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. One of the things that I noticed that some entrepreneurs do is they take their phones or laptops to coffee shops, and they ask somebody to use the computer, use the phone, use their software, and they want to watch what happens.
They want to see what people get stuck, where they get confused. The problem with that is that it’s kind of artificial. No, you take your laptop over to a stranger who just wanted to have a cup of coffee. Even if you give them 25 bucks or buy them a cup of coffee, you’re not really getting a real genuine experience from somebody who really genuinely cares about your product.
You’re getting a random stranger was trying to be nice. Can I try to do what they can to help you, help you out? Well, Matt arbors Feld discovered that there’s a better way. I understand what people are doing on your site to see where they’re stuck, to see where they’re not getting it, to see where they’re angry and to find problems and bugs so you can fix them.
He created log rocket. It basically it’s, I’ve heard it does a DVR. Does anyone use a DVR? Who’s describing it as a DVR.
Matt: TiVo TiVo for you. Yeah.
Andrew: it basically record what’s going on on your user’s screen while they’re using your site. So you could reproduce bugs and you can fix issues faster. Um, we could talk about how he built this company.
Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first will host your website, right? It’s killer. It’s called HostGator. And the second, if you’re hiring a developer, you got to go to top towel first, Matt. Good to see you.
Matt: yeah. Good to see you. Thanks for having me on Andrew.
Andrew: Sure. And I’ll talk about the sponsors later. I got to ask you about rage. Click first. What’s a rage click.
Matt: Yeah, I think we’ve all had that experience, you know, where, uh, on our app trying to buy a burrito, something like that. And you click checkout and it doesn’t work. So you try again, it doesn’t work. You try three more times, like, ah, it’s screw this. I’m just going to move on. So that’s, that’s a rage Coke. I think we’ve all had that experience both as the user of software and also, you know, the developer on the other end.
Andrew: And so if I had a website where somebody raged clicked and I wasn’t using log rocket, I would just assume that they hit my site, decided not to order and moved on. But with log rocket, I could see click, click. Click click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, boom gone. And that is an identification Mark of a, of someone who’s trying to buy and getting stumped by something.
And that’s what you could help me uncover.
Matt: exactly. And then, you know, even if you’re the developer dig deeper into what causes of age click, was it something slow? Was it an error? Was it where they just confused and clicking on a banner that didn’t work.
Andrew: I used to have software like that, , on Mixergy, because I wanted to see where people, what people were trying to do, what they clicked, where they got stuck. The thing was great, but man, it just slow down the site. It hardly ever worked and it wasn’t worth the trouble. And then I also sometimes felt a little bit weird looking over people’s shoulder, but this thing had been created before, but no one’s ever made it work.
Matt: Yeah. And, you know, we started coming about five years ago where we saw more and more application development going to the front end of the, of the app. So if you think of software, You use every day, you know, to, to check out from a store so much more is happening in that software. So we really saw as more software moves to the end users device, how can you better know what’s going on there?
And that kind of, this was a new need in the market. Um, you know, versus maybe nine, 10 years ago where it wasn’t as efficient.
Andrew: What’s your revenue now,
Matt: So can’t share that Andrew, but I can share we’re over 1500 customers now, right?
Andrew: can you say whether it’s over a million over 5 million over 20 million.
Matt: Um, CA can’t show that, but definitely, um, you know, growing really well as a business and, um, you know, excited to build, whether it X grade Boston companies here,
Andrew: Sometimes I envy Ari, our producer because our producers always get more info out of the guests than I do. I’m looking here at you clearly. You gave it to her, but
Matt: I was prepared.
Andrew: that we wouldn’t reveal it unless you felt comfortable saying it within the interview. It’s it’s doing well. Uh, how old is the company now?
Matt: Okay. So we’re about five years old and, um, you know, about three and a half years now in the market.
Andrew: Guy who said that you came up with this because you had a problem, you were, what was it that you were sending your CEO?
Matt: yeah, so I was actually an intern at a company out in San Francisco, and I was in charge of building the signup flow for this application. And when you’re a startup. Every single user is super valuable. So if you lose any of them, you’re really disappointed and sad. And my CEO would sometimes get emails from our customers saying, Hey, I tried to sign up.
It didn’t work, you know, and she’d get a screenshot of that error message and send it to me. And I was developer had no idea what happened. And it’s the worst feeling to know, you know, you cause this person to struggle and it’s probably going to happen again. And you can’t figure out what
Andrew: And you said there’s gotta be a better way.
Matt: there’s gotta be a better way. Exactly.
Andrew: And you’re someone who’s created startups all along, right? What’s the earliest little company that you can remember creating.
Matt: Yeah, I think it was sophomore year of high school or college. Um, we created a, a mobile game was actually the first company. So it, it was called marble drop. Um, so basically it was a game where you could drop marbles and you had to get a certain pattern. Um, and we ended up launching it, got a few million downloads of it, but realized games are not the most lucrative, uh, way to build a business.
So we got, we had an
Andrew: ads in there?
Matt: we were trying everything. Yeah. As an in-app purchases, um, you know, it’s, it’s challenging. Um, so you know, millions and millions of users, but I think we netted, you know, maybe $5,000. At the end of that.
Andrew: I didn’t even go back before that. One of the things that I heard was in the third grade, you looked at the classroom and you saw a problem. You said, I think I could, I could solve it and monetize it. What was the problem?
Matt: that’s true. Um, so my co-founder Ben and I, we were in class together and. I don’t know if these still exist, but back then you had these desks that would sort of flip up and you’d put all your books under that flipped desk. But the problem is you’d have, you know, your water bottle or your lunch, and it would, when you flipped the desk, the water would fall off the, the ends.
So we invented a contraption that would basically a duct tape device that would stick on top of the desk. So when you lifted it, the water would just stay in place. So we would come after school, install it, you know, ask kids for their lunch in return. Um, and that was sort of the start to, uh, Ben and I’s, uh, entrepreneurial
Andrew: You sold it for lunch? You didn’t ask them for money.
Matt: Um, we, we tried money at first, but I think, you know, uh, lunch was a, a more, uh, liquid medium for, for students back then.
Andrew: I’m trying to get a sense of what you were like back then at your essence, were you somebody who was into creativity and to sales and to making stuff at your essence? What do you think you are?
Matt: yeah, I think we’re builder, you know, we were builders, you know, we would build, um, contraptions in our, in our basements. Um, you know, we made like devices and, and high school. So we, we just love to build and create and bring new things to life from, from nothing.
Andrew: What’s what are some of the things that you can think of that you made? I’ve got a friend by the way. He’s in finance, doing killer. Well. If you ask him about anything that he loves to do, he doesn’t talk about his work. He wants to just build apparently one summer or a few summers. He was in construction and most people would hate it and say, I’ve never want to go back.
I want to be in finance where students are. No, he just keeps fantasizing about going back. He’s building a barn, building this, building that, yeah, just like for fun, because that’s the thing he loves. He can’t help, but make, it seems like you’ve got a little bit of that in you too. Huh?
Matt: Yeah. I don’t know if I could build a barn or I wouldn’t trust any of the animals to survive in that barn, but, um, yeah, we, we built. A machine that could recycle paper. So you’d put, use paper in and sort of it’s spit out, clean new usable paper, um, build something that would automatically tune your guitar.
So you could kind of put it on the head of the guitar and it would automatically tune. Um, those were just high, you know, high school projects. Um, you know, and then I think we realized like, software is really what you can, you know, it took us years to build those and it was still sort of hacky prototypes, but.
Software we realized was a place you could create so much with, just from, you know, your basement or your dorm room. So that’s kind of how we got into software. Just seeing how quickly you could build.
Andrew: Okay. What’s app hub or what was it?
Matt: Yes. So the app was our, you know, our first sort of software pursuit where, um, for any, any entrepreneurs that are building mobile apps, they know the struggle of you have a new version of your app. You want to get to your users. And it will sometimes take a week, two weeks for Apple to approve that change, to gods the app store.
So we built a way that immediately, once you had that change, you could push it to your users. So any bug fixes or new features you’d get out immediately. So that was our first kind of predecessor to log rocket. Um,
Andrew: And then Apple allow you to do. That they allowed developers to do that. They don’t want to be circumvented.
Matt: Yeah, so it was a gray area and that was part of, sort of our hesitation to really grow that business. Um, so we got it to, I can share the revenue that I think five, 6,000 MRR, but we didn’t really see a longterm strategy of how are we going to avoid Apple, just shutting us down one day and, and bringing that revenue to zero.
So that’s when we sort of decided to look around and how we came up with log rocket, ultimately.
Andrew: And why did you take that internship job? What were you trying to get out of it?
Matt: Yeah. Um, you know, I think this is true of any job. It’s really a learning experience. So, you know, in that case it was, uh, uh, Y Combinator backed company, um, you know, was doing really well. It felt like it was a place I could learn a lot and, and grow and, um, You know, that is kind of where I learned, you know, how do you do marketing?
How do you, how do you sell, um, sort of some of those, you know, more business side where my prior job experiences had been more development folks.
Andrew: Was this media, the one that Y Combinator, um, and Andreessen Horowitz backed?
Matt: So I was at a meteor and that’s kind of where I learned about this front-end developer space. And then I was going to come and call Clara labs, also a YC backed company that builds kind of this AI assistance to you. Um, and, uh, you know, that ultimately that was the experience that had inspired us to build log rocket.
