Vested Capital
Vested Capital

Episode 3 · 1 year ago

(EP3): Baird Hall Co-Founder Of ChurnKey, Wavve, ZubTitle, How The Wavve Acquisition Deal Got Done, Solving Internal Problems Leads To New Companies

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the previous episode of Vested Capital (EP2), we talked with David Horne and Marty Balkema, founders of Calm Capital. They had recently acquired the company Wavve.

On this episode, Baird Hall, one of the co-founders of Wavve, shares the other side of that acquisition, as the seller of Wavve.

Baird takes us back in time to the origin story of Wavve, how it was a spinoff company from their first business when they needed to create audio snippets for sharing on social media.

The spinoff companies continued when they needed to create captions for audio within Wavve, which led to the creation of ZubTitle, a company Baird co-founded with a different partner.

Both Wavve and ZubTitle grew to earn over $100,000 a month each - 7-figure companies.

ChurnKey, Baird's latest company that helps subscription businesses deal with churn, was created as a result of needing to solve the churn problems within Wavve and Zubtitle.

Baird, as you can probably tell, is amazing at using a need in one company as the genesis to create a new company.

Of course, it's very challenging to grow one company, so working on two or even three at the same time rarely works. This is one of the reasons Baird and his partners made the choice to sell Wavve, so they could move on to focus on ChurnKey.

All of these companies are covered in this interview, which I know you will enjoy if you like SAAS startup stories leading all the way to exciting exits.

Enjoy the show.

Yaro

Podcast: https://www.yaro.blog/pod/
Blog: https://www.yaro.blog/

Hello, hello, this is Yarrow and welcome to vested capital episode three, where I'm excited to introduce you to baired haul, the founder of wave, which is a company he just sold to calm capital. And calm you might remember or the guests, the founders of calm capital, Marty and David, were on the last episode of this show, episode two of vested capital, where they explained how they began their holding company, calm capital, and in that you would have heard a story about wave, their most recent acquisition. Well, baired is the CO founder of wave, so you do get to hear the other side of that story in this podcast, where Baird explains to us why they decided to sell to calm. There were other potential buyers at the time also making offers. He explains why even want to sell. So you get a good sense of that side of the transaction. But mostly this podcast is a fantastic deep dive into the history of a SASS start up. Wave is a software tool for podcasters to make social media clips to help grow their show and throughout this journey you're going to hear from day zero all the way up to the acquisition and sale of wave and within that story. You're going to hear some really interesting side steps because often, and this is definitely a common thread with Baird, he would come up with a solution or create a feature or need to solve a problem in an existing business of theirs and that would result in the creation of an other one. In fact, wave itself was spun out because they created a feature of their first company that didn actually, you know, take off, but then it turned into wave and then within wave, another company called subtitle was spun out when they needed to create a feature for wave. Zubtitle, which is a transcription tool, captions on videos and so on, is actually now also earning over a hundred thousand in monthly run rate. So bared broke a few rules, in my book anyway, with starting multiple projects at once, but he's made it work and it's very clear why. You're going to hear bear give a great example of why he was able to do multiple projects, why he chose to do multiple projects at once, and it's worked. It's he's had two seven figure businesses. One he's just exited. He's now on to churn key, which is his current business, which certainly solves a big problem with churn subscription sites that have a lot of churn. They have a tool for helping reduce that and of course that tool came about because I need to reduce churn in wave. So every company was born from another company in this story. I think you'll love it and I really want to thank Baard for being open and sharing so much. So you're going to learn a lot from this. Just before I start the interview, I want to recommend you check out inbox donecom. That's what this episode is brought to you by. That's my company that can help you manage your email and your customer service. So if you're currently drowning an email messages, maybe social media inbox messages Linkedin Instagram, twitter and so on, perhaps you're doing a lot of help this ticket support. Any of those areas where you need to do customers support or personally dealing with a lot of email in your own inbox. We provide a dedicated inbox manager, usually more than one person, who will step in manager email but also reply to your messages and we get you out of your inboxes. At least eighty, ninety percent, even a hundred percent. We can get you out so you never have to deal with email again, check it out at inbox. Donecom now let's begin the interview. All right. So here we out with Baird Hall, who is well, I know them first of all as the founder of wave, but he's actually the founder of three other companies, possibly more that I don't know about. But, bared, I'm happy to have you. Great to meet you. Yeah, Hey, are thanks for having me excited chat. Yeah, so just a bit of background for those who are like me who might not know you. I found out about you because you were the founder or cofounder of a company called way, which is actually the first place I ever saw your work. That was via indie hackers. Seems to be a place where you know all kinds of great entrepreneurs. I hang out lately. This I dive into what wave did because, as a podcast myself, way was a tool for creating like social content out of your audio, which was awesome. Then a little later on, discovered that you're actually acquired by a company called calm capital, which I just had the guys on the show. I know you know them well already and David, they were just on the podcast literally just before you. So this is going to be a great connection to their story. Since they require of waves. So we can see both sides of the equation. But can you just give me a rundown? Besides wave, what else are you in charge of now and what you consider your most significant you know businesses from the past. Currently four different companies. Wave, it was our first company, and when I say I'll say we a lot because I have multiple cofounders across all these companies. And Zubtitle is another company, which is an online video captioning and editing tool, duplicate, which is a podcast transcription tool that turns podcast into blogs, and then the most recent is Chunkey, which is a tool that we actually built internally...

...for all of our companies to help prevent churn turnkey is is a BB saschool that helps SASS companies save churning customers at the point of cancelation. So currently up to for starting one well, selling wave was maybe a little aggressive, but we got through it as a busy couple months. But now the calm teams up and run in and doing great work with wave and we've shifted our focus to mainly Zubtitle and churnkey. Okay, so there's a lot going on there. I remember following along with wave and how you you know you hit a hundred thousand monthly run rate. So well, it's really over a million and I think, I think you could two million run rate and then you decide to sell. So a lot of questions about why you even sell a company that's growing that fast. Before we dive into the wave story and and maybe this will help connect the dots of which of these projects came first, because I know your background a little bit and you were not always in tech. Right. So born in Charleston, South Carolina. Want to get that right. Born and raised there. Did you go to school for anything business related? Actually, I was actually born and raised in Kentucky. Actually I grew up on a horse farm. We trained and raised and trained Tennessee walking horses. So sometimes I think back to that. It's just a very unlikely place to wind up working in tech. Yeah, walking horses, just white, is exactly that me. What do you want? What's a walking horse? And all horses walk. They're called Tennessee walking horses. Is a specific breed. They're really big horses with really high they walk really high as kind of their kind of what's special about them. But we had we raised them and would show them and and yeah, grew up on a farm in Kentucky, but I moved to Charleston about ten years ago F I graduated college. My sister was living here and started working for a tech company called Black Bowd and did sales support. went to a startup that was early stage and that was my first taste and like watching a company start almost from I was the Thik, the tenth employee, and I was there for five years and as the company got bigger, I started realizing that I really enjoyed the early stage of companies, not so much the scaling and, you know, growing, which is what that company started to do. And so I left and started my first company with Nick, my original cofounder, and that was back in two thousand and fifteen. We started a we tried to build, well, it's easy to explain now. Finally, we try to build a clubhouse. For the most part it was very similar to clubhouse, but it was asynchronous, so instead of live audio chats, they were community based, a synchronous audio chats. And we worked on that for like a year and a half and we just made all the classic start up mistakes and that's that's kind of how it all got started. So how did you you meet Nick? Our wives are best friends and they got tired of hearing US talk about all of our cool start up ideas and they were like, you all just need to go to starbucks and talk to each other about the stuff, because we don't want to hear anymore. So we is actually it kind of interesting. We kind of left into a good process, I think, of becoming partners. We would meet up every Sunday at starbucks and no agenda. We would just talk about ideas, what we're working on, what we're interested in, and we did that for probably two or three months and just started finding out that we kind of thought about things similarly, had complimentary skill sets, and then we decided to start that first company. It was a good, low pressure way to really get to know somebody how they think, because I could only imagine I've really left out of the awesome cofounders. Everybody works really well together, honest, fair people, and I could just only imagine how bad it could be a few picked the wrong partner. So it was a good way to meet each other really learn each other before making any big commitments, because you wind up splitting your life down the middle. Actually, you know what's the companies up and running. So that that's how we met and, as you say, you tend to spend more time with your business partner than your wife, your husband writing. So it's a it's a very, very constant relationship. I do have one curiosity I'm just I'm always curious about this. When you're back in university or college, what did you actually study? I was a communications major. I was a cour student career to six GPA. I think I was never really interested in anything in school, which led me to not enjoy studying or going all that much. But finally, my junior year college I started studying communications, which was a lot of it was a mix of like advertising writing, you know, understanding interpersonal communication, corporate communication, and that's when I really just got interested in how people communicate with one another and it's kind of been a constant theme through at least the first few companies. Was All about helping people communicate more clearly on the Internet, whether it's by promoting their podcast or getting their videos properly set up for social media and making things stand out and how do you get people's attention on the Internet. So that was kind of the early I'd say this is the first field of study I ever got interested in, and it's interesting. The farther I get away from school, the more I enjoy learning because I actually get to...

...choose what I want to work on and can apply it to businesses that I start. So I so agree. I'm exactly the same. Well, reading textbooks back in university was like torts here and now I can read a book and you know, you get through it in a couple of days and you love it. So the power of getting to choose what you study them makes a big difference. Right. Love to know, though. So Youtube, you meet each other, you know you're getting to know each other and then you decide to start a clubhouse. So in asynchronous audio platform, which to my mind sounds like a little bit of a technical challenge in terms, was especially in two thousand and fifteen. Yeah, streaming content multiple users at the same time not an easy things to do. Why did you guys think you guys could do it? We being naive, most likely. Yeah, we tried to do it. This was just when like hybrid mobile APPs were starting to come out. So we used, Gosh, I can remember the name of the platform that we use. It's been so long, but it was like one of the first kind of hybrid frameworks for building IOS and Android APPS. So on top of all that, we were using this new technology that we're people were still trying to figure out. Yeah, I feel bad for Nick and all those development hours that went into building this thing, because we actually got a mobile APP up and running and had thousands of users who active, happy, like people love this thing was this. We found some really niche groups that loved it and in hindsight, yet we've was a lot of next time. We would have done things a lot differently. We made all the mistakes. It was called you talk and for those trademark so was right from the beginning. We picked a trademark name and that became a problem down the road. And you guys did have the trade my someone else that. Yeah, we didn't have the trademark house and we didn't think about revenue models or how we were going to monetize it. was just basically like hey, this guy ideas were the cool we that really like it. Let's go build it. We didn't do much customer discovery. We just did a lot of things wrong. It was a pretty painful first year, but I'm glad we did it because it led to one of the tools that we built to try to make this company work was we had all these users sharing audio content on our APP and we needed a way to put it on social media, and so nick built a tool that turned these audio clips that people were recording into facebook videos. And once we started sharing those, podcasters and other people started saying, Hey, your apps not that cool, but how'd you do that? How did you create that video? And that's when the light bulb we went off for like, Oh, this is where it's like to like solve somebody's problem and actually, you know, sell them a product that helps them do what they want. Okay, so I got a few questions here. Nick sounds like he's a quite a good engineer, developer, if you can build a lot of these tools, and it correct me if I'm wrong, he was doing the lion share of the coding. Based on the way you described it, I you also a programmer on some level. Nope, I tried that first year and realized that it was just not it's not for me. So I do everything. Most of the cofounders are technical and I do all most of the marketing, support, sales, project management, all those things. Everything else. Okay, that's great. Well you, I mean it's a challenge thatpp and good developers. I've I'm the same as you. I'm not a programmer and do all the marketing side of things. I have had trouble finding the development side. So you've lucked out with the cofounders. I really did. Nick is a he's a Unicorn and a lot of ways he he's a former lawyer and pass the bar and then decided to become a software developer and he's got a degree in economics, so he has just really wide range of expertise that really comes in handy. So I got lucky getting paired up with him early on. Right. Yeah, I think I'm ever reading that, because you swho were both not from like entrepreneur backgrounds, and then you sort of get hey, let's do software, which is kind of, you know, Yep, hard, but maybe you're not even made it a good thing because you just went and did when most people who know how hard it is might not have tried. In terms of finances, because I know a lot of people, you know listen to this. They're also at the early stages and they're like, how do I spend my entire time focused on whatever it is, a developing software, trying to get my first users when you've got a family to potentially the feed, mortgage, pay for, rent to pay for? What situation and how did you guys both managed that during the early stages? Well, I had I blew through about thirty grand, which was all my savings. That part. I was like twenty five. I've been working for six years, I guess, and blew through that with the first company, and then when we sold that company, we had to take consulting jobs to pay the bills, and so we were basically doing that. About sixty percent of the time, I would say we were. We were doing consulting projects and then we were work with a local group here in town, and and then forty percent of the time we were spending working on a way of and moving it forward. We both put a thousand dollars into it up front and that's it. That's the only financial investment we put in and I would say that in hindsight, looking all the way back, I wish I had leveraged my day job in a way and I jumped off the cliff. Basically without a parachute, which is one way to do it, and it did work out. So I wouldn't change anything, but I do wish I was a little smarter and like using my day job to basically fund my side projects until they became big enough tours, like okay, now it's time to roll from this thing to the next. I guess we're still...

