Life After a $200mil Exit with Patrick Campbell

Reading Time: 42 minutes

Today, I’m talking to Patrick Campbell, founder of ProfitWell, a bootstrapped business that recently got acquired by Paddle for a whopping 200 million dollars.

I talked to Patrick about getting acquired for 9 figures, finding your footing as a founder after such an incredible exit, where the online payment industry is heading, and how mental health challenges follow us wherever we go.

Topics we Talk About

00:00:00 Introduction
00:01:04 Patrick’s entrepreneurial journey
00:03:10 A different approach to marketing
00:06:23 Help Sells: providing free value and then selling
00:13:53 Dealing with a $200mil exit
00:15:55 Filming a documentary while exiting
00:19:03 Keeping the company running during the sale
00:24:42 Anxiety during the sale
00:28:08 Anxiety AFTER the sale
00:34:12 Jumping right back into work
00:37:28 Building trust with your team
00:41:49 Defining your role in a deal
00:45:05 Will Patrick ever take a vacation?
00:49:38 It never ends: mental health for founders
00:54:05 The future of the payment industry

Arvid Kahl  0:00  

Today, I’m talking to Patrick Campbell, founder of ProfitWell, a bootstrap business that recently got acquired by Paddle for a whopping $200 million. I talked to Patrick about getting acquired for nine figures, finding your footing as a founder after such an incredible exit, where the online payment industry is heading, and how mental health challenges follow us wherever we go. Here’s Patrick.

After you sell a business that you bootstrapped, to over $200 million, you pretty much have infinite options. And you chose to join Paddle, the payment provider that acquired your business. And now you’re working with them, for them to get them to IPO. And you’ve been working in digital payment platforms for years now, probably decades at this point. 

And I feel your work is foundational, and has impacted 1000s upon millions of people. And I always wonder like you made it possible for so many people to make money and to get better pricing and all that stuff. Did you get into entrepreneurship with that in mind? Was empowering people to make a living a motivating force for that? 

Patrick Campbell  1:04  

Yeah, that’s a really interesting question. And thank you for the kind, I’m gonna take some of those kind words, I appreciate that. Yeah, you know, what’s funny, I never wanted to be in entrepreneurship ever. Like I never, like there are things that were entrepreneurial in my past that I can point to, like, when I was a kid. And I always was thinking about, you know, how to make some money, you know, to like, spend on stuff, just random stuff. 

But I think what’s really interesting is, I wanted to be a doctor at first than a lawyer, you know, very stereotypical blue collar kid. You know, your parents are blue collar, so you can go, you know, get a professional degree. And then I ended up working for the government. And that kind of probably was my best entrepreneurial training, not because it was entrepreneurial, but because it was so bureaucratic. And I was like this, I finally was like, I don’t, there’s something I don’t like, I loved that job. 

But there’s something I don’t like about it. And that was when I worked for the intelligence community. And so then I was like, “Oh, let’s go work in Tech,” because Tech was like, the hot, still hot thing, but it was the hot thing then. And I went and worked at Google. And it was also very bureaucratic. And so I was thinking like, “Oh, like, you know, it’s not a vertical thing.” And then I jumped into a startup, and that’s when I was like, “Okay, like, I could actually do this.” And the confidence thing was the hardest thing for me was getting the confidence to know that I could find a job. Like I can go find a job being a barista, digging ditches, construction, like worst case scenario, I can figure that out. 

And then even with ProfitWell, I never, I know we help a lot of people make more money. Like, that’s kind of the goal of the business, with our tools and stuff, but even then, like, that’s not the thing that gets me up every day. It’s the puzzles. Like, I like the puzzles. I like the okay, how do we make this more efficient? How do we get more leverage out of this? And like, the growing like, I like that a lot. And I think that’s the game of it, that I really fell in love with, because the feedback cycle is so quick. So yeah, that’s more of why I got into it. And when I think about it, versus anything else.

Arvid Kahl  3:10  

That makes sense. I mean, in what you do, and how you do it, I think you can tell that you love the challenge of like collecting data, finding insights, and that kind of stuff. But you also, you don’t just do it in your own little basement, right? Like you don’t, you can do it in secret, you do it in a very public way. And that is both extremely appreciated, right? By the community and by people just as myself trying to figure out how to price their business because I was a profitable user back in the day when I ran my own SaaS. I got it and I still am with the other SaaS that I’m running too, because it’s nice, free tool. So you know, why wouldn’t you? 

Alright, but the fact that you not only offer this product, and the consulting around it, that you do in public, the fact that you are so actively teaching people, I think that kind of sets you apart from other people in the field. Because I feel money is a field where people usually like keep things to themselves. But you have a very strong like public teacher persona, if I can call it that. Is that intentional?

Patrick Campbell  4:09  

Yes. And no, I think it is innate. I went to college, I went on a debate scholarship. In debate, people think of arguing that’s not really what you’re doing. You’re learning how to, like, both communicate and essentially teach because you’re teaching, you know, this logic and that logic in your tent, therefore is better than this other logic, right? Or, you know, I’m not going super deep into like speech in debate. But so that was like a thing that was in my high school and college years that was really, really big. So it is innate because I spent 40 hours a week for four years writing speeches, basically, like it was a full time job. 

But I think that when we started kind of our marketing path, there’s this phrase called Help Sells, and help is we were in a unique position where basically we were in his field pricing and churn and metrics, where everyone kind of knows they’re important, everyone’s a little not confident in their knowledge about it. And they’re always looking for something extra when you’re in one of those fields. 

