Vested Capital
Vested Capital

Episode · 1 year ago

Fred Schebesta: Finder.com Co-Founder With $193 Million Fortune Reveals How A Niche Credit Card Review Site Turned Into One Of Australia’s Biggest Tech Success Stories

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[ Download MP3 | iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | Spotify | Raw RSS ] In late 2019 on my LinkedIn news feed, an article popped up with the following title – Finder co-founder Fred Schebesta has debuted on the Young Rich List with a $193 million fortune I immediately thought — I know this guy! […] The post https://yaro.blog/30245/fred-schebesta/ (Fred Schebesta: Finder.com Co-Founder With $193 Million Fortune Reveals How A Niche Credit Card Review Site Turned Into One Of Australia’s Biggest Tech Success Stories) appeared first on https://yaro.blog (Yaro.Blog).

I set across the table from agrind and I'll see there in a small suit because, you know, that'sall I had. And he asked me, what do you want to do inthe future? I said, well, I think I'd love to be sittingacross the table asking some young guys, you know, pretty dumb questions aboutwhat he wants to do for his future. That seems like a prettygood job. Yeah, I'll do what you're doing. I looks pretty easy. You said that or you thought yeah, he said that's it. Welcome toYarrow's podcast, for you'll discover the stories behind world class performers, businessbuilders and enlightened leaders. A brief intro to my guest today. His nameis Fred Should Besta, the cofounder of findercom, a comparison shopping helpful contentwebsite that will guide you to make the best decision and save money with thingslike choosing a credit card, personal loan, insurance and also many other decisions,and it's become a very wellknown website in Australia and expanding globally. I'vestarted to see it show up in Canadian searches here where I'm in Canada,and Fred himself is someone I knew from a long time ago, back inthe early days when I was knee deep in learning searchings and optimization for myblog and my teaching business. Fred was doing something similar with his SEO agency, which was the starting point, you could say, for finder, becausehe did begin in the first ever version of his business, credit card findercomDOTT A, you they're what I really love about this story, though,and why I think you should pay attention. Fred is taken business model that Ithink a lot of people understand, a lot of people apply. Essentiallybuild a website, fill it with helpful content and then drive traffic to affiliateoffers, maybe do some advertising eventually, once you get the traffic, butit's really all about providing helpful content and then ranking well in Google and beingthe best answer to a question, and they've taken that to scale. Ithink that's why this podcast is something you should definitely listen to because, frankly, I don't have many guests on my show who can say that a theyhave a personal net worth of over a hundred and seventy million dollars, atAustralian dollars, I think, though, and a business itself that's gone overto do. You know, several hundred million invaluation and growing still. Soit's a bit of an outlier, a unique case study and I think,especially because Fred was quite transparent in this interview, you're going to get someunique insights into the mindset of a person who's in charge of that size company, even though it's still essentially a content business. So I hope you enjoytoday's episode with Fred Sebasta. Here it is. Oh, this is yarrowand welcome to an interview, and today I'm excited to talk to a guestwho, I have to say, popped up in my feed from a verycompelling headline and it was from a business insider article. It it's a bignumber. I'm going to just say hello first of all to my guest beforeI talk about numbers, to make sure he's okay with me talking about numbers. So, Fred, she besta hello, welcome to the show. Thank you. Yeah, I'm a longtime listener from from your podcast and a longtimefollow of you. It's an honor for me to be here. Thank you. Oh, I appreciate that. Now, Fred, as I was just saying, you've got a big claim to fame now, but I feel likewhen I first heard your name, and this is what was interesting to me, because I'm I was reading this article on business insider last year, twothousand and nineteen. It was like finder, cofounder of French Vesta, has debutedon the young Rich List with a hundred ninety three million fortune, right, and I'm like, I know that Guy, is it? That nameis really stands out to me. And then, of course, I duginto our linkedin connections and even found an email exchange from a while ago,and I think back then you were working on an Seo Agency and obviously Iwas blogging and writing a bit about Seo, so we had some kind of interaction. How does it feel when you have an article like this published aboutyourself with that kind of title? I think for you know, seventeen yearsof real hard work and a bit of...

...luck in there, you know,but you make your unlock. That's a tribute to all the crew that havebeen with me and, frank my cofounder Jeremy's been there from the start.You know. I think that's where it goes out to. It's not justme, it's really the crew that made finder and what it is today.You know, and and there's another a company before that as well, andall that, all those crew that you know came with me on that journeyand it's tribute to them. M Yeah, it's great to hear that, becausethere's a lock that goes into a company, not just the headline.For those who don't know what exactly is finder, they probably do know,but just in case they don't, it's a comparison service. So our visionis to better all the world's decisions. So you come on to finder,you know, if you want to compare from vpns to broadband, to loans, to insurance, whatever it may be, rewrite. You know, we havea very, very strong editorial team. We compare all the different products outthere and so that you can make a better deal by choosing one ofthose, because you've been informed as to what's going on and we've started rollingthis out all around the world, so in Canada as well. Yeah,so you can, you can check it out. I was I wanted totell you, Fred I have seen finder show up in my search results latelyand I was like, Huh, is it like this is a coincidence?What's going on here? And that's interesting. You say that because you know peoplestarted to say you when they sort of understand the story, they startto see it more and they get realize that's what, you know, we'vebeen doing and they can dig into it and a lot of people start togo wow, there's so much here. You know, they dig in furtherand they realize the journey were trying to be, you know, being onand hopefully more people start to do that around the world. And Yeah,we're really on a mission. It's been it's intense right now. That's exciting. I if you have the Canadian office, I'd love to pop in and sayhello, but we'll talk about that another time. You're obviously azziborne rays. I think that is my next question. So Sydney, went to school,grew up, university, everything like that. Yeah, I went toschool here in Sydney. Sydney's blways been no, I guess the most internationalcity of Australia. Has got a real connection to La and you can haveone flight and that was that's been there for a long time and the airportis, you know, international airport. So that get you know, bringsa lot of exposure that way. I went to university. I studay,actually ail studies and computer science. I didn't actually finish either of those.Actually, I got a finance degree Abacari University, but I learned a lot, you know, through that. I kind of the way I sort ofthink about the journey of where I got to was from a mastery of codingwhich I learned from university, but I applied it on the Internet as opposedto applying it, you know, in the city in the languages that theytaught us. I took every every idea that the interivercity took me gave meand I basically translated that as best I could to the Internet where relevant.And you know, I think that that mastery over many, many years ofcoding and things like that, that's what has sort of led to building finder. That's what that's what sort of brought that about. It's one of those, you know, that that's the way I see that's where that's so Ithink got me here. Well, I'd love to connect the dots because obviouslyyou, like you said, there's been previous companies, previous teams. Sowhen you're in university and even with those two subjects you never finished degrees withas a young man, were you thinking, I'm going to start a business ordid you see? I'm going to get a job in finance. Youknow, I work in Sydney and the financial district. What was there aplan? Or is it or playing it by here and see what what interestme? You know, I actually started a company when I was at university. So you know, the agency started there. We will building in websitesand seal on them. And I actually I did go for some job interviews. I went for actually a job interview with Sun Microsystems. I mean that'san old company. They invented Java. I don't know who they've got boughtby oracle eventually. But I sat across the table from a guy and hesaid, you know, one of these questions. Wasn't I seen there ina small suit, because you know, that's all I had, and heasked me, you know what, what do you want to do in thefuture? I said, well, I think, I think I'd love tobe sitting across the table asking some young...

...guys, you know, pretty dumbquestions about what he wants to do for his future. That sounds like apretty good job. Yeah, I'll do what you're doing. I looks prettyeasy. You said that or you thought, yeah, he's said that. Saidokay, cheeky, and I don't know if that went down so well. So I didn't get a job at Sun Microsystems, that's for sure.Another thing happened. I was study actual studies, and I and I cameto the lecture and I said, I don't really I went to them upto and I said, I don't really know. You know what sort ofwhat's going on here, and the lecture said, yeah, I know.I said, Oh okay. I said, well, if it's that obvious,you know where with this lead me from from a career perspective? Andhe goes, well, Fred, you're going to be the one that talksof the clients. And so I said, I said, I see what's goingon here. So that sort of, you know, I realized that Iprobably wasn't the journey for me and I change course and I realized potentially, number one, I have my own ideas and, you know, Iback myself and I put my money behind them and I go for it.So I don't mind working for other people's vision as well, but I tendto enjoy and and I do. I do that all the time as well. So I'd finder and what we do, but I think I much prefer ininnovating and creating that and that's my best place to be, whereas youknow, you take a business and existing business and you know, I didn'treally to send the context or things like that where I can't really change anything. I'm not so good in that environment. So there was another another time.I was to give another story. I don't know year, if youwant to. I'm just sharing some of my past stories, right I pleaseriff. I used to work my first job, I used to work asa kitchen hand in the in the kitchen and I was we had it,we had a team meeting and I said to him, you know. Themanager said, okays, anything else? I said, yeah, I've gotan idea on how we can sell more chips. I said, you know, we can. Basically we should salt the chips. He goes, whyshould we salt the chips? I said we'll sell more drinks and he goes, maybe you should get back to clean the dishes and I said, AH, okay, I see what's going on here. And Yeah, I didn't. I didn't think that was probably again maybe a signal of maybe I shouldn'tbe I'm not the best operator, I'm probably the best better at coming upwith some some ideas on what to do. You want the decision making power atleast to test ideas. At that time. Did you have any rolemodels? Your parents? Where they ever entrepreneurial, or aunts or uncle's oranyone, or, you know, a mentor anything to look at, orwere you kind of wing it? My parents were doctors, so they kindof are their own sort of small business, you know, of themselves, butthey didn't run a big company. My mom had a secretary and thatwas it at the time. Eventually she went on to be a, youknow, another entrepreneur and she built her business up after twenty five years,which is interesting. Another story, another self. My next neighbor was heran a small business and he sold computer programs and I should have you know, I looked at how he ran his business and I found it interesting.But over time I think I just I've got a lot of mentorship through certainpeople that I would go to at times and then I would change or I'dread books and studied the way people did things, you know. A lotof the time, unfortunately, yeah, I didn't. In Australia that isa sort of a vacuum of strong entrepreneurial leaders. If there's just doesn't havethe generations of entrepreneurs that you can learn from, whereas you know, Americahas had many, many generations of big businesses. In in England as well, in the UK, they had that that that tenure, that time,that has been around a long time, and so there are people who've passedon the knowledge and the wisdom of running companies. So all at the time, I've learned through videos and go to conferences or go and meet special people. At certain times just have to go and hustle really, you know,most of my learning, I'd say, is through videos, which is kindof strange. You know, there's information products and that's how we actually Igot you know, I learned about you, Yarro, was through you had informationproducts, you had videos and things like that, and that's that's howI learned. It was just the way you have to do it because thethe actual people themselves he want to learn...

...from. On in Australia it's,you know, it's the end of the earth to tiny the island in themiddle of the Pacific and you know, the tiny couple of people is acouple of people there and that's about it. Well, the world stage in termsof population, it's a good chugraph. No, but yeah, yeah,it's it is funny you say that. I'm ticking back to my own experiencegrowing up in Brisbane and I don't recall a specific mentor besides, youknow Richard Branson through his book and let like you. Yeah, it wasit was reading books and then eventually, obviously as the Inson I grew moreonline courses and videos and so on. But there wasn't like the local celebrityentrepreneur like we have today where we all know you know who the WHO.Now there's the French of Basta's of the world that people can learn about.So I can take us far though, with your story. So the universitystudies don't strictly lead to starting a business, but you said you were taking sometechnical skills you were developing and then applying it to the Internet. Sowhen you say that, were you like? Did you just go straight to anagency, you know, building websites or software for companies, or areyou freelancing? What was the starting point? I'm just build websites for people.You know, it's pretty simple. Or probably not the smartest of services, you know, and in tens a business modelson's very scalable or three peopleintensive. But that's I didn't know any of the bet you know, thewiser about how to build a scalable business. But from that I learned. Thesecond company that we find out, we learned, you know, whatis a scalable company. You know, how do you not be involved froma people perspective day to day? You know, find a runs two sevenby itself. And so I made that mistake, you know, pretty brutally. You know, I think I actually remember. I bought an information productabout Internet marketing. I think it's one of the originals. Come with theguy's name. It where Rudel or that was a was a long time ago, like a real ridge, one of those original ones, like the milliondollar conference or something. I don't know. Okay, Oh, it's cool,I can see the guy's face, but super old school, I'm talkinglike the most old school you ever imagine it. And I bought the DVD's. I think I pay like a thousand dollars and that was the beginning.You know, I realized I saw how they run their business and the scalabilityand I realized then, okay, we need to use these skills we developed. Instead of building someone else's stuff, I need to build our own,and that's when we started like experimenting, Right. So we built a builtlike a poker site, we built a mother's Day present side as to doKu site, and one of them was the credit card comparison site called creditcard finder, and each of those sort of, you know, had acertain amount of performance. But the poker site was, you know, afat at the time. Texas hold them was be EAGAN. Then it kindof died off. So do who can really make money out of Mother's Daypresence is any one time a year, but the credit card comparison was somethingthat was all the time, and we just focused on that and realize thatall of our skills and all the things you've learned in the past could beapplied to this business. It was, I guess, something that we workedon on the side and then we sold the agency and then we came backto it after two and a half years and we just focused on it fulltime. And I'd say the first four and a half years probably even more. We didn't really think up a strategy. All we did was execute the playbookwe had from our clients, from what we've done in the past.Like we just didn't really have to think, you know, we just executed,and so it made the company grow very, very fast. So justto clarify, I cooks. I'm feel like I'm missing a few dots here. So you went from finishing university starting essentially a website building agency. You'rebuilding these websites for clients, which is forcing you to learn, I'm assuming, some basic search engine optimization just to get a bit of traffic for themand, you know, basic website building. Then you discover some Internet marketing trainingand that opens your eyes to this idea of building. It sounded likeyou're building niche content sites. Back in the like the you know, theold affiliate kind of days. You build a niche site, make a bitof affiliate money, then we want the...

