“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”.
I’ve been thinking about the best way to start this post for weeks now, and every time I explore a different starting point, I invariably go back to this famous quote.
So, let’s cut to the chase: yes, we’re starting a new company we’re incredibly excited about. It’s called Breadcrumbs – a Revenue Acceleration platform starting with Lead Scoring as it was meant to be.
FYI we received the email notifying us of the company’s bank account being open on March 3rd, 2020. You might remember that date because, exactly six days later, the world ended. Italy going into lockdown triggered a chain reaction across the Western world due to COVID-19 related concerns which catapulted everyone into an upside-down alternate reality since then.
AdEspresso: Story of a Success (And Why We Couldn’t Stop)
Truth is: for most people’s standards, Massimo Chieruzzi (my co-founder in AdEspresso) and myself are successful beyond most people’s wildest dreams.
With AdEspresso, we grew from 0 to 50 people in 3 years, achieved $6M in ARR, $300M+/yr in Facebook Ads’ budget processed – making AdEspresso one of the Top 5 Facebook AdTech partners globally by volume and *the* number one by the number of advertisers with more than 10,000 customers.
If you search for ‘Facebook Updates’ on Google, to this day AdEspresso ranks higher than Facebook itself. These things are not supposed to happen… and yet, they do. It was a wild ride.
Then, at the beginning of 2017, we joined forces with the number one social management suite out there: Hootsuite. Time to rest and enjoy life, right?
Well, not exactly. As I spent more and more time with more and more companies, both as an advisor, coach as well as investor, I realized that AdEspresso was the result of the intersection of a few things.
Our obsession for growth, speed, and efficiency. Our love for mid-market customers and online-first businesses. Our desire to help as many companies as possible to be the best possible version of themselves through delightful products.
AdEspresso was the manifestation of that intersection applied to Marketing and specifically Paid, and specifically Facebook Ads… but what other high-potential underlooked areas could we bring our unique perspective and high-impact expertise to?
Revenue Acceleration – At The Intersection Between Sales and Marketing
Interestingly – one of the things we very intentionally avoided at AdEspresso was going upmarket and building a Sales function. Many reasons for it (a good topic for another post), but counterintuitively while this was at least partially the reason for the AdEspresso success, it was also something we got quite exposed to at Hootsuite.
So why would we focus entirely on Marketing and dismiss Sales altogether when building AdEspresso? Did we miss out on additional revenue acceleration? And if so, was there something we could do about it?
One thing we realized relatively early is how inefficient the intersection between the two is: Marketing measures things very quantitatively (i.e. how many MQLs, or marketing qualified leads, did you generate this month?) while Sales measures things very qualitatively (i.e. leads were weak this month, what are we doing about it?).
This different language creates all kinds of adversarial issues.
The way these issues are traditionally handled is through lead scoring, a relatively established and unexciting concept (#boh-ring, right?).
And yet, arguably, on one side you have most companies doing a barely-good-enough job at that, by constantly trying to reinvent the wheel (and frankly mostly failing in the process). On the other side you have a handful of wildly successful companies building incredibly sophisticated flywheel engines (you know who I’m talking about, right? Hubspot, Twilio, Atlassian, Salesforce, and the likes)… nothing in between.
Equally intriguing, the best-in-class companies end up investing months and hundreds of thousands of dollars in a process that – most of the time – it’s spreadsheets’ driven.
Do you see where I’m going? Hold your horses, there is one more key piece to the puzzle.
Putting The Breadcrumbs Together
As I was idling thinking that there *might* be something here, while at SaaStock 2019 in Dublin I bump into an old colleague and friend from Hootsuite, which in the meantime moved to Chargify: Gary Amaral.
He invites me to record an episode of Profitwell podcast RevOps and Hops in partnership with a common friend of ours (Hey Patrick Campbell!) entitled Measuring the Success of Revops, for which a few weeks later I end up flying to San Antonio, Texas.
I already knew that Gary was one of the Top 2% of his category, what I didn’t know was that:
- At Chargify he ended up building a flywheel engine again, after having done the same thing at Hootsuite;
- He was in the process of transitioning out of Chargify to build a new flywheel engine for a third company.
My pitch to him: “have you ever thought about starting a company instead?“
You can guess his answer from where we’re today, and yeah – that company is Breadcrumbs: a Revenue Acceleration platform starting with Lead Scoring as it was meant to be.
The idea behind Breadcrumbs is pretty simple: lead scoring should have been a solved problem by now, but it’s very much not. That’s because what’s out there is largely unsatisfying, it has been mindblowing to discover how painfully big a problem it is with so many operators in the industry.
At Breadcrumbs, we want to fix that, and help as many companies as possible grow as fast and as efficiently as possible. We think everyone deserves a sophisticated flywheel engine for lead scoring, not only the big guys.
Breadcrumbs – A Revenue Acceleration Platform Starting With Lead Scoring As It Was Meant To Be.
We think lead scoring shouldn’t be a black box – it’s your company and your leads. Your models should change as your strategy does, and black boxes just don’t cut it.
At Breadcrumbs, we think it shouldn’t cost you months and up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars just to hard-code the first iteration in your systems, you should be able to implement it and then iterate on it in minutes, and for free.
Our mission? In two words: revenue acceleration. We want to try and enable 2,000 companies -which at 500 free leads per month will be a cool 1,000,000 leads scored on a monthly basis- to take it to the next level and be the first early adopters of this new modern take of lead scoring.
A 10X better, 10X faster, 10X cheaper lead scoring that doesn’t suck anymore. Welcome to the age of Revenue Acceleration. Can we help you grow faster and more efficiently? Let us know, we’re more than happy to.