Aug 19, 2023

Jared Yellin


 Jared Yellin is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and founder of several successful ventures. Jared is known for his expertise in building businesses, developing high-performing teams, and creating innovative solutions. He has a passion for helping entrepreneurs and businesses reach their full potential through his coaching and consulting services. Jared has a strong background in marketing, sales, and business development, with experience across various industries. He is also a sought-after speaker and author, sharing his knowledge and insights with audiences worldwide.

Episode Highlights

– Introduction (0:02 – 0:10): Nitin Bajaj introduces Jared Yellin on the show.

– Jared’s Background (0:11 – 0:20): Jared expresses his honor to be on the show and his commitment to delivering value to the audience.

– Who is Jared? (0:20 – 0:26): Nitin asks Jared to introduce himself.

– Jared’s Family (0:28 – 0:58): Jared talks about being a father to three children and a husband, highlighting his experience as a parallel entrepreneur.

– Project 10K Mission (1:00 – 1:20): Nitin asks Jared about Project 10K, its mission, vision, and the motivation behind it.

– Birth of Project 10K (1:21 – 3:11): Jared shares his experience as a non-tech founder and the challenges he faced, leading to the birth of Project 10K to eliminate suffering in early-stage tech.

– Project 10K’s Approach (3:11 – 3:54): Jared explains Project 10K’s approach to co-founding companies and the criteria for selecting entrepreneurs.

– Scaling and Operations (3:54 – 6:22): Jared discusses the scale of operations, resource allocation, and building vendor networks to support Project 10K’s growth.

– Challenges in Founder Expectations (6:22 – 6:53): Jared talks about the challenge of managing founder expectations and ensuring they understand the commitment required.

– Challenges in Founder Expectations (6:53 – 8:26): Jared discusses the challenge of managing founder expectations and ensuring they understand the commitment required.

– Exciting Opportunities (8:26 – 8:52): Jared shares the most exciting opportunity of impacting entrepreneurs’ lives beyond just building and scaling companies.

– Lessons from Failure (8:52 – 10:32): Jared recounts a pivotal failure in a webinar launch that led him to pivot his business model and create Synduit, a SaaS platform.

– Lessons from Success (10:32 – 11:50): Jared reflects on the success of scaling Synduit through partnerships, highlighting the importance of relationship capital.

– Adversity as a Chapter, Not the End (11:50 – 16:25): Jared shares a life lesson on adversity, emphasizing that setbacks are just a sentence or comma in the book of life, not the end.

– Entrepreneurial Mindset (16:25 – 17:40): Jared discusses the importance of enduring pain and maintaining a naive outlook on possibility in entrepreneurship.

– Entrepreneurial Game (17:40 – 18:13): Jared views entrepreneurship as a game where everyone can win if they commit to winning and producing win-win outcomes.

– Wrap-up and Gratitude (18:13 – 21:25): Nitin thanks Jared for sharing his insights and invites him back for future episodes, closing the interview.

Show Transcript

Transcript - Full Episode

[Nitin Bajaj] (0:02 – 0:10)

Hey everyone, welcome to the industry show. I’m your host Nitin Bajaj and joining me today is Jared Yellin. Jared, welcome on the show.


[Jared Yellin] (0:11 – 0:20)

It is my honor. I love what you’re doing. I love what you stand for and I want to deliver for your wonderful community and audience. So feel free to ask me anything.


[Nitin Bajaj] (0:20 – 0:26)

Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to have you here and would love to get started with, who is Jared?


[Jared Yellin] (0:28 – 0:58)

I’m a father to three beautiful children, Tailee, Riker and Kaden. Tailee is six, Riker is four and Kaden just turned seven months. I’m a husband to a beautiful wife, Lindsay and I’m a parallel entrepreneur and I’ve learned that over time that I’m better when I’m doing more than one thing at one time because I find ways to vertically integrate those things and part of what I’m committed to outside of ensuring that you can have it all as an entrepreneur is to build, scale and exit 10,000 tech companies which I’ll speak into more in a bit.


[Nitin Bajaj] (1:00 – 1:20)

So amazing and I cannot think of a better person to do this at that scale. So kudos to you on the journey so far and looking forward to hearing more. Tell us what is Project 10K, what is the mission, what is the vision and I’m very curious to hear why do this?


[Jared Yellin] (1:21 – 3:11)

So what led to the birth of Project 10K is my own experience as a non-tech tech founder that did everything you could conceivably do wrong while building my first B2B SaaS platform but I landed on my feet and the company is pretty successful today but it was grueling, it was dark and it was absolutely unnecessarily painful. I invested two years and two million dollars of my own capital only to see the entire v1 of my first SaaS company implode on launch and I should have just quit and then pursued a different path but I couldn’t because I just so knew there’s a need in the market for that solution. I ended up building my own software development firm in India and as a result of making that big bold decision we pulled it off and that first SaaS company is a very viable business today but one of the things that I’ve realized is that the vast majority of tech companies they are derived from non-technical people which means they’re either never going to start or if they do they’ll probably have an experience very similar to mine and I’m motivated to eliminate suffering in early stage tech because that industry has more suffering than all the industries combined because it’s just so difficult to put all the pieces together. So Project 10k is a venture ecosystem that puts all of those pieces together. We co-found tech companies at the idea stage and over the past two and a half years we have had a few thousand entrepreneurs from around the world come through our process. It’s a very extensive process but there are four key things that we’re looking for the right person with the right idea in the right market and the right business model and when those things are present there’s a lot of nuance to it when they are present we will co-found a company with the entrepreneur we’ll both take equity in the company and then we build the entire company everything from product and engineering to branding and press strategy and business development and then all the back office accounting bookkeeping legal and investor relations we are the ultimate co-founder


[Nitin Bajaj] (3:11 – 3:54)

for the idea stage entrepreneur and it sounds like you take all the pain away so the founder can just come in focus on what’s important on the product on the customer on the experience the ui the ux so you know you you went through this experience you learned the hard way and now having put all of this together with the goal of the 10 000 companies and helping those 10 000 founders give us a sense of the size and scale of the operations today and what you see happening maybe the six in the next six to twelve months so we have over 100 companies that we’ve


[Jared Yellin] (3:54 – 6:22)

co-founded in our first two and a half years which is more impressive than 10 000 this was like our figured out two and a half years and what we figured out is our business operating system it’s a founder journey it’s predictable it’s linear it reduces risk and it increases the chance of product market fit scale and exit when we first got started we truly had no idea how to resource allocate this project for example our company in india when we first started had maybe six or seven people and three months later had 175 people so we just scaled extremely quickly and not just india throughout the entire world we’ve now scaled back we’ve got about 100 people on the team and i think we’ll scale back even further we just really need high quality people that can master their specific domains we start to now build out more of a vendor network where in the beginning we had no vendor network it was all 100 our employees we have certain projects that just require skill sets that it doesn’t make sense for us to go and start building a team around we have this interesting blockchain project right now we just partner with a rock star company that specializes in that versus us trying to go and create what they’ve already created when they have five to seven years doing this already so we’ve just gotten significantly better at building out vendor networks resource allocation hiring really high quality people that on day zero they’re contributing we have a rule at product 10k and that rule is at this stage no one can learn on our dime because we’re just moving too quickly so instead we make hires we want to feel like they’re paying us times because they come in with just so much knowledge and wisdom of their craft so we’ve just gotten better around recruiting the right people saying yes to the right founders to begin with saying yes to the ideas that we can generate cash flow quickly saying yes to the markets we’re going to enter that are not too competitive but also not a blue ocean where there’s nothing in sight we look for what we call a pink ocean which means that there’s an addressable market that knows there’s an inefficiency and they’re trying to find a solution and they’re just not finding the optimal one so either they’re doing nothing or they’re duct taping something together and both are suboptimal and then we look for business models that always have recurring revenue we’re not interested at least at this stage in building the next instagram where we’re going to hope for millions of users that have some perceived value associated with them we look for platforms that have monthly or annual fees that we can charge on users so that the day that we launch if we get a hundred people to pay a hundred bucks we’re in business because we’re doing ten thousand


