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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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Mar 7, 2017

In this episode, Dave interviews David Hauser, a life-long serial entrepreneur. He founded and grew a company called Grasshopper to $30M in sales together with other businesses. David started his serial entrepreneurship way back in highschool when he founded Return Path, an email performance management system. Listen as David walks us through his experiences building and selling his profitable businesses and the core, underlying values that helped them grow.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:33 – Introducing David Hauser
  • 01:28 – David founded and grew Grasshopper to $30M in sales
    • 01:31 – A big part of that $30M in sales was brilliant marketing
    • 02:01 – After 6 years, David sold Grasshopper for a large sum of money
  • 02:30 – He founded Chargify and secured Mark Cuban as an investor
  • 02:35 – He also founded Return Path which was VC funded
  • 02:49 – Other companies he founded were: PopSurvey, Deck Foundry, Temper, io, Package Fox, and National Entrepreneurs Day
  • 03:52 – How David founded the National Entrepreneurs Day:
    • 04:46 – David and his partner Seemac, questioned why there wasn’t any Entrepreneurs Day in the US
    • 05:04 – They looked into what they could do and had Pres. Obama assign temporary days for 4 straight years
    • 05:19 – They lobbied to get their cause to congress and the senate—but, it didn’t go through
    • 05:46 – Grasshopper’s core purpose was to make entrepreneurs succeed so pushing the National Entrepreneurs Day was one way to do this
    • 06:11 – It is also personal for both David and Seemac
    • 06:26 – Dave mentions the video, Entrepreneurs Can Change the World
    • 06:46 – The video went viral with 1.3M views
  • 07:59 – David’s thought process: just do it!
  • 09:15 – When David started Grasshopper, they charged $10/month for users to access their system online
  • 09:40 – Dave shares about David Cummings who sold Pardot for a hundred million
  • 10:01 – He has a blog that talks discusses medicine vs. vitamins
  • 10:11 – Dave relates David Cummings’ blog to Grasshopper
  • 10:56 – Grasshopper repackaged phone services and sold it to the right group of people
    • 11:30 – Grasshopper’s marketing is all in-bound
    • 12:15 – When Grasshopper started, they were buying traffic to get people to their website
    • 12:50 – They were good at getting keywords
    • 13:07 – They did a lot of paid advertising
    • 14:34 – David discusses channel marketing
    • 15:10 – Before Grasshopper, the name was Got V Mail
    • 15:23 – When they decided to rebrand to Grasshopper, they came up with different ideas
    • 15:50 – They thought of getting real grasshoppers and dipping them in chocolate
    • 16:16 – Ideas were internally exchanged
    • 16:25 – They decided to mail chocolate covered grasshoppers to people
    • 17:04 – They used FedEx to send 5000 envelopes
    • 17:52 – They got a phone call from the police or FBI saying they can’t just mail envelopes to different senators
    • 18:13 – They explained and the envelopes were released
    • 18:42 – They created a conversation about Grasshopper
    • 19:03 – Everyone was directed to the video Dave mentioned
    • 19:17 – The total cost of this marketing tactic was between $110-115K
    • 19:23 – The case study is available at Grasshopper’s resource section
  • 20:36 – How they built the 5000 names in their list
    • 22:05 – They used an outsourced platform for discrete tasks
    • 22:43 – They did pretty well and they only spent about $1000 for all the addresses
  • 25:08 – Whether you are born an entrepreneur or not, there are areas you can learn
  • 25:25 – You can train someone to become a business owner, but you cannot create an entrepreneur
  • 26:06 – Return Path is an email performance management tool which David founded in highschool
    • 26:46 – His friend came along with the concept and David made the prototype
    • 27:03 – He was under 18, so his parents were required to sign allowing David to enter into this contract
    • 27:42 – He was deeply involved in the process
    • 28:35 – When David left for college, it was a small business—today, they’re doing probably about $100M/year
  • 29:27 – Culture has been really important
    • 30:01 – David put time into discussing real core values and purposes
    • 30:24 – He challenged everyone who walked into the office to ask any employee what their core values and purposes are
    • 30:52 – Core values were integrated into everything
    • 31:52 – Even though David was the founder of Chargify, it was still different than Grasshopper
    • 32:47 – “Culture is extremely important”
    • 33:06 – The best case for a SaaS business is doubled by Grasshopper
    • 33:55 – Culture is a combination of environment, the people, the values, and the process
  • 36:07 – Dave and David mentions Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  • 37:10 – David realized that his goal is to build and scale a business
  • 37:54 – Connect with David Hauser at com or in Twitter
  • 40:24 – David is happy to help others
  • 40:49 – Dave closes the podcast

3 Key Points:

  1. Think like you did when you were a kid – believe in the impossible.
  2. If you believe in something, do whatever it takes to promote that vision.
  3. Culture is the combination of environment, people, the values, and the process.

Resources Mentioned: