Brendan Schwartz & Chris Savage, "Wistia's Remarkable Culture"

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Cambridge-based Wistia has taken the road less-travelled to success. They did not raise a lot of money but now compete with richly-funded startups. What’s their secret? Listen to the interview with the delightful founders of this popular video platform, Brendan Schwartz and Chris Savage, as they discuss the unique culture and vision that make the startup remarkable.

During the interview I pondered naming the episode “They Did It Their Way”; an echo of the song made famous by Frank Sinatra. I decided against this title because Chris and Brendan are nothing like the self-absorbed crooner. Actually, they are two friends from college who built a business together and still enjoy working and socializing with each other. The beautiful story of their friendship is only one of the attractions in this bravura interview.

Click here for full episode transcript.

Highlights include:

  • Brendan Schwartz and Chris Savage Bio
  • Wistia’s Founders Lived and Worked in a 10-Person House in Cambridge Keeping Costs Low
  • “When we started Wistia, we were both 23 years old. I think really the thing that was the most attractive to me was that it was an adventure, and that no two days would be the same.”
  • Wistia’s Founders Tried a Lot of Ideas Before They Found Their First Use Case
  • How Wistia Found its First Use Case
  • Startups Tend to Undercharge for Their Services; Wistia Was No Different in This
  • $400 per Month from the First Corporate Client Was a Lot Compared to a Burn Rate of $1600 per Month
  • “Today, Wistia is a video platform.”  “It’s really trying to make it easy for you to get value from your videos.”
  • “There's no way Wistia would be what it is today if we weren't crazy scrappy for many, many years.”
  • Sal Asks for Your Review – He Points at Chris & Brendan Significantly!
  • Great Advice on Finding Your First Use Case
  • The Savage Rule: “If you're not embarrassed by the stuff you're putting out in the world, you probably have taken too long in protecting it or trying to make it perfect…”
  • On Being Friends and then Co-Founders – Dos & Don’ts
  • Chris Savage & Brendan Schwartz, Like Bettina Hein of the Founder of Pixability, Are Very Wise About their Schedule
  • Chris Savage’s Brilliant Responses to the “Sleep When You’re Dead” Idea
  • Wistia Has Been Massively Capital Efficient Compared to Brightcove & HubSpot – Their Investors Are Elated!!
  • Over-Funded Competitors Undone by the Video Market’s Slower-Than-Expected Growth
  • Wistia Is Has Put in Place a Financing Structure Unusual for a Startup
  •  “We hit on this idea of raising debt so we could do right by the investors, and we could really take a bet on ourselves…”
  • Startups Chris Savage & Brendan Schwartz Admire
  • Parting Thoughts from the Founders of Wistia
  • “I wish everyone could just think longer term.”

Transcript of "Wistia's Remarkable Culture"

GUESTS: Co-founders Brendan Schwartz & Chris Savage

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SAL DAHER: Welcome to Angel Invest Boston, conversations with Boston's most interesting angel investors and founders. I'm Sal Daher, and my goal for this podcast is to learn more about building successful new companies. The best way I can think of doing this is by talking to people who are doing it, people such as the founders of the superb video hosting platform called Wistia, Chris Savage and Brendan Schwartz. Brendan, Chris, it's really an honor to be at the office of Wistia to record this really fun interview ... this is a fun crew here. Thanks for hosting us here.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Thanks for coming.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah, it's great.

SAL DAHER: This is a fun place. I love the dog. What's the dog's name?

CHRIS SAVAGE: That's Lenny.

SAL DAHER: Lenny ... what character.

CHRIS SAVAGE: He is. He's our unofficial mascot at Wistia.

SAL DAHER: I'm going to get a video of him.

CHRIS SAVAGE: He loves being on camera.

Brendan Schwartz and Chris Savage Bio

SAL DAHER: Oh, great. Before I tell you a bit about the founders, there are a couple of things I need to mention. First, I am grateful to our sound engineer, Raul Rosa, for having suggested this interview and making the introductions. Thanks, Raul. Second, I'd like to say that I was using Wistia well before Raul Rosa suggested it. As you know, there are no commercials in this program. I'm not an investor in Wistia ... alas. I'm just voicing my honest opinion, and one of the best companies that I never invested in. I just find it really user friendly with loads of explainer videos. I dig the analytics and the really easy integration of MailChimp. I know you guys worked at getting that done.

SAL DAHER: Now, Brendan Schwarz and Chris Savage became friends as undergrads at Brown University. For those of you who don't know about Brown, it's an Ivy League school located about an hour south of here in Providence, Rhode Island ... wonderful place. Chris was studying cinema, and Brendan was a computer engineering major. The two had often discussed the idea of starting a business together, inspired by the phenomenon of The Million Dollar Homepage created by a young Brit to pay his college tuition.

SAL DAHER: Chris and Brendan thought they would launch a website where video makers could compete to win the business of big brands. They hoped to ride a wave of open-source technology that was about to make web videos widely available. Their webpage would be a hit, and then they would sell out in six months.

Wistia’s Founders Lived and Worked in a 10-Person House in Cambridge Keeping Costs Low

SAL DAHER: But reality struck. The realized they had no idea how to market to big brands, so they had to find other alternatives, which they did in spades. We'll get into the whole story later, complete with Brendan and Chris and associates all living in college-dorm frugality to get Wistia off the ground. What was the nickname of the house? Did it have a nickname?

CHRIS SAVAGE: The Castle.

SAL DAHER: The Castle. Raul has been there.

CHRIS SAVAGE: It's quite a house, yeah. It's incredible.

SAL DAHER: Well, Chris and Brendan, as a service to people trying to discern what to do with their lives, it's a tradition of this podcast for me to ask how my guests figure out their paths in life. Each one of you in turn, tell us what led you to decide to become entrepreneurs.

“When we started Wistia, we were both 23 years old. I think really the thing that was the most attractive to me was that it was an adventure, and that no two days would be the same.”

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: There wasn't a whole lot of thought put into it I would say. When we started Wistia, we were both 23 years old. I think really the thing that was the most attractive to me was that it was an adventure, and that no two days would be the same. We get bored very easily, and it was really exciting to be able to build something and not know where it was going to go.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah, I would say ... I mean, it's true, in terms of what you said, that we thought we would do this for six months. We were like, "Oh, this seems like a great idea." Brendan quit his job, I stopped freelancing and, "Let's go do it. We're going to get a lot of money in six months." That was most of the plan.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I will say that, looking back, there are things in college and before that I think we both did that, in some weird way, added up to this. There was website that Brendan made in college that was basically blogging before blogging existed, but it was just for us and our friends to use. We had a launch party and did this whole thing.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: It was great launch party.

CHRIS SAVAGE: It was a great launch party. Looking back, I was like, "Wow, that's kind of crazy that that happened." We all watched that happen, and we watched people go to the site. We had both done lots of different projects. When I was a teenager, I dreamed of having a software company called Savage Soft. We would make World War II video games. There's all these things in your life that, when you look back on them, oh, actually a lot of these things look like there's a straight path actually, but there was not.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: It is also pretty funny reflecting that we would work on Chris' film projects a lot together, which is always super fun. In high school, I was always messing around with video, and it is really fun many years later. Even though we are video company with Wistia, we do not make video for the first five years.

SAL DAHER: You said high school. Did you guys know each other before?

CHRIS SAVAGE: No.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: No. We had a joke going freshman year that we had thought we knew each other before college, but we could never figure out where it was from. Most other friends were very bored of this game.

SAL DAHER: Kindred spirits.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah.

SAL DAHER: Here’s another question for the two of you. You guys are so different. I mean, Brendan, you were in computer engineering. Chris, you were doing something creative ... film. What was the attraction? How did you guys connect?

CHRIS SAVAGE: It's funny. We lived in the same freshman hall. While we didn't have a lot of formal projects together, we ended up working on a lot of projects in hindsight. I was making these movies, and I needed people to be in them, and I needed people to help me come up with ideas for what they should be. We would work together on shooting and editing stuff, or we'd make weird stuff. Brown has no curriculum basically, you just do whatever you want, and we both did that. You convinced to take that epistemology class at some point.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: It's a great class.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Great class. You take things that are so far afield from what you would ever expect. While those are our focuses, it's not like those are the only things that we did. There's just a lot of overlapping stuff.

Wistia’s Founders Tried a Lot of Ideas Before They Found Their First Use Case

SAL DAHER: That's wonderful. Let's talk a little bit now about Wistia. Brendan and Chris, kindly tell the story of how Wistia got started through defining your first use case and transmitting videos related to medical trials? That's a really great story.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: How lengthy do you want this?

SAL DAHER: Take your time.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Three hours or four?

SAL DAHER: We're eight minutes in. Take your time.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: To start at the beginning ... because you referenced this in the opening lines of this about where we started ... In college, we were constantly ... You were generous and said we were thinking of business ideas, but it was more like get-rich-quick schemes probably, if we were honest, which is the fascination with things like Million Dollar Homepage and other things like that. When we-

SAL DAHER: Tell us a little bit about Million Dollar Homepage.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Well, that actually came later. That was after we had started Wistia, which was called Tropist at the time. Before we got started in earnest building a project, we wanted to make sure that we could build stuff to try to go through the paces. We wanted a side project to get ready, and that's where we built something that was inspired by Million Dollar Homepage called Fame Thrower, Pay Your Way to Fame.

SAL DAHER: Pay your way to fame.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah. It was a fantastic idea. Basically, you would upload an image, and you could link it to whatever you want, and you would pay whatever you want. But whoever paid the most, their image would be the biggest thing on the site. Things were constantly being unseated, so if you were to add more money for something to get bigger ... The idea was the ridiculousness of this is what would make it attractive, very similar to The Million Dollar Homepage. We just had this idea. We loved the tagline "pay your way to fame", and so we went to The Million Dollar Homepage and just started clicking on links, and then basically sent emails to bunch of people that would be willing to have bought a pixel on Million Dollar Homepage. We made 1,500 bucks the first week, and we thought it had been an abject failure. We're like, "This thing didn't go viral, we only made $1,500." Looking back-

SAL DAHER: You made $1,500 just at the beginning?

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah.

SAL DAHER: Promising.

CHRIS SAVAGE: We did a bunch of different random side projects in the first year where we kept getting distracted and also just trying to figure out how to build stuff. We made a site called ironingtheflag.com.

SAL DAHER: By the way, this is Chris talking.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah, this is Chris. Hi. We made this website, ironingtheflag.com. First of all, we bought a domain. We thought this is just a fantastic domain, Ironing the flag.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We were constantly buying domains.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah, still do. Then we started talking when they were like, "Have we been in Iraq as long as we'd been in World War II?" We start looking it up, and we realize we're three days away from being in Iraq longer than we'd been in World War II.

SAL DAHER: Wow.

CHRIS SAVAGE: We just made a countdown, spent one day making a giant countdown on ironingtheflag.com until we were going to be in Iraq longer than we had been in World War II, and we put it on Reddit.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Reddit had just started, and we had met them through some introduction I think. We were like, "Oh, this is a great thing for Reddit," which nobody was going to at the time.

CHRIS SAVAGE: It just took off. Suddenly, the nation and all ... It basically became a story of people talking about how we were going to be in Iraq longer than we were in World War II. We were like, "Wow, this is amazing. We took a thing, it went viral." We had 80,000 visitors to it. Then we thought we can make money on this, so we put ads on this. We put AdSense. But it was the tail end of virality, and so we only ever made 65 bucks, and we couldn't even cash out because I think at that time you need $100 on an AdSense account.

An Early Version of Wistia Was Aimed at Artists but the Business Could not Scale Profitably

CHRIS SAVAGE: Our first year was full of experiments and trying to figure out what it means to build something of value. We built Tropist, which was a portfolio website for artists so they could kind of do something ... solve a problem that I'd had coming out of college, which was you have this ... At that time, you'd have a DVD reel of your work. That's how, if you were a filmmaker, you would get more jobs. You would send people that DVD.

CHRIS SAVAGE: That made no sense. You could go here and you could upload videos that were your reel or photos or other things, and you could make a portfolio site and send people to it. We probably had 400 people using it consistently, but we realized how would we ever make money on this thing. The scale we would need would be so huge, and it was pretty early days.

