Yaro Blog

Wil Schroter, Founder of Startups.com, Blue Diesel, Unsubscribe.com, Acquired Zirtual, Clarity.fm (VC EP19)

It’s hard to summarize all the success of Wil Schroter. He’s founded so many companies.

Today he’s founder of Startups.com, a business education site and suite of tools and resources for entrepreneurs, some of which were previous startups by Wil (Fundable, Bizplan) and some were acquired (Zirtual, Clarity).

Wil got his start early online, initially exploring bulletin boards with a commodore computer. He then launched a web design agency, Blue Diesel, in 1994, again very early to a new industry.

His agency grew, later merging with a more traditional design agency, creating a full suite offline/online marketing firm. In a surprise success, the firm landed a massive client worth $250 Million in billings, beating out many larger agencies.

Wil eventually exited his agency ownership shares when the company was acquired. As a youg guy of just 27 he had earned enough money to retire, yet he decided to get back into entrepreneurship.

I enjoyed this part of the podcast because Will explained why it was a mistake to be the founder of so many companies after exiting his first, yet why he wanted to and what his life was like back then working 16 hour days.

After a massive anxiety attack that landed Wil in the hospital, he realized things had to change (he was also about to have his first child, adding to his motivation to stay healthy and alive!).

This experience informed his decision to create Startups.com, and how he would still have multiple entities, but they would be integrated to serve the same customer and thus be easier to manage and grow together.

Towards the end of the podcast I asked Wil to explain how he is able to market and attract customers to so many different companies over the years, and also to briefly touch on his current personal investing strategy.

Enjoy the podcast.

Yaro