The company making Amazon arbitrage sexy

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Joining me today is an entrepreneur who created a company called Zinc, which builds tools for entrepreneurs–especially those who are competing against the big guys.

In his words, he says, “Look, we’re here creating software for anyone who wants to level the playing field against Amazon.”

We’ll get into exactly what that means and how you can apply it to your business. Max Kolysh is the founder of Zinc.io, a software that builds list creation, inventory management, repricing and fulfillment.

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Max Kolysh

Max Kolysh

Zinc.io

Max Kolysh is the founder of Zinc.io, a software that builds list creation, inventory management, repricing and fulfillment.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner. I’m the founder of Mixergy where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses because I believe that entrepreneurship is this thing that it’s tougher than most people make it out to be, and I want to understand how people are doing it well.

Joining me today is an entrepreneur who his name is Max Kolysh. He created a company called Zinc. What they do is they build tools for entrepreneurs, for people who are competing against the big guys. More specifically he says, “Look, we’re here creating software for anyone who wants to level the playing field against Amazon,” which is not the way I was going to describe your business, Max. I was going to say tools for e-commerce companies. Like, you’ve got a bunch of them. Like there’s one that allows me to drop-ship easily. There’s another one that lets me take the stuff that I’ve got on Amazon and list it on eBay. Am I right about that?

Max: That’s right. Yeah. One is a kind of more sexy way to describe it. Another one is more practical, but we have a bunch of different taglines that we use depending on who we are.

Andrew: Max, look at me. Do you think I ever take the more sexy description?

Max: I feel like you like the boring one too.

Andrew: I do like a boring one. That’s the one that’s sexy for me. All right. For anyone who is listening, you should know my two sponsors are the company that will do your email marketing right, activecampaign.com/mixergy. And the second is a company that will help you hire phenomenal developers, it’s called toptal.com. Check them out at toptal.com/mixergy. I’ll tell you Max and everyone else about them later. Max why don’t we start off with . . . I need, like, real practical concrete descriptions of what these companies do. The biggest one for you is PriceYak. Am I right about that?

Max: Those are our biggest product, yeah.

Andrew: So when I go to the website . . . First of all, your freaking design is terrific and all your stuff, even stuff that you don’t think anyone’s going to give a rat’s ass about, you make it look nice.

Max: I appreciate that.

Andrew: Here’s what it says at the top, “Dropship arbitrage on autopilot.” Can you be concrete? Who is it for and what does it do for them?

Max: Yeah. So if you’re familiar with e-commerce at all, there are kind of the parts that we see as consumers. You go on Amazon, you buy something. You go on eBay, you buy something. But then there’s this whole underbelly of e-commerce of lots of software automation, lots of movement of inventory, lots of shipping, lots of just all sorts of plumbing. That’s another tagline that we used to use, actually, is plumbing for the 21st century, e-commerce plumbing for the 21st century. And so a lot of the stuff that we think about we do is plumbing.

So dropship is a particular segment or niche in e-commerce where people are actually selling stuff that they don’t necessarily at the time have. And there’s a ton of different forms of dropshipping. One common one that people might have heard about is kind of wholesale dropshipping or white label dropshipping where you’ll work with a distributor to sell the product but you don’t actually have it at the time of the customer purchasing it and they’ll do the shipping and fulfillment for you.

The kind that we do is a little more interesting. It’s actually basically e-commerce is like retail arbitrage, dropship arbitrage. So what that means is anybody can be a seller and as long as you know where to get the best deals online for products, you can make sales. What that looks like is a lot of . . . If you go on our website, you’ll see the description but it’s this many-to-many relationship of lots of stores that carry inventories, so Amazon, Walmart, etc. and lots of places that you can actually sell that inventory like eBay, Shopify, etc. And so we draw those lines in the middle. And what that ultimately means is if you find a price difference between let’s say Amazon and eBay, you can actually sell something on eBay for a margin on top of the Amazon price, and then once it sells you just go ahead on Amazon and buy it. And so our software [inaudible 00:03:22] that. Yeah.

Andrew: Let’s be more concrete about this. So for example, I always look around my desk to see what’s here as an example. So if for some reason like the GoPro was available on Amazon for some reason for $300 but eBay is selling it for $370, you will enable me to not just buy it on Amazon and sell it on eBay, but buy it after I sold it on eBay. Am I right?

Max: That’s right. If you’re replacing it fast enough, if you’re ordering it fast enough and your inventory syncs properly. So that’s kind of what we take care of. But that’s still . . .

Andrew: You make sure that I’m not selling something that I can’t get or is taking too long to sell it and buy then the price on Amazon has jumped up. That’s what you mean?

Max: We’ll do the calculation. You’ll say, “Hey, I want to make $20 on this.” We’ll say, “Okay. That will make your eBay price 350, 360 after fees. You’ll be the best price seller and you’ll make some sales and then if it ever changes price on Amazon, we’ll automatically adjust the price on eBay so you don’t lose money if it sells. If it ever goes out of stock, we’ll take it out of stock. And the really beautiful kind of key component of the software is we’re the first ones and kind of really the only ones to build an automatic ordering API. So when it sells, it should go on Amazon and buy it automatically.

Andrew: You do it for me. I don’t have to sit and type anything in.

Max: You don’t have to do anything, yeah. You just go straight to your customer. And so we do that tens of thousands of times a day.

Andrew: I get that and I get how I can find a good deal on Costco and sell it or on Amazon where I’m finding a lot of sellers and buyers don’t spend enough time. I get all that. How does Shopify fit in? How are you finding cheap . . . ? Like, how are you finding price opportunities on Shopify?

Max: It’s similar. Shopify is a little bit of a different ball game, but similar in kind of the software side, so that’s where we fit in. The marketing side is a little bit different. The stuff that people sell on eBay and these marketplaces is a little bit more commodity, generally, just stuff that people . . . Like you don’t probably price shop on Amazon. You just go straight to Amazon and buy whatever you need.

Actually, Amazon has got the best price for a lot of stuff regardless of whether you have Prime. And so we’ve seen a lot of dropshipping to Amazon as well from Walmart or from Costco or from Best Buy, from Newegg, from other sites that are undercutting Amazon and that actually have better prices. And they’re taking advantage of basically you not doing the price research, but ultimately you end up getting a better price than you would have otherwise.

Andrew: Because they’re doing it. Got it. Because they might find that that thing on Walmart for cheaper than it is listed on Amazon.

