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EO 360°, a podcast by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, explores entrepreneurship with a wide perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.

Host and serial entrepreneur, Dave Will, leads in-depth interviews, whose featured guests include: Gazelles founder and CEO, Verne Harnish; popular podcast host and founder of Genius Network, Joe Polish; award-winning entrepreneur, Zahra Al-Harazi; and more. Tune into this top podcast made by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs.

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Apr 5, 2016


In this episode, Dave interviews David Cummings, and one of two founding partners of Pardot, a company that dedicated itself to redefining the way B2B marketing automation is handled. Listen in as Dave and David discuss the process of bootstrapping a SaaS juggernaut, the struggles of competing against VC money, and how to best handle the acquisition process.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:42 – Dave covers David’s background
  • 01:49 – Started and sold Pardot (US$95 million cash)
  • 03:25 – Dave’s introduction to entrepreneurship
  • 04:30 – Statbook for baseball and softball statistics (1995)
  • 05:45 – The ON start-up series
  • 07:24 – David attended Duke University
  • 07:57 – Why David went to college as opposed to sticking with his businesses
  • 09:21 – The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • 11:02 – Making a product to update and change a website with ease
  • 14:00 – David got in on the SaaS explosion at the ground floor
  • 15:19 – In 2006, David had the idea for Pardot
  • 17:11 – As the CEO, your job is to become LESS needed to the company—the more you’re needed, the more you’re doing wrong
  • 18:37 – Find partners that complement (not replicate) your skillsets
  • 19:53 – Coming to the realization that Pardot was a diamond in the rough
  • 22:50 – By the time Pardot was sold, the company was averaging about $15K per customer per annum
  • 25:12 – The value of having a passion for culture
  • 25:50 – Be the best place to work, and the best place to be a customer
  • 28:45 – Don’t use the word “value” use the meaning of “value”—actions are louder than words
  • 31:20 – Culture and “schwag” are different—perks don’t create culture, they can help it, but they don’t create it
  • 34:29 – Highlighting the “offer receiving” process
  • 35:50 – Always use this line, “we’re not for sale, but what are you offering?”
  • 37:12 – Walking through the acquisition process and valuation process
  • 39:41 – No brokers, only an attorney—the David did the negotiation all on his own with his partner
  • 42:27 – The deal is closed, the money is in the bank, the wire transfer is complete—but David can’t say a THING for 48 hours because the acquiring company is public
  • 44:46 – Atlanta Tech Village
  • 45:08 –


3 Key Points:

  1. Find business partners that complement your skills, not replicate them.
  2. “Schwag” and perks will not create a winning culture in your business—they can help amplify a winning culture, but they can’t create it.
  3. “We’re not for sale but what are you offering?”—Nine words you need to memorize in the even someone expresses interest in acquiring your business.

Resources Mentioned:


Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives