The WP Minute+

What goes into an acquisition at Awesome Motive and Syed's views on building a generational company.

Show Notes

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What is The WP Minute+?

For long-form interviews, news, and commentary about the WordPress ecosystem. This is the companion show to The WP Minute, your favorite 5-minutes of WordPress news every week.

[00:00:00] Syed: So it is thrive and even though the name has themes in it, it is the company behind some of the most powerful growth tools for WordPress. So they, have things help you convert website users into email subscribers using.

[00:00:14] Popups and quizzes and comments and all sorts of things. they have AB testing, a full-blown website builder, page builder, theme builder, however you wanna, approach that for WordPress. they have a LMS solution that's quite nice, so it's a suite of about 10 products, that encompasses Thrive.

[00:00:32] And I, I like the name Thrive Growth Tool Suite, , but they call it Thrive.

[00:00:37] Matt: Yeah, definitely. We're really hitting the ground a lot in, I don't know, God time has escaped me of course, but I dunno, four or five years ago, I remember them just coming outta nowhere and, and really starting to, when we were starting to see like Elementor have some skyrocket growth, really saw them come out and really focus on. I mean, internet marketer is a kind of a throwaway phrase these days, but that, that's sort of where I felt like they were like nicheing into, was the internet marketer, the person building the funnels, building the upsells, and, and really cornering maybe the digital product market. Has that stayed the same and, and is that the course?

[00:01:18] It will sort of slot into the awesome automotive set of.

[00:01:21] yeah, so actually Shane created a product in 2012 called Hybrid Connect. So this predates Optin Monster. Even. I used pop-up Domination, hybrid Connect, all these pop-up softwares, before I end up creating Optum Monster. And. So I followed their journey for that that time. And yes, Shane was a digital creator himself.

[00:01:43] Syed: So naturally the audience that he attracted were creators, right? In some internet marketers, but also a lot of, small business owners, right? Marketing agencies, and so on. So there's, the client is, client base is quite broad, but that should sum it.

[00:01:59] Matt: When I zoom out and I look at the suite of awesome automotive products, does this get folded into other products or will this remain sort of independent and, and put on the lineup of, offerings from awesome automotive?

[00:02:13] one of the things that I really like about WordPress is the freedom that it offers. the choice I, I really believe even as a user, that one, you try to. Offer a bundle and try to do everything you know, inside one product, you end up being good at almost nothing. Right? So what makes Optum Monster stand out compared to, let's say, the builtin meltin popups or whatever other thing that that exists?

[00:02:37] Syed: Is that we are so focused on doing that one thing and one thing really, really well. And when we start merging bunch of these technologies and we destroy the user experience, at least that's my experience, looking at what other people have done. So there's no intention of merging, let's say thrive leads.

[00:02:54] With opt, right? These two products have coexisted, as I mentioned, hybrid connects, OPT monster. [00:03:00] They've coexisted and thrived, in, in that, in that time together because users want options, right? Not everybody wants a SaaS solution. that does some all the things. Some people are very okay. All the bells and whistles to Thrive Leads offer.

[00:03:17] Same thing with Thrive Architect and feed prod, right? While the end goal and the end product is the same, a lot of the users just prefer one over the other and vice versa. And we don't want to disrupt that. if you're happy using a visual builder, let's say like a Thrive architect, over something that's like block-based, like feed product.

[00:03:40] That's okay. Right? And we're not gonna, we're not, we don't intend to merge those things, but we do intend to learn from, from the products and, and have some sort of marriage and integrations where possible. For example, thrive has this amazing tool called Optimize, right? Thrive Optimize essentially lets you do AB testing of.

[00:04:01] You know of, of your landing pages very easily. And as recently Google optimized announced that their Sunset and Google Optimize, which makes Thrive optimize even more valuable. Now, could that have an integration for Seed Pro? very possible, very possible. Could see product adopt something like that and, and make that offering.

[00:04:19] I don't know. Right? Again, these decisions are going to be made by the general managers of each of those business units because at automotive, each business units, run independently, believe it or not, like I am not the one making all the decisions across what 40 different products that we have, despite what it may look like.

[00:04:36] At this time. So they're pretty autonomous businesses that we have that are running in parallel and learning from each other. And our advantage, I would say, is that, we fail faster than others, right? We can, at any given point, somebody's failing at something and learning and improving that user.

[00:04:53] Matt: I am glad you said the phrase business units. a couple questions on the logistics of just the sheer volume of acquisitions that you do and slotting them into it. Again, like you said, almost 40 or 40 products across the board. You must have a pretty fine tuned process, to bring on a new product and get it into the automotive ecosystem internally.

[00:05:15] And the things that come to my head is, Support number one being just like this massive thing that, my God, now you bring on another product and it's how do we educate and, and the whole automotive family understand how to support this pro? What is this product and how do we support our customers with it?

[00:05:33] You must have a fairly fine tuned process with that. I'd love to learn a little bit more. And did you bring over the entire team from Thrive and for, for support and, and to augment.

[00:05:43] Syed: Absolutely. The entire theme, entire team behind Thrive Themes is, is there from product to support, to marketing, to leadership. the only thing that's changed is that the founders,exited. but they had a general manager in place, Brad, who'd been running the business and he's gonna continue running the business.

[00:05:59] [00:06:00] So, from, in terms of. Educating support team, we don't really have to do that because this team has been supporting this customer base for the last, decade. Right? so as a matter of fact, we're learning from them, in a lot of things. They're like, okay, how are you doing this? And vice versa, right?

[00:06:16] And we say, actually, We did the same thing and, learned lesson A and they're like, oh, actually we did it this way. And then, so it, at any given point is the me happening. Right? So it's still too early. Right. We just announced the acquisition that we need to sit down and, and, and learn those lessons, but, but yeah, like the whole team is there and, they're, they're joining automotive integration takes a little bit of time, to do a couple months, but yeah.

[00:06:39] Matt: Probably the third largest acquisition you've.

[00:06:44] Syed: Hm. I don't know. what are the first two

[00:06:48] Matt: I dunno. I'm trying to, I'm trying to break that. I have one, I've just tried so many ways to get saed to, to share what size these deals might be. yeah, I mean, I don't know. I just look at zoom out and just look at, potentially what that, what that market is. The page building market. Of course the marketing.

[00:07:04] Market. if, I feel like it's probably one of your more sizable deals, maybe, well, I'll go with e d d, probably being your largest is my guess. And then this is probably like three or four in my, in my eyes.

[00:07:20] Syed: I think this is a pretty sizeable business, because you gotta, you have to understand Thrive doesn't have a premium offering, unlike most products that we bought, right? So when we acquire, Say e, d, D or duplicator, right? The, the, the, they're free. All the one I see of free. So there's large, large number of users.

[00:07:40] Then, only a certain percentages can work to pro. versus here, there's no free users.

[00:07:45] Matt: You must be getting to a point where now, for years running, these brands independent, everyone ha or every brand has, we'll call it a GM or a president, and it all runs autonomously. You must be getting to a point now where maybe you're rethinking the scalability of your management. and what does that look like? Like I know you do like big retreats. Anybody who follows your posts, your yearly wrap-ups, you get to see all these photos from everywhere you've gone and meeting with the team. And of course I've known the team for for years, but there's, now there's so many faces. I don't I don't know anymore.

[00:08:17] Are you like at a point now where you have all of these products and all of these new leaders where you have to kind of rethink that? And is there any insights you can give us into how you're reshaping maybe the management team of, of automotive?

[00:08:30] Syed: Yeah. Matt, you and I go way back and a lot of people may not know, but I'm a blogger, right? With no, business administration degree or anything like this. So this is all, trial

[00:08:39] Matt: You just kept, you just keep getting bigger Airbnbs as time goes on. Like that's the solution. I, I get this room, we get this B Airbnb with 50 rooms in it. That's what we do.

[00:08:47] so, it is a process of learning and improving as we go along. And you know what we have works. We, outside of the main [00:09:00] retreat that you see, that, that we do, which have all the, am mt. Members that, that can attend, can attend. we do these two leadership meetings right twice a year where.

[00:09:10] Syed: The founders, the GMs, the presidents, whatever you wanna call it, that, that role, attend, we get together and we ha we have this like mega Airbnb house and and then we have a bunch of smaller houses around, around that same area. And we use the main house to do meet up and get together and spend a day together.

[00:09:26] So we do this twice a year just with the leadership and we haven't outgrown that yet. that still works. At some point at the pace of the acquisitions that we're doing. And I mean, Ima, my goal is to build a generational company. So at some point I imagine that will not scale. but the good thing, the other good thing that's coming is that, we've been doing this for a long enough time, right?

[00:09:49] I started in more press when I was 16. I'm 32 now. That's half of my life in work press. And a lot of our businesses have been around for a long time. Our customers. and our leaders have matured, right? And we we're learning. So I have great partners, in, in the case of Thrive teams, for example, Thomas, whom you know, is leading the vision, is directing and ensuring the integration happens as smoothly as possible.

[00:10:16] So now what's happening is that it's not just me doing all the leadership, level stuff. It is. Thomas, or in Duplicators case, John Turner. so existing, GMs or partners are now stepping up and sort of.

[00:10:34] Matt: I want to, broach an interesting topic that has hit the scene a little bit more in the WordPress community space, across automotive products. And there you're getting to a point now I'm gonna, I'm gonna frame something for you and then I'll get into the deeper question over. think it was it word camp us.

[00:10:52] I think it was a password camp Us It was a limited. limited amount of people and there was some, discussion around the fact that it was all sponsors that were attending. So it was just like all the sponsors employees were there and it was kind of just, and some people said, Hey, this is, this isn't really great, like, this should be bigger, it should be more open, yada, yada, yada.

[00:11:09] You're getting to a point where like, you own so many products in the WordPress space that my entire, like someone on my Twitter timeline is your employee. Somebody is gonna go to a Word camp and meet an awesome automotive employee. There will always be , an awesome automotive employee at every Word camp across the globe pretty, pretty soon.

[00:11:31] And what I'm getting at is you all reach a pretty sizable part of the community. there are some things that I see in the community about things that people don't like on the sales and marketing side, which I underst. But I'd like to give you maybe an opportunity to just paint the picture on how you approach a business of your size.

[00:11:52] Here's one reference point. I don't like limited deals ending soon [00:12:00] on the pricing page. I don't like cross-promoting one product to the next. I don't like banners in the options page or, the admin. I know why you have to do. I appreciate that you have to do it. You have a mega machine to feed. is not your playground, the millions of websites that you touch.

[00:12:28] In other words, all of these sites are just not your awesome automotive SaaS running on your server that you can measure and calculate and upsell in a much more seamless fashion. So I'm giving you some breathing room there, , but also. People want to know like, Hey, is automotive seeing and seeing this? And is someone paying attention to it?

[00:12:50] And is there any a attention coming where it's like, Hey, we get it, but here's why we do it. But the floor is yours on that topic.

[00:12:58] Syed: for sure. I think a lot of times we get this negative attention due to the size that we are. If you imagine each one of these companies as independent companies, no site involved, and they cross-promote, nobody will have a problem with that. As a matter of fact, that happens, right? plugin owners and founders can get together.

[00:13:20] Say, Hey, you, you promote me. I promote you from my blog to this blog The way Awesome Automotive has operated. Like I never started out to become an investor, right? when we started out, we simply talked to the users, figured out what they needed to grow, and built the tools to help 'em succeed. That's, that's how we started.

[00:13:40] And over time we learned all these different, Things that were happening in the ecosystem. Nothing that we do is ever the first, that we are the first to do it. , first of all, right? Somebody is already doing it in the ecosystem. We're just more studious. and our plugins, get the attention of, you put a nag on or you put a dashboard notice.

