Aki Balogh had a project to apply machine learning to help content creators. Suddenly it looked like a business when Jeff Coyle, the VP of Search at an established company, joined him as co-founder. MarketMuse is now a fast-growing startup helping hundreds of companies figure out what content to create.
Aki, Jeff and VP of Engineering at MarketMuse, Noah Davis, were in studio for an engaging interview.
- Sal Talks about Angel Invest Boston’s Syndicate
- Aki Balogh Talks about Going to Community College at age 15
- Jeff Coyle Goes from Computer Science at Georgia Tech to Content Marketing
- A “Take Your Kid to Work” Day Gets 12-Year Old Noah Davis Interested in Software Engineering
- “I like computer science, but I was not going to be the best engineer. I wanted to do something with people.”
- Jeff Coyle’s First Job Out of College Gave Him Exposure to Entrepreneurship
- “So, I'd been trying to solve the problem that MarketMuse solves by hand, manually, for ten years.”
- “And she asked me if I wanted to see something cool. Of course, I did. So, she slung a few lines of code … and made something happen and appear on a screen that had previously had nothing on it. From that moment, I was hooked-“
- “And some of the things we use APIs for at MarketMuse allow us to move very fast as an organization.”
- MarketMuse’s Founding Story
- “I think you should be at a startup, either running your own or working on somebody else's. And that operational experience would make you a better investor down the line.”
- “So, I started thinking, I wonder if there's a way we can use machine learning to actually help with this content creation problem and help us figure out what to write about and how to write about it…”
- “…oh my gosh, the Vice President of Search from TechTarget is interested in what we do, I nearly fell out of my chair.”
- “If you have that culture of content internally, you can really take this quickly and integrate it in your workflows to be more successful at the planning side, and then even in the execution side.”
- “The search-engine industry has changed in the meantime here to really start caring about content quality too.”
- “…basically we have a software as a service solution that allows you to evaluate the quality and comprehensiveness of any page on any topic.”
- “Processes that would take tens, twenties of hours in the past, the research elements, we're doing in minutes.”
- Aki Balogh’s Advice to Startups in Finding Their First Use Case
- “…we were fully remote because I would just work with wherever I found talent…”
- MarketMuse Uses Slack and Confluence to Keep Remote Staff on the Same Page
- “I wanted to avoid venture until as late as possible because it creates a couple of bad behaviors.”
- Sal Brings Up Wistia as Fantastic Bootstrappers
- “The more data you crunch, the more cases you see, the more knowledgeable you are and therefore the farther ahead you are of your competitors who haven't crunched those particular numbers. This is an interesting-“
- “…your quality of life basically just falls, continually falls as the company grows, because you have less personal freedoms and so on. But it's a very meaningful process…”
- “…40% of a startup is articulating what the software does…”
- Creating an Environment in your Startup for People who Are not Entrepreneurs
Transcript of "Market Muse"
Guests: Aki Balogh, Jeff Coyle & Noah Davis of MarketMuse
Sal Talks about Angel Invest Boston’s Syndicate
SAL DAHER: Hi. This is Sal Daher of the Angel Invest Boston Podcast. If you've been listening, you might have noticed that I love being an angel investor in Boston. The reason for this is that there's so much going on in the startup space here in Boston, practical founders working with leading inventors, venture capitalists, angel investors, patent attorneys. It's a really exciting scene. Now, you can join us in syndicates, which allow people who are not part of the angel investment community to invest alongside Boston's leading angels. I invite you to leave your email address at angelinvestboston.com in the syndicate section, and we'll be back in touch with you to help walk you through the qualification process as an accredited investor. Remember, there is no obligation to invest when you put your email address there. I hope you really enjoy today's podcast.
Sal Introduces Aki Balogh, Jeff Coyle and Noah Davis
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 at this very moment, people such as Aki Balogh, co-founder and CEO, Jeff Coyle, co-founder and CMO, and Noah Davis, Director of Engineering at a really exciting company called MarketMuse. It's a firm that uses AI, artificial intelligence, to figure out what are the most interesting things that you should be writing content about on your website, and really suggests how you can improve the content on your website.
SAL DAHER: And they do it in a very clever way. Basically, they look at people in your space, and they figure out by looking at thousands and thousands of articles what conversations get people excited. So these guys really, really know how to help content marketing. Aki, Jeff, Noah, welcome I'm grateful you guys made time in this very busy period, you're swamped with orders, to be here.
JEFF COYLE: Thanks again, Sal.
AKI BALOGH: Thank you for having us.
NOAH DAVIS: We really appreciate it.
JEFF COYLE: Great to be here.
SAL DAHER: Awesome. So this voice here, Aki.
AKI BALOGH: Yes.
SAL DAHER: This is Aki. Noah.
NOAH DAVIS: Hello.
SAL DAHER: And this voice is Jeff Coyle.
JEFF COYLE: Hey. It's Jeff.
SAL DAHER: This is for the guy who does the transcript, or the woman who does the transcript, so she can or he can tell ...
JEFF COYLE: Exactly.
Aki Balogh Talks about Going to Community College at age 15
SAL DAHER: Anyway, before discussing MarketMuse, which is a really exciting company, I'd like to get into your backgrounds a bit. Aki Balogh had an unusual career so far. At age 15, he enrolled in community college to study computer programming for business. This is the dream of every parent. The kid, instead of going to four year college, goes to community college, saves a lot of tuition. The beer tastes just as good at community college as it does at four year college.
AKI BALOGH: Yep. I can certify that.
SAL DAHER: By age 18, Aki had finished his Associate's degree and went on to the University of Michigan, where he eventually received a Bachelor's degree in business administration. While this was going on, he was working at a lab at U of M as a software developer. He also became involved with the European Student Association, which led him to start his first business, a series of conferences. Aki then worked for a consultant in data science for three years. This was followed by short stints in private equity and venture capital. Then came a couple of years doing sales and marketing at a database software company. This peripatetic professional life eventually led to starting MarketMuse in 2015. The company now seems to be really gathering in momentum. Evidence of this momentum is the fact that Noah Davis has come onboard as the Director of Engineering, and that a Series A round is in view.
Jeff Coyle Goes from Computer Science at Georgia Tech to Content Marketing
SAL DAHER: Jeff Coyle, co-founder, studied computer science at Georgia Tech. And right out of college, he went to work at a company that was helping other companies get leads and do content marketing, and to do SEO. The company got acquired by a larger company, and Jeff stayed on for another eight years, built out the team, and accelerated the company. And when he left, he went briefly into private equity, and that's when he connected with Aki and MarketMuse. It's interesting, the company that acquired was called-
JEFF COYLE: TechTarget.
SAL DAHER: TechTarget. And TechTarget was MarketMuse's first customer. So basically, Aki stole his first customer, made him become a late co-founder.
AKI BALOGH: Which we don't typically do. So it's safe to be a MarketMuse customer. We're not gonna poach your ...
SAL DAHER: No, no, not at all. This is like original sin.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah. We plugged in.
SAL DAHER: You don't commit that sin anymore, right?
JEFF COYLE: No. We plugged in MarketMuse to a number of areas of our content workflow, and it was just so strong that yeah, I joined the company.
SAL DAHER: Now, since now you have 101 clients and you have not hired anybody from those clients, it's well established.
JEFF COYLE: Exactly.
A “Take Your Kid to Work” Day Gets 12-Year Old Noah Davis Interested in Software Engineering
SAL DAHER: Great. Noah became interested in technology at age 12. His stepdad took him to work, and Noah was introduced to software engineering. All those days after Thanksgiving, you take your kid to work, it pays off. This is how Noah became a noted expert on APIs, about which we'll talk a little bit more. Really consequential. By age 13, he had taught himself Java. And his ten years in tech, Noah has specialized in building complex, scalable APIs and platforms from the ground up as exemplified by his work at Mashery, which specializes in API management.
SAL DAHER: By the way, an API, or application programming interface, is a powerful thing, because it offers companies a way to share their internal data and processes with partners without a lot of fuss.
SAL DAHER: So Aki, what led you to start community college at age 15?
AKI BALOGH: Yeah, so couple things. So we were living, at the time, our family had just moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I did one year of high school, and it just wasn't really great. There were a lot of kind of cliques, and you know, a lot of people didn't wanna be there. And there was an opportunity, there was actually a program called Washtenaw Technical Middle College. Basically, they would take the money that the state would allocate for your high school and use it to pay your college tuition. So you could actually just be a full-time community college student for free, but actually earn real college credits. So it was an experiment. Honestly, at the time, it was just a very new program. We were not sure kind of how it's going to play out. But for me it turned out really well. I got to explore computer science, which was my first passion. I started coding when I was a kid too. I taught myself PEARL at 13. But Java's a bit more useful.
AKI BALOGH: But it was great. It was a chance to basically do what I loved to do. Everybody wanted to be there, because everybody else was paying. And it was kind of like, for those who watch the show Community, it's a really good TV show. That's actually what my life was like. There were all kinds of people there. There was a PhD who had done his PhD in physics, and now he was in his 60s and wanted to learn computers, so he enrolled for that. There were people who were kind of like the dropouts who wound up at community college and wanted to learn a trade to set their life back on track. There were people who wanted to go to university, but were saving money, and so they would take courses at the community college and then transfer it over to a university. So it was a really diverse set of folks. And, had a great time for three years.
“I like computer science, but I was not going to be the best engineer. I wanted to do something with people.”
AKI BALOGH: So that program also led me to the realization that I am not a great engineer. I like computer science, but I was not going to be the best engineer. I wanted to do something with people. And so then I went to business school, undergrad business, in order to dig into that passion.
SAL DAHER: This is an amazing amount of self-discovery for somebody who's just barely 18.
AKI BALOGH: Thank you.
SAL DAHER: Much credit. You know, I think the rich experience of being in a community college with people different stages of life, in different professional experiences, is much, much richer than being in a high school with a bunch of guys or women, same age, who know nothing. So I mean, it cannot be done at scale, but if you have a chance to try that experience, it's tremendous.
SAL DAHER: Jeff, did you have any inkling that you wanted to be an entrepreneur before you joined a startup out of college?
Jeff Coyle’s First Job Out of College Gave Him Exposure to Entrepreneurship
JEFF COYLE: Not really. No I was really into kind of usability and search engines, the early stage what was happening in the search engine industry. In school, I took an internship with one company, and then I talked to KnowledgeStorm, and they came back and said, oh, we really need someone to lead the interns-
SAL DAHER: That's the company that got acquired.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah. KnowledgeStorm. We started between '99 and 2000. And then, 2007 they were acquired by TechTarget. It was really just like they came back and said, hey, we need someone to run our intern program, and you seem like the person that can do it. And I said, alright. Let's do it.
SAL DAHER: Hot dog.
JEFF COYLE: And yeah, the first day, they handed me a bunch of work, and I handed it back the next day. And I think they realized they picked the right guy.
SAL DAHER: Yeah.
JEFF COYLE: And I stuck around for the whole journey through-
SAL DAHER: Now, let's go forward, let's say twelve years or whatever, the time that you actually connected with Aki, and were thinking of going to MarketMuse.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah.
SAL DAHER: Here you were, professional success, family obligations and all that. How did you overcome that to become an entrepreneur.
“So, I'd been trying to solve the problem that MarketMuse solves by hand, manually, for ten years.”
JEFF COYLE: Wow. Yeah. That's a great question. So I'd been trying to solve the problem that MarketMuse solves by hand, manually, for ten years.
SAL DAHER: Okay.
JEFF COYLE: And I actually would seek out people doing research in this field, and just trying to figure out how I can plug it into my workflow in my public company VP role, I was just trying to figure out, was anyone going to be able to solve this problem? I knew how long it took manually. Painful process to do content inventories and content audits, and evaluating topic models and just doing that detailed keyword research. And when I found Aki, I was like, wow. They figured this out. I can plug this in and it will work, and I know why it will work, 'cause I've done all this stuff manually.
JEFF COYLE: When I decided to leave, and go work at, I was doing some services work with a private equity firm. When he came to me, and I thought about it, and I said, there's nothing else that does what this can do. And I said I have to take the leap.
SAL DAHER: So you had the conviction.
JEFF COYLE: Obviously speaking with my wife and talking about the dynamics of-
SAL DAHER: Conviction and permission.
JEFF COYLE: Yes. Exactly. And just saying you know, this is, there's something special about what is happening. With Aki and a number of the other people that had contributed, they were focusing on this from a different perspective, a data science and artificial intelligence perspective. Many of the contributors didn't have search engine optimization experience in the earliest forms of it, certainly doing it for 15 to 20 years. So I said, you know, this is a really unique dynamic. This isn't coming from that world. They came in from another world, solved the problem that people in our space had for so long. That was really what made me have that conviction.
SAL DAHER: Wow.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah.
SAL DAHER: So, let's go to Noah now. Describe for us the moment that you discovered software engineering. What went through your head?
“And she asked me if I wanted to see something cool. Of course, I did. So, she slung a few lines of code … and made something happen and appear on a screen that had previously had nothing on it. From that moment, I was hooked-“
NOAH DAVIS: I remember my stepdad, technically ex-stepdad at the time, took me to work with him, and he had a small ed tech startup in Columbus, Ohio. And he placed me in this room with this woman, and she had a computer which I had really only used to play games on before that. And she asked me if I wanted to see something cool. Of course I did. So she slung a few lines of code, I had no idea what she was writing or what she was doing, and made something happen and appear on a screen that had previously had nothing on it.
SAL DAHER: Oh wow.
NOAH DAVIS: From that moment, I was hooked-
SAL DAHER: Wow.
NOAH DAVIS: ... on the idea of creation. And that followed me through, obviously, until now, where I really find the joy in creating things, not just solving the problem, but figuring out a way to navigate the problem in a way that I haven't figured out before.
SAL DAHER: Okay. Now, from that initial experience that you had, explain to us what's so important and what's so essential about APIs, what they are doing in the world of software.
“And some of the things we use APIs for at MarketMuse allow us to move very fast as an organization.”
NOAH DAVIS: Yeah, definitely. So APIs have been around for a very long time. It's just in the more recent years, probably the last five years, they've become a very big buzz word in the industry. And some of the things we use APIs for at MarketMuse allow us to move very fast as an organization. We can plug into lots of data sources from different places using their APIs. We can also surface our APIs internally, so that we can enable even some of our sales people or our customer success team to pull data for our customers very quickly. We can also build very modular software and more microservices architecture, which allows us to do things very quickly, and also scale as we engage more enterprise customers.
SAL DAHER: So basically allows the data and your customers talk to your data, to run processes, exchange information to those processes in a way that's really productive, instead of just scraping the content on their website, you can also get the analytics that they have on the back of it, and see what they're seeing on their side and then integrate that into your process, presumably.
NOAH DAVIS: Yes, we definitely can do that with APIs. We can also surface some really cool proprietary stuff that we do to customers that add immense value to their products and help them become better companies.
SAL DAHER: Excellent. Let's talk about MarketMuse now. Aki and Jeff, tell us the founding story of MarketMuse.
MarketMuse’s Founding Story
AKI BALOGH: Yeah. So coming out of college, I went to a management consulting firm, where we helped large companies, Fortune 500s, compete on analytics. So we would basically analyze their data and surface insights from it that would help them either reduce operational costs or find new sources of revenue. And I just really fell in love with the idea of analytics. I think it's a tremendous competitive advantage. In fact, I would argue it's the most important competitive advantage if you can interpret data and surface insights and use that to drive your actions as a business.
“I think you should be at a startup, either running your own or working on somebody else's. And that operational experience would make you a better investor down the line.”
AKI BALOGH: And I was really interested in software and entrepreneurship from just, all my life I've been really interested in those areas. And so I went to a venture fund, where I was looking at making five to fifteen million dollar investments in big data and machine learning companies. The founder of the fund, Scott Maxwell, pulled me aside and said, hey, I don't think you should be here. I think you should be at a startup, either running your own or working on somebody else's. And that operational experience would make you a better investor down the line.
AKI BALOGH: At that time, I wasn't ready to start my own, but I joined somebody else's. I found a database company that had a really great product that was very important for large scale data engagement. So their product could take terabytes of data, so thousands of gigabytes of data, and analyze it in seconds. And that was really cool. So I joined them, and did sales and marketing there. And one of my goals there was to build our online authority for the topic of analytical databases. We made what was called a columnar database. So I wanted to describe what that topic is and how you can use it in different ways with other databases, and how you can use it to create value in different industries, online marketing, telecom, et cetera. And so we wanted to do all of that with content.
AKI BALOGH: And so, I started working with the CTO Jim Tominey, and we started writing about what are our products, what are the use cases, et cetera. And we wanted to build this content presence around it. And we also would syndicate our content through channels. And we used a company called TechTarget as one of our syndication partners, and they were by far our most successful content syndication partner. So that's how I first heard about TechTarget on my end. And I saw them as basically the best company in the space for syndicating content. But first, we had to write a lot of content.
“So, I started thinking, I wonder if there's a way we can use machine learning to actually help with this content creation problem and help us figure out what to write about and how to write about it…”
AKI BALOGH: So, I started thinking, I wonder if there's a way we can use machine learning to actually help with this content creation problem and help us figure out what to write about and how to write about it, to cover a topic comprehensively. So I started kind of digging into it. And after two years at this startup, Infinity B, I was ready to basically start my own. And I felt that I was as far along as I was gonna get acquiring skills working for other folks. So thought I had kind of enough skills to start on my own. And so I started working on this problem and writing the first code and looking for the data sources and figuring out ways to analyze it, and that's when I met my co-founder Richard Mallah, who's an AI algorithms expert, and he had been designing semantic analytic systems at that point, for over ten years, and so he would be the algorithm guru and basically suggest algorithms and data science approaches that could solve the problem, and I was the data engineering person, so I would identity the data sources, pull the data in via APIs, clean the data, measure the quality and so on, and so we built our first API, our preparatory data source through there.
AKI BALOGH: And then we started actually building a product that could help people actually use that data to analyze their content and score one piece of content against a particular topic and give an actual numerical score. You know, you've written this post on analytical databases, how well have you done, and we could actually come back and say, you know, that's fifty points out of a hundred, but if you write about these subtopics, you have forgotten to mention some of these subtopics, like data loading speed, that was something that people were worried about or interested in, so you would wanna write that into your content to make it more comprehensive. And so that was our first product.
SAL DAHER: Inbound!
“…oh my gosh, the Vice President of Search from TechTarget is interested in what we do, I nearly fell out of my chair.”
AKI BALOGH: And then, just out of the blue, in some magical fashion, Jeff Coyle found us, and it was like, oh my gosh, the Vice President of Search from TechTarget is interested in what we do, I nearly fell out of my chair. And we just started talking and he ended up becoming our first enterprise customer and that's what the era of Jeff began.
SAL DAHER: Wow, Richard is still with the company?
AKI BALOGH: Yes, now he's working on a new product. Now we have two products in-market and a third product, really a platform that pulls together a suite of solutions, coming out next year. And Richard is working on a fourth product that is yet to be announced.
SAL DAHER: Wow, this is really amazing. Jeff, why don't you take a minute and go over MarketMuse in more detail, and explain what it does and explain why it's so important to its customers.
JEFF COYLE: So, MarketMuse is a platform that enables acceleration of content planning, and content execution, with our artificial intelligence and machine learning components. So it basically is answering the two questions: what should I be writing or what should I be updating next. And what are those highest opportunities for content creation or content optimization.
JEFF COYLE: And then when you have those "what should I do?" moments, and you have those priorities, it's how do I actually execute on those projects, it's building high quality content briefs that are outlines and blueprints for something that you can give to a writer and they could successfully create or optimize an existing content item. It gets into that level of detail of, these are the topics, these are the concepts to consider, these are the user intent profiles that are most important for you to speak to and to speak the language of your target audience.
JEFF COYLE: And then even getting into questions that you should be considering answering. Like I said, it's getting into the meat of what a writer would have to do hours and hours of research to even get close to the level of fidelity.
SAL DAHER: Excellent. 101 customers that you have, describe your customer persona.
JEFF COYLE: Sure, it's anyone that has an existing culture of content at their business and cares about quality, cares about comprehensiveness, cares about the way that people will interpret what they put out on the web and say, mm, I want to work with that company, I want to purchase that product, I trust that they are an expert on the topics in which they cover. They are subject-matter experts and they wanna be better at it. So just like in Aki's description it was, we wanna make sure that we cover every element of building a columnar database, it's so that people will go to that site and say, these people really know the value, the benefits, the features. And so if the business has that culture of content, you have the ability to write. Whether you're sourcing it through an agency, you're sourcing it through a third party, or you have in-house staff, you're going to want to write, you're going to want to improve what you have.
JEFF COYLE: Those are the types of people that are really thriving when they are getting the direction from MarketMuse suite of software. It's saying, here's the things to be considering, here's the stuff that maybe was a blind spot, that you could pick up the pieces and turn into a really strong package, or, just at an individual page level, how do I level that up, cos I'm in a tough competitive space. How can I make it more comprehensive, how can I make it tell the story that you are more of a subject-matter expert.
“If you have that culture of content internally, you can really take this quickly and integrate it in your workflows to be more successful at the planning side, and then even in the execution side.”
JEFF COYLE: If you have that culture of content internally, you can really take this quickly and integrate it in your workflows to be more successful at the planning side, and then even in the execution side.
SAL DAHER: Yes, for those who may not be familiar with content marketing, explain to people the cost of high content marketing.
JEFF COYLE: Sure, it's how are you representing your business, or positioning your products. That you have leadership knowledge about how to solve problems, how to describe the benefits, the features, the common pain points of your product and you're building content packages that represent those things. So it's not just putting out a blog and updating it with what happened today, it's really getting at the details of your target audience, what your target personas care about, and you're publishing content that speaks their language, solves their problems, so that when people read those things they want to know what's this company all about, why should I buy their product, will they actually be able to solve the problems that they speak of in their content.
JEFF COYLE: And so, wrapping that all up it's a way to generate leads, sell products or generate interest in the business.
SAL DAHER: So instead of massively emailing all your customers, you have people coming to you and saying jeez, you guys know what you're talking about and as a result, you guys are deluged with demand.
JEFF COYLE: Absolutely.
SAL DAHER: You eat your own cooking, I should say.
“The search-engine industry has changed in the meantime here to really start caring about content quality too.”
JEFF COYLE: The search-engine industry has changed in the meantime here to really start caring about content quality too. Cos if you think about what the search engines ... they wanna create a great user experience, they want to promote great quality content, so the world has changed from there being operationally put this word here, to you've gotta write great content to be able to succeed. So in the timeframe from when Aki first started MarketMuse, the search engines have also changed the way that that they think about things, with the focus on quality and comprehensiveness. So for us, that's a fantastic thing, because that's always been a kind of driving force-
SAL DAHER: It plays to your strengths.
JEFF COYLE: Exactly, [crosstalk 00:23:24]
SAL DAHER: So, the process is entirely automated, you don't any gnomes behind the scenes tweaking the product, it's all in the code?
“…basically we have a software as a service solution that allows you to evaluate the quality and comprehensiveness of any page on any topic.”
“Processes that would take tens, twenties of hours in the past, the research elements, we're doing in minutes.”
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, basically we have a software as a service solution, that allows you to evaluate the quality and comprehensiveness of any page on any topic. It can be something specific, something generic. And it can really give you a lens on what you should be doing to make this page better, or, if you haven't written anything yet, what does that outline look like and it can be done in a very, very quick manner. Processes that would take tens, twenties of hours in the past, the research elements, we're doing in minutes.
SAL DAHER: So what size companies are your customers?
JEFF COYLE: Across the board. So we have one of the largest companies in the world as a recent new customer that has 195,000 customers, all the way done to solopreneur bloggers that make money, cos they have to make money to wanna spend money on software solutions. And then what our main ones have been in mid-market are teams that are sourcing or they have content planning solutions already, they're doing it manually, they're building their editorial calendars, they know that they have to do it, they just don't know exactly if they're doing it as well they should be. And that's where that mid-market, large publishers, BtoB tech, e-commerce, blog networks, all kinds of different scopes.
SAL DAHER: You're in danger of being accosted on the Red Line, or something, by people saying, oh, I need your help, with [crosstalk 00:24:46]
JEFF COYLE: It happens a lot. Mostly it's they're looking to increase their search engine optimization performance, and then they realize it's all about the quality in their content, after the first twenty minutes of speaking with us.
SAL DAHER: Awesome. Coming up next, I will ask Aki Balogh and Jeff Coyle what advice they, as co-founders of a startup, can give other founders, on how to zero in on your first use case. First, I wish to thank listener Tony Liou_lyxor this review.
SAL DAHER: "I've listened to a lot of podcasts in the investment space, but Angel Invest Boston with Sal Daher has to be the most intelligent podcast I've heard to date. Not only does the host bring on astute guests to the show ... I'm pointing here ... he also asks the best crucial questions and illustrates tangible examples that make the podcast all the more insightful. The flow of each episode is succinct, but at the same time, enthralling. I strongly recommend this podcast to anyone interested in the investment space."
SAL DAHER: I'm grateful to Tony Liou_lyx. The Angel Invest Boston podcast has great guests, such as Aki and Noah and Jeff. It's 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 an angel, tell a founder, or someone interested in the field, about us, subscribe on iTunes, while you're on iTunes, please leave a review. Because that helps us get seen in the iTunes algorithm.
SAL DAHER: So anyway, thanks a lot for leaving the review, Tony Liou_lyx. So Jeff and Aki, what advice do you give on finding a startup's first use case?
Aki Balogh’s Advice to Startups in Finding Their First Use Case
AKI BALOGH: I'll take a crack and it and, you know, Jeff-
SAL DAHER: This is Aki, Aki's gonna take a crack at it. Aki at bat.
AKI BALOGH: Aki at bat. Aki was first at bat and then Jeff had a very major role in all this too. Because, what we were trying to do very early on is, it was really a science project. It was really just trying to figure out what could be created in this space, and what's possible, so it was very kind of a technical feasibility question. And then we were able to solve that and we were able to generate a list of related concepts and that was new, but it didn't fit into a customer's workflow in that form factor, it was basically a list of topics related to a given topic and we knew that conceptually, that could be fed into content planning and development processes, but we really didn't know how.
AKI BALOGH: It was sort of a very early discovery phase and so, we just talked to a lot of people, really the only kind of solution is, you talk to people who have that problem and you iteratively make progress against it and you get a little closer and closer, but to us, it was a major turning point when Jeff joined MarketMuse in late 2015, that's when we can say we turned from a science project into a company, because Jeff understood exactly where to insert the data and exactly what kind of use cases it could enable. In fact, I would say Jeff came into it with 100 different use cases and it could be used for everything, which is also true but then we had to kind of [crosstalk 00:28:22] that process.
SAL DAHER: That is a very important part of it, because technology startups frequently have hundreds of use cases, and they all look the same from the outside, but some of them have longer sale cycles, shorter sales cycles, longer product life, you don't know from the outset. So how did you wade through that thicket of possibilities?
AKI BALOGH: Jeff should really take this question, at my end it was just experimentation.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, our relationship was immediately subtraction, certainly, because like you mentioned, this can be plugged in to every stage of the content life cycle. It can also be used for education or use cases to analyze large repositories of data, but we weren't focusing on that, it can be used in this, it can be used in that, so we just really walked through all the ways it could be and said, well, which one thing should we be focusing on, or which two or three things. When you're speaking with me it's often eight or nine things and you have to really focus me on the two, but which one or two things can we accomplish with the resources that we have.
JEFF COYLE: And that comes from, certainly my experience at the time, 15, 16 years making out these things manually, understanding the market, but it was also a process of, what was everyone in the market doing today for this workflow, how are they solving this problem, what solutions are they using today, and interviewing even agencies, who's the best agency at this, with the status quo. Are there any outlier really strong with this? Who are the best in-house teams that we can connect with, understand their workflows. What are they using? Before you have customers in the startup situation it's interviewing people who will give you twenty minutes, give you a half hour, they're willing to show you some of their product marketing materials.
JEFF COYLE: I remember the first time we got an agency to give us their detailed workflow and we said, yeah, they have that gap too. And then, next person we spoke to, they had that problem too. They have that problem too. That's when the use cases become very clear and I'll say in the world today, most of them still have the same gaps, which is great validation they're not solving these problems in any other way. That's when you start to say, okay, what's the next thing we mine? And for us it's then the first solution was the execution. Building the outline for one thing. And now it's how do I build out, what should I be doing next, in that prioritization, so that's the next big use case that we're solving.
SAL DAHER: So that must have been helped a lot by the fact that you had been working in the space for eight years and you knew the problems and so forth?
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, almost 15 at the time, so I had done it the hard way and the manual way. I saw the whole lifecycle and where it could fit. And then it just becomes based on your company dynamic, where can you plug it in and it's going to work politically, or it's going to work with the team dynamic. And so for us, you have people who, they only use this type of technology after they've published stuff, and it's just improve it after the fact, cos that's just the way that their cycle is, the content cleaners are out in left field, they're writing, they have checks and balances at the end. Where more of a dynamic team is thinking about this, early stage planning-
SAL DAHER: Before they spend all that time-
JEFF COYLE: Exactly.
SAL DAHER: ... creating the content.
JEFF COYLE: So we had to decide where in the workflow did we want to focus our sales.
SAL DAHER: It's interesting, this question about finding your first use case came up in my interview with Polly6, a couple of guys from Georgia Tech, as well. I don't know if you-
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, I need to look them up in more detail-
SAL DAHER: I'm sorry, Keith Hearon and Matthew Stellmaker. And they had a similar situation where they had a chemical process, which was environmentally friendly, and had possibility of creating materials with really exceptional properties, there were so many possible use cases. And they were helped out by having someone who had been an oil and gas analyst on Wall Street for decades and could connect them with a lot of people. And they did a really methodical analysis of every possible use case, how long the sales cycle was for that, the option cycle, and then how long the product cycle was.
SAL DAHER: For example, they were looking at something, providing material for 3D printing. 3D printing is easy to get adopted, but also it's easy to get booted out, it's not a product that lasts a long time. Then there are other products take a lot longer. And they've made a really informed decision, eventually, and they pretty quickly came onto, without having to do huge amounts of fundraising. So this is a problem that's underappreciated.
JEFF COYLE: I agree, and kudos for Aki for keeping that under control, the number of these cases we were thinking about implementing. Because we also thought about it just like you said, how disruptive would it be to the organization we were selling to, and do we wanna go in as a startup and say, change your entire content process, or do we just wanna give them a point solution for one workflow change. And then expand, expand, expand into their whole work flow. And that's where we really focused on evaluating existing content and improving it, and that really changed things for us, it was like, oh, yeah, you can put a score on this. The initial versions didn't have a score number, but giving someone a tangible target really changed things for us.
SAL DAHER: That is tremendous. Now, you guys run a remote company. Who wants to take this question about, how do you make it work, what do you get from it, what are the difficulties that you find?
“…we were fully remote because I would just work with wherever I found talent…”
AKI BALOGH: Yes, so I'll take a crack at it. So in the early days, we were fully remote because I would just work with wherever I found talent and I found truly incredible engineering talent in different parts of Europe, I found a really great data scientist living in South America, when Jeff joined, Jeff lives in Georgia, but there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to work with Jeff just because he happens to not live in Boston. It's kinda funny because I lived in Boston for six, seven years and I just moved to New York a month ago to build the business there, as our next step, so-
SAL DAHER: Makes a lot of sense, with all the agencies there.
AKI BALOGH: Exactly, so we have that flexibility where we can opportunistically bring on talent wherever we find it, and the truth is there are a lot of really great talented people who don't live in major startup hubs, Boston, New York, San Francisco, but those are tremendous opportunities when we find the right fit. At one point we did decide to build a formal headquarters in Boston, because for example building a sales team and a sales culture it really helps there having customer success, people being in the same room or around the sales team helps. Eventually we'll be building a more formal marketing function but the engineering and product pieces are remote and half of the company leadership does not live in Boston. So it's been interesting.
MarketMuse Uses Slack and Confluence to Keep Remote Staff on the Same Page
AKI BALOGH: The advice that I got about this from Andy Palmer, who is a serial entrepreneur and an incredibly accomplished angel investor, is that basically you either want everybody in the same room, or completely separate. Because, in his company they have people, he was telling me, they've a top floor and a bottom floor, and the people on the different floors don't talk to each other. And so, already you have a silo, even though they're are in the same building. So for us, the way we get around that is we use a lot of communication collaboration technology, so we use Slack, we operate our company around that, so we have different chat rooms, different threads. Early on we had email threads, so you have different teams, so you have a sales email list and a marketing email list and so on, and depending on what the topic is you address the relevant teams.
AKI BALOGH: We have also a weekly town hall meeting on Mondays where we talk about business objectives for the week, and topics of company-wide interest, and there's always a Q&A. We have a daily check-in, a 15 minute standup, we have weekly sales forecasting calls and so on. So we just build structure and we also use a lot of Wiki technology so we write down, we document things that we've learned and so somebody coming in we can just say, here's a reading list, read this, this, this, do this checklist of activities, okay now you're progressing to on-boarding. So we've made everything very literal and defined and that makes it all so more efficient, because instead of yelling out in a room, "hey, who was on the Acme account?", there are systems you can use, and it also makes us very transparent, so anything that we talk about, even when there are contentious decisions or could be controversial, we write it down.
AKI BALOGH: I'm personally a big fan of, if you can write a one pager on it, or write down the logic in a piece, that works a lot better than having PowerPoint slides with three bullet points that kinda talk about it but don't ... you actually have to describe what it is and that forces everyone to be thoughtful and then figure out the audience and the channels, and then anybody in those channels can respond. And so that's created a culture of collaboration, so yesterday we were talking with some investors and some folks on the team mentioned that they feel more connected at MarketMuse, even though they might not live in the same city as the others, but they feel more connected than anywhere else they've ever worked.
SAL DAHER: So your Wiki software, is it open source software that you're using?
AKI BALOGH: Yeah, we use Confluence.
SAL DAHER: Confluence, so no Slack for you?
AKI BALOGH: We use Confluence for the Wiki, so documenting things, and then we use Slack for the real-time communication, and we use Zoom for video calls.
SAL DAHER: Ah, okay.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, Zoom has definitely changed our video conferencing, it's wildly fast and reliable and we cloud record almost every call.
SAL DAHER: That's good to know.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, it's really fast, it's really reliable, yeah, you mentioned I see the faces of my team on Zoom conferences more than I saw the faces of my team when I worked in a traditional environment, absolutely, and so that's something to think about. Think about your whole team, think about how often you spend looking at them face to face, and for us we get more face time with our team members than most companies that live in a brick and mortar environment.
SAL DAHER: That is interesting. Matt Singer, who's a founder of Videolicious, a company that I've been invested in for a long time, they have Amazon as an investor, they're venture funded, and he was saying that they work remotely, they do video production really easily, so that like SAP can create customized videos for their customers. Clients receive a customized video explaining a particular feature, creating an emotional connection with soundtracks and all these things. And he was saying that the way that they work remotely is that they create a culture that's very strong within the company, that's very particular, so that everybody shares the same culture wherever they are. And for them it's a little easier because they're mostly in the artistic space, they have a lot of video people and so forth. It's easier to find talented people in that space right now than it is in the software fields.
SAL DAHER: Good, so another question I wanna ask and then the one after that I'm gonna go to Noah. I wanna get the founders here to talk a little bit about the fundraising. How did you strike the balance between fundraising and getting to work and revenue-producing products and activities?
“I wanted to avoid venture until as late as possible because it creates a couple of bad behaviors.”
AKI BALOGH: I guess I'll take a quick crack at it so having worked at a venture fund, I wanted to avoid venture until as late as possible because it creates a couple of bad behaviors. If you take a lot of money up front you start spending it on a bunch of different things and it doesn't matter if you raise fifty dollars or fifty million, whatever you have, you're gonna spend it in the next year and so in the early days that can basically kill your company if you do it wrong, because in the early days you don't really know what the product is. You may think you know but you actually know less than you think, and I have some friends who are just starting a company and you can see the same pattern. You think you know something, but you actually don't because it's a new market and nobody knows that, we're all just kinda trying to figure it out.
AKI BALOGH: And so if you do that but you're burning a lot of money that can be disastrous. There are a lot of things that I did and we did to remain very frugal, and even to this day we have, to some extent, a culture of frugality which is really great. The idea is not just to be cheap or to underinvest, we always invest into people and technology, we never try to turn somebody away because their rates are high, we always try to make those investments, but when you add constraints, that's when you start to find creative solutions. Another company in a related space, we could say they're a competitor, they are really a very strong channel partner, the way they solved their ... they had a customer success problem where they would need humans to populate their system and so they just built a big customer success team, a hundred fifty people or more in their customer success-
SAL DAHER: You don't have that luxury.
AKI BALOGH: We don't have that luxury so we just automated it so we get the same job done with two people and a lot of technology and so, those are the real very tangible assets that you develop under constraints.
