With $63m Raised, 20% of Top 200 Companies Use This To Communicate With Employees

Jim Larrison

In Episode #761, Nathan interviews Jim Larrison. He’s the co-founder and president of Dynamic Signal, the leading, customer-employee, advocacy engagement platform. Jim has been involved in a handful of startups that were successful from within big companies to venture-funded businesses. With a couple of sold businesses and an IPO, he is set to come forward with Dynamic Signal which has already raised over $68M in funding.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Business Adventures and Into Thin Air
  • What CEO do you follow? – Tony Hsieh
  • Favorite online tool? — Owler
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 5
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “It’s important to fail and not to be scared of failing”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:12 – Nathan introduces Jim to the show
  • 01:53 – Dynamic Signal was founded 7 years ago with the mission to revolutionize how to communicate with your employee
  • 02:03 – Big companies struggle to communicate with their employees
    • 02:23 – Dynamic Signal focuses on simplifying this communication
  • 02:34 – Some large companies don’t use the internet to communicate—they send snail mail, newsletters or magazines
  • 03:09 – Dynamic Signal works with Slack which is a collaboration tool
  • 03:20 – Dynamic Signal is a top-down communication tool
  • 03:43 – Dynamic Signal is a SaaS business with monthly subscription plans
  • 03:59 – Dynamic Signal goes after global businesses, enterprises and corporate businesses
  • 04:40 – Dynamic Signal charges by number of employees
  • 05:36 – Big companies grow faster than the small companies
  • 05:56 – Dynamic Signal segment customers depending on the number of employees and where the employees are based
    • 06:20 – Nestle is a global business with hundreds of companies under their brand
  • 06:43 – Dynamic Signal has no cap in the number of employees
  • 06:57 – Global 50 companies have 23K to millions of employees
  • 07:11 – Global 1000 companies have 5K to 25K employees and 5K employees below are for corporate businesses
  • 07:26 – Dynamic Signal was launched in 2010
  • 07:30 – Jim and his co-founder sold their previous company Adify to Cox
    • 07:43 – It was for $350M
    • 07:52 – It was a quick exit and they’ve raised $20-30M
  • 08:06 – The original idea for Dynamic Signal was to go after advocates and influencers
    • 08:25 – Jim saw that the biggest advocates for businesses like Oakley and Nike are their employees
  • 09:30 – Jim and his co-founder built Dynamic Signal because they like working together, even after their successful exit
    • 10:06 – When they started the company, they told themselves that they wanted to build the technology the right way
  • 10:32 – Team size is around 200, some are in the field and some are in San Francisco
    • 10:45 – Around 80 people are engineers/technical and 40 are on sales
  • 11:17 – First year revenue
  • 12:10 – 2016 ARR
  • 12:40 – Jim’s vision for the company is to go public
  • 13:00 – Total customers is close to a couple of thousand
  • 13:25 – Dynamic Signal has 20% of the global 200 companies
  • 13:55 – Dynamic Signal’s costs are driven to the technology
  • 14:03 – Gross margin is around 85%
  • 14:23 – Jim and his co-founder had a good relationship with Cox
    • 14:36 – Cox also funded Dynamic Signal
  • 15:52 – Jim hasn’t seen any logo churn since they launched
    • 16:03 – Dynamic Signal has a long sales cycle: from 240 days to years
  • 17:15 – Jim has tried the seat bucket license but it hasn’t worked as well as their previous pricing
  • 18:00 – “The way we drive growth is 100% based on getting more usage and that’s it”
  • 18:35 – After the raise, Dynamic Signal is focused on expanding their business
  • 18:50 – Paid spent is less than $500K
  • 19:03 – Payback period
  • 21:07 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Larger companies struggle to communicate and connect with their employees and oftentimes, need a solution.
  2. The biggest supporters and advocates of a brand are the employees.
  3. Get used to failing and don’t fear it—it’s part of your path to greater success and understanding.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Simplero – The easiest way to launch your own membership course like the big influencers do but at 1/10th the cost.
  • 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
  • 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