We’re back with Part 2 of our interview with Jacobi Petrucciani.
This time he explains what it meant to get the first investment in his startup, the struggles he faced moving to Silicon Valley, and how he got his business acquired by HackerRank…
Jacobi Petrucciani is a young entrepreneur who’s passionate about what he does, and although he’s still in his mid-20s, he’s already done some amazing things.
He explains what it meant to get YCombinator to invest in his startup, some of the biggest challenges he had starting out, and how he got his business acquired by HackerRank…
“I’ve not met many people who have been single founders and have been successful.” – Jacobi Petrucciani
“You cannot discount experience.” – Jacobi Petrucciani
01:45 – What it meant to get YCombinator to invest in his startup.
04:47 – The biggest difficulties Jacobi faced when starting his business.
07:43 – How Jacobi got his business acquired by HackerRank.
15:30 – The struggles of moving to Silicon Valley.
22:06 – Growing pains and the difficulties of making hiring decisions.
24:04 – How they split tasks between each co-founder.
Connect with Jacobi Petrucciani:
Connect with Ben Jones:
BEN: Welcome back. This is part two of the interview with Jacobi Petrucciani, a young entrepreneur and just great guy. He may not be 50 years old, and he’s really made a name for himself. He’s passionate about what he does, he found others to do it with. And though he’s still in his mid 20s, has done some amazing things. Join us for the second and final portion of this discussion with Jacobi Petrucciani.
JACOBI: Y Combinator after your interview by 10pm. They either give you a phone call to tell you you’re in or they send you an email to tell you you’re out.
BEN: So you wait by the phone?
JACOBI: Well, yeah, so are sitting in our hotel room…
TONY: They shut down their email, they don’t want any of that.
JACOBI: We’re sitting in our hotel room, both of our phones on the chargers, laptops on the chargers, and we’re just watching some weird Sci Fi Channel films or something like we’re just waiting there the whole time, because we’re like, like, I don’t know,
TONY: We can check your phone in every 30 seconds.
JACOBI: Exactly. And so it was nuts because like Praha had his phone number in, like the application. And so at like 935 or
TONY: 25 minutes before, right?
JACOBI: They call us. And I was like, hello, I’m staring over at him. And I’m like, to be given. And he’s like, thank you very much. And he hangs up. He goes, Dude, we got it. And it was like we were freaking out.
BEN: And what does that mean to you? Because I know we’re already 30 plus minutes in and we got a lot to cover. But what did that mean to you? What do you get out of it? Because?
JACOBI: Yeah, I mean, like it was, it was a lot of validation on our idea. And our team. I think like, I mean, it’s, you know, somebody else saying like, Hey, this looks like it might be worthwhile to investigate and kind of invest in
BEN: And they give you money.
JACOBI: Yeah, yeah. So the Y Combinator deal at the time, was $120,000. For 7% of the company.
JACOBI: And that’s like, their standard deal. They don’t they don’t do any custom deals. It’s just like, you’re into Y Combinator. Here’s your money, right? Give us our percentage. And then they basically
BEN: Help you.
JACOBI: Yeah, they kind of mentor you through the whole thing. And you spend three months total doing kind of Y Combinator related activities in like
BEN: And you’re out in Silicon Valley the whole time.
JACOBI: Yeah. So Colton Praha and I moved out to San Jose, for three months, in 2015. Where we basically just did nothing but work on the idea and visit Y Combinator. Like, I was always joking, because like, when we first went out there, the apartment building, we got our apartment from had a pool and you know, I’m an I’m a swimmer. And I was like, this would be awesome. I’ll swim every day. You know, it’s like, right downstairs. I only swim there one time.
BEN: Deer Hunter Daisy are there right?
JACOBI: Yeah, I was like, Oh, this will be great. I’ll just swim there every day. We rarely left the apartment.
BEN: So that’s one of the keys working hard. But the passion that whatever you’re doing, you want to do it right.
JACOBI: Yeah, absolutely.
BEN: And then you took it out there. You put yourself on the line. You are ready to get crushed. Right? Because you’re feeling bad. You thought you got smacked down.
JACOBI: Oh, yeah.
BEN: And that was like a low. Right. But you said we got to keep our spirits up. Got in, which is fantastic.
BEN: You stayed out there, you got a ton of help. And so did you have to pivot at all? Like from the idea?
JACOBI: No, actually, it was pretty irregular. But we didn’t end up pivoting at all, like we just stuck with our idea of
BEN: And you and Praha when they took people at Y Combinator. I remember you telling me this? They don’t like people who start a company just on their own right? They want two people and they want a hardcore tech person, at least in there. And Praha had skills right?
JACOBI: Praha? yeah, Praha was, you know, technically skilled as well. They also they kind of didn’t like that Colton wasn’t out there with us as well.
JACOBI: But they understood like, you know, his schedule didn’t allow it. But yeah, they definitely
BEN: Want at least two
JACOBI: They want at least two founders because they don’t like seeing single founder startups because it’s historically they’ve had problems with that. And yeah, it’s very tough. Like I’ll tell you like I don’t think Mimir would have happened without Colton and Praha. Like it absolutely wouldn’t have happened without either. Like it Yeah, it’s very difficult to do on your own like I’ve not met many people who have been single founders and been successful.
BEN: And what was like the hardest thing about at least getting it done because we we need to jump to like when you got acquired but what was what was the hardest thing about getting this company up and running?
JACOBI: I think one of the hardest things about it was selling to educational institutions. Because like instructors, especially professors at like a college level,
JACOBI: They’re very like headstrong, very opinionated.
BEN: And so some of those,
JACOBI: They don’t like you telling them like, hey, we can improve what you’re currently doing.
JACOBI: They don’t like to hear that, in most cases, like, there have been a handful of instructors that I have just loved working with, because they’re, like, very open to that. And like suggestions on how to improve, you know, like, I want to make, you know, my class experience better for my students like, but those are very, you know, very rare to find.
BEN: So it wasn’t like, it wasn’t like this hard thing that came up, which is like, the hardest thing was for us to get an idea, or the hardest thing was to pivot or the hardest.
JACOBI: Yeah, no, we had it. We had an execution. It’s more like, I mean, you know, I’m not gonna say it was the perfect solution. I’m gonna say, it’s a very good solution for what most instructors were doing it, they’re absolutely university level classes. The hardest part was like convincing teachers that like, Hey, check it out, or like, even like, adopt this, because so many of them were very opinionated in their ways that they’re like, oh, automated, automated grading is bad. Like, you know, you can’t give appropriate feedback. And it’s like, these are the people taking a month to give their students back their grades. And it’s like,
TONY: And they’re not really doing it. They’re TAs.
JACOBI: Yeah, they’re Yeah, they hire a group of TAs to do that. And they’re like, oh, yeah, they give better feedback. But it’s like, it takes a month, like they’ve already taken the exam based on what you’re teaching them. And they haven’t had any feedback. In the meantime, it’s like, it makes no sense. But they’re like, this is this is the best way to do it. Like, did students hate that? I guess I can tell you that, as somebody named it, but also somebody who has spoken to a lot of students in those types of classes. It’s like, students hate that. Because like,
BEN: They want to know what they’re doing wrong. So they couldn’t adjust
JACOBI: Exactly like if you have a project, right, like a super hard project. And you submit it, and you’re like, Okay, we’re gonna get feedback on this, because the test is next week. And they’re like, oh, yeah, you’ll get your grade and
BEN: After the test.
JACOBI: Yeah, it’s like, okay, well,
BEN: Which is terrible.
JACOBI: Well, then how am I going to improve before the tests are like, I don’t know, figure it out. I guess.
BEN: So you started doing, you start doing well, you got a number of instructors, a number of big name universities. Can you name a couple big name universities?
JACOBI: Yeah, like, Michigan State University is one of our big ones. We have Dalhousie, which is a university in Canada, actually. Florida State, I think now,
BEN: But you have quite a few. I mean
JACOBI: Oh, yeah.
BEN: If you’re thinking about it, but you have a lot.
JACOBI: It’s over 90 now.
BEN: So you have over 90 And then somebody starts knocking on your door. And who is this? Can I? Can you give us a little bit of you know, how you got acquired because we want to definitely hear that story?
JACOBI: Yeah. So the company is called hacker rank. We got into talks originally, like, we kind of talked with them at a computer science convention, like computer science education
BEN: And when because you went to Y Combinator in 15. Right?
JACOBI: Yeah. 2015.
BEN: 2015. And then when did you start talking to these guys?
JACOBI: I think the first time we talked with them was probably late 2018.
BEN: So they don’t talk to you. And then like a day later, they buy you.
JACOBI: Oh, no, it’s it’s a very long relationship,
BEN: It’s like a courting relationship, right?
BEN: Hey, we like you. You guys. Like, oh, you’re doing some cool stuff. Let’s keep in touch.
JACOBI: Yeah, so actually, like we were at a computer science education convention, with some of our instructors that love us, like we I wasn’t actually there. It was Praha. And like our sales and marketing team. They’re talking to all of our customers. They’re talking with some of our competitors. But we ran into like hacker rank was there, their CEO of events, hacker rank do. So they do like automated technical assessments like hiring.
BEN: So there’s some you know,
JACOBI: There’s some overlap. Yeah, definitely. In we’ll touch on that later. But yeah, so we kind of started talking to them, they had like a product hacker rank classroom that they kind of were selling to some schools, but they weren’t putting a lot of emphasis on it. But so prime Vivec were talking a bit about it, and then not much came of it then. And we really got back into talks with them. q3 or q4 of 2019.
BEN: So you’re talking about a year and a half later
JACOBI: About a year, year and a half later, when we started talking to them about you know, what does it look like to scale our company? What does it look like to you know, adjust, you know, how we serve our user base?
JACOBI: And like what what plans do they have to because like, we knew they were working on Hacker rank classroom,
BEN: And classroom was just a way to help. What do you call it instructors? Better Manager class, right?
JACOBI: Yeah. And it’s, it’s kind of like what our product was like, to a degree. I mean, it was a bit newer. It was a bit earlier and like the process of development like it definitely did not have as many features
BEN: They added you on that would just like leap them right?
JACOBI: Yeah exactly. And so yeah, late 2019, we started kind of talking about it again, we flew out to meet their co founders, and like their executive team, which was really cool. They flew us out.
BEN: And they’re in Cali, right?
JACOBI: Yeah, they’re in they’re in Mountain View is Silicon Valley.
BEN: Everybody’s in Mountain View.
JACOBI: But, ya know, it’s crazy flying out there to meet them, you know, we get to talk to them, you know, talk about our company like visions, you know, what we had planned for Mimir. And like, what they had planned for hacker rank, and kind of how things were going. And then it just kind of came up as a topic. It’s like, you know, what if what if we joined forces?
BEN: Why would you even go out there if you weren’t thinking that they might want to buy you?
JACOBI: Just just to see, I mean, just just to have some people in the industry that we knew, and we’re talking to you, I mean, there’s definitely companies at different growth stages.
JACOBI: But then kind of the same industry you could say
BEN: So hey, maybe let’s share some ideas. Maybe, yeah, talk about some stuff
JACOBI: Potentially and like, we really only started talking about like the idea of an acquisition. When we flew out there, and we started talking about it, we’re like, hey, like, a lot of our company ideals and values are pretty aligned
BEN: Behind every big thing.
JACOBI: And another funny thing is, like, part two of like, Mimir was, you know, we had the school side of things, right, we had the academic side, we were also building another product called interview at the time, which was basically what hacker rank does. And so it’s like automated technical assessments for companies for interviewing technical candidates. And that’s like, that’s like what hacker rank does. And, you know, so we’re, we’re, like, really big on the education side, building out the HR side of things.
BEN: So just to rephrase, for people who don’t know, it’s an assessment to see how good your skills are in technology, so that you can hire the person?
JACOBI: Yeah, yeah.
BEN: If they’ve got great skills, you’re like, ooh, they’ve assessed them. These this person is great. Let’s hire him. Right?
JACOBI: Yeah. And like, that’s a big thing, especially in technology is, you know, you put out a job description, right? You’re gonna get hundreds or 1000s of applications, and you need a way to kind of throw them screen out the people who may not be qualified.
JACOBI: You know, and if you make a rigorous enough assessment, you know, the people that pass it, you know, basically, you know, I could probably just hire this person, and they’d be good to go,
JACOBI: And so that’s kind of what we were building to hacker rank had already kind of built their platform for that. And so we got to talking about that. We’re like, oh, yeah, you guys are trying to do the classroom thing. But you’re not really investing in it. We’re trying to do the interview piece, but
BEN: He haven’t really invested in it. And they got some big dollars, right?
JACOBI: Oh, yeah, it’s a pretty, pretty lucrative market for the editor.