...learning how to do that with, you know, selling a company and then kind of transitioning into the new one again. I probably did those a little bit too close together. I could have spaced it out. Would have been a little easier, but it's hard to time things and you just got to do what you can in the moment and slowly work your way forward. You know, I think the biggest learning has just been playing the long game and not thinking so much about like, oh my gosh, I have to have forty grand to hire some developer tomorrow, rather than, you know, what can I accomplish over the next year? What can I accomplish over the next three to five years? Because that's how long the stuff takes. So nothing exactly answers it, but that's kind of work. That's where we were. It is funny. I in these interviews, I often find there's two different types of people. There's the the burn the bridge, it's some off the cliff, as you said, type of person who just they need almost the pressure of making this work for their financial freedom as well, or they're just surviving, and then as the completely cautious I worked in a job until I was more than a hundred percent confident that my company would replace or more than the income I was a making. So it's rare for it to be carefully managed. Seeing that kind of fifty kind of way. It's one of the other I've been thinking a lot about fear lately as far as it comes to entrepreneurship, and I think it's really what drives a lot of us to you know, we're fearful that the company's going to fail, we're fearful that, you know, it's going to take too long, or whatever it might be. And I found that I've been the most effective in my entrepreneurship endeavors when I'm not having fear and I'm not worried about what the outcome is, but I'm just following what I want to do and like working in the moment and really enjoying it. Say No I want to work on this and I'm going to see where it goes. I'm going to keep some opportunities open and give it some have some flexibility. But it's hard to manage that and you need to have a little fear because you need to have some pressure to, you know, get the company up and going. You got to have some you know incenter to go make sales and get the business side going. But it's a tough balance, that's for sure. Yeah, and you've gone through both sides. That the sort of early days where I think it's safe to say fear is just survival. You know, will I pay for my food and rent and family? Versus now you've had an acquisition, you've had an exit, you've got multiple companies that have succeeded. Your fear is maybe a little bit of losing what you have, but also, I think I read member in the acquisition story. Yeah, the sharing you did with with way part, not the only reason, that, part of the reason you sold was all your world, big chunk your net worth, was in this one business. So let's diversify a little bit, exit this one. And but before we talk about that, I do want to connect the dots. So you talk was the name of the clubhouse style company. Right, Yep. So you discover from user feedback they there wants to know how to make these social media audios that nick had created for promoting or allowing you talk users to promote with. Do you just switch you talk off and then dive into wave and launch a whole new business? Like, how did that transition happen? It was a few month process. We actually sold the codebase to a group that had a live streaming company and they wanted to add some audio components. So we actually found somebody to buy it. The end of the day, it was pennies on the dollar compared to what we put into it, especially if you count of our time. But it was nice to actually, you know, sell it and give it somebody that can use it. But the kind of into the clubhouse right. Yeah, yeah, that would have been I would have felt that would have been a tough one. Tough till this weall. So there was a few month process where we were transitioning that code base and all the tech to the buyers and then at the same time we were starting the marketing page and starting to lay the foundation for what would become way if and we actually remember. We started it and we got a few customers within the first month or so and the goal was always fit to pay our mortgages. That was what nick was like, if we can build a side project that pays our mortgages like that, can start opening up, give us some freedom to start thinking about other things. And it just kept ticking up. Every month you've five ten percent month over month growth and you do that for a couple years. You look back and it was a lot more. Did a lot more than we expected. We'll tell me about that. So you know you started assass. I can see you've got nick sitting there making like the Beta version of this tool when you first got your first customers. Like how did you even do that? Where they come from? And it wasn't a case of them just going to a very basic version of a website with a credit card and then they want into the tool. How does it work? We learned our lesson from the first companies to be like what is the quickest, easiest way that we can try to get customers for this and see if people will pay for it? And and I even I'm honestly kind of embarrassed to share this, sometimes but nick and I and this nick is really good. I guess hackers the term. It's really good at like putting pieces together quickly and kind of building mvps. And we had a wordpress site that used the theme and we use wordpress. Simple pay, I think, was the plug in. I'm not sure if that's around anymore. And people would subscribe and nothing would happen. They would pay us and they would basically get an email that sent them a url to an IP address that had the webap on it and there was no we had no authentication, there's no log in, there's no registration. It was that you pay US money, we...

...give you a link and it goes to this Ip address that would let people use the tool and it wouldn't save their settings or anything. They would have to start over every time they use it. And people paid us for it when I used it and they loved it. Oh, and is so funny that looking back, people actually loved it. They were like this is great, I don't have to log in, I don't have to give you in my any of my data. It's just like it was the simplicity of it. People actually really enjoyed it. That was the first version and we had ten customers on there before we actually like put it behind a domain and added a sign up page and things like that. Well, so ghetto, I love it, you know, it's a good way to put it. Yeah, I haven't heard someone go out with assass without like the login function, because anyone could just share the Lincoln use the tool right it would have. Yeah, and it was. You know, there's kind of the beauty of looking back. We realize that nobody knew us, nobody cared about us, and it was it was actually an advantage because we could do those kind of things and take those risks and we weren't worried about what somebody was going to say on twitter or somebody who's going to post it on Indie hackers and we were going to get roasted or read it whatever. So we actually use that to our advantage and just kind of, I guess you would call it kind of stealth mode, and it allowed us to move really fast. Where those ten customers come from? Mostly there are a couple referrals from people we already knew. We had a lot of podcasters on our platform before, so we had some of those, but it was mainly direct email. I would just email people, and what I did was nick built me a nice little tool where I would do two things. I would pull up twitter and I would look through people that were promoting images for their episodes. That was kind of the the new way to promote, like show it off on social media. And Nick built me this little RSS search tool so I could put in their podcast and it would go find their email in the RSS feed and I would just send him an email saying hey, I saw you're promoting your new episode. That image looks great. Have you ever thought about posting a clip on social media? And one out of ten people would be like no, but that sounds awesome. How do I do it? And I just send them a link and get them started. So it was like it was definitely I had a sales background, so was comfortable doing that and realize that my big lesson, and I'm trying to get back to this too, because I'm doing direct sales for Turnkey to get our first fifty customers. That's where our next goal is just short, to the point emails asking people for permission to start a conversation. That's basically my goal when I'm doing direct outreach. But yeah, it's the first I say the first fifty to a hundred. First Fifty customers were very manual and then I started moving to Instagram, direct messaging, because that's people were trying to promote their podcast on instagram. Probably got to a hundred that way and then that whole time we were dropping a lot of content, a lot of blog content, and then the content marketing start pick it up. Okay, yeah, that's a great evolution. I think I should clear if I just a few people might not quite understand what wave does. So it is about taking a chunk, like a section of a podcast, much like you listening to now, making a visual representation of that. You guys had templates. That look great. It just spat that out. The audio. The Dietn't play the transcript, I believe. Possibly you if yeah, captions, Yep, captions, and then you just uploaded to your social in the way you go. So and I love the direct target of users who are ready posting to a social platform to promote their podcast. Like you. That is a customer target base. If you could. You know, you can't get any more target than that. So I'm actually doing a similar process for my company and bucks done. We go to twitter. Anyone who complains about having too much email, I try and get in front of all. That's a I have a company that manages your email right now quite as linear series it close to it as amazing. You got to a hundred customers doing that. So it shows what just hustling every day trying to find one at a time can do for you. I'd love to talk more, though, about this transition to content marketing, because I'm hearing that more and more now from startups. Less reliance on paid advertising or press coverage. It's just produced consistent blog content, which, coming from my background as in the blogging space, I love hearing that and it seems to be paying dividends. So was that a conscious choice because you just were limited by budget, or why did you choose to focus on content like that Organic Seo? Yeah, it was mostly because we didn't have any budget. It was the one thing that I could just spend my time and you know, at that time our advantage was having time. We had no timeline. We you know, had consulting gigs that were paying the bills and we had an open, you know, runway of time to work with and that was the most seemed like the most effective use of it and it took about six months of writing. We write a blog post a week, a blog posts every two weeks and just consistently putting out content. I was no SEO expert. I just tried to write content that I thought people would podcasters would ask about. And most example of a piece of content I did well. Our most highest performing blog post of all time is nine interview questions to ask as a podcaster. So podcasters that are wanting to know, like, what are some new podcast questions that I can ask, ask my guess. That's a big one's going to Google that now for this podcast that I can let nine questions ask you. Yeah,...

