He Quit Google To Invent Smart Way to Recruit, Doing Around $50k/mo in Sales

Troy Sultan

In Episode #272 Nathan interviews Troy Sultan, founder and CEO of Resource, a company that’s trying to automate the recruitment process. Troy was the first recruitment officer at Grooveshark, and later left Google to return to his passion: startups. Listen as Troy and Nathan talk about Troy’s career path, managing co-founders, and why you shouldn’t rely on venture capital.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – The War of Art
  • What CEO do you follow? — Gary Swart
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Mixmax
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— No
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Slow down to speed up. And think about what you’re really good at.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:10 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:30 – Welcoming Troy to the show
  • 01:47 – Troy founded a startup out of college, then joined early Grooveshark
  • 02:10 – Grooveshark got sued for $17 billion
  • 02:40 – Troy went into hiring at Google in 2013
  • 03:00 – Built a startup in the last year of college – “we made every mistake”
  • 04:00 – Decided to work with Grooveshark to learn about startup success
  • 04:30 – Google was the next stage: seeing how a big company worked
  • 05:00 – Lessons from Google? – “A lot of delegation is happening”
  • 05:13 – The quality of your experience at a big company depends on your manager
  • 05:26 – Troy then started Resource
  • 05:54 – Part of the 500 Startups accelerator
  • 06:06 – 5% equity; $125k investment
  • 06:20 – 3 team members
  • 06:33 – Trying to split equity equally, but people came on at different stages
  • 07:00 – If everyone’s going to provide equal value, try to keep it equal
  • 07:30 – “I don’t want to co-found a company with someone who’s not picking up where I’m weak”
  • 08:05 – Charge a monthly flat rate of $5-8.5k for services. Month-by-month opt-in model
  • 08:38 – Doing tens of thousands in revenue per month
  • 09:10 – Customers “in the low double digits”
  • 09:30 – Creating a hiring solution that’s part-human, part-software
  • 09:54 – Most acquisitions are coming through social credibility
  • 10:20 – No spending on marketing at the moment
  • 10:40 – Not a SaaS company – they’re not looking at churn
  • 11:00 – MRR varies depending on when people are hiring
  • 11:50 – “If we do a good job, we get rid of customers…but hopefully they come back”
  • 12:25 – Troy’s trying to hack his way to the next checkpoint
  • 12:50 – In a good month Resource makes $50k in revenue
  • 13:00 – Operating profitably – margins are good
  • 13:30 – “We don’t want to rely on venture capital early on”
  • 13:50 – Connect with Troy on Twitter or through his blog
  • 15:20 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Slow down to speed up. It can be worth putting your short-term goals on hold to go corporate for a while and learn from the masters
  2. Be certain that your business can make a profit on its own terms. If you rely on venture capital early on, you can go a long way with a bad idea.
  3. Choose your co-founders carefully. If they’re not going to bring serious value, they’re probably not who you want to start a company with.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Leadpages – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.