Dave Chung on How to Flip SaaS Companies for Profit

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Hey everybody, welcome back to episode number five of the early stage founder show, the podcast for B2B SaaS founders looking to accelerate their growth. I’m your host, Andy Baldacci, and every Tuesday I’ll bring you a brand new interview with startup founders, venture capitalists, consultants, anybody who has been there before and can provide actionable lessons to help your startup get to the next level.

Today I’m talking with my friend Dave Chung, who bought a SaaS app that he has more than tripled in two and a half years, all while only working on it part-time.

In our chat, Dave covers the criteria he used to identify a good buy, what changes lead to the fastest growth, and what he struggled with along the way.

If you’re considering buying a company, this is a must listen. But even if you are starting it yourself, Dave covers the mistakes many founders make when building a startup that make it harder to sell when that time eventually comes.

So regardless of your goals or where you are currently at with your startup, you’re sure to get a lot out of this episode.

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Transcript:

Andy Baldacci:  [00:00] Dave, thanks for joining me today.

Dave Chung:  [00:01] Hey, thanks, Andy. Great to be here.

Andy:  [00:03] For listeners who aren't familiar with you, can you talk about what drove you, what in your background, what in your life made you wake one day and say, "Hey, I'm going to buy a SaaS company"?

Dave:  [00:15] [laughs] Don't we all wake up that way sometimes? For me, I had done a startup and felt the pain of that that I think a lot of folks do. I realized that starting something from scratch is really hard. I'm in awe of the folks that can do it and be successful. For me, though, what I realized that my skill sets aligned with are finding something and then improving on it, making it better.
[00:45] We talked earlier. I'm a real estate investor. I go in and find a property and try to make it better and then sell it or rent it out or whatever it might be. The same kind of mindset and the same approach…I was thinking as I went through that first startup, maybe I would be better suited in buying an existing business and improving on it. That's what led me to pursue buying a SaaS company.

Andy:  [01:09] Did you have a technical background?

Dave:  [01:12] I did. Prior to buying this company I was a product manager at a big website. I handled specs and working with our developers and our designers and building our product and a little bit of marketing as well.
[01:28] I definitely had been in that world for a while. That's what let me to do that startup and also gave me a lot of those technical jobs along the way.

Andy:  [01:40] Interesting. Once you figured out this is the direction you want to go, I'm guessing you didn't just go to Flippa and buy some website. What was the actual purchase process like?

Dave:  [01:52] Yeah. I did look at sites like that. At the time when I bought it, at least from what I could tell, there weren't a lot of the big brokerages that there are now that we see all the time. It was a little bit more kind of the Wild West in terms of where you would find sites for sale and that sort of thing.
[02:09] I stumbled upon this one. It was on BizBuySell, which has been around for a while. BizBuySell is like a marketplace almost like eBay for buying businesses.
[02:20] I found this site and was intrigued by it because a) it was listed by the owner himself, it wasn't listed by a brokerage, and b) the niche that it's in    which is the homeschooling niche    was interesting to me because I had some friends and family that had been doing that recently.
[02:39] When I looked at the numbers, they looked pretty good. Then, I looked at the site. The site didn't look very good.

Andy:  [02:47] [laughs]

Dave:  [02:47] It's that exact framework that I was looking at where I could find something and, instantly, take advantage or grab some low hanging fruit, if you will, to improve upon it.

Andy:  [03:00] You're like, "If it's doing these numbers, if the business looks this good while the product doesn't, then there has to be something there that has really caught on."

Dave:  [03:09] There's got to be something there that's resonating with customers. I want to get in there and figure that out.

Andy:  [03:17] What happens next? Once you've looked at it from the prospectus level, the high level figures, all of that, where do you go from there?

Dave:  [03:27] In this case, like I said, he didn't list it with a broker, so I just reached out directly and started a conversation, asked a lot of questions.
[03:39] The previous owner was great. He's a great guy, had a lot of great answers for me, sent me over a bunch of the details of financials, some of the records, and that sort of thing.
[03:49] I think a lot of the questions that I asked he wasn't necessarily expecting either. That led him to do more discovery in terms of, "That's interesting. I hadn't really thought of that question. Let me go do some research and get back to you."

Andy:  [04:03] What were some of those questions that you think surprised him?

Dave:  [04:06] They surprised him but, to our audience, folks that run in our circles, they wouldn't be surprising. I had basic questions around analytics and that sort of thing.
[04:17] This site didn't even have Google Analytics installed. He's like, "Let me go install that and give you access." A lot of those types of questions.
[04:28] One of the other things that I did even before reaching out is I signed up for the service. I think everybody should do that if they're looking at buying something. I actually use it.
[04:37] Instantly, I was like, "This is hard." It's hard to use, and it's hard to even sign up. It's very strange, the whole flow and what we've become used to in terms of a sales page and that sort of thing. They just didn't exist.
[04:55] As I'm going through that flow, my brain is exploding with ideas of how to make this better. Then, I started getting in to the product. I'm like, "The product's OK. It works. That's step one."
[05:11] It looks OK, but he's still doing those numbers. That's the crazy part.
[05:16] One of the things, too, was getting proof of those numbers. I was a little hesitant to not necessarily believe, but just to really understand where the subscribers were coming from, where the customers were coming from, given how difficult the flow was, the signup flow was and the product itself was to use.
[05:40] One of the other things I started doing was a lot of research just on the product itself. Fortunately it had been around for 10 or 12 years, so there was a lot of history, Internet history if you will, backlinks, reviews, mentions on discussion boards, that sort of thing.
[05:58] All of those things started to check out, which was great because, coming from a startup, those things don't exist when you create something from scratch but when you buy something that's been around for a dozen years, there's a huge history that comes along with it.
[06:14] I realized too, early on, that I wasn't just buying the product, but I was buying all of these backlinks. I was buying all of these reviews. I was buying all of this history that is really hard to put a price tag on.

Andy:  [06:29] You're buying the brand and the reputation. That's something that really only time can build.

Dave:  [06:34] Exactly. Obviously you can, maybe, buy your ways through some SEO or through some backlinks, but when it's organic and when it's been built over a decade that's much harder to do.

Andy:  [06:47] If you don't want to answer that's fine, I'll just edit it out afterwards. Roughly how big was the company when you bought it in terms of users, MRR?

Dave:  [07:00] They had about 650 users. In terms of MRR, it was probably around 5K, maybe 5.5K or so. The product is [inaudible] so the customer is only paying like $7.50 a month or, at the time, $59 a year. You can have a lot of customers, but not a ton of revenue necessarily. They were doing about $75,000 a year topline.
[07:28] When we got access to the financials and the books, there just wasn't a lot of clarity there. That's been interesting to see in terms of lots of other single founders. If you're not keeping really good books, it can be pretty difficult to sell or to even know where your money is going after it comes in via PayPal or Stripe. That was really interesting as well to take a look at the lack of financial data that the seller had on record.

Andy:  [08:07] On the record, was it netted out? What do you wish it had looked like? I guess that's a better way of phrasing it.

Dave:  [08:17] Anything would have been better what it was. All they had were really statements, PayPal statements in this case, and tax returns. Then a few receipts in terms of hosting a thing and that sort of thing. We can obviously build out what the P and L was, and what the balance sheet looked like, doing our own accounting, given all of the statements that they had. If you just have even basic QuickBooks set up, you can just print off those reports. It's much easier.
[08:48] The things that we didn't have transparency on, we didn't know if there were other expenses that weren't accounted for. That's the key. You want to make sure that they're not really spending a ton of money on something that you just don't have a record for.
[09:04] I didn't think that that was the case with this company just because of who the owner was. Everything that he had divulged up to that point…he's been transparent like I said. I didn't think necessarily they were hiding anything, but we had to do a lot of our own diligence, a lot of our own legwork to make sure that everything matched up.

Andy:  [09:25] In my mind it would be like the tax returns are…it's the same with buying any business, especially in the service industry, a lot of times the books might look great, but not everything is on the books. If you look at their actual tax returns and what they're claiming, it may be a different story.
[09:42] How would you be able to report things or how would you    if you're doing due diligence other than looking at the tax returns    know like," All right, these are all the expenses"? Because if I just didn't report something, how would you be able to reconcile that?

