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1 Million Dollars Spent in one year: VC Funded Startup Slidebean CEO

1 Million Dollars Spent in one year: VC Funded Startup Slidebean CEO


I spent over one million dollars last year;
and it’s not a metaphor. I actually took one million dollars from accounts,
and moved it to other accounts, or paid it via credit cards, or whatever… And the first thing I should clarify is that
I’m not a millionaire by any means. My girlfriend and I rent this two-bedroom
apartment in the heart of San Jose, nobody in my family has ever had a million dollars,
and my scratch map is only barely touched. I should also clarify, this is my money as
much as it’s not my money. I’m telling you how the company I co-founded
in 2014, Slidebean, spent a million dollars last year. So I’m the CEO of that company, I get to
decide how to spend the money, but it’s not money of my own. So if you were expecting one of those ‘Hey
I have a Million Dollars and I’m going to waste it all in one day’… no, this is
not one of those videos. But if you’re like me, and before last year
had never had a million dollars of your own, I think you’ll find some curious insights
on how fast that money goes… sadly. And if you’re a business manager or an entrepreneur,
I think you’ll also find some good insights on how a company our size decides to spend
their money. Let’s do this. Welcome to our office. Now, the one reason why I’m able to share
this potentially very sensitive information with you , is because from the get go we built
this culture and this strategy around transparency. We wanna help other companies like us… succeed;
and nobody wants to talk about this stuff.. they are all so secretive about it the money
they’ spent. So we’ve been rather open about it… our
role model here is a company called Buffer… that is fully transparent! They’ll even share how much everybody on
the team makes… which we are not really to do yet. Anyway, here are all the real expenses for
Slidebean for 2018. We spent $664,080.30 on people’s salaries. That represents 25 people that are spread
around San Jose and New York City. Beyond that we have a Culture Manager: Paulis. Paulis is our culture manager, and her job
is just keeping everybody happy. And she has a dedicated budget, or had a dedicated
budget in 2018 of $18,000. That is the money that she spent in wine,
and beer, and Uber rides home… and anything that we do to keep people happy. Paula works as this bridge between the management
team and the rest of the team. She brings us their concerns and fights for
them to be happier at the office. Another large expense, closely related to
the team is the office itself… We spent about $68,000 for rent, and for WIFI,
electricity and all that other stuff, for both our Costa Rica office and our New York
office. Now, why do we need 25 people? 5 people on the team are dedicated exclusively
to helping out our customers, but the rest of the team worked most of 2018 on this. I just realized, I haven’t told you what
Slidebean is. And I don’t want to hijack the video for
this… so, in a nutshell: Slidebean is a presentation tool. Kind of like PowerPoint, or Prezi, or Google
Slides, with the core difference that we’ve designed this process where you can just add
content, and our platform automatically, automatically really, design that for you. Now, before today, that used to happen in
a weird and boring way, which was just a set of rules that we had predefined. So whenever a user crammed up their slides,
which the always like to do, we were having a lot of trouble using our rules to arrange
that correctly. So Jose our CTO, and one of my co-founders,
came up with this fantastic AI system that automatically, automatically, really, designs
thousands of slides and looks for the best one. Maybe the one with the biggest text, and with
aligned images… and like that, in like half a second, we design the slides for you. Or, the AI designs the slide for you. Now, that has not been released yet, it’ll
be released April 2019, but since you’re watching my own personal channel, you get
privileges, you can go to beta.slidebean.com and try it out. End of commercial. Now, our second largest expense after payroll
is marketing. We spent $144,000 and some, in marketing. Let me show you where all that happens. So for the past few months we’ve been investing
in a proper marketing studio. Let me install this camera so you can see. Now here’s where all the magic happens. We built this little studio because we really
believe in content marketing, and that’s where we spent most of our marketing effort. The one reason why Slidebean has become so
popular is because we leverage what people are looking for: we create content that answers
their questions. Our first big breakthrough was Google SEO,
but then we moved on to Youtube which is the second largest search engine in the world,
if you didn’t know that. So this studio allows us to do all this content
in-house, we don’t have to leave the office. And I don’t get to use this gear for my
own videos, so that’s why I’m taking advantage of that today. Most of those $144K actually went to Google
and Facebook. Most companies think of marketing as an expense,
they think that they’re spending this money in Marketing. Not really. It’s an investment if you track it correctly. We track it very carefully. We know that for every dollar that we spend
on marketing, we are going to make $5 for the customers that those campaigns will bring. I wish I could spend more on marketing. I wish we had more channels where we could
spend $1 and get $5 back. We just haven’t found them, yet. Now, as a little side note, for part of 2018
we ran this little project called Slidebean Contrast. We set aside a small percentage of our revenue,
and gave it to organizations that were using design to generate impact. It’s one of the happiest expenses we did
through the year. Moving on. Alexa, make coffee. Alexa: coffee coming right up. Next up is services, first stuff that our
team uses on their day today productivity- that’s around $26,000 for Slack, and email
and Monday.com and platforms that we use to make our lives easier. And then we spent, $143,946 for services that
our platform needs to stay alive, like Amazon Web Services, where all of our user’s presentations
are hosted… and Intercom, which is the backbone of our support and onboarding. If you ever sign up for Slidebean, you will
receive a couple of personal emails from me… and they will look very personal, as if I
actually sent them… but they were really all sent through Intercom based on your activity
in the platform. Moving on. Last but most certainly not least, the cost
of running a business. $35,000 went to lawyers, and taxes, and all
that compliance stuff that you have to pay for. Only $5,000 for travel, we don’t get to
travel as much, sadly- and that’s it. Those are really all of Slidebean’s expenses
for 2018. I hope that this video sparked your curiosity
about how a business spends its money. I hope that you found some useful insights
here… These $1MM expenses, I never saw them, I never
held them in my hand… they were just numbers on a screen. But it’s been really fun to make this video,
hope you enjoyed it as well. Let me know in the comments what you think. Hit that subscribe button. And I will see you next week.

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