Neil Patel

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In the bustling world of Silicon Valley, where success stories and innovations are born, one individual stands out with a remarkable journey that spans continents, cultures, and challenges. Vlad Magdalin, the co-founder and CEO of Webflow, has not only carved a niche for himself in the tech industry but has also overcome incredible odds to get there.

Vlad’s venture, Webflow has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Y Combinator, CapitalG, Accel, and Khosla Ventures.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Embrace challenges and setbacks as they often shape your perspective and build resilience, as seen in Vlad Magdalin’s journey from a small village in the USSR to founding Webflow.
  • Life-changing moments, like moving to the United States at a young age, can profoundly impact your worldview and instill a sense of gratitude and motivation for future endeavors.
  • The support and sacrifices of family, particularly witnessing the hard work of parents navigating a new country, can instill a deep work ethic and sense of responsibility that fuels determination.
  • Early career explorations may involve multiple attempts and shifts, as seen in Vlad’s initial forays into computer science, 3D animation, and web design, before finding the right path with Webflow.
  • Overcoming challenges often requires persistence, as illustrated by the four attempts to establish Webflow, with moments of doubt and setbacks eventually leading to a successful venture.
  • Prioritize values and long-term impact when seeking venture partners, ensuring alignment with the mission and vision rather than solely focusing on financial returns.
  • Don’t let excessive worry and negative thoughts hinder progress; learn to manage anxieties effectively to maintain focus on the positive aspects of your journey and business.


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About Vlad Magdalin:

Vlad Magdalin is co-founder and CEO of Webflow, a company that is leading the no-code movement and empowering millions to create for the web without having to code.

He was born in the USSR and immigrated to the United States as a refugee when he was 9 years old.

Vlad studied computer science at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, as well as 3D animation and special effects at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

This mix of technical and creative disciplines helped him create Webflow, which brings the power of software engineering to designers through an intuitive visual interface.

Known for his tenacity and resilience (with 3 failures trying to get Webflow off the ground before finally finding product market fit the 4th time around), Vlad is a champion of building businesses in a sustainable, people-centric, and customer-obsessed way.

Along with his co-founders — Bryant Chou and Sergie Magdalin — he has become a public advocate for democratizing web development through no-code tools and technologies.

Vlad lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, two daughters, and a very energetic puppy. And despite many years of earnest pleading from family and friends, he’s known for never letting a good (aka terrible) pun or dad joke go to waste.

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Connect with Vlad Magdalin:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Alejandro Cremades: : Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have an amazing founder. We’re going to be really talking about all the good stuff that we like to hear now in this case, you know perseverance, you know and and and and how you know like he’s going about the business. He he actually tried to in four instances and now in the fourth. Try. He has really built this rocket ship that we’re going to be talking about and we’re going to be talking about the way that they went about fundraising which is not the typical you know, ah way of doing things because they went and did their series a when they were already at 15000000 in revenue. It was a massive series a with 70000000 that they raised and they even had investors signing social contracts. So definitely not something that you hear you know often, but they were going to be discussing all of this stuff in detail so without further ado. Let’s welcome our guest today vlat. Mark darling welcome to the show. So originally born in the Ussr so give us a walk through memory lane. How was life growing up.

Vlad Magdalin: Thank you, thank you? It’s great to be here. Alejandro it’s a pleasure.

Vlad Magdalin: Ah, life growing up was very different from life right now I grew up in a very small village outside of a town in the ussr on the border of Georgia and Russia and it was a it was sustenance farming. Every family had their own. Garden you know where you had like carrots and potatoes. You had your own chickens a well, an outhouse everyone built their own houses. So. It’s a um, you know, completely different life than here you know, no tvs. Really no technology. Um, and. Limited electricity had to heat your own water. Um, so a completely different life than here. Okay.

Alejandro Cremades: So at what age did you pack the bags with a family and moved to Sacramento. So.

Vlad Magdalin: Ah, this was I was 9 years old shortly after I turned 9 in late 1991 just as the ussr was collapsing right? right? as sptitroga was happening so it was my first flight ever. You know, got on a flight to Moscow and then from there. Our entire family 6 siblings and my parents landed in New York and San Francisco and and then Sacramento. So definitely and I knew 1 word in english which now sounds a little bit connected to the work that I do the word was cloud in Russia.

Alejandro Cremades: Wow.

Vlad Magdalin: Word is tuccha and like I don’t I don’t know why I knew that word in particular maybe because this my first time on a plane and I was just maybe somebody right next to me told me what it was I don’t actually remember I don’t remember how I learned it but I just knew that that was the only word that I knew. Um.

Alejandro Cremades: Well I’m sure that that shaped you quite a bit because I mean being 9 years old landing in a country where you don’t know the language making friends again, starting from nothing you know, seeing your family going through. Also the the journey too of of being in a new place and trying to build a better tomorrow. You know I’m sure that that shaped you up quite a bit so how would you say that that kind of like changed your worldview and and yourself.

Vlad Magdalin: Well to be to be honest, it probably had the biggest impact um from any other experience that I’ve had since because you know just seeing how how much um, you know how much possibility exists in the states in the United States versus kind of the possible life paths that are available where I grew up. Um, you know you you just get to appreciate how much like the things that that people chase things like financial freedom things like you know, career progress and success. All of those things felt like. I had already made it just because my family was able to come to America and enjoy life here already was like this massive gift that everything you know I could sort of achieve on top of that was the cherry on top. So that that I think gave me the perspective that um. You know life is a world of possibilities and um and and actually seeing how hard my parents worked coming here to this kind of like basically you know with 6 kids in their 30 s coming to a country where they don’t speak the language um and like and. Was a country that that they have been trained on. You know their entire ah like childhood and adult life that was evil right through all the propaganda that America is like you know going to destroy Russia etc so they they chose to come to this country on essentially like this hope and dream.

Vlad Magdalin: Ah, that everything is going to be okay, even though they’re like in some in some ways like entering enemy territory from how what how they were trained and and that created just like a deep work ethic because our family you know we were on welfare for many years my parents were like trying to learn english my dad especially try to do like odd jobs here and there just to make ends meet. Um, and through that you know he would like find jobs where the entire family would have to go clean like a dental office every few every few weeknights. Um and that created this sense of hey you have to work hard to support your family and sometimes you just like It’s a deep responsibility. You don’t get a choice between like I want whether I want to or not and I think that gave me a lot of a lot of resilience and a lot of dedication once I did put my mind to something later on when it came to building webflow. So I I think just the example that my parents said seeing them work so hard. Um, just wanted me to make them proud and for like making the best of the kind of life that they created for us here just by by bringing us here.

Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case when it came time to go to college. Um, you dropped out of quite a few times there you know you were kind of like finding or in the pursuit of finding your calling and it took a little bit for you to really.

Vlad Magdalin: 3

Vlad Magdalin: Um, yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: Finally get going on the computer science you know, ah path. So what do you think needed to happen for you to really get clear. So.

Vlad Magdalin: Yeah that’s a great that’s a great question so the the short story there is I I went to kalpali to study computer science because that’s where my brother was going and my parents were just like hey we can’t afford to you know drive you somewhere else or for you to go to a different college. So I just followed my brothers. Older brother footsteps. But I really that was the main reason I went there is because my brother was doing it. So the first year I I recognized that I really really did not like um everything I was doing in computer science like learning how to program etc. It just didn’t hit me the way that um I thought I would enjoy it. Um, and through my teenage years. My dad actually pulled me into graphic design out of necessity to like kind of build some of these um catalogs that he wanted to start a business around so that exposed me to sort of like the creative world and. Um, around the same time Pixar was becoming really popular and I was like whoa I really want to learn kind of combine these artistic skills and learn how to become a 3 d animator. So that’s why I dropped out and was like hey I see so much more potential trying to work a Pixar so I need to learn 3 d animation I need to learn like these. 3 d tools. So that’s why I went to art school but very quickly into that um into that stint at art school. It was about a year and a half the web started really taking off so this was like early 2001 2002 and

Vlad Magdalin: It just so happened that a startup that a service that my friends were using to communicate it was like this chat application crashed after bubble um, and while I was in art school I was like wait I can you know if I pick pick up a book on programming which I kind of had a little bit of an intro to at cal paully ah maybe I can like rebuild the service so that my friends can keep using like this chat tool. So I ordered a book on Amazon and on like how to build a web app and essentially ended up recreating that service and that brought like my love for programming back like I could actually combine. The act of like the creative aspect of like designing an application and actually you know thinking about the user experience and then actually having the ability to implement it bring it to life like that reignited my passion for okay I can actually build something and get it out on the web and have people use it. So that led me back to okay I need to go keep studying programming plus like I can see a lot more potential here of but you know starting a software company etc. So I move back and continue to work on my computer science degree. But the thing that really put everything together is this this art school was. Pretty expensive I had to take out a bunch of loans so I had to go and get sort of a side job. Ah cap cow poli to start to pay back my debts and that job was at a web agency and that was creating like amazing websites for like Apple and the tennis channel and quicksilver all these amazing clients and then all these worlds.

Vlad Magdalin: Between like 3 d animation graphic design and web design came together. Um and the the experience like building building a web application and doing a lot of graphic design and 3 d animation like all collided into 1 idea around like hey if 3 d animation tools exist. To build like really amazing experiences on the movie screen. Why why isn’t there software that is very similar to that that helps web designers bring their ideas into production on the web like because at the time and still mostly um is the case today. Most websites need to be built by a coder. And and that’s when all of these ideas kind of came together to be like hey there’s got to be a better way and that’s where the spark for the original version of webflow came to be around like 2005. Um, that eventually led to my senior project eventually led to me starting a company around it, etc, etc.

Alejandro Cremades: I mean we’re talking about 4 attempts at really building workflow I mean talking about not giving up I mean you you did go later on to YCombinator and and Paul Graham you know has these I think and I say.

Vlad Magdalin: Um, yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: Or he stated before the best founders are like cockroaches you know nothing will kill them so in your case, 4 attempts I mean what happened through each one of those attempts because typically people would just give up on the first try and they would be like okay you know on to the next thing. So what happened you know for you to.

Vlad Magdalin: Thick, thick.

Alejandro Cremades: Not give up. You know what happened on a 10 number 1 number 2 number 3 and then leading you all the way to the number 4 that they ended up being the the good one.

Vlad Magdalin: Well to be honest, there were times after each attempt that I felt like I was giving up. Um, so but then I just kept coming back to it. So the first attempt was right during college. So I was you know the original like when the original idea came to me i. Was able to land the the domain which was a whole kind of journey in itself and then I started a business around it solo I was like the only founder and I tried to start building like this application where you can build web applications visually and what. What happened like life happened I fell in love ah with my now wife and I was approaching graduation and we were like approaching like right after graduation was was our wedding just like a few weeks later. And there was like this question around like well I have to like provide for my family so I have to like get a real job as this startup is maybe like happening on the side. Ah so I got a job my first job out of college at Intuit um, and it was so all consuming because as a you know a first time engineer. Ah, you’re like day and night working to make sure like you’re successful, um and webflow sort of took a backseat because I was like well I have to like keep making a living to support. You know, start to support my family. My wife was going through like nursing school at the time so there was no other income and over time it just kind of like.

Vlad Magdalin: Phased out and I kind of started forgetting about you know, just like didn’t have enough time to work on Webflow. Um and the product um got to a place where you know I was coding some nights and weekends but over time because I didn’t have any customers it sort of ah you know I lost. Um. Ah, lost the motivation to work around it and I got more excited about working it into it and and then it kind of um you know this idea was floating in the back of my head but I started to see other startups starting in the space like Weebly where I had just assumed that okay, they’re going to. You know they already got funding. They’re going to. Um. Ah, kind of solve this problem and and I thought that okay I was too late to the game and maybe you know, but if I had started earlier I would have a shot but but starting today you know I wouldn’t be able to like catch up to to those teams. But. About a year later as I was working into it a coworker um kind of came to me and was like hey I heard that you were working on the startup and he was a designer and we had sort started like um like getting excited about it again like hey what if we actually this is around the time that y combinator was um. Having their first batch. So we you know started working on it nights and weekends got like really excited about it again. Started putting together like pitchedex and you know trying to talk to lawyers to incorporate try to get funding. Um, but then you know one of the.

Vlad Magdalin: But we it invited another guy to to join our team so it was like the 3 of us and then you know one 1 person lost motivation over time and then we kind of like lost track of it again like the day job became like more time consuming. Um, so. Over time and sort of even though we pitched some investors some said no mo said like hey come back to us when you know when you actually have a product with users. Um, but I think we found that kind of demotivating that we couldn’t raise money and we like focused more on on the day jobs again and about six months later like more startups started to raise funding and we’re like whoa. We’re kind of missing the boat here. This was around two thousand late two thousand and seven early 2008 and we were like all right? Let’s go all in so we found another co-founder um actually raised some money from ah from essentially lawyers who were like. We’ll provide you free legal services to get incorporated and here’s a bit of money to like for for development. Um, and and start building so we started working like nights and weekends to get an actual product out there and then when we started to like. Get close to announcing you know something like putting a website out there saying like hey we’re going to take pre not pre-orders but you know people signing up for a waitlist etc. We got a cease and desist letter from a company in Florida that said like hey you can’t use the name webflow. We notice that you have you know? we have a trademark for it et cetera.

Alejandro Cremades: I.

Vlad Magdalin: And that started a pretty long battle I think it was like six months of going back and forth to see if we can like get the name back even though we had the domain we couldn’t use the name webflow for the product. So we rebranded to a different name but through that we essentially like ran out of the money that you know the lawyers gave us. Um, and we had both like the 2 founders that were left put in a little bit of money to like extend the runway but it was just like not enough to get excited about it again and I think I was I was honestly like just very down on the idea that I couldn’t use the name webflow. Um, and it’s sort of like. And that was around the same time that I had my first kid. Um and it sort of turned into like okay this is too risky. Um, there’s too much risk here to like go all in so let’s just kind of like keep working on and on the side and I started kind of thinking about webflow more as like an agency where I would find some clients. Maybe do a website for them and in that process like gradually improve like this product that I was building that was essentially just for myself at that point to like ease the process to to make websites and like um, edit them after the fact for clients and that’s kind of what what kept happening for a few years it kept you know, kept my job at intoit. Um, the I started getting a little bit more income on the side building websites and then out of nowhere. Um in 2011 late Twenty Eleven um I got in the mail a trademark certificate from the Us. .

Vlad Magdalin: Patent or the us trademark office that basically said hey congratulations you have webflow of the trademark. So apparently that like wheneverever we got denied in 2007 we were kept on some list that when the trademark expired because the company just either didn’t renew it or um, like didn’t care about it anymore. It was essentially like a sign to me I don’t know if you want to call it like divine providence or coincidence or whatever it was like okay something is like meant to be here that we have the name again and so then I started making plans with my wife around like okay, let’s start saving so that like at some point I can like. Ah, quit my job and work on this full time and it started that conversation. Um, and then 1 time in early twenty twelve I randomly saw this? um but conference talk on on Facebook that came across my feed Facebook was still a ah thing at the time. And it was like this this talk about you know why? you do the work that you do it was a conference talk called inventing a principal by Brett Victor and I watched that thing and literally the next day and it was all around like this idea of visual development how you can like abstract away really complex programming concepts and bring it into a. Visual ui to democratize access to it and it was exactly what I needed to see it was like all right? The combination of this trademark sign. Plus this video this conference talk is like the universe is telling me that I have to start this again. Um, so you know we had two kids at the time very little in savings. But we’re just like screw it.

Vlad Magdalin: Let’s move to mountain view where you know we’re going to try to apply to yc? Um I called up my brother who was the best designer I knew but he was still in in school and asked him to like hey can you help wasn’t even thinking of him as a cofounder. But over time we started working closer and closer together. It was like hey why not just join forces and and start this full time and eventually in 2013 actually 2012 had enough courage to take the leap and say all right. This is like the time to do it. We have a little bit of savings. Um. The universe is telling me I have to do this and I now have you know a partner in my brother who a co-founder to like really get this off the ground. Um and you know the rest is history I mean we had quite a bit of challenges after we started this last fourth time in like actually getting. Funds and being able to survive but you know it was every single time was a different reason either. You know, worried about competitors or running out of money or dealing with this trademark issues. But through it all I think I Even though I gave up sometimes like. Like my mind would naturally come back to what could have been right? So I think it definitely was always there around like hey this is an idea I really have to get off the ground at at some point in my life and like all the factors came together to make it real in 2012.

Alejandro Cremades: So for the people that are listening to get it. What ended up being the business model of webflow. How do you guys make money.

Vlad Magdalin: Very simple. It’s a saas-based service. So initially, we were very much exactly like Adobe where you know you pay monthly to get access to the service. Um, but then we developed hosting plans. So essentially once you build a site. It’s not just the building phase you can actually run and manage it directly on webflow. So right now. The business model is very simple, a business needs a um, ah site and usually it is built like at the scale that we operate. It’s like professional websites. They’re not just like it’s not like a Squarespace. Um. You know, pick a template and change some you know images and text it is literally build the kind of site that developers build so like a etc like really really complex professional sites so either a business directly and their branding their marketing team or brand designer will start to use webflow.

Vlad Magdalin: Um, and essentially pay us monthly or yearly for both like the the software to develop and um the the infrastructure to actually run their websites in production scale. It make sure it doesn’t go down etc or and we also have like a. Very big partner channel where service providers these are like the freelancers agencies people who offer professional web services web design services, Seo optimization. Um, ah can help help marketing teams run ads, etc. They use webflow directly to build sites for clients for larger companies. Um, and and that’s essentially the business model and over time especially over the last four years. We’ve moved more and more into serving not just smaller startups. But also very large enterprises where it’s like thousands of people very large deployments very large sites that are mission-critical that that run you know the majority of their web presence if not all of it. So it’s a pretty standard saas model where you know companies pay us a recurring fee. For hosting their website. Um, we’ve raised approximately 250000000 if I’m remembering correctly, that’s.

Alejandro Cremades: You know how much capital have you guys raised too late.

Alejandro Cremades: Now it has it has been a little bit different. You know the and the journey of raising the money, especially when we’re thinking about the series a that you guys did which was 70000000. There was quite a bit of time you know from the time that you guys raised initially you know. Around I mean especially you know you guys became profitable around 2015 all the way to to really doing that series a in 2019 so why did you guys go about that route and especially you know raising a series a when you were 15000000 in revenue that’s typically unheard of.

Vlad Magdalin: And.

Vlad Magdalin: Well, yeah, it’s ah it was kind of a unique series of events initially when we raised our seed round in 2013. It was about a million dollars um like we we thought we were going to be on a typical path of a startup right? like you raise a seed round a year later or two years later you raise a series a etc um what happened was that so we raised our seed round and started building started hiring folks started like expanding our platform.

Vlad Magdalin: But we you know we’re just not growing the business fast enough to justify series A so like the investors that we talked To. We just didn’t have the metrics at the time to raise series a and we were getting close to running out of cash or at least the trend was heading in a direction where if we just kept. Ah, going the way we’re going. We’re just going to run out of cash So in like 2014 ish we decided. Okay, we have to like the only path really to survival is to become default alive which means that we can run on revenue so we made it like ah a really clear goal for ourselves like let’s get to breakeven Cash Flow break Even where we’re spending. At least at most what we’re making and ideally less than what we bring in from customers. So like you mentioned in 2015 we we actually reached that milestone of being cash flow breakeven and then even cash flow positive and that allowed us to just keep Growing. You know, very consistently over many many years and and we just saw that there’s really no, ah didn’t feel like there was a reason to to raise funding nor were were we being approached by investors because again earlier on the business was not growing fast enough but then um. Around 172018 like webflow started to become more and more known among like startups service providers more more businesses and then that started raising the eyebrows of a lot more investors were like hey something here, you know why we have we not heard of this business right? like every other.

Vlad Magdalin: Yc startup that went through like Yc in Summer Thirteen is like raising either like failing or raising like very significant rounds earlier just to grow faster. Um, and so we’re kind of like off the radar for a while but by the time we we came on investor’s radar. It’s when investors like really started to value profitable businesses that were still growing really nicely. The great product market fit so that started a lot of conversations with quite a few investors but I was still like very very skeptical around bringing in investors because you know there’s a lot of stories around. Kind of folks who were operating in a growth at all costs kind of mentality or turning the business into something that the founders didn’t want or envision is not the reason that they started the company so I was like pretty skeptical around it. Um. But when we were able to meet the right partners and like you had mentioned 1 thing that gave me confidence about like really going the venture path is establishing the social contract with individual investing partners around like the true north star being wetflow’s mission and vision. Not some quick financial return for them. Um, so I had to make sure that the people that we partner with are the people who could like in a different world. Be the cofounders of the business right? They so they care so much about having ah bringing what we want to bring to the world that they are effectively like a team member.

Vlad Magdalin: Um, and are making decisions in a way that is optimizing for the long-term success of our mission. Um, and and that came with the opportunity to you know, even though we were profitable. We were just like barely profitable so that every month we were you know, maybe able to afford 1 more engineer. Ah, to like keep building the product faster but the amount of demand we’re getting from customers at the time was like hey we need to move faster right? Like we need a lot more. We’re now basing our entire livelihood and our business on your platform like can you move faster in creating the things that that we really need. And that was the the logic behind like okay if we can find the right partners who really believe in the mission and vision of the company and can like agree with the way that we always run the business and a default alive state where we’re never dependent on raising additional money to to survive. Um, if they are ah really aligned on all the things that we care about our values. Our you know community the the product that we’re building why not go faster. Why not get more capital. We call the courage capital. Why not get capital that helps us forward invest into the products that we want to build. That we don’t have the you know the cash for yet or would have to wait too long and it was usually um, a it was mostly a decision from the point of view of like bringing our product and expanding our mission faster and bringing the the solution into more hands as quickly as possible.

Vlad Magdalin: Because we saw how much it like changes. People’s lives and helps you know service providers make a living and grow their own business helps companies that completely transform how they run marketing so that it’s not dependent on engineering so they can move like 10 times faster etc and that was absolutely the right call. What was it like now four years ago when we decided to do our series a because that gave us both the capital and the confidence to dramatically increase our like the capabilities of our platform and like hire ahead of um, ah of the business growing etc. And. We’ve just seen fundraising as that that kind of lever from then like how do we bring more partners on board who really believe in what we’re doing and have the experience that we don’t have yet to help us like see around corners as the company scales and becomes larger but primarily they. See their capital as a way to amplify our mission rather than just like another vehicle to you know grow grow their investment and so far we’ve had you know we’ve we’ve had 2 rounds since our series a our series b in our series c and like the partners that we’ve brought on board have only. Amplified our ability again like I see them as like an extension to the to the co-founding team just helps us in every single every single week like tackle challenges that you know they are.

Vlad Magdalin: More familiar with because of their experience that helps our team kind of navigates these as we grow like all the opportunities that we’re able to chase and help us scale like the company and and how we operate in a way that that can build a. Fundamentally long-lasting generational company that continues to change the lives of many people like that that feels like a huge responsibility and opportunity. Um, and you know our venture partners are just like another. Awesome tool to help us bring that impact to the world Sooner. So.

Alejandro Cremades: So obviously here you know we’re talking all the vision. You know the way that these folks had to sign the social contract to be able to come on board as investors and the future that you guys are living into know I want to talk about the past but doing so now with a lens of reflection if I was to put you into a time machine.

Vlad Magdalin: And.

Alejandro Cremades: And I bring you back to that moment where you were thinking about you know building something of your own maybe to 2006 and you had the opportunity of having a chat with that younger self before trying that first attempt at the webflow and let’s say you were able to give that younger self that younger bla. 1 piece of advice for launching the business. What would that be and why given all you know now.

Vlad Magdalin: Who what? a great question. Um, one thing I would say to my younger self is like man don’t spend the cycles worrying worrying about. Um. Fill in the blank. All the things I worried about like I look back to all the way to 2006 like the things that I really ah was constantly in my head around like I shouldn’t start this because there’s too many competitors already or I don’t feel like I can charge money for this product. Um, the way that it currently is like I just don’t have the confidence that people would pay for it. Um, all of these outs or I’m you know I’m not able to I just had this candidate say no because they don’t want to join and all of a sudden I’m assuming that. Ah, nobody else will want to join the company in the mission right? like I was constantly in my head around like the negative um sort of I don’t know if you want to call them like saboteurs or like these negative voices. They’re just like it’s not going to work etc. I wish I had um I wish I could tell my younger self like t. Don’t spend more than 5 minutes worrying about these things because ultimately the things that I spent hours if not days if not weeks worrying about like didn’t manifest or were not as bad as I thought they would be um, but I lost so much sleep and so much you know peace.

Vlad Magdalin: Ah, just worrying it like constantly in like the state of anxiety around like everything’s going to break or nothing’s going to work etc. So I wish I could just like shake my younger self and be like don’t worry as much as you worry because it it really sabotages your ability to um. To bring the best ideas forward and actually like as I say this right now. It’s like things I need to hear myself today. even even as I’m reflecting because there’s probably a lot of things that um, you know I’m worried about today that probably don’t deserve the the time or attention. Um, so. Focus on the positive and um, yeah I think I think that’s what I would say like if that’s the biggest weight that that I can remember kind of dragging all throughout and it really was um ah only harmful to myself to be able to like. Ah. To be constantly in my head worried about these things. Of course there are things that are practical that require worrying like if you’re running out of cash as a company. That’s ah, a practical consideration that you should worry about but also have like a plan around. But I think I spent way too much time. Um, thinking about things that ultimately didn’t matter. Um and only created like a weight and a drag on my emotional and physical state to be honest, um, and kept me from like bringing my best to what we were doing every day. Um.

Vlad Magdalin: The other thing I would say is that I wish I internalize sooner is have more confidence in in asking people to pay for valuable things that you create so from from the beginning in the first 3 attempts actually like my default was to make the product free completely free until some like. Way further event where it becomes like really valuable but in almost all cases like that you actually give away too much. Um, and you you sabotage your ability to build a sustaining business that lets you keep improving the product or service or whatever you’re bringing to market. So we were lucky enough that in in Yc in this first. Fourth attempt somebody like really shook us and said hey everything you’re saying right now about like you want to launch the product but make it free because you’re not comfortable charging for it. Um. You have to charge for it like we’re going to kick you out if you don’t charge for it. Basically they made it like that Stark and I’m glad that they did um because that even though a very small number of customers on our waitlist converted to actual customers. Ah, it was the exact right customers because those are the ones who were willing to pay for like the value that we offered and that started to bring in revenue that gave us more confidence that you know we can build a sustainable business so I would just say like be less shy about pricing your product or service.

Vlad Magdalin: Well to match what what value it brings to the world. And yeah, you’re going to have people saying it’s too expensive or this is not. You know I wouldn’t pay for this etc but don’t let those kind of few voices make help you make all the decisions around creating like fairly pricing. Ah, the this the the value that you bring to the market or whatever your product or service brings to the market.

Alejandro Cremades: Got it so blood for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.

Vlad Magdalin: Um, I’m very rarely on Twitter but I’m caught at Cally Vlad on Twitter um, you can also reach me via email. It’s just Vlad at I can’t promise that I’ll respond in all cases but happy to happy to try. Um, but 1 thing that I really care about is you know when we were starting many different times like there were multiple folks who essentially there were a lot of naysayers saying like this would never work etc but like the very few folks who were like hey even if the idea. Sounds too too hard to implement or the business might not work. They were always encouraging and saying like hey you at least have to try like it sounds like your gut is taking you in this direction keep going even when you have a lot of people saying it’s not going to work and my my goal right now like. Where we are as a company is to help try to help as many other founders early on in their journey like keep persevering so as much as my story can help others. You know, get an extra wind of motivation or. Or inspiration like um, especially in the dark moments. Um I really wish like more founders were able to convince themselves to keep going because more often than not the ideas you have in your head. Um, even if many people don’t believe that they’re possible.

Vlad Magdalin: It’s like the thing that brings most innovation to the world is just like a few people being like really tenacious and stubborn sometimes in being determined to say like hey this is a problem that needs to be solved and and I see a vision for for solving it so keep going.

Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Well thank you so much ala is haspina real honor to have you on the show. So thank you so much for being part of the show today.

Vlad Magdalin: Um.

Vlad Magdalin: So of course it’s been an honor I’m happy to be here.


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