Dec. 15, 2021

Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz & Sparktoro, Investor | The Dark Side of Venture Capital and Startups

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➡️ About The Guest

Rand Fishkin is cofounder and CEO of audience research software startup, SparkToro. He’s dedicated his professional life to helping people do better marketing through his writing, videos, speaking, and his book, Lost and Founder

In 2004, he created the SEOmoz blog, which, over the next decade, became the world’s most popular community and content resource for search marketers. In 2007, the company (Moz) transitioned from consulting to software and Rand took the role of CEO.

Over 7 years as CEO, Rand grew Moz to 130+ employees, $30M+ in revenue, and traffic to 30M+ visitors/year. He raised two rounds of funding, led three acquisitions, and a rebrand. Rand stepped down as CEO in 2014 during a rough bout with depression and left the company 4 years later. Rand was also the co-founder of alongside Dharmesh Shah. The site was sold to Hubspot in 2014.

In 2018, Rand founded SparkToro and published, with Penguin/Random House, Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World. Rand previously co-contributed to two books: Art of SEO, and Inbound Marketing & SEO. He’s been profiled in the Seattle Times, featured in Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, named to BusinessWeek’s 30 Under 30, written about in Newsweek, The Next Web, the Inc 500, and hundreds of other publications. 

➡️ Talking Points

00:00 - Rand’s story.

04:58 - Arbitraging Pokémon cards.

09:54 - How Rand built Sparktoro.

16:21 - You don’t need to raise VC money.

24:18 - Bootstrapping vs. VC money.

40:40 - Product led growth, engagement and recidivism.

56:36 - The issues with startup culture.

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