Vested Capital
Vested Capital

Episode 15 · 1 year ago

(EP15): Todd Garland Founder, The Origin Story Scaling To $10+ Million


In episode 8 of Vested Capital I featured an interview with VC and entrepreneur Elizabeth Yin.

During that interview Elizabeth shared the story of how she founded LaunchBit and later sold the business to Todd Garland, the founder of . This happened in 2013.

In 2012, I had Todd Garland on my podcast, where he explained how he came up with the idea and launched as a startup he created during nights and weekends while he was working at Hubspot.

I went back and listened to the interview and thought it offers some great insight into what Todd did to grow his company to an eight figure business. 

Hence I decided to resurface it for you today as a Vested Capital flashback episode.

Here's the original description I wrote for the podcast...

Todd Garland is the founder of, an advertising management platform and ad selling service that I have to say I am quite jealous of.

Why am I jealous?

Because Todd has built a company – a company doing over $10 million a year in revenue – with the same idea I had.

Amazingly enough, after talking to Todd for this interview it appears we had almost exactly the same idea around the same time (2007), except Todd went on to implement it straight away, where I waited another four years… sigh.

In this interview, you will hear how Todd was a college dropout and after both his mother and father died around the same time, found himself at a big crossroads. He managed to get work at a development firm, and eventually started a couple of design sites on the side – CSS Elite and 13 Styles.

His websites became popular and he started selling advertising. As a result of this experience, he had an idea for an advertising management service that would help you manage and sell ads. The key differences to any other platform at the time were that Todd wanted to sell ads for a monthly fee on subscription and he wanted his software to make the ad-buying process completely automated.

He coded up BuySellAds version 1.0 by himself and after waiting six months to get over the fear of releasing it, he finally did. Within two months he was making $5,000 a month and it grew from there.

Today BuySellAds is a leader in the direct advertising business. Todd is continuing to innovate, now offering more forms of advertising such as Twitter, RSS, App, and Email Newsletter ads. Listen to this interview and you will hear how it all began.

Enjoy the episode,



Hey there, this is yarrow and welcome to vested capital episode number of fifteen, a flashback episode featuring my guest Todd Garland from by sell adscom. bested capital is a podcast about how people make money and put their capital to work. So I've been interviewing start up founders and angel investors, venture capitalist, Crypto and Stock Traders, real estate investors and leaders in technology for the last few months when I rebranded the vested capital podcast. But what you might not know is I've actually been doing a version of this podcast since all the way back in two thousand and five. It was originally called the entrepreneurs journey podcast. I then rebranded it to the yarrow podcast, kind like a personal brand, and then most recently have change gears. It's become bested capital. I've also expanded the scope of the show to really tap into other areas of growing your capital. So now I'm featuring Angel Investors and meture capitalists and Crypto and property people. Were really the show for almost, I guess, fifteen years was mostly about start up founders and in particular I tended to focus more on information marketers, so people who were knowledge experts growing a teaching education business. However, there were a lot of episodes like the one I'm going to share with you today with the founder who did build a significant business that wasn't specifically in education business. This like my guest Todd Garland, who grew by sell ads into a ten million dollar a year business. Now I say that ten million dollars a year because that was the number at the point I interviewed him, all the way back in two thousand and twelve. But you're going to hear in today's episode. I have no doubt that Bisell ads is a lot larger today, but I think it's great to hear the story from the point when someone's business reaches eight figures, there's a great origin story to share, which is pretty much what this podcast does. It shares the origin of a ten million dollar online advertising company. Now, the reason why I'm sharing this interview with you today as a resurface of an older episode is because I just published the Elizabeth Y in interview, a brand new interview on the show. It was way back, not too long ago now, episode number eight of ast the capital, just a few weeks from the time I'm publishing this one, and Elizabeth is currently a general partner and Co founder of a fund to Venture Capital Fund called Hustle Fund. You're welcome to go and listen to that, but invested capital episode eight. But why I thought of Todd Garland was because during the interview with Elizabeth she told her origin story as an entrepreneur and she through, you know, early days, going through things like five hundred startups, which is an accelerator for startups. She launched a company called launch bit and then launch bit was sold to buy sell ads, which is todds company. So Todd actually purchased launch bit, which is Elizabeth's company. She explains what happened. She didn't stay within by cell adds. She actually left after the company was sold. But it made me think it would be great to go back and share this interview with Todd so you can kind of, you know, get the perspective of what Todd has been doing. It's about an advertising company. It's like it's funny actually, as I read, listened to this episode just to make sure it's still relevant for you. And the reason, or part of the reason anyway, why I originally interviewed todd was in two thousand and twelve, when this interview was done. I was the cofounder of a company called Cranky ad so only my long term followers will know this. Cranky adds is a company I started with to cofounders Walter and Mick. They were my Dev's I was back in Brisbane, Australia. It was a company that I was very excited to build a bit. I'll be honest with you. It was also a very frustrating company because of this slow building process. Technology, software. You know, Sass, it's a hard job, but it's an engineering task. I'm not an engineer, so I felt very constrained by that. And the funny thing is the idea for cranky ads. I won't go too deep, but it was essentially an advertising platform and network for bloggers. So it's going to connect advertisers and connect bloggers and allow them to easily place advertisements on blogs and of course bloggers could make money. I had the audience, having been a blogger and a blog teacher, so I was ready to bring my audience. I just needed the tool in the platform and actually had the idea for this business a good three or four years prior to that. I was sort of the late s when I originally thought of the idea, which happened to be the same time that todd launched by sell ads. So, long story short, Todd actually built a great company. I wish it was me. You can hear that in this interview today. I was a little bit like, Oh, why didn't I start when todd started? Why didn't I take this? As you know, my one...

...main focus a hundred percent business and it's it's very obvious to me why. I was actually successful coach teacher at the time, making a lot of money selling my own coaching program so I wasn't about to just give all that up to jump to a new software start up. Until four or five years later, two thousand and twelve, I was doing that. I actually took a break from the coaching space to launch this software start up. I really saw that as my future. That company ended up running for about two or three years before we decide to close it down. You can go to my blog and read the backstory behind crank yards and why eventually we made that choice to shut it down. It is simply was an engineering challenge that we were not ready to face and we didn't want to take investors on. So you know, we weren't that hungry for it, I guess, is the short answer. They're todd was. Todd built a great company, grew it to ten million dollars plus. It's probably way bigger, as I said at the start now, and this all connects together. So there's Elizabeth selling to todd, was me focusing on a SASS start up for the first time and todd kind of being the representation of what I thought my company could have been. And Todd, obviously just being a SASS founder, has a great story to share. So that's my very long winded preamble as to why I'm resurfacing this interview with Todd Garland, the founder of bicell ads, and even though it is nine years old, as I am republishing this for you, you will get a lot out of this. There's a great origin story to share from Todd. You know all the early stuff. How did he actually build the first version? How do you get his first clients? The niches that he went after early days? You know how fast that it grow. These are all the answers that we want to know as start up founders ourselves, especially if you're doing something like Sass or advertising. That's the space that todd launched in and you know, I think it's still a hot space right now. So I know todd is continued to grow by cell adds and of course he's been acquiring companies to like launch but Elizabeth INS Company. So it's a great success story. That's it. I'm going to stop now so we can dive straight into the interview. I should also just give you a little disclaimer here. This is me as an interviewer. Nine years ago I listened to this interview and I cringed a little bit with a few things. So it's still a good interview. You probably won't notice it, you know, it's like when you listening to your own voice. You like, Oh, why did I talk like that? Oh why did I ask that question? But you know, it's it is still, I think, a solid interview, so you will enjoy it. So yeah, I'm going to press play. Here is the interview with Todd Garland. Well, the point being you're in charge of a company making more than eight million dollars a year and I'd love to learn more about obviously bice lads, but we need to go back in time and I get todd story from the beginning. So, todd, where were you born and raised and did you go to university? Sure so. I was born and raised in a little town in Maine and southern Maine called Cape Porpoise, and Cape Porpoise is actually part of a larger town in May that's better known called Kenny Bunkport. In the reason why I knt bunk bunkport is known as because there were a couple presidents who summer there, both of the bushes. So while I don't claim any sort of political affiliation, if I say Kenny Bunkport, some folks will know where that is. Okay, I claim to fame. Yeah, exactly. Is An entrepreneur hotbed. Well, you know, it's a tourist town, right. So, like, I think any Churnistown, there's definitely a you know, there's hustle involved because you have all these rich people infiltrating your town every summer and you have to try to figure out how to make money from them. You know, did you attempt this to yeah, I mean I think. I guess my fondest memories of childhood would be trying to sell some of my parents items from the house when they weren't paying attention out on the street. I'd set up these impromptu yard sales and stuff like that without them knowing. Well, I definitely got in trouble a few times, you know, because I was like something like I remember one time I sold my dad stereo system and who wasn't happy at all. So what did you get for it was market value? I mean I had no concept of what it was worth. I think I'd made like twenty bucks. You know, I could understand, why not the upset. So that was your your lemonade stand, basically your first kind of business as a kid. Yeah, that was my lemonade stand. But I'd say the the work I'm I don't know if I should say most proud of, but the work I enjoyed most when I was growing up was in high school, and those actually washing dishes at a restaurant. And it's not to like paint some sort of rags. The richest thing I actually thoroughly enjoyed washing dishes because I could sit there and do this repeatable thing without really putting much thought into it. And it's kind of like software. I mean I don't want to say that you know you don't put much thought into software, but once you have it built, it's you know, the thinking that you do isn't as intense as it was building. You just going to try and sell it and repeat... over and over again. Yeah, okay, it's an interesting analogy. I was sort of thinking that maybe you were a stone or when you're a teenager, or maybe you were really zen, so you just like sitting there watching the dishes. But what you said is a lot better. So now I was a straight shooter man. I think in high school I missed like one day in four years. So I was I was a shy, straight shooter kind of guy and that led to university. So before I went off to university, actually studied abroad and in Brazil for a full year, and so that was a year between high school and college, like a gap year. Yeah, exactly, and you know, I actually think that was probably one of the more formative times of my life. I think just because I think, you know, anytime you experience you know, different culture and kind of have to ingrain yourself and then in a different way of life overall, it's a pretty eye opening type experience, especially outside of the states. You know, right, and you're eighteen, so that's pretty young. It's a new culture and new language musty challenging. Did you just so study? What? What is it called? Is like a diploma, or what is the gap year with it? Of course, see this. This is the best part. I didn't have to return with any sort of accomplishment whatsoever other than saying, like you know, I submerged myself within the culture and learn the language and stuff like that. I didn't need any more credits to graduate high school and of course you know that you're abroad didn't really impact my ability to get into a college. And so it was. It was more so just, I don't want to say a vacation, because I worked hard while I was there. But you worked hard doing what I mean, I think what I meant by work hard. I worked hard to, you know, I guess, so bit myself to their culture and try and take in all that I could. So, but you weren't studying university lectures or high school courses or anything like that. He was just living in Brazil and learning a language. Yeah, exactly. I mean I went to high school, but I guarantee all the days that I didn't skip school in my regular high school, I definitely skipped in Brazil. So probably a more distracting there more things to go out and do. Yeah, okay, so you come back from Brazil and you go straight into high schoubs are university. So before I went to university, I actually took some computer classes at a community college. How come? To be honest, I just had no idea what I really wanted to do. I remember I took a photoshop course, which I really loved, and I took a course in like operating a like a you know, a video camera like on a movie set or something like that. Right, and then I was, you know, working another you know, parttime job. I was landscaping that that fall, and I think it was more so I was still kind of decompressing from my year abroad and trying to figure out what my next steps would be, because while I was still in Brazil, I hadn't really planned forward for attending some sort of university. And so that follows when I was kind of getting all my ducks in a row, and then that's when I applied to a university and started there in that winter. So can you put a time stamp on this, like when when you came back from Brazil? What year was it? So you know where the Internet was at the time. Yeah, sure, so I was in Brazil between one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine and two thousand, and so I came back from Brazil the summer of two thousand and then started college the winter of two thousand and one. Okay, so we're looking at thecom boom. Basically, was when you were starting college, exactly. And I actually I didn't have my first computer, I don't think, until I was actually in Brazil. Right, so you're not exactly what you call a child prodigy when it comes to developing software and having a business. You were selling your dad stuff on the street. The besides that, I wasn't really anything else in terms of your background. No, I mean, I'm no proud of you whatsoever. Okay, well, so you go into university, then a college, sort of not really sure what to do. What, what degree did you do? So I actually study Portuguese, of course. Yeah, exactly, and I mean I would have spoke Portuguese. So, but I didn't really know what I actually wanted to do. But at the time I was I was building websites and so, I mean to be honest, I don't really know what I was thinking. I didn't really have any sort of like very direct plan for my life. At that point, I was just living, you know, it's like, okay, I'm going to go to school and you know, I'm not going to lie here in the states. Like School for some people isn't all about studying, like for me, maybe that's what I should have been focused on, but I didn't have it all put together yet.

