How Craigslist helped Eden get early traction

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Joining me is Joe Du Bey, a founder who pivoted his way to finding success. He started out doing tech support and ended up doing something completely different.

Today he runs a company called Eden. Imagine you have a big office for your company and now you need a custodian service. It’s up to you to manage the building now.

Well Eden helps with that and many other office services.

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Joe Du Bey

Joe Du Bey

Eden

Joe Du Bey is a founder of Eden which provides office cleaning, IT support, handymen, and more to make it easy to run your workplace.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses, for an audience of real entrepreneurs who are still hungry to build businesses. And I got to tell you in the world today, people don’t want to be entrepreneurs anymore. I feel like, Joe, there was a period in time where people wanted to be entrepreneurs, and now they want to be YouTube stars or Instagram stars and it’s so much easier than creating a freaking business and you should know that.

Joe: It’s faster for sure.

Andrew: Right. More glamorous.

Joe: And the business works. Yeah.

Andrew: But business is more substantive. It will actually survive you. You can actually, if it’s done right, be sick for a while and the business will continue to grow or frankly be able to sell it and do well for yourself and your family and the business will continue to grow and keep changing lives. That’s why I’m still excited about entrepreneurship. And plus if you’ve got a talent for it and a passion for it, there’s no replacement for it. There’s no replacement for it.

Joining me is Joe Du Bey. You know how when you were young you were told if at first you don’t succeed try, try again. It’s seems kind of hack and cliched and tired. And frankly, even in entrepreneurship the version of that for a while was if it doesn’t work out, just pivot, pivot, pivot.

And then the word “pivot” became like this nasty, silly thing that nobody did. We didn’t adjust. We started out with something. We might have made small twists. But if you really pivoted, you were I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t a cool thing to do anymore.

Well, today’s guest actually did pivot his way to success. He started out doing one thing, tech support, and ended up doing something completely different. Today he runs a company called Eden where . . . let me tell you what Eden is. You can see at eden.io, but I’ll describe the problem and I think you’ll be able to relate to it.

Imagine you suddenly have a big office for your company. And now it’s on you to find cleaning people to pick up after your people or to get office supplies, and you can’t get to Amazon to pick up all the office supplies or maybe something random like, you know what? There’s a salesperson who needs to talk and need some quiet space. You need one of those freaking phone booths and you don’t know how to get it installed. Well, you go to eden.io and they do it. That’s what this guy has pivoted into.

And we’re going to find out how we did it thanks for two phenomenal companies who bring this to you. My sponsors, the first will host your website right. It’s called HostGator. And the second will help you hire phenomenal developers. It’s called Toptal. Joe, good to see you here.

Joe: Yeah, thank you very much for having me, Andrew.

Andrew: Joe, my audience is going to love your story, but I’ve got to be honest with you. People are not going to take you seriously until they see how big you are. We’re living in a world in entrepreneurship where unless you’ve actually got numbers to support your size, people are going to say, “Why should I listen to him?” So let me ask you this, Joe. How big are you? What’s the revenue 2018, let’s say?

Joe: Yeah, yeah, so I’ll answer this a few ways. I’ll answer it first somewhat directly. Our gross revenues are in excess of $20 million. I’d say a different way framing it is we are across 21 U.S. metros and we were, you know, marketplace for all office services and products. And that’s cool because we can actually serve around 65% of the offices in the U.S. We’re available to them. And a different way of framing it is we have over 1,500 service vendors on our platform, which represent hundreds of thousands of kind of end technicians or workers across a whole bunch of different verticals.

Andrew: Because the way that it works, if I understand it right is I’m not paying for the services from you. You’re not managing it. Your platform helps me. Your software helps me manage the interaction with them and helps me find these service providers. They’re the ones who are providing handyman services, like cabling and carpentry. They’re the ones who are doing IT support. Am I right?

Joe: Yeah, you got it. You got it. So Eden itself, you know, we’re not an on-demand company or something where we have a whole bunch of 1099 individuals. What we do is we’re really good at two things. We find the very best service partners in every single geo that we’re live in. We have, you know, over 100 of the top janitorial companies, handyman, IT support, snacks, and catering companies. Everything you need to run an office, we do all the legwork of figuring out who those folks are. Because there really isn’t a good curated dataset before we created this per geo. And from there, we also build awesome technology that helps you request different services, get bids through Eden, manage your vendors, even things like preventative maintenance and keeping track of all the things are inside of your office and managing a ticketing system. We basically are both software and the services to run a space.

Andrew: And this whole thing started because you were working in San Francisco, right? And was it a Y Combinator funded company that you were working for?

Joe: Yeah.

Andrew: You were and then . . .

Joe: Yes.

Andrew: Sorry?

Joe: I did. I worked at Y Combinator funded company called Tilt when I was going to business school.

Andrew: This is back in 2014. You’d go home to your parents’ house for the holidays and people would hit you up with what?

Joe: Yeah, my parents would say, “Hey, we need tech support.” This is the kind of thing that . . . this was the refrain in my household. I’d come back, you know, a couple times a year and immediately put to work, spend three days fixing the router and then fixing that, you know, TV and all sorts of stuff.

Andrew: I do that too. Printer is a big issue.

Joe: Printers are a big issue.

Andrew: Yeah. Especially if they have their out-of-date printer and they don’t want to update it and my parents need help with that sometimes. And so you said, “Hey, you know what? I think I got it. I found a real problem.” Why were you even looking for a problem? Why is a problem such a good place to start when you’re building a business?

Joe: Yeah, so it’s interesting. I’ve always been someone who’s loved . . . like to go really deep in one specific thing. There are people who are renaissance people. I’m not really one of them. I’ve always been in middle school it was fantasy baseball. In high school I was playing tennis all the time.

Andrew: You know, let’s take a moment here. Since you brought up fantasy baseball. You didn’t just like write out what you wanted it on a piece of paper the way that . . . look at this, old pencil. This is the way I’m writing notes today. You got more obsessive with it. What did you do when you were into fantasy baseball?

Joe: Yeah. For sure. So I started creating metrics. I’ll get so deep that I would look at everyone on the waiver wire, everyone you could possibly draft and I’d start to create different metrics that didn’t exist yet for these players. And so I got so deep in this game that I wanted to find a way to win that wasn’t obvious. And, you know, and I played in five leagues at once and tried to get first place in all of them. I had become kind of like a monster at whatever I’m trying to do and there’s usually an analytical angle that makes me really excited.

