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 we discuss startup acquisitions with the founders who lived it. Here's your host, Dan Daugherty, and you know, we had supportive family members, which is always, you know, I mean, it is very fortunate to be able to stand on the shoulders of others have come before you like that. And we were really, really fortunate to have that kind of support. One of the guys had flown out from Boston was going to actually hand us a physical check. And the morning we were gonna meet with the guy, my co-founder, Jack, called me and said: "Turn on the TV" 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 was in my tuxedo about to walk down 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. to sell Welcome to this episode of The Big Exit I am very excited to have an old colleague of mine at Google, Brett Crosby, joining us today. He was one of the original co-founders of Urchin, where Google actually acquired Urchin in 2005. And Brett is now the co-founder of Peer Street, which is a platform for investing in real estate backed loans. Brett, thank you so much for joining the podcast. Yeah, Dan Super glad to be here. Thanks for having me and great to reconnect with you personally. Yes. Yeah, Same here. You know, I wanted to dio really tell your story or have you tell your story of how you guys started urchin all the way back in 1997. I actually can't believe I'm saying this, but who would have known in 1997 even when Google was very, very tiny of where the Internet was going and how valuable understanding your traffic on conversions would be? How did this idea come to fruition? And why did you guys even start Urgent eso first thanks for having me on, and hopefully, this will be fun. I want to give a shout out to my co founders. Palm you're a Jack and Cone and Scott Crosby. Who's my brother? Um, those guys air. They were crucial in all of this story and should you know, they could all be on here with me telling similar tales and probably doing a better job. But, um, those guys were 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 or something where we could predict the future. But we basically were. The story 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. And then later on, later on, it became like big there, you know, telcos and became big hosting companies. And all that stuff became very popular. And now everything's basically on, you know, Google Cloud or Amazon Web services or things like that. Right? So it's been a really, really interesting shift over the last E 25 years or so. Um, but back then, we were hosting building websites that we would host them and our customers started asking questions like, Okay, you built this website, Um, I getting any traffic, and we had their log 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 bandwidth back then and so we would say, Oh, you...

...got a bunch of traffic this month. So your bill is higher. It was almost like cell phone, you know, minutes or something before they had all these prepaid, you know, all you can use plans s so that was the sort of the original purpose for us mining log files and telling people if they were getting any traffic and also because it would get them to reinvest in their website and no, you know, like you build it. Is anyone there? And it was a fundamental question. And then people would ask where people coming from, and we had to try and figure out ways to tell them. Um And so we started got the hint that way that this was an important, um, question to be answered and most of the products on the market back then, you either had to, like, download your log file on your actual computer, you know, from your server to your computer and then run local software on your computer and then look at the data and there was no way to really share that easily. It was just We didn't think those models made that much sense. And so we started building some of our own software Thio, analyze log files and we, you know, we built a whole bunch of tools. We had a, um, e commerce shopping card. We had that, you know, like the San Diego Zoo. And I think the San Diego Padres website used up until recently basically use it. I don't know. Some of these things just stick around Way had a bunch of other things, too, and we would just build kind of these little software products on the side. These little tools mhm. And we had the idea that, you know, we could get bigger and bigger as we went. And so at one point I started thinking about this and, um, we I had this idea like, Hey, maybe we could actually stop doing website development And and it wasn't just my idea. Like Paul said this to me at one point, he's like, You know, if we just really focused on one of these tools, we might be ableto just become a software company. Instead, I was 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 engine strategies because people started using our product. We had a bunch of very fortuitous events happened where my girlfriend at the time, who later became my wife, worked for Honda. Well, she didn't work for honey. She worked for an agency that ran Honda's website, and they were looking at all these Web analytics tools. None of them could process their single days log file fast enough. Eso there were six months behind and trying to report back Thio Honda what their website traffic was doing. And meanwhile, they're Honda was writing these huge checks, and it was very hard to justify all this like ad spending, all that stuff, and so that was really the beginning of it. And then Cable and Wireless invited us in to come speak and again that was through my girlfriend at the time who became my wife, Julie. And then that that was really started the beginning. We started to see the writing on the wall and we said, Hey, you know, if we if we focus on this software and sell off the other part of the business and kind of restructure the company to focus on Web analytics, maybe some of these other software tools we could potentially really build something. And so I wrote up a really simple business model, 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 put banner ads in it and you know, if we just get one of these big hosting companies like EarthLink or someone like that back then, we should be able to make enough revenue through ads, too. Support this and you know, ad supported business models were kind of a big idea, or it was a pretty common idea back then, but it was very strange in the Web analytic space, all the other most almost all the other tools tended to go really expensive individual installations and a lot of customer service, you know, up cells. We were going the opposite direction, and it was really about scale. And making the tool is easy to use and as much built in support as possible on DSO, our model was very different. Um, on all positive. If you wanna ask questions, I just keep going down. You know that that is that is great. So So you spun off the business that you guys started...

...started on this. Did you have capital that you guys put in yourselves? Did you bootstrapped This was their money coming in from other places. Did you raise money? What got you to that next step? Yeah, that's really interesting. We for the most part, we were We had bootstrap things, though we had raised very, you know, very, very small sums from some of our uncles and like my dad and things like that to get us started doing a website development business. And, you know, we had supportive family members, which is always you know. I mean, it is very fortunate to be able to stand on the shoulders of others have come before you like that. And we were 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, the website development company. And then that helped us kind of develop a lot of the software to get it to the point where you could say, Hey, let's spend this off and do something a little more serious with it and s So we did. And then those guys all reinvested and we had a lot of family involved, and we also brought on professional venture capitalists. Pretty early one was a friend, John Waller, from USC, who's back in the, uh, he's still a venture capitalist, but he had built and sold a company called Riddler.com in the early days. And then, um, it was Green Thumb Ventures back then. Anyhow, we built 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 got Cable and wireless is a business, and at the time we would do these really big installations and, you know, sometimes they would be like a million dollar 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 good at negotiating all these very big deals. But then it was like it was a real feast. 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 a competitive 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 could go months or six months without another one, and then we could get a couple more, you know? So it was a really hard way toe build a business. We tried to replicate that. It turns out it was almost impossible for other people to do that because they weren't, You know, they didn't wanna founders. They couldn't just sort of make decisions on the fly. They were trying to follow a model. And so it's just a little too chaotic to really scale that, Um But in the meantime, we had brought in a There were a couple of companies that invested in our Siri's. They were going to invest in our Series A. We had gotten the whole deal put together. Um, it was totally papered. One of the guys had flown out from Boston was going to actually hand us a physical check. And the morning we were going to meet with a guy, my co founder, Jack, called me and said, Turn on the TV 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. And so obviously that was a horrible, horrible time for many people. And many people died in, like, you know, very, very dark days for the world in our country and all these people. But one side story on that as well, is that that also killed our funding round. And so we had scaled up our business started. You know, I say scale, but there's a bit of an ironic twist of this whole thing, which is that the VCs were saying, We want you guys instead of going after mass scale, we want you to follow those other guys models and do these really expensive installations one off and become an enterprise. SAS business, or like that really went against a lot of the DNA of just here. We were in our business, and we just imagine having to...

