How Zach Moreno and his team were able to make Squadcast the TOP podcast platform

Zach Johnson

Dylan Carpenter

Zach Moreno

Episode
114
|
1

Zach Moreno

,

Co-Founder

SquadCast.fm
Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsLive on SpotifyLive on Youtube

Zach Moreno is the co-founder of SquadCast.fm, a software that records remotely, simplifies editing, and creates engaging podcasts & videos through an intuitive platform that allows you to connect with anyone, anywhere.

Episode Summary

TAKE AWAYS

  • How Squadcast was able to launch 100% bootstrapped while driving CRAZY growth
  • How organic was the biggest plan out of the gate to get a proof of concept
  • How having a super close remote enabled them to go to the next level

RESOURCES/CONTACT:

Transcript

1
,
Episode
114
Transcript

Zach Moreno (00:01):

And it turns out a lot of podcasters have a similar problem, and weren't happy with kind of the state of the art. So my background is software engineering and, uh, and graphic design and, um, teaching and writing books and stuff like that. So it was like, all right, like we could probably build something cool. And that's really what we've been working on for the last, like over four years now. And, uh, really, really honored that we can help so many podcasters. I think some crazy numbers I can share is like over 130 countries. Like last year we helped record over 10 years of audio. Um, and yeah, we just been doing everything we can to really build a unique experience for podcasters and their guests to, uh, record and sound great together.

Speaker 2 (00:55):

[inaudible]

Carson (00:57):

On this episode of the rich add poor add podcast, we have Zach Merlino co-founder of squad cast.fm, a software that records podcasts remotely creates engaging podcasts and videos through an intuitive platform that allows you to connect with anyone anywhere you're going to want to listen in on how Zach was able to launch squad cast 100% bootstrapped while driving crazy growth. How organic was the biggest plan out of the gate to get a proof of concept and my favorite, how having the super close yet remote model and enabled them to go to the next level, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. But before we begin, if you are an agency owner or media buyer, head over to funneldash.com to see how their financial tools can allow you to scale your ads and get cash back without further ado here is your host, Dylan Carpenter.


Dylan (02:02):

All right, everybody, we're back in business with another episode of the rich add poor add podcast. I'm your host today? Dylan Carpenter and the house. Now today we have a very special guests, you know, of course, with the platform we use for the podcast, the squad cast, and I kinda made a post about them on sweater. One of their reps came in, replied to my comments and I was like, what if I could get the squad cast CEO on the podcast? And Hey, here we are. Now we have Zach Marino. He is the co-founder and CEO of squad cast. So I could hype this up, but I mean, I'm kind of giddy over here. So Zach what's good, man.

Zach Moreno (02:37):

Thanks for having me, Dylan. This is awesome. I'm glad you, uh, you reached out, we were able to put this together. It's a it's. It's awesome. So grateful for it. Heck

Dylan (02:45):

Yeah, man. I'm pumped. So give everybody a little background of kind of who you are just in context of people have an idea of what we're going to be getting into today.

Zach Moreno (02:53):

Yeah, so I, uh, I co-founded squad cast with, uh, with my good friend rock about four years ago. We, um, we had this problem we ran into with the quality of recording remotely and it turns out a lot of podcasters have a similar problem and weren't happy with kind of the state of the art. So my background is software engineering and, uh, and graphic design and, um, teaching and writing books and stuff like that. So it was like, all right, like we could probably build something cool. And that's really what we've been working on for the last, like over four years now and, uh, really, really honored that we can help so many podcasters. I think some crazy numbers I can share is like over 130 countries. Like last year we helped record over 10 years of audio. Um, and yeah, we just been doing everything we can to really build a unique experience for podcasters and their guests to, uh, record and sound great together.

Dylan (03:47):

Oh man. How big is y'all's team now?

Zach Moreno (03:50):

Yeah, I think we're up to like seven, eight people and uh, and then if you count like everybody who we work with, it's like close to 40, something like that. It blows my mind. Now this is my I'm a first-time founder. Uh, so just even to have this opportunity really is, is pretty magical for me.

Dylan (04:08):

Oh, for sure. Are they all kind of remote too, or are you all kind of in the California area?

