128: Keeping FreshBooks Fresh with Mike McDerment, Founder and CEO

On this episode of Silicon Valley Insider, Host Keith Koo’s special guest is Mike McDerment, Founder and CEO of FreshBooks the billing and invoicing software used by millions in over 100+ countries.

The show begins with Mike and Keith reminiscing about Mike starting in his parent’s basement. Since Mike is from Toronto, it was a basement, not a garage. Mike discusses how he kicked himself for making a simple accounting error which led to his creation in 2003 of FreshBooks one of the world’s leading “All-In-One Invoicing+Payments App” for self-employed, small, and medium businesses.

Keith and Mike also discuss what it’s like to become a SaaS company taking on the “800 Pound Gorilla” in the existing market and how using lean development principles really helped shape the company. Mike gives plenty of examples and advice on how to stay to your core vision to create great products.

On this week’s Cyber-Tip – Keith retells an interesting story of how a guy riding his bicycle became the leading suspect in a crime near his home thanks to geo-location technology.

On the Pivot, Mike and Keith discuss on the Pivot what it’s like to “re-platform” or re-write the core software to your company. It’s a very interesting story is how Mike and the leadership team decided that they needed to create a competitive platform in order to stay on top of innovation and even created a secret parallel company that almost no one at FreshBooks knew about. Tune in to hear how that all turned out.


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