219 episodes

Exploring how the most ambitious CEOs grow great companies. Each week we dive into the strategies and tactics that build transformative businesses with the operators doing it firsthand. Learn more at https://tlaopodcast.com/

Think Like an Owner Alex Bridgeman

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Exploring how the most ambitious CEOs grow great companies. Each week we dive into the strategies and tactics that build transformative businesses with the operators doing it firsthand. Learn more at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    Craig Fuller - On The Intersection of Media and Data [Replay] Ep.219

    Craig Fuller - On The Intersection of Media and Data [Replay] Ep.219

    The intersection of media and data has been the top idea on my mind for quite some time now. And my guest today, Craig Fuller, runs one of the best modern examples of this concept in action. FreightWaves, founded in 2016, is a media and data company focused on trucking, freight, supply chains, and all things logistics. To date, they have raised $91 million, will hit $42 million in revenue this year, split 55/45 between data and media, and have a valuation of between $300 and 400 million today.
    Craig’s work building FreightWaves has been an invaluable model for my work at HW Media as Chief of Staff with CEO Clayton Collins and the rest of our team. Conversations like this one have been instrumental in our discussions on the future of HW Media as an all-things housing media business. But we, and especially myself, also believe this model, this intersection of media and data can be a replicable strategy across industries.
    The goal of my episode with Craig today was to better understand how media and data can work together to create transformative companies, and I’m grateful for Craig’s willingness to share his experience and expertise. Throughout the episode, we talk about what data sets to focus on first in an industry and how to build around them, developing the product roadmap, the media data flywheel, hiring effective editorial and sales teams, and the investor perception of FreightWaves. Enjoy.
    Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, and TuneIn. 

    Learn more about Alex and Think Like an Owner at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    I want to tell you about the audience survey we are currently running. These surveys help us create the best content for listeners and better understand your needs and interests. Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback, we greatly appreciate it. 
    Take the survey here: https://bit.ly/3QLBB1N

    Links:
    Craig on LinkedIn
    FreightWaves
    The Economics of Data Businesses by Abraham Thomas

    Topics:
    (00:00:00) - Intro
    (00:05:08) - Why do media companies typically misunderstand ‘data’ and data companies?
    (00:07:51) - How did the Media & Data arms of FreightWaves impact each other as you built this business?
    (00:13:44) - When you think back about creating high-frequency data, how did you approach building it for FreightWaves?
    (00:18:32) - Where has the bulk of your capital gone in building the company?
    (00:28:02) - How do you think about expanding your data sets going forward?
    (00:32:50 - Who is involved in your product development process?
    (00:38:44) - How did you two sides of your business interact in the early days, and has that changed over time?
    (00:50:12) - How do you attract high-quality talent?
    (00:54:56) - How do you structure your sales teams? How do you think about pricing?
    (01:02:01) - What’s the investor perception of businesses running on Media & Data?

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Henry Schuck - Creating Ambitious Teams at ZoomInfo - EP.218

    Henry Schuck - Creating Ambitious Teams at ZoomInfo - EP.218

    Ep. 218: Alex (@aebridgeman) is joined by Henry Schuck (@HenryLSchuck).

    My guest today is Henry Schuck, founder and CEO at ZoomInfo, one of the most successful data businesses in recent times with a market cap today around $12B. I’ve been looking forward to this podcast for a long time because Henry has proven to be an effective founder, acquirer, and public CEO capital allocator, which is a rare combination of skills to find in a single CEO. He’s thought very deeply about building high performing organizations, sales functions, and how his own role needs to evolve as the company grows.

    We talk through lessons learned building vs acquiring capabilities, M&A and integration lessons learned, fixing problems with a process vs culture approach, and how data businesses will succeed in the future

    Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, and TuneIn. 
    Learn more about Alex and Think Like an Owner at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    I want to tell you about the audience survey we are currently running. These surveys help us create the best content for listeners and better understand your needs and interests. Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback, we greatly appreciate it. 
    Take the survey here: https://bit.ly/3QLBB1N

    Links:
    Zoominfo
    Henry on X

    Topics:
    (00:00:00) - Intro
    (00:03:49) - What would you focus on if you were running Boeing?
    (00:07:26) - How have you seen other CEOs solve culture vs. process problems?
    (00:12:47) - How do you approach hiring?
    (00:20:28) - How can you incentivize employees to buy into company values?
    (00:23:11) - What have you learned working with investors and other CEOs to be a great founder and M&A executive?
    (00:26:52) - How do you incorporate new tools or partners into Zoominfo?
    (00:33:53) - What have you learned about integrating acquired companies?
    (00:36:24) - How do you get a conviction when doing due diligence on a potential acquisition?
    (00:38:49) - What skills around M&A are you looking to improve?
    (00:41:19) - How will data companies in the future succeed?

    • 45 min
    Mike Stone - Growing a $1B+ Painting Company - Ep.217

    Mike Stone - Growing a $1B+ Painting Company - Ep.217

    Ep.217: Alex (@aebridgeman) is joined by Mike Stone (@michael-stone).

    My guest today is Mike Stone, CEO of CertaPro Painters, the largest painting company in North America structured as a franchise with 370 owners across 500 territories and over $700m in revenue. Their goal is to become a $1B company shortly and a $2.5B revenue company by 2032. The painting industry is a $60B industry growing modestly and is highly fragmented, making this an interesting industry to explore given the lack of similarly-sized national competitors.

    Mike and I talk about why the industry is so fragmented, the tailwinds behind the industry, what needs to evolve and grow to hit their growth goals, and how CertaPro builds a differentiated playbook within home services.

    Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, and TuneIn. 
    Learn more about Alex and Think Like an Owner at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    I want to tell you about the audience survey we are currently running. These surveys help us create the best content for listeners and better understand your needs and interests. Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback, we greatly appreciate it. 

    Take the survey here: https://bit.ly/3QLBB1N

    Links:
    Mike on LinkedIn
    CertaPro

    Topics:
    (00:00:00) - Intro
    (00:04:26) - Mike’s path to the CEO of CertaPro
    (00:09:16) - Meeting Herb Kelleher
    (00:11:25) - Where does your company stand today among competition?
    (00:13:14) - What is holding back your competition from scaling like you?
    (00:14:54) - Is it faster growing under a franchise model?
    (00:19:52) - Are there other consolidators chasing talent?
    (00:22:37) - What has become harder as you’ve grown?
    (00:26:59) - Successful meeting structures
    (00:29:24) - What data do you value for marketing?
    (00:32:22) - How does seasonality affect business?
    (00:33:43) - What else do you need to build to scale to your goals?

    • 37 min
    Ayman Al-Abdullah - How Companies Scale to $100M and Beyond - Ep.215

    Ayman Al-Abdullah - How Companies Scale to $100M and Beyond - Ep.215

    Ep.215: Alex (@aebridgeman) is joined by Ayman Al-Abdullah (@aymanalabdul).
    My guest today is Ayman Al-Abdullah, former CEO of Appsumo and now executive coach to other ambitious CEOs looking to scale 7 and 8-figure businesses past $100m, Ayman’s specialty. I love learning from CEOs who’ve made that journey and can share key lessons and takeaways, and Ayman fits that to a “T.” He’s also a Durham native, which is where my wife and I will be moving to this summer so we had some fun talking about his move from Austin.
    Ayman and I talk about chokepoints in a company’s growth, habits that made him successful at Appsumo, why he stepped down as CEO, and how other ambitious CEOs can be more effective in their leadership roles.

    Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, and TuneIn. 
    Learn more about Alex and Think Like an Owner at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    I want to tell you about the audience survey we are currently running. These surveys help us create the best content for listeners and better understand your needs and interests. Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback, we greatly appreciate it. 
    Take the survey here: https://bit.ly/3QLBB1N

    Links:
    Ayman on X
    Ayman's website
    How to Make a Few Billion Dollars by Brad Jacobs
    The Accountant Trailer

    Topics:
    (00:00:00) - Intro
    (00:04:20) - Leaving AppSumo to pursue coaching
    (00:12:28) - What was the most informative experience for you in the CEO role?
    (00:14:27) - What gets companies over the $7m hurdle?
    (00:18:26) - What culture questions do you enjoy asking?
    (00:24:03) - Improving the Sales role
    (00:25:50) - Who was the best salesperson you ever hired?
    (00:27:38) - Skills you need vs. what can be taught in sales
    (00:31:34) - Have you reflected on whether you were born to be a CEO?
    (00:34:44) - What have you found that helps CEOs succeed in the role?
    (00:37:29) - Weekly journaling and exercise rituals
    (00:42:30) - Ayman’s 25-year vision
    (00:50:57) - Do you study other CEOs?
    (00:53:25) - The hero’s journey
    (01:02:41) - What’s something you’re passionate about?

