65 episodes

Advice & growth frameworks from three comma founders, VCs, and executives (and those on their way there.)

Billion Dollar Tech Brendan Dell

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 16 Ratings

Advice & growth frameworks from three comma founders, VCs, and executives (and those on their way there.)

    High-Impact B2B Product Strategy, Integrations, and Exits With a 2X Founder

    High-Impact B2B Product Strategy, Integrations, and Exits With a 2X Founder

    “There is no more complex strategy game in the world that I know of than building companies,” says Michael Zuerchner, CEO and Co-Founder of Prismatic. He would know. At age 19, he started a software company whose product integrated 600 tasks to be used in all aspects of law enforcement, such as jail door systems to alarm systems for putting dots on maps when 911 calls were made. It started as a summer job getting his hometown’s law office records software up to date, and then he and a friend bootstrapped that software into a fully-fledged business. It became unsustainable once they scaled. After leaving the company, the two started Prismatic to solve the problems they encountered in the first place.
    Michael explains that integration platforms have been historically focused on integrating the things the company uses together, taking all the things that are in their ecosystem and making the data flow well among them. Prismatic offers a complete iPaaS, or integration Platform as a Service, solution for your whole organization to make everything run more smoothly and at optimum potential. 
    In this episode, Michael discusses the unique challenges of running a sophomore company and the problem with overestimating your experience and underestimating the variables of starting a company. 
    Quotes:

    “At the end of the day you’re going to have to do what is going to serve your target market the best. (4:32-4:37 | Michael)
    “We’re all obviously end users of B2B software in some form or fashion, and wouldn’t we all like it if there was just one end-all answer that was the magic solution and we didn’t have to deal with all of this? If that could exist that would be amazing. I think the hard thing, of course, is building that one true thing that meets the demand of enough of the market.” (9:21-9:40 | Michael)
    “I don’t know very many people who were successful who didn’t love the game so much that they wanted to go right back into it.” (16:30-16:39 | Michael)
    “For all the people that are out there grinding right now, the beach is not all it’s cracked up to be, just sitting around doing nothing. It’s nice to have freedom, one hundred percent. However, go do nothing for a month; it gets tiring really quickly.” (17:14-17:34 | Brendan)
    “There is a fundamentally different problem if you are a sophomore company. I don’t need to integrate together the things that I use—or maybe I do, but that’s a separate thing. I need to connect the product I sell to the other products my costumers use.” (19:52-20:07 | Michael)
    One of the challenges in our market, and something that I think we do well, is doing a good job for both of those personals. I think we have a solution that speaks very well to product folks and the problems they have, and a product that’s very friendly to developers without turning off the rest of the organization. And I think that’s a fine line to walk.” (32:28-32:50 | Michael) 



    Connect with Brendan Dell:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendandell/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanDell
    Instagram: @thebrendandell
    TikTok: @brendandell39

    Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926 
    Connect with Michael Zuercher:
    Website: http://prismatic.io/
    LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-zuercher/

    Check out Michael Zuercher’s recommended books:

    • No Man’s Land: Where Growing Companies Fail by Doug Tatum: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781591842491


    Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business by Matt Blumbert: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781119723660

    • The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing: A Guide to Growing More Profitably  by Thomas Nagle and Reed Holden: https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/the-strategy-and-tactics-of-pricing-a-guide-to-growing-more-profitably_thomas-t-nagle/272437/?resultid=b8ecc8a1-c660-4d32-8904-d6ccb162d545#edition=19

    • 52 min
    How to Build a Two-Sided Marketplace with Michelle Tinsley

    How to Build a Two-Sided Marketplace with Michelle Tinsley

    “Gig work is upscaling and becoming more professional,” says Michelle Tinsley, COO of Yellowbird. Yellowbird matches qualified professional Risk and Environmental Health and Safety workers with companies in demand of their skill sets. Environmental Health and Safety is a 5 billion-dollar industry worldwide, and after the Great Resignation during the Covid 19 pandemic, countless workers found themselves in need of work. So Yellowbird quickly went from serving the Arizona area to gaining interest across the nation through word of mouth. This collaborative spirit presents itself throughout the company’s mission with employee referral incentives, and a focus on setting up a referral system for their best potential scaling partners. 
    Gig work is rapidly evolving from dog walking and driving for ride shares. People are becoming more and more selective about the jobs they want and how the jobs will fit into their lifestyle. Another aspect of community building Michelle participates in is angel investing, serving on boards and consulting, and here she discusses the rewards and drawbacks of each. 
    Join the discussion as Michelle explains that the first few rounds of investing come from friends and family, and why she’s found herself drawn to SaaS (software as a service) and IoT (internet of things) investments.
    Quotes:

    “A lot of people in the workforce want a higher degree of freedom. They want to pick and choose what type of jobs they do, when they do them, where they do them, and we’re a mechanism to expose their skillset when they do that.” (5:46-5:57 | Michelle)
    “One of our first growth hacks was to walk around with a dozen donuts and drop it off with a flier at local construction sites and warehouses. And that was working wonderfully until March of 2020, when everyone thought we were dropping off poisoned donuts on their doorstep.” (19:11-19:26 | Michelle)
    “A lot of this enables workers to become independent. You can live wherever you want as long as you’ve built up that domain experience. You can hang your shingle on these platforms just by being where you want to be and taking the jobs you feel like taking.” (20:26-20:41 | Michelle)
    “Someday become an investing angel because you’re both going to learn from these companies as they grow, and see how they develop, it’s like a mini-MBA. Beyond that, yes, you’ll probably make money on your portfolio, but beyond that you’ll get a chance to mentor others and be involved.” (24:31-24:45 | Michelle) 
    “I think what I found is that consulting isn’t terribly rewarding. I love to build something permanent.” (26:39-26:45 | Michelle)



    Connect with Brendan Dell:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendandell/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanDell
    Instagram: @thebrendandell
    TikTok: @brendandell39


    Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926


     
    Connect with Michelle Tinsley:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-tinsley/
    Website: https://www.goyellowbird.com/about

    Check out Michelle’s recommended books:
     
    The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company by Ram Charan https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=The+Leadership+Pipeline
    Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want From Your Business by Gino Wickman and Marc C. Winters https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Rocket+Fuel


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    Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm

    • 48 min
    Lessons Learned From 500+ B2B Start-UPS with Sam Strasser

    Lessons Learned From 500+ B2B Start-UPS with Sam Strasser

    Sam Strasser founded Treasure Financial, a cash management platform that helps businesses transform idle cash into revenue. Many companies, even famous, large companies, make up to 80% of their revenue not from selling products or services but from taking money out of their treasury and investing it. Still other companies, though, don’t have enough money for a month’s worth of runway. Sam explains how small companies can use what cash they have the way big businesses do.
    Risk, Sam explains, is part of any monetary transaction, and the key is embracing it, or at least mitigating the risks. Here Sam discusses what those myriad risks are. 
    Join Brendan and Sam to hear the greatest lesson Sam says he learned thus far, the most fun thing about building any company, and why he wishes he’d opened his business in the UK.
    Quotes:

    “The treasury department itself is really responsible for managing risk, and managing the broad scale for the financial resources for the company.” (2:37-2:44 | Sam)
    “GE was notorious for a lot of the things they’ve done.” (6:23-6:26 | Sam)
    “Every company should be able to maintain at least three months of their runway in a cash reserve of some kind. During the pandemic close to 600,000 companies went out of business and the majority of those had one month of runway.”(9:36-9:56 | Sam)
    “You really want to understand how much risk you can accrue before it starts affecting certain possibilities.” (15:35-15:42 | Sam)
    “You’re never really spending money when you’re swiping cards. You’re swiping for debt. It’s just a series of obligations and risks in a giant chain.” (17:43-17:53 | Sam)
    “I have no idea why anybody glorifies becoming a founder, it’s one of the most difficult and painstaking things you can do.” (39:48-39:56 | Sam)


    Connect with Brendan Dell:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendandell/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanDell
    Instagram: @thebrendandell
    TikTok: @brendandell39

    Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926 

    Connect with Sam Strasser:
    Treasure Website: https://treasure.tech/
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/treasure-ai/

    Check out Sam Strasser’s recommended books:


    Keeping At It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government by Paul A. Volcker https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Keeping+at+it  
    No Rules Rule: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=The+No+Rules+Rule
     
    Nudge by Richard A. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein https://www.indiebound.org/search/book?keys=Nudge



    Please don't forget to rate, comment, and subscribe to Billion Dollar Tech on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

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    • 49 min
    How to Make TV Ads Segmentable, Trackable Like Facebook Ads with Noah Palansky

    How to Make TV Ads Segmentable, Trackable Like Facebook Ads with Noah Palansky

    “We make it so that TV commercials are as effective as a Facebook ad,” is how Noah Palanksy describes the mission of his AI company Taiv. Having a drink at a bar one night, he watched as the TV played an ad for  another bar down the street, and realized the potential for an establishment to promote itself on its own screen. Later, this idea evolved so that companies can now place their ads on the screens in bars, or anywhere where people congregate, to promote their business. From there, Taiv tracks where attending patrons then click, visit, or make purchases, after they leave the establishment. 
    About a year and a half into bootstrapping their company, Noah and his co-founders were accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator program, which helps startups companies to successfully launch. All of the priceless information they learned there would soon be put to the test as they worked through the challenge of selling a socially driven concept, right as the world went into lockdown.
    On this episode, learn why it’s so important to have hobbies, the difference between being cheap and treating every dollar like it’s your last. 
    Quotes:

    “To get enough funding to hire a few developers without giving up too much of the company is very challenging.”(8:50-8:59 | Noah)
    “Build something that people want, and actually figure out if you’re providing value to people and don’t just build a thing because it’s cool.” (14:16-14:21 | Noah)
    “There’s a million things you could spend money on and most of them are stupid.” (16:27-16:30 | Noah) 
    “The hardest part of my job right now is balancing between trying to build new products and iterate, trying to make the thing we have better, and how to get users using the thing we already have.” (41:32-41:45 | Noah) 
    “I think we’re going through a transitionary period with advertising…so it’s a good time to be doing something in this space.”(21:42-22:28 | Noah)



    Connect with Brendan Dell:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendandell/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanDell
    Instagram: @thebrendandell
    TikTok: @brendandell39

    Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926 
     
    Connect with Noah Palansky :
    Website: taiv.com
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/taivbox/
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noahpalansky/

    Check out Noah’s top 3 recommended books:
    The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062273208
    Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss: ​​https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780062407801
    Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781524761417


    Please don't forget to rate, comment, and subscribe to Billion Dollar Tech on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

    Use code Brendan30 for 30% off your annual membership with RiverSide.fm
    Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm

    • 51 min
    Start Up FAQS: What’s the First Thing I Should Prioritize for Growth?

    Start Up FAQS: What’s the First Thing I Should Prioritize for Growth?

    “What is the first thing I should prioritize when I’m trying to grow my business?” This is one of the most common questions Brendan gets from business founders. Here, in this mini-episode, he attempts to answer this and other frequently asked questions about growing a business. 
    The very first step, he says, is having a clear Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), and figuring out who benefits from your technology. Clarity of focus, he says, is the number one determiner of success, and going too broad is a sure way to lose growth trajectory.
    Tune in to this episode of Billion Dollar Tech to find out the variety of purposes that organic content serves, and what an initial growth strategy should look like. 
    Quotes:

    “There is no shortcut to this. You have to hustle. The most successful founders I see are hustlers.” (2:23-2:29 | Brendan)
    “You need to be out there talking to customers. It’s one of the single biggest things I see out there separating success from failure.” (2:40-2:45 | Brendan)
    “You should be building thought leadership that is unique to you and harnesses your unique point of view and tells your story.” (2:51-2:59 Brendan)


    Connect with Brendan Dell:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendandell/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanDell
    Instagram: @thebrendandell
    TikTok: @brendandell39

    Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926 
     
    Please don't forget to rate, comment, and subscribe to Billion Dollar Tech on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

    Use code Brendan30 for 30% off your annual membership with RiverSide.fm 

    Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm

    • 5 min
    How to Create a High-Impact Partnership Program with Sean Paulseth

    How to Create a High-Impact Partnership Program with Sean Paulseth

    “‘Why you?’ is the multi-million dollar question,” Sean Paulseth, SVP Partnerships at WedgeHR, says about getting your company noticed in a sea of other, often bigger, competitors. Incentive programs can pay off big time and this is an area where you can get creative with offers, including schwag, referral rewards, contests, and paid-for trips. Of course, deciding this depends on several factors like, knowing the market segment you’re targeting, and the size of the enterprise. Larger companies love their own “ecosystems” Sean explains, and will prioritize their established partner programs and keep the promotion on-brand. 
    A huge component of this, and of getting a business off the ground in general, is facetime. Sean emphasizes the importance of in-person events, networking with both investors and customers. Even in the tech space, the business world is still very relationship driven. When there are several similar products, often the one who gets chosen is the one with the most memorable person attached to it.
    On this episode of Billion Dollar Tech, how to be strategic networking, why storytelling is crucial particularly in small business sales, and why reading is an underrated pastime for sales people.
    Quotes:

    “Within the tech landscape, and in SaaS generally, partnerships seem to be crucial, particularly from a customer-centric capability, you’re going to have to do the best of the breed. (3:42-3:56 | Sean)
    “It’s the smaller markets where you have to get a lot more creative on how to budge them.” (15:07-15:13 | Sean)
    “Starting with the most relevant channel partners and/or your integrated partners that you may need just to get your feet on the ground is going to be super important.”(24:06-24:20 | Sean)
    “Having a general sense of curiosity is crucial in sales.”(37:47-37:51 | Sean)
    “A top-down approach is always going to be important, particularly if you’re smaller. But if they’re not budging…what’s going to be the best incentives for their teams at the end of the day.”(13:03-13:33 | Sean)
     
    Connect with Brendan Dell:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendandell/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BrendanDell
    Instagram: @thebrendandell
    TikTok: @brendandell39

    Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926 
     
    Connect with Sean Paulseth:
    Website: WedgeHR: https://www.wedgehr.com/
    LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/sean-paulseth

    Check out Sean’s top recommended books:
    Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780316478526
    The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781101912379
    Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780679728757


    Please don't forget to rate, comment, and subscribe to Billion Dollar Tech on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts!

    Use code Brendan30 for 30% off your annual membership with RiverSide.fm 

    Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

SavPoi ,

Top podcast!!

Brendan is a great host and has so much to offer in every episode. ❤️🦊

radioestes ,

Big growth energy!

Love the interviews. Hello from Kitcaster! 🦊👋

Dan Balcauski ,

Awesome show

This show has a lot of great content! Brendan does an awesome job in interviewing guests and presents the information clearly. Lots of actionable takeaways. If you are an entrepreneur or a creative, this show MUST be on your playlist.

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