Andrew: All right. Let me take a moment to talk about my first sponsor. Then I want to come back in and say, you had this idea. The first thing you did was it build, was a gift customers. What did you do? Um, but quickly I’ll say that, um, Mixergy is hosted on HostGator. If you’re out there and you want your website hosted, right.
Do what I did go to hostgator.com/mixergy. When you do, you’re going to get their lowest hosting package. I host on WordPress because it’s just phenomenal and I could move it if I wanted to, but there. There are dozens of different, uh, free hosting platforms that you can use with HostGator. Bring your website to host Gator like I did, or start fresh.
Go to hostgator.com/mixergy and you’ll get their lowest possible price. Really good price, great service hostgator.com/mixergy. What’s the first step you took.
Matt: yeah, a lot of talking to each other. Uh, uh, my co-founder and I, um, and you know, I think a lot of people will say, go talk to users, get feedback. We definitely did that, but I think it’s most of the time when you have an idea and you go talk to people, they’re going to question you about it and be skeptical.
And that’s ultimately, everyone was really scared about log rocket and every other idea we had, so we decided we just have to build it. We have to put it on the marketplace and see what people think. And that really led us well, because as you’re building log rocket, everyone would question us, you know, say, Oh, what about X people did Y before, but.
You know, until you actually ship it, you know, you’d be questions.
Andrew: Because you are, it feels like you’re a little bit scarred by an experience you had before, where you were starting to build something the four before log rocket, and you took it to an investor or maybe a series of investors and they turned you down. Am I right? What was going on?
Matt: Yeah. So we, we started with app hub, which was, um, that idea that circumvent the app store. And as we were pivoting around, we would have all these various ideas that we’d bring, uh, you know, to our investors, to various people that would get shot down. Um, like one was this kind of low code platform that we were ideating on.
Um, and we realized we just didn’t have conviction any of those ideas, but in every idea, You go, most people won’t like that idea. So you end up kind of in this negative feedback loop where you’re questioning yourself, you know, at some point we said, we know we had this pain point, you know, we know if I had this pain point years ago, there must be a hundred other developers who care about this.
So we just said, we’re going to build it. We’re going to ignore all the noise, you know, and just go out. And we, we post on hacker news actually. And you know, I remember I was out for dinner with my, with my partner and. I was not very, um, involved participant in that dinner. You know, I was just checking, checking my phone, responding to all the messages, trying to fix bugs, you know, from my phone.
But that’s really where we were like, okay,
Andrew: But you didn’t even do that. A hacker news post until after you had your, your first version set up.
Matt: Yeah. We were probably six, nine months into building it. And, um, You know, we, we want it to be close enough that we didn’t, we weren’t going to build up a huge email list and then have to wait a year before giving it to people. So we were probably two to three months out from launch at that point.
Andrew: Do you know what, so let me just go back to these investor conversations that you had before. It seems like one, at least that those ideas that you took to the investors made a lot of sense. You want to do front end, no code development. Today, no code is huge. Right?
Andrew: I see the smile on your face. You knew it ahead of time, but at the time it felt ridiculous.
You can’t build anything of substance with no code. And so you brought it to investors, they turned you down and maybe your mistake you took back from that, that your mistake was you should have just built it without letting them get in your head. Right. And that’s what kept you from, from doing the same thing.
Matt: partially, but you know, also we, ourselves weren’t convicted in it and I think it’s. It takes years and years even log rocket. It took us two years of building it to really get it off the ground. And the only way we were able to persevere through that because we ourselves really believes in the idea and what we were building.
So, you know, I don’t know if the lesson is, you know, we should’ve kept persevering. That would have been great as well. But I think what we learned is we really had to care and know deeply that this idea was important to be able to be confident, to go through those years and years. Um, you know, kind of the dark ages, I call them.
Andrew: Okay. So you started to build it because you knew that you needed it and then you took it to hacker news. The first thing that you did on hacker news, didn’t actually blow up and give you that great experience at dinnertime. No. Before that months, before that you posted it on hacker news and you got to flagged and then he was killed on hacker news, right?
Matt: Yes. Yeah. That’s true.
Andrew: what happened was I saw it. What happened was you were taking people to, I guess, a get hub page where you said it’s not ready, but here’s what I got. And people on acronyms said, well, what are you showing us? You’re, you’re sending us to this thing that doesn’t exist. And it’s worse than doesn’t exist.
You weren’t even collecting contact information to tell them what it was. Right. And on hacker news, they don’t want either of those things.
Matt: Yeah, that’s true. I forgot about that. But we tried to put a good hub even before that, the marketing page, but that, that went South.
Andrew: It didn’t work. And then the other thing that happened was it looks like a few people came in and said, well, there’s stuff that already does this a little bit. Like I see a, the co-founder of session stack came in and said, well, no, this is not the same thing. But he said, I got something and it looks like what they do is different from what you do.
Right. Even though I guess there’s some overlap
Matt: Yeah, and I think that’s another learning is in every space you’re going to have competitors. Um, I think it’s really hard to find pure sort of greenfields type problems these days. So there were definitely some areas of overlap with competitors in our space.
Andrew: But this didn’t, didn’t put you off because you’re already building and I’m guessing that because you’re already building, you said I’m going to get to, you guys will see this will work. And then sure enough, a few months later you came back, you said here, this works and you actually called the post. Uh, no, you didn’t actually.
I thought it was like, here we go again, but no, this time you actually posted it and the results were positive.
Matt: Okay. Yep. Um, and you know, a lot of that’s locked a lot of it’s, you know, the, what the packer news algorithm kind of going in our favor that particular day.
Andrew: You never know him. There’s no big news story. People are not angry about something. So they’re open to hearing from a new developer. Um, what did, what did you do in the meantime, while are you talking at all to, to customers where you, where you testing it out on friends sites, do you like that?
Matt: I think my day would usually go, I’d wake up at probably 11:00 AM, you know, code for nine, 10 hours straight. Then I was living with my co-founders. So we make blue apron together, some, some form of dinner, um, you know, then probably talk commiserate for a few hours and then go to the bed. So that was kind of the, the cycle,
Andrew: No money coming in.
Matt: I, um, yeah, no, no money coming in. I mean, we, for, for some of that, we were in school, so we were kind of, you know, just students. Um, and then we actually raised some money before we built blog markets. So we had raised $700,000. Um, so we, yeah, so we, we actually raised them. We had an app hub, basically. That’s what led us raise our first round is sort of like we proved, Hey, we can build a SAS business.
Um, you know, we didn’t necessarily think we could take that to be a multimillion dollar company, but we had that. So investors sort of saw, saw that and gave us that small
Andrew: Got it. So it wasn’t that they were investing as that and that they were investing in the duo that created that. They said, if you could get around Apple’s, uh, blocks and their screening process, we think you could do something that works. We believe that’s what it was.
Matt: Um, you know, I think we had some sort of continuations off of app hub that we had plans to build. Um, but I think, you know, large, it also was, you know, investing in us as people. And could I believing that we come up with the next thing
Andrew: How about this? I see an article from 2016, about six local college students. This is from Boston business journal, six local college students are dropping out of school for a teal fellowship. Did that help at all?
Matt: Oh, yeah, that’s true as well. So the teal fellow ship was some, uh, some amount of, um, income as well as we were building this. But,
Andrew: Was it a hundred thousand dollars for you or a hundred for each of you.
Matt: yeah, that was a hundred thousand for me, I think over two years. It wasn’t right. If I remember correctly,
Andrew: Did they do any, because I see a few other people in here where you got each of you had a company and I think at the time you had app hub, what else did they give you beyond money to quit school?
Matt: Yeah. Well, I’d say the biggest thing was a community there. Um, yeah, I’d say two or three times a year. We’d all get together. And you know, it’s kind of this, when you’re 20 years old and you’re trying to build a company and you don’t have any traction, it can be a very dark place. So just was a good place to, to get to know other people and sort of talk about your experience.
I think we once visited Peter feels empty. Home in Los Angeles, um,
Matt: was, which was interesting. Interesting. Um, you know, never, I’ve never met him, but, um, saw, you know, how he lives, which is very,
Andrew: How did, so they just took you in to see how he lives not to meet the man. What did you notice there? What was interesting about how he lived?
Matt: he loves chests. That’s clear a lot of chess boards, um, you know, obviously beautiful LA home in the Hills and, um, uh, And tons of like, I think he always has support staff there, even if he’s not actually in the home, there’s always people there sort of maintaining the house
Andrew: Uh, huh.
Matt: keeping it. So I, I never see how people live like that, but it
Andrew: Did he light you up? I should say Peter teal was an early investor or a COF creator of PayPal, early investor in Facebook and a bunch of other companies. Um, was there anything else that you got, were you inspired by being in there and said, I think I can do this too. I think if I work hard, if I sacrifice 10 hours a day to whatever it is that I want and I deal with people putting me down on hacker news, I think I could get someplace like this.
Matt: Yeah. You know, I think obviously PHL is not as much of a supported person, you know, in the. The current environment, but you know, back then I really, his perspective was you only need to go to college to be able to build a great business. You can learn that through trial and error. And I really believe that I believe that to this day of like, One of our core values here at loggerheads thinking from first principles.
So really thinking about what problem you’re trying to solve, getting to the root of that, and focusing on solving that, you know, I don’t think you’d have, say need a college education to build, to do that. So that’s really kind of what inspired him to start the fellowship. And I think, you know, gave us confidence that we built to build a business despite our age.
Andrew: And he didn’t even take equity in teal fellows. He just gave you money, gave you credibility. I think you’ve put it on your LinkedIn profile. And it’s one of those things that people, when they introduce me to somebody who’s a TL fellow, they make sure to tell me in a whisper to this guy seriously.
Right. Peter teal does vetted you. So I get all the, uh, the benefits that you get from being associated with him. You’re now going back in and building your software, you launch it and it wasn’t until you launched that you knew that people wanted it. It wasn’t until that hacker news post.
Matt: Yeah. You know, and how can these posts, you see people sign up and express interest in raise your hand, but it’s, it’s one thing to put your email in a box to say, I’m interested. It’s another thing to actually sign up, put on your site and ultimately pay us. So I’d say we didn’t really know that people wanted this until we got that first customer.
Andrew: He told our producer, it took you what months? Four months or so to. To get out some of the major bugs. What was the challenge of building? Um, log rocket.
Matt: Yeah. And I think you probably had this experience, maybe it was a different one, a different product, but we would have people put it on their site because it’s basically. Log off is a piece of code that you put on your website or web app so that they put on the site, they’d release it to the users and I’d get a call or an email chat and, you know, an email Intercom to say, Hey, my site’s broken what’s happening here.
So, you know, then we were just frantically trying to figure out what went wrong, you know, fix that, the problem with our script. So it took us months and months of that kind of troubleshooting. I remember. You had something that was driving other people’s offices to kind of apologize in person for crashing their sites.
Um, so that, that was the first few months. And then eventually it got to the point where it was pretty stable performance. And, uh, um, uh, yeah, I remember that the first customer, they just signed up on their own. They put in their credit card, we didn’t even know who they were. And that was an amazing experience to see that happen.
Andrew: The first customer you met, you didn’t know who they were.
Matt: We didn’t know who they were. We just saw, um, we have a Slack channel called cash money that we had hooked up, hooked up to Stripe, and we just shocked, like no one was doing anything in there besides all of our test accounts. Then one day we just saw $49 a month and we, we just went crazy. That was a great moment.
Andrew: I picture you also using log rocket to watch people signing up to log rocket. You were.
Matt: Oh, yes. Yeah. So we would often go in and, you know, with log rocket, you can say, show me everyone. Who’s been on our plans page. So I’d every, every day, you know, like YouTube, you go in there and you watch every video of people doing that. You’d see people hovering over that. Buy now button. And then click it and maybe not put in their credit card.
So that’s super fresh when you’re screaming at them, just buy it. day, you know,
Andrew: Did you learn anything about why they weren’t buying it?
Matt: So I believe the first person they actually tried to buy and we had an error and they went away. So that was the first experience. Um, but definitely, you know, when you’re first starting a project, especially I would watch every single person signing up because you want to see.
You know, where do they go first? Are they running into a problem? Um, you know, are they confused by something? Are they stuck somewhere? So I would, you know, I was just addicted to watching the sessions at the beginning, especially.
Andrew: But he asked you when you finally launched on hacker news, it looks good, but. How did you get AOL, NBC, et cetera, to use your product? Because I think you had their logos on your landing page. How did you get them? Were they using your product?
Matt: Yeah, I think at the beginning we would maybe if they put in their email to sign up, we were a bit more liberal with the logos we put on. Um, you know, nowadays those are real customers, but I think at the beginning we were a bit more liberal with our definition of a color.
Andrew: And I think maybe you would have considered somebody who was using app hub, a customer of yours. And so you technically got them as a customer. Uh, you know what, I’ve been noticing a lot of landing pages that say. Customer like, whatever it is, it, the service that you’re doing is that you’re offering is being used by customers like this.
So it’s like join, join other companies that care about their analytics, like these, or lots of companies care about what their customers do, including these. And then they have the logos just enough to say these customers believe in our philosophy and our methodology. They just happen not to be using our software, but I get, I get how people are doing that at the beginning.
All right. Um, You started getting real customers. My guess is though that a lot of customers would sign up, get insight into what they’re working on and then cancel isn’t that one of the challenges with a business like yours, that people only care about these things when they make big changes.
Matt: Yeah, that was a fear that we had originally. And I’d say there’s definitely a segment of customers where that’s the case, you know, maybe they launched something and then it go six to nine months before they change. But I’d say the vast majority of our customers. They have a whole team of front end engineers or multiple product teams that are constantly making changes, you know, releasing multiple times a day.
So we ended up not seeing that that much. And then, you know, we had adjust our pricing, especially for larger customers. So it’s annual pricing, you commit to the year. So that’s not, it’s not been as much of a problem as we, you know,
Andrew: And then watching each video is really fun at first, but at some point it becomes tedious to see the same thing over and over. What are you doing about aggregating data?
Matt: Yeah. So I think that’s, what’s super exciting about, you know, our space and what we’re building is for some of our customers. We have millions and millions of these sessions. So how do you bubble up the most important facts? You know, maybe it’s at a hundred people, rage clicked on this button and it affected your conversion rate negatively or.
Um, you know, 200 people went to this page and spent less than 30 seconds. So I think there’s a lot of really interesting insights that we’re starting to be able to bubble up to users, whether you’re a developer who cares about performance and errors or a designer who cares about usability or a product manager who cares about features.
There’s a lot of really interesting insights that we can surface for all the various folks.
Andrew: Can you think of something that you did at log rocket based on watching people using log rockets, website?
Matt: I mean, so, so much like every, every feature we’re in there and watching people, um, you know, I’ve a recent experience that was, um, you know, it feels minor, but now at our scale where you have thousands of people signing up every month, we had a button as you’re signing up that. You click sort of go to next step as you’re signing up.
And for some subset of users, after you click that button, it would take five, six seconds to bring you to the next page. And so our software was able to show people where it was super slow to get to the next step, converted at a lower rate. So we were able to make that step much faster and it helps you increase our conversion rate.
And that’s really only something that you can detect that. Larger volume, but that was like one of the really interesting recent experiences you had.
Andrew: All right. My second sponsor is a company called top talent for hiring developers. You’re a developer yourself. You’ve hired developers. What advice would you give somebody for hiring developers?
Matt: The number one thing is a good technical interview. Um, so work with an engineer, you know, and do have a technical question. Um, and, um,
Andrew: mean, even you, what you’re doing is you’re bringing somebody who, you know, from outside the company and saying, I trust your understanding of what we’re trying to do. Sit in with me on some of these interviews. And they will sit in with you.
Matt: for sure, for sure. Um, yeah, definitely. If you’re not an engineer and you’re hiring engineers, definitely have an engineer talks to the people and run a technical screen.
Andrew: If you’re an engineer, apparently what you want is somebody who’s knowledgeable enough in what you’re trying to build. To sit down and give you insight into the person. Am I right? Have you done that too? As an engineer? Have you someone you count on.
Matt: Um, Oh, as an engineer. Um, so my co-founder and I are both engineers, so I think we sort of felt, but we, you know, we’ve made hiring mistakes in the beginning, um, for sure. Um, but yeah, definitely even it’s it never hurts to have more perspectives. Um, And we asked a lot of different technical problems in the beginning, you know, three, four, it was something it’d be like five hour interviews to hire the first few engineers.
And, you know, that’s how we, I think ended up with such a great team, which has everything, especially in the early days.
Andrew: One of the things that I know about the way the top towel works is that they actually have some buddy come in and do the interviews with each person. In addition to like five hours, they do even longer test because they, they want to have a screening process. That’s so good that developers are proud just to get through the process.
I was talking to an entrepreneur. I said, you’ve raised money. You’re building this company, but you’re still working at top towel as a developer through top talent. You’re getting placed. He says, not really. We’re still in network, but I’m not my co-founder and I are not taking on any more top tile work.
We’re trying to stay focused on this. I said, why do you have top tail on your, on your LinkedIn? You forget? He said, no other developers will see that we’re in the top town network that we, that we do work for top town. And then they’re more likely to want to work with us because they understand the caliber of people who are in top-down anyway.
So that’s what we’re talking about. Right? Straight up. You should
Matt: the next Google, the next Google.
Andrew: They have goop former Google engineers who don’t want to work at Google working at top tail. Anyone was listening to me who wants to try them out. I urge you to not start off by hiring from top tile. Start off with a conversation with one of the people at top towel that’s taught by the way, as in top of your head towels and talent.
When you go to top towel.com/mixergy, they will give you 80 hours of developer credit in addition to a no risk trial period. And that’s. After you just have a conversation and see if it’s a good fit and talk to them and then talk to the people who they think would be a good fit for you. And then if you like it, you get those 80 hours in addition to a no risk trial period.
Go get the details by going to TLP T a l.com/m I N E R G Y. Top towel.com/mixergy. So grateful to them for sponsoring me for years and years. All right. Um, Any issues with privacy, by the way, like, isn’t it weird that you’re watching people use your site? I know it’s you can’t tell who they are, right? It’s
Matt: Yeah. You know, privacy, I’m sorry. Um, yeah, I mean, privacy is super important to what we do and we take, we take that responsibility very seriously because we’re capturing literally what the user is seeing, where they’re clicking, you know, often associated with identifying information. So. Um, we, first of all, offer a bunch of controls that let users block data, that’s sensitive, take credit cards, social security numbers.
