May 15, 2019

Wait, Your App Does What Exactly? (#65, WeDo)

by The Pitch

Spencer Shulem wants people to learn from their mistakes. Also, he wants to help them organize their time. Oh, and he wants to gather data on everything they do. All this is packed into a single pitch for his startup, WeDo. Can the investors dig through all the parts of his business in time to decide if they want to put their cold, hard cash behind it? 

Today’s investors are Charles Hudson, Phil Nadel, Sheel Mohnot and Alexandra Stanton.

Transcript

Sheel: And so it's an app.

Spencer: Yes. So I left my phone in the other room. But…

Sheel: I think it would be helpful...

Phil: So what does the app tell them?

Sheel: I think you should get your phone.

Spencer: Yes.

Sheel: Yeah. Please.

Phil: Go.

Awkward! Anyway... today's founder, Spencer Shulem, is here asking for $1.5 million dollars for his startup, WeDo. Normally here is where we’d tell you what this startup is all about, but we’re going to hold off on that this time. That’s because figuring out what WeDo actually does, well that’s the fun of today’s pitch.

From Gimlet, this is The Pitch. I’m Josh Muccio.

Today’s investors are ...

Alexandra Stanton

Alexandra is CEO of Empire Global Ventures and on the side, she likes to make strategic bets on startups she thinks will strike gold.

Phil Nadel

As a serial entrepreneur Phil built companies that sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. Now he manages Forefront Venture Partners, one of the largest syndicates on AngelList.

Charles Hudson

Charles started Precursor Ventures where he’s invested $20 million in over 100 startups to date.

Sheel Mohnot

Sheel has sold 3 startups for over $50 million dollars. Now he’s an angel investor, invested in several companies worth billions today.


Okay, on with the show!

Spencer: All right. Well, my name is Spencer. I'm the CEO and cofounder of WeDo. So when I was younger, I was constantly making mistakes that someone else had already made for me. The problem was that I didn't have that data. I didn't know that person who had already made that mistake. So I was making just bad decisions with bad data. Now this is the generation that is obsessed with improving. And this is the self-actualization generation. And we're constantly wanting to get better. But we don't really have the tools and resources we need to do so. So we thought there had to be a better way. If we could track those decisions that people made, analyze them, and give those insights back to people, we could actually start to solve this problem.

Okay, so Spencer says that people want to be the best version of themselves, but they don’t know how. And that he can help them. Now that’s an audacious promise. So where do you even start?

Spencer: Students today have the worst problem with this. They have a lot on their plate and their stress is astronomical. So we thought we could help students by building a 10 times better life manager than what they have today. And we did that. Today we're helping students build and maintain healthy routines, and then we use that data to also help them track daily tasks and stuff like that. This is all in the effort of tracking micro actions people take to building a map of human behavior. Now what this allows us to do in the future is to empower people with these insights so that they don't make the same mistakes everyone keeps making. So that's a little bit about what we're doing at WeDo. Happy to answer some specific questions.

Phil: So it's a very interesting vision...

Sheel: I'm confused.

Phil: I like what you're saying. I make the same mistakes all the time, certainly make the same mistakes that others have made. And I'd love to avoid that. But I don't understand what you're doing and I need to get a little bit more information. So walk us through, if you would, the product and how you're helping people.

Spencer: Yeah. So for an example, when I was in high school, I knew sleep was really important. I didn't know how important it was. I didn't know that 75% of students didn't get the recommended amount of sleep, and because of that my ability to concentrate, my ability to focus, all went down. And so just knowing that information would have been tremendously helpful. So to answer your question specifically, we track that data, so we track Health Kit data, Google calendar, and also habits and stuff like that.

Phil: You track health data and habits. And then you do what with it?

Spencer: Yeah. So we, we track, uh, things like tasks. So things that they need to get done in their life. So if you're a student you can actually send us your syllabus. That gets converted into due dates and reminders for you automatically.

Sheel: So is this an app?

Spencer: Yes.

Sheel: Okay.