Andrew: Give me an example of how that played itself out before Eden at different companies that you were part of? I think you worked in finance for a bit before working in Tilt. How did it play itself out this obsessive need to go deep on one thing?

Joe: Yeah, so in banking. I didn’t see a career in investment banking. That’s where I started. I thought it’d be a good skill set and I just lost myself in financial modeling. I ended up being this guy that they had me do all the templates for the different kinds of models at Lehman and Barclays when I was there. Because I just I was building all of this . . . I’d think it hard. I just love kind of deconstructing things and putting it back together again.

Andrew: Okay. Can you be more specific? Do you have an example of like a specific project you are deeply involved with and most people just said, “All right, this is a quick project. I’m going to move on. I’m not really that committed as Joe is.”

Joe: Yeah, for sure. Okay. Well, let’s think about it. There was an opportunity in banking to analyze a company. And a lot of people would create like a one or two-page overview of what that company’s financials might look like in the future. I ended up creating like 100-page financial model that got into like how grain prices might affect a specific, you know, division in Amsterdam. So it’s just something where to me like finding the little truths that ultimately drive the whole outcome is fascinating and has always been a big part of what I do.

Andrew: It’s so interesting that I asked that because there are little hidden truths in what you did that helped you pivot towards, for example, going to businesses instead of consumers. So when you started out and you had this idea, “You know what, lots of parents all over the world, lots of them have tech support. They don’t all have kids with patience do this. I’m going to solve it.” What’s the first step that you took?

Joe: Yeah. So the first thing I did was I basically tried to find a way to prove that there was demand here. I had I started to socialize the idea with a bunch of people. And there’s this funny expression that I heard in business school that you hear sometime that you want to be both non-consensus and right. The actual first idea of Eden was a little bit too consensus and ended up being kind of moderately, right?

Andrew: Non-consensus and right means you don’t want to be like everyone else because otherwise that’s already been done. But you still need to be right. You can’t be this guy who’s just disagreeing with everyone to be disagreeable, right?

Joe: For sure. Yeah, so you can be both non-consensus and wrong and the world laughs at you. But if you’re non-consensus and right, the world maybe laughs at you for a little bit until you prove them otherwise. Eden was actually a very consensus idea. Everyone had parents who needed tech support. And so it was so consensus that I probably should have been a sign that this was not going to be the future business.

But we started . . . the way it started working on it is I had a few Stanford classmates and I was in graduate school at the time. And I said, like, “How do I get . . . I want to show the world that this has some demand so that I can raise some funding around this.” With the objective of I want to be able to pay myself a salary when I finished school because I have a bunch of debt.

And so I, you know, immediately the way I did is I tried to basically disintermediate people requesting projects on Craigslist and then Thumbtack and I tried to kind of put myself in between to show that, like, I could both find demand and supply. And once they saw Eden, they’d realize, “Oh, this is such an amazing way to solve this problem.”

Andrew: So you would go into Craigslist and see that somebody was looking for someone to help with tech support and you go, “I think I’ve got the person for you. Check out my site”?

Joe: Yeah. And I had like a little landing page. It was like a Strikingly landing page. It was free and people could submit say . . . it was just a text field, they can say, “I need help.” And from there, you know, we in a month and a half, I quickly accumulated maybe 25 jobs. I think it was 22 jobs. I took those 22 jobs to a seed stage venture capitalist called Jim Scheinman and said, “Hey, look at this compelling narrative. You know, people need help. Our parents need tech support. Let’s create this Uber [app 00:10:11].”

It was 2015, sort of the heat of the on-demand economy. And our clients who’d use this really did love the service. And from there, he kind of started our seed round and end up being a pretty meaningful seed when it was all said and done. We got into Y Combinator right after that. It just so happened and our seed round ended up being around $5 million. And from there, we were able to . . . you know, my co-founder, Kyle, and some founding team members like Camille and some other folks were able to start to build this business, but it was only a few months in and we saw, “Hey, maybe the business that we’re building isn’t the one that’s going to ultimately be.”

Andrew: What was it that led you to see it’s not going to be helping parents with their tech support and then I want to go back and evaluate it?

Joe: Yeah, so it kind of came back to finance actually. On-demand businesses are tricky. And we were really hiring bunch of 1099 individuals. I say hire loosely. But we had a bunch of 1099 workers that we were going finding. A lot of recruiting on Craigslist trying to find people who’d do tech support for us. We were also acquiring the customer on things like, you know, ads and radio and all sorts of stuff, made a TV commercial.

And what we saw when the summer was over is, yeah, we grew, you know, 50% a month. But like, oh, my God, we were bleeding money, specifically on the supply side acquisition. And the part . . . that’s kind of hidden costs, the on-demand economy, often everything looks like you have margin but then you think about, “Oh, I’m actually acquiring a bunch of these workers who churn out every two months.” And that that created negative contribution margin and negative unit economics.

Andrew: And a lot of businesses they’ll continue with that. What was it that made you stop?

Joe: Yeah, most critically it was finding an alternative. And so we were really fortunate. We didn’t ask for it but business started using us. And we saw that a couple businesses, the office manager found Eden and they’re like, “Oh, great. I have this way to solve tech problems.” I didn’t want to keep asking the engineers who were getting mad at us for always having . . . you know, it wasn’t their job to solve the Wi-Fi issue. And they started using us with really high frequency. But in the summer, at the end of Y Combinator, we said, like, you know, we have this consumer business that maybe we can make breakeven, maybe even we can make it a little creative, make it a little valuable by getting good at stuff like SEO, but this B2B side, oh, my goodness, it’s already a third of our revenue and we haven’t even tried.

Andrew: You know what? Let’s take a moment that and just analyze why that first version didn’t make sense if you think about it from the framework that you brought up earlier, which is you want to have consensus but not too much consensus. Why does having a lot of people needing the service or seeming to need the service, why is that a problem?

Joe: You know, I think it’s only by itself. It’s a good thing. I think the problem is it’s too obvious. And when something’s obvious, it’s already been done. And if I had looked a little closer, I would have seen a few companies in the past, you have to kind of explain the prior bodies like why did why did they not make it? And there was a number of companies that just hadn’t ultimately been big companies in the tech support space specifically focused around consumer. So I think it was such an obvious problem that had been tried and failed.

And why did they ultimately fail? The real answer there was the frequency is so low of tech support needs for a consumer that you’re going to make like 100 bucks, maybe of gross profit over the year. Maybe the average consumer uses you twice and each job is 100 bucks or 250 so you’re at call it 300 bucks and you take 10%, 20%, so you’re at maybe 60 bucks is your customer lifetime value. You can’t afford to acquire anyone on almost any channel for $60 short of SEO.

Andrew: That makes a lot of sense. And you know what? It feels like the companies that have gotten into it and done it, essentially had to become either partners with a big company or acquired by them. Like you think about Geek Squad, I think, I cracked when I talked to them. They were doing well. But they need to do more than just one-off screen crack fixes. And I think they were starting to talk to companies about partnering with them. I’m trying to decide how much I can say and how much I can’t, as they were thinking, “We can’t just go after one guy who has a crack screen one day and never comes back to us.” And that’s what you were finding too.

Joe: Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, distribution is hard. And I think if you look at some of the like local services businesses, I think they do get a lot better once they find these big BD deals, and they get meaningful distribution. But very few have that frequency of something like Uber or Amazon where you can actually spend some money to acquire a consumer.

Andrew: Because people keep coming back over and over to the service. You can make money over and over so you might as well pay a little bit up front, lose a little bit of time a little bit.

Joe: Yeah, very few have that.

Andrew: And so one of the things that I read in my notes on you is that it wasn’t just that you’re getting clients that helps you understand that, but as you were starting to look at B2C companies, you were analyzing them and comparing them to B2B businesses and realizing something about B2C that didn’t feel right to you. What was it? It’s not just this, it’s the B2C market that’s kind of tough.

Joe: Yeah, I think there were a couple things. When we analyze it, the people who actually loved us the most were the ones . . . like there were certain parents and certain, you know, folks who like would say they love Eden. But then when we looked at their accounts, we were actually losing money. They still wanted a refund 10% of the time. We were still upside down on the accounts that loved us most and I think that’s a really important sign.

Whereas you look at the businesses that loved us most during that same trial, they may be spent 10,000 bucks or 20,000 bucks and for them they were used to spending way more than that. We were such a deal for them so it was very profitable labor. And they didn’t ask for refunds and that’s the thing about B2B. It’s just the fewer refunds, higher [loans 00:16:04] to pay, higher frequency, it’s just it works. And I think also it’s the B2B market is just deeply fragmented in a way that B2C is and B2C increasingly, I think a few platforms are kind of sucking the oxygen out of the room in a way that B2B still lets you build a huge company that is becoming increasingly challenging in B2C space.

Andrew: So Jordan Crook at TechCrunch wrote the first article about you four years ago. And then if I look at the TechCrunch archives, three years ago, Jordan Cook [sic] wrote another one that says, “Eden on-demand tech help services goes exclusively B2B.” That’s when you were doing all this stuff, like fixing Wi-Fi for businesses. It felt like you’d found it and you had justification for it. What happened when you focused on that on tech support for businesses that kept you from doing it?

Joe: Yeah. So, I mean, what we learned is that businesses were different than people in some ways that were actually more complicated. When we went to serve a person, they’d say, “Hey, I have a printer that I need help with,” or, “Make my Wi-Fi work.” And it was fairly isolated. When you serve a business, they’d say, “Hey, I need you to make my projector work and to calibrate it and to make it, you know, set it up for IT purposes.” But then you’d also have to mount it to the ceiling. And you have to clean up afterwards. There was just a lot more complexity of the job that made them more valuable. And all of a sudden, just doing tech support was actually very limiting. And for us to really satisfy customer demand, we realized [inaudible 00:17:28] we provided all sorts of services for the fast growing business, not just one.

Andrew: And so it wasn’t that you said we’re going to get rid of fixing the Wi-Fi. You said, “What if we expand beyond and help them clean up after themselves?” And that kind of thing. Right?

Joe: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. And there was some business logic too where it’s like, “Hey, this could be a really big company.” If we’re ultimately how all services are, you know, facilities through amenities. Figure out how all services get done in an office, that’s what a cool company that would be.

Andrew: You know what? I wonder if I even brought up the fact that I’ve two sponsors in this interview. I’m going to just jump in and read one of the sponsor ads or give it one and then continue. Our first sponsor is a company called HostGator for hosting websites. Joe, are you someone with passionate opinions about who should be hosting your website or not? You’re not because you use Strikingly. Am I right?

Joe: Right now I’d say it’s not something I’m passionate about.

Andrew: It’s amazing like how many people will argue with me on Twitter about like this hosting provider is better than HostGator or HostGator is not good for this or that. Let me tell you guys something. This guy started, Joe, his company on a Strikingly website. The founder of Tenable built his business to a billion plus market value and after taking it public, and then he started a new website for his angel investments on HostGator. You don’t have to be that overly concerned with it.

Here’s the deal. Pick one that works and then grow with it. I like HostGator because it’s inexpensive and let you host unlimited domains. If you pick that middle option on a page I’m about to give you. And I’ve got to tell you, they have more option than what you see on their page.

Yes, they will start you off inexpensively but if you decide, “Hey, I don’t want to share a server. I want my own server,” or, “I don’t want to manage the plugins on my WordPress site and know which ones are going to break and which ones aren’t.” They will grow with you. Just call them up and say, “You know what? I don’t want to manage WordPress on my own.” “You offer WordPress-managed solution?” They say, “Yes.” “Great. I’m paying you a little bit extra. My business has grown. You manage it.”

Or you say, “I don’t want to have a shared server. I want one just to myself. Can you guys upgrade me?” And yes, they will. And I’ll tell you something. It’ll cost a little bit more, but it’ll be significantly less than their competition and then it’ll just work and you’ll be able to stop thinking about your hosting company and move on to thinking about things that matter, like where are your customers, how are you explaining what you do to them? How are you converting? How are you finding more?

All right, if you want a really low price on HostGator’s initial services, go to hostgator.com/mixergy. When you do, you’re going to get their lowest price up to 62% off their already low prices. Yes, if you’re not happy with them, they’ll give you a money back guarantee. And I’ll also say this, if you start out and use them for a year and you’re still unhappy, you could always pick up your stuff and go to different hosting company. Same thing now, if you don’t like your hosting company right now, don’t stick with them. Just go to HostGator, they will switch you and make it easy for you to experience good hosting.

HostGator.com/mixergy. I’d love it if use my slash URL at the end like the slash mixergy. It gives me credit. But frankly, it also means that you’re always taken care of by us. If you have an issue with them or any other sponsor, let me know that you are and I’ll jump in. What you think that, Joe?

Joe: It’s good. I like that.

Andrew: Right. Everyone else in podcasting is distancing themselves from the advertisers. They’ll like do now recorded commercials like their television or my favorite is Nilay Patel. I love him from “The Verge.” But he does this weird thing with commercials. You listen to “The Verge”?

Joe: I actually don’t listen to “The Verge.”

Andrew: He’s got this podcast and it’s good and then Nilay will then have music that sounds like coins dropping on a table to say, “We’re getting paid for this,” and then he goes into his ad, reads it as fast as possible, more coin sound effects and then he gets out. Like, “I’m getting paid but now let’s get back to it.” I’m not doing that. Screw that. If I can’t look Joe in the face, I’m not doing it.

Joe: Well, it’s good. It’s good.

Andrew: Huh?

Joe: You got to believe.

Andrew: Yeah. Or else who needs it? All right. I thought that you had some issues from your investors when you were thinking about making this type of pivot. Did you or am I imagining it?

Joe: No. I mean, I would say our investors were largely supportive. We just had a number of investors. We did kind of a party round. So we had like call it 40 investors by the end of Y Combinator. And there were a lot of amazing folks from Bessemer and Redpoint, at Canvas and Comcast Ventures down to . . .

Andrew: People from those. Oh, no, wait, if you’re talking about Comcast, it’s the company.

Joe: Yeah.

Andrew: But is it angels from these firms or the firms themselves who are coming in?

Joe: It was the firms. So we had a lot of later stage funds which I would advise . . . it worked out for us but I think in general it puts a lot of pressure on your Series A so I don’t know if I would advise the next entrepreneur.

Andrew: Why does it put pressure on your Series A?

Joe: Basically what happens is everyone says, “Okay, Bessemer did your seed. Are they going to do the A?” And so we ended up not having a formal process for A. It ended up being we were fortunate enough that someone kind of . . . a couple entities swooped in and kind of preempted us going out to the market. But had I had to go out to the market, it would have created a lot of pressure on certain meetings where I’d say, “Hey, you know, Bessemer, will you lead our A?” And if they said, “No,” then, you know, people are going to ask what your incumbents are doing and so it’s helpful. I would generally advise an entrepreneur to raise from seed stage investors and angels, because otherwise they’re just going to . . . you’re going to have to prove a lot more before you raise an A because otherwise you have risk that someone says no, and everyone sees them as, you know, a sign of things to come.

Andrew: Just to be clear, and I’ve had this happen to one of my guests, but he wouldn’t let me talk about it publicly within the interview. So we kept out this funding. But you’re saying, “Look, Bessemer was one of the investors in the seed stage.” If Bessemer had been the only investor and then didn’t come back in for A, people would have said, “Hey, Joe, they know you better than any of us. Why aren’t they coming in?” And that would have been embarrassing. On the other hand, if it was a seed stage investor who didn’t come, you’d say, “They just do seed stage. They’re not coming in now. It’s not that they . . . ”

Joe: Yeah, for sure, and they couldn’t lead it. And so we had other folks like, you know, SV Angel or ENIAC or Maven who are seed stage investors and they are . . . no one looks to those folks to raise the A because they did based on . . . I don’t know if they typically do. I will note that Bessemer as particular example has been massively supportive. They did participate in the A. You know, that worked out well. But, boy, did we take a risk. Whenever you create risk it that doesn’t have any sort of commensurate return, I think it’s a bad risk to take and like you can always talk to Andreessen in the A. You don’t need to get them in your seed.

Andrew: Let me ask you this, though. Why you? Why were you able to get so much funding so soon? I see here a seed according to AngelList, 1.3 and 2015. Then there’s the nothing at 2 million in 2015 September 9th. Then there is September 27th, 2017, 10 million. What is it about your background that allowed you raise money?

Joe: Yeah, so I’ll say, first, the AngelList numbers are a little bit off. But we end up with 5 million total in our seed and kind of broken . . . we broke it into like a sort of two chunks. But I would say the thing that helped was one . . . I mean, the kind of business we were trying to initially at the seed stage, part of the attraction came from an on-demand economy. It was the right market in 2015 and early part of 2018 to be raising a round. So I’d say that’s helpful.

Our TAM, our total addressable market was clearly pretty big because people have a lot of technology in their lives and that was helpful. Our team was balanced. My background’s more finance and business. And my co-founder, Kyle, our CTO, he founded a company once before a CTO. It all . . .

Andrew: LookSharp?

Joe: Yeah, LookSharp. You got it. And so in general like things kind of worked. There wasn’t a clear reason to not, I think, back us and we were authentically excited to build a company and people could kind of feel it. And I think also there’s a thing that I believe is true, which is like if you do a bunch of little steps, eventually you’ve gone pretty far.

And we just kind of kept trying to the right little steps in from the right idea to the right little bit of evidence, to the right team that seemed kind of . . . didn’t seem balanced enough. YC created a lot of good fundraising pressure. It all starts to compound on itself in a way that was really helpful.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And so you started pivoting. You’re saying look, some of the people who . . . since you had so many investors, there are a lot of opinions and some of them weren’t as super excited about this. But overall, there wasn’t . . . you didn’t have to convince them and beat them back.

Joe: Yeah, there’s a couple of investors who were kind of like, “Hey, I invest in this other company. Literally, a month later, you’re trying to pivot.” Like you could tell they felt a little fleeced. But the truth is that the data supported it and like it’s not anyone’s long term interest for us to build a big fireball. So I think it was something that once we tried to over communicate every month. We’d show our investors, “Here’s more proof, here’s more proof.” And in three months in, pretty much everyone is on board especially the more experienced investors and that gave us a lot of confidence.

Andrew: All right. So then, you started to go after . . . you started to expand your services and I’m wondering how you got clients. I could see that when you were going after businesses doing tech support for them, it seems like a lot of the first ones were your friends. When I went back in the Wayback Machine, I could see that for example Tilt. The company that you worked with, which used to be Crowdtilt, they were one of your customers and so on, right?

Joe: Yeah.

Andrew: How did you get your friends to sign up and be your customers?

Joe: Oh, my God. I mean, until . . . I think friends are tremendous bridge to getting to something that is actually, you know, more . . . something that’s probably better market proof because your friends will take a bet on you when no one else really should. And so I think they’re a great bridge. Also our first money in was a place that I had gone and interned at. I basically looked at a bunch of deals for him, Jim at Maven, and he’s an amazing investor. And he was able to give me a little more credit. He said, “Okay, your 22 data points, it’s not much, but I know you work hard and I trust you.” So I think building those relationships and when it comes, when you show someone else that you can perform, they’re willing to give you a little bit more. They’re giving more better of a doubt when the time comes . . .

Andrew: You saying, he started making introductions for you?

Joe: Yeah, and Jim. So Jim . . . they were a customer and our first investor, and he also was someone I had worked with in the past as an intern. Tilt, I had been an intern there too, basically, over the summer and I had done my very best to grow part of their business and James was really open to giving me an intro to his office manager. And an intro from the CEO goes really far.

We also . . . just once we saw that Tilt worked, we looked for companies that kind of look like Tilt. And I just tried to talk to any office manager I could who’s in a tech company and discovered that they had a lot of need for this particular thing, and became friends with them, really let them . . . I tried to let them in and have them be our advisors because one, I’d learned faster and two, people want to support a company that actually cares about them too.

Andrew: You’re saying, you asked the office manager to become an advisor of your company?

Joe: Yeah, and that’s been a critical part of our story. It’s like I’m . . .

Andrew: With equity?

Joe: We didn’t give them equity but we kind of created . . . it’s almost like a Yelp Elite type situation where we have a set of office managers that we meet with regularly and they . . . we share where we want to go, they give us feedback and we’ve create this like really special relationship that they’re also loyal customers. But it’s something where we really invest in that relationship and we value them.

Andrew: What did you learned by working for Jim? Didn’t Jim invest . . . I’m looking on my screen in Facebook, Twitter. There we go, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, like a bunch of companies. What did you learn from being around him?

Joe: So Jim is an amazing investor. Jim invested in Cruise. I mean, Jim has returned funds on just individual investments . . .

Andrew: Cruise is that company whose cars, I see the self-driving cars all through the city here. Like, I can’t go a day without seeing their self-driving cars here. Okay, so what did you learn from him?

Joe: So Jim, I think one of Jim superpowers. Jim is authentically kind and I think that was an important lesson is that you can rise the very top and being authentically kind person. You don’t have to be a shark. Also Jim is a great at narrative. For him like he’s a seed stage investor, so it makes sense. But Jim is very focused on what will be in creating a story that’s kind of captivating. So a lot of his investments are ultimately something that he feels like, “What an amazing story this would be.” And so it lends itself more to B2C in general because it tends I think they have more captivating stories. So I learned how to sort of tell a story and also the power of the right narrative. How it can bring together a team and how it can create performance.

Andrew: What do you mean? What’s your story at Eden that you would tell because you worked with Jim?

Joe: Yeah. So I think it changed over time. And initially, it was picture a world where your parents were totally empowered to use all the technology in their house and think about how much better it will be for them and how much better it will be for you. I think over time it became . . . and this helps with fundraising. It’s focused on this narrative of the future now as a workplace management platform, as a place where offices get all the services they need to run. It’s a story of enabling an entire space to run almost as if it were more autonomous. It’s something where now you can get your cleaning, your tech support, everything, and everything just works in your space. And that kind of ties to our name of Eden, which was Jim’s idea actually. And the idea is like a suggestive name, a place where everything works as it should, which is sort of a little bit out of touch with reality but it’s aspirational.

Andrew: I think in the beginning, you guys called it edentech.com. I so much had prefer eden.io. Is that what the URL is?

Joe: Yeah, eden.io is where you can learn about us.

Andrew: And it was always called Eden, but I definitely prefer getting rid of the tech in there. It feels so much simpler and calmer that way.

Joe: Yeah, for sure.

Andrew: You worked for Tilt. Tilt was basically like . . . it was Crowdtilt and then it became tilt.com. It’s basically crowdfunding. Why did it go away? What do you think it is about it they kept it from growing until now?

Joe: Yeah. I think Tilt grew in certain ways. I think Tilt really grew fast on users. I think Tilt had a community that loved it. I remember while I was there, someone, one of the users got a tattoo of Tilt’s logo on them. Like it’s one of those places where there’s a captivating CEO there, it’s James Beshara. Tilt had a really strong team. There’s a lot of the things that Tilt had that was great.

I think the challenge Tilt ran into is that it didn’t monetize very much. It grew users, but I think that’s a challenge broadly for the space. I mean, I think you need such volume to make money in the kind of payments related space, and the amount of capital required to achieve that outcome is just a lot. And I think it ends up being more capital than what they had initially anticipated and ended up not being ended up still selling. I think it’s sold for a reasonable outcome, but I don’t think it was as big of an outcome as James and team were hoping for.

Andrew: From what I can see, 12 million in cash. Acquihired by Airbnb who closed it out months after they acquired them because the team was so strong.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. And I think I’ve heard varying reports. I’ve seen 16 million and some 12. I think, I’m not sure where exactly the truth was.

Andrew: You can never tell what this stuff. I remember actually talking to an angel investor who finally had some acquisitions. And he said, “I now realize how off the media is when they’ve got these numbers. They just have no clue. And now that I know the numbers, I can see it.”

All right. The first customers came from friends, you start to see if we go after these office managers and make them into superheroes who could create a Garden of Eden like experiencing their office, they’re going to love us. They’re going to keep paying us. They’re going to keep using us. And we’re going to be good. Then our producer said that, “You said, we’re just going to try a bunch of different things and see what works.” You mentioned TV commercials, even early on, you did TV. Why did you do TV when it seems so hard to measure? And how did that work out for you?

Joe: Oh, my God. So we tried . . . We mostly did a lot of this crazy stuff when we were B2C, because we weren’t seeing . . . I think you really iterate a lot when it’s not working super well. So there’s one thing I feel like I’ve seen in general, whenever you see a company, you know it’s a big pivot. It’s not because their prior thing is crushing usually. So for us, we tried 16 ways to grow and 16 to 18, we had a spreadsheet or that summer of Y Combinator. And it’s so funny, I mean, when we tried . . . a lot of things would create a little bursts but they weren’t sustainable.

We kept looking for that scalable lever. And we ultimately discovered we’re growing really fast offices and that was the thing we’re going to pursue but during that summer, we tried lawn signs. We tried a TV commercial. I actually remember I came in to meet with Paul Graham at YC, and it was kind of a big meeting, you know, really nervous. He’s kind of like, you know, the Oracle. And I come to meet them and we tell him, “I’m on team Eden.” And he goes, “Eden. Are those the lawn signs that I keep seeing?” He’s like, “That is just our . . . I was hoping that it wasn’t a YC company.” It was this really funny moment . . .

Andrew: Why? Was he hoping that it wasn’t a Y Combinator company?

Joe: I think it’s just a little like visually offensive. Like lawn signs are one of those things. They’re kind of borderline. You’re always sort of in someone else’s property. So it was just something where I think it was just there everywhere and people thought they were annoying.

Andrew: Okay. All right.

Joe: We were just scrappy and we wanted to try every way to grow.

Andrew: It says a lot about your ability to experiment, to be willing to come up with ideas like that and actually implement them. Okay. So you saw him. He said that actually, “I was hoping it wasn’t you?” What did you take away from all that experience of experimenting with lawns and signs and TV commercials, anything good?

Joe: Oh, yeah. I mean, I learned how to experiment which is you do it with the least possible cost that validates the outcome. And if the cost is too great in either time or money, it’s not a thought experiment that you run. Because we tried some things like postcards but realize it cost $20,000 to experiment with it and it wasn’t worth it. We tried things like TV and discovered why didn’t work for us. We saw things that did work but realize they weren’t scalable and so it was it was a really great process to think about how do you experiment? How do you be scientific?

Andrew: How did you put into TV to make it work? Like what was . . . cheap?

Joe: It’s was cheap because we are going after it. It was like we were like kind of the Anti-Super Bowl. We were going after people watching like, you know, really like 1950s comedies late night. It was like the cheapest ad you could possibly buy.

Andrew: Got it. And then you’d have but you still have to contract out for a phone. No, you don’t you just send them over to your website. And then how do you keep track of results from that?

Joe: So for that one, the thing about us, especially, in the early days, you can do things that aren’t . . . that don’t scale. So we talked to every customer and try to figure out where they heard about us. So it was pretty reliable, but even still, I mean, we could talk to every single customer, because in the B2B land, I mean, you can build a big company with 500 customers, or 1,000 or 2,000 customers.

Andrew: All right. I’m going to talk about my second sponsor and then we’ll come back and talk about the marketing techniques that actually did work in B2B. First, I’ve got to tell everyone about Toptal for hiring developers. There’s a listener, my longtime listener, Greg Archbald. He needed an experienced developer for Greasebook. That’s a software company for the oil and gas industry, but it’s really tough to find developers, especially, in this market to screen developers, especially when you need to move fast. He tried hiring local but the talent pool wasn’t big enough. He tried hiring a recruiter, but the money was just too much and frankly, even with the recruiter, it takes a while to hire. He said, “You know, I’m going to try Toptal.”

Toptal already has an international talent pool of the best of the best developers. They really pride themselves on seeing posts . . . Well, I’m going to say I’m proud of how good they are because every time I see a post of somebody who tried to get into Toptal and couldn’t, as a developer and promises themselves next time, they’ll do the test and they’ll ace it, that shows me the Toptal has the best of the best developers because they make it hard for other people to get in.

As a result of hiring directly from Toptal, he found that he was able to hire less expensively than he imagined. Faster than he could have imagined and getting anywhere else. And then because he hired, he was able to focus on his business and he was quickly selected to be a part of an energy accelerator, which means that obviously it wasn’t Y Combinator, but it’s like a Y Combinator like experience for someone in the energy business.

If you’re out there, you’re looking to hire developers, you know how tough it is there. Everyone else is going to show you how they can help you spread your job wanted, help wanted ads everywhere and then cull through all the responses. Toptal is the only place as far as I know that says we have them in our network. We challenged them. We tested them. We know them. Call us up. We’ll help match you with the right person or team.

All you have to do is go Toptal.com/mixergy. When you do, you’re going to get 80 hours of Toptal developer credit. Let me say that slower, Joe. Eighty hours of Toptal developer. When you pay for your first 80 hours, they just give that to you in addition to a two-week trial period. If at the end of the period you’re not 100% satisfied, you will not be billed. But don’t worry, they still will pay the talent because they still love them and they still work with them. Toptal.com/mixergy.

Joe, you should file that away in your mind. You’re going to love them when you finally . . .

Joe: You know, I think I’ll check it out. That’s always a problem. You always need to hire more.

Andrew: You mentioned Andreessen Horowitz. They got funded by Andreessen Horowitz.

Joe: There you go.

Andrew: All right. What worked? All these different experiments, especially when we’re now talking about B2B, what worked for you?

Joe: Yeah, so ultimately we saw, hey, all these consumer experiments, you know, some made sense, but they’re hard to scale, like PR. B2B thing was just a much more attractive economic model, switched to that. Once we did that, and once we validated that was the right thing to do, you know, the next thing was like, “Okay, we need to provide more services.” There was like another pivot right ahead of us. I don’t know if pivot is the right word, but how do you expand from being one thing to many things? We initially said, “We’ll just keep hiring them as individuals. We’ll become the best at plumbing and handyman, electrical work, and build outs and cleaning.”

And, you know, what we ultimately learned is it wasn’t super scalable. We kind of made it work in SF, but when it came time to launch other cities, because we need to grow, it was a heavy model to grow. So the final critical thing was . . . I would say the biggest business model transformation since was let’s actually become a marketplace. And we went from hiring all these individuals to saying let’s partner with the very best local cleaning companies, very best local IT companies instead of trying to hire . . . trying to create our own effectively, let’s empower the other ones. And in 2016, we transformed into a full marketplace of other services. And really one thing that helped us grow a lot was just doing that and making us so much more scalable. So we could open up other markets at lower cost. And now we’re, you know, across hundreds of cities versus just being in one.

Andrew: Because you don’t have to have all these W-2 employees who are working for you. You told Brian Benson that was your lowest point personally. Can you talk about that like on an emotional basis why that was such a low point for you, how you handled it?

Joe: Yeah. So 2016, it was tough because we were getting to the point where, you know, we’re more than a year into this thing. We had some revenue, but like everyone could see that this thing was just not going to scale. It was going to take 50 years to get this thing to look like the amount of revenue that you’d want to see what a big outcome and that’s just not an . . . it doesn’t generate an ROI that I think that will excite anybody. And so we were like, “How do you scale this thing?” Our close investors, folks at Comcast, Maven and Bessemer were saying like, “Hey, like you guys are great, but I’m not sure if this is . . . This will be a great business for you, Joe. But I’m not sure this is a venture business. It feels like a services business.”

