Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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Will Graylin is a true serial entrepreneur who has done it again and again. Today, he is juggling two big startups that have already raised a combined $150M. Indigo and OV Loop, his two ventures have raised funding from top-tier investors.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Will’s top advice before launching a new business
  • Dealing with boards and investors
  • The new technology and applications his latest startups are working on
  • Why you should just go for it, and stop overthinking your startup idea


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.

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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 Will Graylin:

Will has built several successful companies in the mobile computing space. With his background in electrical engineering, computer science, and psycho-acoustics (how humans perceive sound), he founded OnVocal to tackle the fundamental problems with how we hear and are heard when interacting with our smartphones and other devices.

Founder CEO ofLoopPay sold to Samsung, now Global Co-GM Samsung Pay; Board of Directors Synchrony (SYF NYSE); MIT Connection Science Fellow; Founder/CEO of: ROAM Data (sold to Ingenico); WAY System (sold to Verifone); EntitleNet (sold to BEA/Oracle); MIT Dual Masters; and Nuclear Submarine Officer.

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Connect with Will Graylin:

Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Alejandro: Hello everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. What a guest that we have today. We have a guest that has started six different companies, four exits. The startup war stories that we are going to hear today are going to be mind-blowing to many of you. I’m really excited to have him today. So without further ado, let’s welcome our guest, Will Graylin. Welcome to the show.

Will Graylin: Thank you, Alejandro. It’s great to be here.

Alejandro: Originally born in China. You grew up there rather quickly. You guys ended up moving here to the U.S., so tell us about your upbringing, and especially that transition.

Will Graylin: I grew up in the southern part of China called Gwadar. My father was a professor at the institute of fine arts, and my mother was a professional ballerina. They were, like many folks at that time, going through the cultural revolution in what they called [02:15], reform schools. We came here to the United States in 1980, right after the Cultural Revolution as immigrants with very little money to our names, but it was definitely at that time the land of opportunities. I went through middle school and high school here in Seattle, Washington, and then went to the University of Washington for two Bachelor’s Degrees. I was recruited by the U.S. Navy as a nuclear submarine officer. I joined the Navy and served on a ballistic sub for about five and a half years total, which includes training and so forth. Then I moved to the East Coast to Boston for graduate school at MIT, where I got a couple of Master’s Degrees. Then, I found my passion for entrepreneurship while I was finishing my thesis.

Alejandro: Here, also, I want to ask you because it’s something that I find remarkable with your being part of the Navy. I think that, to a certain degree, gives you discipline. You were there for six years, so I’m sure you’ve applied many of those lessons to the way that you go to war with your own companies. What have you learned there that you’re definitely applying as an entrepreneur that it came in handy?

Will Graylin: I think the experience in the Navy was certainly one that helped me learn to serve as I was serving to learn. The kind of discipline in teaching, especially in the nuclear program, where you have to learn a lot of different technical disciplines and understand how the nuclear submarine works, all the way from the reactor plant to different subsystems, electrical systems, weapon systems, navigation systems. You have to understand very systemically how something works. That was a terrific training for me. I really appreciated the people that I served with and a lot of people that were also like-minded. They had to go through a lot of filtering to get to a submarine, as you probably know. I thought that for a young person like myself, it was terrific training. In fact, in about two weeks, I’m going to be going to the Naval Academy to swear my third son in, and he’s joining the Navy as well.

Alejandro: Wow.

Will Graylin: He’s going to the Naval Academy. In fact, I have two sons in the Naval Academy right now. One is about to be a third year, and one is going to be a first year. I definitely feel that it was worthwhile training. Although, I have to say that both of my kids went in that direction on their own without a bunch of pushing from me.

Alejandro: Amazing. Congratulations. I’m sure you’re really proud. In this case, after the Navy, as you were saying, you went to MIT. And there, you studied for two Master’s at the same time. Is that right?

Will Graylin: Yes. I went through a program. At that time, it was called Leaders for Manufacturing. Now it’s called Leaders for Global Operations, LGO. I was fortunate to be able to study electrical engineering and computer science at the same time as getting my Master’s in Business.

Alejandro: During this time is when the idea of your first baby came to mind. Tell us about how you came up with this idea, which ultimately became your first company, and what was the sequence of events towards bringing it to life?