...wear suits and ties and, you know, go ahead, do these big sales and all this stuff. But that's, um, what they wanted us to do. And so we were planning. You know, we're kind of begrudgingly planning to go that direction. We were hiring in that direction, and then 9 11 happened and killed that funding around. And we you know, we have gone into the red 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 dark days for a company we almost did not survive that as a business, but we had some of our existing investors help out. My brother and I took no salary for I don't know, six months or so are very little salary and a lot of our employees cut salary. We had. We had a lesson people off, but the upshot of it was we didn't do the enterprise model and we did something that was all about self service and scale, which turned out to really help us. Later, as we get 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 almost and this is like the reason I point this out. It's sort of it. It's an interesting lesson in going against the grain a little bit. And sometimes if you follow all the other guys, you'll just be. And also you'll be an also ran me, too. You know, it's kind of business and whereas if you do something a little bit different, um, you have the opportunity to do something really impactful sometimes And so anyway, we kind of thought about a little differently. We went that route, we end up doing slashing our pricing. But on, you know, every all these businesses that we have been working with were severely, uh, you know, harmed. And due to the economic fallout of that as well. But we ended up doing more business after that than ever before. And, um, had we did these much cheaper but much more scalable business models and much more, much more, much more easily replicated by other salespeople. Um, and we basically dug ourselves out of that, um, that that very challenging time, that is, I did not know that story. And, um, me included, as well as the other entrepreneurs that I've been interviewing. That is one of the common themes off reaching a point of of, I mean complete failure going under or having that act as a catalyst to to really accelerate growth and maybe a different direction that you guys weren't pigeonholed thio, especially with the enterprise level VCs. Because if that did not happen, there's no way that you guys would have been able to at least short term democratize analytics for everyone. And then I doubt 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 manager roll up where they acquired Website Story, who, by the time we sold, they were actually interested in acquiring us as well, which they were another Web analytics company. There was there were a bunch of that. This company on nature out of Utah ended up acquiring and rolling up and then selling to Adobe Azaz. Uh, and that's the adobe analytics. Sweet. And so those were all the that that was their focus. Was everyone going after the large, you know, heavy on the support and, you know, up selling services, soccer installations versus our democratizing model. And that model would not have worked for Google at all because the Google was like notorious for having like, no phone number. You could call her e whatsoever. Back in the early days, we're talking 2005. They've since created, 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 a version of Google analytics. Now that is a paid version with a bunch of support and all that stuff. So there that that model does exist. And Google Analytics plays in that space, and they think they played quite well in the space. But the one that most people know, um, probably would not have existed had weak on that route. So So after you guys, you guys kind of move direction. I'm assuming you did not move forward with the ads being implemented within the systems. Um, did you still have a freemium model with with kind of, Ah, was it like a SAS model back then? Eso No, early days it was You install it on your server, it was installed herbal software, but not on your desktop on your server. And then you view the reports via your browser, 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. Then through a Siris of meetings and going through search engine strategies, you know, I met with this guy named Dave McClure, who at this time it was kind of very storied reputation in Silicon Valley. Now some good, some, some not as 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 this analytics within people's like websites where they're using PayPal to process payments and all that stuff I was like, Oh, that's really interesting. But at the time, we had no model for it because, um, we it was insoluble software. And so we couldn't just offer it as a sash solution. So we we met with them. We met with some other companies and we were like, uh on the long story short. The writing sort of was on the wall that we needed to create a SAS version. I remember flying back. You know, we're out of San Diego way. We're all out of San Diego. Way built. Urgent Um, which, for some reason, 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 from bunch of meetings in San Jose with my coat with my co founder, Paul and I. I remember looking at the window and just thinking we now is the time we have to go create the SAS version. And so we did and the and we called it urgent on demand. Um, and the trade show where we launched that was Search Engine Strategies 2004 and it made a pretty big splash at the time. We at that point we were very well known as one of the players in the space we're seeing is an up and coming, taking a lot of market share kind of business. And two guys walked up to the trade show booth that I happened to be at. And I had brought the whole company, not the entire company, but like a good portion of the company up to that trade show, because I have been speaking at that show attending that show, talking to customers, I probably three times a year for the previous I don't know, and several years and, uh, I was always getting market intel that way, and it was very, very good for staying in touch with the customer and understanding what they wanted to get. A new feature requests, understanding what 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 show booth and said, Hey, we're from Google. We heard you guys have something pretty cool and we love to take a look And I said, Sure, as long as you guys don't work on the your own Google, um, I forget what the product was called not website optimizer. It was like a conversion, a conversion tool. But anyway and they said, No, we don't And I said, Okay, great. I'm happy to show you then. And of course, one of them was lying through his teeth. But I'm very thankful that he did. That was Wesley Chan is the product manager for that. 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 of things that he launched and built and...

