Bright & Early

Brian Rhea

A podcast for people building early-stage startups. Join me each week as I talk to entrepreneurs, product people, designers, and marketing pros about their experiences during the early days of their startup.

All Episodes

= Remote Work Series #9 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.My guest this week is Amir Salihefendić. Amir is the founder and CEO of Doist, a company that builds productivity apps like Todoist and Twist. And they do it as a fully-remote team distributed across 25 countries and a dozen timezones. Doist Twist Amir on Twitter

Mar 2020

46 min 4 sec

= Remote Work Series #8 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.My guest today is Darren Murph. Darren is Head of Remote at GitLab where he is working to empower more people and companies to go remote, implement better ways of working, and equip his team with the tools and processes they need to thrive in an officeless environment. @darrenmurph on Twitter GitLab's Onboarding Template GitLab's Guide to All-Remote PTO Ninja

Mar 2020

51 min 42 sec

= Remote Work Series #7 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.My guest this week is Baremetrics Founder & CEO Josh Pigford. Laser Tweets Baremetrics @shpigford GitLab on Considerations for a Productive Home Office or Remote Workspace Tips & Resources for Making Working from Home Delightful 15Five Bonusly Donut

Feb 2020

47 min 57 sec

= Remote Work Series #6 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.My guest this week is Joel Gascoigne, the founder and CEO of Buffer, a platform to help build your brand on social media. Buffer Joel on Twitter Buffer's State of Remote Work 2020 Report

Feb 2020

55 min 8 sec

= Remote Work Series #5 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.This week I'm speaking to Tammy Bjelland. Tammy is the Founder and CEO of Workplaceless, a training company helping remote professionals, and the organizations that lead them, learn to thrive.== Workplaceless Goplaceless remote readiness evaluation Tammy on Twitter Headlamp: The Joel Test for Remote Teams

Feb 2020

1 hr 2 min

= Remote Work Series #4 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.This week I'm speaking to Morgan Legge. Morgan is a remote work evangelist at Convert.com, a personalization and A/B testing tool for enterprises.==Resource suggestions from Morgan:[Read] Convert Blog with articles on our hiring process, remote work. Holacracy and conscious business[Video] GTD Productivity + Asana (and Holacracy)  (The details of how to use Placeholders in Multiple projects starts around 16:30)[Read] GTD + Holacracy + Asana at Springest[Video] Tactical & Governance Meetings: This operating process allows our (remote) meetings to focus on the work[Podcast] Interview with Convert CEO Dennis van der Heijden: Must-listen for any startup founder who is looking for a more human and honest approach to what can happen on your journey. 

Jan 2020

54 min 29 sec

Today I'm talking to Marie Prokopets, co-founder of FYI.= Remote Work Series #3 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.== 11 Best Practices for Working Remotely Marie on Twitter Hiten Shah on Twitter Project Headlamp Resources for Remote Teams

Jan 2020

1 hr 5 min

= Remote Work Series #2 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.==Today I'm talking to Josh Ho, the founder and CEO of Referral Rock, a referral marketing SaaS company for every type of business, not just e-commerce. Josh began bootstrapping the company as a side project in 2014 and has since grown Referral Rock to a remote-first team of 13 doing over $70k/mo in MRR. Josh on Twitter Referral Rock Project Headlamp

Jan 2020

59 min

= Remote Work Series #1 =This episode is part of a series on Remote Work. I'm talking to leaders of remote companies about the pros and cons of working remotely, the most common challenges that remote-first teams face and how to overcome them. Issues like communication, hiring, loneliness and isolation, figuring out timezones, et cetera.==Schöneck is the COO and co-founder of 1 Second Everyday, a mobile app that lets you record one second every day and then edits those seconds together to create a single spell-binding movie of your life.They are a member of Indie VC’s v3 cohort and were recently selected by Apple as a Best of 2019 app. Schöneck on Twitter 1 Second Everyday 1SE's Employee Handbook 1SE's Employee Onboarding Manual

Jan 2020

49 min 21 sec

Ben is the co-founder of Tuple, a remote pair programming tool for developers. He is also the cohost of the Art of Product Podcast. Ben on Twitter Tuple Art of Product Podcast Price Intelligently on Price Sensitivity Van Westendorp's Price Sensitivity Meter Build Your Saas: SaaS pricing advice from Rob Walling and Patrick Campbell Should You Charge More? Ben Orenstein, Justin Jackson, and Jordan Gal on Pricing

Nov 2019

1 hr 1 min

Pliny is the co-founder of Endcrawl. Endcrawl is a SaaS that manages and renders end credits for movies and TV shows like Moonlight, Halloween, and The Big Sick. After bootstrapping the business for 7 years, they’ve recently raised a $450,000 seed round with investments from Earnest Capital, their own user base, and other aligned angel investors. @iampliny Endcrawl How we bootstrapped a side business for 7 years, then raised $450,000 with Earnest Capital How to negotiate the Long, Slow, SaaS Ramp of Death

