Are users wincing at your site? There’s a way to know

I can’t tell when a user is wincing while looking over my website. I can’t tell because I’m not in the room with that person.

Today’s guest created a set of tools that allows websites to understand how a user is experiencing a page.

He encountered a few failures before finally getting it right with his current business. We’ll find out about that and so much more in this interview.

David Darmanin is the founder of Hotjar, analytics and feedback tools that allow you to see how your site is being used.

David Darmanin

David Darmanin


David Darmanin is the founder of Hotjar analytics and feedback tools that allow you to see how your site is being used.


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 and I do it for an audience of real entrepreneurs. Joining me today is a person who’s followed my work here for a long time and I’m excited to have him on here. But before I tell you about his business I got to tell you about drinks that I had with my wife and I got to tell you, David, I think you’ll identify with this.

My wife and I went out to one of the fancy cocktail places here in San Francisco where they actually will not let you tell them what you want. You tell them what you’re into, they make you a specialty cocktail, you drink it. As soon as they put it in front of her, she made one of these . . . like she drank it and she made one of these faces. And immediately the guy saw that face and he realized, “You know what, this is not for you. I can make you another drink.” And he made her another drink that she loved and we had a good evening.

I think about that a lot when it comes to online businesses. I cannot tell when someone is wincing when they’re looking at one of my websites. I can’t tell when I’ve turned somebody off completely, let alone turned off a lot of people because I’m not looking over their shoulders, or better yet I’m not looking behind their computer screens to see their faces as they’re interacting with me.

And the reason I’m bringing this up with you, David, is because what you did is you created a set of tools that allow websites to do that, to see where are their users clicking, where are they confused and backing away, to actually in some case you see heatmaps, in other cases if they wanted even see click by click, scroll by scroll what’s going on. And David’s business allows you to also ask questions of your user so that you understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and what they like and don’t like about your site.

David, is David Darmanin. He is the co-founder of Hotjar. They’re an analytics and feedback tools company that allow you to see how your site is being used. We’re going to find out how he went from a bunch of failures, actually a couple, that’s not overstated, to finally figuring out what the right product is and getting his mojo and building up his sales and, boy, they keep growing.

This interview is sponsored by two great companies. It’s called HostGator for hosting websites, and the second is for hiring developers, it’s called Toptal.

David, I was looking at you as I did that intro. First of all, it was kind of weird because I addressed you and then you did hi, and then you realized, “Oh, it’s not really me, yeah.” And second, there was a period where I was describing the drink that I had with my wife and how it related to Hotjar and I get the sense that maybe you weren’t on fully onboard with the description.

David: No, no, I think it was spot on. I think we’re in the business of allowing to see the winces, right, but it’s not that easy to do. But we live in a time where it’s so easy to not even see that, right? We’re sitting in this protected environment behind their screens looking at the graphs and the numbers and it’s so easy to dehumanize the experience, so yes, spot on.

Andrew: That’s it, and how much revenue you guys bring in from that?

David: So our annual recurring revenue is, I was thinking to do it in dollars, but I think it’s going to be easier in euro, so we’re just over 15 million and growing quite well.

Andrew: So €15 million that’s $17.4 million. I looked you guys up on Crunchbase. I looked you up on AngelList to see who funded this business. I don’t see any investors.

David: Yeah, we’re, I don’t like the term bootstrapped because it typically means like you create something from nothing, and some people can do that, right? But we did self-fund. So there was a first round where we put in just over €100,000. Then I was also consulting for six months, so I wasn’t being paid a salary, consulting on the side and bringing all the revenue into the business.

Andrew: Got it.

David: And that was around 200,000, and then we invested on our own, another 200,000. So considerably the amount of funds to get the company running.

Andrew: The gift was an outside funds, it was your funds, and the reason you had it is you’re a guy who did conversion rate work for a long time. In fact, you know, let me must go back a step. You’re from Malta. You went to law school. You told our producer it was a bullshit career decision that I’m not proud of. And then you got into conversion rate optimization, which is what allowed you to fund this business. But why would you say to our producer you’re not proud to be a lawyer? Why would you say it was a bullshit career decision?

David: Well, I’d say I played it safe, right? And back then the options weren’t many, but I think deep down I knew that I wasn’t going to get like the most out of that kind of choice. But having said that, I was lucky enough, and I give this advice to anyone who’s going to go like the academic route, is I did a lot of things on the side when I while I was doing it. So at least it wasn’t that bad.

Andrew: Because you weren’t loving it, because you’re a guy who’s an entrepreneur. The other thing that you haven’t mentioned to our producer is as a kid you’re always looking to make money. And what did you do as a kid to make money?

David:There’s many stories, but I think we [inaudible 00:04:50] company me to . . .

Andrew: Give me any one of them.

David: Yeah. There was a favorite which is the extreme one, but we had that company meetup here just last week and I actually invited my parents to come just meet the team and like just to confirm that this company really exist, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

David: Because being all remote like it’s like also kind of digital and nonexistent, but, yeah, the story that my parents chose to explain was the one where I think I was like four or five and they took me to the library. My mom used to take us often to the library, and I was like, “Oh . . . ” like I look backwards, I was trying to understand what’s the model here? What’s going on? And I realized that my mom was paying a membership to go get us books. So what I did was I just took all the books in the house, brought them into my room, organize them, and then I ask my family to pay me a membership fee. So it’s not very scalable, but the model was there.

Andrew: Yeah. I see the affection for it right away. All right, and so then you go to law school. My sense if you went to law school because that’s what you’re supposed to do. In fact, I have this understanding that in Malta a lot of people become lawyers, is that right?

David: Yeah. I think it’s on the decline, but it’s definitely there’s this idea that like a profession like a lawyer or a doctor, whatever it is, the most respectable thing you can do especially if you have the brainpower for it, kind of, which is this crazy notion.

Andrew: Got it. So they said, “Here’s a smart guy . . . ” the route we have for smart guy is that . . .

David: [inaudible 00:06:19] it.

Andrew: I see. By the way, my team put in my notes for you that you’re Dr. David Darmanin. Are you a PhD?

David: No. So I get asked that question quite a lot. Actually, in Malta when you graduate in law and become a lawyer, it’s actually considered to be a doctorate because it’s like six years with a thesis and which again is still a bullshit thing to be honest. But in my previous startups you realized that I had read about the psychology of persuasion and that actually just wearing, right, the doctor suit or leveraging this can be very powerful and actually helped to get started in the very beginning.

Andrew: Got it. So this was a credibility hook in the beginning, all right. So then you saw a job ad in a newspaper and it kind of change your life. It was for a company that had a bunch of traffic but they had a problem. What was their problem?

David: So, yeah, their problem was there, the bunch of traffic but they didn’t know how to monetize it or make the most out of it. Well, they had an idea how to monetize it, but they want to do a better job of that. So I remember the role name. It was optimization specialist. And I just ignored that. I was just drawn to the sentence underneath that said, “We had millions of page views.” And I was . . .

Andrew: Because usually that’s the hardest thing, but then what was is about that that excited you about the challenge?

David: Yeah. What excited me about it was that I was sitting in our garage with my cousin trying to build what was then a shitty version of WordPress, right, like that idea of that that was quite some long time ago. And I was too young, inexperienced, and I realized like, or at least I felt like I was winging things and I thought I want to get experience. This was a foreign company with like lots of traffic and I was like this . . . it just was a gut feeling that I should give this a shot.

Andrew: You know, so you don’t like that first idea, which was a version of WordPress, but I read some descriptions about it. It made a lot of sense what you thought was, “I’m going to make a modular way for people to create their own website. This is pre-Squarespace, this is pre this revolution of sites that are builder sites, right? What was it about yours that wasn’t a good fit, that didn’t work?

David: It has nothing to do with the idea. I think it was more my maturity of thinking myself and my cousin in the garage can just wing it, right? And I think joining that software company gave me the ability to see the bigger picture, right, which is how much you need to invest. Like the revenue that comes in, it’s more than just an idea of some codes. It’s the business component of it.

Andrew: What didn’t you do well because you weren’t a mature entrepreneur yet?

David: I think it was more the love of like doing something for the sake of doing it. So we’re going to have a company name, we’re going to have an office, we’re going to have a business card. I see this quite often. You know what I mean? Very young, you’re excited about the idea of making money, but you haven’t yet really understood.

Andrew: And what didn’t you do while you were focusing on getting the right name and the right business card?

David: I wasn’t thinking about market. I wasn’t thinking about what resources are needed to actually execute this right and not just think about [inaudible 00:09:38]

Andrew: Who is going to buy this site, how do I find them, where do I get the money to go hunt them down? That kind of thing, you weren’t even thinking about it. Okay. So I could see it why this job would be . . .

David: How are we going to acquire it at scale, right, the whole business model.

Andrew: Did you actually try to get customers?

David: No.

Andrew: No, you weren’t even at that stage?

David: We were building.

Andrew: You’re just building?

David: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay, all right.

David: We were developing very slowly.

Andrew: Okay, that’ the first of two times that you did that pretty slowly and it wasn’t an issue for you.

David: Yes.

Andrew: All right, so you then went to work optimizing. What did you learn as you were optimizing all their traffic? Because this the heart of what you do now at Hotjar.

David: Kind of actually, not completely. I think we are now more the tool for the optimizers to do the research to know what to work on. We’re not in the optimization stage, and this was I guess the big revelation for me, which was earlier on it felt like it was more like me just throwing darts at boards and at some point we must hit, right, like something interesting. And that was extremely time-consuming and it was very frustrating because we were just like trying to read what other people are doing, right, or what could we possibly do?

And it took me actually quite a few years and attending some conferences to see what more vanguard organizations were doing like eBay, Amazon, and whatnot.

Andrew: Wait, you’re saying that what’s the name of this role where you were supposed to optimize, the name of the company?

David: The company is called Uniblue.

Andrew: Hidibu?

David: Uniblue.

Andrew: Oh, Uniblue, Uniblue, I did see that. Okay, so at Uniblue, in the beginning, you spent a couple of years before you went to conferences and understood all the tools that were available. What did you do in those couple of years that kept you from getting fired if you didn’t know everything yet?

David: Here’s the thing, right? When you’re starting to work on something which let’s call it it’s not optimized, it’s kind of relatively easy to start hitting some marks, right? You can get lucky and especially if you follow your gut feeling and you have a relatively good gut for what is not really done well.

Andrew: Do you have an example of something that you did at Uniblue that was a gut feeling that was just a little bit better than nothing that they were doing before?

David: So an example would be we would have a page where lots of traffic was coming in there and we’d say, “Hold on, like the link where we have this kind of ads or anchor ads like it’s not really that visible. What if we made it more visible?” Or, “Hold on, thinking about it this text might not be that clear. What if given the context we’ll make it more clear? “So there’s, again, driven by guts and what kind of is obvious and you can get some hits with that.

Andrew: You know what, I think I’ve seen ads for these guys. These are the people who make those protect your computer PrivacyKeeper type of thing.

David: That’s it.

Andrew: They run these ads, they basically say your computer is unsafe. They look like alerts, you tap the alert, you go over to a landing page and then you’re supposed to buy the software that’s supposed to fix this thing. That’s their model and that’s how they had all that traffic and they were still monetizing it profitably before you?

David: Well, actually no. So the story is that they were getting traffic from building content-based sites. It was LiteBreeze [SP] about stuff that can go wrong with your PC. Right? This is the pre-smart phone era, so it’s quite some time ago. So it was basically LiteBreeze sites which had content about what does this EXE do, or what does this DLL file do.

Andrew: Okay.

David: So it was actually, they were delivering quite interesting value but then they were selling software in the back of it.

Andrew: Okay, good. And when I’m looking up there software PrivacyKeeper, etc. I see a lot of people say that its malware and there are a bunch of articles about how to remove it from their computer. So they were pretty aggressive about getting people to install it.

David: Absolutely. And I was definitely part of that, right? And it’s a perfect example of sometimes when you optimize too much and you don’t think of your user and the customer, it’s easy to get carried away. But that’s the second stage, right? So first stage is . . .

Andrew: First, you have to do it and then you can be too good.

David: Exactly. So first stage was trying to hit the darts randomly at the boards trying to get there. The second stage for us was to understand, “Okay, there is such a thing as persuasion as copyrighting, right? And that’s where we start to become more sophisticated understanding what is the challenge and how can we be more persuasive around it. And then came the third and final stage. This is the kind of the maturity which was speak to your users and customers and that’s where we get that type of feedback that you’re just reading in those reviews which is “Hold on, this is really aggressive. What are you telling?” Or “It is confusing. I feel like I’m been misled.” And that was a really big eye-opener for me.

Andrew: So from there you moved on and you ended up working for, what’s the name of that company where you did conversation rate? Conversion Rate Experts, right?

David: Conversion Rate Experts.

Andrew: And one of the things that you tool away from there was the hiring process. What was your, and you still use that to this day what you learn from them. What was the hiring process like there that you admired so much?

David: Yeah. We definitely like took the fundamentals from there because where I worked before was very different from it. It was more, you meet someone in an office, right, this is wasn’t remote, and sometimes that’s a disadvantage, right, because you’re meeting in person and you tend to rely on your personal judgment of ask a few smart questions, right? Like this person could do the job or not.

Whereas what they were doing was they were really making their candidates work for their own which was very effective. So you first answer some questions just to see is there passion. Is there fit for the culture the way they worked together? And then they get you to do a presentation and so the main takeaway for me was make the candidate work, right, for the opportunity to kind of get into the company and to act as a great way to filter, to understand, “Are we on the same page?” by asking these questions and giving some small work upfront.

Andrew: And so when you do that at Hotjar what kind of work do you ask a candidate who’s just responding to a help-wanted ad to do?

David: So there’s three levels of work. The first level is some basic questions, right? So it could be anything from, if it’s a role in customer success, we might ask why do customers churn. Right? It seems like a really simple question but it kind of really hits the nail on the head of is churn to them about just delivering good support or is it really understanding the value proposition and delivering value. It’s all about mindset.

Andrew: Because the easy answer is to say, “Because we don’t do great customer support and respond to them nicely.”

David: Yeah.

Andrew: The more detail the answer that you’re looking for someone will do a little bit of research, maybe saw that you guys did a blog post about how you created a churn team and so on and understood and that’s what you’re looking for.

David: [inaudible 00:16:35]

Andrew: You want the person who’ll put in more work than come up with what seems like the easy intuitive answer.

David: And is not yet after maybe, and there’s nothing wrong with giving the wrong answer but it tends to show that you’re still at what I call more shallow level and your understanding of the subject matter is still very, as in it’s not that sophisticated that. You haven’t spent that much time. So these questions can be very revealing. It can be very helpful.

Andrew: Assumptions versus, I guess I could see three different big ways for people to answer. Assumptions like I assume that it’s because of customer service and you’re testing me for that. The other is a little bit of research which means I did some, I went and looked at your blog, other people’s blog, and I understood why your people and others churn. And then the third one maybe which you might be looking for is experience where someone says, “What we noticed at our company was it wasn’t about us customer service. It was about how fast we turn customer service over and then who we passed on to the sale saving team, whatever.”

David: Agreed. And then there’s also mindset, right?

Andrew: Okay.

David: Which is the difference between deliver for the customer versus internal problems and things which are not working, that’s not the specific example of the question but you can pick up on this in the answers in the questions.

Andrew: So David, you’re looking for that. That’s one way that you get people to work before they continue. What are the other two ways that you’re saying that they do work?

David: So the second one which is a little bit contentious is asking them to do a video and it’s a little bit dangerous because there can be bias when you see someone in video or how do they present themselves, what do they look like, so we’re very careful about this and we train the team. It’s also this like a little bit dangerous because you’re asking them to do a video and like we haven’t done anything on our end so we actually have made our own video of us answering questions just to balance it out a little bit more.

But this is where we really with the video go for culture fit. So we ask questions like if you could do anything on a Monday morning, what would you do? So it’s more human, right?

Andrew: Okay.

David: That’s second level, and typically we’re definitely looking for telltales which I’m not going to share here, right, because then we have to change our interview questions.

Andrew: But there are certain things that you’re looking for from them to get a sense of it and it might be something like don’t just do it at your computer like you don’t give a rat’s ass but maybe do it in an interesting place to show that you’re . . .

David: Well, no actually. Actually, that’s a good point. We actually say, “Don’t put too much effort into the video because we don’t care about that,” so functional that is our culture. So just sit down anywhere and just . . . what we’re interested is in the content not the effort.

Andrew: I’m guessing that you like to hear them use the word “bullshit” a couple of times because I’ve seen you use that a bunch.

David: Yeah. I guess yeah, the honesty piece is definitely important.

Andrew: Okay. And then there’s a third level of work that you want from people when you’re looking for that?

David: Yeah. So the third level which is the one we found to be very effective is, again, this didn’t come from Conversion Rate Experts. I had read about it and I think it’s called . . . well, kind of they do with those as well. It’s this whole idea about performance recruitment, right? It’s this idea that the best way to actually tell if someone is going to integrate and work well with the company is believe it or not, give them a trial. Get them to do some work, right?

So what we do is anyone who makes it to this stage is given one, two, three days of work which they can do up to two or three weeks because obviously they might have a job. And we pay for this work and we always choose work, it’s stuff that they would actually do, so it’s something that we would get value out of. And that’s the very important clarification for anyone who’s thinking about copying this. There’s nothing worse than to create fictitious work for someone at this stage because that’s where the whole team is like, “Yeah, that’s cool. That’s good. That’s good work. That can work.” Because since you don’t really need that work, you lack the critical sense to kind of question the work that’s being done. We did that in the beginning and there is . . .

Andrew: But won’t you want the same project to be done by everyone so you can compare them? Maybe compare someone who’s worked out at the job with someone who’s applying because you know how someone who worked out did on this job?

David: That’s a good question. Not really because what we’re looking at is typically less the actual execution and the end result but it’s more the way they go about it. So do they do any research? Did they ask questions? Do they ask about the user, the customer? And how was the quality of the execution, rather than maybe the final product itself.

Andrew: Okay. All right, let me talk about my first sponsor and then get right back into now that you learned a lot, you’re going to start another business and that still didn’t work out. I want to know why and what happened.

The second sponsor is a company called Toptal. Do you know Toptal at all?

David: Yes.

Andrew: You do. What so you know about Toptal and it’s okay to say negative stuff. We didn’t do any coaching ahead of time.

David: No, I’ve never worked with them but I’ve heard good stuff about them really being good source for talents.

Andrew: Yeah. One of the things that they do is they source talent ahead of time. They put them in their network. They get to know them. They cultivate them. They get in Slack groups with them and get in their faces and their lives for a long time. So then when someone like you or me or the person listening to us is looking to hire, they could just go to Toptal say, “Here’s what I’m hiring for and here’s how we work. Here’s some of our quirks. Can you find someone for us?” They can often find someone within a few days. You can talk to one or two people. If you like them, you could get started and hire them right away.

What’s one tip that you have for hiring a developer, as someone who’s not a developer yourself before I can . . . and then I’ll continue the ad. What would you say, David?

David: Oh, so I’m very biased on this one because our experience was particular, right, so you’re aware of that. And I’d say have someone dedicated to doing it and it’s a very . . .

Andrew: One person dedicated to hiring.

David: Let’s put it this way, at least one person that is focused completely on doing it because of you have a team of developers especially, you know, the founding team, two, three developers and the founders like if they’re kind of winging it on the side will try and hire more help, it’s not going to work.