...next one and the next one andhope, you know, they all make a even a hundred dollars a monthor something like that. That was like mid two thousands and think that waskind of popular. Yep, big time. Yeah, we got a thousand ofmains still in the whole stuff. You know, all those ideas.Yeah, yeah, and then it sounds like you saw the credit card finderas the one that was taking off, but then you realizing that's potentially adeeper that you can go into that niche and really dive into it. AndI know obviously you probably discovered the power of choosing really monetizable topic, onethat has an audience that's searching and looking to spend money, and you could, you know, service that. Now you keep saying we as well whenyou're answering these questions. Fread so, I'm assuming you know Fred graduates.Then you met, I know you've got a partner, business partner who's beenwith you, not just with a finder but with your agency as well.So when you're saying we, how did the team grow where they did theyall come into finder or did you your two men show when you had theagency what would look like back then? Yeah, so who's the week whenwe start up my side of the agency, as I said, with another businesspartner, Adam, and he wanted to go a different way. Sowe be part of ways. And then frank, who's, you know,with me today still? You know, we've been working since two thousand andthree. That's seventeen years. He came and joined me in the agency andwe built that into a real business. You know, and I think that'sthe partnership we've had for a very long time and we we know we reallyaffective. I think. Then Jeremy joined us the start in two thousand andnine, and that's when we really started to build finder. And what wereyou doing like? What was sleep deep with their roles to fine for eachyou guys are we are doing a bit everything. Or that's interesting one frankas he sudden very much. He came from a counting company, so hecame from a big investment firm called amp and also BMP parable, which isa bank, a Parisian Bank, and you know, you came from thatinvestent mindset. He did a counting so he's always looked sort of come fromthe finances, the analytics, and then he moved in really understood and learnedmarketing, and particularly Internet marketing, and Internet marketing is actually a very analyticalbusiness, particularly when you buy ads. So he mastered those skills. Helearned all about coding and learn about developing and you know, we didn't reallyoverlap in our skills, apart from, I guess, the finance you know, we both understood that. So we kind of did you separate things.I sort of looked at the the technology and I looked at the product andthings like that in the beginning and then over time. Actually, you know, we've sort of particularly in this business. In the previous business, I thinkwe know we were we were just learning, but in this one westarted in similar roles and you know, I think if you were to talkabout today, which I think is kind of interesting as well, is inthe beginning, I think I'm quite good and instead of one hundred and twentyfive, people like getting that initial start. And then after that, frank's verystronger, you know, when you know you're scaling from twenty five to, you know, a hundred, two, hundred, three hundred, and youknow really has that that management ability, whereas I think mine skills probably morelike a leader as opposed to a manager itself, which is again youknow that they don't kind of overlap but they're not in conflict with each other. So you have that space. But I think over time we've reinvented ourselvesmany, many, many, many times because, you know, we keepfinding people into the roles that we were doing in the business and I findmyself probably, I don't know, Forty five times, which is fair.And you know, I should do that because as the crew here are likeway better at executing things and doing things that I am. I'm, youknow, pretty average. I'm sure you could at some things. You sold. Freestyle media is the agency, right, that we keep talking about here.So can you maybe take us through that process, because I'd love totalk was some more about finder too, but I really feel like freestyle medialaid the foundation for a lot of what finder became. So, yeah,what point did you decide you want to sell it and why did you notwant to keep it going? And what it looked like was it? Didyou make it up money to retire at that point? What were you atwith freestyle media? Yeah, so we sold that company for one point threemillion. So it was, you know,...

