100m empire. Find out how she took the leap, and what advice she has for those looking to pursue their passion, too.

Key Takeaways

  • Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, and how that shaped Alli Webb’s idea of business
  • Realised she had a passion for hair and styling, and worked as a receptionist in a hair salon where she became mesmorised by the craft
  • Her journey through “a hot-minute” in college, to working in fashion in New York
  • Starting her own business styling client’s hair at home, and growing her business
  • How she started “Drybar” and what makes her brand unique
  • Franchising Drybar, and learning to operate her business on a global scale
  • How Webb developed her own product line, and how she sold it for $250m to beauty powerhouse, Helen of Troy.
  • How Webb continues to raise the bar, launching her own podcast: Raising The Bar, and authoring NY Times Best Seller Good Hair For All
  • Webb’s advice for all budding entrepreneurs, especially women in business, and why they need to follow their passion and what they love doing.
Direct download: FP342_Alli_Webb.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

If you want to start a business, you sure as hell better be made of the right stuff. Because Joe De Sena is here to tell you that in business, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”, and you need to be mentally tough enough to handle it. 

In this Foundr interview like no other, Nathan Chan speaks with Spartan Race creator, best-selling author, and badass CEO Joe De Sena on why you need manufactured adversity. 

De Sena has faced mountains of failure in business and continues to rise, everything from losing someone during the first ever race and finding them marooned on a desert island a week later, to not turning a profit for 15 years. Nevertheless, this machine of a man bounces back and continues to rise.

This interview is just a snapshot of what you can expect in Foundr’s newest course, Mental Toughness. Touted as the ultimate entrepreneurs field guide to building mental toughness, this is not one to be missed. 

Find out why the Olympic wrestling teams are sent to De Sena shape up, why billionaires send their children to him to learn discipline, and why active military personnel flock to him to learn grit.

Direct download: FP341_Joe_De_Sena.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Gabi Lewis, Co-Founder, The Magic Spoon

In this yummy episode, Gabi Lewis, Co-Founder of The Magic Spoon, sits down with Nathan Chan to discuss his journey from founding the revolutionary EXO protein snack made from crickets, to dominating the $40billion a year cereal industry. 

Listen in as Lewis reveals how he managed to get Tim Ferris and Nas as angel-investors onboard for EXO snacks, his journey into the competitive world of cereal, and how Magic Spoon continues to stay ahead of the competition.

In this deep-dive interview, you’ll find out why Lewis swears by agencies, the opportunities in influencer marketing, and why product-fit is an absolute essential for any founder. 

Lewis’ incredible journey from crickets to cereal is a not-to-be-missed lesson in entrepreneurship and the importance of saying “no”.

Key Takeaways

  • How Lewis started Exo Protein, selling cricket protein bars
  • Recognizing the paleo food trend and targeting that market
  • How Lewis got angel investors such as Tim Ferris and Nas
  • His decision to sell the company and launch Magic Spoon cereal
  • Why Magic Spoon is a direct-to-consumer product and the advantages of ecommerce
  • The successful launch of Magic Spoon and the power of influencers
  • Why product-market fit is the most important aspect of launching a business
  •  How Magic Spoon was affected by Covid and the evolution of hiring and scaling
  • The decision to not sell Magic Spoon on Amazon, and the power of customer-brand loyalty 
  • Why Lewis believes that a high-quality product is the most important aspect of any business
  • Lewis’ advice to others that as a founder, you should never be distracted, and why your job is to say “no”
Direct download: FP340_Gabi_Lewis.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this interview, Nathan Chan sits down with GT Dave, Founder and CEO of GT's Living Foods. GT discusses how he built a $1B empire from his bedroom and his journey of being the first seller of Kombucha in the United States.

In this interview, GT Dave discusses how he first began selling Kombucha, entering the market with a completely new category of product, and the challenges he faced in educating the market on what his product was. 

GT Dave is a firm believer in passion before profit, and his integrity and commitment to health shine through as he discusses his childhood and nutrition, how Kombucha helped his mother through medical issues, and the proven benefits of Kombucha.

With a personal net worth estimated at $1Billion, GT Dave’s journey will inspire you to follow your passion and begin building your future, today.

Key Takeaways

  • How GT Dave found an interest in Kombucha and how he began marketing it
  • Launching his company from his bedroom, and selling his product using his Dad’s Amex card
  • The challenge of entering the market with a new product and how he went about educating others on an unfamiliar health beverage
  • How GT Dave helped Kombucha to become the global trend it is today
  • GT Dave’s commitment to passion over profit, and what health means to him
  • The importance of validating your product and communicating with consumers
  • His key advice to those who are just getting started, and the questions you need to ask yourself
Direct download: FP339_GT_Dave.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this epic roundup episode, we took our favorite moments from every interview this year and combined them to create our most jam-packed episode yet: Foundr Best of 2020!

That’s right, in this very special episode, you’ll hear valuable insights from: 

  • Drew Houston, CEO and founder of DropBox: On problem-solving, his formula for success in business, and how he— as a billion-dollar CEO — still learns every single day. 
  • Dylan Mullen, Founder, and Director of Happy Skin Co. Mullen reveals how he built a $20 million dollar company in 24 months, and how they’re acquiring their customers. 

  • Alexa Von Tobel, Founder of Learnvest, & Inspire Capital: Why you shouldn’t spend a dollar on marketing, and what it takes to be a ‘good entrepreneur’. 

  • Gretta Van Riel, 4x Multi-Milion Dollar Founder. Van Riel discusses why she would spend $500k on a post from Kylie Jenner, and her $1.3m manufacturing horror story. 

  • Henrik Werderlin, founder and CEO of Barkbox, and the strategy that Apple and Amazon have used to build global, beloved brands. 

  • You’re about to learn the mistake that every new entrepreneur makes, as discussed by Alex Osterwalder, the Swiss business theorist who developed the “business model canvas”. 

  • Author Kamal Ravikant reveals why you don’t need a mentor (from someone who’s been down the road a few times).

  • Christina Stembel, founder of Farmgirl Flowers on how she managed to turn $49,000 into almost a million dollars in 3 years— all thanks to the success of her company.

  • Here’s Skillshare founder Malcolm Ong… who’s about to reveal the one word that will make you a better entrepreneur. 

  • Thor Ernstsson, Founder of Strata. The 2 tips that every single entrepreneur needs to hear.

  • One of the internet’s greatest pioneers, cofounder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg on what motivates him. 

  • GT’s living foods founder, GT Dave. He reveals to us the key to staying on your path, and not losing your identity. 

  • Andy Frisella, founder of 1st Phorm with one of the most fired up conversations of the year. Enjoy this snippet where he’s going to tell you why building a brand is important, and the issue with comparing yourself to Steve Jobs.
Direct download: FP338_Best_of_2020.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Ever wondered what traits and characteristics Google looks for in a founder?

Wonder no more, because in this interview, Nathan Chan sits down with CapitalG Founder, David Lawee, to discuss the journey of finding the next $1B Unicorn Business. David is Google's Lead Investor, and has over 13 years of experience under his belt working for one of the largest companies on the planet. 

Prior to joining Google, Lawee has been a serial entrepreneur. His biggest takeaway from the experience was how to successfully scale companies, and during the interview he finally reveals exactly how to do it. 

Lawee shares what he believes it takes to create a billion-dollar company. Lawee reveals all the traits and characteristics he looks for in founders when it comes to investing billions of dollars, and exactly what the company needs to look like.

Key Takeaways

  • How David Lawee found himself working for Google, CapitalG, and what he learned during his time as a serial entrepreneur
  • The characteristics and traits that he looks for when it comes to investing
  • The difference between an ordinary company, and the billion dollar unicorn
  • Lawee’s advice for those looking to open more doors 
  • The change in the market, and an insider's view into Google investment world
  • Lawee discusses how to align your company with investors’ needs
Direct download: FP337_David_Lawee.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Meet Thor Ernstsson.

The founder of global giants such as Alpha, Strata, and lead architect for Zygna responsible for Farmville, Ernstsson knows business and products. 

In this interview, Nathan sits down with Ernstsson to discuss his journey from Zynga game developer, to creating a company that serves half of the Fortune 500. Honest and candid, Ernstsson reveals his decision-making processes behind some of the company's largest pivots, changes, and challenges.  

While most people would shy away from the idea of launching a business during a global crisis, Ernstsson is perhaps living proof that not only is it a good decision, it’s the best business decision one can make.

Key Takeaways

  • Thor Ernstsson discusses how he first began working at Zygna, and how he felt about the global success of Farmville
  • His next business ventures, including Alpha and Strata
  • Why he decided to pivot the company
  • The importance of “now”, and why starting a business during a crisis is a good idea
  • The decision to launch a business that aimed to connect people, while it was the start of the pandemic 
  • How to change the world, and why you should always aim to solve a problem that won’t change
  • The importance of customers and why they need to be invested in your business’ success
Direct download: FP336_Thor_Ernstsson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Faced with 104 rejections, zero-funding, and the prospect of launching a new business during an economic downturn, Christina Stembel has not only grown her company Farmgirl Flowers to a $65m empire, she has also done it completely bootstrapped. 

Stembel’s journey from bootstrap to business mogul is nothing short of inspiring. What began as $46k savings and a 2-year window to achieve her goal, her ecommerce flower business saw 5x growth in the first 2 years. As Stembel says,  “the fact that I was able to bootstrap without running out of money is the biggest accomplishment of my life”

In this interview, listen in to discover how Stembel marketed and advertised her brand on a shoestring budget, the importance of word-of-mouth and how that helped her achieve her first million, and why she views FarmGirl Flowers as the workhorse among unicorns.

Key Takeaways

  • How Stembel started FarmGirl Flowers, and why she gave herself 2 years
  • Marketing on a shoestring budget
  • Complications she faced selling perishable products
  • Why she views FarmGirl Flowers as a workhorse among unicorns
  • The importance of product-quality, and why she believes that a good quality product will outsell any level of marketing
  • The future of FarmGirl Flowers and reaching her first billion
Direct download: FP335_Christina_Stembel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

As someone who has pioneered the tech industry with his open-source software, and boasts 38% of the internet using his product, Matt Mullenweg is still one of the most humble and inspiring entrepreneurs we’ve ever met. 

In this insightful interview, Mullenweg discusses the biggest challenges faced by companies today, and the importance of looking after your team and people. As a company that has operated remotely since it’s beginnings, Mullenweg stresses the importance of team-building, and why he took his entire company to Disneyland. 

Mullenweg touches on some key issues faced by entrepreneurs the worldover - chronic dissatisfaction in progress, and that whatever you do is never enough. He says instead of saying to yourself that it’s not enough, entrepreneurs need to say “it is enough, and there’s more to do!” 

From the acquisition of powerhouses such as Tumblr, WooCommerce, and his dedication to supporting others, Mullenweg discusses his life’s plan to create as much open-source software as possible and encourage creativity across the globe. 

This interview will leave a smile on your face and give you the motivation and drive to work towards a better future for all. 

Key Takeaways

  • How Mullenweg founded WordPress, and operating as a remote-working business in the early 2000s
  • Mullenweg’s beliefs on company culture and the importance of in-person team-building activities especially for remote workers
  • The future of the office and why he believes it will be obsolete post-Covid
  • Mullenweg reveals that as an angel investor, the key things he looks for in a business or founder
  • The future of web development and WordPress
  • The biggest challenges faced by companies today and the importance of looking after your team and people
  • Chronic dissatisfaction as a founder and why needs to become a more positive drive

 

Direct download: FP334_Matt_Mullenweg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In this week’s Foundr podcast interview, Nathan Chan sits down with Lisa Spiden, CEO of Workforce Analytics and Foundr of Fibre HR to discuss everything a team leader needs to embody in order to help their team do their best work. 

Spiden discusses key tactics and methods that team leaders can adopt to help lead their teams through any crisis. Not only does this mean offering support for them during the work-from-home culture shift, but also taking the time to understand and adapt for each individual's needs and workflow. 

With something for every team leader, this interview will help you to understand how to build a culture within your team, hiring strategies, and top-talent selection.

Key Takeaways

  • How Spiden found herself working in HR, and the origins of Fibre HR and Workforce Analytics
  • Spiden discusses tactics to keep team morale high during forced WFH
  • Why staff motivation is the key to staff retention
  • Team standups, retros, and other remote team bonding exercises
  • Addressing top-talent selection, and whether pro-culture or pro-skills is best for your business
  • Building a great culture inside and office, and how to build on it strategically
  • Understanding what your team wants, what drives them, what motivates them
Direct download: FP333_Lisa_Spiden.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Ever wondered how the elite pros do Facebook ads? This week’s interview with course instructor Nick Shackelford is just that: a no-holding back, all inclusive, step-by-step discussion on running successful Facebook ads. 

Returning again to Foundr’s exclusive podcast, Shackelford discusses his learnings on media buying, running facebook ads that convert, and exactly what he learned from spending a ridiculous amount of money on fb ads. 

This interview dives deep into the nitty-gritty of all the lessons Shackelford learned doing media buying for Apple, including the budgets he worked on for the launch of the iPhone 7, iPad Pro, and the Apple Watch (and we are talking huge budgets). 

Shackelford also discusses how he single-handedly popularized the Fidget Spinner by using Facebook Ads, and how he started his own agency, Structured Social. 

In this interview, not only will you discover why Shackelford’s Structured spends close to $20million per month on Facebook ads, you’ll also hear first-hand tips and strategies to success in FB ads within the hardest markets, across all GEOS, for every product or service. 

This is an episode you cannot miss! 

Key Takeaways

  • How Shackelford first found his way into the industry
  • Working for Apple and what he learned from running $100 million Facebook ads
  • The rise of the fidget spinner, $1m run rate in the first month, and the importance of opportunity
  • How Shackelford has built Structure Social, and now spends close to $20million a month and has over 50 employees
  • The biggest lessons he has learned over the years, including the intricacies of media buying, copywriting, positioning, and creative 
  • Why you only have 3-seconds to make an impression with your ad
  • Shackelford’s key advice for those looking to grow their business through Facebook ads
Direct download: FP332_Nick_Shackelford.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Mental toughness isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you learn and practice and develop over time. And Andy Frisella is living proof of that. 

The Founder of 1st Phorm, the “Real AF podcast host”, 75Hard program creator, and all around badass Andy Frisella knows discipline and mindset, and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. 

It’s no secret that Foundr is a huge fan of Frisella’s work with developing mental toughness and discipline (in fact, most of our team has completed his 75Hard challenge!) and after listening to this interview, you’ll be a fan too. 

Frisella is raw, real, and straight to the point with everything he believes in with mental health, building a brand, company values, and aspiring to become the best version of yourself possible. 

Key Takeaways

  • Frisella discusses how he has always been an entrepreneur at heart
  • Frisella reflects on how he began his first business, the struggles, the journey, and how he stayed focussed
  • Company values and how Frisella recognises greatness and celebrates it within his team
  • The importance of being a good leader and why you need to communicate values with your team
  • Why Frisella still compares himself to others above him, and why this is a driving force in success
  • The struggle of finding the right support at high-levels of success
  • How to push through discipline blocks and shake off burnout
  • The evolution of 75Hard and what Frisella is most excited for as a legacy
Direct download: FP331__Andy_Frisella.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Yancey Strickler, Author and Kickstarter Co-Founder

In this inspiring podcast interview, Nathan Chan sits down with Kickstarter co-founder and author Yancey Strickler to discuss his 'Bento Box' method for making better decisions, how his company Kickstarter found it’s feet, and our unhealthy obsession with “financial maximization”. 

Strickler was working as a music journalist in New York when a chance encounter with future co-founder Perry Chen in a restaurant led to the creation of Kickstarter, and crowdfunding as a category-defining player in a new field. 

A writer at heart, Stickler used his time post-Kickstarter to write the groundbreaking This Could Be Our Future. An in-depth look at our current obsession with financial gain, and how society has conditioned us to always choose whatever will make the most money.

Making the right choices in life is a mission close to Strickler’s heart. As such, he created the revolutionary “Bento Box” framework, an inspiring and humbling process for individuals and businesses alike to frame and structure their decisions.

This podcast is one of our most inspiring insights into human nature and the importance of caring for our future selves and our future business.  Learn from Strickler as he gives you the secret Bento Box method to help you make the right decisions in life. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

Key Takeaways

  • Strickler discusses how the idea for Kickstarter came about in 2005 while working in the music industry
  • Why it took Strickler close to 4 years for the idea to be executed
  • The conscious decision to frame Kickstarter as a funding method for passion projects and new ideas rather than a charity platform
  • Why Kickstarter was originally called “Kickstartr”
  • Pitching the idea of Kickstarter and the initial investors, and getting Andy Baio onboard with the project
  • How they went from unpaid developers to profitability in 14 months
  • The effect of being a category-defining player in a new field 
  • Stepping down from his position at Kickstarter
  • Strickler’s new book “This Could Be Our Future” and our current obsession with Financial Maximisation: whatever makes the most money is the right decision
  • Strickler’s Bento Framework
    • Now Me: profitability 
    • Future Me: as a business, your values
    • Now Us: stakeholders, employees, suppliers, etc.
    • Future Us: the bigger idea of what you want to be

Key Resources From Our Interview 

https://www.ystrickler.com/book

Direct download: FP330_Yancey_Strickler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Kamal Ravikant, Author and Founder, Venture Capitalist

In this special podcast interview, Nathan Chan sits down with renowned author and founder Kamal Ravikant to discuss his thoughts on mentorship, entrepreneurs, and everything in between. 

Ravikant traces his journey back to a point in time most entrepreneurs face: he was doing too much and he was burnt out. In fact, it took losing everything for him to realize what he needed to change: his mindset. Throughout his journey, the ups and downs, the lows and highs, Ravikant is a master of maintaining a balance between persistence and open-mindedness in everything he does. 

Listen in as Ravikant discloses the powerful reason he chose to write his bestselling book: 'Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It', and how the book developed from a self-published book to a global success spreading joy and love published in 16 languages. 

This podcast is raw, honest, and a deep insight into personal growth. Learn from Ravikant as he discloses the universal importance of loving yourself, being humble, and caring deeply. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss!

Key Takeaways

  • Ravikant holds the honor of being the fourth ever podcast interview by Foundr back in 2014
  • His beginnings riding the wave of the internet boom 
  • Why it took losing everything to realize he needed to change his mindset
  • His ideology that you should build a business by identifying a problem and creating a solution first
  • The power investors hold over entrepreneurs, and what drove him to become a doer
  • Why he believes in having a strong entrepreneur mindset
  • His re-launch of the global bestseller Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It published in 16 languages worldwide
  • Ravikant discusses his upcoming projects and behind-the-scenes of funds
  • Ravikant addresses the changes in Silicon Valley, and what advice he would give to upcoming entrepreneurs
  • Why you need to be humble and care deeply, always.
Direct download: FP329_Kamal_Ravikant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Joanna Griffiths CEO Knixwear

CEO of global intimates brand Knixwear Joanna Griffiths sits down with Nathan Chan to reveal how she took $20k to and made $50m in revenue last year. 

