The Big Exit
The Big Exit

Episode 8 · 1 year ago

Brett Crosby and Team Selling to Google

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dan Daugherty interviews Brett Crosby, a co-founder of Urchin, who sold to Google for half cash and half stock in 2005. Urchin, became Google Analytics, one of the most successful Google products of all time.

Welcome to the big exit where wediscuss startup acquisitions with the founders who lived it. Here's your host,Dan Daugherty, and you know, we had supportive familymembers, which is always, you know, I mean, it is very fortunate to be ableto stand on the shoulders of others have come before you like that. And wewere really, really fortunate to have that kind of support. One of the guys had flown out fromBoston was going to actually hand us a physical check. And the morning we weregonna meet with the guy, my co-founder, Jack, called me and said: "Turn on theTV" and I was like: "What?" He's like: "turn on the damn TV". And I was like: "Oh, okay"I turn it on and there's planes flying into the World Trade Center buildings. You know, I'll never forget this. I wasin my tuxedo about to walk down the aisle from my wedding, and my cofounder, Paul, came in and said, Hey, you're going on your honeymoon tomorrow,right? And I was like, Yeah, he's like, you need, you know, I'm surrounded bymy groomsmen, drinking a Pacific like just about to walk down the aisle and Iwas like, You need to sign this deal. to sell Welcome to this episode of The Big Exit I am very excited to have an old colleague of mine at Google, BrettCrosby, joining us today. He was one of the original co-founders of Urchin,where Google actually acquired Urchin in 2005. And Brett is now theco-founder of Peer Street, which is a platform for investing in real estatebacked loans. Brett, thank you so much for joining the podcast. Yeah, DanSuper glad to be here. Thanks for having me and great to reconnect withyou personally. Yes. Yeah, Same here. You know, I wanted to dio really tellyour story or have you tell your story of how you guys started urchin all theway back in 1997. I actually can't believe I'm saying this, but who wouldhave known in 1997 even when Google was very, very tiny of where the Internetwas going and how valuable understanding your traffic onconversions would be? How did this idea come to fruition? And why did you guyseven start Urgent eso first thanks for having me on, and hopefully, this willbe fun. I want to give a shout out to my co founders. Palm you're a Jack andCone and Scott Crosby. Who's my brother? Um, those guys air. They were crucialin all of this story and should you know, they could all be on here with metelling similar tales and probably doing a better job. But, um, those guyswere all fantastic, and and without them, none of this would have happened.But the story goes like this, you know, we e I wish we had some, you know,super incredible insight and that we were, you know, micro Nostradamus is orsomething where we could predict the future. But we basically were. Thestory is really that we had a, uh, website development and hosting company.Back then, you could host websites out of like, a closet in your company. Andthen later on, later on, it became like big there, you know, telcos and becamebig hosting companies. And all that stuff became very popular. And noweverything's basically on, you know, Google Cloud or Amazon Web services orthings like that. Right? So it's been a really, really interesting shift overthe last E 25 years or so. Um, but back then, we were hosting building websitesthat we would host them and our customers started asking questions like,Okay, you built this website, Um, I getting any traffic, and we had theirlog file data and way. We're able to look at that. And then we created, like,a little strip to be able Thio, Um, we were building them based on bandwidthback then and so we would say, Oh, you...

...got a bunch of traffic this month. Soyour bill is higher. It was almost like cell phone, you know, minutes orsomething before they had all these prepaid, you know, all you can useplans s so that was the sort of the original purpose for us mining logfiles and telling people if they were getting any traffic and also because itwould get them to reinvest in their website and no, you know, like youbuild it. Is anyone there? And it was a fundamental question. And then peoplewould ask where people coming from, and we had to try and figure out ways totell them. Um And so we started got the hint that way that this was animportant, um, question to be answered and most of the products on the marketback then, you either had to, like, download your log file on your actualcomputer, you know, from your server to your computer and then run localsoftware on your computer and then look at the data and there was no way toreally share that easily. It was just We didn't think those models made thatmuch sense. And so we started building some of our own software Thio, analyzelog files and we, you know, we built a whole bunch of tools. We had a, um, ecommerce shopping card. We had that, you know, like the San Diego Zoo. And Ithink the San Diego Padres website used up until recently basically use it. Idon't know. Some of these things just stick around Way had a bunch of otherthings, too, and we would just build kind of these little software productson the side. These little tools mhm. And we had the idea that, you know, wecould get bigger and bigger as we went. And so at one point I started thinkingabout this and, um, we I had this idea like, Hey, maybe we could actually stopdoing website development And and it wasn't just my idea. Like Paul saidthis to me at one point, he's like, You know, if we just really focused on oneof these tools, we might be ableto just become a software company. Instead, Iwas like, Well, it's pretty amazing. And so I started thinking about that.We had a series of meetings and I started speaking it, um, search enginestrategies because people started using our product. We had a bunch of veryfortuitous events happened where my girlfriend at the time, who laterbecame my wife, worked for Honda. Well, she didn't work for honey. She workedfor an agency that ran Honda's website, and they were looking at all these Webanalytics tools. None of them could process their single days log file fastenough. Eso there were six months behind and trying to report back ThioHonda what their website traffic was doing. And meanwhile, they're Honda waswriting these huge checks, and it was very hard to justify all this like adspending, all that stuff, and so that was really the beginning of it. Andthen Cable and Wireless invited us in to come speak and again that wasthrough my girlfriend at the time who became my wife, Julie. And then thatthat was really started the beginning. We started to see the writing on thewall and we said, Hey, you know, if we if we focus on this software and selloff the other part of the business and kind of restructure the company tofocus on Web analytics, maybe some of these other software tools we couldpotentially really build something. And so I wrote up a really simple businessmodel, and this is somewhat ironic at this point. Looking back, I said, Hey,let's get this tool away for free and it will be ad supported. We'll putbanner ads in it and you know, if we just get one of these big hostingcompanies like EarthLink or someone like that back then, we should be ableto make enough revenue through ads, too. Support this and you know, ad supportedbusiness models were kind of a big idea, or it was a pretty common idea backthen, but it was very strange in the Web analytic space, all the other mostalmost all the other tools tended to go really expensive individualinstallations and a lot of customer service, you know, up cells. We weregoing the opposite direction, and it was really about scale. And making thetool is easy to use and as much built in support as possible on DSO, ourmodel was very different. Um, on all positive. If you wanna ask questions, Ijust keep going down. You know that that is that is great. So So you spunoff the business that you guys started...

...started on this. Did you have capitalthat you guys put in yourselves? Did you bootstrapped This was their moneycoming in from other places. Did you raise money? What got you to that nextstep? Yeah, that's really interesting. We for the most part, we were We hadbootstrap things, though we had raised very, you know, very, very small sumsfrom some of our uncles and like my dad and things like that to get us starteddoing a website development business. And, you know, we had supportive familymembers, which is always you know. I mean, it is very fortunate to be ableto stand on the shoulders of others have come before you like that. And wewere really, really fortunate to have that kind of support from our families,and that was sort of the original thing. But once we spun off, uh, ended urgent.We got a little more serious And those same guys, that was for, like, thewebsite development company. And then that helped us kind of develop a lot ofthe software to get it to the point where you could say, Hey, let's spendthis off and do something a little more serious with it and s So we did. Andthen those guys all reinvested and we had a lot of family involved, and wealso brought on professional venture capitalists. Pretty early one was afriend, John Waller, from USC, who's back in the, uh, he's still a venturecapitalist, but he had built and sold a company called Riddler.com in theearly days. And then, um, it was Green Thumb Ventures back then. Anyhow, webuilt the company and we're kind of getting some traction. We got EarthLink.We got some other big accounts. And, um, I'll tell you, we started to scale up.There's a business, and we thought we were really gonna have something We gotCable and wireless is a business, and at the time we would do these reallybig installations and, you know, sometimes they would be like a milliondollar check to do you know, they would buy a whole bunch of virgin software,install it in their Facility. And my co founder, Jack and Cohen was really goodat negotiating all these very big deals. But then it was like it was a realfeast. Excuse me. Feast and famine business model where we would do those,um, you know, make those sales and then those companies would offer that is acompetitive reason for them to sign up more customers, a za differentiator.But then we wouldn't know in our next big deal was gonna happen, and it couldgo months or six months without another one, and then we could get a couplemore, you know? So it was a really hard way toe build a business. We tried toreplicate that. It turns out it was almost impossible for other people todo that because they weren't, You know, they didn't wanna founders. Theycouldn't just sort of make decisions on the fly. They were trying to follow amodel. And so it's just a little too chaotic to really scale that, Um But inthe meantime, we had brought in a There were a couple of companies that investedin our Siri's. They were going to invest in our Series A. We had gottenthe whole deal put together. Um, it was totally papered. One of the guys hadflown out from Boston was going to actually hand us a physical check. Andthe morning we were going to meet with a guy, my co founder, Jack, called meand said, Turn on the TV And I was like, What he's like turn on the damn TV AndI was like, Oh, okay, I turn it on and there's planes flying into the WorldTrade Center buildings. And so obviously that was a horrible, horribletime for many people. And many people died in, like, you know, very, verydark days for the world in our country and all these people. But one sidestory on that as well, is that that also killed our funding round. And sowe had scaled up our business started. You know, I say scale, but there's abit of an ironic twist of this whole thing, which is that the VCs weresaying, We want you guys instead of going aftermass scale, we want you to follow those other guys models and do these reallyexpensive installations one off and become an enterprise. SAS business, orlike that really went against a lot of the DNA of just here. We were in ourbusiness, and we just imagine having to...

...wear suits and ties and, you know, goahead, do these big sales and all this stuff. But that's, um, what they wantedus to do. And so we were planning. You know, we're kind of begrudginglyplanning to go that direction. We were hiring in that direction, and then 9 11happened and killed that funding around. And we you know, we have gone into thered at that point, and they basically said, No, we're not doing this deal now.We're saving our capital for existing deals. And so we That was very darkdays for a company we almost did not survive that as a business, but we hadsome of our existing investors help out. My brother and I took no salary for Idon't know, six months or so are very little salary and a lot of ouremployees cut salary. We had. We had a lesson people off, but the upshot of itwas we didn't do the enterprise model and we did something that was all aboutself service and scale, which turned out to really help us. Later, as weget into this talk, we'll get into that. But that business model became really,really crucial to our later success, and we almost didn't do it. We almostand this is like the reason I point this out. It's sort of it. It's aninteresting lesson in going against the grain a little bit. And sometimes ifyou follow all the other guys, you'll just be. And also you'll be an also ranme, too. You know, it's kind of business and whereas if you dosomething a little bit different, um, you have the opportunity to dosomething really impactful sometimes And so anyway, we kind of thought abouta little differently. We went that route, we end up doing slashing ourpricing. But on, you know, every all these businesses that we have beenworking with were severely, uh, you know, harmed. And due to the economicfallout of that as well. But we ended up doing more businessafter that than ever before. And, um, had we did these much cheaper but muchmore scalable business models and much more, much more, much more easilyreplicated by other salespeople. Um, and we basically dug ourselves out ofthat, um, that that very challenging time, that is, I did not know thatstory. And, um, me included, as well as the other entrepreneurs that I've beeninterviewing. That is one of the common themes off reaching a point of of, Imean complete failure going under or having that act as a catalyst to toreally accelerate growth and maybe a different direction that you guysweren't pigeonholed thio, especially with the enterprise level VCs. Becauseif that did not happen, there's no way that you guys would have been able toat least short term democratize analytics for everyone. And then Idoubt Google would have would have been interested in you guys exactly? No,that's exactly the deal. Is that we would have been part of the ah managerroll up where they acquired Website Story, who, by the time we sold, theywere actually interested in acquiring us as well, which they were another Webanalytics company. There was there were a bunch of that. This company on natureout of Utah ended up acquiring and rolling up and then selling to AdobeAzaz. Uh, and that's the adobe analytics. Sweet. And so those were allthe that that was their focus. Was everyone going after the large, youknow, heavy on the support and, you know, upselling services, soccer installations versus our democratizing model. Andthat model would not have worked for Google at all because the Google waslike notorious for having like, no phone number. You could call her ewhatsoever. Back in the early days, we're talking 2005. They've sincecreated, as you know, like a bunch of other things where for bigger clients,they have direct relationships and, you...