Spencer: So it's an app. It's on Android, iOS, Mac and web.

Sheel: And so it's an app. You plug in your health data, you plug in your Google calendar.

Spencer: Yeah. So I left my phone in the other room. But…

Sheel: I think it would be helpful...

Phil: So what does the app tell them? What does the app show them?

Sheel: I think you should get your phone.

Spencer: Yes.

Sheel: Yeah. Please.

Phil: Go.

Spencer steps out of the pitch room. And the investors, they just sort of shake their heads.

Sheel: I mean, I don't know, I can't... I have no idea what's....

Phil: I can't picture it.

Alexandra Stanton: Yeah.

Charles Hudson: I’m with you. I think I know. But I’m like, I could be totally wrong.

Phil: It's hard to...

Sheel: All right. Here we go.

Spencer: So if we can... So...

Phil: No. Don't. Here. Why don't you show us?

Sheel: Yeah, show us.

Alexandra: Hold it out here  And walk us through it please, Spencer.

Spencer: So this is WeDo Today. So this is primarily focused on students. There’s a lot of color. It’s really fun. So we track general things.

What Spencer is showing them is the WeDo app on his phone. It’s a pretty simple to-do app, a list of tasks that need to be done, with deadlines. You check each one off and it moves them to your list of “completed” tasks. Pretty basic stuff. But Spencer says it’s more than just your run of the mill task manager.

Spencer: And then we also allow people to import their syllabus. So this integrates with Health Kit, so we see how much steps, the distance, the activity in the background. We track heart rate and stuff like that. And then also sleep, if you have a sleep tracker. And then when you start marking things off we ask you basic questions. Like, how long did this take you? How did this make you feel? How important was it? And we correlate all that data to health data and then we can start making those predictions about what's going on in your life.

Phil: Are you doing that currently? That piece?

Spencer: So these are the basic insights that we have today. So it categorizes everything inside of our app. And then we give them these sections and reactions based off of the data that they provide.

Sheel: What’s actionable?

Phil: So what are those insights, what are those insights showing the user?

Spencer: Yeah. So today, a lot of those insights can be really basic about where they’re spending their time and how they’re spending their time. And just from the data alone, we have 20 times the retention of the best products in our space. So  we’re able to get to about 30% retention even after 10 - 12 months.

Alexandra: How long have you been around?

Spencer: We launched last year.

Sheel: And how many users do you have?

Spencer: So we've been out for two semesters now. We grew to over 800 schools. Last semester we ended with about 15,000 monthly active users.

Alexandra: Can you talk about your competitors?

Spencer: Yeah. So in the student market, not so much. There isn’t really any life manager, there’s no kind of, to do list product for them. They have nothing. Today’s students are still using those pen and paper planners. So this is a really bad problem for students because they don’t have any tools for them.

Sheel: But that’s a different, like what you’re talking about, transitioning from a planner to this is different. In between that, there’s any number of other calendaring apps. Google calendar, etc.

Spencer: Give me an example.

Sheel: Like you’re saying they’re still using pen and paper. But there’s another replacement for that. Google calendar.

Spencer: They don’t use Google calendar.

Sheel: So how do you know what they’re doing when they’re doing it?

Spencer: Because we, they track that stuff inside of WeDo just manually. So when they import their syllabus, we know what homework assignments they’re doing, we know the things that are going in their life 

Phil: The syllabus doesn’t contain necessarily all the homework assignments. It’s going to be…

Spencer: Yes it does.

Alexandra: Yes it does.

Phil: Okay.

Alexandra: What's your background?

Spencer: So I'm 23 years old right now. I started this company when I was 19 and the focus of solving this problem for students. And then as, then it's been growing. So I started my first software company when I was 13 years old. I made two top selling productivity and medical apps. I rode that up until the end of high school. And then I started this company  So I've always had a passion for solving this problem in the productivity wellness space.

Sheel: What would you say the problem is? Just a quick concise definition of the problem.