In this wonderfully inspiring episode, Griffiths’ discusses how she became an “accidental entrepreneur” with Knixwear. Initially begun as a passion project to create high-quality leak-proof intimates, Griffiths’ put aside her initial goal to run her own media company and instead decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. 

 

In school, her business plan won a competition, and she used the $20k prize to begin chasing her dream of solving a universal problem. After years of trials and errors, including a first-time sample order of 40,000 pairs of underwear, Knixwear quickly found it’s feet and is now a $50m a year company. Knixwear has 85 employees globally, and Griffiths’ still reels at the idea that her company sells an item every 6 seconds. 

Listen in as Griffiths’ discusses the lows and the highs of being a first-time business owner, TV advertising, and why she always chooses the path of risk so she doesn’t look back and wonder “what if”. 

Key Takeaways

  • How Griffiths’ original plan to run her own media company led her to pursue her MBA
  • How her intimates brand Knixwear began as high-quality leak-proof underwear
  • Why Griffiths dedicated her time to solving this universal problem, and why she feels she is an accidental entrepreneur as a result
  • Why she chose to take a chance rather than risk looking back with regret
  • Griffiths’ discusses her initial business funding: she won a business plan competition at school and received $20k 
  • How she used the $20k for product development, launching, and crowd-funding
  • Griffiths’ reveals that the first order was the biggest mistake, but she values progress over perfection
  • Knixwear has passed $50m annual revenue, and that they sell an item every 6 seconds
  • Griffiths’ discusses the early days of wholesale business, and the struggles first-time entrepreneurs face
  • How she identified her target market and shaped her product accordingly
Direct download: FP328_Joanna_Griffiths.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Ulrich Boser, CEO, The Learning Agency

Founder and CEO of The Learning Agency, best-selling author, and Foundr course Instructor Ulrich Boser sits down for an in-depth discussion on becoming a better learner, the misinformation surrounding information, and the big secret to mastering any skill (and we mean any skill).  

The ability to absorb and retain information effectively is often thought of as some sort of elusive skill that you’re born with, but Boser seeks to dispel this once and for all. The ability to learn effectively isn’t something assigned at birth, no one has a “set learning” style, and your ability to absorb information ultimately comes down to how you decide to approach everything.

Author of the best-selling Learn Better, Boser reveals to Foundr’s Nathan Chan why he started his company, why feedback is crucial, and why he believes everyone should throw away their highlighters if they want to learn better. 

In this conversation, Boser takes everything you thought you knew about learning and spins it on its head. If you have any questions about Boser’s upcoming course, please don’t hesitate to reach out at support@foundr.com. 

Key Takeaways

  • Boser discusses how his childhood sparked his passion to hone and master the ability to pick up skills effectively
  • Why Boser began The Learning Agency
  • Boser discusses the prevalence of learning myths
  • Common learning myths and why they impact learning
  • Why active learning will always overshadow passive learning
  • How to engage with the material; quiz yourself, and identify gaps in your knowledge 
  • Why previous knowledge on a topic will boost your learning
  • The importance of feedback on your learning
Direct download: FP327_Ulrich_Boser.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Malcolm Ong has never shied away from change. In fact, his ability to adapt is what has given him a front-row seat to multiple business transformations—first as the co-founder of education platform Skillshare to now as the Head of Product at South China Morning Post.

After launching Skillshare in 2010, Ong led the business through a significant pivot—from being a completely offline, in-person model to one that’s now membership-based and 100% online. In the process, he also witnessed the massive growth of the online education industry, which has only been sped up by the Covid-19 pandemic.

After leaving Skillshare, Ong joined South China Morning Post, a global, English-language news media company owned by Alibaba. His job has been to transform this company from a traditional, local newspaper into a more modern, global media empire. A task that he has exceeded, as he’s grown their number of monthly active users from 4 million to over 50 million and significantly expanded the outlet’s readership beyond Asia.

In this conversation, Ong gives us a deeper dive into these milestones throughout his fascinating career and shares his best recommendations on how to transform a business. 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 Ong decided to tackle the education industry
  • How Skillshare launched as a 100% offline education platform 
  • What contributed to Skillshare’s success
  • The scalability issues that Skillshare faced, and how this led to the company transitioning online
  • Ong’s advice when it comes to pivoting your business
  • Why Ong eventually left Skillshare in 2016
  • What intrigued Ong about the job offer from South China Morning Post (SCMP)
  • Ong’s experience living in Hong Kong, and how it has given him the front seat to many historical events
  • How Ong has helped SCMP transform from being a traditional media company to a cutting-edge product and customer-focused business
  • Ong’s advice to entrepreneurs about trying on different hats

Key Resources From Our Interview With Malcom Ong

Direct download: FP326_Malcom_Ong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

John Mackey, Co-Founder and CEO, Whole Foods Market

Right now, every company needs strong leadership to guide them through these challenging times. Thankfully, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey is well versed on the principles of leadership and is launching his latest book, Conscious Leadership, this month to help other founders put those ideas into practice. 

 

In addition to the book, people can see Mackey’s approach to leadership in action with Whole Foods. While Mackey is grateful that his stores are still in full operation during Covid-19, he doesn’t try to hide the fact that circumstances have been extremely challenging—from rapidly scaling its supply chain to accommodate the sudden demands of customers to generating almost no revenue as a result of all the sanitation products the business has had to invest in.

 

But these obstacles don't bother Mackey. As a conscious leader, his priority is making sure that every single one of their 100,000 team members has access to the resources they need to stay safe at work. He has also raised every in-store worker’s pay by $2 per hour, provided two extra weeks of sick pay for those who have to quarantine, and is giving unlimited callouts during this time. 

 

In this conversation, Mackey shares more about what it means to lead with love, how founders can attract and retain great talent in this challenging environment, and so much more. 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

  • An overview of Mackey’s best-selling book, Conscious Capitalism
  • A sneak peek into Mackey’s latest book, Conscious Leadership, and what inspired him to write it
  • The two most important pillars of leadership
  • Why Mackey believes in leading with love 
  • How Mackey is putting conscious leadership into action during the pandemic
  • The challenges Whole Foods has been dealing with from a supply chain and revenue perspective 
  • Why being an Amazon subsidiary adds a layer of complexity to the Whole Foods business
  • How to attract and retain great people during these challenging times 
  • What Mackey has done to support Whole Foods employees during Covid-19
  • Why Mackey believes in the win-win-win mindset, and how this attitude can guide your business decisions 
  • The importance of leading by example 

Key Resources From Our Interview With John Mackey

  • Get your copy of Conscious Leadership here
Direct download: FP325_John_Mackey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Kurt Seidensticker, Former NASA Engineer & Founder and CEO, Vital Proteins

How did Kurt Seidensticker go from being a NASA engineer to the founder of one of the biggest protein brands in the world? Believe it or not, his career path has been a perfect culmination of experiences—one that has led him to his current position as the CEO of Vital Proteins, a brand that was recently acquired by Nestlé and is expected to generate a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue this year. 

 

Even when Seidensticker was working at NASA as an aerospace engineer, he was constantly running his entrepreneurial brain and thinking up new projects to undertake. After several years of working in a diverse array of industries—from cellular phone systems to high-speed internet—he decided to strike out on his own and started his own data center company and ecommerce platform. 

 

Despite appearing to be completely unrelated businesses, these two companies served as the launching pad that allowed Seidensticker to start Vital Proteins in 2013. His ingestible collagen product took the protein market by the storm and saw over 300% YOY growth in its early days.

 

In this podcast episode, Seidensticker discusses what led to the incredible growth of Vital Proteins—from having first-mover advantage to finding negotiating power when dealing with retailers. He also shares his best recommendations when it comes to influencer marketing, moving fast, and so much more. 

 

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 Seidensticker decided to become an aerospace engineer 
  • The business ideas Seidensticker had while working at NASA and worked on space programs, underneath was entrepreneurial drive
  • How Seidensticker came to work on pivotal projects in the cellular phone systems and high-speed internet space
  • Why Seidensticker decided to strike out on his own
  • How the data center company and ecommerce platform he built became a launching pad for Vital Proteins
  • The experience that led Seidensticker to explore the world of protein, and how he created a whole new category around ingestible collagen
  • How Seidenstricker and his team approach influencer marketing differently 
  • Seidensticker’s school of thought when it comes to the power of product vs. marketing
  • The benefits of operating under the radar and having first-mover advantage
  • How Vital Proteins educated consumers and drove the market for collagen 
  • Why Seidensticker recommends going online before retail, and how he gained negotiating leverage with retailers
  • Details about Vital Proteins’ partial acquisition by Nestlé
  • Why Seidensticker believes in progress over perfection

Key Resources From Our Interview With Kurt Seidensticker

Direct download: FP324_Kurt_Seidensticker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Mike Michalowicz, Author & Co-Founder, Profit First Professionals

Right now, every entrepreneur has the same question on their mind: how do I recover or maintain my company’s profit levels during Covid-19?

 

That’s why we were so eager to sit down with Mike Michalowicz, who is a serial entrepreneur, author, and creator of the Profit First system. Our own CEO and founder, Nathan, used Michalowicz’s teachings to completely change the way he manages Foundr’s finances. And now we want to bring you the same level of knowledge to help you through these challenging times.

 

In this conversation, Michalowicz shares his best recommendations on how to manage your cash flow, financial priorities, and more during a pandemic. If you have any questions on how to take a profit-first mindset right now, this episode is for you.  

 

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

  • What Michalowicz learned from building and selling his first two businesses
  • How going into bankruptcy changed the way that Michalowicz views entrepreneurship
  • Michalowicz’s path to becoming a small business author, and how running two of his own companies contributes to his books
  • What’s happening during “The Great Big Shift”
  • How to manage cash flow during the pandemic
  • The difference between sales issues vs. profit issues
  • Michalowicz’s tips to organize your financial priorities during Covid-19
  • Why Michalowicz recommends pulling off the bandaid instead of chipping away when it comes to tough decisions
  • An overview of the Profit First methodology and framework
  • Parkinson’s Law, and how it applies to toothpaste
  • Why Michalowicz recommends trusting wallets over words

Key Resources From Our Interview With Mike Michalowicz

Direct download: FP323_Mike_Michalowicz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Mikael Yan, Co-Founder and CEO, ManyChat

When Mikael Yan launched ManyChat in 2015, other messaging apps were trying to impress investors with their fancy AI and NLP technologies. But not him. Instead, he made it clear to investors that his app was solely meant to solve a business problem: helping companies better communicate with and market to their customers. 

 

Investors who were initially interested in ManyChat immediately lost interest. But not for long. Even though Yan and his founding team initially had to bootstrap their product, investors eventually recognized the potential behind their vision and got on board. 

 

Today, ManyChat has over one million Facebook pages connected to its platform in over 190 countries. The company also recently raised its Series A from Bessemer Venture Partners. Given that 2020 is the first time in history that the number of messaging app users will surpass the number of social media users, it’s clear that ManyChat is just getting started.

 

Listen to this interview to learn more about Yan’s thoughts on the future of messenger marketing, the global mobile industry, and the importance of mindset as an entrepreneur. 

 

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 Yan, after years of dabbling in the consumer space, turned his eyes to B2B 
  • How ManyChat made timely use of Telegram Messenger’s API in 2015 and introduced the world of messenger marketing
  • The rise of private vs. public channels 
  • Yan’s analysis on why China is so ahead when it comes to mobile and messaging apps
  • Why Yan believes in being product obsessed and understanding the customer experience above everything else 
  • How Yan avoided the trap of building a product for the “cool” factor (and initially lost investor interest as a result) 
  • The power of self belief in entrepreneurship, and how to cultivate this mindset 
  • Yan’s personal glass ceiling 
  • A look into the future of ManyChat and what Yan is most excited about when it comes to the messenger app industry 

Key Resources From Our Interview With Mikael Yan 

Direct download: FP322_Mikael_Yang.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:51am AEDT

In 2010, only 2% of beauty products were being sold on the internet. When Katia Beauchamp and her Harvard Business School classmate, Hayley Barna, came across this statistic, they were floored. This seemed like a huge missed opportunity—so they decided to dig deeper.

What they discovered was that people were overwhelmed by the prospect of shopping for beauty products. With this problem in mind, Birchbox was created as the simple solution. The monthly subscription box contained a wide variety of beauty samples, and customers could buy the full size of whichever product they liked. In short, Birchbox made the beauty shopping experience easy for the casual consumer.

Since the brand’s launch in 2010, Birchbox has grown to a nine-figure business that now has access to thousands of products, offers over 100 types of boxes for consumers, and has expanded globally. Listen to this podcast episode to learn more about Beauchamp’s thoughts on scaling relationships, building a trustworthy brand, and appealing to your target customer.

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 people weren’t shopping for beauty products online in the mid-2000s
  • How this problem inspired Beauchamp and co-founder Hayley Barna to launch their beauty subscription box, Birchbox
  • The idea of the “casual consumer” and how this demographic became Birchbox’s target customer
  • Why Beauchamp doesn’t view beauty stores like Sephora or department stores as competitors
  • How Birchbox launched its beta test in 2010, and what it took to grow its customer base
  • Beauchamp’s thoughts on scaling relationships and building a trustworthy brand
  • What Beauchamp is most excited about when it comes to the future of Birchbox
Direct download: FP321_Katia_Beauchamp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

It’s not easy to rebuild an entire company—especially when things are going well. But that’s exactly what Justin McLeod did with his dating app, Hinge.

After Hinge first launched in 2012, it saw exponential growth. Despite this, McLeod made the risky decision to rebuild his app from scratch in 2016. Why? He felt that the company had strayed too from its original vision or helping people find and build meaningful connections. So instead of remaining the brand that connects “friends with friends,” it rebranded to become “the dating app designed to be deleted.”

McLeod’s decision paid off. Today, Hinge is a subsidiary under Match.com, has seen huge growth on a global scale, and is setting up a date every three seconds globally. In this podcast episode, McLeod shares exactly what it took to get through this challenging transition and what’s in store for this beloved dating app in the near future. 

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

  • McLeod’s own love story, and how it inspired the idea behind Hinge 
  • Why, after years of success, McLeod decided to rebuild his dating app from scratch
  • The reaction of Hinge’s board of directors and team in response to this change 
  • How Hinge fulfills its mission of getting more people out on great dates
  • The type of data that Hinge collects to set itself apart from competitors
  • The power of word-of-mouth when it came to Hinge’s growth 
  • What McLeod thinks are the mistakes he made while building Hinge for the first time (and how he fixed them the second time around) 
  • Why McLeod decided to join forces with Match.com, and how this decision has helped the business scale globally 
  • The type of research that’s happening at Hinge Labs 
  • McLeod’s approach to user testing and product development with Hinge 
  • Why McLeod recommends being firm about your vision but flexible about your tactics
Direct download: FP320_Justin_McLeod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools that brands can leverage during the pandemic. With face-to-face interactions still being limited and people spending most of their time at home, there has never been a better time to hit ‘send’ on those email campaigns and flows.

To help guide you in the right direction, we sat down with Chase Dimond to get his best recommendations on how to crisis-proof your email marketing strategy. Why Dimond? Not only is he the co-founder of Boundless Labs, an email marketing agency that was recently acquired by Structured Social, but he has also helped his clients make over $40 million in email attributable revenue during his career. 

In our conversation, Dimond shares specific examples of the most successful email messaging, campaigns, and flows that his clients have used during Covid-19. He also reveals fascinating data on the email marketing trends he’s noticed since the start of the pandemic. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started on your email marketing journey, you’re sure to learn something valuable in this interview. 

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

  • Dimond’s agency merge with Structured Social 
  • How Dimond is thinking about Covid-19 from a business perspective
  • Examples of email messaging to use during the pandemic 
  • Why Dimond is staying away from fear mongering and focusing on adding value
  • The difference between email campaigns and email flows
  • Which categories of email campaigns are working well for Dimond’s clients
  • The importance of creating an email marketing calendar 
  • Why Dimond recommends splitting your time between campaigns and flows
  • Examples of successful email campaigns Dimond’s clients have run in the past
  • Dimond’s thoughts on giveaways
  • What Structured Social’s data is showing when it comes to open rates, mobile traffic, and the impact of stimulus checks on email marketing
  • Dimond’s recommendations on getting emails prepared for the summer 
Direct download: FP319_Chase_Diamond.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Founder and CEO of ActiveCampaign Jason Vandeboom sits down with Foundr’s Nathan Chan to discuss his journey from launching a small part-time business to running a global SaaS empire.

An email marketing, marketing-automation, and sales CRM platform, Jason owes the company’s success to its “customer first” approach and mindful framework.

By throwing out the “product-first SaaS playbook” to a more customer-centric model, ActiveCampaign has evolved from an old-school on-premise contact management company to over 90,000 customers in 161 countries.

Jason doesn’t believe in a time-box window for creation, and he discusses his belief that you can create innovation over time. He says that when it comes to building a business that is sustainable and long-term, you have to start with the right framework.

With many small businesses facing uncertainty due to Covid-19, ActiveCampaign has made it their mission to provide support and security for their customers. Jason discusses how “there’s a former digital transformation that […] has become a necessity.” Above all, business is about trusting your instincts and trying to find a path that is a different shape to others.

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 to us via email.

Key Takeaways

  • Jason discusses his belief in the importance of staying true to being a small business
  • How ActiveCampaign found its footing as an on-premise contact management businesses
  • Why Jason believes the key to a successful business is customer-first over product-first, and how this can shape creative innovation
  • How ActiveCampaign slowly built its foundations in order to secure 100k paying-active companies and over $100 million in annual recurring revenue
  • Why you should ignore the typical SaaS playbook that insists that in order to obtain growth you will need to upmarket
  • Jason advises that you should always trust your instincts, and allow time for your company to grow. You only need passion, joy, and the strength to find our way through it all.
Direct download: FP318_Jason_Vandeboom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:03pm AEDT

From working as a server at Longhorn Steakhouse, to multiple successful startups, making millions in his 20s, to publishing a best selling book, Daniel DiPiazza knows the entrepreneur's journey like the back of his hand. Here to discuss his upcoming "Start Your Side Hustle" course with Foundr, Daniel is all too familiar with the challenges and doubts faced by today's hustlers, and is here to teach you ways to overcome them.

If you want to start a business but don't know where to begin, a low-risk side hustle by freelancing with your existing skills really is the gateway to entrepreneurship. It's extremely affordable with almost literally zero startup cost. In return, you can expect to make great profits with little to no overheads.

Daniel has done this multiple times and has a unique method for helping you identify your skills, find clients, and getting them to pay you for your service.

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 to us via email.

Key Takeaways

  • Daniel discusses his first viral article: Hacking E-Lance, the infamous "butterball story," and how he dominated a job board website
  • Taking the first step towards starting your own business with "sweat equity"
  • Why service-based businesses are the gateway drug to entrepreneurship
  • Why freelancing teaches you all the business essentials
  • Taking the first step; how not to be afraid, what to focus on, and what the competition means for you
  • The importance of building a skill inventory, defining your skill, and seeing where they align
  • Gaining confidence in becoming an entrepreneur and why you don't have to be the best in the world at what you do
  • The fastest way for you to get paid for your big idea
Direct download: FP317_Daniel_DiPiazza.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

Ben Horowitz is one of the most widely recognized names in the world of entrepreneurship. Not only is he the co-founder of the famous venture capital fund, Andreessen Horowitz, but he's also a respected author and thinker with some of the most innovative ideas when it comes to the way companies are run.

