Turbocharge Your Success w/ Eric Boggs | Ep. 132

May 07, 2024 Big Pixel Season 1 Episode 132
Turbocharge Your Success w/ Eric Boggs | Ep. 132
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Turbocharge Your Success w/ Eric Boggs | Ep. 132
May 07, 2024 Season 1 Episode 132
Big Pixel

In this episode of the Biz/Dev podcast we chat with the larger than life, Durham superstar, Eric Boggs- CEO and Founder of RevBoss. Gaining leads can be a cold and hard prospect for new and seasoned businesses- Eric chats about how to amplify you're leads by strengthening your relationships.



Submit Your Questions to:

OR comment on our YouTube videos! - Big Pixel, LLC - YouTube

Our Hosts

David Baxter - CEO of Big Pixel

Gary Voigt - Creative Director at Big Pixel

The Podcast

David Baxter has been designing, building, and advising startups and businesses for over ten years. His passion, knowledge, and brutal honesty have helped dozens of companies get their start.

In Biz/Dev, David and award-winning Creative Director Gary Voigt talk about current events and how they affect the world of startups, entrepreneurship, software development, and culture.

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Music by: BLXRR

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode of the Biz/Dev podcast we chat with the larger than life, Durham superstar, Eric Boggs- CEO and Founder of RevBoss. Gaining leads can be a cold and hard prospect for new and seasoned businesses- Eric chats about how to amplify you're leads by strengthening your relationships.


LinkedIn: Eric Boggs


Submit Your Questions to:

OR comment on our YouTube videos! - Big Pixel, LLC - YouTube

Our Hosts

David Baxter - CEO of Big Pixel

Gary Voigt - Creative Director at Big Pixel

The Podcast

David Baxter has been designing, building, and advising startups and businesses for over ten years. His passion, knowledge, and brutal honesty have helped dozens of companies get their start.

In Biz/Dev, David and award-winning Creative Director Gary Voigt talk about current events and how they affect the world of startups, entrepreneurship, software development, and culture.

Contact Us


FB | IG | LI | TW | TT : @bigpixelNC

Big Pixel

1772 Heritage Center Dr

Suite 201

Wake Forest, NC 27587

Music by: BLXRR

[00:00:00] David: All startup founders have two songs in their heads. Everything is awesome in the Lego movie, and everything is broken by Bob Dylan. And I am 99.9% positive that you are the person who actually said that. 

[00:00:15] David: Hi everyone. Welcome to the biz dev podcast, the podcast about developing your business. I'm David Baxter, your host joined per usual by Gary Vaughn, who is in an undisclosed location this week.

No, No skateboards or anything hiding. 

[00:00:27] Gary: Nothing that I could be identified with behind me at all. Top secret.

[00:00:31] David: enough. 

More importantly, I'm actually very excited about today because we are in interviewing Eric Boggs, who is the founder and CEO of RevBoss. And he has no idea why I'm excited to talk to him, but I'm about telling the story.

So here we go. I have said the quote and I have never attributed it correctly. In the two years we have done this podcast, the quote is as follows. 

All startup founders have two songs in their heads. Everything is awesome by the Lego in the Lego movie, and everything is broken by Bob Dylan. And I am 99.9 positive that you are the person who actually said that. And that makes me so excited to talk to you. Welcome to our show.

[00:01:11] Eric: that's a great welcome and a great intro and that definitely sounds like something I would have said. Did I say it to you?

[00:01:20] David: You did. I will tell you the story in just a moment. But did you, do you say that often or was that a one off the cuff kind of thing? Is that a built in

[00:01:26] Eric: I can't I, I don't know that I say it often. I will say that my number one business analogy framework is Carolina basketball. My number two business analogy framework is music and references to grateful dead songs or Bob Dylan songs or, what have you. So yeah I probably will.

Because that sounds like, yeah, pretty clever and pretty funny.

[00:01:48] David: this? Good. That's a

[00:01:49] Eric: It's true.

[00:01:49] David: Okay. So here's the story. The reason why I'm so excited about it because I can't tell you how many times that quote has been inspirational to me because every, and this is why I bring it up so many times on the podcast, on our little podcast is because As a founder, you feel like you're failing all the time and you feel like you're succeeding all the time and you can do both in the same hour.

And if you don't realize that other people are going through that, then it's very lonely. And that's why that quote has always spoken so deeply to me. So you told me it and you had just started RevBoss. You were, we were in American underground in Durham. I do not remember the event, but you were up there on the front doing a speech and you were talking about the transition from your old company to RevBoss and it was a new start.

And I don't know how old RevBoss was at the time, maybe a few months, maybe a year we're going way back because your company is over 10 years old and my company is 11. So we're right there at about the same time. And you were given a speech and you were excited cause you were doing this thing and it was getting some legs underneath it.

And you came out this quote and I was in the back of the room. You didn't see me at all. Cause I was one of 500 people in the room and. I just, bam, it just spoke to me from there. So I've been quoting you accidentally for a decade. So there you go.

[00:03:12] Eric: That's so funny. That's so nice. That you would remember that and say that and share that. But it is really true. And you talk about everything is awesome and everything is broken inside of the same hour. I will see your hour and raise you to like minute. Like once the business gets big enough, like the Slack messages are like, Whoa.

What amazing thing just happened. And 15 seconds later, crap, it happens that fast. And,

[00:03:35] David: has happened to me.

[00:03:37] Eric: you it never stops feeling like weird and exhausting. But you just get used to it, honestly, like at this point impervious to it and just manage it a lot, just to manage it a lot better. But yeah, it's weird, man.

It's a weird work we've chosen.

[00:03:54] David: What I think of it as like having kids. When you have your first kid, every time they get a bump or a bruise, or they're not moving enough when they're sleeping on the monitor. freak out and you think they're dead and you have to go check on them. By the time you have kid, we have one of our guys has five children and it's like the fifth one.

You're just like, yeah, it's fine. Whatever. He's fine. And I 

[00:04:17] Gary: have the first one take care of the fifth one.

[00:04:20] David: when that, in his case, yes, the, but in, in startup part. It's not quite that dramatic because it's like a year or two or three before you can start realizing that this is okay and I think what helps me like I mentioned early on was knowing that I wasn't alone And that's one of the reasons we started this podcast was I was learning things.

I've told this story a million times, but I started this, my company and I was a good developer, decent designer, good developer, started the company. I had no idea how to be a businessman, just none. And so I started becoming a student of business. And when I realized all these things, I was learning. I was like, Gary, we should start talking about this stuff.

Cause Everyone has to learn this from scratch. Every time every person starting a business has no idea how to run a business and they need to know they're not alone. That's where this podcast came from because it's so much harder when you think you're alone and that's. That's what's so interesting about our jobs.

And you're right now I can have an hour period where everything wins and loses at the same time. And I'm just like, it's cool. Cause I've been doing it a long time now.

[00:05:30] Eric: Yeah. And it's sometimes the wind stack up a lot faster than the losses and sometimes the losses stack up a lot faster than the winds. But if you zoom out and you take a long enough view and you surround yourself with good people and believers and good customers, you Yeah, generally speaking, you can have more wins and losses and that's just the name of the game.

And I think about, uh, self inflicted. Everything is broken, right? You just get better at that aspect of it the further you get into it. But it is very true. It can feel like a lonely job at times, and it can feel like a really weird and confusing job at times, but it's also the best ever job.

I've ever had and will probably ever have. And that's what keeps me going.

[00:06:18] David: So let's back up for a second. You run RevBoss. Tell me about RevBoss.

[00:06:23] Eric: So we are a lead generation company and been in this business for a while. We've gone through a number of kind of stories and iterations, and we're in the midst of a yet another reinvention with the business today. The sort of current primary product is a end-to-end full service outbound lead generation.

So it's email, it's linkedin, it's display ad retargeting. We work with software companies and business services providers like marketing agencies and. accounting firms and PR firms and those sorts of things. And we're, our clients buy software from us, data, expertise, execution, integration, all packaged in this one weird little product that put leads on that puts leads on the calendar and deals in their pipeline.

And there's about 45 of us or so on the team, I think. And Yeah, like we're really good at it. And have been doing it for a long time. The new thing that we're working on is A. I. First A. I. Powered version of rep boss. And we recently shipped a huge feature. That's step one of.

Probably three. That's going to get us on that path. And we're trying to figure out how quickly we can get part two and part three plugged into the machine. We think they'll be faster than part one. Part one is a feature that we've called Inbox, which is a basically it's a robot that just reads and responds to your email.

And we send a lot of email and we get a lot of replies every single day. And until very recently, every reply, a human would read it, a human would tag it, and a human would process it. And that's really good training data for an AI model. And now when a reply comes into a Red Boss email, an AI model reads it, tags it, and writes a reply.

And a human for now approves the reply and sends the thing on the way. And just a few weeks since launching this with all of our customers, we're quickly learning yeah, humans definitely don't need to approve all of these. Like it's, it is very accurate and very correct. tags. It needs a little bit more oversight when it's like book a meeting. It needs a little bit more oversight when David is like, Hey, you should follow up with Gary. Like it can recognize that and it can CC Gary and BCC David but sometimes that gets a little wonky, a machine that can manage like all of your appointment setting and sales email, ping pong and Hey can you follow up in June kind of stuff.

Yeah. It's pretty powerful. And that's the direction that we're heading. And it's a really fun time to be the CEO of this business because it's like such a time of just interesting opportunity and change.

[00:09:02] Gary: I have a

question. okay, go ahead. Cause I have a hard question that I want to ask. Go

[00:09:07] AD: BigPixel builds world class custom software and amazing apps. Our team of pros puts passion into every one of our projects. Our design infused development leans heavily on delivering a great experience for our clients and their clients. From startups to enterprises, we can help craft your ideas into real world products that help your business do better business. 

[00:09:32] Gary: my question is while AI is the new hotness and everybody's trying to find a way to incorporate it into their business or trying to find a way to incorporate it into their client's business. It seems your use case is one of the ones that is exactly what AI is good at right now. So that seemed almost like a perfect fit.

It's just automating the drudgery of sorting through emails and tagging and processing through. So I'm sure that's probably a huge help for your team.

[00:09:55] Eric: It is. And for our customers, a lot of times what we will hand off is, okay. A meeting like it's easy. Sometimes it's yep, how about Tuesday at four? It's like booked on the calendar done. This is a clean and perfect execution of the ref boss idea and promise.

[00:10:13] Gary: Yeah. My question

was, Oh, actually, David you should follow up with Gary or Hey, can you follow up in six weeks in our clients?

[00:10:23] Eric: Don't do it.

[00:10:24] David: Oh

[00:10:24] Eric: Hey, you should do this work. And our clients are like, yeah, we're on it. No, they don't do it. And software doesn't forget. And it gets it right every single time. And so already we've seen an instance like as soon as we deployed this, and as soon as we started doing it for our customers, it was like the next day AI, an AI, a model generator response, we sent it to the prospect and they're like, Oh yeah, sounds good.

How about we talk and it's like, all right, if we can do this one time, we can probably do it a million times because that. That thing that turned into a meeting for our customer absolutely would not have happened three days ago. And it's just because we built this system that can understand a basic set of tasks and what makes it work is that the context is so narrowly defined.

You're not going to get like a hallucination or you're not going to get some, like some of the crazy stuff that you see from a lot of other applications of 

[00:11:15] Gary: Have you trained it on specifically just your data, like from your

emails and your client's emails and just

those interactions? Okay. and that's what's been so powerful is that we've got Millions of records that we could train it on. Oh, this is a not interested. This is a lead. This is a colleague CC. This is a follow up later. This is a whatever. And so it's really accurate. And we built in a support to teach it to reply like our customers where we can say, Hey, customer, When we get responses like this, how do you want to respond?

[00:11:48] Eric: Let us know. And we can teach the model to respond like David from big pixel, or we can teach it to respond like Lindsay from blast media or, whoever from wherever. And so we think that it's yeah, we think that it's really cool and we think 

[00:12:02] Gary: Yeah. The personas thing is the other thing, like the automated tasks and the personas those seem to be working out pretty well. And the fact that it's not hallucinating is a big plus because yeah, thinking things can get pretty haywire. If it's

[00:12:15] Eric: Yeah.

[00:12:15] Gary: looking into other models to

Get the It definitely hallucinates. There's no doubt that if you give it too much rope, it will hang itself every time.

[00:12:23] David: So my question is, did you guys. Have this idea after chat, GPT exploded, or you already working on it? Or were you like, this is a cool tool. I have to use this in some capacity. And then you created your feature set.

[00:12:37] Eric: It was both. We knew that we had this process that was messy. And manual and not nearly as effective as it needed to be. And so we knew the problem existed and we knew there needed to be a solution. You might remember like back in the day, like a few years ago there was that product, Amy, it was X dot AI that was like, you just CC this email address.

Which was probably like a thousand people in Bangladesh or something. Pretending that was like, Oh yeah, I'll just book the meeting. And, something like that is powerful. Because it's I don't care how it works. I just want it to work. And I think it's. It maybe set like some groove in my brain that I've held onto for a long time, but I don't want tools.

I don't want to buy a piece of product that I have to like, log into and touch and use and push buttons and manipulate. I want something that just solves the problem that I never even have to look at or think about. And so we knew we had this problem in terms of managing this influx of reply, getting it processed for our customers.