Spencer: Yeah. So the problem for students is that they have a lot on their plate and they don't have any tools to manage those resources.  The bigger problem at large is that we want to improve and we don't have the tools to make educated decisions to do so.

Phil: So that second piece is where I'm having trouble. I don't understand how you're solving for that.

Spencer: So... I think the best way to think about it is the way it gets solved today. So the way people make improvements is they make a mistake. And then they try to learn from that mistake. And most people don't. But the reality is that you don't have to make every single mistake that every person has already made in order to learn from that. I could ask you, hey, what are some bad business mistakes that you've made? Tell me. I can learn from that and just avoid those mistakes.

Phil: I get that that's a problem. But I don't understand how you're solving it.

Spencer: So we do that by making that, by doing that at scale, by essentially tracking the decisions people are making throughout their life, whether those are habit decisions, shopping behaviors, things like that. And then correlating that to patterns that we can recognize in other people.

Alexandra: Can I get a clarification? I think that, it feels like there’s two different things happening. One is, we’re letting them know about mistakes others have made so they can avoid making them. The other is we are an app that tracks their assignments. And I’m trying to figure out how those things are integrated into one holistic company.  I think you probably have a way of unifying those two? If you would drill a little deeper please.

Spencer: Yeah. So the big, the mission that we’re trying to solve, that big improvement problem is really hard. And it takes a lot of data. And we have to start learning off of people’s behaviors from the time they’re 14 years old all the way to end of life. And the more data we gather about what things they’re buying, what actions they’re taking, homework they’re doing, location data, sleep data, we can start to build that map of human behavior and learn, okay, this 14 year old made these decisions and by the time they were in college, this was the outcome. This is what turned into that accumulation of decisions. Right. And so that’s what we’re building today. We’re building that database of micro actions people are taking so we can map human behavior over the long term.

Okay, mapping human behavior -- this is Spencer’s data play. What he means by that is WeDo will collect data on what he calls micro-actions -- all the things people do in their daily lives. And over time, as WeDo has more and more of that data, it could become extremely valuable.

Alexandra: But that's not monetizable now? You're building a set of data that you hope to, I assume, sell or monetize in the future. How is this company making money today?

Spencer: Yeah. So we have a paid subscription. We convert about 6.6% of our users to that paid subscription.

Sheel: So how many people is that now?

Spencer:  A little bit less than 1,000.

Sheel: And how much are they paying?

Spencer: 4.99 per month and 39.99 per year. And then our retention with our subscription is relatively high, around 60, 80%. 

Phil: So what are the benefits they get from being a paid subscriber?

Spencer: Uh... To be 100% honest, a lot of it is kind of the commitment to themselves. It's kind of like a gym membership in some ways, where they want to spend the money to make this commitment to use this product. This is a lot of money for kids sometimes. And so this is kind of that commitment to themselves. Tangibly, they get themes, they get icons, they get pro features like time estimating and priority. So they have some additional features inside of our product and those obviously get used. But a huge reason that we hear from our users as to why they upgrade is they just want to make that commitment.

Alexandra: But may I ask, it’s not that you’re noticing that they are, in the course of a month, six times they’ve been late on an assignment and you parachute in with something about how to improve not being late... Is that being delivered to the students who are paying monthly? 

Phil: That sounds like that’s the long term.

Spencer: Yes. So we’re able...

Phil: Not happening today.

Spencer: Yeah. We’re able to give some high level insights based off their own data. We, for example, can even today start predicting if a student is going to fail a class within the first few days of signing up for our product, because we’re able to see ...they’re not marking off certain assignments, and we know other people who are just like them in the same class are marking off that assignment way before they are. So that data today, we’re not confident enough to then go back to that user and say, hey, you should be doing this homework assignment. But in the near future, we can start doing that, saying 75% of kids in your class have already completed this assignment. I’m not going to tell you what to do, but just live with that information and do what you may.

Phil: Yeah if you track that they’re sleeping 21 hours a day, you can probably tell them, You should probably wake up a few more hours and...

Sheel: Get some coffee.

Phil: Yeah. Get some coffee.

