Austen Allred is on a mission to help people level up their skills and incomes, and his startup is helping thousands of them find new roles in tech fields, online. The venture, BloomTech, raised funding from Gigafund, a top-tier financier.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Balancing a growing and cash flow-positive business
- How Bloomtech works
- Austen Allred’s top advice when starting a business of your own
See NordPass Business in action now with a 3-month free trial here https://nordpass.com/panthera with code panthera
Also Wingman is sponsoring this podcast. Visit https://www.trywingman.com/dealmakers for more details!
Partnerhero: to waive set up fees, go to http://partnerhero.com/
If you are struggling with projects, sign up for Basecamp. Their pricing is simple and they give you ALL their features in a single plan. No upsells. No upgrades. Go to basecamp.com/dealmakers and try Basecamp for free. No credit card required and cancel anytime. Thank you, Basecamp for sponsoring this episode!
For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).
Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
About Austen Allred:
Austen Allred is the co-founder and CEO of BloomTech. A native of Springville, Utah, Austen’s start-up journey began in 2017 with him living in his two-door Civic while participating in Y Combinator, a San Francisco-based seed accelerator. This experience became the foundation of BloomTech’s rapid growth.
Before founding BloomTech, Austen was the co-founder of media platform GrassWire. He co-authored the growth hacking textbook Secret Sauce, which became a best-seller and provided him the personal seed money to build BloomTech.
Austen’s disruptive ideas on the future of education, the labor market disconnect, and the opportunity of providing opportunity at-scale have been featured in: The Harvard Business Review, The Economist, WIRED, Fast Company, TechCrunch, The New York Times, among others. Austen is fluent in Russian and currently lives in San Francisco with his wife and two kids.
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
- Fundraising Process : get guidance from A to Z.
- Materials : our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models
- Investor Access : connect with the right investors for your business and close them
Connect with Austen Allred:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: All righty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So I’m very excited about the guests that we have today I mean we’re going to be talking about building and scaling quite an inspiring journey. You know going from vc back to cash flow business I think that that saying. Ah, very interesting. You know and unique transition there that we’re gonna go in detail. But again you know, let’s start make you all wait. Any longer. Let’s welcome our our guest today Austin all red welcome to the show. So originally born in Utah.
Austen Allred: Um, awesome. Yeah, thanks for having me good to be here. Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: So um, how was life growing up there I know that you grew up. You know in a traditional you know Mormon family and you know we have right now people tuning in from all over the world. So how was you know your upbringings and and also what does it look like to be brought up in a traditional Mormon family.
Austen Allred: Yeah, um I mean it’s good. It was you know Ah the the mormon faith is very very family centric so I had 2 brothers and 2 sisters and we were always together. It’s generally a very hardworking culture very down to earth. Um, sometimes to a fault ah culture. But it was yeah if you think about you know protestant work ethic I think that’s kind of embodied in mormonism so we were always taught to provide for ourselves. We were always starting little businesses on the side and most of my family now are founders of 1 sort of and of and or another.
Austen Allred: Um, and yeah, it’s kind of a little bit of an idyllic you know small town. Ah upbringing.
Alejandro Cremades: And how do you land in Ukraine out of all places.
Austen Allred: Yeah, well that’s that’s 1 aspect of mormonism. That’s a little bit different. Um when you are but used to when you turn 19 as a male in the Mormon Church you are supposed to submit your papers and so you send off documents to the headquarters of the church and say hey i’m. You know, willing to serve a mission and you basically get a letter in the mail that says thanks for being willing to serve. Ah you are assigned to serve in this mission and you don’t know what it’s going to be when you open it up so it’s a pretty you know, big exciting time you gather family and friends around and you open your letter. Um, so I opened my letter and it said donysky ukraine which I had no idea what that was and at the time no one had ever heard of it before but you go to a missionary training center for a couple of months you learn as much rushing in my instance as you can and then they ship you off to Ukraine to go. Do service and preach for a couple of years so pretty wild experience and I think one of the more informative experiences that I’ve had for sure.
Alejandro Cremades: No kidding now I guess say for you as a human being you know how would you say that that formed you and and more importantly, you know that frame of reference of of dealing with you uncertain.
Austen Allred: Yeah, um I think there there are few things that happened um one is I became very grateful for things that I didn’t even recognize I should have been grateful for or you kind of. Knew that theoretically hey I grew up in a you know happy middle class family. Um, but you know I landed in Ukraine the first city I lived in was a city called Gorluka and that’s you know nowadays even more. Um. You know that city’s been hit by a lot in the war and the folks that I know that are there have been have suffered a lot but going from you know, middle class small town america to Eastern Ukraine and it it was in 2008 so gorluka is a little mining town. There’s a big coal mine. Um, just outside of guarlovka and almost everybody worked in the mine and when I got there, the mine had basically shut down all the foreign investment dried up so people didn’t know what to do people were still going to work in the mine even without getting paid just on hopes that when the mine opens back up whoever buys it would you know give them back pay. It’s kind of ah a little bit of a desperate time for folks. Um, and so to be thrown into that environment from you know, relatively cushy. Small town America was was pretty wild. Um, and you know you’re learning the language you’re learning you spend.
Austen Allred: All day sun up to sundown just trying to talk to people and get to know them and um, yeah, there there’s a lot of other stuff that I learned along the way but that was I think eye opening is the the simplest way to put it. Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: No kidding now you ended up pay coming back to the us and then you know you go to school but you decide it’s not for you. So what happened there.
Austen Allred: Yeah I think on the mission and one of the things I learned was really to think a little more independently. Um, it’s you know it’s not as difficult to think independently when you’re so foreign like even though you know. You’re still a white guy that they would tell me I look like a cossack in Ukraine. Um, you’re still very different. You know you’re wearing a name tag. You’re wearing a white shirt. You’re wearing a tie and even ukrainians when they’re dressing more formally don’t really wear ties unless it’s like a black tie type of affair. Um, so. You had to become comfortable in your own skin and learn what it was that you wanted and yeah that you were going to go after that and not default to what the consensus was of everybody around you that that wasn’t really an option. Um, so you know when I got back home started going to school. I realized like first of all I felt comfortable taking risks and you know in uncertainty and other stuff that I may not have been and going from you know eastern ukraine to back to Provo Utah just felt very constricting. So I knew I wanted to. In tech um I knew at that point that I had wanted to start a company at some point. Um, but I didn’t know how to code I didn’t have any experience I didn’t have any background or resume to speak of so his reading online and I found a blog post of this guy that had.
Austen Allred: Lived in a Honda Civic in ah silicon valley while he you know he’s a designer but um and he I think he graduated with a degree in design and that was like his way of just I want to go there and experience it and be on the ground and meet people and for me even though I didn’t have. You know any tangible skill set that just really resonated with the way that I viewed life at that point is you just you figure out what you want to? do you go get in the middle of it and you don’t you know, make any excuses for yourself along the way and funnel you know, just. But sheer happenstance as I was reading that blog post I realized that I had basically the exact same car as that guy so I didn’t have even enough money for a single month’s rent in Palo Alto at the time but I just drove out and slept in my car for a few months figured out how to you know. Shower at the Ymca and there is a co-working space that I could go teach myself to code and start building stuff and um, yeah, know and from there you know, met people and eventually ended up. It’s a you know, long journey to get there but ended up working as a growth engineer at a Silicon Valley startup
Alejandro Cremades: So then I mean that’s pretty unbelievable I mean at what point where you’re like hey you know finally I can get out of living in my car. You know I can actually use like my own shower. You know, like when when did that happen.
Austen Allred: So it it worked out.
Austen Allred: Yeah I mean there are there are so many experiences that were just surreal. Um, you know one one story that I don’t know that I’ve told very much is um, my car actually as driving down the one ah one and it broke down. Um. And yeah I ah had to call it tot well and it’s going to sound so crazy that I don’t know if people will believe it. But I’m sitting there on the side of the road and ah so on the side of the freeway. The police officer comes up and knocks on my door and he’s like hey you can’t park here I’m like yeah obviously i’m. Yeah, there wasn’t my plan. He’s like no, you don’t understand Barack Obama’s Caravan is about to come through in a couple of hours and the secret service is just going to impound anything that’s not off the road by then because it’s a safety hazard. You know you know the presidential caravan doesn’t drive by parked cars. Yeah as a safety precaution. So I’d scrambled found a tow truck driver that would come get me I was putting stuff on a credit card at that point I was out of money and I I didn’t even know how I was going to pay for the car. The tow truck driver that picked me up was like man I’m like I am a little bit envious of your story and i. Love that you’re you know going after what you’re going after. Let me, you know, let me hook you up in any way that I can I can comp the tow truck ride. You can come stay at my place. Um, and you know you should experience a lot of generosity at a time like that and I ended up.
Austen Allred: You know it’s another story scrambling made a few hundred dollars that I was able to pay off the mechanic as he fixed something that was not not terribly expensive. Um and kept going for another day. But I think you know for for me the big lesson was like there’s.
Austen Allred: There are ways to figure stuff out you you have to dig a little bit deeper and rely on other folks sometimes and be a little bit creative sometimes but um, yeah, it was you know when I got my first job offer after that and realized I was going to actually be able to. Yeah. Pay the bills and put food on the table. Um, yeah I broke down and sobbed like it for me. It was like oh my gosh I made I know that from here I can get to wherever you know I need to go. But if I can get that first. Yeah, I’m now my foot is in the door and there’s still a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unknown from here. But I know that I’ll be able to to make it so that was a pretty pivotal moment in my life I suppose. Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Wow now there’s a lot of people broadly that are listening you know and that are wondering you know they’re probablyly like all over the world and and they’re wondering like how could I break into Silicon Valley I mean how is that how do you do that? so.
Austen Allred: Yeah I mean and that’s you know what? my I pretty quickly was making you know into the 6 figures which means less in San Francisco than it does in smalltown Utah um, so you know I’d be you know back home talking to folks that. Um, the the town that I lived in right before I moved to to San Francisco it’s a town called Efrem and it’s a town of you know 4000 people the median income is you know $35000 a year. Um. And you know a lot of farming people working at gas stations very rural area and so when I go back there and I talk to friends there it it just seemed completely unfathomable and the the default recommendation when you talk to those folks is like. Okay, you can go to college and that’s going to be you know at current prices 4 years and $100000 and you you realize that you’re talking to someone who’s you know, been making $15 an hour that. Even the the notion of spending $100000 on something. It’s just so crazy. Um, and four years on top of that is even crazier. Um, but that’s the default path and then one of the reasons we started. Bloom tech is because I’m looking at people and I’m like.
Austen Allred: I know that you could do what I did and you don’t even have to do it in that level of you don’t have to go extreme. You don’t have to live in a car. You can just learn to program on the side you can apply to jobs the same way I did you can meet people um without ever leaving your house but at the time there wasn’t a great way to do that. Um, even even though that was only a few years ago online education hadn’t really started yet and what there was out there that was online was you know University Of Phoenix and you’re going to be $80000 in student loans by the time you graduate and um so starting. That’s what inspired me to start. Bloom tech is I I know what it’s like to work in tech I know what it’s like to you know, be sitting making not very much money without any credentials wondering what the world could hold for you and I knew that I could map. Those and like I can help people make that transition. Um, and that’s what we do all day every day now. And yeah, I’ve learned obviously a lot more about that. But yeah thousands and thousands of people who have not necessarily moved to silicon valley that’s not the point of the company but move from. Non-technical fields to technical fields were you know doubling people’s incomes, all the time all the time and you know we’re putting them on a path to where they’ll make millions more across their lifetimes where they can work remotely where they have you know opportunity that just wasn’t there. Um.