Must Read: Stefan Lederer On Raising $68 Million To Power The Future Of Streaming Video

Will Graylin: I got caught up in the entrepreneurial space actually by participating in a company that wasn’t founded by me, but I helped launch while I was still in grad school. So, essentially, my first experience as a startup was rescuing another startup that was about to fail. They had great technology but didn’t have a product/market fit at the time. I decided to join in. I had no experience. I just dove in and ended up having to borrow some money from my parents and my mother-in-law and father-in-law. We scrounged up enough to keep the computer server going and built the first prototypes. Mind you, I was still finishing up my schooling while I was acting as the president of this new company with three people. I was the third. We ended up raising a couple of million dollars for that company and found a really nice product/market fit in the mobile enterprise application space. Interestingly enough, as I was recruiting and building the team, we had about 20-some-odd people at the time. I was about to raise the next round of capital, and the founder had some other ideas. I said, “Maybe we should find a CEO to come in and help us run this because now we’re talking about raising $10 million. I think he wanted to stay as CEO. He had this vision of wanting to run things himself. The long and the short of it, I came in one day, and he decided that I was no longer a fit for the company, so I got fired from this company that I had joined as a startup. I had brought in a bunch of friends. That was a shock, but everything actually happens for a reason. I learned my lesson in that experience where I, coming in as a third person, became a 5% shareholder, and the founder was the majority shareholder. He ultimately gets to decide on what has to go. That was right around the dot-com era. In a sense, he controlled the shares. He controlled the votes. That was a great lesson to learn from there, and he could do whatever he wanted with the company. Unfortunately, the company didn’t survive the dot-com bubble, and then those who I raised money from, unfortunately, lost their money. But three months after that, I decided to start my own company. I was still finishing up school, but this was truly my own company at this time. I was able to control the direction, and I bought the company with part cash and part equity, and part royalty with the technology that I had found. Again, a great technology, but didn’t find the product/market fit. What I did was then rebuild the team and put that product out to market. We ended up finding a product/market fit about 13-14 months later. That company ended up being acquired shortly after September 11th in 2001. We were fortunate to have a positive return on our investments. I’ve never seen so many zeros in my bank account before, so that was great.

Alejandro: How old were you?

Will Graylin: At that time, I was 32.

Alejandro: And this is when you technically became a millionaire.

Will Graylin: That’s right.

Alejandro: So, good stuff. Will, in your case, this gave you access to the full cycle of building, raising, scaling, and exiting, which is very powerful because it also gives you the confidence of the journey that you have in front of you and that it’s possible. After this, you actually went after it again. So what was this next company?

Will Graylin: The next company, I very naively wandered into the payment space. This is the end of 2001. Remember, we still had those black and white phones, Motorola’s, and Nokia’s? Again, a great technology I found that was able to bypass the mobile operator SIM card and create a virtual SIM to take over the SIM tool kit command set. In other words, we could put an application without having to go through the mobile operator, which used to have the walled garden at the time. I thought, how cool would it be—SIM card is just a 7816 smartcard, and smartcards were proliferating in Europe. I thought how cool would it be if we could put a little reader to replace the back of that little shell on our phone and be able to use it to make card-present transactions in a remote environment for safer and cheaper transactions. That was a nice experiment for us to try, but what I realized was that within literally four to five months after we started getting out there, I realized I was in what’s called the two-sided platform. In other words, I had a chicken and the egg dilemma. Merchants don’t care about your solution. That’s a payment solution unless there are lots of consumers that are using the solution already. So building a mobile wallet back at that time was super, super hard. Consumers don’t care unless you have lots of merchants that are accepting that form of payment. I very quickly decided that if we weren’t going to pivot and change courses, we were going to die. So we pivoted from a two-sided platform to a one-sided platform, and we decided to turn it into the world’s first pocket-size point of sale. We said, if we can control this mobile phone, it has the battery of communications, display, and everything. Why not put the smartcard reader and the magstripe reader and a little infrared to a printer attached to it, and then offer this as a solution for those who are mobile that need to accept credit cards? We packaged it together. We brought it out to market. We raised a whole bunch of capital to scale it, and we were growing. We were selling because we were a fraction of the cost of those dedicated point-of-sale terminals that were much bigger and much more expensive. We packaged it, and as we raised capital, this was the first time that we raised venture capital on the outside. As we raised venture capital on the outside, in this particular company, we thought that we would accelerate and grow, but still the Mobile POS industry was very new. As the company grew, one of the VCs had asked a question of “What happens if you get hit by a bus, Will? Do you need a second in command to come in?” So we started a search for a COO to come help me. The long and the short of it is that through a stage of mistakes, the COO search turned out badly, but the next thing we know is—I was trying to be unselfish at the time, and I said, “Look. We found this one guy, maybe we should have that person be CEO, and I don’t care what I’m called.” Unfortunately, we brought the wrong CEO in. Collectively, we, as a board, looked at the name brand and what was promised. But the reality was vetting the top leadership of the organization is so, so important.

Alejandro: Yeah.

Will Graylin: We began to lose our culture. When I brought this up to the board, it was very hard for one of our lead investors to admit that we made a mistake. I knew we made a mistake.

Alejandro: Why was it so difficult? Was it because of ego or why?

Will Graylin: It’s very difficult to turn back to your partners and say, “We just put some money in. We’ve made a mistake. We’ve now got to change course.

Alejandro: Obviously, what it creates at the end of the day is the harmony to be completely disrupted at the board level. Was that the case?

Will Graylin: We had a very split investment group because we knew that at the top leadership, there was trouble, and we had to fix it.

Alejandro: Yeah.

Will Graylin: At that time, there was a camp that the vast majority of the investors were on my side, and then there were some minority investors, so there was a power struggle. Unfortunately, these things do happen. The lead VC actually had enough shares to vote to keep that CEO in and remove me from the position, and then that company struggled for another two years and eventually was sold to Verifone. But that also allowed me an opportunity to start my next company, which I also learned how important it was to have board harmony, to have investor harmony, and to be able to admit mistakes when we make them and be candid. The third company that I started was when smartphones came along, so you no longer need to have a dedicated separate device for a POS. Now, through another friend’s invention, we were able to plug in a little reader. Do you remember Square Readers?

Alejandro: Yeah.

Will Graylin: We were out there slightly before Square. As it turns out, we became the largest supplier to everybody, which were a lot of people that were competing against Square, whether it was PayPal, the little blue triangle readers, or the half-moon readers, or the readers for Intuit. We supplied to them and a whole bunch of other companies. That company was eventually acquired by Ingenico, one of the largest point-of-sale manufacturers in the world, in 2012. Then through that experience, I was then able to go full circle ten years after I first started my first mobile wallet company. We’re now all carrying smartphones. We still didn’t have a mobile wallet in 2012. My business partner, George Wallner, and I sat down, and he said, “Why can’t we find a way to have the phone interact with the point of sale? It’s because we’re waiting for all of these points of sales to change over from the old magstripe leaders to new NFC readers. We know how long it takes for that transition to take place. George invented a great technology called magnetic secure transmission, and we’re then looking at how do we interface? One morning in December of 2012, I remember getting a phone call from George where he had just completed his first transaction using this new technology. He said, “I made the first transaction work.” I was absolutely elated because I knew that there was a key piece of technology that’s necessary to create product/market fit. I dropped everything; I started writing patents and writing a business plan. The next thing you know, we knew that no one was going to believe us, so we had to build not only the technology, but we had to build out the entire mobile wallet, the application, the server-side, the hardware, and everything. We launched that solution and became the #1 rated wallet in 2014. Compare the Apple Pay and Google Pay. At that time, there was a separate wallet called Softcard. The long and the short of it, by Consumer Reports, because we were the most accepted mobile wallet in America through that technology, Samsung decided that they wanted to get in the race, and they offered to acquire our company. They wanted George, the team, and me to help them launch Samsung Pay.

Alejandro: That was quite a hit. That was your biggest success to date. It was reported that it was at least $250 million, so unbelievable. I’m sure that from dealing, as well, with a bigger organization and with a partner of that caliber, I’m sure that you were able to get your lessons as to how to really make sure that it’s going to work out and that it’s going to be a good partnership. What did you learn from that, especially with doing such an acquisition with such a big player like Samsung?

Will Graylin: Oh, it’s a great experience with Samsung. Samsung is an incredible organization with hundreds of thousands of employees throughout the world and in multiple sectors, the largest consumer electronics maker in the world. So we learned a lot being in the organization and learning how to incorporate our technology and how to work with their engineering team to incorporate it into every Galaxy smartphone starting from Galaxy S6 forward. And how do you work at a very rapid pace with quality to get these products out? Samsung is an amazing company that can build products like that. We worked with them on the software side and the marketing team, and it’s a collective effort to create what we call differentiations. They basically see it as differentiations to be able to sell more of their phones in their platform. Of course, in large companies, there is a certain DNA in the great mode of how they get product out. Then, when you’re talking about building a super wallet or a digital wallet, one of the things that I see is that working with big companies to change modes is very difficult to build a service company. Especially a service company that requires you to have a digital wallet and a super wallet that is going across different devices. It doesn’t matter what phone. It doesn’t matter what PC. You should be able to create a universal service for consumers to use everywhere. That was the ambition that I still have, and that was why I ended up starting OV Loop after my three-year commitment with Samsung finished.