Zach Moreno (04:12):

Yeah, we're a remote first company and we really, uh, you know, we use our product to, uh, to have like meetings and record our content and stuff. So we, uh, we really practice the remote first and you know, of course when, uh, the rest of the world kind of caught on to the remote work style, we're so happy that we didn't have to really change or evolve much at all. Um, it's really awesome that we have, you know, we have a support person, Andy, and in Mexico we have Arielle in New York. We have Jean in, uh, Orlando, um, some of the team in Sacramento where I'm originally from. And then, um, my co-founder in Iraq. We're here in Oakland, in the bay area, man.

Dylan (04:51):

Heck yeah. Well, y'all got to come to Austin, put on a show, I'll get y'all crap of leads

Zach Moreno (04:55):

Come down. Yeah, no, I I've never visited Texas. My, my grandfather's actually from, uh, from Texas and, um, it's, it's been on my list. We were hoping that we could, uh, make it to podcast movement. We really big and sponsoring the community, um, events. We, we love those, but uh, when, when things shut down that that event got, uh, got rescheduled and stuff. So that was something I was looking forward to. But yeah, we, we have a lot of friends in Austin, uh, as time goes by. So we'll definitely put that together

Dylan (05:24):

And it's booming more and more, especially in the marketing industry. I feel like everybody's coming down here from LA or San Diego. It's it's bananas. Yeah, it is.

Zach Moreno (05:31):

It is. We've had a number of founders and just, uh, people that we've, you know, are connected with here in the bay area, moved to Austin, you know, and it's like, oh, that's, that's pretty interesting. Um, and uh, I I'm, I hear that the startup scene and vibe is also vibrant and growing and all of those things. So it sounds like that's a really cool place.

Dylan (05:50):

Hell yeah. Well, let's get to the nitty-gritty stuff, man. Now of course we'd love to dive into the rich ads, AKA, what's working good for you in the squad cast world. So what's been something that's kind of killing it for. Y'all kind of at this point in time.

Zach Moreno (06:03):

Yeah. So, uh, so we, we have the opportunity to work with some really talented, uh, people on the advertising and marketing side of, uh, of our company. And, um, influencer studio is a, is, um, an agency that we work with founded by a podcaster and friend of ours, Tyler Basu, uh, who, uh, originally was at Thinkific, uh, startup that is pretty inspiring to, uh, to us. And, uh, he's kind of out doing his own thing for the last couple years. And we're like, man, uh, wouldn't that be amazing if we could like hire a Tyler, then he's like, oh, you don't have to, like, it's all good. Like we can work together. And, um, he really understands podcasting and the startups. So, uh, so we trust him, you know, fundamentally with, with our, uh, with our ad strategy and, um, evolution with our funnels and all of those things.

Zach Moreno (06:50):

Like we, um, we we've come a long way as that is not my background. That's not my co-founder's background. Um, we have skills, they compliment each other, but, but that was a big hole in our game. So we knew, we knew that we would need to, uh, to really go in that direction. So, um, I think it's really interesting to me around like the, how we, uh, how we really, um, like track these metrics and say, okay, the ROI on our ad spend is actually turning into, uh, this much like, uh, in our revenue or, um, all the different things there. It really blew my mind the amount of like data on that side of things as a software engineer and how, how many, like software tools there are in that stack as well? Um, I mean, I had kind of guessed of from, you know, my, my past work, but I had a background in like government and stuff like that, and they don't do any of that stuff.

Zach Moreno (07:43):

There's no funnels or like, you know, uh, tracking ROI. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So just really putting all those pieces together, seeing how they fit together with like, you know, uh, we, uh, we've made a lot of improvements, so we, we weren't, we weren't perfect at this by any stretch when we first started out. But I think, uh, I think what's, what's been working is, is really just embracing. We were very fortunate. The nature of our product is, has an element of, uh, of kind of virality. So there's this, this metric, the viral cycle time is, um, how long it takes, uh, when somebody signs up, how long does it take for them to invite somebody else to use it, whatever the product is, use it as well. So, um, so, you know, social networks benefit from this, but squad cast, isn't a social network, let's say, but, but the first thing you do is invite somebody else to record with you.

Zach Moreno (08:38):

That's kind of the magic of squad cast is recording with other people. Um, so that was really mind blowing to me. And I will say that the organic growth from that is something we still haven't been able to match in our, in our ad strategy. Um, we do both now and we didn't do ads for the longest time cause we could kind of say, Hey, it's growing on its own. And, uh, and you know, we, we want an element of predictability, uh, with, with our growth. And that's really where the strategy of, of doing some advertising came into, came into the strategy, but, um, we're really grateful for that, that we could grow organically and uh, with promotion and how those fit together. It's just kind of beautiful to me.

Dylan (09:21):

Oh, and you have that a proof of concept with the amount of brands we talked to think, Hey, we've got a product, got the packaging, let's run some ads right now. I'm like, you don't even know who your avatar is, you know, do you have any proof of concept? So I think I kind of knocked out a big piece of the puzzle out of the gate there, let alone

Zach Moreno (09:35):

Product market fit. Right. That's a whole, like another mountain to climb even after you have that MVP out there. So you're right about that.

Dylan (09:43):

When did y'all launch ads? If so, before years took y'all to kind of get to where you're at today, how long did it take you to kind of essentially get the ads up and going about two

Zach Moreno (09:51):

Years? Yeah, we, we went for about two years without doing any advertising really at all, other than like events and speaking and kind of, um, kind of that strategy, uh, which we love and it fits with our community. It fits with, you know, the, uh, the podcast ecosystem. So that is something that I'm saying it out loud. Those sounds, that sounds like a long time. So it's kind of blown my mind right now that we went for two years without doing any advertising, but you're totally right. That's why a lot of startups like go out and raise a bunch of money. I was like, what are you going to spend this money on? It's like, ah, developers and ads. Yeah, exactly. So, uh, we had a bit of a different strategy there and, um, yeah, it's, you know, different, different paths. So, um, I'm glad we took this one.

Dylan (10:32):

Oh yeah, no, that'd be Giggy marketers coming out. So when you say your kind of KPI goals, do you look at the LTV or are you kind of, Hey, I want to make, you know, 20 cents on the dollar, you know, on that new customer, I'm kind of curious on your thought perspective on how you kind of set those goals for success.

Zach Moreno (10:47):

Yeah, we think about it like, uh, you know, it's a long-term relationship with our customers and we want to, um, we want to be of service for the law, you know, the, as long as they're podcasting and that's really where, you know, the LTV comes in for sure. Um, we focus on, you know, uh, getting people, getting people like into the product. Like we have a pretty, I would say, fairly generous, uh, trial. And then we focus on really making sure that people can get up and running like very quickly and really experienced the magic of squad casts. That's something that a lot of people tell the story of like Twitter. Like they kind of figured that out and, you know, we needed to get certain, you know, follow this many people to really experience the magic of Twitter. First squad cast. It is, you know, we, we need to get you connected to somebody and recording, uh, very quickly.

Zach Moreno (11:35):

And so that you can really experience like the content that you created and the quality of it. Um, and that's really great because then the, the product really, you know, the value proposition really speaks for itself. And our, uh, our approach to pricing is a big part of this as well. So, um, that's a deep rabbit. I can go down that topic, but essentially we're, we're modeled after like a, a physical recording studio that you might go and record in person. And a lot of the, the pricing there is like per hour, you know, it's like you, you rent the booth and you can go in and record. Uh, so then we really were big on validation and listening to the community. So we just kind of asked, like, what, what would a recording hour be worth to you on squad cast? Um, and you know, it's the same price per hour, whether you're recording with, uh, two people or four people. Uh, so, you know, there's, there's ways to really maximize the value there, but everybody gets the same quality. We have a, we have a really high standard for that, uh, with audio and in video. So there's a, there's a number of ways I can, I can go deeper here, but you tell me, oh,

Dylan (12:39):

We're going deeper, man. I'm curious how many, how many you're bringing it out? How many times have y'all had to kind of change prices or, cause I mean, as the business evolves, I mean, Hey, we got the test, you know, the ones to be Guinea pigs, but the first batch of customers get the feedback it's going well, we have more, you know, integrations or whatnot these days let's bump the price up. I'm kind of curious how maybe y'all have changed that or maybe kept it consistent.