...know, etcetera. But, um, there's even aversion of Google analytics. Now that is a paid version with a bunch ofsupport and all that stuff. So there that that model does exist. And GoogleAnalytics plays in that space, and they think they played quite well in thespace. But the one that most people know, um, probably would not haveexisted had weak on that route. So So after you guys, you guys kind of movedirection. I'm assuming you did not move forward with the ads beingimplemented within the systems. Um, did you still have a freemium model withwith kind of, Ah, was it like a SAS model back then? Eso No, early days itwas You install it on your server, it was installed herbal software, but noton your desktop on your server. And then you view the reports via yourbrowser, right? So, um, sort of almost sask. But you still had Thio install.It s Oh, not exactly. It was kind of early SAS model concept Onda. Thenthrough a Siris of meetings and going through search engine strategies, youknow, I met with this guy named Dave McClure, who at this time it was kindof very storied reputation in Silicon Valley. Now some good, some, some notas good, but the time. Hey, worked for PayPal and he came up to me and said,Hey, I wanted to talk about PayPal because maybe we could include thisanalytics within people's like websites where they're using PayPal to processpayments and all that stuff I was like, Oh, that's really interesting. But atthe time, we had no model for it because, um, we it was insolublesoftware. And so we couldn't just offer it as a sash solution. So we we metwith them. We met with some other companies and we were like, uh on thelong story short. The writing sort of was on the wall that we needed tocreate a SAS version. I remember flying back. You know, we're out of SanDiego way. We're all out of San Diego. Way built. Urgent Um, which, for somereason, a bunch of Web analytics companies were in San Diego, by the way,which is another Grange footnote in history arm. But I was flying back frombunch of meetings in San Jose with my coat with my co founder, Paul and I. Iremember looking at the window and just thinking we now is the time we have togo create the SAS version. And so we did and the and we called it urgent ondemand. Um, and the trade show where we launched that was Search EngineStrategies 2004 and it made a pretty big splash at thetime. We at that point we were very well known as one of the players in thespace we're seeing is an up and coming, taking a lot of market share kind ofbusiness. And two guys walked up to the trade show booth that I happened to beat. And I had brought the whole company, not the entire company, but like a goodportion of the company up to that trade show, because I have been speaking atthat show attending that show, talking to customers, I probably three times ayear for the previous I don't know, and several years and, uh, I was always getting market intel thatway, and it was very, very good for staying in touch with the customer andunderstanding what they wanted to get. A new feature requests, understandingwhat competitors were doing all that stuff, just hearing what was going on.The space coming up with new ideas. Two guys walked up to me at that trade showbooth and said, Hey, we're from Google. We heard you guys have something prettycool and we love to take a look And I said, Sure, as long as you guys don'twork on the your own Google, um, I forget what the product was called notwebsite optimizer. It was like a conversion, a conversion tool. Butanyway and they said, No, we don't And I said, Okay, great. I'm happy to showyou then. And of course, one of them was lying through his teeth. But I'mvery thankful that he did. That was Wesley Chan is the product manager forthat. Wealthy also has had a very story of Silicon Valley, Uh, background. He's,you know, I mean, he's his legacy of Google is phenomenal. The amount ofthings that he launched and built and...