In our conversation with Horowitz, we dive deep into the topic of culture—how to create it, move it, and adhere to it. Horowitz also gives us a glimpse into his book, What You Do Is Who You Are, and shares fascinating stories and case studies from it (such as his learnings from prison gang leader, Shaka Senghor).

This isn't a podcast episode you want to miss! Whether you're a fan of Horowitz himself or simply want to learn more about the art of crafting a company culture, you're sure to gain tons of insights in this interview.

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 to us via email.

Key Takeaways

  • The problem that Andreessen Horowitz set out to solve for technical founders 
  • What compelled Horowitz to publish his book, What You Do Is Who You Are
  • What it takes to move a culture 
  • The importance of cohesion between culture and strategy
  • Why you don’t need to establish your company culture on Day 1
  • What a prison gang leader taught Horowitz about culture and leadership
  • The creative way that Andreessen Horowitz enforces their value to be respectful to entrepreneurs at the firm
  • Horowitz’s thoughts on the culture of Netflix versus McDonald’s  
  • The elements that go into creating a high-performance culture 
  • Differentiating between high performance versus long hours 
  • Why Horowitz looks for courage in founders 
  • Bonus: Horowitz shares his favorite rap album from 2019
Direct download: FP316_Ben_Horowitz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:00am AEDT

In 2008, Jeff Rosenthal and his co-founders Elliott Bisnow and Brett Leve convinced 19 people they admired to go on a ski trip with them to Park City, Utah. They wanted to spend one-on-one time with this small group of thought leaders to learn from them and glean some knowledge.

Little did they know that this was only the beginning of their long and successful entrepreneurial journey. What started off as a small event production company has morphed into a global behemoth that includes everything from nonprofits to funds to a major ski resort that all fall under the Summit brand.

While the company is still primarily known for its famous invitation-only events, its biggest impact is its tight-knit community of innovative, creative individuals from around the world.

In this podcast episode, Rosenthal talks about Summit’s explosive growth, what it takes to host a truly extraordinary event, and more entrepreneurial gold.

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

  • What inspired Rosenthal and his co-founders to start their event production company Summit in 2008
  • How Summit expanded into a family of companies, nonprofits, and funds over the last 12 years
  • What makes a spectacular event, according to Rosenthal
  • Why Rosenthal believes “keep it real” is terrible advice when it comes to events, and what he recommends instead
  • The importance of leadership when it comes to event planning
  • The correlation between creativity and capital
  • How Rosenthal manages to lead the multiple entities under Summit
  • The best advice on delegation Rosenthal received from his mentor
  • Why profitability isn’t the only measure of an event’s success
  • What it takes to attract top-notch speakers (and how to set them up for success)
  • The way Rosenthal approaches balancing quality of experience and scaling
Direct download: FP315_Jeff_Rosenthal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12am AEDT

When Tiffany Masterson was a stay-at-home mom, she was always looking for ways to make a little extra money. So when the opportunity came around to start selling a brand of bar cleanser as a side hustle, she didn’t think much of it.

Little did she know that she would soon develop a passion for skincare, cultivate her own philosophy around what skincare should look like, and launch Drunk Elephant—a brand that was eventually sold to Shiseido in 2019 for a whopping $845 million.

In this podcast episode, Masterson takes us through her unexpected journey as an entrepreneur—from having her brother-in-law as her first investor to snagging a partnership with Sephora, to building an incredible company culture.

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 Masterson, a stay-at-home mom of four children, started selling bar cleanser as a side hustle
  • Why she developed a fascination with the world of skincare
  • Masterson’s skincare philosophy, and how she started to create her dream product on paper
  • What it was like to have her brother-in-law as her first investor
  • Why Masterson kept the launch of Drunk Elephant in 2013 as minimal as possible
  • How Drunk Elephant caught the eye of Sephora
  • The cost of formulating, producing, and packaging 5,000 units of six products
  • The tough financial conversations Masterson had to have
  • Why Masterson chose to take things day-by-day instead of looking too far into the future
  • The biggest trap Masterson believes most founders fall into
  • How Masterson has kept her turnover rate at less than 2% since 2013
  • The reason why people get excited about the Drunk Elephant brand
  • Why Masterson doesn’t believe in trying to “outcompete” other brands
Direct download: FP314_Tiffany_Masterson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:18am AEDT

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

Chris DeWolfe excels at creating massive user bases—a skill he has demonstrated with two companies you’ll likely recognize: Myspace and Jam City.

After DeWolfe launched the biggest social network of its time in 2003, it was only a matter of months before Myspace completely took off and attracted millions of users around the world. Only two years after the start of his company, DeWolfe sold the platform for $580 million. But he wasn’t done yet.

When DeWolfe asked himself ‘what’s next?’ he found himself drawn to the world of gaming. Not only was it easy to scale, but he also believed the current trends pointed toward an explosion in gaming. He wasn’t wrong. Today, Jam City is known for famous mobile games like Cookie Jam and Pop! and Panda, and it’s still going strong to keep up with the growing demand of casual gamers.

In this interview, DeWolfe discusses the hyper growth of his companies, how to stay focused when running such a behemoth of a company, and what it takes to build massive user bases.

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

  • How DeWolfe built the largest website in the world and the biggest social network of its time, Myspace
  • The trends in pop culture and technology that led to the launch of Myspace in 2003
  • A look into the rapid growth and eventual sale of Myspace in 2005 for $580 million
  • How Myspace created a roadmap for companies like Spotify and YouTube
  • The top three lessons DeWolfe learned from his journey with Myspace
  • How DeWolfe figured out his next step into the world of mobile gaming
  • Why Jam City targets an underserved audience for gamers
  • The acquisition of Mindjolt
  • How to be a great storyteller and create amazing games
  • What’s exciting for DeWolfe in the future of the mobile gaming business
  • What it takes to build large user bases
  • Why DeWolfe recommends taking measured risks in the pursuit of innovation
  • A sneak peek into Jam City’s latest upcoming mobile game
Direct download: FP306_Chris_DeWolfe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20am AEDT

By now, the story is legend. When Drew Houston boarded a bus from Boston to New York and discovered that he had—yet again—forgotten to bring his thumb drive, he was frustrated. So frustrated that he sat down and began writing the first lines of code of what would eventually become Dropbox.

After over a decade of changing the way files are stored, synced, and shared, Houston is changing the way people work, once again. This time, to solve a problem that likely plagues every single knowledge worker today: our fragmented, overcomplicated workspaces.

In this episode, you’ll learn more about Houston’s journey—from ideation to launch—with Dropbox Spaces, as well as the most important lessons he’s collected while building a multibillion-dollar company with over 500 million users.


Key Takeaways

  • The relatable experience that inspired Houston to come up with the idea for Dropbox
  • Why Houston doesn’t believe there’s any “magic” involved in building a multibillion-dollar company
  • The importance of decision making and learning continuously on the job
  • How a conversation with a SpaceX engineer sparked the vision behind Dropbox Spaces
  • Houston’s advice on “harvesting” versus “planting” when it comes to your business
  • Why Houston is such a huge believer in intentionally designing your environment—at work and with your personal relationships
Direct download: FP305_Drew_Houston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54am AEDT

Alex Osterwalder is primarily known for developing the Business Model Canvas, a template that helps startups develop and document new or existing business models.

In this interview, Osterwalder shares his best insights into the world of business models—ideas that are especially applicable now as entrepreneurs try to launch businesses during Covid-19. He explains why products, technology, and price alone aren’t enough to keep your company competitive. Osterwalder also breaks down the innovative models that Apple, Netflix, and Nintendo have used to become industry leaders (and why even these behemoths aren’t safe from disruption).

We also get a sneak peek into Osterwalder’s latest book called “The Invincible Company.” Not only does it contain an entire library of business models for companies of all sizes, but it also provides guidance on how startups can continuously reinvent themselves to stay ahead of the curve.

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

  • How Osterwalder came to study business models in graduate school
  • Insight into Osterwalder’s latest book, “The Invincible Company”
  • Why companies can’t compete on products, technology, and price alone (and why your business model can provide the ultimate competitive edge)
  • The scalability of business models
  • Why companies need to transcend industry boundaries
  • The reason why Osterwalder urges entrepreneurs to test before they build
  • How Apple, Netflix, and Nintendo are prime case studies of innovative business models in action—but why even they’re not safe from disruption
  • Osterwalder’s stance on the “magic bullet” when it comes to business models (hint: there isn’t one)

 

Direct download: FP304_Alex_Osterwalder.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:06am AEDT

Adam Hendle’s company, Ballsy, is eye-catching and humorous, which are some of the most defining characteristics of the brand.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t take his business seriously. On the contrary, Hendle is obsessed with producing the highest quality products and finding creative ways to take his company to the next level. This is exactly how he brought in over $10 million in sales in just two years. And now, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he is still finding opportunities to grow.

In this podcast episode, Hendle discusses his unique approach to everything from community engagement to customer acquisition. He also opens up about his most challenging moments in business and explains how he finds opportunities in unexpected times and places (such as during a pandemic). This is a conversation you don’t want to miss!

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.