I didn't have that puzzle figured out. So you basically went to parties. What you're saying? Well, this's and now, I mean, I don't know. I was just having a good okay, having the college experience with maybe not so much focused on the education, but maybe your parents don't want to hear that. Right. Nothing to matters now because you're in charge of a company. So yeah, I don't want to sound like a total scrow, but I mean, you know, let's be honest. I went to college majoring in Portuguese, for which I had absolutely no intention of ever, you know, you know, I had no idea how I would actually apply that to my life from there that, from that point forward, I was thoroughly ingrained and I building websites and knew that was something that I love to do at the time, but there was no real sort of structure, coursework around anything like that. I mean, certainly there's definitely a you know, computer science, but my brain is much more creative than technical in that sense. You know right. And in terms of building websites, you are basically taught from those those courses you did, and self taught. Is that it? Yeah, I'd say more so self taught. When I returned from Brazili, I actually started a website called the International Exchange Student News, and that's really what, you know, is my first experience building something online and you know, I had to figure out how to do because I had I couldn't afford to pay anybody to build the site for me. And that was a hobby, though, that that never became like a money making business. Yeah, definitely. You know, it was funny somebody, I think people, would email me to buy ads in the site and I was just it's like I was like what, you want to pay me to put something on the website? No, I mean this isn't really for that. This is just for exchange students. You know, I totally didn't get it. Well, good thing you figured out eventually. So Take Uspor then. So you're doing it's two thousand, you're more sort of the first few years of two thousand. You're doing a Portuguese qualification in at college, but you're also building websites. I'm assuming that's kind of like you're spending money, the money you made from building websites. Right, definitely. Did you start a business then after graduation, or what happened? Wow, so that's actually a really good question. You probably in know that you were walking that question. I won't lie. My life literally fell off a cliff in two thousand and three, and the reason why is because both my parents actually passed away within two months of each other. Oh well, yeah, so all of a sudden, you know, the the the Party and good time at college came to screeching hall. But that was unrelated how they died. Or yes, it was, it was. It was unrelated. So you did not see this coming, that's for sure. No, not at all. Okay, so, yeah, well, that how did you how did you continue from that point forward then? So, I mean, I think for me at that point, because I had fallen behind a full semester in college and most of my friends were actually already a semester ahead of me, because I started halfway through the year when I first started college, and so all of a sudden they were all graduating and I was still going to be there for another full year, you know, having my parents just died, I was like, oh great, so now I'm going to be here trying to deal with this. Clearly my parents aren't around now, my friends are going to be leaving. You know, I'm going to go crazy in this place in western mass like you know, it's just not going to and so I literally I I still didn't really know what to do, I'm not going to lie, and I sent around some my resume to a few actually thought it was fun at the time. I was like, I'm just going to send my resume to some of these companies in Boston and see what happens, and luckily I ended up meeting with these two other guys who had, I guess, what we called an interactive agency at the time, and you know, they were just in the process of really starting that company and stuff like that, and so actually entered a great time, took a fulltime job there and it was, you know, all of a sudden I was no longer in college. So I guess you could say I'm a drop out. Okay, so you actually didn't finish the degree. That's correct. So I didn't finish their degree. I still want to, but it's definitely taken a backseat in terms of you know, where I spent my time. That fair enough. Okay, so you're working at what was it? An Interactive Agency? So what do they do? So basically the same thing I was doing freelance. We built websites for other people. We manage, you know, search marketing campaigns. We sold Seo before we even really knew what SEO was. You know, kind of back in those times when it's like the whole pitch was, you know, a website as an online brochure, as crazy as it sounds, like that was literally like part of the pitch that actually made us a decent amount of... back then. Yeah, okay, so it's a capitalizing on that initial move with all these companies want to have a web presence. And really that was, I guess, the early days, in some summer guards. So static brochure websites. Did advertising come into it by then? You started to see that as a revenue stream anywhere? or we still far away from kind of seeing the vision. We're getting closer but more so, I mean we were we were spending advertisers and money managing paid search campaigns, and so that Paperclick, though. Yeah, that was paper click. Okay, and around the same time, I'd say, after I've been working there for a couple of years, I started playing around with some some websites as a hobby, and so one of those sites I ran was CSS elitecom, which was just another one of those CSS galleries which were a diamond does and back in the day, I'm assuming might now you've actually developed some good design skills, because if you're starting a CSS space website, you obviously have an eye for design or care about that industry a lot. Yeah, I mean I think, I think I could say that. I mean I built a lot of sites for a lot of clients and you know, I definitely discovered some sort of good fit there with my personal skills in terms of CSS. I mean that's back when, you know, we're first switching from tables to cuss based layouts, and luckily that whole thing kind of clicked in my mind early on, and that's when I feel like, in terms of actual skills they started to really accelerate. Okay, and in terms of your entrepreneurism. At this stage, you know your employee still. You haven't really had a business yet. Are you hating being an employee or is it okay, like where's your attitude towards breaking free from that hundred to twenty five Rowl? So I actually actually owned a small percentage of that business, okay, and so it was almost like a partnership like the the two guys were much older and much more experience than I. They own the line share, but I did have a small chunk and got distributions from that. So it is actually a great, great little gig straight out of college. Well, you know, for a drop out, of course, and you were getting a salary. Eppisume too. So, yeah, exactly. So we are you experiencing like a startup company there? Do you did you sort of notice the dynamic nature of the business or you really just putting putting out websites and you were sort of, you know, doing the grunt work for clients? Yeah, I mean I was definitely doing more grunt work, I'd say. I mean back then, that's like so we're talking two thousand and five now, right. You know, I still feel like the whole startup thing was pretty pretty young and I myself was incredibly naive. I mean, for example, like I didn't even really know adventure capital was or like I had no I like, if somebody said venture capital to me, I'd probably just nod my head and smile, you know. HMM. Okay, so you're involved in this company, then how does any start a CSS website? Now? That website actually had a big part to play, didn't it, in eventually launching by sell ads? Is that right? It did. Okay, so it's okay. It's safe for us to jump into that connection now. Is there any any little businesses were missing out on here? No, that's it. I mean it was I had those two sites, cuss elite and a similar cycle thirteen styles, and that was really that the what started the whole idea behind by sell ads. So we were running those websites as hobbies on the side of that full time job. Well, I mean I kind of started them while I was on my way out the door there, so it was kind of in between that company called nine fire and when I went out to do freelance again. But yeah, so I was basically running these on the side as hobbies. How did you like find growing them. Was it easy, because obviously that was a fairly crowded space, you know, the design space. Maybe tell us how you grew the websites. That's probably that, since it's the start of bicell. Lads, how did you grow these two design based websites? Yeah, I mean a lot of it was SEO and a lot of it was like I mean, not like a lot of reblogging, you know, like on CSS elite, I'd kind of keep track of lots of resources and things that people were posting about how to demo stuff like that, and I'd link out to them, and that turned out to be incredible for Seo. So like any sort of term that had a decent amount of volume, you know, which you did find through Google search tools, I'd write some sort of, you know reblog of something that links out to the original source and I'd actually end up ranking pretty well for a lot of those things. So a lot of SEO for cess elite, thirteen styles is more literally just producing quality stuff. Thirteen styles was the CSS menu website, and so I was just...