Max: That’s right. So instead of one of those . . . Another tagline I’ll keep that theme here that we use often instead of being like Honey or any of those price saving, Chrome extension plugins which help consumers find the best price, we actually enable sellers to level the best price across marketplaces and which works way better because they actually have a lot of incentive to do so. You probably don’t want to check 20 different sites, but if they can find a way that they can make $10 on each sale, they’re going to go ahead and do that and [inaudible 00:05:56].

Andrew: And you handle . . . I’m looking at your site. You handle the order placing, the returns, the whole thing to make it smooth. If I want to be the man in the middle, you help me be the arbitrage man in the middle. And you charge a monthly fee for that.

Max: That’s right. It’s a little bit complicated right now. We’re actually simplifying the pricing structure a little bit where it will basically include a certain level of free listings and free orders and then we’ll charge per order and per listing beyond that.

Andrew: Okay. Look at this. Hey, Devon, do we need any of this other equipment here or that’s all boxes. I got to tell you about what Devon and I are doing. That’s all empty boxes? That’s the stuff. Wow. Max, Devon and I are going to be flying to Texas where I’m going to be running 26.2 miles from Texas to Mexico. He’s filming is like amazing videographer and editor and so he’s saying, “I think I can make this cinematic.” And then we’re going to fly from the city we ended up in Mexico, fly to Mexico City and interview entrepreneurs because . . .

Max: That’s amazing.

Andrew: Yeah.

Max: Have you ever run a marathon before?

Andrew: I have run marathons before. This is a self-directed marathon. It’s a marathon of one. It’s just me running out for 26.2 miles over the border, getting into Mexico. There’s no water support or anything. I’ll have it on my back.

Max: Wow.

Andrew: My backpack.

Max: I love it.

Andrew: Yeah. But you should see, like, he’s got camera equipment and then backup equipment and the whole thing. And I saw box of boxes in here. I wanted to make sure that we weren’t losing it.

Max: Got you.

Andrew: Are you an active person? Actually, here’s the thing that I’m wondering about you. You seem hearty. You sent me a message saying, “Look, honestly, Andrew, I’m not feeling that great today. I think we should cancel.” And then you said, “Let’s do it.” There’s not a hint of, like, sickness in your voice even though I know, I could tell, I could read people well enough to know this guy is not well today. Why are you showing up and how are you holding it back?

Max: Yeah. I think that we planned ahead of time. I obviously value your time. I didn’t want to make you reschedule or do it in another month in advance. And also I feel like I like to get things done earlier rather than later. If you already plan to do this, I feel like, well, let’s get it out of the way. Let’s get it out to the people. That’s kind of my mentality on it.

Andrew: How much money are you guys producing monthly with priceyak.com?

Max: PriceYak makes around $130,000 a month, so roughly about a little over 1 million, a million and a half, $2 million, something in that range. It’s a little bit complicated because we also sometimes include other like upsells alongside the main product, and so that brings in an additional some number a million . . .

Andrew: Upselling of your own software from like JoeLister on PriceYak. Is that what you mean?

Max: That’s right. That’s right. We help people fund the accounts with gift cards. We do all sorts of kind of the full stack. So every problem that we see that sellers have we actually help them fix it over time within software . . .

Andrew: What do you mean price the . . .

Max: What was that?

Andrew: You fund the accounts with gift cards. I saw that on your site too. I didn’t understand it.

Max: Yeah. So a lot of people . . . These people are not regular Amazon consumers. They’re buying hundreds of things or thousands of things a day, and so they actually like blow past all their credit limit, so they actually need a funding source which is different than credit cards and then gift cards are the best way. So we resell gift cards as well and that’s kind of a separate business. I exclude that from the main business but it’s related.

Andrew: What’s that one called?

Max: We don’t really have a name for that one. It’s just an upsell product.

Andrew: Got it. I’m wondering how you got into this. In fact, let’s talk about what you were doing just before this. You were where?

Max: Yes. I was at MIT with my co-founder. My co-founder is actually . . . He had the inception for the idea. He used to do dropship arbitrage in high school. He was one of these sellers and he automated some of the things, made some money on it, and then in college kind of gave it up, but towards the end of college he . . .

Andrew: I’m sorry. Let me just pause on that for a second. In high school he was doing arbitrage. This is the type of thing that he was doing while he was still in school.

Max: Yeah. This guy is a crazy awesome entrepreneur too.

Andrew: I’m looking at my notes here from I guess a YouTube video on you guys where I heard that you guys capitalized . . . Oh, he capitalized on the price disparity of online products. Do you have an example as a kid, as a friend of his? What did you remember him doing that amazed you.

Max: I didn’t actually go to high school with him . . .

Andrew: I’m sorry. You went to MIT with him.

Max: That’s right, yeah.

Andrew: And when you heard that he did this, what was it that was amazing to you back then?

Max: I mean, it was pretty crazy that somebody could make a significant amount of money in high school. I was tutoring for $20 to $30 an hour. He was making, I don’t know, like, 60 or 80K a year kind of doing this operation. So I thought that was pretty awesome. And that’s why I wanted to work with him as well when I knew this about him.

Andrew: Do you remember the stuff that he was arbitraging? Arbitrage means buy low in one market, sell higher in another market where there’s a price discrepancy. What was it?

Max: That’s right. Yeah, I think it was books for him.

Andrew: Oh really. That simple.

Max: Yeah. Books are the easiest one to focus on because the standardization of products across marketplace is really simple because they have ISBNs. Other like the challenging stuff that we deal with is matching products between markets and, obviously, books just make it way easier if you’re just dealing with them.

Andrew: Okay. So how did you guys connect? What was it about you guys that made you say, “We should do something together”?

Max: Yes. We were fraternity brothers and friends for a while and then he was working on this project to kind of . . . His idea was basically let’s like productize the API, the ordering API where we let anybody make a purchase online with one API call. It’s like a beautiful thing. Most retailers actually don’t, in fact, like, almost none have API themselves. And so we built it, or he built it out I should say, and was trying to sell it. At that point I was doing my master’s program at MIT. I was kind of bored and I started working with him and we ended up applying to YC, got in, and then kind of the rest was history. Although it did take us another year almost to figure out what the actual product would look like on top of that. At that time we had very little luck selling the API.

Andrew: The API is . . . And when you mean selling the API, you mean selling somebody access to the API that you guys create? Am I right about that?