...the other guy was Dave Friedberg andDave also has because amazing I mean, he's got these great stories as welland talk about an exit. Wow, that's it. That is a He'd be a great person tohave on. They're Freeburg. Hey, building sold company called ClimateCorporation later for 1.1 billion. Yeah, he had a great accent, and then esoAnyway, they approached me and we talked and they said, Great. Well,maybe we could have you guys come visit us at Google. And I said, You know, youguys were throwing a party tomorrow night. Um, it's called. It was calledback then, but I said, why don't we just come over before then? I broughteveryone here that you would need to meet with, and I said, Great, let's setthat up. And so we set it up. We went in there, they were talking about abusiness development, you know, kind of, um, you know, plan And I was like, Iknew right then that they were talking about potential acquisition on and sowe had the meeting and my co founder, Paul, did one of his best pitches I'veever heard of give and it was just, you know, it wasn't like pitchy. It wasvery straightforward and very matter of fact. And and you sort of undersold,you know, in a good way, because Google's a place where you don't wantto over sell. You got extremely smart people, and they could see it throughstuff like that. And s So it was just fantastic the way that meeting went,and by the end of it, it was pretty clear that they were interested inacquiring us. Um, but they didn't make an offer right away. It was just sortof, like, almost like a, you know, flirtations or something or something.And, uh, before we knew it, we don't know exactly where I was. I was up onvacation up in a little island called Hornby Island, where my mom was a placeup in Canada. Um, and we had a call with Google. There's probably a monthafter that. No, I was actually, uh, that's not true. That was April. Maybe it was April and that wasAugust or something when we actually had that call. And so there's a few. Itwas several months, I guess, where we were talking. And then they said, Yeah,we wanna and way said, Hey, we're getting recorded by several companiesnow on an acquisition, Are you? Do you guys want to be a part of our processor not? And they thought about it and we got on a call and they told us. Yeah,we wanna acquire you. Really? Is that true? Were you actually being courted?That was true. Yeah, we were getting courted, actually, by that companywebsite story who had mentioned way had others in the pipeline to that were, um,that we're coming after us. So we sort of started a process that point to sellthe business simply because we want, you know, none of us had any experiencedoing that. Not the new has had any experience doing anything else we weredoing either, but by the way, were making most of it up as we went along.Um, with the exception of Paul, who was a fantastic engineer and, you know, alot of our employees were obviously very well training things, but it wasour most of us. It was the first time business, and, you know, total pickourselves up by the bootstraps kind of story and just make make things up and,you know, out of intuition. Um, but it worked. And eso that started thatprocess and that took until the following April to actually consummatethe deal. Uh, took a while to actually make that acquisition happen. And Iremember. You know, I'll never forget this. I was in my tuxedo about to walkdown the aisle from my wedding, and my co founder, Paul came in and said, Hey,you're going on your honeymoon tomorrow, right? And I was like, Yeah, he's like,you need, you know, I'm surrounded by my groomsmen, drinking a Pacific, like,just about to walk down the aisle. And I was like, You need to sign this deal,Thio cell. And I was like, Yeah, you're right. I'm gonna be gone otherwise. SoRight then Literally signed the deal...

...and drank the rest. My beer walk downthe aisle and got married. Wow. So that must've been double happiest day ofyour life. It was It was quite a day. Yeah, it was. It was amazing.Definitely that in, like having my two girls, Lindy and Lucy Happy? Yeah. Oh,that is That is such a great story. Um, so I didn't realize how long? Becausethis was post It must have been post aipo of Google. So maybe there was aquiet period or Sarbanes Oxley type stuff. I wonder why it took so long.Yeah. There was a lot of that stuff. There were just people that weredistracted working on the I p o. There were a whole bunch of issues like that.Um, and I think they also were shopping and kind of looking around. And we were,um, acting, you know, we were trying not to be too overly enthusiastic tosell so that it didn't sort of impact in it. You know, like their level ofinterest on Ben Or that they low balled or anything, you know, so But in anycase, it, uh, it took some time, but ended up working so well. And Iremember after it closed, you guys, I think I think the office closed in SanDiego because I saw you guys in Mountain View all the time, so I ethink everything moved up to mountain view. And then I remember workingdirectly with Wesley Chan and tell me if I'm wrong, But I remember the deal.You have to have a certain amount of case studies, and there was a lot ofkind of really cool initiatives that were associated with the acquisition.It wasn't just the here stock or here's cash, but was there like milestonesthat you guys have to hit. Yeah, there definitely were milestones. And it wasman, that was a very stressful time. I have to say, it was super fun, though,and just a wild ride. We So I you know, I had my way. By the way, This deal,I'll just go back Just a hair. Two weeks before my wedding. Let me go backa little before that Google had told us basically westerly and they were like,Hey, look, we've been told that if this deal leaks at all, it will be off. Itdoesn't matter what part where we are in the deal. We could be their finalclosing table, and if it leaks, it's off. And the reason that I think Googlehave that policy as a side note is that I think they don't want you shoppingthere deals once they're involved because, you know, going to competitorsand trying to just get a better price s Oh, I thought, you know, But we werenot gonna mess with that. And then, and part of the reason it took a while forthe deal to get into is one of my my co founders, who is like I'll really runpoint on the Google on the Google sale, and then he was like, No, and then,like later we talked to me like, No, I haven't really been replying to theiremails because I don't I just don't think they're serious. We were like,What? This is the only thing that matters right now. Only focus on thatand all the rest of stuff. And he's like, all right, I will. And so he'sjust been thinking is really gonna happen. I think you just didn't believeit would ever come to life. But but sure enough, it did. But anyway, theysaid, if it if it leaks it all, we are out. Well, um, two weeks before mywedding, I got in the shower at a voicemail andI was checking my email and, you know, out of whatever, like, 7 30 in themorning or something about to go to work. And John Bartell, who at the timewas a pretty known guy in Silicon Valley. He was actually it was likeright before Google went public, it was Marissa Mayer doing why Google shouldgo public and what it was going to dio and John Battle was the counterpoint toher on 60 Minutes saying like, Oh, here's what's good about Google. Butknock it And here's what other competitors have E I think they werecomparing early search features and whatever he called me. And there was avoicemail from him in an email saying, Hey, I heard you guys were selling toGoogle. I'm writing the block post today at two. You know, call me back ifyou want a quote in the post. And I was...