...producing, like, you know, CSS Menus. I had like twenty, three or forty and just giving them away for free and and so it naturally just got a lot of links back and stuff like that. And I mean in terms of track. We're not talking like you know, insane numbers. We're talking CSS. CSS elite probably had maybe a hundred and fifty tw Hundredzero page fews a month, thirteen styles, maybe like Eightyzero page views a month, enough to make some money from them, that's for sure. So were they like you said, you left the the job. Like, why did you leave? I was just ready to go out and be on my own and try my hand at doing my own thing, I think. I also think I was a little young and naive as well. I had kind of the mindset, well, you know, why am I doing all this work when you know these other guys get to keep all the money that they make for me? And so I didn't really understand the whole, you know, the process of like how a business is actually built, and you know how, you know just because you built something doesn't mean you should get paid for you know, even seventy five percent of it right, there's company and run, there's there's bigger things involved, you know. Okay, so your thoughts were, let me get this straight to it's two thousand and five was or is that about the time you left? About two thousand, two thousand and seven? Actually, haven't okay, so you are like but twenty six twenty seven at that stage. So I correct. It's funny if to think about this, but I think around like two five and twenty six. Okay, so you've been running a salary. Like the decision to leave you will you jumping to a soft landing or you basically did? You have a bunch of money saved up and then you just said, you know what, I'll figure out how to make money from there. And what was the plan todd of it? That's a good question. So I mean, like I said, I owned a little bit of the company and so I ended up selling my portion back to those guys when I left, and so they gave me a little bit of a soft landing, but still I had a lot to figure out on my arm. And you know, I won't lie, IT'S EVERY TIME I've left a company it's scary, no matter what you have saved it up or what kind of plane you have. Is Definitely scary. And but it's like the every time I have left a company I've always discovered like Oh, wow, there's like this whole world out there that like I was not letting myself get to before. And you know what, like everything's going to be okay, right. So, but the answer the question, the plan was just to figure it out. Right. Yeah, no, I mean quite literally, the plan was to figure it out. I had some I lined up this this freelance Gig like right around the time when I was leaving it. I had already kind of made my decision to leave, but I've been talking with this company and had basically given them some sort of you know, but it was again, it was a freelance project, right, it wasn't like a fulltime thing, and that company was actually is a pretty big company right now, hub spot. Oh yeah, and so, you know, I'd say maybe a month after I left mine fire, I ended up starting maybe I'd say like fifty percent of my time at this company called hub spot. But the day I, you know, at the time that I left or gave my notice, I had a hunched that up. Things were going to work out a hop spot, but I didn't really know for sure. And again, it was still freelance. So I was really just kind of going out and figuring it out. Okay, so you kind of have a little you had options in other ways. You knew you could make some freelancing money here. You had a couple of websites that were growing. Yep, as well. So you just going to see what worked. was sort of the plan, exactly? Okay, so with the two websites that CSS elite and is it thirteen style? So is that correct? Okay, so those two sites, you but I guess when you put your job you can spend more time on them as well. Did you think that, you know, they would become your main sources of income? Like, how open were your eyes to having a website of your own that made money? I'M NOT gonna lie, I still don't really think I've like fully got the whole picture. If I had been a little more clueful as to how much money you could actually make from having a series of sites, I probably would still be doing that and never would have come across the idea for bysods. HMM. Interesting. Okay, so you weren't thinking of these sites as your business. You were kind of just still indulging in in your interest in design and CSS. Yeah, they're definitely still hobbies. Okay, so I'm assuming it was just you as a one man show. You're run the content, you're the one doing all that Seo work, you're the one doing the designs. They were with their wordpress blogs. Yes, they're both word press. Okay, can you connect those two sites with like by sell adds, because I'm assuming... that point you must that people coming to you to want to buy ads off those two sites. Exactly. So at this where we are now, there's there's two tracks that really started, and this is actually pretty important for the story. So the first track is what I already hinted to to with the company called hub spot. So that's one track, and then the second track is when I first started development on by sell ads. So I would say probably two to three months after I left mine fire and when I just started working a little bit of freelance time for hub spot. I started, I guess, right about around the same time as both. Actually I started working on the idea for by sell ads and that the whole idea behind by sell adds which, interestingly enough, when I first thought of the idea, was actually called search friendly adds, because it was back when you could still kind of do some seo type things and I was thinking. Will wait a second. These guys are buying out of my site. They're also getting a link back at the same time, and so that's kind of a new angle on, you know, selling these ads. I see a friendly advertisements. Yeah, exactly. Now. That quickly, you know, was I could really figured out that actually wasn't a very good approach, and so I ditch the whole thing and then started on the just the focused on actually bisal adds without any sort of SEO value, and the ads. But I mean that running those sites, C s s ele in thirteen styles is really what led me to the idea of Bisal adds. Now I don't think it's fair for me to say that, you know, everything about Bisal ads is incredibly original, right, because people have been selling display ads forever. They're at the time were other AD market places like add bray, and you know, there are clearly many other ad networks out there. The difference, however, in my idea for Bisel ads versus all these other ad networks and market places really centers around the ability to sell an ad for a fixed thirty day rate. There literally was no other add network out there that would automate that process for you or market place, and so that's really all that bisylides was built to do in the beginning, selling advert fixed thirty day rate and that's it, right. So I'm assuming you built that a lot for your own needs, that you were just looking for a platform to actually sell the ads from your own two websites. Was that correct? Yeah, I mean the thing is is like those sites, I mean, I don't want to sound like a jerk and say that, you know, choose three thousand dollars a month and supplemental income is a lot. Isn't a lot of money, but it wasn't enough money for me to really, you know, take great care of those advertisers and really spend, you know, the time I should have been spending on making that happen for them, and so really I just wanted a way to sell those ads those advertisers without having to talk to them in the other thing I found is that every time I get an inquiry for somebody who wanted to buy ads from one of those sites, it was really frustrating because, you know, I'd reply as quickly as I could, but like half of them would just never end up coming through, and so I wanted a way to capture that impulse when they were in that state of mind when they're ready to buy something and ready to say to take action. And so really what I wanted was a conversion page like Oh, you want to buy it out of the site, okay, just click here, pay here and we're done. And then they adds live right, right. So no negotiating by email or phone call or just anything like that. Here's how much you pay per month, here's a way to buy it, here's a way to pay, and the way you go. Yeah, exactly, take it, relieve it. You know, I think one of the the the other main differences, you know, with something like a bus, lads, is that you're not putting these FIC tissue, fictitious prices out there, right, you're not saying like, Oh, this is a thirty five dollar CPM. Buy It or not, right, like, clearly, if anything that's priced unreasonable, somebody's expecting to negotiate. But if you price something reasonable and attach away for somebody to actually take some sort of action by that, better things will happen. You reduce about friction. Yeah exactly. Yeah, okay. So tell us about your life, though, at this point, because you're you're living off a combination of free freelancing income, advertising and come from your own two websites, while you're sitting there personally coding up bicell adds. Is that a correct picture? At around two thousand and seven yet? No, that's exactly right. So I'm sitting there, I'm, you know, living up some of the income from these these sites, my freelance work, which included hub spot at the time, and then, you know, sitting there in my basement apartment with no windows and a whiteboard trying to figure out how I'm going to piece together this bicyle adds thing. And you're a one man show, right for at this point, I was for the first year, basically. Yet that must have been hard on the imagine, because you're ready doing, you...

