Free Exclusive Video Interview - Meet The $360-Million Dollar Man
Ryan Allis

Ep. 033 - How A Small-town College Gig
Turned Into $170 Million Dollars

with Ryan Allis of

“Don't just build a company solely because you see a business opportunity. Build a company because you see an opportunity in society to create a positive impact on humanity.”

Shoulders Of Titans Podcast Interview #033 with Ryan Allis:

Ryan Allis is a technology entrepreneur and investor.

Ryan is the Chairman of Connect and the Chairman of Hive.

Ryan was previously the Co-Founder and CEO of iContact from 2003 until it was acquired in February 2012 by Vocus (NASDAQ:VOCS) for $169M.

iContact grew from its start in 2003 to 300 employees, 70,000 customers, and 1 million users, reaching the INC 500 list three times. iContact used the 4-1s CSR model to give 1% of its payroll, equity, employee time, and product back to the community.

Ryan is an active angel investor through Hive Ventures with investments to date in, Off-Grid Electric, Privail,,Soma Water, Pengo Loans, VillageEnergy, Hydros Water, ThinkImpact, Bold Academy, EvoApp, Unblab (Sold to AOL), CityPockets,SpringMetrics, and School House. Ryan is the author of a book on entrepreneurship called Zero to One Million (McGraw-Hill, 2008) which reached #11 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller list and #2 on the bestseller list. He is currently working on a new book called The Innovators (2013).

Ryan was named in 2006 as one of BusinessWeek’s 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25. In 2008 he was named as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas, In 2009 he was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the U.S. Junior Chamber. In 2010 he was named as part of the 30 Under 30 List By INC Magazine. Ryan served as a member of the UN Foundation Global Entrepreneurs Council which advised the UN Foundation on expanding how it uses digital marketing to bring awareness to its humanitarian campaigns.

Ryan attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard Business School.

Visit Ryan Allis’ Website:

Topics Discussed In This Interview:

  • How to use the “1X rule of venture capital” and avoid having your business hi-jacked by investors and getting kicked out of your own company (the insights Steve Jobs and many other founders wished they knew)
  • Why a company should aggressively reject the smartest, most qualified applicants and hire based on “The Grip Factor” instead
  • How any business with revenues over $1 can use a simple “Unit Economic Model” to trick investors to funding a business
  • Why hiring MBA graduates WILL fundamentally destroy a startup or small-to-medium sized business
  • The dummy-proof, step-by-step guide to bootstrapping a business from zero to $10 million in revenue starting with less than $1,000 a month
  • The 3 dumbest (and far too common) management mistakes that cause good people to leave, talented people to stay away and crush a business’s long-term success
  • How entrepreneurs who want a life of abundance, passion and contribution should use a “B-Corp Business Model”
  • How a young leader can instantly command respect from older, more educated and more experienced employees using a simple 3-step leadership-model – this is especially valuable for entrepreneurs under the age of 35
  • How Goldman Sachs pays 100% annual bonuses (doubling the income of their staff!) while still growing company valuations exponentially every year (mind-blowing insights that will change the way you do business forever)
  • How to be rich, solve big world problems and be remembered for generations to come
  • And much, much more!

Full Transcript of Interview:

Resources mentioned:


“I happen to be very fortunate now.  I’ve made some money.  I’m in the top 1 tenth of 1% of global income.  The last thing I want is to go outside and see human suffering and strife and when I go to work not be able to hire great talent or to have team members who don’t have healthcare.”

“I think it’s important to be impatient for revenue.  Ultimately, revenue is the best signal that you’re producing something that somebody wants.”

“I would say 95% of the cases, if you can’t get a customer to pay for your product, then you need to create a different product.”

“Don’t just build a company solely because you see a business opportunity.  Build a company because you see an opportunity in society to create a positive impact on humanity.”

“Today, it’s like 17% of the world lives on under a $1.25 per day.  Imagine living on under $1.25 per day.  Something like 50% of the world lives on under $10 a day. So if you make more than $10 a day, you’re in the top half of wealth in the world.  It’s truly staggering.”

“I think that managers and leaders too often see labor as a commodity.  They think of people as interchangeable, and they don’t inquire to really understand why someone is alive, what really gets them motivated.”

“Be willing to take a valuation reduction or slightly worse terms in your term sheet in order to get the right person on your team.  The right person matters just as much as the right firm, the right investor.”

“I think it’s time that entrepreneurs and CEO’s realize that if we’re killing ourselves in the process of building our companies, we’re not doing anyone a favor.  It’s just not sustainable.”