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Hack To Start
Episode 162

John Doherty

Founder @getcredo, ex-Distilled/Zillow.

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

John Doherty is the founder of Credo, a platform for connecting great businesses with the best vetted digital marketing consultants and agencies. He took a side project that started as a spreadsheet from a $50 dollar referral commission to a SaaS marketplace that has tripled its annual run rate. Before diving into a startup of his own, John worked at Distilled in NYC, and later joined Zillow. There he focused on growing Hotpads into their #2 brand. Starting off with a team of 1 - John quickly grew his organization to 8 people in just 12 months, increasing their listings’ visibility by 200%. John joins us to share his story, what it was like running a nimble team inside a larger real estate company, some challenges to rapidly growing a team, how he took Credo from a spreadsheet to a full time company, some of the biggest challenges he had to face over the last 3 years as the business model evolved, and much more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how John got into startups & SEO
  • Learn more about what it was like growing and running a marketing team inside Zillow
  • Learn more about what it's been like building Credo from a spreadsheet into a SaaS platform
  • And more!

Episode Overview

John Doherty is the founder of Credo, a platform for connecting great businesses with the best vetted digital marketing consultants and agencies.

He took a side project that started as a spreadsheet from a $50 dollar referral commission to a SaaS marketplace that has tripled its annual run rate.

Before diving into a startup of his own, John worked at Distilled in NYC, and later joined Zillow. There he focused on growing Hotpads into their #2 brand. Starting off with a team of 1 - John quickly grew his organization to 8 people in just 12 months, increasing their listings’ visibility by 200%.

John joins us to share his story, what it was like running a nimble team inside a larger real estate company, some challenges to rapidly growing a team, how he took Credo from a spreadsheet to a full time company, some of the biggest challenges he had to face over the last 3 years as the business model evolved, and much more.


Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:58
Where are you from and what did you study?

4:49
So where did your passion for tech, SEO, and startups develop?

6:55
In 2013, you ended up joining Zillow. Can you tell us more about what Zillow does and how you created the opportunity to join the team there?

9:32
Where did HotPads fit into the bigger picture at Zillow?

11:20
What’s it like running your own team inside a bigger organization? How did you manage to make that happen?

13:39
Today, you’re the founder of Credo. What is Credo and what motivated you to start it?

16:15
How did you go from a Google spreadsheet to a full time gig? Cause it sounds like it lived as a side project for a while?

19:27
So I guess I’m always interested in how people actually get started. For example, you’ve obviously got more of a background in SEO than most founders and when you first put up the site, was that what helped you get your first customers? Like was there ever a point where you wondered if this thing was going to work outside your initial network?

21:41
Speaking about those phases, you described it in terms of “glass ceilings”, but I’m also interested in the shifts between business models. So what was it like moving between business models and what’s it like running a SaaS company now?

26:30
On the note of growing as an entrepreneur, as an individual, as a business leader, do you have any recommendations that you’ve come across? You mentioned the 4 Hour Work Week, but are there any other resources that you keep coming back to?

28:13
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

John Doherty on Twitter
John Doherty on the web
Credo on Twitter
Credo on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

4 Hour Work Week
The Hard Thing About Hard Things
Ramit Seti
Joshua Harris
Brandon Dunn
Titan

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