...like, Oh, shit! Uh oh, there goes ouracquisition. So I forded over to, um, the guys on the other side of the tableat Google and I was like, Look, we did not leak this. I don't know how thisleaked. Obviously, we wouldn't have done this at this point in the gamebecause we were down to the very final strokes. At that point, they said, Boy, this could be a dealkiller, and they're like, All right, we'll talk it over internally. It wasuntil later that I found out how seriously they took that, andapparently there was a very serious conversation I've heard since wherethey very seriously debated it and just as a matter of principle almost walkedfrom the deal. But they came back to us a short time later and said, Okay,we've talked it over and we're still going to proceed, but we want to be theones to announce it. We want to get a press release out today by noon. So goright. They told me they go right up the press. Really? Send it over andwe'll get it out. I was like, What? I get to write this. Okay, Cool. E went,grabbed the thing out with my brother, and he and I kind of banged it aroundand send it over. And I'm sure all where everyone, you know, either cofounders looked at as well and got it over toe Google. And by noon, we hadlaunched that and we broke the news, and at that point, we were we're oncloud nine. I mean, we were just, like, dance around there. Yeah, happeningbecause none of our none of our employees knew they had seen peoplecoming and going. We had our building manager was like, What's going on? Theythought it was Microsoft coming through. I'm like they have Google all overtheir bags and stuff s o on then. So that made for I mean, I have to say,aside from being the best one of the best days of my life, it just made fora great, great wedding, because all the employees that were there all there, somany of my family members were investors. And if they weren't, theywere just fans and supportive. And that was a fantastic experience. I have tosay it was made for a great, really fun wedding on. And then anyway, so that'sgoing back in time. And then, uh and then forward. Yeah, to the milestones.Sorry I took a little while to get here. Is, um uh, yeah. So then we shut downthe San Diego office and we were all expected report for duty in MountainView Inn, like a week after the sale. And I was actually missed the first fewdays because I was just getting back from my honeymoon and driving all mystuff up. Um, and, uh, you know, there's early photos with our wholeteam and Eric Schmidt, and I'm I'm the one person, um, for like my first fewdays on the job, but like when I got there, you know? I mean, this is howearly days it was it Google. They said, What do you want? Your, uh they callyour l dap, which is basically your kind of internal name. Your emailaddress? I said, I don't know. BC. I was b c it urchin, is there BC a Googleavailable And they're like, yeah, that's available. Like sweet. So I wasB c a google dot com. And then, uh, and then, uh, yeah, then we onboard it andgot going. And then we had these milestones hanging over our head. Andthe way the deal worked is it was half cash, half stock. Originally, theywanted to give us all stock. And we're like, we're like, What, do you thinkwe're stupid? We just went through the document bust like we want to buy yourcrummy stock. We'll pay for it with the cash you're gonna give us for. Thecompany was our was our attitude. We didn't really talk like that, but thatwas kind of in our head. And it just shows you how stupid we were. Because,of course, they So they agreed. We said all cash and they came back and said,Well, go half and half So we did a half cash up front and then they said, Butfor the stock half you need to complete the following milestones and I'll getinto what those were on one second. But over that next year to come as weneeded to complete those milestones, the stock quadruple, mhm. And so that double the entire sizeof our deal throughout that year. Well, meanwhile, all of our investors weresitting there going like, Wow, this is actually looking like a pretty gooddeal. Um, but if we had failed, it...

