GE 199: How Mixmax Acquired 5,000+ Customers Via Word of Mouth & Has a 20% Growth Rate (podcast) With Olof Mathé

Olof Mathé

Hey everyone, in today’s episode I share the mic with Olof Mathé, CEO and co-founder of Mixmax  which is one of my favorite tools.

Listen as Olof discusses what it takes to build a successful remote team at a quickly growing startup, how they acquired their first 5,000 customers through word-of-mouth, and the art of product prioritization.

Download podcast transcript [PDF] here: How Mixmax Acquired 5,000+ Customers Via Word of Mouth & Has a 20% Growth Rate TRANSCRIPT

Time-Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:43 – Leave a review and rating and subscribe to the Growth Everywhere Podcast
  • 01:02 – Eric welcomes Olof Mathé
  • 01:39 – Olof grew up in Sweden, studied in France, and has lived in New York
  • 02:30 – Mixmax allows your communication to be richer and more expressive
  • 03:00 – Eric uses Mixmax and likes that it can be personalized—he thinks it is effective for sharing between team members and managing customer relations
  • 04:14 – Mixmax costs $9 to $65 per month
  • 04:25 – Mixmax has more than 5,000 customers and is still growing
  • 05:09 – Mixmax had a closed beta for a few months before launching on Product Hunt
  • 05:44 – All of the 5,000 customers are paying
  • 06:03 – The average cost is $25-30 per customer depending on the user
  • 06:19 – Customer acquisition is largely through word-of-mouth
  • 07:05 – Contact Olof if you want to work at Mixmax
  • 07:18 – What is one big struggle you faced while growing Mixmax? – Growing the team quickly enough
    • 08:01 – The litmus test for Olof and his company before hiring someone is “Can we work with this person for the rest of our lives?”
    • 08:58 – “Does this person add something really unique to the team?”
    • 09:40 – The traits that Olof looks for in someone is being ambitious, self-directed, independent, has a lot of drive, and creates outcomes
  • 10:27 – Product prioritization is an art and customer input is important
  • 11:17 – When a customer has a request for a feature, Mixmax will note who the customer is and will personally inform them once they make the feature
  • 12:01 – What is the one specific tool you use to manage your product road maps? – Google Docs and Asana
  • 12:40 – What’s one big change you made in the last year that’s impacted you or the business in a big way? – Being a distributed team
    • 12:54 – Mixmax used to be an entirely a San Francisco team
    • 13:16 – Mixmax started to get a lot of inbound calls from people who wanted to work for them—they decided to branch out of the U.S. and it worked out well
  • 14:20 – Eric shares that there are people who can work remotely and those who cannot
  • 15:16 – Olof says they were initially skeptical of having a remote team; the tasks and the personalities of the people you hire decided whether it will work or not
  • 16:05 – Olof thinks working remotely is an acquired taste and an acquired skill
    • 16:24 – Olof recommends using Automattic to bring the potential remote team member into the office to meet everyone before going remote
  • 17:00 – What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your 25 year old self? – Take more risks
  • 18:05 – What’s one new tool that you’ve added besides Mixmax in the last year that has added a lot of value? – ProfitWell
  • 18:57 – What’s one must-read book do you recommend? SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
    • 19:46 – It gave Olof got a lot of perspective on the day-to-day life of society, now and in the past
  • 20:21 – What’s one blog or publication that you tune into everyday? – Twitter
  • 20:50 – Follow Olof and Mixmax at Twitter or send him an email
  • 21:23 – End of today’s episode

3 Key Points:

  1. In choosing a new member for your team, identify the unique ability that they alone add to your company.
  2. Engagement with customers is a BIG part of growing your business.
  3. When building a remote team—consider the tasks and the personalities of those you hire.

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