Founders Talk

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In-depth, one on one conversations with founders, CEOs, and makers. The journey, lessons learned, and the struggles. Let’s do this!

🚀 Ships weekly(ish)

Founders Talk Founders Talk #58

Tidelift's mission is to pay open source maintainers

Donald Fischer and the team at Tidelift are on a mission of making open source work better — for everyone. To pay the maintainers of open source software they are putting a new spin on a highly successful business model that’s a win-win for the maintainers as well as the software teams using the software. In this episode we dig into that backstory and Donald’s journey.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #57

From dropout to CEO of Sentry and taking on New Relic

David dropped out of high school AND college, but that didn’t stop him. He ended up teaching himself programming and eventually landed his first job as the webmaster of a World of Warcraft community website. What a beginning… We talked through “the rough slog” period of Sentry and how David powered through to traction and enough profit for him and his partner to go full time, raise three rounds of funding, and take on New Relic.

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BONUS: Growing a successful sales team at Sentry

Here’s a bonus segment from episode #57 of Founders Talk with David Cramer, co-founder and CEO of Sentry. Check the feed for the full length episode (later today). We talked about sales in the full length episode, but this BONUS segment is a completely isolated conversation that’s not included in the full length episode — so don’t gloss over this thinking it’s just a teaser.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #56

Eric Berry is funding open source with CodeFund

Eric Berry started Code Sponsor a year ago because of his passion for finding ways to sustain and fund open source developers. He ultimately had to shutdown due to potential legal issues with GitHub, but was given new life as CodeFund when he went to work for ConsenSys and Gitcoin. We talked through the backstory of this idea, why he’s so passionate about funding open source, ethical advertising, being unapologetically focused on your mission, the value of honesty and openness, and the future direction of CodeFund.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #55

Side hustle to $35M ARR at Zapier

Bryan Helmig, Wade Foster, and Mike Knoop started Zapier in 2011 as a side hustle. They ultimately applied to Y Combinator, twice. And this year they hit $35 Million dollars in annual revenue. I talked with Bryan Helmig (CTO) through the backstory of starting this company, being 100% distributed, the flexibility as well as the constraints of being remote-only, how they reached product market fit, growth, scaling their teams, and how they bring everyone together for company wide retreats.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #54

From side project to $7.25M for Unsplash

When Mikael Cho started Unsplash from its small beginning as a Tumblr blog and side project, he had no idea it would have such a huge impact and ultimately disrupt the photography industry. In this episode, Mikael shares the backstory of Unsplash, how it got started, keeping things focused, levers of growth, flipping the marketing funnel, turning free into a business, raising $7.25 million to build a new economy for photography, and the impact of an API.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #53

Danielle Morrill on starting over from zero

Danielle Morrill joined the show to talk about how she’s starting over from zero after the recent acquisition of Mattermark to FullContact where she held the role of CEO and co-founder who walked away with “zero dollars and a job”. We talked through the details of the company, the acquisition process, the deal — which she brokered herself — as well as her outlook on the startup grind and silicon valley today, and what she’s planning to do next.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #38

Sam Soffes / Nothing Magical, Cheddar - Part 1

Sam Soffes the Founder of Nothing Magical and the maker of Cheddar joins Adam Stacoviak to share all the details of his wild ride as an indie software developer and designer. Sam has worked at Hipstamatic, built YouTube ripoffs, gotten offers from some of the most respected names in the business (some accepted and some turned down) all to circle back around to start Nothing Magical and build his own products. He shares the highs, the lows and all the things he’s learned along the way - plus so much more. And, check out “After Dark” for a short extended chat with Sam.

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Founders Talk Founders Talk #37

Sarah Hatter / CoSupport - Part 2

Sarah Hatter the Founder of CoSupport, joins Adam for part 2 of 2 to go back in time and dig deep into her history, we learn about “the early days” and how she got started, her passions for TV and her podcast TVBFF, the early days of blogging and “dramaville”, what inspires her, being a crafts-person, how she learned that “you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do”, how TM meditation changed her life, as well as the challenges she’s faced as a female founder - plus so much more.

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