Dave:  [09:58] The thing about these businesses is there's not really a whole lot of expenses. As long as you know, intuitively, if you've done this before, or if you have a technical background, or whatever, you know what it takes to run one of these things.
[10:14] You're going to have a big hosting bill from some cloud provider. In this case it was Microsoft Azure, and he also had an Amazon account, and I needed an aid that we got some account for a few of the other servers. I knew it, "OK. That's the big bulk of it."
[10:28] There's credit card processing fees that go into whoever's doing your payments, that sort of thing. There's customer support if it's outsourced. In this case, he and his wife did all the customer support, so that was right there.
[10:42] Then there's tools, like other subscription tools that you might have. He had some development tools that were part of keeping the site going. In this case, it's a .net site, as well, so you've got your .net subscription, your Visual Studio, your MSDN sort of subscription that's a piece of that.
[11:00] Outside of that, there's not really a whole lot. There's more now, because I've added more things to it    like an intercom. I've got the active campaign. I have all these other things that we're using.
[11:10] But at the time it was so bare bones and simple, and a lot of those features were hard coded right into the system. It's not like I was looking at this thing like, "Oh, how's he doing this, and where is it getting paid from?" It just didn't exist.

Andy:  [11:28] It's less like trying to find this hidden expense that's going to sink the business and more working backwards and being, "All right. This is what a business like this involves, no matter who's running it, whatever, like the hosting, all those other expenses. Let me find them and make sure they're all accounted for."

Dave:  [11:44] Exactly. It's relatively easy to pull that all together when you can pull in your statements for the last 12 months from Amazon or from Microsoft or whatever it might be. It's a relatively small purchase price in the grand scheme of things.
[11:58] If you were buying a $3 million business or something, then yeah, of course you would want probably a lot more records and make sure that everything lines right up.
[12:09] In this price point, and given what we were seeing, it seemed like a no brainer.

Andy:  [12:16] At that price point, what sort of multiples is common in the industry at around that price point?

Dave:  [12:22] Nowadays it's gone up. When you look on an earnings basis, you can see small SaaS companies trading anywhere from two and a half to say five times earnings.
[12:36] I would say they fall in the three to three and a half range. That's earnings, and that's why it's so important that you have proper books established, because those earnings numbers    a lot of brokerages like to call them seller discretionary earnings, which means you can take out certain things, like if you're paying yourself through your revenue, you can take that out of the earnings, essentially, so that your earnings look bigger than they were.
[13:04] Which is fine, because with a small company that's what you have to do, but if you don't have all these records, if you don't have things built out, then the earnings number is a mystery. In the case of the company that we bought, the owner wasn't paying for customer support, he wasn't paying for development. He wasn't paying for those things, because he did them all himself.
[13:27] I started to back those things back into it, and say, "Well, I'm not a developer. I'm kind of a hacker, but I can't do what he could do, so I'm going to need to pay somebody X to do that, and I need this and this and this," and added those things up to come up with what my earnings would be if I were to buy this.
[13:48] That number was much lower than the number that he had in mind. That's where we were able to come to terms and negotiate a better deal for me, but also I think for everybody, in the long run.

Andy:  [14:05] Do you watch "Shark Tank" at all?

Dave:  [14:08] Of course, yes. [laughs]

Andy:  [14:09] It's not quite like we're Kevin    Mr. Wonderful    say where you don't pay yourself anything, "If you take out a salary you're making no money. I can't buy it. I'm out," but you're still saying, "I have to do some of this stuff myself. This is going to cost more because you weren't paying yourself for that, but let's find some kind of middle ground, and let's find a way to make this deal work."

Dave:  [14:30] Right, exactly. Most small businesses you've got revenue coming in. Let's say you're making $100,000 in top line revenue, and then it's costing you say $20,000 a year to keep the thing running.
[14:47] You would say, "I made $80,000." Then it's like, "Did you really take all that home, or did you reinvest it back in the business, or whatever?" That's where things start to get gray.
[14:56] When you're a single founder or just a single owner operator, that $80,000 number can be…You can slice and dice it in a lot of different ways. For a buyer coming in, they're like, "Well, that $80,000, that's what you may have made," but that might not be realistic in terms of what it should be.

Andy:  [15:17] Right. It's unique at that price point where it's enough to support somebody, but if you were able to pay somebody to run it and to do all that, there wouldn't necessarily be much left over.