Zach Moreno (13:04):

Yeah. And it's in line with our, uh, with our funding strategy as well. We are a bootstrap self-funded company and now these days we are, we are a customer funded. Uh, um, I'm proud to say that we've, that we've earned that. And, um, yeah, we started off with kind of unlimited pricing, uh, and it was just, I think, 20 bucks a month to, uh, to really just build those early relationships and be very transparent. Like, yeah, this is, this is beta. Uh, if anybody gets burned too bad, we gave like free months, like pretty, pretty generously. Cause we're just like, Hey, you know, this is, this is on us. So we're very real about that and transparent. Um, and people tend to, to respect that now kind of in hindsight, looking back, um, and from there we just started asking like, okay, how, how would, um, how would kind of a tiered pricing structure work?

Zach Moreno (13:55):

And as first-time founders, we also knew that we, uh, didn't know what we were doing. We knew we didn't what we didn't know. And, um, so we, we really just became students of like SAS and, um, and, and startup pricing, uh, really dug in. And that's an ongoing effort. Like my co-founder rock has gone from like, I don't know if he would say zero, uh, background with like product pricing, but I would say he is by far an expert now. Um, and, uh, and then also we're part of an accelerator called tiny seed, which is for bootstrap startups and, uh, and they're experts in pricing, uh, uh, I'll say, and have, have helped us refine this over time. So I think we're on our fourth generation of pricing now. And, uh, it's, it takes a lot of, uh, it takes a lot of courage to change your pricing. I'll say it's nerve-wracking

Dylan (14:44):

Oh, a hundred percent, man.

Zach Moreno (14:47):

You know, like grandfathering and doing things like that. Uh, I've recently learned that that term is a, it's a bit, it's a bit gendered and, and, uh, and has some baggage with it. So I apologize. I don't mean to offend, it's just kind of the term people have heard, uh, thrown around with like, you know, iPhones and things like that. So

Dylan (15:04):

I know, know that, oh gosh, I've had to have said that I'm probably 20 episodes. Yeah.

Zach Moreno (15:09):

Yeah. So I'm don't mean any offense apologies. Um, but it's, uh, it's, you know, just like, like we have a number of customers who early days were on that unlimited plan and they're still on the unlimited plan and that's totally cool. We appreciate that.

Dylan (15:24):

Oh, and that's some customer loyalty to the end right there, man, life or death. We're with ya.

Zach Moreno (15:29):

Yeah. Record as much as you want. We want people to record a lot. It's pretty cool to us.

Dylan (15:33):

Now I'm going to go off topic here because it's a big day. I feel like I see you have a NASA, a hoodie on or sweatshirt. And I see that little Lego set. I think it's a Lego set in the background. Is that what I think it is?

Zach Moreno (15:45):

Yeah. We landed. Then we

Dylan (15:47):

Land on Mars today too, or something.

Zach Moreno (15:50):

Yeah. Uh, perseverance Rover, uh, landed on, landed on Mars. I was, I was just watching like the live stream before we, uh, we're, we're planning for a webinar, um, in the next couple of days. And then, uh, I was watching that in the background. It's like so amazing. This is kind of, you know, I haven't had too many moments in the last, uh, couple of years where I felt like super proud to be, uh, to be part of this country. But I think that anytime, you know, anytime, uh, anytime NASA takes a big step forward like that, it really hits, hits home for me,

Dylan (16:23):

For sure. I'm also a Lego fan. That was like my first job I ever loved and like, oh my God, I can talk Legos for months. You worked at Lego. Yeah. Yes. I was in Houston, Texas, and there I was going around the mall and they were building the Lego store still. And I'm like, let me apply this to habits. I was at a driving range work and, and I'm like, oh, I'll get AC, you know, Texas heat gruff on the driving range. I was one of the first employees there. I worked there for like a year and a half, man. I slung Legos. Like it was it's fun. And the deals like it, four days out of the year, you get like 50% offs. I would buy like a bunch resell them. So, yeah.

Zach Moreno (17:00):

Yeah. I've heard that they've since stopped producing these a Saturn five Lego sets and the aftermarket for them has gone way up. So it's crazy.

Dylan (17:09):

Yeah, there is. Whenever they go, I guess, out of style or stop making them, like, we have a couple of Lego sets and they were like 120 bucks and now they're worth four or 500. So I mean, that's, that's a killer investment. Low key.

Zach Moreno (17:21):

Yeah. Thanks to my wife, Becca for getting me this one. It was a lot of fun to build and I love looking at it. Yeah, hell yeah.

Dylan (17:28):

Back to the podcast. Y'all Alrighty. So we'd love to kind of dive into what's working and of course the best part what's not working. So we love to hear the nightmare stories, the horror, you know, adding extra zeros to budgets for getting your website's not on or something. So what's, y'all's kind of nightmare story report ad in this world. Yeah. There's

Zach Moreno (17:44):

Two that I'll share. Um, the first one was that we made a mistake early on that, um, we were just kind of rookies and didn't think about how it would impact in the long-term. But we, when we first launched like our beta and our V1, um, the site and the app were connected, so squad cast is a web app. And, uh, so we were just like, oh, we just have some pages that are public. And the rest of it is behind the sign-in. Um, and that really held back our market efforts because making any tweaks to marketing pages or our blog, or you name it, anything that was public facing required a whole product launch, a whole product rollout. And, um, you can imagine like those things being intertwined with one another, uh, tightly coupled that maybe you'd say an engineering, like, uh, just didn't give us the flexibility or like speed that we wanted to make improvements to the, to the site.

Zach Moreno (18:35):

So that held us back for sure. And, uh, now we are split apart where we have a marketing site and uh, thank you Alex, for designing a beautiful experience and maintaining it, uh, making it fast and all that good stuff. And um, and then we have the app dot squad cast RFM where, uh, where the whole recording studio and experience lies. So that was a, a big mistake that I'm grateful we were able to correct. Shouts out Alex. Yes. Thank you. And, uh, and then the other one I'll mention is like I'm more product focused. Like we, um, one of the innovations of squad cast that really makes it special is, uh, we have two patents pending and, um, we have this thing called progressive upload that, uh, in the background, while you're recording, we are recording and pushing that up to the cloud every couple seconds in the background.

Zach Moreno (19:24):

And that gets you very high quality with a high reliability. Um, if a worst case scenario like power goes out or something like that, it's already the, the source content is already up in the cloud and you can get to it whenever you reconnect. Um, so that is, um, something I love and was it, wasn't actually my idea. It was our founding advisor, Harry Duran. So thank you, Harry, for, for that idea. Um, and it took us like 10 attempts to build the thing. Um, it turns out it was very difficult and there wasn't any precedents and this is why we're able to like file for patents and stuff is because it turned out it didn't exist. And we couldn't just like go and use a library or something. Um, yeah, this isn't like something you can go and just like subscribe to an AWS or something like that.

Zach Moreno (20:08):

Um, so we're proud of that, but it was, uh, I I'll say like on attempt nine, we thought we had it and we rolled it out and we rolled it out right before the largest podcast conference of the year podcast movement. It was in Philadelphia that year. And, uh, we rolled, I rolled, I rolled out the update, like before I left to Oakland international airport to catch the flight to, uh, to go out there thinking, oh, this timing is great. We're going to like, get so many people to sign up and they're going to totally like, it's going to be magical and all this stuff. Um, and by the time I got there, I was like getting text messages from our support team and customers' emails and all this stuff like, oh, this file's all mangled. Like it's out of order. And I didn't even get my file.

Zach Moreno (20:53):

And just kind of like the worst case scenario, thankfully we have backups on squad casts. That's another feature that is very meaningful. So we were able to make it right and recover for people and all that stuff. But I wouldn't say anybody was necessarily happy about it. Um, and, uh, it's the only time in my engineering career that I've ever had to roll a software update back. And, uh, I'm glad that we did though, because, you know, two, three weeks later we got, we, we, we fixed what was the problem. It actually ended up being like four or five problems. So, um, we, we needed to do that. And it was a very painful conference for me personally, because I didn't really sleep. I was trying to fix it like in the moment. And, um, it wasn't really, until I got back home and took a step back, rolled it back and then kind of started again that we got it on the 10th attempt. So, uh, so that's been a big, it's a big selling point for us that, uh, you know, as a differentiator with our customers,

Dylan (21:51):

That's huge. And I was going to bring this up after we talked, but I mean, that's one of the main reasons how we all got connected. Cause I mean, I was, I ended up having an issue on mine to where I had an awesome guests and it only recorded mine and I was kind of freaking out low key and I'm like, how do I tell this guy? Yeah. He spent an hour and I just felt bad. And when I found out about the backup recordings, I was like, dude, y'all should just have an ad. Hey, remember that file you lost? And I was squad cast and I was like, I would convert so hard on that.