Max: Yes, exactly. So when I say the API, I mean, it’s not a consumer product, it’s not even a . . . It’s kind of like an enterprise product that somebody needs to integrate, a developer needs to integrate. It was kind of one of our key learnings early on is that we built this API and we were like all these different people should use it but nobody was really using it and then we realized that none of these people are really technical or they have no technical team. They’re small sellers or they’re whoever.

And so since then we’ve had a lot more luck because we’ve been able to work up market to companies that actually do have technical teams. But at the time, that was not the case. So we ended up realizing that, “Hey, our API is kind of like 80% of the product here, but we need that extra 20% to get it to the point where it’s useful. Somebody can jump in and start using it.

Andrew: Tell me if I understand this right. I feel like . . . Did we send you a microphone? I think this could help explain it. Did we buy you a mic?

Max: No.

Andrew: No. Okay. I don’t know when we end up buying mics for people and when we don’t, partially because it’s so freaking manual. I want to buy a microphone for every single guest who comes to do a Mixergy interview. The problem with that is we’re overwhelming my assistant. Andrea has to see who’s being interviewed, contact them, ask them if they want a mic, make sure that doesn’t go in their spam, and all that stuff.

When what I would really love to be able to do is you fill out a form, we use Acuity Scheduling to book this time. We ask you for your name and phone number and email address, right? I’d love to have another field that says, “I want to send you a mic. Just type in your address.” And if Amazon had an easy API, I would just take your contact information using Zapier or whatever, send it over to them and say, “Send the guy a mic.”

Max: Yeah. You can do that with our API. Yeah. You can totally do all [that 00:13:15].

Andrew: I could do that with your API?

Max: Absolutely, yeah.

Andrew: But it would have to connect to Zapier.

Max: You can go through Zapier, yeah. Or you could build . . . I mean, you could probably pay somebody for a couple hours of engineering time to integrate our API and . . .

Andrew: I got a developer. How much are you guys going to charge me to do that? I want to get a mic to every person without driving Andrea nuts.

Max: It’ll probably be pretty cheap. I mean, for you, you’ll get a special deal, or minimum pricing for the API is like $100 a month. Unless you’re sending 100 mics a month, you’ll probably be just hitting that minimum, so it’s not too crazy.

Andrew: Wow-wee. Okay. And so you were thinking of not people like me. Who did you think would be a customer for this API?

Max: Yeah. First customer idea was these big publishers. So if you’re familiar with affiliate marketing which I’m sure you are, there are publishers and the publishers are linking off to the retailers or whoever is running the affiliate program. And the problem there is that these affiliates are often, people are clicking away from their site in order to go to a different site and make the purchase. I mean, obviously it’s tracked but they lose that person and they don’t know if they ever bought it. And conversion decreases significantly any sort of time you need to do a click.

So our idea was, “Hey, why don’t we build an onsite shopping cart for affiliate publishers?” So you could have your blog, like a WordPress blog or whatever, and it would just have a cart and you could list [product 00:14:28]. You say, “Hey, this is Andrew’s outfit of the day. Here’s my shirt, here’s my pants, whatever. One is from Nordstrom, one is from Macy’s, one is from wherever else.” You can put all of those in one cart and then that order . . . The user never leaves your site, never leaves your blog, they’re like, “I want to buy the whole outfit.” We do a little checkout flow there. And then we on the back end disperse those orders across where they need to go.

And obviously if we can do clever stuff like if there’s a cheaper price, we can get it somewhere else. That’s sort of where it gets really interesting. And conversion rates are therefore higher. We weren’t able to make that work. I mean, that was five years ago. I still think it’s a pretty interesting idea. There’s been companies that have dabbled in that as well, but we weren’t able to make it work and we were under the time pressure of YC as well so we ended up pivoting about halfway through YC to build something that we knew would get [growing 00:15:11] by demo day.

Andrew: Okay. That makes sense. So YC meaning Y Combinator. Why do you think you got into Y Combinator, the accelerator investor?

Max: Yeah. I think . . . Good question. I mean, a lot of their kind of criteria is founder-based so I think we were two pretty good founders. Like we were MIT like, fresh grads who studied Computer Science is like a big part of the demographic I feel like, so we got lucky in that respect. We weren’t . . . We didn’t have too much progress on the actual business, but we did have some good thoughts about it. Like, clearly my co-founder had a lot of e-commerce experience. We were already building stuff, had one big customer in the pipeline, but that never ended up panning out, actually. But those are probably the main reasons that we kind of thought through the business pretty well. And I think they said, “Hey, this could work. If it doesn’t, you guys will probably figure something else out.”

Andrew: I wonder if they still do that kind of decision making right now, now that they could pick from people who have products and customers and all that. But it makes sense.

Max: You’ll be surprised.

Andrew: Pardon me.

Max: Yeah. So, I talk to a bunch of people kind of on the side. Outside of the Zinc, I help a bunch of people and entrepreneurs with YC applications, interviews, that sort of thing. And I also thought that that’s a big point that they’ve improved on is kind of looking for people with more traction because as investors it helps them select people further along. Obviously, they’re just getting . . . It’s the same deal for everybody, so it’s just strictly better for them.

But I was actually surprised in recent batches that there are a lot of people also getting in very early in their product lifecycle. So I think the founder bet is still the most important thing. When you’re looking at pre-seed companies, like, the founders are the one element that’s going to be there for a long time or forever for the life of the company. Everything else can change with a drop of the hat.

Andrew: Before we get into the pivot that happened at Y Combinator, I’m kind of interested that you were an engineer at Groupon just before. You also worked at Palantir, right?

Max: Yeah, pretty [inaudible 00:17:05].

Andrew: The company. It feels like you had more than just MIT experience. You really were someone who was in the tech space. How did that help you understand what to create and customers?

Max: That’s a good question. I think it only helped really on the development perspective. Like, MIT has a great CS program but you don’t learn how to code per se. I think work experience is really where you do that. And so I interned at these two companies, both were software developments internships, and so I really just coded a lot and actually like built some stuff. I wasn’t making any product decisions, any major ones at least. And so that helped a lot in terms of just building my own technical shops. I wouldn’t say it helped on the YC front or on the startup front outside of that.

Andrew: Okay. All right. So then what’s the change that you made at Y Combinator? What did you decide that you were going to do?

Max: So we built a Chrome extension called Zinc Save which was basically a way to save money when shopping online. We had all the tech there. We had all the knowledge about what the best prices are, and so we said, “Hey, if we want something to grow fast, let’s make it a consumer product, let’s make it a no-brainer. People are saving money. People love saving money, it’s pretty clear. And we did. We got a lot of traction.

