Bill Gates Was Great to Work With, But This Founder Wanted His Own Thing

Hal Howard

In Episode #746, Nathan interviews Hal Howard, 20-year Microsoft veteran who gave up a stable, secure position leading the Dynamics ERP development team to satiate a spark of creativity. Today, he’s the founder of Komiko, a sales intelligence tool that helps their businesses understand what engagement with customers is working.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Execution
  • What CEO do you follow? – Satya Nadella
  • Favorite online tool? — Vinfolio
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Don’t worry man. Everything’s going to work out just fine”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:45 – Komiko is a sales intelligence tool that helps their businesses understand what engagement with customers is working
    • 02:12 – Komiko is integrated with different sources
    • 02:20 – A cloud-based subscription-based model
  • 02:37 – Hal was at Microsoft for 20 years
    • 02:59 – left Microsoft because he wanted to build something new
    • 03:16 – “There are still unexplored technologies around business applications”
  • 03:54 – Customer pays an average of $30-35 a month per user
    • 04:00 – Team size ranges from 3 to 500
    • 04:11 – There are currently 2000 paying seats across 50 businesses in total
  • 04:33 – Average MRR is $60K
  • 05:19 – Team size is 10
    • 05:37 – 8 are engineers
  • 05:48 – Hal and his co-founder are doing both sales and product engineering
    • 06:00 – Hal is more on the design
  • 06:30 – Komiko is now a complimentary CRM
    • 06:38 – Partnered with Salesforce and most of their customers are using Salesforce
  • 07:19 – CRM is in a different decision set compared to Komiko
    • 07:40 – Komiko works with corporate clients to help them understand what engagement works and what doesn’t
  • 07:59 – “We don’t lose customers”
    • 08:05 – In Komiko’s lifetime, they’ve only lost 4 customers so far, 1 was acquired
  • 08:28 – CAC is mostly inbound and Komiko was listed in AppExchange
    • 08:44 – Hal and his co-founder alone were able to drive a lot of customers, mostly from referrals and the businesses they’ve worked with before
    • 08:51 – Just started an outbound campaign in early 2017
    • 08:59 – Has a partnership with GameSite
      • 09:20 – GameSite’s focus is how customers engage with the product
      • 09:35 – GameSite is building a platform for customer success and Komiko’s metric will help the overall customer solution
    • 09:48 – Komiko raised some capital
      • 10:03 – Total fund raised is around $2M
      • 10:23 – Initial round was convertible note and then the seed round is priced round
    • 10:37 – 2017 revenue target is at least a million dollars
    • 11:04 – 2016 revenue is $15K
    • 11:23 – Gross margin is around 75%
    • 12:09 – Hal won’t easily sell Komiko, but he might consider for at least $25M
    • 14:43 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Nurture the network that you have, it will always help you in some way down the road.
  2. You have the option leave your comfort zone, you can explore and create something new.
  3. It’s possible to not lose customer IF you consistently help the customers see value in your product.

Resources Mentioned:

  • 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
  • GetLatka – Database of all B2B SaaS companies who have been on my show including their revenue, CAC, churn, ARPU and more
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Hotjar – Nathan uses Hotjar to track what you’re doing on this site. He gets a video of each user visit like where they clicked and scrolled to make the site a better experience
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Simplero – The easiest way to start and sell your course
  • 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
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives