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Becoming Better Leaders to Build Better Companies with Keegan and Cameron of Torch.io

Episode #076

Cameron Yarbrough (@yarbroughcam) and Keegan Walden (@keeganwalden) created a company that combines software and coaching to help leadership teams improve their job performance in a measurable way. In this episode, we discuss how they've applied their own teachings to their roles as founders, and how they've grown to become to the kinds of people who can work together to build a successful business.

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    My Main Takeaways:

    • Keegan and Cameron have over a decade of experience in their fields, they’ve also known each other for over a decade.

    • These co-founders attended graduate school together.

    • These co-founders only work on their business because its close to their hearts. It’s not merely for money or to get rich.

    • Cameron ran a company before Torch.io, but had a mid-life crisis after his dad passed away and his daughter was born, which caused him to change direction in life, so he quit his company and went on to become a full-time executive coach which was more deeply in alignment with his life.

    • Cameron reached out to Keegan because he felt that Keegan was an ideal co-founder. They collaborated on the executive coach thing, essentially starting as a consultancy, they then wanted to build software to make their company scale more, so they decided to raise money and found their company Torch.

    • When Keegan’s father passed away, he realised that his own life was finite, this was a sobering thought and sharpened his focus, so Keegan decided to pursue something that was more in alignment with his heart.

    • Neither Keegan and Cameron are engineers.

    • Keegan spent about 10 years working with engineers as a UI/UX designer. This taught him good design.

    • Keegan and Cameron used simple non-techy tools like Survey Monkey to put together their first prototype, to pitch to Angel investors and raise a few hundred thousand dollars. It was hard, but they had credibility in their industry. They then got into Y Combinator.

    • Raising money helps you get started faster, but not raising money lets you have more control.

    • Not raising money makes sure that you optimize for profitability from the beginning.

    • If you find an idea that requires that you realize it ASAP for it to be viable, you will likely need to raise money in order to do it in time.

    • Leverage your network: In the early days Keegan and Cameron were selling to their network. They built their network over their many years of working with clients.

    • Always be speaking to customers. Don’t build something in isolation and assume it’s good just because you like it.

    • Successful co-founders typically have symmetrical values and complementary skill sets. But nobody is perfect, Keegan and Cameron go to co-founder therapy to resolve any issues between them and discuss things that annoy each other about each other.

    • Go to co-founder therapy early. Typically, couples go to relationship therapy about 6 years too late (according to Keegan).

    • Don’t avoid things you’re not good at, focus on growing and improving.

    • Keegan and Cameron spend a lot of money on high quality content to acquire customers, but their customer lifetime value is high enough to pay back the cost of customer acquisition costs in two months.

    • Communicate and be aware of your weaknesses with your co-founder.

    • Be comfortable teasing and getting teased with your co-founder.

    • It’s important that any founder has a stable relationship with their spouse, because relationships at home will be exacerbated at work.

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    Are the podcasts still being published to google play? I cant find any episodes after 71 there.

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    transcript gets broke at (Cameron Yarbrough [00:06:41]) and timestamps restarted after (Keegan Walden 0h 11m 44s), please fix it.

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    This comment was deleted 2 years ago.