Alejandro: Was the three-year vesting, or did you leave early, or did you stay a little bit longer?

Will Graylin: No. It was my three-year commitment; just like I made a commitment to the Navy for five and a half years, I made a commitment to Samsung, and I keep my commitments.

Alejandro: Amazing. OV Loop. Tell us about OV Loop.

Will Graylin: It’s about moving the next wave of commerce toward what we call connected commerce. In the last ‘90s, you had e-commerce when the internet first came on. It replaced physical wallets, electronic wallets like PayPal and Amazon so you can shop easier online. Then in the mid to late 2000s, you’d have the mobile commerce wave: mobile phones, mobile wallets. But today, what you’re moving towards—because now you have many fragmented channels that were conducting commerce. Yes, there’s physical, there’s mail-order telephone orders still, web, app, emails, text message, chats, so there are all these social and all of these are different channels for you to conduct commerce. But they’re fragmented, and there’s no universal wallet that works across all of these different channels. Merchants are still sending us spam. Well, some of them are not spam. Some of them are bills that they want us to pay or an offer that you actually want to take advantage of. But inevitably, I’m being driven either onto the website for self-service, logging in to pay my bills, or to call customer service if I have any questions.

Alejandro: Yeah.

Will Graylin: So we need something that connects all of these different channels that still work across devices, across different channels, across different tender types whether I’m using my credit card, my debit card, or my bank account; it doesn’t matter. And that doesn’t exist. I saw the opportunity, and I ended up acquiring multiple companies after I left Samsung. I acquired SimplyTapp into the OV Loop. SimplyTapp invented the Tap and Pay postcard emulations solution, which is the ability for your mobile phone to receive a token in the Cloud and be able to pay on an NFC terminal. That’s our patent. And even very big players are now licensing our patent to use for Tap and Pay.

Alejandro: Nice.

Will Graylin: Then, we invented some technologies ourselves for what’s called multi-mode messaging so that you can go across any channel and use the messaging not just with your phones, but with the power of your voice that sends texts and voice simultaneously to have a much better experience. But with all of it, what we’re doing is inventing two fundamental things. 1) We invented a super messenger for businesses to be able to send you interactive bills and offers across any of their existing channels, whether they’re an agent, you’re on a chat, you’re email blast text message, social, IVR, it doesn’t matter. Once you get this interactive offer and bill, if you have any questions, you just tap an interactive chat, multi-mode chat. You can get your questions answered whether it’s about a product or a bill, a $20 late fee you’re complaining about, so you can resolve it, so you can convert it. Then you hit pay, and when you hit pay, we allow you to pay much faster and easier. Of course, the very first time, you still have to fill out some information, but the very next time you come, you now are logged into your own super wallet. With your own super wallet, you can use your biometric, facial, fingerprint, etc., and be able to pay much faster and safer. That level of interactive messages creates much better conversion and a much better customer experience for the businesses for their existing customer base. There’s no need to worry. It’s a one-sided platform, by the way. You don’t worry about how many people have a super wallet because eventually, they’ll have a super wallet. It’s much better to send it to them across all of these channels, anyway, to have a much smoother experience. That is one. It’s the super messenger for brands to be able to have interactive bills and offers. 2) The second thing that we built is also a one-sided platform, but it ties in with the super messenger, and that’s the super wallet itself. What we ended up doing was to create the world’s first private crypto wallet that can let you use any device, store your tokens and credentials, your bank accounts, your ID membership, all of that into a private vault that’s controlled by you with your own keys that no one else has, with your own crypto keys derived through your password. Through this super secure private crypto vault that you control, not we control. Our admin cannot access it. All the other wallets today have a pool of data that they store and they encrypt, and if anybody gets keys to access that kingdom, they have access to the whole kingdom. I certainly wouldn’t trust a database like that for me to put on my passwords to all of my accounts and all of my credentials.

Alejandro: Yeah.

Will Graylin: So we started to create a super wallet that a) works everywhere. In other words, you can tap and pay not only at places with NFC, but we also created a little super card called the Valet. Remember the technology that we talked about with MST?