...would have, you know, dropped the valueof our deal to a quarter of its original value. You know of what itcould be. And so the pressure just mounted throughout that year to getthese milestones done. And so we did have things like we had to do a numberof case studies with customers and we had to rename the products. We had tofigure out the branding, which we picked orange because, you know, someproducts other products were read. Someone else had yellow someone elsethat blue. I don't want you pretty good. So we picked orange, um, for Google andlet expect then and then the one other major. We had a few other milestones,but the major one that we had to dio was launched within that year. And weget all that stuff in place and then launch it. And it wasn't, you know, Imean, if you remember this damn, but back then a Google, you didn't just sayokay, we're just gonna launch a product, Dio I mean, it was almost that chaoticback then, but you had to get machines allocated to you. All kinds of resourceis you had to get your code up to date Thio, like our code was what was calledjail back then. And you had to get that updated to the Google standards and geton big table on all this. All these other details and our engineering teamhad a lot of work to do, and basically they rewrote the software, um, and putit on, you know, got already on Google systems and we were ready to launch.And this is November And are our one year milestones basically ended at theend of the year. We went in and presented toe, you know, were you speakcalled GPS back then, but basically it was like it was a Google product sink,or I don't know what they stood for. But, um, basically, the executivereview, you've got Larry, Sergei Onda, all the you know, Marissa, all theseother. You know, um, all it just very impressive list of executives every oneof them is basically like a celebrity in their own right at this at thispoint, and even back then there were effectively celebrity, but we'representing in front of them, and Cheryl Sandberg was like, No, we should not bedoing this. And you know, Eric Schmidt's in there. It's like SusanWedge issues. Uh, you know, all these, uh, all these people and then, uh,she's like, we should not be doing this. We've launched something before in, youknow, before Thanksgiving, and there's probably there's like November 7th.There's something we're like, we're ready to go. We want to launch November14 and everyone's like, basically on board. But she's She's saying weshouldn't do this because her team, which is online sales and support, wasgoing toe bear the brunt of an issue you know of of the customer servicequestions If an issue arose and all the engineers and product managers in her,you know, in her argument, we're going to go on vacation starting Thanksgivingand not be available. And so she's going to just bear the brunt of allthese unsatisfied customers, etcetera. She's making this. She's making thispoint and we're sitting there just like being gutted, going like we're notgonna hit our mouths. Um, that we can't do this. Um, Dad, Thankfully, EricSchmidts like, uh unless you have anything else to say, I think we'veheard your point, and we're gonna go ahead and proceed with the launch ofthis when I was like, thank you. You know, Krishna or whatever, because thatwas that was a huge step forward for us. But the irony is, it turns out Cherylwas right, because we had what we later called a successDisaster. Where s so successful became a disaster because we had only gottenso many machines allocated to us. And so many resource is and all this stufffrom Google. And when we go in tow, launch it. It just could not supportthe demand. And we had no idea. No one ever launched a free Web analyticsschool with a Google brand on it before. And so we launched it and it would. Thesystems were totally overwhelmed. And so within three days of launching it,we had surpassed like the sign ups by about 100 x of what anyone hadpredicted. Maybe more on DWI basically said, Okay, the only thing we could dois shut down sign ups for now or stop allowing people to get on the the ontoGoogle analytics. We're gonna have to...

...go back and rebuild and kind of rethinkthis and we'll create a sign up form or, you know, leave that up. In that way,people can get on a waiting list and we'll get to him when we can. Um, butwe achieved our milestone. We then went, rebuilt the whole thing, and thenwithin, I don't know, six months or something, I forget the exact date.Then we were ableto relaunch, and we never had to shut it down again. Sothat's that's how that went. Yeah, and I want to say one other kind of sidepoint real quick, and then I'll pass back. Teoh is Remember, in thebeginning, we were talking about doing a free model where it was, like, adsupported. And that model Thio, you asked that question. I think Ivoryanswered it. It was a freemium model. You could basically pay to get rid ofthe ads. Um, that model lasted for a while. Like first. It was just gonna bead supported then. People like I want to get rid of the ads, and we're like,Okay, I guess we need a way to shut those off. So when we made that, therewas a paid option, Remove those. And it turned out the ads never gave us almostany revenue at all. And so we're like, Okay, that model doesn't really work.That was stupid. Um, but the irony is, of course, by the time Google acquiredus and gave it away for free, it basically was ad supported, because adsor what makes Google It's money and allows them to provide products likeGoogle Analytics for free. So yeah, well, and plus Google analytics e don'tknow the numbers, but I'm assuming Google Analytics over time obviouslyfed into feeding the Edwards today as an example where, you know, we'respending more money on Edwards because we have the insights to you know what'sworking and what's not. So you're absolutely right. And the data on thatwith so shockingly good that the, um it was reprocessed and re processed andreprocessed because no one believed it. Um, and they just kept re doing thesame and and tried all these different ways to disprove it. But what? Itactually, The way it turned out, if you normalized the start for time,the starting point of when people you know prior to them using Googleanalytics and then when they installed Google analytics the upward trend in adspend was so significant and and just kept going up into the right that itcompletely justified giving it away for free and completely justified. Um, theacquisition. And, you know, heavy investment from that point forward inthe product to continue. And it just goes to show like you do thanks forpeople and give them the tools and transparency and the information theyneed to make the right decisions. And then they make you know they can makeinformed decisions and actually, they get smarter and, you know, it'sbeneficial to the entire ecosystem s O. That was one of those things. It wasfascinating, and there was a real risk. I mean, some of this hypothesized theopposite that, in fact, one that Google needed to be prepared for people toactually pare back some of their spending because the first thing youwould expect to see an account that had no analytics beforehand as well I haveall this wasted spend. And so the first thing I'm gonna do is get rid of thewaste, right? Shut off key words that aren't working and that sort of thing.Um, but instead of actually, instead of that, what we saw is just immediate upinto the right. People just kept spending in that, and we never, atleast in the time I was. I was there for 10 years at Google and I did awhole bunch of other things after Google analytics. But the time I wasworking on Google Analytics, which which was probably 3 3.5 years, wenever really saw the end to the up into the right spend and you know you thatall these studies to normalize it against time against other accounts ofsimilar sizes. They tried all these different cohorts, and it's just reallyacross the board. What they were seeing was, um, people increase their spendonce they started using Google Analytics and if they didn't use it,they're spend remained roughly flat in comparison. Gosh, so, so great. You know, I could Icould talk for hours with you. Our time...

...is up, but I want to thank you againfor sharing this story. Lots of stuff you talked about today I had no ideaabout, but very beneficial to to our listeners and our entrepreneurs. Great,well, really happy to do it. And so nice Thio reconnect with you on Duh.You know, these days it's been it's been really interesting. I've learnedfrom those lessons I now have a company called Pure Street that is a platformfor investing in real estate debt. At this, I left Google to do that and thatthat's what I'm doing full time now. And that's been another wild ride. Andthe one thing I would leave listeners with is that we're in a time that isvery similar in a lot of ways has a lot of parallels to 9 11. You know, wetalked about that in this story, and there are a lot of parallels to whatwe're in now. In this during this Kobe crisis, where a lot of ways the economyshut down, a lot of businesses were suffering. A lot of people aresuffering and dying, etcetera. You know, it's like a very, very hard time. Butit's also a very hard time to do business. And I think, uh, drawingthose parallels from 9 11 and some other you know, 2000 and eight andstuff like that could be very healthy, but obviously don't wanna over, youknow, you know, take to me because it it's it. This is its own situation. But,you know, I remember back then people said travel was never going to comeback. Well, it definitely came back. Maybe it took six years, but it cameback. I think, after you know, if we could get a, um, vaccine to this, uh,to covet, um, we will see things come back. So I do think there's potentialsilver linings, and, um, there's That's probably a whole podcast in and ofitself and a conversation for another time. But I do think there are someparallels and some interesting stories and kind of we'll see what happens next.But it has been hard, but I am optimistic about where we could gogoing forward. You're absolutely right. 2000 and 1 2000 and eight again, backto the catalyst. We saw so many great businesses come out even 2000 and eightwith Airbnb and others. And I think this will be another time where youknow our behavior is are already changing where most companies aren'tgonna go back to physical locations. Maybe it's more virtual. Maybe it's acombination of the two. I think what you guys were building with withscaling out, you actually democratizing real estate investing, um, in a senseor or helping fund those loans, which is which is awesome. And I think we'regoing to see a lot more of that and hopefully we don't have any more crazystuff happening. But 2020 is almost over. It is, but I mean, I hope not,but I'm nervous there. A couple punches left in store for us from this year. Ithink you're absolutely right. Thank us Cross. Alright, Brett, Thank you somuch. Catch up against Good. Thanks, Dan, but.

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