Sramana: You are looking at a $40 million run rate. Where are you looking to go from here? Is going public something to consider?
Matt Dusig: Luckily, we took some chips off the table when we sold our first company. We are not starving artists and there is no rush to sell early this time. The board is super supportive, as are our investors, which is expected when things are going so well. We feel there is an incredible opportunity and room for growth. I think there is opportunity to drive revenue over $100 million. Depending on the mix of our client base and the types of technologies we develop, perhaps we will have a public company. I think the more likely outcome is that in three to five years the company is acquired. In the immediate future, the focus is on growth.
Sramana: What does your current customer mix look like?
Matt Dusig: Our self-serve product has a mixture of clients. We see universities, small businesses, organizations, nonprofits as well as some major Fortune 1000 companies. Our client base comprises market research companies like J.D. Power, GFK, Ipsos, Kantar, and WPP. We are also working with a lot of corporations like Clorox, eHarmony, Swiss Bank, American Idol, and others. They come to us directly because we provide audiences these companies need access to. We don’t tell them what audiences they need to look for, or what they need to learn from data. We just give them access to audiences.
Sramana: Do you allow your client companies to contact the individuals who have signed up with your site and who desire to take surveys?
Matt Dusig: We don’t let clients use them for marketing purposes, but they can re-contact them for other research studies. If you run a study today and you determine from that study that you need to do another study with follow-on questions to that same audience or a segment of that audience, we can help you do that. Companies can also run their own research panels on our system.
P90X is an exercise company based down here. They are going to host their customer panel on our technology. Using our technology they can engage in dialogue with their customers in a much more structured way than a list management service. This is done primarily through surveying. These are private panels, and only P90X gets to use that database for their own needs. They just pay us a licensing fee for our software; we don’t touch their data.
Sramana: What has been the most rewarding experience of your entrepreneurial journey?
Matt Dusig: From the entrepreneurial side, it is rewarding to see people get hired and see their lives changed. People love coming to work here. Greg and I don’t really have to go to work if we don’t want to. We have to really enjoy what we are doing, and the testament to that statement is that nobody quits uSamp. I could count on one hand the number of people who have quit in three and a half years.
Sramana: Can you highlight what you have done to create that atmosphere?
Matt Dusig: From the sales side, it is a performance-based culture. If you perform, you are paid for it. The sky is the limit for salespeople, and they account for 10% of our [work] force. We don’t have set work hours. If you are covering a shift for time zones then there is some structure, but for the most part it is come and go as you please. Get your work done. We have a gaming room and we do all sorts of good things to keep morale up. We had an incredible party in Hollywood last week. The DNA is fun. That is really rewarding for Greg and me.
Sramana: Great! I really enjoyed talking to you. Thanks for sharing your story.