The way it worked is you’d be in last page of checkout on Amazon, you’d click a button and that button would redirect your site with all the information pre-filled and you just buy with us for 5% to 10% cheaper. And we were actually breaking even on the whole because we know how to price shop, we know how to use the best credit cards for rewards, we know where to find promo codes that work, we know which retailers to cross-source from. And so we did all that on the back end. Some of it automated, some of it was manual. And we gave users consistently a better price than Amazon. And so you can tell why Amazon was not super pleased with this and we ended up getting a cease and desist for that.

Andrew: You told our producer that was your lowest point [inaudible 00:18:48].

Max: That was the lowest point. That was a low point, yeah. I think that was . . . It was kind of cool. I mean, as an entrepreneur . . . I think a lot of entrepreneurs . . . I know one entrepreneur who frames all the cease and desist letters he gets. He has like 30.

Andrew: Who’s this?

Max: I won’t say which business it is. He gets a lot and he’s very proud of them. And we have that one. We decided to kind of cease and desist. We weren’t making too much money and had some other issues.

Andrew: But what you were doing was, on Amazon telling people that they could get something for a cheaper price somewhere else, right?

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: So Amazon can’t tell you to stop that.

Max: I mean, they can tell you whatever they want if they have more money than you, I think is what it boils down to.

Andrew: Got it. But they don’t have a legitimate case. It’s not like you are doing . . . What do you think?

Max: Hard to say. Hard to say. We don’t know. I think they mentioned something along the lines of like, “We’re intercepting communications between Amazon and this buyer through https or a secure . . . Like, this is supposed to be a secure thing, but, like, there’s no precedent for that. But again, we’re not going to go out and like fight a legal battle when we don’t even have that much on the line.

Andrew: That’s not your passion. That’s not what you want to do. Why did you create that?

Max: I think . . . I mean, honestly, and I’d say the main reason was to get us much growth as possible for demo day which we did. We got, I think, if I remember correctly maybe like 20, 25,000 installs on the extension. We were having maybe 100, 150 orders a day. And that was pretty good growth for six weeks, and so we were able to raise some money on that. Not too much but just a small pre-seed round basically. And it definitely like worked out in that sense at the time. I won’t say like, “Oh, we were just doing it for six weeks.” We definitely thought it would work and scale bigger than that and that we should kind of punt on some of the bigger questions and figure this out later.

Andrew: I saw a Next Web article on this. And it was talking about you guys using discount cards or using . . . What was it? Where is the card thing? Digital gift cards to get lower prices. That was a big part of this.

Max: For sure. Truthfully, I don’t remember. Yeah. We basically . . . It’s a pretty simple kind of black box, right? It’s like, “I want this thing. What’s the best price I can get it at given that it ships in some number of days?” Pretty easy question, but it’s harder to solve than you would expect. And so there are a lot of factors. There’s discounts. Maybe Newegg is running a promotion for this monitor that’s 10% off or maybe they have a store-wide promotion that’s 15% off and so like, at some time it’s better to source there. So you can see how this kind of builds up in a black box and you can make some really cool rules around it.

Andrew: Okay.

Max: And I think that the existing pricing extensions didn’t go far enough by just like telling you to go somewhere else. By actually capturing the order ourselves, we took on the liability . . . We took on more of the upside, basically more of the risk but more of the upside. So we were actually capturing the order. We were responsible for that item and for that customer. So it was a cool kind of foray the dropshipping world too.

Andrew: All right. I want to see how you changed away from that and how you figured out the next step, but first, let me tell everybody about my first sponsor. It’s a company called ActiveCampaign if you’re doing email marketing. Let me take a look at your website. For example, you guys on zinc.io you got lots of different apps on here. If you start to see that somebody keeps going back into JoeLister, if they’re on your email list you might say, “You know what? Why are we constantly promoting YikYak? Why don’t we just tell them about JoeLister?”

Or if they’re already customers of PriceYak . . . Actually, let’s say they’ve looked at PriceYak and they didn’t buy. They looked at PriceYak again, they hit the price page and they didn’t buy, they hit the price page and they didn’t buy, I say, “This guy is really on the edge. For some reason, there’s something holding him back, but they’re really interested.” Maybe at that point what you do is you have ActiveCampaign fire off an email to them saying, “Do you want to get on a call? Our founder is available all day Monday. Schedule a call.” And you give them a link to your calendar so they could book and then you understand why people go through and hit that one page and don’t complete. Maybe they say something like, “I didn’t understand how pricing worked. I didn’t know if this was legal or whatever it is.” And you learn from them and you apply it to your site so you can close more sales.

The reason that that’s beautiful, Max, is a lot of times people do things on your website that indicate how serious they are about buying, what they’re interested in buying. And the problem with email marketing is we send them all the same thing because we don’t know what they’re doing on the site. What’s happening on the site is disconnected from email. Hell, what’s happening within email? Somebody keeps clicking the same type of link over and over. We don’t change our messaging because it’s too hard or we don’t know it exists.

ActiveCampaign says, “You know what? We’re going to make it super simple. Your grandmother could operate this if you want to. And we’re going to have it have all the intelligence of some of the top tier software. So you have the intelligence but simple and easy to use so that you actually get to use it.”

Anyone out there who wants this kind of marketing automation and is already been using junkie email software that sends the same message to everybody, buyers and non-buyers, people who click on a link and people who don’t click anything, people who watch the whole video and don’t buy, people who don’t touch it. If you’re doing the same thing to everybody, you owe it to yourself to go check out not just ActiveCampaign but activecampaign.com/mixergy. When you go there, Max, you don’t need this, but I’m telling you, they’re going to give you free . . .

Max: I think we need this.

Andrew: No. I think you need the software. I’m watching your eyes. But here’s the part you don’t need. You don’t need the fact that they’re going to let you have a free trial. Yeah, you’ll mess around with it but the $20 or whatever they charge you for the first month is not that big a deal. Here’s what you’re going to love. You’re going to love that they do two free consultations with experts internally. So you can say, “Here’s what we have. Don’t tell me all the options. What should I be doing here that gets me a quick win?” And then you go do it. And you come back again for a second call and you say, “Here’s what I did. Here’s what didn’t work. I think it’s a little unreasonable.” And they help correct you or give you next steps and you could build on what work before and adjust what didn’t.

That is what’s beautiful when you go to activecampaign.com/mixergy. That interaction with their team. And yes, they’ll give you a second month free trial all the way from beginning. And if you’re with someone else . . . You guys have an email marketing company?

Max: We use MailChimp.

Andrew: MailChimp. A lot . . . I hate to use the name MailChimp in these ads because I think it becomes a distraction. A lot of people start off with MailChimp but then they realize, “Everything else on my company is super smart. Why am I still using the same stuff that’s advertised on NPR to local mom and pop restaurateurs? I need something smarter.” And they want to move over to ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign will migrate you for free, Max, not just because you and I know each other, but because they do this for everyone who goes to activecampaign.com/mixergy. I guarantee you’ll love them especially if you’re with that type of system.

Max: Cool. I’ll try it out.

Andrew: Okay. What was the next evolution then? This thing gets a cease and desist. What did you do next?

Max: Yeah. We shut it down, we went to MIT, we regrouped for a few months, and we came up with some other product ideas that we thought would be a little bit better, and so that’s kind of where PriceYak started, actually.

Andrew: I’m watching you as we talk. First of all, you’re handling yourself so stoically. Most people have a little bump on the elbow and they’re pissed.

Max: Yeah. Speaking of which, yeah, I’m probably going to take a break for a sec, if that’s okay.

Andrew: If you need to take a break, just say anytime you want to take a break and we’ll pause it.

Max: All right. Let’s take a break. Let’s take a break.

Andrew: You need to take a break?

Max: Yeah. Yes.

Andrew: Okay. All right. I’m going to pause. Go take a break.

Max: My [boots 00:25:41] should checking here, so . . .

Andrew: Good. I’m glad that you did that. The thing that I was trying to understand is you seem so stoic even as you’re telling the story of . . . Oh I turned my lights off. I’ll turn them back on. Even as you’re telling the story of having to go back to regroup at MIT, that’s the type of thing that I feel would freak some people out, it would send them into a negative spiral or it would distract them. You guys don’t . . . Were you just as stoic? Did you say, “I think we’re going to figure this out,” or were you freaking out a little bit?

Max: We were a little worried. I mean, I’ll be honest. Like, we had a . . . We both had backup both to get jobs as engineers, as product managers, whatever kind of the alternative there. And for me, we also had already raised a small seed round or a pre-seed round, I guess, around 400K so we had some money in the bank. We weren’t spending a lot of it. So I wasn’t too worried. It was kind of a safe place for us to spend some time and work on some stuff. And we had already shown through YC and through those products we had iterated so much and learned so much that I was pretty confident that we would come upon something. That being said, it’s easier to say in hindsight, but at the time I don’t think we were too worried. We had some safety nets.

Andrew: Okay. How did you come up with the next idea?

Max: So the next idea was basically PriceYak and we had a customer that emailed us and said, “Hey, I want to use your API but I’m not technical enough. I want to use it for this reason. Can you build this thing?” And we ended up actually contracting out because we didn’t think it would be a core part of our business. We just said, “Hey, okay, sure. This guy is willing to pay us some money. We’ll take his money but we don’t know if it’s going to be a big thing.

Contracted it out, split the revenue with this contractor. He said, “Hey, we’ll will go 50-50 and we won’t pay you upfront.” And that basically ended up panning out. He built it in a few weeks. That customer started paying us. And then we kept getting more and more requests for that same thing. And at some point, I think we were making like 15K a month. The contractor came to us and he was like, “Hey, you guys should probably focus on this a little bit more,” which was a nice because he was making a lot of money off of it, but he’s now our CTO, and so we ended up actually hiring him too about a year later. So that’s how we came up with PriceYak and that’s when the first product really started taking off.

Andrew: Several people came to you and said, “We would pay for this. Can you please make it easier for us by creating it for us?”

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: Got it. How did you find this guy who was your CTO?

Max: So he actually coincidentally went to high school . . . And not coincidentally. He went to high school with Doug as well, so they actually worked on the dropshipping stuff together. So he was kind of always on our radar, somebody that we wanted to hire. He’s a really good engineer. Really, really fantastic. And so we . . . That was a good way to get him involved in the business by having that contract work and then eventually we brought it in-house, brought him into.

Andrew: What did he do that was different from going to, I don’t know, any old freelance site?

Max: Why was he different?

Andrew: Yeah. What did he bring to the table? You could have gone to Upwork. Paid somebody less money, not a share, had him do it. What did he bring to the table that you couldn’t get from some generic dude?

Max: Yeah. I mean, he’s kind of somebody we’ve worked with already or at least Doug had. It’s valuable . . . In the engineering world especially on stuff like Upwork, there’s a lot of low-quality talent. We knew that he was significantly high-quality talent, significantly more high-quality talent than any other option including some of the best SF engineers. And so we went with the kind of premium option that just allowed us to get it done faster, let’s get it done better and so we don’t have to like think about it and worry about it. Basically, you’re paying for peace of mind, long-term quality, things like that. And if the product took off and we had had some Upworker do it and then it broke three months later, like, who knows what would have happened? Like, this guy is a friend of ours, he’s also a really strong engineer. So not only would he plan for that upfront but also he would come in and fix it later if that happened.

Andrew: Do you remember something that he did that someone else couldn’t have done maybe because he had an experience with Doug, maybe because he knew the space or because he’s a smart developer?

Max: I mean, honestly, this guy deserves more credit than just a smart developer. I think he’s like a great, like, evolved into a great CTO for us as well. Back then I think . . . I mean, just building the whole product in a matter of literally two weeks outside of his day job was pretty impressive. Again, there’s . . . You’re probably familiar with the concept of like 10X engineers.

Andrew: Yeah.

Max: Some jobs you can’t . . . If you’re a taxi driver or something, you can’t be as 10 times as good as another taxi driver because you’re limited by the amount of hours in your day, that sort of thing. But in the engineering world and some other . . . you know, potentially in sales less so, but there are some other spaces where that’s true. In engineering, it’s certainly true. There are engineers that are just simply 10 times maybe 50 times more productive per hour per whatever per dollar even than others. And so those are really important to find and those are really kind of the most valuable people. That’s why you see salaries in San Francisco going to the sky.

Andrew: I’m looking at Brian Benson, our producer’s notes on this conversation with you. He asked you where you got your next set of customers and it seemed like TechCrunch was the next place where you got customers. Am I right?

Max: No. TechCrunch was something we use for Zinc Save. Yeah. We didn’t . . . We launched on TechCrunch when we were doing Zinc Save, that helped us grow a little bit, but then that died with the cease and desist.

Andrew: Got it. All right. And so then where do you get the next batch of customers? Was it Stack Overflow, Quora, etc.?

