I can remember listening to many podcasts over the years that featured a certain sponsor – Grasshopper, a company that provides virtual telephone services.
David Hauser is the founder of, among many companies, Grasshopper, by far his most successful business. It reached $30 million a year revenue, before being acquired by Citrix Systems for $170 Million back in 2015.
There was a good reason why I was constantly exposed to Grasshopper. As David explains during this interview, they were pouring millions of dollars of revenue back into marketing and sales, aggressively growing their tech startup.
Listen to this podcast and you will hear David tell the Grasshopper story, as well as the background behind several other businesses he had during his entrepreneur’s journey.
No Funding Required
Grasshopper never had outside funding. Instead, David and his team took advantage of being early adopters of pay per click advertising (before Google), to buy cheap clicks and rapidly attract their first 1,000 customers.
From there, they began pouring revenues back into marketing, sales, and good customer service to encourage word of mouth growth.
David and his team also created several spin-off companies, including Chargify, a business that offers help with recurring billing, a function within Grasshopper they had to build-out three times.
What Happens Next
After David exited Grasshopper he felt a little lost, no longer identified with the company that was his life for the previous 12 years.
He’s also publishing a book, ‘Evolve: Optimize Your Life, Body, and Mind.’, which we talked about towards the end of the interview.
I asked David what he would do differently given hindsight, and you might be surprised to hear his answer had nothing to do with how he grew his business. Instead, he focussed on what food he put into his body, and how much he slept.
If you’re an entrepreneur focused on the SAAS space, this interview is a must-listen.
Enjoy the podcast,
Topics Covered In This Podcast
- What he learnt from starting a web design business before commencing high school
- How he landed paying clients as a teenager in grade eight
- The Grasshopper journey from university startup to $170 million exit
- The challenges he faced with his first customer VS when he had 1000 customers
- Why he eventually decided to sell Grasshopper to Citrix after 12 years despite not seeking an exit initially
- His journey towards spirituality and health post-exit, including a 200-hour yoga teacher training
- His application of the Agile testing and development framework to optimise his life, going from not running at all to competing in triathlons and Ironman.
- Evolve: Optimise Your Life, Body And Mind (Book)
- David’s Wikipedia Page
- Babson College
- Return Path
- American Express
- Front Page Pro
- Cold Fusion
- Google AdWords
- Sirius XM Radio Advertising
- Andrew Warner
If You Enjoyed This Episode, You May Also Like…
- Greg Smith: Founder Of Canadian Tech Startup Thinkific Explains How They Used MVPs To Build A Hugely Successful Subscription Software Company
- Steve Baxter: From Army Officer, To $373 Million Dollar Exit From Pipe Networks, Aussie Tech Entrepreneur Reveals All
- Andrew Warner Reveals How He Created A $30 Million Dollar Internet Business
- Robert Gerrish: The Story Behind FlyingSolo.com.au And How It Was Acquired By Australian Morning Television Star David Koch
- Dan Faggella: How To Take Yourself Out Of Your Business And Then Sell It For A Million Dollars