Nick Francis

Josh Pigford on March 25, 2019


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This week I talk with Nick Francis, Founder of HelpScout! In this episode we talk about being an entrepreneur as a kid, how a laptop change Nick’s world, working in the music industry, working with his co-founders for six years before starting HelpScout, becoming a B-Corp, focusing on culture and brand and so much more!

Show Notes

  • 00:52- A month long sabbatical
  • 3:00- Prepping for the sabbatical
  • 4:36- A company thriving in your absence…strength of leadership
  • 5:30- Ownership
  • 8:00- Childhood
  • 10:09- Inspiration for entrepreneurship versus getting a job
  • 11:00- Different ways of learning
  • 12:27- Getting into technology
  • 14:36- Reason behind going to college and studying music business
  • 18:23- Transition from finishing school
  • 20:00- Working with creative people to bring out their best
  • 20:19- Transition from artist management and web design
  • 22:12- Passion for the web
  • 23:45- Starting a company in 2004
  • 25:40- The repetition of consulting work
  • 26:35- The idea and inspiration for HelpScout
  • 28:00- RSS feeds and the early days of Twitter
  • 29:25- Email support and sharing an inbox
  • 31:32- Making support system software a reality
  • 33:00- Managing clients
  • 34:02- A high level of confidence
  • 34:45- Favorite thing about the customer service market
  • 35:22- Risk threshold
  • 37:20- Do More Faster by David Cohen
  • 38:25- Techstars and working in Boston to build the company they always dreamed of
  • 39:30- Biggest positive of being “all in” for 3 months
  • 41:32- The year after Techstars
  • 42:41- Defining your voice from a content marketing standpoint and betting the business on content
  • 45:02- Pitching HelpScout early on
  • 46:49- Taking a different approach to the business
  • 48:06- Growing a product versus growing a team of people working on it
  • 50:12- Fundraising 6 million dollars
  • 51:19- The cool thing about making a lot of mistakes
  • 53:30- Going all-in on hiring with the money raised
  • 55:10- Content marketing pays off
  • 56:25- Raising another round of 6 million dollars
  • 58:06- Qualifying to be a B-corp
  • 1:00:48- Making a great product and making HelpScout a great place to work
  • 1:02:34- Becoming deeply passionate and wanting HelpScout to be a model company
  • 1:03:28- The next year for HelpScout
  • 1:05:27- The idea of building a brand versus building a product

Get in touch with Nick:, @nickfrancis

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.