Justin Cooke

January 6, 2017


It’s an entrepreneur’s dream scenario.

One day you’re couch surfing at a buddy’s apartment in the Philippines and a few years later you’ve co-founded one of the fastest growing startups in the world. It’s an amazing story and I was more than a little excited to sit down with Simon Payne, co-founder of Lead Pages.

Simon and his co-founders (Clay Collins and Tracy Simmons) built an incredible company. All together, they’ve signed up more than 120K recurring customers, raised more than $38M, and have put together a team of more than 160 employees.

With all that – why in the hell was Simon walking away?

I had to get to the bottom of this, so I got Simon on the phone to discuss how Lead Pages came to be, their process for scaling the company, and why he thought it was the best move to leave.

This is an amazing interview and I’m very thankful to Simon for sharing his story with us.

Check Out This Week’s Episode:

Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week:

  • How do you go from traveling SE Asia to getting serious about your startup?
  • How can non-techies hire and work with developers. (and designers)
  • Hustle mode early on can be fun…but isn’t what Lead Pages doing now MORE fun? Why walk away?
  • How do you leave a startup you founded (and what do you do next)


Spread the Love:

“Each programming language is something that you use to solve a problem, so you really just need a problem solver.” – Simon – Tweet This!

“You develop people into those positions and that’s how they get really good.” – Justin – Tweet This!

So glad Simon was willing to share his story with us. Dig this episode? Let us know in the comments!


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  1. Jakub says:

    Is Simon a Czech? Almost same accent as mine lol

  2. Steve B. says:

    I recently had the good fortune of watching a good friend go through a similar process of selling his successful business – only to buy it back.
    Fulfilment. Purpose.
    Without the impossible challenge, all entrepreneurs are essentially rudderless.

    Simon knows :)

    Steve B.

  3. Pete says:

    Enjoyed that podcast. Impressive what you’ve helped to build Simon with Landing Pages and the idea for Convertplayer is pretty ingenious as well. I’ve been founding companies ever since uni 10 yrs back. 2 of which went on to become double digit million ecommerce exits (each >100 employees at the end. Although heavily diluted due to unfavorable VC terms naively signed at an early stage), a dozen failures (these were mostly “project” stage, so not too much money was lost), a few cashflow businesses (a niche blog (self), a mini IT development company (self+3 employees). Each of those generated a few thousand bucks per month and provided a basic level of income so I could continue pursuing bigger bets. Now took most of the cash I made to reinvest into another huge bet a few years ago, founder there. Looks like it’ll turn out well…became profitable last year and in top 3 of a massive market. BUT the constant rollercoaster of startup life begins to take a toll…and especially risking a lot financially and sacrificing private life in the stressful periods. Don’t underestimate the value of having a positive company with a good culture and build that up organically with hopefully good cashflow. Instead of starting over fresh all the time. I’m with Justin on this one. ALWAYS careful to select your investors and cofounders. Taking professional VC puts you under pressure to create a big exit outcome, often with unsustainable company measures e.g. in staff management and overall management pressure. Often they try to fuck you over in the contracts as well…e.g. participating liquidation preferences etc. Unlikely I’d want to do that again.

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