Andrew: So one person who just need . . . when you need someone, or how soon do you go . . . how many people did you have on your team before you hired someone whose job was to hire?

David: Well, here’s the thing. We definitely waited too long. We had the nine-month beta and we were a little bit scared how we’re going to make money and being bootstrapped to always waiting a little bit until there is a need as opposed to thinking ahead, right? That’s always the disadvantage. And so we definitely waited a little bit too long. The problem and that’s where my tip comes from is that the moment we started to hire for it, we weren’t really focused on it. So we kind of did the half-ass job. We found someone that wasn’t a good fit because no one ever was so busy writing code, right. And hiring was a secondary priority. So it took us a little but too long to learn. We made a few mistakes and we waited way too long to have someone really, really focused on building a pipeline and hiring and doing all the things that we were talking about, the stages. And then when we did this there was a huge difference.

Andrew: But it wasn’t someone whose fulltime was hiring, was it?

David: No. But they shifted to pretty much newly fulltime which was a big thing for us. It was like taking one out of four or five developers to only hire, but it was about this stage that we thought we were noticing we’re growing way faster than we’re coding and hiring, so we need to make things worse before they’re going to get better.

Andrew: Well, the thing about Toptal is if anyone out there is in a situation where they need to hire fast and they actually don’t have the time and bandwidth to put into the whole research process. It helps to have somebody onboard to help you and that’s what Toptal is going to do. As soon as you hit the green button on the page I’m about to give you, you can get on a call with someone a Toptal or schedule one at your convenience where you’ll get a consultation from them. They’ll help you think through the role, they’ll help you think through what you need, they’ll often help you shape it, and then they’ll go out and find people for you. If you’re happy with them, as I said, you can talk to them. You can get started fast. If you’re not, walk away, there’s nothing to lose.

Here’s the URL where you can get, well, not just that button but also 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. To put an emphasis on this, if at the end of your period you are not a 100% satisfied, you’ll not be billed. So here’s that URL, it’s Top as in top of your head, tal as in talent,

David, I’ve got a screenshot here of GuestLab. Where did the idea for this business come from?

David: Well, yeah, I actually wrote an interesting blog post about this because this was one of my biggest learning experiences which talks about passion versus market and why following your passion can be dangerous.

Andrew: You didn’t just say that. I read that blog post. You actually said, “Don’t solve someone else’s problem?”

David: No, I didn’t say that. No, I said, well, kind of in a way. But what I said was mainly, “Having the passion as the starting point is a dangerous thing because it . . .

Andrew: Okay. So how did that factor into GuestLab?

David: So with GuestLab it was basically myself and another person taking all the things that we knew, our passions, right? I had done parties and events so I knew relatively kind of the brick and mortar event organizing business, restaurants and whatnot. Not enough. And I knew the whole conversion piece and it was this passion driving this idea of “Hold on, I know all these things.” No one is doing this, right, so restaurants, clubs kind of are not doing any form of marketing automation so I know this. I can create this for them and they’re going to pay me money for this, right? It sounds very easy and . . .

Andrew: And when you say marketing automation you mean email marketing automation.

David: Well, actually, it was a little bit of both.

Andrew: And SMS.

David: Email and SMS, yeah. This was quite some time ago but it was the idea that it was a loyalty program built into kind of a guest list idea combined together and then on the back of that you could automate for having people return. It was basically the idea of increasing return customers.

Andrew: Okay. And you built it over how long?

David: So it took us I think to build the core of it like nine months or nearly a year. The problem is that during that time we weren’t showing it to customers. So it was just us building up this dream of ours. And the problem was that by the end of it once we actually did show it to customers they were excited about it and they like, “Yeah, it sounds interesting.” But it was very hard to sell it one by one and we were trying to change their behavior. There wasn’t really a need for it or what I called in the article, there was no budget for it. Right?

Andrew: Right. When someone says there’s no budget it means what?

David: Here’s the thing, right, I stole the idea from like an enterprise, like, when you’re selling to enterprise, when there’s no budget it means nothing’s going to happen, right? But I think you can apply that same concept to even when you’re selling something quite cheap to smaller businesses or even B2C, right? So it’s this idea if you’re trying to sell something to me and literally I’m not allocating any of my salary to the value I get out of this. Or it might be even time, right, to what I’m going to get out of it then it’s very difficult to persuade me to shift my budget to what you’re selling, and that’s the change of behavior to me.

So the example is a restaurant’s owner, right? Their focus is yes, towards the sell more and generate more business but in the way they breakdown their spend they’re not thinking I definitely need to dedicate some more money to marketing automation, right, to have people come more. It is their objective but they’re not dedicating budget to it. And there’s . . .

Andrew: Is it because they don’t see it as a big enough problem, or they don’t identify it as a problem, or they’re scared of the solution? Why? Because everyone wants more customers and you created a tool to help them get more customers.

David: I think it’s because the behavioral difference of actually acting on this and connecting not with the outputs, there’s just that doubt. Right? Is this actually going to happen or not and time is the biggest like proof of this, right, that overtime they might give it a shot but then they don’t really believe in it. And again, we were testing this in Malta. It wasn’t exactly the most vanguards, you know what I mean? Customer base, so a lot of the ingredients were not aligned with.

Andrew: You know what, this might make me sound like a jerk or maybe this is the problem with me doing too much research but I found the article. It’s lessons learned, what is it called, “Six Lessons Learned as the Cofounder of a €10 million plus SaaS [inaudible 00:29:37]

David: No, that’s another article. That’s my cofounder.

Andrew: Right. And there you said or he said then, “Don’t solve someone else’s problem.” And the reason I’m bringing this up is it feels like what you did was you ended up solving, I don’t know, did you end up with Hotjar solving your own problem? Is the problem, I’m just curious about problem solving, you or someone else’s, is the issue that GuestLab solve a problem that you don’t care about, or is it that it really didn’t solve a problem that a client had?

David: Well, that’s a good question. I guess the best way to answer this is the customer had many problems and these problems didn’t make it into the budget, you know what I mean? It wasn’t on the top list.

Andrew: It wasn’t like a big issue for them. They weren’t saying “How do I get my customers to come back?” necessarily.

David: It’s not just I think everyone wants their customers to come back but there’s not always a behavioral match between if I do this, it would actually translate into customers coming back, right? So they might have their own ideas about how to have customers coming back. So there’s also a belief in that dedicating budget to that and their behavior and time to it would actually pay off.

Andrew: That they didn’t believe that you could actually do it this way and there was a lot of them to invest in this new thing to get to the result that they’re looking for?