...and the other ones, a lot were like just how do I promote my podcasts on instagram? How does that work? What are the rules? What size is this just image need to be? So there's a lot of how to videos early on because podcasters are we learned that they're just very resourceful and love to do things ourselves and they love, you know, trying to learn new things they can do better. So it just worked out really well that and we were early to that was helpful. There wasn't many people talking about it back then. So like two Hundredero podcast, I think. When we started. I'm guessing that was your job. You were the content guy. Yep, yeah, okay. So take us forward. You get to a hundred users, enough to cover your mortgages at that point in terms of revenue? Oh No, it took us. Always forget it was such a long process. I mean I think it took us a year and a half to get to ten K Mrr. I mean we were doing like seven dollars average revenew per user. So I mean that was I mean that was about a thousand Mrr, I guess at that point close to it. So it took us a while. I think I almost quit at K K. we're reading your store. You were going to quit at one point because you were like this is it. We're not getting to K we don't either quit or do something different. Yeah, just felt like it was never going to it just felt like it was going to take so long and I didn't realize a couple things. I didn't realize it was linear growth, but you know, it was a five percent month over a month growth and I just didn't understand how our word of mouth marketing was working. It was working a lot better than I thought and as our customer base group and more people were sharing these videos, the more people were finding out about us. So our growth always stayed around that five between five and ten percent month over a month, and that feels like nothing for a year and a half. But it's kind of a snowball effect almost that at a certain point you don't realize it, but a certain point you're like, Oh man, this is five percent month of a month. Growth at K starts to become really interesting. So we just had to get kind of past that inflection point to where the market really knew who we were and the inbound marketing engine was really certain to work. And then it just kept kept going. And I can imagining five percent when you got twenty uses is one new user, but five percent when you've got a thousand, you know it's fifty. So it's a big difference. Okay, so you made it through that part period where you you weren't sure whether you get able to live off this business. You finally reach ten thousand a month. How does your mindset change about your future with this business? At that point the pressure comes off a little bit, definitely, but I don't think it really changed much. We were just so I think back to I really try to recreate that moment that we were in, because we didn't really change an they were just so in the moment and thinking about the business and growing it and having fun and, you know, we were celebrating all these milestones that were happening and just kept pushing it forward and I don't think the mindset really shifted. There was no moment where we're like, oh, now that we have x number dollars, now we can go do this or we can hire this person. It's we had always been prioritizing to, you know, to have a lean, recurring revenue model. The goal is to build a company that didn't need those things so that it could run on its own. We assumed it was going to be kind of a you know side project that we wanted to generate passive income. So we were always building it in the way where we didn't need to do those things. So it was really just keep doubling down on what works. Is kind of the where we were. It's a good question. I haven't really thought about too much. I mean, I ask it because for a lot of people tenzero a month is like this holy grail. I'm free, I don't need a job. Like you know, we can survive or so often it's a place where a little bit of a Hallelujah moment. At the same time, I think everyone also realizes it's just another step towards continuing down the same path. So how do you go from Tenzero to a hundred thousand a month? You said it's just more of the same, but obviously you've got more customers. You've got to build a team as a little different from those two points. So what chains for you guys? Yeah, one big thing was you learning how to outsource things that were taking up a lot of our time or things that we didn't really enjoy doing. So the content marketing was something that I don't love. Writing was something out I just did because it's what was needed early on, and now that that started working, we hired a content team to actually write these will start producing more content. Where else can we put content? What forums or websites like Cora or whatever it may be? And you know, start that's kind of what it looked like for the okay, well, running on our blog works, let's do more of that and then we're us. Can we post this stuff. The same thing with social media. We weren't very good at so we're not really good at a lot of things. We just start get good enough at it to see if it works and then try to bring somebody that really knows it and take it on. That's how I look at our job. Our job is to figure out what works and what doesn't and then get the right people in place to scale it up and to do more of it. Paid advertising was one that work pretty well too. We were really early to that. So we had low cost per click on add words and facebook and we found that, you know, meeting people were our whole point was to help people share things videos on social media. So when we would promote a video advertisement and show people that way, that really worked.

Again something that I just tested out. Add words and facebook with it are the two places that we really worked on that, and then bringing someone in there to actually write the copy start pumping more money into adds. I will say that's one thing that we probably really went heavy on for two years was paid ads, and that we reinvested a lot of our of our revenue into that. Okay, Nice. Now I just want to clarify. I did subtitle or duplicated show up at any point in time for this, but this comes after a wave. Yet No, I did. So zub title actually showed up in two thousand and eight. So wave of it have been running for two years and it was we were at that point. I think we were probably doing like k something like that. So it was like we felt good about it. It was growing and I started having some time free because we were outsourcing things. And zubtitle came about because our customers kept asking us to add captions on these VI Dios, on the social media videos that wave was creating. And every time we scoped out the project it was going to be so expensive. And we are very diligent about prioritizing features that are going to grow the business, not just because people are asking for them, but what's the time we're going to go into it and what's our return going to be? Really early on. We're really serious about that, and it was hard to quantify, like is this actually going to bring us more customers or is this just something that, you know, kind of a cool thing that people want? And so we kept putting it off, putting it off because it was going to be so expensive, and then we find I've got the idea that like well, look, if we're going to drop K or whatever it might be to get this whole system built out, can it exist on its own and then integrate into way of empower it? Because if we're going to build this thing for our, you know, very specific style of audiogram video, can it just do this for any video? And Nick, at the time he just had a kid and was working a full time job. He was a founding engineer at another company that was focused on Crypto, while he he had built wave. And then you're asking to create a transcription engine as well, are you? Yeah, exactly. He was just a man, you know, he's had just taken on too much risk at that time. And but we had an engineer that we worked with it our consulting firm, named Jay, that he was he's been he was really interested in entrepreneurship and him, Nick and had know each other really well and he was like, why don't you just go build this with Jay and then integrate it and these two can, you know, kind of be sister companies basically. So they are separate businesses, separate cap tables, but would they integrate really well with one another and play very nicely. So how did Zub title kind of grow? If you've come assuming you were in their building way of writing all this content? Yeah, trying to get that to the next level. Is there a different team in place face uptital doing everything they're from day one? or it was kind of the same set up as nick and I had, but it was myself and Jay and that was my first lesson in that the same playbook doesn't work for every company. I was like, this is makes so much sense. It's going to be just like way if I can just do the content marketing and people are going to want to use it and we'll just do these exact same thing and it was very different. I did direct out reach early on. That did work to get people to use it. Interesting enough that we kind of got early in on linkedin video. Linkedin video came out that same summer and so we reached out to Linkedin influencers, and these people are more be to be and they do they really care about their the way that they're presenting themselves on social media, and so we got in early with some of those influencers and they used it and would tell people about it and it really grew. That's probably how we got our first hundred customers or so, and then paid advertising work really well for Zub title as well. Used to own as uppilt. Can you share, like what your monthly run rate is without coming? Yeah, yeah, it's doing I think, a hundred K Mrr. So it's it's really come along. It's been three years now and it's got a really healthy profit margin. It's more expensive to run from the tech side because these videos, it's sometimes can beat you a k videos and things can be really engineering intensive. But yeah, it's a great business and we've got a big new version three coming out, some new features dropping and as the people are making the transition to short vertical videos, so we've got a lot of support coming out for that. But yeah, it's still going. You. Can you clarify exactly how does it work, though? So, like I have a video I've recorded. While you n you explain it, you're going to do better. Jumpin Ey Bill. Yeah, so it takes your video and it automatically transcribes it, which that and itself is not that big at that. You know, there's a lot of things that will do that out there. But what it allows you to do is to really edit your transcript very quickly, gives you a nice notepad in tools to clean up the transcript, because it's never going to be a hundred percent accurate, and then it gives you tools to design your captions. That's the other big thing that we learned is people sometimes they have a logo on the video or it's a vertical video and they want their captions to show up in certain ways. And then it also makes it really easy well to go into it started out as just video captioning. That's what it did. It helps you design video captioning and it was a pay per use model, so you would buy a pack of minutes and it would get charged as you used it and we would kept getting like seven a km are. It wasn't recurring revenue at that time, seven to k a month, but it was...

...never predictable, so we could never properly invest in the business and it just wasn't really sticky. People would come in and use it for a video and then they wouldn't come back for the next one, and that's when we made the transition to like hey, all these people are transcribing videos for social media. Let's help them do other things to get their video ready for social medias. So the big one was resizing, just making sure that your video is sized properly for snapchat versus facebook, versus twitter, and a trimming clipping, making sure that you're picking, you know, if you wanted to trim it down to a smaller portion, things like that. So yes, mainly around just getting the video ready for social media so it really pops. And that's all engineering based, like it's not like an outsource service. It's the correct doing everything. Yeah, it's a tool that helps video creators dd things. Okay, so everything's automage like ai transcription power kind of back in as well. Okay, cool. So, wow, it's interesting to think about wave and subtitle. They're very similar. Now is that we sort of talked about them. They're both about creating social media content. They both had transcriptions. They're both allow you to control elements of the the social content that that matter. Logo size set. One positioning is purely this is for podcasts to do that. The other ones positioning is this is for video, and it sounds like linkedin video was kind of like the starting point. It's easy to have seen those two things be the same. Company really like you could have turned wave into. This is and I asked this question too because in my mind, as an entrepreneur, and I've heard many entrepreneurs share some of the story, as soon as you are in the trenches with one company, and you said you kind of started subtitle when you're doing about thirtyzero monthly runway with wave, to then start an entirely new company. Ay to me it's like, well, now you're taking some of that energy that might have been creating the momentum behind wave and you're putting it behind subtitle, which has no traction yet. So it sounds a little bit like the classic mistake of Multiple Focus. At the same time, I'm talking to you now when you've sold wave when it was already doing two million a year. Zub titles on the way to that number. It's well over a million a year. So you clearly made it work. Yeah, but do you feel like if you were talking to someone else, would you recommend to them you do what you did or why choose to have two separate companies? And that could be one is a lot of things there that I want to understand your thinking. Yeah, I think we have realized and looking back, I think a lot of people build business. I think there's a mistake that entrepreneurs make quite often, is that they build businesses that don't fit their personality and strengths, and we found overtime that we are really good at focusing on a specific group of people and solving, you know, a specific problem that they have, and we have just really focused on doing that. It would have been easier and we thought a lot of different ways that wave could go. We've thought about taken into hosting and like being the podcast host that then has the best marketing tools. We've thought about turning it into a place where content can be stored and saved. But we always remind ourselves that what we're good at is building niche software businesses and any time that we get the scope to expand it at some point we know that, like this is just not our strength, because then you start, you know, if we were really trying to build probably what descript is probably the the best analogy in our space that they do everything. It's like podcast editing and video creation. They kind of they do a lot of different things. I think, you know, building a big company like that that has a lot of different focuses, then you have to be good at hiring. You have to be good at organizational processes and, you know, running an efficient team, things like that, and those are just not the things that we do. So we try to build businesses that are lean and can be self sufficient. And also we love the creative process building, some probably too much. Sometimes we're like we love it so much that we're always ready to start the next new thing, not so much see how far we can take the current thing. So I don't know if there's a well, it turned out to be a pretty good a good call, but I don't know if it was the best. But yeah, that was kind of the thought mind it. Yeah, and I appreciate you sharing that because you do highlight at the end of the day, this is the decision by the people in charge of what they're doing and everyone's got a different goal, different motivation. So sure I could assess this and say, wow, wave would be a much bigger company if you would both spend all your time on it. You have everything for it, all your marketing, sure, and if that was your only goal, and you know, mission accomplished. But like you said, you like this creative start up, new idea phase more than the growing a team, because it's true, as a founder you kind of the step away from the daytoday creative side and start becoming more of a hiring person, team manager role, which is not as much fun when you're, you know, selling something you and it's fresh and you're the one out there trying to push it. So I can see why I made that choice, but everyone's different, of course, so take us for then. So you've got, and actually I need two time snap this too, because I'm getting little confused. So you talk, was like two thousand. Probably two thousands. Is that?...

When? That was two thousand and fifteen down fifteen. Is You talk, because you mentioned earlier. When when did wave start? What year? Two Thousand and sixteen? So a little it was like basically like a year. We probably started on two thousand and fourteen working on you talk, but we really spent that whole year full time on it in two thousand and fifteen and then two thousand and sixteen started wave and then two thousand and eighteen started subtitle. Okay, and the last one of this four companies, I you know, we'll talk about turnkey to. That's our current one, but duplicate that come in this journey as well, or is that that came in last summers during it was during codd we were all in lockdown and quarantine and we're like let's start another company and of course it was. Yeah, that was probably looking back, we just didn't have the time. It was not a good time to start it because we but it was a it was a tool. We're basically trying to work on wave and subtitle and playing off of that is building more of a content repurposing tool that could kind of do what wave ends up title does and some other things and kind of bundle a lot of tools together into one. And I think the scope just kind of ran away from us. We haven't been working on that lately. It does a couple hundred MRR and it's got some customers that like it. They used they use the transcription tool and in format the transcription into a blog post. So yeah, we started that one last summer and then churnkey was something we had been building internally for wave ands up title and then we really decided to say, okay, let's start putting our focus in the churnkey just in September of last year. Okay, we will leave the acquisition of wave until we talk about turnkey, because I know triunky was an internally developed tool before you came a stand alone company, which is now your main focus. So how does churnkey evolve? And this is funny because Turnkey is the first company that sounds like that you had an ideal for with in one company. Wave sounds like it was like the starting point for a lot of companies, or maybe even you talk really but you know, wave is kind of where you start getting some traction. You hit some problems, then you think we have to solve this. Hey, let's start a new business. Right and now, drunky, I know you're going to tell me the same story. It's like we had this problem in wave and is ubtitle. This could be a business, we should start one, but this time you didn't start it. While doing the other one, you said maybe we'll sell wave. So can you? Maybe first I'll tell us what turnkey is within wave, when it first became an idea, and then we'll connect that to the selling of wave story. Yeah, our biggest problem with way is always been churned and it's been high churned. Podcasters stay, do seasons, they take time off. Circumstances happen, they can't you know, they want to cancel the tend our charge. We're kind of the first thing that a podcaster cancels when they're trying to kind of downsize their expenses. So we were always at like twelve or fourteen percent churn and we knew that that's what was preventing us from, you know, really kind of getting to the next level of growth and we tried everything. We hired consultants, we spent tens of thousands of dollars on consultants and on boarding tools and analytics and prediction tools and all those things. Really a lot of these things do help, but the one place where we saw consistent, measurable return on investment with Churn was optimizing our cancelation flow. So that all started when we offered pausing. We noticed that podcasters will just take two months off, a lot of them to do seasons, and instead of them canceling and hoping that they come back, we would say hey, you know, instid of canceling, will keep all your data, will keep all your videos safe, and just pause for two months and it it'll reactivate and was sending an email when it reactivates, and we started cutting churn by twelve percent right away by offering pauses, and then we thought, well, with people want to pause and maybe we can just offer a discount. And this is nothing new. This is, you know, if you call your cable company up and try to cancel, this is kind of the same playbook that a lot of bigger businesses use to try to keep you around, give you incentives to keep your subscription going. So we really just taking that and, you know, putting it into an automated flow that the user can go through and it'll allow them to choose why they're canceling and, based on why they cancel, we pitched them the specific offer and once we got the discounts, we also added technical support so that if somebody's canceling because of a feature or something that's not working, instead of them canceling, we get them connected with the customer support person right away. That saves probably a dozen customers a month. So when we put all those things in place, we cut our turned down by twenty five percent and then all of a sudden our growth ceiling opens up because we're not losing as many customers. So it really did. It had such an impact on our business that we were like, we have to try and sell this other SASS companies, because we can really make a big difference. But we definitely took our time building it into wave first and getting making sure that we were learning as much as we could building it for ourselves before pulling it out and turning it into own product. MMM Yeah, I got a question about that because I had a good look at a churn key website and I'm like this is smart. I had some subscription businesses before and I know like a lot of the churn process. Like you said, when they're asking to leave our cancel, we'd rely on a human being like my customs supportive person to essentially dynamic the answer and offer on the fly some kind of special discount...