...the other guy was Dave Friedberg and Dave also has because amazing I mean, he's got these great stories as well and talk about an exit. Wow, that's it. That is a He'd be a great person to have on. They're Freeburg. Hey, building sold company called Climate Corporation later for 1.1 billion. Yeah, he had a great accent, and then eso Anyway, 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, you guys were throwing a party tomorrow night. Um, it's called. It was called back then, but I said, why don't we just come over before then? I brought everyone here that you would need to meet with, and I said, Great, let's set that up. And so we set it up. We went in there, they were talking about a business development, you know, kind of, um, you know, plan And I was like, I knew right then that they were talking about potential acquisition on and so we had the meeting and my co founder, Paul, did one of his best pitches I've ever heard of give and it was just, you know, it wasn't like pitchy. It was very 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 want to over sell. You got extremely smart people, and they could see it through stuff 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 in acquiring us. Um, but they didn't make an offer right away. It was just sort of, 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 on vacation up in a little island called Hornby Island, where my mom was a place up in Canada. Um, and we had a call with Google. There's probably a month after that. No, I was actually, uh, that's not true. That was April. Maybe it was April and that was August or something when we actually had that call. And so there's a few. It was 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 companies now on an acquisition, Are you? Do you guys want to be a part of our process or 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 company website 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 sell the business simply because we want, you know, none of us had any experience doing that. Not the new has had any experience doing anything else we were doing 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, a lot of our employees were obviously very well training things, but it was our most of us. It was the first time business, and, you know, total pick ourselves 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 that process and that took until the following April to actually consummate the deal. Uh, took a while to actually make that acquisition happen. And I remember. You know, I'll never forget this. I was in my tuxedo about to walk down 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. So Right then Literally signed the deal...

...and drank the rest. My beer walk down the aisle and got married. Wow. So that must've been double happiest day of your 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? Because this was post It must have been post aipo of Google. So maybe there was a quiet 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 were distracted 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 to sell so that it didn't sort of impact in it. You know, like their level of interest on Ben Or that they low balled or anything, you know, so But in any case, it, uh, it took some time, but ended up working so well. And I remember after it closed, you guys, I think I think the office closed in San Diego because I saw you guys in Mountain View all the time, so I e think everything moved up to mountain view. And then I remember working directly 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 of kind 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 milestones that you guys have to hit. Yeah, there definitely were milestones. And it was man, 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 back a 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. It doesn't matter what part where we are in the deal. We could be their final closing table, and if it leaks, it's off. And the reason that I think Google have that policy as a side note is that I think they don't want you shopping there deals once they're involved because, you know, going to competitors and trying to just get a better price s Oh, I thought, you know, But we were not gonna mess with that. And then, and part of the reason it took a while for the deal to get into is one of my my co founders, who is like I'll really run point 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 their emails 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 that and all the rest of stuff. And he's like, all right, I will. And so he's just been thinking is really gonna happen. I think you just didn't believe it would ever come to life. But but sure enough, it did. But anyway, they said, if it if it leaks it all, we are out. Well, um, two weeks before my wedding, I got in the shower at a voicemail and I was checking my email and, you know, out of whatever, like, 7 30 in the morning or something about to go to work. And John Bartell, who at the time was a pretty known guy in Silicon Valley. He was actually it was like right before Google went public, it was Marissa Mayer doing why Google should go public and what it was going to dio and John Battle was the counterpoint to her on 60 Minutes saying like, Oh, here's what's good about Google. But knock it And here's what other competitors have E I think they were comparing early search features and whatever he called me. And there was a voicemail from him in an email saying, Hey, I heard you guys were selling to Google. I'm writing the block post today at two. You know, call me back if you want a quote in the post. And I was...

...like, Oh, shit! Uh oh, there goes our acquisition. So I forded over to, um, the guys on the other side of the table at Google and I was like, Look, we did not leak this. I don't know how this leaked. Obviously, we wouldn't have done this at this point in the game because we were down to the very final strokes. At that point, they said, Boy, this could be a deal killer, and they're like, All right, we'll talk it over internally. It was until later that I found out how seriously they took that, and apparently there was a very serious conversation I've heard since where they very seriously debated it and just as a matter of principle almost walked from 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 the ones to announce it. We want to get a press release out today by noon. So go right. They told me they go right up the press. Really? Send it over and we'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 around and send it over. And I'm sure all where everyone, you know, either co founders looked at as well and got it over toe Google. And by noon, we had launched that and we broke the news, and at that point, we were we're on cloud nine. I mean, we were just, like, dance around there. Yeah, happening because none of our none of our employees knew they had seen people coming and going. We had our building manager was like, What's going on? They thought it was Microsoft coming through. I'm like they have Google all over their 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 for a great, great wedding, because all the employees that were there all there, so many of my family members were investors. And if they weren't, they were just fans and supportive. And that was a fantastic experience. I have to say it was made for a great, really fun wedding on. And then anyway, so that's going 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 down the San Diego office and we were all expected report for duty in Mountain View Inn, like a week after the sale. And I was actually missed the first few days because I was just getting back from my honeymoon and driving all my stuff up. Um, and, uh, you know, there's early photos with our whole team and Eric Schmidt, and I'm I'm the one person, um, for like my first few days on the job, but like when I got there, you know? I mean, this is how early days it was it Google. They said, What do you want? Your, uh they call your l dap, which is basically your kind of internal name. Your email address? I said, I don't know. BC. I was b c it urchin, is there BC a Google available And they're like, yeah, that's available. Like sweet. So I was B c a google dot com. And then, uh, and then, uh, yeah, then we onboard it and got going. And then we had these milestones hanging over our head. And the way the deal worked is it was half cash, half stock. Originally, they wanted to give us all stock. And we're like, we're like, What, do you think we're stupid? We just went through the document bust like we want to buy your crummy stock. We'll pay for it with the cash you're gonna give us for. The company was our was our attitude. We didn't really talk like that, but that was 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, But for the stock half you need to complete the following milestones and I'll get into what those were on one second. But over that next year to come as we needed to complete those milestones, the stock quadruple, mhm. And so that double the entire size of our deal throughout that year. Well, meanwhile, all of our investors were sitting there going like, Wow, this is actually looking like a pretty good deal. Um, but if we had failed, it...

...would have, you know, dropped the value of our deal to a quarter of its original value. You know of what it could be. And so the pressure just mounted throughout that year to get these milestones done. And so we did have things like we had to do a number of case studies with customers and we had to rename the products. We had to figure out the branding, which we picked orange because, you know, some products other products were read. Someone else had yellow someone else that blue. I don't want you pretty good. So we picked orange, um, for Google and let 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 we get all that stuff in place and then launch it. And it wasn't, you know, I mean, if you remember this damn, but back then a Google, you didn't just say okay, we're just gonna launch a product, Dio I mean, it was almost that chaotic back then, but you had to get machines allocated to you. All kinds of resource is you had to get your code up to date Thio, like our code was what was called jail back then. And you had to get that updated to the Google standards and get on big table on all this. All these other details and our engineering team had a lot of work to do, and basically they rewrote the software, um, and put it 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 the end of the year. We went in and presented toe, you know, were you speak called 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 executive review, you've got Larry, Sergei Onda, all the you know, Marissa, all these other. You know, um, all it just very impressive list of executives every one of them is basically like a celebrity in their own right at this at this point, and even back then there were effectively celebrity, but we're presenting in front of them, and Cheryl Sandberg was like, No, we should not be doing this. And you know, Eric Schmidt's in there. It's like Susan Wedge 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, you know, 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 November 14 and everyone's like, basically on board. But she's She's saying we shouldn't do this because her team, which is online sales and support, was going toe bear the brunt of an issue you know of of the customer service questions 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 Thanksgiving and not be available. And so she's going to just bear the brunt of all these unsatisfied customers, etcetera. She's making this. She's making this point and we're sitting there just like being gutted, going like we're not gonna hit our mouths. Um, that we can't do this. Um, Dad, Thankfully, Eric Schmidts like, uh unless you have anything else to say, I think we've heard your point, and we're gonna go ahead and proceed with the launch of this when I was like, thank you. You know, Krishna or whatever, because that was that was a huge step forward for us. But the irony is, it turns out Cheryl was right, because we had what we later called a success Disaster. Where s so successful became a disaster because we had only gotten so many machines allocated to us. And so many resource is and all this stuff from Google. And when we go in tow, launch it. It just could not support the demand. And we had no idea. No one ever launched a free Web analytics school with a Google brand on it before. And so we launched it and it would. The systems 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 had predicted. Maybe more on DWI basically said, Okay, the only thing we could do is shut down sign ups for now or stop allowing people to get on the the onto Google analytics. We're gonna have to...

...go back and rebuild and kind of rethink this 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, but we achieved our milestone. We then went, rebuilt the whole thing, and then within, 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. So that's that's how that went. Yeah, and I want to say one other kind of side point real quick, and then I'll pass back. Teoh is Remember, in the beginning, we were talking about doing a free model where it was, like, ad supported. And that model Thio, you asked that question. I think Ivory answered it. It was a freemium model. You could basically pay to get rid of the ads. Um, that model lasted for a while. Like first. It was just gonna be ad 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, there was a paid option, Remove those. And it turned out the ads never gave us almost any 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 acquired us and gave it away for free, it basically was ad supported, because ads or what makes Google It's money and allows them to provide products like Google Analytics for free. So yeah, well, and plus Google analytics e don't know the numbers, but I'm assuming Google Analytics over time obviously fed into feeding the Edwards today as an example where, you know, we're spending more money on Edwards because we have the insights to you know what's working and what's not. So you're absolutely right. And the data on that with so shockingly good that the, um it was reprocessed and re processed and reprocessed because no one believed it. Um, and they just kept re doing the same and and tried all these different ways to disprove it. But what? It actually, The way it turned out, if you normalized the start for time, the starting point of when people you know prior to them using Google analytics and then when they installed Google analytics the upward trend in ad spend was so significant and and just kept going up into the right that it completely justified giving it away for free and completely justified. Um, the acquisition. And, you know, heavy investment from that point forward in the product to continue. And it just goes to show like you do thanks for people and give them the tools and transparency and the information they need to make the right decisions. And then they make you know they can make informed decisions and actually, they get smarter and, you know, it's beneficial to the entire ecosystem s O. That was one of those things. It was fascinating, and there was a real risk. I mean, some of this hypothesized the opposite that, in fact, one that Google needed to be prepared for people to actually pare back some of their spending because the first thing you would expect to see an account that had no analytics beforehand as well I have all this wasted spend. And so the first thing I'm gonna do is get rid of the waste, 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 up into the right. People just kept spending in that, and we never, at least in the time I was. I was there for 10 years at Google and I did a whole bunch of other things after Google analytics. But the time I was working on Google Analytics, which which was probably 3 3.5 years, we never really saw the end to the up into the right spend and you know you that all these studies to normalize it against time against other accounts of similar sizes. They tried all these different cohorts, and it's just really across the board. What they were seeing was, um, people increase their spend once 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 I could talk for hours with you. Our time...

...is up, but I want to thank you again for sharing this story. Lots of stuff you talked about today I had no idea about, 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 learned from those lessons I now have a company called Pure Street that is a platform for investing in real estate debt. At this, I left Google to do that and that that's what I'm doing full time now. And that's been another wild ride. And the one thing I would leave listeners with is that we're in a time that is very similar in a lot of ways has a lot of parallels to 9 11. You know, we talked about that in this story, and there are a lot of parallels to what we're in now. In this during this Kobe crisis, where a lot of ways the economy shut down, a lot of businesses were suffering. A lot of people are suffering and dying, etcetera. You know, it's like a very, very hard time. But it's also a very hard time to do business. And I think, uh, drawing those parallels from 9 11 and some other you know, 2000 and eight and stuff like that could be very healthy, but obviously don't wanna over, you know, 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 come back. Well, it definitely came back. Maybe it took six years, but it came back. 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 potential silver linings, and, um, there's That's probably a whole podcast in and of itself and a conversation for another time. But I do think there are some parallels 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 go going forward. You're absolutely right. 2000 and 1 2000 and eight again, back to the catalyst. We saw so many great businesses come out even 2000 and eight with Airbnb and others. And I think this will be another time where you know our behavior is are already changing where most companies aren't gonna go back to physical locations. Maybe it's more virtual. Maybe it's a combination of the two. I think what you guys were building with with scaling out, you actually democratizing real estate investing, um, in a sense or or helping fund those loans, which is which is awesome. And I think we're going to see a lot more of that and hopefully we don't have any more crazy stuff 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. I think you're absolutely right. Thank us Cross. Alright, Brett, Thank you so much. Catch up against Good. Thanks, Dan, but.

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