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Building up Small Businesses with Zapier CEO, Wade Foster

By The Mission

“The thing we’re really excited about is bringing automation to the masses. We see so many small businesses and so many individuals inside businesses using automation to level up their own skills.”  –Wade Foster Wade Foster is a unique founder for many reasons. He started Zapier as a side project with his two co-founders while working a full-time job. They worked late nights and weekends as they bootstrapped the business until they hit an inflection point. Having only accepted a little over $1 million in funding, Wade kept his focus on customer development and solving for the customer's problem, which made all the difference. Zapier is now doing the job of trained developers, connecting back end applications (aka ‘Zaps’) for small businesses that would otherwise have to outsource or hire help to complete the task.  All along, Wade had one idea for the business, “Let’s make something cool that solves some people’s problems.” At the time of Zapier’s founding, Wade lived in Missouri and didn’t want to start a company using the Silicon-Valley route, which dictated you borrow huge amounts of capital to achieve a higher and higher valuation. Instead, Wade stayed focused on the customer and delivering a solution that would make sense for them.   Wade recalls the first customer who paid for a single ‘Zap.’ “The first customer we had was a huge ‘Aha’ moment for me,” he says. Wade explains how that customer needed help beyond the initial Zap that Wade had connected for him. It was in that moment that Wade and his co-founders realized Zapier could be so much more than just a side hustle. Zapier was growing fast and the only way for Wade and the team to keep up was to build out the developer platform. It was this decision that proved to be a massive inflection point for the company's growth. Zapier now has more than 1,600 apps on their platform and more than 220 employees worldwide. The company — which has always been remote — is still a 100% fully distributed team, meaning Zapier does not have an HQ. But the lack of offices hasn’t had any negative impact on the success of the company. In fact, Wade has made it a point to help other remote teams figure out how best to achieve their goals. (Check out Zapier’s Ultimate Guide to Remote Work, in which Wade and his team have laid out the fundamentals for successful remote work here!) Zapier continues to change the way companies scale by allowing small businesses to act like a much bigger company. Where small businesses would normally need to hire a couple of developers to reach their goals, Zapier is filling the gap with a product used by virtually all online businesses today. — Don’t forget, we have a new partnership with b8ta! B8ta.com gives you access to some of the most innovative and cutting edge consumer tech products. This week, we will be giving away one Qwerky Keyboard and one Muse Brain Sensing Headband. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win! -- Mission Daily and all of our podcasts are created with love by our team at Mission.org We own and operate a network of podcasts, and brand story studio designed to accelerate learning. Our clients include companies like Salesforce, Twilio, and Katerra who work with us because we produce results. To learn more and get our case studies, check out Mission.org/Studios. If you’re tired of media and news that promotes fear, uncertainty, and doubt and want an antidote, you’ll want to subscribe to our daily newsletter at Mission.org. When you do, you’ll receive a mission-driven newsletter every morning that will help you start your day off right!

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