Andrew Barnes, CEO and Co-founder of GO1
Grow to 400,000 Users In Just Three Years by Mastering B2B Sales With Andrew Barnes of GO1
Andrew Barnes’s company GO1 is a Y-Combinator alum that’s raised over $4 million in funding, grown to over 400,000 users, and is currently the world’s largest onboarding, compliance, and professional development learning platform. If that weren’t impressive enough, Barnes hit those benchmarks in under three years. The secret weapon? An airtight B2B, or business to business, sales process.
In our interview with Barnes, he shares with us how the Australian-startup-that-could found its path to achieving explosive growth and influence, eventually ranked as one of the 100 most disruptive startups in the world. He also tells us how he and his team mastered B2B sales, a huge arena of entrepreneurship today.
“I remember in YC we were up late just basically cold-calling trying to generate interest and see whether they’d take us, we’d try Google Adwords and spent a fortune on that, we tried a whole host of different options. And what we eventually stumbled on is a model with sales development reps that identify people that match our criteria,” Barnes says.
Then it’s just a matter of knowing the right person to contact, what to say, and when to say it. It’s a process that Barnes has mapped out to a T, with a ton of little tricks and hacks along the way to get the job done. Barnes, much to our benefit, shares this sales process to Foundr and our audience, along with the many lessons he’s learned as a lifelong digital entrepreneur.
- One simple hack to turn your cold calls into success stories
- How to find and secure high-profile investors for your startup, locally and internationally
- How to find A-players for your team no matter where you are
- The keys to running a distributed team and keeping everyone on track
- Why doing less can actually make you a better entrepreneur
Full Transcript of the Podcast with Andrew Barnes
Nathan: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Foundr Podcast. My name is Nathan Chan and I’m the CEO and host of Foundr Magazine and the Foundr Podcast coming to you live from hometown, homegrown Melbourne, Australia. Hope you’re all having a wonderful day wherever you are around the world and I just wanna say thank you so much for taking the time to share your earbuds with me. If you are new to the Foundr Podcast we interview some of the most successful founders and entrepreneurs of our generation and we really find out what it takes to build and grow a successful business because, myself included, I’m trying to learn how to do this stuff. All right. So, let’s talk about today’s guest.
His name’s Andrew Barnes and he’s a founder of a company called Go1. And they so the alumni of Y Combinator and, pretty much, they’ve got a B2B education platform. Now what’s really, really interesting is they’ve built that company to have over 400,000 users in three years and it’s all come from the art of mastering business to business sales. So it was really interesting that we honed in on this one because, you know, this is something that actually we wanna go down. Like, we wanna go down this path one day with Foundr where, you know, where we’re building out a lot of courses now, we’re getting experts to teach those courses, and working out a way to create courses that I believe aren’t currently in the marketplace. That are extremely helpful. That have really high completion rates.
And, you know, they’re just courses that you guys tell us you want and the problems that you guys want solved. And then from there, you know, the more and more courses we build eventually we’ll be able to bundle that into a subscription which is similar to what Andrew has done where they’ve got all these courses into this, you know, educational platform and how they’ve done most of the selling is finding big, corporate companies and, you know, getting on the phones, doing presentations, doing the B2B sales. Which something I think could be super powerful for us eventually when we build this platform of, you know, essentially an entrepreneurship school, classes. And I learn a ton. If it’s not about sales but there is just, like, so much gold around just getting on the phone and selling.
So if you’re selling a product, you’re selling a service, you’re selling…you’re building a SAS product, you know, whatever it is you’re building nothing beats getting on the phone, hustling, and getting in front of people instead of doing this old school…kind of new school stuff with email marketing, doing it online. You know, there’s a lot to be said where you can do both, new school and old school. So online stuff and offline stuff. And Andrrew’s done offline in a very, very big way. You’re gonna learn a ton around how you can use these strategies to grow your business by getting on the phone. All right, guys. That’s it from me. If you are enjoying these episodes please, please, please do take the time to leave us a review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you’re listening.