[Nitin Bajaj] (6:22 – 6:53)

dollars a month the recurring revenue i love the efficiency i love the focus i love the value this brings to founders and that’s why they’re coming to you they’re willing to give up the equity because they know this is going to get into motion the rubber meets the road and you you hit you hit traction so i love that now there’s obviously a lot of challenges as you continue to figure out what’s the right cadence the right fit vendors partners would have you i’m curious to hear


[Jared Yellin] (6:53 – 8:26)

what’s that one big challenge you have it’s it’s the beauty and the curse of me is the biggest challenge we face so i have probably the deepest level of conviction of anyone you’ll ever meet in your entire life and that’s not an arrogant statement it’s a very real statement that other people are sharing with me and that level of conviction is a beauty and a curse um it’s a it’s a beauty more than a curse but there could be some curse associated with beauty so some of the early founders they interpreted my conviction as i already figured everything out and i didn’t we’re going to figure it out together but my conviction is we will figure it out together so the greatest challenge is just some of the early founders having poor expectations of what was expected of them because just because we said yes doesn’t really mean anything like it’s going to be easier but not easy and we’re still looking to prove that the impossible is probable because right now less than one tenth of one percent of sas companies become viable and i know the stats say one to two percent that’s just the ones that actually get it to the point where they have a fighting chance like it’s less it’s less than one tenth of one percent and we’re committed to a 51 financial viability rate so that’s a herculean feat right in the beginning we were a startup company launching startups so if you’re a startup and you have a less than one tenth of one percent chance of making it when you’re a startup launching startups you have a negative chance of making it and we’re here to tell the story so the greatest challenge is just some of the early founders helping them have better expectation management and realizing that my conviction isn’t that it was figured out but


[Nitin Bajaj] (8:26 – 8:52)

it’s that we are going to figure it out together love the transparency love the whole notion of yeah let’s figure it out together we are a team this is not me driving you it’s we collectively getting to to that north star on the flip side of challenges come opportunities and i want to know what’s that one most exciting opportunity that you’re targeting so the thing with this project


[Jared Yellin] (8:52 – 10:32)

is it’s so ambitious it literally opens every door on planet earth because it’s just so ambitious and we’re not just talking about it we’re executing on it but there’s a number of things but i would say the thing that excites me the most about this project um and the impact that it will it already has said and will continue to have in the world is as much as we care about building scaling and exiting each business which we do what we care significantly more about is who each person becomes in the process because at the exit if their spouse hates them their kids don’t know them they have an autoimmune disease they’ve just been grinding too hard which all three of those things are kind of standard in entrepreneurship but if that happens within our project we completely fail them so as much as we talk business we talk life and we hold people accountable to life date nights weekly put your phone down at five o’clock be with your kids i promise you the world’s not going to end when the phone is down get to the gym every day eat good food meditate and we hold people accountable to this because without that foundation none of this is worth it and the reason that personally excites me because of 10 000 companies we could actually influence entrepreneurship where now there’s a new standard and that standard is what we call have it all because unfortunately most of the entrepreneurial thought leaders are pitching the exact opposite and i stand against it because i know for me i have it all at five o’clock with my kids every day my phone is down the world never ends i have probably more responsibility than most entrepreneurs because i have 100 plus companies and a big team and tons of shareholders now and they just know that’s just what is i have the date night with my wife i never miss a day in the gym ever i have incredible diet and meditate and i do all of it because it allows me to perform at the level i need to perform at


[Nitin Bajaj] (10:32 – 11:50)

that needs to become the standard of entrepreneurship i love the balance i love the discipline and the holistic approach and you’re right you know we cannot just chase one metric at the end of the day we’re humans we have responsibilities we have things that we have to take care of and being able to instill that and influence it for such a large and wide community will set that standard so thank you for doing what you do and having that focus which again cannot be easy because as you said you’re building you’re scaling with the goal of exiting and there are expectations that have been set in the industry in the communities and to take a pause and say no we’re going to do it the right way takes a lot of courage so i really applaud you for doing that now i would love for you to take us back in time and talk about two key moments one in which things worked out beyond your imagination and were a success and another one where things did not work out as you had planned and it was a failure you mentioned one of them we’d love to see if there’s anything more or additional details you want to add to it so one success one failure that became a lesson


[Jared Yellin] (11:50 – 16:25)

i’ll share the failure first because it was it was so pivotal in the evolution of all this so sin do it is a marketing solution that’s the company i launched it has scaled to tens of thousands of users but originally it was a marketing agency and our clients were thought leaders and some of the most significant thought leaders that existed speakers authors serial entrepreneurs anyone looking to build a personal brand and kind of were like an like really early personal branding agents there wasn’t even like a thing called personal brand at that time and one of our clients is one of the biggest names in all of personal development and he actually reached out through our contact us form that’s how early this was and said i heard you guys in the best of what you do i want to talk about partnering and we had a conversation and in that conversation he said i want to partner with you on this huge launch that i have coming up we expect it to be a five million dollar launch i heard you’re the best at doing launches like this i want to partner with you but i don’t want to pay you i want to give you performance if you’re open to it i’m like 100 we’re going to slay it like let’s do performance because there’s no way you’ll pay me the amount of the performance we’ll pay me a positive we’ll pull it off so we committed to the project this gentleman became a dear friend in the process and we really did a good job i mean we set up everything for the success of this launch which was an information product launch on productivity he is one of the most sought after experts on the subject of productivity in the entire world we got 17 000 people to register for the webinar which years ago was was incomprehensible no one did that like that’s more common today but like no one did that and there was only one piece of this entire launch we did not control which was the webinar service we didn’t build our own webinar service with webinar we were using a third party tool because it was a pre-recorded webinar because he was going to be on a plane flying to mexico during this actual webinar so i contacted the founder of webinar service that morning of and i said listen we have 17 000 people registered for this webinar and i think all 17 000 people are going to join at the same time i just want to make sure you can handle he said we could handle a hundred thousand people i’m like listen i’m not theory like can you handle 17 000 people clicking on a link at the same time and this video has to pop up he said 100 we’ve already tested volume beyond that point so i said amazing i take his word for it so the webinar is supposed to start in five seconds and then four seconds and then three seconds i see the way that you’re building up thousands and thousands of people from around the world two seconds one second the video is supposed to turn on and the entire platform goes white and it ended up turning on 75 minutes later um automatically it turned out like there was enough none of people like started to leave which that led to it actually turning on we ended up doing about three million dollars still on the launch um but we didn’t do five and this person called me he was extremely disappointed in the fact that um it failed and he understood this was one piece that didn’t control but it failed and in the process he said you don’t get any performance whatsoever because you didn’t even hit the baseline so we invested a hundred thousand dollars into just getting it ready for that moment and we should have made 20 on at least 5 million i was expecting 10 million so a seven figure like economic event turning into nothing and costing us 100 grand it was the greatest gift for me though as an entrepreneur because what it helped me realize was i really don’t want to help the individual thought leader add another million dollars to their top line revenue what i want to do is find a way to offer that level of service to thousands of small business owners but instead of it costing five to ten grand a month i want to charge fifty dollars a month which was the final moment before i end up going down the path of building syndicate as a saas platform versus a marketing agency so but it was it was pretty big gut punch when it actually took place um the thing that was the the more like surprising was really the launch of syndicate so the the first year was really rough when we were a saas platform mainly because we had such a bad kind of run with the first software development firm took us a while to get going um but we then scaled really quickly and we scaled 100 through partnerships that company has never ran one dollar running a facebook ad ever i’m not really a big mark zuckerberg fan so i’d rather pay people that i know like and trust versus paying facebook to run traffic so what i figured out was the world of joint ventures as a result of syndicate and then that has really served our founders of project 10k this is the pre-revenue company you can never compete by paying for end users which means running traffic to get people to buy your service but you can compete when it comes to relationship capital and building a network of people that so they promote it and they only get paid after you get paid um so that was really one of the


[Nitin Bajaj] (16:25 – 16:52)

major catalysts of us doing what we’re doing today well again have to applaud your attitude your mindset that kind of failure would have shut people down would have set them back would have said this is not for me but you took that head on and capitalized on that and that set the course for you and and you seem to have done it again and again over and over right so let me tell you


[Jared Yellin] (16:52 – 17:40)

why there’s a really important lesson in this for everybody so i believe that most people will just call it entrepreneurs um when they experience adversity they think it’s the last chapter of their story that’s what they think in the moment of adversity the story is done what i do is i actually realize that when i look back on the story at most it’s a sentence and it’s probably a comma but we think it’s the last chapter so you have to stop defining anything as the last chapter because the book is not done until you stop writing the book um so that’s why to me i’m like oh yeah that moment was a hundred thousand dollar comma that’s going to end up producing billions of dollars for me over the course of time because there’s so much that i learned in that experience so just stop thinking everything is the end of the book when it really it’s maybe a sentence when you write your story and it’s probably a comma that’s how insignificant it is although in the moment it


[Nitin Bajaj] (17:40 – 18:13)

feels pretty darn significant love that love that perspective love that pause and reflection that you provided because you’re right a lot of entrepreneurs myself included think hey am i going in the right direction should i be doing something different should i go back and maybe have a nine to five career so having that perspective is extremely important thanks for sharing that and actually i want to take that moment and take us into my favorite part of the show which we call the one-line life lessons and i would love for you to share a few of your


[Jared Yellin] (18:13 – 18:56)

life lessons with us um so one of the things that i’ve been talking about recently a ton um is never let anyone other than you execute on your dream um and what led to this is i have so many friends i’m sure you do as well that are like i had the idea for airbnb before i had the idea for uber but the difference was somebody other than you executed on your dream uh it’s just so critical that when you have those moments like things show up like that big bold ambitious idea find some path to execute on it because the last thing you want to do is start talking about someone other than you that launched your thing um you need to be the one to start launching your thing love that


[Nitin Bajaj] (18:56 – 19:02)

if you have any more nuggets would love to so keep them going yeah so the other thing too like you


[Jared Yellin] (19:02 – 20:47)

talked about like entrepreneurs that um get to that point where they start questioning is it easier to have a nine to five job or remain in entrepreneurship the key with entrepreneurship is getting to the point where the pain of quitting is more significant than the pain of continuing and there is a point of no return and i remember for me when it happened i’m like i actually can’t go back now so i don’t care what i have to go through but i gotta go forward because there’s no way i can go backward so for anyone that’s just getting into entrepreneurship and that’s really your goal is that’s where you want to spend your time and energy you just got to immerse yourself so deep in it that the pain of quitting is exponentially more painful than the pain of continuing um the other thing too and i share this a lot with young entrepreneurs is that and this has nothing to do with age as i do more your experience as an entrepreneur is um the key to success in entrepreneurship is your ability to endure pain and to also be naive um both of those things are critical because there’s elements of the pain in this there’s unknown there’s uncertainty there’s challenge there could be litigation like there’s things that are just like painful that you have to just like work your way through because you want it badly enough but at the same time you want to be naive to possibility which means that everything is possible have no boundaries around possibility because this is a game like that’s what this is entrepreneurship is purely a game and in most games there’s a winner and there’s a loser the difference in entrepreneurship we talk about this with our founders all the time is that when we win everybody wins but if we lose everybody loses because we only produce win-win outcomes so just commit to winning because whatever you win you’re going to ensure other people win as a result but if some reason you lose then even the person who thinks they won they lost because the only way they’re


[Nitin Bajaj] (20:47 – 21:19)

going to win is if you win with them i love the clarity i love the confidence and as you said this is not overconfidence this is just having that conviction that nobody will stop you nobody can keep you down and it’s such an important thing for entrepreneurs to have so again thank you for doing what you do thanks for sharing your online life lessons and your journey and story really appreciate it and would love to bring you back on and share many more of these success stories


[Jared Yellin] (21:19 – 21:25)

Jared thank you so much it’d be my honor appreciate you buddy thank you for all that you do buddy thanks.


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