Sramana: What is the most popular reward type?
Scott Dudelson: Without a doubt it is the Amazon gift card. Gift cards in general are popular.
Sramana: If you were able to give advice to another entrepreneur, what advice would you pass on? What were some of your biggest lessons learned?
Scott Dudelson: We pivoted twice before we found the model that works. I have met a lot of entrepreneurial teams that hit a road bump, and they give up. They do not look deep into why something is the way it is. Our CEO really looks at the issues with a long-term perspective and a lot of positive energy. He is never afraid to re-invent what we are doing.
Sramana: How many people do you have in your company?
Scott Dudelson: Around 65 people.
Sramana: What is your team strategy? What roles do various people perform?
Scott Dudelson: We have a customer service team, which is one of the most important tenants of our organization. If we lose our reputation, then we will lose everything we have built. That team has seven people full time.
We have a fairly large tech team. We are always evolving our existing products and developing new products. We also have a marketing team with people dedicated to social media. We have a video content production team because we produce a lot of content. We also have a sales component and an affiliate manager team. We have everything that a growing startup in this space should have.
Sramana: How did you meet the co-founders, and how did you all decide to start a company together?
Scott Dudelson: My background is in the music world. I had been longtime friends with the band Linkin Park. Their former attorney, who is also our Prodégé attorney, knew Josef. Josef and the attorney were talking about the fund raising for charity concept and they brought it up to Linkin Park as an idea to help raise money for their organization called Music for Relief. I entered the picture when I ran into one of my friends in the band. He was telling me about this concept and he told me that I needed to meet Josef. He facilitated the introduction and I was sold from the minute I heard the idea.
Sramana: What is it that works between the two of you?
Scott Dudelson: Mutual trust and respect. We work well together. There is a core management team here that is truly outstanding. They work together well and carry on a vision very well together.
Sramana: Generally, successful co-founder relationships that we see are based on long-established friendships, not necessarily on one specific project.
Scott Dudelson: We did meet on this project, but to that point it is interesting that you mention that. Two of the other men who have been key to this company are people I have known since high school. Some of the other people who work at the company are close friends of Josef’s.
Sramana: This is an encouraging story for people who look to start a company and find a co-founder who is not a close friend.
Scott Dudelson: A lot of credit goes to Josef. He is extraordinarily humble and very intelligent. He keeps the organization in check.
Sramana: You are at $35 million now. Where do you want to go with the company now?
Scott Dudelson: My dream would be to do this for as long as possible and work with this group as long as possible. From a revenue standpoint, I don’t think we have hit the tip of the iceberg. We just launched our affiliate shopping portal. That is a product that can drive us north of $100 million in revenue annually.
Sramana: Will you take the company public? Do you see yourself selling the company?
Scott Dudelson: We just keep our heads down and focus on building the business as profitable as possible. Whatever happens will happen.
Sramana: This is a great story. Thank you for sharing, and best of luck as you press on with your business.