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Acquired Episode 15: ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce) with Scott Dorsey

Acquired Episode 15: ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce) with Scott Dorsey

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 15:49

Ben and David return to make their first foray into enterprise software, covering Salesforce’s $2.5B acquisition of ExactTarget in 2013 with the help of special guest and ExactTarget cofounder & CEO, Scott Dorsey.
Technical note: due to an issue we didn’t catch during recording, audio quality is significantly lower than usual for this episode (especially David’s voice). We apologize but hope you’ll give it a chance anyway— Scott offers great wisdom & insights, and the ExactTarget success story is a inspiring one underdog entrepreneurs, especially (but not limited to!) anyone located in the Midwest or elsewhere outside of traditional "Silicon Valley-style” tech hubs.
Topics covered include:
  • The decision to start ExactTarget post-internet bubble and in Indianapolis, with zero software experience between Scott and cofounders Chris Baggott & Peter McCormick
  • Raising initial money from friends & family, followed by early investment and mentoring from Indianapolis venture pioneer Bob Compton
  • Building and scaling a great sales organization within a technology company
  • The importance of focusing early on a clearly defined target market (SMBs in the case of ExactTarget), and then “stair-stepping” up as the product and business scale grow over time
  • ExactTarget’s unsuccessful first IPO filing during the financial crisis
  • Building a "capital-efficient” early stage company, and the value of raising growth capital at the right time to step on the accelerator
  • The value of “secondary” investments allowing founders, employees & early investors to “stay hungry” by achieving some liquidity along the way
  • When and how to expand internationally and the importance of strategic resellers
  • ExactTarget’s second successful IPO filing and life as a public company with quarterly financial reporting to Wall Street
  • How the acquisition process played out with Salesforce and other bidders (including reference to ExactTarget’s incredible SEC filing detailing the entire negotiationscroll down to "Background and Reasons for the ExactTarget Board’s Recommendation”, starting at the bottom of page 13)
  • Approaching the difficult task of integrating a major acquisition involving thousands of people
  • The fun story of ExactTarget’s winning Microsoft as a large customer—including actual sledgehammers
  • Scott’s new Indianapolis-based venture studio, High Alpha
  • Plus as always the "hard hitting" analysis across acquisition category, what would have happened otherwise, tech themes—and final grading
The Carve Out
  • Instagram’s incredible user numbers announcement: 500M monthly active users / 300M daily active users

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Our presenting sponsor for this episode is not a sponsor, but another podcast that we love and want to recommend called the founders podcast. We have seen dozens of tweets that say something like my favorite podcast is acquired and founders so we knew there's a natural fit we know the host of founders well David Senra hi David. Hey, Ben. Hey, David. Thank you for joining us. Thank you for having me. I like how they group us together and then they say it's like the best curriculum for founders and executives. It really is we use your show for research a lot. I listen to your episode of the story of a few more. Before we did our Sony episodes is incredible primer. You know, he's actually a good example of why people listen to founders into acquired because all of history's greatest entrepreneurs investors they had deep historical knowledge about the work that came before them. So like the founder of Sony, who did he influence Steve jobs talked about him over and over again if you do the research. And I think this is one of the reasons why people love both of our shows and there's such good compliments is on acquired we focus on company histories. You tell the histories of the individual people you're the people version of acquired and where the company version of founders listeners. The other fun thing to note is David will hit a topic from a bunch of different angles. So I just listen to an episode on Edwin land from a biography that David did David. It was the third fourth time you've done Polaroid. I've read five biographies of Edwin land and I think I've made eight episodes of them because in my opinion, the greatest entrepreneur to ever do it. My favorite entrepreneur personally is Steve Jobs. And if you go back and listen to like a 20 year old Steve Jobs. I'm talking about Edwin lands my hero. So the reason I did that is because I want to find out like I have my heroes who were their heroes and the beauty of this is the people may die, but the ideas never do. And so Edwin land had passed away way before the apex of Apple, but Steve was still able to use those ideas and now he's gone and we can use this ideas. And so I think what acquires doing what founder trying to do as well is find the best ideas in history and push them down the generations. Make sure they're not lost history. I love that. Well listeners go check out the founders podcast after this episode you can search for it in any podcast player. Lots of companies that David covers that we have yet to dive into here on acquired. So for more indulgence on companies and founders go check it out. This can be a great episode. This is gonna be awesome. Yeah, I think administer via might only be asking for reviews should we keep doing that does it sound needy. Is it you is it you is it you city down say it straight another story on the way. Welcome to episode 15 of acquired the podcast where we talk about technology acquisitions. I'm Ben Gilbert. David Rosenblugh and we are your hosts. We'll be talking about the 2013 Salesforce acquisition of exact target we have with us today Scott Dorsey Scott was the founder and CEO of exact target and I actually interned exact target for a summer when when I was in college and probably worth mentioning Scott is also my cousin. So super super excited to have family on the show and welcome Scott. Hey thanks Ben really appreciate it and David delight to be on the show and proud to watch how your careers develop Ben and glad that you you had a little little little little stupid exact target along the way that's pretty neat. Super super fun at met a lot of great people there so wouldn't be here today without it. No, no, it's true. I think normally we talk about the acquisition history and facts and David sort of reviews that but I thought a really cool way of diving into the show today would be to kind of have David do. A little bit of review of facts but kind of go into a Q&A with Scott. Yeah, that's that's a plan since we're lucky enough to have the the primary source here sitting with us. So for folks who don't know exact target was founded by Scott and your co-founders Chris Baggett and Peter McCormick in Indianapolis in December of 2000. So Scott December of 2000. How do you guys decide to start a tech company the bubble at just burst. You know you weren't in Silicon Valley. What what was going through your minds exactly David. It's a great question and we're a classic kind of didn't know any better against long odds story and that we started exact target in December of 2000 under under the toughest conditions. The internet bubble had burst you know VC funding had really dried up and we were three first time software entrepreneurs you know starting a tech company in Indianapolis and actually none of us had a technical background. So we we were against long odds for sure but we had we had a real clear vision around what we were trying to accomplish and it was actually my co founder Chris Baggett and while we're kind of unpacking some family stories here. Chris is actually my brother in law so we we both married into this great family from Indianapolis. He's from Pittsburgh and I'm from Chicago and I had just finished my MBA at Kellogg over at Northwestern and really studied entrepreneurship and internet business models and it just come back from our capstone course which was studying really the Silicon Valley ecosystem and figuring out how to apply that to Chicago and how to apply that to the Midwest. And Chris had this big idea around database marketing and how to apply database marketing principles to the internet and Chris is one of these just incredible vision areas in evangelists and he's he's now done it multiple times even post exact target by founding a company called compendium and the blogging software space and now he's very deep into food tech and agriculture but Chris had a real sense that. The internet was going to transform marketing and that email marketing in particular and permission based email was going to be very powerful way for small businesses to get to know their customers better and be able to build these kind of personalized relationships and be able to deliver relevant content that that drove business and he was right so he he was so passionate about the idea that he really convinced me to kind of quit my day job I was working for an internet incubator in Chicago called divine and we sold the house and had too little. And put put the family in the car drove to Indian apples and said let's give this a shot. Oh that's a that's a pretty crazy did you guys did you guys try and raise money from Silicon Valley BC's at that point I know so you raised some money from friends and family and a few local individuals Bob Compton I believe was your lead investor. But you know I got to imagine in December of 2000 not many BC's are making any investments let alone first time tech entrepreneurs and Indianapolis know that's exactly right David we we spawn our wheels you know talking to a lot of different VCs and Indianapolis many apples we really didn't head back to the valley in a meaningful way but we certainly talked to a lot of VCs in the Midwest with absolutely no luck. And and then start talking angel investors who are also kind of slow to move so our first round of financing was just a classic friends and family round we raised about 200,000 dollars from you know those that loved us and trusted us and that that early investor roster was you know my parents and my brother and my father law and then pretty much all of Chris's neighbors Chris Chris Chris has just this infectious enthusiasm and it's not much of an exaggeration to say he went door to door. With with the ppm and his neighborhood and collected $5,000 checks and we were we were so careful you know especially with Chris and I being family. We only wanted to raise small amounts of money from family members that if it didn't work out you know there be no hard feelings we wouldn't have any discomfort you around the Thanksgiving dinner table so we we scooped up a lot of five and $10,000 checks. And cobbled together the first couple hundred thousand dollars in the business and really cool story is that for those investors that put 5,000 into that seed round and and went the distance and actually a handful of them did they they held the stock all the way through the sales force acquisition that $5,000 became well well yeah well north of a million dollars. Lots of lots of pools and home renovation projects started popping up in Chris's neighborhood. And we had a lot of we had a lot of happy family members so that was really our first move. We we were a bootstrap startup you know the three of us worked without taking a salary for the first six months of the business and then we are really fortunate to find Bob Compton and Bob was a very accomplished venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur in his own right. Bob had invested in a company called software artistry which was the first really Indiana software company to go public and then later was acquired by IBM and then he was a venture capitalist at CID equity and and then actually ran one of their investments sophomore Danick and sophomore Danick sold the metronica was a big exit so Bob was a very accomplished investor and tech entrepreneur and he became our lead angel investor and really became my mentor he was chairman for. For seven years the business and what's Bob put money into the business and raising capital got a lot easier we have that stamp of credibility that we really needed. And with only 200,000 raised I mean this was the era before cloud computing. How did you invest that to build the business so great question then it's so different you know AWS didn't exist so we were we were buying servers you know we were lacking servers we were buying networking equipment you know we really had to build the infrastructure. And ironically our first ten thousand dollars went to lear us which later turned out to be an email marketing competitive but lear us had a server based solution for sending email volume and that was one of our one of our early licensing purchases so really most of the money went to building the product and building the early infrastructure. And then this was interesting you always have to leverage your timing and your unique assets and one of one of our unique assets and an element of the of the era was that we had a lot of awesome friends and colleagues that were looking for what was next and a good number of them were with. Coms that didn't work out and we ended up hiring our first sales team as kind of independent contractors where you know we'd convince a friend that we had a big vision this was a neat opportunity and they would sell for us and we give them equity in the company and they would sell for us you know really as an independent contractor no salary commission only and they they had to do it all they had to find the lead. Put the pitch deck together sell the deal collect the deal implement the customer and if they made it all the way through we paid him a commission so we actually built this really kind of season sales team early just on the back of the fact that we had a lot of really good friends that were kind of looking for something that was next in their career and then once we got fund today became real employees and we are able to provide benefits and all that good stuff but we built a very scalable sales organization before we really could afford to. How much do you think that sort of original DNA of totally giving all you know pure commission based sales to those early sales folks do you think can help shape the way that that organization was built great question been huge influence you know we from day one where a very sales driven customer driven you know organization and you know just the nature of the three founders all. Sales marketing leaders you know kind of general management background you know everybody sold everybody spent time with customers and early on we would describe ourselves as marketers building software for marketers you know we had a very very keen sense for what problem we were solving and what we wanted the product to look like and how we wanted to function so that was you know product management V one you know was really all driven by the founders but we created a sales culture early on where the three of us were very aggressive and selling and working with. Customers and it's perhaps the my very favorite element of software is the service is that if you you are a good listener and you work closely with customers they will reveal your product road map for you you know and it's really your job to certainly bring your vision and your point of view but you're really distilling feedback from many many individuals and organizations your customers and your prospects in the marketplace and you can distill that feedback in the right way and take action upon it. You can build an amazing solution that clients really want so that was one of our you know I think one of our real strong suits was being very close to the customer and being great listeners and really helping them shape our product but we were incredibly sales driven because of that kind of independent network of sales representatives that we built we were very sales heavy early on I actually I look back. I did a history of exact target chat a few months ago and I look back at one of our early decks this was this was even staggering to me but at the moment where we had 44 employees we actually had 26 and sales. Wow that's heavy that's heavy so we're very very very sales driven and then we also we also unlocked a channel far earlier than most software companies we realize that digital agencies could be great partners of ours they were building websites they were writing copyings and content but they really didn't have tools for email marketing specifically and we built a big channel program that allowed these agencies to leverage our tech platform rebranded or white label it where they needed to and and build these recurring revenue streams that were advantageous for them and that allowed us to start reaching into big you know fortune 500 companies like general mills and home deep old became clients of ours through their trusted agency at a time when we were still a small scrappy company so it helps us kind of punch way above our weight class early on and that was that was a big driver early success. On that front you know we we should say for our listeners to this is I think really our first or one of our first pure enterprise technology companies that we've covered. Oh actually I'd be curious and Scott's take on saying that well well but I want to come back to that because you know and I say that because you know it's these they're sort of this like trope when you're looking at you know investments in the enterprise that like there's this matrix of you know what what your target customer is when you're when you're an enterprise you know software company and you sell to and you need to you know it's like a task like you need to you need to have that nail it's like are you enterprise or are you mid market or you S and V do you sell direct you sell the by the channel you know and and and typically you need to have very clear answers to those but it sounds like you know from the get go you guys were like yes to all of those it was that deliberate you know how did you think about that no great question David we were very small business focused very small business focused and fact are you know first wave of customers were literally restaurants dry cleaners peaches shops we are very SMB and very retail oriented the original problem we were trying to solve was that when the retailer you know turns the lights on and opens the door in the morning and they often have little visibility into who's walking in the door and who their customers are and how to build you know deeper relationships and that was part of the background that Chris brought to the business. So early on we were you know a thousand dollar a year subscription and very small business focused and actually a good number of the reasons why those early VCs said no as they just they just couldn't picture that this could become a large business and and then over time through you know I think being crafty and agile and and very sales and customer oriented you know we started to realize actually our first wave of expansion was you know to to grab a lot of things and we're going to do that. So to grab lots of small businesses at one time you need to start