CHRIS SAVAGE: That caused us to start to look for other ideas that could use the technology that we had built ... We had built this video hosting technology as a part of that. Fast forward a little bit, we're going to meetups, we're talking to other companies, other startups about the challenges of we have a thing, some people are using it, we're not making money, how are we going to sustain it, and we kind of got to be known as the video guys. People had video questions or they wanted things for their company and they're trying to figure out what to do, they would come to us and ask for help. Eventually, we realized maybe we should start talking to people who are in businesses who are asking for help, but we're just saying, "No, we're just going to help artists." Maybe we should actually-

SAL DAHER: We're pure. We only help artists.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Exactly.

How Wistia Found its First Use Case

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We were very set in our ways about that for many, many months. Then we were ... You referenced The Castle, where we were living ... a six-bedroom house in Cambridge. One of our roommates, Ezra, was working at a medical device startup.

SAL DAHER: It's Brendan talking now.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Hello. Our roommate Ezra was working at a medical device startup, and he was one of those people who was on us about, "Hey, we have this huge video problem. Can you please help us?" He was probably in January of 2006, and we were like, "No, man, we're for artists. We're not selling out, we're not doing ... We can't help you. You're a business. Just figure it out."

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Eventually, half wearing us down, half kind of a light bulb going on ... The problem that he was trying to solve with their business was very similar to a problem a lot of other businesses have and from Chris' experience in the world of production. What they needed to do was ... If they do a surgical procedure, that's all on video, and they need to share that with their doctors around the world. They were in clinical sites in South America, in Europe, and they were recording this, putting it on DVDs and FedEx-ing it back to their headquarters and Watertown. It turns out you can't even overnight a DVD from Chile to Watertown ... it's a two-day process. You can imagine the headache. Nobody's going to watch this DVD-

SAL DAHER: This is circa 2008, 2009?

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: 2006, '07.

SAL DAHER: '06, '07.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: YouTube was around at the time. You put it on YouTube, make it private ... It's sensitive information. That's not professional. When we realized, hey, this is really similar to the review and approval process on a film production side, and we were always attracted to building products that could be used very broadly, simple tools that have a lot of applicability. We did not have any ambition to build the private videos sharing application for medical device companies. That sounded boring as hell. We went in and talked to them-

SAL DAHER: Small space.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: It's a niche market you could say.

SAL DAHER: Yeah.

Startups Tend to Undercharge for Their Services; Wistia Was No Different in This

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We went in and talked with them, and the thing that was really fun about that was we had no idea what we were doing. We had printed out prices. We had made up some prices for this thing that didn't even exist yet of ... I forgot what it was ... $100 a month to $400 a month, which was a ton of money to us at the time, and we even thought we were asking for an outlandish amount of money.

CHRIS SAVAGE: We hoped they would say we'll do this for 50. That's kind of what the dream was.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We're talking about this, they're getting all excited. It sounds like a great thing, we're excited about building it. At the end, they were like, "How much is ... What are you thinking, in terms of pricing?" I think they were thinking they would hire us as consultants and pay us a real salary. We were like, "No, this is a product. You'll be the first customers." We coyly slid our paper across the table. Then the guy looks at it, and he just starts laughing. He's like, "Okay. Are you sure? I'll take this. 400 ... That seems very cheap."

SAL DAHER: It's a trope that startups who have a really valuable thing ... They always undercharge.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: It was very meaningful money to us at the time though. They were our first paying customer. We built the prototype of that in two weeks with them as a paying customer and launched it.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I mean, the only reason we were able to build it in two weeks was we had built it into the portfolio website. We pulled that tech out, built this, and then the light bulb was they were sending DVDs, so what are the other places that are sending DVDs and need to do this privately. That was film companies that are using video ... basically sharing around unfinished videos they wanted feedback on, big companies that could use this for training, all this different type of stuff.

CHRIS SAVAGE: The pace of the business changed dramatically. It was about 13 months after we began, I think, that we started talking to them. We got our first customer, and then two months later we had our second customer. Fast forward eight months, and we probably have six or seven customers, which was huge. At that point, we were basically covering our fundamental expenses now, because when you start selling these things at $400 a month instead of thinking it's going to be 50-

$400 per Month from the First Corporate Client Was a Lot Compared to a Burn Rate of $1600 per Month

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: And you live in a house with 10 people.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Right, and your total expenses are $1,600 a month.

SAL DAHER: The Castle! Tremendous. Let's take a moment and tell our audience what Wistia does today, what type of customer it serves, what it does for them. What's the "value proposition"?

“Today, Wistia is a video platform.”  “It’s really trying to make it easy for you to get value from your videos.”

CHRIS SAVAGE: Today, Wistia is a video platform. You can host your videos and see how they're performing, control the player experience to match it to your brand, add interactivity. It's really trying to make it as easy as possible for you to get value out of your videos. We also have a new product actually that we launched in June that actually helps you make videos called Soapbox. We're trying to help small, medium-sized companies, for the most part, but any business that's really video-centric and cares about traffic going to their website, cares about people signing up for something ... Basically, you're using video to try to get a return. If you are doing that, we've built a ton of tools and integrations and interfaces to try to make that as easy as possible.

SAL DAHER: We're big fans of thrift in this podcast, of doing a lot of with few resources. We admire people like Frank Ferguson, the founder of Curriculum Associates, interviewed here in an episode titled "Practical Dreamer", who saved enough to invest a whole year's earnings in the company that would eventually bring differentiated learning to millions of school children. I understand that thrift played a really big role in Wistia's success. Please, tell our listeners about that.

“There's no way Wistia would be what it is today if we weren't crazy scrappy for many, many years.”

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think Wistia ... There's no way Wistia would be what it is today if we weren't crazy scrappy for many, many years. Even still, we try to put ourselves in a position to be scrappy to grow the business.

SAL DAHER: Right.

CHRIS SAVAGE: In those early days, it meant that ... We were living in a 10-person house. We were sharing food with everyone in that house, but we were the only people working there every day. We were getting three meals a day, everyone else was getting maybe one because people are busy. We were literally spending a total of $15 a week on food per person at that time.