Zach Moreno (22:19):

I appreciate that insight. Yeah. I mean, I apologize, but that what it took to get there, but, uh, but yeah, that, that's something where, you know, I mean, it's another back to that analogy of a physical recording studio. Um, if you go and do that, you know, there's going to be some redundancy. Um, like we talked about, you know, mentioned space and I'm a huge space nerd and stuff. Like we didn't like land on the moon or Mars today because like it, we got it on the first try. Like there are redundant systems in place, like to make sure you land on Mars, right. Like if we're going to spend, uh, that much money and get one shot at it, you know, um, especially with human space flight, like, so that was very inspiring. Uh, so that's really where the, the, um, the inspiration came from to say, okay, like, let's make sure, even in the worst case scenario, even like, if everything goes wrong, the system is resilient and you will still get your episode out on time and your audience is happy and all of those things. So I'm really glad that we were able to deliver on that for you.

Dylan (23:21):

Oh, and you got a real life case right here. I was just like, I, man, I gotta, I gotta wait a month and let this guy know. I was like counting down the days. Like today's the day I got it. Let him know. And then I reached out and I'm like, oh, I've had it the whole time.

Zach Moreno (23:33):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean it, uh, yeah, so there's this whole story there too, as to, you know, what went into that. But, um, now we, we have video recording as well and you know, that had to come video backups because that's part of who we are and our customers count on that. So I'm really proud of that work. Oh yeah.

Dylan (23:52):

Well of course with the name of the podcast, we'd love to kind of meet in the crossroads in the marketing of financial side of things. So based off your expertise, whether it's business or personal related, what are some kind of financial principles you kind of live by to help you do finance?

Zach Moreno (24:11):

And I'm like, I'm so grateful for my co-founder rock. I mean, he has the finance background. He is a, he's a CPA. Um, he's an auditor and that was kind of his past career. So, um, to have that partnership with him has been a really, I've learned a lot. He's learned a lot about software engineering and I've learned a lot about financial engineering and, and all the things that go into, uh, you know, having a healthy business. So the bootstrapped, uh, nature of our business that I mentioned before, the, the self-finance, um, you know, we held down day jobs for a year and a half before we quit, um, and went full-time on squad casts. So that is a non-trivial. And, you know, I also got married at that time. I was teaching at Cal Berkeley. So I had way too much on my plate, um, for, for a time there, but, you know, to kind of persevere and push through that and make the best investment you ever could is in yourself.

Zach Moreno (25:07):

Right. So that's really where a, you know, a pretty big chunk of our paychecks were going into funding, squad cast, and making sure that things were up and running. Um, and then to kind of get to a place where we went from being self-funded to customer funded. That was a huge moment for us. And I like to tell founders first time founders, like, cause there's a lot of, uh, you know, the narrative for startup land for, uh, founders is, is very much like you're not a real startup unless you go out and raise venture capital. Right. I think, uh, and you know, there's a lot that perpetuates this narrative, but, um, we've always respected, uh, venture capitalists and the, you know, they, a lot of them have been founders and, you know, that's how we learn is from people who've been there before. So, um, so this isn't me being a zealot or saying, you know, don't spend other people's money or something like that.

Zach Moreno (26:01):

It was more so along the lines of like, let's challenge ourselves and try, let's try to sell finance and we'll just see how far we get. Um, and we always, always, you always have the option to go out and raise, if anything, as time passes and your product and customers and all of those things, you will only get more valuable, uh, or you'll just prove yourself and you'll have not be in a couple of million dollars of debt, you know, that that's nice. So to Dodge that bullet. So, you know, I, I think that you always have the optionality even still today for four and a half years later, we have the option to go and raise if we wanted to, we're just in a financial position where we don't need to. Um, and I'm really, really proud of that work because it's not the easiest path.