...know, running two blogs or two websites, plus producing for another website, a big website, any other freelance gigs you have, plus, don't you know, doing your shopping. Like we you married. This stage. You're getting like, was there any kind of partnership involved? Or Yeah, you know, I was. I was dating who is now my wife. But so, I mean, yeah, I mean it is definitely a very busy time right. I was still a little bit in party mode. I mean I was I was dating, so I kind of settled down a little bit, but we're still going out at night and stuff like that. But you know, at the end of the day, if you want to do something, you've got to do it right. Like I think one of the most important things is life is getting to the point where you figure out that no is just going to hand something to you and not nothing's just going to all of a sudden appear magically. You know, you if you want to do something, you really have to go out there and get it done and do it yourself. And I'm assuming that's what motivated you to code up by cell adds. You just really want to see it created. So you, whenever you found time, you got into a dark room and coded. Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's something I really wanted to use on my own sights. I was like, you know, every day sit there and say, Oh man, I can't wait until I can, you know, just put this ad coat here and have it like work magically somehow. You know, yeah, okay, given you are jugging so much, then, and if there's a lot of people who I think they just start their companies. That's when they can have the the biggest challenges to get to the success point. What made the difference, like why were you able to manage so many different things so well when so many people seem to struggle, you know, to do one thing, especially because a lot of people do a fulltime job and they're looking to find the hours outside of a full time job to get a company going. What what for you was? I don't know, is there a productivity technique or a mindset you mentioned before? Obviously, you know, the drive to want to see something created, but from practical standpoint, like, was there some structure to your life at the stage? You know, it's like, I don't know, I don't want to sound cheesy, but like we've got twenty four hours each day, right, and if you're trying to figure out how to get something done that doesn't seem like you should have enough time to get done. There's no other way than just like, I mean, let's face it, you stay up late and you make certain sacrifices order to do what you're trying to do. It's important to note that I think at this point in the whole starting with Bislads, that I actually stopped doing all my other freelance work and I'd started full time with up spot. And so, you know, I also tend to be a pretty honest guy, and so I was very you know, when I was working on Houp spot, I was working on Hup spot and I was not doing anything other than Houp spot. And so, bislads, really was an early morning in late at night kind of thing. You know, it's the type of thing where, and I know I'm trying to figure out a way to answer a question, I guess I just don't really have any good answer. Yeah, one of the things I noticing about you, todd, is you you seem to be a bit of a Jack of Bell Trades, and in in certainly tech, because your coding software, as well as doing design or and publishing, which I mastine needs, your writing, those are three areas where I think not everyone's usually good at three. Not usually a designer, a developer and a writer, a content creator. It's something special about you in that regard. I mean, I'm definitely not special. I'll be the first one to tell you that. I think. I also don't think I want to show anybody, you know, my actual coding skills. Right in terms of like back end stuff. You know, at one point we actually rewrote the entire codebase, codebase of Bison Lads. So I'm clearly not a very skilled developer, but I knew how to Hack Hack bislads together well enough such that it worked and it actually, you know, did what it said it was supposed to do. Well, not right, to get the job done. MVP out there. Yeah, but I mean, I think in terms of Jack of all trades, you know, I definitely feel like, you know, having some sort of frontend user interface skills is definitely a very, very valuable skill for any kind of founder person who starting a business, because if you're able to take you know how you're conceptualizing this thing in your mind and this vision and actually translate it into something that you know, you can see, in touch and feel and that works, that's you know, you're connecting the docks a hell of a lot faster than somebody who's not doing that. That isn't to say that you know people who you know, founders that aren't, you know, friend in Ui people can't, you know, do as...

...good a job as as I can do, because clearly there are plenty of founders that are doing a hell of a lot better than I'm doing. But my point is that, you know, in order to get from that idea, in that vision into something that's functional, I'd like to think that it's maybe a little quicker it comes together, maybe a little, a little quicker, I guess. Yeah, yeah, we'll take us far then, through the the process of launching by sell ads. How did it go? Sure, so, at this point I had been working at a hub spot for combined freelance and full time status for about a year and a half and so by slads at this point is also sat on the shelf, finished for about six months without launching. So clearly, if I could go back and launch by salad six months sooner, I do that. But the the fact is I was I was scared to launch it. I was like, you know, I was thinking myself, Oh, you know, nobody's going to like it, and I'm sure it sounds pretty crazy right, like, did you really let it sit on the shelf for six months? Sure, I mean there are some things that had to be done. There were some some some you know, loose ends of Soel to be tied up for me to actually launch it, but it was the core by salads was effectively fully finished for about six months before I launched. So you just afraid? Yeah, man, I was a win. I've experienced this many times before. When we rewrote the entire codebase. I was absolutely terrified to relaunch it. I'm going through it right now. We're getting up to launch what we're calling our by salads pro product. And you know, this thing we originally said was going to launch in like January this year. That's I think that's nine months ago. So it's state to launch for about two months now, but we just keep polishing and polishing and polishing and we finally gotten to the point where we're actually going to launch it. But a lot of what sold us back from launching it now versus two to three months ago is me right, like I just have this thing where it's like, I don't know, I need to make sure that it's ready. I don't feel if it's good enough. Like you know, it's silly inside. Some work done. So not one of my best qualities. So perfectionism was I was a trap for entrepreneurs. What was the plan with by so lads, when you first launched it? Was it just put out there and see who used it, or was it really like I'm going to make money from this. You know you're going to take a cut from advertising straight away. Yeah, so the the goal of BIS lads in the first year. I wanted to get to the point where I was making five thousand dollars a month. Right. So you can see, at the outset, my my goal and vision for this wasn't as big as it is now. It was very, very naive, very you know, I just had no clue what I was getting myself into, I won't lie. And but you had a business model ready to go. Yeah, I mean the business models rock solid, the excel spreadsheets, the great everything now, right. But again, I was I was shooting very, very low for this. I really didn't have any sort of you know, background and display advertising or, you know, startups as we call them now. I mean, I feel like there's a lot more there's a much larger kind of start up movement now, a lot more education, a lot more literature, a lot more kind of buzz out there and people advocating for what it takes actually build these companies. You know, around the time I launched by sell as, it definitely wasn't to the point that it is now. Maybe it was like that in Silicon Valley, but it definitely wasn't like that in Boston. Okay. So, but when I say you had a business model, you you were planning on, here's an advertising management tool that allows you to sell direct to sponsors on a monthly basis, like a set time basis. But if you use it, I'm going to take a cut from those ad sales. Like that was what you have from day one. Exactly. Okay, so can you tell us what happened? Like, did you just press the on button and then tell a few websites that this was available, or how did you roll it out? Yeah, no, I mean that's pretty much I went. So I put the site live, I put my own websites on it, I reached out to some some folks that had sits in my same niche, I guess I'd say, who had become friends with through running those sites. And you know, it was literally like the first handful of people I reached out to were like, Oh my God, this is exactly what I need and got set up. And then, I mean, you know, if I look back, I can pull this up here, but actually kind of know by heart if I look back through the first like three months of launching the site, it quite literally took off. Why do you think that is it? Was it something about the market, because I'm assuming you were in the design space, so as mostly design websites who start using you, and I mean I've got a little inside, I guess, in this area, because I've been looking to take clients on for our own similar type of service. And you know, you face resistance about taking a...

