Adam Robinson: This is Adam Robinson, founder and CEO of Retention.com. We help e-commerce brands grow and monetize their first-party audience. And this is the introductory episode to my podcast called Ten Years in the Making. Why is it called Ten Years in the Making? Well, there's this Tom Clancy quote that I love. It really resonates with me in my journey. The quote is, "An overnight success is ten years in the making.” That rings so true to me and the guests that I will bring on this show I just believe that it's going to ring true with them, too. So, the idea is that I'm going to interview all of our best customers and these are such awesome people. They are entrepreneurs in the direct consumer space. They are of the Shopify Plus crowd in general. So, they have created these businesses that are doing tens and hundreds of millions of direct consumer revenues. They are largely still running the businesses. They have gone from zero to this point. So, seen all sorts of transformation and how they have to do things from tactical to strategy to people problems.
And I want to talk to them about origin stories and struggles, but a few areas that I'm really interested in as it comes to building companies like this because I am in the same place. I am building a brand. I am building a company. I am going from lean and scrappy to a larger thing. And bootstrapping versus venture capital versus private equity. I'm fascinated by why and how people structured their financing and how quickly they got to profitability and growth versus margin tradeoff and all that stuff. Just how people think about it that are in these positions that have created such successful businesses. All of these people will be at a point to where they either could exit or they have considered exiting. And to me, there's really easy ways to sort of back-of-the-envelope value SaaS company but like for direct consumer, it’s values all over the place based on so many variables but discussing sort of like exit and endgame plans, secondary financing plans, all that stuff.
And then on sort of a personal level, I'm really interested in people's work habits. I just think how you structure your day and the discipline you have around time and what you focus on is everything in terms of accomplishing things. So, I just want to talk to these people who have made it so far about that. And then there's this broader topic of like we're entering an inflationary and recessionary environment, which is a new environment for anyone that's operating these days. We've just never seen it since like the seventies or whatever. So, how are people that are as smart as these operators doing this or preparing for this time? And then try to go for one interesting tactical takeaway that's relevant in the market today. And I'm going to wrap it up with the final five, what's your favorite book or piece of content, what founder or CEO are you following, what is your age, and then sort of relationship status, and then the favorite vacation they have ever been on.
So, why don't I answer all of those questions and wrap this episode up? My favorite book or piece of content, I'm going to say two. So, for building a SaaS company, I would say it is Four Steps to the Epiphany. No questions asked. And then read that and read all of Y Combinator’s blog content. It’s worth $1 billion. It is just so incredibly valuable. And then what founder/CEO am I following? I actually share an office with Dave Rogenmoser, who is the CEO of Jasper.ai and he is the most inspiring person in my life right now. These guys went from 0 to 60 million in revenue in 14 months. They did a billion-and-a-half valuation, $125 million large secondary offering. And it's inspiring me to try to go from 50 million, 15 million ARR to 50 in the next 14 months as the world's slowing down. I'm going for it literally because I'm sitting in the same room with these guys and I'm watching them do this and we were in the exact same spot two years ago.
Age, I'm turning 42 in a week. I just had my first daughter, her name is Emma, eight weeks ago. So, I am married and I have a kid. My favorite vacation I've ever been on, so last year I went into the woods in Colorado alone for seven days, and it was just such a revelatory experience for me. When you are not in contact with human beings, I did not see a person for five of those seven days, did not listen to anything, did not read anything. I just wrote. And I thought it was this highly transitional period of my life. I was about to have a kid. At the time, I was about to sell my business but we decided not to. I'm just so glad. And it didn't even matter that it was in Colorado, anywhere where you can be alone, isolated in nature for long periods of time. Anybody who's ever done it agrees with me. It is just an amazing… You are able to reflect on your life in a way that the world does not allow you to do.
So, that is my final five. I hope that you enjoy these interviews. The first guest is Ryan Pamplin. The second guest is Chase Dimond. I have a few more that I'm going to get in the hopper. You know, just such interesting topics to talk about with these people. My friend, Jen Batchelor, has a co-founder that is Bella Hadid. I'm dying to talk to her about that. And I'm going to just do it once a week, LinkedIn Live, and see how this goes. It's part of doing founder brand building. I'm doing a lot of LinkedIn posting. I'm going to start tweeting soon but it's top-of-the-funnel awareness that's going to help us build the dominant brand and the space we're in. So, thank you very much and enjoy the show.