Summary of Episode

#20: James Avery joins Annaka and Ethan to share his story founding Kevel, a company offering APIs that allow businesses to build their own high-revenue, custom ad platform. James walks us through Kevel’s growth, and we take a look at when it’s best to quit, the benefits of journaling, and how to thrive in a market with big, established competitors. 

James Avery is the founder and CEO of Kevel, which helps users launch their own custom ad platforms. After working as a consultant, James saw an opportunity to build a platform that helps businesses take control over their advertisements. Although it began as a side project, Kevel now works with brands such as Klarna, Ticketmaster, and Yelp.

Full Episode Transcript

Podcast Episode Notes

From consulting to building a software focused on advertising [1:02]

Creating the systems needed to allow a company to thrive and prosper in the digital age [3:15]

The mindset required to construct a sustainable, growing company [6:40]

James’s story securing Kevel’s first big client [9:42]

Kevel’s decision to transition to remote teams  [14:31]

Building a positive work environment and cultivating company culture while remote [20:44]

Kevel’s approach to advertising — keep it reasonable, seamless, and useful [25:28]

The shifts in the advertisement industry and the importance of targeting [27:53]

Jame’s advice for business owners that want to understand advertisement prices and determine their CAC (customer acquisition cost) [34:37]

“Every rejection felt personal.” Raising $2 million by learning how to hear “no,” reflect, and move along  [36:30]

How to know when to endure or when to change? If you can be the best, keep going. If you can’t be the best, pivot [38:55]

Journaling as a way to keep sane and organize thoughts [41:54]

Advising startups and finding advisers who are relevant to your business’s timeline [45:50]

Product-market fit and scaling are two of the main challenges startups continue to face [48:40]

Startups can be lonely for a solo founder. Form a group of peers and create a support network to help you get through the rough phases [50:08]

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