Spencer: And likewise, I think what’s super interesting to us, and what we love hearing, one, I’ve had calls with students who have cried because of how much of a difference this product has made in their life. Tracking these micro habits is so important. And just getting that ding by just marking it off, I’m sure you guys know, is really special to them.

Alexandra: You're trying to train self-awareness.

Spencer: Yes.

Charles: So I totally identify with the problem, but I’m having a really difficult time connecting the problem statement to the product. So for me, this one’s going to be a pass. But I can tell you have real enthusiasm and energy about solving this. But for me, it just doesn’t compute. Right now.

Spencer: Yeah. Yeah. I mean... Not so much... I appreciate the feedback. What about that connection do you still feel like... And I’m not trying to... Just curious.

Charles: No, it’s fine. I think it’s what  I don’t understand the feedback cycle. Like I understand immediate. Like hey, it’s Monday. All of your classmates turned this, did this, everyone has started your computer science homework and you haven’t started. Do it now. Like, I understand like immediate intervention. And I understand look back. Like, hey, for the last 30 days, you started all of your assignments late. Don’t do that next month.

Spencer: Right. Yeah.

Charles: What I’m struggling with is  if you have some insights here, when are those surfaced? And why not more immediate quick feedback to the user, that like, hey, you haven’t checked this off. Did you do it? Because maybe they just said oh I didn’t check it off, but I did it. And I’m just struggling with how does the product actually affect user behavior? And what are the signals that the product generates...

Spencer: Yeah. So this is kind of where we’re going in our next version.

Spencer takes out his phone again and shows the investors the latest version of the WeDo app, with all the new bells and whistles. Like, there’s a notification in the app -- that says “Wowwww… you’ve completed... more things this week than last!” And tells you exactly how much more productive you’ve been.

Spencer: So it’s very conversational. So as we start bubbling up these insights, we’re going to ask them how, is this a helpful insight? And then start getting that kind of insight about what would help them move forward.

Charles: I would encourage you to get to this in the first two minutes of the pitch.

Alexandra: Show it to Phil.

It sounds like these new features are finally getting the investors psyched about WeDo. We’ll find out just how psyched, after the break…

BREAK

Welcome back to the show. So, we left off when Spencer busted out the next version of the WeDo app, and the investors really perked up.

Charles: I would encourage you to get to this in the first two minutes of the pitch.

Alexandra: Get to this quicker. Show it to Phil. I think this is really interesting for a few reasons, Spencer. The amount of students in community colleges juggling full time work who have to get assignments done, who haven't been in school in a long time, has exploded in the past five years. So that's one piece of it. The second piece of it, I could see parents purchasing this for kids going off to school. Right. So I think that there's both an earlier piece, pre high school, that parents would love. And I think there's a heavy community college piece.

Spencer: Yup. This is a generation that is looking for a product to try to help them. This isn’t parents saying, hey you need to use this product. Or teachers forcing them to use a product like this. This really is the students saying, I need help. I really do. And there’s nothing else out there. Part of this round, so we’re raising a million and a half dollars. We have some great existing investors like Pritzker Group, Crosscut and Amplify.

Pritzker Group, Crosscut. Those names might not mean much to the average Joe, but to investors that’s a list of heavy hitters in the VC world.

Spencer: We are getting asked by researchers to research our data and look into it to see if we can  go to like healthcare providers and educational systems at large and be able to distribute the product down through that.

Sheel: I have a couple issues. One, for me, I think like  charging $5 a month to a consumer ends up... You have to get to a massive scale for this to be...

Spencer: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Sheel: And I think it has to probably expand beyond education, but education is a great place to start, I think.  But actually my big concern is, I didn’t understand what the hell the product was for the first five minutes of this conversation. I still am not sure I really get it. And I have never had success investing somewhere where I didn’t quickly grasp what the product was.

Spencer: Right.

Sheel: And I think that you need to spend a lot of time working on that. Because it’s not just me that matters. It’s any future investor, of course. But also like…

Spencer: Consumers.

Sheel: Consumers.  You need to have a very quick and concise way of explaining what you do. And that’s going to be super valuable to you in everything that you do.

Spencer: Absolutely.

Sheel: And I think... Showing us the product is helpful. Showing us that last step that we had to tease out of you was super helpful.

Alexandra: Yes. Critical.

Sheel: But I really struggle with how this becomes a massive business as well.  So for those reasons I'm going to pass.

Spencer: Thank you.

Phil: So you started the pitch with an interesting problem of people making the same mistakes that other people have made and your goal is to try to sort of help alleviate that or solve for that.  You lost me with your current product solution. I don't think you're yet solving for that. Maybe that's the long term vision. The current monetization plan of charging $5 a month, doesn't excite me. I don't see that you're adding a lot of premium value for that price 

Spencer: Absolutely.

Phil: I don't think the product is there yet. So I'm going to pass. But I am curious, because you seem like you want to respond to it. So I want to hear what you have to say.

Spencer: No. So, there have been a lot of predictive planners out there. They all don't work because they have no idea what's happening before work and what's going on after work. They don't know if you didn't sleep enough, maybe meditating in the morning would really help. Maybe going on a walk after your meetings would be helpful. They don't have that data.  So getting that data is not just an interesting place to start, it's absolutely essential to solving this problem. So I hear you. I think it's... It's difficult to explain our short term vision and our long term vision because they are a little bit disconnected. But they're absolutely connected. Because you need to have that data. You need to connect those dots.

Sheel: I think there are other ways... Like, look, I think you could say, we're a personal wellness assistant in your pocket.

Spencer: Sure. Sure.

Sheel: Something simple to start us off.

Spencer: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sheel: Would be better than the long...

Alexandra: Data play that isn’t.

Sheel: Exactly.

Alexandra: Right. If I could reorder your presentation, I would have led with what Sheel just said. We're a personal wellness app that sits in your pocket, targeting the education market because we have talked to administrators and students and parents and there is nothing. We're starting here. We've seen this retention. We've tripled the retention of X. We've got Y. Because starting with 'we're a data play but we're not for right now and we can't monetize right now' which means you're not currently a data play. You're amassing data for a hopefully future something. But you don't have the data yet. You don't quite know.

Spencer: Yeah.

Alexandra:  So I would like to, I'm going to pass for now, but I want to know more.

Spencer: Thank you so much.

Alexandra: Thank you.

Phil: Thank you.

Alexandra: And good luck to you.

Phil: Thanks.

Sheel: Um, frankly I'm surprised he has investors.

[Spencer leaves the pitch room]

Phil: Yeah. I’m not sure what they see in it.

Charles: I struggled with that one.

Alexandra: I get it.

Phil: I just think it's a task management app for college kids. And that's all it is right now today. And he admittedly doesn’t have a lot of premium features that he’s offering...

Sheel: Like, themes!

Phil: People are paying because they want to feel committed to their... I mean… that’s not enough for me

Alexandra: Pritzker’s no joke by the way.

Charles: Mr Muccio.

Alexandra: Okay. Talk to us.

Josh: So a couple of questions. Ah... What did you mean Sheel when you said, frankly I don't understand why he has any investors? Like, what are you seeing that these investors aren't seeing?

Sheel: I'm seeing a very... A person who could not communicate what his app does, like still, we're still like debating internally what this thing does.

Josh: Even after he showed it to you at the end and came back multiple times?

Alexandra: No, I understood it. He led the wrong way.

Phil: It's different than what he said was. It's task management. It's not really what he described it as.

Alexandra: Josh, he led with data, long term data, micro whatever he was doing.  He was, I think, trying to say, look, for the long term investors I’m a data play. If he had led with I am executive function for the student market which is not served with its own level of tool, deep penetration, I’m told no one has it and I’m building. That 22 seconds is a whole different kettle of fish.

Sheel: Totally.

Josh: And so what that says to you, when someone waits that late in the game to give you the different version of their pitch is that he doesn’t actually know...

Sheel: He never gave it to us.

Alexandra: He didn't. I did that just now.

Charles: She just did it. She did it. She should have pitched the product.

Alexandra: I would have had you at hello! 

Charles: And I'll add one other thing. It was clear that Phil was trying to get him, for the first five minutes, like tell me what this does. And I think part of your job as a founder is to recognize when you're losing the room. And instead of allowing things to spin out of control, stop and be like, hey, maybe I haven't been clear. Let me start over. Maybe I haven't been really clear about what the product is and how it works. Let me tell you in really simple words what we do. And it was clear that Phil was trying very hard to get him to say in simple words, what does the product do? For whom and why does it matter? And he didn't pick up on that signal. And I think, that's why I was like, I'm checked out. He's just spiraling off into this thing about micro actions. And like, I agree with all this. But you're not getting to the core which is I don't think any of us understood the product and Phil was giving him every opportunity to say, like, hey you're losing the room.

Josh: And that's the moment that he lost you? Was when he didn't take advantage of that?

Charles: And he went deeper down. He went deeper down the same...

Phil: Rabbit hole.

Charles: The same rabbit hole. And I was like, erghhhh.

So, that didn’t go great. And when we come back, things get even tougher for Spencer. When he has to make a really hard call for WeDo.

Spencer: Now I'm at the decision point where I'm like I need to buy food. And I don't know if I can do that if we don't raise money.

That’s after the break.

BREAK

Welcome back to the show. It’s been six months since Spencer came on the show to make his pitch. He flopped with our investors. Our producer Heather Rogers and I talked to Spencer recently. First, she asked him to reflect on one of the big flubs he made during his pitch.

Heather: You know you yeah like what was that like when you were like oh shit I don’t have my iPhone?

Spencer: Not good. I mean, you know, like when I was getting my phone I was like maybe I should just not come back. 

Heather: Did you really feel that way?

Spencer: Oh for sure. Haha. I mean like you know when a pitch is going bad and you know you just have to kind of deal with it and keep going. And like that's when my adrenaline was just like pumping and then you kind of get into that fight or flight like very quickly. So it was, it was not a very comfortable feeling like very early on. Right. And there was like no going back from that.

Heather: What's changed since you came on the show? What happening with your business?

Spencer: We couldn't really raise our round   I mean honestly, like it’s, it's, it's tough.

Heather: Why do you think you weren't getting investors?

Spencer: I mean obviously I'm awful at pitching so that didn't help.

The thing is, Spencer had successfully raised in earlier rounds to the tune of $1.2m dollars he said. So he’s not a chronically bad pitcher.

Heather: You've successfully pitched in the past.

Spencer: Sure sure. This round was like really the round that showed me how important a network was. Um. You know I love the founders of Airbnb like one of their one of their quotes is something like, You know we got 100 no's before we got to one yes. And I was like, How did you meet 100 people? Where, where did that happen? You know it's, it's really hard to like get introductions and to meet the right investors.

Heather: Yeah.

Spencer: I mean obviously the control variable is, is me, right? Like I'm the reason this round did not get funded but it was not like a hot space that everyone wanted to invest in, in general. There's just a lot of little things that I think I could point out as to why this round was difficult. And I think all of them could have been maybe solved if I was just a holy crap insanely good pitcher. Who knows?

Heather: It’s kind of wild because the first time you raised money you just had hit after hit after hit.

Spencer: Yeah.

Heather: What happened?

Spencer: Laughing.

Heather: Laughing.

Spencer: It keeps me up at night.

Heather: Yeah.

Spencer: You know I don't know. I think we were pre product and I was a 19 year old kid who was doing something super exciting and we had some great investors behind us and I think we had some FOMO and you know things were going right. You know nothing was going wrong.

Now, things are going wrong. Of the $1.5 million he was seeking from investors, Spencer was stuck at 0. But then, in the middle of trying to fundraise last winter, a different path opened up. A large Bay Area tech company offered to buy WeDo. Spencer wouldn't tell us who. The thing is, they didn't offer him much money. But it’s still tempting.

Spencer: You know, I haven't paid myself for a year and a half. Ummm, now I'm at the decision point where I'm like I need to buy food. And I don't know if I can do that if we don't raise money.

Heather: That sounds really tough.

Spencer: It's super tough. It's not fun. It’s yeah. I started this company in a very young age so I went from like high school to working at a big tech company for a few months to starting this startup. Like my identity my whole adulthood has been this company.

Heather: Right.

Spencer: And. You know it's really difficult to lose that.

When you hear that a startup is selling that seems like it should be a good thing. But Spencer doesn’t seem to be celebrating. So I asked him about it.

Josh: It does sound like you're kind of viewing this as a as a failure but if you are able to get at least these investors’ money back  and like your team gets something. It's not that it's not necessarily a failure.

Spencer: I didn't, I didn't start this company to get a job in a nice tech company. I started this company because this is a really big problem and it's incredibly painful for this generation and if we can solve this like that is really important. And sure. Is this a success to most people? Absolutely. But it's not to me because that's not why I started this company and that's not what I want the outcome to be. And so the unfortunate part for me is like I have all these loose ends of things that maybe did really well at WeDo or maybe didn't and I don't know which decisions were the right ones or the wrong ones because none of them landed in a positive spot.

Josh: That's the rub, right? You just don't know. Because that's the thing that everybody glorifies about failures. It's like oh yeah I've learned all this stuff. It was a wonderful learning opportunity and you're like I don't know what I've learned.

Spencer: I just don't know. I mean it's what's tough is like even now when I tell people they're like, Oh what do you do? I don't know what to say. Like do I say I'm still a founder? Do I say I you know have this startup? Do I even want to explain it to them because it's not really going to be around for that much longer? You know am I trying to pitch them am I trying to just, you know, who am I? What am I trying to do. It’s a lot. I mean you're everything i've done over the last four years has been going towards this one unified goal and it's been my job to accomplish that goal. And not only did I fail at that but I have to like no longer be doing it. And, you know the next startup that I do I'm very similarly going to believe in doing something that makes it, you know, solves a big problem at a profit, of course. But I don't care so much about just like scaling up and selling out. I think it's really important to me of solving something and actually solving that problem.

Heather: So you want to start, you want to create another startup.

Spencer: Hopefully I'll be on your next season of course.

As of now, the deal isn’t final. But Spencer says this sale is probably happening. And all this got me thinking, you know, building a company is really really hard. And building a VC-backed company is even harder. The odds of creating a startup that grows so big that it exits at a large enough scale that it makes everybody rich, are so slim. Far more founders find themselves right where Spencer is, that confusing space between success and failure. Where the path isn’t so clear and there are more questions than answers.

Hey, one last thing. We’re looking for founders for our next recording event. So last week, we invited entrepreneurs to call in and give us the one-minute pitch for their company. And you guys. You blew us away! The phones were ringing off the hook! It was so much fun meeting many of you and hearing all the crazy creative businesses you are building. We took as many calls as we could, and you all still filled up our voicemail inbox.

We're still working our way through those calls; we will listen to every message. And if we want to learn more about your business, we'll be in touch soon! Thanks to everyone who called in!!!

And if you weren't able to get through this time. Don't worry there will be other opportunities. And you can always call in and leave us a voicemail at (347) 915-3123.

Okay, we'll be back with a brand new episode in 3 weeks. See you then.


Our show is hosted by me, Josh Muccio, Produced by Heather Rogers, Kareem Maddox, and Molly Donahue. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell.

Theme music by The Muse Maker. Original compositions from Breakmaster Cylinder, Bobby Lord and The Muse Maker. We are mixed by Enoch Kim.

Lisa Muccio planned the recording of this pitch.

Our disclaimer, no offer to invest is being made to or solicited from the listening audience on today’s show.

You can find more episodes of The Pitch for free on Spotify or wherever you listen. Alright we’ll see you in a few weeks.