Startup building from the author of Lost & Founder

Welcome to Marketing Superstar Week on the Martech Podcast. Every day this week, we're going to talk to one of the most well-recognized marketers in the world. Joining us today is Rand Fishkin, Co-founder and CEO of SparkToro, which helps entrepreneurs, marketers and product folks of all stripes uncover the publications and people that influence their target audience. SparkToro’s powerful data set contains 70 million public web and social profiles with a simple to use research tool that's free to try. Prior to founding SparkToro, Rand was the founder of Moz, a leader in the field of search engine optimization, tools, resources and community. He's also the author of multiple books, including the art of SEO, inbound marketing and SEO and his most recent work Lost and Founder. Here's the first installment of Marketing Superstar Week where Rand and I discuss his tips for building a startup.

Show Notes


  • “One of my big reasons for writing Lost and Founder and then for starting SparkToro was to lean into the discomfort of being a founder who had not made it all the way to what a venture backed company success is supposed to be.” - Rand

  • “When you change the definition of what success means you alter who gets to be considered a success and what that means.” - Rand

  • “Once you raise those first venture dollars, it is a super different set of requirements for success versus failure and everything stuck in the middle is not success.” - Rand

  • “Very, very rare that in fact, you can start a company with no money whatsoever, not impossible.” - Rand

  • “ I think that there's the misinterpretation of what success is from the founder community that makes people think that they need venture capital money to be successful” - Benjamin

  • “Essentially, everyone is optimizing for the incentives of their particular environment.” - Rand

Up Next: