The Rocketship Podcast

20 minute interviews with successful startup founders about the early days of their business and the activities that helped them succeed at key points along the way.

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EP46: Buffer's Secret to Killer Customer Service and Strategic Hiring with Carolyn KoppraschJuly 22, 2014

Carolyn Kopprasch, Chief Happiness Officer at Buffer, talks with us about how they’ve kept up quality as they’ve grown their support team, and the unconventional ways they’ve scaled. She also shared super actionable tips on how they use HelpScout to process hundreds of job applications every single month and how they find good culture fits for the team.

Show Notes/Links:

Tweetable Bits:

"The best hiring hack we’ve learned...hire your customers."

"Our support team is truly the liaison b/w our customers and our dev team."

EP45: How to Identify a Pain Worth Solving and Turn It Into a Profitable BusinessJuly 17, 2014

Robert Williams, Founder of LetsWorkshop.com, talks about how he focused on solving a huge pain point that he personally experienced, and grew it into a super successful startup. He shares his learnings from the 30x500 course and how he’s been able to grow so quickly by staying focused on helping his customers succeed.

EP44: Alex Moore Spills the Ultra-Creative Viral Hooks He Uses to Grow BoomerangJuly 15, 2014

Alex Moore, Founder and CEO of Boomerang, talks with us about viral tactics he used to grow a product that most people didn’t want others to know they were using. He also shares a hilarious story of how he got his first investor, Dave McClure.

EP43: Elliot Schneier of Fundable Outlines What Investors Consider When Deciding To Invest In YouJuly 10, 2014

Elliot Schneier, COO of Fundable, talks with us about the key factors that investors look for when deciding to invest in you. He shared incredibly thorough insights on topics ranging from idea to traction to funding. He also talked with us about their strategies behind acquiring companies like LaunchRock and what makes them opt to build something in-house.

EP42: Christine Lu Speaks Out About Startup Founder DepressionJuly 8, 2014

Christine Lu, Co-Founder and CEO of Affinity China speaks out about mental health and founder depression. She not only shares her own personal story, but her perspective on why depression is so prominent among startup founders.

EP41: Conrad Egusa Teaches You How To Get Featured in VentureBeatJuly 3, 2014

Conrad Egusa, former Venture Beat writer and founder of Publicize, shares his incredibly effective process for getting press in big publications. None of it requires hiring a pr firm, having existing relationships with journalists, or any other myths you thought to be true. Super actionable advice in this episode.

EP40: Garrett Dimon of Sifter on Getting Over the Fear of Starting a BusinessJuly 1, 2014

Garrett Dimon, founder of Sifter, talks about some of the silliest excuses people make to not start their own company (including his own). He also shares the unexpected benefits that came down the line from running his own business.

EP39: Nick O’Neill on the Similarities Between Planning Events & Launching ProductsJune 26, 2014

Nick O’Neill, Founder of Startup Stats, talks with us about event planning. He shares his process for deciding what kind of event to plan, lining up speakers and ticket sales. There’s an amazing amount of similarities to launching a product.

EP38: Jesse & Taylor of YNAB on Vertical Marketing Strategies and Designing a Company CultureJune 24, 2014

Jesse Mecham and Taylor Brown of You Need a Budget share their strategies for taking a product with broad appeal and segmenting it down to market to different verticals. They also talk about being deliberate in their hiring process and company culture, especially with a distributed team.

EP37: Colin Nederkoorn of Customer.io on 'Fundstrapping' His Way to Profitability and Steady GrowthJune 19, 2014

Colin Nederkoorn, Founder and CEO of Customer.io, talks about the tactics he used to build early traction and how they converted that traction to an unconventional round of funding that rocketed them to profitability.

EP36: Scot Chisholm of StayClassy Talks Growth and Leveraging The Right Mix of AdvisorsJune 17, 2014

Scot Chisholm, Co-Founder and CEO of StayClassy, talks with us about his unusual route to raising 1.5 million seed funding over the course of 2 years and how mentors and advisors helped them grow into one of the biggest non-profit donation platforms in the world.

EP35: Paul Farnell of Litmus on Creative Funding Strategies For Early GrowthJune 12, 2014

Paul Farnell, Co-Founder and CEO of Litmus, talks about their early growth and how they were able to reach profitability without ever raising “traditional” rounds of funding. He shares the creative ways they funded themselves, including selling pre-orders of their product before it was ready, exclusive “patron accounts”, and more.

EP34: Ben Sardella Shares Sales Tactics That Actually WorkJune 10, 2014

Ben Sardella, sales guru and co-founder of Datanyze, talks about specific sales tactics like personalized emails, social media outreach and more. He shares his “6-touch-point process” and digs into the mistakes he sees companies make over and over again.

EP33: Nick Francis Talks Fundraising Without Venture CapitalJune 5, 2014

Nick Francis, co-founder and CEO of Help Scout, brings a unique, middle-ground, perspective on funding and growth. He also talks about how going through TechStars Boston had a huge impact on their trajectory.

EP32: Aaron Ross Shares Sales Tactics Aimed at Tripling RevenueJune 3, 2014

Aaron Ross, best-selling author of Predictable Revenue, talks with us about how he build an outbound sales program at Salesforce that increased recurring revenues by over 100 million dollars. We talked all about his tips and tricks for cold-calling and how to reach people by getting out from behind your computer screen.

EP31: David Sherry on the Power of AuthenticityMay 29, 2014

David Sherry, Founder of Death to the Stock Photo, talks about the importance of authenticity. He shared his techniques for keeping high-touch engagement at the forefront of all their community-building efforts and how they’re able to grow their list by 10,000 subscribers a month.

EP30: Nathan Gilmore On Streamlined Planning for Small TeamsMay 27, 2014

Nathan Gilmore, Co-Founder of TeamGantt, shares how they bootstrapped their way to thousands of monthly customers. He also talked to Michael about how this team at Brandisty could benefit from something like Gantt vs. other methodologies.

EP29: John Sheehan on Marketing to Developers and Releasing Free Tools for Lead GenerationMay 22, 2014

John Sheehan, Co-Founder and CEO of Runscope, talks about how to market to developers. He shares how they've both aqcuired and built an arsenal of free tools, and how those tools have become the primary source of qualified lead generation for Runscope.

EP28: Mark Roberge of HubSpot on Setting Up Painless Content Production ProcessesMay 20, 2014

Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer of HubSpot, talks about really easy ways to turn your company into a content machine and drive more inbound leads. He also dives deep into HubSpot’s sales process and the metrics-driven approach that worked so well for them, even in the early days.

EP27: Jason Cohen Talks Growth, Pricing, and the Realities of FundingMay 15, 2014

Jason Cohen, Founder and CTO of WP Engine, talks about why you shouldn’t be afraid to make ambitious changes to your strategy or pricing, and what those enhancements may look like. He also talks about the realities between raising money to grow your company vs. self-funding all the way.

EP26: Drew Strojny on The Importance of Getting Sh*t Done vs. Focusing on PerfectionMay 13, 2014

Drew Strojny, former NFL player and Founder of The Theme Foundry and Memberful, talks about how Memberful was built internally out of necessity and later opened to the public. He also talks about how to stay positive and hungry, despite moving slower than your competition when you have a tiny team.

EP25: Thomas Schranz Talks Product Philosophy: JTBD & Minimum Marketable FeaturesMay 8, 2014

Thomas Schranz, Co-Founder & CEO of Blossom.io talks about how he thinks differently about product management. He doesn’t blindly follow standard agile practices - he picks the right tool for the job and avoids unnecessary process. He digs into Jobs-To-Be-Done and the concept of Minimum Marketable Features.

EP24: Danielle Morrill Talks Fundraising, Metrics, and Phenomenal Twitter RantsMay 6, 2014

Danielle Morrill, Co-Founder and CEO of Mattermark, talks all about funding - when companies should consider seeking it, and the metrics you should be monitoring to know if/when the time is right. She also shares some lessons learned along the way as a startup founder (she’s covered A LOT of ground in the past few years).

EP23: Hiten Shah on Early-Stage Growth Tactics and Finding FocusMay 1, 2014

Hiten Shah, Founder of CrazyEgg and KISSmetrics, talked about the pros and cons of funding vs. self-funding, and the impact each can have on your focus and early-stage strategy. Hiten also talked about mistakes he sees early-stage companies making time and time again.

EP22: Cat Noone Talks Leaving the Valley to Start Liberio in BerlinApril 29, 2014

Cat Noone, Co-Founder and lead designer for Liberio, talks with us about leaving San Francisco to start a startup in Berlin. She shares some really interesting stories about the experience, both from the social perspective as well as the fundraising side.

EP21: Perri Blake Gorman Talks Relationship Building, The Art of Sales, and Balinese GurusApril 24, 2014

Perri Blake Gorman, Founder of Archive.ly and one of the Co-Founders of Unroll.me, talks about how she went from being a head-hunter on Wall Street to a solo, non-technical startup founder. She also shares her process for creating meaningful relationships that pay off in the long-term.

EP20: Brendan Schwartz Shares the Rollercoaster Journey of WistiaApril 22, 2014

Brendan Schwartz, Co-Founder and CTO of Wistia, shares some hilarious stories about his journey going from bootstrapped to raising a round of funding, to not making sale for months after raising that money. He touches on early product pivots, sales, pricing, and more.

EP19: Andrew Torba on Growing Kuhcoon and Writing Content That ResonatesApril 17, 2014

Andrew Torba, co-founder and CEO of Kuhcoon, tells us about how he’s been able to grow a large audience just by writing on Medium, and what it is about his content that really resonates with people. He also talks about how he uses his own product to sell…his own product.

EP18: Steve Young on Building (and Balancing) Multiple Revenue StreamsApril 15, 2014

Steve Young, host of Mobile App Chat, talks with us about leaving his cush job in the Bay Area to build his own revenue streams through iOS applications, podcast sponsors, and a membership site. He shares how he booked his first sponsor before hitting viability, and how he’s able to release 3 episodes a week in his ‘spare’ time.

EP17: Brant Cooper Talks Market Disruption and Getting Your First CustomerApril 10, 2014

In this episode we talked with Brant Cooper, author of The Lean Entrepreneur, he talks about the common misconceptions around the Lean Startup and how to use early customer interviews to discover the emotional connection that people can have with your product.

EP16: Yashar Ahmadpour's B2B Approach to a Marketplace AppApril 8, 2014

Today we talked with Yashar Ahmadpour, founder of CrowdClock. He talks about his B2B style approach to what’s really a marketplace app. He also opens up with us about what drives him as an entrepreneur and a problem solver.

EP15: Oli Gardner on Growing to 100k UsersApril 3, 2014

Oli Gardner, co-founder of Unbounce, talks about the marketing and integrations they did in the early stages to grow their product, and about the transition that he’s making from being Creative Director of the company to more of a public speaking role.

EP14: Tawheed Kader on Quitting a 6-Figure Job to Bootstrap his StartupApril 1, 2014

TK, founder of ToutApp, talks about leaving his six figure job to pursue his startup dream, and how he kept trying to build the wrong product—even when the right one was staring him in the face. He also talks about the long, slow road of SaaS, and his transition from bootstrapped to funded.

EP13: Moritz Plassnig on Creating "Wow" Moments and the Impact on EngagementMarch 27, 2014

We talked with Mo Plassnig, co-founder and CEO of Codeship. He talked about how their passion for education is baked into who they are as a company. He also shared how creating a “wow” factor for people in the first couple minutes of using their product has been huge in moving the needle.

EP12: Gregory Ciotti on Leveraging Content Marketing Materials, Even at ScaleMarch 25, 2014

We talked with Gregory Ciotti, the man behind Help Scout’s inbound marketing. He breaks down his process for producing his unique, research-backed content, and he also talks about the recent decision to pull down the email wall to all their guides, letting them live out in the open.

EP11: Mark Fidelman on How to Get Content Published in the MajorsMarch 20, 2014

In this episode we talked with Mark Fidelman, Forbes columnist and founder of Raynforest. He shared some incredible tips for how to get content published and your company promoted in big publications like Forbes. They’re techniques that anyone can use. Great, actionable stuff in this interview.

EP10: Brennan Dunn and an Eye-Opening New Take on Email ListsMarch 18, 2014

Brennan Dunn, founder of PlanScope, author of Double Your Freelancing Rate and a number of other books and courses, talks with us about how he uses one list to market all of his products. Among other benefits, this leaves the door open to sell any number of future products or services. We learned A LOT.

EP9: Adii Pienaar Talks New Ventures and Establishing a New Life BalanceMarch 13, 2014

In this episode, Adii Pienaar, founder of WooThemes and Public Beta, talked with us about launching a completely new venture from scratch and some of the controversial techniques he used when validating his idea. He also opened up with us about creating a more sustainable work/life balance and his plans for the future.

EP8: Jeremiah Gardner on How to Use Lean Branding to Find Product Market FitMarch 10, 2014

In this episode, Jeremiah Gardner, author of The Lean Brand, shares his techniques for helping companies get to the root of what they're really about (not just what they're selling). He talks about how having the right conversations in the beginning is hugely powerful when it comes to finding your product/market fit.

EP7: Mikael Cho on the Power of "Tool Marketing"March 6, 2014

In this episode, Mikael Cho, founder of Ooomf talks with us about how they've used "tool marketing" (aka built a few simple, free tools) to help solve problems for their target audience and build a bridge to their main service. His unique approach has paid off big time.

EP6: Dan Norris Talks Failure and New SuccessesMarch 4, 2014

In this episode, Dan Norris, founder of Informly and WP Curve, talks about how he and his partner have learned to "fail fast" and how they pay closer attention to people's behavior than verbal feedback.

EP5: Ruben Gamez on the Power of Integrating With Other AppsFebruary 27, 2014

In this episode, Ruben Gamez, founder of Bidsketch, shares how he was able to leverage integrations with other apps into promotional opportunities that skyrocketed Bidsketch’s early growth.

EP4: Chris Hexton's 3 Rules For Early-Stage Email ListsFebruary 25, 2014

In this episode, Chris Hexton, founder of Vero talks about how he was able to grow Vero over the past 18 months. He also shares his 3 simple tips for anyone who's just starting out building their list and not sure how to begin with email marketing.

EP3: Todd Garland's David & Goliath StoryFebruary 18, 2014

Todd Garland, founder of BuySellAds talked with us about how you don't need to be the first to market, and about how old fashioned hustle and personal touch still pay off in a big way.

EP2: Samuel Hulick on Growing his Audience From 0 to 3,000 in Less Than 2 MonthsFebruary 11, 2014

Samuel, creator of UserOnboard.com, shared how he was able to grow his audience from 0 to over 3000 in less than 2 months, by creating his own brand of unique, niche content.

EP1: Ryan Hoover on Launching A Product in Less Than a WeekFebruary 5, 2014

Ryan shares how he and his partner, Nathan Bashaw, realased the smallest possible version of their product, Product Hunt, in less than a week. You'll also learn his strategies for getting content published on sites like PandoDaily and Fast Company.