Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 13:43 

What are maybe some of the do’s and don’ts? Because I’m sure that people are asking, you know, what should we do? I’m not sure. What are some of the do’s and don’ts there are giveaways?

Swish Goswami 13:55 

Yes, three things I think number one, try to make your cover photo as high fidelity and high quality as possible. Don’t put a lot of text on it, try to make it very visual heavy, so that you like showing the item that you’re giving away right away. So it piques people’s interest, you’ll be surprised like how many graphics we tend to get from companies and we’re like, we can put it up if you want, but like this wouldn’t look good. The fonts are way too big, or like, you know, way too much writing, there’s not that many visual graphics, so it doesn’t look appealing. That would be number one.

Number two, in every giveaway when you click in like for example, I think if you clicked into the Omen Gaming giveaway that we have running up right now, I think it’s featured right now in our carousel, you’ll see that there’s a number of mandatory giveaway action. Yeah, at the very top. If you go to the very top there, and you just click enter now to Omen Gaming, you know, they’re running a giveaway if you go down, you can kind of see some of the mandatory action. And this is smart. A lot of people tend to just do like seven eight different actions right away. What Omen Gaming has done is that they’ve put in three different actions that you have to take Once you take those actions, though, these are all mandatory action.

Once you take these actions, you then unlock three more, that they’ve actually hidden three more action, we click the very bottom where it says, redeem three methods above to unlock three more, you’ll actually see these three more entry methods that allow you to earn even more lottery tickets to obviously improve your likelihood of winning the giveaway overall, that would be number two, and try as much as possible not to overwhelm your audience by putting like seven or eight different rules right away, you can definitely put like two or three primary rules, and then hide everything else afterwards. And the final thing…

Jeremy Weisz 14:50 

And those things real quick Swish, I mean, those things are pretty easy to do. I mean, you can follow this annex, you can follow on him, you could do all these at a click of a button. So it’s not difficult.

Swish Goswami 15:51 

No, not at all. Not at all. And then the final thing that I would note is trying to get here Giveaway time. So don’t try to run a giveaway where you’re like, yeah, the giveaway is going to be, the prize will be announced in one week. I typically like, you know, minimum two weeks and all that great, if not try to push for like three to four weeks to have your giveaway live. Because the cool part about having a giveaway is it can honestly acted like the epicenter now for all of your other marketing initiatives. If you’re…

Jeremy Weisz 16:17 

People will do it too soon, like run for the week or something.

Swish Goswami 16:21 

For a week, they wouldn’t get that much. And honestly, they don’t give it enough time to really live in our community. That’s like one email, for example, from us to our community, if you only do it for one week, versus if you do it for three weeks, that’s potentially three, four emails there already.

Jeremy Weisz 16:36 

What about from a price perspective? Have you seen mistakes people making with the prize itself?

Swish Goswami 16:43 

Yeah, I mean, we’ve had some people that have come on, and they’ve just simply thought that oh, yeah, clearly, if I give away a higher value, like more dollar amount equals more data, and that doesn’t necessarily mean much like we’ve had companies that have given away a PS5 or an Xbox, and have gotten significantly less data points than a company that gave away $100 monitor. So for us, I think, like, try as much as possible to keep the prizes simple, especially when it comes to shipping.

Like the company, for example, that gave away a PS5, was not able to ship out that PS5 for about three months, which really jaded their community that they got, because a bunch of people were really excited about the giveaway. And even the person who won only got their reward three months later, versus if you give away something like a monitor that sure is lower in terms of monetary value, but it’s still pretty awesome. You can ship that out within two, three days after the giveaway ends. Well, now you’re starting to build a pretty exciting momentum that you can then take to your next giveaway, hopefully.

Jeremy Weisz 17:44 

Yeah, I love that. So obviously focusing on the action steps that people often take the engagement, and then the timeframe. And then what are some of the craziest things you’ve seen people give away? Maybe if it wasn’t you, but you saw another company that seemed interesting.

Swish Goswami 18:03 

Yeah, I would say the Electronic Arts activation that we did last year was pretty cool. They gave away $150,000 in EA credits. So like, basically a bunch of like EA Play points that you can use and FIFA or you could use in NHL or you could use also in Madden. The way they did it, though, is that they did it at their EA plot Play Event. Every year EA Play happens. Typically it happens in person, but obviously during the pandemic as well as last year, they did it virtually. So they did it virtually over stream, people can tune in to hear about the latest EA products, what are new games that EA is working on. It’s kind of like their one hour, let me tell you everything that we did this year and what’s coming up the following year.

And throughout the stream, in order to keep people engaged, they gave away the secret codes. So almost like every five, seven minutes, whether it’s like the host of drinking a glass of water, and at the bottom is a letter, they were able to go about giving away these secret codes that people at the end of the stream were able to then put into our giveaway platform to redeem an instant win prize and potentially win the biggest prize in terms of the $150,000 worth of EA credits, that was pretty cool in terms of like, how they ran the campaign, doing it through secret codes, and doing that on a live stream.

Jeremy Weisz 19:23 

And they can manage all of this with Surf.

Swish Goswami 19:28 

They can do all of that with Surf. Yeah, will obviously program what the secret codes need to be we’ll get them the letters, they can obviously figure out how to put the letters in their stream we wouldn’t go that far. But once they do that, I mean people can go and immediately use the platform and enter the codes and whenever they get all of them to redeem their prize.

Jeremy Weisz 19:47 

Swish talk about pricing for a second in the beginning, when you add these influencers, how are you thinking about pricing and then we could talk about now because you mentioned well, people could sign up for a month if they like it, maybe get discounts over a year talk about the pricing aspect.

Swish Goswami 20:05 

Yeah, I mean, initially we were kind of trying to go after influence or small businesses and enterprises. And it kind of made a mess in terms of how we thought about pricing, because we were sometimes giving the same package to an enterprise that we would give to an influencer. But they were paying vastly different amounts per month. I think now, we’re really clear about the fact that we are very focused just on enterprise, we’ll work with an influencer from time to time if we feel like it might bring more popularity to the platform.

But overall, the companies that we work with are going to be the HP the EA, the Amazon Prime Gamings of the world, the way we price is actually on two things. Number one, how many logins are we giving to how many people on your team want access to the giveaways platform, not only for creating the giveaway, but also looking at the report that you get after in terms of all the entry methods, all the data collected, everything can be visualized after in our dashboard? And then secondly, how much are you looking to give away. So obviously, if you’re giving away a prize, that’s $500 versus $500,000, we’re going to charge you differently, because the sweepstakes rules become a little bit more complicated once you surpass $10,000 In prize fulfillment. So we’re going above $10,000 In prize fulfillment, you’re probably going to be looking at a premium price.

A one small add-on, but again, we recently added in was if you want us to promote the giveaway to our community, there’s a flat premium add-on fee that you can add on to your checkout. And that’s something we’ll obviously know about and actively looked out to work with your team to promote your giveaway to our community as well.

Jeremy Weisz 20:07 

You mentioned a couple of things I imagine. They’re usually because there are challenges. And what are the companies that are coming to you? What are the challenges you mentioned, obviously, auto-generating sweepstakes was a challenge with the legal aspect. And so you’re obviously platform solves for those challenges. What are some of the other challenges that the company is Brian brought up that you then addressed in added into the platform?

Swish Goswami 22:07 

Yeah, I mean, one of the biggest things, honestly, with attribution, like a lot of people can run giveaways on their own, right, like, you could go and run a giveaway. And as long as you put the right captions, which you can probably find from other companies that do giveaways, you could run your own giveaway on Instagram and Twitter and tell people to follow you. But the only thing is like, you can only do that on one platform. So if I, for example, was to run a giveaway, and told people hey, guys, in order to enter the giveaway, follow me on Instagram, follow me on Twitter and follow me on TikTok.

If I posted that on Instagram, I have no way of confirming whether or not a user on Instagram that followed me recently, also followed me on Twitter and TikTok. And it’s not only because they might not have the same username, which is already an issue, but it’s also a lot of time and work that you otherwise don’t want to spend tracking people in terms of whether they actually did the rules or not. The fact that you have a system like Surf, where not only again, like you said it auto generates sweepstakes rules that has over 40 integration. But it also verified that each action one being taken, and each action can happen across different platforms at the same time. That’s pretty cool. And I don’t think you can typically do that on your own.

Jeremy Weisz 23:16 

Talk about building the team. From when it first started until now, what did the growth of the team look like?

Swish Goswami 23:24 

Oh, I mean, we started at the pretty straightforward team. When it comes to like the overall components, they would mean my co-founder, we were pretty heavy on the engineering side early on. We brought on a CFO though before we even raise any money. And that’s because their CFO with an angel investor that believed a lot in the business and wanted to come on and have some more skin in the game. But yeah, typically, you don’t want to hire a CFO, unless you’re close to raising your theory, they already done your theory, they but it actually helps if anything, my co-founder, and I didn’t have to do taxes on our own, didn’t have to do any sort of tax rebates like shred, we didn’t have to do any of the forecasting or modeling or budgeting on our own at the wall.

We had someone that we could lean on for that. But we started to hire more recently on the marketing side. And on the sales side of the wall, because again, if you take a look at our overall team size, even now, about 70% of our team is in product development or engineering. So whether that’s a product owner, a front-end engineer, a back-end engineer, a UX designer, that’s where we’re really strong. We typically never had a focus around hiring people on the sales side or on the marketing side. But now, you know, we have two salespeople. We have a lead gen agency called Spend to Win that we work with. We have three people on the marketing side. And those people on the marketing side are incredible what they do, they work with nimble budget, but they do a great job of working within the confines of the nimble budget to be able to generate leads for the sales team to tackle down.

Jeremy Weisz 24:50 

From early on, were you always going to raise money as opposed to bootstrap?

Swish Goswami 24:57 

Yeah, yeah, I think we were and in spite also it’d be like immaturity, in the sense of like, I was 21, I didn’t necessarily know how to build a business. So it seemed like the easy way out to say, like, give me a bit more time to be able to figure this out, I also keep in mind dropped out of school, obviously wanted to earn a full-time salary. So I wasn’t dependent on my parents who definitely wanted me to go back to school. So for me, I think going down the path of raising money with natural versus obviously, you know, if I had to go back now and do it all over again, with what I know, now, I definitely would have delayed that process of raising money or potentially not even done it.

Because obviously, I think, you know, if you build a solid business, that had, you know, the routes around, bringing in more money than you’re spending each month, that didn’t really lean, which we are now, but definitely, that whole mentality of being lean wasn’t something programmed to me early on. I think, if I know, you know, everything that I know, now, if I had to go back and do it all over again, I genuinely think we could be an incredibly profitable business when we started right away, versus obviously having to figure it out for the last four or five years through venture funding.

Jeremy Weisz 26:03 

But it sounded like early on, I mean, you needed a bunch of product, you know, team to build out the product, and you needed revenue. What were you looking to raise early on from angel investors?

Swish Goswami 26:16 

Yeah, you nailed it. Right. It was very much around product development, though, I would say we’ve picked the right first product to start off with. And obviously, again, we made down the social media data, yeah, like this is more just retrospect, like, should have what it could have. But if we had picked the right product, if we had picked the giveaways platform back in 2018, I don’t think we would have had to raise money. Like if we had built it out, even in like 10% of the form it is now. I think it was a good enough idea, especially back in 2018, where giveaways weren’t even as popular they are they are now I think it would have definitely been a solid product to start off with a product that definitely could generate revenue from day one.

But like you said, that wasn’t the case, we started with a social media analytics platform, we obviously had to pivot from there. And I think that pivot also cost a lot of money, right? Because you went from spending a lot of money building this product, to then looking at the overall landscape and feeling okay, let’s see the opportunity here. And now having to go back to investors and pitch them on. Well, these are the products that we can now build within this space. And we need the money to do so and do it very fast.

Jeremy Weisz 27:18 

Swish, what worked and didn’t work with raising money. I mean, at the time. You’re 21, right? When I was 21, I couldn’t imagine actually going to someone say “hey, I want $500,000 from you,” what worked and didn’t work at that time and was age a factor, where people looking at you as a harder raise money because of how old you’re?

Swish Goswami 27:46 

No each certainly wasn’t a factor. For me. I would also preface this by saying like when we raised money, we actually felt like it was relatively easy to do early on in 2018. When I raised my pre-seed round, it was because I went to a bunch of people that I already had a relationship with. And the way that I built this relationship with them is by interviewing a bunch of successful high-net-worth people in my first and second year of university. So I interviewed them, wrote an article about them on LinkedIn, or recorded a podcast back in the day, I did a podcast around technology called The Tech House. And I was very engaged as a student to like, keep in touch with these people.

And a lot of these people liked the fact that I was following up with them, I was trying to help them, I was trying to connect them to people. So when it came to raising money, I went to all these high net worth people, and instead of asking them for $100,000, check, I went to them saying, can you give me a $10,000 check or $25,000 check. We brought on 22 Angel investors in our pre-seed round, and we raised 750,000. And so that’s how we did it, we went to people, we didn’t ask for a lot of money in terms of like, for them, it wasn’t a lot of money. And we were able to raise the 750,000 that we needed to be able to get the product off the ground hire a pretty small but focus team, and then obviously go from there.

Just gonna say if you ask me like fundraising over the last year, like we did our Series A in we closed it about four or five months ago, we launched that round, though, in March of 2022. That round took me a year and three months. And that like it took a significant toll on me took a significant toll on my mental health. I think I spoke to at least over 700 investors around the world got rejected, obviously, by most of them. That was much tougher than our precede that we did in 2018, or even our seed round that we did in 2019.

Jeremy Weisz 29:37 

This was going to ask at what point do you decide and why to raise more money?

Swish Goswami 29:43 

Yeah, I mean, typically you do it for a number of reasons, right? Either you do it because like I mentioned in 2020 we had this idea — well, this is the opportunity. Let’s go after it quickly. We need to build XYZ products we need to ramp up you know these particular areas of the business. We need money in order to do that. And that became like an incredible need that We want to go and solve for another reason, candidly, is runway, you don’t want to lay people off, you don’t want to reduce people’s salaries, you don’t want to diminish your team morale, especially in today’s climate where company budgets have been slashed across the board.

Companies have been bleeding, big, big, big tech companies have been making layoffs. It’s a tough market out there. So you do have a lot of companies now that go and raise money either because they are in need of raising money, or else they’re gonna go out of business, or they’re raising money in order to be able to have a word check, where they can then deploy even more money in a climate where most of their competitors are either falling through or are really, really, really late. So there’s obviously kind of one or two ways that you can think about why companies go out and raise money.

Jeremy Weisz 30:44 

And you made two acquisitions along the way, talking about the mentality of growth through acquisition and the acquisitions.

Swish Goswami 30:53 

Yeah, I think for us, we got two really good deals, which is why we did it. I don’t think our plan when we started with the acquired companies, and then rolled them up, that wasn’t the plan whatsoever. But when we were looking at okay, 2018 comes around, we raised this round, we build a social media analytics product in 2019. 2019, the later part, we realize, “Oh, crap, we need to pivot.” We looked around and we thought, “okay, well, let’s try to build ideally a business that is focused on zero-party data.” And one of the companies that came across our table was, out of Kelowna, British Columbia that had to give away the platform in its incredible infancy, but still a giveaway platform nonetheless.

So when we looked at that, and when we started chatting with the founders, and when we realized that we could actually buy this company purely for equity, and with no cash, we thought that it was a deal we absolutely had to do. And that’s why we decided to do that transaction. Why we decided a year later as well to do another transaction, that was a small cash deal. But it was a cash deal that we actually raised a bit of venture debt money for. And we felt pretty good about it. Because we knew our revenue was coming in each month at a certain amount.

We knew we were growing by a certain percentage each month as well, we felt pretty confident about being able to pay off that debt loan that we took out within a year, which we did. So that was another transaction that we did. But again, the reason we acquired businesses was more to accelerate our product roadmap than anything else. We weren’t acquiring typically, for talent, or customers, we were acquiring more product.

Jeremy Weisz 32:25 

So for the equity one was that partial for it wasn’t as much for the team that was for the product.

Swish Goswami 32:33 

Yeah, it was pure equity across the board, we did candidly bring on a few team members from, including their CTO, Andrew, we didn’t bring on their whole team, though. But yeah, in terms of obviously, of having to pay them a salary, that’s fine, because we were already looking for those types of roles and looking to fill those types of roles. But in terms of the business, the brand product, it was a pure equity deal that we were very satisfied with and very happy with.

Jeremy Weisz 32:59 

And then, now going into, you shared that you are in the process now of selling the company, and you talk about who’s an ideal buyer. Why sell? And we could talk about that journey.

Swish Goswami 33:18 

Yeah, for sure. I think the decision to sell really came about late last year. Our goal, again, was to try to build a company that specializes in zero-party data collection, zero party data segmentation, we did that. But we started to feel like there was a ceiling in terms of how far we could go with an idea like this. We looked around, we saw a lot of competitors starting to pop up. We’ve looked around, obviously, and saw a market climate that wasn’t very ideal for consumer tech companies, especially when it came to raising money and looking to spend money to acquire users. There aren’t a lot of VCs right now that are looking at that business model and saying that’s the business model I want upon. And then I think finally, like I mentioned the last fundraising round that we did a year and three months it took to be able to close that out. And again, it took a significant toll on me.

So from an energy perspective, overall excitement of the idea perspective, I didn’t necessarily feel as excited about where we’re building anymore. And I think there were other areas, other ideas that I would more interested in that I would love to pursue or explore. That kind of came into my mind as well, along with my co-founder. I think both of us came together and we felt like look, we’re obviously going to continue to try to grow this company because even if we’re going down the M&A path, it’s always good to be able to show that you are growing each month that you are profitable, if not near profitability. I think that was our main focus. But let’s continue to do what we’re doing which is build out the product, continue to hire people wherever necessary, and obviously continue to grow sales each month. But let’s start looking at who potential buyers couldn’t be.

And we did a lot of reach out late last year, reached out to companies in the first-party data space, in the loyalty space, we reached out to a lot of companies that collected data through surveys because we felt like they didn’t have a passive way of generating data, or an interactive way beyond surveys to generate data like we had with giveaways. And then we also reached out to a lot of buy now pay later companies like, the corners and the affirmance of the world that obviously are very interested in uniquely positioning themselves in a customer’s shopping journey. And we felt like with our extension technology, we had a very cool way of integrating their product with some of the stuff we had built around gauging people’s consumer purchasing intent. When were they going to buy what were they going to buy? How do we track that data? How would we optimize for that data, that’s the type of stuff that we can definitely do for a buy now pay later company as well.

So those are kind of the three buckets that we reached out to, again, running a full process right now 15 companies in the process so far, obviously hoping to grow that number by the end of this month, but trying to push for letter of intent to be submitted by the middle of next month. And obviously hoping to close a transaction by the middle of 2024.

Jeremy Weisz 36:07 

What are some of the other attributes that you are looking at that is a good fit buyer?

Swish Goswami 36:15 

For acquirer, I mean, two things, I think one has to be complimentary. From the product side, like we don’t want to just simply sell the company and then have the product be like priority number five, or priority number six, I think the companies that we got very excited about were the ones that were like, well, we currently do this really well. But we’re missing XYZ on our product roadmap. And we feel like you guys can definitely feel that. Or we feel like the union between our existing product and your product could be incredible. And we’ve actually been a few conversations where we’ve talked about stuff like that, that’s even gotten me very excited.

So if I even need to stay on for another year or two, to look over that project, look over that integration continue to sell that integration. In certain cases, I actually might be very interested to do that. The second thing is, from a culture perspective, we are looking to not only sell the business and our customers and our brand, and our product, we are looking for certain team members to be carried over as well. And a lot of those team members, again, are on our customer success, as well as our product team.

Those are the two departments that we’ve been critically pushing. Because the customer success team had relationships with every customer, every customer tends to love their manager like their CSM. And we want to make sure that that’s being carried over. We also want to make sure obviously, on the product side, the engineers that built these products from the ground up, that have continued to work on these products that have continued to think of the roadmap can continue to do that at a bigger company as well. So those are really some of the key things we’re considering.

Jeremy Weisz 37:43 

As you go through this process, what have you learned as far as the valuation perspective of the market?

Swish Goswami 37:55 

Yeah, I think what I’ve learned is twofold. I mean, obviously, tech companies typically were given valuation of, let’s even say five to 8x revenue. In today’s climate, that’s obviously fallen down quite a bit, both on the VC side and on the M&A side, even, traditional tech companies, enterprise SaaS, you’re going to be valuing a company more around three to 5x revenue. That’s number one. Number two, profitability, profitability, profitability, like, every conversation we’ve had has typically gravitated towards, okay, like, are you guys profitable? Okay, how much? Are you guys in the green? All right, what would it take in order to be able to get you guys more in the green?

And especially when you’re looking at the dynamic that the transaction like, okay, we’re gonna bring people over? What did the total cost of that, and like, talking to companies, some of the companies we’re talking to aren’t profitable, but they need to think about that as well, in terms of okay, if we were taking on more people, if we were taking on server costs associated to breeding on a new product altogether, is that even something that we can afford on our balance sheet? That’s been another big thing for us to have to grapple with? It? Is that kind of clear focus on profitability as a core prerequisite, honestly, for companies that are engaging in M&A.

Jeremy Weisz 39:12 

Does that surprise you at all? It’s probably a little bit actually. Because I feel like with SaaS companies, they’re looking at revenue, but I don’t know.

Swish Goswami 39:25 

Yeah, it didn’t surprise me because, again, the market climate like I understand why, obviously, like everyone’s so terrified of interest rates being so high and obviously a lot of companies are having a really tough time fundraising or having a very tough time even getting good, profitable loans. So I know that a lot of companies right now are more frugal than ever. And in a frugal market in a very lean market, you’re obviously going to look for the best deal possible. If anything, I’m not as surprised as I am just pretty happy. Like I think this is the way business should be done. And I am hoping that even after this experience, let’s even say markets go back to no Normal things continue to thrive and flourish again, I’m hoping that a lot of founders don’t forget that time began this sort of time where every penny counts, every dollar counts. It’s an important thing for a founder to be considerate of.

Jeremy Weisz 40:15 

So who are some of your trusted mentors, and some advice they’ve given you, obviously, you’ve done a lot, and you’re still young. So I look forward to see what you do in the future. But who are some of the mentors along the way for you?

Swish Goswami 40:32 

I’ve had a few, they’ve been very successful entrepreneurs like Michael Hyatt, who built and sold BlueCat Networks, Brian Homes from HootSuite, Mani Patta from New Avenue Capital, Michelle Romanov from Clear Co. They’ve also been artists that I’ve looked up to. And creatives, candidly, some of them even who are like my age or even younger, one of my friends Buster share, for example, runs explanation, really good agency focuses on social media growth, it’s typically in the sports market, I will learn from anyone, I try to stay in touch with my mentors as much as I can. I try again to treat mentors more as friend. So it isn’t transactional.

It’s more of like I reached out because I actually enjoy hanging out with them, I enjoy playing tennis with them, I enjoy getting on a call with them. And if I need help ever, I typically ask for it upfront over text message or over email, even I don’t wait for an in-person meeting in order to be able to ask for help. And it’s the same thing back, I’ve been fortunate enough to also help my mentors in terms of connecting them to people, or giving them a shout-out if they need anything, stuff like that. So that’s the way I treat it. But again, I’m very excited that as I’m starting to get more and more into new things as well, like even podcasting, like obviously, I did want back in the day, but it was very raw, very scrappy, with Track Limits, the production quality has been the highest that I’ve seen the podcast and participates be. And we’ve been doing it at a very high level in terms of like the flying to where guests are located.

We’ve stayed away from even doing any virtual episodes. I think we’ve had a lot of cool mentors that have popped up in the podcasting space now in the motorsport space now that I’ve enjoyed learning from. So that’s the cool part about mentors. But there’s mentors almost for every aspect of your life, even personal relationships and how to deal with your network and how to deal with your mental health. You might have mentors that are exclusively focused on.

