Yaro Blog

David Hauser: Founder Of Virtual Telephone Company Grasshopper (Acquired By Citrix For $170 Million) Explains How He Builds SAAS Companies

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

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.

David Hauser speaking

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 went on to become an angel investor, completing over 100 investments in companies, including Intercom, Unbounce and Groove.

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,
Yaro
EJPodcast.com

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.

Relevant Links

[ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Raw RSS ]

If You Enjoyed This Episode, You May Also Like…

Download My ‘Podcast Cheatsheet’ For FREE

How To Conduct A Quality
Podcast Interview In 7 Steps

  • How to convince famous people to come on your podcast
  • The exact technology Yaro uses to record his podcast
  • 7 Steps To A Successful Podcast Interview