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Chris Kuenne started Rosetta & grew it to become the largest independent digital agency in the world before selling to Publicis for $575mil.
Now he runs Rosemark Capital, investing in companies with revenues of $30–60mil. Chris teaches high-tech entrepreneurship at Princeton University.
In this conversation, we discuss:
- how Chris pre-sold $1mil of contracts before launching his agency
- four personality types of builders
- the opportunity to solve expensive problems + merge software with services
- how acquisitions fueled growth before selling for $575mil
- lessons in hiring 1200+ people
- breaking down implications of money raised + liquidation in his sale
- 00:00:00 Intro
- 00:02:23 Behind A $575M Deal
- 00:07:08 What Would You Do Differently?
- 00:11:01 Turning Down A Larger $600M Offer
- 00:13:49 How Much Does A Founder Keep After A Huge Sale?
- 00:19:18 Venture Waterfall + Preference Stack
- 00:22:13 What Changed After the Deal
- 00:26:45 Early Years At Rosetta
- 00:31:22 Pre-Selling $1mil In Sales Before Quitting His Job
- 00:34:55 Find An Expensive Problem - The Mckinsey Approach
- 00:38:36 Expensive Problems To Work On In 2021
- 00:41:27 Using Data To Create A Quantitative Persona
- 00:43:21 Opportunities To Combine Software + Services
- 00:45:35 Who's Doing It Well In SaaS?
- 00:50:01 Lessons In Hiring 1200+ People
- 00:56:40 The Right Way To Fire Someone
- 00:59:19 4 Builder Personalities: Driver, Explorer, Crusader + Captain
- 01:01:04 The Driver: Apple
- 01:03:44 The Explorer: Facebook
- 01:04:52 The Crusader: Google
- 01:05:50 The Captain: Alibaba
- 01:08:11 Wrap Up