Want some training on ecommerce? Check out our free masterclasses:

FREE Masterclass: Start a Profitable Online Store (In 12 Weeks or Less)

FREE Masterclass: Discover the “5 Core Drivers” Behind Today’s Fastest-Growing 7-Figure Stores


Key Takeaways

  • What’s changed with Ballsy since the last time we talked to Hendle
  • An overview of Ballsy’s growth from a sales, marketing, and team perspective
  • How Covid-19 gave Hendle’s brand an opportunity for growth
  • The approach Hendle took to lean into customer demand for subscriptions and stocking up on products
  • How Ballsy stays engaged with its community in fun and creative ways
  • A deep dive into one of Ballsy’s most unique customer acquisition channels: podcast advertisements
  • Why it’s important to test your assumptions
  • Insight into some of the biggest business obstacles Hendle has had to face
  • Why Hendle has Ballsy’s influencers on a monthly retainer
  • The reason why product quality is paramount to the Ballsy brand
Direct download: FP303_Adam_Hendle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24am AEDT

All three of Rory Boyle’s ecommerce businesses were negatively impacted by Covid-19.

But thanks to his strategic—and insanely fast—pivot, two of his companies are now making double the revenue they were before and one (which historically made most of its money through conferences) is still pulling in around 50% of what it used to make.

How did Boyle recover so quickly from the pandemic? In this interview, we were lucky enough to get a detailed analysis around his thought process and strategic decisions. Boyle takes us through how he shifted his sales and marketing tactics (which still includes getting on the phone) and explains how he’s using this time as an opportunity to give back to his community and customers. He also shares tons of tips around scaling sales efforts, the art of cadence emails, and other tactics you can use to grow your revenue.

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 to let us know.

If you need want some training on ecommerce, check out our Free Masterclasses:

Learn How You Can Start a Profitable Online Store (In 12 Weeks or Less)
Discover the “5 Core Drivers” Behind Today’s Fastest-Growing 7-Figure Stores


Key Takeaways

  • The origin stories of Hampers With Bite, Promotions Warehouse, and Snacks With Bite
  • What Boyle means when he says to “control the controllables”
  • How COVID-19 impacted all 3 of Boyle’s businesses—and how he pivoted all of them at breakneck speed
  • The approach Boyle is taking to sales and marketing during the pandemic (and why his team is still hopping on the phone to talk to customers)
  • Why Boyle believes every ecommerce entrepreneur needs to be thinking about the next step instead of focusing on current performance
  • How Boyle is giving back to his community and customers
  • How he’s planning around stocking challenges, especially for the upcoming holidays
  • A super deep dive into Boyle’s best sales tactics and strategies
  • Why Boyle would encourage entrepreneurs to launch their business in today’s climate
Direct download: FP302_Rory_Boyle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:54am AEDT

Today, we’re excited to share another valuable interview to help you overcome business challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We had the opportunity to pick the brain of Ashwin Sokke, the founder of WOW Skin Science. His global 8-figure skincare and haircare business is extremely popular in India and across the U.S., and it has been a top-selling brand on Amazon for the last four years in those countries.

In this interview, Sokke shares how his company dealt with the impact of Covid-19 which shut down half of his business for several weeks. For businesses who are going through similar pains, he provides incredible insights across many topics—from how to communicate with customers (he believes we should be sending them more emails and texts during this time) to getting creative with your marketing tactics (remember giveaways?). Sokke even digs down into the nitty gritty and breaks down his thoughts on subscription models, ad investments, and SKUs.

We believe this conversation will be valuable for any entrepreneur to listen to, especially those with ecommerce businesses. 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 to let us know.

If you need want some training on ecommerce, check out our Free Masterclasses:

Learn How You Can Start a Profitable Online Store (In 12 Weeks or Less)
Discover the “5 Core Drivers” Behind Today’s Fastest-Growing 7-Figure Stores


Key Takeaways

  • How Sokke got into the health and beauty space
  • The path to growing WOW Skin Science in India and the U.S. and becoming a top-selling brand on Amazon
  • Why Sokke develops all of his products from scratch
  • A glimpse into the company’s incredible numbers: 8-figure revenue and 370% growth in the U.S. last year
  • The impact that Covid-19 had on Sokke’s global company
  • Why Sokke believes companies should be sending more emails during this time (and how to be strategic about it)
  • Why giveaways have been a successful tactic during Covid-19
  • An overview on a winning stock keeping unit (SKU)
  • Sokke’s thoughts on how to win with subscription models
  • The best advice Sokke can offer to the community during Covid-19
Direct download: FP301_Ashwin_Sokke.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47am AEDT

The latest installment of the Foundr podcast is a landmark—our 300th episode! So to mark the occasion, we’ve got something a little different for you today.

Daniel DiPiazza, the founder of Rich20Something, was on the cover of Foundr Magazine last year, and today, he returns to Foundr to “reverse interview” our own CEO, Nathan Chan, ahead of the relaunch of Foundr’s beloved Instagram Domination course.

Together, Nathan and Daniel share the details of how they each found success on Instagram for their respective brands. They also explore Instagram’s algorithms, how it compares to other social media platforms, and the right way to use this powerful tool during the Covid-19 pandemic. Plus, they swap stories about their friendly competition, their time in the “Motivation Mafia,” and more!

If you want to learn more about our remastered Instagram Domination course when it launches, sign up for the Free VIP waitlist here (Get a FREE Lesson!).


Key Takeaways

  • The reason for this special “reverse interview”
  • How Nathan and Daniel got started on Instagram and are still finding success with the platform today
  • Why Instagram is the most powerful tool for both personal branding and ecommerce
  • A glimpse into Instagram’s algorithms and metrics
  • Why Instagram needs to be about more than just follower numbers
  • How Instagram can be a powerful tool through the current pandemic
  • A throwback story about the “Motivation Mafia”
  • Why Nathan would still pick Instagram as his platform of choice if he were to start a new company today
  • A comparison of Instagram vs. YouTube
  • How Daniel’s Instagram account helped him seal a six-figure book deal
  • The question that stumped Nathan (and why he prefers to focus on the present)
  • Why Daniel owes Nathan a trip to San Sebastián
Direct download: FP300_Daniel_DiPiazza.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:07am AEDT

Dylan Mullan took an extremely unconventional path to entrepreneurship.

While he was in school, Mullan was convinced he wanted to be a lawyer, until he started taking classes at university and realized that he hated them. After that, he spontaneously took an acting course and spent almost five years as an actor. It was eventually a desire to have more control over his life that led him and his business partner to launch Happy Skin Co together.

Through a mixture of hard work, strategic decisions, and a deep investment in understanding their target customer, Mullan managed to grow his at-home hair removal business from $0 to $20 million in just two years.

In this interview, Mullan maps out exactly what this path to explosive growth looked like. He breaks down his approach to everything from market research to Facebook ads and explains why mindset is ultimately an entrepreneur’s most valuable tool.

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 to let us know.


Key Takeaways

  • The path from aspiring lawyer to aspiring actor, and how Mullan eventually wound up in the world of entrepreneurship
  • A look into Happy Skin Co’s early days, from long nights of planning to packaging products in Mullan’s living room with friends and family
  • The turning points that catapulted the company from $0 to $20 million in 2 years
  • How Mullan approached market research and influencer marketing in the early days
  • What the impact of Covid-19 has looked like for Mullan and his team, and the new opportunities it has opened up
  • Mullan’s best advice when it comes to creating profitable Facebook ads
  • An overview of the Happy Skin Co product development process and a sneak peek into what’s next
  • How to deal with industry copycats
  • Why Mullan is a huge advocate for visualization and believing in yourself
Direct download: FP299_Dylan_Mullan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01am AEDT

Josh Snow always finds ways to thrive in difficult situations.

Growing up, his family didn’t have a lot of money, and he wanted to help them cover basic expenses. So Snow taught himself how to create websites at his local library, which is how he stumbled into entrepreneurship. He eventually took that knowledge and built a software company from the ground up, which he sold by the age of 21.

Now Snow runs multiple successful businesses—with the most prominent one being his nine-figure teeth whitening business, Snow.

And he’s still finding ways to overcome adversity. Just as most businesses have been impacted by COVID-19, Snow also took a huge hit in terms of sales, with its conversion rates cut in half when the pandemic first emerged. However, by making fast, strategic changes, Snow got his company through the temporary setback and is today seeing higher-than-average sales on its site.

In this interview, Snow shares exactly how he made the necessary changes to his business. He also provides advice to other online businesses on how to get through this time by adjusting everything from your subscription model to your approach to influencer relations strategy.

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 to let us know.


Key Takeaways

  • How Snow stumbled into entrepreneurship through necessity
  • The journey to selling his first software company at the age of 21
  • Why Snow believes adversity gives you the opportunity to pause and reprioritize
  • The inspiration behind Snow, and how it grew to be a nine-figure business
  • How the company has been affected by COVID-19, and the changes Snow made to help his business bounce back and make more sales than before the pandemic
  • Snow’s recommendations on how to adjust your subscription products, influencer relations, and paid ads strategy during this time
  • The importance of evolving and meeting your customer where they’re at
  • Why Snow believes you have to be an “everything” person if you want a successful business
  • Advice on using Shopify vs. funnels
  • The choice between hunting rabbits vs. elephants (metaphorically)
Direct download: FP298_Josh_Snow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53pm AEDT

Steve Blank is a legend in Silicon Valley. In addition to launching eight startups in 21 years, he’s also a well-known author and educator at Stanford University, Columbia University, and the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.

Having worked in the realm of entrepreneurship for so long, Blank has survived some of the worst recessions in U.S. history and has first-hand experience of what it’s like to keep your business afloat under high-pressure circumstances—knowledge that’s directly applicable to the COVID-19 global health crisis.

In this interview, Blank shares his three-step process for what every business needs to do right now to survive the pandemic. He breaks down everything from calculating your burn rate to reassessing the way you work with your team. Blank also shares his own personal experiences with the 2008 recession and dot-com bubble.

