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Beyond Venture Capital: The Bootstrapper's Blueprint | The Pair Program Ep38
Episode 386th February 2024 • The Pair Program • hatch I.T.
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Beyond Venture Capital: The Bootstrapper's Blueprint | The Pair Program Ep38

Join us for an exciting episode as we dive deep into the world of bootstrapped startups with guests Rand Fishkin, Co-founder of SparkToro & Snackbar Studio, and Liam Martin, Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Time Doctor.

These two remarkable founders share their firsthand experiences, insights, and secrets to success in the world of bootstrapping.

They Discuss:

  • What inspired them to choose the bootstrapping approach.
  • The unique challenges and journey of bootstrapping a business.
  • The fascinating stories behind the founding of their respective companies.
  • Why the venture capital model isn't the right fit for every startup, despite common beliefs.
  • Financial management and lean strategies during the early phases of their startups.
  • How bootstrapping significantly improved their long-term financial standing.
  • And much more!

About Rand Fishkin: Cofounder of SparkToro & Snackbar Studio. Founder and former CEO of Moz. Author of Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World.

About Liam Martin: Liam is the Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Time Doctor, pioneers cutting-edge workforce management tools to enhance remote employee productivity. He co-organizes the annual Running Remote Conference, and co-authored the bestselling book "Running Remote," advocating for collaborative and agile remote-first organizations.

Sign-Up for the Weekly hatchpad Newsletter: https://www.myhatchpad.com/newsletter/

Transcripts

Tim Winkler:

Welcome to The Pair Program from hatchpad, the podcast that gives you

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a front row seat to candid conversations

with tech leaders from the startup world.

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I'm your host, Tim Winkler,

the creator of hatchpad.

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And I'm your other

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Mike Gruen: host, Mike

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Tim Winkler: Ruin.

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Join us each episode as we bring

together two guests to dissect topics

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at the intersection of technology,

startups, and career growth.

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Welcome back to The Pair Program.

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Tim Winkler here.

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Mike Gruen joining me per usual,

Mike, it finally happened.

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Um, I caught, I caught the COVID.

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I dodged it for three and a half years

and, uh, sure enough, like a disc golf

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retreat with 15 guys in a bunk room.

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We'll, uh, we'll do the trick.

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So

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Mike Gruen: congratulations.

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I don't know if that's the right thing to

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Tim Winkler: say, but thank you so much.

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I had a speech planned and everything,

but, uh, it's been a rough ride.

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I'm not going to downplay it.

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It was pretty brutal,

but we're, we're back.

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We're back in action.

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Um, all right, let's talk

about today's episode.

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So, uh, it's, it's, it's an episode

that I've been itching to do.

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Um, you know, the state of venture

capital right now kind of feels like

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high stake, high stakes gamble, , um,

capital access, tightening up.

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Uh, you know, bootstrapping is

becoming a, a more common scenario.

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It's something that I've done.

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I know it's, it's something that

our, our guests have done here.

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We're gonna, we're gonna dissect a

few things here around bootstrapping.

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Uh, talk about some strategies for

kind of sass versus services business.

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Um, user user growth hacks

for like lean operations.

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We're gonna discuss, you know,

how you might be able to leverage

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community and social media to amplify

your brand as a bootstrap venture.

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Uh, and so to unpack all of this,

we've got some excellent guests

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with us who have scaled businesses,

uh, Past the multi million and ARR

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mark with, without outside funding.

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And I've also seen the other side

of the coin as well and taking

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some funding at a certain point.

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So it's, it's great perspectives

on the topic all around.

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Uh, so joining us, we've

got, uh, Rand Fishkin, uh, co

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founder and CEO of SparkToro.

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An audio audience research software

company, uh, prior to Sparturo,

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ran was the founder and CEO of Moz

marketing analytics company for SEO.

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And he's the author of lost and

founder, uh, painfully honest

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field guide to the startup world.

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I see it right back there.

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Uh, and we've got, uh, Liam Martin, uh,

co founder of time doctor, uh, software

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company, helping remote teams with time

tracking and the co organizer of the

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running remote conference, which I was.

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Researching pretty interesting,

largest conference on building

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and scaling remote teams.

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And Liam is the author of

the book running remote.

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Um, so guys, we'll have you here

on The Pair Program with us.

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Rand Fishkin: Yeah.

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Thrilled to join you, Tim.

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Thanks for having us.

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Yeah,

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Liam Martin: very exciting to be able to

jump into all of this stuff, particularly

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when I want to kind of jump off with like,

I get a one sheeter whenever I'm going

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to be on a podcast with somebody that my

assistant puts together and she just had

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an all caps need to read this blog post.

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And we sent the email back and

forth, and it was your blog post

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that you just written recently

about your experience with, um, and.

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And the drama that just happened during

that time and I realized I was like, this

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is why I have a bootstrapped business

to be able to pull leverage, like, to be

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able to pull that money off the table.

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Right?

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If you're, if you're doing really

well, it's like, there are certain

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times when you should leave the casino

or at least put something in the bag.

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And I just.

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It was a really great piece of writing

and I don't know if you guys can put it

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up in the show notes, but everyone should

listen to it, particularly if you're a

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founder, that's, you know, got more than

a couple million dollars in your pocket.

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Yeah, no

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Tim Winkler: doubt it was the

final chapter of my 1st startup.

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Is that the title of the blog?

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Yeah, yeah, I think so.

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Yeah, well, it resonated with me.

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It's a great piece.

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Um, it'll, it'll certainly

probably make its way into

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the conversation here as well.

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Um, but, uh, yeah, again, thanks guys

for, for taking time out and, uh, and

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spending, uh, uh, an hour with us.

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So.

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Rand Fishkin: Thank you.

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And also to your assistant.

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Wow.

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That that is amazing to get that one

sheet and have that research done for you.

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What a gift.

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That is a gift.

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Liam Martin: It's amazing.

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I have to tell you, we implemented that

about 4 years ago where I get like a

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little 1 page document on everyone that

I'm going to meet 5 minutes beforehand.

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I go through the document.

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I'm like, oh, okay.

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Like, I'm just picking up

on all these little things.

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You used to be a competitive

figure skater 10 years ago.

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And You know, you really like zebras or

your daughter likes Elsa the princess.

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It's all those kind of little

details that you can pick up on.

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It's like this human CRM that, uh, has

totally made my job 10 times easier.

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Rand Fishkin: I mean, this is, this is

a tactic of, uh, of presidents and, and

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candidates as my understanding, right.

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Is that they like, they really know

people and they connect with them.

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And you know, that, and part of

that is just being curious, right.

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Like caring deeply about people.

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Um, I think is a, is a

wonderful thing, right?

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And when, when it shows, man,

it builds relationships like

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Tim Winkler: that.

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Yeah, it's a, it's a,

Mike, take some notes, man.

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Like, can you team me up with these

snapshots next time we're Yeah.

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Um, before we, before we dive into

the, the, the heart of the topic,

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we're going to go around the room

with a fun segment called pair me up.

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We're going to kick it off with Mike.

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You lead us off brother.

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What you got?

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Mike Gruen: So, uh, just took a

trip to Las Vegas, uh, with my wife.

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Um, For our anniversary, we both gamble.

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Uh, that's how we met.

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Um, so my pairing, uh, it's funny cause

it's almost, I mean, you mentioned it,

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Liam, uh, money management and gambling.

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Like you sit down and it's being

disciplined and knowing, like,

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if I'm up a certain percentage,

it's time to leave the table.

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If I'm down a certain

percentage, I leave the table.

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Like, it's not, I'm never like betting

my last nickel or going to the ATM,

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um, or like, oh man, you know, and

I'm also never like up 5, 000%,

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but, um, at the same time, exactly.

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You're never going to get there.

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So, uh, if you want to lose,

if you just want to give it all

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back by all means, keep playing.

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Um, so yeah, so that's my,

uh, so that's my pairing is

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money management and gambling.

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Um, so there you

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go.

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Tim Winkler: Yeah.

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Now we got to kind of hear the back story

on how, how you guys met at a casino.

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That sounds like a fast

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Mike Gruen: casino.

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We just met at my regular home poker game.

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Uh,

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Tim Winkler: I thought

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Liam Martin: it was a

gambler's anonymous meeting.

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Mike Gruen: But, but I mean, like the,

the, the other part of it was shortly

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after we met, we took, uh, a few of

us went on a trip to Atlantic city.

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Uh, she and I both, uh, it was

a bad blackjack shoe and like

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tore through a hundred dollars.

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Like it was just like loss, loss, loss.

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And so we're like, Hey,

let's go get lunch.

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And so then we hung out and talked and

that's how we got to know each other.

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Um, cause she was like a friend

of a friend type of thing.

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So

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Tim Winkler: that's how it all happened.

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Very good.

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Pairing gambling and money management.

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Can't agree more.

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Well, I'll jump in real quick here.

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So for me, it's going to be

a crawling and baby proofing.

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Uh, so my daughter is about to turn one.

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Uh, her latest party trick is crawling.

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Uh, we were lucky enough to kind

of capture it on video actually.

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And then the video, it's pretty funny

because my voice goes from this high

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pitch, excited tone into this, Oh

shit, it's baby proofing time moment.

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So if I have to leave this recording mid,

uh, midway, it's because I've got a little

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Explorer on, on the, on the go right now,

but that's my, uh, that's my pairing, you

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know, we're, we're busting out all of the.

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Everything from the little

corners to the baby gates is,

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you know, everything in between.

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It's my life right now.

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So other than forks

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Mike Gruen: and outlets, which would be

if you're not doing the baby proofing.

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Rand Fishkin: Yes.

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Tim Winkler: Which is why we baby proof.

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Um, all right, cool.

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Let's pass it around.

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Uh, ran.

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How about a quick intro and,

uh, your parent for the day?

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Rand Fishkin: Sure.

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Uh, let's see.

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So quick intro that you already mentioned,

Tim, that I, uh, I started maws and,

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and I wrote this book, lost and founder.

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I do lots of speaking at

events and podcasts, webinars

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and all that kind of stuff.

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Um, my, my favorite thing pairing

wise right now is I love working with.

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Uh, people who are trying to build small,

profitable stuff and helping them do that.

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Um, I don't, I don't know what it is.

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I, I feel this deep sense of both

obligation and gratitude to giving

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back, you know, for folks who, who

read that blog post that, uh, Liam,

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that you kind of kindly mentioned, you

know, Geraldine and I sort of had a,

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had a lottery winning amount of money,

um, come to us a couple of years ago.

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And, uh, I've been suitably, I

think, irresponsible with that money,

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just trying to spread it around.

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Um, and I, I, I kind of love that.

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So forget money management.

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I mean, look, I think there's, there's

2 ways to be in this world, right?

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If you, if you have success in a

field, in a sector, in your life.

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Um, professionally, whatever you can try

and pull the ladder up after you, right?

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And that's that's how a lot

of big businesses are built

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their, their monopoly power.

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They build moats around them.

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So no competitors can come in and

they, you know, uh, use leverage

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their monopoly power in 1 sector to

enter new sectors, find new revenue

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streams and block out everybody else.

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You know, Google's a

classic example of this.

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Amazon, of course, Facebook, right.

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Apple.

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And then there's people who are

like, how do I build an escalator?

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Right.

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I had success here.

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I did well.

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I want to see a hundred people, a

thousand people, ten thousand people

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build awesome businesses in this sector,

spread that wealth and money around.

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And uh, I'm pretty sure the definition

of evil is doing things, uh, that hurt

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other people so that you get money.

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So Let's be the opposite of that.

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Tim Winkler: That's my favorite.

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Oh, that's awesome.

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Good for you, man.

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Um, I love it.

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Liam, let's, let's quickly jump to

you, uh, intro and your pairing.

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Liam Martin: Sure.

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So as you already said,

co founder of time doctor.

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com, which is time

tracking for remote teams.

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And then also co organizer of running

remote, which is the largest conference

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on remote work of which where I wrote this

book, which is a bit of a funny story.

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Uh, I wanted to actually call it async.

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It's about asynchronous management,

but HarperCollins said, we

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sold a book on remote work.

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We have to have remote in the title,

which is incredibly infuriating.

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I'm already like half a drink in,

so I might say something that's

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inappropriate, but that's fine.

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We can

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Rand Fishkin: edit it out.

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I think Harper Collins

made the right choice.

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I think running remote is

a great fricking title.

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Liam Martin: Oh, I mean, it was

a great title for the conference,

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but the philosophy that our entire

community is focused on is there

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was a methodology before COVID.

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Of these remote 1st companies

that were implementing what I

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call asynchronous management, and

that's basically the entire book.

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So I wrote the book about that

subject anyways, but you're right.

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It is 1 of those things that when

we, when I wrote down async as

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a title, you know, like, these

companies have, like, uh, Yeah.

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Groups that they send all of these book

titles to for people to be able to pick

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up and async was five out of five It was

the worst one Out of all of that group,

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but then when we actually spoke to our

core customer our thousand true fans

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type of demographic They were like async.

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Why didn't you call it that that we

should have called it that thing.

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Anyways, that was uh spilt milk but

herrings I thought lagavulin Podcasts

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because it's 4:00 PM where I'm at.

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Uh, I don't know what time it is for

you guys, but it's, uh, it's drink

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o'clock for me, so it's Friday evening.

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I'm very excited to be here.

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And the more that I drink, hopefully

the more truth that'll come up

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Tim Winkler: And that's really why we do these at 4:00 PM on a

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Friday because we wanna see how

intoxicated all of our guests can

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get and still makes sense by the end

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Rand Fishkin: of it.

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So it's, it's only,

it's only 1:19 PM here.

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I still have other meetings.

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Okay.

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So you all knock yourselves out.

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Uh, Liam, I heard, I heard

that, um, Lagavulin is the

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16, I assume, or is it, yeah.

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So, uh.

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It is the 16.

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Yeah.

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So the, uh,

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Liam Martin: the 12 is better and like,

that's the thing that's a little bit

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of a third rail of, uh, in the Scotch

drinking world, but the 12 is better.

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Yeah.

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And I only have the 16 with me today.

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Rand Fishkin: Yeah.

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I mean, the, I, I heard that

basically after Diageo bought

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them, things were not down.

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It is awesome.

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Liam Martin: Oh, okay.

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Yes.

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The PDs.

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That's the thing that just really

kind of, you sit down and you drink

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a glass of Lagavulin and you can't

drink it like you can sip it because

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it's just, it blows up in your mouth

and just, it's very, very nice for.

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Scottish ish people, which one side

of my family is, uh, we love it,

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but yeah, I mean, I think that,

uh, podcasts and scotch are great.

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I do about eight or

nine of these per week.

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And so for me, you know, the ability to

be able to actually just kind of relax and

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have a drink or two on a Friday afternoon.

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I find that those are historically

my best podcasts that I do.

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Awesome.

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Rand Fishkin: I can't wait.

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I can't wait.

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We'll get us into it, Tim.

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Tim Winkler: Yeah, let's,

let's transition into it guys.

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Um, So I'm gonna, I'm gonna start

with a little bit of a, you know,

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I did a little prep, but didn't

have, didn't have the assistant

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to, uh, to feed me the show notes.

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So I went and did it, um, did a little

research on bootstrapping firsthand.

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And, um, you know, there's a, uh, a

couple of different, uh, I guess, origins

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of the term, but one, one that I pulled

was a 19th century saying it goes.

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Pulling oneself over a fence by

one's bootstraps, which implies it's

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pretty much an impossible action.

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So a more modern definition that we'll

tune into is, um, a process whereby an

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entrepreneur starts a self sustaining

business, launches with minimal resources.

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With either no venture capital

or, or hefty angel investment.

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Um, and so then, you know, the

next question I asked myself

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was, so why, why go this route?

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Um, and in the words of, of Mark

Cuban, uh, raising money isn't an

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accomplishment, but it's an obligation.

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So you gotta love the shark tank irony

that, that comes from that statement.

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But for me, anyways, it's, it truly

means full financial control, um,

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you know, minimal debt liability.

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No pressure from investors and the

freedom to steer your business your way.

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But I don't want to sugar coat this

either, just because it's extremely

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difficult, um, it's a path that I

know, uh, well, personally, it's

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filled with stress, uh, potential

for depression, uh, constrained.

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Personal relationships.

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Um, and it, it demands confidence.

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It demands risk tolerance,

self discipline.

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Um, it, it demands determination

and competitiveness.

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So these are all traits that I'm certain

that, you know, our guests today have

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in spades, uh, along with some insight.

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So I do want to, uh, I do

want to jump into it, Rand.

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Let's kick it off with you.

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Um, I'm, I'm very interested

in that Ma's story.

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If you could.

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Just walk us through what sparked

the bootstrap approach and, and maybe

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provide a little bit of context in

terms of like, did it start as a

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services business, a product company,

and then we'll jump to you, Liam.

