GE 145: Drift CEO David Cancel (Formerly @ Compete, HubSpot) Explains Why Free Products Are The Best Acquisition Method (podcast) With David Cancel

David Cancel CEO Drift

Hi everyone, today’s interview is with David Cancel, the CEO of Drift, which is a tool that provides the easiest way to grow your customers with live chat right on your site. David is a 5x founder and has helped grow such companies as Performable, Ghostery, Lookery, and Compete. He is also the co-host of the Seeking Wisdom podcast.

In today’s interview, we’ll be talking about how David has been able to start five companies, including Drift, how his obsession helps businesses communicate better with their customers, and why the default that he takes is that he’s wrong about everything.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: Drift CEO David Cancel (Formerly @ Compete, HubSpot) Explains Why Free Products Are the Best Acquisition Method

Episode highlights:

  • [2:10] – How David came up with the idea of Drift, and how it all came from a customer driven obsession, and how he builds teams and products.
  • [4:17] – How Drift provides a live way to communicate within an app, plus drift daily which integrates with apps you already use and sends a daily digest about the people you communicate with. It can also send real-time integrations with Slack.
  • [6:14] – The goal of giving Drift daily away for free. Opening up communication by connecting to tools users use today.
  • [8:01] – Constants experienced when starting companies are teams, technology and design, but teams and people are the most important. Default attitude is I’m wrong and get feedback to correct percentage of wrong. Iterative process.
  • [12:06] – When it comes to finding the best people, David collects them over time. He takes a long view and keeps a list of people for different stages of development. Soft skills are very important. Curious learner, someone you want to spend time with. Day after test.
  • [17:00] – How Compete was the toughest company to develop because of market conditions
  • [21:45] – With analysis tools like Compete the numbers may be off, but it’s not about the numbers – it’s about the trends
  • [24:20] – The game is always changing, so providing something of more value is important, such as a product as a lead magnet

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