Practical Founders Podcast

#64: Bootstrapped, Very Profitable and Still Having Fun after 18 years – Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts is the founder and CEO of SpyFu, a leading competitive research tool for marketers and entrepreneurs with over 15,000 paid customers and hundreds of thousands of free users. SpyFu was launched in 2006 and has been a profitable and bootstrapped business for almost 18 years. 

Mike is a happy founder who splits his time between leading the business and his personal pursuits, which include surfing and spending time with his family. He is still passionate about innovation, search marketing technologies, big data and AI, and creating new ways to help smaller businesses succeed. 

Bootstrapped SaaS Topics Discussed on This Podcast 

  • Why he keeps their price low with a simple proposition to serve tens of thousands of small customers 
  • How he manages all his new ideas, improvements and projects to create efficient innovation 
  • How generative AI and ChatGPT will affect search marketing with SEO and PPC ads
  • Why he didn’t raised outside capital and chose to have a very profitable business with full control
  • Why there is a fundamental lack of alignment between individual founders and institutional investors
  • Why “Get Rich Slowly” produces maximum happiness and why “Get Rich Fast” doesn’t

Quote from Mike Roberts, CEO of SpyFu

If you put yourself in a situation where the only way that you can fail is by quitting, then all you have to do is don’t quit. It’s a very simple thing. For entrepreneurs, there’s a destination aspect and there’s also part of it to get rich,. You should think of those as inevitable. If it’s baked into you, it’s going to happen if you just keep trying. Just don’t ever give up. 

“More importantly, the process of entrepreneurship is not really that much about the destination. It is about the journey and what you learn along the way that makes you better at doing things. You understand so much and the journey is really valuable. 

“To benefit maximally, really take in all those wins and all those losses and convert them into part of who you are. That’s what it’s all about, I think. When you’re when you’re old and you’re thinking back on it, you’ll be sharing your wise stories with others.



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Greg Head recorded this on episode on October 6, 2023 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

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