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Dennis Dresser - High Performing SaaS Sales Orgs - Ep.214

    Dennis Dresser - High Performing SaaS Sales Orgs - Ep.214

    Ep.214: Alex (@aebridgeman) is joined by Dennis Dresser (@DennisDresser).

    My guest today is Dennis Dresser. Dennis was a sales leader at IBM and Oracle and became CRO at Anaplan and Dialpad before taking on an advisory role with companies looking to develop best-in-class sales organizations. Throughout his career, he’s developed a playbook for creating these high-performing sales teams and has thought deeply about talent management, performance management, and implementing better processes.

    This episode dives into some of that playbook along with characteristics to look for in hiring great sales leaders, scaling sales orgs, sales qualification methodologies, and so much more.

    Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, and TuneIn. 
    Learn more about Alex and Think Like an Owner at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    I want to tell you about the audience survey we are currently running. These surveys help us create the best content for listeners and better understand your needs and interests. Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback, we greatly appreciate it. 
    Take the survey here: https://bit.ly/3QLBB1N

    Links:
    JMI Equity
    Dennis on LinkedIn

    Topics:
    (00:00:00) - Intro
    (00:03:17) - Career lessons learned
    (00:06:27) - Evolving a Sales Team
    (00:08:14) - Churn impacts
    (00:10:10) - The high-performance sales framework
    (00:14:28) - Characteristics of successful Salespeople
    (00:15:58) - Hiring in Sales
    (00:18:29) - Is there one skill or quality you’ve been able to coach up?
    (00:21:17) - The Sales Qualification Methodology
    (00:23:50) - What are some effective ways to involve those outside of Sales in the process?
    (00:25:43) - Where do you see Sales Teams most often get stuck?
    (00:29:15) - Characteristics of a high-performing prospecting function?
    (00:32:14) - The future of content marketing
    (00:35:04) - Advice to CEOs and heads of Sales teams

    • 37 min
    Transforming Data at Coalesce - Armon Petrossian - Ep.213

    Transforming Data at Coalesce - Armon Petrossian - Ep.213

    Ep.213: Alex (@aebridgeman) is joined by Armon Petrossian (@ArmonPetrossian).
    My guest today is Armon Petrossian, co-founder and CEO of data transformation company Coalesce, built on Snowflake’s ecosystem. Armon and I kick off talking about his time in China and learning Mandarin in undergrad, and move through topics like building within Snowflake’s, nuances in selling to enterprises, hiring in sales, opportunities in data, and navigating challenging topics with a co-founder.
    Listen weekly and follow the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Breaker, and TuneIn. 
    Learn more about Alex and Think Like an Owner at https://tlaopodcast.com/

    I want to tell you about the audience survey we are currently running. These surveys help us create the best content for listeners and better understand your needs and interests. Thank you in advance for sharing your feedback, we greatly appreciate it. 
    Take the survey here: https://bit.ly/3QLBB1N

    Links:
    Coalesce
    Armon on X

    Topics:
    (00:00:00) - Intro
    (00:03:54) - Experiences living in China
    (00:09:59) - Founding Coalesce
    (0012:14) - How does Data Transformation work?
    (00:13:46) - Choosing to build around SnowFlake
    (00:20:01) - What other opportunities arise as data becomes more abundant?
    (00:22:41) - Where are you investing capital right now?
    (00:23:49) - What evolution does your sales team need to make right now?
    (00:27:39) - What’s a typical sales cycle for you?
    (00:29:54) - What have you learned about selling to enterprises that people often struggle with?
    (00:31:36) - Navigating political dynamics or relationships
    (00:33:02) - What do you look for in new sales hires?
    (00:35:11) - What have you become passionate about within building the company?
    (00:38:32) - How do you handle disagreements with your co-founder?
    (00:42:00) - What works for retaining engineers?
    (0044:54) - What companies do you admire?
    (00:45:30)- Advice to other data founders

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Chin Tan (Bristol) ,

Excellent stories

Alex has a very low key and thoughtful interviewing style which allows the business owners and acquisition entrepreneurs he has on this podcast to really tell their story. I enjoyed listening to many episodes and have learnt a lot so far. Thanks Alex!

Jamspencer ,

Brilliant Micro PE / Permanent Equity Insights

Alex brings the world of small business investing to life with insights from those who have been there and done it

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