Sal Brings Up Wistia as Fantastic Bootstrappers
SAL DAHER: Yes, this is interesting, couple of weeks ago I interviewed Wistia, and those guys are fantastic bootstrappers, they raised I think something like 1.4, 1.5 million in funding and that's it. And they have tens of thousands of millions of dollars of revenue and 20,000 paying customers and they're doing really well. And part of the secret is just being very thrifty and finding creative solutions instead of just throwing money at problems to find solutions. And they are also very good about work-life balance. They seem to have no distractions it's like work, sleep, work, sleep, exercise, and that's about it. This has helped them also finding partners and so forth, their data science guy for example, they met playing tennis.
SAL DAHER: Anyway, Noah, how does the engineering function at MarketMuse help build the company's competitive position?
NOAH DAVIS: So, the engineering function at MarketMuse basically just keeps us moving forward, especially in terms of data quality, on a very regular basis. So the results we may have even pulled two weeks ago, if you were to pull the same results today you would probably get an even higher quality result, not saying the previous-
SAL DAHER: So it's moving that fast?
NOAH DAVIS: Yes, that's a part of the engineering function-
SAL DAHER: So having an engineering process that allows you to evolve your product really fast is what keeps you competitive?
NOAH DAVIS: That and having technology that no-one else can build, that definitely helps, and I was very fortunate to walk into a company that had already developed some incredibly strong technology that facilitated the success before I got there.
SAL DAHER: This day and age of software it's hard to imagine that an imitator couldn't come up with it, you really think that it's stuff that it's going to be hard to imitate?
NOAH DAVIS: I do honestly believe that and that's not something I have ever believed about any other technology I've worked on. But the stuff that I've witnesses at MarketMuse is absolutely remarkable, since I've been there, which was, we started in July?
AKI BALOGH: Yes, of this year.
SAL DAHER: Tremendous.
AKI BALOGH: Let me just add, Noah actually wears two hats, engineering and product. And so engineering is basically taking the things that we have and making it better. And all of us, all three of us spend quite a bit of time on product and I think that's also what he's referring to. We're building new data sets and new capabilities and we're moving faster than, even if an incumbent were to come in, they would take two years to build what we had two years ago. So for us, product development, data science, the ability to take any process and figure out a way to engineer it, and build a machine learning-based solution for that, that's really what Noah and Jeff and I spend a lot of time on.
“The more data you crunch, the more cases you see, the more knowledgeable you are and therefore the farther ahead you are of your competitors who haven't crunched those particular numbers. This is an interesting-“
SAL DAHER: So, you're planning to, instead of a network effect, that's at work with Facebook or its business, the more users they have the more valuable the network becomes, it's sort of like a knowledge effect. The more data you crunch, the more cases you see, the more knowledgeable you are and therefore the farther ahead you are of your competitors who haven't crunched those particular numbers. This is an interesting-
JEFF COYLE: That's ideally said. The way you just said it is basically the way it works and that's why it's such a valuable evolution, just as a practitioner having done some of these things manually for so long. When I can hand off a manual workflow and our data science team Noah, and Uli on our data science team and Aki will look at it and say, oh, we can make this at least semi-automated in two weeks. And that's outrageous to me. I was a computer scientist but not an AI and machine learning expert, and to be able to take something that thousands of teams do manually and automate it like it's old hat, oh, people have been doing that manually for years? I can't believe it. And that happens, every month, that's not something that's only happened once, that happens every month with Noah, and that's something that I'm just consistently surprised by that level of confidence and then execution.
SAL DAHER: This is really exciting. So Aki give us a little vision of the future for MarketMuse.
AKI BALOGH: Yeah, I'll take a crack at it. So we started looking at individual pages of content and improving it, then we build a second product that, before you even write the content, how do you start with an outline that's going to set you up to be successful. So now we generate these content briefs, that, given a particular topic it shows exactly how to write to cover that topic comprehensively. Surfaces are questions that readers are looking to get answered when they're searching for it etc, so that was our second product that accelerates the content creation process.
AKI BALOGH: Our third product is a platform that basically looks on your entire website and identifies the areas where you have content gaps or low-quality content, thin content, content quality issues across your entire website and we built this massive set of insights around what you could be doing, and then we prioritized them. So then we look at what would be the next twenty actions you should take to improve the performance of your site overall, so you know, here are 10,000 things you could be doing, but start with these twenty because these would have the highest impact and they relate most closely to your business and so on.
AKI BALOGH: And so, we can do this sci-fi type of prioritization that shows you, hey, just do these twenty things and then that guides your content creation. Our platform that we're launching next year will basically be an end-to-end content planning solution, so it will look at your site, identify the problem areas, surface suggestions as insights, let you construct a content plan, then we'll build a content brief that shows you, the outline that shows you exactly how to execute, to fix that issue. Then it goes to your writer, comes back and then you check the quality at an editorial level, and then you can see the performance.
AKI BALOGH: And then the next logical step which is really exciting to me and to us is actually measuring what is the output of your content planning process? You put $100,000 into content creation on one end, you go through this process, and on the other end, here are the results it got you, and we can-
SAL DAHER: It got you $2 million of traffic.
AKI BALOGH: Exactly right, and we can show you [crosstalk 00:49:06]
SAL DAHER: Of inbound inquiries, or whatever.
AKI BALOGH: Exactly, and we can take a performance marketing, like on Facebook, you can actually measure quantitatively what your ads spend is doing and so on, we will be able to do that with content and show you, if you put 100,000 here, it's going to generate $2 million of value and then that begs the question, wait a moment, why don't you put a million into your content creation? And so we can basically quantitatively measure your ROI of your content, and once we can do that, that's gonna unlock the content marketing industry because that's the biggest challenge today for content marketing, as a channel, is, I really wanna invest in content, but what happens today is, I give $100,000 to a content strategist, they do a lot of kinda manual brainstorming, white boarding, they write a bunch of content, some of it performs, a lot of it doesn't and you kind of end up with mixed results. We're actually bringing science to the process to quantify that.
SAL DAHER: Ah wow, I see this at work in different areas. There's a company that I'm looking at right now called Brevi, started by Randy Parker, who founded Constant Contact. And they're going to be in a position to tell a gym, you spent x dollars in ads, and you got these customers, and so $1 brings you $5 of paying customers. And it's gonna be done in the SMB space, which is just a remarkable thing. It's easier for them because they tied into the whole operational system. For you guys, it's a much harder problem.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, and it's not just that it's a harder problem because it's a dollar but a content item put in gets you how much yield, it's that content items make packages or clusters of information which make sites, and so if you grow clusters of content and you gain authority on a topic, it makes all boats rise, so the measurement of the overall impact of one item can have a huge impact on your other pages you didn't even touch and other contact that you've built-
SAL DAHER: Collateral? Collateral benefit instead of collateral damage.
