Truebill sells for $1.275B – Here’s the story

+ Add to

I’m so excited to do this interview because it’s been 12 years since I last talked to today’s guest.

Haroon Mokhtarzada is the founder of Truebill, which helps users find subscriptions, manage bills, and even cancel recurring charges with a single click.

Since we last spoke, he’s got a $100+ million dollar exit under his belt. I want to talk about that experience and his new company, Truebill, which is another massive success.

Haroon Mokhtarzada

Haroon Mokhtarzada


Haroon Mokhtarzada is the founder of Truebill, which helps users find subscriptions, manage bills, and even cancel recurring charges with a single click.


Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. I’m so excited to do this interview because is a repeat guest I don’t even know if you remember. Do you remember 12 years ago? We did an interview together.

Haroon: it very, very faintly.

Andrew: do it at the time you were running webs, which was a company that allowed people to create websites easily.

I remember how amazingly well you did with that company. But the other thing I remember about it was that around the time I interviewed this was back in 2010. I saw a list of features on the site. And I remember emailing you and going, I didn’t see this feature on the side. I really went through your software.

And you said, no, we’re just testing to see if anybody cares. I see a smile of recognition. You were just testing to see if anyone cared about it.

Haroon: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We call them vapor tests and I still do it

Andrew: You do

Haroon: Yeah.

Andrew: what? You

know what, let me, I want to know what a vapor test that you do today is, but let me introduce you. You

sold webs to Vista print for a reported. What was it? A hundred plus million dollars. Am I right about that?

Haroon: Yup.

Andrew: What was the exact number?

Haroon: It was one 17.5 was the exact number.

Andrew: Okay. Then after, I don’t know what you did in the interim. I’ve got your LinkedIn profile, but I’m curious about what you and your brothers who were co-founders did, like, why wouldn’t you just stay together and started another company you took some

time off.

Haroon: yeah, I mean, we actually did stay together and start a new company that’s kind of exactly what we did.

Andrew: Well, from what I understand, you took some time apart or you took some time off, and then you started a new company that new company became mega successful. It’s true bill. It’s a company that analyzes people’s spending by directly connecting to their financial institutions and then saying, well, look, you’re spending too much money on this, or you’ve got this recurring bill that you may not have noticed for months here and helps them cancel it.

True. Bill sold to rocket companies for $1.3 billion. No smile on your face. Now you’re like really all serious in poker faces. I say that, and I should introduce you as Haroon. MK, tar Zeta also known as just at Haroon on Twitter. I invited her rune here to find out how he did it and to also. And you also just kind of catch up on life and we could do a thanks to two phenomenal sponsors.

The first, if you need a developer, there’s this company based in Ukraine, but actually now the guy is an American. He, he got out of Ukraine and is, uh, constantly supporting his people who are still there. It’s called, phenomenal company for hiring developers. And second, if you’re doing email marketing, I’ll tell you later why you should go to send in, but first, everyone.

Good to have you here.

Haroon: Great to be here again. Thank you.

Andrew: What’s a vapor test that you’ve done recently. Now that you’re so much.

Haroon: Um, well, so first let me just quickly explain, like what, you know, what a vapor test is. If you survey customers and you say, Hey, do you want this feature? You will get a certain answer. Um, if you put that, if you put a thing in the product that has that feature or that, that additional product, or add on and have people click on it and hit a button that says activate, or I will pay for this or whatever, you get a very different answer.

And it’s a much more accurate read of kind of what is the maximum number of people that will opt into that feature. Um, what we often do is we’ll put something in front of the customer and say, Hey, do you want this thing? And they say, yes. And we say, great, you’ve been added to the wait list. Right. But when we get the read on like, well, what percent of people actually say yes on that thing?

Um, a recent example, um, is we wanted to figure out. We want it to do a card program, a true bill. And we felt like we could innovate on a card, but we wanted to figure out what type of card it would. It should

Andrew: You mean

your own credit card?

Haroon: yeah, your own credit card, we even said, maybe we want to do a debit card, a credit card.

What features would someone want on a credit card? And so we put a few different versions of this in front of customers, and we can basically get a read on what was the opt-in rate by kind of credit card offer. Well, before we had the card and then, you know, then those people, we notify them once we launch it and say, Hey, remember that thing, you know, that you, you heard about earlier, it’s now allowed you can go and get it.

Andrew: It’s interesting to see that you’re still doing that. Do people ever get upset and say, wait, I S I thought you had this up. I thought this was available. I know that as you’ve gone bigger, raise more money. There were these expectations of professionalism. Is that an area where people are expecting more?

Haroon: You know, I think people think of it that way. Look, we show this to a small percentage of our audience because you don’t need, you know, we’ve got millions of users and to get at a percentage conversion rate, you only need a couple of hundred people to go through a flow to, to know that. And so you’re talking about some very small fraction of people that see the offer.

And actually I think it can actually be a delightful experience and be like, oh wow, they’re potentially going to be adding new features. This is one that I’m now on the waitlist on. So we have, we’ve had literally like zero complaints about this.

Andrew: so here’s what I understood. First of all, let’s let’s get into, um, Vista, you sold to

Vista print. Do you

remember, like, did it feel better like you and your brothers had been starting lemonade stands and lawnmower services together, you finally did this big business and you sold it. Was there this feeling of we made it, we could take a breath or this feeling of what are we doing now?

What happened?

Haroon: Um, a bit of both, actually, I actually think exiting company is very disorienting for the CEO founder, um, because entrepreneurs tend to be very goal-oriented people and you’re always working, working, working toward that goal toward that goal toward that goal, when you hit the goal and ours was to exit, you know, as a company and sell a company, it’s not really clear, like it’s the first time I was like, what am I, what am I supposed to be doing here?

Like, what is the thing that I’m like working towards? Um, we stayed with Vista print for several years. Cause I really believe when you sell a company, you should stay and deliver as much value as you can. Um, and, uh, and, and there’s always difficulties in, you know, new companies and transitions and different ways of working and different processes.

All of that’s kind of hard to work through. And you’re trying to keep the team excited about the new opportunities and stuff. Um, obviously there’s the elation of like, okay, We are now financially free. There’s like, we don’t have to worry about finances anymore. We can kind of afford the things we want.

Um, but there’s still like a massive question of like, what do I want to do? So then I took some time off after I left and I realized like the sitting around doing nothing, retirement life wasn’t for me. Um, that just became clear after about a year.

Andrew: What did you

do for that year? How did you spend the year?

Haroon: um, I mean, the first thing I did is I turned towards my family.

I have a wife and three kids and spend more time with them, um, and just, you know, spend some of the time that I should have been spending earlier. Um, but you know, what ends up happening is as a problem solver, I was used to just getting like problems every day. And so you start just like looking for problems everywhere, even when they might not be existing and trying to solve them, we’re trying to improve stuff.

And not everybody is really looking for you to do that.

Andrew: Like what do you remember? One of the things that you were trying to solve.

Haroon: Well, frankly, um, you know, I, one of the things is like, okay, my marriage is good. How do I make it even. Um, right. So what do I do? So I started like reading books. I started like having conversations and for my wife, she’s just like, I don’t understand, like, what’s changed that suddenly now we need to start working on our marriage when it was just like, we were like, totally, we’ve been fine this whole time.

It’s been years. Um, so that’s like an example, right? Of like, just like looking for, looking for problems or looking for things to work on.

Um, I started getting involved with other startups. I did a lot of angel investing so that I could kind of like, keep my mind sharp. I’ve done over a hundred angel investments now.

Um, and, uh, but, but still, it just felt like I would wake up. I would have a couple of things on my calendar and the end, the end of the day would come when I would just be like, I don’t understand what I did today. Like there just wasn’t enough kind of like that. I felt like I needed to do. And it was really nice for some time.

And then I was like, I just feel like I need to be, you know, sinking my teeth into something.

Andrew: So, what were your brothers doing after the sale in that year that you were fixing your marriage? It needed that didn’t need to be fixing.

Haroon: Um, I mean, I think same thing, we all kind of, we, we trickled out a Vista print at different times, um, and we all sort of just took time off.

Andrew: Okay. Got it. And then you said let’s get back together. There was no doubt that the three of you would be building a business together instead of going off your separate ways. Right. Or was there.

Haroon: Um, well, I was an option. I mean, I think we all found that like, it was really rewarding building something together and we sort of missed it. And so we just sort of called and we said, Hey, why don’t we get, you know, get together. We got in my brother’s basement and we formed a little club, which we called the flounder tree and the, not the Foundry, but the Foundry.

And the idea was we’re going to flounder on ideas until we find something that, that we like, and that works. Um, and that we’ll just kind of build stuff and fail quickly. And we just started coming up with ideas and talking about them and stuff. And then tuba was the first idea that had enough legs in the room and left enough excitement in the room that said, Hey, let’s go.

And like, let’s go and try to make something and see what happens.

Andrew: linger a moment on this, because I’m wondering, how did the three of you think about what business to start? Was there a process? Was it just throwing ideas up on a whiteboard? What were you looking for? What did you say based on your last experience, you were never going to do it again.

Haroon: Yeah, that’s great. Um, so I was definitely looking for, like, it’s gotta be a large opportunity. It’s gotta be a bigger opportunity than last time. Um, and it’s gotta be meaningful also. Like it’s gotta do something that gives us meaning. Um, so those were just some of the requirements, but in terms of the process, I’d love to say we had like a, a matrix of like how a decision matrix, stuff like that.

But it was literally, I was sitting on the couch being like, all right, guys, what about this? And we’d say, okay. Uh, so, so one of the ideas that came up was like, we could do a, a weekly subscription box for, um, foods for ex-pats. So like someone’s from another country they’re here. Um, and they want kind of like food from their home country.

And it’s just like a box with like the type of stuff that’s at. And they were like, okay, that could be like an idea. We thought about it, um, thought about like, what would that mean? How would you, how would you test it? And there’s just like, wasn’t enough energy for it. Um, and so like, there were just like different ideas come up like that.

Um, and they’re just what we were looking for is that yeah. Yeah. That actually could work. That that’s feasible. We could build that. We’re actually good for building that it’s exciting for us. And just something that could get to the next stage of like, what would it take to pilot it, could we pilot a quickly

Andrew: Is there

one idea that was, that was good, but not for you at that stage that you, that you think is still an idea that’s hanging out there that a listener could jump on.

Haroon: Um, I’ve had a couple of those actually, um, Well, one of them, I actually even, I took two to a pilot stage and even patent stage. Um, and that idea is, um, a, an external drive that’s meant for moving stuff to the cloud. So it would be an external drive where you, you take stuff that’s on your computer or from your cameras or stuff like that, you move it to the external drive.

And then that drive just in the background is moving into the cloud and keeping a small version on the drive itself. And I called it infinity drive because the drive would basically never fill up, um, as it’s using the cloud to augment its storage. Um, so like that was, that was an idea that still really interests me, but I just never got around to, to, to building and launching it.

Um, and there’ve been some other things that I have launched and handed off to. Um, other people, for example, I launched a, um, a, a dating site for Muslims originally called mender. We, uh, we got a cease and desist from match and renamed the app to salons.

Andrew: What did you name it?

Haroon: It was originally mender, um, like Muslims in there.

Um, but we renamed it salaams um, and so that’s in the app where it’s doing quite well. We’ve had thousands, thousands of people that got married from that app. So some things I do like that. Um, but fundamentally for me, it just comes down to like, if I see, I think entrepreneurs are like this. If you see a problem in the world that bothers you personally, your mind kind of gets fixated on it.

And you’re like, I don’t want to live in a world where this is a problem. And so like, I’m going to fix this problem. And that’s really where true though came from is I was like, how, how do I like, just see what subscriptions. And I was like, this should exist because there are, there are sites like mint where they pull in all of your transactions.

So they should be able to find the subscriptions within them. And the reason trivial exists is because men never, they didn’t build that feature. And so we look, I looked at it and I was like, ha, this is like, why don’t they have this? And we also knew this was at the time people were still paying AOL subscriptions from like 20 years ago.

Right. That they just forgot about. And we just knew that there’s just a lot of people who accidentally pay for stuff and ourselves included. So we did that. We built a little algorithm for ourselves. We looked at our own data and all of us found stuff we were paying for that we didn’t want to be paying for.

Um, in my case, I was paying for security on a home that I had moved out of, uh, like a year earlier, you know, 40 bucks a month. So,

Andrew: I heard

your brother had some kind of in-flight, uh, internet

that instead of paying the

one-time fee, he paid the monthly forgot to cancel, and you just go on and on. And

so you’re just going through your own bills saying, do we have anything in here that we’ve been repeatedly paying you? See it? Got it. I,

Haroon: Well, we didn’t actually look at our tray. We actually built a little thing. So in like Excel, we import our transactions into Excel. And then we wrote like a little, um, algorithm in Excel to look for like recurring stuff. And then that, that little algorithm found it. And that was the Genesis of like the early, early true bill algorithm.

Andrew: I heard the next step was to going to friends and family and saying, can we do this for you? Was that still in Excel at that point?

Haroon: No at that point, we, we put up a little site where basically you could log in, connect your accounts and Platt had just launched. So this was, you know, this is what happens when a new technology comes. Plat makes it easy to connect to other banks. So they had just launched, which enabled this to happen.

And, um, so we took that, we connected it and then we ran our algorithm on top and just like presented, like, here’s your subscriptions? And that’s the thing we share with our friends.

Andrew: Do you think you could have built this without plaid having been launched?

Haroon: So there was another site called Yodlee or another company called I believe it had it, but, um, plaid was, it would have been more expensive and we weren’t, I’m not sure we would have wanted to like, kind of, they had like big minimums and stuff like that. Um, they weren’t, you know, it wasn’t as straightforward.

Um, so no, actually what happened is when I mentioned the idea. For me, I was always like, but it would be so hard to get these bank connections. I always assumed mid had like built them. One-on-one my brother sitting next to me. He’s like, that’s funny. I’ve just been working with this API. That’s like a banking API for this other idea I had.

And I was like, oh my God. So he already had gotten that working like this. He had it there. And so those things just came together where like, oh my God, like we can put this up in a week. Um, and that’s kind of what happened.

Andrew: You know own. I remember Andy Radcliffe, the founder of wealth front, and, uh, previously a venture capitalist. He said, everyone thinks just about what’s the problem that exists that I could solve. And he says a lot of times it’s just, what’s the new technology that’s out there and now how can we apply it?

And yes, it’s, how can I apply it to problems that exist today? How can I apply the problems that exist before? But he’s more about, he opened my eyes to the, to the concept of finding new technology and then figuring out what you could do with it. And I asked him, how did that happen with Wealthfront? And he said, well, similarly to you, he said, suddenly banks, and we’re making, uh, their API APIs available.

We didn’t

have to create a whole new Schwab. We could just interact with what existed and allow people to have a layer of auto investing or management and so on. What do you

think of that as a concept?

Haroon: I think it’s really interesting. You just have to be that there’s always a risk of like creating a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. And so I think it’s fine to start with the technology, but you’ve still got to be really smart about like, are we solving a problem? Um, but in FinTech we saw a ton of this.

A lot of the FinTech explosion is not people building core core technologies beneath it. It’s, they’re building UI layers on top of existing stuff. Um, and so you’ve had a, you had a generation of companies that are now the pickaxes of the world, like plaid and other. You know, um, other sort of servicing companies that are sitting at that API layer.

So they built, they did all that hard work. Then there’s people sit on top, like chime and others that are just brands on top of chime wealth, front betterment, like all of these things that are brands that sit on top of it. Um, and it can be very disruptive because then you can move super fast. The barriers there, it’s kind of like an industry used to have barriers to entry and a new technology has removed those barriers.

So that industry was, um, artificially being held back and like the banks or whoever it is that the people who were there had like an artificial mode, uh, that, that, that was there. And what happens to the technology is like they build a bridge over the moat that these companies had. And what was a mode yesterday is not a mode today.

And suddenly like the troops can come over. I think that’s the way to think about it, but you still need to make sure you’re attacking a problem and all of the.

Andrew: Okay. All right. And that, that kind of answers a question I was going to ask you about is not what a lot of crypto companies are doing. They’re saying, well, we’ve got this new technology. What could we apply to? What, wouldn’t it be cool. If you could have a lock that anyone could unlock

Haroon: Yeah. I mean, I think


to me is very much, many times it’s a solution looking for a problem right now. Right? Because now that doesn’t mean, I don’t believe crypto is going to play a huge role, but I’m talking about today. If you ask most people, tell me a use case for crypto, that you’re personally getting value of outside of speculation and store value, which is what’s happening today.

If you’d be hard-pressed to find any use cases, because even if you replace something with crypto, like the user experience, isn’t fundamentally better. It’s actually many times worse. It’s often the transactions are slower. They’re more expensive. Like there’s a lot of problems with it. So I think if crypto right now is just like very nascent and people are still figuring.

Andrew: All right, you had this, you built it. How long did it take you to build that first version that was built on plaid?

Haroon: Yeah, so that was, that was a couple of weeks.

Andrew: That’s it because your brother had experience with it and because plaid built an infrastructure you could work with

Haroon: Yup. Yup.

Andrew: and I’m

Haroon: And because we weren’t and we weren’t going live with it. We were just, it was like a friends and family thing,

Andrew: I imagine your friends felt comfortable giving you access to their finances so that wouldn’t have been a big deal or to their

credit card statements.

Haroon: Yeah. They were our friends. Right. They asked in them, yeah. We told them it was, you know, it was secure. And so they.

Andrew: I should say my interview is sponsored by I told you before we got started, that the founder of lemon was based in the Ukraine. I interviewed him after he got out of the Ukraine just before the war. And he said, we’re going to try to do what we can. The company is probably not going to grow as much as it did before.

Anyway, he sponsored, I gave him some ads and then I said, I’m going to have to keep helping him. I told him about this. He goes, you don’t have to help me by giving me free ads. I’ll pay for them. We’re doing better now. How are you doing better? It turns out he got. Some of his other people got out of Ukraine and he’s just continuing to build the company.

He said to some degree, he got lazy by relying only on Ukrainian developers. When in reality, there’s all of Europe that he could have tapped for developer work. And so that’s what he’s doing now. He’s still supporting the people who work in Ukraine, uh, for his company by paying them whether or not they could work, but he’s expanding beyond.

And dude who, and that’s one of the things I love about entrepreneurs. They just keep fricking working. And I think a lot of cases when I talk to people outside the entrepreneurial world, there’s a sense of the world stinks. Uh, it’s thinks that the world is like that. I have to complain about it. I have to jump into a political party about it and let’s talk about it.

I love that entrepreneurs are like, this is my responsibility to some degree, it’s almost like they’re taking the weight of the world on their shoulders and they take it on tutors too much responsibility. But to another degree, Damn inspiring. Anyway, he’s doing well. He came back and he said, Andrew, your ads did well.

People are actually hiring a lot of developers off of our platform. We’d love to do another ad run. I go, okay, let’s do it. And so I’m going to say this to the audience. He’s got phenomenal developers now from multiple countries in Europe, they are doing great work, but because they’re in Europe and not in the U S frankly, they’re getting paid less and he has a matching service that will match anyone.

Who’s listening to me to developers there. If you have a side project you’ve been meaning to get to, but you don’t have enough developers if you want to hire, but you don’t want to commit to long-term relationships. If you don’t want to go through the hiring process and you want them to help you, they will do this often within 24 hours.

And if you’re not happy with the results, first of all, you don’t have to hire the people they match you up with. You often will. But if you don’t, if you’re not happy, they will make it right. I want you to go and get a discount on their already low price and get more details on how they work. If you’re hiring, you need to consider lemon, go to for that discount for a connection to me.

And they’ll take great care of you. It’s Um, all right, let’s get into, then the next thing you did, you had this going and I think you launched on product hunt. I mean, not product on product hunt. It wasn’t around then on hacker news.

Haroon: uh, it was both it product count was there and we did, we did law enforcement. Yeah. Yeah. So on both of those sites, we did.

Andrew: How developed was the product when you went and launched?

Haroon: Um, you know, I think of it like this, people say minimum viable product, I think of like minimum lovable product. It was something that had a strong value proposition, which was, you can instantly see your subscriptions, you know, find your subscriptions and cancel the ones you don’t like. Um, and the reason we did hacker news product hunt was really to get a read.

Like if, if it, if we put it on there and nobody uploaded it and no one cared about it, it’s quite likely we would have just canned the project. Um, instead actually it did quite well. It was like the top hunt for that month. Um, and that was a separate read, which is like, oh, wow. Like this kind of now has, is fuel for the next step.

Like maybe we should take this to the next step, which ended up being applying for Y Combinator.

Andrew: Why did you apply to Y Combinator? You, you didn’t need their money. I feel like you didn’t need their experience or connections. You had so much.

Haroon: Yeah. Um, it’s funny. We always envied, um, YC companies for our first startup. Um, but again, I think we were looking for signal with YC. Um, and you know, if, if they said, no, this isn’t a good idea. That probably would have been another signal. So the fact that they were interested in it was like, it was one more data point.

And then we thought about like, okay, well, if we’re going to raise money, you know why C is, is costly because their initial investment is at a low price, but then the seed round you raise tends to be at a higher price. So like for example, you might raise your seed at 5 million, but if you do YC, you raise your seat at 10 million.

And so we just sort of did the math and said, it’ll work out the same. And we got in it’s very selective program. It gives you really strong signaling for future rounds and stuff like that. And so we decided.

Andrew: What did you learn from them that you didn’t know? Or how did they help shape the product in a way that it wouldn’t have gone without them?

Haroon: I don’t think they necessarily helped shape the product. Um, I think what they’re good at is just helping people focus on things right. And focus on what matters. Um, and then certainly they can kind of open up any doors or introductions, but, you know, there’s also just, again, there’s like a signaling value, just like if you have an Ivy league, um, you know, degree on your resume as a signaling value, even if your education was very similar to a non Ivy league school, I think, um, that’s also useful when it comes to press when it comes to like other companies and whether, you know, you’re, you’re young company trying to cut deals with other companies, uh, you know, all of that.

It just makes you like more legitimate. Um, and then the network of other entrepreneurs was really great, you know, to meet and to have a group of folks that you could tap into. Um, you know, when with, you know, for all kinds of, you know, various things that come up in.

Andrew: I wonder if you also had like a chip on your shoulder a little bit from webs, like here, you were building this phenomenal company and you weren’t getting the respect. You weren’t getting the attention. You weren’t getting the press that, that others weren’t nearly as good were getting. What do you think?

Haroon: Yes, I do think so, because I remember Weebly with anything that happened Weebly, which was a competitor of ours would get written up by tech cries. And it would always say why see, backed Weebly, you know, did this and do that thing. Um, and so I do remember that, and I remember again, feeling a bit envious of that and that that may have at least factor in the decision to apply to YC was like, when we do this, we really, we really want to be kind of seen as the leader that we are in the space.

Um, and we felt like starting at that at the top place, from like, even from inception, we started at the top would be good move to do.

Andrew: All right. And then you’re the other thing I noticed when I went to Y Combinator page announcing you, is that your brother Yaya was the CEO. I

feel like he wasn’t even considered a founder at Webb’s. Am I right? He was more like, or,

Haroon: Yeah. He was a bit skeptical with webs. And so he came in later. Uh, but didn’t, didn’t help us with company. Yeah.

Andrew: All right. And so how did he end up being the CEO?

Haroon: So, um, again, we started it all together. Um, but when we got into YC, they required you to move to San Francisco at the time. Now you can do it remotely, but back then you had to move. I was like very tapered off, but I was still kind of like consulting with Vista print. And my family was, you know, in the DC area and stuff like that.

I had kids Yaya and address did not have kids. Um, and so it was easier for them to move. And so they went and did YC. And so I sort of handed the CEO role to him and took a chair. For that time period,

Andrew: I read that he was waiting for you at some point to say, I want to be CEO. How did he do as a CEO leader?

Haroon: you know, look, he did really well. And the most important thing he did is keep the business going. Um, and so what happened is I moved to, I moved to Berkeley a couple of years later, two years later, I moved to Berkeley and I said, um, I always wanted to live in the bay area, but my brothers were there too.

We had a company there. Right. So it was like, I told my wife, Hey, why don’t we try this out for a couple of years? And she graciously

Andrew: I mean, why

why Berkeley instead of, instead of south bay

Haroon: Um, well the office was in San Francisco and so I wanted to be closer to San Francisco. The commute from Berkeley, San Francisco is like, you know, 20 to 30 minutes. Um, if you’re driving and so. And then, and then my wife sort of like Berkeley as her people. So I knew that that was a place that she would really love to be as well.

Um, and they have great schools and Berkeley is actually a really, really nice town. Uh, you know, we really, really loved it. The weather’s even a little better than San Francisco, like,

Andrew: a lot better. I just

felt always that


Haroon: went there,

Andrew: uh, sorry, I just always felt that the drive in was a pain because that bay bridge just clogs up and then the

Haroon: so,

yeah. So I got the, one of the first model three is that came off the assembly line. Cause I pre-ordered really early. And as with an electric car, you get the HOV lane on that day bridge. So it made graphic like getting onto the breads. I just flew past everybody. And you know, that was, that was what made it tolerable.

Andrew: All right. That makes sense. Okay. So then you were saying that you moved there and you’re getting more involved and you’re taking me through the leadership.

Haroon: Yeah, I got involved with product stuff, um, realized there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit, I’m a product person and just really love kind of that. And so started working on that. Um, but, and, and Yaya had just done a great job continuing to raise money, to keep the company going. Um, and the real thing is like, we’re true, bill.

Really? What, what made it work is we finally figured out a business model. So initially we were trying to do kind of an ad model or an affiliate model, and it just wasn’t working. The company was basically going to die and out of desperation, Yaya pushed us to try a subscription service for true bill, which is extremely ironic in which I had resisted for many, many months.

And I was like, that makes no sense. You don’t come to a care subscription, cancellation service and then pay a subscription to do so. That makes no sense at all. But again, we use like desperate, we tried it out and a bunch of users felt that that was fair, um, and started paying us for the service.

Andrew: Was it a fixed price in the beginning?

Haroon: It was fixed prices. It’s like, um, I think we put out like $3 a month initially, just like something super small, just like, will anyone even open their wallet? Um, and so once that happened, it became clear, there would be a business model there. Um, and, uh, and it was, we were like, we need to raise money. And I had gotten started getting more passionate about the opportunity size, the vision of this thing, what it could become.

And, um, and the, the mission itself started becoming more important to me too. And so, um, decided said like, Hey, what do you think? And yeah, it was immediately like, you know, I’ve been waiting for you to ask. And so we just swapped and he became chief revenue officer. I became chief executive.

Andrew: until then you were running ads, I’m really fascinated by this because the way that you, uh, structured your payments, because I think you allowed people to pay what they wanted fairly quickly. And I want to get into that in a moment, but first before that you would just do an advertising kind of like credit karma.

Haroon: Yeah. Yeah. Just like here’s

Andrew: And NerdWallet

Haroon: yeah, yeah. That kind of stuff.

Andrew: now, why

didn’t that work? It makes total sense. You see what they spend money on. If you only see, for example, Hey Andrew, you’ve been spending a lot of money on, I don’t know, X and Y is cheaper. That feels like it makes sense. You’ve been spending a lot of money here. You might want to buy this other thing that makes more, that, uh, makes sense to why wasn’t that a win?

Haroon: So I think to make that work, you’ve got to really orient the entire product around trying to upsell people on these things. And we didn’t want to do that because it gets in the way of the product itself. So by flipping the script and just having users pay, it meant that like our engineering resources, our thoughts, our design, everything could be like, what’s the best user experience period, because what we cared about is just how happy can the customer be and how long will they stick around with us?

So that fundamentally made the product so much better. We would have had to go in that other direction, which if you go to credit card men and whatever, it’s littered with kind of offers and ads everywhere. Cause that’s, they have to do that. And there’s always a battle between the product folks and the people were in charge of revenue of like, can you send this email?

Can you put this offer out? Can you spam them with this new deal to hit numbers? And by we, we got out of that rat race by just asking our customers, Hey, we’re going to, we’re going to provide value. And as you mentioned, We say, if you think this is valuable, then just pay us and you can choose how much you want to pay.

And we just had a slider and they could pick how many dollars per month, um,

Andrew: That was, uh, that was, second version.

First version three. Will they pay anything or is it ridiculous? They paid three. I don’t remember. And I couldn’t find it when I went back and looked. I don’t, I don’t know if you offered anything like concierge or service or ability

for people to call you or removing a bags.

I couldn’t find that,

Haroon: Um, all you could get initially was we would cancel subscriptions for you. So that was the service

Andrew: uh,

Haroon: Is it good for you cancellation

Andrew: So instead of showing you now we’re going to cancel. And what were you doing to cancel? Was it manual and new? I know you eventually got into writing,

even certified letters and all that. What were you doing in the

first version to cancel?

Haroon: Yeah. It was just manual. Like we would just manually do it for them. We

Andrew: How do you do that? Because I mean, you know how difficult it is to cancel the New York times the wall street journal, you have to call them up, you have to give an account number. I can cancel my wife’s account because she has to have the authorization. So I call her. And how do you do

Haroon: Yeah. So one by one we researched what would be required to cancel. We asked the user the information that would be required, and then we would just go and manually do it. That’s how we started. Just fully manual brute force.

Andrew: So basically they were giving you all this stuff that they would need to do it themselves. They weren’t even

saving that time, go in hunting their account number, et cetera. Okay. Got it. So this was not a

great first version, but it,

Haroon: we have their email address. We had the, the card, the last four digits of the card that it was on. Right. We had the last transaction date. We have a bunch of the information we already had their address. So like maybe an account number, but many times you don’t even need an account number because our addresses and accounts.

So it wasn’t that laborious for the customer.

Andrew: Okay. And then why did you switch to the slider?

Haroon: Well look, I mean, in our case we test absolutely everything. So I’d love to say it was like some inspiration thing, but it was just an idea that came up and we tested it. Um, and we liked the results of that test. Um, but we also felt like it went in line with our mission. Like if we’re here to improve people’s finances, there’s some people who can afford more.

Some people can afford less and it seemed fair to let people kind of choose what they felt comfortable with. Um, and not only could you choose your initial price, but you could change your price at any time. So if later you felt like we added more value, people can increase it and we’ve had people do that.

And you could also decrease it if you were going to cancel and you say, well, instead of canceling, I can just bring the price down to something that I’m more comfortable with. We allow that as well.

Andrew: You’ve called it the tipping model. That’s what essentially it was in the beginning. They were just paying what they thought

you were worth. Okay.

Haroon: Or what would they thought was where we would say.

Andrew: how did you know what to add on to make that more value? Um,

Haroon: Um, so, you know, there’s a couple of ways to do this. Um, one is you can survey people, things like that. Another is we, we did do vapor tests to see like, what would people opt into? But the third is honestly, like I spent a lot of time just being like, what do I want? And I think a lot of really great founders and especially consumer companies, or if you’re building something that like you yourself are using, um, it’s really hard to predict what other people want, but it’s pretty easy to know what you want.

And so I would just be like, what do I want? And it’s like, well, I want to be able to do X or I want to be able to see this thing. For example, I said, I want to see every month, what was just my biggest transactions? I just want that to be super easy. So we added like a module. That’s like, here’s the largest transaction for the month.

Then I said, I want to know where I went the most number of times. So like we added a module it’s like, this is the highest frequency transactions that you did in the month. Then I’m like, when I click on a transaction, I want to see like a trend of like, is this going up or down? Like, how have I been spending on this thing over time?

And so like, we added that. And so a lot of it was just like, how do I think distinct should work? And that’s the beautiful thing about building your own product is if it’s not working the way you think it should, like you could just change it and make it that way. Um, and so like as an experienced product person, then it starts shaping up to be like a really, really good product.

And then the feedback comes in from users. What’s confusing. What do they like? And you kind of tweak it for.

Andrew: You know, that’s, what’s interesting about you that I keep wanting to see you as the person who is creating, um, the vapor option to see does anyone like, and that’s your model. Don’t don’t trust your gut. Only test, see what works, but that’s not consistent. Or then I think of you as the product guy who has like this artistic haircut and then has this feelings and opinions and experience on what works.

It’s not always that either the market research person, who’s looking for the next big idea and it can’t be small. But I think I read in protocol years ago, you give an interview there where you said, I didn’t do a ton of research to figure out what size the market was. It’s like a combination of all of these being pulled out.

Whenever it makes sense, instead of one belief system that is just hard-coded in you, and you have to do this one thing, right?

Haroon: Yeah. Yeah. I, I that’s, that’s really,

um, you know, w yeah, that’s a really good way to describe it. And what I would say is, um, I use each of those tools in different situation. So I’ll give you an example. Let’s say my gut says we build, we should build something. Um, if that thing’s going to take two weeks, I’m not going to go vapor test that thing because I believe it should exist and I’m just going to command it to exist. But if that thing’s going to take six months, we might say, well, before we waste six months on that, let’s just see, let’s just validate a little bit, our assumptions that someone actually wants this thing. Right? And so part of it is just like, what is the risk of getting it wrong? And when the risk of getting it wrong is very costly and expensive.

I will want more validation. And when it’s not, um, then I’d rather, you know, use the intuition and move quickly through, uh, you know, improvements of the product.

Andrew: And are you doing that all intentionally or is this just gut? Like how systemized are you in the way that you think about how to create new products, build businesses, manage

Haroon: It’s I think it’s more gut, but it’s from really hard learned lessons over like a course of three, right. Where, you know, um, if you ask like a basketball player, when they’re shooting a, a, a three-pointer like how much of that is, is gut versus like, they’re really thinking about how to shoot. Like when you learn on the court, it’s an experiential learning that becomes a part of you.

Um, and that’s just not something you can learn from text. And so it’s, it’s the amalgamation of like years and years of failures and some successes, but mostly failures that, that started building like a, just like an AI would build. But in this case, not artificial, but it’s just like a, it’s a learning model and you sort of start learning, like what, what, what works, where have you got yourself into trouble in the past?

And how do you avoid that? That’s why I love second time. And third time founders is like, fundamentally, they’re not necessarily better at anything, but not doing the things that were not good in the past. Like that you’re really good at, you’re not necessarily good at finding the good, the right things, but you’re much better at knowing what’s not going to work or what’s wrong.

Andrew: Uh, you know what? I noticed that with chess, I used to think the chess players always thought multiple steps ahead because they were rewired that way. I’ve now been obsessed with chess. I came up, I was sitting out here

at six in the morning with my tutor. I noticed eventually you just start to see the same patterns over and over.

If you move your Knight over to this edge of the board early in the game,

their Queens going to take you. And if I see the other person do it, I get burned enough. I can do that to them. And it feels

like that’s the same thing you’re saying here.

Haroon: yeah, yeah. It’s very much like that.

Andrew: I wonder how systemized you are or like how thought out, or is there like a process like for me, it’s I get up early if there’s a meeting in the morning and that’s, that’s the reason to get up out of bed. If it’s just, for me, it’s a lot harder, especially if I’m out the night before. So one of my

techniques is, and has been over the years, schedule something as early as you want to get up and then go on with your day.

Do you have techniques like that that allow you to lead that allow you to think that allow you to create.

Haroon: There’s a few things, right. Um, I think a calendar is super important. Um, one coach once told me, he said, look, this is, so if you think about the way you get something done in life is if you have a strong relationship with your word, meaning when you give your word to something, you’re going to really make strong efforts to honor that.

Once you’ve generated a strong relationship with your word, and that’s important to you then to get stuff done. All you have to do is give your word to that thing. So I say, I’m going to be at this interview. And someone wants to ask me, where is your word? When it comes time to keep it? Uh, this was in the class I was taking.

And I really didn’t understand the question for a while. And he said, where is your word? When it comes time to keep it. And the answer for many people ends up being in my calendar. Like it’s physically stored in my calendar. That is my word. And so I think a calendar is an exceptional tool. I live by my calendar.

I have an assistant who puts stuff in my calendar and that’s, that’s how my day is organized. So if there is something where I’m like, I definitely need this done tomorrow. Uh, to-do lists are great, but I actually put it in my calendar. If it’s that type of thing, it’s like this thing happens. I’ll even schedule a time for it to do that thing.

Andrew: What’s an example of something ridiculous that you put in there because it’s effective

Haroon: Um, well, for example, if I’m going on a trip the next day, um, I know I have to pack, everyone knows they have to pack, but I have a calendar entry called pack for the trip with a list of things that need to be like packed. That’ll have like my assistant, like look at the weather and like look at the stuff and be like, okay, this is the stuff that needs to be like, we don’t want to forget.

Andrew: and you don’t ever feel like I’m a creative person. I’m an entrepreneur. Now this calendar is locking away my creativity in the moment and being the boss of me. No,

Haroon: So that’s the other ridiculous thing I do. The other ridiculous thing I do is I calendar my non-working time too. So I have white space time. That’s actually in my calendar called white space so that someone else doesn’t book that time. And then that’s the time where I get to be creative and think and not be working on the day-to-day.

Andrew: How do you trigger creativity? Just because it’s on a calendar. What do you do to make

Haroon: Um, I think, well, so one of the things you do is you put away your phone, um, you get it out of the room actually. Um, so that you’re not just checking in every three minutes and I close out email and things like that, like all of the day-to-day stuff. And sometimes what I’ll do is actually in that white space calendar invite, I’ll put like things that I know I do need to work on that are these more creative things.

So I want to work on this article that, that I’ve been thinking about writing, or, um, I need to write like a job spec, but really be really thoughtful about that job spec. And like, it’s really hard to find times to do that kind of work where you have to get into flow unless you create the space for it.

Andrew: All right. Let me talk about my second sponsor. I actually wonder if they’re going through the same thing you are the second sponsor send in blue. Let’s be open before we got started. You didn’t know who sent him blue was, I didn’t know who they were either. When they reached out to buy ads, fricking company raised $197.7 million.

According to Crunchbase, raise money, have phenomenal clients. They will not just match feature for feature. Every other email, email marketing company, like all the things about sending messages based on what people have done going, even beyond email, going to the SMS and so on, they have that. They give a lower price and still they’re not getting the attention they deserve.

And so when I wonder, why is it that they’re doing so well with me? It’s because a lot of people hadn’t heard of them. They researched them. They see this is a solid company. It’s actually like backed by phenomenal investors have a lot of money in the bank, have great clients and it has all these features for a lower price.

Why am I going to choose a different company? And then they sign up and I get credit for sending them over to send in blue. But I wonder if at some point send in blue fields, like. W why are more people writing about us? And I feel like that’s the problem, actually, that a lot of people in tech will only cover a small group of people.

And they’re the ones that they talk about. And no one else. Anyway, I’m here to talk to my audience about sending blue. If you’re looking for email marketing, not just for yourself, obviously for yourself, but when a friend asks you. Recommend that they at least consider sending blue. And once you look at the features, you’re going to see why you’re going to want to tell them to go and sign up for it.

