You forgot $20,000 in your snowboard pocket
Want to hear a crazy story? Here's a crazy story.
Here we are at episode 30! Just found this old 2012 interview with the founder of MailChimp, before they became a $4.2 billion company. This quotes is awesome:
Back in 2001, we had multiple customers who needed help sending their email newsletters. They were using really big, expensive, bloated software. We had some “scrap code” lying around, so we modified the code and turned it into an email newsletter app for them. We opened it up to the public, set up some Google Adwords, and basically forgot about it. Then, in 2005, we noticed it was a better business than our web-dev agency so we decided to take all of 2006 to wind down the agency business and beef up MailChimp’s features. We officially hit the “reset button” in 2007 and became a product company.
More recently, MailChimp was in Forbes:
Ben Chestnut and his cofounder, Dan Kurzius, have both profited richly from their patience. With $600 million in revenue, Mailchimp is in the black and has more than doubled its estimated valuation to $4.2 billion in the last two years, giving Chestnut, 44, and Kurzius, 46, its sole owners, stakes worth $2.1 billion each.
Even more interesting for us:
Mailchimp, launched in 2001 and remained a side project for several years, earning a few thousand dollars a month. Then in 2007, when it hit 10,000 users, the two decided to commit full-time.
This was the part that surprised me: MailChimp was a side-project for 6 years (earning just a few thousand to start).
Especially interesting in light of this DHH quote I shared in a previous episode:
If it takes five years to get to the point where the business can pay two salaries, it's possible that the business isn't destined for that long-term.
Bootstrappers need to be more patient! (And maybe keep their day job)
What do you think?
- Leave a comment on Breaker, the podcast app for Android and iPhone.
- Leave a comment on CastBox, the podcast app for Android and iPhone.
- Leave a comment on Tung.fm
- Otherwise, get us on Twitter: @transistorfm or email us: email@example.com
- Create your own podcast at transistor.fm
- MailChimp in Forbes Magazine
- Bill Irwin’s tweet
- An interview with Ben Chestnut
- We can still do a lot to slow climate change.
- DHH: why is We Work promoting burnout?
- ProfitWell Engage
- Good News Podcast
Thanks to our Patreon supporters:
- Darby Frey – LeadHonestly.com
- Kevin Markham
- Adam Duvander
- Dave Giunta