It helps more than you can imagine and if you’re listening to this I know you must be a founder or an aspiring founder and I know you must have a ton of friends that would get a lot of value from this podcast or any of our content you can check out at Foundr, F-O-U-N-D-R.com. Please do share this stuff with your friends. It helps us more than you can imagine. It really helps us drive our movement. All right, guys. That’s it from me, now let’s jump into the show.
So, the first question that I ask everyone that comes on is how did you get your job?
Andrew: How did I get my job? Oh, good question. I was volunteering in high school at a not-for-profit called Epilepsy Queensland and they asked us to build out a website. And so myself and a couple of friends in high school did that and it turned out pretty well. We ended up winning a couple of competitions for building out websites just as a bit of a hobby. And then I got my first job when a friend in school handed me a business plan and said, “Look, let’s turn this hobby into a business.” And so instead of working for for $15 an hour working for ourselves for $2 an hour. And I loved it. We ended up selling off the professional business a number of years later and we saw an opportunity in the corporate training market and so we…most of the same group of people got together and launched GO1.
Nathan: Gotcha. So when you say most of the same group of people were these people that you worked with in the services business?
Andrew: That’s right. So three out of four of us who co-founded the business went to high school together and the other co-founder had been working with us for the last couple years in the services business.
Nathan: Gotcha. So there’s three of you that started GO1.
Andrew: Four of us that started GO1 and three from high school together.
Nathan: Gotcha. And when did you start the company?
Andrew: We started it in late 2014 but only incorporated it in 2015.
Nathan: Gotcha. And how’d that start out? Can you talk us through the early days? How’d that start out? Because I know you guys have done Y Combinatorr, too. Right?
Andrew: Yeah. That’s right. So we did Y Combinator in 2015 and I suppose the…so the genesis of the business was two-fold. One, we were sort of thinking what’s an area where technology really has a lot yet to deliver. And I think training and learning and education is an area where technology is doing some really exciting stuff and was an obvious area to focus on. And, at the same time, we’re talking to customer…potential customers and the sort of pitch around a lighting product which also had access to a content marketplace of off the shelf courses really resonated with them. So when we got our first customer sign up before we even had a product then we knew we were onto something. And so that’s what lead us to dive straight into it.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. So, you identified a niche and problem that you guys wanted to solve. How did you get that first customer before you even built the product and who was that first customer? Was it a big corporate? Because you guys focus on corporate training. Right?
Andrew: We do. So the first customer was actually a training organization so if you think of what we do as a marketplace, on one side we’ve got corporates that are consuming training and on the other side we’ve got training organizations. So we worked with that training organization to get their material online and then that meant we could go to businesses to say, “Look, we can deliver training with our product but also with some content that was available immediately into their teams.”
Nathan: Gotcha. So talk to me about what happened next. So you got your first customer, what happened next?
Andrew: Yeah. So we went through a number of iterations. So we had, I suppose, version 0.001 and we were sort of refining it, initially very much around that customer’s requirements. Then we started getting more corporates on board. We had some good success in the not-for-profit space and in the financial services space and in local government and state government. And so we started building out and iterating the product to a point where we actually had something which was less of a custom solution and more of a product that was off the shelf where we could really go out to market with. And when we hit that point that’s when we decided that Y Combinator. So I was…
I’ve been sort of checking the Y Combinator application window for a while and never really sort of got around to applying and I remember I woke up the night that the applications were due, I think at 2:00 AM, and sent myself an email saying, “Make sure to apply tomorrow morning.” And then within sort of half an hour before the deadline got our application in.
Nathan: That’s awesome. And so you did YC, you took all your four co-founders, as well?
Andrew: We did. Yeah. So we did YC, we started employing more staff at that point in time, as well. And so we were in Mountainview which is where YC is based. It’s also where Google is. It’s just outside of California, outside of San Francisco in California. And we had a two bedroom one bathroom house and I think we managed to fit eight people in there at one point in time.
Nathan: Yeah. Wow.
Andrew: It was very.
Nathan: That would have been fun.
Andrew: It was very cozy.
Nathan: Yeah. No. It would have been a good experience. Awesome.
Andrew: It was good. Yeah. It was a lot of fun.
Interviewer: So what happened next?
Andrew: And so we did YC, we kept growing the business through that, and post YC raised sort of a seed round for the company. And, yeah, it’s been going really great then since. We’ve now got five offices Sydney, in San Francisco, and Hochman City in Malaysia and Vietnam, respectively. We’ve got customers in every continent except for Antarctica and, yeah, users and content providers that are logging the platform. So we’re super excited.
Nathan: Yeah. That’s awesome. I’m really curious, Malaysia and Vietnam, why do you have offices there?
Andrew: So Malaysia is because we had some inbound inquiries and ended up securing a significant customer there. So we work with the Malaysian government to provide training to the public service. And so I think this year we should have close to 200,000 users just in Malaysia going through the system. So making sure we could resource that, provide support in Bahasa Melayu and in the right timezone was important to us. And in Vietnam we do our development out of Brisbane and in Hochman City and that’s just worked out well. We originally found some freelancers that we got along well with and then we built up an office and now have an incorporated presence in Vietnam.
Nathan: Gotcha. So your development and product is built out of Brisbane and Hochman City.
Andrew: That’s correct. Yes.
Nathan: Got you. So you said you have an office in Sydney, too. Right?
Andrew: We do. Yes. So I’m in Sydney at the moment.
Nathan: Gotcha. I’m curious why do you have the Sydney office? How come Brisbane is not sufficient?
Andrew: Historically we’ve been an enterprise sales company and so when you’re selling into, let’s say a large corporate or a publicly listed company or a government then the face to face component at some stage during the deal cycle’s still really important. And, so, in Sydney we’ve got a sales office. And the team fly into Melbourne from Brisbane and Sydney and across all of Australia, in fact. We do a lot of our smaller sales just via webinar and that’s worked really well. But, on a B2B basis there’s, at this point in time, no substitute for sitting down and having a discussion with someone.
Nathan: Yeah. Okay. Interesting. Now, it sounds like the company’s growing extremely fast. How big is your team? How are you managing that growth?
Andrew: So, across the business we’ve now got just over 75 people.
Nathan: Yeah. Wow.
Andrew: Yeah. And, like, at same December last year we had to hire 14 people in the space of a month. And so doing that and making sure that we’ve got a strong culture that doesn’t get, sort of mixed up in the fact that we’re hiring quickly is really important to us. So I spend probably too much time in airports and traveling around the offices to make sure that we have sort of a consistent message, a consistent approach to how we do things making sure that, yeah, that culture that we had since the early days is something that applies across every office and for every member of the team.
Nathan: Yeah. That must be hard from growing that fast. So you would have a leadership team in place now, right, too? Not only just the co-founders?
Andrew: Yes. Yeah. No, we’ve put together a leadership team, as well.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. And talk to me about the…because, obviously, to fuel that growth you’ve generated a significant amount of…a large customer base, sounds like some pretty good licensing deals to use your platform, your LMS. Talk to me about that. How has that come about and what are your strategies around biz dev?
Andrew: Yes. I suppose value proposition is much more round than solution rather than LMS and how we communicate that. Because it’s something that really hasn’t existed in the market to date. There’s been content providers so you could go and and access a course from, say, or you to me or from an Australian provider like Learning Seed or e3Learning or Skillsoft. But if you wanted to access courses from other providers and you have to deal with multiple vendors. So what we do is very similar to, say, what What If or Expedia do in the travel spaces. We aggregate all those different content providers.
And how we have gone out to market has evolved greatly. I remember in YC we’re up late just doing basically cold calling trying to generate interest and see where that would take us and we tried Google AdWords and spent a fortune on that and tried a whole host of different options and what we eventually stumbled on is a model where we’ve got sales development routes that identify people that match our criteria. So an organization that might have 100 to 1,500 FTEs staffing their business.
Andrew: We reach out to a senior manager there and intentionally sort of mistarget. So we might reach out to the CEO or an executive and say, “Hey, look, this is what we can provide. If that’s of interest to you could you introduce us to the right person in your business?” And the great thing about that is we then suddenly get that senior executive introducing us to maybe the Head of HR or the Head of Learning and Development saying, “Hey, look, we…I know this is something that we need to do internally. Could you speak to the team at GO1?” And so we turn something which could have been sort of a cold introduction into a much warmer introduction and then we go through a typical sales cycle, then, with our account execs that they’ll do a call or a webinar or a face-to-face.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. So then it sounds like, predominantly a big batch of that 75 are sales reps, biz dev, people on the ground then. Hey?
Andrew: It’s sort of a pretty even split between our product team, our customer success team, and our sales and biz dev team.
Nathan: Yep. Gotcha. I see. And I’m curious, so how many courses do you have?
Andrew: Oh, we’ve now got over 150,000 courses that we aggregate.
Andrew: And we’ve got hundreds of thousands more individual resources. So videos or quizzes or documents, as well.
Nathan: And how do you ensure the consistency?
Andrew: Yeah. That’s a good question. We’ve approached it in the same way that many other marketplaces do. We allow people to provide a rating or a review around it because who are we to know what an organization thinks is the best way to a course or what workplace health and safety training is going to be a good fit for a company in London versus a company in New York or in Sydney. And so our job as a marketplace is to make sure that there’s that choice there, that people can easily search and discover what they’re after. In terms of the quality we sort of a minimum bar with the material that someone uploads. But in terms of the content quality of that, that’s something that we allow our users to rate.
Nathan: Got you. So you guys actually just find training organizations and then you get them or you obviously cut a licensing deal with them to put their content on your platform. So to repurpose is.
Andrew: Exactly. It’s us being a channel for those training organizations so they can access new markets, new customers. And, for our corporate customers, then it becomes a great value proposition because in that one system they can say, get, say, first aid training ambulance or they can do compliance training from another provider and they can do some soft skills or professional development from someone further.
Nathan: And then they actually become certified in that thing that they learn or that’s been taught.
Andrew: Exactly. Yeah. We track all of those enrollment completions and so therefore there is that audit trail around what someone’s done and what their strengths are.
Nathan: That’s really smart. So talk to me about the learning…the training organizations that provide you the content. How do you incentivize them to give up their content if they’re already selling it? Do you do revenue share, do you do a pool of, like, how Skillshare do it? Do you know how Skillshare do it around minutes watched of the video? I’m really curious.
Andrew: Yeah. We’re really interested in that sort of royalty model which is, I suppose, similar to how Spotify works, as well.
Andrew: But at this point in time it’s just a very simple revenue share and, yeah, because we’re a new sales channel for those organizations it’s been a pretty easy discussion to have.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. You’ve found that it to be an easy discussion because they’re just…you guys have such a large audience base because you’ve got the sales reps on the ground plus you’re signing up these big companies that have over 1,500 FTEs that it allows them to tap into a new channel.
Andrew: Yes and it just creates a stronger value proposition for them. So they can obviously…many of our content providers continue to sell direct. This just is a nice complement for them in the same way that you could book a hotel directly through the hotel or you could book it through Expedia or What If.
Nathan: Got you. So if it’s a revenue share does that mean that you’re selling the courses to these big corporate companies one to one? You’re not doing a licensing deal where it’s recurring…like, what do you charge?
Andrew: Fortunately for us because we’re a SAS business and in a SAS business recurring revenue’s. Training is also something that needs to recur whether it’s sort of a first aid course, it’s done every 12 months or 24 months or workplace health and safety or another course like that. So the agreements that we typically have with our corporate customers is a mixture of content and our product licensing, as well. And so they’re recurring amounts.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. I guess the part that I’m struggling to work out, Andrew, is how do you work out with the companies, the training organizations, how much revenue they’re entitled to if you are signing up the corporate clients on a recurring subscription.
Andrew: Well, it’s a revenue share that’s recurring, as well. So if you think in, say, the Apple App Store where the app creator takes 70% and Apple take 30%, very similar for us. We’ve if got an organization that’s spending $10,000 then it might be $7,000 per year going to the various content providers that they’re accessing. And the rest being our cut of that.
Nathan: Gotcha. So the corporates don’t get access to everything. They have to choose what they want access to.
Andrew: Exactly. Because at the end of the day different pieces of content are going to apply for different organizations. If you’re a small business starting up in Melbourne and you’re, I don’t know, in software development then you’re probably not interested in having your staff pay for access to an anti-money laundering course that’s designed for someone in the U.K.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha.
Andrew: So it’s what people are after.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. No, that makes sense. The reason that I am asking you all these questions quite intently is we want to do something kind of similar but at a very, very micro, niche level. And we’re doing really, really high production, you know, curated by us, high production managed by us courses going very, very deep. And specifically choosing certain people to teach, etc. etc. So I find that really fascinating. So I’m really curious around leadership. Because your company is growing so fast is…I know that you…is this your second business? You said you ran the services, website services based business. Is this your second business?
Andrew: Yes. It’s my second business that I’ve been the CEO of. In addition to that I’m on the board of two not-for-profits in Queensland. And I started a social enterprise when I was in Oxford in the U.K. and raised some…that now operates in South Africa just outside of Cape Town.
Nathan: Oh, wow.
Andrew: And so been fortunate to be involved in a couple of different organizations and ventures. But, yeah, this is the second one where I’ve been sort of co-founder and CEO.
Nathan: Yeah. Wow. That’s amazing because one thing I’ve found as a first time founder when you have to transition from founder to CEO which is where you’re at now, structuring that team and building out that team and…that is very, very difficult. And knowing who to hire, when, who’s the right person for the role, what role you need filled immediately. How do you work that out with a company that’s growing that fast? Like, you guys have only been around for two and a half years, not even. You know, like, how are you working that out?
Andrew: Y Combinator has a really good recommendation when it comes to hiring and their recommendation is to not. Or to at least hold off as long as possible until it becomes really painful and then you know which areas you need a hire in. And so that’s sort of been the philosophy that we’ve tried to take as much as possible is keep hiring low until things are almost at breaking point and then you sort of see where those items are and that’s the areas that you hire additional capacity in.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. That makes sense. So are you… You raised seed. Was that $4 million?
Andrew: It was. Yes.
Nathan: Seed $4 million. What do you plan to do with that money? Because it sounds like…are you guys using…you guys are B2B, B2B SAS. Kind of like in…you’re a marketplace at the same point. So I’m curious what would you…where you’re going to spend that money? It doesn’t sound like you would be spending that money on paid acquisition, it sounds like you just got sales teams on the ground.
Andrew: Yeah. So we’ve got a mixture of a sales team that operates in webinars and on the ground and the other side for us, this year in particular, is growing out that marketplace side. So you’re spot on. We’re a combination of a SAS and marketplace business. And we’ve got close to half a million users now on our platform. We wanna see that grow exponentially over the course of the next twelve months. And the other…the flip side of the same coin is the content providers. We wanna see more and more training organizations. So if you are building out those sort of deep courses and master classes, yeah, we’d love to have that on board because that’s the…the other really important thing for us is getting really great quality content onto our system. And so that’s where we’re looking to sort of us that, those funds raised.
Nathan: I see. So it would be mainly, sounds like, more sales, biz dev, and building out the platform on products or you’re hiring engineers, as well. More engineers.
Andrew: We are. Yeah. And always interested in people that might be looking for a role in product dev or in sales or in customer success, as well. Very much looking for people who are interested to send us their resume.
Nathan: Do you do…guys do much content marketing?
Andrew: We have quite an extensive set of articles that we publish and write and I think it’s important for us as an organization because we’re in the learning and training space is to spend the time to think through what’s important in that industry and what are the important topics. And so we write quite extensively on that and fortunate to sort of get picked up in local and international papers and publications around that. I suppose you could call that content marketing. We think it’s a really important part of just staying involved in the space that we’re operating.
Nathan: Gotcha. And when it comes to…I’m really curious how you’re building the product out of Hochman and Brisbane. Is it difficult to find talent? Like I would have thought that the product would be built out of San Fran because of the…just the caliber of engineers.
Andrew: I thought that, as well, when we went through Y Combinator and what was really interesting is that the talent that’s in San Francisco, the talent that’s in Brisbane, and in Hochman and Sydney and other places around the world…there’s definitely, I suppose, a concentration of talent in San Francisco but the, I suppose, competition for that talent is so much greater when it’s a Google or a Facebook or a Microsoft or an Apple that’s in that same market. And so we’d much rather work with teams in Brisbane or in Hochman where we’re upwriting because we can have some of the best developers in that market and also at the same time have a really nice sort of lifestyle. Like, California’s fantastic, it’s got great weather, but we’re also very lucky in Australia we’ve got great weather and great living conditions, as well.
So I don’t think that you need to sort of just pick up and move to San Francisco to start a dev team. I’ve spoken to many Australian founders that are in San Francisco and they’ve actually been hiring people from Australia and moving them across to San Fran. They’ve found that’s a more effective way of getting talent than hiring locally because, yeah, you might end up with someone who’s done a boot camp for three months in San Francisco where you might find someone in Australia who’s a real expert in the area that you’re looking for.
Nathan: I agree. I agree. So the same with us. We’re gonna set up an office in the States next year and I agree, it can be done out of Australia. Like, I think you can build an HQ in Australia. So where is your head office?
Andrew: Our head office is in Brisbane.
Nathan: Yeah. Your head office is in Brisbane. Got you. So that’s where you spend most of your time. And for your co-founders?
Andrew: I spend most of my time on a flight, on a plane. So I, say for example in April. I’m in Sydney at the moment, next week I’m in Wellington in New Zealand, a week after that I’m in, week after that I’m in San Francisco.
Andrew: So I probably do spend more time in Brisbane but quite honestly I do take that duty of getting around to the offices pretty seriously because we’ve found that having that sort of personal repertoire is so important. You can achieve so much more when you’re sitting down with someone than any other way.
Nathan: I agree.
Andrew: But we’ll make use of technology, as well. But, yeah, making sure that the planning team is getting across all those…all the different areas where we’re looking to expand is really important whether that’s sort of geographically or whether that’s in terms of different functions or different sort of customers or partners. That is strategically important.
Nathan: Gotcha. That makes sense. But core team is in Brisbane, by the sounds of it.
Andrew: Our management team is…includes people from all the other offices, as well. So when we do our weekly management calls then we’ll have people dialing in from San Francisco or from Hochman or potentially from and certainly from Brisbane and Sydney. So we do have, I suppose, more of the executive team in Brisbane but by no stretch of the imagination is our management team isolated to one office.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. Let’s actually talk about running, like, a distributed team and as a CEO who reports to you, how do you stay on top of keeping things moving? How many people do you have reporting to you right now? Is it just your executive management team?
Andrew: It is. And so we’ve got Head of Sales, Head of Customer Success, and Chief Operating Officer, Head of Finance. We’ve got head of our content partnerships and Head of Marketing, as well. So there’s a number of roles there in addition to some new areas that we’re looking to sort of branch out into. Some partnerships of our own which has been quite exciting. And we, like I mentioned before, we have a weekly meeting every Wednesday for now. We’ve got a set agenda where we run through…so the key KPIs of the business for the first half an hour and then we spend the next half an hour to 45 minutes doing a deep dive into one of the functional areas where we’ll sort of each quiz each other or try and sort of play Devil’s advocate on what we’re doing to make sure we’re our fiercest critics internally to run the most robust business that we can.
Nathan: Gotcha. Did you…do you have a CTO?
Andrew: Oh, we do. Yeah.
Andrew: So we’ve got our Head of Product…so we’ve got out CTO and Head of Product Management, as well.
Nathan: Gotcha. So you’ve got about 10 people that report to you.
Andrew: And, I suppose, some of those members on the management team don’t necessarily report in directly to me, they report into other members.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. And when it comes to, I guess, rallying the troops, per se, how often are you communicating to everyone? Are you doing a yearly retreat? I’m really curious around that.