Dave:  [15:27] Right. That's the hard thing for businesses these size. If you want to buy yourself a job, then that's great, then go ahead and buy it and make your $80,000 a year and whatever. But if you want to buy it as an investment and knowing that you want to enhance it and maybe sell it again someday, that sort of thing, then you're looking at it through a completely different lens.
[15:51] Buyers and sellers need to understand who it is that is buying their business and to understand that, "OK, their goals are going to be different than what mine may have been," and to adjust accordingly.

Andy:  [16:06] You bought this company, and you do have more of the investor mindset. What is your plan coming in? I know you said there was some low hanging fruits. Day one, what was your focus on improving to increase the value of the company?

Dave:  [16:20] Day one was to not break it.
[16:22] [laughter]

Andy:  [16:22] It must be a little scary, like someone just hands you the keys.

Dave:  [16:28] Totally. It's not like just handing you the keys to a car and you're like, "OK. I can just throw it in the garage and everything's fine." This is a running, operating business with people using the website every day, and customers coming on, and you literally know nothing about it other than that you just bought it.
[16:47] Fortunately we had some support from the previous owner for a little bit, so I could ask him questions along the way, but it was like…I remember that day. There were good things about the day, of course, like as soon as we changed over the PayPal account and I was sitting at a friend's house and my phone dinged, and it's like, "I just made some money sitting here doing nothing."
[17:08] Like, "All right. I like this idea." But essentially you hit the ground running. There's no startup. Starting up you can ramp up and build the systems and the processes as you go. When you buy something, it's like you are getting dropped onto a moving treadmill, and you have to start running.
[17:28] We were learning everything as we went. Like I said, I didn't want to break it, so we didn't change anything for basically the first year. Part of that was because I was still working full time in my previous role that I mentioned earlier, so I didn't have a lot of time.
[17:43] I only had enough time to support it and to make sure that it didn't break. My wife and I, she, for the first year, did all the customer support. She learned the product inside and out and answered all the emails.
[17:57] I was working on some products in marketing and doing some support as well. For that first year we didn't do anything to it. We didn't even touch it.

Andy:  [18:06] Other than switching away from PayPal.

Dave:  [18:09] We did that in year two. That first year was basically…

Andy:  [18:14] It was really just learning the ropes.

Dave:  [18:15] Learning the ropes and I wouldn't necessarily recommend that. The only reason we did that was just because I have no other free time to invest. The nice thing was it was still growing, even with us not doing a whole lot. That first year was slow growth because we didn't touch a few things.
[18:32] One thing that we did do is there was still an old downloadable product. This product, like I said, existed for 12 years and it started as a downloadable Windows app. It was a one time download for $50. I immediately just killed it because I wanted people to go to the subscription product. I didn't want to support an old Windows application so we moved everybody over to the subscription product within the first couple months.

Andy:  [19:03] It wasn't even that you discontinued, it was that you made up and migrated over the subscription.

Dave:  [19:10] We just didn't sell any new licenses to the old product.

Andy:  [19:14] Old users could keep using the desktop app.

Dave:  [19:16] Yeah, they could and they still are today. I still get emails, "Hey, I bought this in 2008. Can you help me?" That sort of thing. We're happy to do it obviously. We killed that off almost immediately and that is what helped start growing the SaaS portion of it in that first year even though we didn't really change the product, we didn't change the marketing. Anything. It was just killing that off.
[19:40] Like I said, when it comes to low hanging fruit, that was key. That was one of the lowest hanging fruit where I was like, "I don't want to keep selling this one time thing. I want people to sign up for the subscription product". That was probably the first piece that we took out.

Andy:  [19:57] Year one, after you take that piece out, what does the business look like after that first year? You were learning the ropes. You weren't doing too much after that one major change.

Dave:  [20:05] I don't have the numbers in front of me but I'm pretty sure our top lying growth for that year from his, the previous owner's, previous year was in the range of 15 to 20 percent. Just by doing that and by just staying on top of the support. The other thing that we did do because we started sending out a few more automated emails and a few email marketing things, we grew at 15 to 20 percent that first year.

Andy:  [20:32] Interesting. Once you did start putting more time into it in growing a bit more actively starting year two, what were you working on then?

Dave:  [20:46] Starting year two I basically went all in on this so I actually left my job knowing that I wanted to spend more time working on this and a few other projects. I dove right in. we completely redesigned the sales site, built that back up from the ground up. Started a blog on there, was doing content marketing on there. This is crazy, even though it's a SaaS business it wasn't recurring when we audit.

Andy:  [21:16] When you told me this the first time I was like, "What?"

Dave:  [21:21] I don't even know if you can call it SaaS because it's not really a subscription. It's more a non recurring membership. Basically you used to buy let's say a month at a time or a year at a time and you would pay for it via PayPal and then you'd be sent an email with a code. That code basically you would enter into your account and then that would extend your membership, if you will, that many days or that many months.
[21:47] You had to do that every time that your membership expired. Just the churn from that alone was killing us. Even if those folks did come back, there might a gap. There might be two weeks or a month when they weren't using it and they went and re upped.

Andy:  [22:05] Wait. I'm guessing just the annoyance of that drove more people to annual subscriptions because they didn't want to deal with it but at the cost of a ton of churn. Even, I don't know what you would call it, but you were saying that lag in renewal which is avoidable. These people want to keep using it but it's a pain to renew it so they're going to wait a few weeks and that's significant revenues. That adds up.

Dave:  [22:30] It adds up quite a bit. It's like an old model of a magazine subscription. You'd subscribe a magazine for a year but it's really that card that comes on month 11 to ask you to send in.

Andy:  [22:41] This is your last issue.

Dave:  [22:43] This is your last issue. That's it. When you think about a magazine subscription it's not really a subscription at all. You just bought it for a year and nowadays it's…

Andy:  [22:52] You're prepaying for access.

Dave:  [22:53] Prepaying for access and now it's a little bit different. They take your credit card number and they just charge you. This is how it was set up. We knew from the beginning that that was crazy. It was set up in a way that was really hard to change because it was so embedded into the code and these extension codes and all that. I still working full time so I just didn't have the time to really tackle it. That was the big project in year two, was rebuilding the sales site, changing the billing and the whole engine behind it and then starting to enhance the product as well.

Andy:  [23:33] Did you have analytics in places like measuring what the churn was or was it just something because I'm guessing that wouldn't be all simple doing it all through PayPal?

Dave:  [23:40] No, it’s totally not simple at all [laughs] because there's so many different factors at play. If they "renewed" using different email address or something it was hard to track one user to the next. My business partner created this really impressive Excel document that can do all that. We had churn number that we were working with and we still use that as a reference to where we're at now. It was a big endeavor just to calculate things like that.
[24:12] Again, when you buy something existing that has these antiquated systems that's just what you have to deal with. It's OK. It's not the end of the world. It's just that we knew that going in. This is what we're buying. That's also why we were able to get a bigger discount, I think.
[24:28] If you buy something that's turnkey and it's got stripe and all of these great things already hooked in and you can have create transparency in terms of the analytics and all of this. This is where the customer comes from and how much it cost to acquire the customer and this is the lifetime value, all of that then you're not really buying something…well, you're buying something that's more a maybe it's a fixed income investment. That's like buying a bond.

Andy:  [24:55] It's less of a fixer upper. You're not going to be able to add as much value.

Dave:  [24:57] I wanted to fix something up. I wanted to pick out new counter tops and put in cabinets and that sort of thing. That’s what we bought. You buy the ugliest house on the street and we bought the weirdest, most clunky, SaaS business that wasn’t even really a SaaS business you could find [laughs] and tried to turn it into one. It's been a lot of fun along the way certainly but there are a lot of pain along the way too.
[25:26] [crosstalk]

Andy:  [25:26] I think that's a great way for founders and people building their SaaS. One, if you do plan to exit, you're in for a big headache if you don't have the assistance in place from day one in. It doesn't mean scale prematurely but it means just think about what you're going to need down the road so that you at least aren't making technical decisions that limit your options then.
[25:52] The other thing too is that you're making your job harder. If you take on that much technical debt, if it's that hard to switch from the crazy, prepaid but not really prepaid, billing method to a more sane subscription method then you're limiting your options.
[26:09] I'm assuming the previous owner realized it wasn't ideal but he just accepted and it worked well enough so OK. When you're running a business, when you're creating something, you don't want to have to just accept that some glaring hole just has to be there.

Dave:  [26:28] I don't know if it's common or not but I think that's one of the challenges of being a technical founder, is that you know you can change it. I know that this previous owner knew that they could change it whenever they wanted because they had the technical ability to do that.
[26:49] The other thing that comes along with that is that there were all of these non technical, software pieces of the business that hadn't been touched at all. That's because we were so focused on tweaking this or tweaking that from a technical perspective that you didn't necessarily see the bigger picture.
[27:12] That's oftentimes why it's helpful to either have a partner, one person that's super technical and one that maybe is not or to have somebody that is going to at least view things from a marketing perspective or from the user's perspective all the time.

Andy:  [27:28] Before you were mentioning how, as a buyer, you signed up for the product yourself just to see what the on boarding was like, to see what the software was like. That's something that's super valuable to do with your own software because you can get so caught up in big picture stuff and just forget what it's like as a user that you don't realize how difficult it can be.
[27:51] I know that at Hubstaff where I do consulting with them, every month I'll sign up just to make sure things don't get crazy. I'll still always send over notes on this and that but it's like you want to keep an eye on things and not get too close to the problem that you forget what it's like for your users.

Dave:  [28:15] Now, having run this for about two and a half years, I'm realizing that that's something that I need to keep doing as well because I'm starting to get into the almost being content in terms of, "OK. I haven't really touched it in a while or looked at the flow in a while," and those things go stale and you just…there's always things that you can do to improve upon it and unless you're working at it it's just going to keep going the same way it is which might be OK, depending on what your goals are. Absolutely, there's always room for improvement.

Andy:  [28:51] With that though, as you're at the point where you've picked the lower of the low hanging fruit. You now have good email marketing in place. You're working on developing the content marketing system. You have a real billing system. What are your plans for growth going forward? Is this a buy and hold investment? What is your future plan for this company?

Dave:  [29:12] I could see it go a couple of different ways. We're now up to right on 2,000 users. We started at I think 600 or so. We've grown quite a bit in the two years, two and a half years, that we've owned it.
[29:28] There's still more out there. It's a big market and having 2,000 of those users in what is essentially 200,000 or more in just a…that we can see there's a lot more opportunity out there. I think there are things that we can continue to do to reinvest and do this thing.
[29:53] At the same time, for me, especially as somebody who likes to go in and then improve on something quickly and either sell it or move on to the next thing, it might start to become more of a buy and hold in terms of, not autopilot but I'm starting to now, having worked on it almost, not fulltime but almost fulltime over the last year.
[30:15] I'm starting now or have been putting more automation in place, more outsourcing in place. Having a customer support person come on, having a developer come on.
[30:26] All of these different roles so that not only can it run itself better but it also can be more salable in the future knowing that if a buyer comes in and there's a preexisting team that would essentially go with the company, with the site, that is much more attractive to a buyer as well, knowing that they don't have to be dropped onto the moving treadmill, so to speak. It can still move and they can just watch for a little bit and get involved as they want.
[30:54] That's an opportunity as well. I think it certainly could go in terms of just being something that cash flows for a while and we keep getting our dividends from it essentially. Or, depending on if we need the capital to play elsewhere, it could be something that we sell.

Andy:  [31:12] Interesting. It's clear to me how much thought you've put into it. It's also interesting because there are still so many options. Even though, you have a general idea, and a general framework that you work through when thinking about this, it still doesn't necessarily always lead to the same path.
[31:27] For me at least, it will be interesting to see which direction you do decide to go. To wrap things up, I have two questions. What was something that you waited too long to change, to do, to implement, whatever? What is something you wish you had done much earlier in the process with this company?

Dave:  [31:47] That's a great question. I think that first year where we kind of just hung out and tried to get a sense of it, I wish we would had done all those things we did in year two earlier. Part of that is it was our first time at it and we needed to learn along the way, and that's totally fine.
[32:06] Part of what's happening in the future now, piggybacking on the last question in terms of what we might do with it, is that my partner and I are essentially raising money and putting together    you can't really call it a fund technically    it's a new company, if you will. The plan is to acquire half a dozen or more similar companies like the one that we worked on, and do a lot of the optimization that we have done with this company, on those other ones.
[32:39] Now, having gone into it, I know instantly the things that I'll do right away. If it doesn't have great analytics already, that's coming in right away. If it doesn't have an established customer support system, that's coming in right away. The nice thing is having essentially a portfolio of these companies, you can start to consolidate your resources.
[32:57] You can have and Intercom account that can service multiple sites. You can have a billing account. We use Chargebee for billing. You can have that service multiple sites. That starts to become more attractive and you get those economies of scale.

