Andrei Newman

Andrei Newman

Product Manager

Recent posts by Andrei Newman

2 min read

70: Ramp Co-Founder and CEO Eric Glyman- disrupting incumbents by realigning incentives

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:48:04 AM

The “Good Guys” of the credit card industry, Ramp’s goal is to actively help customers spend less. We often are excited by reward points and bonuses when using a credit card; however, these incentives often delude us into spending more

Co-Founder and CEO Eric Glyman embarked on his mission with Ramp after discovering how customers were being deceived. The avid StarCraft player joined hosts Scott and Andrei to describe the misalignment between what customers want and what their credit card gives them- and how you can avoid it. Listen in to become a smarter spender and learn about a company disrupting a space dominated by incumbents.

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • When services such as expense management are generally provided at a cost, offering it for free is an effective way to secure a foothold in a market.
  • Banks and consumers have inherently different goals- understanding this is the first step in becoming a budget-savvy person.
  • In marketing efforts, directly show how your product or service addresses a customer’s needs rather than how other companies are lacking.
  • Be strategic with hiring- talented individuals often run in the same circles.
  • Don’t crush the butterfly- acquiring a company should be a delicate process to integrate the two entities.
2 min read

69: Microsoft VP of Startups Jeff Ma- bridging the chasm between innovation and enterprise

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:44:44 AM

In the mid-1990s, a group of MIT students stunned casinos by winning extraordinary amounts of money playing Blackjack. These students, utilizing a data-driven card counting strategy, gained notoriety and became the subject of acclaimed books and films such as Bringing Down the House and 21.

One of the team members, Jeff Ma, went on to become a 4x founder and an executive at Twitter before joining Microsoft as VP of Startups. Jeff joined hosts Scott and Andrei to describe his key learnings from building and exiting several successful companies. The conversation covers misconceptions around funding as an end goal, aligning perspectives between enterprises and startups, and the most exciting areas in tech.

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Aligning perspectives to avoid friction should be the first consideration when entering a partnership.
  • When partnering with an enterprise, startup founders often underestimate the sheer scale that they are dealing with- fully utilizing their resources is not a trivial task.
  • The size of large enterprises can hinder the rapid implementation of initiatives; however, it also makes accomplishments more rewarding.
  • Starting a company with the hope of being acquired is the wrong mindset.
2 min read

68: Thrasio COO Stephanie Fox- the art of goal setting in hypergrowth

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:36:36 AM

Coming up with an idea and raising capital to execute is often seen as a “chicken or the egg” situation. According to Stephanie Fox, COO of Thrasio, having a viable idea comes first. Thrasio, which acquires and grows brands on Amazon, began with no outside funding when it bought a milk frother brand on Amazon.

3 years later, with over 150 brands acquired and a billion dollars in funding, the original idea has proven itself. Stephanie joined hosts Scott and Andrei to share her learnings from previous endeavors and how they prepared her to excel in her current role.

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Though top-line growth is often celebrated, entrepreneurs need to refocus their priorities on profitability when the time is right.
  • Building a company is a cycle of being on fire, struggling, and readjusting and overcoming. The third step is where many fail.
  • Companies shouldn’t necessarily hit all their yearly goals- this suggests that the goals were too conservative.
  • Culture is deeper than free coffee and a relaxed dress code- it should involve every employee feeling a personal connection to the success of the company.
1 min read

67: CRO Nick Worswick- pinpointing bets with asymmetric upside

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:33:17 AM, already a leader in the payments space across Europe, is poised to make a splash in the North American market. With complex regulatory issues and technological inefficiencies to deal with, driving revenue initiatives is a massive challenge. However, that is exactly what CRO Nick Worswick was tasked with when he joined the company in February.

Nick joined hosts Scott and Andrei to illuminate his philosophies on joining new companies, building competitive moats, and pinpointing areas of opportunity. Here are some quick takeaways:

  • We instinctively want to quickly implement changes in a new role- this is a mistake. Take the time to listen to both customers and your team.
  • TAM is a misleading statistic- you must narrow it down to a serviceable market, and then to a sellable market
  • Despite the numerous companies sprouting up in the space, payments remains an area in need of a major overhaul
  • Take on initiatives with asymmetric upside- not every decision needs to be revolutionary
1 min read

66: Salesforce GM Bill Patterson- the next chapter of work and CRM

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:30:55 AM

Salesforce is synonymous with CRM. The cloud-based company’s enterprise offerings were recently bolstered by the landmark acquisition of Slack for nearly $28B. Bill Patterson, EVP and GM of CRM at Salesforce, had a front-row seat to this monumental integration.

Bill joined hosts Scott and Andrei to discuss the synergies gained from the Slack acquisition, how to achieve work-life harmony, and how to stand out as a sales rep in an online environment.

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Always operate with consideration of your core values. When crises like the Covid pandemic occur, these values will keep driving you forward
  • Business is the biggest platform for change. Find ways that your company can do good.
  • Ensure that your employees have the tools to communicate seamlessly both internally and externally
  • Calls per hour is an outdated metric for tracking a sales rep’s productivity- more attention should be paid to the quality of relationships being formed with clients
  • You don’t know everything. Be a learn-first person
1 min read

65: Rapyd CEO and Founder Arik Shtilman- building the AWS of FinTech

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:27:01 AM

The idea for Rapyd was born when Arik Shtilman realized that there was no all-in-one financial services platform. Despite discovering the solution to this problem, the company failed to raise $3 million on just a $5 million valuation.

Over $800 million in funding later, and with goals of becoming a $100 billion company, Rapyd is poised to be the platform upon which any FinTech solution can be built. Listen in as Arik challenges misconceptions around entrepreneurship and describes Rapyd’s astronomical growth.

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Although online transactions have been occurring for decades, there still remains a massive opportunity for disruptive innovation in this space
  • Pitching a product to a customer and pitching the company’s vision to an investor are completely different- entrepreneurs fail when they use the same pitch for both audiences
  • Raise capital when the market environment is right, not when you need it
  • Fundraising is the most important skill for an entrepreneur
2 min read

64: Box CMO Chris Koehler- winning and retaining the educated customer

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:24:13 AM

Chris Koehler, currently serving as CMO of Box, has seen it all. He took the path less traveled all the way back to his days at Adobe. While heading Box’s customer success department, Chris interviewed several CMO candidates before stepping in and filling the role himself.

His experiences across distinct business areas provide him with a unique perspective that is valuable to those across every facet of an organization. Join hosts Scott and Andrei as Chris shares his marketing wisdom as well as the context around major career inflection points. 

Here are some quick takeaways:

  • Continuing to grow once a company has scaled requires a delicate balance of setting long-term goals while allowing for a flexible path to reach them
  • Being a ‘generalist’ is not a bad thing- it allows one to leverage their knowledge from other areas and provide new ways of problem-solving
  • Marketing is more than winning new customers- it should involve working with the customer success team to keep existing customers happy
  • Covid has accelerated the demand for self-service B2B products, and companies should invest in their e-commerce presence to keep up
1 min read

63: Bitly CEO Toby Gabriner- enabling the autonomous employee

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:20:44 AM

Chances are you were directed to this episode via a shortened URL. You might not notice, but these shortened links are everywhere. Behind the scenes, Bitly is hard at work, shortening over 600 million links per month.

CEO Toby Gabriner joined the show to share the lessons he’s learned from his 9 months working the role. The biggest shift in corporate culture, according to Toby, is in decision-making occurring throughout the company rather than simply at the executive level. Listen in as Toby explains how leadership can empower their workforce.


Some key takeaways:

  • Covid provided an opportunity for companies to reflect on every aspect of the corporation, from organizational structure to the frequency of meetings
  • Leaders should create frameworks within which workers  have leeway to make decisions- this empowers and motivates employees
  • Experimentation with new corporate policies is a win-win, whether the outcome of the new policy is positive or negative
  • Transparency is key: everyone throughout a corporation should be on the same page so that knowledge sharing and collaboration is seamless 
2 min read

62: TripActions CRO Carlos Delatorre- sales is a science, not an art

By Andrei Newman on Sep 15, 2021 11:16:52 AM

TripActions, founded just 5 years ago, quickly became one of the fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley after disrupting the $1.5T corporate travel market. CRO Carlos Delatorre joined the company shortly before the business world was decimated by the covid pandemic. Despite travel reaching a near standstill, Carlos helped the company vastly exceed performance expectations.

He joined hosts Scott and Andrei on the show to unpack how a corporate travel company managed to succeed during the pandemic. The lessons he learned are applicable to any company facing unprecedented challenges, especially from a sales perspective- make sure to give it a listen.


Here are some key takeaways:

  • Every major economic downturn has birthed long-lasting companies- the companies that were flexible and adapted during the pandemic will be the winners.
  • An excellent product is rendered useless without an equally competent sales team- a salesperson needs to be able to articulate the benefits of a product to a client’s specific needs.
  • The best sales reps utilize both top-down and bottom-up approaches.
  • Doing difficult things that make you better is a huge differentiator- the best sellers build their own pipeline.
1 min read

61: BlockFi CEO Zac Prince- blurring the line between crypto and traditional finance

By Andrei Newman on Jul 26, 2021 2:51:39 PM

From 1 employee to over 600 in just four years, BlockFi is leading the pack in the cryptocurrency space. CEO Zac Prince joined Scott Britton and Andrei Newman on the Built by Humans Podcast.

Listen in as he discusses the future of crypto and the catalysts that have contributed to BlockFi’s exponential growth. Here are some quick takeaways:

  • One innovative product, a crypto account that yields interest, lead to BlockFi doubling in size every quarter.
  • Scale and stickiness are effective ways of developing a competitive moat.
  • Customer support is an overlooked area in FinTech- taking advantage of this is an opportunity for competitive differentiation.
  • With rapid growth comes ever-changing job descriptions. Knowing where to focus your limited attention is a key skill. 
  • In the future, the lines between crypto, FinTech, and banking companies will become less rigid.