MailPlaneApp 10,000+ Customers With BetterGmail with CEO Lars Steiger


In Episode #504, Nathan interviews Lars Steiger, the co-founder of Mailplane. Nathan found Lars when he was searching in the Gmail space. Listen as Lars shares how he ended up managing Mailplane solo and the reason why he would never sell his company.



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Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – N/A
  • What CEO do you follow? – Jason Fried
  • Favorite online tool? — Basecamp
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Stay calm”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:38 – Nathan introduces Lars to the show
  • 02:05 – Mailplane started as GmailSender in 2006, which was then an iPhoto plugin
  • 02:28 – Mailplane was founded by Ruben, Lars joined in 2007
  • 02:53 – Lars has an equity now with Mailplane
  • 03:15 – Customers are more important for Mailplane
  • 03:33 – Mailplane has an average of 10,000 customers
  • 03:52 – Mailplane offers a 15 day free trial
    • 04:17 – 5,000 users a month try the free trial
  • 04:40 – Mailplane relies mostly on organic traffic
  • 05:00 – Mailplane is a one-time purchase business model
  • 05:30 – 10,000 people from Mailplane’s email list have tried the free trial
  • 05:57 – Lars does the coding for Mailplane
    • 06:15 – Lars uses business development tactics from time-to-time
  • 06:30 – Mailplane is completely bootstrapped
  • 06:53 – Average revenue in 2007
  • 07:40 – Ruben joined Evernote and left Mailplane to Lars in 2012
  • 08:24 – Lars’ goal for Mailplane
  • 09:36 – How much will make Lars sell Mailplane?
  • 10:37 – Lars won’t sell Mailplane because of the customers
  • 11:17 – The most important number for Mailplane is the number of users who are downloading updates
  • 12:25 – Connect with Lars through his email and Mailplane
  • 14:25 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Value and show appreciation to your customers, working to better address their needs.
  2. Sometimes, there’s just no amount that can compensate for the hard work an entrepreneur has put into his business.
  3. Stay CALM, nothing to be gained by choosing the alternative.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel
  • Toptal– Nathan found his development team using Toptal for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible.
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books.
  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens and follow-up with email sequences
  • – Lars’ business website
  • – Lars’ email address
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives