Marco Zappacosta: I think our category was very well suited to be disrupted because when you think about what does well in a medium where the inventory is sort of expiring, it’s perishable inventory. It doesn’t count your insurance claim for your home warranty to get something fixed, so there’s even more spend on top of it. We are in a good place. Now, they have to trust us to represent them as well as they would themselves, and we are charging them for that. MixergyPremium.com. Why don’t you tell us about Thumbtack and really the origin. I think that we’re going to be learning a lot about marketplaces and about building and scaling companies. I think a lot of people over applied the Uber experience to this category thinking, “Oh wow, if I just abstract that away and make it a one-click experience, it’ll just be magical in the same way that ride sharing was.” I think they mis-appreciated how much nuance is in these local service categories, whereby ride sharing is really a commodity where you don’t care so that UX is appropriate. One of which, which is particularly random, was Social Security Reform — pension reform. Wait until people hear how you’re doing. How do you think the investors feel about getting their money back? When you sell new employees, when you retain current employees, when you’re selling investors, when you’re talking to the press, you are by definition out there selling, and putting out the story of the business and why it’s so great. And we’ll talk about reinventing Thumbtack. There are incredible examples of it. The dinner was catered by someone who you got off of thumbtack.com. So that’s a big thing. That’s definitely exciting. Thank you all for being a part of it. Because of our approach, we never put up unclaimed content, you know, Yelp, [?? Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below. Well, one, I can be broader. So I got the nod. Marco: Correct, so there’s no contract keeping them. It’s true, we monetize customer contacts or introductions, which you could call a lead I think quite fairly. These are capital assets. I’m thankful for that because it did come back as a bigger and better idea. What do you make of all of this? Or does Google just have too much on its plate now? Maybe that’s what it is then. Alejandro: Walk us through that chapter. We think that’s a great way to spend your ‘date nights,’ and it’s nice to see people who seem just genuinely to enjoy each other’s company. But how are you going to monetize?” At the time, we weren’t focused on it. Actually, here. That is a big, big change. While we are horizontal, we have to customize, and develop things that work for the specific occupations and categories that we do serve. We were a bit slow here; we were a little behind, but we were right.” We had a lot of people tell us we were not right. Pete Flint: So, how did you kickstart that? And they know that to break into those categories, they need to offer that to you. Apparently it’s like SR…you guys send traffic to SRVINF.com. Andrew: The first leading destination. You can come up with an idea on your own. Andrew: How’d you get the name or the domain name thumbtack.com? Google made it incredibly easy to find information, and yet, you still had to work hard to spend money to hire a pro. In our early experiments, we saw some clear opportunities for making this work, but also some challenges that are going to be really hard to surmount. Pete Flint: How do you think about facilitating a horizontal platform, which obviously has the benefits of scale across sending fitness trainers, to dog walkers, to other people at that scale? But, you know, if that’s spam, then any billboard is spam too, right? So it’s very hard to stay privy to what’s going on, who gets hired when for how much and you can’t force people to stay just within your platform because that’s not how they want to do business. What is Marco Chiosas net worth? How do you see the future of that online to offline interaction? Look, at the end of the day we’re a matchmaker and if you can’t come and get matched with the right pro each and every time, you’re going to go elsewhere. Someone else is going to come up. I got a reduced rent and an office space out of it. What are you doing?” It’s like, “Well, but for customers, it’s inconsistent.” They would be like, “Well, I don’t care. But over the last couple of years pulled it off, which feels really, really good. But there were certainly moments in there where it was not obvious. His revenues were shocking. Hurd joined the HP board of directors in early 2005 and was named chairman of the board in 2006. According … And two, it also gave us a relationship with them from the get-go. With his firmly held convictions and willingness to act on what he thinks is good and right, Sander Daniels is a name to watch for sure. It’s hard being vulnerable with that uncertainty. For example, if you want to maybe hire someone to fix your sink you’d go to thumbtack.com, and that website will help you find a plumber. We changed the pro experience. But what gives me confidence is X, Y and Z, and that is scary and hard to do. It’s really tough. . Aug 2008 we got our first technical founder, 00:27:30 The term social proof is being used a lot these days and getting a good domain is part of that. Marco: We did not. There are going to be moments where we all believe that it won’t work, and we’re going to begin to lose faith. So from the beginning, we’ve had the same dream, that we’re chasing today, to radically change the process through which customers and professionals come together, and that is still what we’re working hard today and aren’t done. Correct. That’s clearly a kind of asset to the company, but trying to create vertically specific product experiences that over-deliver in those use cases. Creating a free tool like this lets you offer a single-player product with “network-independent value” to supply-side users. You know, we always wanted to build something very big, so we said, you know, “Let’s go.”