Mar 10 • 38M

Fathom CEO Richard White on Finding Success in a Crowded Market

Episode 81

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We know that one of the most valuable skills that a founder can have is grit. That determination to succeed and take their idea from a dream into reality. Our guest today has a ton of grit and we dive deep into his storied journey from being amongst the early companies at YC to becoming a member of a recent YCW21 class. Richard White is the founder and CEO of Fathom Video, an app for Zoom that allows you to record and highlight, in real-time, your Zoom meetings so you can write your notes later or skip the notes completely and share clips from your calls with colleagues. Ranked #1 Zoom App on the new Zoom App Marketplace, #1 Product of the Day, and #5 Product of the Month for Dec 2021. Fathom also recently raised a $4.7M seed round from a number of great investors including the CEOs of Twitch, Justin and Emmet, Reddit, Cruise, Clearbit, and many more.

About Richard White:
Richard White has been a founder and deeply entrenched in the Silicon Valley startup scene for the last two decades. He was Product Design lead at Kiko.com, the startup that Justin Kan and Emmett (subsequent founders of Twitch.tv) sold on ebay for $258K. He went on to found UserVoice where he is still chairman of the board. He founded Fathom Video in 2020 and was in YC Class of Winter 2021.

In this episode we discuss:

01:29 Richard’s journey to founding Fathom Video
02:48 Being an early-employee at a YC05 company
05:27 Childhood experiences that helped shape him
07:04 Why he decided to start a company inside the Zoom eco-system
09:15 Why being in a “crowded market” didn’t scare away Richard from starting Fathom Video
12:13 Getting comfortable with Zoom itself as a potential competitor
13:37 When he first heard about the Zoom App marketplace
14:53 Thinking about competition and moving users to use something better
17:25 His process of customer discovery and interview to help define a product that was 10x better
20:13 What questions founders should ask themselves before entering a crowded market
21:09 Best ways to onboard customers so that they experience instant success
24:38 Talking about investors about their crowded market
26:49 When to launch and how long you should build in private
28:34 Richard’s fundraising journey for Thrive Video
32:22 Fathom Video’s plans for the future
33:40 How to get to product-led growth quicker
34:30 The status of Fathom Video’s relationship with Zoom

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