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Rand Fishkin

by Josh Pigford. Last updated on February 07, 2024


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This week I talk with Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz & SparkToro! In this episode we talk about transparency, making community a part of your business, producing content, alternatives to the typical VC route of funding, writing a book, what’s coming with SparkToro and a whole lot more!

Show Notes

  • 0:45- Oprah
  • 1:54- Traveling for speaking events
  • 4:10- Childhood
  • 5:00- Being a city person versus growing up in rural Seattle
  • 6:38- Accidental entrepreneur
  • 7:46- Mom’s business in Seattle- Small business marketing consultancy
  • 9:12- Finding college non-educational
  • 10:53- How experience with college effected “end goal”
  • 12:15- Pitching web design to mom for her clients
  • 13:30- Interest in SEO
  • 14:30- Starting the SEOmoz blog
  • 15:20- Defaulting to making the world of SEO more transparent
  • 16:22- Creating content and making it a sustainable activity
  • 17:16- Transitioning from consulting to software
  • 19:13- Build an audience
  • 21:05- “This is making us as much as consulting and we’re not doinganything”
  • 22:58- Becoming CEO
  • 24:20- Using an early version of Amazon Web Services
  • 25:35- “We can do this…right?”
  • 27:09- Influence on decisions
  • 28:10- Moz’s success and the idea for the community built around it
  • 31:30- What held Moz back
  • 35:00- Leaving Moz and the transition out
  • 37:37- Getting into a funk
  • 38:28- SparkToro- Being the face of a company while maintaining ownership and control
  • 40:42- The differences in running SparkToro and Moz
  • 41:45- Atypical approach to fundraising for SparkToro
  • 45:56- Venture Capital is a wealth concentration device
  • 47:00- Creating a fundraising format out of nothing
  • 48:25- Book writing process for Lost and Founder
  • 50:10- Super early days of SparkToro
  • 50:55- Filling the niche of audience intelligence with SparkToro
  • 52:40- Keeping the company small, being frugal, and keeping the product focus very tight
  • 54:55- The next year for SparkToro

How to reach Rand: Twitter, Email:

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.