. : I think what I would have done differently is try to set expectations better upfront to the team, to myself, to the leadership team about how hard what we were trying to do would be. That’s something that we put in place over the rest of 2012. So through 2010 and into 2011, we made a tone of progress on that. And I think there’s one component in there which was more focused on sort of peer competition around what can be copied, often will be copied, and the importance of culture, and the importance of brand. Marco: Yeah, so he was graduating the University of Tennessee, computer engineering, and he basically…also passionate about sort of the mission and helped us build a bunch of infrastructure for empowering our student groups around the country to publish articles and organize their groups. We have this really open directory of tons of … maybe I should just tell you instead of trying to read the transcript. Salt Lake City is where we have go to market and our success teams. Marco Zappacosta: Yeah, so I think the tension comes about because, in many ways you are cheerleader in chief. Today we’re at the NFX headquarters in San Francisco, California to uncover what it takes to build an iconic marketplace. [laughs] Well, so we do all of this research on guests. Right now 2 engineers do it all, we are hiring and looking for talent, 00:26:30 When did you come up with the idea? You’re raising your Series A, which is effectively your first growth round today, which is-. We certainly push people to request directly as appose to searching and browsing. We wanted to build a sort of scalable software product experience, and so we had to deliver the customer options, hopefully, enough so and the right one such that we nailed what they were looking for. And we need to be able to generate estimates as well as pros generate them themselves, sort of programmatically. They didn’t understand why we were changing it. You heard this feedback, you jumped on it, and in two months, you’ve put this in place. But, were you a fighter back then? We send a different message to every different person, and we sent them what they wanted. A customer comes in, you know, thinking about hiring a house cleaner, for whatever reason doesn’t complete their purchase or doesn’t go all the way through the process, that’s someone to reach back out to and sort of get out in front of. Marco: I think the biggest thing beyond the, like, active support, be it emotionally, financially, everything, the biggest thing is they set an example that this could be done. Some would say aggressive, but I think generally just assertive bunch. What we hit upon was a request for quote model in realizing that we could remove a lot of the pain out of the customer experience, but having them, instead of reaching out to pros individually, asking the same questions, we could take what they were looking for — the project details — and go out to our network of pros and ask them and do the annoying work of reaching out and connecting with them. What has happened so far is the winners to date have all been companies that have liberated these underutilized physical assets, homes, and cars to immense consumer benefit and supplier benefit, as well. There’s probably something on the order of 20 million Americans who make their living as a service company in these categories, so it represents something like one in seven, one in eight of all working Americans who do this type of work. Andrew: Did you launch that? And that’s fine. We could be super frugal, and do a lot of customer development in thinking and learning to try and figure out how we could do this better? The company has raised over $420 million from top tier investors such as Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, Draper Associate, and Javelin Venture Partners to name a few. Pete Flint: If you’re not innovating on your product experience, then you are almost failing because your consumer expectations have moved on during the period of two, three years since you’ve been [inaudible] their business. I’m doing dinners here too because I get to meet so many interesting people. But I’m going to push back a bit, because I think there’s… You’re a sophisticated CEO. Was it easy considering how well things went from the start? Were you guys talking a lot about ideas and how to address complex problems? So he and his wife moved there. I’m on Twitter. They raised money, and it was this incredibly bittersweet moment because, on one hand, we were like, “We’re not going to catch these guys. What doesn’t get told is that they’ve been at it for five or six years and they had to grind out the first three years with no help, no support, no money. Google made it incredibly easy to find information, and yet, you still had to work hard to spend money to hire a pro. That’s a very, very hard problem that we are able, with our scale, to solve more effectively than these tailored, verticalized companies. When it comes to defenders, the Chelsea star’s Goal-scoring prowess is second to none! Andrew: You know, I was trying to look at the display ads. They saw it, and again, they saw the team’s gumption and dedication come through. Andrew: But that’s also spam. Then the last chapter, which I think we’ve just concluded, we ended up rebuilding the whole marketplace once again. I’m happy also to be on the podcast and talk about my story so other people can see the same thing in themselves. I want to focus this interview on you, but you were influenced by them. Andrew: How did you find the technical co-founder? We need believers. From there, it set off a period of scaling and growth from ’13, ’14, ’15, ’16, ’17 the business scaled tremendously. How did you get going? I guarantee you’re going to love it, I guarantee you’re going to get a lot of value out of it, I guarantee you’re going to see impact and I can make that guarantee because I will give you 100% of your money back if you’re not happy and if I don’t Marco will kick my butt because he now knows where my office is. You know, our team of 240 across the Philippines and the U. S. is just about profitable based off the revenue we’ve had. We’re watching the financial world collapse. You know, when you sign a term sheet with a, you know, “Talk to your firm,” it almost always is going to go through to the main hurdles past.
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