This App is Redefining On Demand Apparel Commerce with 3m Downlaods and $3m+ In Sales

Ben Williamson

Summary:
In Episode #273 Nathan interviews his friend and mentor Ben Williamson. Ben went from teaching himself to code, to working with Steve Jobs. After 10 years at Apple, Ben’s building Yoshirt – a custom apparel tool that’s priced at $5 million after just two years. Listen as Ben and Nathan talk through fundraising, insecurities, and building an incredibly successful startup.

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Famous 5

  • Favorite Book? – The Way of the SEAL
  • What CEO do you follow? — Nathan Latka
  • What is your favorite online tool? — Periscope
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Recently, no
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — You don’t need anyone else’s permission.

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Ben Williamson, YoShirt

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:30 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 02:17 – Welcoming Ben to the show
  • 02:25 – Ben’s second time on the show – he was here in episode 23
  • 02:53 – Yoshirt was founded in 2014
  • 03:00 – “Custom, on-demand apparel from your iOS device”
  • 03:08 – Last year ran an over-subscribed fundraising round that closed at $1.1 million
  • 03:30 – Priced round at a post-money valuation of $5 million
  • 04:10 – 13 full-time employees
  • 04:25 – They make money from the physical product – $36 per shirt
  • 05:30 – Cost of goods is $15-18; gross margin of 50%
  • 06:12 – Unique point: Yoshirt prints image on a single piece of fabric before they cut and sew
  • 07:02 – Running Facebook ads and retargeting current customers
  • 07:30 – Over 3 million people have downloaded the app
  • 07:43 – Over 100k paying customers
  • 08:30 – Focus on delivering fantastic customer experience
  • 08:50 – “We make garments so unique that no one can walk by without saying something”
  • 09:20 – Topline revenue was $3 million in 2015
  • 09:25 – Shooting for $10 million in 2016
  • 09:55 – Working with bands to generate growth – partnered with Fall Out Boy
  • 11:00 – Sold over 1,000 units from the Fall Out Boy activation
  • 11:30 – The goal is to see how far they can push the idea
  • 12:00 – “We really look at ourselves as a technology company”
  • 12:50 – Wouldn’t sell Yoshirt for $10 million in cash today
  • 13:30 – People are looking for attention: we’re building a company around that
  • 14:00 – Connect with Ben through email, Linkedin and Twitter
  • 17:55 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Satisfied customers are your best growth tool. Deliver a fantastic product and people will return and refer.
  2. Deal with your own insecurities. You don’t need to seek permission or validation from the people around you.
  3. Get the best data you possibly can. Successful entrepreneurs need facts, not stories.

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.