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John Sheehan

by Josh Pigford. Last updated on February 07, 2024

Table of Contents


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This week I talk with John Sheehan, Founder of Runscope! And this week is slightly different from previous episodes in that we quickly jump in to the story of Runscope itself. Runscope’s story includes running out of money, laying off their entire staff, going through an acquisition two separate times, buying back shares from investors and all sorts of fun steps in between!

Show Notes:

  • 1:00- Origins and pre-Runscope
  • 6:45- Fundraising and landing a Seed round
  • 7:50- What was the goal when you started before you had a product?
  • 10:06- Why to not raise a Seed round before you have built anything
  • 12:00- “The best decision we ever made”
  • 13:04- The pressures of certain situations makes for better business decisions
  • 13:54- Seed to A round- What’s the next thing
  • 15:12- Fast and furious series of meetings
  • 16:19- “If you can identify a bubble, that’s an opportunity”
  • 17:31- Playing all of our cards
  • 18:28- The B round
  • 20:44- Starting the sale process
  • 21:30- Taking an objective look at the business in hindsight
  • 22:50- Not an easy decision
  • 24:10- Letter of intent to sell
  • 25:40- Culture clash
  • 27:41- Cutting costs
  • 29:04- Layoffs and tough decisions
  • 30:09- Keeping the business afloat with two people- John and Frank
  • 31:26- Separating duties to sustain the business
  • 32:30- Getting out of the black
  • 33:27- Going from the stress of burning money to being profitable
  • 34:33- Transitioning out of running the business with only 2 people
  • 36:24- Hiring support and an engineer
  • 39:50- Motivation to sell
  • 41:35- Setting out to find another buyer
  • 42:47- CA Technologies acquisition in September 2017
  • 43:45- Emotional rollercoaster
  • 46:09- A very good acquisition outcome
  • 47:48- “Part of me wants to bootstrap next time”
  • 49:46- Moving out of the Bay Area was not the end of Runscope
  • 51:52- Developer tools and other industries of interest
  • 54:33- Selling Runscope twice has allowed for a lot of experience in the process

How to reach John: Twitter

Josh Pigford

Josh is most famous as the founder of Baremetrics. However, long before Baremetrics and until today, Josh has been a maker, builder, and entrepreneur. His career set off in 2003 building a pair of link directories, ReallyDumbStuff and ReallyFunArcade. Before he sold those for profits, he had already started his next set of projects. As a design major, he began consulting on web design projects. That company eventually morphed into Sabotage Media, which has been the shell company for many of his projects since. Some of his biggest projects before Baremetrics were TrackThePack, Deck Foundry, PopSurvey, and Temper. The pain points he experienced as PopSurvey and Temper took off were the reason he created Baremetrics. Currently, he's dedicated to Maybe, the OS for your personal finances.