Um, and then another really unique thing that we do is actually let you bring all that data into your own cloud infrastructure. So you can run your own version of blog, rocket, such that we don’t have access to any of that data. It’s all just running like another database in your own server.
Andrew: I saw that on, I think on your pricing page where you, you made clear that we could have you host it, or we could host it ourselves.
Matt: Yeah, for sure. And I think that’s a big trend in all of this software is Google and Amazon and Microsoft. You’re sending all your data there anyway. So why not put more of that infrastructure instead of relying on third parties? So something that we’ve definitely leaned into from the beginning and has worked out really well for
Andrew: I’m surprised. I haven’t seen that. I haven’t seen, um, I, I feel like for a long time there was this option of. Copying software, essentially putting it on your servers, making sure that you own the whole thing, like the opposite of software as a service right. Software that you still pay for, but yet monthly, but you’re keeping it in hosting.
It will maintain it. And I just don’t see that much of that. You’re seeing that you’re seeing it as a trend. Huh?
Matt: Yeah. I mean, you know, when we first did it, we were like, this is just going to be big banks and super old school companies. But, um, you know, some of the most modern, like fast growing startups opt for that solution because of privacy and security, GDPR, CCPA. Um, so I mean, you see that with like get hub enterprise, get lab.
Now, there are a bunch of startups competing with like segment.com that does the health hosted or with analytics products that do self hosted. So I think we’re going to start the sheet where it was once on-prem now at SAS. I think we’ll start to see a shift again, back to on-prem self hosted
Andrew: Right. Well, looking at your pricing, I feel like we should be using it thousand sessions for free. So it feels like a no brainer. Just put it up on the site, see what we see, decide if we want to continue with it. And frankly, with a thousand sessions of just watching what people are doing on the side, I can learn a lot,
Matt: Yeah. And yeah, maybe if you need to go beyond that, maybe we can talk about a discount. Andrew
Andrew: yeah, this is, this is something that I just was really excited about when I launched mixer G and then I used that software. It was such a pain in the butt. It was not working. I blame myself, but ultimately whether it’s me or them, it didn’t matter. I just got rid of it. And truthfully, now that I think back on it and see what happened to that company, it’s them.
What was the company? I think it was, was it Clicktale and then Clicktale ended up trying to do a bunch of other stuff or some, I don’t remember. Do you know Clicktale
Matt: Yeah. Yeah. Clicktale I think they may have been acquired it’s it’s challenging software. Yeah. By content squared. It’s a very difficult to build. Um, you know, that’s what we were doing the first year is just perfecting that algorithm to capture the experience. Show it correctly, make it not slow down people sites it’s, it’s challenging.
And I leaned a lot on my, I was once an engineer on the Google team and Google Chrome team. And that’s what used a lot of that experience to, to build the first version of the software.
Andrew: So now, how are you getting your customers? The first batch came from those early hacker news posts. Where are you getting them today? What’s working for you.
Matt: Yep. So our blog is, uh, you know, now the log bucket blog is a great resource for front end engineers. So we post, I think now a hundred articles a month, um, on that blog. So a big operation there. Um, you know, we used to do trade shows, obviously not as, um, uh, not as popular these days to do trade shows. Um, And then, um, we actually just, we just launched our first podcast.
Um, I think today, actually our first episode podcast that my co-founder is running. So, um, it’s about front end engineering. So sort of like this we’re interviewing front end engineers, um, and how they design their, uh, you know, what they’re building. So, um, what we’re experimenting with that and we’ll see how that goes.
And, um, but, uh,
Andrew: You know, I feel like what you do really well with is marketers. Marketers can just go in install software quickly. They’re building landing pages all the time. They’re always curious about what’s working. What’s not, they’re investing tons of money in advertising. And so if you can show them whether the pages that they’re sending traffic to are working or not, and where they’re failing, I feel like you’d have an easy win for them.
And God knows they’ve got the wallet to be able to do it, but you’re not courting them. Right. You’re going after developers.
Matt: We are, you know, and I, I always think of this billboard. I saw it in San Francisco driving to the airport from Twilio, which was asked to developer, you know, and I think that’s the, that’s the story for us. Yes. Marketers care about conversion rate and happy way using the site. But you know who you go to when you say I want to do XYZ, you ask a developer, so
Andrew: I feel like they’re doing that by the way, those ads are phenomenal. They’re they have some that, that get talked about so much of some that are just so old now, because the sun’s beating down on them and the colors often, they still work. They still work. But I, um, I feel like they have to do that.
Developers are just, they have not a big, I guess, for bow for finding bugs. They want to use log rocket to find it. But man marketers have the budget. They have the willingness to try lots of tools. They’re constantly investing in different tools. They’re constantly talking. Um, I don’t mean to tell your business, but that’s a huge opportunity.
