The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 16: What I've learned building 3 companies feat Andrew Gazdecki

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Ep 16: What I've learned building 3 companies feat Andrew Gazdecki

To e Eto, what is going on? Everyone welcome toanother episode of the Revenue Collectiv podcast. This is your launchhost, Justin Welsh. Now, a member of the Nashville chapter of revenue,collective. We will be featuring ideas in conversations inspired by ongoingdiscussion within the global RC community. In this episode, we'refeaturing a discussion about pure entrprenortion. My guest will be threetime founder in currency EO, microachoire Andrew Gazteki. Before weget into the interview with Andrew, I want to thank our sponsore gone thenumber one revenue intelligence platform, bfor remote sals. We arethrilled to announce a strategic partnership in which will we bring youthe best events, content, research and spaces to engage with your peers and tokick it off. They are sponsoring the revenue of collective PODGASS. We willbe bringing you stuff every month, so do not miss out stay up to date on thelatest collaborations at Gong Dot, io, slash RC, also, if you're out therelistening and you want to join revenue colective either Ar Associates Programor executive program visit revenue, collective dcom, ind. Simply Clickapply. Now now, let's listen to my conversation with the CEO of micro,Acqhuire, Andrew Gazdeki. Our guest today is Andrew GazdetiAndrewis, a three time founder with three exits: a former Siro in currentfounder of micro acquire he has been featured in the New York Times, ForbesWall Street Journal ink magazine and Antrprinner magazine, as well asprominent industry blogs like Mashable, Tet crunch and venturebeat Andreman.It's really great to talk to you welcome in do they Strav me on I'mexcited, I'm excited as well. You and I haven't, I think, we've sort of gonepast each other's ships in the night online a few times, but we haven't hadan opportunity to to actually sit down and chant. So I've been really excitedfor this one yeah, I'm Stuke for this. Like I said, I've been a fan of whatyou're doing and ye excited just chat and sere. It goes awesome. So, let'sstart maybe by by taking it back just a bit. So you started your first companybusiness apps while you were enrolled in Calsachico and I I'd love to learnhow you decided to get started building. At the same time that you were inschool, can you tell me a little bit about that decision? Yeah that wasactually Kinda easy, so I've kind of been anosure my whole life. I was a kidthat had like ebay business I like so like pokemon cards, it's kind ofembarrassing to admit, but so in Shigo I wasn't a technicalfounder, and so I always knew I wanted to start a business, and so I had thisgoal every summer of starting a new company and obviously I ha there's agraveyuard of businesses, AE started, but so business aps actually started asan idea from a previous business. I...

...basically just went online. I bought ascript for Ye. Have you heard of like Freelanceer, docom, R, UPWORD, sureyeah? I use uper a coll time yeah, so you can buy scrips similar to thosebusinesses and, just you know, put it on a server and Nige it to a certainindustry. So when the IPHON first came out, I launched his swebsite calledphone freelancer kind of a dunb name, but what I was doing was connectingmoldevelopers with businesses. So basically thing freelance at Com Wat,just specific to mobile, and then I spent I don't know like entire Winter Brad. Just commenting onlike anything related to IPONAB, saying like Hey, have you got a Otidea likecome to this? You know mark a place. You can find a developer and build outyour idea, and so that actually started getting some traction, and I I saw thism the same sort of job post being postedall the time is basically a restaurant. As an example, looking for that'scalled like a loyalty program, they want to show their Manu, they want pushon vacations and I just- and they would you know, have these jobs withdevelopers where they would pay like thirty forty fifty thousand dollars andagain this is when the ithon first came out, so every business is trying tofigure how to get on Mowol. So I KINDOF had this Ik light ole moment d like hey.What? If I built like a templet where I could reskin this and that's mybusiness and my goal really was to like not get a job. If I'm being completelyhonest, so it has superhumble beginnings, but it s a Kindo, you knowfast track a little bit. I ended up selling that business, Fon, freelanceREFOR, Yi, won't say the amount, but incollege with inflation I felt like a trillion dollars. It was like thefourth moment of Mylie, and that was the beginning of business AP. who wasbasically like you know these businesses all have a similar sort ofneed with features functionality. The first version was absolutely terrible,but that's how I got started. I just Kindo had that entrenrial bug andstarted with something that you know led me to t to business out, so you hadthe entrepreneurial bug, and so you wanted to start business apps, but wasthere you know something that you were passionate about, that business APspecifically solved. How did you come up with the idea for the the particularcompany yeah, so both of my parents were asmall business owners, so I had just a natural passion for helping smallbusinesses, and I just saw moble as this huge srimp transform. Mative shift-that's a big word, but whatever you want to call it paradime shift of howpeople you know are interacting with businesses, and if you look at yourphone, every company you lihe or interact with, has some sort of way foryou to connect to them onmobile, and so, as uch shift was happening, only largebusinesses could afford to develop. You...

...know an IPHON NAP and an andred out.This is even before we entrod, and I just thought you know there just has tobe a way to make Mowab development cheaper and easier and more accessibleto small businesses, because you know paying forty fifty thousand dollars fora small business. Just isn't Bible. So you know the passionwas really just my background and also seeing the opportunity just,but my parents ware small business owners, Ye massive shift. Everyone wasgoing to mobile and you know again. I started with humble beginnings. Iwasn't. I didn't start it with like hey this thing's going to get funded andit's Gointo be superhuge tighto. The original idea was like hey a'm, goingto build like twenty moble laps for like twenty restaurants and charge themlike a hundred bucks a month, and then I don't have to get a job and then allI figure out the next step after Thad so AEBA. I love that and, as you builtbusiness apps did you how big did your team ultimately grow? It was. It was a weird ride. Man Um, soI started it when I was twenty one grew to about ten million inrecinrevenue. The team at its peak was over a hundred. You know we had you know portionremotely and then we had it in house. You know, Operation Sale, seem customersuccess. Seen Yeah it was. It was interesting and I was twenty three Iwas like CEO this, like ink five hundred growing company and yeah. Wenever raised any venture capital. It was just one of those moments whereI just kind of feel like ID caughl like you know, right, mark, Yeu, right timeand it just took off and definitely made a thousand mistakes alon the wayManr so yeah. I that's. That's really cool, I think that's a good segay intomy next question. So your you're twenty three you're a founder you'Vegot, a tenmillion dollar recurring revenue business. You got nearly a hundredpeople. You know. I would assume that making some of those first hiringdecisions of your career were probably pretty challenging was. was there aparticular, you know, skill set that you looked for when t hiring folks intobusiness? Ats, being you know, twenty three years old yeah I mean I il serveit. My biggest mistake: Witiin was you know when you're when you're twentythree and you grow up without you know a lot of money and you interview, let'ssay a VP marketing and thrassing birt, six figure salary, you kind of rollyourezes rer like what the heck like. Why would I pay this person six figureswhen I could just do myself as a huge mistake you know, teams are built on.You know hiring people smarte smarter than you as soon as possible, removingyourself from that function in the business. So you know took me a coupleof years to kind of figure that out, but you know I had a differingdiffering approach, siring that I think a lot of people take, and I always lookfor motivation attitude and then skillset in that order, and so I rethad like three things that I looked for...

...forbasically. Could I see you enjoyingthis job? Could I see myself enjoying working with you and do I think you' doa good job like it was pretty simple. I always looked for a future potentialrather than for potentional people and so yeah. I guess you know one thing,I'm really proud of with business housas. You know. If you ask the peoplethat worked with me. You know we had a really good time. We had a fun cultureand encouraging culture, or we had people that started in customer successthat you know ere now, bps sales at other companies M, there's threedifferent SRS that arehire that are BPF sales at other companies, oneindividual, startin sales moved over to product. So we just had this. Likereally good organization of you know, CRR upward mobility and the business,and that was attracting to a lot of people. But again I it felt, like youknow such a team where everybody just made each other better and we were justhigh fiving all the time and there's no egos. So that's what I really look forin hiring and it worked out t a good time with everybody and we obviousleaccomplishd a law together. So yeah motivation, attitude, skillsat, that'sthat's the Whar I liv for the most yeah. I was taught early in my career by theCEO, the first techin Tech Company, that I was a part of that intrinsicswere like really important and oftentimes sure there were roles thatrequired someone with experience, wrigte very important roles that youwanted, someone who had done it before, but many of the roles in your companycan simply be be filled by people who are curious, excited and ready to gowork hard for your mission, and so I've always been a big believer in inattitude and motivation. Much like you h before skills set. So I think peopleare starting to realize that in a lot of the sales or leaders and entrprenersthat I talk to are are hiring in that same way. So it sounds like you justknew that potentially a little bit ahead of time, so so good good good foryou on on business aps and it kindof brings me to my next question. It wasacquired by a pe firm and then you went on to found altcoin that Io in twentyeighteen, so you're now into be your second business. In your being yourbeing featured magazines and publications and twenty seventeen, youwere an I thirty hundre, thirty OUNC preneur. So it brings me like this twopart question number one: was there a lot of pressure because of some ofthose acolades to make the next thing you build really big and then questiontoo. Was it your intention to do so? Yeah, that's a really a question. You know so this May seem weird to people listeningto this, but when I sold business aps a was actually you know one of the hardertimes and my career, and you know yes, I you know sold it. You know I had ayou know an Owcome, I'm you know very, very grateful for, but you you go froma point where you know you're. You essentially have a family and peoplethat you really care about. I really...

