Can I lead the company I started? It’s a question founders and their investors ask themselves a lot. While most founders (four out of five, to be exact) want to stick around as CEOs of their own ventures, more than half are pushed out by the time their company is three years old. Of course, founder-CEOs do exist: Phil Knight, Anne Wojcicki, Reed Hastings, the list goes on. Mike McDerment, Co-Founder and CEO of Freshbooks, is one of those exceptions to the rule. Back in 2003, while running a small design firm, McDerment became frustrated with the process of billing his clients. Unsatisfied with the solutions on the market, he decided to build his own: Freshbooks. Today, Freshbooks helps more than 24 million SME customers send, receive, print, and pay invoices. Throughout the company’s 17-year life, McDerment has served as CEO. He has seen the ups and downs of building and scaling a business.
Today, Carlos gets a chance to dig into some of the biggest lessons learned throughout McDerment’s Freshbooks career. They discuss how Freshbooks acquired early customers without a sales department, how the team approached product development for the highly-fragmented SME market, and how McDerment balances life as a parent and CEO. Listen and learn, McDerment has ample wisdom to share!
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