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 to let us know.


Key Takeaways

  • Why Blank believes today’s entrepreneurs should listen to the advice of seasoned founders
  • The three-step process Blank recommends to understand where your business is headed, from calculating finances to reassessing business models
  • The biggest lessons Blank learned during the 2008 recession and dot-com bubble
  • Why Blank believes in planning for the morning after
  • The importance of high-level execution during times like today
  • How to think about recalibrating in terms of retaining staff and hiring
  • The importance of setting expectations—whether in your marketing or management
  • Why this pandemic could be an opportunity to re-evaluate how you want to spend your life
Direct download: FP297_Steve_Blank.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50am AEDT

CEO Dallas Tanner on the breakneck creation and growth of multibillion-dollar home rental company Invitation Homes.

Like a lot of successful businesses, Invitation Homes was a seemingly overnight hit that had been in the making for many years.

“We bought the first 30,000 homes in the first 18 months,” says CEO Dallas Tanner, of the single-family home rental company.

Based on that burst of early success, it might seem as though Tanner did the impossible—come up with a brilliant idea, instantly get buy-in from an investor, and reap immediate rewards.

But long before Invitation Homes launched in 2012, Tanner had already cut his teeth in the home rental business. During college, he bought a couple of houses with his dad and managed them while going to class. He later founded the Treehouse Group Companies, which focused on workforce housing in the Southwest.

So, when Tanner set out to start Invitation Homes, he did so with a large body of experience, knowledge, and accomplishments in his chosen field. That could have had something to do with the quick traction he got at Blackstone, his early capital partner and provider of funds for those 30,000 homes.

“High speed, low drag,” Tanner says of their initial goal. There was an intense focus on getting out there, scaling up, and achieving meaningful gain in as short a time as possible. Were they worried, though, that the swift pace might blind them to any turbulence ahead?

“If you’re building an airplane while flying it, there’s always a risk that you may miss a step. We were lucky to have no major issues and that’s because we were comfortable in the area we were building. We knew it and understood it.”

That early work and knowledge of the industry paid off. In 2017, Invitation Homes went public with an initial share price of $20. Two years later, it hovers between $29-30 per share, a 48% increase. Blackstone sold its remaining shares (11%) of the company in November 2019 for $1.7 billion, bringing Blackstone’s total profit from IH to $7 billion.

Systemize to Scale

Tanner attributes much of the company’s success to its fast, effective scaling. “Economies of scale give us a really strategic advantage in terms of the services we can provide residents, and establishing predictability of the experience.”

Cases in point: Each of the 80,000 homes in the company’s portfolio is visited by one of its 300 technicians every six months, whether there’s a known issue in the home or not. Customer care is offered 24 hours a day. Day-to-day management and communication are provided by local teams of 10-15 people or, as they’re called at Invitation Homes, “pods.” Each pod has 3-5 maintenance technicians to service its portfolio of properties.

And the system seems to work. On average, Invitation Homes residents stay for about three years. More than 80% of them take advantage of another system innovation—online auto-pay.

Tanner is constantly reviewing data, though, to ensure they’re being as efficient as possible.

“As we think about our business, we’ve gotten more and more efficient here in year seven,” he says. “We’re focused on the kinds of things that deliver a really good customer experience but make us as optimized as possible.”

For example, the inaugural days of the business found technicians switching out locks each time a home got a new resident. New tech eventually provided the option of electronic entry, which Invitation incorporated into its homes. Now, when a resident moves out and a new one moves in, only the code needs to be changed. This made the move-in experience that much smoother for new residents and saved time for the team.

Knowing What to Hold Onto

Crunching data is also how Tanner reviews the performance of each property and whether it’s time to sell. Their typical home is a three bedroom, two bath with 1,800 square feet, which will rent out for about $1,800/month, depending on the market.

Invitation Homes sometimes sells off certain properties that either aren’t performing or have experienced such increases in value that a sale presents a better gain for the company.

“Just like any good asset manager,” Tanner says,” you look at the data and make these decisions in real time.”

And, true to form, he’s even created a system that kicks in when the decision is to sell. The “Resident First Look Program” allows the home’s current resident to consider purchasing before the home goes on the open market.

Dallas Tanner’s Advice for System Creation

Tanner is firm in his belief that fine-tuned systems allow for the best customer experience and most efficient performance within the company. So what’s his advice for others who are looking to create systems that allow for scale?

  1. Align yourself with good people who are willing to carry the flag.
  2. Be willing to understand that you do not always have the answer yourself.
  3. Do your research and challenge yourself as you develop systems and processes.
  4. Do not be afraid of being wrong. You’ll learn through trial and error. Use regression analysis to reveal if your decisions were right.
  5. Early on, figure out how to capture your data.

That last point is crucial. “If you’re not capturing data from an early stage, then you’re kind of playing with one arm behind your back,” Tanner says. That early information provides keen insight and helps you make sound decisions about best practices in years two and three.

Remember, though, that the quest for good systems shouldn’t overwhelm everything. “You’ve got to spend your time being as efficient as possible, but driving growth at the same time,” Tanner says. “It’s always a balancing act.”

For Invitation Homes, the priority is to find long-term residents and put them into homes in markets and submarkets that are the most appealing and as efficient to manage as possible. This priority steers decisions and interpretation of data at the company. It defines how the company and its people best use their time.

Finally, Tanner offered two key activities that he believes lead to success for startup entrepreneurs:

  1. Gather people who share the vision and will work.
  2. Work hard.

He acknowledges that it also takes some luck and good timing. “But, the only way those things go your way is if you’re head down and going hard.”

Interview by Nathan Chan, feature article reprinted from Foundr Magazine, by Rebeca Seitz


Key Takeaways

  • Tanner’s early experiences in the home rental business
  • Why “high speed, low drag” was Tanner’s initial goal when he launched his single-family home rental company, Invitation Homes
  • A look into Invitation Homes’ quick and efficient scaling process, which resulted in the purchase of 30,000 homes in the first 18 months
  • Why crunching numbers is a critical part of Tanner’s role and his company’s success
  • The road to going public and growing a multibillion-dollar company
  • Tanner’s advice for other entrepreneurs who are looking to create systems that allow for scale
Direct download: FP296_Dallas_Tanner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:46am AEDT

Believe it or not, there are many parallels between the world of boxing and the world of entrepreneurship. Tim West is familiar with both.

As the founder of the fastest-growing global boxing franchise, 12RND Fitness, West has had his feet squarely planted in both realms for many years.

He started his journey working in brick-and-mortar fitness centers before jumping into tech entrepreneurship, and eventually launched 12RND Fitness in 2014, which quickly exploded across Australia and is now expanding globally. In fact, West is in the process of opening up their first locations in New Zealand, Singapore, London, and Los Angeles this year.

In this interview, West dives deep into his thoughts on the franchising model, his biggest lessons from working in tech, and his approach to overcoming obstacles. Check out the full conversation below!


Key Takeaways

  • How West worked his way up the rungs of the fitness ladder—from aspiring professional athlete to strength and conditioning coach
  • Why he jumped at the opportunity to open up one of the first franchises for Jetts Fitness, the first 24-hour gym in Australia
  • West’s first foray into tech, and the most important lessons he picked up along the way
  • Why West decided to return to brick-and-mortar fitness, and how he came up with the MVP for 12RND Fitness
  • How West pressure-tested his business model across Australia
  • The reason West tested his business for two whole years before opening up to franchisees
  • A sneak peek into West’s data-driven approach to working with franchisees
  • Why West is grateful for his struggles
Direct download: FP295_Tim_West.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:46pm AEDT

As a founder, you’re likely feeling a lot of stress and anxiety around the current situation with COVID-19. While we hope your business isn’t being too heavily impacted, we want to let you know that we’re always here for you and want to help in any way we can.

We’ve been mulling over how we could be the most useful to the Foundr community and decided it would be incredibly valuable to sit down and talk to Steve McLeod. McLeod is uniquely equipped to share advice about the current circumstances for many reasons: he’s a business coach that has guided thousands of organizations through challenging situations (including Foundr); he founded his own company called Fire And Safety, which is now a $20 million business; and he’s a former firefighter who dealt with many disasters during his eight-year tenure.

In this interview, we touch on many topics—from managing cash flow reserves to communicating with customers to adjusting your mindset—that we hope you’ll find helpful as we navigate this unfamiliar territory together. Whether you’re getting ready to launch a new business or are already running a seven-figure company, the contents of this interview should be applicable for entrepreneurs at every stage.

If there’s any other type 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 to let us know.


Key Takeaways

  • How McLeod’s background as a firefighter, founder, and mentor is allowing him to guide businesses today through the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The importance of understanding where your business is today: positioned for growth or in survival mode?
  • Why you need to be transparent with your teams, regardless of your current situation
  • McLeod’s advice: cut costs but don’t stop your sales and marketing efforts
  • Why you need to focus on your existing customers and how you can help them
  • How to keep your mindset clear during this stressful time
  • Why connection, discipline, and alignment are more critical than ever before
  • An overview of cash flow reserves, and how much you should have in the bank now
  • The reason why McLeod doesn’t believe it’s the right time for work-life balance
  • How to be a good leader in unprecedented circumstances
  • Why leaders need to be asking themselves the tough questions today more than ever
  • McLeod’s advice for businesses that are thinking about launching soon
Direct download: FP294_Steve_McLeod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49am AEDT

Jim McKelvey needs to solve problems. “It’s not about money. It’s not about recognition. It’s not about anything you can measure. It’s just this burning need to fix something.”

That burning need is what sparked the ideas for all of his startups, including the massive small business payments company Square, and now his current project, Invisibly.