Jeremy Weisz 42:30 

Obviously, with Surf, you’ve had tremendous success, and you’ve had a lot of pretty amazing clients. I know, you’ve had multiple businesses that you’ve started throughout the years, can you talk about a learning or whatever you want to call it? Some people don’t like to call it a failure point. But like, big challenge when a company didn’t work out?

Swish Goswami 43:00 

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’ve had a number of like, smaller yet failed businesses, probably in the past food share with an idea that my best friend in college and I wanted to start it after first year, we wanted to create a app that would give people donated and leftover food. And it was an app that connected students primarily on college campuses to that food. We didn’t realize that the Food Donation Act of 1994 in Canada that prohibits donated food from being monetized. That’s probably something we should have researched or had a lawyer run through before we built out an MVP if the product had a social media agency in high school, we worked with like few cab companies in Calgary, including Delta cabs.

And that, again, obviously was something that I didn’t really carry on working on in university, I wasn’t as engaged on it in university as I was in high school. But I’ve enjoyed like, even the failures that I’ve had, whether it’s, you know, not going through the proper legal process to create a company and look at the market landscape or not actually being passionate but idea before I started and then realizing that only halfway through. I’ve learned from those mistakes, I think with Surf and especially with Surf like the fact that we’ve gone through and raised money and acquired businesses and hired people inspired people and had to leave the company to the pandemic and as well as this market recession.

Like, I genuinely feel like I’ve gotten like a mini MBA almost in the last five years of building this business when I was just helped me what I like some level of like a Harvard level, of course, that’s not even higher, but it’s hopefully going to help me going forward if I started a business down the road.

Jeremy Weisz 44:37 

And then Dunk. Talk about Dunk for a second.

Swish Goswami 44:42 

Yeah, so Dunk is a business that I didn’t actually start. I joined it as a co-founder, but the account itself was created by Elliot. He was a friend of mine. I lived with him in New York for about a year. He had started the account back in 2014. Add Dunk on Instagram, and he had grown that to a boat by 100 600,000 followers when I met him, I came on board as his co-founder for especially the first six, seven months helped him grow quite a bit. We grew the overall network to 21 accounts on Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok 11 million followers overall, the main account add Dunk, I left Dunk with about 2.3 million followers on the main page on Instagram.

And we also were able to work with brands like Warner Media, Gatorade, curb fragrances, q4, etc. So I do credit, by the way, a lot of what I know about social media, influencer marketing to Eliot, he’s an absolute genius when it comes to social media. And I hope that he credits a little bit about the business stabby fundraising partnership, speaking to customers and managing customers to me, because I would definitely be my forté before I met him.

Jeremy Weisz 45:47 

Swish, first of all, I have one last question, but I just want to thank you, thanks for sharing your journey with us and stories and lessons that are really valuable. And I want to encourage people to check out join surf, which you saw on here. My last question, Swish is just about some of your favorite resources. You know, it could be books, it could be apps or software, what are some of your favorite resources that you would recommend people?

Swish Goswami 46:16 

Yeah, I mean, I’m not a huge reader. Honestly, I think the last book that I actually read cover to cover with Zero to One by Peter Thiel, which I definitely encourage people to read, if you’re looking at specially sort of venture-backed business, it’s a great book, it looks essentially at like a bunch of general advice that entrepreneurs typically get, and a debunks most of them in terms of like, talking about them and saying, yeah, probably don’t do this or don’t think about it this way. For example, like one of the concepts of deals was first mover advantage that everyone thinks is so important that Peter Thiel in the book make the big case for why being the last mover is actually the best, and talks about a number of examples across the world where that’s actually been really beneficial.

I think to how I built this podcast and great from time to time, I definitely check that podcast out all in with tomato. I love that podcast as well. And that’s pretty much it, honestly. Otherwise, it’s more like keep a pulse with my customer success team. Speak to customers wherever I can, obviously continue to do founder dinners, founder retreat, talk to other founders, hear what they’re listening to what they’re going through, what they’re interested in. That’s been the main form of education for me in terms of keeping a pulse on the market.

Jeremy Weisz 47:27 

Love it. Everyone check out in more episodes of the podcast and Swish thank you so much. Thanks everyone.

Swish Goswami 47:36 

No worries, thank you Jeremy.