Nov 2019

40 min 8 sec

April is the author of “Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning so Customers Get it, Buy it, Love it.”  Obviously Awesome April on Twitter @patio11: "Write at the intersection of two hard and valuable things." Tyler King of Less Annoying CRM on Indie Hackers

Oct 2019

55 min 42 sec

Michele is the co-founder of Geocodio, a bootstrapped SaaS that offers hassle-free geocoding for thousands of customers including the Associated Press, Amazon, Expedia, and more. Michele on Twitter Geocodio Forces of Progress and Reducing Anxiety Rewired podcast on Forces of Progress Jobs to Be Done Interview Guide

Oct 2019

53 min 27 sec

Anne-Laure is a founder, writer, and speaker. She studies Neurosciece at King’s College London and also spends her time building products and writing about wellness, creativity, and culture at Ness Labs. Ness Labs Anne-Laure on Twitter The Joy of Missing Out (Ness Labs) Learning How to Learn on Coursera Fear of Failure (Ness Labs) Don't Just Go For It

Oct 2019

50 min 52 sec

Sofia is the founder of EnjoyHQ, a tool that helps teams keep all their research data in one place. She was previously Head of Growth at Geckoboard and a Techstars Mentor. Sofia on Twitter EnjoyHQ Van Westendorp's Price Sensitivity Meter Price Intelligently on Price Sensitivity Bundling & Unbundling

Oct 2019

42 min 33 sec

Ryan is Head of Product Strategy at Basecamp where he has designed features used by millions and invented processes used by their team to design, develop and ship the right things. He shares many of those processes in his new book, “Shape Up”. Shape Up Ryan Singer on Twitter @rjs Brian on Twitter @brhea Jobs to Be Done Examples

Oct 2019

1 hr 5 min

Rob is the author of The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you. He and I talk about common mistakes people make when conducting customers interviews and how to avoid them. The Mom Test Rob on Twitter 4 Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank Startup Owner's Manual by Steve Blank Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez Customer Interview Tips and Tricks

Sep 2019

55 min 54 sec

Jack is the designer, developer, and creator of Statamic. A Laravel-based CMS that makes creating and maintaining a website fun again. He also writes a fantastic newsletter for rebels and dreamers at jackmcdade.com Statamic Jack on Twitter Jack's personal site Dungeon Master Academy

Sep 2019

55 min 5 sec

Tyler is the founder and General Partner at Earnest Capital, where he makes seed-stage investments in bootstrappers, indie hackers, makers, and real businesses.He was previously the founder and developer of Storemapper, a Micro-SaaS he grew and eventually sold. Tyler at B2B Rocks Earnest Capital Tyler on Twitter The Momentum in Your Market Matters

Aug 2019

58 min 48 sec

Natalie and I discuss the balance between creativity and pragmatism in running a business, facilitating deep work, and the benefits of taking a walk over checking Slack. Natalie on Twitter Wildbit Natalie's thoughts on checking Twitter Deep Work by Cal Newport

Aug 2019

59 min 42 sec

Lianna helps SaaS businesses write funny, personality-filled copy at punchlinecopy.com and SnapCopy.co. She’s written for Freshbooks, Manly Bands, GhostBed, and The Contract Shop, among others, and she’s here to share her approach with us today. Laura's site at Punchline SNAP copy Voice of Customer Research Kit

Aug 2019

40 min 55 sec

Laura Roeder is the founder and CEO of MeetEdgar, a social media automation tool she launched in 2014 to help marketers share their best evergreen content. Today we’re going to chat about her journey from consulting to leading a team of 15 and lessons learned along the way. MeetEdgar Laura's new software for coaches, Paperbell Laura's talk at BoS Social Brilliant eBook Laura on Startups for the Rest of Us The Stoic Art of Negative Visualization

Jul 2019

37 min 37 sec

Marie Poulin and Ben Borowski are the creative force behind the digital services agency, Oki Doki. They are also the creators of Doki, a product that allows creators to offer courses, training, and mentoring programs online. Marie on Twitter Ben on Twitter Oki Doki Digital Doki "Our business looks static." – @jasonfried @patio11 on Spreadsheets as indicating a startup opportunity

Jul 2019

51 min 33 sec

I'll be back with more interviews next week, so this week's episode is an interview I did with Chad McAllister on his show The Everyday Innovator.

Jul 2019

35 min 47 sec

This episode originally appeared on Dominic's show, "The Startup Life."

Jul 2019

1 hr 4 min

Laura is an entrepreneur and designer. She’s the founder of Client Portal, a product that helps creative agencies manage the client onboarding process. She also runs designacademy.io which helps developers conquer their fear of design. Client Portal Laura on Twitter Laura's Free Email Course on Client Management Client Portal's Public Trello Board Brennan Dunn's Double Your Freelancing Design Academy Gail Goodman on the "Long, Slow SaaS Ramp of Death" Naval on Luck I can't find the Todo list method I mentioned around the 45th minute! I'll keep looking!

Jul 2019

48 min 45 sec

Alli is an expert in copywriting and onboarding optimization for SaaS products. She helps her clients understand why some users bail on their trial and others upgrade. If you’re struggling with high churn or low activation rates, Alli has some wisdom you’ll want to hear. Alli's Website MicroConf Joanna Wiebe Dani Hart EnjoyHQ

Jun 2019

46 min 12 sec

Asia helps SaaS companies and founders with marketing and growth. She’s the founder of DemandMaven and you can find out more about her there at demandmaven.io. DemandMaven.io Tyler's tweet about platforms

Jun 2019

47 min 26 sec

If you’ve got a complex problem in need of an elegant solution, Andrea is someone you'll want to listen to.Andrea is a UX Researcher and Product Strategist. She has lead Innovation efforts at companies like LexisNexis, ReadyTalk, and through her own consultancy, Frameplay. Next up for her is a fellowship with Code for Canada, where she’ll be embedded within a division of  the government of Canada for 10 months. Masters of Scale Should this Exist Ruined by Design Code for Canada Diffusion of Innovation Curve Morning Pages

Jun 2019

51 min 48 sec

Val is the good kind of email marketer :) She helps companies write emails that people actually want to read and respond to. If email onboarding is an important part of your business, you don't want to miss this episode. Val's website The Dinner Party Strategy CoSchedule Email Onboarding Teardown Jobs to Be Done Resources

Jun 2019

52 min 59 sec

Kelly is the author of “Get Attention: Brand Building for Startups.” She’s also the communications lead for Women Who Code DC, and Co-organizer of Tech Rebalanced. Get Attention StartupBus Build Your SaaS WomenMake Make & Shine Veni Kunche

May 2019

42 min 6 sec

Georgiana Laudi is a SaaS marketing & growth advisor. She has a long career in marketing but in 2009, switched her focus entirely to SaaS, working with companies like Unbounce, Appcues and Sprout Social. In addition to working with founders and marketers 1:1, she, along with Claire Suellentrop, also co-hosts Forget The Funnel, a series of workshops for marketers in SaaS.Gia's Favorite Podcasts: SaaS Revolution SaaStr Growth Hub Saas Open Mic UI Breakfast (friend of the pod!) Other links: Obviously Awesome by April Dunford Unbounce Oli Gardner Farnam Street Blog

May 2019

46 min 1 sec

My guest today is Janelle Allen.Janelle an expert in Learning Design and is the founder of Zen Courses, where she helps business owners create profitable online courses that change lives.Show Notes: Zen Courses Janelle on Twitter Ulysses Josh Earl Joel Hooks Andre Chaperone's Email Marketing Do Things that Don't Scale Audience Decoded Naval's Epic Tweetstorm

May 2019

45 min 34 sec

Today I'm talking to Margaret Kelsey about Content Marketing in the early stages of your startup. Margaret heads up the Brand and Content team at Appcues where she helped to triple blog traffic in 9 months. She has also worked for InVision in Content Marketing and Community Management. Margaret on Twitter Margaret on Forget the Funnel Margaret’s artwork Appcues Really Good UX Overheard in Product Transistor’s Build Your SaaS Podcast Julie Zhuo: The Making of a Manager

May 2019

45 min 11 sec

Claire shares her insights on how you can create more effective marketing campaigns, design better products, and increase revenue by spending more time getting to know your customers.Claire is a SaaS marketing & growth advisor, loves helping teams get out of the "echo chamber" and inside their best customers' heads. Forget the Funnel Elevate Claire on Twitter Made to Stick Switch Calendly Claire on the JTBD research process she used for Userlist.io Brian’s JTBD Resource Library Jobs to Be Done Examples Jobs to Be Done Training The Original Dropbox MVP Video James Clear on Storytelling

May 2019

42 min 50 sec

Today I'm speaking with Jane Portman. Jane is a UI/UX consultant in web application design, host of the very popular UI Breakfast Podcast, and co-founder of Userlist, a behavior-based email automation tool for Saas companies.We tackle a couple of interesting topics around UI design for early-stage startups: How good is "good enough" for launch? Can you get value from an off-the-shelf UI kit? And what can Gall's Law teach you about designing an MVP ... or better yet, a Minimum Loveable Product? User Onboarding: The Ultimate Guide for SaaS Founders Userlist Share Agreement  Brian Rhea on UI Breakfast Bullettrain Gall’s law UX Research Tools with Andrew Mayfield on UI Breakfast Design Sprint with Jonathan Courtney on UI Breakfast Is your product a vitamin or a painkiller?

May 2019

39 min