Founders Talk

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In-depth, one on one conversations with founders, CEOs, and makers. The journey, lessons learned, and the struggles. Let’s do this!

🚀 Ships weekly(ish)

Founders Talk Founders Talk #58

Tidelift's mission is to pay open source maintainers

Donald Fischer and the team at Tidelift are on a mission of making open source work better — for everyone. To pay the maintainers of open source software they are putting a new spin on a highly successful business model that’s a win-win for the maintainers as well as the software teams using the software. In this episode we dig into that backstory and Donald’s journey.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #57

From dropout to CEO of Sentry and taking on New Relic

David dropped out of high school AND college, but that didn’t stop him. He ended up teaching himself programming and eventually landed his first job as the webmaster of a World of Warcraft community website. What a beginning… We talked through “the rough slog” period of Sentry and how David powered through to traction and enough profit for him and his partner to go full time, raise three rounds of funding, and take on New Relic.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #55

Side hustle to $35M ARR at Zapier

Bryan Helmig, Wade Foster, and Mike Knoop started Zapier in 2011 as a side hustle. They ultimately applied to Y Combinator, twice. And this year they hit $35 Million dollars in annual revenue. I talked with Bryan Helmig (CTO) through the backstory of starting this company, being 100% distributed, the flexibility as well as the constraints of being remote-only, how they reached product market fit, growth, scaling their teams, and how they bring everyone together for company wide retreats.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #54

From side project to $7.25M for Unsplash

When Mikael Cho started Unsplash from its small beginning as a Tumblr blog and side project, he had no idea it would have such a huge impact and ultimately disrupt the photography industry. In this episode, Mikael shares the backstory of Unsplash, how it got started, keeping things focused, levers of growth, flipping the marketing funnel, turning free into a business, raising $7.25 million to build a new economy for photography, and the impact of an API.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #53

Danielle Morrill on starting over from zero

Danielle Morrill joined the show to talk about how she’s starting over from zero after the recent acquisition of Mattermark to FullContact where she held the role of CEO and co-founder who walked away with “zero dollars and a job”. We talked through the details of the company, the acquisition process, the deal — which she brokered herself — as well as her outlook on the startup grind and silicon valley today, and what she’s planning to do next.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #29

Francisco Dao / 50 Kings

Francisco Dao, the Founder of 50 Kings (an invitation-only, private community of thinkers and doers) joins Adam to talk about the importance of building relationships, doing only what interests you, entrepreneurship, all sorts of “insider” knowledge around the tech event planning space and more. If you’ve been dying to get invited or referred to 50 Kings, this show will give you all you need to know.

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