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Bootstrapping Using Services to $40 Million: ActiveCampaign CEO Jason VandeBoom (Part 6)

Posted on Saturday, Dec 23rd 2017

Sramana Mitra: What else is tricky that is worth discussing that people can learn from?

Jason VandeBoom: I think it’s really trying to find that optimal speed of growing. Just in the last 12 months alone, a lot of people can look at our company and say, “Why don’t you triple the sales team?” I think an organization can only grow as fast as it can grow. There’s also this natural cadence that you can grow by.

Sramana Mitra: You’re based in Chicago? The entire operation is based in Chicago?

Jason VandeBoom: Yes. We’re only 45% US-based. An interesting thing for us is how do we expand on the international level. Do we open an office somewhere?

Sramana Mitra: Is the sales process all telephone and web-based?

Jason VandeBoom: Yes, the vast majority of people who buy our products self-serve. Our sales team do help an increasing number of people but those are just demo or phone calls. Because it is marketing automation at heart, it can do so many things. We need to identify the first things to start with.

Sramana Mitra: What is that? What is your market entry point for establishing that value?

Jason VandeBoom: Usually it’ll start basic. If someone’s coming from an email marketing platform, they’ll start doing similar types of messaging with our platform but segment it a little bit more, or to have it a little bit more automated. From there, we can get a little bit more advanced. We can highlight additional workflows that they can do. We can do that from a product standpoint and by using customer success reps. As a marketing team starts seeing success in their platform, we also have some sales components in it as well.

Sramana Mitra: What are you going to do revenue-wise in 2017? Where is the company now?

Jason VandeBoom: We’re approaching $40 million and growing steadily.

Sramana Mitra: What is your end game? Do you want to sell the company? Do you want to take it public?

Jason VandeBoom: I’m a very big advocate of not being exit-focused. I truly can’t think that we’re designing for IPO or acquisition. If you start thinking about that you start designing for one thing and one thing alone. I’m far more focused on a sustainable business. That means a business that is cash flow positive. With such a healthy focus on sustainability, the options are up to us and not up to any predetermined plan.

Sramana Mitra: Great. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 6 in the series : Bootstrapping Using Services to $40 Million: ActiveCampaign CEO Jason VandeBoom
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