And so we had to just like look inward and say, “Hey, we’re going to go off the beaten path and we’re going to build, you know, the first marketplace for office services. And we’re going to actually partner at the company level. And this is kind of a bet the company’s sort of thing. But let’s look at our alternative, our alternative is spending the next 20 years building something that is ultimately less exciting to us.” And so we were willing to bet the company on becoming a marketplace.

Andrew: What about the idea that you had all these people who are depending on you for their livelihoods and you had to let them go? I saw that inhale. Talk about that.

Joe: So what we did actually was have very few of them get let go. We did whatever we could to have them have a soft landing with different . . . we basically found them jobs out of their local service providers. And so when it was all said and done, almost no one lost their job, but it took a ton of work. You know, if we did this in a week and tried to pull up the band aid, it wouldn’t have been possible. So this kind of goes against the most like “make hard decisions fast” type frameworks. This was if you’re going to transform your business model, make the decisions fast, but then be really methodical about how you transform it. Because there’s a way to do this where the most vulnerable people in our platform, the IT support folks and the cleaners and everything like that could have actually a really soft landing.

Andrew: So what do you do? Do you hire like one person and you say, “Your job is to work with all these W-2 people who work for us and find them a job?

Joe: Basically. I mean, I tapped someone on our team who’s like a miracle worker. This team member named Karen. And she basically took on the role of figuring out where everyone could go. And the good news is we had hired well. These were really talented people. I think the hardest conversations still . . . well, that was hard. I think the hardest conversations with the folks were that we couldn’t keep going with in any capacity. And there was some of our team members, especially when we went from B2C to B2B that no longer had a job at Eden. And that’s hard because these are people who’ve gone to battle with you, they’re your friends, and they’ve done nothing wrong. And so those conversations are just the absolute hardest.

Andrew: And so because they’re hardest and because we know that they’re coming up, people avoid making those decisions. And the reason you’re saying that you didn’t avoid it is you knew that otherwise this business was not going to work out.

Joe: Yeah, exactly. It feels like . . . Andrew: You know what, Joe? I’m sorry to interrupt, but I’ve got to dig into this. It’s not that the business wouldn’t work out. It would be okay. It just wouldn’t be a slam dunk or home run or whatever the sports word is that I don’t know. It wouldn’t be that, it would still be okay. So what got you that kick in the ass to actually do it?

Joe: Yeah. So I think the B2C business, I’m not totally sure that business would have been okay. I think there’s a business model innovation we discovered later, which is the wonders of SEO probably. But until we did that, that one was in jeopardy. And we’ve seen a lot of on-demand B2C businesses go to zero. Even recently with like [Montree 00:44:10]. I think the B2B one, it would have been okay, but I think you’ve got to do your life’s work. You have to do something that makes you come alive. And ultimately, that form of that business, that B2B business, if we were like building a big integrated facilities company, my objective wasn’t to have 10,000 employees and to, you know, build the world’s largest integrated facilities business, I really wanted to build something that’s authentic to me and I’m much more of a [inaudible 00:44:43].

Andrew: Why is this authentic to you? Why is this your life work to create a software platform where I can go and have somebody clean my toilet? I mean, seriously.

Joe: Yeah, for sure. So I would say for me, it’s very hard to isolate like what makes you come alive. But I would say for me marketplaces are the most fascinating businesses. And it’s something that I love platform business models. I think they’re just amazing. And it’s not where they start, it’s where they end. And, you know, I think it’s not about selling books on Amazon or necessarily about the black car and Uber, it’s about like, you know, now it’s so much more than that. And that’s the magic of platforms and I wanted to build something that could ultimately tangentially move across geographies, move across industries, and build ultimately one of the greats. You know, maybe one of the 10 biggest platform businesses in the world.

Andrew: And a platform business can get really big without having to scale up your people. And just like a software company, the more people you have on it, actually it scales you more than most software companies without increasing the expenses of management.

Joe: Totally, totally. And it’s also, I think, SaaS businesses are fascinating. And we wanted to build a layer of software around the experience for office managers, for their teams, for property managers. Even, you know, all of our service partners now use our software to schedule their workers and check-in, check-out on site. It’s the idea of creating this immersive experience where everyone in the office or related to workplace services lives in our software, and we’re able to power operations and give people a better day at work. Like that is a really cool thing and, you know, it all starts with cleaning a toilet.

Andrew: I feel like the software is obvious, but it couldn’t have just been obvious. The need to actually build your own software, was it obvious?

Joe: No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t. And it was through studying platforms. I spent much of the last two years just reading everything that I could around marketplaces and platforms and studying different business models. And you discover that, you know, there’s kind of different versions. Andrew Chen writes a lot about how marketplaces evolve. And, you know, initially it was just a listing site with Craigslist. And eventually it creates more profiles of users. Something like eBay. And then you move on to actually providing some rudimentary tools for people. Like you can think of a number of local services and marketplaces that have very simple tools like accept a job.

And now I think we’re moving to an age of, you know, SaaS enablement where the marketplace itself thrives because you provided the right kind of software to the demand and supply side. And there’s a number of interesting business model analogs like that, but I think that’s the idea of building this cool business that mixes both SaaS and marketplace and can ultimately scale throughout the working world is a compelling one to me.

Andrew: You know what? I’m trying to figure out how I know Kyle Wilkinson’s name. He worked at InternMatch, right?

Joe: Yeah. Right.

Andrew: And I think I interviewed a company that came at [inaudible 00:47:41] . . .

Joe: [inaudible 00:47:42]

Andrew: . . . Bonusly or . . . I don’t know. I don’t remember.

Joe: They got acquired a couple years ago . . . yeah.

Andrew: It just seems like his name has come up quite a bit and I’m trying to get a sense of it. And I feel like there’s some people like that who are superstars who are second or like you don’t notice them and pay attention to them and their backgrounds wouldn’t suggest they’re going to be that and then they are. Like I’m looking at . . . you mentioned Karen. So I researched who can this Karen be? It’s Karen Zelby. She’s a CPA and I go why would a CPA be the person to do this? I can’t tell. There’s nothing in her background that would say, “You got to find new jobs for people, she’s the one to do it.” Because what did she do before? She worked for PwC, she worked for KPMG, this is like . . . what was it about her that you said she’s going to be the one to do it?