[00:14:01] As a matter of fact, we're one of the least dashboard notices company. If you, if you look across the 60,000 plugins that are in the repo. Goodness, I have screenshots, , right? of, of what I, if I, if I started sharing that I don't, I think that just brings more negativity to the space and, I stay out of that.

[00:14:17] But yeah, I see all the tweets that are there. same thing across anything that you're seeing. We're not the first to do it, and these things work. we wanna make sure we're able to communicate with our users. We wanna be respectful of the dashboard experience. when, when we're showing notices, we show it on our own plugin.

[00:14:32] We don't show it, dashboard wide, except, except for the review ask, right? We say, Hey, if you, if you like a product, can you leave us review? And that shows up in the dashboard. But otherwise, we graduated away from that, quite some time ago. Maybe 2018 or 2019 or something like that. Most of our notices show.

[00:14:48] Inside our, our own plugin settings if you haven't set up the plugin right. cause with WordPress when you install the plugin and you didn't configure it, then we'll show a dashboard thing. But you know, So does any other plugin. jet Pack does the [00:15:00] same thing, commerce or everything, but that's to improve the user experience.

[00:15:02] We wanna make sure that you actually set up a plugin, otherwise you're not gonna get the value out it right. At which point you might as well deactivate it if you're not gonna use it. We wanna make sure the users know that there's something to be done inside that software suite that they chose.

[00:15:19] Matt: I'd have to imagine that at some point there has to. And I want to get into my, I'll give you my crazy, I'm gonna hold my crazy, wild card predictions for awesome automotive towards the end of this,interview. But I, I'd imagine at some point you must be thinking like, Do, like, do we do hosted WordPress ourselves so we can just skip, this fragmented approach of whatever, 50,000 users on Blue Host, 50,000 on site ground, spread across the, the industry or supporting all of this stuff.

[00:15:51] There must be some thought to consolidating this into a SaaS solution that isn't, that may be powered by WordPress, but you don't even know it's WordPress. There must be some hosting solution. Coming so that you can avoid all Devo, devoid yourself. Of all this stress, is that in play? Do you see that as the future?

[00:16:11] Or is, Hey, WordPress, the way we do it now in these one-on-one situations, it's, it works for us.

[00:16:18] Syed: I think I might be a little too old school. and I like work cross the way it is, I don't like, a, the idea of a hosted platform that is gonna force me into. It's way of doing things. I think what makes WordPress so great is the flexibility and the freedom that it offers. of course, it, it has some, some cons, right?

[00:16:39] With every pros you have cons. one of the cons is that, you have to go find those tools and, and set it up together and make sure they all work. . And for those you try to improve the user experience as you can, whether it is with a better onboarding flow, whether it is with better product education and so on.

[00:16:56] And I think the idea, the allure or the grass being greener on the other side is like, what if there was a hosted solution? That, that just had everything. And o Automotive has these tools, but so does Jet Pack, right? Jet Jet Pack has all, all the things you, you, you, you need to do on, on a basic website.

[00:17:12] I think, there's never gonna be a single hosting company that will, own the market to all have all the solutions because I, at scale a hosting is a very different business. You're doing very different things and I think, I believe that in the future there will be,experiences.

[00:17:28] Syed: Yeah. If, if you may want to call it, that like, design experiences, or flavors of work for, but I think that, Is not an easy problem to solve. just having a plugin and putting ho, have a hosting and calling it. Now you have a hosted lms. that's, that, that, that's, that's not true.

[00:17:46] you're not competing with teachable at that point. that's not, that's not what that is. You, we have to think about experience, from an onboarding point of view, how do you do that? And believe it or not, people, not everybody likes bundles. There's a segment of people that love bundles.

[00:17:58] Syed: They guess, let me [00:18:00] just install one thing and give me all the stuff in it, right? But then there is a, I would say a prosumers, right? somebody, let's say you or anybody that I would say maybe, is a local minority. The moment, let's say if we start bundling it, we'll get even more hate for doing that

[00:18:17] But right now you say you should bundle. These guys, they just keep bundling their own thing in everything they do. And this, so we have to strike that balance and making sure that if, if you're getting all in one seo, you get the absolute best SEO solution in the market and not a. Page Bill

[00:18:40] Matt: Yeah.

[00:18:41] Syed: you, you know what I'm saying?

[00:18:42] And that's just the idea of, of where we are and how I see WordPress. And again, the view can change if the market changes, but I hope it doesn't. And WordPress is pretty good in the way this.

[00:18:54] so I get a little bit, just like more critical and I don't know the numbers, I didn't run any formulas. I didn't run any numbers ahead of time. But maybe that in a non awesome automotive hosted solution, you get better lifetime value out of a customer cuz maybe they're buying. I don't know, five or six of your different plugins.

[00:19:13] Matt: Right? Uh uh, WP Forms, monster Insights, maybe Thrive thrown into the mix. Now you probably earn more per customer. I think if you maybe consolidated that down to a $79 a month plan. Fair.

[00:19:31] Syed: Not necessarily. Vast majority of users are free, right? Very, very, very, very large. Majority of our users are free. And, our free products offer so much that most users don't need to upgrade a pro. right? So we, we wanna make sure that we are giving users the optionality that they want, right? Why price something?

[00:19:50] Add $79 a month, right? To say you, you have to pay me $79 a month to get access to all these tools when you can just pay me $4 a month. right. Just for performance. But I mean, if you think about it, a, a solution that costs 49 bucks, it's really $4 a month.

[00:20:06] Matt: Jet, you mentioned Jet Pack before. There's an interesting thing, again, I don't have it in front of me, but last I looked, when I did, a video on Jet pack, if you went all in with jet pack. First year, I think all into the jet pack is like maybe 300 bucks or something like that. But then year two it goes to, I wanna say it was 1500 a year for all of their feature sets.

[00:20:26] do you see awesome automotive bun having a, a bundled speaking, we just talked about bundling, but more on like a hosted side. Do you see like this, I dunno, vehicle, one vehicle plugin that you can go and just activate all the things and just pay it out of one plug. Versus buying them all individually.

[00:20:43] know, I, I haven't seen what Fpac has done recently with their pricing. so I don't, I, I can't comment that there is a $1,500. a month version. But I, I imagine if you're saying it must be I'll, I'll take it. at face value, I like the idea of giving users an [00:21:00] option. If they want to use our form builder at a low price and choose somebody else's SEO solution, that's fine.

[00:21:08] Syed: If they wanna use our form builder in seo, cool. I don't want it to be a situation where you're like, well, I don't like this one solution, so I have to ditch. If that makes sense. and, and you know these, every business, when I say that they are separate businesses, they really are. There is a separate support team.

[00:21:25] There's a separate development team, there's a separate leadership team, there's a separate marketing team. All, what's common amongst them is that they're, they're better strategic partnerships then, then that imagine if two founders were really good friends and they were just like promoted cross promoting each other, because that's, that's what it's really.

[00:21:42] Matt: You give them that kind of autonomy, right? To

[00:21:44] Syed: There's that level of autonomy. you think about it, there's 24 hours in a day and we have 40 different brands. I'm not working 24 7. how would I know what's getting published in every single blog post or every single newsletter? No, a lot of these, the deals, they're, they're being, cross promotion arrangements are being discussed at a gm, the GM level, or a founder to founder level.

[00:22:07] and a lot, we, when we meet up at, at our, leadership meetups, there is, there's time when people go on walks together. They might be in a hot tub or what have you, and they think about how we can cross promote each other or grow, those two respective brands. And and that's where those ideas.

[00:22:22] Matt: Is WP beginner, your baby that you spend the most time, uh, on across, all, all things awesome Automotive

[00:22:27] I do read every article that gets published on w Beginner,

[00:22:30] Matt: That one does not pass the desk. That's mine. I started it. I don't care who's running

[00:22:35] I, I still think I'm a blogger right at heart and, and I do enjoy learning about work crafts and, experiencing workplace as a user and, and doing that. So, I do really enjoy the work the WP Beginner team is doing. WP Beginner is no longer just all me all the time. it's not just me coming up with content ideas like that part is, there's, there's a great team that comes up with content ideas, and, and they do a great job.

[00:23:02] Matt: When is the right time for somebody based on your experience with all the acquisitions, not just in WordPress, but in everything else you do. When is the right time for a founder to come to you, and say, Hey, Syed, I don't wanna do this anymore, . I don't wanna run this ship by myself. What do you think the best. I don't know, context or, or phase or moment or feeling a founder should have before they knock on your.

[00:23:27] if you notice a lot of the acquisitions that we do are of products that have been around for a while. and the founders really love the product and what they have, built, they want it. To go to someone who's also bootstrapped. We are not backed by a private equity. We're not debt funded.

[00:23:47] Syed: We're not venture. You're backed. We are really here to serve our users, and that's one of the big reasons why we have continued to grow despite what anybody says. It doesn't matter. because what's true is that. and founders, choose [00:24:00] us and exit to us because they know that their product will, will remain independent.

[00:24:06] their team will be taken care of and their legacy will be carried forward. and, and that's. That's what, that we've done. we part, we partner with founders to give them a quick, straightforward exit that doesn't require them to stay on, on board for two years on some sort of are now terms, which is not founder friendly, which is not gonna give the founders the, valuation that they were promised in the beginning.

[00:24:28] Syed: That's what happens in most. V C P E deals, right? You promised one number and then all the legal leave that you don't know, that you just didn't know at the time that you should be looking for. Come back to bite you two, three years later, when you are, period is over and you're like, wait, I was promised this.

[00:24:43] What happened? Like, oh, you didn't check this fine or this fine. Right? . so founders really choose to exit to us because we give them a straightforward idea. We allow them to move on to the next chapter of their life, right? I'm committed to WordPress, I'm committed to the open web,and I'm still very, very young.

[00:24:58] lot of founders are not, and they're ready to move on to the next chapter of their life. And I think we need to celebrate their successes instead of,not cause they committed, they put in the work and their legacy is being carried. In other cases, we, we do friendly minority stake investments, to help founders scale their businesses to the next level.

[00:25:15] and that works as well.

[00:25:17] Matt: I felt like the last time we talked, the accelerator program that you have in pl not accelerator program, but the inve, investment program, well, I'll let you define it again here, but the investment program slash accelerator program slash funding program that you have in place was still pretty loose.

[00:25:33] the last time we talked was the E D D Acquisi. Has that ma matured a little bit more? I mean, I'm not saying that in an offensive way, but like has that matured a little bit more in terms of, I dunno. I look at things like the com fund or Tiny Seed where there's like structure and program in place where you can come and be educated and accelerate the business a little bit and potentially get some seed funding or funding throughout the whole process.

[00:25:59] Matt: What does that look like for you? Headed into 2020?

[00:26:02] Syed: I think there is a very big difference in what we do and what. Typical accelerator program is, and that's actually why I ended up rebranding the the program. So when I launched it, it was called WP Beginner Growth Accelerator, because that was the purpose of. The program, right. Invest in businesses and help accelerate the growth.

[00:26:25] But as someone who didn't ha don't have an MBA and don't have venture backed funding or this, I start, I learned that growth accelerators are time bound or so after six months you never talk to that. team, again, I mean you can, you have access to them, but how much access do you really, really have?

[00:26:43] because they moved, they moved on to the next cohort, right? The goal is let, lemme put money in as many things as possible and you are just another number in the, in the jar. and that's not what, what we do. That's not who we are. and that's a very big difference between what we're doing and what a traditional accelerator [00:27:00] program does.

[00:27:01] Syed: Partnering when, when I say we are partnering with the businesses, we are really partnering. This is, this is not a six month, accelerate your business. We, that's why we changed the name, I changed the name to be called WP Beginner Growth Fund. Right. because as a, as an entrepreneur, independence is one of the main reasons why people create a business in the first.

[00:27:23] Right. It's one of the reasons why businesses succeed also, right? So when we invest in those businesses, my goal is to interfere as little as possible with the day-to-day operation of the businesses, whether we invested, whether we acquire it, right? Founder led companies, and I believe this are great at hacking,great at hustle.

[00:27:44] And what I wanna do is empower them with the knowledge framework experiences that I have gained over the years from failing all, all the time and learning by, child by fire. And, and that's what it's, and of course we have playbooks and the playbooks mature every month, every week.

[00:28:01] and, and yeah, but that's what it is. And there's no, there's no cohesive. , this is the cohort one that's coming in. Six months later, you're gone. Don't talk to me again. That's not what it is. and we're pretty selective about it. The, instead of like doing the announcement, like, you know how in the beginning I was doing an announcement and there was, oh, we, we invited four or five companies in and that, that's not what we're doing anymore.

[00:28:21] it's it's open year round, people applying to it year round. and we add, great companies. We added funnel kit. I'm not sure if you've. Funnel kit is just an amazing product. Really, really cool stuff that they're doing, with Funnel Kit, builder, but also the funnel kit automation. So now that's really powerful stuff.

[00:28:38] Syed: If you're running an e-commerce store, what they're doing over there is just mind blowing. Je and then, and the entire team there. I'm super excited to welcome them to the.

[00:28:48] Matt: And I, I appreciate that answer. I appreciate the way that you also acquire products. because look, what's the alternative? The alternative is cuz you know, you say, you say, you don't have the MBA and or maybe like the schooling, but you're a shrewd individual and you understand , you understand business, you understand how to negotiate.

[00:29:03] cuz the alternative is you run it like what? Like a private equity firm, right? Where you just scoop 'em up, cut out all the, Push the people to the side, put the product in the lineup and just sell, sell, sell, and exhaust everyone. And that's one route you could go and you choose not to, at least.

[00:29:20] Matt: This is how I hope that this hero's journey is being played out here is you choose not to do that. And you choose to lead it with putting the founders, if they, I guess choose to con continue and, and I guess you choose to continue to have them on, on the team to have that autonomy, to have that independence, to let them build the business because you want to see it succeed cuz that's the way you would want to do it if you were somebody applying to automotive.

[00:29:44] So I appreciate, that, the way that you run all this.

[00:29:48] Syed: Yeah, absolutely. either mentioned, I never set out to become an investor , right? I was approached by many, many, many, many, many, firms and [00:30:00] went down the process,a couple times only to realize that it's terrible. And in that, in that time, many of my friends,went through the process and en closed and then realized it was terrible and what a mistake that made.

[00:30:14] So, I'm committed to. pretty much for life. one thing you see behind me is like, Charlie and Warren and Charlie right there. and they mar Charlie just turned 99, right? Warren 93. I imagine I'll probably be doing this till I'm 93 or maybe 99 if I live that long.

[00:30:32] Matt: All right, so I'm gonna give you the crazy predictions for those of you who have stuck around. Thing. Here's what awesome. Here, here, here are the brands. One brand. Actually, I won't say it. I won't say the brand. I, I shared it with you privately. I won't say it publicly. You will acquire an even bigger page builder.

[00:30:52] I'll let the room figure out who I'm talking about. Well, there's two, three, or an email. Email newsletter platform like a MailChimp or a Mailer Light or something like that. That'll be the next one. Cuz I just look at the stack man, I look at the product stack and I'm like, what else do they need to slot in?

[00:31:13] I, I'm pretty sure I was pretty confident in, in saying e-commerce. And then you all acquired E D D A a few months later it's gotta be email cuz you got that other product that's out there, right? You just launched that, transactional email. So, There's gotta be a newsletter platform coming. Beehive is blowing up.

[00:31:33] Ghost

[00:31:34] basically I do these podcast interviews to hear your predictions, and then my goal is to try to make come true.

[00:31:47] Matt: Yeah.