selling to franchise organization so we started evolving to franchise organizations where the franchise or cared a great deal about centralized branding and content but they wanted to give autonomy and authorship down to the franchise. So we started to build kind of this this parent child relationship and this kind of enterprise architecture to serve franchise works and that gave us a big boost then we started realizing that really every organization in the world is going to need to use. Email digital marketing to communicate with our customers whether you were you know a nonprofit or or Microsoft on the enterprise side you know there really were common set of needs and we just we just built more and more sophisticated technology and then ironically we were a sales force customer from the inception of our business so we we were students of sales force we really watched how sales force built and scaled their business so we admired that they were you know multi tenets that platform that serve small businesses all the way up to large enterprises. And I I just fell in love with the idea that you could essentially build software once and sell and deploy it over and over again and that you could build features that you know could be every feature we ever built you know had a switch board we had a you know an on off button where we could deploy the software and package it in a really flexible way that was very simple for the small business or we could turn on all the advanced capabilities for the more sophisticated enterprise and to have essentially one code base where we could be able to do that. And so we had a lot of one code base where we have clients you know paying a thousand dollars a year and clients we had we had a lot of seven figure clients and even some eight figure clients essentially using the same platform that's just a remarkable level of scale and flexibility and there's a lot of tension that comes that that applies to the organization around segmentation who are you building products for how do you build your services or what are your support models but these are all the things we see are afraid of right. So we started small and then we disrupted we really disrupted the incumbents by kind of inching our way up market and I think they often underestimated us but but it was that that flexibility I was strong and I really I wanted I wanted to be a part of that democratization of software I wanted to deliver compelling software to small businesses in an affordable way and I always felt that our market opportunity would be a lot bigger if we could continue to serve SMB enterprise and then the really neat thing is small businesses become big businesses and marketers leave small companies and go to big companies so we had a lot of pull through actually one of our largest customers over time was Groupon and Groupon came into our small business inside sales team when they were barely just getting started and they were able to scale with us you know nearly every step of the way so there are a lot of neat success stories where that SMB enterprise range yeah it was a big difference. Yeah, so I'm curious so you know so you know you know you know few years of bootstrapping start really small clean of dry cleaners you know pizza shops as you say and then you know things go well a couple years well four years later 2004 you end up raising 10 and a half million from insight by 2006 you raise another seven million dollars and at that point you're doing sort of 40ish million in revenue what you know on that on that kind of stair step up you know how long did it take to get to you know from the individual little guys to the franchisees to up to up to I would assume by the time you're doing you know 40ish million revenue you're probably already at the enterprise or starting to hit the enterprise at that point with where they're like specific great points along the way I'm digging like you know Microsoft is one of your biggest customers you know how did how did that conversation started how did they come into the fold. That's a great a great question David and maybe I'll first start with just kind of going back to that that time frame so in December of 07 we actually filed the go public we were we were 48 million yeah we're 48 million in revenue we were profitable and we're just starting to kind of reach the enterprise space and we were extraordinarily capital efficient so the fundraising that you reference is all accurate but actually can be a little deceiving because each of those rounds was a mix of primary and secondary capital so we we often had a secretary component to our fundraising to provide founders employees and early investors an opportunity to take a little bit of money off the table along the way and I was so grateful we did that actually because we especially because of how we bootstrapped the business and how our three co founders worked for kind of a very long period of time without paying ourselves having an opportunity to get to the market and that's a good thing. Having an opportunity to take a little bit of money off the table along the way was powerful because it it just allowed us to sleep all at night knowing that you know we had some level of financial security for our family and we we'd be able to send our kids to college and all those good things but then it just it got us hungry you know to really want to take the business and make sure we didn't prematurely sell the business so what was interesting is when we filed in December of 07 we had only raised 6 million in primary capital and we had nearly as much on a balance sheet so we had been we had been extraordinary capital efficient up to that point so so we filed the go public in December of 07 the you know public equity market just fell apart in early 08 and we actually stayed on file all of 08 and in ultimately decided to pull the IPO in early 09 and that's that's a whole nother story be happy to jump into but it was I would say was that time frame where we started reaching up into the enterprise and the nature of our business was shifting we started building more professional services capability and you know that the fundamental to the business started shifting and in addition to the equity markets not being very favorable it actually was a huge blessing for us because it it gave us a chance to stay private bring more capital in the business and you know kind of recalibrate toward the enterprise and it was much easier to do that as a private company. Yeah and that's what I wanted to go next year kind of leading up to so you file a go public in December of 2007 and this was the days before the jobs act which you know hard to imagine now that well easy because we all live through it but you know you your perspective was stand out there in the public domain. From December of 2007 you know well still to this day but until may of 2009 you are on file and all your competitors could come. Read your s1 and you know see all your financials and and and you ultimately didn't go public then I assume because of the financial crisis in large part you know there were no IPOs happening then. What was that like you so difficult you're exactly you're exactly right. You're still a private company but you have none of the benefits of being a public company but all the downsides. That's exactly right I would I would commonly say we had we had you know all the burden and cost and pressure being a public company with none of the benefits you know zero because you're exactly right this was pre jobs act and you know we had to report every quarter just as a company. So the silver lining is we had a great training ground of how to set quarterly expectations how to work with the street how to work with the analysts. We had to do quarterly you know earnings calls you know with the analysts that would be covering our stock but it was very very difficult and a testament to the strength of our team and our company culture that we kept everybody focused we kept everybody very positive and and oh wait was just a difficult year for running the company. In general you know given the economic crisis our chair numbers went up because a lot of our small business customers were going out of business renewals got tougher upsells got tougher new business there's a lot of price pressure so you know we had a we had a good year and oh wait but it was a very different year you know from from the from the prior years of our business. But it was a great it was a great learning and growth opportunity for us and in early oh nine it became became evident we were we were not going to get out we certainly didn't want to we didn't need the capital you know we didn't want to go public unless we were very confident was going to be a successful IPO. And then to my earlier comment the business really started shifting more to the enterprise and I also learned a valuable lesson we were profitable at that time and you know the public markets really want to see margin expansion and became really evident that if we were to go public. We were going to have to show margin expansion both gross margin and in operating income and it was going to make it very difficult for us to make the strategic investments in the business that we wanted we were very passionate about moving beyond email into a pure. Digital marketing platform we were ready for international expansion we were ready to start a couple of our acquisitions and all of that became a lot easier as a private company so we we pulled our IPO in early nine in conjunction with the large round of capital led by a battery and scale and the later tcv came on board as well and our internal tagline was better than an IPO and we really we really outlined for employees. Between that and then a later round you