Posted on Thursday, Apr 7th 2022
If you haven’t already, please study our Bootstrapping Course and Investor Introductions page.
We’re big fans of solo entrepreneurs. GuideCX Founder CEO Peter Ord validated his business with real paying customers before he raised money; always the best strategy.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the very beginning of your journey. Where are you from? Where were you born, raised, and in what kind of background? Peter Ord: I grew up in San Diego, California. I’m one of five boys. My father was a homebuilder and my mother was a teacher. Our summer jobs involved framing homes for my father. Oddly enough, that’s where some of the ideas came for GuideCX. There is a certain order to an operation that needed to occur that I grew up seeing over and over again. Sramana Mitra: What kind of an educational path did you follow that led you up to GuideCX? Peter Ord: I went to college at Brigham Young University. I was majoring in construction management. Being exposed to scheduling software and understanding the importance of holding contractors accountable to timelines was part of the impetus that led to the creation of GuideCX. It took longer than I had expected because I had graduated from college in 2007 when there was a housing crisis. The markets weren’t too great. Every single company I interned with didn’t exist when I graduated.
I decided to work for another software company called DealerSocket. This company built CRM applications for car dealerships. I went to work there because they also aspired to build a CRM application for homebuilders. I felt like this will be applicable. The catch was they were going to grow the car dealership vertical first. The car dealership vertical exploded. The company never got around to building its product for homebuilding.
I remember coming into that company and thinking, “We’re working with car dealerships. They’re low-tech individuals.” Our product wasn’t such that you can just turn it on and have them use it. We had a checklist of about 120 items we had to take them through. There are a variety of responsibilities in that checklist that comprised of what their manufacturer needed to do and what they needed to do. We managed that process internally. We didn’t have any scheduling tools.
I remember going to the COO and saying, “We should use this scheduling tool for our software business because it can manage our dependencies in the generic project management software we were using.” We never ended up doing that. I was with that company for 14 years. Half of my time there was on the account services side implementing the product and traveling around the country.
That latter half of my time was on the sales side. When I jumped to the sales side, the company grew and we started attracting enterprise-level deals. Those implementations got exponentially more complex as there were more locations that we needed to track. I was that sales guy that knew exactly what the product should do.
One common theme happening was that our churn was in direct correlation to how they were implemented. We were winning the renewal of our product in the first 30 days. The first 30 days indicated the long-term trajectory of the partnership. Private equity acquired us and we then bought four other companies in the automotive software space. Now, our implementation got that much more complex.
Sramana Mitra: This is not GuideCX, right? Peter Ord: This is before GuideCX. They say the greatest companies in the world are built off of founders’ greatest frustrations. The frustration that spawned GuideCX was born at DealerSocket.
Our conversation continues
here. This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping . Bootstrapping to an Exit . Why is Bootstrapping Important? . How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently? . Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings . Excess is NOT Required for Success . Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later . Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies . The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit . Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping . Bootstrapping to Unicorns More »» . Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million . Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue . Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million . Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy . How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million . Bootstrapping with a Paycheck . How Algo.ai CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan . Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses . How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million . Bootstrapping with Services . How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million . How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana . How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million . Death by Overfunding . How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+ . How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck . TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage . The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance . BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering . Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania . Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million . SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida . Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million . Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK . Ownership Matters . Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland . Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado . 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Bay Dynamics Co-founders Bootstrapped Using Services . Building an AI Software Company from Dallas . RJMetrics Co-founders Bootstrapped First, Raised $22M Later . Bootstrapping Niche E-Commerce Business BuyAutoParts to Exit . TemplateMonster was Bootstrapped to $15 Million . Bootstrapping Edge Hosting to $18 Million . Bootstrapping, Fund Raising and Exiting with Sefaira . Bootstrapping IdeaScale to $5M from Scratch . Bootstrapping to $10M from Finland . Happy Grasshopper CEO Dan Stewart Bootstrapped to Inflection . Bootstrapping Gravity Pro Using Services . Founder Builds Multiple Bootstrapped Education Software Companies . Bootstrapping to $10M from Australia, Raising $25M from the US . Bootstrapped Y Soft to $30M from the Czech Republic . Bootstrapped from Belarus, Raised Money from Silicon Valley . Bootstrapped SproutLoud to $30M from Florida . Bootstrapped 2600Hz Using Services . A Serial Bootstrapping Entrepreneur’s Journey . 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Master Bootstrappers with $1+ Billion in Exits . Bootstrapped Ultra Mobile to Over $100 Million . Bootstrapping a 2-Sided Marketplace to $10M