Practical Founders Podcast

#86: Growing Profitably and Getting Big with Happy Founders After 18 Years – Chris Savage

Chris Savage is the co-founder of Wistia, a leading video marketing platform for businesses. Wistia was started in 2007 by Chris and a college friend when inexpensive cloud hosting and easy web video encoding became available. They created the first easy way to host and share videos with deep analytics and no ads for marketers to use on their websites. 

With a bootstrapped approach and just $1.2 million in angel funding, Wistia grew quickly and profitably, becoming a leading video hosting platform used by thousands of small and mid-sized business customers. The company experienced typical internal challenges with leadership, culture, and focus as it grew to 80 employees by 2015. 

In 2017, Chris and his cofounder Brendan received several significant offers to buy the company. They decided not to sell the business, and the company made a tender offer to buy out their angel investors’ shares and some employee options. Wistia got back to profitability the following year by refocusing on its core business and aligning its team around efficient long-term growth. 

Wistia is growing with 180 employees, tens of thousands of customers, and millions of users. It is very profitable too. The founders still love what they do and have no intention of selling the company any time soon. 

Profitable SaaS growth topics discussed on this podcast:

  • How Wistia Got Started
  • Transitioning to Self-Service Freemium for SMBs
  • The Power of Brand for Efficient Growth
  • Maintaining Creativity with Structure and Hierarchy as You Grow
  • The Downside of VC Funding and Upside of Profitable Growth
  • The Positive Relationship Between Profit and Growth
  • The Joy of Entrepreneurship for Founders
  • Creating More Impact with a Bigger Company



The Practical Founders Podcast

Tune into the Practical Founders Podcast for weekly in-depth interviews with founders who have built valuable software companies—without big funding.

Subscribe to the Practical Founders Podcast using your favorite podcast app.

Get weekly Practical Founders newsletter and podcast updates.

Greg Head recorded this on episode on March 22, 2024 for the Practical Founders Podcast see all of the episodes.

Share Practical Founders


Win the Startup Game Without VC Funding

Learn how all 75 founders on the Practical Founders Podcast created an average founder equity value of $50 million.