did in 2011 I think you raised more money than in the private markets than you ultimately did in your IPO. Yeah we raised 145 million in 2009 and and once again there was there was a large secondary component but it it gave us you know a war chest to really get aggressive you know and expanding the business and we we created a vision we called accelerate 2013 where we became very specific around the company what we wanted to look like in 2013 we started with the end of the end of the year. We started with the end of end in mind and then worked our way back and very counter to it if this was this was the time where you know Sequoia sent out their favorite you know kind of famous deck around you know kind of the yes yes good times are over almost mandating you know 20% head count reduction across all their portfolio companies and as all of our competitors were pulling back we hit the accelerator we we got very aggressive in investing in R&D development building building. Big sales capacity ultimately we built you know sales organization that was you know three or four times larger than an air competitor so we we kind of hyper invested in the business in 0 9 and 10 counting on the fact that when the economy came going back we were going to be the best position to take advantage of it and that happened and then we we actually rolled into our IPO which is March of 2012 with just huge momentum we had we had accelerating growth rates we had grown in that that 0 8 timeframe 0 8 0 9 around 30% and then we moved up to the 40s and then we were mid 50s as we kind of rolled into the public markets in early 12 so that that hyper investment in that decision to stay stay private paid big dividends for us. Yeah and then talking about accelerating growth one of the things that always struck me as as really unique about ET was how deliberately you expanded the business internationally and using channel partners as the way to grow I think we haven't really talked about our national expansion all in the show and be really interesting to kind of hear how you thought about that. I'll be happy to you in your exact right then this was kind of a derivative of our you know our channel and agency program and that we knew we could get reach into markets that we likely wouldn't be able to address directly through channel partners and we did the same thing internationally so we found a partner in the UK and they spun up essentially an exact target reseller and we did the same in Australia and as those you know great teams and later you know became friends you know they built their build. They built their business and really scaled it around the exact target platform when they started to reach some critical massive of customers and employees we then acquired the business so it was kind of a low cost low risk way for us to expand internationally before we would have been able to do otherwise you know it's kind of a small capital efficient company and we really validated with with these partners that there was a market for our our software and our services you know outside the United States and then we started working with. Multinational like Nike and Expedia and Microsoft and it became imperative if we're going to grow those relationships that we had an international presence so. Now three years in a row we actually acquired every August first we acquired our reseller in the UK and use that as a beach had to expand through Europe and then the next August we acquired our reseller in Australia and then the next August we acquired a reseller in Sao Paulo Brazil and gave us a great reach into that marketplace so we did six acquisitions over the course of exactly. And then we had a massive course of exact target history and three were product expansion and three were geo expansion. Yeah so you go through this you go through this period of kind of from a you know a dead IPO that wasn't going to happen you pull back you raise a bunch of money at a time when nobody could raise money you accelerate the business come out and you go public in March of 2012 and then it's just a little over a year later that the acquisition happens. The topic of our show we want to and we'll get to we'll get to category and tech themes and everything else in a minute but I want to spend a little bit of time we were talking with Scott before the show. One of the things we love to do on acquired is dig into these legal court cases and SEC documents and all sorts of stuff and luckily an exact targets case I don't think there were any major court cases but one of the things that happens when a public company is acquired is there. You're required and this will be coming out for LinkedIn soon I can't wait to dive in you're required to disclose to the SEC that they play by play of exactly how the acquisition happened and so that we'll link to it in the show notes it's this amazing document about how the exact target acquisition happened and I'd love to just you know I ask you to talk a little bit about that process of you know how it started and and again all of its documented publicly like there were three. There were three other bitters that we can't talk about their identities they referred to as party a party B and party C in the document but multiple offers going back and forth I mean there must have been such a stressful time for you how did you navigate through it. It was incredible it was incredible learning experience and exhilarating and nerve wrecking at the same time for sure so we had been we had been a public company for five quarters and you know life was good we actually we had a great time you know our IPO was super successful you know we came out of the New York stock and changed it you know north of a billion dollar valuation and our IPO was heavily over subscribed and we felt like we had all the right investors supporting us from from day to day. All that learning that happened in 2008 and 2009 were able to really apply to the you know S1 and filing process and IPO and how to pick the right banks and the right analysts and we we just had it we had it we had amazing time. Going public and and really loved it and then five quarters of the public company more of the same you know we kind of met exceeded plan every quarter we were really embraced by by Wall Street and had a great investor base we had completed two acquisitions. One called I go digital in the predictive analytic space and a second part not in the B to be marketing automation and and and life was great we're very happy you know as as an independent public company and we were growing you know north of forty percent year over year. What started really happened you know across the you know kind of software ecosystem is that you know marketing cloud solutions started really garnering more attention and I would say really the largest probably five or six software companies in the world you know we're really all shifting the cloud and publicly stating an intent to go a lot deeper into marketing you know so that started happening in a big way. And and for for us at exact target a big part of our strategy had been to build a very open platform robust API's and lots of integrated partnerships so our premise was that marketers need one place to store all the data they have on their customers and then to use that data to drive more personalized and relevant communications and relationships. So even literally before the app exchange even existed we integrated into sales force and we integrated into Microsoft dynamics and we had great relationships with with Adobe and in omniature and kind of many others you know across the industry so it was very logical that we were attending shows and conferences and co selling co market and kind of with all these companies but sales force you know we've had this really rich relationship with from being a customer to being an integrated partner to doing lots of things. Together in the market and you know we got to know mark and the team and you know sales force had made a big push into marketing with the radian six and buddy media acquisitions and and really you know had a social first strategy and and over time it just became apparent that their customers wanted more you know that social was. In important channel but they really wanted a multi channel platform they wanted greater data capabilities and they wanted a platform that was not only oriented for B2B customers but also B2C so we you know we always had a close relationship with sales force and it would always kind of share product road maps and vision and direction and it it just became apparent they were going to make a bigger investment in marketing and knocked on our door and said hey we'd like to we'd like to collaborate and take a closer look at that kind of joining forces and and you're absolutely right David when you're in the market. Absolutely right David when you're when you're a public company and you get that kind of inbound inquiry you know the level of governance and process is is at a very different level. Yeah and I'm curious and really for our list is you what we'll link to this document you should read it's like a you know it's like a legalized version of like high drama of like she experienced drama but did somebody hand you a playbook and be like okay you know here's what you do in this situation or where you guys you know figuring it out as you went along. Clearly was the first time experience for me but fortunately we did we had an excellent you know set of advisors and board members that had quite a bit of experience you know in this area to make sure that we really followed the right process and and did what was ultimately in the best interest of our shareholders you know and for me is you know it's founder and CEO it certainly can be you know kind of emotionally even a bit of sweet process and I I had I had hoped that I had hoped that the premium we're offered would be you know so substantial that it was really an excellent outcome. You know for our shareholders and for employees and then I'd really hope that we we ended up with with an acquire that was very strategic and would continue invest in the business and and sales force became that you know and a whole lot more so the process was amazing it was it was fast and and exhilarating and certainly had a lot of pressure associated with it but I I I was very very comfortable that this was the best decision for our shareholders and for employees and all of our constituents. And now that we're able to you know see what's transpired over over the last three years I have you know 100% confidence that this was a huge win for for sales force and for exact target everybody involved with the company along the way. Yeah I'm really curious you guys sold for about a 50% premium over your what you've been trading at publicly. There's got to be a bunch of offers sort of coming in from investment bankers or perhaps even CEOs calling you and saying hey you know that I think this might work out what number do you start actually paying attention at listening like when do you form the subcommittee and we should say to the so the acquisition happened in June of 2013 $2.5 billion $33.75 a share and your IPO price I believe was $19 just over a year before so. And I think trading at 22 or so day before. Yeah that's about right that's about right we our IPO price was 19 we came out at 23 and a nickel and then you know largely traded you know in the 20s and we're kind of in the low 20s you know. When sales force you know first put their their first offer of 26 dollars a share in front of us and I'll tell you Ben it was lots about even coming up with a with a number that was interesting we were really just focus on making sure that when you get that you know first level of inbound interest that we take it seriously and really handle the process in a way that's above approach and and that we're kind of following every step you need to as a public company and and let the process run and then ultimately let us know that we're going to be able to do that. And then ultimately let the subcommittee in the board make the best decision at the end of the process. And it helps to I think you guys during the negotiation process released you be Q1 earnings and up to guidance and that's that's always a good thing to do it's as you were saying to about like when you pulled the IPO the first time you know and then when I raised all the money and went out afterwards with the accelerating growth like you know great acquisition to happen when companies get bought that sold you know when you're on a bright future ahead of you and things are going great and didn't need anybody you know that's that's the no that's exactly right and you really you maximize value yeah when you are operating from a position of strength and you have multiple parties that are really interested neither making adventure investment or ultimately acquiring the company and unfortunately we we had that you know we had that in a big way and we just fit so beautifully into sales force you know they had a big vision and we were on the marketing cloud we were a perfect complement to the two acquisitions they had already made and we really brought this you know data architecture that was very consumer oriented to the table so we give sales force a big way into into the B2C side of the industry we brought you know this multi channel marketing platform where by that time we'd expanded you know beyond email into mobile and social and and and web analytics we had we had a really broad you know kind of digital multi channel platform we were you know the largest in the fastest growing marketing software company really in the world and we were able to fill the big gap for them and then silver lining was that we had recently added part dot and part dot was this just gem of a company and Atlanta that we acquired for for right around a hundred million dollars and they were B2B marketing automation player tightly integrated into sales force so sales force you know not only was able to get all the benefits that exact target brought to the table but part dot was a was a great snap in that put sales force in a position where they could compete with Ella Qua and and Marquetto and other players in that kind of that slice of the industry as well cool cool well I think this is a it's about time we move to our our next section of acquisition category and what we'll kind of do is David and I will kind of make our our picks between people technology product business line or other and then Scott would take the same other yeah it's always kind of cheap well I think I mean I think for me it's got obviously your your word is most important here but clearly this is a business line acquisition for sales force you know going from and it's interesting this is going to go into my tech team in a minute but you know having been selling into sales organization for so long and developed these huge and big scale business that sales force had to to pick up exact target and as you were mentioning part dot and everything else along with it to now be able to sell into the CMO and the marketing side was clearly a business line and a great one for them. Yeah I mean I've nothing to disagree with there I mean exact target clearly had it was it was not just a product but a suite of products I think when I was finishing on my tenure there we were launching the digital marketing hub and that includes SMS and email marketing micro sites we had social with co-tweet and it became clear that like you know there there was their own exact target had channel to a lot different customers that then sales force could expand into but really a whole whole suite of products to add to sales forces repertoire to and if it and if it were more clear this is a business line sales force actually still you know calls this the sales force marketing club business line that the great result and Scott you ran it when when you when you came there right correct correct I would I would I would I would absolutely agree guys there's there's no question that we you know brought tremendous group of people and talent and culture to sales force and a lot of really unique and proprietary technology but I would I would agree if you had to classify the acquisition into the brand I would call it business line because we just fit so beautifully into the marketing cloud strategy and brought a sizable model recurring revenue you know we were 300 million in recurring revenue moving to 400 and for sales force that their size and their growth velocity and now you see it with demand where you know they have to make large acquisitions you know that are meaningful you know that actually a relevant can contribute to that top line growth and we were able to do that in a big way and it's it's made me really proud that you know mark on a number of occasions with with Jim Kramer on mad money and other places to said that exact target's been the most successful acquisition that sales forces ever completed and I believe that to be true it's just going remarkably well and the the leaders that were on my team that are now leading you know kind of big functional areas within sales force in the marketing cloud they're happy and having a tremendous amount of success and really growing the business in a big way and committing Indianapolis which is really really cool sales force just recently announced that in addition to the 1400 employees they haven't downtown India they're going to add 800 new positions over the next few years and then I don't know if you've heard this bend but the the tallest building in Indiana is the chase tower sales force is going to consolidate and move employees into that tower and it's actually be renamed the sales force tower so to be a thing about towers to oh yes yes yeah no absolutely mark mark and you're like this towers mark mark and the team like they love their towers but it's it's going to be so fantastic for our tech community that the tallest building in the city and the state is actually a tech building so it's going to be a big a big boost and accelerated or tech community which I'm very happy about well and I always remember to there's so many like unique things about exact target for the region there's this big like drum beat from I think maybe your first or second office that it was about being an urban company and that people needed to you know we're in monument circle which was like this incredibly cool historic like center of downtown big statue exact target had a building with this cool roof deck that looked at over it and I remember thinking well I never want to work in an office park again and I think that like a lot of exact target employees got super spoiled in that way. Now it's exactly right Ben our our real state strategy was was to really build around this urban core and build the build the campus and a work environment that was super appealing you know really to the the the millennial the younger generation and it's been really fun over the last decade you know downtown Indianapolis has had this huge resurgence of housing and amazing you know restaurants and you know kind of a lot of arts and culture and sports and the exact target you know has has been a part of that fabric of downtown Indianapolis and I really felt that to build you know high growth category leading company in a in a market like Indianapolis we had to be in the urban core to really take advantage of just the the energy the vitality the ability to to recruit you know top all over the country and then even to