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Rand Fishkin: Uh, sure.

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So yes, small started

as a services business.

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Um, and, and I guess technically

bootstrapped, um, or maybe debt

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financed, we took out a bunch of

credit card debt and bank loans.

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Um, which went very poorly.

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I don't recommend that to anybody.

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Uh, we found ourselves very deep in debt

after making lots of early missteps.

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Um, you know, I was super young, right?

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I started this on 21.

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Uh, and just, just a bunch of foolishness.

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Those first four or five years got

us into a lot of trouble and then

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eventually started digging ourselves

out as we, you know, got better and

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better at, at the services side.

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It was, it was an SEO consulting business.

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Um, at least at that point it

had been a web design business.

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And then.

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We accidentally built some software to

sort of make ourselves more efficient.

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And then I insisted that I wanted to

share with people and our developer

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was like, we can't, it's too expensive.

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And I was like, fine,

put up a PayPal paywall.

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And he's like, fine, I'll

put up a PayPal paywall.

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And so you had to pay palace

like 29 bucks a month.

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And 6 months after we launched that,

that software for SEO, I was doing more

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revenue than the services business.

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And we were like, oh,

crap, what's going on?

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Um, and, and, you know, we

caught a bunch of waves, right?

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So this was during a time

when 2 things were true.

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1 google was growing at a tremendous rate.

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Of course, the Internet was

growing at a tremendous rate.

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So web adoption.

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So we were riding like a bunch of waves.

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And people in marketing and tech

and investments and startups

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and just every field hated SEO.

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They thought it was a scam.

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They thought it was spam.

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They thought it was, um, an

evil, bad thing to do that

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Google would penalize you for it.

366

:

And so we, we were one of

the only platforms out there.

367

:

There were probably less than 10

or 12 websites that you could go

368

:

to that weren't sketchy, that had

reliable information about SEO.

369

:

And we were one of the only people

providing any kind of software.

370

:

So there was just no competition.

371

:

I don't think we succeeded

because we were great.

372

:

I think we succeeded

because we were very lucky.

373

:

And then eventually we got

smart about some things thanks

374

:

to our luck compounding.

375

:

Uh, but yeah, I don't, I don't

have a, you know, a huge, um,

376

:

love for pure bootstrapping.

377

:

We did end up raising venture

capital sort of after the, after

378

:

the business was taking off.

379

:

We, we raised, uh, 1.

380

:

1 million in 2007 and another

million in:

381

:

10 million in 2015, 15 or 16.

382

:

Um, and, uh, I, um, had all the

roller coasters you described, right?

383

:

So.

384

:

Anxiety and depression and just lots

of terrible experiences, um, uh, and

385

:

an inordinate amount of stress, right?

386

:

Once you raise that kind of money,

then you're, you're trying to

387

:

build a billion dollar company.

388

:

Um, Moz basically plateaued

at about 50 million ARR.

389

:

Uh, so really, you know, disappointed me.

390

:

It's investors employ stock options.

391

:

The company was sold, uh, in 2021.

392

:

I had stepped down years before left

the company in:

393

:

was sold a few years after I left.

394

:

Um, Not a great deal.

395

:

Nobody, nobody did well from that

except, except for me and Geraldine.

396

:

Right.

397

:

Kind of.

398

:

Cause we, we still owned about

20 percent of the company.

399

:

And, um, even that, you know, we did

not get 20 percent of the sale because

400

:

of how, you know, investor rights and

preferences work, but it doesn't matter.

401

:

Right.

402

:

Like it was just, um, yep.

403

:

Tim Winkler: So you were 21 when,

21, when you started this, this

404

:

Rand Fishkin: business.

405

:

Yeah.

406

:

I was there for 17 years.

407

:

Long, long ago that, so Spark Toro, right?

408

:

Eighties

409

:

.

Mike Gruen: Sorry, nothing.

410

:

Bad joke.

411

:

Uh, this should be cut out

'cause I did my math wrong.

412

:

Go on . No.

413

:

Uh,

414

:

Rand Fishkin: interestingly, Mike,

you may have done your math wrong,

415

:

but you're technically accurate.

416

:

My mom, Jillian, who is my co-founder at

Moz, started the business that turned into

417

:

the web design and then the SEO consulting

and then software business in:

418

:

Oh, wow.

419

:

Yeah.

420

:

That's impressive.

421

:

Very the weirdest startup you

can possibly imagine, right?

422

:

It's like basically 25, six years

old when it was first funded.

423

:

And then, uh, essentially a mom

and son consulting business turned

424

:

into software, very unusual.

425

:

So anyway, we can talk about SparkToro

in a bit, but, um, I essentially did

426

:

the complete opposite in every way with.

427

:

Tim Winkler: Um, I got questions to

follow up on that, but I'm going to

428

:

quickly pick, pick over to Liam here.

429

:

So Liam, tell us a little bit about your,

your startup journey and how did that form

430

:

in terms of bootstrapping or how you were.

431

:

Liam Martin: So, and, and to be completely

honest, uh, with you in comparison to

432

:

Rand story, it's nowhere near, uh, crazy

of a rollercoaster, but I actually think

433

:

based off of the blog posts that I.

434

:

Part of that is probably due to

venture that extra stress is just

435

:

like, so frustrating and just the

ability to be able to do what you

436

:

want to do when you want to do it.

437

:

That's bootstrapping to me.

438

:

So we started the business

back in:

439

:

So, um, Me and my, my co founder,

I had built some previous business

440

:

businesses before that, and one exited

for a very small amount of money.

441

:

So we both had a small amount

of capital to be able to invest.

442

:

And that's why I want to disclose

that it's not bootstrapped

443

:

from zero dollars, right?

444

:

It's bootstrapped from, we had about 150,

200 K to be able to start the business.

445

:

And from that point forward,

I essentially, um, didn't

446

:

take a salary for three years.

447

:

lived on very little money.

448

:

A lot of my other friends were like,

you're so stupid to raise a series a

449

:

for like, you know, 5 million and, and

they're living in nice condos and, you

450

:

know, they're living the best life.

451

:

Fast forward to today.

452

:

I have way more money than they do,

to be completely honest with you.

453

:

And I'm doing way better

because they weren't actually

454

:

able to sell their business.

455

:

When you look at venture, it's

really built on the presumption of

456

:

the Ponzi scheme of acquisition.

457

:

Really, that's the end point that

all of these companies are really

458

:

trying to go for and it's like you're

rearranging the chairs in the Titanic.

459

:

I know that that's very kind of.

460

:

It's a long winded perspective and

a very forward thinking perspective,

461

:

but if all of these companies are

getting acquired for like 10 X revenue,

462

:

eventually the value of these companies

is going to catch up with them.

463

:

And I even during COVID we exploded.

464

:

So we were doing maybe like 5, 000 leads

a month inside of our time tracking

465

:

tool for remote teams, time doctor.

466

:

And we went to 35, 000 within a month.

467

:

Like it was just absolutely.

468

:

Oh my God, I felt like I was in one of

those tubes on game shows where they

469

:

like spin you around with hundred dollar

bills and you're trying to grab as many

470

:

as you can and stuff them down your bra.

471

:

I was working sixteen hour days

every day for six months at least.

472

:

And we've now hired four people

that did my one job pre COVID.

473

:

So it was like a lot of things

that ended up happening.

474

:

And we went into a stage of hyper growth

inside of the company, but we had some

475

:

offers for acquisition at that point.

476

:

And some of these offers

were absolutely insane.

477

:

We're talking like,

you know, 10 X revenue.

478

:

And it's just like, I remember

talking to my co founder and I

479

:

was like, do you really believe

that we're worth that much money?

480

:

Um, this just, it doesn't make any sense.

481

:

Now, a lot of those deals actually

didn't end up shaking out.

482

:

And we basically made the decision to say.

483

:

We're going to keep going with this

because we also run about at that point,

484

:

actually during the height of COVID, we

were running at about 40 percent EBITDA.

485

:

So essentially we were able to pull 40

percent of our revenue off the table and

486

:

it would be handed to the shareholders,

which because we're a bootstrap

487

:

company was us, right, which was great.

488

:

So we made enough money.

489

:

To never have to work a day in our lives

right from that point, but we still run

490

:

today about 15 percent EBITDA, which is

really kind of where I would suggest that

491

:

a lot of bootstrap companies sit because,

and I thought this for a really long

492

:

time, pulling that risk off the table.

493

:

My financial advisor gave me a

eally good piece of advice in:

494

:

He said, so 98 percent of your

wealth is tied into a private

495

:

company that you can't sell.

496

:

You need to think about how to pull

some of that risk off the table.

497

:

You're sitting on hundreds

of millions of dollars worth

498

:

of theoretical company value.

499

:

Yes.

500

:

However, let's pull some of that risk

off the table now so that if that company

501

:

disappears in a year, you'll be happy.

502

:

Right.

503

:

And that was one of the things that

really jumped out to me ran when

504

:

I read your blog post, which was.

505

:

And if I remember correctly, it was

around 300, 000 out the other end

506

:

of, um, 2018 or 2019 that you came,

that you came off of working inside

507

:

of and I just, when I read that, I

thought, thank God I paid attention

508

:

to my financial advisor and a lot of

my other friends, because I realized.

509

:

That type of opportunity, particularly

for bootstrap companies, because

510

:

we have the autonomy to be able

to actually make those decisions.

511

:

We're not answerable to a board

necessarily, unless you really want

512

:

to be, but I don't think you should.

513

:

Um, it allowed us to be able to go in

different directions and utilize that

514

:

capital to be able to not only create the

company that we wanted, but then also the

515

:

security that the founders needed in order

to be able to really go for those like.

516

:

Huge moves that would hopefully

turn us into a multi billion

517

:

dollar company long term.

518

:

Tim Winkler: Ran, did you pay yourself a

salary in those early state, early days?

519

:

Rand Fishkin: Uh, sort of, I

mean, what my mom paid me, right?

520

:

Uh, my, my mom occasionally,

like, you know, we'd get together.

521

:

We'd look at the finances.

522

:

It was always terrible for those

first, you know, especially five years.

523

:

And.

524

:

Uh, basically it was like me

and our programmer, Matt would

525

:

decide like who, who was going

to take a paycheck that month.

526

:

My mom never got paid.

527

:

Um, the paycheck was 800, you

know, it was like, okay, I was

528

:

making, I was making enough that

I could chip in for the groceries.

529

:

I was living with my girlfriend, who's

now my wife, Geraldine, and she was

530

:

paying our rent and all our bills.

531

:

Yep.

532

:

I mean, it was, it was, it was a mess.

533

:

And then, yeah, I mean, Liam,

if I'd had the foresight and

534

:

experience and thoughtfulness or a

financial advisor, you know, right.

535

:

I, I think that I would have made

very different decisions around

536

:

Moz, but I mean, the weird part of

that company was it was incredibly

537

:

profitable, but ludicrously.

538

:

So I think, uh, gross margins were

north of 85 percent on the, on

539

:

the most software business, right.

540

:

Just incredible business because

it doesn't cost that much to

541

:

like collect all the data.

542

:

And, uh, you know, it just, Um, it was in

543

:

support.

544

:

Tim Winkler: That's it.

545

:

Yeah.

546

:

Yeah.

547

:

What kind of head count

did you actually have?

548

:

Like, we

549

:

Rand Fishkin: blew up head

count and paid people hundreds

550

:

of thousands of dollars a year.

551

:

A lot of people making more than

I was making even after we were

552

:

venture backed, um, because the whole

venture philosophy is like spend

553

:

money fast to make more money, right?

554

:

To get growth.

555

:

Yeah.

556

:

And so

557

:

Liam Martin: then what's

the goal of that growth?

558

:

It's to

559

:

Rand Fishkin: get acquired.

560

:

The goal of the growth is either

get acquired or go public.

561

:

Right.

562

:

And that was, that was sort of the like,

Hey, get to a hundred million dollars

563

:

ARR and then sell for between five and

700 or go public on the stock market.

564

:

So long as you're growing 20

percent year over year, that

565

:

was the, that was the target.

566

:

That was the goal, you know, and,

and Moz was well on its way for, you

567

:

know, six, seven years of that growth.

568

:

That looked like it was going to happen.

569

:

And then right around 40 million in

revenue, things started slowing down.

570

:

Um, and we just never got, I

mean, I can talk a whole bunch

571

:

about why, but yes, absolutely.

572

:

The venture model, I think, is right

for very, very few companies, but it's

573

:

marketed to almost every entrepreneur,

especially in software and tech.

574

:

Uh, and Most of us should reject that

marketing that one of the biggest

575

:

things that it did, I'm very impressed.

576

:

Liam.

577

:

I'm so impressed that you were

able to like, resist this.

578

:

I felt like I was not a real entrepreneur.

579

:

I felt like I was less

of a less of a leader.

580

:

I felt like I was a piddly

shit, you know, little nobody.

581

:

And my Silicon Valley peers, of

course, you know, I'm in Seattle, but

582

:

like my Silicon Valley peers, or even

some of the more successful Seattle

583

:

entrepreneurs, like they had raised

so much more, their teams were bigger,

584

:

their total, you know, market cap

was bigger, all that kind of stuff.

585

:

And, and the psychological comparison,

I'm sure someone, someone called it a

586

:

mimetic desire, like your desires based

on memes of what You imagine other

587

:

people to look like in your field.

588

:

And that mimetic desire drove

so much of my behavior, right?

589

:

Like yeah, I'm going to constantly be

going to Sand Hill Road and meeting these

590

:

important people and like, Oh, I'm having

dinner at Sheryl Sandberg's house tonight.

591

:

And you know, like all that shit,

dumb, like, just, why didn't I just

592

:

make better software for my customers?

593

:

Tim Winkler: I snapped my fingers,

everybody just had a quick costume change.

594

:

And, uh, jump into it.

595

:

So Maz, you had kind of like given

us a little bit of the backstory.

596

:

I'm sorry, Ryan, Ryan, you've given

us a little bit of the backstory

597

:

on Maz, um, as the wizard of Maz.

598

:

Um, and, uh, you know, I, I wanted

to kind of transition to you, Liam,

599

:

a little bit about, you know, growing

Time Doctor and some of the early days.

600

:

Um, some of those, you know, some of

those growth hacks, I guess, in terms of

601

:

running with limited resources and running

as a lean team, some of those things

602

:

that you deployed, um, that you would say

helped you, you know, with early success

603

:

at Time Doctor, uh, if that's anything

from, you know, how you, how you approach

604

:

user acquisition to, to marketing.

605

:

Um, I'd love to hear a

little bit more about that.

606

:

Liam Martin: Sure.

607

:

I have a philosophy that actually

probably fits perfectly into Ram's

608

:

strategy, which is if you're going to

own a business for more than 10 years,

609

:

a tech business that's on the internet,

SEO is probably the best singular

610

:

strategy that you could implement.

611

:

And I did a lot.

612

:

So we, I, when we had no money, I

had, I remember I had one writer

613

:

and I had one linker and I wrote

two and I did link link building

614

:

as well, and we just grind it out.

615

:

To blog posts a week, every week for

three years, like it's just, that's the

616

:

grind and the reality is that you can

optimize your, you know, there's all

617

:

of these small little details that will

get you an extra 10, 15, 20 percent

618

:

juice out of every post that you're.

619

:

That you're posting, but fundamentally

it is, are you writing content

620

:

that people really care about?

621

:

Do they actually, you know,

they actually consume it, right?

622

:

And do they want to come back

and check out more about you?

623

:

Just like what we talked about earlier

with regards to that post that I got

624

:

from my assistant talking about your

journey, Rand, it's like that piece

625

:

will have me coming back later on

saying, Oh, what else is on the pot

626

:

or on the blog, whatever it might be.

627

:

Rand Fishkin: I'm really curious.

628

:

If you were today starting time

doc, or let's say a new, new

629

:

business, would you do SEO?

630

:

Would that be your starting point?

631

:

Would you start with SEO again?

632

:

So

633

:

Liam Martin: I don't want to send this

to an SEO podcast, but I don't know,

634

:

and there's a couple qualifiers for it.

635

:

So Google barred.

636

:

Right, the new version of Google.

637

:

I am scared shitless of that thing

because I'm 1st, 2nd, 3rd on a lot

638

:

of really good keywords that generate

tons of money for our business.

639

:

And all of a sudden, if it's just a.

640

:

Well, what's the best time

tracking tool for remote workers

641

:

and it's not me that responds.

642

:

That's a big problem for us as a

company because we invested tons

643

:

and tons of money inside of SEO.

644

:

Uh, and money is not the right word to

use, um, energy time, which was money.

645

:

I just wasn't paid.

646

:

So like now I get paid a lot.

647

:

So the.

648

:

The reality is that there's a couple of

things that I probably wouldn't have done.

649

:

There's someone else that asked me that

question, which is, would you take.

650

:

Like, would you raise money?

651

:

And I would probably, someone

asked me that question around:

652

:

And I actually said yes, because it

was so easy to raise money in:

653

:

Like, I don't know if you guys have

seen that curve of like, yeah, it

654

:

was the best time on the face of

the planet to raise money in:

655

:

and now it's essentially the worst.

656

:

So now I'm back to no, like, let's just

keep all that equity for ourselves.

657

:

I would probably say SEO

would be one of my top three

658

:

strategies that I would implement.

659

:

Essentially, what I would do

is I would say, what do I want?

660

:

What problem do I want to solve?

661

:

I would figure out the communities

that exist around solving that problem.

662

:

I would inject myself into those

communities and or create a

663

:

subcategory inside of that community.

664

:

And then I would go after those

basically, I would say, okay, now

665

:

that I've built that ecosystem, now

let's try to sell them something,

666

:

something that I truly do believe that

will solve the problem fundamentally.

667

:

So like, that's marketing

668

:

Rand Fishkin: one, one genius.

669

:

It is shocking to me how few entrepreneurs

think in this strategic, um, putting

670

:

the cart before the horse, you know,

putting the horse before the cart

671

:

way of first, let me establish some

expertise, authority, trust in a space.

672

:

Let me learn about the people there.

673

:

Let me build relationships there.

674

:

And then I will create something

that serves this group of people

675

:

that I'm already connected with.

676

:

And I know and understand them as opposed

to so many entrepreneurs starting with.

677

:

Hey, I've got an idea for a product in

a space that I've never been in before.

678

:

I don't know anybody in that space.

679

:

I build my product and then I have to

try and figure out how to market it.

680

:

I mean, I think,

681

:

Mike Gruen: I think there's a lot of

people that fool themselves into believing

682

:

that they're experts in the space because

they have a little bit of, they, they,

683

:

they're in that space a little bit.

684

:

They, you know, I, oh, I see the problems,

but like there it's, it's, they have

685

:

a very small version of that view.

686

:

Um, and then they fool themselves into

687

:

Rand Fishkin: being experts.

688

:

I don't mean to stereotype here, but

have you ever met a 19 year old boy?

689

:

There's something about like the

combination of hormones and culture

690

:

and, uh, surroundings that just

makes them believe that they not

691

:

only know everything, but can do

it all and really well, and that,

692

:

that hyper confidence can be.

693

:

Useful, I guess, in some situations, but

as it carries through to entrepreneurship,

694

:

my God, do you just see, you know, you

see venture style, uh, rates of company

695

:

death, which is essentially, you know,

for every a hundred companies that try

696

:

to raise venture to succeed for every a

hundred companies that actually raise it.

697

:

You know, to return what the fund

expects of them for every 100 venture

698

:

funds, only about 30 actually returned

to their LPs what they've promised.

699

:

So,

700

:

Liam Martin: yeah, I have a really

crazy story connected to that.

701

:

There was a company that I was

mentoring and the founder was starting

702

:

a, it is a couple of years back.

703

:

So I don't think he would

care that I tell the story.

704

:

He was building a tattoo.

705

:

Platform basically a platform to be

able to manage tattoo parlors and

706

:

I said, well, what's your history

in, you know, in, in tattooing?

707

:

Oh, I, I don't run a tattoo parlor.

708

:

I don't like I asked him, have

you run a tattoo parlor before?

709

:

No.

710

:

Have you worked in a tattoo parlor before?

711

:

No.

712

:

Do you have any tattoos?

713

:

I'm planning on getting some.

714

:

I was like, so is this a

problem that is really.

715

:

An itch for you.

716

:

Like, is this something core

inside of your being that you're

717

:

really excited about solving?

718

:

He's like, yes.

719

:

I said, I don't like hot take.

720

:

I don't believe you.

721

:

And let's, let's break that down.

722

:

And I remember about a year

ago, he raised, he raised 1.

723

:

5 million seed.

724

:

And, uh, he came back to me and

he's like, listen, I'm really

725

:

trying to grind out here.

726

:

I, you know, I've got some issues,

uh, we're about 3 months away from

727

:

not existing any more payrolls.

728

:

We're not going to have

any more money in the bank.

729

:

And I said, okay, cool.

730

:

Like, what are your numbers like?

731

:

He's like, well, I'm

doing about 20 a month.

732

:

And I was looking at his numbers and his

payrolls, payrolls, about 40, 000 a month.

733

:

I said, okay, listen, you

have three months to do this.

734

:

We'll cut down your payroll.

735

:

We'll figure out how to make this work.

736

:

Founder base sales.

737

:

You've got to be the

only person that runs it.

738

:

And he's like, no, no, no, I'm

not making 20, 000 a month.

739

:

I'm making 20 a month.

740

:

And I was like, shut it down

immediately, shut everything down,

741

:

give it back to the investors.

742

:

Good advice.

743

:

That happens all the time.

744

:

And I think it comes exactly to your

point, Rand, from these guys that are

745

:

just, you know, I don't think he was

19, but he might've been like 21, 22.

746

:

Yeah.

747

:

And it's just that desire.

748

:

You know, then you get the odd Facebook

that comes out of that system too.

749

:

So I

750

:

Mike Gruen: mean, there's, there's,

there's always those exceptions, but

751

:

Dunning, I think what we described

as the Dunning Kruger effect, right?

752

:

The idea of like, I know a little bit, but

my competence is not nearly as good as my

753

:

capacity or my capability, my capability,

754

:

Rand Fishkin: the curve of

sort of knowledge, right.

755

:

That as you.

756

:

As you gain knowledge and become more

experienced, you, your opinion of

757

:

your own, uh, knowledge in a sector

drops dramatically until an inflection

758

:

point where it starts to rise again.

759

:

And then you, you slowly

gain confidence again.

760

:

And, you know, that's probably, I

suspect that's probably where, where

761

:

folks like Liam and I are around, you

know, marketing and company building.

762

:

It's like, okay, we're through the, I

know, nothing point over to the, I know

763

:

something, I don't know everything.

764

:

There's a lot to know,

but I know something, I

765

:

Mike Gruen: don't know everything.

766

:

That's the key.

767

:

Like the, the, I, I know enough

to know what, that I don't know,

768

:

Tim Winkler: I think also to like

the beauty of what you're, you're

769

:

building with SparkToro, right?

770

:

So it's like, you know, let's think about

user research and knowing where to spend

771

:

your money, uh, before you just start.

772

:

You know, spending all your time writing

these blogs, but you might be writing

773

:

these things on, on things that aren't

really what people are researching

774

:

or solving that problem at core.

775

:

So, like, give us the quick pitch

on, like, why SmartTurbo for you?

776

:

I mean, you, you spent years

and years doing SEO, so.

777

:

What is it that you, that

you wrapped your head around?

778

:

Like, this is really what a lot of

folks are going to get value from.

779

:

Rand Fishkin: Yeah.

780

:

I mean, and this is, this is

sort of, you know, goes back

781

:

to my leading question to Liam.

782

:

Sorry to put you on the spot there, but,

you know, my, my first business, you

783

:

know, Moz was, was built on SEO as well.

784

:

Right.

785

:

So blogging five nights a week,

uh, for years, the first two

786

:

or three years, we didn't have

nearly the success that you did.

787

:

I was the only one blogging and,

and they were not good, right?

788

:

Like, I think you can probably go

back and read some of the old posts

789

:

from like 2003, four or five, not good

stuff, not useful, not interesting.

790

:

But slowly I built up the muscle.

791

:

You know, like going to the gym, you sort

of figure out what resonates with people.

792

:

Oh, this worked.

793

:

Why did it work?

794

:

With whom did it work?

795

:

Can I replicate that?

796

:

Can I do it again?

797

:

And building up this, this

concept that I like to call

798

:

the marketing flywheel, right?

799

:

A repeatable process that

scales with decreasing friction.

800

:

So meaning every time you do it,

it gets a little bit easier to do

801

:

it again, or it's equally hard to

turn the flywheel each time, but the

802

:

returns become greater and greater.

803

:

So, you know, I put out one blog post that

turned into five email subscribers, but

804

:

tomorrow's blog post turns into six email

subscribers, and the next day it's seven.

805

:

And you know, if you get a flywheel going

like that, it works really smoothly.

806

:

And so Moz was built on that.

807

:

When I left Moz and started

SparkToro, I started initially

808

:

with a similar mentality, right?

809

:

Publishing a lot, blogging a lot, and

quickly realized probably Less than,

810

:

uh, three months, four months into the

process, realize that, oh, wait a minute.

811

:

There's no this.

812

:

methodology does not work because

there is no search volume for the

813

:

thing that SparkToro is doing.

814

:

So unlike time doctor, right?

815

:

Where folks are saying, I want

the best time tracking tool for

816

:

this purpose or that purpose.

817

:

No one is going out there and

searching for, I want to find, I

818

:

want a tool that tells me where my

audience hangs out online, their

819

:

demographics, their behaviors.

820

:

Nobody searches for that.

821

:

They didn't even know to search for that.

822

:

So we have to not only create.

823

:

The product, we have to create

demand for the product, right?

824

:

And so going out there and talking,

essentially finding the platforms that

825

:

our audience was paying attention to.

826

:

We knew that we wanted to reach

marketers at small and medium sized

827

:

businesses, agencies and consultants.

828

:

Those are going to be our core users.

829

:

And so interviewed tons of

them, talk to them, had those.

830

:

You know, uh, conversations at their,

at their offices, sometimes over

831

:

video, a lot over, over the phone and

then turn that into surveys, right?

832

:

Took that data.

833

:

Ran a few big surveys to a few thousand

marketers, took those results, um, and

834

:

looked at what sources of influence do

they pay attention to where, how, why, how

835

:

can we be present in those places, right?

836

:

How do I get these conferences

to invite me to keynote there?

837

:

How do I get these podcasts

hosts to invite me on their

838

:

show or accept me as a guest?

839

:

How do I get these publications

to write about SparkTor?

840

:

And that has been the last

four years of our marketing.

841

:

We've still, we still get no

search traffic apart from branded

842

:

search, uh, for Toro itself.

843

:

Liam Martin: Do you measure branded

search as like an outcome variable?

844

:

Because this is a debate that we've been

constantly be talking about, which is.

845

:

Okay.

846

:

We increase paid acquisition and then

our branded search goes up by 10, 15%.

847

:

Well, then we equate that branded

search to that paid advertising.

848

:

And even right now it's very difficult

for us, but I just did a relatively

849

:

large podcast on the financial times.

850

:

And almost no impact, but then we

ended up having, I think it was

851

:

like seven or eight customers that

directly stated, Hey, I came here

852

:

because of the financial times piece.

853

:

So the other part of that too, is actual

sales team talking about the attribution.

854

:

I mean, where did you hear about us?

855

:

You know, and then

correlating towards that.

856

:

Rand Fishkin: So I, I have

a very controversial belief.

857

:

Which is unless you are in

the north of 50 to 100 million

858

:

dollars of revenue per year.

859

:

I don't think it is actually

worthwhile to try and measure and

860

:

attribute most of your marketing.

861

:

I think that you're better off, better

off hiring good, smart people and trusting

862

:

your gut instinct and investing in sort

of cool, creative in places that, you

863

:

know, people pay attention with messages

that you get the sense are resonating

864

:

and you're going to, you will spend, even

though you will have some waste and you'll

865

:

make some mistakes, it will be worth it

because the measurement process is so time

866

:

and capital intensive and so misleading.

867

:

that you'll actually fool yourself

more than you'll help yourself.

868

:

And this is because user journeys

are too complex for, uh, multi device

869

:

journeys in a cookie list, you know,

no third party cookies allowed, EU

870

:

regulation, Canada privacy laws,

California privacy laws, ad blockers.

871

:

Uh, multiple browsers, like in this

world that we live in, you cannot

872

:

track the way you could 12 years ago.

873

:

I think it's beyond

874

:

Mike Gruen: that too, because I think that

875

:

Tim Winkler: it's

876

:

Mike Gruen: hard.

877

:

I know that a lot of the brands

that I come to are because I've

878

:

heard them in multiple places.

879

:

It's not the one place.

880

:

It's not the three.

881

:

It's like the five places.

882

:

And, and we had this debate at my

last company too, about attribution

883

:

and do we want first attribution?

884

:

I said, like, what does it matter?

885

:

Like.

886

:

And then like, well, wouldn't it

be good just to know all of the

887

:

places, these people, we touch

them from a marketing perspective

888

:

and how do we capture all of that?

889

:

And it's like, and yes, we spent a lot

of money and a lot of time on attribution

890

:

and probably could have just put into

our marketing budget and done more

891

:

Rand Fishkin: ads or, or right.

892

:

I mean, like, you know, analysts,

I think we had a team of basically

893

:

three analysts whose whole job was.

894

:

measure attribution, try and figure

out the funnel, try and figure out

895

:

what, what content was resonating,

what to nudge people towards, right?

896

:

Like, Hey, people who consume these

whiteboard Fridays, these blog posts,

897

:

these pieces of content, they are

more likely to become subscribers

898

:

and they subscribe for longer.

899

:

Their lifetime value is longer.

900

:

And that worked at the time because

we could look across A journey, a user

901

:

journey quite accurately and say, this

person absolutely touched all these

902

:

pieces of content across these places.

903

:

And here's how they came to us

for each of those journeys, right?

904

:

This is the source.

905

:

Dark social alone makes

that nearly impossible.

906

:

Search engines no longer tell you

which keywords someone searched for

907

:

when they came to your site, right?

908

:

So like the way, you know, Liam, you

and I could do SEO at a time when

909

:

Google would tell you which keywords

people arrived on your site with.

910

:

That was incredible.

911

:

Now that's gone.

912

:

You can pay for it, right?

913

:

You can, in paid search, you still

get, if you believe Google, then you,

914

:

you know, you're still getting those

numbers, those, that data point,

915

:

but it's, it's a different world.

916

:

Well,

917

:

Liam Martin: I mean,

you're, you're getting it.

918

:

You're not getting it.

919

:

You know, it's like if

you're running Facebook ads.

920

:

Then Facebook, that says that

you're responsible for every single

921

:

conversion on the face of the planet.

922

:

And then, Oh, look, and we're

running Google ads at the same time.

923

:

And they say they're responsible

for every single conversion

924

:

on the face of the planet.

925

:

So then it's like, well, who's right here?

926

:

Nobody at the end of the

day, it's really, yeah.

927

:

I think you need to take

like a community based.

928

:

Approach, which I think is kind

of connected to what you were

929

:

saying, Rand, which is which

community you want to talk to.

930

:

I mean, using Spark, using

your app is probably a really

931

:

good place to be able to start.

932

:

One of the things that I do, if you

don't have that, is find a subreddit.

933

:

Yes.

934

:

So if you find a subreddit

about a community.

935

:

That's your only subreddit and you

should go to it every single day.

936

:

If you're trying to understand

like, um, you know, retro video

937

:

games, and you're trying to build

an app for retro video games, go on

938

:

that subreddit and just be there.

939

:

Be the most influential

person that's on there.

940

:

Comment, communicate, just understand

as much as you possibly can.

941

:

I have an incredibly boring book here

that sits on my desk, and I'll cover

942

:

up the name of the person because

I just call it incredibly boring.

943

:

It's, um, it's about the

contact center industry.

944

:

So this is a, this is a market that I'm

approaching right now is the contact

945

:

center industry, which is a very, very

large market, tens of thousands of

946

:

employees that would need time tracking.

947

:

And I got to tell you.

948

:

I have read almost everything.

949

:

I mean, there's like 27 books

on this entire industry.

950

:

I've read all 27 books because I'm

trying to understand that market and

951

:

understand how they communicate, get

in love with that particular market.

952

:

There's so many people now.

953

:

They're just like, Oh, we're

just going to make money.

954

:

Well, you actually have to like your

customers, too, and I think that that's

955

:

a big part of it that not many, as I

said before, with my tattoo guy, right?

956

:

Like, he ended up actually getting

that tattoo and it looked quite nice.

957

:

But fundamentally, if you're not

passionate about the problem that

958

:

you're solving and you're not

passionate about the customers.

959

:

Tim Winkler: It's not going to work.

960

:

Yeah, you get burnout quick.

961

:

Yeah.

962

:

Ran, I was listening to a podcast that you

were on recently too, about just how much

963

:

digital marketing has just transformed

from, you know,:

964

:

when SEO and Google was, was everything.

965

:

But now Google's almost, you know, what

you were saying was like, it's where

966

:

you end your search for validation.

967

:

Now it starts on sites like YouTube and

Facebook and Instagram and tic tac for.

968

:

Your source of ideation where

information is discovered.

969

:

And so that transformation is just

radically different for an entrepreneur

970

:

starting a business in today versus

starting a business 10 years ago.

971

:

Rand Fishkin: And I

want to be clear, right?

972

:

Like it depends, you know,

the answer is in every niche.

973

:

This is why what Liam

said is so important.

974

:

If you get to know your customers

and you understand, oh, they start

975

:

their journeys on Reddit, oh, they

start their journeys on YouTube.

976

:

Oh, they start their journeys on.

977

:

You know, in video games, Twitch, they

start their journey wherever it is in.

978

:

I would not be surprised if the time

tracking B2B software industry still

979

:

starts their research on Google.

980

:

And that is one of the reasons why

it is so crucial that your business,

981

:

Liam's business ranks really

highly in Google as compared to.

982

:

Uh, something like SparkToro where

people essentially learn about audience

983

:

research mostly from podcasts and

YouTube videos and events and, uh, blog

984

:

posts and those kinds of things, right?

985

:

These sources of influence

and email newsletter.

986

:

A lot of email newsletters have

actually been very influential

987

:

for promoting SparkToro, helping

people, uh, become aware of us.

988

:

And so the types of the types of

marketing that you do will be dictated

989

:

by the channels and sources of influence

that your audience pays attention to.

990

:

And if you, you know, if you get

that wrong, fundamentally, you,

991

:

you can spend millions of dollars,

thousands of hours, tons of, you

992

:

know, consultants and contractors

and employee time firing arrows,

993

:

you know, at, at a bullseye that is.

994

:

That no one pays attention to, you know,

995

:

Tim Winkler: and when you're bootstrapping

or working without, you know, investment,

996

:

you know, it's so, so critical to

get it to get that right early on.

997

:

Um, you don't have the, you don't

have the, uh, freedom flexibility

998

:

to, to waste, you know, months

and years of getting it wrong.

999

:

Rand Fishkin: You know, yeah.

:

00:50:56,495 --> 00:50:59,735

A big part of a big part of venture

backed, uh, funding, you know, if you

:

00:50:59,735 --> 00:51:05,084

look at a lot of the consumer businesses,

uh, uh, we work or an Uber or an Airbnb.

:

00:51:05,515 --> 00:51:06,075

Right there.

:

00:51:06,585 --> 00:51:09,255

They used a ton of their venture

dollars to essentially just throw

:

00:51:09,255 --> 00:51:13,385

it every channel they could find

and see which ones performed.

:

00:51:13,785 --> 00:51:17,675

And if you have a stack of hundreds

of millions of dollars, you can

:

00:51:17,675 --> 00:51:20,715

afford to waste 10 million on

wrong channels every quarter.

:

00:51:20,795 --> 00:51:21,935

Right, right.

:

00:51:21,985 --> 00:51:23,225

But you know what?

:

00:51:23,905 --> 00:51:27,905

In fact, you can even afford to throw

those tens of millions of dollars that it.

:

00:51:28,295 --> 00:51:34,505

at channels that will pretend to take

credit for sales that would have happened

:

00:51:34,505 --> 00:51:39,225

anyway, which I think is a ton of

how digital advertising works, right?

:

00:51:39,225 --> 00:51:44,395

So there are many, I don't mean to say

that Google and Facebook and Instagram and

:

00:51:44,395 --> 00:51:50,165

Amazon, uh, that all advertising on those

places is useless, but a tremendous amount

:

00:51:50,165 --> 00:51:55,525

of the ad dollars that are spent there are

spent there because those ad platforms.

:

00:51:56,165 --> 00:52:00,295

are essentially, I'm not going to

say in the way, but they happen

:

00:52:00,305 --> 00:52:03,635

along the journey of a buyer.

:

00:52:05,465 --> 00:52:10,055

They don't influence the journey of the

buyer, but they happen along the way.

:

00:52:10,085 --> 00:52:13,815

And so those platforms can

take credit by saying this many

:

00:52:13,815 --> 00:52:17,825

people who eventually bought your

product, saw your ad on our site.

:

00:52:19,065 --> 00:52:23,125

And that is fundamentally different

from this advertisement on this site.

:

00:52:23,455 --> 00:52:27,685

influence this buyer who would not

have otherwise made this purchase?

:

00:52:29,475 --> 00:52:32,775

Because why work hard to make more sales

when you could just take credit for

:

00:52:32,775 --> 00:52:34,395

sales that were already going to happen?

:

00:52:37,835 --> 00:52:38,255

Liam, I'm

:

00:52:38,255 --> 00:52:39,085

Liam Martin: curious for you.

:

00:52:39,755 --> 00:52:41,265

Yeah, I have that issue too.

:

00:52:41,405 --> 00:52:44,215

But for us, because we're

bootstrapped, the fun thing about

:

00:52:44,215 --> 00:52:47,145

it is that we can actually pull all

that advertising for two months.

:

00:52:47,940 --> 00:52:50,710

So like we'll run experiments where

we're like, well, let's just shut it

:

00:52:50,720 --> 00:52:52,842

down for two months and see what happens.

:

00:52:52,842 --> 00:52:56,260

And then our paid acquisition

guy is like, you can't do that.

:

00:52:56,260 --> 00:52:58,020

This is 40 percent of our pipeline.

:

00:52:58,320 --> 00:52:59,100

We can't do that.

:

00:52:59,390 --> 00:52:59,900

Is it?

:

00:53:00,040 --> 00:53:00,970

I just did it.

:

00:53:01,090 --> 00:53:01,890

Let's find out.

:

00:53:01,890 --> 00:53:06,710

You know, and I'll, I'll get in

trouble if, you know, it's all on me.

:

00:53:06,710 --> 00:53:09,320

And then we see a 5 percent reduction.

:

00:53:09,715 --> 00:53:13,515

In our pipeline and

it's like, then it's 5%.

:

00:53:13,555 --> 00:53:17,655

So if I'm calculating it now, we're

almost, you know, we've got a 22 month

:

00:53:17,655 --> 00:53:18,965

buyback, not a six month buyback.

:

00:53:20,860 --> 00:53:22,250

Rand Fishkin: Very, very smart to do that.

:

00:53:22,250 --> 00:53:28,340

And so few people are willing to cut their

spend because growth is the goal rather

:

00:53:28,340 --> 00:53:30,310

than profitability or sustainability.

:

00:53:32,220 --> 00:53:32,490

Tim Winkler: Yeah.

:

00:53:32,490 --> 00:53:35,510

A couple of last things that I would

point out too, just because, you know,

:

00:53:35,510 --> 00:53:39,170

it's something from my background

anyways, I, I, my first business was

:

00:53:39,170 --> 00:53:43,170

an offshore recruiting company out

in Indonesia and kind of quickly.

:

00:53:43,575 --> 00:53:48,345

Realized, you know, obviously the, the

amount of money that could be saved if

:

00:53:48,345 --> 00:53:53,815

you find the right resources offshore

for some specific roles that, you know,

:

00:53:54,115 --> 00:53:59,055

aren't really needed in, in internal

stateside or, um, you know, this part

:

00:53:59,055 --> 00:54:03,945

of, uh, part of the world, uh, where

your cost is, is much more extravagant.

:

00:54:04,325 --> 00:54:09,545

Um, what, what if any did, did you

all do in terms of getting resourceful

:

00:54:09,555 --> 00:54:15,500

for Uh, manpower, uh, from, uh,

hiring offshore to consultants,

:

00:54:15,750 --> 00:54:19,370

freelancers, you know, those are always

interesting stories to hear as well.

:

00:54:20,130 --> 00:54:20,660

Yeah,

:

00:54:21,250 --> 00:54:22,090

Liam Martin: I've got two.

:

00:54:22,310 --> 00:54:25,770

So we operate in 48 different

countries right now and.

:

00:54:26,435 --> 00:54:27,265

We do that.

:

00:54:27,355 --> 00:54:31,435

We generally issue a

salary band for a position.

:

00:54:31,745 --> 00:54:35,775

So let's say I want to hire

an engineer for 70, 000 us.

:

00:54:35,775 --> 00:54:39,135

As an example, you probably won't be

able to get someone in San Francisco,

:

00:54:39,175 --> 00:54:40,785

but I might get someone in Canada.

:

00:54:40,835 --> 00:54:44,625

I might get someone in, um, Ukraine.

:

00:54:44,685 --> 00:54:46,235

I might get someone in Romania.

:

00:54:46,235 --> 00:54:51,030

So we just set the bands and then we

have basically find the best person As

:

00:54:51,030 --> 00:54:55,590

it connects to that band, and that's

a major cost saver for us generally.

:

00:54:55,650 --> 00:54:59,740

And then what I love to do with

consultants and for consultants that

:

00:54:59,740 --> 00:55:01,270

are listening right now, I apologize.

:

00:55:01,330 --> 00:55:02,590

I've probably done this to you before.

:

00:55:03,480 --> 00:55:05,300

I call it hot tubbing.

:

00:55:05,720 --> 00:55:07,220

So I hot tub all the consultants.

:

00:55:07,390 --> 00:55:10,030

So what I'll do is I'll say, listen,

I love what you guys are doing.

:

00:55:11,040 --> 00:55:13,780

Could I, could I get like

four hours of your time?

:

00:55:13,840 --> 00:55:17,910

Like what's the minimum amount that I

need to pay to be able to get you to

:

00:55:17,910 --> 00:55:19,570

just kind of tell me what's going on.

:

00:55:20,355 --> 00:55:24,805

And maybe, you know, the full package is

100, 000 and we can start with 5, 000.

:

00:55:26,245 --> 00:55:31,485

So I do that with like eight

consultants and then I see them all

:

00:55:31,485 --> 00:55:34,955

in on the same email saying, hey,

you guys all wrote these reports.

:

00:55:36,785 --> 00:55:38,555

looks like there's a lot of

differences between them.

:

00:55:39,095 --> 00:55:41,225

Can you tell me which ones are true?

:

00:55:41,795 --> 00:55:43,705

And they'll do all the work for free.

:

00:55:44,005 --> 00:55:44,885

It's hot tubbing them.

:

00:55:44,885 --> 00:55:48,715

It's all putting them in on the same

project saying, I actually bought a little

:

00:55:48,715 --> 00:55:50,185

bit of consulting from all of you guys.

:

00:55:50,215 --> 00:55:53,975

And you're all giving me different

information and their ego feeds them

:

00:55:54,005 --> 00:55:58,375

into really doing the rest of that work

without me actually having to pay them.

:

00:55:58,445 --> 00:55:59,615

And it's worked multiple times.

:

00:55:59,735 --> 00:56:02,085

I've done it for SEO quite a few times.

:

00:56:02,125 --> 00:56:05,235

Cause there's a lot of SEO gurus that

will say like, I know what to do.

:

00:56:06,335 --> 00:56:10,215

Probably have five or six emails

in your inbox today about those

:

00:56:10,215 --> 00:56:13,275

people, but you know, you can,

you can hire them for relatively

:

00:56:13,545 --> 00:56:14,795

little to even do an assessment.

:

00:56:15,235 --> 00:56:17,865

And then, um, and then just

introduce some of the other people

:

00:56:17,865 --> 00:56:19,557

that you did the assessment with.

:

00:56:19,557 --> 00:56:19,894

Yeah,

:

00:56:21,075 --> 00:56:21,175

Rand Fishkin: fascinating.

:

00:56:21,545 --> 00:56:25,405

Uh, I, I haven't heard of this hot

tubbing concept before, but I do

:

00:56:25,785 --> 00:56:29,635

whenever I recommend SEO or marketing

people to folks in my network, which,

:

00:56:29,645 --> 00:56:31,005

which I get asked all the time.

:

00:56:31,295 --> 00:56:36,215

My suggestion is always like, Hey, do

your introductory call with 4 or 5 people.

:

00:56:36,785 --> 00:56:40,235

Explain that your problem have

them explain their solution

:

00:56:40,235 --> 00:56:41,335

and why it's going to work.

:

00:56:41,905 --> 00:56:44,145

Pick the person who who

gels with you, right?

:

00:56:44,145 --> 00:56:45,855

Whose responses resonate with you.

:

00:56:46,255 --> 00:56:48,925

And, you know, I don't

think necessarily that that.

:

00:56:49,495 --> 00:56:59,365

Whatever the consultant who is is the

most correct one needs to do the work to

:

00:56:59,385 --> 00:57:04,915

prove that, you know, sort of unpaid to

the client like that, you know, whatever.

:

00:57:04,915 --> 00:57:07,645

I can imagine lots of scenarios

where the consultant who was

:

00:57:07,905 --> 00:57:09,125

connected in would be like.

:

00:57:09,470 --> 00:57:12,010

I don't think I need to spend

extra time on this, you know,

:

00:57:12,010 --> 00:57:13,070

trying to win Liam's business.

:

00:57:13,690 --> 00:57:16,330

I'm sure that many will

spend and obviously have.

:

00:57:16,400 --> 00:57:21,500

Um, but I think there's so much value

in having multiple conversations

:

00:57:21,560 --> 00:57:22,880

and I do the same thing, right?

:

00:57:22,880 --> 00:57:29,300

So we, um, SparkToro, uh, Moz

was very anti consultant and

:

00:57:29,300 --> 00:57:30,750

contractor, unfortunately.

:

00:57:31,300 --> 00:57:37,310

Um, And I hold, I hold myself partially

responsible for that because I essentially

:

00:57:37,810 --> 00:57:42,220

listen to my board of directors and

my executive team who was like, hey,

:

00:57:42,890 --> 00:57:47,920

you know, consultants, contractors,

agencies, you know, that's the devil.

:

00:57:47,920 --> 00:57:48,770

You shouldn't use them.

:

00:57:49,320 --> 00:57:52,340

Um, you know, you got to

build expertise in house.

:

00:57:53,455 --> 00:57:56,295

That's what makes your

company valuable, et cetera.

:

00:57:56,325 --> 00:57:57,635

So I listened to that.

:

00:57:57,635 --> 00:57:59,955

I probably, I should not

have a spark Toro though.

:

00:57:59,955 --> 00:58:03,715

We use consults and agencies

for everything, everything,

:

00:58:03,715 --> 00:58:05,255

everything, everything designed.

:

00:58:07,485 --> 00:58:07,945

I have

:

00:58:08,105 --> 00:58:10,865

Liam Martin: with agencies, I'll

usually bring them a deal saying

:

00:58:10,865 --> 00:58:14,555

like, let's say it's an agency

for paid acquisition and I'll say.

:

00:58:14,945 --> 00:58:15,785

Here's the deal.

:

00:58:15,905 --> 00:58:19,345

You guys will work really hard the first

three months, and then you'll send me to

:

00:58:19,345 --> 00:58:23,565

some junior guy after that, and I won't

get the same results, but because we've

:

00:58:23,565 --> 00:58:26,435

already opted in on those first three

months, and I was happy, maybe you'll

:

00:58:26,435 --> 00:58:30,365

get an extra two or three months from

me, and then I'll end up letting you go.

:

00:58:30,875 --> 00:58:34,985

What I would like to do instead

is, why don't I pay you double?

:

00:58:35,580 --> 00:58:40,920

Whatever your fee is now and the goal

is to be able to take my internal team

:

00:58:41,130 --> 00:58:47,410

and get them operational to the point in

which we can do that handoff and I can

:

00:58:47,530 --> 00:58:49,140

move them to an internal perspective.

:

00:58:49,570 --> 00:58:51,820

Because then it's just

straight up from the get go.

:

00:58:51,820 --> 00:58:55,284

Like, this is the purpose of this

activity is to be able to take.

:

00:58:55,445 --> 00:58:58,755

What that agency knows, transfer

it internally into my team.

:

00:58:59,005 --> 00:59:03,315

And I'm very happy to pay you whatever

above the market rate is, right?

:

00:59:03,315 --> 00:59:06,685

If, if the average company stays with

you for six months, let's pay you

:

00:59:06,685 --> 00:59:07,845

for seven, I'll pay you up front.

:

00:59:08,045 --> 00:59:10,155

And let's just actually

execute on that strategy.

:

00:59:10,625 --> 00:59:14,315

Cause then it's just a lot clearer

because these difficult conversations,

:

00:59:14,365 --> 00:59:20,775

I find it's just this, this trend of,

it's really great at the beginning.

:

00:59:21,125 --> 00:59:21,815

And then.

:

00:59:22,155 --> 00:59:25,125

I get handed off to their B team

because it's already a contract that's

:

00:59:25,125 --> 00:59:28,235

up and running and it's just, it's

incredibly frustrating for everyone all

:

00:59:28,235 --> 00:59:28,515

Rand Fishkin: around.

:

00:59:29,475 --> 00:59:32,605

Uh, so there's a number of agencies

I know in digital marketing world

:

00:59:32,605 --> 00:59:34,455

who specialize in doing exactly that.

:

00:59:34,525 --> 00:59:36,235

Their engagements are

literally structured.

:

00:59:37,255 --> 00:59:40,825

1 of 2 ways we can manage the whole

thing for you or we'll train your

:

00:59:40,825 --> 00:59:42,285

internal team to do what we do.

:

00:59:42,915 --> 00:59:43,505

We'll set it up.

:

00:59:43,545 --> 00:59:44,405

We'll work with your team.

:

00:59:44,635 --> 00:59:45,715

We hand it off in 3 months.

:

00:59:46,825 --> 00:59:47,655

Then you go run with it.

:

00:59:47,665 --> 00:59:48,945

You come back to us if you need us.

:

00:59:49,435 --> 00:59:49,595

Right.

:

00:59:49,595 --> 00:59:52,615

And I actually, I think that's

a great model to, um, trying

:

00:59:52,615 --> 00:59:53,375

to remember who's there.

:

00:59:53,375 --> 00:59:56,405

There's a Canadian woman whose

agency is all based around that.

:

00:59:56,405 --> 00:59:57,075

Dana D.

:

00:59:57,075 --> 00:59:57,565

Tomaso.

:

00:59:57,575 --> 00:59:59,445

Her agency is just exactly that.

:

01:00:01,475 --> 01:00:01,985

I'll plug an

:

01:00:01,985 --> 01:00:05,555

Tim Winkler: agency that that

we've found extremely valuable,

:

01:00:05,615 --> 01:00:07,395

uh, in terms of identifying.

:

01:00:07,595 --> 01:00:11,455

You know, offshore resources to

help us out for, for skill sets like

:

01:00:11,465 --> 01:00:16,765

SDR or, you know, uh, coordinators,

back office operations, types

:

01:00:16,765 --> 01:00:18,415

of, uh, types of skill sets.

:

01:00:18,415 --> 01:00:19,245

It's called shepherd.

:

01:00:19,855 --> 01:00:23,445

And so it's almost like a

staffing agency for offshore.

:

01:00:23,755 --> 01:00:27,405

And, you know, one of the biggest

challenges I think folks face when they're

:

01:00:27,435 --> 01:00:29,245

looking to engage in offshore resources.

:

01:00:29,575 --> 01:00:30,535

Where do I begin?

:

01:00:30,545 --> 01:00:32,675

You know, how do I sift

through the talent?

:

01:00:32,675 --> 01:00:33,775

It's, it's overwhelming.

:

01:00:34,105 --> 01:00:35,625

They do all of that for you.

:

01:00:35,625 --> 01:00:39,055

You know, you pay a finder's

fee, you pay a 25, 30 percent

:

01:00:39,115 --> 01:00:41,045

of that individual's salary.

:

01:00:41,045 --> 01:00:44,155

But you know, when you're, when you're,

you're, you're talking about some of

:

01:00:44,155 --> 01:00:47,615

these, some of these compensations and

areas of like the Philippines, it's,

:

01:00:48,105 --> 01:00:52,145

it's well worth that investment to get

a pre vetted resource and it's also

:

01:00:52,145 --> 01:00:53,825

creating opportunities for them as well.

:

01:00:54,225 --> 01:00:58,155

And I've always approached it with

the intent of like, I treat them

:

01:00:58,155 --> 01:00:59,445

like they're a part of the team.

:

01:00:59,445 --> 01:01:02,225

I treat them like they're an,

like they're an employee per se.

:

01:01:02,795 --> 01:01:06,285

Uh, bring them into the, you know,

any virtual events or, and make

:

01:01:06,285 --> 01:01:07,525

them feel part of that culture.

:

01:01:07,525 --> 01:01:10,985

Because the reality is that when you

find a good one, you know, you don't

:

01:01:10,985 --> 01:01:12,905

want to let those individuals go.

:

01:01:12,905 --> 01:01:14,595

And it's so hard to find those good folks.

:

01:01:14,625 --> 01:01:17,905

So, so I've, I've had great

success with, with Shepherd.

:

01:01:17,955 --> 01:01:21,965

Um, something that I heard from like

a, like it was my first million podcast

:

01:01:21,975 --> 01:01:26,985

and, uh, you know, uh, I bought in

and, and had great, great experience.

:

01:01:27,135 --> 01:01:29,055

Um, but they do a lot of

offshore talent between, uh,

:

01:01:29,325 --> 01:01:30,715

Philippines and South America.

:

01:01:31,285 --> 01:01:31,845

Um,

:

01:01:32,715 --> 01:01:34,715

Rand Fishkin: actually,

like, uh, Oh, sorry.

:

01:01:34,915 --> 01:01:35,305

Oh, go ahead.

:

01:01:36,105 --> 01:01:40,585

No, I was going to say that I love,

um, we've used several consultants for

:

01:01:41,125 --> 01:01:45,875

essentially product development research,

and, uh, I don't know if you guys have

:

01:01:45,875 --> 01:01:50,985

experienced this, but Casey, my co founder

likes to say, you know, Rand, if you get

:

01:01:50,985 --> 01:01:54,615

on the phone with one of our customers,

they will love everything you show them.

:

01:01:55,510 --> 01:01:59,100

It was like, your problem is you're

quite charismatic and you have

:

01:01:59,100 --> 01:02:00,630

a personal brand in the space.

:

01:02:00,700 --> 01:02:04,660

And so people want to make

you happy on the call, right?

:

01:02:04,760 --> 01:02:08,830

So you're not allowed to do any more

product research, user research calls.

:

01:02:10,190 --> 01:02:11,670

You have to outsource it.

:

01:02:11,670 --> 01:02:11,960

Right.

:

01:02:11,980 --> 01:02:12,820

And he's right.

:

01:02:12,830 --> 01:02:13,680

Like he's absolutely right.

:

01:02:13,680 --> 01:02:14,200

So when.

:

01:02:14,590 --> 01:02:19,170

Uh, we hired like Asia from, uh,

demand maven and she jumps on these

:

01:02:19,270 --> 01:02:20,720

calls and she records them, right?

:

01:02:20,720 --> 01:02:25,450

So we can watch the call that she has and

it's, she has this ability to do a thing

:

01:02:25,450 --> 01:02:30,660

that I cannot do, which is she will ask

a question, you know, about like, Oh, how

:

01:02:30,660 --> 01:02:31,930

do you, how do you find this valuable?

:

01:02:32,000 --> 01:02:33,000

The person will answer.

:

01:02:33,000 --> 01:02:34,220

Their answer will end.

:

01:02:35,285 --> 01:02:38,225

She'll sit there and wait for

them to say more about it.

:

01:02:38,795 --> 01:02:38,975

Wow.

:

01:02:39,395 --> 01:02:39,485

Mm-Hmm.

:

01:02:39,485 --> 01:02:40,535

And I can't do it.

:

01:02:40,535 --> 01:02:41,375

I'm so

:

01:02:41,380 --> 01:02:41,560

Liam Martin: awkward.

:

01:02:41,580 --> 01:02:42,200

I'm like, awkward

:

01:02:42,200 --> 01:02:42,725

Rand Fishkin: people, awkward pleaser.

:

01:02:42,725 --> 01:02:43,985

I have to fill the space.

:

01:02:44,195 --> 01:02:44,525

Right.

:

01:02:45,365 --> 01:02:49,145

So , which I suppose, you know, sort

of makes me a good podcast guest,

:

01:02:49,145 --> 01:02:51,275

but a terrible user experience.

:

01:02:51,935 --> 01:02:52,115

Sure.

:

01:02:53,500 --> 01:02:56,135

Liam Martin: So I, I've

had a small change to that.

:

01:02:56,195 --> 01:03:00,755

I do do a lot of product meetings

and feature meetings, but what I do

:

01:03:00,935 --> 01:03:03,935

is I always correlate it back to.

:

01:03:04,590 --> 01:03:06,350

Putting money in the company's pocket.

:

01:03:06,980 --> 01:03:08,500

So I'll show them a feature.

:

01:03:08,500 --> 01:03:09,448

What do you think about this feature?

:

01:03:09,448 --> 01:03:09,970

Ah, it's great.

:

01:03:10,260 --> 01:03:10,510

It's great.

:

01:03:10,510 --> 01:03:10,700

Liam.

:

01:03:10,700 --> 01:03:11,080

I love it.

:

01:03:11,300 --> 01:03:11,980

This is amazing.

:

01:03:12,300 --> 01:03:13,380

It's going to completely

change our business.

:

01:03:14,330 --> 01:03:14,920

Amazing.

:

01:03:14,960 --> 01:03:18,010

I see you're on the basic plan and

this is only a premium feature.

:

01:03:18,210 --> 01:03:21,010

Would you like to switch and shut up?

:

01:03:22,500 --> 01:03:23,930

Wait for that awkward pause.

:

01:03:25,580 --> 01:03:28,480

Well, I don't know.

:

01:03:29,250 --> 01:03:34,680

And then the real reasons come out as to

why they're not going to pay more for it.

:

01:03:35,060 --> 01:03:38,500

And that is an incredibly painful process.

:

01:03:38,500 --> 01:03:43,100

I still, to this day,

fill that empty void.

:

01:03:43,260 --> 01:03:47,420

I, I, I learned this from a, a

very smart salesperson that I

:

01:03:47,420 --> 01:03:48,750

used to go out in the field with.

:

01:03:49,260 --> 01:03:52,930

And, um, this guy was in like his

fifties and he was our VP of sales

:

01:03:52,930 --> 01:03:53,870

for about two and a half years.

:

01:03:53,870 --> 01:03:58,350

And And we would sit on the same side of

the table and I was the super enthusiastic

:

01:03:58,360 --> 01:04:01,430

guy that would like give the demo of

the features and all this kind of stuff.

:

01:04:01,430 --> 01:04:03,950

And then he would say, so

what do you guys think?

:

01:04:05,010 --> 01:04:05,590

Oh, it's great.

:

01:04:06,160 --> 01:04:07,000

How many do you want to buy?

:

01:04:08,070 --> 01:04:09,110

And then shut up.

:

01:04:10,420 --> 01:04:12,670

And sometimes I would say something.

:

01:04:13,070 --> 01:04:15,490

And I remember once we were

on the same side of the table

:

01:04:15,540 --> 01:04:16,790

and he kicked me in the shin.

:

01:04:18,350 --> 01:04:19,980

He was like, shut up.

:

01:04:20,340 --> 01:04:21,580

Don't say anything.

:

01:04:21,640 --> 01:04:23,350

We need to know whether

they want to buy it.

:

01:04:23,390 --> 01:04:24,930

And we need to identify.

:

01:04:24,930 --> 01:04:24,990

Okay.

:

01:04:25,630 --> 01:04:30,180

We need to identify as quickly as possible

the noes so that you can move on to the

:

01:04:30,180 --> 01:04:33,310

yeses because this is long sales process.

:

01:04:33,380 --> 01:04:38,390

These are like, you know, 100, 000 a

year plus contracts and you really need

:

01:04:38,390 --> 01:04:40,160

to figure out is there something there?

:

01:04:40,220 --> 01:04:41,190

Is there a there there?

:

01:04:41,190 --> 01:04:43,110

And if there isn't just one Boston

:

01:04:43,130 --> 01:04:45,430

Rand Fishkin: into the next,

so this is so fascinating.

:

01:04:45,430 --> 01:04:48,580

I think that part of the big

difference is that my suspicion is.

:

01:04:49,170 --> 01:04:53,410

You are talking to people who

are responsible for buying and

:

01:04:53,420 --> 01:04:55,480

using the product simultaneously.

:

01:04:56,820 --> 01:04:56,910

Yep.

:

01:04:57,670 --> 01:04:58,180

Most of the time.

:

01:04:58,180 --> 01:05:00,690

I'm not talking to, let's see.

:

01:05:00,730 --> 01:05:07,680

I am often, if almost always, uh, the

people that we do the product research

:

01:05:07,680 --> 01:05:11,220

with are almost never the people

responsible for making the purchase.

:

01:05:12,640 --> 01:05:13,360

Interesting.

:

01:05:13,870 --> 01:05:14,210

Right.

:

01:05:14,310 --> 01:05:15,830

So they're the, they're the users.

:

01:05:15,840 --> 01:05:19,940

They're like a consultant inside

an agency, their manager, the

:

01:05:19,940 --> 01:05:23,170

agency owner who decides, are

we going to buy this product?

:

01:05:23,720 --> 01:05:25,560

So if you were to say,

do you want to buy it?

:

01:05:25,560 --> 01:05:27,230

They'd be like, hell

yeah, I want to buy it.

:

01:05:27,270 --> 01:05:29,380

I have no idea if I'll be able to, right?

:

01:05:30,385 --> 01:05:30,695

Right.

:

01:05:30,705 --> 01:05:33,845

Liam Martin: So they can't

say yes, but they can say no.

:

01:05:34,904 --> 01:05:38,715

And those are the people that you, so

those are the people that I have to

:

01:05:38,715 --> 01:05:40,245

stay away from, like the plague, right?

:

01:05:40,245 --> 01:05:44,685

Like those are the people, if you

can't say yes, then, and again,

:

01:05:45,185 --> 01:05:46,425

that old sales guy is like.

:

01:05:46,750 --> 01:05:47,640

Ringing in my ears.

:

01:05:47,930 --> 01:05:50,210

If they can't say yes,

then don't talk to them.

:

01:05:50,790 --> 01:05:51,200

And

:

01:05:51,200 --> 01:05:54,590

Rand Fishkin: yeah, it's the

difference between sort of, uh,

:

01:05:54,670 --> 01:05:58,779

marketing, which is what almost all,

you know, I have no salespeople.

:

01:05:58,779 --> 01:05:59,820

We don't do any sales.

:

01:06:00,160 --> 01:06:03,279

If you ask us for a sales call,

which sometimes people do, we're

:

01:06:03,279 --> 01:06:04,930

like, no, I will not get on that.

:

01:06:04,930 --> 01:06:07,860

I won't say even if you're the

personal say, yes, I'm not going to.

:

01:06:08,245 --> 01:06:09,815

I don't spend time with it, right?

:

01:06:09,825 --> 01:06:13,815

Like I'm not going to do that, but

we do lots of marketing to get people

:

01:06:13,815 --> 01:06:17,805

who are interested and then they self

service by so really different, you

:

01:06:17,805 --> 01:06:21,465

know, philosophically, but I, I see

the value in what you're talking about.

:

01:06:21,475 --> 01:06:21,775

It's kind of, yeah.

:

01:06:22,635 --> 01:06:22,985

Liam Martin: Okay.

:

01:06:22,985 --> 01:06:26,575

And just one other question, kind

of connected to that, um, self

:

01:06:26,575 --> 01:06:30,475

serve versus sales led or like

product led versus sales led.

:

01:06:31,045 --> 01:06:35,215

So we do both and it's been really

interesting over the last five years.

:

01:06:35,635 --> 01:06:37,925

We've had a transition from.

:

01:06:38,490 --> 01:06:40,410

Um, we had no sales people five years ago.

:

01:06:40,710 --> 01:06:46,630

Now we have 20 ish AEs and

I think another 20 SDRs like

:

01:06:46,670 --> 01:06:48,880

we've got a sales team, right?

:

01:06:49,060 --> 01:06:52,800

And they're approaching a much higher

level customer than we were before.

:

01:06:54,020 --> 01:06:58,440

Do you think, and there's, um,

there's a couple other people that

:

01:06:58,480 --> 01:06:59,950

I've spoken to on this subject.

:

01:07:00,120 --> 01:07:04,779

I don't know whether or not this is even

in the context of this podcast, but.

:

01:07:05,950 --> 01:07:09,470

It looks like there's more and

more PLG that's entering the

:

01:07:09,470 --> 01:07:11,390

market as opposed to sales led.

:

01:07:11,430 --> 01:07:14,840

Like it seems to me like sales

led is contracting and PLG is

:

01:07:14,840 --> 01:07:16,770

expanding to your point, right?

:

01:07:16,779 --> 01:07:20,340

You don't have a sales team and

you've started and SparkToro

:

01:07:20,720 --> 01:07:21,770

is how many years old?

:

01:07:21,810 --> 01:07:22,410

I don't know.

:

01:07:22,410 --> 01:07:25,620

But you know, it's like you

started from that point forward.

:

01:07:26,190 --> 01:07:31,930

Um, I'm wondering if we're also

seeing kind of the compression or the,

:

01:07:32,080 --> 01:07:35,400

the reduction of a sales led model.

:

01:07:35,765 --> 01:07:38,755

Leading to more of a PLG

model as we're moving forward.

:

01:07:38,755 --> 01:07:40,975

But that's kind of my own, my gut feel.

:

01:07:40,975 --> 01:07:44,815

And it's funny because we're going

the opposite direction and my bias

:

01:07:44,815 --> 01:07:47,475

is towards PLG, not sales led.

:

01:07:47,475 --> 01:07:48,485

I don't know much about it.

:

01:07:48,535 --> 01:07:50,915

I there's other people that

we've hired to be able to handle

:

01:07:50,915 --> 01:07:51,645

that side of the business.

:

01:07:52,505 --> 01:07:52,865

Rand Fishkin: Yeah, man.

:

01:07:52,925 --> 01:07:55,654

No, I think, uh, I think you're

absolutely right at the macro level.

:

01:07:55,654 --> 01:08:00,795

And I do wonder if it's creating

opportunity for sales organizations to

:

01:08:00,845 --> 01:08:04,805

succeed in spaces that are exclusively

product led, because I think there's two

:

01:08:04,805 --> 01:08:09,035

different sort of kinds of people out

there, even in the same space, there's

:

01:08:09,045 --> 01:08:14,005

people who in audience research software,

there are people who will happily.

:

01:08:14,565 --> 01:08:18,555

Be thrilled to pay brand watch

30, 000 a year for something that

:

01:08:18,555 --> 01:08:22,154

they could self service get from

SparkToro for a hundred bucks a month.

:

01:08:24,645 --> 01:08:26,805

But they want that sales experience.

:

01:08:26,805 --> 01:08:28,935

They want that person that

they can email all the time.

:

01:08:28,935 --> 01:08:29,825

They want the support.

:

01:08:29,825 --> 01:08:31,814

They want to feel like they're

part of the organization.

:

01:08:32,095 --> 01:08:33,465

They're at a company that.

:

01:08:33,850 --> 01:08:34,890

You know, works that way.

:

01:08:34,890 --> 01:08:38,460

They have to jump through security

audits and da, da, da, da, da.

:

01:08:38,470 --> 01:08:41,050

And brand watch is happy to

do all those things, right?

:

01:08:41,950 --> 01:08:43,930

And if they go to spark toro in

the email us, and they say, hey,

:

01:08:43,930 --> 01:08:45,319

can you do a demo for my team?

:

01:08:45,830 --> 01:08:47,250

We will say, sorry.

:

01:08:48,220 --> 01:08:48,460

Right?

:

01:08:48,700 --> 01:08:49,229

Here's a video.

:

01:08:49,910 --> 01:08:50,770

Um, and I.

:

01:08:51,154 --> 01:08:55,165

I suspect there's a lot of opportunity

that will be emerging there's

:

01:08:55,215 --> 01:08:58,154

there always is right anytime

there's a trend in one direction.

:

01:08:58,615 --> 01:09:03,165

There's opportunity in the

in the opposite 1 yeah, I

:

01:09:03,165 --> 01:09:06,085

Tim Winkler: really like the,

the, the idea of the, the

:

01:09:06,095 --> 01:09:08,535

community, uh, base growth as well.

:

01:09:08,535 --> 01:09:13,194

Something that we did, uh, with hatch

right around when the pandemic hit was.

:

01:09:13,770 --> 01:09:16,380

You know, we, we, we run a

recruiting company, right?

:

01:09:16,380 --> 01:09:19,609

So we're selling recruiting services

at a time when nobody was, was hiring.

:

01:09:20,200 --> 01:09:25,109

Um, so we had built such a, a

network of both technologists

:

01:09:25,370 --> 01:09:28,809

and cool, you know, founders,

technology leaders from startups.

:

01:09:29,460 --> 01:09:31,559

So we launched a community

site called hatchpad.

:

01:09:31,970 --> 01:09:36,309

And, uh, what we decided to

do was create value through.

:

01:09:36,899 --> 01:09:41,059

PR and marketing, um, little

micro landing pages to showcase

:

01:09:41,080 --> 01:09:43,420

the tech culture of the companies

that you're, that you're building.

:

01:09:43,420 --> 01:09:43,660

Right.

:

01:09:43,859 --> 01:09:47,390

And at a time when they were hiring fully

remote, nobody was going into the office.

:

01:09:47,819 --> 01:09:50,550

We were like, Hey, you know, we'll do

as a little one on one video with the

:

01:09:50,550 --> 01:09:55,800

CTO and kind of let them show, you know,

their, their true self on, on camera.

:

01:09:56,020 --> 01:09:58,280

And then we'll put that and bake

that into your little micro page.

:

01:09:58,710 --> 01:10:01,710

We're not going to charge you anything

for this as a way of adding value for,

:

01:10:01,750 --> 01:10:04,000

you know, the technologists that are

out there exploring opportunities.

:

01:10:04,470 --> 01:10:07,840

And so what we ended up doing

was it gave us an outlet to have

:

01:10:07,850 --> 01:10:12,320

conversations with people and

then add value first at no cost.

:

01:10:12,730 --> 01:10:16,510

And then just build awareness for what

we're doing for later on down the line.

:

01:10:16,780 --> 01:10:20,830

And so what I, what I wish I had

known this earlier on and in my,

:

01:10:20,870 --> 01:10:22,730

my career would be, you know.

:

01:10:23,160 --> 01:10:25,809

For those founders that are out

there just trying to, you know, hit

:

01:10:25,840 --> 01:10:28,450

the pound the payment from a sales

perspective, and they're getting a lot

:

01:10:28,450 --> 01:10:31,460

of rejection, which you're going to

get, what is it something that, what

:

01:10:31,460 --> 01:10:35,750

is something that you can add as value

to the, to, to your target customer?

:

01:10:36,070 --> 01:10:41,540

That's maybe, you know, complimentary

and do it because the, the, the payoff

:

01:10:41,550 --> 01:10:44,090

for that down the line, yeah, it

might be a little bit of your time.

:

01:10:44,230 --> 01:10:47,720

The payoff for that down the line

will be building trust and building

:

01:10:47,720 --> 01:10:50,010

a network of folks that are going

to say, I remember what that person

:

01:10:50,010 --> 01:10:51,790

did for me, you know, two years ago.

:

01:10:52,020 --> 01:10:53,680

Uh, I'll, I'll buy from you now.

:

01:10:53,680 --> 01:10:54,540

What are you, what are you selling?

:

01:10:54,540 --> 01:10:58,760

And, and that's something that it

took me a long time to, to, to learn.

:

01:10:58,760 --> 01:11:01,309

And obviously, you know, it depends

on what your size of your team is, if

:

01:11:01,309 --> 01:11:04,850

you're front and payroll and everything,

but if you're scrappy and you're lean.

:

01:11:05,460 --> 01:11:08,620

You know what it is that you're doing

if it's a product or service figure

:

01:11:08,620 --> 01:11:13,180

out what what you can do that's

fairly quick and and not much of a

:

01:11:13,180 --> 01:11:15,740

cost and do it complimentary to build

:

01:11:15,740 --> 01:11:16,030

Rand Fishkin: trust.

:

01:11:17,270 --> 01:11:22,260

No, I mean, I love like we so

spark Toro's product led growth

:

01:11:22,830 --> 01:11:25,360

happens almost exclusively through.

:

01:11:25,885 --> 01:11:27,745

Uh, the free version

of the product, right?

:

01:11:27,765 --> 01:11:29,425

So we have a forever free plan.

:

01:11:29,425 --> 01:11:30,575

There's no free trial.

:

01:11:31,735 --> 01:11:35,105

Few hundred people every day come

to SparkToro's website, right?

:

01:11:35,105 --> 01:11:38,765

They hear about us on whatever podcast

or YouTube videos, or people write about

:

01:11:38,765 --> 01:11:42,045

it, or they screw someone screenshots, a

result shows it in a meeting, whatever.

:

01:11:42,045 --> 01:11:42,995

And they're like, Oh, what is that?

:

01:11:42,995 --> 01:11:43,535

I want to see that.

:

01:11:44,434 --> 01:11:48,845

And they come to the site and they, they

put in their email address and sign up.

:

01:11:49,340 --> 01:11:53,340

And, and now they're part of our, you

know, roughly part of our community.

:

01:11:53,340 --> 01:11:59,480

And so we have this 150, 000

people in sort of our world, uh,

:

01:11:59,520 --> 01:12:03,180

who are at least roughly aware of

and paying attention to SparkToro.

:

01:12:03,910 --> 01:12:06,510

They come back and try the

product occasionally, right?

:

01:12:06,510 --> 01:12:07,640

They use the free plan.

:

01:12:08,070 --> 01:12:14,785

Um, and that's essentially the, the

way that We think working on that

:

01:12:15,105 --> 01:12:21,175

thing will have more ROI than anything

else we can do in the business,

:

01:12:21,175 --> 01:12:27,005

essentially making the product better

for both free users and paid users.

:

01:12:27,585 --> 01:12:29,945

Um, and the transition

between that, right?

:

01:12:29,945 --> 01:12:32,915

The, the things that you get for

free that make you want to come

:

01:12:32,915 --> 01:12:36,615

back again and again, and the

gate between what's free and paid.

:

01:12:37,195 --> 01:12:38,455

That makes you want to upgrade.

:

01:12:39,115 --> 01:12:41,995

We think that's essentially the

core of the business and keeping

:

01:12:41,995 --> 01:12:43,775

it simple like that, right?

:

01:12:43,985 --> 01:12:46,265

Especially for a small

team, like you mentioned.

:

01:12:47,275 --> 01:12:51,434

You know, there's three of us, you

know, we're not, we don't have 20

:

01:12:51,434 --> 01:12:54,955

people in a, in a sales organization

and we don't, we have no aspirations.

:

01:12:54,955 --> 01:12:58,195

Like I never, Casey and I never want to

run a company of more than a dozen people.

:

01:12:58,895 --> 01:13:03,775

So that's our kind of, you

know, strict limit longterm, it

:

01:13:04,315 --> 01:13:05,985

Tim Winkler: gets a little more

stressful the bigger you get.

:

01:13:05,985 --> 01:13:06,385

Isn't it?

:

01:13:07,335 --> 01:13:07,535

Rand Fishkin: Yeah.

:

01:13:07,535 --> 01:13:08,915

And it's just not something, you know, I.

:

01:13:09,705 --> 01:13:12,945

We, we plan to use lots of consultants

and agencies like we talked about.

:

01:13:13,075 --> 01:13:13,315

Yeah.

:

01:13:13,335 --> 01:13:18,275

We plan to serve hundreds of thousands of

customers, um, and build, you know, build

:

01:13:18,275 --> 01:13:25,755

an exciting business, but not, not in the

same, like, you know, um, people driven.

:

01:13:25,995 --> 01:13:26,295

Sure.

:

01:13:26,635 --> 01:13:27,165

Size way.

:

01:13:27,205 --> 01:13:27,434

Right.

:

01:13:28,995 --> 01:13:32,195

Tim Winkler: Get much more creative,

um, with, with running lean.

:

01:13:32,355 --> 01:13:34,595

Uh, so, so let's, uh,

:

01:13:35,035 --> 01:13:35,245

Rand Fishkin: yeah.

:

01:13:35,245 --> 01:13:38,684

Constraints breed cape creativity in

all, everything we've talked about today.

:

01:13:38,925 --> 01:13:41,845

Tim Winkler: And Liam, the first thing

you said when we got on this first call is

:

01:13:41,845 --> 01:13:46,835

like, I'm so tired of all these meetings

that I'm having meetings, meetings, just

:

01:13:46,835 --> 01:13:49,265

come compound the larger you get to, but.

:

01:13:49,559 --> 01:13:51,900

Yeah, growth is a good

thing, but you know,

:

01:13:52,240 --> 01:13:54,710

Liam Martin: and also to, I mean,

to speak to Ren's point on this,

:

01:13:55,220 --> 01:13:57,190

I I'm not the CEO of the company.

:

01:13:57,250 --> 01:13:59,570

I'm a chief innovation officer.

:

01:13:59,610 --> 01:14:02,370

It was just a bullshit way of saying

I get to play around with product

:

01:14:02,780 --> 01:14:06,620

and, you know, think about where the

business is going and try to align to

:

01:14:06,620 --> 01:14:09,140

the words that, and it just frees me.

:

01:14:09,210 --> 01:14:13,290

I don't know if you guys have read,

uh, or a follow entrepreneur operating

:

01:14:13,290 --> 01:14:15,610

system, but there's like the visionary.

:

01:14:16,690 --> 01:14:20,790

The visionary, uh, there's a visionary,

which is basically just the person that

:

01:14:20,790 --> 01:14:22,059

like thinks of the product all day long.

:

01:14:22,120 --> 01:14:28,220

So, um, inside of, uh, inside of apple,

that would actually be like Johnny Ives

:

01:14:28,770 --> 01:14:31,870

as an example, he's just like, how can

I think about making this thing better?

:

01:14:31,920 --> 01:14:32,170

Right.

:

01:14:32,250 --> 01:14:34,600

I'm just entirely focused

on making this thing better.

:

01:14:35,440 --> 01:14:39,120

I don't know how we get any of these

materials to make these products.

:

01:14:39,270 --> 01:14:42,950

We're just, you know, I'm just

thinking about how to get a better

:

01:14:42,950 --> 01:14:44,140

experience for the customer.

:

01:14:44,559 --> 01:14:46,490

And then there is the integrator.

:

01:14:46,690 --> 01:14:51,210

And that's essentially in a lot of these

companies, it's the COO, but I actually

:

01:14:51,210 --> 01:14:54,980

think it's the CEO of the company at

the end of the day, running operations,

:

01:14:55,070 --> 01:14:58,680

managing all the executives, having

meetings with all of their VPs and their

:

01:14:58,680 --> 01:15:00,770

directors and all this kind of stuff.

:

01:15:02,315 --> 01:15:08,175

Relatively, basically, uh, about three

months into COVID, I realized this is

:

01:15:08,175 --> 01:15:12,625

not the direction that I want to go

in for the rest of my career, and I

:

01:15:12,625 --> 01:15:17,475

would much rather focus on connecting

with customers and being on the

:

01:15:17,495 --> 01:15:19,425

marketing side and the product side.

:

01:15:20,455 --> 01:15:25,445

That and case in point, actually, I had

a meeting with, uh, we run a, an R and

:

01:15:25,455 --> 01:15:29,845

D team called chainsaw, which is, I like

to give my teams special little names.

:

01:15:29,915 --> 01:15:34,405

The only team that I manage and,

uh, all the other product teams are

:

01:15:34,405 --> 01:15:37,665

focused on sharpening the ax, but

we're focused on building chainsaws,

:

01:15:37,725 --> 01:15:42,315

which is features that could have

exponential impact on the product.

:

01:15:43,495 --> 01:15:44,135

And.

:

01:15:44,559 --> 01:15:48,040

Inside of chainsaw, the,

the entire executive team is

:

01:15:48,050 --> 01:15:49,250

like, let's expand chainsaw.

:

01:15:49,250 --> 01:15:50,970

Let's turn it into like 60 people.

:

01:15:50,970 --> 01:15:53,059

Let's turn it, you know, it's

like 12 people right now.

:

01:15:53,570 --> 01:15:56,280

I said, no, I would like to

keep it exactly where it is

:

01:15:56,320 --> 01:15:57,490

because that's manageable.

:

01:15:58,110 --> 01:15:59,690

And this is our happy place.

:

01:15:59,860 --> 01:16:04,670

And I think we'll actually ship just

as much with 12 than with 30 people.

:

01:16:04,770 --> 01:16:04,960

Yeah.

:

01:16:06,605 --> 01:16:11,725

Again, it just is counter to that venture

backed mindset of headcount equals

:

01:16:11,725 --> 01:16:14,555

growth, headcount equals more development.

:

01:16:15,235 --> 01:16:16,125

Not all the time.

:

01:16:16,235 --> 01:16:19,235

You know, you've got to be able to

figure out how to use that effectively.

:

01:16:19,605 --> 01:16:26,180

And to me, I'm Much happier shipping

5 to 6 things next year that are

:

01:16:26,180 --> 01:16:29,220

really, really good as opposed to

9 to 12 things that kind of suck.

:

01:16:29,350 --> 01:16:29,770

Tim Winkler: Mm hmm.

:

01:16:31,010 --> 01:16:34,220

And you have the flexibility and the

freedom to go and do what you want

:

01:16:34,220 --> 01:16:37,300

to do within the business versus

having to, you know, connect with

:

01:16:37,300 --> 01:16:40,020

a sounding board that's like, Oh,

well, we need you really over here.

:

01:16:40,235 --> 01:16:44,845

Liam Martin: Yeah, me and my business

partner, we had a, uh, so you know,

:

01:16:44,845 --> 01:16:49,605

how, like, there's all this drama open

AI just had Sam Altman get fired by

:

01:16:49,605 --> 01:16:51,045

the board and then brought back in.

:

01:16:52,255 --> 01:16:55,675

So I remember about a year ago, I

messaged my co founder about it.

:

01:16:55,735 --> 01:16:59,015

And I said, remember when we do, we

used to do our board meetings, which

:

01:16:59,055 --> 01:17:03,057

we still technically do, I guess, if

we want to be very legal about it,

:

01:17:03,057 --> 01:17:04,739

because we're on the board, yeah.

:

01:17:04,900 --> 01:17:07,350

Like we don't have any other board

members other than me and my co founder.

:

01:17:09,490 --> 01:17:12,770

The board meeting is like,

Hey, so what's going on?

:

01:17:12,780 --> 01:17:14,330

Do you think that you

should keep your job?

:

01:17:14,950 --> 01:17:15,160

Yep.

:

01:17:15,559 --> 01:17:16,610

Uh, how about you?

:

01:17:16,920 --> 01:17:18,460

I'm okay with that too.

:

01:17:18,910 --> 01:17:19,940

Board meeting adjourned.

:

01:17:19,940 --> 01:17:21,700

Let me

:

01:17:21,700 --> 01:17:23,190

Rand Fishkin: write down the minutes.

:

01:17:23,850 --> 01:17:24,090

Liam Martin: Right.

:

01:17:24,240 --> 01:17:24,760

Exactly.

:

01:17:25,840 --> 01:17:26,160

Cool.

:

01:17:26,220 --> 01:17:29,630

Tim Winkler: Well, I want to, um,

wrap up with this last segment.

:

01:17:29,640 --> 01:17:30,120

Five seconds.

:

01:17:31,160 --> 01:17:34,930

We could talk for another few hours on,

on this topic, but, um, I'm going to

:

01:17:34,930 --> 01:17:39,180

put a bow on it and, uh, pivot us into

this last, this last little fun segment.

:

01:17:39,180 --> 01:17:42,190

This is an opportunity to just kind of

hear a little bit about, you know, who

:

01:17:42,190 --> 01:17:47,040

you all are, uh, through, through some

light business, like personal questions.

:

01:17:47,180 --> 01:17:49,690

We're not gonna, we're not

gonna get too deep here.

:

01:17:49,740 --> 01:17:52,309

Um, but, uh, we get to

spin that wheel behind you.

:

01:17:52,530 --> 01:17:55,700

Uh, we, it's not necessary, but

we'll spend it for you anyways.

:

01:18:01,030 --> 01:18:03,920

My daughter loves that wheel,

by the way, just hours just

:

01:18:03,960 --> 01:18:06,170

to look at it and it's great.

:

01:18:06,670 --> 01:18:08,270

Um, all right, I'm going

to start with you, Rand.

:

01:18:08,270 --> 01:18:10,510

So basically I'll just ask

you a question, try to try to

:

01:18:10,510 --> 01:18:12,140

keep it within a five seconds.

:

01:18:12,140 --> 01:18:14,590

I won't air horn you off or

anything if you, if you go over,

:

01:18:15,070 --> 01:18:19,790

um, explain, uh, explain Spark Toro

to me as if I was a five year old.

:

01:18:20,750 --> 01:18:21,530

Rand Fishkin: In five seconds?

:

01:18:21,530 --> 01:18:22,210

No, I will not.

:

01:18:22,210 --> 01:18:25,970

That's the only answer you

can give in five seconds.

:

01:18:27,710 --> 01:18:29,290

Tim Winkler: Okay, give it ten seconds.

:

01:18:29,760 --> 01:18:30,410

Rand Fishkin: Ten seconds.

:

01:18:30,580 --> 01:18:34,080

SparkToro is an audience research

tool that helps marketers and

:

01:18:34,080 --> 01:18:37,440

founders understand who their

audience is and where they hang out.

:

01:18:38,480 --> 01:18:41,580

Tim Winkler: How would you describe

the company culture that you're

:

01:18:41,590 --> 01:18:42,050

Rand Fishkin: building?

:

01:18:43,300 --> 01:18:44,830

We are all remote.

:

01:18:45,600 --> 01:18:51,850

Uh, French working hours, very fun, high

camaraderie friendship before business.

:

01:18:53,650 --> 01:18:56,340

Tim Winkler: What are some things

that folks can be excited about

:

01:18:56,340 --> 01:18:59,439

for SparkToro heading into:

:

01:19:00,620 --> 01:19:03,939

Rand Fishkin: Next week, you will

be able to play with SparkToro V2,

:

01:19:03,940 --> 01:19:05,630

which is no longer based on Twitter.

:

01:19:05,915 --> 01:19:11,285

And has, in my opinion, way better

data and in sharpening that ax a lot.

:

01:19:13,465 --> 01:19:17,315

Tim Winkler: What is, uh,

something that you like to do,

:

01:19:17,345 --> 01:19:18,855

but you're not very good at?

:

01:19:18,855 --> 01:19:19,858

Video games.

:

01:19:19,858 --> 01:19:20,360

I

:

01:19:20,360 --> 01:19:23,604

Rand Fishkin: love video games,

but I'm terrible at all of them.

:

01:19:23,605 --> 01:19:24,595

You lose every time.

:

01:19:25,025 --> 01:19:26,845

Yeah, I have to have my

brother like come over.

:

01:19:26,855 --> 01:19:28,585

Hey, Evan, help me beat this level.

:

01:19:28,585 --> 01:19:30,204

I can't beat this level.

:

01:19:30,205 --> 01:19:30,835

Tim Winkler: That's awesome.

:

01:19:30,835 --> 01:19:33,525

Uh, do you have a celebrity doppelganger?

:

01:19:34,825 --> 01:19:38,755

Rand Fishkin: Uh, I once, I was at

a, uh, wedding between two actors

:

01:19:38,755 --> 01:19:42,965

in New York, um, who are friends

of ours, and someone came up to

:

01:19:42,965 --> 01:19:47,850

me and thought that I was Oh, no.

:

01:19:47,960 --> 01:19:48,550

Alan Cumming.

:

01:19:50,580 --> 01:19:50,860

Alan Cumming.

:

01:19:51,270 --> 01:19:53,740

I think it's just because I

was styled like him that day.

:

01:19:54,440 --> 01:19:54,590

So

:

01:19:54,590 --> 01:19:56,110

Tim Winkler: he's got

great hair, I take it.

:

01:19:57,910 --> 01:19:59,190

Rand Fishkin: That's very kind of you.

:

01:19:59,730 --> 01:20:01,930

I'm trying to remember,

he's been in a lot of stuff.

:

01:20:01,950 --> 01:20:03,410

His voice is really famous.

:

01:20:03,410 --> 01:20:06,040

Like they, his voice is used a lot.

:

01:20:06,340 --> 01:20:06,559

Now,

:

01:20:06,570 --> 01:20:08,809

Tim Winkler: now I'm going

to, going to the Google.

:

01:20:09,130 --> 01:20:10,809

Rand Fishkin: So he's,

he's a Scottish actor.

:

01:20:10,809 --> 01:20:13,650

What was his big couple of movies?

:

01:20:13,660 --> 01:20:14,260

Yeah, I can see the

:

01:20:14,290 --> 01:20:14,800

Liam Martin: resemblance.

:

01:20:14,990 --> 01:20:15,950

I just Googled that.

:

01:20:16,980 --> 01:20:17,420

Rand Fishkin: Oh, yeah.

:

01:20:17,420 --> 01:20:18,600

He had really similar eyes.

:

01:20:18,600 --> 01:20:18,790

Yeah.

:

01:20:18,790 --> 01:20:18,797

Yeah.

:

01:20:18,797 --> 01:20:18,804

Yeah.

:

01:20:20,065 --> 01:20:20,425

We'll make

:

01:20:20,425 --> 01:20:23,375

Tim Winkler: sure to do a screenshot

in the show notes to let folks

:

01:20:23,375 --> 01:20:28,515

decide, um, what's something

that, uh, you're very afraid

:

01:20:28,515 --> 01:20:32,045

Rand Fishkin: of statistical dangers.

:

01:20:33,945 --> 01:20:42,445

So guns, uh, private jets, helicopters,

scuba diving, highway driving.

:

01:20:43,100 --> 01:20:45,770

Um, yeah, yeah.

:

01:20:45,840 --> 01:20:46,490

Good answer.

:

01:20:46,980 --> 01:20:49,890

Small towns, small towns are really

dangerous in the United States.

:

01:20:50,690 --> 01:20:53,620

Tim Winkler: What's a charity

or a corporate philanthropy

:

01:20:53,620 --> 01:20:54,700

that's near and dear to you?

:

01:20:55,950 --> 01:20:56,809

Rand Fishkin: Give directly.

:

01:20:57,630 --> 01:21:02,520

They give money, uh, directly

to people in need they with no

:

01:21:02,520 --> 01:21:05,960

strings attached and then they

just follow up and track results.

:

01:21:06,000 --> 01:21:09,250

Their only cost essentially to

distributing that is just the person

:

01:21:09,250 --> 01:21:11,160

who gives the money to people.

:

01:21:11,160 --> 01:21:11,420

That's helpful.

:

01:21:11,430 --> 01:21:11,770

And.

:

01:21:12,135 --> 01:21:14,765

The research to follow up

and see what happens to it.

:

01:21:15,145 --> 01:21:19,425

And they have proven that it is

more effective than almost every

:

01:21:19,455 --> 01:21:22,005

other form of giving no matter what.

:

01:21:23,550 --> 01:21:26,280

Tim Winkler: Yeah, we'll include that,

uh, in the show notes, really neat.

:

01:21:27,480 --> 01:21:30,340

Rand Fishkin: Every, every event I

speak at, I ask them to donate to give

:

01:21:30,340 --> 01:21:32,150

directly rather than pay me an honorarium.

:

01:21:32,670 --> 01:21:38,960

And so I'm very proud to say that,

that I think I sent a 30, 000

:

01:21:39,000 --> 01:21:41,730

plus in the last couple of years

to give directly through that.

:

01:21:41,860 --> 01:21:42,140

Tim Winkler: Wow.

:

01:21:42,140 --> 01:21:42,720

That's awesome.

:

01:21:44,160 --> 01:21:49,620

If you had a one day left to live,

uh, would you spend it with Morgan

:

01:21:49,630 --> 01:21:51,620

Freeman or Denzel Washington?

:

01:21:53,200 --> 01:21:54,400

Rand Fishkin: Geraldine DeReuter?

:

01:21:58,900 --> 01:21:59,620

Not an option.

:

01:21:59,620 --> 01:22:04,489

We don't know.

:

01:22:04,670 --> 01:22:06,930

I'm gonna say Morgan Freeman.

:

01:22:07,530 --> 01:22:09,710

Yeah, there's no answer here.

:

01:22:11,420 --> 01:22:12,270

Just gonna, you

:

01:22:12,270 --> 01:22:13,490

Tim Winkler: know, read you a lullaby.

:

01:22:13,630 --> 01:22:15,724

Put you, put you, put you to sleep.

:

01:22:16,605 --> 01:22:17,125

Yeah.

:

01:22:17,845 --> 01:22:19,125

I'd have him dictate my life.

:

01:22:19,125 --> 01:22:19,911

I think it'd be a good day.

:

01:22:19,911 --> 01:22:20,795

Yeah, that would be great, right?

:

01:22:20,825 --> 01:22:21,665

A little book on tape.

:

01:22:23,565 --> 01:22:26,665

Who's the greatest superhero of all time?

:

01:22:26,795 --> 01:22:26,955

Oh

:

01:22:34,035 --> 01:22:34,385

Rand Fishkin: man.

:

01:22:34,595 --> 01:22:36,045

Uh, Liam?

:

01:22:36,055 --> 01:22:36,755

A little help?

:

01:22:36,755 --> 01:22:44,515

Liam Martin: I'd go with Wolverine because

he's Canadian, and he's got a very, like,

:

01:22:44,535 --> 01:22:48,475

he's a real character as opposed to all

the other ones that are just really Nice.

:

01:22:48,875 --> 01:22:49,795

He's or Batman.

:

01:22:50,105 --> 01:22:50,955

No, Batman.

:

01:22:50,955 --> 01:22:51,315

I gotta go

:

01:22:51,315 --> 01:22:51,955

Tim Winkler: with Batman.

:

01:22:52,025 --> 01:22:52,835

I gotta go with Batman.

:

01:22:53,155 --> 01:22:53,985

Rand Fishkin: That's the right answer.

:

01:22:54,085 --> 01:22:54,635

Oh, yeah.

:

01:22:54,635 --> 01:22:55,085

I don't know.

:

01:22:55,135 --> 01:22:57,025

Every billionaire wants to be Batman.

:

01:22:58,305 --> 01:22:58,525

So gross.

:

01:22:59,775 --> 01:23:00,045

Tim Winkler: Okay.

:

01:23:00,045 --> 01:23:01,105

What about Disney character?

:

01:23:01,105 --> 01:23:02,205

Favorite Disney character?

:

01:23:03,325 --> 01:23:04,455

Ooh, uh,

:

01:23:06,575 --> 01:23:10,010

Rand Fishkin: gosh, I think I'm

going to go with, um, Patton

:

01:23:10,010 --> 01:23:12,055

Oswalt's rat from Ratatouille.

:

01:23:12,465 --> 01:23:12,745

Oh,

:

01:23:12,745 --> 01:23:13,325

Tim Winkler: nice.

:

01:23:13,805 --> 01:23:14,295

Rand Fishkin: First time.

:

01:23:14,455 --> 01:23:14,805

First time.

:

01:23:15,245 --> 01:23:16,225

I think his name is Emil.

:

01:23:16,434 --> 01:23:16,795

Tim Winkler: Yeah.

:

01:23:17,405 --> 01:23:17,875

Solid.

:

01:23:19,065 --> 01:23:19,395

All right.

:

01:23:19,434 --> 01:23:20,805

We're going to end with Ratatouille.

:

01:23:20,915 --> 01:23:22,375

Um, that's a wrap for you.

:

01:23:22,375 --> 01:23:23,125

Ran Liam.

:

01:23:23,125 --> 01:23:23,595

You ready?

:

01:23:24,855 --> 01:23:24,995

Are they

:

01:23:25,135 --> 01:23:27,015

Liam Martin: the same questions

or are they completely different?

:

01:23:27,045 --> 01:23:28,065

Cause now I'm terrified.

:

01:23:30,765 --> 01:23:32,255

Tim Winkler: So they're

going to be pretty different.

:

01:23:32,965 --> 01:23:33,535

Okay.

:

01:23:33,875 --> 01:23:34,265

Liam Martin: Okay.

:

01:23:34,325 --> 01:23:34,785

That's fine.

:

01:23:35,135 --> 01:23:39,675

And, and one other question, um, French

working hours, I'm French Canadian.

:

01:23:39,675 --> 01:23:39,985

What is

:

01:23:39,985 --> 01:23:40,745

Tim Winkler: French working hours?

:

01:23:40,855 --> 01:23:41,995

Yeah, I was going to ask that too.

:

01:23:42,415 --> 01:23:42,815

What do you mean

:

01:23:42,815 --> 01:23:43,165

Rand Fishkin: by that?

:

01:23:43,205 --> 01:23:46,905

So you, uh, I think France has

a law that office workers can't

:

01:23:46,905 --> 01:23:48,375

work more than 32 hours a week.

:

01:23:48,715 --> 01:23:50,275

Oh, interesting.

:

01:23:50,275 --> 01:23:50,625

Okay.

:

01:23:50,985 --> 01:23:51,365

Cool.

:

01:23:51,625 --> 01:23:55,925

So they have the highest GDP per

capita per hours worked in the,

:

01:23:55,965 --> 01:23:57,434

in the world by a good margin.

:

01:23:57,940 --> 01:24:02,700

And, uh, yeah, SparkToro, we sort of

aim to be 30 hours or below each week.

:

01:24:02,710 --> 01:24:02,980

I love

:

01:24:02,990 --> 01:24:03,280

Tim Winkler: that.

:

01:24:03,390 --> 01:24:07,809

So is that like siestas built into

the day or do you just take off like

:

01:24:07,809 --> 01:24:09,380

an entire day at the end of the week?

:

01:24:09,880 --> 01:24:13,380

Rand Fishkin: Uh, I mean, TBD, so

Amanda and Casey both have kids

:

01:24:13,380 --> 01:24:16,000

and they're responsible for a

lot of childcare in their homes.

:

01:24:16,110 --> 01:24:17,790

Casey also is responsible for like.

:

01:24:18,805 --> 01:24:19,395

Laundry.

:

01:24:19,395 --> 01:24:23,135

I do mostly meals and meal prep

and cleanup and stuff and host

:

01:24:23,135 --> 01:24:25,135

a lot of things, but I also

run a second company, right?

:

01:24:25,184 --> 01:24:26,395

It's a video game studio.

:

01:24:26,625 --> 01:24:31,145

So for me, it's a little bit less like

I'm just not doing spark tour work.

:

01:24:31,145 --> 01:24:32,315

I'm doing this other thing.

:

01:24:32,434 --> 01:24:33,315

Yeah, that's great.

:

01:24:33,725 --> 01:24:33,985

Love

:

01:24:33,985 --> 01:24:34,045

Tim Winkler: it.

:

01:24:35,205 --> 01:24:35,665

All right, cool.

:

01:24:35,715 --> 01:24:35,934

All right.

:

01:24:35,965 --> 01:24:37,455

You are on the clock, Liam.

:

01:24:37,455 --> 01:24:38,085

Here we go.

:

01:24:38,175 --> 01:24:42,005

Um, so explain, uh, Time Doctor

to me as if I was a five year old.

:

01:24:42,995 --> 01:24:43,395

Uh, time

:

01:24:43,395 --> 01:24:43,925

Rand Fishkin: analytics

:

01:24:43,925 --> 01:24:44,934

Liam Martin: for remote teams.

:

01:24:46,135 --> 01:24:49,045

Tim Winkler: What is your favorite

part about the culture at Time Doctor?

:

01:24:50,695 --> 01:24:53,265

Liam Martin: We can work whenever

we want, wherever we want.

:

01:24:55,700 --> 01:24:59,650

Tim Winkler: Can folks be most excited

for time doctor heading into:

:

01:25:00,720 --> 01:25:01,340

Liam Martin: thinking about this?

:

01:25:01,420 --> 01:25:03,360

I really can't tell you, unfortunately.

:

01:25:03,559 --> 01:25:08,320

Um, so yeah, no, I can't.

:

01:25:08,380 --> 01:25:08,910

I like it.

:

01:25:08,980 --> 01:25:13,450

I literally the team would scream

at me and let's just say this.

:

01:25:13,450 --> 01:25:16,610

We're doing a lot of stuff with artificial

intelligence, which will be fantastic.

:

01:25:16,900 --> 01:25:17,100

They

:

01:25:17,100 --> 01:25:18,390

Rand Fishkin: built a time machine.

:

01:25:27,480 --> 01:25:28,510

We're all going to call it time.

:

01:25:28,510 --> 01:25:28,800

Dr.

:

01:25:28,800 --> 01:25:29,130

Brown.

:

01:25:32,820 --> 01:25:33,490

Tim Winkler: I'm buying it.

:

01:25:34,130 --> 01:25:35,580

It sounds super exciting.

:

01:25:37,230 --> 01:25:40,440

What, what was, uh, what was

your favorite cereal as a kid?

:

01:25:43,520 --> 01:25:46,440

Liam Martin: So my, my grandfather's

Scottish and it's got to be

:

01:25:46,460 --> 01:25:48,059

oatmeal to be honest with you.

:

01:25:48,090 --> 01:25:50,020

That's just like really

good in the morning.

:

01:25:50,315 --> 01:25:51,235

I still eat it today.

:

01:25:51,245 --> 01:25:51,315

It's

:

01:25:51,325 --> 01:25:51,885

Tim Winkler: fantastic.

:

01:25:52,215 --> 01:25:55,375

Just like straight up plain

oatmeal or like flavors, some sort

:

01:25:55,375 --> 01:25:56,855

of like cinnamon, brown sugar,

:

01:25:57,445 --> 01:26:00,575

Liam Martin: just, you know, eight

green cereal oats, a little bit of

:

01:26:00,585 --> 01:26:02,275

milk, maybe a little bit of brown sugar.

:

01:26:02,275 --> 01:26:03,695

If you want to be exploratory.

:

01:26:03,855 --> 01:26:04,035

Okay.

:

01:26:04,195 --> 01:26:04,555

And that's about

:

01:26:04,555 --> 01:26:04,745

Rand Fishkin: it.

:

01:26:05,345 --> 01:26:06,385

Two shots of Lafroig.

:

01:26:08,455 --> 01:26:09,184

Tim Winkler: That's right.

:

01:26:09,865 --> 01:26:13,675

I'm going to flip, flip this question

that I just asked ran, but so what's

:

01:26:13,715 --> 01:26:17,705

something that you hate to do, but

you're actually really good at.

:

01:26:23,255 --> 01:26:24,275

Liam Martin: Lots of meetings.

:

01:26:25,315 --> 01:26:27,955

I'm pretty good at doing

meetings, but I don't like to

:

01:26:27,955 --> 01:26:28,265

Tim Winkler: do them.

:

01:26:28,265 --> 01:26:28,695

Hate them.

:

01:26:30,305 --> 01:26:32,535

Yeah, we need to outsource

those meetings somehow.

:

01:26:34,655 --> 01:26:35,075

Rand Fishkin: What's

:

01:26:35,075 --> 01:26:38,955

Tim Winkler: a, um, a fictional

world from a book or movie

:

01:26:38,955 --> 01:26:40,945

that you would love to live in?

:

01:26:44,320 --> 01:26:45,580

Liam Martin: These are

really difficult questions.

:

01:26:47,080 --> 01:26:53,880

Uh, I would say going back to the

time machine where he's able to

:

01:26:53,880 --> 01:26:55,670

go forwards and backwards in time.

:

01:26:55,730 --> 01:26:58,860

I don't know if you already read that,

read that book when you were a kid, but

:

01:26:58,860 --> 01:27:02,990

he went way back in time or way forward

in time, and then ended up in a world

:

01:27:03,010 --> 01:27:06,380

where there were people that lived

underground and all this kind of stuff.

:

01:27:06,380 --> 01:27:10,090

Like I would love to just kind of

go forward and backwards in time and

:

01:27:10,090 --> 01:27:11,780

just see everything that happened.

:

01:27:12,300 --> 01:27:12,670

So.

:

01:27:13,045 --> 01:27:15,895

I know that that's exactly the

answer, but it does come from a

:

01:27:15,895 --> 01:27:17,605

book and that's what I'd like to do.

:

01:27:18,375 --> 01:27:18,605

Tim Winkler: Is that

:

01:27:18,905 --> 01:27:20,585

Rand Fishkin: the HG Wells

that the time machine?

:

01:27:21,025 --> 01:27:21,295

Yeah.

:

01:27:21,325 --> 01:27:21,575

Yeah.

:

01:27:21,575 --> 01:27:21,945

Yeah.

:

01:27:23,055 --> 01:27:23,265

Yeah.

:

01:27:23,305 --> 01:27:26,635

Tim Winkler: I, I find myself

really craving life back in

:

01:27:26,645 --> 01:27:28,125

the eighties and nineties.

:

01:27:28,195 --> 01:27:28,975

Um, so much.

:

01:27:28,975 --> 01:27:31,905

So I started following just like

these Instagram handles that it's

:

01:27:31,905 --> 01:27:36,085

like an old VHS walking into like

a Walmart just in the nineties.

:

01:27:36,085 --> 01:27:38,635

And it's something about it's

comforting because nobody's on

:

01:27:38,715 --> 01:27:39,885

phones and everybody's just.

:

01:27:40,495 --> 01:27:44,895

It seems it's like a simple way

of life and I kind of crave it.

:

01:27:44,895 --> 01:27:46,325

Friday night blockbuster.

:

01:27:46,465 --> 01:27:48,075

Friday night at the blockbuster, man.

:

01:27:48,075 --> 01:27:48,414

That's it.

:

01:27:48,415 --> 01:27:49,365

That's been like, it's

:

01:27:49,365 --> 01:27:50,175

Liam Martin: just like, That's it.

:

01:27:50,675 --> 01:27:51,655

That was the highlight.

:

01:27:51,655 --> 01:27:52,575

Gives me, makes me feel warm.

:

01:27:52,934 --> 01:27:53,345

Tim Winkler: Yeah.

:

01:27:53,845 --> 01:27:53,915

Bang!

:

01:27:54,505 --> 01:27:59,355

Um, alright, so if you could

have dinner with any tech icon,

:

01:27:59,375 --> 01:28:00,839

past or present, who would it be?

:

01:28:00,990 --> 01:28:01,460

Be with

:

01:28:04,430 --> 01:28:08,860

Liam Martin: it would probably be

Elon Musk at this point because I

:

01:28:08,860 --> 01:28:14,210

would love to know whether I would

love to know how he can do those

:

01:28:14,210 --> 01:28:17,980

many things at the same time because

:

01:28:18,180 --> 01:28:24,970

Rand Fishkin: it is hard to hate on trans

people, Jews, gay people, all at the same

:

01:28:25,080 --> 01:28:25,390

Liam Martin: time.

:

01:28:26,210 --> 01:28:28,239

You know, I would ask

him those questions too.

:

01:28:28,750 --> 01:28:33,210

I always have the free time to be able

to do those things as well, because it's

:

01:28:33,210 --> 01:28:40,280

really, I think for me, I was thinking to

myself, maybe, um, maybe someone at Apple,

:

01:28:40,280 --> 01:28:46,550

like maybe Steve jobs, but, you know, it's

like, I think probably in a hundred years.

:

01:28:46,970 --> 01:28:52,000

Elon Musk will probably be the person

people remember more than someone like

:

01:28:52,110 --> 01:28:54,190

Steve Jobs, fortunately or unfortunately.

:

01:28:56,450 --> 01:28:58,620

Tim Winkler: I'm going to keep

going for ran has something to say.

:

01:28:58,620 --> 01:29:05,630

What is a charity or corporate

philanthropy that's near and dear to you?

:

01:29:07,070 --> 01:29:09,710

Liam Martin: My daughter

was born, um, preterm.

:

01:29:09,710 --> 01:29:15,925

She was born at 29 weeks and There

is a company that I invest in and

:

01:29:15,925 --> 01:29:20,635

it's a, um, basically what it allows

you to do is build incubators.

:

01:29:20,934 --> 01:29:25,045

An incubator costs about $25,000, and

they've been able to engineer an incubator

:

01:29:25,045 --> 01:29:26,365

that costs about a thousand dollars.

:

01:29:26,755 --> 01:29:30,985

And they specifically take

those incubators and sell

:

01:29:30,990 --> 01:29:32,955

them in developing countries.

:

01:29:33,075 --> 01:29:36,675

They, they specifically are

actually, they've almost got all

:

01:29:36,675 --> 01:29:38,175

of India covered at this point.

:

01:29:38,805 --> 01:29:38,835

Oh.

:

01:29:38,835 --> 01:29:40,905

And when you look at the

pragmatics of dollars.

:

01:29:42,355 --> 01:29:46,835

Spending money on an incubator is

actually one of the most efficient

:

01:29:46,835 --> 01:29:52,105

dollars that you can spend in terms of a

person having a happy and healthy life.

:

01:29:52,245 --> 01:29:52,615

Wow.

:

01:29:52,655 --> 01:29:54,505

So, uh, I spend money on incubators.

:

01:29:54,684 --> 01:29:55,115

That's cool.

:

01:29:55,165 --> 01:29:55,755

Rand Fishkin: Beautiful.

:

01:29:55,945 --> 01:29:56,295

I love it.

:

01:29:56,325 --> 01:29:59,625

Also, I kind of love that, uh,

it's not a, it's not a charity, but

:

01:29:59,625 --> 01:30:04,734

it's, you know, it's got an economic

model behind it, which encourages.

:

01:30:04,735 --> 01:30:07,145

Liam Martin: Yes, they, they actually

do need to make a profit as well.

:

01:30:07,245 --> 01:30:08,115

Which is something

:

01:30:08,405 --> 01:30:12,735

Rand Fishkin: that I rely on

donors to grow and spread, which.

:

01:30:13,570 --> 01:30:14,650

You know, has its challenges.

:

01:30:14,650 --> 01:30:14,890

Tim Winkler: Yeah.

:

01:30:15,660 --> 01:30:19,960

My daughter was born six weeks early,

so big, big fan of, uh, the whole Nick

:

01:30:19,980 --> 01:30:24,220

you experience and those, those doctors

and nurses are, uh, the superheroes.

:

01:30:24,220 --> 01:30:24,530

Really?

:

01:30:25,230 --> 01:30:30,460

Um, what is the worst fashion

trend that you've ever followed?

:

01:30:31,870 --> 01:30:33,100

Rand Fishkin: Ooh, followed.

:

01:30:35,120 --> 01:30:38,540

Liam Martin: I had really, really

long hair, like hair that went

:

01:30:38,540 --> 01:30:44,120

all the way down to almost my

elbows and, uh, that was stupid.

:

01:30:44,720 --> 01:30:45,270

Did you have that?

:

01:30:46,410 --> 01:30:46,760

Rand Fishkin: Pardon?

:

01:30:47,135 --> 01:30:48,035

Were you a head banger?

:

01:30:49,005 --> 01:30:52,665

Liam Martin: No, it was, uh, so here's

something else that I can, that I

:

01:30:52,665 --> 01:30:53,945

can say that I don't say that often.

:

01:30:53,975 --> 01:30:55,875

I used to be a competitive pair skater.

:

01:30:56,175 --> 01:30:57,645

I was 26 in the world.

:

01:30:58,245 --> 01:31:02,745

I did pair skating and I had

like that kind of those top

:

01:31:02,745 --> 01:31:04,585

knot things that you would have.

:

01:31:04,945 --> 01:31:08,475

And it was part of just

the setup and the outfit.

:

01:31:08,545 --> 01:31:09,515

And, uh.

:

01:31:09,600 --> 01:31:11,290

Yeah, it was pretty stupid.

:

01:31:11,320 --> 01:31:15,160

It's also like it takes a lot

of time and energy to be able

:

01:31:15,160 --> 01:31:17,000

to wash that type of hair.

:

01:31:17,000 --> 01:31:19,640

It's much easier to just kind of roll

out of bed and say, I'm ready to go.

:

01:31:20,650 --> 01:31:21,610

Tim Winkler: We're going to need pictures.

:

01:31:21,720 --> 01:31:25,360

We're going to need some pictures

because we usually like to post that

:

01:31:25,360 --> 01:31:26,870

in the show notes to get a visual.

:

01:31:26,910 --> 01:31:27,080

Yeah.

:

01:31:27,080 --> 01:31:27,980

We need a visual of that.

:

01:31:29,200 --> 01:31:29,410

All right.

:

01:31:29,410 --> 01:31:31,400

We're going to wrap this

up with the last one.

:

01:31:31,410 --> 01:31:33,860

What was your dream job as a kid?

:

01:31:35,309 --> 01:31:35,920

Stuntman.

:

01:31:36,380 --> 01:31:36,890

Ooh.

:

01:31:37,180 --> 01:31:37,680

Ooh.

:

01:31:38,240 --> 01:31:38,570

Liam Martin: Nice.

:

01:31:38,809 --> 01:31:40,099

That's a great answer.

:

01:31:40,100 --> 01:31:40,809

There's still time.

:

01:31:40,809 --> 01:31:40,894

Yeah.

:

01:31:43,415 --> 01:31:44,205

Tim Winkler: That's so good.

:

01:31:44,605 --> 01:31:44,855

All right.

:

01:31:44,875 --> 01:31:45,555

That's it guys.

:

01:31:45,625 --> 01:31:48,015

Uh, thanks for, uh, joining us on the pod.

:

01:31:48,015 --> 01:31:49,235

You've both been good guests.

:

01:31:49,445 --> 01:31:51,214

Um, can

:

01:31:51,215 --> 01:31:52,015

Rand Fishkin: I share my screen?

:

01:31:52,015 --> 01:31:53,475

I found images of Liam.

:

01:32:00,825 --> 01:32:03,035

Tim Winkler: We're going to

need screenshots as well.

:

01:32:03,565 --> 01:32:05,815

Um, but again, thanks for spending time.

:

01:32:05,815 --> 01:32:09,555

You guys have been so gracious with

your time and you're both very busy.

:

01:32:09,585 --> 01:32:13,275

And, uh, the, this is extremely

helpful for those entrepreneurs that

:

01:32:13,275 --> 01:32:15,365

are out there is very top of mind.

:

01:32:15,415 --> 01:32:18,425

Uh, capital, obviously, like I mentioned

earlier, it's extremely hard to come by.

:

01:32:18,765 --> 01:32:22,845

So ways to, you know, be efficient

and scrappy, uh, bootstrapped

:

01:32:22,895 --> 01:32:24,285

is, uh, what this is all about.

:

01:32:24,285 --> 01:32:25,434

So thanks again.

:

01:32:25,434 --> 01:32:27,375

And, uh, uh, thanks for

joining us on the pod.

:

01:32:28,165 --> 01:32:28,585

Rand Fishkin: Yeah.

:

01:32:28,585 --> 01:32:29,305

This was a joy.

:

01:32:29,305 --> 01:32:30,385

I hope we get to do it again.

:

01:32:31,235 --> 01:32:31,525

Tim Winkler: Yeah.

:

01:32:31,525 --> 01:32:33,755

Maybe two or three more times.

:

01:32:34,025 --> 01:32:34,355

Who knows?

:

01:32:34,355 --> 01:32:35,175

Rand Fishkin: Two or three more times.

:

01:32:35,684 --> 01:32:36,125

Exactly.

:

01:32:37,305 --> 01:32:37,745

Take care.

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