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Hack To Start
Episode 163

Drew Strojny

Founder of @memberful and @thethemefoundry. Retired NFL.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Drew Strojny is a retired NFL player turned tech entrepreneur. He is the founder of Memberful, super easy to use membership software. Growing up, Drew had a passion for tech and computers. During the NFL offseason, Drew continued to teach himself how to code and build websites. When his career in professional sports came to an end after a few years, Drew decided to launch his own company. But the original model never succeeded. After several years of building Wordpress sites and selling premium themes online, Drew noticed that there was no simple way of selling and managing online memberships. 4 years ago, he launched Memberful and has been growing the software ever since. Drew joins us to share his story, what it was like transitioning from a career in professional sports to tech startups, what it was like launching his first company, how he’s bootstrapped both Theme Foundry and Memberful, how he approaches building small teams, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Drew transitioned from the NFL into tech startups
  • Learn more about what its been like building Memberful over the last 4 years
  • Learn more about why Drew builds small teams and bootstrapped companies
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Drew Strojny is a retired NFL player turned tech entrepreneur. He is the founder of Memberful, super easy to use membership software.

Growing up, Drew had a passion for tech and computers. During the NFL offseason, Drew continued to teach himself how to code and build websites.

When his career in professional sports came to an end after a few years, Drew decided to launch his own company. But the original model never succeeded.

After several years of building Wordpress sites and selling premium themes online, Drew noticed that there was no simple way of selling and managing online memberships. 4 years ago, he launched Memberful and has been growing the software ever since.

Drew joins us to share his story, what it was like transitioning from a career in professional sports to tech startups, what it was like launching his first company, how he’s bootstrapped both Theme Foundry and Memberful, how he approaches building small teams, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:36
Where are you from and what did you study?

2:54
So at Duke, you were playing football and ended up getting drafted into the NFL. Can you recap that experience and what that was like for you?

3:38
How did that level of competition shape you and your mindset? Were there any lessons or advantages that you then applied to your start in tech?

4:37
How did you end up transitioning from the NFL into tech startups? Where did that interest come from?

6:00
So after your career in the NFL - it’s now 2008 - how did you end up diving into building your own business?

6:49
How did that first B2B services business evolve into Theme Foundry? At what point did you decide to make that shift?

10:32
How did the business side of things come together in terms of making sales? I mean it’s one thing to build a few sites for yourself and friends, and it’s another to create and package a product for sale? Typically this is a challenge for first time entrepreneurs - how did you overcome this hurdle?

12:31
In 2013 you launched your second company, Memberful. What really motivated you to launch it?

14:07
So Memberful came out of a need and frustration you saw in the Wordpress space, but you guys are also building towards a bigger vision and mission for the web and independent creators or all kinds in general. Can you tell us more about why you’re building Memberful for these creators?

16:36
How do you guys approach innovating around this emerging space and continually delivering an empowering product?

17:39
How have you approached building the team at both Theme Foundry and Memberful?

19:53
In terms of growth channels, how has that changed or evolved for you just over the last few years as the new reality has started to emerge for creators and their communities? What channels have been the most effective for you?

20:47
What have been some of the most important lessons you’ve learnt while building Memberful?

24:15
So on the note of growing as an entrepreneur, what are some of your most recommended resources or resources that you keep coming back to?

24:58
Do you have any final thoughts or words of advice for other entrepreneurs out there?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Drew Strojny on Twitter
Drew Strojny on the web
Memberful on Twitter
Memberful on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

The E-Myth Revisited

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