Adam Lane Robinson – CEO Interview
When did you know you wanted to start your own company?
It was an add-on to my first company, and email marketing company called Robly. We saw product market fit and saw that GetEmails could be an identity resolution company on its own.
What was your original idea for this company, and are you still doing that (or did you pivot, if so, what is the new focus and why)?
GetEmails allows websites to identify anonymous users that aren’t on their email list. It is very powerful for ecommerce companies. The technology needs to be used intelligently. We went freemium and realized that we needed to go up market with contracts. We’re working on that transition and growth strategy now.
How long did it take you to finally take the leap, and what was it that pushed you over the fence?
We made the leap very quickly. We were getting feedback that the tech was a 10/10 and 9/10 from our Robly users.
Who inspired you to pursue your dream, and why do you think they believed in you?
My roommates in my 20s started Vimeo and College Humor. I was working on Wall Street at the time and watching their lifestyle and creativity led me to quit my finance career to work in tech.
Who is your favorite mentor and why?
My father – I saw him work his ass off for us and that helped me have a great work ethic, however I always dreamt of being my own boss rather than working up the corporate ladder. He always would say the Thomas Jefferson quote “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
What was the hardest thing about starting your company, and what did you do to make it through the first stage?
The sales process for a new tech is always hard to nail down. Also understanding how different verticals will find your technology useful. It takes time to build true avatars and understand how you can provide value to those customers.
What has been the hardest lesson to learn?
At times there is a lot of work to be done and not so much. I’ve learned that I don’t need to spin my wheels and over work. I can use that time to rest, reflect and come up with better ideas.
What has been the most amazing thing you have experience while running this company?
Watching it grow so quickly. In the first six months we hit $250K MRR with over 1,000 customers.
What is the weirdest thing you have experienced while running this company, and how did you react to it?
We went viral with our Facebook Ads. That was super fun and I was surprise how great of sales tactic it was for some time.
What is the best decision you’ve ever made while running this company?
I’ve learned as an entrepreneur that if something isn’t working you need to pivot immediately. This goes for time and resources.
What is the biggest mistake you made while running this company, and why do you think it happened?
Going Freemium was a bust. We had so many people sign up that didn’t know how to use the product. It also doesn’t provide value for people that don’t have a large amount of traffic. This took up a lot of time and resources. If I were a better entrepreneur I would have seen that before launching it.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your company?
It hasn’t affected it as far as I can tell. We launched in November 2019 and grew very quickly though the pandemic. Though, we did loose a few customers that had to pause their contracts and businesses for some time due to the Pandemic.
What keeps you passionate about your company?
I am in love with the identity resolution space right now and this fits. I’m also working on something new in the same space that I’m pretty excited about.
What daily routine have you developed to help you take care of your mind, body, and soul?
I wake up and make pour over coffee, listen to classic piano on my noise cancelling Bose headphones, journal for 15 minutes and start my day with a clear mind.
What one thing would you like people to take away from this interview?
I learned A LOT building my first company Robly. We had a room of 30 sales people at one point. Today I have 2. I’ve learned to keep my companies as lean as possible.
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On the podcast, Sean talks with entrepreneurs about the reality of their struggle to succeed, as well as answering questions from the community, and sharing nuggets of wisdom from his own life.
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