In such a way that they don't have to do anything or much meetings are on their calendar, the unsubs and opts out, opt outs and followups all happen. And then suddenly it's Oh, now there's a new tool available that just wasn't available. And it kept getting better. It was like, oh yeah, all right, we know how to fix it now.

And it took a, it seems I can, it is obvious. It is an obvious use case. It's complicated as hell, man. Like it's so hard. It's it was hard to build it in the way that we built it to make it easy and simple. And I don't deserve the credit for it. Zach, our VP product, Mike, our VP engineering, Jaime, Ernesto, Lauren, Jessica, like all the people that actually built it deserve all the credit.

But. Yeah, it will be transformative for our business. It already has. It's like suddenly to our customers Hey, can do a lot more for you. And our service and usefulness has expanded to our customers. And our team doesn't do anything. The software development, which is nice.

[00:14:47] David: Did you guys. Build your own LLM and all that. Or did you just jump on the APIs of chat, GPT and co pilot and all those?

[00:14:56] Eric: The latter. Yeah, we're just everything is an API call to open AI. And trying to fine tune the, we're like engineering the prompts to get a better output. Trying to better understand the way that it's going to apply tags based on the number of responses. I think we're going to have to introduce a lot more types, like a lot more tags, a lot more categories where we can put things.

But, we certainly don't have the resources to 

[00:15:21] David: Oh, yeah,

[00:15:22] Eric: from scratch.

[00:15:23] David: I find it. I've been very surprised how many people who talk to us about AI, they imply. I appreciate the candidness of your response because a lot, and I think Gary would agree with me. A lot of people, when we ask similar questions, they all talk about, it's it's bespoke. And I'm like, that is an enormous effort.

I really like, and I, it's not my job on the podcast to be like, I don't

[00:15:45] Eric: Yeah, exactly. You're lying.

[00:15:48] David: yeah, not a good podcast guest relationship there.

[00:15:52] Eric: it's actually, it's you're lying or you're an idiot. 

[00:15:56] Gary: Especially when their company's brand new and they're like, we've been working on this for a long time. It's like really two years.

[00:16:03] Eric: yeah, I listened to some interview. It was probably as reclined, it costs like a billion dollars to compile a new model.

[00:16:12] Gary: Yeah. Other than


[00:16:14] Eric: Just in computing, it costs a billion dollars to like, okay,

[00:16:18] David: Yeah, to compile that sucker. Yeah. It's like compile the internet. That's really what you're asking. And I, what I've, and I've said it before, I've been very surprised when it comes to AI, not that I'm, if I would have a mat, five years ago, if you would've told me how AI would have come to be, I would have assumed it would have gone little.

It would have been an expert on something very small and became an expert and grew and grew, but no, it went the exact opposite. I know all things. And now I have to tailor it in because if I don't tailor it in, it's going to start answering superhero questions. And I just want you to respond to my email, right?

Cause it knows all things. That we've humans have ever written. That's I guess the best way to say that, but that's so weird to me, because now it's like all the effort when I'm doing, we're doing research projects. We're still very early on for our clients. Hey, what can this thing do? That's the hardest thing.

Cause you talk about a toolbox here. It is, it can do anything you want. What do you want it to do? It's like the worst conversation starter ever. What do you want to talk about? It's the same thing. What do you want to build? And then, but then you find out that the actual API APIs and stuff. Are pretty limited guys are square in the wheelhouse of what it is really good at so that's very nice We wandered out and started once you start trying to connect dolly to the chat gpt Those apis just fall flat.

There's very little going on there and you're like, what can I do with this? Not a whole lot, dude Oh, that really sucks because when I go to chat gbt and I use it Sure seems really powerful, but they're not making that exposed, right? That's not available for you to use. That's for, that's our secret sauce.

That's no fun as the nerd trying to dive in there. That is so cool. No, I appreciate the candidness because this stuff's hard. And I think admitting to it. That it is hard and sure. We're not doing this. I got 45 people on my staff. I can't do this from scratch. Cause

[00:18:02] Eric: yeah it's it is a, it's a tool, right? And that is our, that is our framing of the whole thing is this is a tool and it is hammers are good for some things and screwdrivers are good for other things and just make sure you're using the right tool and When the context is very limited and the answer is very clear, dude, it's like the coolest thing ever.

When it, when you go to chat GPT and you like the, like the content, like the narrative content, the generative content, it's like, Hey, write a blog post about blah. It's not great. And I'm sure it'll get better. I'm sure it'll get better. But the amount of just like terrible email I get in terrible stuff that I find on the internet that's like It's just so obvious and so bad, but if you frame it differently as this thing is a decision making tool, it's a tagging tool, it's a descriptor tool you can take a screenshot and feed an image and it can extract data from the image, like pretty well. And so if you break it down and if it's like most elemental functionality, that's how we've had success putting it. putting it to work. And the next area that we're really starting to invest is in prospect qualification. If you do any kind of sales, whether you're making cold calls or sending an email or anything, it's I like to work with these types of companies.

And you go to any data provider, ZoomInfo, Apollo, whatever, and download a thousand of those. 25 percent is going to be totally garbage. Just off the top, totally garbage. You and I do not have the time to look at all 1, 000 to figure out. Which of the 250 are garbage, but you know what, an AI agent is like lightning fast and really like 95 percent accurate every time.

And just from taking your list of a thousand prospects and shrinking it to the 750 that are actually good. And then taking that 750 and turning it into lots of little subcategories based on descriptions and whatever, like your efficacy as a selling person or selling organization. Changes. Increases dramatically in, that's not like a single prompt use of AI.

That is a, like lots of tiny little utility steps where an 

[00:20:36] Gary: And then also filtering. 

[00:20:38] Eric: this and then it can do the next thing and then you can do the next thing and suddenly it's wow, this was like, Save me a ton of time and made a huge difference in what I'm trying to accomplish. And so that's been our approach from the outset.

And I imagine that's probably what we'll keep doing is just keep trying to answer the small questions and solve the small problems with AI. And if you string enough of that together, you eventually get to a point where, a robot books meetings for. Prospects and nobody knows the difference.

[00:21:04] David: no, but it is what I, what is hard for me as a technology guy, as a coder for 20 years, the hardest thing that I'm having to deal with. To wrap my head around is often the best way to use the tool is to ask it how to use the tool, which is so backwards. Like normally you would think here's a tool and it's going to do something like here's a PDF, read it, answer some questions.

But what you can actually do is say, here's a PDF. What questions should I be asking? And then the spits out 10 questions. She like, it doesn't occur to me to ask a tool that and that's, what's mind blowing to me is that you can do this. And even if you're just using it as an individual, like I found a guy talking, we had a Raleigh Durham startup week, a couple of weeks ago.

And how do you use AI? That was a question. Of course, everybody wants to talk about it. And one guy said, I actually have it go and read my website and tell me how to make it better. I'm like, that is so cool. I'd never thought of that. He's I go to it and I say, now look at it. Now you're a 60 year old woman.

Who's not into technology. Now read the website and tell me what we do. Fascinating. Cause it comes, cause it'll take that persona on. Oh, I know what a 60 year old woman is because I've read the internet. And so here it goes and bam, it is really a clever way of doing things. And it's I never would've thought of that, but it's basically feeding itself.

Yeah. And that's wild to me, like tools don't do that code happens, right? Code it's a one way street.

[00:22:34] Eric: Yeah. In out done. Yeah. It's not self preferential and adaptive. Yeah. It's smart. Same thing with the the list of a thousand customers. All right. You have to tell it what you're looking for. It's I want to sell to companies that are dah. Maybe you give it a few sentences.

Okay, now go to each of these, write a three word description for each one. Alright, for each three word description, does this three word description line up with this thing that I'm looking for? Yes or no? Yes or no? Okay. Now, out of all these that are here, give me five to eight categories for all of these.

It's oh, all from what I've said I would say these are probably the five categories. It's wow, that's so great.

[00:23:09] David: That's great.

[00:23:10] Eric: That's like a day's worth of work for a human, like going line by line and like thinking and whatever. And yeah, it's just really cool.

[00:23:17] David: Gary looks like he has a question

[00:23:19] Gary: I didn't really have a question. I just have a, the experience that I've, I, that I have had in that I AI, when it comes to, when you guys were talking about kind of crossing language and image. For image generation, while it is incredible what it can spit out on a prompt or two, where it really struggles is refining the output. In specific ways that you need it to. It's similar in text too. So yeah, the summarizing is great, but then if you, the further you go into looking for specific information or the further you go into trying to change your image prompt to get it to change just a small portion. An example would be I was reading a thread of an artist that does, I guess you can call them image plates for storyboarding for movies and for commercials and animation and stuff like that.

So they would do landscape scene in the background and they'd be like, okay we're going to start with AI. instead of an artist, because it's cheaper to just get 45 ideas of what the landscape should look like. But then when they started going into the prompts and saying, okay instead of palm trees there, we want this kind of tree. And then next thing, it would give you one kind of tree there, but change five things on the other side and add a waterfall.

[00:24:28] Eric: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:24:29] Gary: no, we didn't want any of that. We just wanted this and the next, five images later, you got people dancing around and, skulls and helicopter.

This, none of this makes any sense anymore. It's just way off the rails. All of that to go back and say, when you're able to take a specific group and summarize it and then categorize it and summarize it, that is beneficial. As far as reading a website in the persona of these different people, it sounds great until you see the results.

And you're like, wait, Is that really what a 60 year old woman would say about my website? Cause you're just spitting back generic terms in marketing. Speak to

me, you're not really giving me any insights because I've run into that when I would try to create personas for design for UX frameworks and, flows and stuff like that, just to get an idea. And yeah, some of the stuff that's missed backs is it's just generic. Sales marketing terms that

is, it's like a thesaurus to what you actually have in the copy and on the website, but it's not really giving you that personal insight that you're looking for

[00:25:26] Eric: It's like that paper you wrote when you were in eighth grade and you found the thesaurus function in Microsoft word and you're Yeah, exactly. 

5 words. It's I don't think you know what that word means, good try.

[00:25:36] David: that reminds me of a friend's reference. Do you guys remember the one Joey found the thesaurus and he starts rewriting everything? Oh, sorry. My wife has memorized all friends of episodes. So they're stuck in my head. That's a really funny one. That makes me old, right? It's weird. Friends. References are now a sign that you are old.

Cause that show is 20 something years old. But it had a revival when it came on streaming and yeah,

[00:25:59] Gary: so there's a younger generation that became big fans too.

[00:26:01] Eric: My I feel talk about everything is awesome and everything is broken. That applies to parenting.

[00:26:06] David: Oh, for

[00:26:07] Eric: and I feel like one of the everything is awesome things that I've had going for me for the past Couple years now is my 12 year old son Loves the Simpsons and like we've watched like the like season 3 through 8 like Golden Age Simpsons episodes we're probably like on round 3 or 4.

I just like Going through it like once his sisters are younger. They go to bed earlier. It's let's watch some Simpsons, dude. And

[00:26:33] David: that's awesome.

[00:26:34] Gary: you

got one of the things you're like, yes, I know that a lot of these jokes are dated and aren't funny or even acceptable by, today's sort of cultural standards, but man, that show is still really freaking funny.

[00:26:47] Eric: And I feel like I'm, like, doing my work to bridge the gap in terms of culture that, that should remain relevant for all time at least with one 12 year old boy.

[00:26:58] David: My, my daughter and my daughter's almost 16 and my wife just had a similar moment. They watched Gilmore girls together

[00:27:05] Eric: Oh, yeah.

[00:27:06] David: and Oh, come on, shut up. Get out. That's a great show. Anyway, get out. You're not allowed on here anymore. So what was sweet for me, like I'd seen it, we watched it back in the day.

Me and my wife did when we were much younger. And so I would come and go. And I just happened to be there the time they were watching the last episode and they're finishing it up. And they're both just bawling because, Rory's going off and doing her thing and all that. And I was like, that's a very cool, special thing that just happened here that you don't realize probably for a little bit.

My wife, of course did, but my daughter's whatever it's over, but. That was very cool. So yeah, that's a very neat thing. Yeah. The equivalent to the quote that I mentioned earlier for parenting, there was a, it was a show again, can't attribute anything they said. Parenting is 90 percent hell and 10 percent heaven.

And those 10 percent have it, it makes it all worth it. And I'm like, that sounds right. That's about right. Especially when this guy had toddlers, so specifically toddlers. But

[00:28:04] Eric: That's funny.

every time my son says something in the Ralph Wiggum voice I'm in 

[00:28:08] Gary: yeah, 

[00:28:09] Eric: Yes. Good boy. You're going to be okay.

[00:28:12] David: is he your oldest, your 12 year old?

[00:28:14] Eric: Yeah.

[00:28:15] David: Oh man. You're about to get that switch flipped where they come in. They just hate you. And you don't know why.

[00:28:21] Eric: Yeah. Yes. I've, we've even been talking to him about it. It's Thomas, can you believe that one, you're probably going to like girls and two, you're just going to be mad at me all the time. And he's

[00:28:31] David: all the time.

[00:28:32] Eric: what? It's I know it's crazy, but trust me, it's

[00:28:35] David: any sense.

[00:28:36] Eric: There is something coming for you and you have no idea and you're not equipped to handle it.

[00:28:40] David: You're not okay, man. Yeah. Teenagers. It's, I always expected my daughter to be the hard one because everyone said girls are easier when they're little and they're harder when they're older and boys are the opposite boy. Not for my case. My boy, just, you Just flip the switch and just classic teenager sullen and my daughter's again 16 She's in the thick of it and she's just you know, still wearing pixie dust and butterfly wings I don't now she does cry a lot There is a lot of crying in my

[00:29:11] Eric: I hope she doesn't listen to this podcast. She might cry a little bit more.

[00:29:14] David: oh, that's fine I've nothing i've said here. I've not said in front of her. My favorite thing is she's so self aware and She's crying. You're like, why are you crying? She'll go, I don't know. And you're like that, at least you understand

[00:29:28] Eric: yeah, that's very funny. That's very funny. You

[00:29:32] Gary: I had a question that was more related to your company. If you want to get

back to that, 

[00:29:38] Eric: have boring. That's a, there's a Homer Simpson's quote for you 

[00:29:41] Gary: I'm curious now you've been around for about the same time, big pixel, 10, 11 years, right? And you said you have a team of 45 people. Are there one or two instances between you starting and now where it was just like a decision you had to make, whether you're going to proceed forward or cut ties and bail, did you ever come up to a roadblock like that, where you had to actually. Just trudge through it or make a hard decision to keep going forward.

[00:30:11] Eric: Yeah, we raised a venture round to build a SAS product. That was the original vision of rep boss. And it's funny because now we're like doing it again and actually doing it. I would argue, and way better and more well times and better equipped and 

[00:30:26] Gary: Yeah. You learned. Yeah. 

[00:30:28] Eric: But in. 2018, we burned through the venture financing and we had a product. It wasn't great. People weren't buying it. And it was definitely like dang. And it wasn't like a surprise, like you see it happening in slow motion over a period of months. And. You just think I know we're going to come up on it and I'll figure it out along the way and more cars need to get turned over as we go.

But it started to become pretty obvious that it's I'm either going to have to shut down this business, raise more capital on incredibly painful terms. That, that would be option two or option three is like just. Get profitable no matter the cost. And yeah, we chose option three and our team went from like 10 to five and basically spent a year just trudging through the desert, just staying alive and making the business work and counting pennies.

And, there were times Stephanie, who was our one person sales team, she's still our VP of sales today. I was like, Hey I don't have the cash to pay the commission I owe you for this month. I promise I'm good for it. It's like that level of, making it work. And we did, and that's what like hardens a team and that's what it's what makes you strong and and it's easy to look back on that time and be like, yeah, that's what made us, that was great.

It was hard and it sucked, but it was necessary. And every person that was on that team then is still on the team today. And four of them have VP titles. I guess we were the, we went from 10 to six, four people have VP titles that have been on the team for that long. And the reason that we've had the success that we've had is the leadership and management not me, the, like the, everyone else.

And we would not have had that team had we not gone through that really hard moment and hard time. And Yeah, it sucked, but it made us who we are, made me who I am for sure. In terms of just grit and persistence and resourcefulness and all the things that you have to have to build a business.

[00:32:34] Gary: Just wanted to get a little bit of the Bob Dylan version of that quote,

[00:32:39] Eric: Yeah, man.

[00:32:40] Gary: we've

had other companies and startups on here where a lot of them do have a pivotal moment like that, or a couple of times where they're pushed backwards and they have to make a decision to move forward or just wrap up and the ones that. Do move forward. Like you said they all seem to come out of it with a stronger team and a more focused vision, and then eventually a better company for it.

[00:33:03] Eric: Yeah. That was definitely a period of ain't no use jiving, ain't no use joking, everything is broken.

[00:33:10] David: I love it. I love it. I think every company has that. I think the difference is a lot of founders. Don't have the vulnerability to admit it because, and I don't think honestly that if you've only been rays of sunshine and rainbows and no rain at all in your entire company's thing, the longer you go through your company's life and without any rain, as it were.

I think the heart of that rainstorm is cause you don't have a clue what to do with it. I think if you hit those things early on it, it battle hardens you. It makes you stronger. And if you go years and years, it's all perfect and beautiful. And then you get your first rain shower. It's a kick to the teeth.

You just don't know what to do. And I think you got to have some of that early on. And I think it's good to be vulnerable to admit it because it's hard.

[00:33:59] Eric: yeah. I think about founders that built their alpha product starting COVID summer 2020 spent 12 months. They built a beta prototype that was like cool and interesting and then they hit the market to raise funds. Spring of 2021 and they're like, this is easy. I'm a genius. Whoa.

[00:34:26] David: Every home fitness company. Yeah.

[00:34:28] Eric: I'm a hero and I will conquer the universe. And Nope.

[00:34:33] David: People go outside.

[00:34:35] Eric: Yeah. Nope. And it. I saw a really great message on LinkedIn from Jason Limpkin, the guy that runs the SASTR podcast and SASTR events or whatever. And, it was like, 2015 SASTR is hard. 2016 SASTR is hard. All the way down to 2021, this is the easiest thing ever 2022.

Oh my God. That was amazing. And then 2023 was like, holy shit, what happened? And then 2024 was like, SAS is hard.

[00:35:02] David: Is right

[00:35:03] Gary: funny.

[00:35:03] Eric: and whatever. And I think that is to get back to the earlier sort of framing point of everything is awesome and everything is broken. And that is just the perpetual state.

And no matter how. How good it feels, it's never that good. And no matter how terrible it feels, it's never really that terrible. You just have to take it as it comes and take it for what it is and be skeptical of the good and curious about the bad and that's served me well.

[00:35:35] Gary: That leads us right to our final question, which is from your experience and your knowledge, what are your top three pieces of advice for any new entrepreneur, new business or startup?

[00:35:46] Eric: So I knew you were going to ask me this. So I prepped three answers. The first answer would be founders would be entrepreneurs. Just do it. As much as David and Gary and I may be like telling a horror story and giving you lots of reasons to not do it. It's literally the best thing to do.

It's the best thing you could possibly do with your career and your life, frankly. I've got all these people in the impact that I can have in their life. It's just profound in the customers that work with us. It's just profound. The impact that you can have in the ownership and accountability.

And yeah, you have that stuff as the director of whatever at big co or the whatever manager at, international global corp. But man, it hits different when you're building a business and you build it from nothing into something and you bring some people along with you and you see them grow.

And so advice number one is just do it. Just believe in yourself, bet on yourself and do it. Advice point number two for people that are doing that or people that are maybe further into it. That might be struggling or like beginning to understand the awesome and broken truth to it all is you just have to find your believers the people that believe in you personally, and that could be your spouse, that could be your friend, that could be other founders that could be your customers, it can be your coworkers, it can be A lot of people because there are a lot of folks that don't believe in you including yourself a lot of the time.

And if you can find that cast of characters that truly, deeply believe in you and you can surround yourself with those people and you can go to them when you need it it's like the be it's. It's necessary. Like you can't make it work without it. And for me, one of the believers is my therapist that I see every month.

And she does not believe in me in the sense of you're a great business person and you have a good idea because she does not know. Any like work thing I bring to her, I often have to explain it. It's this is business and this is the situation. It's not talking to another CEO or talking to another business person but she helps me and she believes me in a different way than my wife does.

And so that's really important to part advice. Point number three. For aspiring founders, existing founders, folks like David that are further into it, folks that are even beyond where big pixel and RevBoss are talk to your customers. Just talk to your customers. When in doubt, talk to your customers.

Don't know what to do. Just talk to the customers. Unsure of a decision. Don't know if the product should be this or that. Just talk to your customers. It sounds easy and it is. It's hard to do that. It's hard to do that. And then actually hear what they're saying. But yeah, talk to your customers.

[00:38:33] Gary: Excellent. Now, if anybody wants to learn anything more about RevBoss or about yourself, how could they get in touch?

[00:38:39] Eric: You can go to RevBoss. com and read all about us. We do lead generation. We do it for about 150 customers. We're good at it. And we're building all kinds of new cool stuff that's making us even better at it and making our customers even better at it. And I'm really active on LinkedIn. One of the things that I've been doing this year has been making lots of Influencery LinkedIn selfie videos.

And they've been really fun to make. And a lot of folks have come out of the woodwork that, I haven't talked to in forever and show up in the comments or message me about it. And a 100 percent moving to the top of my LinkedIn content to do list is a short video about everything is awesome.

Everything is broken.

[00:39:18] David: Oh, you totally have to sh tell, share that with us when you

[00:39:21] Eric: I will shout you out, David, and I will shout out but you have to have the Michael Scott whiteboard behind you with three different people attributed to the quote. So

everything is awesome. Everything's broken. Eric, David, Eric, Michael Scott.

[00:39:36] David: I have never attributed it to anybody else. I literally had no idea. But I remember there was something when I saw your picture that you were coming on. I was. Oh, that's the guy. I

[00:39:45] Eric: That's it.

[00:39:46] David: the guy. That's the guy.

[00:39:47] OUTRO: Hi, I'm Christy Pronto, Content Marketing Director here at BigPixel. Thank you for listening to this episode of the BizDev Podcast. We'd love to hear from you. Shoot us an email, hello at thebigpixel. net. The BizDev Podcast is produced and presented by BigPixel. See you next week. Until then, follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Threads, YouTube, and LinkedIn.