...twenty five percent cut from advertising and if they're not a large enough website, they're not going to make any add cells anyway. So how did this all roll out for you so well? I guess this is the question. Yeah, you know, I think it's because we were solving one thing that was very, very it was very clear what it was that we were solving for these publishers and they got it right away because they were selling adds the same way I was selling ads on my hobby sites, and it's that we were providing their advertisers and then a way tost like close a deal very, very quickly without anybody having to do anything except upload an ad and pay for it, and so and that's the only one thing that we did really, really well. It's important to note that back when we first launch, a ton of stuff was manual. You know, if you needed to cash out money or withdraw money from your publisher account, you literally had to send me an email. If you wanted to cancel subscription or if you're an advertiser wanted to cancel subscription, you just send me an email, and so there's a lot of these mail processes kind of built around the site. But the one thing that we did really well was fully automated. Okay, so in them, assuming there wasn't a lot of available options to to do what it did at the time, like you, I know, and in two thousand and seven, they would have been open ads, which is now open x, I think, the different or PHP ads, and you went through so many different generations. So there were definitely add rotation services and plugins and scripts that allowed some of this process to be automated. With did you just hit the sweet spot? You think? You know. I think it was just the way that we did it. It was the the fixed thirty day rates and the subscriptions. You know, the fixed thirty day rates is how these publishers were selling and the subscriptions is how the advertisers wanted to buy. You know, I think subscriptions really are bad rap because people think instantly like, Oh, you know, we're trying to trick people into, you know, keeping this running longer than they want. It's not the case at all. Advertisers Love Subscriptions, all right. So take us for then, from that point that the three months you've had some rapid growth. Did you get to your five thousand month target quickly? I think, like the second month. Wow, amazing. So how many sites do you sign up by then? There's probably about thirty to forty sites running in the market places by the second month. So the must been fairly high quality sites. You're not getting a lot of low traffic sites at that stage. Yeah, I mean we definitely got I mean they're all decent, very decent sites. So okay, at this point I'm assuming you're starting to feel the pressure of having to deal with these clients of your because these are all, like you said that it was manual processes. You're going to start getting a bunch of email. Can you, I guess, take us through this kind of growth stage where you must start thinking about hiring people your codebase. So you've got your development need, your customer service needs, all of these different roles going to are going to become more and more difficult for one person to do. So how did you manage the growth? Sure? So also important to note that I was still actually working full time at hub spot at this time, right, and so this was still at night and weekend, early morning whatever type project for that entire first year. So in February two thousand and eight is when we sold our first ad and then I was working full time at Hubs Butt through the end of two thousand and eight. So literally, like you know, January first two thousand and nine is when I went out on my own to do this full time. But for those first, you know, eleven months I was I was still working full time. I mean, you know, in terms of the growth and stuff like that. I mean it literally, like when I look back today, it's still amazes me how quickly things grew. And but I mean I have to say I loved it, like the the the whole you know, issue behind people having an email me for, you know, silly stuff like with drawing money in canceling subscriptions. I loved it, right, because it gave me that opportunity to engage with all these users and you know, I really just enjoyed getting to know all these these these people. There's a lot of them, you know, a lot of our earlier users from that first year, even first two years, when we're doing all this stuff manually, that I'm still really good friends with. And you know, in terms of you mentioned something earlier to about the twenty five percent being a lot, you'd be really surprised. I mean there are some folks that think twenty five percent a lot and you know, maybe for them it is right, but there are others where they sit back and they think, well, you know, I can either spend twenty five percent here and let them deal with all that stuff, or I can, you know, save that time and I can work on this where I'm clearly going to make more than just the twenty four five percent and forfeiting. That being said that, did you offer some sort of like a ability to find them advertisers at this stage?...

...or or really it was just about the software and that's what the twenty five percent was paying for. The know, the the ability to easily take payments from advertisers and subscriptions, as you said, because if there weren't many options. I suppose as a value proposition that makes sense at that stage to where today may be, given there's more options. Some people won't take twenty five percent, will some will take fifty percent. If you're like Google that's into something like that. Yeah, it's. It was a different place, I guess, and this is five years ago, right. Yeah, I mean this is definitely a while ago. There were definitely fewer options. But you know, I think you know the the the twenty five percent, when I ran the math and you know, built my spreadsheets and stuff like that, that was literally on you know, the lowest I could go and actually turn this into a business. Yep, how I got to the twenty five percent was, look, was, you know, just putting that kind of thumb in the air and saying, Oh, let's do twenty five percent, and then when I went actually through the process of seeing how that worked out with our expenses and and growth and stuff like that, that's actually like anybody trying to do this for less than twenty five percent, I get a great chuckle and I just kind of, you know, say well, good luck, my friend is it's hard for anything less than that. Yeah, agree, so I take us to the growth. So towards I'd say maybe four to five months after launch, things are growing nicely. The software really started to become a pretty big strain and I realized that, you know, I had to do things to the software and improve this software to keep up with this growth, because there's so many things that people are asking for, people that are loving the service, loving the site, but they need these, you know, extra things to make it that much better for them. And so that's when I really started figuring out, you know, okay, when am I going to leave hub spot? How am I going to leave hub spot and what am I going to do with bicylides once I kind of get out there? You know, how am I going to hire people and stuff like that. And so, you know, my first hire in terms of like a full time higher right, was a developer, and basically what we did is we rewrote the entire codebase together in about four months time, him doing the back end and myself doing the friend and at that time we had brought on two extra people to help us out with support, but these folks were part time. There's still us today. So no discredit to them in terms of not calling them, you know, first full time high but they were there part time guys and you know, they definitely helped us, helped us really keep all those users engaged and stuff like that. So and I assume you were bootstrapping. So there was no investment ever along this. It was just taking the cash flow from the business paying the people you hired. Yep, exactly. You know, I'm pretty simple minded when it comes to business. It's okay, so I made a dollar and now I've got, you know, eighty five cents to spend, you know, on on growth. Right in, fifteen cents for myself. So okay, can you rather than go through I guess. You know, it's been five years since you started by cell. ADDS any kind of major hiccups along the way or anything in particular that really, you know, change the direction of the company, because it's a big difference, I guess, from five thousand a month to a six figure business and a seven figure business and you're almost towards an eight figure business now as well. So you know, how does that happen? Ah, man, it's you know, it's really easy to sit here for five years past and look back and you know, at this point it feels like it was easy, because I feel like what we're doing right now is that much harder. But I mean, I mean, I've definitely gone through a lot of ups and downs with buy sell ads, you know, definitely, emotionally, mentally, whatever you want to call it, it's been a really hard road just because, yeah, we're in a very competitive space. You know, we're bootstrapped, and so we tend to get a lot less attention and that sense from you know, you know, tech blogs and stuff, people who you know. Maybe we all feel like matter, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. You know, I don't know. We've been working our I don't know how to say that. We've just been working our asses off. Well, maybe I can be more specific in terms of the to two elements of the business that I guess drive your company is getting new websites to use by sell ads and getting new advertisers to to purchase advertisements, so you get your twenty five percent there too and drive your cash flow. At some point, like if you had to, you know, to hire a sales team to to recruit both sides of the that relationship,...

...or has it all been organic? So a decent percentage has been organic, and that has been you know, one thing that I'm pretty proud of about buys, lads, is that we've been able to kind of, you know, churn up that organic growth. And then the other side is exactly what you said, you know, having a team that helps recruiting on board folks both on the advertiser and publisher side. We don't really call them sales people per se. We're all, you know, kind of account managers in a way. We have our you know, group of advertisers and publishers that we take care of and, let's say, like the specific verticals that we focus on in terms of growing within our marketplace. And, you know, I think one thing about by slaws that's very important is that we let ourselves get very attached to all of our users and so we advocate for them pretty aggressively, whether it be on the advertiser and publishers, and we stay very you know it. It's like we're Switzerland in the middle of, you know, the advertiser in the publisher right. We don't get in any conflicts and we kind of arbitrate and we you know, any sort of disagreements of stuff and we you know, try and make good, sound decisions. We we just do it. We called good business. You know, when people ask you know, well, how do you you know? How do you figure out what is right to do between this advertiser and a publishers, it's like, I don't know, we just do it seems like the right thing to do and it's worked out for us right. It's almost like you have to be a relationship managers here at the same time, because you're dealing with those two groups you've hooked to get them on the phone and find out two sides of the story and then decide, you know, what really happened and make a decision from there. Right. Yeah, definitely, you know. And I think in terms of growth, I think you know. Another big thing for us is that we're very, very transparent. So you can go into our market place at anytime. You can see what's sold and what's not sold, right for any publisher. And so you know, if you have a site, let's say like a really popular apple site or Mac blog or whatever you want to call it, and you're looking around and seeing, you know, who what websites are making good money in that vertical, you're going to go through our inventories. See, you know, ten, fifteen, twenty sites and you're like, Holy Shit, they're making a lot of money and you know exactly where that money's coming from, and that's from us. So it makes a very, very strong, you know case for that publisher to sign up with us. And then, you know, let's let's picture them. They go, they fill out the form, they start talking to us and they're like, Oh wow, these guys actually know what they're doing. You know, they're not a bunch of bunch of jerks. They reply to me, they reply quickly, they speak intelligently and they sound like they know how to help me get from where I am right now to where I want to be. And so that's, you know, that's what's work for us. Really. How big is your company now, like, how many people are employed, and are you in an office? Like what's what's the today situation? Sure, so, there's I think there's thirteen of us now and I always don't really know exactly how many people work here because we've been basically trying to hire as quickly as we can and you know, as often as we find smart people, will hire them because we're in a really strong growth phase right now. And the other reason is because we're remote. Everybody's remote, and so it's there's myself and one of one other gentlemen in an actual office in Boston, and then we're all spread out. We have folks in Texas, California, North Carolina, Toronto, just outside Toronto, Montreal, Germany, a couple in London, Romania and I guarantee and forgetting somebody, and I'm going to feel guilty if they listen to this, but how does how do you like? Because that's not intentional. I'm assuming you're just looking for the best people. How do these people come to you? Do you put Jab bads out there and then they just apply from anyone in the world? You pick the best person, like. How does this work? We pick people who understand what our users are trying to accomplish. So, whether it's on the advertiser or publisher side, and the vast majority of folks that we actually have hired have been users of our service in some capacity, whether an advertiser or publisher. Just two weeks ago we hired like one of our I'd call one of our kind of mid tier publishers. Right. So it's a guy who's right in our sweet spot, making a good amount of money from US each month. Totally gets the problem we're trying to solve on the publisher side, excuse me, and now he's working for us. It's amazing what Internet companies can be like at the moment with like the like that, that that spread of where people work and they're all doing a remotely and you got different time zones. Yet I'm assuming because they've got some fairly segmented roles, they don't really need to interact with each other too much. So they can work with clients and they're good to go. Yeah, I mean,... know we use we use a tool from thirty seven signals called Campfire Right. That keeps us, you know, fairly well connected during the day in terms of, you know when what people need to help each other out. Obviously we have skype. We have a pretty good kind of task system built within too, our admin panel that we use for the site. You know, there are people on the team who, you know, will we'll talk to them, like you know, once every few days, and then there are other people in the team who are in camp fire joking around the whole time and I've got to remind them that there's there's stuff we got to get done, you know. So, yeah, I mean we everybody WHO's working for us like they, as far as I know, they actually want to be working for us. You know, enjoy what they're doing. And it gets back to like, you know, life in general, like if you're doing something right now that you're not enjoying, then you know you got a problem. And because we're not here that long, so you might as well do something that you're going to enjoy. Otherwise, what the Hell's the point, right, you know, and I think that's that's what I love most about by slides, is that I still really, really love what I'm doing, and that's important. Okay, which leads to a sort of a good kind of wrap up question. Todd what what is the day in the life for you now, like, how do you live your life, because I'm assuming you know, you've got a fairly large chunk of a, you know, an almost ten million dollar company. Now, I don't think you've obviously gone the whole by the Ferrari and you know, live the first class flights kind of lifestyle just yet, but you know, how how is your life changed as a result of by seats sure thing. So, just to puff the by slides chest real quick, we're definitely over ten million now. Ok, five was two thousand and eleven or growing. I mean I still do a lot of in this is probably a quality of mine that isn't that great. I still do basically, you know, I'd say like ninety percent of our front and Ui work, but it's just because it's something I really, really love and we're still in a very heavy like product development phase, and so that's what I where I feel I can help the company the most right now. You know, on the personal side, my wife is expecting. My wife and I are expecting our first child in October and so, you know, a lot of my personal life has been centered around you know, for example, this week and I'm decorating our nursery and you know, stuff like that, getting ready for our first child. I feel like I just lost my train of thought. Day in the life. Yeah, well, I'm assuming you still working in hundred and twenty five for Bicel ads, or do you sort of, you know, throw the Hoys, because you said you go in office, so you must have to have set hours? Yeah, no, I mean I'm still hustling. It's definitely more than nine hundred and twenty five. Might really wake up about six am. I'm on the six fifty a m boat into work. You know, as soon as I step on the boat, my laptops open and I'm typically on the five hundred forty or six pm boat home and working till I, you know, reach the dock at like thirty or so. You know, it's still all hustle. You know, it's like I'm still in kind of that like days of a phase where, you know, hopefully I'll wake up from it some point, two or three years from now and we'll have this huge company behind us, but we're still really just it's all. It's just all hustle right now. So he's that the plan for the future, though? Like do you? I'm assuming you expected some point you're going to sell out and no longer need to do the long hours. But or know, what's you still making up as you go along, like what are you thinking about the future? So I mean overall, I probably sound pretty like wishywashy, like who is this guy like trying to grow this company? Sounds like kind of a I don't know, kind of kind of aloof but you sound like a start up still. That that's for sure. Like you know, you selling. You've got personal heavy involvement still in the company. Like the front end is all most to you. So we look at Bisel ads right now, we're seeing your work, as we look at the site right exactly, and you know you're putting a long alas yourself. You got a distributed company and you know, I guess it's because it's your baby and it's still your passion. So you're very truly heavily involved and you see things you want to see built still and guessing at some point you must think, though, that will be enough and I want to exit or not. Yeah, you know, and you know I don't think we're going to reach that point for a little while, and I'll tell you why. Right now, our current market place. It's...

