Ep 09: You don’t need to be venture-backed to build a big company – Rand Fishkin
In this episode I sit down and interview Rand Fishkin, serial entrepreneur, founder of Spark Toro, and author of Lost and Founder.
Rand shares his insights on:
- The venture capital industry
- Raising capital and having the right background
- The odds of raising capital
- Alternatives to raising capital
- Stock options and employee compensation
Rand’s mental models:
- Ask “Tough Questions” to understand alignment and biases of those around you
- Be willing to make your own decisions
- Be willing to innovate
About the Guest:
Rand Fishkin is cofounder and CEO of audience research startup SparkToro. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through his writing, speaking, startups, and his book, Lost and Founder. When Rand’s not working, he’s usually cooking a fancy meal for the love of his life, author Geraldine DeRuiter. If you bribe him with great pasta or great cocktails, he’ll spill big tech’s dark secrets.
- Spark Toro (Twitter)
- Spark Toro (Instagram)
- Spark Toro (Facebook)
- Spark Toro (Linkedin)
- Rand Fishkin (Twitter),
- Rand Fishkin (LinkedIn),
- Rand Fishkin (Instagram),
- Rand Fishkin (Facebook)
About the Host:
Philip Topham is The Savvy Founder and Armchair sociologist. Philip has an inquisitive mind and passion for ideas. He’s impatient to see tomorrow’s today. He focuses on helping technical founders unlock their pragmatic dreamer and develop their business skills and social capital with The Savvy Founder framework.
With more than 25 years across startups and corporate roles, Philip has been everything from janitor to the Founder and Chief Everything Officer. His earliest career was as a network engineer bringing companies into the Internet age. He’s served as the Head of Information Technology (Divisional CIO) as well as startup Chief Technology Officer, building software and solving problems others said couldn’t be solved.
Philip has experienced what happens when a traditional company gets $20M venture capital infusion to become the next big thing. He has also experienced building a business without venture backing. He built a business from zero to profitability, selling more than $5M to big pharma and changed the way the pharmaceutical industry operates. He knows what it means to raise money for your startup, only to have it stop as a key founder steps out of the picture. He currently is an advisor for a global AI (artificial intelligence) clinical care management system startup.
Among his many accomplishments, Philip, is an armchair sociologist with peer-review publications in social network analysis and machine learning. He holds a BS Biological Sciences from UC Irvine and an MBA from Pepperdine University. When not working, he can be found playing billiards, woodworking, travelling or socializing with friends and family.
Words of Wisdom
- Ideas are worthless; revenues are priceless; surround yourself with smart people.
- Life is a journey – mole hills or mountains? it’s your choice.
Connect with Philip at:
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/philiptopham
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/thesavvyfounder
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/thesavvyfounder
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thesavvyfounder
Website – https://www.philiptopham.com
Clubhouse – @thesavvyfounder
10 Most Fixable Pitch Deck Mistakes – https://www.thesavvyfounder.com
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