Andy:  [33:15] Not even just with the software, but also, you could just have one person who's handling that role in multiple different companies at once.

Dave:  [33:21] Exactly, not only the tools, but the staff as well. We have a part time customer support person now, but if we're running multiple sites, that person could easily become full time and you could have more folks helping as well. There's a huge opportunity, we think, to pick up these smaller sites and do what we've done, and for our investors too, to realize a good return along the way.

Andy:  [33:49] Interesting. I probably should have asked you before, so I might have to do some editing here. Do you write about this anywhere? If people want to see what you're working with putting this company together    I know the SEC probably doesn't want to call it a fund    but putting together some sort of vehicle like this, do you write about that anywhere, or are your planning on it, or what do you think about that?

Dave:  [34:12] I think part of it is the deal size is relatively small, and we're probably going to keep it that way. If it's something you're interested in, for sure, folks can reach out to me directly. We don't need to raise a ton of money. It's one of those things where we can just go to a network of investors that we already know and are able to make it happen. It's less like, "You're not buying like a Fidelity Magellan Fund and you can put in your 1000 bucks a month or whatever." It's a totally different type of vehicle.
[34:46] [crosstalk]

Andy:  [34:49] Not even as investors, but maybe just even a SaaS founder who wants to see… Right now, you're building what I see as a playbook. When you're going into basically an early stage SaaS company and you're saying these are things I'm looking to do, this is how I'm going to do it, that has a ton of value just for someone who might not even be looking to sell right now, but who's at that point in their own business life cycle.

Dave:  [35:14] No, I agree completely. I have to add that to my list of things that I'm doing.
[35:20] [laughter]

Andy:  [35:20] First, publish that other blog post that's been sitting in WordPress for a bit, then start an entirely new blog for all of this.

Dave:  [35:27] Just start an entirely new blog for that audience. No, I agree. People will ask me this all the time, for this story essentially, but other learnings that I've had along the way. It is something that I'd love to do. I think things like this too, just chatting about it on a podcast, as we talked earlier, it's a great way to get that content out there in an efficient way as well. I think there's a lot of opportunity out there. The other piece of it is that we will be shopping for these small sites.

Andy:  [36:01] True.

Dave:  [36:03] I've met so many people over the years now, that maybe they built something five, six years ago that's running in maintenance mode, maybe it might not have realized all of its full potential, or maybe you're just tired of it, tired of running it, or tired of paying the Amazon bill, or whatever, reach out to me, because that's what we're looking for.
[36:25] Those are the things that we want to acquire and take to that next level. All of the things that you wish you had the time for, you wish that you would have done, or this, or that, we're going to do them and we can make it great. That's another way to stay involved in that. You can see the thing that you created kind of go on to its next chapter.

Andy:  [36:51] That's awesome. I can't wait to see where all this comes together for you because it is clear that you do have a good mind for this stuff. You know what to look for and you know how to analyze it. I'm excited to see what you guys are able to put together.
[37:02] If anyone is in that position where they have a project they've been working on that's gotten some traction, but it's not where their heart is, it's not what they want to do anymore, they want to move on, what's the best way for someone to get a hold of you?

Dave:  [37:17] They can just email me, just dave@chung.net. I’m on Twitter, but do people still use Twitter? I don’t even know. I can’t even tell. [laughs]

Andy:  [37:27] I've never really understood fully Twitter. I'm trying to use it, but I just follow people and that's about it.

Dave:  [37:32] I know, same here. I feel like it's on its way out. Just email me at dave@chung.net. I'd love to talk to you, love to learn more about your business. If you guys have any questions for me at the same time, feel free. I'm an open book. We'll talk, and let you know what my story has been, and what my experience has been.

Andy:  [37:54] Awesome. Well, Dave, I really appreciate you finally sharing your story somewhere public, a little bit. [laughs] Thank you for taking the time on this. I really appreciate it.

Dave:  [38:03] No. Thank you, Andy.