...a very important part of our business right now and going forward, but in terms of revenue, and Ye know what it does, I think if we fast forward to three years from now, it's actually going to be one of the smaller pieces of our business. Right now we're getting ready to launch our first new product, which is publisher pro and so keep in mind, you know, for the first four to five years of this business. The market place is the business. There's nothing more, and that is what, you know, has fueled all of our growth until now. This published re pro product is us kind of, you know, taking a step up right and saying, okay, so we have this market place and people are buying a selling ads and that's great and it's a it's a nice business and employees, you know, all twelve of us, and we have a good time whatever, but there's got to be more, and so publisher pros our first step into trying to figure out what more is out there. We believe that we can still help publishers do a hell of a lot more than what they're doing just through our marketplace. And, you know, on the same token, we help, we believe that we can help advertisers do a heck of a lot more than what they're just doing through our market place now. And you know, if you think about, you know, people buying and selling display advertising directly from each other as the marketplace, and then all the other advertising and all the other monetization they're doing outside of that, it's just a much, much bigger space than just the marketplace. And Yeah, I mean I think you know, we're also in a period where advertising online is definitely changing. How I'm not really sure, but I feel like we're a pretty young, pretty nimble, I guess I'd say, company in the space who will hopefully be in a position to capitalize on any sort of change that happens and hopefully we can be part of any sort of change that would happen. And so I don't know, there's just there's so much going on in the AD space. It's so it's still so incredibly young in terms of this industry overall, and I'm just really excited that, you know, we're a company that loves to build software and are still young enough without the type of baggage that some of these larger companies have, such that we can innovate in a time that's really important, which is right now. You know, if we just need to see when your baby is born, how you know go with time management and because obviously some you'll have slightly less time with the baby. They're so because your radical. But yeah, it sounds like you're not thinking exit at all right now. You just have too much you want to build and that's that's the plan. Yeah, exactly. I mean, you know, we've had a couple opportunities to exit. In any opportunity that comes along, I definitely entertain it, you know, quite honestly, because it's kind of fun to go through that process up into the point where you actually have to do any work. And usually when it comes to the point in time where they asked me to do work is when I said, never mind, I was just trying to see, you know, what you're up to. Anyway. That's an that made me sound like a real dick. I'm all right, he's want to come across that way. But yeah, I mean we're death. I mean an exit is like a complete afterthought at this point, because if we were to sell the company now, I'd always wonder what it could have been if we had kept pushing along and moving toward the vision that we're trying to build, and I don't want to live with that wonder for the rest of my life, especially, you know, in case this is the last, you know, exciting thing that I'm able to do. So yeah, fair enough, all right, todd. Well, I think it's a great time to rep of the interview. So thank you for taking the time to tell the story. There's all. You've done a lot, but obviously by selets is a massive highlight it. there. Let's just finish up with just one last question here, which is really just a question I ask everyone who comes on these interviews, because the people who listen to these interviews are usually in a situation where they they haven't had a successful business yet. They're still trying to figure out what works and quit their job have enough money to travel or do whatever exciting creative craft that they like to do. But reaching a cash flow positive business is quite challenging. It sounds like to me. You've haven't really had too much problems, or maybe in hindsight it sounds like that, but kind of like every project you've touched, whether it's been the the to hobby websites that grew to enough to make to the three thousand dollars a month in advertising income, you always had the freelance work available to you when you quit your job. In what would you give advice to these people who maybe don't seem to get that kind of result, or maybe maybe it wasn't that easy for you? I don't know, but whatever the case is like, what's the key to getting that point where you feel comfortable enough to live off whatever project you're doing. You know, you just got to find something that you you truly love doing. If I love Bisl ads just for the money, it probably, you know, we probably wouldn't be working... grow the company like we are now. And you know, for me, you know, building software is what I truly love to do, and so I know as long as I can, you know, you know, rub two sticks together and figure out how to makes at least a little bit of smoke and somewhat of a fire, that I could probably take care of myself from building software. And so that kind of understanding that I myself, that that's a passion of mine, makes me feel comfortable and what I'm doing. I think you know, clearly it's easier for me to say that now that I'm on a little bit of the other side of the fence in terms of, you know, by slides lottery up and running, you know, providing a salary battle Blah. But you really just have to find something that you truly love doing and if you're not doing something that you love doing, then you really got to think, think pretty hard and figure out what it is that you will love to do. You know, all right, that's a great great point and on it's passion, not just the money, and I think that's been a consistent point for a lot of people, although I still know a lot of people who decide just to, you know, make enough money. I go for a project that's about the money just so they can have a little bit of cash coming and that seems to rarely work. So there's goviously got to be a connection here to the motivation behind it. So that's another person reinforcing that point. So thank you, todd. Thank you again for sharing this story. Obviously the main website if you want to check out your work is by sell adscom. There any other websites you want to shout out to? All I'd say is look out for pro dot Bisell adscom pretty soon. Okay, chances are when you listen to this that maybe out already, so go check that out and and I look forward to seeing that as well, todd. So thank you again. Great. Thank you very much. I had a great time. I really appreciate it. There you go, that interview with Todd Garland, the founder of by sell adscom. You can head to buy cell ads and check out the website, still running today, nine years later. Obviously the company has changed, it's grown, but it's still doing the same thing and I think it's really important to hear stories like this, especially at the point where I interview todd. You know, I was a big green as an interviewer. He was probably a bit Green as a person who tells his story. There was some slow parts in this interview. So I know I appreciate your getting all the way to the end, but hearing the step by step process to get to eight figures, it's not an easy result. Getting to ten million a year with a company is is certainly not something that many people do and it's an achievement and hearing what todd did all the way from the beginning, you know, from day one building the first version of by cell adds was very insightful. So I hope you got a lot out of that. Now, as I said, that was a rerelease of a previous episode of my podcast back when it was called the entrepreneurs journey show. This is the vested capital podcast. It is a reboot. I have been doing way more episodes, very current, very fresh with venture capitalist Angel Investors, start up founders, even poker players. All kinds of stories are in just the last fourteen episodes. You can go back. Plus I do a mastermind episode with three of my friends. So there's lots of content you can grab if you're interested in entrepreneurship, business may making money, growing your capital and so on, and the best way to make sure you get all of that now, the past and the future, is to subscribe. So if you're opening up this podcast right now on an APP, just hit the subscribe button. It might be a plus sign or a follow button, whatever it is, you can subscribe that way you'll get a notification every time I release a new episode. Plus, you can dive back into the back catalog of all those episodes as well, and I'd really appreciate you, of course, sharing this with anyone you think would benefit. I'm a big fan of one to one sharing. If you have a specific person in mind who you think would like to hear todd story, obviously, then share this. This is best the capital episode fifteen, and there's all the previous episodes too. So any friends or family members or colleagues who might be jumping into entrepreneurship or thinking about ways to make more money from business, from investing from all kinds of different ways that people currently do it. That's what bested capitals about. So you can share it with them. Just send them to vested capital podcastcom or my own blog, why, Aroro dot blog, yarrow dot blog. You'll find the podcast link there and all the subscription buttons are available to whether you're a spotify or Google or itunes or any of the other different APPs out there for listening to podcast. All the links to subscribe are there on my blog page. Okay, that's it for me. I hope you enjoyed the episode. I've got way more coming for you very soon. My name is yarrow and I'll talk to you on the next episode.

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