David: Correct. So it was beyond the education, it was also behavior, and that starts to become very difficult.

Andrew: The reason I’m harping on this is because I’m fascinated by how many times in my interviews people have said, “I saw a problem, a pain that someone experienced. I created a solution that was what made this business.” And I know that that’s overly simplistic and I’m looking for the nuances, the places where that’s not exactly right or where it does get better if you understand a few little differences and I think I’m getting it here.

David: Well, to be completely honest since you brought this up and again, my cofounder wrote it, I don’t think I completely agree with that either. Like from where I’m coming from, everyone is influenced by their experiences. I would definitely say I personally prefer to solve my own problems because that’s my strength. But let’s face it, customer development, right, identifying problems and solve and figure them. Many companies have succeeded doing that and many entrepreneurs have succeeded in that way. But I guess our journey and our experience taught us that for us that was something that we were not very good at doing.

Andrew: Understanding someone else’s problems?

David: Yeah, and solving for them.

Andrew: Who weren’t you versus now with Hotjar, essentially you’re saying, “I had this problem, I found these tools, here’s what we did.” So let’s come back then to Hotjar. This thing didn’t work out 18 months, you closed it up, you invested money in it, it didn’t work out. Like let’s talk about emotions for a second before I continue to Hotjar. How did you feel at that point? Did you feel like a failure, or did you feel like someone who’s a little bit closer and ready to go?

David: No, definitely at this stage there was no space for emotions. Like it was like I was on the rollercoaster and I was just next thing. If anything, I think the person, my cofounder on that project was more a little bit kind of disappointed because he had obviously done the code but I remember it was the time when I had read the book, “The Dip” by Seth Godin.

Andrew: Yeah.

David: And it was just this realization of, “This is not it. Again, we’re definitely not lining up our strengths here and we need to move on,” and it was just obvious that we have to do with that stage. Luckily, we were reading a lot and we were speaking to other founders at this stage and this meant that this process while it was kind of unsuccessful as a startup, the process was amazing for us because we were really learning as we were kind of failing, right?

Andrew: You’re smiling because there was someone walking behind you in the camera?

David: Yeah.

Andrew: Where now, you guys are remote but 12 out of how many people work at the office in Malta?

David: Yeah, but we have the meetup here in Malta last week so there’s quite a few people still [inaudible 00:33:40]

Andrew: They’re still hanging out, okay. I’m looking at a Google doc for . . . actually, before we get to the Google doc, Prioritizer, what was that?

David: I have forgotten about that one. So Prioritizer was like the simplest idea we could come up with to build something before we actually built Hotjar. I guess we were so scared of having failed a couple of times before that we were worried kind of can we build something really fast, especially since I had brought two startups together.

I reached out to two people that we had worked with before, Jonathan and Eric, they had their own startup and we were like, “Hey, Mark and I we want to join forces. Let’s combine together to do something bigger.” But there were some concerns around the technology we should use, “Are these guys going to get along with each other?” so we said, “Let’s be super lean, and even before we are lean with the startup we are going to build. Let’s build something really quick and dirty together.” That was Prioritizer.

Andrew: Just to see if we could work together?

David: Yeah, and if we can build something together, yup.

Andrew: And it was a tool that you guys actually wanted to use to help you prioritize what?

David: Basically, prioritize what to do next. So the idea was that you put in ideas and then everyone can rate them based on efforts and expected value and then it automatically plots them out in a graph.

Andrew: Okay. All right, so you liked working with them? It seems like that project is still on GitHub, right? Is that yours?

David: I’m not sure actually. I’m not sure. I need to check it but we never used it though.

Andrew: Jeffrey Hansen, is that the guy who . . . ?

David: No. No, it’s not us.

Andrew: Okay, then someone else has got it. Okay. So then you decided we’re going to figure out what to create. I’m looking at a Google doc. You guys are so good about keeping track of your work, even this freaking Google doc is organized beautifully. It’s an internal doc that basically helped you figure out what to create. Was heatmaps the first thing to do for Hotjar?

David: You asked a very interesting question because heatmaps is something that Hotjar is very like famous for and it’s one of the things a lot of people come for. And we were torn about this because getting value out of heatmaps is not that easy and it’s kind of if we have to do a functionality by value list it wouldn’t be highest on the list, right, because there is a little bit of an eye candy to it. But we knew we have to build it because we knew there was a lot of demands and people get excited about it. So, yeah, it was definitely . . . the first thing we wanted to build also because they technology behind plotting clicks and movements onto a page is the basis of other functionality that we were doing.

Andrew: And the heatmap for anyone who hasn’t seen it is just the same page that you’re looking at or the webpage that you’re trying to analyze with the heatmap on it that shows you where people move their mouse most right. There’s also some . . .

David: Or clicked most, yeah.

Andrew: And what else, attention?

David: And where your mouse moved as well, so, yeah, in scrolling.

Andrew: So you understood that you needed to understand your customer better and to be better positioned this time for success. So what did you do to do that before you even starting coding, before you even decided that heatmaps was the first thing to do? How did you set yourself up for success now with Hotjar?

David: And I guess coming back to this solve for your own problems thing, this is where we were lucky, right? So I had worked for two years as a consultant working with many large organizations and hearing their pains. And before that I had worked in-house in a software company where we were using tools. And before that I was the student, the enthusiast who did, like couldn’t use tools because they were horrible and expensive. So I was kind of the segments that we were building for myself which made it very, very easy for us to kind of know what we were building so I was kind of the internal customer as the product owner and CEO of the five-person team saying, “Here’s what we should build and here’s how we should do it.” So that was a huge advantage.

Andrew: Because you saw something that you needed or because you understood that all your clients needed this?

David: It was both. It was both. It was this moment of realization when I need . . . actually it was more kind of I needed it and I didn’t realized how many more people had the same itch.

Andrew: And you needed it for the client work that you were doing on the side which was funding the software that you were trying to figure out what it should be.

David: Correct. And even before that I needed to do it internally but it was not good enough.

Andrew: There are tools that did this. Google Analytics includes it. There was Crazy Egg which focused on this stuff, there was Clicktale which showed a little bit more data. Why didn’t those platforms work? And Crazy Egg was super cheap. Google Analytics was free.

David: Yeah. The difference was, so Google Analytics is pure numbers, right, so it’s not really visualizing the experience that much.

Andrew: They do some visuals, don’t they? They do that.

David: Yeah, but the problem is it’s more based on page movement as opposed to behavior. That’s very different. So Google Analytics will visualize how many people went from this page to this page through this link but it won’t show you how many people actually moved their mouse in this region of the page.

Andrew: Okay.

David: That’s one. And more importantly you can’t visualize and empathize with, “Oh, my god, people are getting stuck here. And I’d say the biggest value of what we did with Hotjar when we launched was more bringing these kind of elements altogether. So it’s asking questions, it’s visualizing, it’s all these elements together which previously sat separately or in different tools and they were really expensive separately and they didn’t play well together. So the biggest advantage here was you have one script, you put on your site and you can just do all the research you need to do with one interface. That was the big advantage.

Andrew: And what’s the difficulty of having two different tools that don’t talk to each other? Do you have an example of that?

David: Well, it’s mainly . . . obviously, when you’re an agency and working with multiple clients it can be very like intensive for both the client and the customer when you are saying, “Okay, let’s get started. So we need five tools, here’s the five scripts, and these five accounts, sign up for them all. When you’re done let me know so I can log into all of them. Send you the report.” So with agencies that was a big hit. Right? And then what happened was that the agency starts spreading the words and more in-house teams were like, “Oh . . . ” obviously, the pain was less but then we also did some other things in the way we did our pricing which was a little bit innovative and that struck a chord also with the in-house teams as well.

Andrew: All right, I’m going to write a note here about pricing, all in one, and agencies. And I want to come back to all three of those. I’ll quickly talk about my second sponsor. It’s a company called HostGator. I think it was Indie Hackers who in an interview with you asked you, “How do you going to hire developers when you’re not a developer? How do you even know what to get coded up or something like that? And I believe your answer was, “It’s not that hard, dude. You don’t have to understand the whole thing. What you have to do is just go get a website, just start playing with the HTML, don’t be afraid to break it, and then redo it.” Am I right?

David: Yup.

Andrew: And that’s what you did in the beginning. You were just a guy studying law who decided you’re going to do this.

David: Yup, exactly.

Andrew: So guys if you’re out there and you want to do that, I really urge you to go checkout HostGator. It’s super cheap. It really is super easy to install anything you want on there, especially if it’s one of those one-click installs of software like WordPress. Click WordPress, install it, play it with it, break it, and then you know what, just start it up again. If you want, you could get the unlimited domain package where you can install another domain, another domain, another domain, and break them all. There’s no danger in it.

All you have to do is go to When you do, you’re going to get unlimited, wait, unmetered disk space, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited email addresses, and you’re going to get 45-day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with it. It’s super easy. We did it and frankly, we started getting too much traffic so then we scaled it up and we called them up and we said, “What else do you have?” And we got the next level up and then we said “What else do you have?” And we got the next level up and we found that as the business grows they could help grow with you, and it’s always much cheaper than a competition from what we’ve seen. Go to

David, let’s talk about agencies. Did you know at first that you’re going to go after agencies? Not necessarily, right?

David: No, no. Actually that’s definitely we were learning a lot as we were going along. The story around that was that we opened up this beta program, right, so it was this whole idea of, “Okay, let’s not spend the year building this like we did before and then no one wants it,” right? So instead we were like, “Okay, let’s quickly build the technology,” which we know we can actually promise something, actually deliver, and then create a landing page, it’s the homepage of which is basically, “Here’s what we’re going to build. If you’re interested in this, signup,” right, and at that stage or so, we see a lot of interest, a lot of people coming in. And, yeah, that was the point where . . .

Andrew: Well, you did more than that. And I know you’re going to get to that so it’s not like you’re hiding it but I’ve got an email here from Jeremy Shoemaker from 2014 saying, “I recently came into contact with Dr. David Darmanin, a conversion and behavioral expert, long story short . . . ” and then he goes into a bit of a longer story but he’s basically saying all these tools, all in one, he’s making them available. If you want it, go hit this URL and you’ll get early access to it. And my sense is you paid him to have him send that email to his audience.

David: No.

Andrew: No?

David: Well, actually there were some instances where we did pay, yes, but I think most people were doing this because we created basically was like a waiting list, right, so here we’re going back to the whole GuestLab thing, right? So we learned from that startup a lot by doing experimenting with the few customers we had about what made people act, right? What made people do stuff for their points and their loyalty program and we found there with two things that people loved to do. Right?

Actually, let’s take it from another angle. There are two types of people that will do something for something, right? There are the competitive types. Those are the ones where you say, “If, like, the number one position, you get the mega prize.” Right? These are the guys that just go nuts about that and they’ll do anything to get there.

Andrew: Because they need to be number one.

David: Exactly. And then there are the participators, the ones that would like to be involved but they want a guaranteed outcome. So those are the guys that like would love to hear do this thing five times and you get this in return. So we have learned this, so we knew, “Okay, so if we’re doing an early access program, the moment you put in your email, because you want Hotjar, then we show a page which says, “Hey, you’re number 679 in the queue but if you refer this to friends, you’re going to move up the list and by the way if you’re the top 10, you get a . . . I think we had a lifetime Hotjar accounts, right, free forever, which a lot of people are nuts for that.

Andrew: Which is shocking, yes.

David: Yeah, which when you think about it though, so the no-brainer, right? Like what does that cost us?

Andrew: Yeah, I know, and still I do the same thought process and I still think, “Wow, lifetime, that’s incredible.” That’s the user, yeah.

David: Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, you just need to think as the user. And what we did was I think it was like the top 200 positions. They got a Hotjar t-shirts, top 20 there was something else. We just did levels and it’s just like it went nuts and really was on fire.

Andrew: So some people got something guaranteed. Some people got something only if they made it to the top. So what I’m hearing you say is you bought a few email ads from companies like Product Hunt, I think it was. From BetaList. They then sent people to your site and you turned it viral by having this point system that enabled people to . . .

David: Well, it was actually a little bit the other way around. So we started this, we started sending it to friends and we noticed that roughly for every five people that signed up, we’d get two or three that signed up virally on the back of that. Right? So we said, “Hold on, if this . . . ” and every week we’re hitting 1,000, 3,000, 4,000. We’re like, “Hold on, if this is working so well, what if we actually spent some money on this. This is something we had done a lot.

So this is the point where, yes, Product Hunt wasn’t paid so we got lucky there. We got featured and but then we did definitely buy some emails and the way we did that was we would go. So we’d say, “Okay, we know we’re building this for web designers and marketers.” So we said, “What are the most popular sites out there that we can give some money to?” And they’ll send an email to their list saying, “Hey everyone, we’d like to introduce you to Hotjar.” And we found a few list and was incredibly effective. Email is most definitely not dead.

Andrew: No, it’s effective. It’s less effective than it used to be but to be able to get a company to even let you pay to reach their audience via email list is tough, but that is effective. Where was that? I had a question teed up here on my screen. Somewhere on here I have your website as it used to appear in 2014. The reason I wanted to bring it up, and I just lost the tab is it was like six different things that you’re offering all at once. I’m wondering why you decided to start with so many different tools instead of saying, “We’re going to be just this one and then we’ll add another next month and so on”?

David: Yeah. I’d say for us it was our positioning. Right? It was, as I said before, the one script, one interface that was really what we were offering. It was crazy in hindsight because we said try to do too much but that was mainly what we wanted to achieve and that’s why we did the whole self-funding and did the beta because we knew we needed actually build all of that, right, together.

Andrew: Yeah, look at this. This is an early version of your site. There’s actually an image up that says, “The old way, you need Ethnio, Clicktale, Qualaroo, Crazy Egg, SnapEngage, SurveyMonkey. The new way is you just need us, and we’ll do all of it for you.” You even did like the stuff that Intercom does, proactive chat on people’s websites.

All right, you start to get people to come in. You told our producer, “I finally knew I was on to something because with the previous company, I had to keep chasing people down. Always chasing, hoping someone would use. Here, it is different. People just came. They would just sign up. People I didn’t know would end up registering.” And then you had to start going into paid and the paid seems to have happened around the time you ended the beta. Am I right?

David: Yeah. A couple of months before so towards the end, yeah.

Andrew: And so how do you go from offering this thing for free to starting to charge.

David: That was the scariest part. And this was, I’ll never forget. I remember we had seen someone, another company had, I forgot the name but they had done a beta as well but they had done it paid. So it was like this whole idea of, “Yeah, we’re going to offer this for 29 but you pay before . . . ” and we’re like, “Shit, why didn’t we think of that?” Because we would have felt much better investing more and doing the beta longer if we knew we had credit cards on file which means there is intent to pay afterwards. So we were just really scared.

Andrew: If you could have done it, the better way is to say we’re doing beta. You’ll get it for free, but once it gets out of beta, we’ll switch you to paid. Here is what’s it’s going to cost and we’ll give you a notice. And the reason you wanted that is to get some more intent from people, to know that they were really interested and to make this you do transition and also they do not have any surprises.

David: Because this is the point, we have four people being paid, all right, and I’m not one of them. We’re burning cash. We have users in Hotjar using it but we’re not sure. Are they using it because it’s just free, or are they using it because they really want to keep on using it? So this was very scary.

So we put a lot of thoughts into how we’re going to transition out of this, so we started communicating the end of beta date very early so that there would be no surprises. When we got to it we decided to actually extend, like “This is the date but after that date you’re actually going to get even another month for free,” just to sweeten kind of the message. And then we said, “If you continue using Hotjar. As you are today, then you have to pay.”

But then we realized from the surveys we were doing, so eating our own dog foods, right, asking our users what they thought. We’ve discovered that we had a lot of ambassadors, people that loved Hotjar but they could never pay. They were students or startups, enthusiasts, and we’re like, “Hold on, do we really want to kind of out essentially?” And that’s the point where we started to say, “What if we created a slightly inferior version of what we’re asking people to pay for and that’s free? So that would allow us to spread the words even faster.” So what we did was . . .

Andrew: You know what I noticed that, sorry, for some reason our audio and video are a little out of sync right now but that’s fine because I can still hear you. The thing that I noticed is that other people who do that will brand the sites of the people who have it free. So if you’re using what’s an example of this, let’s say Hello Bar, if you’re not paying for Hello Bar, there’s a branding for Hello Bar on your site, same thing for and so on. I don’t think you guys do that?

David: We do it with our feedback widgets, yeah.

Andrew: Just a feedback widgets but not the heatmaps, not . . .

David: Correct, because then it would be a little but intrusive, right, because where are we going to show it? Ideally, like with the Hello Bar and the widgets like you have somewhere where to show it, so . . .

Andrew: And it’s in context.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: I don’t know, because Mixpanel does it. They just put it on whatever page that they’re analyzing.

David: I believe that’s actually opt-in, so with Mixpanel you can add the badge and then you get like a bump up in your freemium, free feature.

Andrew: Okay. All right, so then what’s in it for you for just servicing all these people who are free? It is knowledge of user information?

David: No. The way we see it, so we don’t leverage the data in anyway. So to us, we see it’s an acquisition model, right? So those people actually bring other people in through either the widgets, through word of mouth, so that’s the way we see it. We see it as a brand building and it works very well for us and luckily the costs of managing and hosting those accounts are relatively so, so it’s actually a very good acquisition model.

Andrew: Okay. So, I guess I just don’t notice that you did it but all the logos on all the free widgets links back to your site which then mean that you’re getting customers that way.

David: Correct.

Andrew: Okay. So how big is the share of your new customers come that way?

David: Well, actually not a lot but attribution in these things is very difficult we’ve found when we survey and speak to our customers. We don’t have the most sophisticated attribution model setup, let’s put it that way. But we know when speaking to customers that there is a lot of word of mouth involved which is obviously very difficult to measure.

Andrew: Okay. All right, you told our producer we’re not really good at content marketing, so what we focused on is what we are good at which is advertising. How did you get in to advertising? And by the way, I disagree with you. I think you guys are phenomenal content marketing and we’ll talk about that. But for advertising, what worked for you in the beginning and how did you scale it up?

David: So in my precious experience we talked about that software company. They were heavily advertising. That they were reliant very heavily on advertising. So I was brought in to optimize a lot of these campaigns and we learned a lot from that stage of reading a lot about copyrighting and everything. We knew how to do performance advertising like manage bids and all that stuff. So we came with nearly a decade of experience, so that’s what I’m it’s like really easy to get it going that way. So we definitely took the easy route especially since we were . . .

Andrew: So what worked for you in the beginning when you were starting? And you know what, hang up, let me hang up and I’ll call you right back and we’ll find out what worked for you.

David: Okay.

Andrew: So with all that advertising experience what did you know that you were able to implement when you were just getting started?

David: Yes. I guess it taught us what type of message like let’s take a step back. The biggest mistake people most people do is that when they think advertising, they think brands. And brand is something you do at a much later stage, right? When you’ve got something new and you want to introduce audiences to it the last thing you want to go with is Hotjar, right? Like that’s not where you start. Start with the problem, solution, that’s the easiest way to start engaging people coming in then later you do brands.

So we knew that and that’s a big advantage. So we tested a lot of different angles of how we can introduce the product to these audiences and we found the one that really worked for us which was basically the idea of see how your visitors are really using your site. That was the angle which really connected.

Andrew: And so you were testing the different language on your landing pages to see which one got people to actually register to use it.

David: Actually, it was much less sophisticated in that. We were testing it. When you do advertising at this level, you just start by testing it on the ad level. So we literally were running ads in Facebook and testing different ways of describing and just found the one that got the biggest click-through rate and that resonated and then that just worked everywhere, so . . .

Andrew: Okay. And then you’re saying what was the next level for advertising for you as you guys were scaling it up?

David: And then from there we started to move towards more intent-based advertising so that’s a . . . to start with it was more Facebook. We know you’re a web designer. We know you’re a marketer. We roughly probably understand the problem. Then we started doing more . . . so and this is important because this process allowed us to understand how much are we willing to spend in order to acquire a user, right?

So it’s the process of understanding, “If I spent so much I’m going to get so many users, so many of them become a customer.” This is how much money I can make from them overtime which then allows you to do more expensive sophisticated stuff like bidding on Google Search Ads. And that’s where it can become more interesting because then you’re starting to bid on someone’s searching for heatmap. But now you know from Facebook what are the messages that resonate so you can connected that to the heatmap so it starts to become more interesting.

Andrew: Okay. All right, and then content marketing, you said, you’re not good at. Why do you think you’re not good at content marketing?

David: So here’s what we mean by we’re not good at content marketing and we didn’t have the patience early on to be writing stuff and putting it out there and waiting it for, you know what I mean?

Andrew: Got it. Yes.

David: And I’m much better at like jumping on a video and having this conversation than sitting down and spending a lot of time writing.

Andrew: Me too.

David: But then since then we’ve hired some amazing people that are starting to change that around for us, so.

Andrew: Yeah. Your writing is it’s not just good but your posts have a lot of good design in them like the one that I mentioned earlier by Mark, your cofounder of the company. He doesn’t just say here are my six tips, there’s an image for each one clearly saying what the tip is that looks really nice. Each section is accompanied by good graphics. It is really well-done. But it takes longer to put it together and it takes longer for it to deliver results and that’s why you can do it.

You guys even when you did your . . . the reason I know that everyone met up in Malta is you guys did a great blog post about how you organized your team meeting. And we organize team meetings on a regular basis and I want to know what do you guys do? How do we learn more about it? All right, why don’t we see, where is that, final thing seasonality is a big issue for you guys.

David: Yeah.

Andrew: Why?

David: Well, more than a big issue what we found is that surprisingly, it’s more retention that is the problem, right? So the way Hotjar is built and the way it works and many customers come to us with a project in mind.

Andrew: Right.

David: So they come to us like I need research so that I can do this project well. At the end of the project, they might be like . . .

Andrew: And the project is something like, “I need to improve my conversion rate on this form page or on this landing page?

David: Correct.

Andrew: Okay, so they come to you and then?

David: And then one of my [inaudible 00:58:26] is we sometimes get feedback like when we ask people if you’re no longer using Hotjar what’s the reason. Right? And they say, “No, we love Hotjar but like we’ve got the research. Now we’re going to go redesign the whole site. It’s going to take us a few months and then we’ll be back after that.” Right? So where we don’t see that problem is in more lean companies that think more like we do in terms of you’re always working . . .

Andrew:Constant iteration.

David: . . . you’re always [inaudible 00:58:50]

Andrew: So then how do you solve that, or do you just accept it?

David: No. In SaaS you can never accept that, right? So what we’re working on is first off how do we help, give a helping hands to better understand how to do this more continuously. Second, how do we inspire in terms of always having a project going on. And three, how do we take the product more to a space where it’s something you more plug your business into and you’re always getting insights and valuable stuff versus just plugging in and out when you’re doing that project.

Andrew: And you don’t have an answer for that yet that you’re ready to share?

David: Well, let’s just say that we’ve got hypothesis that we’re building around but we don’t know the answers yet, no.

Andrew: I’ll close it out with two questions. Then first is you’re in Malta but I’ve interviewed people who go to Malta for tax benefits. As I understand that you don’t get that because you’re from Malta, you’re a citizen?

David: Yeah. So we have this really interesting rule that if you’re a foreigner you come here with your money and build a business and sell abroad, then you get some really nice tax cuts.

Andrew: Only if you’re a foreigner who comes in and sells abroad?

David: Only if you’re a foreigner.

Andrew: Okay.

David: So that the island is tiny. There’s this big focus on bringing more people from abroad to invest here. So hopefully, someday we’ll persuade the country to also think about the local entrepreneurs and give them the same treatment.

Andrew: But if you’re there, you don’t get that?

David: No.

Andrew: Wow.

David: We pay 35% corporate tax.

Andrew: Wow. And then after that you have to pay personal taxes.

David: Of course, you know, that’s just corporate tax, yeah.

Andrew: All right, and then is it inappropriate for me to ask you about your bracelet.

David: No.

Andrew: It’s come up on the video a few times and I’ve been wondering about it. You said no.

David: Sure.

Andrew: Yeah, what is that? The one, the backside of that?

David: The backside of this, this one?

Andrew: Yeah.

David: So this is actually a gift from my wife and we love to travel a lot less so with our young ones but she basically bought me this because they are the coordinates of I think it was in Greece. It was one of the best holidays we had. We had an amazing time, so she gave this to me to remember that, so.

Andrew: Cool. That’s good. All right, thanks so much for doing this interview. The website for anyone who wants to go check it out is Hotjar. What I always appreciated about your site is that it’s easy to spell and somehow easy to remember. I don’t know what Hotjar has to do with insights into a website but it always stuck out for me when I saw it on Hacker News.

So for anyone who’s listening, and I want to thank my two sponsors. The first will host your website right. Do what David did, just get started. Go to and if you hate your hosting company, switch over to them. They’ll make it easy. They’ll make the migration a snap. And second if you need a developer go check out Toptal, top as in top of your head, tal as in talent,

And finally, somebody who has an Echo or Google Home or whatever the Apple speaker is, please give it a shot, yell at it and say, “Play Mixergy podcast.” Yell whatever the open phrase is and say, “Play Mixergy podcast.” Let me know what you think of it. I think that’s going to be a great way for us to reach people while they’re doing the dishes, while they’re walking around the house, while they’re working up . . .

David: That’s awesome.

Andrew: Right?


Andrew: David, thanks so much for doing this.

David: Thanks for having me, absolute pleasure and honor.

Andrew: Bye now. Bye.

David: Thanks. Bye-bye.

Andrew: Bye everyone.

Who should we feature on Mixergy? Let us know who you think would make a great interviewee.