...for us it was more money I'veever seen the entire world, and I think I was twenty six atthe time, and that was a good business, that at the time.But it commoditized, you know, did you? The latencies were all thefat, and so we were like, okay, let's go and grow.You move into a big group who will go on do because things. Andso we did that in the company and she still exists today and it's stillwas carrying on. But I think for us we realized while we were inthere, maybe this is not, you know, the direction we want togo in the future. It's more, you know, we've been thinking upthese other ideas and we've been trying to we want to build something where we'renot doing a service or do something where we've built a product. Nonsense,right, change. Well, you know, we have clients, lots of them, partners and customers, because we have, I guess, a marketplace. We've got both sides. But I think, I think it's more it'snot a service. That's the difference. So it's not like you have totrade hours for money. And that's where we change. That's the business modelthat we weren't we were keen to adapt towards. And that was only arealization. I took a long time. I took properly seven years to realize. I think I saw a lot of on its now entrepreneurs of a lotof people build lot great businesses where they weren't selling services, and I andwe learn a hard lesson from that. And then vowed never to sell ourservices ever again, which is nice, and that was a key decision atthe time, you know, and I think that changed our lives a lotand, you know, forced us to learn different skills. It forced usto think differently and value different things. So I guess you would have realizedwhat kind of roles you wanted to going forward with the next business and howyour life would look like in terms of time, even, you know,not holding too maybe phone calls or deadlines driven by living a service. Isit correct to say that you guys, straight after leaving or selling freestyle media, you were like, was it all three of you going, let's startthe next project and do the things now that we know we do want todo and not do the things we now know we don't want to do?It was that it? Or did you have a break maybe in between anddid the classical travel around the world thing, as every Australian does it some point? Yeah, so we spent two and a half years doing an earnout and and so frank it was just frank and I who did that,but then after that Jeremy joined us, so he didn't do that earn outpart and you know, we took a break, I guess, towards theend of that you know, we didn't work nowhere near as hard as weused to and I guess we were demotivated by the whole thing, just thatthat company's management wasn't necessary, the way we didn't like the way they didn'tsort of vibe with our sort of management style, and that's okay, butit's their company, know, and they wanted to run how they want torun. That's okay. You know. I think that was kind of thebreak, you know, there and we sort of did a lot of thinkingduring that time. I traveled to Chicago because I won the young direct marksof the year and that opened my mind and open my eyes to America.I was like wow, look at this country, it's incredible. You know. We did all of thinking for two and a half years and that sortof brewed up this real passion desire to go and create something incredible for thenext company, and I think that was that was good, you know,that break. HMM. was there a sitting on a bunch of counches exchangingideas kind of moment and then suddenly you're like finder, or how did theidea generation go no, because we done rested finder in two thousand six right, and so it had already been. The credit card find a website wasstill love. It was up and running because it was an experiment from myprevious company. But we didn't sell that company. We kept that company.She got to keep credit card findcom but the agency went to them correct correct. So We'd already thought the idea and we went through the same, youknow, similar ideation process. But yeah, it was it wasn't it? Basicallywhat the way we've count with that name is we called Google Keyword list, explored it and I literally just typed into, you know, a domainname site the exact match keywords of every single credit card keyword. It was, you know, and I credit card...

...docom ARY was taken a right,credit cardscomedy taken, credit card cod parison was taken, which went all theway down and then the sixth one was credit card finder and that wasn't taken. So I registered that and that was the site. So, you know, I guess that brings us to another moment. Is when did we usedto be homeland find a credit card finder? All these kind of domain names,you know, you do something with them. That like did you buildwebsites, ry articles, so on. So you just like traditional content marketingstrategy. Correct, Yep, and I was you guys sitting there rating orin the beginning, I did a bit of writing and, you know,I outsourced a little bit, but you know, I was the in thevery, very start, I did all parts of it. I even codeda you know, built the links, I did everything. I'd write articlesand then slowly over time, you know, we created a structure and we wefollowed as a book called The e Myth that we, I'm sure everyentrepreneurs probably read, but just helped us a lot to the spilled out exactlywhat we need to do and why. And all those sites made money,like they was. It a case of Google sending a traffic and affiliate salesstarted coming through and where you go? Yeah, it's small amounts, youknow, with all these things, you know it's small winds, but theyall add up and you got to keep building, you know. HMM.And it's obviously a big difference between a few small winds on a you knowand handful of finance niche websites to what finder is today. So like,okay, there's only different phases of this too. I'm assuming you know youat some point it, given what you just said, to with the emyth, you're thinking I can't be the one writing every article and I can'tbe the one coding every website and doing backlink development and right. So thenyou think I need to hire a specialist at Seo or even one writer andone link grower. Is that how you kind of thought? And then youhad to balance the cash flow to hire them with the growth of the site. Is that kind of balancing act you have to do? Yeah, dividingup the rolls into actual roles, definitely, and then, you know, managingcash flow throughout that hundred percent. You know, we have very strictbudgets and I message what the budget is, what we can spend, conspand andyou know, just very I've always been a very mindful of cash flowand something I look at all the time and I think that's because of ouragency days. No, we just didn't have much money. So it wasabsolutely brutal, you know, getting cash in and making sure it was flowing. So I've always been, you know, from those very early days, mindfullike that. And now you're in the helping people save money with theirfinance decisions. So there's obviously correlation a little this hundred percent, you know, and I think that's the thing. It translates well, you know,being through all and teaching people with that, with that, with you know,content and doing them all around the world. I think it helps peoplea lot. You know, it's a social mission. Okay, could youtake us for those? So how do the team grow and what point didyou get finercom? I'd love to just keep the how does the journey go? In the beginning we were just doing credit cards for I'd say a goodfour years. Yeah, it's as really yeah, that's a long time tofocus. And then we started, you know, home loans and savings andlife insurance and we just kept spreading and then, I think about two thousandand thirteen we bought find it out calm today, you which the Australian versionand we can solidate the domains. Which is it? You know, froman SEOPIPECTU that's super high risk, dangerous. I've just gone through the main namechange and over lost halfway traffic, so I know what that was tofell like. Yeah, so every you know, and we were living anddying by that. And then we've expanded as well. Through then. Wemass a different channels to get traffic and we started building better products. Sowe's hired developers. We never had developers for a very long time. Wejust running lots of lots of content and making small, little hacks. Andthen, I think you know where it changed is when we had that onedomain. And then the moment in time, and I remember it was probably twothousand and fourteen, two thousand. Yeah, around then we made ourfirst TV ad. Oh well, fun,...

...and that was the moment when Irealized, you know what, are we gonna say yes and being cool. Right, you can't call it credit card final, homeland final, youcould call it something. So that's when we got the final that coming areyou do main name and we built the Jingle, which you know, Ithink everyone knows today, and that was an experience. I can tell youthe story around that. You know, lots not of failed attempts to getthat. But when we're running the ad, you know, we made it inhouse ad we're going to put on the TV. I think we spentlike ten grand making it. Hired someone in house. I wrote the copiedmyself. And pull a little voice over to it. And but I realizedwhen we were doing it the problem was, what if someone doesn't know, doesn'tpick up that it's finercom today, you but if someone types in Findercom, because whenever, you know people here websites are just type incom. Coursewhat was planedcom before you guys had it. So it was, you know,it was a Russian dating site, or it's that makes sense, allsorts of things, but it was owned by one of those squatters. OhNo, that you know, I think anythingcom owns it and something like that. You know, those guys that have all the ever listen to main namesthey own. They are super high premium. And you know that was the one. We thought, well, we've always wanted to go overseas and youknow my triprivacies before. Just open my mind to it. But we thought, you know, maybe we should broaden our vision and not just be anAustralian company but big global comparison business. And you know, deep down thatdecision pretty, pretty monumental one to make and it really was the moment whenwe decided. I think we paid three hundred thousand us for findercom and Iwas when the Australian dollar was about fifty four cents. We probably held outsix hundred. Yeah, but six hundred thousand Australian or three hundred thousand us, and there was, you know, some other fee involved as well anyway. But that's a significant, you know, decision and massive investment, right,like, you know, you're not. You don't get anything from that.If you by the domain name, you just get a domain name.That's it. Then you have to change your website to this new domain andpotentially lose some traffic or right, some rankings. They're right. And massiveamount of risk, massive amounts of investment and planning. And you know youwere the other thing you got to remember when you go back in time,and this is a thing important to realize, is fine as a bootstrap company,right. So it's not like we raise up a whole lot of moneyand we could just make an investment like that and spend and if it didn'twork out whatever, we're trading off our own cash balance, right, ourcash flow. How was your prosent? Pretty big, cool. Yeah,right, you know, instead of paying you up, but even in youknow, we would reinvesting, and I think that's the moment when we sortof the look outside Australia and we'd sort of got the business in two thousandand sixteen to a point where a lot of the roles were like in theeight an em if they all had titles, they all had people in them,they were doing a great job. And we sort of hit a pointwhere I personally did. I hit a point where, you know, Iwasn't really needed in the company anymore. You know, all my roles havebeen taken the processes and systems have been done set up and then it wasrunning. Was A beautiful Australian company. MMM, but that it's just,you know, for us it I remember the moment we just said look,that I just didn't think that's going that's what we were trying to achieve inour love. I've you know, if you look back and you know,you ask yourself, you know, if I was a diet to day,how do you feel and if that was the end? And that's what Ilearned from selling that first agency is that if you don't set your sights,you know, high enough, then you know you're probably never going to getthere. And that was fine for that agency and that Toas a lot,but I think this one was about what do you as a person want todo and going overseason and building a global company. I think that's that's alwayswhat we that sort of scratches that itch. And if I turned around look backwardsnow it's you know, we've done a lot of those things, butthat was the moment where things really changed. You've got people where you're hiring peopleand then not actually working in the company. They're working on the companyfor the next you know, to build...

...bridges to and systems and processes andscale them around the world and you're doing stuff, but you know it's allcost but it's not. You have to basically overhaul and reinvent yourself again,right, because you're opening up Canada and can and it has gotten no presenceand you have to write Canada articles. So it's like starting from scratch,a whole new company, almost right. Yeah, I got into thousand andsixteen. I remember I was seeing frank and I said I did said thenI feel really bad. We're seeing the coffee shop and I said, Ifeel really bad. I don't think I do anything here anymore. You know, he said, he's it. Then that's fine, understand by your deskand people will talk to you. It's okay, you know you're like thegrand father. Just chill, it's okay, fine, you our mask cut now. I have a couple of questions, though, because I'm feel like I'mmissing a few steps, or at least some clarification in my brain.Is it to get from you know this this company where you were doing sortof niche credit card sites and then, like we talked about earlier, you'remaking some affiliating income and it's slowly increasing and your then you reach the pointwhere you can spend six hundredzero the STRALIAN dollars on a domain name, whichmeans obviously that compounding crew to reach the point today where you're in a businessinsider article talking about, you know, hundreds of millions of Dollar Valuation Company. Is it? I know the answers, no, but maybe you can clarify. Is it as simple as getting more traffic and selling more because ofthat traffic? Of You know, affiliate relationships, maybe some advertising as well, partnerships, like you said? Is it just the numbers get bigger foreverything you do, or is there something else going on to reach that kindof size company? Well, you know, yes, I think to some extent. You know, there's a certain stage, yes, where you canjust get more traffic and you can see more pawners. But the problem happen? What happens then is you take a simple business and you scale it.It doesn't just you know, I think you like this. If you werestill wearing the clothes that you're wearing when you were a teenager or like youwere, you know, seven years old, like you'd still be able to likeplay, you know, games and do whatever you do your life asyou would normally, but you'd be kind of restricted and you kind of growout of all that that stuff you had in the past. So you getmad age issues around the system that runs, say even the partnerships or the systemthat run, and you know, the holds the website up just justtoo she hosting, you know, like structure and framework. It just,you know, falls apart a certain point. I remember us that was going downliterally almost twice daily and we would just call up. I remember thebeginning. We used to make a mistake on the website. We call upthe hosting coming to hey man, can you just reset everything that? WeSund it back a bit. Yeah, wind it back. We made ofUS stay cool. Thanks very much. They'd wind it back. We're backonline. Thanks very much, you know. And we'd be down for hours andnormally care. Now you know, we can't be down for hours likewe're looking at. You know, we the uptime be just because the shehad numbers of people and the amount of money that was spending. It allstacks. So I'd say it's partially do more of what you're doing, butthen on the other side I'd say a lot of it is dealing and reinventingyourself, your systems and your processes continuously when you're in a certain size company. I don't you know. You know they talk about different numbers of people, but once you hit sort of you go there's a thing called done barslaw. When you hit a hundred, fifty people plus, then just youknow, if you want to communicate one message out to everyone, that's nota simple thing to do anymore, you know, because let's say, whattwo thirds are the people and inside find or a sleep and you know youcan't just send a slack message and they all get it. That doesn't work. Yeah, you know, eventually, but if that's a certainly a sortamount of context of that message right. If you want to say something quitecomplicated, you know and so you know you to deal with that. Ithink in the small vision of it, yes, what you're saying is correct, but what goes along with that? I think no one realizes the extremeamount of challenge that's involved with scaling and...

...getting alignment, pivoting implementing a strategy. Let me give you an example. Right, so, let's say you'vegot thirty minutes of talk to the whole company. Let's just say, forexample, what are you going to say in those thirty minutes? Like,you can't talk about everyone. You can probably talk about what two are threethings Max, and so you're not going to talk about absolutely everything. You'regoing to talk about the two or three things that really matter right now.And that doesn't mean that everything else is not important. It's just that thesethings are very important. If we achieve these as a company, you knowwe're going to get there. And so you've got to work out very preciselywhat are those three things you're going to say. You can't just, youknow, say everything you've just usually you know and that that's the work,that's the time and that's the growth in the learning that you need to doand also to continue to scale and learn to management and leadership and communication skillsare. So that's where you have some so much learning on over time.It's interesting because you know from the perspective of say, a small business,often it's like just send me another hundred customers so I can make another milliona year, and then another hundred customers and then another hundred customers, andit's just like algorithmic numbers. But what you're really saying here is that happens. But then because of the sheer multitude of variables that are getting combined,the number of staff, the amount of traffic, the number of partners,it just creates so many layers of potential communication issues. That alone is probablythe biggest challenge to deal with, like the management of it, not justthe execution of it. So, but I won't we only have another fiveor so minutes and I am really curious to also ask you about the future. Besides, clearly your vision is for finder to answer the problems, well, answer the questions around the entire world, now that you've had a solid presencein Australia and expanding globally. But you're doing some other stuff. You'realso well known now in the cryptocurrency world, which might surprise some people. SoI'm curious how did that happen and why do you decide to get intoit? And what is it? I know you have an exchange in Australiaand it is that connected to find her in any way? Yeah, sowe set up fond of inches and, you know, we started experimenting withjust like we did with the other company. You know, what are sort ofthe three things you're going to start a company today, that we shouldget involved with and we should learn about, and we sat well, blockchains prettyimportant, so we made an investment into that and we decided to goand master that, and part of that is cryptocurrency. So we were justlearning and understanding the whole environment, and so that was the that was oneof the reasons why I went into that. We've also built an APP and applicationthat kind of automates your comparisons and tells you really smart things. Soyou connect your bank account up and to it and it basically checks all yourhealth insurance, your energy and those kind of things and sells you can savemoney. So that's another sort of I guess it's in the field of automationand potentially towards AI, and we're thinking earlier. What could we do inthe future fin down those things? Right? Yeah, fintach and banking, andbecause I think banking and those kind of things are is really changing aswell. Now, what is a bank in the future, I think isI don't think. I think they the entire banks that are headless, soyou don't even you can't even speak to them because they are they all workthrough third parties. You know they'll be. Google was just trying to build abank to some extent, but they probably have a bank behind them andthat would be the Bank of the future where they master fraud and, youknow, in all the things that they do in the background and leave thecustomer relationship to someone else. So I think that's where the changing. Thenature of the world's changing, and that's all we're trying to make some investmentsand build some services and products with finder that will help people make decisions andsave money in their lives. What about you personally, Fred, like I'mcurious, did you ever explain, like to have you know, that kindof personal wealth and what are you motivated personally to do? How is lifechanged since that that new this this kind of a size company is that willbecome, you know, you and your your success story. You know,I think I've had to reinvent myself many, you know, quite a few times, and that's definitely been very challenging and I think I don't a littlework around figuring out what I'm good at.