SAL DAHER: You were having your employees subsidize your eating.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Our employees, yeah ... just our roommates. Our roommates were subsidizing. I mean, we would not buy anything. We didn't go out to dinner, we didn't go to the movies. We didn't do anything.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I remember we found ... Back then, you needed to print things out occasionally ... it doesn't exist anymore ... and we were out of printer ink, which is pretty expensive. It's a house in Cambridge, a rental, so there's so much stuff in the basement. I feel like Chris went down there hunting for an hour and came back with three printers that were sitting in the basement to make sure that we could print.

CHRIS SAVAGE: That reminded me of when we wanted to get a TV. We need to get a TV for this house. It was some crappy tiny TV, so we were like, "What are we going to do?" We just went in the basement and found stuff that had been left there by previous tenants. I just sold everything on Craigslist ... just selling stuff left and right on Craigslist, made 600 bucks, bought a TV.

SAL DAHER: That was really something. I can just think of two guys with the talent that you had ... You could easily go off and get a job at Google or some other place, Amazon, and make very nice money and have a pretty nice life. What was the thing that made you want to go through all these privations and so forth and not want to have it now, have the Tesla today instead of having the Tesla in 10 years?

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I think it was the reason that we started in the first place. We were ... Like I said earlier, it was this adventure. We were really good friends. When we started doing it, and we were building that portfolio website for artists and making no money ... Maybe six months in ... because we had said to ourselves, "All right, great. We're pretty smart. Six months in, we can probably be rich and sell this thing."

SAL DAHER: Six months and then you cash out.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We were so far away from that. We were basically broke, but we were having so much fun that we looked at each other ... We should figure out how to do this for as long as possible, because the building of the thing and figuring this out is extremely rewarding.

CHRIS SAVAGE: We did talk about the fact that we had friends who were consulting and doing investment banking, and they were making a lot of money really fast and going out to really nice dinners and all that stuff. There was an attraction to that, but we also felt like we just came out of living the college lifestyle, and that was fun. If we don't change our lifestyle that much, in terms of adding more expenses, why couldn't we just keep doing this. If you're going to take a big risk, this seemed ... Well, it wasn't the thing we decided before we started the company. Once we were six months into it or a year into it, toiling away, we were like, "If there ever was a time to take a giant risk, this is it."

SAL DAHER: Spot on.

CHRIS SAVAGE: There's no mortgage, there's no kids, there's no any other big extraneous things. We're in a fortunate position to be able to try to do this. It took many years before I felt like, oh, actually Wistia's doing well enough now that, if you were to look at us, it wouldn't seem that our lifestyles are that different from those other people. It's always about delaying the gratification. You have to get really, really good at that. That's what being scrappy is about and having a long-term vision. You just got to believe that, if you do it, it's worth it.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I think the only you can do that is if you really enjoy what you're doing, because otherwise you're just going to be thinking about the end and why were you sacrificing all this stuff for what you get, versus ... I mean, this is just the most common trope, but it's about the journey.

CHRIS SAVAGE: It's about the journey, man.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: It's about the journey, man.

Sal Asks for Your Review – He Points at Chris & Brendan Significantly!

SAL DAHER: People talk about it all the time because it's true. I mean, you enjoy doing it. That's tremendous. Coming up next, I will ask Chris Savage and Brendan Schwarz what advice they have for founders looking for their first use case. That's where companies die, if they don't find their first use case. But first I want to think listener ecormier for this review: "Great guests, always with strong prep, all kinds of good advice, lessons, and just generally good stories." Thanks a lot, ecormier.

SAL DAHER: The Angel Invest Boston podcast has outstanding guests such as Brendan and Chris, is professionally produced, has no commercials and comes to you free. The only thing we ask in return is that you help get the word out. Please, tell the potential angel or founder about us. Take a minute to review our podcast on iTunes, sign up ... I'm pointing at Chris and Brendan, do a review. Sign up at angelinvestboston.com to be notified of new episodes and of upcoming in-person free events. We had one in Babson. We're going to do more of those ... Great fun.

 

Great Advice on Finding Your First Use Case

SAL DAHER: You guys really struggled in finding your first use case. What would you advise founders to do in this regard?

CHRIS SAVAGE: I would say you can build an audience before you have a product if it's something that you're interested in, and I think there's a huge amount of value in doing that, in putting your ideas out there and being really open about where you think things are going, what you think can happen next in the world, in your space and whatever the thing is that you're interested in. It all comes down to finding people who want to talk to you about the challenges they have.

CHRIS SAVAGE: For us, it took us a while to figure out, oh, these are ... We think these different groups of people might have these challenges, and I think what I see work really well with new things that we do or with other companies that suddenly get traction, they understand what their customer's pain is, and it's a real pain. It's so easy to build something and just hope that people are going to want it but, if you know there's a real pain, you can find use cases much faster. In fact, you can get into a spot where you have so many options of use cases you have to make hard decisions around which ones do you want to focus on, and that's, I think, a much better position to be in.

SAL DAHER: Absolutely, yeah. You want to add to any of that, Brendan?

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I think, in a similar vein, it's easy to look at a lot of successful companies and think that they took a very linear path to get where they are. I think finding your customers pain is one thing, and also understanding your customers will change as you grow, and that's completely fine. I think when we started we had some idea that we needed to have the perfect vision for a product and everything figured out, and the thing that made us successful was when we did that and failed miserably. Then we ended up talking to this one customer, this medical device company, and started connecting some dots from other conversations that we had. Like Chris said, that is another big one that I feel I don't see as much, people being open about their ideas. I feel like that was another thing. We thought, "We have the perfect idea. We need to be so secretive about it, because what if someone copies it," which is a crazy-

The Google Problem

SAL DAHER: Google is going to copy the idea-

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: You should be so lucky.

SAL DAHER: You should be so lucky. Ben Littauer, I interviewed him months ago on this ... said exactly the same thing. You should be so lucky that Google gets interested in your idea, because it means you really have something. I remember Beth Marcus, another entrepreneur, talking exactly about this. Talk people's ear off about your business, your idea, the thing you're planning to do. I guess that's what helped you guys find the medical use for the videos. Was it the fact that you became known and you talked about this stuff and so forth?

The Savage Rule: “If you're not embarrassed by the stuff you're putting out in the world, you probably have taken too long in protecting it or trying to make it perfect…”

CHRIS SAVAGE: If you're not embarrassed by the stuff you're putting out in the world, you probably have taken too long in protecting it or trying to make it perfect, and that's normal. You can have something great that you still think is only solving a small percentage of the problem. We launched Soapbox, and Soapbox is a tool that lets you make videos by recording your webcam and your screen. Then you make these transitions. We're trying to make it really easy for people to make videos that look really professional. We think if you can do that, you're going to use it at work, and you'll make videos you wouldn't have otherwise.

CHRIS SAVAGE: But we're also Wistia, and we've really differentiated ourselves with analytics, for example. We invented the video heat map and the engagement graph before YouTube and all these things because we found these problems before anyone else was focusing on them. We're like, "Well, we should probably put analytics in Soapbox." You would think that that's something you would do, and yet we didn't because the team was like, "That's a good idea, but that's actually not what the core of what this is about. We actually have to have an MVP."

CHRIS SAVAGE: I remember we were talking about it a month before. I'm like, "Brendan, are we going to stuff analytics in this thing?" He's like, "No, we're not going to. We're not going to, we're going to actually wait." Well, I'm kind of a little embarrassed because, as a company, we're known for these analytics, and you would think that this would be in there. You realize actually it's how it should be. We got to put it out there and know that it's unfinished and, if it's not valuable enough as it is currently, then we're not working on an important enough problem. I think it's really easy to get ... to fall into that trap. You have to actively work hard to not fall in the trap of trying to have the perfect thing when you're launching, often because you start making something, and you use it, you think it's good, and you realize what's the next think you should do and what's the next thing you should do. It doesn't feel done, but that first thing might have been.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah. There is no substitute for getting feedback from actual people using it, because it is probably ... Unless you are some kind of genius mind reader, it is probably not what you thought or what is important.

On Being Friends and then Co-Founders – Dos & Don’ts

SAL DAHER: No, definitely not. In an episode titled "Good Chemistry", I interviewed Keith and Matthew, two guys who became friends at Georgia Tech and then founded a company called Poly6 together. You became friends at Brown then started Wistia. Please, tell us what it's like to be friends and then co-founders, and kindly include dos and don'ts.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I would say people told us, "Don't do this. You're going to risk your friendship, and it's going to get really bad and blah, blah, blah." We said, "No, we're going to do it."

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We say that about a lot of things.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah, we say that about a lot of things.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: If someone tells us no-

CHRIS SAVAGE: That's a good way to convince us to do it. We've had to have a lot of hard conversations when we disagree about what we should do next, and we've actually had those conversations, and we haven't let things linger. We set some guidelines up front. We said we're going to put our friendship first, and we're just going to make sure that we're always equal partners who put our friendship first. We're going into this together, and we're going to be really open about that.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I know many people who don't actually do that piece. They end up flipping around, putting the business first. What ends up happening is, of course, you're going to have disagreements on stuff, and there's hard things that happen when you grow a company. That's just how it is. If you don't address those hard issues really quickly, or get really good at addressing them, it's very hard to do that.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think for us ... We've always done that. I think it's made us much better friends. It took us so long to get traction. It was years before we felt like we really had traction. I guess we had our first customer and we had our 10th customer and all this stuff, but we didn't feel like the trajectory was really humming along. By the time it was, we were like, "Wow, this has been five years. We can do this for another five. This is really fun." That's the same way we think about it now.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think if we hadn't had those hard conversations all along the way and got really good at them ... They're not hard anymore. If we hadn't done that, I think we would have been in a very different place.

SAL DAHER: Brendan, if you can pitch in here, Christopher Mirabile and Ham Lord have a working relationship like that, but they never meet each other ... rarely. They go to the same space a few times a month. The rest of the time, one's off in one direction, the other guy's off in another direction, and they just talk and so forth. Do you guys interact a lot in your life outside of work? What is it like?

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Oh, yes. We spend a lot of time together. I think that was ... I mean, we spent a lot of time together in college. We were friends freshman year, but I think we became a lot better friends when the rest of our friends went to study abroad junior year, and then the two of us were just left behind. When we started Wistia, we were working all day and all night together, and lived in the same house for four or five years. We live a half mile apart, maybe closer, have since we started Wistia, and spend a lot of time together at work and outside of work.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I think, as the company has gotten bigger, some of it is a divide and conquer thing, but revisit from time to time how much time are we spending together and work. It still is ... not to get all sappy, but it is very ... It is fun to work together. That is one thing that makes it really enjoyable, and I think we do better work when we are working together.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Our first office was in ... There was real office we paid for that wasn't a house. It was in Lexington, Massachusetts. It was so cheap ... that's why we did it. We would commute out there and back every day.

SAL DAHER: You would go from The Castle-

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah, it was insane, and we're idiots. When we went to go see the space, we saw it in the middle of the day, and there was no traffic, and of course there's a huge amount of traffic. We had a 45-minute commute each way.

CHRIS SAVAGE: As things got busier, we would always have that ... We would have an hour and a half every day. It wasn't until later when we didn't live in the same house and things got really busy at Wistia that we realized actually a huge amount of the time that we were spending together where we were chatting about the business was in those other periods of time. We'd go play tennis, and we'd go chat about work then. We'd go to the gym, we'd go do whatever.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Your lives get more complicated. I'm married ... We're both married. I have a daughter. There's a lot of tensions on time. Then we've had to be more and more explicit about having blocks of time during the week that we often don't even have an agenda for. It's just we know we have that time, and there's always interesting things to talk about and work on in the business. It's gone from something that was never explicit to now it's much more explicit.

Chris Savage & Brendan Schwartz, Like Bettina Hein of the Founder of Pixability, Are Very Wise About their Schedule

SAL DAHER: You're talking really about a little bit of discipline and common sense about planning your social life and so forth, and kind doing it in a very conscious way. I think Bettina Hein is really good at this. She has something that she does. She says she will talk to anybody who can get on her schedule for a certain time on Monday from such and such a time. If you're somebody in Idaho, you can schedule a time to talk with Bettina Hein three years from now, and you will have 30 minutes or 20 minutes of her time or whatever. She has the stuff that she wants to do. She's very deliberate, very good planner, and that how she stays on top of it. She's a mother, two kids, and yet she managed to get this rocket ship of a company and to run the place really tightly. It pays to plan I guess. Of course, if you're going on a journey, what's the best thing than to go with your buddies. It's a buddy movie.