BEN: But they sell I mean, I can’t I can’t remember if they’re private or public, or what are they?
JACOBI: They’re private so.
BEN: They’re private. So they’re a pretty large player in this space.
BEN: And you’re, you’re saying, Hey, we’re weak over here. But you guys are strong. We’re strong, and you’re weak. Whoa, starts to sound like a good marriage.
JACOBI: Yeah. And we were talking with like, the co-founders in Vibin. Pretty well with them, like about
BEN: Invited means you are getting along pretty well. Right?
JACOBI: Yeah. Yeah. Just
BEN: Over 50.
JACOBI: Yeah, just feeling pretty good about it. You know, having the same
BEN: Whoa, you got more gray than me there, grandpa? Go ahead.
TONY: Grandpa, no, none of our kids are married. So
BEN: I thought your dog had puppies. Good.
JACOBI: But yeah, so getting along really well, with their executive team, you know, just kind of talking about it, you know, the right values are there the right vision is there. And so we were you know, that’s where we kind of got into the talks about the acquisition and like joining their team, and kind of being a startup within a team working on all of these different things and helping them out on some of the things that they were a bit lacking on.
BEN: So from late 19, how long did it take before you guys kind of reached an agreement? They acquired you?
JACOBI: December 16, actually, of 2019.
BEN: So women like to two months, because you said late third, like third quarter early.
JACOBI: It was probably three months after.
JACOBI: Things actually started, you know, talking about all that.
BEN: So your story to be quite honest, your story is, is a little bit unique. And the reason I say that is is because you didn’t have a real pivot. Right? You started this idea. You didn’t necessarily change it. It was passionate, though. That was cool. Somebody really liked what you did. You got into Y Combinator. You’ve got the help, right? But you guys clearly have the skills, right? You clearly came up with a great idea you saw the need, and it was just a fantastic kind of ride to get you here. Nick because I wanted to say, What’s the toughest thing out of it? And it was like getting the sales, I thought you would say, we ran out of money. And I got a huge fight with one of my co founders, and my girlfriend left me and I thought it was over or whatever. But But and then
TONY: He skimmed over that.
BEN: But I’m not hearing any of those things. Like,
JACOBI: I mean, it’s it’s part of our story.
BEN: It was supposed to be like stories from the edge, like, oh, my god, that was gonna change, but I kept the faith kept going. Was there any of that?
JACOBI: I mean, yeah, I did skim over a lot. Like I really only
BEN: None of the bad stuff. Ah, yeah, I want to hear that.
JACOBI: Well, that’s the thing, right? Like nobody normally wants to hear about.
BEN: We totally want to hear that, right Tony?
TONY: Oh, yeah.
BEN: Oh, yeah.
TONY: Oh, yeah.
JACOBI: And like, yeah, obviously skimmed over a lot, like people usually only want to hear like,
BEN: Tell me the better stuff because it’s cool. Jimmy tale from
TONY: Peter Thiel.
JACOBI: I met him one time but that was actually at a different event, right to fellowship Summit.
BEN: But, but the thing is, is that you got a lot of cool stuff in your background. I can only hear some of the bad stuff were shook it to your base.
JACOBI: Yeah, I mean,
BEN: Anything you can talk about that crime and get some tissue
TONY: Just from the outside looking in, because I wasn’t, you know, it wasn’t like I was over there, you know, helping him with all his stuff. He was this was those three doing that on their own, but, you know, like they got into a business where none of the three of them knew how to sell to schools. I don’t know how to sell schools and I’ve been a business selling software for decades. It sounds like a long time
BEN: Six decades isn’t very costly.
TONY: Not half a century.
BEN: But you know, it’s like hey, how do you sell these guys because you know, schools different? Yes, you sell to private businesses like they can write check in anytime, right? Privately owned businesses, but schools like there’s a budgeting cycle and we’ve got this semester you know, Fall Semester Get Ready Start we’ve already bought all our stuff. Come talk to us next year or maybe we’ll buy something over winter break but probably not you know, it’s like
TONY: You know, is this even can we even buy this kind of stuff? Do we have rules regulations here it’s like okay, guys, what do you know about selling that?
BEN: Public universities. You may have some issues like do you know somebody who’s on the board or Monday Yes.
TONY: We’re gonna hire somebody.
BEN: Because you guys are like 21 Right? And you’re talking all these these PhDs are earliest 30.
TONY: Toby’s like I haven’t you figured out how to graduate from college? Sell to college?
BEN: Sorry, go you knew you’re gonna get back to the corner as you are back there but did what was what was something that shook him to the I mean, anything really shake your foundation like Dad? You remember any phone calls Tony that he was like, Dad, this is really hard. I don’t know how to do this, or I can’t figure this out, or nobody’s helping us.
TONY: You know, I got a I got a feeling that I don’t want to expose anything. He doesn’t want to but it’s like, you get the three yet the three of them the pressure of trying to figure out how to sell stuff. And they work together day, night, day, night day night. All said maybe they’re not as you know, maybe they cohesive? Yeah, maybe they get a little bit of rubbing chose wrong way events. You know, you spend 20 hours a day.
BEN: You’re spending 20 hours a day. Heck, yeah. Anybody that you’re working with 20 hours a day, there’s only so far right.
TONY: Christy told me she was like
JACOBI: Yeah, I mean, co founder struggles are definitely a thing. I mean, like he said, you know, you’re spending so much time together, especially at Y Combinator, right, like we’re spent living together, we’re living together, we’re working where we live, and we’re working
TONY: Till I mean, these guys 100 hours these guys are going out there and I got a fixed amount of money to work off of. They gave me some money. Oh, yeah, they invested money but you have to spend money to be out there.
TONY: And so there’s three of them trying to live in Silicon Valley. Okay.
BEN: Which is really cheap, right
TONY: Which is really cheap. really decide they’re gonna live together to save money. They’re gonna buy get one apartment three of them live together. Well, they got like a one bedroom.
JACOBI: One bedroom studio with a loft. And guess how much it was a month? This is 2015
BEN: 7 grand.
JACOBI: Oh, wow. That’s way too much. No 4200 a month
JACOBI: It was like it was
TONY: Even include food or anything. Right?
JACOBI: And that was 800 square feet.
TONY: It was teeny we went out visit him. It was well, instead of having like a living room set up with a TV everything. They had three work desks set out there
JACOBI: Because it was our office.
TONY: So the office the office and off the side they had a kitchen with a toilet
BEN: And they’re yelling out hey coach,
TONY: You guys have one toilet or two.
JACOBI: Just one, just one bathroom.
BEN: Who is worse than the toilet?
JACOBI: Though we had one bedroom and a loft and so Praha and I shared the bedroom we had two little twin mattresses that we put up against either side. Like we didn’t have a frame, you know a bed frame. It was literally just like two beds from IKEA. Yeah. And we just shared that room and then Colton took the loft and he had a little bed in the loft. But we had no furniture.
JACOBI: As the desks and the chairs in the living room, and then we had to like beach chairs on our little balconies,
BEN: So it was not a luxury. So when people think, oh my gosh, these guys are so successful, you’re sitting there going, oh my god, I’m living with two other dudes that smell and we’ve got 800 square feet paying four grand a month. Plus food. You’re probably you probably spent going through 20 grand in three months, right?
TONY: We opened up the cabinet we went to visit and it was like about 62 pounds of pasta.
BEN: Was all like ramen noodles.
TONY: Just like yeah, they would boil noodles. Was them sausage eat that was.
BEN: Just go crackhead.
JACOBI: We had chicken too. That was a very interesting three months. So it was a lot.
BEN: It wasn’t tough. It was just interesting. Because I want to hear about like, tell us kind of kicked in.
JACOBI: That was definitely probably a more fun time. Even though it was like a It was exciting. crapload, right. Like, I mean, hundreds of hours a week, like just cranking it out, you know, wake up at 7am Go to bed at like midnight, every day. And we worked Saturdays and Sundays too. Because basically a Y Combinator like our first meeting with them, they’re like, Okay, so what’s next to get you some more customers? And we’re like, Well, we really need to rebuild our application to be more scalable, and like to add more features and an easier way and I Okay, you have four weeks to do that. And it was like, We’re gonna take the next four months to do that. And they’re like, no, no, do it in four weeks, you’d have 100, or no 50 LOI is by the end of Y Combinator.
BEN: Letters of intent.
JACOBI: Yes, they’re like, you gotta fit the LOI is from different instructors that are going to use your product by the end of Y Combinator. And we’re just like, sitting there looking at each other.
BEN: How are you gonna do?
JACOBI: Well, that’s when we started cranking it out, like,
BEN: So can I say it’s, it’s maybe the mental game that kind of played with you just a little, I’m not saying it destroyed you. But it’s like, holy crap. I never thought that was possible. And then they pushed you.
JACOBI: Kind of I mean, at that point, like, everything was YCombinator. I guess I look back with rose colored lenses more so like, obviously, it was a lot of work. It was a lot of, like, terrible sleep, like working every single day.
JACOBI: We started growing. I think growing pains were a bit more of an issue for us.
BEN: So you’re talking about hiring people making those decisions?
TONY: Like how do you mean, I’ve been in business for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of businesses, it’s like, there’s a, there’s a bit of experience that helps them figuring out what the next best person is put on the team. So these guys have never hired anybody. Like how do they figure out who the best sales guys to hire?
TONY: I don’t know what’s put an ad out there. I don’t know. I mean, what do you ask them? What’s the thing to say?
BEN: So it’s a lack of experience, right? Yeah.
JACOBI: Absolutely. Lack of experience. Like, I mean, you got us like…
BEN: Because we’ve talked about some HR issues, and it’s just like, oh, man, it’s like, why don’t you guys do that? You’re like, we don’t know, our I don’t want to make it sound that bad. But you just had to fumble through it. Right?
JACOBI: And yeah, there’s, I mean, we definitely had the technical thing, locked down. Well, I mean, loaded. If we knew how to do all of that, when you had to build the product, we knew how to scale it. You know, we knew how to build the features and everything. We absolutely did not know how to hire. And of course, we go into that blind, like, obviously, I asked my dad for a lot of advice there. And I wasn’t necessarily the person making the hiring decisions, it was more of like me kind of trying to…
BEN: Give some input, maybe.
JACOBI: Give some input into that process, because more and more of what I did, right was more the infrastructure in the in like, highly scalable technology side of things. And so actually, I don’t think I hired me personally, I didn’t hire anyone throughout the lifetime of Mimir.
TONY: But that means you didn’t have to fire anybody then. Right?
JACOBI: That’s also true.
BEN: So your co founders, and you had very specific tasks that you are focused on, right?
JACOBI: Yeah. So Praha was sales and product basically, yeah, it’s very technical. did two is very good,
BEN: Which is great for sales and product, because then it gets that side.
JACOBI: Exactly. And then we have Colton, who is pretty technical, but he’s very, like, opinionated in his technical side. And so he ran mostly like our rails and reacted to stuff. So like, what’s rails and react? Rails is like a back end framework for like, actually, like architecting apps and React is to help that.
JACOBI: Rails is like the server side.
BEN: Portion of the technology that he had to deal with.
JACOBI: Yeah, like the main apps like back end, so like database type stuff with that,
BEN: Setting it up and how it’s kind of fundamentally going to have the data put together.
JACOBI: I helped them.
BEN: I was trying to dumb this down code.
JACOBI: Yeah. You’re kind of on track with that. That was partially me and Colton doing kind of the show debase schema design and stuff. But React is more of like the front end. So like the the actual user interface that you’re interacting with when you’re using our product. So like, the exact like, paid web pages, you’re on the button you’re hitting,
TONY: But it’s about your experience. Like if I’m a user, and I come in there, it’s like, what do I see? And how do I navigate through the software?
BEN: So those are just different parts of it. And and you’re trying to all work together, you got the sales and marketing you’re trying to get through. And sometimes there’s some friction there. I mean, I think anybody will embrace that idea. Right? which direction to go in? How do you bring three people to head down a specific direction?
JACOBI: For the most part, I mean, Colton, Praha and I were all kind of on the same page for the majority of the lifetime of Mimir. It was more when we started hiring other people.
BEN: We didn’t use three, it’s cool. But you had anybody else?
JACOBI: Yeah, I mean, we’ve hired some really good, very intelligent people for the engineering side. And that’s not to say we haven’t hired other people that are very intelligent, sorry, that’s a bad way to phrase it. But we haven’t had really any problems from the engineering side, it was more the other facets of the company where we started,
TONY: But your guys didn’t have any. But yeah.
JACOBI: We had no, it’s not to blame anyone. Really.
BEN: We talked about how to sell to the education. It’s like, if you need salespeople, how do you know and kind of thing, right?
JACOBI: Like, we’re just talking to people trying to hire for that. And like, we have no experience with that. We don’t know anyone with experience
BEN: But from a text saying, Hey, do you know how to do a Hello World software program? And they’d be like, hey, yeah, that conversation,
TONY: I think there was some, some old standing traditional business stuff that maybe they didn’t even know about. But like, a lot of times, they were hiring people that were younger, which is cool. But those younger people don’t have don’t have established relationships with you. And I can get you into 100 different universities over the next three weeks. And then they hire somebody who’s like, never actually talked to somebody in a university, but they get a lot of energy. It’s like, you need to Team people with you, when you’re going after solving a problem. You need to know that people who’ve been there, done that, and get them on your team as opposed to it because you can figure it out. These guys are smart, they can figure it out. But when you’re dealing with other people’s money, like Y Combinator, and you’re taking money from investors, and it takes you six months to figure out something that somebody could be hired in and figure out in a month, or implement a month, big deal, you’re wasting money and time. And that all hurts, that doesn’t hurt you right away. It’s a slow process, but all sudden, you’re a year later, and you’re only halfway to your goal. And then the investors are like, Hey, you wanted another round of money. But you guys do this. Now what and then you’re like, now your focus changes to deal with investors in the next round and doesn’t deal with selling to the next University. Right?
JACOBI: Yeah, there’s so absolutely cannot discount experience.
BEN: Right. So that’s kind of like almost what we’re going to leave you with, because we are pretty far along, guys. And, you know, I know that you got acquired, and you got acquired December of 2019. So you’ve been a part of hack hacker rank for a little over a year now. Right? 20? Yes. little over a year now. COVID is like this warp time zone anyway. But you’ve been over there over a year, you really enjoying all of the stuff you’re doing in hacker rank, right?
BEN: And is there anything you can kind of leave us with as we get down to it? I mean, yeah, we could do this for hours and hours are so easy to talk to right? And, you know, is there any kind of couple things that you can leave us with because we like to talk about money, and you may cash out in I don’t know, handful years or whatever, because the way it works, once you get acquired, you have certain things and once you meet milestones, certain things can happen. So you’ve got Y Combinator, even though you didn’t graduate from school, and we’re not saying you shouldn’t graduate from college.
BEN: You have that on your resume and from what I understand and reading stuff on the internet, it’s saying that once you have that that’s pretty good stamp of approval seal of approval, you will get a job because yeah, because you’ve got skills.
JACOBI: That’s what I’ve seen.
TONY: When I was worried about like my basement I like my basement I didn’t want him live in there.
JACOBI: We’re saving lives there.
BEN: You totally never thought of that. So what can you leave us with? What are two or three words of wisdom coming from a 27 year old guy
BEN: 26 year old guy that just said experience is worth something get discounted? What would you leave us with? What would you leave the listeners with? Maybe some quick money insights?
JACOBI: Oh, geez.
BEN: Work hard. Do something you’re passionate about hard.
TONY: Work hard, play hard,
BEN: Work hard, play hard.
JACOBI: Throw your money into stocks instead of the bank right now. That’s a big one
TONY: What is difference between stocks and stocks.
JACOBI: Stocks only go up
TONY: Yeah, have you been on the internet lately?
JACOBI: No, I haven’t so.
BEN: So any words the Wisdom still the to leave us with as we say goodbye.
TONY: Life is a meme.
JACOBI: That’s true. It is.
BEN: What’s your own even ask what your favorite song is? Because that wouldn’t be kind to the city. We’re thinking about good. Anything you want to leave us with before say goodbye and sign out
JACOBI: Geez? I can’t I can’t even think of it.
TONY: Tony, is there anything you want to say?
JACOBI: Don’t spend money if you don’t have?
TONY: Well, I mean, I think before, you know, leverage OPM,
BEN: What’s that mean?
TONY: Other People’s Money.
BEN: And that’s what you did a little bit of attack, not with hacker rank Y Combinator, and other stuff you did. But you know, it was a real pleasure having you today.
JACOBI: Yeah, thanks, man.
BEN: Maybe if you’re even open to it. Maybe we continue the store and get down a little bit more nitty gritty and talk about some other things that have happened, but we really appreciated having you, Tony, thanks for being here. Adding some extra color. We got a couple more things coming up. Thanks for being here with money. That’s Mak and G on this limited edition series of some really cool people doing some really cool stuff. Thank you. And this is where we say goodbye ready. Bye.