ACQ2: The Acquired Interviews

“There’s often a desire to keep adding features because ‘Oh wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this or that?’ The reality is if a customer is only spending five minutes with your product, they’re only going to interact with a very tiny subset of your feature set. And so, you’re better off usually improving something that 80% of [customers] interact with that is really core than things around the edges that are more functionality.” - Phil Kimmey


Why Listen?

We are very excited to be joined by Phil Kimmey, one of the co-founders of Rover (and a frequent member of various 30 under 30 lists), who designed Rover in its infant stages at a Startup Weekend! In this episode, we dive into Rover’s initial design, how the business model was proved, and wrap up with a lengthy discussion on Value-Add Features vs Data-Driven Features. Phil also provides his opinion on what makes new tech and development teams successful and explains why PayPal still sends Rover’s monthly summary statements to his parent’s house.


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Suggestions and


Links from the Show:

Conjoined Triangles of Success


Show Bookmarks:

[01:20] – Rover’s Start

[05:28] – Proving the Idea

[08:42] – What was harder: Supply or Demand?

[12:12] – Rover’s original construct

[15:50] – What mistakes were made in Rover’s setup?

[19:20] – Market-place technology & White Labels

[23:21] – Deciding on Features and Builds

[25:49] – Rover’s Transition from Web to Mobile App

[29:29] – Rover’s KPIs

[33:00] – Rover’s Technology for Marketing

[35:35] – Value-Add vs Data Driven Features and Services

[45:15] – Advice for New Technology Teams


People Worth Knowing:

Greg Gottesman (Rover, Madrona, Pioneer Square Labs)

Aaron Easterly (Rover)

Jason Kreitzer (Rover)


Companies Mentioned in Episode:

















Episode Specific Terms:

Acquisition Model

Alternative Marketplace Platforms

Booking Engine

Continuous Integration-Continuous Deployment (Jenkins)


Front End


Mobile App vs Web App

Modular vs Monolithic Code Base

Responsive Web Page

SMS Costs


Uber for XYZ

Unit Economics

Value-Add Services

What is ACQ2: The Acquired Interviews?

ACQ2 is Ben and David's conversations with expert founders and investors. Acquired the stories of great companies — and ACQ2 dives deeper into the lessons we can learn from them, often with the protagonists themselves.