Alejandro: Yeah.

Will Graylin: We’re incorporating NFC and MST also. We’ll allow people to store credentials securely on a private device that they can tap and pay everywhere. By the way, this little device can also help you find your keys and find your phone like an AirTag. And we’re going to let you do all kinds of stuff with this super card. We have a super card with a super wallet, and then in the super wallet, our goal is to really empower people to take control of their own data and be able to monetize their own data.

Alejandro: That sounds like a lot of things, Will. I’m sure for this you’ve had to raise a little bit of money. So how much capital have you guys raised to date?

Will Graylin: We’ve raised roughly $40 million already, with $20-some-odd million of my own capital. We have strategic investors like Verizon Wireless. We have folks that are excited about what we’re doing to bring connected commerce and super wallet into play.

Alejandro: Very cool. And this is not the only thing that you’re doing. You also have another company that you are leading called Indigo. With Indigo, you ended up taking the reins out of—it just happened. It was not the company that you founded. It was the company that you invested in, so tell us about how you came across the company and how did the investor role transition into an operating role. And, more importantly, now you’re running two hypergrowth companies that are quite demanding, so how do you label and balance yourself? But before we get to that balancing, tell us about Indigo and how that came about.

Will Graylin: I’ve been passionate about electric vehicles for many, many years. As a nuclear submarine officer, I very much appreciate power and how that’s delivered into vehicles. For electric vehicles, I was one of the first ones to buy a Chevy Volt when it first came out and one of the first ones in the Northeast to buy a Tesla sight-unseen, a Model S. I’m on my fourth Tesla right now. I’ve been passionate about it, and I’ve invested in different electric vehicle companies also. About four years ago, I invested in a startup company that came out of MIT, where Professor Ian Hunter started it that invented a powerful new technology called the Robotic Wheels. It’s the first electric wheel that has the motor built into the wheel as well as active suspension to be able to control the up and down motion as well as the rotational motion of the wheel. That means when you put four wheels on or three wheels on, every wheel has traction control, active suspension control that lets you roll control, yaw control, and gives you an ultimate level of control that previously was unimagined. So this breakthrough, we were very excited about. We knew that this is transformative. When I invested, it was still in the R&D phase, and I sat on the board as an investor. What ended up happening was that we had an original strategy to be the Intel inside of these EVs that were coming about. What we didn’t realize was that as we’re talking to a lot of the big companies, OEMs, to sell them our robotic wheel technology was that many of them haven’t quite come to terms to heavily invest in the electric vehicle space yet. This was pre-chasing Tesla. But the last two years, things have changed a lot. But unfortunately, when we’re selling a technology like this, what we were saying was, “If we give you active suspension inside of your vehicles, you can make the vehicles much lighter and still have this magic carpet ride be really smooth because the problem that we have right now in the electric vehicle space is replicating what’s happening in the traditional vehicle space where the average vehicle is 4,000 pounds—very, very heavy. I don’t know how much you weigh, but I weigh less than 200 lbs., and when I’m driving to and forth, 95% of that energy is used just to carry the carcass. So that kind of waste of energy is okay when you’re talking about oil, which is already a balanced supply, but if you’re going to move that to the grid, our grid is already strained as you know and as you saw in Texas and brownouts in California. You want to move all of those vehicles onto the grid and still waste energy on a 4,000 lb. vehicle? That is a total waste. But unfortunately, if you were to go down to have a 1,500 lb. vehicle like the Volkswagen Beetle in the ‘70s, you’re going to feel like you’re in the Volkswagen Beetle or a golf cart. In order to solve that problem, we ended up deciding that the active suspension robotic wheels can create much lighter weight vehicles that are much more efficient, three times more efficient. That means 3x smaller battery, 3x faster the charge in the standard level 2 chargers that are out there. But unfortunately, the OEMs were not going to go to this kind of a vehicle. Initially, they’re not as heavily focused on EVs, but now they’re focused on EVs, now they’re all chasing Tesla. It’s like us saying, “You got big; we got small.” It’s like us going to IBM and saying, “Here’s an Intel 8088 chip or 8086 chip. Can you incorporate this and build a PC?” They don’t see the demand yet, so they don’t see that the accountant can use a spreadsheet called Microsoft Excel that can use a PC, and therefore, I should actually build more PCs. So we’re stuck. In fact, about a year and a half ago, we came to a major crossroads where the company was either going to give up or it would have to take drastic steps. That was when I decided to come in. I felt that the company needed to pivot, and I felt that the company needed a level of entrepreneurship to take, again, a product, a great technology, and find a product/market fit. I re-invested more of my capital and took control of the company, and redirected the company towards becoming an OEM company to build our own super-efficient EVs. We’re aiming for the gig economy [35:37] delivery market, where, as you can see, even with COVID, the exponential growth of delivery.

Alejandro: Oh, yeah.

Will Graylin: Where retail is going much more and how quickly can I get the package over to you, and there’s a massive need. When you look at the people that are delivering for us right now, they’re the gig economy drivers who can least afford a new car. They’re the ones who are using, on average, 25 miles per gallon with their used car, and they’re paying 50 cents per mile when you add up the depreciation of their car, the insurance, the maintenance, the fuel, and tax and license. We’re talking 50 cents per mile or more. When they add it all up, no wonder many of them can’t make ends meet, and 65% of them are quitting their gig economy jobs within the first six months because they can’t make the math work out, the unit economics work out. So, Alejandro, we decided that was our target market. That was going to be how we’re going to build super-efficient, super-comfortable, lightweight, affordable vehicles. We hired a top-notch mobile designer that came in to help us design. We started working with manufacturing partners that are willing to manufacture our motors for us. We’re now talking with top-tier manufacturers that want to produce the vehicles for us. Now, we’re about to work on this path to raise even more capital to accelerate our path to getting the vehicles ready. But guess what? Even when we produce $20,000 ultra-efficient electric vehicles, we realize our true competition are the used cars that they’re driving. These are the Toyota Camrys, Prius, Focus, and the Fitz. How are we going to compete against that? We have to compete against the cost per mile. The cost per mile, that 50 cents that I talked about. The best way to compete against that cost per mile is that you have to understand how to do risk management. You have to reward those who are good drivers, who are hard workers. They have the time, but they don’t have the financial means to afford a good vehicle for them to do their jobs. We decided, and we’re stuck now, working towards and working in conjunction with multiple companies, including some of the largest transportation network companies and delivery network companies, to create fleets of mobility as a service, partnering with OV Loop because what is OV Loop doing with the super wallet? It is to empower consumers to give them the financial inclusion capabilities for them to not only understand what their cost of driving is, to help educate them, but also provide them with the ability to get their own data, whether it’s their credit scores, their driving scores, and their credibility to build up their own credibility so that they can offer their own credibility to get lower-cost insurance, get lower-cost finance, and to be able to get into one of our vehicles and drive for less than their own used cars. So that’s the ambition going forward.

Alejandro: It’s a big ambition. How much capital have you guys raised to date here, Will?

Will Graylin: Indigo has raised over $110 million so far. We’re looking to raise even more capital to help us grow.

Alejandro: Yeah, such an ambition definitely requires a lot of money. Will, one question that I want to ask you that I typically ask the guests that come on the show is, imagine I put you in a time machine, and I bring you back in time, perhaps to that time that you were coming out of MIT and starting your first business, EntitleNet. Imagine you are able to have a chat with your younger self and give that younger Will one piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be and why based on what you know now, now that you’re on your sixth company?

Will Graylin: That’s a really good question, and I think I would give myself probably the advice of: have faith in what you’re doing. And it’s okay not to have all the answers upfront, but you have to be willing to adjust and adapt, and just have faith that you’ll find the answer if you continue to stick with it. And don’t fear failure because you’re going to fail many more times than you succeed, which I certainly experienced, but every failure is just simply feedback. It’s just feedback to tell you, pivot this way; pivot that way. Make the necessary changes to yourself and to the company that will eventually land the product/market fit. Time will get you there, so have faith, and even if you’re running out of cash, don’t lose faith. You’ll find some way to make the ends meet. If I knew how hard it was when I first started, it might have scared me to get started in the first place. But now, having been through it—and, by the way, I stopped counting after the 19th time when I came within one or two payrolls from running out of cash. But every single time, I’ve been blessed in so many ways to either have a customer come through with an order or an investor come through with the last minute with a convertible note, or closing the round just in time, etc. So many of these little things, but just have faith and be willing to be wrong. It’s okay to be wrong. You’ve got to let the ego go. Just take that feedback and adjust.

Alejandro: I love it. Will, very profound! For the people that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?

Will Graylin: You can reach me on LinkedIn. You can find me. Just do a search.

Alejandro: Amazing. Will, thank you so much for being on the DealMakers show today.

Will Graylin: Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.

* * *
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].

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Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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