The story behind the $500M sale of Diapers.com

In 2004 Vinit Bharara and his childhood friend created an e-commerce company that was best known for selling baby products on Diapers.com.

Amazon felt threatened. They retaliated. And eventually bought them out.

Today he’s back with a new startup called Some Spider Studios. I’ll ask him about that, the acquisition, and so much more in this interview.

Vinit Bharara is the co-founder of Diapers.com which sells everything baby related and was sold to Amazon for $500M.

 
Vinit Bharara

Vinit Bharara

Diapers.com

Vinit Bharara is the co-founder of Diapers.com which sells everything baby related and was sold to Amazon for $500M.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey, everyone, my name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses, and I do it for an audience of real entrepreneurs. And you know it because so many people who I interviewed now are people who’ve listened to interviews and then come back and say, “Here’s what I did often while listening to Mixergy.” And I’m just also beyond doing these interviews, I’m a fan of business, and so I read stories about business as much as possible, and I can’t get enough of it. And one of my favorite is a book called “The Everything Store” about the founding of Amazon. And there were a few jaw-dropping moments in there like the story of diapers.com in there.

To be honest, I knew that Amazon had purchased diapers.com. I didn’t realize how big the business got. I didn’t realize that it got so big that Amazon was threatened by it. I didn’t realize all the things that went behind-the-scenes to try to suppress Diapers’ growth, and I’ve been in awe of that company ever since. I don’t know what led to this interview, but I am incredibly excited that I get to interview one of the two co-founders of the company behind diapers.com. He is Vinit Bharara. In 2004, along with his close childhood friend, he created a company behind diapers.com and sold it soon after to Amazon. Today, Vinny as he likes to be called, is back with a new company. It’s called Some Spider Studios.

I’ll be honest with you. I wanted to introduce it as a content company because I saw the video of this, like this two-minute video that went viral on YouTube of a dad who’s basically experiencing what I experience. Tons of people saw it, it blew up. I thought that’s what he created, the company behind that, to create more videos like that. I saw his podcast, which frankly Vinny has better audio quality than mine because you guys are super pros, you landed great people to lead it. And I thought that’s what you’re going to do. And instead, when I told Vinny that’s how I’m going to introduce his new company, he said, “No, that’s not it.” I said, “What is it?” And he started to explain to me, “Andrew, content is a component of it. It’s also about community. If you are a dad who identifies with this video, we want to create a community of other dads like that for you. And since we know commerce, we’re going to start selling you stuff too.”

And so there’s much more to it. I invited him here to talk about what he did to rattle the giants in e-commerce and how he did it well. And also, what he’s doing now, to not rattle me, but really to excite me as a content creator. I want to see where he’s going with it. This interview is sponsored by two companies. You guys know about them because I talk about them so much. I’ll do a quick HostGator and Toptal and in fact, I’ll tell you more about them later.

First, Vinny, welcome.

Vinny: Well, thank you so much for having me.

Andrew: The numbers that I heard were . . . I’m going to start straight with the numbers. $500 million in cash is what Amazon paid for your company, plus they assumed some debt. Is that accurate?

Vinny: Yes.

Andrew: Okay. You took a sigh as I said that. Do you feel uncomfortable talking about money?

Vinny: No, no. Is going back a few years now and people like to say it was a $545 million deal, so I think you broke it down in ways that some people haven’t, so . . .

Andrew: Yeah. Wikipedia even had . . . I was looking for the date. I think they had $585 million, so the numbers are a little bit out there. It’s interesting to hear you explain the details of it. And I’m glad that you didn’t say that I got that wrong. And you and your co-founder in that business, Marc Lore . . . you guys were friends going how far back?

Vinny: We grew up together in the Jersey Shore, and he came down from Staten Island when he was 10. So he attended my school, so it’s fifth grade is how long we’ve known each other.

Andrew: And were you guys entrepreneurial even back then? I heard a story about Topps, the trading baseball card company. What was it that you guys did with them?

Vinny: Yeah. So in the late ’90s, we created a company called thepit.com. Marc, also another childhood friend called Lax, so the three of us, and it was a stock market for sports cards. So we used to say we’re eBay meets E*Trade meets ESPN, and this was back in late [inaudible 00:03:52] eBay had taken off, E*Trade had taken off. And, yeah, got some tracks and we sold that to the Topps company, the sports cards.

Andrew: And there was no outside funding in that . . . oh no, there was. Series A funding, right?

Vinny: It was all angels.

Andrew: All angels.

Vinny: I think it was something like 15 angels that we raised money from, and there was one small fund. Yeah, and the market had crashed, if you recall 2001, so we had raised our money beforehand and then sold it right before 9/11, two weeks before 9/11. And we actually were able to return all of our investors all of their money, which at the time since the stock market . . . NASDAQ had dropped 70%, was one of, you know, the biggest wins, and so that was actually what catapulted us with diapers.com because we were able to go back to the same investors.

Andrew: Was the idea that you guys were holding onto the cards at The Pit, or that I would get it and trade it back and forth?

Vinny: Yes, so it’s a great question. Very few people ask me about the details. What we were doing was yeah, at the time, sports cards had become more commodified, so big issue, you know, before they had come up with this rating system, where you can trade these things like commodities. Once that had happened, we could create this market where we would take inventory of the products and users could open up an account, not have to take inventory when they bought these cards and so they would buy and sell these athletes, like, stock. And so you would see someone back then, a lot of big, great quarterbacks, Culpepper and McNabb. And you could day trade, and we held the inventory in our office, they never take possession, and you’d see extraordinary gains and losses during the day. So it’s a little bit like gambling, a little bit like fantasy. And, you know, and so it was a lot of fun.

Andrew: I’m looking at an old screenshot of the site and you really . . . not only does it look like the stock market where I could see the current buy and the current sale price for each one and the percentage change for the day. But it seems like you guys even gave them ticker symbols to make it easier to [inaudible 00:05:50] data.

Vinny: We tried to do everything. We had a ticker symbol, we had a ticker, you know, on the bottom, we had graphs with player performance, everything we could to resemble sort of a CNBC for sports. This was before, you know, you had the FanDuels and all this other stuff. So I think we were on to something and then, you know, the market crashed.

Andrew: It wasn’t just the dot-com market that crashed. It was also the trading card market that didn’t take off anymore. It was huge in the ’80s. It was big in the ’90s. It feels like in the 2000s, it didn’t have the same spirit.

Vinny: Yeah. Remember, we did this in the late . . . so it was 1999. We sold it in 2001. So I didn’t follow the market after that, but we were leasing a lot of traction. We were also introducing a lot of non-sport cards fans into this market. They didn’t even necessarily care about that, the cards. They just wanted to trade their athletes the way that was legal.

Andrew: Right, right. I didn’t think of it as a trading your athletes approach. All right, all right. So I get it. You stayed at Topps for a while. For what, three, four years?

Vinny: We stayed there until 2005. Actually, no. You know what? We stayed there until the fall of 2006. We wound up launching diapers.com in 2005, but we were doing nights and weekends.

Andrew: Nights and weekends.

Vinny: Yeah.

Andrew: And this is because Marc was, as I understand it. Actually, where did the idea come from? Tell me about the wedding that led to this.

Vinny: Oh, you heard about the wedding. Yeah. So I was getting married in 2003. And we always knew it after we sold The Pit that we would want to go back and do something again. It was the best experience of our lives, starting a business as friends, having control, autonomy over what you do. And we had to wait our time to find out when the next opportunity arose, and so we would do research here and there while at Topps. And then I was getting married, and a big Indian wedding here in New York. And we would have this bus . . . we had this bus that was going to transport all of my friends and family, the ones that were in New York to an event in New Jersey.

And that was a Friday night, we had the ceremony. We had another one on Saturday. So apparently on that Friday night bus that Marc was on, he told all my friends about this new idea he had, which was to sell diapers over the internet. He actually had a baby at the time. I was getting married. He had a baby. And when I came back from my honeymoon, that’s when I found out more details.

Andrew: I get it. When you have a baby, you realize how many diapers you need. And you also realize that going to the store is really a chore, especially considering that you don’t know which diaper size. You don’t know when you run out because you’re a new parent. You don’t expect it. But the world, the online world, wasn’t what it is today. What was it like to buy diapers online at the time?

Vinny: So at the time really, you know, very few people were doing it. So you’re talking about before we launched?

Andrew: Yeah. At the time when he came up with this idea with you and you were listening. I imagine he also talked to other wedding attendees and said, “What do you think of this?” [inaudible 00:08:50]

Vinny: Yeah, exactly. He was always crazy. Yeah, exactly, he was always crazy. But I think part of the point was that it was not being sold online. There was nobody else doing it except for Amazon, and Amazon was doing it in a very small way, so it wasn’t a big part of their business. And so if you wanted to buy diapers, you couldn’t order them online in any reasonable way. You might need them the next day because it’s an emergency. No one delivered that way or the cost was so expensive because the shipping . . . There wasn’t a market for buying diapers or really any essentials online in a reasonable way. The only other thing that was happening was drugstore.com and, again, they were not focused on diapers, so we were really, kind of, I think breaking new ground.

Andrew: When you think about an idea like this, are you firing up spreadsheets? Are you working out the numbers? Are you that type of an entrepreneur, or are you just feeling an opportunity and you want to chase it?

Vinny: Both. Both. I’m highly analytical. Marc, especially at the time extremely, he comes from a finance background. And so we would do a bunch of analytical modeling, but at the end of the day, obviously, that’s just models. You got to get out and try it, and so we did it in a lightweight way to start to see if there was any customer traction.

Andrew: The lightweight way seems to have kind of learned from 1-800 Contacts, which was taking the world by storm at the time. I think they were getting sued because could you actually be selling contacts online, and they were making a lot of headway. And so you thought we’re going to do the same thing, and originally the company was 1800Diapers. Is that right?

Vinny: It was. So the first thing we did was we bought the phone number or technically you’re not actually able to buy phone numbers. So we got control of the phone number, it’s seven letters, diapers, so it makes sense. Like, for example, 100 mattress is actually eight [inaudible 00:10:33], their advertisement leave off the S. So 100 diapers, we got the phone number. We got the domain name. And then, you know, in a very simple way, we just started selling a few limited SKUs diapers and wipes to start.

Andrew: To who?

Vinny: So to the world, meaning we put up the website and I think as people know, we weren’t able to buy the diapers from the manufacturers because you need two years’ operating history to start. And so, you know, obviously day one, you couldn’t do that, so we had to go to the Costco and the BJ’s to buy the inventory. And in the beginning, it was very small. It wasn’t a big deal. We didn’t think this was. We hired a stay-at-home mom to do the fulfillment and the customer service, didn’t think this was necessarily going to be some huge obstacle because, you know, the volume we thought was going to be small, which it was in the very early days.

And we just put it up, you know, on the web and did some Google search ads. And in the beginning, we got some orders in, made sure that the whole thing worked. It was only . . . and I’m trying to remember when it kind of start taking off. It was maybe about, I don’t know, eight, nine months, maybe six months into it, five, six months into it where there was a mention in a magazine called “Babytalk.” And I can get into the story, but that’s when it took off.

Andrew: Tell me. I’m here for your stories.

Vinny: Yeah, I don’t know. We were doing a few orders a day. Remember this is nights and weekends. I’m still General Counsel at the Topps company, and I was married now. I’m on a trip down to Georgetown . . . my wife went to Georgetown. So we were going down there for the weekend. She takes me to the library, and I decide to check the orders. What’s going on? It’s a Saturday. And I go into what . . . you know, our internet at the time to see what was going on with the volume. But I see that it had completely taken off, which was for us, was a few hundred orders. And, you know, obviously very exciting, concerns were coming back like, “Can we handle the inventory?”

You know, what’s going to happen to our customer service? And we didn’t know why it had taken off. We found out later there was a magazine called “Babytalk,” which had incredible penetration with new moms. And they had put a little blurb in there, unbeknownst to us saying, you know, sites or things you should check out and 1800Diapers was in there. And that is, you know, kind of really how we took off.

Andrew: And so I get the off-line version. Somebody would read it in a magazine, be able to dial up, find out about diapers, and then have them shipped out. The online component I don’t understand at the time. You guys didn’t own 800diapers.com right or 1800diapers.com. What was the . . . 1800diapers.com was you?

Vinny: I’m sorry. Yeah, we bought the domain name, so we got the 1800Diapers domain name, dot-com domain name plus, the phone number. Sorry, I wasn’t [inaudible 00:13:21].

Andrew: Okay. You know what? The reason I didn’t say it because I misunderstood you, but because I’m doing like checks in real time. And when I go to 800diapers.com, it takes me to an affiliate link for Amazon and Drugstore, but you guys seem to have own 1800diapers.com.

Vinny: One 800, yeah. One . . .

Andrew: So you were buying ads to 1800diapers.com, people would see the ad, and then they would dial up or order on the website.

Vinny: Yeah, it wound up being mostly website. Even back then, even though, you know, we have the phone number and that was important, but it was largely online.

Andrew: And the lightweight idea is you guys can’t get diapers directly delivered from the manufacturers because they don’t know you. You’ve only been around for two years. You have a stay-at-home mom who goes to the stores and picks it up in her shopping cart, brings it to her house. When an order comes through, she sees it, she prints out the label, puts the diaper in the box, and ships it?

Vinny: You got it. You got it.

Andrew: Oh, so the only expense was the phone number and the website.

Vinny: The only startup cost.

Andrew: The only startup cost.

Vinny: Yeah, the only startup costs were the phone number, the website. We did have to obviously create it, you know, the website. And so we had someone that we knew from thepit.com was our software developer, and so he did it for equity. And he’s a good close friend of ours, so that didn’t really cost us a whole lot of money. And I’m trying to think back then, very little money in marketing. The good thing about buying the inventory from Costco and BJ’s, we put it on credit card, and so we didn’t have to pay that for 30 days. And so you’re actually, you know, we weren’t running too much cash, and the marketing was limited. And we talk about really like the word-of-mouth is what really catapulted it after we had the “Babytalk” mentioned and that’s, you know, very low cost.

Andrew: Were you doing a lot of heavy online ads? Were you doing any off-line promotion, or was it just moms communicating with each other?

Vinny: A little bit of SEM at the time and a referral program we set up, you know, where you get . . . I think it was two dollars off your first order and then you, as a referrer would get two dollars and we amped that up over time. And so it was a basic referral program, a little bit of SEM, we got that little PR mention, and then word-of-mouth.

Andrew: I have the referral program. Your referrals get two dollars on their first order and you get one dollar.

Vinny: Yeah. So what we tried to do, by the way, and that was not tried to do . . . what we did do was not only would you as a referrer get a credit when someone you referred ordered, but every time your friend ordered, you would get an additional credit. And so it was sort of saying it was almost trying to get people to encourage their friends to order from us frequently, so it wasn’t just an acquisition tool. And, you know, later it got really messy in how that works, but that was this thing where you get a dollar every time your customer, your friend order.

Andrew: Yeah. Every time there’s a big no limits indicator on that.

Vinny: I was embarrassed [inaudible 00:16:10].

Andrew: And here’s the other thing. [inaudible 00:16:10] print out two dollar referral coupons was available.

Vinny: We saw that too. So everyone would get their own code. They could change the code to something that, you know, was, you know, their name or whatever and they put it, you know, in their laundry rooms, daycare centers or whatever. People would do that. And then this was at the time when a lot of the message boards RetailMeNots got big, and so they would put their codes on . . . what they’re doing now. You see this now all over the place, but and so that was a big growth driver.

Andrew: So you know what? I am going back in the history of the site to understand it. And one of the things I saw was from 2004, I think you were selling more than just diapers. You knew to get in the wipes. I think you got into baby formula pretty early on, right?

Vinny: Yeah.

Andrew: And again all that stuff, you had to go to BJ’s or Costco, buy, put it in a truck or put it in a van, and take home.

Vinny: Yeah, yeah. So, yeah, it was diapers and wipes to start, and then we added formula a little bit thereafter. And, again, you know, we couldn’t buy any of this stuff in advance and so . . . meaning we couldn’t buy from the manufacturer, so it was simply, you know, going to these stores. And then when it got really started to take off, it got a little bit crazy because, you know, one store couldn’t handle the demand. So now, you know, you’ll be sitting there and going . . . and Marc tells a story. You know, we’d go up and down the East Coast. This is a little bit later on cleaning out all of their Huggies and Pampers. And just large, you know, $100,000 credit card receipts and then we had all of our family members, my dad, my brother, Marc’s dad and brother using their credit cards because we’d max out to keep up with the demand, so it was pretty wild.

Andrew: Wow, you must have racked up the miles too.

Vinny: Racked it up. Now, remember, a lot of this was on my dad’s, so he was getting the points. So, you know, it was all free for him.

Andrew: You mentioned early that it was the Topps’ money that kind of carried you through the early days of diapers. How much . . . It seems like you didn’t make much on the sale. It was just the [non-thing 00:18:06], right because you had to pay back the investors. It was on your salary there for the few years that you were there.

Vinny: Yeah, yes, we didn’t make much money at all, Marc and I. Investors got their money back, and then yeah, we were employees, so just as a normal employee. I became a General Counsel, and Marc went round to run one of their units out West. And so yeah, there was no equity really from that, and it was just our salaries. And then when we quit our jobs finally in 2006 to do Diapers full-time, we didn’t take a salary for a full year, so . . .

Andrew: Somehow you guys were able to keep families going considering that he had a brand-new baby and working is enough to make it tough, working late nights is tougher, and then cutting back on salary.

Vinny: Yeah, yeah, that was it.

Andrew: Do you remember one challenging moment for you or for him considering, like, raising a family while you’re doing this?

Vinny: You mean financial challenge? Financial challenge . . .

Andrew: Or anything. Like, frankly if I have a lot of interviews to do, I get a little stressed and if my kid’s splashing outside of the bath, I get a little frustrated with them instead of saying, “Don’t splash outside.”

Vinny: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think for Marc, it was probably a little bit different, but Marc had . . . he had been in finance for a while, so he had some good savings that he could use. For me, I mean, look, as, you know, you talk to a lot to these entrepreneurs every day and all day. Once we quit our jobs and weren’t taking a salary, every day was sort of stressful. And I think the most stress was just kind of like, “Could we deliver the product to our customers on time?” because it was so hard to get the inventory and so hard to coordinate. It was okay with one stay-at-home mom.

But once it started getting out of control, we had to now on a dime open up a fulfillment center in Virginia and that didn’t work, and then we had open up one in Connecticut. And so just the stress of basically keeping up with the orders, we didn’t really have this other stress which you see sometimes in startups as, you know, will this work? Meaning I can’t get customers, we would have to spend a lot of money marketing, you know, how am I going to get traction? It was more like the execution was killing us.

Andrew: What did you see that they didn’t see? That Amazon, that the e-commerce guys didn’t see.

Vinny: I don’t know. When you say e-commerce guys, you mean the Amazon or it’s the rest of the world?

Andrew: Because the drugstores, there were people doing e-commerce at the time. I understand that they were kind of beaten up after the dot-com bomb and were reluctant to do things like ship big, bulky items that didn’t have a big margin. I get that. But you saw something that they didn’t see, an opportunity that those guys who were already in the space missed. You came in as two outsiders.

Vinny: Yeah. I mean, it’s a good question, and it’s hard to know what they didn’t see. I think what we saw was we saw initial extraordinary customer traction and so that meant that our marketing cost was very, very low. So we knew that we probably didn’t have to spend a lot of money marketing. And then the second thing is we saw a path towards how you could make the margin work. So I think a lot of people were scared off, you know, shipping heavy diapers and wipes because of the pets.com debacle . . . It was earlier. And so we had constructed this model where we knew pretty specifically . . . you’d ask question about how analytical we were. And I think we were fairly analytical and modeled out. Yes, it’s going to be expensive to ship this stuff, but our marketing costs were low. But if we can get other stuff into the box, you know, this is the high margin baby accessories, clothing, toys, all these other things, the incremental margin there would more than pay, you know, for the low margins that we were making in the margins. And does that make sense?

Andrew: It does make sense. And then the other thing that I remember reading in a book was that you guys had customized boxes for diapers, which reduced your shipping fees versus others who were doing more general shipping. Am I my right in that memory of your book?

Vinny: Yeah. I think, yeah, what we did, we had a whole unit called special ops. We call them special ops. And, you know, from beginning to end, we focused like a laser on trying to take cost out of the system any way we could. So with our boxing, we created something called Boxem, which was a software that was going to tell the warehouse precisely what the dimensions of the order was going to be. You know, if I say, “There’s two diaper boxes, you know, one wipe, one formula,” exactly what the size of that was so that we weren’t wasting any box space. So now, we had 35 different boxes, so it’s nice, better use of experience. You used to see boxes come from Amazon at the time where you get like a big box, not only is that a terrible user experience, but extraordinarily expensive. So we knew if we were going to play in this game, we had to be really efficient. And so there was a lot of things like that, but you’re right about boxes was a key.

Andrew: You strike me as someone who uses spreadsheets in his personal life. Do you? Do you have an example of like . . . ?

Vinny: No, no, that wasn’t me. Yes, that’s Marc. I am not a spreadsheet personal life guy. But it’s not me, it’s actually Marc. But I like the analytics, but I actually don’t love spreadsheets as much as [inaudible 00:23:21].

Andrew: What are you on a personal level when you’re not doing this?

Vinny: What do I like?

Andrew: Yeah. I’m trying to get a sense of you in business. So you’re telling me Marc is a person who would have a spreadsheet. It sounds like maybe for his grades in college or for his household budget when he was starting out. What is it about you that . . . What is it that you love about business? How do you express that in your personal life? I’m trying to get a sense of your personality.

Vinny: Yeah, I think it’s a couple of things. One thing, I don’t know if this translates to my personal life, but I’m highly analytical . . . Actually, it does, definitely does. I guess I’m thinking about my wife now. Highly analytical. I’m a lawyer actually, so I was trained, you know, as a lawyer. As I was saying earlier, I was General Counsel. And as a lawyer, you get to really be able to analyze the facts, present the facts, relate them to the law, and make your case. And so that’s my background and training. And when I think about business and I think about how are all the dots connect and how we’re going to plot out the next three to five years to make the math work, that’s what I love. I love the x’s and o’s of operations, and at the same time, and I think this is true of Marc also, I really love brand and how to think about emotion and how you can create an emotionally resonant experience with your users, which is very non-analytical, because that’s how we took on Amazon when you think about it.

Andrew: I’m going to come back in a moment and ask you about brand and then also why this business went from Diapers to Quidsi and about how you grew it and then what you’re doing next.

Let me take a moment though to talk about my sponsors, a company called HostGator. And as you were talking about The Pit, Vinny, you gave me an idea. Tell me if this would work. Imagine if someone’s listening to us, goes to the HostGator, create the hosting account and says, “You know, Vinny’s right. People didn’t care about the little piece of paper that happened to be baseball cards. They cared about buying and trading their heroes.” But you need the cards in order to kind of validate the gambling, what would otherwise be gambling.

Could somebody say, “I’m going to create a set of baseball cards about sports figures and business figures and so on. I’ll just inventory them in some place.” Let people buy and sell them online and say, “I’m never going to make more than however many I have.” They could buy and trade people like Elon Musk, up and down all day long and if the client ever says, “Ship it to me,” you ship it out, but it would be shipped as infrequently as possible.

Vinny: Love it. Absolutely, 100%.

Andrew: All right. Can you imagine like the Andrew Warner card on this website? All right. If anybody out there wants to take that idea or any other idea over to hostgator.com and get their site hosted, I urge you to get the discount from them not because . . . Frankly, they already offer a lower price. My people have enough money that they don’t care about the extra few percentage points off. So why would they use the URL I’m about to give them? Because it gives me credit for sending them over, and it helps my podcast out. So if you’re looking to have your website hosted or you hate your current hosting company and want to switch, go check out hostgator.com/mixergy. Hostgator.com/mixergy. And really for what it’s worth, you will find that they have the lowest price on that URL of anywhere. Hostgator.com/mixergy.

Anyway, why did you switch to Quidsi?

Vinny: Why did we switch the name?

Andrew: Yeah, because you started to see a bigger vision. What was the bigger vision?

Vinny: Yeah. So we knew right from the outset that the diapers, the wipes, and the formula were the kind of marketing tactic to get customers into the door and to basically be the anchor for the frequency. It was the reason why people had to come back and so that was very, very effective, but very low margin in that. So the whole margin game was going to be how do we add selection? How much more stuff can we sell these moms? And that’s one thing, you know. And then the other thing was our special sauce was specialization. So we were not . . . The way we were taking on Amazon, it was all about the category that we were operating in, whether it was baby products or something else. The curation, the user experience, that was the other differentiation for us.

So when we talked about how we were going to grow, we knew we needed to add selection to increase the LTV of our customers, and we knew we had to keep the specialization. So the idea was we’re going to need to create additional websites, so diapers.com was the first. But if we were going to sell them, which was the next thing we wanted to sell them was other household essentials, you know, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, all that stuff, we couldn’t really do that under the diapers.com name we thought, so we created something called soap.com.

And then we wound up creating . . . you know, we wanted to do toys, we [inaudible 00:27:56] yoyo.com, and we wanted to do pets and it’s wag.com. And so all of these brands were related, but we needed to come up with a new parent company name to represent all these brands, so we came up with Quidsi. And Quidsi was really internal name, wasn’t really meant for consumers. We wanted it to mean something, and so in Latin, Quidsi is, “what if.” And so that was why.

Andrew: Why not unite it under one big brand that is . . . and we’re seeing some people do that. I think Brandless is starting to do something like that. Why not pursue one big brand name that combines it all, that stands for family or stands for something? As a branding guy, I think it’s important to bring that up.

Vinny: It’s a huge question. We had endless debates about this. I mean, huge debates at the company until we left. And, you know, there’s one argument is that as I said that, you know, each brand, the shopping occasion, if you try to put, you know, toys under diapers and we did have toys under diapers.com, you weren’t going to be able to capture as much share as if you have its own specialized experience where the UX was just toys and, you know, the name yo-yo and the marketing that we can do for it, the taglines.

Our tagline was “Let’s play.” You know, we had lots of fun with the marketing. Now, you put it all into one brand, you start to get . . . This is the debates we would have, “It starts to get a little closer now. It’s like the Amazon thing.” Right? It’s still to your point, it’s still more narrow because it was just moms or that family shopping occasion, but it wasn’t a specialized. And so, hey, look, we would debate this at some point down the road. We actually created another brand, an uber brand, we called it Familyhood.

Andrew: So you created another brand called Familyhood.

Vinny: We did. And this was sort of to your point. I don’t know if we ever solved it, but Familyhood was our attempt to say, “Here’s all these to the users,” because we knew Quidsi couldn’t be that name. Here’s family, shop Familyhood and if you shop Familyhood, here’s these collections of websites that are related. You can really get a perfect experience for it, but if you wanted to, you know, in one shopping cart, you could shop across the sites. That was the UX. You’d have all the sites on the uber nav. You could, in fact, open up one universal account, one experience, but at least, when you were shopping, the categories were really pure, you know, versus the . . .

Andrew: Amazon wanted you to do like, Family Plus from what I understand, right, which was your answer to Prime. Am I right?

Vinny: Actually I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe that was after . . .

Andrew: Yeah, I see that from 2013. What year did you sell?

Vinny: We sold in 2011, and we left in the middle of 2013. So maybe they came up with this Familyhood we’d come up with. We were always trying to come up with new programs. Maybe they launched Family Plus after we left.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And so I get a sense of what you were doing. I understand how you started to grow and expand beyond it. It seems like from what you told our producer and what I researched, Amazon really did, at some point, recognize that you were a threat and start to come after you.

Vinny: Well, I can’t speak to exactly what they thought or what didn’t. All I know is that in 20-, I’m trying to get my dates right. In 2010, yeah, you started to see Amazon play a little bit more aggressively. And I remember one day they decided or I saw 30% off diapers and wipes. It was something called Subscribe & Save 30% off and, you know, just for some kind of perspective, 30% off diapers and wipes is an extraordinary discount, given the low margins that these products are. It would be cheaper than anywhere else by an order of magnitude, and so when we saw that, we didn’t know, you know, how to think about it.

And, you know, one thing led to another and then they wound up launching Amazon Mom and making that 30% discount permanent. And the only thing, you know, we thought was absolutely on to something, you know, we’re getting extraordinary traction. The bigger play here wasn’t about diapers and wipes. This was about moms and dads. And I think we came to understand that even more about how important it is to own mom and dad and Diapers was the way in. And, yeah, you know, one thing led to another and, you know, ultimately we got acquired, but I’m not sure what they were thinking, but . . .

Andrew: But you did notice as you were changing your prices, they changed their prices, so they were clearly zeroing in on your price. I just saw you gave me a look as I said that.

Vinny: Yeah, in fairness, they do that. They, at least back then, were doing that with anybody. And so I think anybody of stature with any brand, they wouldn’t do with all brands, but if they saw anybody on the internet that had, you know, a reasonable reputation that had lower prices than them, they would price match. That was a rule of Amazon’s. If you had a certain size, they wouldn’t do that for the small guy. So it wasn’t necessarily that. It was the 30%. With 30%, you know, that was a big blow in terms of . . . we knew at that point, you know, it was going to be a little bit of a game that was going to play.

Andrew: And they were losing money on it?

Vinny: Oh, it’s not. You’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars at 30%. Like, on a case of diapers, right? A case of diapers was 40 bucks, 30%, you barely break even. You know, maybe if you charge it for . . . because with the shipping if you do 30% off, that’s . . . what is that? Like, 13 bucks off. Right? And on the wipes too. I don’t remember having the exact numbers. It’s probably somewhere in the internet. Hundreds of millions of dollars if you kept that going forever.

Andrew: You know what? The founder of Perfect Audience came in here for Scotch night one time. He said that he was so worried that at any minute Facebook could destroy his business or someone else that he would sleep with the phone under his pillow every night. He was, like, anxious. I’ve heard people get shingles and other issues. You’re smiling as you tell the story. At the time, did it feel like it was gut-wrenching, like, “Oh, man, we had this thing now. It’s going away potentially.” You’re smiling even as I said. You didn’t feel that?

Vinny: Yeah, I mean, it’s a combination emotion. You know, I remember there was an article that came out on the cover of “Bloomberg Businessweek” that said, “What Amazon fears most?” And it was this long interview that the reporter had done, but he had been working on this piece for months before . . . The article came out actually after we’d sold . . . This kind of weird coincidence. But he’d been doing this piece, I don’t know, several months earlier and he asked me this same question about what if Amazon comes after you? This is before they had launched 30% off.

And I remember at the time thinking, “Yeah, it would be crazy, scary and all [inaudible 00:34:47].” But also, sort of later, it was in the article [inaudible 00:34:52]. Yeah, they also be kind of fun and it’s, like, at the end of the article and I said, “You know what? It kind of shows that we’re on to something.” You know what? I might’ve said, “Bring it on,” or something in jest. And when we sold to Amazon later, that was a funny thing that the Amazonians would always say.

Andrew: Bring it on.

Vinny: Every time they see me, they say, “Bring it on,” you know, and that was not my intention, but part of it was . . .

Andrew: Now that we’re looking back and you don’t have to have bluster, you don’t have to bluff, you could be real. At the time, was it scary? At the time, did you say, “Ah, this thing that I started?”

Vinny: Oh, yeah, absolutely. It was hugely scary, but also . . .

Andrew: Could you give me an example of what, like, what happened to you? I want to get a sense of you personally. You didn’t get shingles. Were you up nights? Did your teeth cracked from worrying about all this stuff?

Vinny: No.

Andrew: No.

Vinny: No, not at all. I mean, to be honest, a lot was going on during that time, and it all happened very fast. So one good thing, by the way, is when they did 30% off, okay, we took a little bit of a dip to our own numbers, took a little bit of a dip early, and then we held on. We didn’t see anything to our numbers in the second month, which was really interesting. Right? So we were looking at them like, “Wow, we’re hanging on in here.” That’s one thing. Secondly, we were engaged in other discussions with other, which I can’t get into, but with other major players in the space, huge, huge players. And so we had already . . . and, again, some of this is chance, you know, were in these discussions with other players where we thought, you know, maybe we had an exit.

And these were major folks and so we weren’t like so small, and also we were talking to major, major private equity and venture capitalists to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. So it’s sort of exciting too because, you know, yeah, we thought we could play. You know, it’s like, “Okay, if we need to, we could raise a few hundred million dollars.” And Marc is a very ambitious guy, and if we need to, we’ll play this game.

Andrew: And he eventually did for . . .

Vinny: Exactly.

Andrew: . . . jet.com was his follow-up.

Vinny: And he eventually did.

Andrew: Do you remember the day after you sold it?

Vinny: I remember. I do. I remember the day we sold it. Oh, you know what? I remember a lot. I remember the night before we sold it. And being on, you know, my kitchen counter with my wife because people asked about it. And we were going to sign the deal that night. It was a Sunday night. We hadn’t announced to the other company. I remember feeling . . . You know, I remember we had mixed emotions. You know, like, obviously it was a life-changing event and everything, but at the same time, you know, we had put blood, sweat, and tears and we were going to kind of . . . we thought we had more room. And, you know, I remember I’d said a story. I mean, 50 or 60 tears I shed that night, and so I do remember that night pretty clearly.

Andrew: Did you get to do anything, like to just celebrate it? Before we move on to what you did next in business, did you do something to celebrate? Did you go off on a vacation? Did you finally . . . I don’t know, shed the car that you were keeping since you’re in high school? I don’t know your lifestyle. But did you do anything?

Vinny: Weirdly, I don’t remember. I don’t think I did some big purchase. Maybe I’m forgetting something. I don’t . . .

Andrew: But that still says something.

Vinny: Yeah. You know later, I mean, we had a big family vacation. My parents and brother, and we all went to Italy. I remember that. I think it was the next summer and that was a pretty expensive trip.

Andrew: And you took them all and it was your time to just sit. Do you feel like, “Oh, man, mom and dad, look, I made something of myself.”

Vinny: Yeah, you know, my brother, he’s a huge success. So I thought it was some validation and, by the way, they were investors, my brother and my parents and a lot of family, so I felt, like they did well and we did well, and that was really gratifying.

Andrew: Yeah. If I put your last name into Google, I was just checking. Your brother comes up. Preet Bharara. He is the former United States Attorney for Southern District of New York, was famous when Donald Trump fired him pretty quickly. And now he has a podcast on cafe.com, your network, which I’ll talk about in a moment.

First, I should tell people really quickly. When you were talking about spreadsheets, how Marc has that love. I used to have that love, and I thought I was great at spreadsheets, but I needed to understand how far can I push my spending at my company? How can I grow my company to full capacity? And I realize I’m the only finance person here at Mixergy, so I went to Toptal where you can hire . . . They’re known for letting you hire the best developers.

I went to them and I said, “You guys don’t have a finance department.” They said, “Yeah, we acquired a competitor who does finance.” I said, “Can I hire somebody to do finance, like, analysis for me to give me a second opinion?” And they said, “You know, we have some people.” They introduced me to a few people because I wanted to get a real, good cross-section of possibilities. And I ended up hiring this guy, Jack Barker. He’s a former McKinsey partner, Carlyle Group principal, lots of experience including being the CFO and COO for a couple of Carlyle companies. I said, “All right.” I hired him. I’m not paying that much for him. And frankly, I don’t think he’s doing it for the money. He wants to see what’s the internet world doing.

He wants to learn from my problems, so I hired him. He’s so good. He’s helping me cut costs. He’s helping me spot opportunities saying, “Here’s how we treated our new people at McKinsey, putting them through a little bit of hell because we know that they shine. You should be putting your people through that.” And he just helps all around with an understanding of finances.

I’ll give you one example, Vinny. I told him my wife was at a new company. She was trying to figure out the health care plan and what the deductible should be and all that. This freaking guy, he puts a spreadsheet together for that, just to make sure that she knows the best possible option and where the financial ramifications are.

Vinny: Love it.

Andrew: All right. Anyone out who’s there looking to hire somebody for finance, or developer, or design, really Toptal has the best of the best people. They can hook you up with phone calls fast, and often you can hire within a day or two. Go check out the special URL where you’re going to get 80 hours of Toptal developer credit when you pay for your first 80 hours, in addition to a no-risk trial period of up to two weeks. That means really they want to make sure you’re 100% satisfied. They will not bill you unless you are. Here it is. Top as in the top of your head, tal as in talent. T-O-P-T-A-L.com/Mixergy. Toptal.com/Mixergy.

All right. Why didn’t you do what Marc did? Coming back to your story, Vinny, from the ad. Marc said, “Hey, I got an opportunity. I’m good at e-commerce. I’m going to build the next thing.” I remember when he first launched Jet, my friend who worked at NEA, “boom” they were so psyched about this that they started sending me and my wife these like links to go and buy these diapers. Oh boy, this is like . . . Why didn’t you do that?

Vinny: Now, it’s a great question. We talked about it, and look, we had a great exit. And, you know, we have one of those great life-changing events, you do reflection. I think, at least, we did, Marc and I both did reflection. Many of us did. And then, you know, you’re sort of like, “What am I going to do next?” I wasn’t going to go retire, you know, something like just go on a beach, that wasn’t going to be it. But I didn’t really want to do that again. You know, I didn’t want to do part two.

I wanted to really think about what I was passionate about? You know, where did I have the most fun? And we talked about this earlier. Part of what I was most proud of that we had built at diapers.com was this brand. We’ve built a brand that was extremely resonant with a bunch of users. That and when I walk on the streets and stuff, I would say I co-founded diapers.com, like that was . . . and they’d say, “Oh, my God. Wow, that’s an amazing company.”

To me, that’s what I wanted to recapture again, and I’d always had. You know, my background, again, as a lawyer and as a writer and all this other stuff that people know. So content and media and the ability to kind of make connections with your audience through that was something I was very passionate about. I didn’t know how big or small I wanted it to be, but I thought I could try that. I could try media, and then I could try to innovate on that a little bit, given my experience. And I didn’t need the money. You know, it wasn’t like I needed to make hundreds of millions of dollars again and then exit. So I just didn’t need that. So I was like, “Look, I’ll invest.” I got like, [KK2 00:42:48], so I gave money to Marc, so I did well that way. And then I said, “I was going to do my own thing.” Hang on one second.

Andrew: Sorry. No, no, I got it. That was me. Why is the name Some Spider Studios?

Vinny: So Some Spider come . . . Do you know? Can you take a guess? Did you read about it because I mean, most people get this wrong.

Andrew: You know what? No, I read about everything and including like where Quidsi came from. But no, I don’t know where the name came from. I even looked at your job board to see where’s he growing into. And somehow I didn’t come across the name.

Vinny: Yeah. At the time when I started, two small kids. And it’s not some spiders, it’s not about the web. I think some people think it’s about the web. It actually comes from “Charlotte’s Web,” the book. And in the book, if you recall, you know, when Charlotte is saving Wilbur, she creates a web and spins it and it says, “Some pig.” And some pig is the miraculous web that, you know, the people in the town are like, “Wow.” And there’s a line in the book, E.B. White’s book where they say, “Wow, that is some pig.” And then I think the doctor or someone in the book says, “Oh, I think you’re mistaken. I think it’s not an ordinary spider.” So he didn’t say some spider, and I always thought that it should have been some spider. And then anyway, so the domain name and everything was available. It was really easy, so I [packed 00:44:09] it off. Like Quidsi, it’s not really meant to be a consumer facing name.

Andrew: Yeah, in fact when I go to somespider.com, what I see is you explaining what the business is and how big it is. And the thing that stands out for me is the number of views, the number of fans. This is where you’re starting, so it seems like the big product is Scary Mom. Right?

Vinny: Scary Mommy, yes.

Andrew: Scary Mommy. Excuse me. Scary Mommy is a show that’s where? On Facebook and . . .

Vinny: No, Scary Mommy is a brand that’s everywhere. Facebook is obviously, not obviously, but is where it has most of its views and impressions. It’s actually very large on Instagram. It has its own channel now on Snapchat. It gets 15 million unique visitors to its website, several hundred thousand emails, so it’s pretty ubiquitous. But Facebook, yeah, it’s a big play for us too.

Andrew: So it started out with the video series, right, for Scary Mommy?

Vinny: No. So I can just go back and give you a little bit of rewind.

Andrew: Yeah, please.

Vinny: I think it will connect to what I was just describing, without being too long-winded. As I was saying, you know, what I’d learned from diapers.com, when I’d learned why Amazon bought it, why other people were interested in it. It wasn’t about the diapers, it was about moms and dads. And it was about, you know, there’s 170 million moms and dads in America. That’s almost half the population. If you have a relationship with them that’s special and unique, where you can acquire them inexpensively and then you can get them to return frequently and it’s emotional and it’s deep, it’s an extraordinarily valuable asset. That’s why, in my view, Amazon couldn’t risk someone getting into that. Right? And so I don’t want to do it with diapers, wipes, and formula. I don’t want to do it in retail.

What I wanted to do is do it with content. And you can do it a lot less inexpensively now, especially with social platforms, whether it’s Facebook, you know, Instagram, otherwise. And we use this content to acquire them, you know, as fans or subscribers, and then we get the frequency because of the content that we produce on a regular basis where we’re getting engagements and interactions. And so now, we built, I think with Scary Mommy, and we recently just launched again, this very powerful brand leading the space by, you know, large measures with an extraordinary valuable demographic. And now, you know, similar to diapers.com, you know, we’ve got to figure out how to monetize that. In Diapers, it was adding extra selection into the box and carrying inventory, and fairly messy, but, you know, obviously a substantial reward.

Here, we take that asset and initially like many media companies, you know, bring it to advertisers, sell our content, sell the distribution. Now, we just today, in beta way launched our store because we think the brand is strong enough where we can start selling, you know, everything mom-oriented. And it’s another way to kind of capture LTV. Ultimately, I think we can create communities around this name where we have events, and these aren’t just these huge events that you see media companies, but we’re talking about meet-ups or moms can meet other new moms and learn about, you know, CPR or how to put your gear on correctly. There’s lots of ways we think that we can take that relationship, which is the center of everything and extract value in a way that’s beneficial to the user. And we can do it not only for moms, but we can do it for dads, combined. We just think, you know, that’s the model.

Andrew: I see that. You’ll even talk to them about infertility, miscarriage, complications, the type of stuff that people want a safe friend to talk to and to learn from. I get that. But let me see if I understand this. It seems like Scary Mommy was a blog that you acquired, right? It was run by Jill Smokler.

Vinny: Yes.

Andrew: And it was fairly popular, right?

Vinny: Yeah.

Andrew: And you took it . . . when you acquired it, how much did you change in that? How much did you say we’re building on what was there versus we’re going to use it as a brand name that we’re going to create something brand-new on.

Vinny: Yeah, so what we wanted to keep, to your point, it was a very successful blog, which had a passionate community. We had about, I don’t know, a few hundred thousand Facebook fans when we bought it and not much else in terms of other distribution. Now, what it did have though was it had, you know, a lot of Facebook publishers don’t have brand awareness. You know, you’re able to get views and impressions, but the user isn’t going to know who you are. It had awareness, and it had resonance, and it had a voice, and the voice was very clear. You know, a lot of humor, a lot of realness, and a lot of entertainment. We really weren’t playing in the . . . She wasn’t really playing in the resource game.

So when we bought it, we didn’t want to change the voice, the plan, but we wanted to do was add a lot of resource. So they were doing about four or five stories a day, something like this, essays, blogs, kind of thing. We added a lot of contributors, we added a news team, we added a video team, we added a studio team. You know, now, the editorial, you know, budget is in the millions of dollars. She wasn’t paying her writers at the time, so we blew that out, put a lot of marketing into it. Yeah, there was no Instagram. We have a million Instagram followers now. Right? We have 10 million monthly uniques on Snapchat, so we’ve . . .

Andrew: How much on Snapchat?

Vinny: 10 million uniques a month on Snapchat.

Andrew: Wow, wee. Okay.

Vinny: Snapchat’s been large for us. So, yeah, I didn’t want to just to answer your question. We didn’t change the spirit of the brand. The brand, I think was spot on. What we’ve done was add, again, selection. If another way to put it, more stuff.

Andrew: So when I look at the shop as it’s opened today, we’re recording this when it’s still in beta. A lot of it is the type of stuff that, like, a Casey Neistat and other video influencer would have, T-shirts and bags and mugs. This is the beginning. Your vision for the shop version, which is shop.scarymommy.com is what?

Vinny: So our vision is that we don’t think in the market, there is a specialty store for moms. Like there isn’t an Urban Outfitters, a Toys “R” Us for moms, right? You know, the closest thing, I guess would be Target. So our view is that consistent with our voice and our voice is very entertaining. It’s very, you know, mom-centric. It’s very about honoring mom. That when you need a delight, a gift, something for yourself because you’re always buying stuff for your kids, this is the place for you.

And so, yeah, it’s going to be apparel, accessories, home gift. You’re seeing some of our expressions on there. We’ll add to that, but then ultimately, if we get this right, we can get the traction, the audience, then we can add a marketplace to it. And now, we can curate what we think is the best stuff, especially female-centric, mom-centric, entrepreneur, and brands, and bring them to our users without having to take inventory. And you can really see, I think, you know, this sort of mom specialty store at scale that I think, you know, and then you can even see pop-ups, the whole thing, that big, bright . . .

Andrew: Pop-ups stores, not pop-ups on the web.

Vinny: Yeah.

Andrew: Pop-up stores. So, (a) so the stuff that moms would buy, they could buy from your marketplace. They have a brand or marketplace that they have an affinity towards. And you’re thinking you’re going to do the shipping, not the stores like on Etsy, right?

Vinny: I think we would have our own, you know, the stuff you’re seeing today and is very beta. Like I said, we haven’t done any promotion or anything like that. This is our own products. This is, you know, if you shop [inaudible 00:51:22], digitally native vertical commerce. This is Scary Mommy stuff. We’re making it. And the advantage we have is that we have this massive audience, we have an incredible design and content team, so we can put design and expression inexpensively, quickly on all kinds of products. That’s our stuff. We ship that, and then we can kind of add what we do that too. Now, that’s one piece of the business.

Separately, I think we can have a marketplace because of the traffic that we have to the property where we’re curating, and that is obviously going to be shipped by, you know, those other brands. In the same way, on Amazon, right, you’ve got stuff shipped from Amazon. You’ve got the marketplace in Walmart. And we’ll see how that works. This is obviously, we haven’t launched that marketplace yet, but that’s the vision.

Andrew: Your brand, your content is just really well done. It’s so polished, even that video I mentioned earlier about the dad. I won’t give away the ending to it. What’s the URL for anyone who wants to go check it out?

Vinny: So for The Dad, it’s thedad.com.

Andrew: Thedad.com and . . .

Vinny: Thedad.com and it’s scarymommy.com

Andrew: For thedad.com, any dad, you go see the YouTube video. It’s the number one most watched video on their YouTube channel. And I don’t want to give away the ending of it. But you’re thinking you’re going to do the same thing. That kind of makes sense. What I then can’t see is how it fits in is cafe.com, which looks like a podcast network to compete, not compete, but on the level of Gimlet or what Slate has.

Vinny: So it’s a good question. You’re not going to be able to see the other than if you know me. So why would I do Scary Mommy and The Dad? It makes sense. I was in parenting space, sold it to Amazon. I know that space, e-commerce, it all makes sense. Right? Why would I do CAFE? I’m going to do CAFE because it’s built on Preet. So Preet is my brother. And so it’s fairly opportunistic, but because we have the infrastructure of a media company here, when he got fired by Trump, and even before, he was thinking about what he’s going to do next. I’m like, “Look. You know me, you trust me.” Obviously he knows me and trusts me. Like, we should do something.

If you want to do something in media and also there’s a mission behind it and, you know, we’re both fairly active in that way, should do it with us. So that is why we have CAFÉ. It’s really just currently Preet. And then we have, you know, Bassem’s podcast we made. And we’re still figuring out what the next stage of this is going to be. It may not be, you know, just podcasts. You might see some [inaudible 00:53:38] without giving it away, additional stuff coming consistent with Preet’s brand that he can bring to the market. So we’re thinking about that now so that’s why we have CAFE. It’s because Preet’s my brother. I think that thing . . .

Andrew: Bassem Youssef is a great land too because he’s the guy that Jon Stewart kept talking about as he was giving him the blessing saying he is the Arab Jon Stewart or the Egyptian Jon Stewart. And he’s got his irreverent personality, which is a draw.
Vinny: Amazing, amazing. 100%, he’s amazing.

Andrew: Okay. I think I get where this is, how this is. I see all the numbers for traffic. I think it’s really impressive for anyone to go check out somespider.com. They could get all the data on the traffic. Let me ask you this final question. Revenue-wise, where are you guys with Some Spider?

Vinny: So I’m not sure I’m supposed not really to disclose that. We’re on track to double last year’s revenue, and I think if you look it up, you can kind of calculate and see what the number is.

Andrew: Somewhere you said what last year’s revenue was? Can we say what? Is it over 5 million at this point?

Vinny: Oh, yeah, yeah, well north of that.

Andrew: All right.

Vinny: Well, north of that. That’s not really, yeah, well, north of that.

Andrew: More than 20 million in 2018?

Vinny: Yes.

Andrew: Wow. All right. You know what? I realize I interrupted myself and I didn’t finish this statement. The dad video that I mentioned, it’s the little details like somebody drew on the wall with crayon for a 60-second video. And that’s where I think you guys shine where you come into a platform, where people are kind of creating home baby videos, like YouTube and Facebook and then you create videos where the little details are paid attention to, not just in voice, but also in design and the willingness to, you know, set the scene properly.

Vinny: Are you allowed to curse on your podcast?

Andrew: Yeah, yeah.

Vinny: Okay. So the name of the video, maybe you’re talking about some different video. But the video for the dad that went extraordinarily viral is called a fucking break. Is that the video you’re talking about?

Andrew: Yeah, I was afraid of giving it away because they say, “Look. Are you a dad who . . . ?” and then they show all the things that every dad can relate to and then they go, “Look. What you really need is a fucking break.”

Vinny: [inaudible 00:55:41]

Andrew: And a fucking break is expressed like a medication, which I don’t even know how the voiceover person said it to make it sound like, “It’s medication that you can go to the doctor and asked for.” It’s really well done.

Vinny: You need a fucking break, man.

Andrew: I need a fucking break. All right. This was a good fucking break. I really am glad that you came on here to do this. I’ve admired your business for a long time from a distance. I’ve got to know you a little bit and see how you did it. For anyone who wants to get to know, would love to see you do something for entrepreneurs, but maybe that’s why I do it. Mixergy is going to be that. For anybody who wants to go and check out what Vinny is up to, go check out somespider.com.

And I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first will help you hire your next phenomenal developer or finance person like I did. Go to toptal.com/mixergy. And the second is going to . . . I know that I feel a little weird doing ads with you, but I’ve seen your videos.

Vinny: Yeah, that’s what I did.

Andrew: [inaudible 00:56:31] customize videos.

Vinny: Yeah, I did that. I like the ads. It pays for all this great content.

Andrew: Yeah. And then hostgator.com/mixergy to have your website hosted right. Vinny, thanks so much for doing this.

Vinny: Thank you.

Andrew: Thank you very much.

Vinny: Thank you so much.

Andrew: Bye, everyone.


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