Chris Savage’s Brilliant Responses to the “Sleep When You’re Dead” Idea

SAL DAHER: One of the interviews that I listened to in prepping for the podcast, the interviewer asked Chris about a startup luminary advising founders to "sleep when you're dead". Chris took issue with that. You want to go into that here?

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah. I would say that there's this culture of you can't win if you don't hustle. There's no question that we hustle, especially the early years, but one of the lessons we've learned is that, if your only tactic to win is hustling, you're screwed, because someone else is going to out think you, and they're going to out maneuver you. You actually have to bake in that time to think and that balance. We look at the game of building the company is much more about we can be the most persistent, and we will outlast. If we are crazy persistent, and we set up everything so it's actually fun to do the work, we actually find the work enjoyable ... it doesn't feel like work ... it's easier to have a work-life balance. Work-life balance matters, and you need to build in a lot of time to think.

CHRIS SAVAGE: In the early days of building a company, that's all you have is time. We did all those crazy different things. We made Ironing the Flag and Fame Thrower. There's a number of other things we did. There's many, many crazy things that we did, and a lot of those things we learned from, and they actually had a real impact on what Wistia became. Had we not had that time, we wouldn't have built Wistia. I think even now we look at building the company ... We can kind of look at this from an economic perspective of there is a rational way to build a business. This next stage is beyond where we are now and, if we just do the things at the next stage, then the company will do well. We kind of look at it through a creative lens, which is there's actually just a ton of big problems and, if we come up with really creative solutions to them, we can leap past the challenges.

CHRIS SAVAGE: That's always been the case for us. Actually, when we run into trouble is when we almost get too much in the hustle mindset, and we don't give ourselves the time to think.

Wistia Has Been Massively Capital Efficient Compared to Brightcove & HubSpot – Their Investors Are Elated!!

SAL DAHER: This is very illuminating. Actually, I'm going to get more into that with the next question. If Crunchbase is to be believed ... You shouldn't always believe Crunchbase ... According to Crunchbase, you guys raised 1.625, and you guys are actually only raised 1.4 million and so forth, so they're a little bit off. Brightcove raised almost 200 million in funding ... maybe that's wrong too. HubSpot raised about 100 million. Wistia raised 1.4 million, and yet you guys are playing in the same sandbox. How do you do it? How do you stay competitive?

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think we've always taken such a long-term view and try to do something very simple, which is we try to make things that are valuable that people will pay for and, if they pay for that valuable thing, we reinvest that money into making that thing more valuable for more people. We just keep going through this cycle. If you were to look at us compared to Brightcove seven years ago, you'd be like, "Wow, Wistia is super tiny and Brightcove is really big."

SAL DAHER: Right.

CHRIS SAVAGE: You look at us now, and Brightcove is not that different of a size than they were seven years ago, but we're a hell of a lot bigger. It's kind of the slow fire burns the hottest. Have you ever heard that?

SAL DAHER: Absolutely.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think we've been really tending this fire for a long time and trying to get the coals burning really hot. We just believed that if we stay very, very focused on the long term, we don't worry too much about competitors actually, that we'll make better decisions, and we'll do the things that are truly valuable, and the things that are truly valuable will probably be lasting.

SAL DAHER: You don't waste time looking over your shoulder, you're just looking at the road ahead?

CHRIS SAVAGE: I mean, we've definitely wasted time looking over our shoulder.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We regret it. I think that's when we've made dumb decisions.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah. When we've looked at competitors, "Why are they doing that? Are they making more money on that thing than we are? Should we be trying to do that?" Then you aren't really sure why you're doing it, and maybe they're copying you too and they don't know why you're doing it. Everybody is ... Somebody said this analogy to me once about competitors I think was very right, which is imagine you're in the mountains on a little road, and it's very foggy and dark. If you see your competitors in front of you on something, you just see their tail lights. If you stay too close to the tail lights, you might follow them right off a cliff. Actually, it's fine to have competitors, and they can help you see where the road is going, and sometimes you just need to make a tunnel and you just cut the whole thing off.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Is that part of the analogy, or did you add that?

CHRIS SAVAGE: I added that. I added the tunnel.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Sometimes you need to get in a helicopter and just get out of there.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Sometimes you need a freaking helicopter ... You're just flying above. I think it is actually true. There's been times where we've seen people doing something we're like, "Actually, if you look at where that road is going, I don't think we want to go there, and thank you for helping us figure that out." It can be a little scary sometimes because, if you're focused on the week or the month or the quarter, analysts ... everybody might be saying, "Yeah, this is the direction to go in," and actually they could all be wrong because they're looking at the wrong thing.

Over-Funded Competitors Undone by the Video Market’s Slower-Than-Expected Growth

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah. I think we also have an element of luck, in that the market that we're in has grown slowly, which has been really well-matched to our growth. There were a lot of early competitors who were very over funded, and they needed to see a lot of growth from the market. Of course, they raised a lot of money, and they went out of business because the market wasn't there. We were kind of this scrappy startup bumping along, and we were able to grow very organically with the market there.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: A lot of that has influenced our thinking too. As long as we're doing well and are enjoying what we're doing, there are many options out there for us. You can also become fixated on is this market going to grow really fast, are we in the fastest market, if it's this really fast-growing market, do we need to invest like crazy. I think just getting to that fundamental thinking of what are the customers here, what do they want, and how can we serve them and be proud of the thing that we're making ... That is a very strong guiding light that, I think, with persistence will produce a really good result over the long term.

“Sometimes we've been so close to the customers they tell us what their problems are going to be in five years”

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think you just said it. When you're focused on what the customers actually want, their core problems, that's who you want to stay really close to. Sometimes we've been so close to the customers they tell us what their problems are going to be in five years, "I think I'm going to want to this, I don't know how I'm going to hire these videographers, how am I going to build a studio," and all that stuff. We're like, "Why don't we help you figure that out."

CHRIS SAVAGE: Then that has almost always been the thing that lets us ... That's really what guides us, is what those customer needs are. That's where you get into trouble I think. If you're not staying super to close to where customers are going and what they need to do next, then that's I think when you make mistakes.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: That's why we built Soapbox. We saw customers who were seeing really good business success shooting video for a single use, so a sales team where you're a sales rep, and I'm recording a video of you to send to a single prospect or customer, and it was working really well for them. Of course, you have to have great certainty in that investment because it's really expensive to have somebody who can do that on staff or to pay ... It's pretty expensive to make video. We thought how could we take that and bring that to the masses? That was big inspiration for Soapbox. We only knew that because we were talking to the customers who were doing that.

SAL DAHER: This is really fascinating. I think I have a name for the episode ... They did it their way.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Frank Sinatra.

SAL DAHER: Frank Sinatra, exactly. You're not as-

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Good looking ... What were you going to say?

SAL DAHER: No. He was a rather noxious character in a lot of ways. Brilliant and talented, but noxious in many ways. It really is. You've made all these rookie mistakes that Eric Ries is probably cringing to hear all the mistakes you made. But you were saved by the fact that you were so thrifty and have really operating costs. Then you have this outlook of trying to grow matched to the potential of the market, rather than trying to force growth beyond what's possible. You have a sane attitude about overworking ... What's the term you used?

CHRIS SAVAGE: You need time to think.

SAL DAHER: The hustle. This is so different. I mean, some people do this, but I don't see anybody doing it as consciously and as such a different way that you guys are doing it. Usually, the title comes ... Reading the transcript and listening to the podcast, I get it. This is really amazing.

Wistia Is Has Put in Place a Financing Structure Unusual for a Startup

SAL DAHER: In that same vein, I understand you guys are doing an unusual financing structure, where you're raising debt financing to kind of basically buy out your existing investors, and also to give you longer-term financing so you can manage the company in the way that you really ... thinking in the long-term approach that you want to take. Do you want to talk about this? I understand it's not public yet. By the time this podcast is launched, it will have been public knowledge.

CHRIS SAVAGE: You can probably tell from this interview, but we weren't really sure what we wanted to be when we grew up. It was like, "Six months, we're going to sell it." Then we're like, "Oh, this is actually really fun. What if we make Ironing the Flag thing?" It's been a real evolution. When people have asked us what do you want to be, we've never given them one answer. We've always said, "Well, maybe someday we'll go public, or maybe someday we'll raise a growth round, or maybe someday we'll sell the company, or maybe someday we are a large private company." That last one ... I think we've always been kind of intrigued by that idea of trying to build a large private company. If you're a large private company, you don't share your revenue, you don't share your profit, you don't share any of those things. You're giving up the social capital a little bit that comes with ... If you're public, people know how you're doing, or if you're raising lots of money, people know how you're doing.

CHRIS SAVAGE: We always weren't really sure what we wanted to do, and so we looked at a lot of those different options. The thing that we kept coming back to was that we're actually having more fun today than we were having at the beginning. We have a couple of buildings full of really talented people we work with every day that surprise us with incredible things. We've built up a solid customer base of people who teach us what they want next. We've invested a huge amount into building a brand, into building content and teaching people, and that's something that's part of our mission that has really inspired us, is seeing the world of video change and helping people communicate better and all that stuff.

CHRIS SAVAGE: As we started to look at those options, we thought we do have these angel investors that came in 2008 and 2010. They made a big bet on us, and we told them back then we'll go raise our Series A in a couple of years. Then they're like, "Okay."

SAL DAHER: Then it didn't happen.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Then it didn't happen, and we said, "Don't talk to us at all. We don't want you to see this." Eventually, the company really started to grow, and they were like, "Actually, this might be valuable." We knew we wanted to do right by them.

“We hit on this idea of raising debt so we could do right by the investors, and we could really take a bet on ourselves…”

CHRIS SAVAGE: We hit on this idea of raising debt so we could do right by the investors, and we could really take a bet on ourselves and say we believe in the long-term success of this business, and we believe that the journey's going to be really fun. It seems risky to take debt instead of equity, but the risk is more a market risk and execution risk, a product risk, but we'll be in control.

CHRIS SAVAGE: You said they did it their way. We've always tried to be able to be creative with how we build the business, and this option lets us continue to do that and reward those people who took a risk.

SAL DAHER: Angel investors are looking for a three to four, five-year horizon investment ... Well, in biotech it's a lot longer than that. They're seeing the company doing really well, and they're really not getting anything you guys ... You're not going to pay dividends, because you're going to reinvest in the company. I see that as something where they'll be really happy to be cashed out. They'll probably be crying a little bit ... I mean, I'd be crying a little bit I'm not going to be along for the ride with this brilliant company.

CHRIS SAVAGE: They don't have to do it.

SAL DAHER: I know, but they will have a chance to be cashed out. Then you will have the freedom to do your own thing. I think this is really unusual, very clever and very wise in understanding your market, understanding yourselves and so forth. This is really wonderful.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah. It is funny it took us a long time to get here, partially in that in the world of software and tech, the people we know are very steeped in equity investment because it makes sense. It's a very risky venture. You want a partner to capture the upside and don't have the downside that you would with debt. No one was really actively suggesting that to us as an option. It wasn't even ... We're not finance people, obviously. It was one of those things where we were talking to a lot of growth equity people, we were talking to ... Something always felt off about it.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Then when we found out this debt was a possibility ... We had even suggested that, "Hey, can we do debt?" "No, that's crazy. Why would you do that? That's crazy. You have spent 10 years de-risking this business and growing it. Shouldn't you take some reward from it? You would be crazy because you're just piling on risk."

SAL DAHER: Exactly.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: The funny thing to us, and maybe that's why ... That's what someone who likes to take risk maybe would say, "That doesn't seem like a risk." When we hit on that solution, it felt ... Yeah, it all the marks for us, in that it was a bet on ourselves. Yes, we were taking more risk, but we feel very comfortable with that, and it lets us go long-term and have more control over the business, and it felt really right.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Sorry, I was just also going to say, in terms of a lot of those other types of investors ... We know a lot of smart people, a lot of very, very smart people who gave us interesting advice about things that we can do in the business, things that we hadn't thought about. But what we always came back to was that we have always done well when we take all these different inputs and all this different advice and then we figure out the creative solution that we think we're going to be able to execute on for a really long time. Not a tactical thing for the short term, but something that we really think, if we get this right, and we focus for the long term, it's going to work. I think that was one of the things we realized.