How do we get those? I feel are, and isn’t it easy to install and on my site,
Matt: it is. And I think, you know, for someone like you, you know, you just drop it on there. When you’re at, you know, a site where you have hundreds of developers working on it, there’s a lot more oversight onto what you can install. Developers want to make sure it’s not slowing down to the side and it works for their stack.
So developers, I think you’ll definitely, we make sure that the marketer or the product managers involved. But the developer, you know, is just as important to us.
Andrew: All right, let’s close it out with this. What are you doing for fun when you’re not working?
Matt: Um, well we just got a labradoodle puppy, so usually trying to teach him Frisbee and, uh, you know, he’s kind of the priority. Number one in the household now, and I’ve shifted to number three, um, doing a lot of cooking as well. So, um,
Andrew: No more blue apron. Now you’re doing it yourself.
Matt: Doing it myself trying, uh, yeah. Trying some concoctions and recipes here.
Andrew: I mean, just looking online for a recipe and trying to copy it.
Matt: So there’s a, um, there’s a food person, Kenji Lopez, all where his thing is basically, how do you make the perfect version of X? So he he’ll, he’ll come up with he’ll test, you know, a hundred different hamburger recipes and find the very best way to make the hamburger. So. You know, usually it involves like a seven day process to make the hamburger, but,
Andrew: And so you’re going through the seven day process. J Kenji Lopez alt, is that the guy?
Matt: Yeah. I think he runs the thing called the food lab, I believe, or he’s involved in that. And, um, yeah, so there’s not much more to do in quarantine beside those types of projects. So that’s been my that’s been my past time.
Andrew: Wow. Yeah, I see it. You know what I feel like blue apron is the gateway drug to this. I signed up for blue apron out of curiosity, and I just wanted to get my head off, like anything else that was going on in my life and then started Googling and YouTube being, and trying different things and picking it up.
I like that that ABC process makes you want to care about what happens with D E and Z, you know, just keep going and keep going. So what have you made? Is it pizza? It looks like he’s big on pizza. Am I right? Is it a burger?
Matt: Yeah. I didn’t think that, um, I made a version of the in and out burger at home. That was amazing. So like homemade bond it compared yeah. Homemade bond, you know, kind of that same type of. A battery bond and they make, um, like super thin Patty is amazing cheese that, that sauce they use. Um,
Andrew: get that in Boston where you are. Oh, that would be ideal.
Matt: that’s the problem. Yeah. You know, we have shake shack here, which just doesn’t hold a candle to in and out. So, you know, it’s still not the same as you drive in and you’ll get the in and out, but you know, for the East coast, it, uh, it’s, it, it serves its purpose.
Andrew: Yeah. You know what? I gave up meat. I allow myself to have meat when I travel outside the country. And I realized I could just about get anything when I’m outside the country, except there’s no great pastrami anywhere else. And there’s no in and out burger. And so those are the two things that I feel like, ah, I missed out.
Maybe I’ll make an exception for that. It’s
Matt: there’s no impossible burger yet at, in and out that there.
Andrew: No, no, I don’t, I don’t see them going to that. They just don’t, they don’t have it in them. I went for their veggie option and it’s just a grilled cheese. I said, okay, grilled cheese from that would be good. Nope. Go to just means the same button with a slice of cheese in the middle. They got their thing.
They’re not really getting away from it too much. I will say this beyond meat. Oh, those the beyond meat burger is so freaking good. I know it can’t be as healthy as, as people think it is, but it’s just amazing.
Matt: Yeah, that is the future. I could say 10 years in and out. That’s all they do, you know, 10, 20
Andrew: Maybe not in and out. They’re not changing Jack right. There is still family owned. Do you still see those people cut those potatoes by hand? I kind of admire that about them, but I could see you. You see, McDonald’s now teamed up with beyond meat. They’re going to make their lean beyond burger or whatever that’s called.
Matt: Yeah. And let’s see what capitalism does. If that becomes the standard in and out, maybe forced to adapt or
Andrew: that, right? There’s this movement that thinks that this is going to be the real thing. And then Berbers are going to be this specialty thing that you go for occasionally. All right, let’s come back to this log rocket. It is used by, I had this whole list of companies that are using you.
It’s Reddit is using you guys, right?
Matt: yeah, they, yeah. On the ads platform, I believe. Yes.
Andrew: I see it from your site, Airbnb. So many others, uh, tons of companies are already using it and they’ve got a free option, which I’m surprised. Go check them firstname.lastname@example.org. And of course I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first will host your website, right? It’s called HostGator.
Check them out at hostgator.com/mixergy. And the second one is a place you go. When you’re hiring developers, go to top talent.com/mixergy. Matt. Thanks so much.
Matt: Thanks, Andrew.