Andrew: Yeah. What we do…a Friday end of week call. So every Friday we have company all where people might do a demo or share some news or recent sales or recent customer success stories. I love that. I think that’s a great way for people to share the sort of successes and share lessons learned across the whole company. And, in addition to that, every quarter we run a whole of company workshop. So we’ll have one coming up at the end of this month and one of those every year is a sort of retreat. So we ran one in June last year where we had a company retreat and we’ll be doing it, another one coming up probably mid-year this year, as well.
Nathan: Yeah. Gotcha. So your offsite you do four times a year is it? Is it? Or once a year and then you do the workshop?
Andrew: and then three other times a year as a sort of half-day workshop where we get all the teams to dial in.
Nathan: Ah, so it’s dial in. Gotcha. Gotcha. Yep. Oh, okay. That makes sense. And what’s next for you guys? We have to work towards wrapping up, but what’s next?
Andrew: What’s next for us? Well, we are super excited about the space that we’re playing in. Seen a lot of success domestically in Australia and I’m looking to continue to grow out in the Australian market but also into Southeast Asia and the U.S. We think it’s a massive global opportunity and every start up thinks that the opportunity in front of them’s a massive opportunity but this is something that we’ve got more and more conviction every day around what we’re doing and we’re super excited with that. So for 2017 it’s about building up the user numbers and building upt he content providers and making sure that we continue to provide a product that our customers love.
Nathan: Yeah. Wow. Awesome. A few last questions, I’m wrapping up. You would have met a lot of smart people at YC, Paul Graham. All sorts of crazy people. Best piece of advice that you’ve got being at YC and then best piece of advice you’ve got from, I guess, your investors or advisers.
Andrew: I’ll throw out another one. So I was also lucky enough to study at Oxford University. I was one of the Rhodes Fellowship for Queensland a couple years ago. So there the best piece of advice was to listen more. And I think in any leadership position it’s so important to spend time listening rather than talking and something I’m still practicing. But I think listening is such an important skill to really understand where someone else is coming from. YC, one of the best pieces of advice was to do less. Just if I can do less then you can focus on doing that better. And so being able to say no to distractions is really, really critical. And that helped us in YC to really focus down what we were doing and focusing on.
And then we’ve got such a great group of investors and I think the thing that we look for in any investor or for anyone that we bring on board in the team is on that journey are we sort of heading the same direction and can we, I suppose, focus on making new mistakes. Which sounds a little bit sort of weird or contradictory but if you think of it I’d much rather make new mistakes than make old mistakes. Because if you’re making old mistakes that someone else has made then, as a business, you haven’t sort of learned any lessons from someone else’s experience. In any new organization, in any new sort of disruptive business there’s gonna be stumbling blocks and mistakes made. But, hopefully, that’s because you’re forging new territory and new ground rather than tripping over potholes that other people have tripped over before that you should have known how to avoid. And so that’s what we look for.
Nathan: Yeah. Awesome. Fantastic. And what have been the biggest sacrifices you’ve had to make to get where you are today and also to drive the company’s growth?
Andrew: Sleep? Not much sleep. No, I say that in jest. During YC in San Francisco we’re up until say 4:00 AM, 5:00 AM every night just burning midnight oil. More recently have made sure to make…particularly from a management team perspective, that everyone’s taking holidays. So it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Sometimes it’s a spring and you need to sort of knuckle down and into the long hours but on other occasions really important that people can refuel and recharge because, yeah, you don’t want people to burn out. So, yeah, it’s different sacrifices at different times but I’m super excited about what we’re doing and I think that’s the main thing is you need to enjoy the journey. And if you’re not enjoying the journey then it’s a tough slog and, yeah, this is my hobby as well as my work. So I love what I’m doing.
Nathan: Yeah. That’s awesome. Awesome. Well, look, thank you so much for taking the time, Andrew. Last question is where’s the best place people can find out more about yourself or GO1?
Andrew: Probably if anyone’s got any questions just, yeah, message me on Twitter. And that’s just AJ_Barnes and check out go1.com for information on what we’re doing.
Nathan: Awesome. Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for your time, mate. I really appreciate it.
Andrew: Cheers, Nathan.