Austen Allred: And you know half of bloom tech grads don’t have a degree so there’s really, you realize that tech is meritocratic enough that if you can learn to do the stuff that employers want they will hire you regardless of ah what your background is or what your skin color is or what. College you went to um or if you went to college at all. Um, it’s ah if you can do the job you can get higher and so our our job is to help you gain those skills to help you know how to get higherd and I think one of the other pieces that. Folks kind of underestimate is speaking you know, psychologically to that person who doesn’t have experience in that world. You know it’s 1 thing if you’re talking to a product manager at Google about what it means to be a software engineer. It’s different if you’re talking to someone who doesn’t know a software engineer. And doesn’t know anybody who’s ever made more than $50000 a year. Um, so that’s what we’ve gotten really really good at.
Alejandro Cremades: So obviously you know at this point you had breaking into Silicon Valley you were making like you were saying up in the 6 figures at what point you know, do you realize because I’m sure that that was you know quite the leap of faith. You know everything that you had worked so far you know so hard to really get to. All of a sudden you decide. You know that hey you know like maybe I just want to start this company out. You know, obviously you know like it sounds like the idea was marinating you know and and was there for for some time you know, especially given your own personal experiences. But what would you say you know watch what push you over the its to say okay, let’s go.
Austen Allred: Yeah, so I think there there are a few threads that kind of ran together. Um one is I I always felt like there should be a better path a more direct path something other than you know college which was the default. But I also felt like I wouldn’t be the person to start that because I you know not only do I not have a background in academia I’m I’m a college dropout myself right? So who am I to create a new educational pathway when you know my default stance was. Not anti-education but anti yeah, the way that education was being run and built is so I was kind of waiting for someone to do this? Um, and then you know the impetus for it I ah took some of what I had learned and kind of on. Growth engineering side of things I wrote a book about it and you know started selling the book and the book was selling really well and so I went to a friend and said hey turns out that if you create stuff that’s valuable for people. They’ll just buy it. Um, so let’s you know we’re both really interested in this. Random programming language called Haskell let’s put together a course that teaches people haskeold. Um, so we did that and it was you know it was still just side income money at the time. Although in retrospect, you know the money I was making on the side was more than half of what my salary was so it was it was meaningful.
Austen Allred: And we were just saving all of that. Um, but then yeah I realized that there are a couple of things that bothered me about that one is um, we were you know we were kind of selling this information so to speak. But I don’t think most people were doing anything with it. Because it’s just really difficult to buy a book and implement everything. That’s there. Um, and it’s just hard. Um, so we started saying Okay, what? if um, we took other people through the same journey we went through. But instead of just you know putting it in a book which is interesting and I still hope to put together a lot of the stuff in a book someday. Um, we actually you know hands on teach people that and so it started out just as a thing on the side where we’re hey let’s you know teach people to learn to code and get a job part-time online. And you know we’ll charge some small amount for that enough to make it worthwhile so we started doing that and it was awesome side income and pretty quickly I got to the point where I was like you know I could quit my job and he was like I could quit my job. Um, and then we’re talking to a bunch of folks. About you know we would teach free classes just to you know, get people interested in like what is programming. You know what is everything like um and then some of them would become interested and enroll in the full class and as I was talking to those prospective students like hey why don’t you enroll in our full thing.
Austen Allred: Everybody was like look I love the idea of it. But I don’t have money. That’s the entire point of me being here and like you know do I trust you guys enough to put an annual income on a credit card and just hope that it works out. No, that’s crazy I was like yeah that is crazy so you know but at the same time we were. Our cash needs were low enough that it was like well sure we can find some way to help these folks right? So it started out with what if you paid a thousand dollars upfront and then you pay us the rest after you got hired and we noticed that that flipped the switch in people because it changed. Changed what they were buying from. You know I’m I’m not buying this course that may or may not work I am buying a potential outcome and what is that outcome worth that outcome is worth millions of dollars over my lifetime. Um, so then we realize well wait if we you know.
Austen Allred: If we can have our skin in the game and we really put our money where our mouths are um, why don’t we make it $0 upfront make it so you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket and if you don’t get hired. You still don’t pay anything um and then if you do get hired and you know you successfully make the transition into tech. Yeah, you’re going to pay us and you’ll be happy to do so at that point um and that realization kind of unlocked the floodgates. Um, it’s a very different business model to run than hey I’m going to sell you curriculum or I’m going to you know sell you an instructor who is going to teach you stuff. It’s actually. We are going to provide an outcome or we’re going to lose money on this. Um and that relationship is very different that decision making process is very different and yeah, it’s a much more difficult business to run than just selling content but it kind of unlocked. Everything. Before we knew it. We had far more demand for students than we had you know capital to train them and um, you know became cash flow optimization and you know how do you raise enough money to keep things going and. How you model out what the likely outcomes are how do you improve those outcomes. Um, so it becomes a you know very different business than most education businesses. But I believed then and I still believe that it’s it’s going to be 1 of the most impactful organizations that ever existed.
Austen Allred: On the planet I Fully fully believe that. So yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: So just to to double click on that Austin then for the people that are listening. What is the business model. How do you guys make money.
Austen Allred: Yeah, so there are a couple of different ways. But the the the high level is you pay us nothing upfront if you are so if you you know, look for a job and are unsuccessful. You still pay us nothing and now in fact, we pay you. Um, so yeah, we’ve learned exactly what it takes to get a job over time so you don’t pay us anything upfront if you get a job making more than $50000 a year in you know a tech role then you pay us. Comes out to five hundred or six hundred dollars a month for 5 years Um, and if not then we ah refund all of the tuition and we send you a check for a couple thousand dollars um you know obviously we can’t pay for all of your time when you’re in the school. But um. Yeah, we put our money where our mouths are so um and it it works. We’ve placed thousands of ah students at every imaginable tech company that you can think of There’s probably a bloomtech grad there. Um, we have ah now in our backend program. We have. Ah, partnerships like with Amazon Amazon um we co-built our backend program with Amazon um, and Amazon’s stated good intention is to hire as many of those folks as they can and there are other hiring partnerships that we have but basically our goal is.
Austen Allred: How can we make the likelihood of you being hired in a tech role as high as humanly possible because that’s that’s how we make money.
Alejandro Cremades: And also how much capital have you guys raised for the business. Okay.
Austen Allred: Um, we’ve raised just north of a $100,000,000
Alejandro Cremades: And what was that the journey like of racing all that money.
Austen Allred: Yeah, um I mean so it’s funny in the early days we were trying to figure out how to cash flow it all ourselves. So we’d have some people that were paying up front and some people that you know couldn’t afford to and so we would put them on basically a pay later plan. Um and we. We started in an accelerator called y combinator when that was still you know just a baby idea and it was basically you know our Ycombinator application was basically isn’t it interesting that you know in order to make this work. You have to run the business differently. You have to. You know, build something completely unique. It should be very scalable but it’s very difficult to build and then from a student side. You know if you look at the options that are out there. They’re very expensive very risky and why isn’t there something you know why isn’t there a better path that exists. Um, and so we we started out in y c. And we’re cash flowing is just me and my cofounder at the time and we weren’t really paying ourselves anything um and pretty quickly the demand for you know, pay later options. So at the time we used one called an income share agreement. Um. Demand for that was just way way higher than the demand for people paying upfront. So you start building up a bunch of income share agreements on your balance sheet that you know they’ll be worth money later, but you’re scraping pennies to teach the folks that are in the class now. Um, and then you know i.
Austen Allred: The company that I worked at when I was a growth engineer was in the lending space. So I spent a lot of time thinking about yeah the way capital markets work and the way you know moving risk around works and the costs of money and realize like there’s got to be a way to you know borrow against these. Receivables that we have in the future. There’s there’s got to be a way to square that circle so we spent a lot of time just kind of knocking on doors on wall street and talking to people who know way more about structured finance than um, you know I I did at the time and we we found ways to to make that work. Um, they required a little bit of equity capital to to get started so we raised $4000000 in a seed round after Yc and shortly thereafter we raised another fourteen a year later we raised 30000000 in a series b and then we raised. 75000000 in a series c um, and after we raised the series c we was like early 2020 we started. You know we we were skeptical of the Silicon Valley model of you know, just keep raising more and more money until. And you know make it up in volume so we started at that point turning the business to where you know what would it take to get the cash flows to where you know we’re operationally cash flow positive um and it turns out that’s way more difficult than raising vc and just continuing to.
Austen Allred: To invest it all in hopes of more revenue coming in in the future. So that’s been a bit of a transition. Um, but we can’t say that we are cash flowing the business but we’re days away from that being true. Um, so that is yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Now Obviously obviously for you I mean that’s saying that that was quite the shift but I’m wondering like how were you able to also enroll all the investors you know and all the board members you know into that day. Into that school of thought because I mean obviously they’re giving you the money they want growth growth, growth growth growth which is the typical you know mentality of Silicon Valley So how are you able to enroll everyone in that team in that future in that in that possibility.
Austen Allred: Yeah I think um, you know they’re in retrospect, we were lucky in the investors that we chose and I think they’re yeah possibly because of you know our background and the way that I viewed the world. I kind of always viewed the business as you know it should be cash flowing and we’re just investing a little bit ahead of the cash flow right now and I would love for that to yeah to not be true I think every most good silicon valley companies can with some changes be operating at. Or close to cash flow positivity um, but that was you know if if you think back to 2021 that was not the mantra in Silicon Valley it was spend spend spend grow grow grow I think we got lucky in some regard that we were surrounded by investors who um, both like. I wouldn’t say they don’t believe in the spend spend spend grow grow grow model necessarily um, but they they basically don’t think you have to choose um and if you can build if you can structure a business in such a way that you.
Austen Allred: You bring in a dollar you bring in more than a dollar for every dollar spent and make that cash flow transition happen quickly then you can spend and grow simultaneously. So I think they kind of so to speak reject the notion that it’s a choice between you know, cash flowing a business and growing a business. Um, I think we were lucky to have investors that were supportive in in doing that. Um, yeah, that said, not every investor feels that way and at the end of the day. It’s you know up to you as a Ceo and the board you’ve built to decide how to spend the money and I think you know the reality is at the end of the day’s. Ceo that’s making that decision. Um, and yeah I think you know looking at where capital markets are now I’m fairly certain if we would have continued to spend far ahead of growth and just you know hope that we’d make up for it in volume later. We’d be in a really difficult spot right now. Um, so I think we did the right thing. Um, it was painful and I think it was easy for silicon valley to underestimate how difficult it is to turn mythical future dollars into current dollars like there’s a lot of work and a lot of. Operating a company differently that makes that happen but I also think it’s incredibly healthy and the silicon valley that I look at now from you know as a friend of founders as an investor as a founder myself I think it’s in a much better spot than it was when money was effectively free.
Austen Allred: Businesses are just better. They’re better run. They’re making the transitions that you didn’t have to make in past markets. Um, that now you do and I think it’s by and large for the better. So yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Now I guess the um, the for the people that are listening to get a good understanding on the scope and size of the company today I mean anything that you can share in terms of number of employees or anything else that you feel comfortable sharing.
Austen Allred: Um, yeah, we’re we’re keeping a lot of that close to the chess but to give you an eye. So the the student size. Yeah, we placed in 2021 we haven’t it. It takes us a while to get all the data for a past year but
Austen Allred: 2021 we had just over a thousand grads hired um in new roles and their income increase was in the realm of $27000 per person as a as a median so obviously you know goes way higher than that. Um, and that. I’ll give you an idea of the the size and scope and then should be growing really quickly on. Um and we we try to not make headcount a goal. That’s not yeah purpose of companies isn’t to spend as much in employing as you can, but ah. Yeah, so so from a student standpoint That’s the the most recent number we’ve got.
Alejandro Cremades: Got it now imagine if you were to go to sleep tonight Austin and you wake up in a world where the vision of the company is fully realized what does that world look like okay.
Austen Allred: Um, that means basically every person on the planet has a way to raise their hand be matched with the the market needs the best potential place for them to get to and without. Ah, penny out of pocket. Be able to fully get there. Um, so you know we started out as a tech school largely in the us we we dabble internationally here and there um but the the goal of bloomtech is to help everybody. You know. Realize their full potential economically and otherwise um so it would be millions of people per year raising their hand getting matched to jobs that are out there. Um and not just within tech and not just within the us. Um, so depending on how you phrase that it’s. Some of that is we have to do new things and explore new fields and some of that is we just have to grow a lot but the the core vision of the company remains the same.
Alejandro Cremades: So obviously now you know we were talking about the future. So if we had the opportunity of taking a look at the past and and reflect from it and more importantly, imagine if I was able to put you into a time machine and bring you back in time.
Austen Allred: Something.
Alejandro Cremades: You know, perhaps to that moment where you were reading that blog post realizing that you have the same car as they do you know writing in the post. You know they own that cbic and you had the opportunity eyeing is sit down with that younger self and you know just just being able to give that younger self one piece of advice before launching a business. But will that be and why given what you know now.
Austen Allred: Oh man, 1 piece of advice to my former self. Um you know on the one hand there’s there’s not too terribly much that I would change. It would be my my advice would be largely personal. Um, so one of the things that happens when you start and grow a company is that company in many ways reflects the personality the strengths and weaknesses and the decision making of the Ceo in a bunch of. Really little places. Um, so I would point out the I would become more cognizant of my personal flaws that were going to flow into company decision making and find ways to route around them. Um, so some of my weaknesses to to give you an idea are um, not being fast enough to say no I would say you know do fewer things and be um, be sure of yourself instead of relying on.
Austen Allred: Not necessarily external validation. But even you know opinions of folks within the company like operate according to your instinct um deferring less to when others say hey you should do X and it feels wrong to you but you say okay I’m going to you know do that Because. Ah, basically trust yourself more? Um, and yeah, the other thing I would say is just even if you have people focus purely on growth and you know volume. Um, treat every dollar like it’s your own or like it’s your last and you do have to invest in Growth. You do have to spend ahead of revenue but just be so certain when you’re doing so that it pays Off. Um. Or you know, really be willing to place that bet don’t do something just because there’s no reason not to um and so yeah, those are you know the and either they’re very very tactical things that if I could go back now. I’d be like hey don’t hire this person. Ah, do this differently with your technology stack. Um, you know this is what you should do programmatically versus this is what needs to be more of a service layer. There’s a yeah ton of stuff like that. But I think overall it would be more like yeah, be aware of your strengths and your weaknesses.
Austen Allred: Individually and be cognizant of those as you build a company.
Alejandro Cremades: Nice. So Austin for the people that are listening that would want to um, reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so okay.
Austen Allred: Yeah, um, you know for bloom tech we bloomtech.com um I am Austin on Twitter a us t e n or if you want to email me directly I’m Austin at bloomtech.com
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Well hey Austin thank you so much for being on the deal maker show today. It has been an honor to have you with us.
Austen Allred: Oh thank you I don’t know about that. But it’s good to be here.
* * *
If you like the show, make sure that you hit that subscribe button. If you can leave a review as well, that would be fantastic. And if you got any value either from this episode or from the show itself, share it with a friend. Perhaps they will also appreciate it. Also, remember, if you need any help, whether it is with your fundraising efforts or with selling your business, you can reach me at [email protected]