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