Zach Moreno (26:44):

Um, I'll say, and you know, you're always forced to be creative because you're operating with, uh, as few resources or scrappy as you can be and all of those things. So, uh, there are certain businesses that I think you just, you have no choice really. You probably need to go out and raise if like, let's say you're, uh, I saw a startup pitch like male contraception and they have to go through like FDA approval and, you know, years of that, before they even have a product that they can test to see has, you know, product market fit. So for that, they have no choice, right? They, they, their, their, their product being in the market is years away. But with software and SAS and the cloud and all of these things being much more accessible, um, you know, it used to be that startups technology startups had to stand up their own data center and, uh, set up a bunch of, uh, cloud infrastructure. And, uh, we're super fortunate with the timing of squad casts that we can, uh, we can really use the modern tools and cloud architecture to, uh, to really, you know, move quickly. Uh, but, but also save costs and kind of scale, uh, scale the business with our, with our customers and growth. So, uh, I think, uh, you know, bootstrapping is definitely worth a try that's, that's what I'm advocating for here. And, uh, you can always go out and raise venture capital. This

Speaker 5 (28:05):

Episode is brought to you by funnel Dash's add card, the only charge card exclusively for your digital ad spend in partnership with MasterCard. And if you are an aggressive affiliate dealing with dozens of ad accounts, or you are in gray hat or black hat verticals, such as drop shipping CVD or other verticals where you're dealing with ad accounts, getting shut down business managers, getting shut down, or even D platform from platforms like Facebook and Google, then you absolutely need to check out funnel as ad card. We give you unlimited free virtual debit and credit card. So you can have a dedicated card for every single ad account campaign. And you can attach any name and address in the U S you have complete anonymous entity on a card and at the card level, plus one of my favorite features is that you don't have to pre fund or even top off like most typical virtual card solutions today. So if this is you and you're operating these verticals, whether you're an agency or an advertiser, then check out ad [email protected]

Dylan (29:09):

You had a, another full-time job day job, you know, for a year and a half before you really got into it. Was that was that pretty stressful having to kind of deal with that life. And then the after hours, the squad

Zach Moreno (29:18):

Cast, well, I'll be, I'll be real with you. Like, I was very lucky that, um, the, my role in the government agency that I worked for was not challenging at all. Uh, if anything, I was like, let's do this, let's do this, let's do this. Like, let's, uh, you know, provide this new app for our constituents. And let's like, do all these things. And, um, you know, a lot of that didn't gain traction, let's say. So, uh, so that's where I was able to, uh, it started out by, I was able to write a book. I got approached by a publisher to write, um, a technical book on a modern web development, full stack, uh, you know, deployment deploying to the cloud. It was called angular JS deployment essentials. It was deprecated basically on the day that it shipped. So I'm not super proud of it, but I'm proud of the work that went into it.

Zach Moreno (30:07):

It took me a year to write. And most of that time, most of that time, uh, was like, I was at work. I was, so I kind of got this proof of concept of like, okay, I can do my job and like, keep everything happy and running and smooth there, but I can also like research and I can also write, and I can do some things that, um, kind of use that time more effectively, let's say. And I've been, I've been waiting to actually, like, I want to write a, uh, maybe it's a series of blog posts or something, or maybe a podcast where it's like, how to bootstrap your startup with a government job. Um, I, I, I hesitate here though, because, you know, I value taxpayers and the investment into the government and all of those things. So I don't want anybody to think that I was like wasting their money, if anything, you know, I was trying to push it, uh, and stretch their dollar and all that stuff. What's up.

Zach Moreno (31:06):

Yeah. Yeah. So, um, you know, I, I was able to achieve a lot of things for our constituents and I was proud of that, but, um, but you know, in the in-between time of making updates to that website and all the things that I manage there, I was able to write a book. I was able to grade the work that my students were doing while I was at Cal Berkeley. And then when we had the idea for squad cast was like, I could probably do a fair amount of the engineering here on, on my laptop, on my network, not on any government resources, but, you know, I, people kinda, there was days that went by where nobody would talk to me. I was like, oh, like, that's like the engineering in the corner or whatever. And it's just like, okay, cool. Like, I'm going to do my thing, drink coffee. And, uh, it was able to kind of build out the MVP, like, I'll say mostly nights and weekends, but a fair amount, a fair chunk of it was done, uh, kind of bootstrap time-wise too. Not just, not just capital.