...or a positive membership, all things you're saying to try and keep them an active member. And it works. It definitely does work. But I'm thinking you've obviously sassified that. You turned that out into software. But I couldn't quite get my head around, like, your dashboard looks great and I recommend everyone go check out churnkeycom. But I was like, okay, so there's as a dashboard for seeing the stats on my churn and I thought you've got like a survey type mechanism. I believe, like a question there of some source, but it seems like a little bit of like an optopus software. There's all these different kind of almost tools you can use to try and reduce the churn. Can you maybe just explain how, because I can see how you built this for yourselves. You always said, hey, let's try this all, let's build that into the orn software. So how does that come together and maybe what is the most important piece in terms of a software part of this solution? So churnkey actually in beds, as it's a jobascript in bed that you put within your Sassap, and there's a little bit of server side Code that connects Churnkey to stripes so it can facilitate these questions and the mean the biggest part of turnkey is the flow itself. So when the mbed POPs up, it allows you to decide what you want to ask and what you want to offer at what times. So when I click cancel, just to clear yeah, so, yeah, example. Okay, so I'm in a way. I want to cancel. I could cancel button. Turnkey pops out. Basically were asking about things and takes over and it turns into. It's a model that pops up and it asked questions. It says, well, you know, why do you want to cancel? Actually, the first thing that we do a way of this, because the pausing is so successful, that's the first thing that we choose to offer up, and then we ask them why they're canceling and then it can, based on why they're canceling, you can set up each one to an offer. And then discounts or hidden plans is another one that's really interesting. Of like plans that you don't put on your website but that you're willing to offer customers to stick around. So example would be if you know a podcast host, if somebody was to cancel, it's like, well, why not pay five dollars a month and we'll keep your podcast going as opposed to taking it down. And then if the customer accepts a deal or cancels, whatever the end result is, it shows up in a sessions result within the Cherunkey Dashboard. So it's kind of two part. One is the mbed that's actually user facing and then the dashboard is coming. We caught like are no code dashboard where you can make the changes and see what's working and what's not working. I can see why. I mean this is a little more complicator, I feel. Then say what you've done with wave and yeah, he's on the title like it's it's a little bit of human interaction intelligence you're going to start to have to manage and turn into software. But I love it. I think you guys, I can see why you're excited about to the challenge of doing that, which is probably not as well serviced today that you know you're in a bit of a unique niche. So, but before we, and I know that, spun off as a company. Maybe we can do the chronology, or so you're running way. If you've hit a hundred thousand a month, hundred and fifty thousand a month, I'm assuming part of that growth is because you got on top of churn thanks to your internal version of turnkey. Definitely. How far did you go before you decide to sell? Was a two hundred thousand a month monthly run right, or we were at a little over one hundred and forty? So we decided to sell. We were probably at one thirty. I would guess one hundred and twenty five. We've looked at acquisition offers over the years and every time just didn't feel like it was it was the right time. We felt there was, you know, a lot of potential in front of us. But with wave we really got to a point. This kind of goes back to the conversation we were having about, you know, why not expand the scope of wave and start doing other things? And anytime we looked at that it just didn't feel like we were the right people to do it. And even so, much like going back to the churn discussion, way just became big enough to wear. You know, having somebody thinking about charm for four months really made a big impact. Like a half a percentage of churn makes a big impact on the business and it really needed people that were more scientific, that could really that enjoyed diving deep down to these really specific problems and solving them, where it's not our natural tendency. We really like to think about new things and like what can we build next, and so it just it started to feel the first real reason was it really felt like wave needed a new set of operational team members. So that's kind of where we got started. And then the more we thought about it, we can realize how much risk we had tied up in the business compared to, you know, our net worth. And then at that point you start thinking of Black Swan events, like, Oh Gosh, what if? You know, who knows what could happen, and so it just felt like the right time to take the risk off the table. And the other thing is we knew what we wanted it. We really we know we want to work on turnkey. So let's do this and it can free up our time and we can really focus on it and be fair for you. You gout subtitle running doing on a grand a month too. So I which actually leads me to a question. I'm curious. Okay, you're feeling like a lot of your net worth is tied in your capitals inside wave. You want to exit get some of that out, but like, will you guys both earning a salary from way? Were you taking one from subtitle? Like how much we building capital from just cash flow? Yeah, yeah, we were. We were distributing all of our profits with way up to the partners. So and we have been doing that for about two years probably. And and yes,...

...ubtitle was was paying me as well. So it is less about we didn't need it, but it just felt like getting the cash advance. Basically, it's decision. What you're doing is you're saying, you know when, the next three years up front and then I'm done. For the most part, is as opposed to taking it over the next three years. And now the other thing that changed. We both have families and we both have house that you know, we want to need bigger houses for these kids, and so that was another part of it too. We're just in a time in life where it was it felt like the right thing to do. I guess on the video of this I'm looking at the House that way. Bought Right. Is that fair to say? No, no, we're still in the same that's actually hopefully coming in the future. But okay, yeah, it's nice. Okay. So, and I can understand. There's always conflicting motivations, or maybe not conflicting, but you want money, you want to focus something new. Those things may up equal. You get both of them when you exit. So okay, take us forward. Then you decide to actually make a sale. There had a way you want to leave that company. There had been prior offers, as I know, and the start we mentioned this. The guys from calm capital David and Marty were the eventual winners of the deal. With you. I got the impression, though, that you were kind of picking and choosing from multiple buyers you had, you had options. Are A lot multiple suitors. Can you explain your decisionmaking process there, and was it just about who had the highest offer? No, there was a couple different factors of when it is the decision. The first decision point we had was do we want to have on a broker or not to have somebody take us packages up and take us to the market and get even more suitors out. Of course you're given up ten percent is usually with most brokerages, and we had found one that we really liked and we were planning on doing that. But then right around December we got five or six inbound emails from different acquisition groups that kind of specialize in buying SASS companies like ours. Why is that suddenly happened? You think like that? I think it's just hard these it's really hard to find, you know, any actors, isn't it? It's all of that already have to follow right. Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. Well, I think it's hard to find investments these days that have safe yields and SASS businesses are great. They're very lean and profitable, and so I think investors are starting to get just more interested in and now these firms are popping up and you know, there have LP's basically, and then they go buy these companies and put them together. So it's almost like a new flavor of private equity, but just focus on niche bootstraps ass companies. So the timing was good where we had multiple of those groups emails and we decided, well, let's just do let's take these five six and do our own due diligence and start the process and see what happens and if it doesn't work, then we'll sign a broker in February or March, because in the past we had known that. We knew that people are looking at net profit trailing twelve months basically of Ibida and with a multiple tied to it. So we could do the math and figure out kind of where we were going to be at what you know, each quarter we would look and be like, okay, should we do it now or should we wait? But we got to the range that we wanted and we were at the range and so we started the process with those five groups, and it was a lot of work. I mean we so we basically sourced, negotiated and close the deal all on our own. We paid seven grand and legal fees to actually just help us with the contract itself. And now I know why brokers are valuable, because that was a ton of work. But basically we just kicked off. We had five different conversations going where we would do, you know, introductions, due diligence. We put together just a big data room where, you know, with all of our revenue metrics, are analytics, product metrics, all those things. And basically we knew we wanted a susport folio company and calm capital. There were a lot of great ones. It was actually it was a hard choice, but calm had the best deal financially and they also had a little different approach where they were going to work with us. We were still going to be getting incentivised over three years. So we got most of the deal out front, but there is incentive. There's an incentive for us to be involved as in advisors and help them grow for the next three years. That like an urn out or just like your yes, Pret U, yeah, Prett M, yeah, just urn now. Yeah, and for those listening, if you want to hear David and Marty's side from calm capital of the cofounders there we we didn't actually talk a lot about your way acquisition specifically. They did talk about some of their previous acquisitions, but you can certainly hear their philosophy about being calm and peaceful and controlling the the experience for you as a founder in your h founders as well. In episode two of ast the capitals they can go. Have listened to that one. I just recorded and published. I had a question that surface when you were talking about the valuation. So you said net profit after tax. One of the things, though, with a company like yours, you could choose to plow all the profit in or cash into growth, like buying more ads, creating more content, or you could pull back on that at the point. You're right to cell to make that number bigger so you can get a bigger buy out. Like how you factor that in with with your sale? We got to a point, I think it was just the stage of the company, where we were starting to get diminishing returns on a lot of the functions...

...that we were doing, like we kind of tapped out, paid advertising. You know, the more money we put in there, we weren't necessarily getting the same return back. I think we had kind of found the sweet spot there and it really felt like the company needed to move to a next phase of actual product development and offerings in general. So they didn't make sense for us to reinvest in the same things we were doing because it we kind of felt like we had, you know, started hitting a point where it was time for something new. They had some great ideas on way to no, basically, what is way of going to become? How is it going to help podcasters in other ways, and that was part of the evaluation process as well. As I these guys have, you know, not only do they want to buy it and take care of it, but they actually want to grow it significantly, and that's what ultimately, we want to happen. We won't wave to you know, become something bigger, and they were thinking about growth in the same way that we would have if we felt like we were the right people to do it nice. Yeah, okay. So, but just to clarify the money side, if you know you're doing let's say two million a year at the time, you just finally made this deal your profit margin net could be twenty five percent, half a million in a year, or could be a million or even more, depending. I don't know how big your salary costs are for the company and so on, but it definitely fluctuates. I know for myself running a company where it's like how many team members do we have this month? How much? So we decide to spend on anything from advertising to development and so on, and it feels like it's hard to just come and say, okay, well, this year we did a hundred thousand. Last year we did six hundred thousand. It could be very different. Is I guess what I'm saying. So when you have a buyer, and multiple buyers in this case, they maybe you're I'm asking the wrong person. I should be asking the buyers. But in their minds are they thinking if we just keep it running as it is? We know the founders were taking this much capital as dividends or salary, whatever it is, so they'll be that money. It'll be roughly this amount of net profit. Obviously will that we can decide how to play with you. That's how we're doing the value for what we're going to pay. Yeah, that's pretty much I don't know the exact numbers that they have in mind, but I think the general approach and the way they explain it well was that we were always running at sixty five to seventy percent profit margins, which was really with we really optimized for that. Maybe maybe at the expense of growth. We could have been doing, you know, trying other things, but they want to bring it down to about fifty. And then so they're they're basically looking at and say, okay, we're going to buy this and we're going there's this twenty percent difference in margin that we're going to turn that into growth and start putting that into you know, hire people and kind of start getting systems in place to get to that next, next level. So they do? They use the fifty percent number when making an offer to you. That was more just like their plan as far as that's doesn't there yeah, as far as their plan going forward. Okay, yeah, so they're still looking at it with your number, sixty five seven percent. Yea many that condition as opposed to what they're maketually. That makes sense. Okay. Yeah, and yeah, it's like it's on crazy how common is sort of is to take no profit, multiply by three to five and that's what we're offer. We're going to make it to you and that's pretty much whatever. But that's what everybody did. It was either trailing twelve months, eb it up or ste seller discretionary earning, which means you could, you know, say some things weren't specifically used for running the running or growing the business and those could be cut. And then everybody the market really seemed to be somewhere between two, three, two, six times multiples. It's kind of what what we were seeing is really interesting to learn and, you know, listen to how these different groups come to that specific valuation and what they try to do is really interesting. We learned a hot must be fun to see the terms. She coming with the offer right, just to see what the different offers were from the different different yeah, yeah, well's yeah, it was always this big anticipation like, Oh man, what are we gonna what are we going to see? Everybody was fairly close. So a lot of it came down to culture. Fit To is like, you know who we're going to be working with. These people for a long time. David Marty from calmer. They're in North Carolina. That was also to a big component for us is their local we felt like we like the idea of our business staying in the Carolinas and they hired a Jeff, the new CEO of wave, is in North Carolina as well. So we're all kind of close and we've gotten together and just really like each other. It's just a lot of good is a good culture fit nice. Okay, I can see that all right. Well, my start heading towards the end of the show here. There it. It's been a great journey. I appreciate all the the detail of all these steps like very clear in my mind now what you what you've created over the years. There's a lot of moving works. Yeah, I mean I'm most impressed that you could create as UB title while you're building a wave. To me that that is really impressive. If you know that it's kind of like breaking the rules, but you made it, made it happen and it's exciting to have two projects that are are, you know, both growing. Turnkey, obviously, is your current focus. It does sound like it's early days. You're talking about getting your first fifty customers earlier in the show. So you're out there doing that. Is there anything you want to share about turnkey and maybe even like what's different with this new SASS compared to all the other ones? Arecay to all this experience? Well, that's the thing. Everything's different. This is our first be tob SASS, the first company. All the other companies. I don't know who coined this term, but we say prosumers. They're not. It's not be Toc. These, you know podcasters are prosumers.

A lot of them are trying to make this their full time. There in the process of, you know, moving towards more B to be, but it's totally different. Everything's different. We have to think about implementation tomlines. How do we actually take somebody through the sales process and get them implemented? There's multiple people involved from the there's usually a founder we're in contact with, and then they have engineers that are actually implementing it. Where as before we're just trying to drive people to a landing page and convert a small percentage, now it's very hands on, where at you know, we need to. It's something that businesses need to think about. How do they want to implement it? What offers do they want to deliver? So there's this consultive component as well. So I'd say it's been a it's been a bit of a challenge for us to transition to the B tob mindset and all these different things. We're trying to kind of the same thing as uptow. We're trying to use a lot of the same playbooks from the other companies and realizing that they're not working. Like content marketings not really driving much of a difference for us with turnkey. So but we're moving into much more of a sales driven model, which is fun for me to dust off my old sales experience. So it's been different. Yeah, be to be is is very different. I think a lot of times. I was saying about this the other day the I think there was a common suggestion to found SASS founders that they should start be to be there, like you need to do be to be. There's less churn. It's higher prices, which is true and I think a lot of people almost default to that. But there's it's such a different business like it's takes different skill set. You need to be able to, you know, navigate organizations to do be to be. With BTC prosumers you're more in the you know, creative process of actually building the product. So they're very different. I think again, it's just important to think about your personality, what you're good at, what are your strengths and and try to, you know, build businesses that let for just those as opposed to just, you know, doing what people tell you to do. Yeah, and I interesting to see how you guys go. Let's that's talk in five years and see or turnkey is and you're like, you're right, you've got a different, somewhat different, somewhat similar. I think about what you personally have been doing. You've been creating content, you've been doing direct approach and that might get the initial interest possibly, but, like you said, there's going to be like a more of a discovery, learning, how does this tool work, kind of process. But you definitely hitting on a major issue that is ripe for building some kind of software solution around. So that's fun. It's also interesting that timing has become such an important thing, that their customers timing of when they want to implement turnkey, because most people the first couple years there a company, they're all focused on growth, because you have to do that. You have to get the business of and going, and it's hard for them to focus on churn in the early days, but then there's this moment when growth starts plateauing a little bit. It's like, all of a sudden, urn becomes a problem. So it's we have to build relationships with these companies so that when that time happens we're ready to you know, weren't there and top of mind for them. So that's kind of a different problem to where before a lot of things that we were doing were direct response, where people find us because they need us, as opposed to now people are finding out about US maybe before they need us or at the bad time. So that's been an interesting problem to solve, as well as how do you start relationships and stay top of mind for when that moment happens? Right, it's funny. I was thinking this could be a company where your own churn will not be nearly as high. Ex funny that. Yeah, we right, sure he would turn it. We're really starting to figure out who our ideal customers are, like the personas of the businesses that really need turnkey, and turnkey would not be a good customer for us because the churns. We haven't had anybody churn yet. Yeah, I kind of imagine you get it's gonna be so low because, yeah, you're talking a customer base that's like you said, they're they're they're big, they're succeeding. It's about, you know, killing off the park that it's not working as well. So they're going to keep paying for it. Once they see a working they're big enough to not going to get like turn it off over somewhere, like you said. So it's yeah, it's kind of an irony of the business. Yes, it's interesting. It just goes back to it's so important, we're starting company to not have too many assumptions, like have some big assumptions that you go try to validate and let the market tell you what it needs. We all know was kind of the big thing that we've had to retell ourselves, like, yes, we built this for ourselves, but we need to figure out who our ideal customers are. They might be different than us and they're going to want different things than we've had. So we kind of had this two to four up transition period of going from, you know, ourselves as customers to a WHO is our customer? How do we find those people and get them activated? And it's been much more much more involved. All of our costs are in customer acquisition, where with other businesses is opposite. Is like easy to acquire customers with fremium tools, but all of our costs were into trying to, you know, hold those customers over long periods of time. So it's been a big mental shift for us and having to relearn some old skills and learn new ones. So, but that's why we love doing this. It's well, that's your favorite part of the start out right. It's the creative set. There's a plate book. We wouldn't want to do it. I'd be boring and be like well, you know, yeah, we're excited about got pretty much. I think be the last question, maybe second last really for you, and more of a vested capital type question here.

By or it's okay. So I know from the store you shared clearly your greatest source of capital making money over the last five six years has been from startups, these tech startups and and I say the exit of wave is very likely be the biggest sources of income you've had. Is there any other I've you been investing, but you know other types of ways of making money that we haven't really talked about, like outside of startups. Yeah, I do. I do a lot of investing in stocks and Crypto is generally where I'm doing most of my investing. All that is very long term. It's what I do to try to offset my very risky day job is to invest in things that have I have a rule where if I don't have enough conviction to hold something for five years without touching it, I don't buy it. So I do a lot of like long term investing. When in stocks and Crypto, I haven't done anything. I'm definitely interested in my property management, real estate things like that. I'd love to have a physical business one day. I think they'd be fun to just have something I can go to or put my you know, actually touch and hold, like a tall horses business. Maybe go back. Yeah, maybe I can get back into the guess sister in the Horse Horse Industry, so maybe I can find something there. But yeah, but no, it's been mostly mostly tech startups and then long long view investments. Okay, it's funny you say those of the those are not risky. Those are pretty wild lately. So yeah, it's been tough. It's really interesting. I'm really interest in the technology too, and it's really hard to look at that space with a five year plus time horizon. So I'm trying to follow that same rule and it turns into it's hard to see through the noise of, you know, what's trading, what's just done by traders, and what's actually, you know, value investing, which is kind of hard to apply there, but it's fun to think about. Are you going for like the just the mainstream ones, you know, the bitcoins and the etheriums and the apples and the Amazon are you a little bit more obscure and more niche both? I'm I'm trying to come up with kind of a portfolio allocation of certain percentage kind of the main mainstays, and then I do like to, you know, throw a little bit. I found that investing in the new, like all coins that are there new, is kind of a fun way to start learning about them, just to, you know, put a little bit here and there. And the other thing I've been trying to follow also is don't invest in things that you don't understand. It's really easy to fee know, see some blog post and something that sounds cool and you know one to invest in it. But try to force myself like no, you need to go do research and learn about this for investing. But you can give us an example. What's one of your old coins you've become a knowledgeable person about. I'm really interested in like distributed computing, like this concept of like instead of having to use a WS and a centralized like cdn, for example, like this idea of distributing the resources and one of them, anchors, are really interesting. One is kind of the most impressive one that I found. So things like that has been really interesting, just trying to learn more about how it works, how it's going to how it's going to work and then how is it going to actually start getting large adoption as kind of the tough part about it. Okay, cool. Now like to hear the little little behind the scenes of what you do with the money once you start making it, because people often, you know, they hear about the fun stuff, the Lamborghini, he's a property they might buy, but at the end of the day it's really just about putting it into some other asset right. That's what most people do with with the capital they make. So yeah, it was kind of an interesting learning of the acquisition was like once your company's acquired and you have, you know, you're trading all that risk for capital. You have to do something with it. Can't just let it sit there. I guess you could, but that's risky as well, just have all sitting in one place. So that's definitely something I wasn't prepared for and something I'm still learning more about. Did you do any kind of big spurs, though, and when that money hit the bank account, was there a toy or anything you bought for fun? NOPE, not really. I'm still just kind of nothing. Nothing's really change all much. Yeah, still, yeah, still in the works. I'm stuff. I'm shock. Okay, awesome, well, bad. I appreciate the time and the story. I don't know where you want to send people to more about what you do. We mentioned wave with T v's subtitle duplicate, and the current one, turnkeycom anywhere else you want to send people? You go to my twitter. It's at Baird Hall on twitter and trying to get more active there and I need to get a personal website out. That's one of my probably jecks coming up soon. If anybody here's this and wants to help me with that project, I'd love free to reach out. But yeah, yeah, follow me on twitter. That's where I kind of share updates and news and different things I'm interested in. So yeah, it's at Baird Hall on twitter, at Baird Hall. Awesome. Appreciate that. Okay, well, keep up the good work, man. I really like the journey and the creativity and the jumping from one idea to the next, even if it's not always what you think is the traditional play or but you made it work, so that's awesome. And Yeah, I love following the journey. So thanks for joining me and sharing it. Thanks appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed that interview with Baard Hall. I really thought that was one of the most indepth stories I've been able to share in a while, so I hope you got a lot from it as well. If you think this interview would help a friend or colleague, maybe someone you know who's entrepreneurial or is already running their own start up and could benefit from hearing what Baar talked about, share this episode with them. Send them a link directly to the download or send them...

...the name of the show, vested capital, or my name, Yarrow, and tell them to go download episode three and, if you're not already subscribe to vested capital in your podcast APP of choice. Open it up now if you're not already using it, and click the subscribe button. Or you can look for the show under the name vested capital or Yarrow. Why? Aar? Oh, that's my name and you should find my show there. Hit the subscribe button and you'll get all the episodes as I release them, plus access to the entire back catalog of vested capital episodes. Okay, my name is yarrow. I look forward to talking to you on the very next episode. By by.

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