CHRIS SAVAGE: Those options make tons of sense for lots of people, and I have many friends who have taken those other options. I think they are good options to take for those businesses, how they feel about the market and the risk and all that stuff they're taking. For us, this is the thing that's the most similar to the beginning of just taking a bet on ourselves. We also got comfortable with that risk too. If this doesn't work out, well, at least we took the bet on ourselves.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We wouldn't regret that.

CHRIS SAVAGE: This is the thing we knew we wouldn't regret.

SAL DAHER: Now, my next question is about taking advice and so forth. You've answered it. This is really beautiful.

Startups Chris Savage & Brendan Schwartz Admire

SAL DAHER: Chris and Brendan, are there other startups that you guys admire other than Wistia? You want to talk a bit about them?

CHRIS SAVAGE: Yeah.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: One that we have admired for a long time is MailChimp in Atlanta.

SAL DAHER: Oh, love them.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Great company, very commercially successful. The thing that we really look up to them for is, as they've grown, they've continued to take more and more creative risks with their brand and with their product at a big scale, which is, I think, really counterintuitive. Usually, you look at bigger companies, and they are taking less creative risks.

SAL DAHER: Right.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I think that has been hugely inspiring to us because we are very creatively motivated. That is ultimately why this is so fun for us. It's really cool to see a company do that and also make a lot of money doing it, because it shows that that is really valued by people. That's very inspiring to us, versus this company is taking a bunch of creative risks and then completely cratered their business. That doesn't help the world become more creative, because people would judge that as a failure.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I would say another one that's very, very, very different business, but we definitely look up to is Pixar. I think we've been always really interested by companies that ... Pixar ... I mean, how many people work on a movie. It's 1,200 people worked on Toy Story, and yet they make something that makes you cry. Every single adult will cry when they watch it. It's pretty amazing that they're that in tune with how people are going to respond emotionally, and they can build a company that can create stuff like that. I think, since Disney bought Pixar, they took the heads of Pixar and put them in charge of Disney Animation. Disney Animation has gotten to be in this really, really strong place.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I think a lot of the stuff ... We just look up to those companies who figure out how to get a lot done with a little. In those cases, those really simple things that Pixar does ... There's this great book called Creativity, Inc. about how Pixar scaled as a company, and it's basically when they had an org structure, but they were a lot in the org structure for communication. They weren't talking to people directly. Toy Story 2 came in on time, and they went to the wrap party. Ed Catmull, who ran Pixar, was talking to everybody, "We did it. Amazing. The movie came out so great." All the project managers were like, "Yeah, it was incredible." And the creators were like, "That was a nightmare. We're not going to stay at Pixar if the next things is like this."

CHRIS SAVAGE: He realized he had created this org structure to help everybody get the work done, but he relied on it for all communication with everybody, and he missed this opportunity that actually so much of the great communication where you understand how your company's performing is through those other channels. It helped them change how they thought about their office being structured and all these types of things. Those companies that have taken really interesting, creative risks, build companies that do creative things that are valued and think really long term are the ones we really look up to.

SAL DAHER: Awesome. Is there anything else that you guys want to say? We're wrapping up now, but just basically anything that comes to mind that you want to tell people ... I mean, our audience of angel investors and founders and people who work at startups.

Parting Thoughts from the Founders of Wistia

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I just want to underscore again the dos and don'ts of a partnership. The putting your friendship first that Chris said is ... I think one thing that has helped our business immensely and our friendship is actually doing that ... and not just us. There are a lot of other friend pairs here and people who actually care about the relationships. I think it's very easy to say, "Oh, it's much simpler if you say put the business first. Shouldn't you do that? That's the rational, normal thing to do." But a business is just made up of people and, without trust and good relationships, you will get absolutely nothing done.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: I think we have a better rational understanding of that. It was more intuitive when we started, but that is something that has really helped propel us.

SAL DAHER: That's really excellent, Brendan. Anything you want to say, Chris?

CHRIS SAVAGE: That was just excellent, Brendan. Thank you.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Make sure that's in there.

SAL DAHER: The guys who talk less are always the ones who go deeper.

CHRIS SAVAGE: I always think about the founders who are just starting something and what their expectations should be for themselves. I think that we ... I see a lot actually of people being like, "I need to find a co-founder, I need to find a co-founder," which basically means I need to find someone technical to do these things I want to do.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: To build my fantastic idea.

“I wish everyone could just think longer term.”

CHRIS SAVAGE: I wish everyone could just think longer term. The angel investors too ... A lot of those long-term bets, if you give them enough time, they will work. What's happened so often is that you see the milestone, the milestone, the milestone, everyone's like, "The way I know it's working is there's more money being raised." It almost takes more courage to say don't raise more money, and it takes a belief that great things can scale. I've watched a lot of entrepreneurs raise money who shouldn't have basically because they thought that was a sign of success, and it's not. The investors aren't happy either. They get in there, and things don't turn out the way that they hope. I would just encourage people to try to be longer term.

SAL DAHER: Brendan Schwarz and Chris Savage, I'm tremendously grateful to you for participating in helping make this really excellent podcast. This is tremendous. I'd also like to express my appreciation for your hospitality in hosting us at the offices of Wistia. This is really wonderful.

CHRIS SAVAGE: It's been great. Thank you for coming over here.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: Yeah, thank you.

SAL DAHER: Great. I'd like to invite our listeners who enjoyed this podcast to review it on iTunes ... I'm giving significant looks to everybody here.

BRENDAN SCHWARTZ: We'll review.

SAL DAHER: Good. See everybody, even Brendan and Chris are going to review. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to Sal@angelinvestboston.com. You can also sign up to be told about upcoming in-person events and new releases. This is Angel Invest Boston Conversations with Boston's most interesting angels and founders. I'm Sal Daher.

SAL DAHER: I'm glad you were able to join us. Our engineer is Raul Rosa. Our theme was composed by John McKusick. Our graphic design is by Katharine Woodman-Maynard. Our host is coached by Grace Daher.