...love rowning business ABS, but, ninetydays later, depending on you know the structure of the deal when you you getacquired e, you get to a point where 're you're, just out of the businesslike literally you are, you know you go from managing all these people andhaving meetings all day and talking with customers and really Lon whatyou're doing to just. You know it's like all right. What do I do now? So y?U Know candily I rolled into to ocoin. I think a little too quickly. If Icould go back, I you know I. I wish I probably took a little bit of a breakand kind of really. You know took in that big wind that I had with business.ABS and all coin was still you know a greatventure for me, but you know you definitely hit on something there whereyou know it y, your CEO and then you're not, and so I think you know part of me.I am a very driven and an ambitious person, but yeah. I definitely think you know therewas some some thought and pressure in there. Just like hey, you know I gottago, do something else 'cause. I think there was a part of me that wanted toprove that you know I could do this more than once. You know they say. Ifyou do it once o you lucky you do it twice, Yor good, and so I think I had alittle bit of ship on my shoulder to show like I can build another companyand then also get it acquired and fun fact to from the day I sold businessaps to the day. All point aquired was within three hundred and sixty fivedays, so it was two Agraon in and one year so, but I, if I could go back, I wouldI would take a brave for sure- and just you know, kind o really figure out. Youknow just how big of a wind that was for me yeah, probably travel the worlda little bit, but no I rolled right back into another CEO roll. You knownew set of problems with you know a new talente team, but yeah t. That was areally good question. Thanks and I know you mentioned that Alt coin was wasultimately acquired as well and Y. You go through that acquisition and thennext, on sort of your list here is you take the chief Revenue Officer at acompany called Spifh, and I was reading a blog post of yours from about a yearago. You say you know as an entrepreneur, I'm obsessed with findingpractical solutions to real world problems and, first of all I love thatquote, but it made me want to ask: How did you evaluate the decision to join abusiness that was in existence rather than take? You know that third swing atfounding a new one, yeah a another, great question. So thiswas another thing that I wanted to do, which was have a job and say I did that: no but jerusly. So at Business Auss Iwas a customer of Spis one of their main competitors. I won't mention whoit is, but t just didn't have the best experience, but I deeply understood theproblem that they were solving and for those of you listening an aren'tfamiliar with spit. They automate, really complex sales commissions forreally large sales scenes. Amazing team,...

...amazing product amazing, founder Y,can't say enough good things about that company, but you know again, I wasoriginally going to be an advisor and I just kindo looked at you know theircurrent sale strategy and or go to marketstrategy and just said Hey. I just looked at my calendar. Ihave nothing to do and fun Foactust, and this is kind of embarrassing tomention as well that I was at top one hundred madden player during this time.'cause. I had so much free time, and so I was like I, this isn't good. I needtil I get into something and I got really passioned the PROMI PILT OTsolving 'cause. I was on the other end of the coin, ow just you know usingclunky, outdated solutions, and they saw like when I first saw the product Iremember like it was yesterday. I was like Oh my Gosh, you guys this is goingto be really big and then I basically Kindof Bake Jarin the CEO for job and had had a pretty good run there. I asit ton fin yeah. That's it's it's neat man I I canrecall like if I were to rewind my career back eleven years. I was in youknow the meddevice space and had never heard of the taxene in two thousand andnine, and I got introduced to Zakdok in New York, and I had had such a terribleexperience just trying to book doctor's appointments that, like the idea thatsomeone was building a marketplace that solved that problem like I was obsessedwith finding the practical solution to that problem. So that quote reallyresognated with me and it's. It's really neat to see that you are on theother side, O of the problem at Spith, which allowed you to be. You knowreally obsessed with their mission as well, and I think that ties back intothe way that you hire right. I would assume that you look for people who areobsessed with you know the mission or the challenge that you're solving. Isthat right, yeah! Absolutely, and I love how you mention that Yo I meanwhen you're passionate about you o what you're doing what you're selling?What's your marketing man you're going to be so good at it,because you're going to put in that extra ten percent, because you liketruly get excited about it and you know there's a lot of like sports analogiesthat I usually pull when I talk about this stuff. Like you see, people likeMichael Jordan, Tom Brady, who's, another one that was just Kobe, Bryantsupers uwere talented. But you know it was their motivation that made themgreat and though you know when you find that in people in a business specialthings happen and then, when you're able to unlock thatmotivation within people when they don't necessarily have it all the timethrough the good times and the bad times Hach. When you can do some reallyamazing stuff, and that's that's Proba my favorite thing about Business Manswhen you find you know ways t make people justpassionate about what you're doing and then motivate them to be better. Thenyou know they are when you bring t'em into the business to totally agree withthat. Just you know. If you get excited about something, I would recommendtaking that job. Oversay, a job that...

...pays even althoug his hiyhis fiftypercent more because you're going to proto like better you're Gointa, behappier and you're just going to be excited about it, and I think that'ssomething that a lot of people kindaf. You know I can't speak for everybody,but get behind something that you'repassion about and you're Gonta you're going to go for. So let's bring thatthat passion you know to the present day, so you recently found it inlaunched microacquire. So to s, you know tell us about what microquir isand then what was the passion behind building that yeah? So I I took a plot of your book.You know that quote that you said were as basically like. You know just dosomething free for like a year and then monotize it yep yeah. So, okay, so Mikerequires you're a business model. What I currently spend my day doing is mreally what I'm passioned about. I love speaking with Asfreneurs love, helpingthem just advis on their business. I love talking to you. You know otherensioners on the other side that may be looking to acquire a company. So toanswer a question now I just spend all day helping start up. Toget aquire,completely free 'cause, the other routes or getting inquired is numberone you can. You know hope that, let's say Google knocks in your door one daybut yea most artits are Sol, not Bo.There's a common phrase and STARTEP land. You know most like the bestartics are bought donsold from my experience typically start ups, oursoul obout unless you're in the one percent, you'r slag growing like crazyor whatever, but you know there's a lot of entrenursy builities like reallyreally good businesses. You know doing between. Let's just called like acouple o hundred thousand a month. You know up to you, know a couple million ayear, not growing fast enough for bentare capital, probably too small fortraditional private equity, and so they can work with. You know a brokerthat'll take like ten percent or an investment bank anding on the size ofthe business, and so I really just you know, given that I sold to a privateecy for myself, I just mapped out all the private cy firms that are sasfiesand I just help autners Um, you know potentially get acquired, so do Icompletely free, haven't figured out the business model to that yet, butyeah very, very long, winded answered to your question but yeah my gebirehelps start up meat tengerbyers. I 's it's really neat because it feels likefrom business APPs to microacquire. I it sort of comes full circle. Therethere's sort of a commonality there, where you know you're supporting smallbusinesses that sound about right yeah. I mean a lot of the founders I talk to.Are you know one that you've never heard ofyou know they're boot straps? They haven't been featured in Takronchdthey're, profitable. Typically, they ran by. Let's say you know just a few.You know maybe they they have more...

...expertise on the the of the building ofthe product, they're technical, but when it comes to you know, salsmarkeing go good mark strategy, that's where it's lacking a little bit, and soyou know those are really good acquisition targets. If you have abackground in sales, RMARKING ER know you're just passionate about maybeowning one hundred percent of the company, so yeah I'. Definitely you WMYCROCASS is kind of the termthat that I specifically use: Yeah, R, reallycool man. It's it's a great story and T's, it's one, that's obviously not notyet close to being over. So you know we we're kindo coming close to the end ofour time, but I have one last question and that's when I, when I talk toEntrepreneus that have built multile businesses and th the last twocompanies I've I've worked for have had you know, multiple business founders.They often have one or two sort of top takeaways after a decade of justcreating duld. You sum up in maybe a lesson or two. What you'd like newancepreners, those who are just getting started to know man where even start Um number one justjump in the pool you know so many people want us star businesses todayand I think the biggest holeback is just fear and it's scary for you remen,like you know, this is my it business or something like that, and you know Ithink, all the time how I gonto get from a to B or something like that. Butyou know that's the funnest part about ongenership. Is You know, enjoying thejourney and not being so focus on getting to the destination? So you knowif anyone's listening to this and here thinking about starting a business, Iwould just get really clear on you know. Why are you building this businessbecause in order to be successful, I as notsure you have to be passionate about what you're doing, because you're goingto have harrd times you have ups and downs you're going to have you know abig customer go with the competitor X. Inbessor Says No, like you got to getreally good at hear and now and like when you're passionate about whatyou're doing that's going to push you through at the Times that are difficultand then the second thing would just be yeah just jump in the pool. I I Iprobably have said this to you or somewround Lindid, but to me starting,a business is truly the most rewarming thing that, in my opinion, you can do ypersonally in professionally and your career. So you know I know Nig he has histrademark, but I'd say just do it. It's like e orwice, you learne so much aboutyourself, you're able to have an impact on so many different people in positiveways. I mean. Obviously I'm biased, but you know entrenorship is something thatyou know. Hass changed my life and I I hope to see more in the future great stuff Andrerman. It's it's been apleasure having you on the show really enjoyed the talk hearing your journeyhearing your success stories. What's the best place to go, if you knowpeople want to learn a bit more about...

...you, Gettin contact with you or or Maye.You learn about microwire yeah. You can um. Add me on Lincon, Andrew Gasdaki.If you can figure out how to spell that last night, EG ASD Aki out toter if hecan figure out ou his fellow as name mom or you rejains me on MICR Haris,mygrobara N, its Gazde CK. I, if you're looking for Gazdeki Andrew, reallygreat haping on the show man thanks for being out wit me. I appreciate it. Yeahappreciate youae.

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