JEFF COYLE: It is, absolute collateral benefit and it just continues to grow and grow and grow, so when we can give recommendations to solve a gap, the entire infrastructure can improve. When we can give recommendations to protect something that you've wrote, or to support it, and build more infrastructure or foundation ... your writer just did a great job and knocked something out of the park, it's getting a thousand visits a month, what do you do to support that and how does that make all boats rise in that cluster of contents, so we're solving those problems and, those are future things out but right now we can give those recommendations today on how to support, how to build, how to protect and be very confident. He said sci-fi but it's really ... it's fun when it works and then you want it more and you want to do it again and again and again and again and that's why it's an exciting planning process.
SAL DAHER: This is great, I was gonna ask you guys about startups that you like or I can ask you an open-ended question, what would you like to talk about? So each one of you, what would you like to say that I haven't talked about, that I haven't touched on, that I haven't asked about before we wrap up.
AKI BALOGH: One thing for founders, entrepreneurs, wantrepreneurs, people who wanna be an entrepreneur but aren't, the most important thing that I discovered from the early years of MarketMuse is that 50% of a startup is emotional control. Your emotions kind of race, up and down continually and-
SAL DAHER: Very wise.
“…your quality of life basically just falls, continually falls as the company grows, because you have less personal freedoms and so on. But it's a very meaningful process…”
AKI BALOGH: ... frankly it gets harder and harder, it's a very enjoyable process, it's a very meaningful process but as your company grows ... at first it's just kind of you tinkering away, then you have some customers and you're responsible for making them successful, then you bring on a couple of co-founders and eventually employees, you wanna make them successful, then you have later, investors, and so on, so your responsibilities just grow. In one sense of the word your quality of life basically just falls, continually falls as the company grows, because you have less personal freedoms and so on. But it's a very meaningful process and it's something that I get a lot of joy out of but understanding your emotions, other people's emotions, communicating it, that's 50% of a startup, especially in the early years.
“…40% of a startup is articulating what the software does…”
AKI BALOGH: So if you're doing a startup, you feel kind of down or up, that's completely normal and that is part of the job. And then let's say 40% of a startup is articulating what the software does, and you find new ways of articulating and better ways of articulating it. And then the other 10% is actually doing the work. But those are I think the two main components. So anybody who is going through that, if you're feeling these challenges, then you're doing the right thing.
SAL DAHER: This ties in a lot with the founders I mentioned before, Matt Singer, founder of Videolicious, episode 27 in the podcast, and I interviewed him a while back and he was saying, if you're a founder, you have to know that each accomplishment that you make, there's no magic carpet ride to happiness. It just means that you have more responsibility, you have to perform at a higher level. You get your first client, then you have to perform and you have to make sure that everything goes well. You get your tenth client, then you got problems of scale. You raise VC money, it ups the ante. And so his expression, there's no magic carpet ride to happiness, you have to be prepared to be operating at a higher and higher level at every turn and to enjoy the ride, because as he said, if you're not enjoying the ride, you're missing out. It always gets tougher and so you have to derive satisfaction from what you're doing.
SAL DAHER: This is very wise, that you've figured this out, Aki. This is great. Jeff?
Creating an Environment in your Startup for People who Are not Entrepreneurs
JEFF COYLE: I think it's really complementary to what Aki said for founders, or for, I like wantrepreneurs, that's kinda funny, is I've always felt that part of selling your vision is having extremely strong empathy, both for your customers and such, as well as the market and your team members. But also it's the people around you who aren't entrepreneurs. It's understanding that you might have employees that aren't entrepreneurs and you really have to put yourself in their shoes when something that you think, oh this just happens every day, but there are people who aren't entrepreneurs by nature and it's gonna cause them tremendous amounts of stress-
SAL DAHER: So you have to create a situation, have to create an environment where people who are not entrepreneurs can be productive within an entrepreneurial company.
JEFF COYLE: Absolutely and that's something that has really resonated, and to me also it's about identifying the things you're really not great at. When you're a small team, you basically do everything. Figure out very quickly the things that you are really bad at, or you can do, but you probably shouldn't be doing. And that's something that has allowed our team to grow not just with the hiring of Noah, with the hiring of customer success team, or more engineering-focused sales reps. But it's really saying that can't do it all and you're best suited to pick things that you are not good at and be really really blunt that you aren't good at them, and to source your team in those ways to be at maximum production.
SAL DAHER: You don't have the luxury of duplicating talent in a firm, in a small firm.
JEFF COYLE: In a small firm.
SAL DAHER: That is an excellent observation. Any thoughts occur to you, Noah?
NOAH DAVIS: Yeah, just I guess, kind of the same thing is you know, I've been with several handfuls of companies throughout my career and there's lots of fun problems to solve and lots of problems I love to solve whether it's in fintech or health or energy or marketing, but that there is definitely a right fit for an individual and that one thing I wish I could have told myself ten years ago is that it's okay to walk away from a place that's not the right fit-
SAL DAHER: Ah, that courage is important, yeah.
NOAH DAVIS: ... and continue searching for that place that is the right fit, where you have lots of people wearing ten to twenty hats the same day, because they like to do it. Not just out of necessity, but because they want to be doing it, and or at least that's the right fit for me cos that's the person I am.
SAL DAHER: That's very insightful, that you appreciate this culture of doing many things and a little bit "catch as catch can."
SAL DAHER: Well, Aki, Jeff, Noah, I'm tremendously grateful to you for participating and helping make this really a great podcast.
NOAH DAVIS: Thank you very much.
AKI BALOGH: Thank you for doing this Sal.
JEFF COYLE: Yeah, thanks for having us.
SAL DAHER: I'd like to thank our listeners for downloading and listening, and I'd like to invite our listeners who enjoyed this podcast to review it on iTunes. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and do sign up for our list, particularly if you are in the Boston area, because we do hold live in-person events, we had an event yesterday, we're gonna have an event coming up in March at Babson, so if you wanna be told about these events, put your name on the list and let us know.
SAL DAHER: This is Angel Invest Boston, conversation with Boston's most interesting angels and founders. Thanks for listening, 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 Catherine Woodman-Maynard, our host is coached by Grace Daher.