Brilliant Ad Tech Hedge: $8m Managed Services Firm RockerBox Adds $1k/mo SaaS Product

Ron Jacobson

In Episode #824, Nathan interviews Ron Jacobson. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Rockerbox and Hindsight. Ron was a project manager at AppNexus and a proud McGill alumni. Follow him on Twitter.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Made in America
  • What CEO do you follow? – Elon Musk and Mark Cuban
  • Favorite online tool? — Spectacle
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 7
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “There are going to be a lot of highs and there are going to be a lot of lows, but you just got too keep moving”

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:36 – Nathan introduces Ron to the show
  • 02:01 – Rockerbox is an online marketing technology company
  • 02:09 – Hindsight is a secondary offering which is an off-site analytics platform, complementary to Rockerbox
  • 02:28 – Rockerbox is a management service and Hindsight is the SaaS part
  • 03:00 – Rockerbox was launched in early 2014
  • 03:03 – Team size is 18
  • 03:13 – Target customers are marketers
  • 03:25 – Rockerbox has partnerships with publishers and data providers
    • 04:40 – Through different partnerships, they’re able to know the source of potential customers
  • 05:25 – First year revenue was $640K gross
    • 05:30 – 2015: under $2M , 2016 was around $4M and it will probably be $8M this year
  • 05:48 – 10% of the customers are on Hindsight
  • 06:50 – In 2016, Rockerbox has served 50 customers
  • 07:19 – Hindsight currently has around 13 customers with a MRR of $16K
  • 07:43 – Some of Rockerbox’s customers are Vimeo and Vanguard
    • 08:16 – CAC and LTV
    • 08:26 – No logo and revenue churn yet
    • 08:50 – Some small companies can’t scale and their pricing is “take it or leave it”
  • 09:32 – 5 team members are focused on Hindsight
  • 09:59 – Hindsight is self-funded and is based on Rockerbox
  • 10:14 – Ron shares why they raised funding despite doubling Rockerbox’s ARR
  • 11:05 – Ron has reached out to people whom he hasn’t talked to for decades just to acquire new customers
    • 11:16 – Ron shares the content of his email
  • 13:10 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Having fewer customers with a larger paywall works well, it allows you to focus more on your customers’ needs.
  2. Stick to your pricing and your target market.
  3. Through the highs and lows, just KEEP MOVING.

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