bring in you know partners and VCs and customers that could fly into Indianapolis and you know take a 15 20 minute cab ride to downtown India and then be able to just enjoy all the benefits of that that downtown setting has and that's that's been neat and I'll tell you one of the one of the neat legacy elements of exact target is for years we've worked on getting a non stop flight in place from Indianapolis to San Francisco and not having it's been a real barrier our our west coast investors you know have to jump through lots of hoops to make it make it in the Indian for a board meeting and and it makes just fundraising for all companies here in any more difficult and right around the time of the acquisition we actually got it done with United Airlines and and have had a had a non stop flight back and forth to San Francisco which which might seem trivial but it's actually been a game changer for for our tech community and it sales forces and it's been a lot of things that we've appreciated as well no I totally believe it I think a lot of a lot of credence is paid to Seattle's proximity to San Francisco as a competitive advantage in fundraising and and starting a company in general and I think that kind of quick direct flight as you know just a tremendous amount to do with that it's so true it's so true and I the same is happening it's all Salt Lake City you know Salt Lake is this amazing tech ecosystem you know with almost a dozen I would say you know kind of unicorn level valuations and so much of that is you know Salt Lake and in Park City are kind of a wonderful place to be but it's such a short hop away from Silicon Valley that you're you're able to raise capital and get those investors really engage in the business. Yeah moving to the next section what would have happened otherwise is sort of two alternate futures here and I kind of want to pose both questions to you one is do you think exact target would have made sense with any other acquirer and then to you know exact target competed against responses and many other companies that started as as email marketing solutions for a long time do you think there was anyone besides exact target that they could have made sense at Salesforce. I think yes to both questions you know we we certainly could have fit fit in well with a number of you know kind of the other largest software companies in the world that have been focused on going a lot deeper into marketing tech and saw this a big growth area and there's no question you know that Salesforce looked at lots of different players you know over the course of time to potentially acquire and you know one element that's interesting when you go through that evaluation processes of public company and really try to make the best decision for your shareholders is you really have to do a lot of financial modeling and a lot of thinking about what his life as an independent company look like and we we ultimately did come to the conclusion that being being a part of Salesforce was was a better outcome higher probability outcome for our employees for our shareholders but they're there are a number of different number of different ways that that that our future you know could have played out but I was very very happy the way of flat out and it's the other other interesting dimension is the public company we would get an enormous amount of pressure around email the you know when is when is the end of coming and these new channels are going to cannibalize email oh my gosh it's just I you know it's kind of like if I had a nickel for every time I answered that question but it was it was just a heavy theme and even sometimes I'd say a cloud over our company where we were thought of as such in email centric company that even as we expanded around the world and expanded into all these other adjacent technologies that you reference ban we were we're still thought of as an email company and I and I think often didn't get credit for being a broad multi channel army channel platform but email was such a powerhouse for marketers that that that line of business just kept booming and and other lines were growing but they could never never even get close you know to the email side of the business because it's just the most powerful tool that a marketer has and as ecommerce as exploded with growth emails become even more relevant. Yeah I'm curious when you're forecasting what is life look like as an independent company I mean let's say you could continue to grow 40% euro for a year indefinitely or at least to some the top of some S.C.A on paper hard to do in fact that's right that's right that's right gets gets tougher with a lot of big numbers yeah yeah so at what point do you one factor in the top of the S curve and then two how many years out you know what do you look at as like sort of the pay back period of that premium and say like well they're giving us 50% premium and we don't think that we will reach that market cap for 20 years and we're only looking at a 10 year time horizon or something like that. Y'all tell you that's where you know that's really where the bankers and advisors and you know kind of independent committee come in because they they had a lot of expertise and how to build those financial models and what what time horizon you know make some most sense in order to in order to kind of predict your independent path versus versus joining forces with another so that's probably can't provide a lot more detail than that but you're exactly right that that's exactly the process that you go through that's right yeah I'm curious the before you bought from this and this also leads into my tech team. You don't have to say whether you consider to turn up but do you think looking back most of the big data driven marketing companies that that generation exact target being one of if not the leader. You know got really big we're growing really fast on a great trajectory but then they all got swallowed up by by other big enterprise companies whether it's you know oracle and eloquire or exact target sales force. Do you think there was any way that you know if maybe there have been consolidation among the companies into you know could there have been a giant you know there's so few giant enterprise software companies could want have been built in the marketing category. That's a great question I think I think why it didn't happen is is overlapping functionality you know that when you when you take a look at and there were certainly a lot of conversations that suit along the way could you stack together you know some of these kind of large marketing tech companies become something bigger and something more meaningful. And where it starts or where it starts to run run a file or kind of claps is that you just have a lot of duplication of functionality so you know an amateur you know got kind of pulled into Adobe early you know there certainly could have been a fit between. Let's say email and digital marketing channels and analytics you know that would have been a logical connection point but they kind of got pulled into Adobe early but when you looked at you know as in response to some of the B to B marketing automation companies you often had. You know kind of a lot of a lot of redundant functionality but but we were we were headed down that path ourselves you know that's really why the part of acquisition made sense and we we kind of kept moving. Deeper into into data and analytics and the web and really trying to build out that robust platform to make all these channels work together and what's really interesting is the big product we built that. Stitched all together as a product called journey builder and sales forces really embrace that journey builder platform and is applying it even across different clouds within sales force and using a lot of unique ways. Cool cool cool David you have anything before we go into tech trends. No I don't think so the only comment just let's got on what you were saying is it's interesting you're seeing so many startups now that are emerging that are you know next generation marketing automation but they're all taking the approach that you said of marrying it up with data and analytics you know I'm thinking. From mixed panel and segment as part of this ecosystem in a different way but you know so many customer IO in Portland you know intercom. It's funny they're taking exactly the broad state is that you're saying it's got no it's fun fun to see it evolve. You know one other topic that you asked me about David but I think I jumped into another category but it's kind of a fun story I'd love to tell you about it's just the nature of our Microsoft relationship you might if I just touch on that real quick. Yes that was a really fun story so we we really became the largest cloud company running on Microsoft technology we were early users of SQL and dot net and really everything we built was on the Microsoft framework and we. You know push Microsoft technology I think to the edge you know as we were building a super transaction intensive you know multi tenant platform but but through that we really built this wonderful relationship and then we started integrating into Microsoft dynamics and. Had a really nice relationship there and then and then ultimately Microsoft became a customer and it's a really fun story Microsoft had an internal platform internal email platform called pens that that really kind of powered marketing automation and email marketing specifically for for Microsoft business units and the internal solution was was not well liked across Microsoft so when we were we were fortunate to land Microsoft and really go through our adoption we built like an 18 to 20. For a month implementation period where we would be onboarding different business units of Microsoft on to exact target and off boarding them on the internal system of pens and we set we set a joint goal. It was an acronym for answer personalized email something something notification system. That's right that's right exactly exactly so we actually set a goal with the with a Microsoft implementation team and they were incredible to work with that when we got to the end of implementation and we're literally able to turn the lights off on pens you know we tired this internal system that was was not well liked across the enterprise that we'd have a celebration we'd we'd have a party and and we did we we actually. On the Microsoft campus had a huge tent that was erected in an event that was just you know catered to the fullest I mean beautiful you know wine beer food and the Microsoft team they had to get fire marshal approval but they actually pulled the servers that were running pens out of Microsoft data centers and brought the seriously brought them to the party and we sledge hammered him we we we all we all strapped on goggles and just beat the time of these servers there was office. It was just like a spectacular way to retire their internal system it was it was a blast. Wow this that couldn't be like a better segue into what technology themes does this illustrate for you and that's like a very physical visceral manifestation of the the one that I want to touch on and that's businesses using software as a service to outsource anything that's not their core competency. We keep this keeps coming up in episodes over and over again where businesses now you know with with the advent of cloud computing and the general cost of starting a company going down companies operate using tens of other companies infrastructure and software often even starting at a free tier or on some kind of premium pricing structure and you know it's it's different at that sort of scale where they're actually migrating from something they built in house but I kind of wanted to open it up to you since you know what you do at high alpha is start these new these new software as a service companies how do you identify where are the sort of holes where we can take something that a whole bunch of companies are doing and do it on one platform and they can all just pay us to use our platform. Now it's an exciting part of high alpha so you know high alpha we're a we're a venture studio we started a year ago and we're a venture studio focus on starting new cloud companies and we actually have two sides to high alpha high alpha studio is our startup studio and we we've signed up to start eight to 10 new companies over the next three to four years and then high alpha capital is our kind of second arm and that's that's a venture fund that is utilized to fund our own companies when they're ready to reach scale and then and then also fund other great SaaS entrepreneurs. They're great SaaS entrepreneurs around the country. So you're right that we spent a lot of time on just ideation you know looking for a met needs you know within the enterprise cloud space and we do that through our own ideas we do that through entrepreneurs that approach us we spend a lot of time with corporate innovation groups and universities and and just you know tech visionaries that you know have a sense for where the market's going and this whole this whole notion that every employer is a buyer of software something radically different you know you can it's just like a lot of things that are very different you know you can actually just get a lot of them to think back to the client server days, pre-cloud and tech spending and buying was tightly controlled, tightly controlled by the CIO and the IT department. And then with the advent of cloud, it starts to kind of open up to different business unit or business line owners can make decisions within a framework. And now we're in an era where every employee is a buyer with freemium and an employee credit card, you know, you can spin up Slack channels and lots of other solutions. And it's creating lots of opportunity, but it's also creating quite a few unintended consequences. So you'll get a kick out of this where you actually have started new business, we haven't announced it yet, that essentially is a SaaS platform for managing SaaS applications. It really is and it's targeted at the chaos and kind of the over- overcrowding of SaaS spend. It's a huge problem. And we are our MVP is about ready to go live with our first group of pilot customers, but it brings together SaaS spend, SaaS utilization and then user sentiment, user feedback. So it brings those three variables into one platform. So organizations can at a minimum actually understand what they're using. You know, what they paid for, it's being utilized across the enterprise. What have maybe they paid for, but isn't being utilized? Where do they have overlapping products and platforms? Where's there maybe something cool happening? Like, where's there innovation happening within one group or department that should be thought about across that organization? So that's kind of a cool company that we're excited about to help organizations kind of get their arms around how their business is using SaaS and use it in the most optimized way. So the tech theme, like we've been referencing a bunch of this is another perfectly thing is there's been this sort of historically in the enterprise space, which again, we haven't talked as much about on the show. There's been there kind of been sort of forish giants, right? Like there's there's Microsoft, there's SAP, there's Oracle, and then there's Salesforce, which is emerged as sort of the most recently as one of these giants. And there's this concept of like account control and like there lots of startups in the space, but ultimately those four companies are by far the biggest and they have the account control with the CIOs and increasingly CMOs and its sales and CEOs where they can push all sorts of products through their channel. And exact target as we talked about being a business line acquisition was a perfect fit with Salesforce as one of their first forays into a new product sending through their guerrilla channel, or guerrilla sized channel. Do you think that's, you know, how do you, how do you react to that? And or one of the main theses I think of SaaS enterprise investors is that with SaaS, like that's changing, right? Like you don't, you know, people can buy stuff for you. I'm like individual employees and account control is being eroded. I don't know, how do you think about that being on both sides now? I definitely see both sides of it. And you're totally spot on David. It's one of the big reasons why the exact target acquisition has been successful is that Salesforce just has these amazing executive level relationships or the biggest companies around the world. Then they they know Salesforce, they trust them, they want they want to buy more products, they want to buy more products that are tightly integrated. And you know, when you look at the Salesforce marketing cloud numbers are booming and they're really booming because they have all those trusted CEO and CIO relationships. And then the market and the team, they're just incredible, you know, innovators and amazing at executing, scaling the business. So that's that's real. There's no question about that. However, there's still plenty of opportunity for new innovation and new entrance and and the innovators dilemma of companies coming up with new ideas and new concepts and software that's lighter and more flexible and more mobile friendly and more consumer like. There's there's no shortage of room. I think you know, for for innovation and for new companies to find their groove. And then you don't need your CIO to approve to buy. You don't you don't that's exactly right. That's exactly right. Which honestly, you know, you're talking about ideation and getting ideas for new companies and getting your first customer. Obviously something near and dear to my heart at Pioneer Square Labs. And as someone that is often going out and transitioning from the customer development to getting your first customer and taking the people that you were talking to about what your needs and saying cool, we built this, will you pay for it. It's become extremely easy to do that when you have an advocate in the organization who for, you know, like you're going to charge less than $1,000 for your product. So they just can use their credit card and you don't have to go through the CIO. So it's open this whole new way for for us of the ability to land your first customer in a much faster timeframe. Absolutely. No, that's exactly right. And then and then all these great cloud platforms where you can really quickly, right, build technology, build MVPs, get it to market and really see if you've got product market fit and you've got something that can be viable. And that's what's so fun. I think Ben about what we're both doing in coming up with new ideas and launching new companies is you can you can go from idea to to MVP and proof of concept really, really quickly. Yeah, yeah. All right, we're going to move on to what was formerly the last part of our show. I think we've we have a couple cool sections after but grading the acquisition. And Scott, you can choose to participate in this or not. I feel like you might be a little bit biased. But this is obviously an incredibly successful acquisition. I mean, you hear you hear Mark preach it to the world time and time again and some of the biggest stages he's ever on, obviously a success. We've given A's to things that have like ridiculous multiples. I mean, you look at what Instagram did at Facebook or you look at Pixar sort of reverse integration or reverse acquisition of Disney, Disney pictures, Disney animation. And those are A's. So I guess what we're I'm going to land on this is an A- for exact target. I think I'm similar. You know, we talked about all the reasons why this is a great outcome. You know, one thing that we actually didn't quote it's funny. We're not super quantitative on this show, even though we're about, you know, acquisitions. So, you know, we went through this whole this whole episode. We didn't talk once about your revenue. But some numbers I want to throw out when the exact target in 2012, which was the final year, a full year of being a standalone company, I believe you have about 294 million in revenue. And in Salesforce's fiscal 2016, which ended January 31st, 2016. So essentially the calendar year 2015, the marketing cloud division did 654 million in revenue. So over twice as much in less than three years. So that's a that's a pretty great outcome. I think and speaks to the power of this, you know, they're many product things that I'm sure that Salesforce has done with the acquisition and bolted on many things. But also just the power of these enterprise relationships that they have. So I think this was a great a great deal. I'm also going to, you know, when I think about Instagram, like, you know, it went from a billion dollar acquisition price to three billion dollars in revenue in in like three years. And that's all right. I'm also a minus, but I'm on the fence here. It's got any any comments. You guys are tough graders. You're really, you guys are really, really, really, you'd be like that professor that's really difficult and incredibly stingy, incredibly stingy about giving away an A. So like, if it's not fair. So I know, I know, I know, Instagram is the is the bar. That's a that's a high bar. Yeah. There's no question I'm biased, but I think I'd give you a really fair grade. And I definitely, I definitely, I definitely give a full A. No, no, no, no, minus I go with the full A. And I'll tell you the reason is that this was an extraordinary outcome, you know, for exact target, you think about, you know, three first time software entrepreneurs, you know, starting a software company in Indianapolis, you know, with, with very, you know, humble expectations. Nobody thought this was going to happen. In conceivable. The definition of unuseable. In conceivable that we would ultimately sell the business for two and a half billion dollars. And what what I'm so grateful for is that every, every employee who's a part of exact target had equity in the company. And this was really a meaningful outcome for our employees, not only just the kind of experience of a lifetime and being a part of this powerful culture we called orange, but there was a financial outcome that was meaningful. And the neat thing is that, you know, at 3375, a share, every person who ever invested in exact target from friends and family to venture rounds to public investors made money. So, so I, you know, smile from ear to ear just thinking about what a what an incredible outcome this was for everyone at exact target. And then the neat thing, David, I'm glad you referenced the numbers. Is that, you know, integration is is remarkably difficult. It is so difficult to acquire companies, integrate them effectively. And when you look at Salesforce, this was the large acquisition they had done. First time they had acquired a public company and to see the kind of results that had been produced. And I just know how delighted Mark and the team have been about the performance of the business. I give it an A and both sides. The Salesforce side and the exact target side. As an entrepreneur, you have to love your company, right? Like if you don't, you know, who else would know? Oh, absolutely, absolutely. That's right. Well, let's move on to a little, the some fun we have at the end of the episode. It's a section called the Carvout. And this is where we talk about something that's in pop culture or media that we read or watched or stumbled upon or product that we love. And really anything that really tickled our fancy in the last last couple weeks. And I'll start with mine. I am a big fan of the talk show. It is a podcast done by John Gruber of Daring Fireball that mostly covers Apple. And John does a live show every year at at WDC, the biggest Apple conference. And this year, his guests, you know, his guests are normally friends of his or other people sort of in the Apple journalism space and out walks, you know, Craig Federiki and Phil Schiller, the senior VP of marketing and the senior VP of software or just engineering all up. Anyway, just like an unbelievable candid interview with two guys that have great personalities on stage. And you normally normally only see these people in the extremely rehearsed, very, very perfectly timed and executed Apple keynotes. And getting them off the cuff, like it's just so fun if you're a fan of Apple or just like a fan of technology and how these businesses run in general to get that sort of candid look at these guys. Mine is a great book that I'm almost done reading, but I've been enjoying immensely. This was recommended. I saw this as a recommendation. I went to Y Combinator's Startup School in 2013, I believe, I had the 2012 or 2013 and Jack Dorsey spoke there and he recommended it as a book. And it's been on my list, you know, ever since. And I just finally got around reading it. The book called The Score Takes Care of itself. And it's by Bill Walsh who was the legendary, unfortunately late coach of the 49ers during their amazing dynasty in the 90s. And I remember you don't grow up and watching Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Youngen. But the book is just about his kind of philosophy and lessons on leadership. And he's such an amazing guy. He's not the, you know, you think of like a football coach in that era. And it's like, you know, super, you know, hard and yelling and screaming. Like, that's on his style at all. It's just like, it's just this commitment excellence and like, you know, that's all that matters and all the other stuff is just show. But anyway, there's lots of good gems in the book. We'll link to it in the show notes. Off to check it out. That's very fun. I love the car about feature here, guys. This is kind of fun. Thanks. And David, I should clarify, Jack Dorsey is no no relation. I mean, although I've got a lot of family connections here on the on the show, Jack, Jack and I are not related to one another, although that'd be kind of fun. So my car about was a month ago. I was flipping channels trying to find I think probably an NBA playoff game flipped over to ESPN and caught the end of the national spelling bee, the script's national spelling bee. And it was phenomenal. They, the two finalists were an 11 year old and the 13 year old who were just extraordinary at their ability. Obviously, to spell very difficult words and handle a tremendous amount of pressure. And the ultimately tied in the end in this the 13 year old that had an older sibling that had won previously. And the 11 year old was a fifth grader who was the youngest kind of finalist and champion ever. And watching those two operate was incredible. And to me, I'll say two little stories one. It's just quite exceptional. I think how young people are developing so quickly. And when we look across our businesses at interns or contributions, new college graduates can make they or able to contribute to businesses in a way today that never existed in the past. And watching these two kind of young students compete was really incredible. And then one of my favorite parts is that each of the finalists had to share their favorite word, which I would definitely have a difficult time spelling any of them, probably even pronouncing one of them. But one of them that stuck with me was indefatigable. And, and, and for what a great word, which, which really means tireless persistence to be indefatigable. And as I'm working with early, the, all these early stage startups to me, that's like the number one characteristic for a CEO or a founding team is that they have this tireless persistence. And they just, they have such a burning fire inside them to succeed and to solve a big problem and make a difference in the world that you just know they're going to be successful. It's great. Totally great. David, do you want to table follow-ups until next time where we're running a little long here? Yeah, well, it may not do, I'll just do one real quick, which is because we've mentioned a few times on this show. Instagram reported latest user numbers this week or Facebook reported Instagram's latest user numbers this week. Pretty incredible. They passed 500 million registered users, 300 million daily active users. Think about that ratio. Three out of five registered users on Instagram use it every single day. Wow, that's impressive. That's a game. You know, we, uh, Instagram was our, uh, one of our very first shows and, like I said, it's our canonical A, but, um, especially with Snapchat and everything going on, there's all these existential questions and that business just continues to perform at an amazing level. No? Indeed. Thank you, Scott. Yeah, hey, uh, just to kind of close down the show. Um, anyone listening out there, thanks so much. Um, tell your friends, review us on iTunes, um, share it on Twitter, Facebook, uh, whatever you'd like to do, snap about us if that's your thing. And, um, Scott, uh, how can our audience find you? Uh, at Scott Dorsen on Twitter and then Uh, you can learn more about the new venture that we're building here in Indianapolis. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Yeah, thanks so much, guys. Really enjoyed it. Thanks, Ben. Thanks, David. Who got the truth? Is it you? Is it you? Is it you? Who got the truth now?