Growth and Bootstrapping with Dre Armeda [LIVEBLOG]

Dre Armeda, co-founder of Sucuri, is giving a talk on growth and bootstrapping.

How do you grow your business without looking for external funding sources? Hear it directly from Dre as he tells the Sucuri story and shares his secrets on growth.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:02 pm

Dre getting started…

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:04 pm

[still getting his computer setup….to kick it off, Chris Lema played a little Dr Dre..how appropriate ;) ]

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:07 pm

[Dre giving some background of his past, the Navy, Applied Watch, moving to Chicago, and what has happened until now…]

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:09 pm
Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:09 pm

Sucuri has over 15,000 paying customers, they scan 1M+ websites per month and they monitor 100,000+ websites

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:10 pm

We’ve had opportunities for taking VC/angel, but we didn’t take it. It’s been tough, but we’re doing well.

Profitable 400% and debt-free.

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:10 pm

It forces an environment where it forces creativity

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:11 pm

Validating an idea and taking the risk, which can take it to the next level

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:12 pm

The first Sucuri website launched in 2009

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:13 pm

The Sucuri timeline…

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:14 pm

First PayPal payment comes through, $10..and another, and another..

They quickly realized they needed to add more features.

They started to integrate with Twitter and alert users

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:15 pm

Audience: “did you have any marketing back then?”

Dre: “No, and we still don’t!

Chris Lema: “400% GROWTH!

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:16 pm

“Not everything has to be there at launch”

Validate your idea and get it out there

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:16 pm

There would have been more challenges if we had tried to build everything first

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:18 pm

A few things that were pinnacle for Sucuri, driving them in the right direction.

“Stop making excuses. Make decisions and be strong in the path with what you want to offer to the public”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:19 pm

* Make mistakes
* Kill bureau/crazy/
* Be flexible
* Know when to let go
* Do awesome stuff

BECOME WEALTHY!
( What’s your definition of wealthy? Have an end game! )

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:20 pm

Howdy Partner – partner up

* Compliment your strengths
* Visions aligned
* Set expectations early
* Trust is imperative

“You’re getting married. Honesty and transparency are an absolute requirement”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:22 pm

At the end of last year, we were up to almost 20 folks at Sucuri

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:24 pm

Spend wisely. but make sure to spend.

Budget wisely.

* Yearly/monthly costs
* Holistic view
* Document all in/out
* Lower your overhead
* Scale for need, not want
* Forecast expenses

“You can’t grow if you’re not investing int he company that said, ‘scaling too early can kill your dream!!'”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:25 pm

Hidden fees like legal counsel, financial software, transaction fees

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:29 pm

Why Our Marketing Sucked

* Targeted everyone, didn’t focus on anyone
* Customers weren’t in feedback loop
* We focused on price vs value

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:32 pm

Audience Matters

* We removed Free Accounts
* Wanted to get people to use us for our value
* It reduced some of the headache customers

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:32 pm

Raise Prices

* Raising prices did not slow sales
* Decreased churn at lower plans
* Increased sales of higher plans

“It’s ok to charge more. You may be surprised how many customers want to pay more”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:34 pm

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:35 pm

Audience: “Measuring is SUPER important”

Jonathan Dingman March 24, 20132:37 pm

That’s it folks! Thanks Dre!