And, you know, I thinkmy purpose is to inspire and challenge people to do great things and that'ssort of, you know, the kind of place I love to start from. And then I think there's many ways in which that happens, but Ican see myself doing, you know, in building finder for a quite aquite a few more years, because I think I've only just begun and Ithink we're in the precipice of some tectonic plates actually changing world place to actuallymake the investments and build the products and services then and help people all aroundthe world and I think help them with just really clean, modern banking andinsurance and lending services like that. Share trading investing. I think find itcan be an instrumental part that people day to day use for their for theirfinancial life. I guess, and I think we're real place to do thatand I'm really excited to build stuff like that. That's fun to me.Yeah, definitely where I think we're going to go. So I'm off forthat. You know, I love building. HMM. It's like like bringing thingsfrom not created into the reality of the world. MMM, and it'scool you've considering. You know, it's we're over decade more than that.You've been doing kind of the same thing, not exact same thing. Obviously there'sa massive growth with two companies when exit, but you're still got thefire to go out there and sort of use content to answer people's problems.So that's awesome. Besides the obvious, I know we can find more aboutfinder by going to find ercom. Is there any other, you know,websites you want to throw out or any links or any projects you want tomention? You know, I think this apps a big deal and I thinkit will be amazing. I think you know we got hive x with thatcryptocurrency, which is kind of cool. But you know, follow me onLinkedin and I put a lot of stuff there and you can you know ifpeople want, are interested if they're not, that's fun as well. But hopefullydoing some pretty cool stuff. I follow you that. I appreciate that, yere. I appreciate that. It's so interesting. You know, Ithink I remember listening to your podcasts and reading your articles and I loved totransparent you were and that was incredible. It really opened my mind to,you know, how you could build a really genuine business. So I havea lot of respect for your work, Yarrow. So I'm sure you yourlisteners here as well, would attribute that as well, I guess. Yeah, I'm I would say you've contributed some in a way to what I've created. Oh, that's amazing to hear. For it, I mean I'm insome ways super motivated by what you've done, like I want to get on boarda bigger train to so I love hearing your success stories, finder.But yeah, I appreciate the comment. I've been doing this for as longas you've been doing Aristos, so you know it's labor of love. ButFred rat a time. So I would love to ask you so many morequestions. I know you're busy guy, sort of. So thank you foranswering some questions, telling us to find a story and good luck with it. It sounds like it's only getting started. No, wis. I appreciate yeah, I really appreciate it, the opportunity and hopefully we're going to createsome some pretty incredible things. Thank you. Hey, this is yarrow and thanksfor being a listener. Now, in this episode, if there wassomething you think could benefit a friend, a family member, a colleague,maybe an entrepreneur that you know. Maybe was something to do with getting trafficor launching a product. We're just coming up with an idea, make sureyou send this episode to them. It could change the trajectory of their lifeand I'd really appreciate the introduction to my show. Also, if you're nota subscriber, make sure you click that subscribe button, whether it's in Googleor apple or youtube or spotify, and you'll get my episodes as I releasethem. Thanks again for being a listener. Thanks for listening to Yarrows podcast.For more episodes, visit Yarrow Dot blog and subscribe on itunes or Google.

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