“I look for a problem that I care about,” McKelvey says. “I look for something that bothers me, something that angers me, something I will get up and bend my life into a pretzel to solve.”

In fact, the problem that became the catalyst for Square—which, by the way, has grown to a $34 billion market cap—evolved from McKelvey’s first profession as a humble glassblower.

That same unstoppable drive is something he’s seen in so many successful startups around the world, and it’s now the subject of his new book, The Innovation Stack. Someone sees a problem and, without experience or previous knowledge, they set out to solve it. For McKelvey, this is what true innovation is all about.

Mira Publishing: Turning Failure Into Opportunity

McKelvey’s first company, Mira Digital Publishing, solved two problems, actually. First, McKelvey wanted to create image storage and recognition software, something that was still in its infancy when he founded the company in 1990.

Second, he needed a way to break out of his own rut. He had graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1987 with degrees in computer science and economics. At 19, he’d published a textbook called The Debugger’s Handbook: UCSD and Apple Pascal. 

But after he graduated, he was running at what he calls a “high level of mediocrity,” freelancing for IBM, blowing glass, and running a company that built storage cabinets for CDs.

In 1989, his mother died suddenly, and it made McKelvely reevaluate his priorities. “I just asked myself, do I want to be mediocre at everything? And so I decided that one of the things I had not done in my life was focus.”

So he gave up IBM and the CD cabinets (but not his glassblowing) and focused on starting Mira. Unfortunately, Adobe released Acrobat in 1993. “We got our heads handed to us by Adobe. … It was a giant mess.”

But while their imaging software failed, some good still came out of it all. That’s when McKelvey met Jack Dorsey, the future co-founder of Twitter.

The Entrepreneur and the Artist

McKelvey is a trained glassblower, who has even written a textbook on the subject. In the past, he’s used his studio to support himself while working on his startups.

“The cool thing about making a physical product is that you can do it whenever you want. So I could work on my technical companies during the day and head into the studio at night, make a bunch of work and stick it in galleries and make enough money to survive.”

For him, art and entrepreneurship go hand in hand, not just because one can fund the other, but because they are parallel endeavors that achieve the same outcome. McKelvey says he uses an archaic definition of the word entrepreneur, which broadens its scope beyond merely starting a company.

“The original meaning for the word entrepreneur was this crazy person who did stuff that hadn’t been done before.”

Square: Starting With a Problem

Dorsey started as an intern at Mira, and the two developed a bond that held fast over the years. After Dorsey was forced out of his position as CEO of Twitter in 2008, he reconnected with McKelvey and they decided to start a business together. They just had no idea what that business would be.

They brainstormed together and came up with a few ideas. They knew they wanted it to be something mobile. They started looking into a journaling app, until another idea came to McKelvey while in his glassblowing studio.

He tried to sell one of his glass pieces to a customer who wanted to charge it to her American Express card. But Dorsey couldn’t process her credit card.

He lost the sale.

“And so I called up Jack with the iPhone that I had in my hand and I said, ‘Jack, you know, it’s really stupid that this iPhone that does everything that I want it to do—it becomes a television, it becomes a book, it becomes a radio, a compass—but it couldn’t become a credit card machine. And this is stupid. We need to fix this.’”

And so, they came up with Square. They originally wanted to serve artists who couldn’t take credit cards or receive electronic payments.

“The tough thing about being an artist is, I make stuff nobody needs. Like, nobody has ever needed anything that I’ve made in the glass studio. So, you better be ready when they’re ready to buy and not make it too difficult for them.”

The challenge Square faced was serving a community that didn’t have the typical business setup.

“These little guys who didn’t have credit reports. Some of them didn’t have bank accounts. Some of them didn’t have credit scores. Some of them didn’t have mailing addresses. I mean they were weird outliers to the financial system.”

Even some of their bigger customers were still too small by the standards of the industry to process credit cards. So, they were forced to reinvent the entire process, from signup to hardware to pricing schemes.

And for McKelvey, that’s where real innovation comes from, when you are forced to improvise.

“Invention is something that has to almost be forced upon us. And people get inventive when they have no other choice.”

The Innovation Stack

A few years after Square launched, McKelvey and Dorsey learned that Amazon had launched a small business payments service that was nearly identical to theirs. For the second time, McKelvey thought he was done.

But then, an amazing thing happened. About a year later, Amazon shut down their service and sent all of their former customers a Square reader. For a long time, McKelvey couldn’t figure out how they had survived a direct attack from a giant like Amazon.

“I was like, well what’s special about us? What did we do to be still standing after Amazon comes after us? And I couldn’t answer the question.”

He talked to former executives at a number of companies Amazon had directly targeted. Some of them sold to Amazon, while others went out of business. None had survived.

“I was happy we won, but I couldn’t answer the question, why did we win? I knew we’d won, but I’d like to think it’s more than just luck, but I just couldn’t explain it. So I went on this two-year quest to figure it out.”

McKelvey found that Square wasn’t actually alone. Many companies had survived direct attacks from large competitors, and they all had one thing in common, what he calls the “innovation stack.”

He describes the innovation stack as a series of interlocking inventions that create something you can’t attack. Instead of one big innovation, the companies that survive are innovative in several ways that all contribute to the overall success of the company.

And that series of innovations is almost impossible to copy in their entirety. For Square, it was easy to copy the hardware, but that was just one of 14 different innovations that made the company different in the online payments field.

“So I talk about 14 things that we did differently. Every one of those was necessary for the system to work. So, if we’d done 12 and we hadn’t done the 13th and 14th, Square wouldn’t have worked.”

One of the 14 was their system for handling fraud.

Since Square is a company that handles online payments, McKelvey says, it got hit from day one. Three years later, when Amazon came out with its product, Square had already developed unique processes for dealing with fraud, something Amazon couldn’t replicate.

But, McKelvey says, even if every aspect of a company’s innovation stack is visible, it’s hard for large companies to copy it all successfully. Why?

“Organizational culture,” he says. When a startup comes along with a new way of solving a problem, it’s difficult for a well-established brand to pivot, to change its ingrained processes to compete.

His example is Southwest Airlines. They revolutionized the boarding process, turning a 45-minute process into a 10-minute one. And they did it by rethinking the whole process, right down to cleaning the plane.

With Southwest, even the pilots helped clean the cabins before boarding new passengers, something McKelvey says United or Delta Airline pilots would not be willing to do because they were already used to a certain organizational culture.

Because Southwest was new, they could set their own culture. “Let me tell you that the Southwest pilots, you didn’t become a Southwest pilot unless you were willing to play their game.”

McKelvey writes about Southwest and several other companies who shook up their industries in his new book, The Innovation Stack.

No Experience Needed

As he researched his book, McKelvey noticed something else about these innovative companies. Companies from Southwest Airlines to the Bank of Italy all began the same way he did—by solving a problem for a previously ignored segment of the market and having no idea how to do it at first.

He came to the realization that starting a business isn’t about the market needs, but rather the needs of a small, even fringe group of people. “I don’t think you should choose a big market. I think you should choose a big problem,” he says.

From Southwest, which figured out how to make flying affordable, to the Bank of Italy, which started out giving loans to farmers and immigrants when other banks wouldn’t, they were all sailing in uncharted waters.

And because of that, none of their founders had any kind of expertise in their field.

“I looked throughout history and I saw all these people who had basically no qualifications for what they did.”

That included himself and Jack Dorsey. While McKelvey holds two degrees, he finds neither relevant to what he does today. As for Dorsey?

“So, like, Jack’s professional credential, he has one professional credential. He is a massage therapist. I mean, you’ve got a glassblower and a massage therapist and they start a payments company. We knew nothing about payments. We didn’t know a thing.”

The Innovation Continues

McKelvey still sits on the board of directors for Square, but his focus is now on his new startup.

With Invisibly, he wants to change the way publishers monetize their online content. The current model, where ads pop up in the right rail, across the top of the page, and even on top of the content you’re trying to read is infuriating to McKelvey.

“Our attention is being bought and sold without our permission or knowledge. So when you watch something or read something, you’re essentially trading your attention to advertisers in a system that is largely biased against you, and in many ways subverts your interests.”

And, he says, ad blockers are not the solution, which is essentially saying to journalists, “Starve to death, guys, because I’m not paying anything.”

So he and his team at Invisibly are working on a way to allow users to control the ad experience.

McKelvey has also founded a nonprofit called LaunchCode, which trains programmers for free and helps place them in jobs. Oh, and he’s also a deputy chairman for the Federal Reserve in his hometown of St. Louis.

McKelvey has built his success by solving problems. “If you have a problem that has never been solved, man you probably want me around.”

And he’s seen other people create world-changing companies by doing the same, and by building innovation stacks that all but guarantee their success.

He looks at entrepreneurship, not as the process of starting a business, but as an art form, a means to bend and mold an industry to create something no one’s seen before, something that makes life a little better for everyone.

Interview by Nathan Chan, feature article reprinted from Foundr Magazine, by Laurie Mega


Key Takeaways

  • Why McKelvey believes he was running at a “high level of mediocrity” early in his career, and how a family tragedy shifted his priorities
  • The launch of his first company, and why it ultimately failed
  • McKelvey’s unique background as a glassblower, and why he believes art and entrepreneurship go hand in hand
  • How McKelvey and Jack Dorsey came up with the idea for Square
  • How Square survived a direct attack from Amazon
  • How the answer became the inspiration behind McKelvey’s latest book, The Innovation Stack: Building an Unbeatable Business One Crazy Idea at a Time
  • How McKelvey plans to continue solving problems with his newest startup, Invisibly, and his nonprofit, LaunchCode
Direct download: FP293_Jim_McKelvey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42am AEDT