Max: So we did have . . . Yeah, we did some inbound . . . or I guess outbound marketing or . . . What is the right word? Content marketing is the word I’m looking for. So I know Doug has a post on Stack Overflow about like “What’s a way to programmatically place orders on Amazon?” That’s something that everybody researches for. It’s very specific and we have the answer to it. Nobody else really does there. So that was a good one. Quora, we would go through questions and answer them. Reddit, that sort of thing.

It helps to be more specific. Like if you’re selling something that 100 other companies are selling, this might not work as well. But if it’s something oddly specific especially if it’s something that’s on Quora or Stack Overflow and people are like, “Nope, you can’t do that. It’s impossible.” And then a company comes in and they’re like, “Actually, it is possible and we did it. You could buy it right here.” That kind of puts you in a different league. So that helped us quite a bit.

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve seen that where there are times when I ask questions and then maybe a year later somebody will come in and say, “I’ve got this one software. I did it,” and I’m so excited. I’m so excited to support the entrepreneur. I’m looking at SimilarWeb and it seems like to this day Quora still sends you some traffic, not as much as Google, but it’s still considerable. Am I right?

Max: That sounds about right, yeah.

Andrew: Okay. And then you grew from there. Where did the next batch of customers come from? How did you start, I guess . . .

Max: Yeah. PriceYak kind of grew on its own. More or less with the inbound, that was pretty healthy. One trick that we used that was kind of cool that is unfortunately no longer available is that we actually could figure out who on eBay was doing dropshipping already and we would actually buy stuff from them to get their contact information. So we were just buying hundreds of things on eBay every day to get contact information of sellers to use as a lead list. And it was incredibly effective lead list.

So we did a bunch of stuff like that that’s kind of hacky and clever that I think probably people tend to not do it. And so we got a lot of customers that way, but a lot of the kind of . . . At that point, we did shift focus a little bit to JoeLister as well because we saw this opportunity and some of the larger sellers that we hadn’t met had this kind of a need as well, so we built out of JoeLister.

Andrew: All right. I’ll talk quickly about my second sponsor because who knows how much longer you can hold up over here. Thanks for being with me. Second sponsor is a company called Toptal. You talked about these 10X developers. That’s the whole idea behind Toptal. What they do is they set up these insane tests and insane hiring processes, insane . . . Maybe insane is not the right word for it, but really tough challenging things to get into their network of developers knowing that the best of the best developers are going to want to try to compete to be in the network in the Toptal network.

And then when a company like yours or mine says, “We need to hire a developer, what you do is you go to toptal.com/mixergy, you hit a big button and you get to talk to somebody at Toptal and say, “Here’s what we operate on. Here’s what I’m looking for. Here’s some things that tell you about how we operate as a team, as a culture, like, we’re always on Slack or always on [iMessage 00:33:44], whatever it is. They will then go and find that cultural fit and they’ll go find the person that can really be the 10X developer for you from their network, set up a call for you with them, and then if you’re happy with them you can often get started within days.

Really, it’s really evolutionary when it comes to hiring. Nobody else does hiring like this. Everyone else is all about taking your job listing and posting it in more places, taking all the resumes or applications and culling them and making it organized. No. Toptal just said, “We’ll do it all for you.”

If you don’t like it, you don’t have to hire the person. If you hire the person and you don’t love it, you still have a recourse in their no-risk trial period. All you have to do is go to toptal.com/mixergy. I’m intentionally being a little bit oblique about the trial period. I don’t want to sell people on this thing and have them go sign up just knowing, “Hey, I could spend money because I don’t have to pay for it because they’re not going to charge me if I’m not happy.” It’s true but that’s not why I want you to sign up. I want you guys sign up only if you need 10X developers and you’re willing to pay more than just like the nothing fees that freelancers who are just looking to get a couple of bucks an hour charging.

If you want the best of the best, go to toptal.com/mixergy, they’ll set you up. Just hit that big green button right now on the site. Toptal, top as in top of your head, tal as in talent, toptal.com/mixergy. I just have to spell it because apparently, I talk too fast as a New Yorker. Okay, Toptal. You’re like, “What the hell did Andrew just said? I want to sign up.”

Max: You give more content out to the people, though, if you talk fast.

Andrew: What do you mean?

Max: You just talk faster. That’s good.

Andrew: Oh yeah, that’s true.

Max: You get to say more about the company.

Andrew: I’m hellacious for the transcribers, but it’s worth it.

Max: Yep.

Andrew: You then decided you’re going to start creating this new business, right? JoeLister was the next product?

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: Okay. How did you come up with JoeLister?

Max: JoeLister was a problem that one of our existing customers had, and so we built it out for that customer. We made a couple of modifications and then it became this kind of more mass market. It became usable by more of the mass market. We were lucky enough to work with another kind of influencer early on, an Amazon seller who has a big blog and that sort of thing, big mailing list who said, “Hey, I really think there’s a niche here. If you like to make these changes . . . ” We worked with him on a couple of the products and he said, “Hey, if you make these changes, I’ll definitely refer it to my list because I know it’s useful to them. And so I think we got maybe 50 or 100 signups that way early on. And that’s a lot of customers for the early phase of a product. And then you’re off to the races, right? You’re then you’re just iterating on customer feedback, kind of building what they need, building a little bit more on market.

Andrew: What was it that he said they needed?

Max: It was mostly modifications with our existing tool, but I guess the core of the product is that it’s the simplest way to list on eBay if you already list on Amazon, right? So there are a lot of multi-channel selling tools where you have to like upload all your inventory there, you have to pick which channels to list on. Most of them actually nothing really sells on the Walmart marketplace quite yet and like on people’s random WooCommerce stores, things like that. So eBay is by far like the second-best player for marketplace sellers, and so we said, “Hey, let’s just focus on eBay because that is what a lot of these sellers want.”

And then from there it became, “What’s the simplest way to do that?” And so we used Amazon as a source of truth. We don’t have them upload their inventory to us, we just pull it off from Amazon. So Amazon, we say, “Amazon, you’re already using FBA. Your inventory is there. They know what price you’re setting. They already have all the tools to manage your inventory to set the prices, that sort of thing.” And we just pulled all that data from Amazon and that’s something that we did uniquely because we also actually scrape the frontend of Amazon to get more data than they just expose in the API. So we actually can create these beautiful listings right off the bat for you on eBay.

So we save you a ton of time having to manually copy over listings and it’s just one click, right? So you upload all your inventory, one click, it’s all on eBay, all at the correct prices where your margins are the same or higher if you want to set them that way. We do all the re-pricing for you. We do all the inventory management for you. Again the stock control is right up Amazon’s . . . You don’t want to double-sell. That’s the biggest problem here. So if something sells on Amazon almost immediately, we take it off on eBay and obviously, you don’t have a risk of double selling. That’s kind of what people wanted.

Andrew: Why is it that one of the top search terms to your site is “Amazon account locked”?

Max: Amazon account locked. I wonder . . .

Andrew: It’s not something you guys are targeting?

Max: Probably. Actually, that might be true. You’re talking about PriceYak probably, though.

Andrew: No, JoeLister. It’s for some reason when I do a search for you guys on SimilarWeb for JoeLister, the big source of traffic is people who are searching for that phrase, I guess.

Max: Oh, actually . . . Well, I know what it could be. It could be sellers that got their account restricted, and so we actually help those sellers offload their inventory as well. One of the early use cases was Amazon charges some . . . Amazon charges a set of fees, like, a large set of fees to sellers and they charge you long-term storage fees. So one of the angles that we were going to take is that, hey, if you’re selling on Amazon and you have a product that hasn’t sold in two years, Amazon is going to charge you for that and they charge you for that like once every three months. So we target our marketing around those cycles and we said, “Hey, just try to sell it on eBay. Try to liquidate it, get rid of it so you don’t worry about paying these ongoing fees for this product.” So it could be from that.

And also like we do support. If you have an Amazon restriction and you can’t sell on Amazon, you can actually still sell on other channels and that’s kind of a special case, but we support that as well. In JoeLister that’s kind of a unique so I think a lot of people might be like, “Oh my Amazon account is locked. How do I get rid of my inventory? How do I sell it? What can I do?” I guess we might come up for those results. It’s not something we targeted as far as I know though.

Andrew: Who’s the Amazon seller who is so well-known? Is it Chris Bowser?

Max: No. It’s a guy named Skip McGrath who has a big . . . I think he’s more of like a . . . I think he does both Amazon and eBay but he had a big blog at least back when we were starting this up three years ago. So he helped us out a lot.

Andrew: Oh I see. Yeah. I’m looking on his website. It looks like it hasn’t really been updated in a while. But he does look like somebody who spends a lot of time thinking about selling on Amazon.

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: Look at this. Like his books look like serious developer books. The ISDN numbers on the cover of the book.

Max: Nice. Yeah.

Andrew: “Skip McGrath’s: The Complete Amazon Marketing System” volume one and ends at volume two. Got it. All right. So he wasn’t looking to make money off of the relationship with you, was he? He was just looking to help his people?

Max: That’s correct. He gave him a referral program but like the referrals were credits right towards the JoeLister usage. So he was using it. He was a happy user. He said, “Hey, I’ll send this over to people.” He essentially got like a lifetime free membership which is the best kind of referral program because you don’t want to incentivize people with cash because then you just get people who are spamming their friends, spamming whoever in their networks. You want people who are actually using your product really happy with it and those guys are going to . . . an invoice payment for them it’s just as good as the cash value. So we targeted those people. And then that’s still the case with our referral program is we’ll give you if you refer a friend, another Amazon seller, you’ll get $50 off your next bill or your next several bills if you’re on a small plan.

Andrew: Where are you guys total revenue? We talked about one product. Where are you guys overall?

Max: We’re around $5.5 million last year.

Andrew: And from what I understand from your conversation with our producer, Brian, a lot of it is that you guys have found new products that are all adjacent to the products that you have. So you find one product that Amazon seller would need and you think, “What else can we create for them and how do we let someone who’s buying one product know about the other?”

Max: That’s right. I think you can’t really stagnant in this space. I think you’ll get cloned, copied, imitated, etc. So I think you constantly have to be moving forward and creating new things, creating new features. We’ve definitely been an opportunistic kind of company where we’ve seen a lot of opportunities arise from our conversations with customers, and we have historically if you’re willing to pay us a lot of money, we will build it.

We’re kind of tightening that up a little bit because now we’re at the point where we have a lot of stuff going on. We have a lot of initiatives, and so we’re focused on, “Hey, what is the next big thing? What can we make? What product can make $100 million a year?” That’s the kind of stuff that we want to be focusing on and so we have a couple of things in the pipeline for this year that we’ve seen a lot of success with so far that fit that category at least.

Andrew: What’s an idea that you’ve built because someone paid you for it but it didn’t go anywhere?

Max: It’s a good question. Probably like an integration with a specific retailer is the easiest one. So stuff like Bonanza is a marketplace that’s new. And I like what they’re doing. They’re really a cool marketplace, but somebody was like, “Hey, I’ll pay you upfront if you build an integration for PriceYak.” We accepted the money, built it and then it’s just not as . . . Like, we got the money but it’s not about the money. It’s more about showing the intention to use this product. That’s why we want to collect the money upfront. And so . . . But it wasn’t like a big enough market place yet. It wasn’t somewhere we were going to spend a lot of money and the engineering focus, marketing focus was too high to justify it.

Andrew: It seems like that, Max, is how you guys find new product ideas. You’re open to somebody coming over to zinc.io where you call yourself the e-commerce laboratory. You’re open to them, paying you for products just so you can learn, “What do we need to create next?” Am I right?

Max: That’s right to a large extent. Yeah, I think we’ve historically have learned a lot from our customers and I think any good startup founder will tell you, “Talk to your customers. Talk to them often and early and take them seriously.” And so that’s something that we’ve kept close.

Andrew: What else? What else do you do to understand what your customers need?

Max: Beyond just what they say, I think there’s also this incentive to kind of anticipate new solutions to existing problems. I think customers are often . . . Like, the biggest complaint that you can have about customers that they’re often set in their ways, they’ve like found a way that kind of works for them, it’s okay or they just accepted that this is the problem and it’s going to be like that forever. And so you won’t really . . . Like, sometimes those are so ingrained that people won’t even tell you about them, right? It’s like you’ll have a hard time getting it out of them, so you need to see this for yourself, you need to be in the business yourself potentially or you can do research in other ways and that’s just kind of ideating in the space. That’s something that founders do too.

Andrew: Are you saying that you guys do that too, that you’re doing a little bit of selling yourself so that you understand what sellers need?

Max: We actually don’t, but I mean, like not anymore. My co-founder used to do that. It’s the same method that we got that idea through.

Andrew: Got it. Okay. Is there . . . Do you do anything else? Do you do standard calls with them? Do you do webinars that you get feedback on? Anything like that?

Max: We do calls. Yeah, we do. We call all the customers that are in our onboarding flow, we call customers that are churn, we call customers that are . . . Obviously, we do webinars for JoeLister. We’ll have like a weekly support meeting basically where anybody can log in and ask questions just live. All sorts of stuff. Yeah, we try to keep the communication channels pretty open.

Andrew: I’m looking to see where you guys get your traffic. It looks like Zinc . . . What’s zincapi.com?

Max: Zinc API is the enterprise product. That’s the buy API. That’s the thing that I was kind of talking about earlier that we tried to sell a little bit, gave up on, and now it’s actually seen a quite a resurgence because we’re actually, we were able to ramp up the sales force out a little bit, and so we’re closing more and more enterprise deals with that.

Andrew: You have customer . . . You have salespeople who reach out to customers to talk to them?

Max: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

Andrew: You do. How do you get the customers? What’s your flow there?

Max: We figure out a vertical that we want to target and then we kind of go through the standard methods. We’ll research. We’ll Google around. We’ll do whatever kind of research it takes to find everybody that fits into that category. And then find their contact info through proprietary [metrics 00:45:09]. It is nothing special.

Andrew: There are tools that will do this for you in bulk, right?

Max: Of course, yeah. Exactly.

Andrew: Yeah. Okay. And so you’ll do that and then you use some software to send out one email and then a follow-up email and then when somebody responds they get on a call.

Max: The standard enterprise sales stuff. Exactly.

Andrew: Do you guys work with a guy named Tim Beaver?

Max: Tim Beaver is the MIT mascot.

Andrew: Oh, got it. Got it.

Max: Because you’re looking at the example there.

Andrew: There’s actual a guy named Tim Beaver who’s on LinkedIn. So you guys use an email address in your API that I guess belongs to him. I didn’t realize that was a mascot.

Max: Yeah.

Andrew: No one’s going to follow it because the phone number is 555-123, etc. Just Tim Beaver happens to show up in there.

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: What about the Slack app, the Slack bot? What is that called?

Max: Buybot. Yeah. That’s kind of a . . . That was a hackathon project that we did. It kind of worked for a little bit. We used it internally but it wasn’t something that we really productize.

Andrew: What was the goal behind that? It was just, “We have this API.” Who on the team . . . Just guys on the team create something with this API and somebody came up with the Slack bot?

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: Got it. And I like it. This is one of the reasons why I like Slack. I don’t want to use it in our company, but I miss out on stuff like this. I’m going to describe because I freaking . . . Tell me if I understand. I just love how this works. Right now when someone needs to order something they come to me and I go, “Can you just ask Andrea?” And then Andrea goes into my Amazon account and she orders it. What you guys had said is, “Look, let’s just cut Andrew and Andrea out of the account. There’s a Slack bot. Someone can say, “I want to buy . . . ” I don’t know what. And the Slack bot says, “Great. It’s going to come to you.” That’s the way it works, right?

Max: API on Amazon. It’s that simple. It’s that simple.

Andrew: On Amazon. That’s what we use too. Do you guys have like a cap on how much the person could spend or could they say, “I just need a new $2,000 computer,” and get it.

Max: Spend whatever you want. We approve. We kind of see all the accounts coming in right now, so you have to pre-fund or you put it in the credit card or debit card and we’ll use that.

Andrew: Oh, into your account and then you guys are buying it from your Amazon account?

Max: We’ll buy it separately, exactly.

Andrew: It’s not coming into my account. I think that makes a lot of sense. I just don’t understand why you guys launched it. I get why you would want it. Why launch it? Was it a marketing thing?

Max: What do you mean why launch it? Well, we thought . . . I mean, any team can incorporate into their office. The idea is you can . . . If you’re buying office snacks, for example, anybody on the team can . . . You add this . . . Your company adds this Slack bot to your Slack and you can buy office snacks, anybody can request and there’s a little approval flow, office supplies, things like that. So this is . . . Yeah, it’s a public product.

Andrew: I know. I know. I just wonder why. Was it because you thought if people are using Slack and they use Amazon, maybe some of them will be customers? Or why launch it? It doesn’t seem to fit in with everything else as much as I love it?

Max: It’s a little bit different. I agree, but we’re open to launching more rather than less I think.

Andrew: Because? That’s what I’m trying to understand. To figure out what people like, to learn? To do what?

Max: To learn. I mean, we didn’t think it was a good idea. We never gave it the attention that it deserves really on the marketing side. Maybe this podcast will help. If you guys want to check out, yeah, check out Buybot, I think buybot.ai is the URL or zinc.io and then find Buybot. And so, yeah, we just never gave it the marketing attention it deserves, but there are some users that found it inbound are happy using it buying stuff for their office, so that’s kind of cool.

Andrew: It makes so much sense. This is why.. I’m telling you, I love Basecamp because it keeps things quiet, nobody ads plugins for Basecamp. I talked to Jason Fried about a lot, he goes, “Why do you need all this stuff in your chat? Keep it quiet.” But I would love this. I don’t want anyone ping me. Ping Buybot.

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: All right, Max, thanks so much for being on here. Congratulations on building a successful company that’s doing so well. For anyone who wants to go check it out, go check out zinc.io.

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: Why is it called Zinc?

Max: Zinc is a metal that’s everywhere but you don’t really know about it.

Andrew: And you want to be the plumbing of e-commerce, you want to be in everything that we do even if we don’t know about it.

Max: That’s right.

Andrew: All right. Zinc.io. And now you guys know about it. I’m really amazed by this company. This is the kind of company that I feel like Paul Graham loves. Like I’ve been thinking about Zapier. Most people wouldn’t get it, but they get it. All right. Zinc.io. Congratulations on your success.

I want to thank my two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first will do your email marketing so well it will amaze you. Even Max is excited. He’s going to go check this out. It’s called ActiveCampaign. Do me a favor, go to activecampaign.com/mixergy so I get credit for sending you over there and you’ll get a bunch of good stuff that other people don’t get. And the company that will help you hire those 10X developers, really, toptal.com/mixergy.

And finally, if you’ve got a speaker or a smart speaker, please shout at it and tell it to play Mixergy and then let me know if it’s working or not by just contacting me and my team, contact@mixergy.com. I’m really excited that you can listen to me everywhere all around your house. Everybody’s going to listen to me. Not me, really. I do a lot more talking than I used to, but Max has spent more time talking in this interview, and my guests will always be the ones who talk the most. I want you to hear them. Bye. Thanks, everyone.

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