Joe: We have other team members who are sort of similar to what I’m about to say. I think, you know, Maryn Juergens on our team. We’ve got Camille, who I mentioned earlier, who is a founding team member. These are people who are just fiercely capable. And there’s an expression that Sam Altman or a bunch of people probably have said but been attributed to but it’s like you want to hire the slope not the intercept. And, you know, you don’t hire someone . . . I don’t even know where to find somebody who’s placed 100 janitors in different jobs but I do know that Karen was wildly capable. And when we hired her it was kind of we don’t know exactly. We should probably get a finance person. We’re spending a lot of money. And the first month she joined our burn got cut in half. And people like that . . . I mean, and she paid for herself in two months. It’s something where . . .

Andrew: What did she do to cut your burn to half?

Joe: I think before you have a finance person, there’s just this degree of like . . . there’s just this layer of fat that you have in an org where you’re spending money in a bunch of ways that are silly and redundant, and your monthly software subscriptions that someone thought was a good idea once and they’re kind of letting them ride. You’re spending money on AdWords even though no one is validated the ROI in it. There’s all these things you start to do when you have a little bit of money that it’s really helpful to have someone come in and ask hard questions.

Andrew: How did you know she’d be good? What was it about her that told you, “We should hire her?” I’m trying to get this insight beyond her into your hiring process for finding people who can grow with the job and change.

Joe: Yeah. So we hire on values. First one is kindness . . .

Andrew: I saw that. Dude, I think your homepage has values all over it. Am I right? Let me go find it.

Joe: It’s our about . . . Yeah, I think our about asks for some thing . . .

Andrew: Or maybe it’s the about that my assistant linked to instead of your homepage. Yeah, you guys are very proud your culture.

Joe: We believe. Yeah, we believe and we have a fun culture. I think it also helps us survive pivots is the fact that we have a culture that it’s a little bit [incentive 00:50:14] from whatever we’re doing. But, you know, being kind, being a learning entity, giving feedback, being data informed. All of our values kind of end up indexing back to learning quickly and being nice to each other. And I think values that create that sort of outcome are really helpful for Eden because, like a lot of businesses, we needed a couple cracks at it to figure it out.

Andrew: All right, well, I’ve actually heard a lot about culture and values and I never emphasize it. Here’s what I’m doing. Now, just like you, we’ve got six values that we believe in. One of them is we do less. It’s so easy as a company to say, “Let’s add another thing. Let’s add this other thing.” And then you just have this weight of all those things to manage. And so one of them is we do less.

The other is everyone has to be a CEO. I can’t have an operation here where everyone is waiting for me or someone else to tell them what to do. A CEO makes decisions, it’s on them and then comes back and tells other people when they need to. I don’t want them coming back to me.

So I had that forever nobody understood it beyond the first week and then I interviewed this guy, Scott Bintz, and he said, “Here’s how I implemented it. I took one of our values every month and we talked about it every meeting and then we rewarded people for it.” So one of our things is do less. I feel like I know what we’re going to do for February. We are not only going to emphasize it and celebrate when people do it, I’m going to give them a t-shirt that says, “I did less for Mixergy.”

Joe: I love it.

Andrew: So that everyone should be doing less. Can we get rid of software? Can in my pre-interview process we ask you fewer questions. Did we have bulky things? That’s what we’re going to do. What do you do that helps you?

Joe: Oh, my God, yeah. So I do 15-minute interviews. In one way I do less when I interview candidates. Because I think it doesn’t take that long to arrive at the . . .

Andrew: I mean, what do you do to get people to actually use these six . . .

Joe: Eden values.

Andrew: . . . core principles every time they could?

Joe: So one is we hire on it. And really when you hire on a certain kind of personality or certain kind of value set, it does yield a pretty consistent outcome. And when someone violates it, we fire on it. I remember I hired a guy who was valedictorian of school and he was amazing and created [a customized 00:52:15] dimensions. And he did something super unkind to someone who didn’t even work at Eden. But when I heard it, when I heard him he’s basically making fun of a homeless person, when I heard it I was like, “This guy doesn’t have any more time here.” So I think firing and hiring on your values is a great way to make sure they are real. We also give awards where will in our holiday party we’ll say, “He represented we are kind. You presented we are learning entity.” So I think awarding people publicly. And then every week we do something called snaps where we go around the company and people give each other shout out and we try to keep a lot of our snaps related to our aspirational values not just performance.

Andrew: I never thought that it would be the kind of thing that I would do. Like a lot of our people are not full time with me. Some of them just do one thing and one thing only, like they’re writing something or they’re doing just a pre . . . Brian, who you’re working with, he’s got his own business. He just likes to do these pre-interviews. And I thought this thing of culture is not for me because of that. It shouldn’t be something we include with them.

And then I interviewed Scott Bintz. And then I did a course with him on culture. By the way, anyone wants to go check this out. It changed our way of doing business dramatically. It’s part of every conversation now. And it’s helping people understand how to operate together and it’s getting fewer issues for me to do and we’re all working together. If you want to check it out, go to a mixergy.com/scott and check out what he did. All right, for anyone who wants to see you guys, it’s eden.io. How did you end up with that logo, by the way? I see the “e” in it. What’s the rest of the circle?

Joe: You know, we have the faint “e” in it. And I think it was just we thought it was cool looking. You know, I think there’s probably some layer of me liking Seattle sports in there. We’ve got some combination of the Seahawks and the Mariners that live in that logo. But I know, we wanted to choose colors that . . . more truthfully, we want to choose colors that would put people at ease and we create that suggestive feeling we were going for and we were going for calming, a place for everything worked and we thought blue and green reflected that.

Andrew: It does feel like that circle is like the perfect circle. Everything is calm. We’re going to bring you to that world.

Joe: Yeah, exactly.

Andrew: All right. Eden.io for anyone who wants to go check it out. And I want to thank my two sponsors you made this interview happen. The first will host your website right, it’s called hostgator.com/mixergy. And the second is the company where you can hire phenomenal developers and even finance people. Like the fact that you cut your burn, I hired a finance person from Toptal, he didn’t cut my expenses in half. But, boy, having somebody with an outside eye, force you to just evaluate everything. “Why are we spending money on this? How do we motivate the team to cut costs?” One thing that Jack did was he put in a contest. How much money can you save Mixergy? People started canceling the subscriptions that were bullshit. Like we had these three different subscriptions with the same company because three different people on the team needed software. It turns out one enterprise is actually cheaper than three or one . . . Anyway.

Joe: There you go.

Andrew: Toptal.com/mixergy. For that, Joe, thanks so much for doing this.

Joe: Yeah. Thanks, Andrew. I’ve really appreciate you inviting me on.

Andrew: You bet. Bye, everyone.

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