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Hack To Start
Episode 19

Wade Foster

Co-founder & CEO @Zapier. Missouri native. I love to build things & help people do the same.

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

Wade Foster is the co-founder and CEO of Zapier, a Y Combinator company that enables you to automate your workflow. He shares how he became a full stack marketer, how to build products, and where to find your first customers.

Episode Overview

Wade Foster is the co-founder & CEO of Zapier, a platform that automates your workflow. He joins us to talk about how they went from Startup Weekend hack project, to a Y Combinator startup, to platform that has grown from 50 to 350 integrations.

Wade was on the path to being an industrial engineer when the economy collapsed. When he couldn't find a job, he turned to startups and marketing. He helped coin the term "full stack marketer".


Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:00
Where are you from, what did you study and how did your passion for entrepreneurship start?

3:10
How did you make the transition from desk job to engineer?

4:18
You helped coin the term Full Stack Marketer (which some folks also call growth hacker). What is it, what are the differences (in your opinion), and how did you become one?

7:43
What is Zapier and why did you decide to start it? What need sparked the idea?

10:50
How did you get your first paying customers?

12:08
Zapier was accepted to the summer YC cohort of 2012. How did you manage to get in and what were some of the biggest lessons you learned there?

14:52
The Zapier Team has grow quite a bit in the last year alone. You’ve introduce a bunch of new features and gone from 250 integrations to more than 350. How did you do that?

16:41
You’ve launched a bunch of new features and have blogged about mastering the art of the “soft” launch. What is a soft launch, how do you do it and why?

21:34
What industries or technologies do you see the most opportunities in?

22:09
So besides Zapier, what are some of your favorite app, tools, or books right now?


What You Learn In This Episode

  • How Wade had to overcome the economic downturn and became an entrepreneur.
  • Why he helped coin the term "full stack marketer".
  • How he and his team created Zapier and got their first paying customers.
  • Why more startups should leverage "soft launches" and how to do them.
  • And more!

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

Twitter Handles & Websites

Wade on Twitter
Wade on the Web
Zapier on the Twitter
Zapier on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Apps & Books

Slack
Trello
CardReader

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