And if you have clients that need email marketing and who doesn’t need to do email marketing or SMS marketing, or any kind of marketing that’s based on user action, go check gout, send in blue. And the reason I say, especially if you have clients, it’s because they have low prices that start out low and continue to stay low for the life of your engagement with them, phenomenal company, great prices they’ve been doing well with me.

So they keep coming back for more ads and I’m grateful to them for doing it. If you have not considered sending blue, use my URL, you’re going to find out everything you need to know about why, what makes them so good. And you’re going to get a low price and everyone else, if you go to send in, send in

Did you know that the true bill was actually going to be a thing. I get the sense that you were feeling like, let’s see, let’s try it. Yaz going to run it. This could be a little side business, right?

Haroon: yeah, you’re right. You’re right. Um, I didn’t know. Um, and even when I got involved and we raised a series a by the way, we pitched at least 50 VCs and you would expect after my last exit, it would be a cakewalk to raise money. Right. I mean, it was, you know, we exited, we got, I mean, it was depressing. It’s just, no, no, no, no, no.

We got at least 30 nos. Um, and people told me like, I will invest in, give me a blank piece of paper. I will invest in anything, but this company, they were like, we love you. We want to invest in you, but just not this company. Um, so there’s been, a lot of people tried to do PFM. Um, I’m going to give a platform where people can manage their finances and no one had ever gotten it to work.

And so they just felt like this is a niche product. It’s for a niche market. These budgeters who are like one a day to day budget. It’s a small group of people. And they said, even though you’ve seen some success, you’re able to market effectively and profitably. This is just going to cap out at a small number and you’re never going to get past that.


Andrew: You know what? I get that even as I look and I see you sold for over a billion dollars, a fricking unicorn, I could see it from you. I don’t know how to true bill get to that. Like did was I couldn’t find it. Maybe I wasn’t looking right. What was the, the, the ARR on it? What was the recurring revenue on it that justified over a billion dollar value?

Haroon: yeah. When we sell it a hundred million,

Andrew: A

Haroon: million ARR.

Andrew: Got it. And so

it’s just all these people paying monthly to have an understanding of their finances and to eliminate it. And the difference is that w I guess, mint, they’re not willing to pay for mint is a lot of work. And then you don’t necessarily get the payoff for it for seeing it.

QuickBooks is a

lot of work. And again, you don’t get the pay off with you, you know what you’re saving every month and you know that no, one’s out to get you. Is that the thing,

Haroon: well, and the difference is we actually save a lot of people, a lot of money. Like we saved more money for our customers. Then we made. Right. So it’s actually like it for many people, it’s actually paying for itself. If you go cancel one subscription, you’ve already paid for true bill. If you canceled two or three, your way in the money at that point.

And what happens is you might think, well, I’ll come and I cancel a subscription or two, and then why do I need this anymore? But we’re constantly actually adding new subscriptions every few months. You start a trial here, you start trial there. And that’s just that part of it. Then we’re alerting them on other stuff.

People find fraud, people find, oh my God, I can’t believe I’m spending that much on that. Let me cut that back. And so when you think about that much value, and then you’re talking about the five, six, $7 a month or something like that, you spend that on like a single coffee, right? You spend that on like a little Juul game or something like that.

And so the, the cost benefit is just there for enough people. And so when we got acquired, we had over a million monthly paying subscribers. That’s a lot of people. Who love a product and will continue to pay for it every month. Um, and so that was one piece of it is just how, how useful the product was.

And the other piece is we built a performance marketing machine. I mean, a highly analytical, not like brand, not pie in the sky, a highly data oriented, analytical marketing machine and an AB testing engine where we could ratchet up our conversion rates, our retention rates, everything over time to get fundamentally all businesses need to get their LTV to CAC equation to work.

And that’s what we were able to do. And that’s why we could scale so quickly,

Andrew: So, what I understood about the beginning was it was PR. As a company, largely doing your own PR, then I think you hired, um, an outside company or somebody internally to manage it, but you put a person on it, right?

Haroon: uh, for PR yeah, we never hired outside company. Um, yeah, we, we did it internally. Actually one of our investors helped with it. Um, yeah. And we did it.

Andrew: And then you started saying, look, people are searching for how do I eliminate this one? Bill let’s create a landing page. It says we could eliminate that one bill for you that, that you just found on a credit card because we do the same thing I did this morning. I go through my books once a month with my, um, with our personal finance, a personal bookkeeper.

If there’s something random, I put it in a search engine, they’re doing that. And then they come up to true bill and they realize, wait, why don’t I just outsource this all to them? Then you start creating these landing pages on mass for all these different searches. So you got good at SEO. And then what happened next that made you into such a performance marketing machine?

Haroon: well, once we unlocked a revenue equation, we could predict out what is the value of a customer when they sign up. Right. And we said, okay. So if the value of the customer is let’s say at the time, let’s say it was $30, we say, okay. So if we want to make three times the money, three times our money, we can now spend 10 times.

Per customer, right? So let’s start marketing. And that became, we, we launched an app. We went from web to an app, so it became mobile first. And we started marketing and getting people for $10, but then you improve the product or you do other things. And now the customer’s worth $40 a month. So he said, okay, instead of spending 10, now we can spend $15 per customer.

Well, that’s suddenly unlocks like a bunch of opportunity that you didn’t have the day before. And so, as the product is getting better and your LTV is expanding, you can now expand your CAC. And many people think, well, the goal of marketing is to spend as little as possible. This is the big shift for us was no, actually the goal is to spend as much as possible, but within acceptable parameters.

But when you see a company that’s not a viral company and most finance apps are not viral when you see them growing or skyrocketing. Um, the reason is because they’re spending a mega crap ton on ads. That’s what’s, that’s, what’s actually happening there. And you can only do that if you’ve got an LTV CAC equation, that’s working in the scaling.

And so, um, that’s the real thing that, that happened. We got really smart about this equation. And so rather than going from one to two to four to eight, over four years, we went from one to five to 25 to 40, to 80, to a hundred. I’m sorry. Right? So like we went from 1 million error to a hundred million error, hard four years.

Andrew: In four years, because you are able to increase your, uh, uh, lifetime value for each customer, and then you are able to

spend more and then you got better and better at managing your spend by creating a B task by, uh, by, uh, buying more places. What about this affiliate thing that I understand that you were doing some of that for a while, too?

Haroon: Uh, w you know, we had it, we got rid of most of it, except for the stuff that the customers really liked. And so we kept around, we built a small product that within affiliate that’s for finding better prices on your insurance, um, and for getting clean energy on electricity. But that was basically it.

Andrew: God, it wasn’t like a revenue. It wasn’t like they were sending you customers affiliates. Were

you making money from affiliates? Got it.

Haroon: Yeah. I mean, there were some there’s some affiliate deals and stuff like that, but the majority of our customers came through, you know, sort of performance, average.

Andrew: You know, I, I saw, I went back and I read all these articles from you over the years. And I remember you saying that Netflix was really good. Other people do these dark patterns to keep people from canceling. And you were really generous about your perspective on them. He said, no one sits down and said, let’s go do a dark pattern to keep people from canceling.

You say, they sit down. They say, you know, if we make this one tweak, we lose fewer people. Let’s make that tweak. It’s a no brainer. And then the

one example you gave of a company that does well is Netflix. I wonder if there, I don’t actually see how I could cancel my Netflix account in here. It seems like that kind of thing.

Haroon: No, you can’t. You can definitely cancel it.

Andrew: know. I definitely

can. It’s just not as clear as it used to be. Oh, I take it back. It absolutely is. It’s a button. I was looking for something a little more hidden. They have a clear button.

Haroon: Yeah.

Andrew: Um, Has that helped you? That we’re now more in subscription world and now more and more people are getting frustrated that companies are getting better at stopping subscriptions.

Haroon: Um, you know, I think, I don’t think the trend is towards the dark patterns. I think that’s an older way of doing it. And I think newer companies are getting on the bandwagon that this should, it should be easy to sign up. It should be easy to cancel. Um, but what’s actually happening is just there’s subscription overload.

I mean, just think about how many things are subscriptions. Now. You just have one cable service. That’s like now six streaming services you’ve got to have, that’s just one category. That’s like entertainment then like you’ve got your delivery services. So you’ve got like a door dash subscription Instacarts of shifts, you know, Uber, so shifts.

So like all the on demand stuff became subscriptions. Like it’s hard to find your, your, your shaver as a subscription. Like it’s hard to find an industry. Where they’ve not tried to move to a recurring revenue model. And it’s just like people went from having just a couple to like dozens literally. Um, and that, that creates a problem.

It’s like, you know, no one was equipped to kind of, how do you manage that?

Andrew: All right. Let’s close out then with rocket, did the company known for mortgages, right? Rocket mortgage. What do they need

from you?

Haroon: Well, if you think about a company like rocket, a lot of people come to rocket because they’re thinking about a, a big future purchase, right. Which is a home, which is kind of the hallmark of, uh, you know, the American dream. For example, a lot of those people aren’t quite ready to purchase a home or to get a mortgage.

Um, either they’re just starting their search or they’re, they’re not ready, they’re not there financially. And so what we see the opportunity is, is to build a platform that’s like a holistic financial platform. So that you can actually like get your finances in order, interact with us. And then when you’re ready for something like that, we’re right there for you.

And we already have relationship and things like that. And for the people that have a mortgage already, you know, why not consolidate kind of your mortgage payment and all that with a more holistic view of your financial life. So you can see your home value, but you can also see your other assets, you can track your net worth there.

Um, and you know, you can sort of see like how these things interplay. The home is such an important part in the mortgage. It’s your biggest bill. It’s such an important, critical part of your financial life that, you know, it really makes a lot of sense to put that into perspective. And in combination with the financial.

Andrew: I also feel like you’re, you’re building the next version of mentor men was trying to do or QuickBooks, you’re getting more and more into budgeting, more and more into understanding overall. And I think don’t you categorize also

Haroon: Oh, yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, it should be, we talked a lot about subscriptions, but we’re now, I mean, from my perspective, we’ve, we’ve blown past mint. There’s nothing you can do on mint that you can’t do on Trueblood. So like true now, full budgeting, full categorization of everything, full net worth tracking auto savings accounts.

Like you really can see it is a full holistic picture. We have removed the veil of your finances completely. You can see everything. Yeah.

Andrew: I wonder why the credit card companies haven’t gotten into this, do you think they ever would, like, what, why would a credit card company not help you eliminate your fees? I guess that they lose some, some money on it, but

Haroon: Yeah. I mean, I think that the problem is that they don’t have a full picture of your financial life. They just have that one car. The average person has three credit cards, right? If you haven’t got the average person with credit cards has three of them. So like what we have that we have your checking accounts and all of your credit cards, and that’s really the place you want to do something.

If you want to review your subscriptions, you don’t want to see one piece of it here. One piece of it there you want to like see it all in one place and make a decision based on that. So they don’t have a holistic picture and that’s what makes it different.

Andrew: Alright. Here’s what I learned from you today. Number one, that. You sit down and you just brainstormed ideas and you were looking for something that had a big vision, but you wanted to experiment, run a few experiments and see what worked for you. Number two, create what was the phrase. He used vapor vapor tests, which we used to think about in the old MVP world that people aren’t talking about much, but do that.

And don’t lean so heavily on it. That all you are is constantly doing MVP. Sometimes you need to be Johnny ive and decide this is what I think the world needs. Sometimes you need to be that one customer. And then, um, what else am I taking away from this? Whenever there’s new technology C is there a use a real problem?

We can apply this for, see what it opens up. What else am I, what else did I get calendar live by your calendar, but create freedom to not live by your calendar. In fact, even throw away your phone for. If there’s one other piece of advice that I could take away from her ruins life, or would that be

Haroon: Um, I think that people talk about. Sort of entrepreneurs. You mentioned like these kind of unstoppable people, um, and the word unstoppable has this thing of like this strong person, like busting through walls,

but unstoppable really just means not stopping. Okay. And true bill really had no business getting past those early stages.

It was like, literally Yaya went and closed angel check by angel check to keep it alive. And then out of desperation, we found a business model that worked. And that was only because we didn’t stop. And if we had stopped just like two months before, you know, this thing’s not working, we’re going to run out of money and you just stopped at a billion dollar unicorn with millions of people getting value from it, wouldn’t have existed.

And I really think that that is very, oftentimes the difference is just like, why did you succeed? It’s because I didn’t see. Um, now you’ve got to know when you’ve got something when you don’t, but even pivoting is not stopping. And so, you know, I think people need to really think about that when they’re starting this journey.

Andrew: I’m so glad you’re doing this interview with me. I’m so glad that you’re sticking in the entrepreneurship world that I feel like you’re so thought out. So well thought out that I was worried that now that you’d made it, you just kind of hang out with people in private and have conversations with people you mentor, and that you’re not going to be public much, but you are, and I’m grateful to you for being on here.

And I’m hoping that we’ll get to do this interview less than 12 years.

Haroon: That’d be great, Andrew. Thanks for having

Andrew: Thanks everyone. Thanks everyone. Bye.

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