Dylan (31:57):

It's funny. I'm just getting an image. Oh, he's back there. He's doing some engineering stuff. He finished three days ago. He's good.

Zach Moreno (32:05):

Exactly. And it's like, oh, that's already finished. Like, uh, yeah. It's I would go across the street. I, I worked in San Francisco, um, and I would go and I preferred to work in like hotel lobbies and coffee shops and stuff like that. So that's also where the remote nature of squad cast kind of had its origins and Rockwood do the same thing in his role, but kind of less of the time, um, because he would have to go to like client offices and then work there, but not in his company's office. So that's really where we kind of got a taste of that, that freedom and how a whole could be remote. And I'm super inspiring, like companies like automatic who make WordPress and stuff like that, uh, are, you know, several hundred people and they're all remote. It's pretty mind blown,

Dylan (32:50):

Man. This has been exciting, dude, I'm gonna enjoy this one. So what's the best way we can kind of support you the best way to give them kind of get in touch with you.

Zach Moreno (32:59):

Yeah. If you're, if you're into podcasting and, um, you know, like that's a really great channel for, uh, for growing brands and, and being, being a professional to tell your story and reach your audience. So like if you're into podcasting, um, and you're not able to record those in person, we'd love to help you with that as quad cast RFM is where you can find the platform. We have a whole bunch of free stuff, too. Uh, so like if you're just getting started with podcasting, like you have a bunch of questions, it's a relatively new thing. So we're, uh, we're happy to support you there. And, uh, you know, if you're wanting to record with us too, that that'd be rad. Uh, but we're really, you know, uh, in this, for the long run and really, really value those conversations. So you can find us on social media at squad cast, FM, um, like you reached out to us, Dylan, and, you know, we, we, we love talking to people. So that's a, we're we're really invested in the community. So I would say if you're just starting as a podcast or start there, start with the podcast community it's super open and welcoming and, uh, we're proud to play a part in that

Dylan (33:58):

Heck. Yeah, man. And y'all heard it. We do all of our episodes on squad cast. So buckle up, give it a try. Thanks Zach. Thank you, Don. Appreciate it.

Speaker 5 (34:12):

Thanks so much for listening to another episode of the rich ed or ed podcast. If you're like me and listen to podcasts on the go, go ahead and subscribe on apple podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, and rich dad, poor dad.com/podcast. And if you absolutely love the show, go ahead and leave a review and a comment share with a friend. If you do take a copy screenshot of it, email me [email protected] Show me you left a review and I'll give you a free copy of the rich add or ed book to learn more about the book. Go to rich ed for a.com to leave a review that are rich and poor ed.com/review. Thanks again.


Host Resources Links

MORE EPISODES
MORE EPISODES

Here’s what people are saying!

About The Podcast

Jason Hornung is the founder and Creative Director at JH Media LLC, the world’s #1 direct response advertising agency focusing exclusively on the Facebook ads platform. Jason’s proprietary methods for ad creation, audience selection and scaling are responsible for producing $20 million + of profitable sales for his clients EVERY YEAR

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is Founder of FunnelDash, the Agency Growth and Finance Company, with their legendary Clients Like Clockwork solutions. Under Zach’s leadership, FunnelDash has grown to over 5,000+ agency customers managing over $1 Billion in ad spend across 41,000 ad accounts on. Zach’s private clients have included influencers such as Dr. Axe, Marie Forleo, Dan Kennedy, Dean Graziozi to name a few. Zach is also a noted keynote speaker and industry leader who’s now on a mission to partner with agencies to fund $1 Billion in ad spend over the next 5 years.

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter

Dylan Carpenter will be diving into what he and his team are seeing in 200+ accounts on Google and Facebook when it comes to trends, new offerings, and new opportunities. With over $10 million in Facebook/Instagram ad spend, Dylan Carpenter had the pleasure to work with Fortune 500 companies, high investment start-ups, non-profits, and local businesses advertising everything from local services to physical and digital products. Having worked at Facebook as an Account Manager and now with 5+ years of additional Facebook Advertising under my belt, I’ve worked alongside 60+ agencies and over 500+ businesses. I work with a team of Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn experts to continue to help companies and small businesses leverage the power of digital marketing.

Subscribe now and sharpen your advertising skills each week while building your swipe file of winning ads