ProsperWorks SaaS 40k Paying Customers, Announces New Funding Adding to $10M Already

Jon Lee

In Episode #397, Nathan interviews Jon Lee, CEO of ProsperWorks. Jon has jumped to many different industries, from gaming to tech to banking. As an entrepreneur with success in multiple companies, he believes in going after your business goals as soon as possible. Listen to his journey through his businesses and how he ended up with ProsperWorks.

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Famous 5:

  • Favorite Book? – Crossing the Chasm
  • What CEO do you follow? — Marc Benioff
  • Favorite online tool? — Google Apps
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep? — No.
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — Start your companies earlier.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:05 – Nathan introduces Jon Lee
  • 02:10 – “Banking to tech to Yahoo to gaming”
  • 02:40 – He saw a need for advertisers when he worked for Yahoo
  • 03:10 – Bizarre Advertising
  • 03:25 – They automated the business
  • 04:10 – How they got revenue
  • 04:35 – Started in their apartment in Palo Alto
  • 04:50 — $47-million business in two years
  • 05:10 – Applied algorithms to find success
  • 05:35 – Bound to confidentiality on the exit value
  • 06:00 – Balance between cost and revenue
  • 06:40 – How he got into the gaming industry
  • 06:45 – Background in mathematics
  • 07:00 – DNA games
  • 07:15 – They could provide different gaming experiences according to the customer
  • 08:00 – Stickiness is measured according to a customer’s engagement
  • 08:20 – Lifetime value helped companies build better games and make more money
  • 09:10 – They sold when Facebook changed their gaming policies
  • 09:50 – They partnered with a larger company
  • 10:10 – ChefVille
  • 10:40 – A good exit for the investors and the company
  • 11:00 – ProsperWorks
  • 12:00 – CRM
  • 12:10 – Partnering with Google Apps
  • 12:30 – Problems with bad data
  • 13:00 – Automating the data entry
  • 13:30 – They have raised of $10 million
  • 14:20 – Founded in 2011
  • 14:30 – A SaaS platform
  • 14:40 – 40000 customers
  • 14:55 — The Famous Five
  • 15:00 – Profitable sales and marketing
  • 15:15 – Free two-week trial
  • 15:45 – You want a profitable acquisition
  • 16:00 – Focus on building great partnerships and relationships
  • 16:35 – For every $1 spent, they get a $6 return
  • 17:10 – A less mature product needs funding to get customer feedback
  • 17:35 – Team of 67
  • 17:50 – Diminishing marginal returns
  • 18:15 – Invest and get the right type of customer
  • 18:30 – Building up the sales team
  • 19:15 – Average customer pays $49
  • 19:50 – Majority of their contracts are annual
  • 20:30 – Focus to build a useful product
  • 21:00 – Attracting small and medium-sized businesses
  • 21:30 – Revenue churn is negative
  • 23:00 – Jon Lee on LinkedIn or Twitter @prosperworks

3 Key Points:

  1. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, pursue your ideas immediately.
  2. Be realistic about what is best for your company.
  3. Partner with big companies to gain credibility.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • 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.

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