And you start helping, and you start, like actually like giving away secrets or making them feel like secrets. People really respond and you gain like a really good brand and a reputation. And we knew we were starting to get to a good place with this when one, some of our competitors asked us to stop publishing so much content, because they wanted to sell the content, like especially these pricing consultants. They were selling the same, like, we were basically giving away the deck that they were selling to every single one of their companies, or their customers. And then we started to have a lot of people feel bad for how much value they were getting. 

And when you start to have that, it’s a really good thing, because that means when you’re like, well, great, well, why don’t you get on the phone and basically listen to his pitch, like not using these words using different words, obviously. And it was really easy, like, “Oh, yeah, of course,” right? And that’s when you kind of know that that help is actually selling and so yeah, I think it is innate. 

But it’s also, it is a strategy. Like it’s definitely a strategy because, you know, we’re in this market. I think there’s some markets that if we were in that didn’t, like everyone knew about it, like, we probably would still educate but it’d be a much lower like priority in terms of how we would market and build our brand and stuff like that.

Arvid Kahl  6:23  

Yeah, I always felt like with ProfitWell and price intelligently, both kind of arms of the business. It was an interesting thing for a SaaS founder to do or to watch you do. Because you know, having a three massive offering with what the profitable tool itself did. And then having the price intelligently consulting side of it, that was just something that I’ve never really seen before. And in such a broadly accepted field like pricing or the whole SaaS pricing metrics field. I found that to be novel, very interesting. 

Also, yeah, in some way, it kind of is really hurtful in a competitive sense, right? If you can’t build something just like this, you have to charge money for that SaaS business that you guys offer for free. And if you then also use that knowledge to facilitate getting clients for price intelligently, that feels hard to compete with. Can you tell me more about this distinction and how that came to be?

Patrick Campbell  7:18  

Yeah, the distinction just make sure I understand you correctly, the distinction between like helping providing free value and then selling something. Is that basically the question?

Arvid Kahl  7:26  

I guess yeah, the distinction that you had between this massive on tool with ProfitWell and these specific consulting clients with price intelligently and how to kind of connect these two? That would be interesting to know. 

Patrick Campbell  7:38  

Yeah, totally. So the thing that was really powerful about us is we started with the software product that helped with pricing, then we ended up knowing that, like that product had like it very quickly became what’s called a tech enabled service, which is like, there’s software, and there’s data, but you’re buying it with service, if that makes sense. And so I think it’s one of those things that we got lucky in the sense that we didn’t take some of the advice out there, which was like don’t do services, right? 

Because everyone’s like, the multiples and services aren’t the same. And it’s kind of like, well, yeah, but if I’m caring about EBITDA, which therefore fuels my business, and I can get 50 to 75% gross margin out of a service business, like, I’m gonna take that money all day in the early days as long as it feeds ultimately the greater mission, right? This is a mistake a lot of people, there’s some people who are like, oh, a service business can’t turn into a software company. Well, a lot of times it can’t, because the owners, the founders get very addicted to that cash, and start taking it out of the business rather than hiring the engineers, hiring the designers etc. So it has to be a very specific strategy. 

And for us, it became that strategy where we were getting paid to do our customer development. And therefore what ends up happening is we became this like really interesting, unstoppable force in terms of a loop because we would give away free content. And we were giving away this free product, then we were able to start monetizing that free product with pure software, because we have this monetization with the pricing product. And our logo brand aspect got so good, because we weren’t able to build something from a software perspective that would fulfill the needs of a very large company, but we could give them the service. 

And then all of a sudden, the product would start to get better and better and better. And all of a sudden, we could go back to them and be like, hey, you know, you’re not doing the pricing work anymore. But we have this new product you’d be really interested in. They had a good experience. So they’re like, “Oh, yeah.” So I think when it’s a really, really direct strategy, it makes sense. And it’s really hard to compete with because all of a sudden, like, I don’t need to go raise money because I’m constantly getting new money and funding every single quarter as that those deals get closed. 

Now it’s complicated because there’s a lot of reactionary stuff that ends up happening internally because client work comes up, it’s distracting. So we got to a point where we’re able to kind of coordinate it off inside the business. And then the problems became that team feeling a little isolated. But then when you have a good vision, or what we think is a good vision to kind of split the gap and allowed that team to like, feel excited about their contribution, even though they weren’t, like directly contributing to the new products, they were allowing us to be able to build those products. 

And so yeah, I think it’s something that’s really powerful. It’s just a strategy that a lot of people can’t really get right. And I think it’s because they end up just trying to take all the profit out of the business. And it’s like, when you look at it as funding and customer development, like we wouldn’t have built, like, if someone was like, we’ll pay you to build a website, like, we wouldn’t have done that. But it was very specific to like, inside the role that we’re trying to have within these companies.

Arvid Kahl  10:46  

It certainly has a certain complexity to it, that as a solo founder, I would find kind of freakishly complicated, you know, like the idea of building a free product and having free education materials, to then monetize it through a service that then pours money back into the development of the product. It feels like for a bootstrapper, that is not the first thing that comes to mind. It’s funny, though, that this meant that you could actually keep bootstrapping the product and the whole business.

Patrick Campbell  11:15  

Yeah. Well, I think bootstrappers, we think too small, like, and I think that’s fine. But I think the problem is, you have to understand what you want. And it’s really hard to understand what you want. And if you wanna work really hard to then relatively quickly, within a year or two, start to lower the number of hours and keep the number of revenue like this is the lifestyle business, which unfortunately, it’s become like, I don’t know why it’s derogatory, but I think people use it as a derogatory, like a majority of. But if that’s what you want, great! But I think a lot of us get stuck in this, that’s not what I want. I wanna build the big company in the base camp. 

And it’s like, yeah, the problem is, is that base camp was built in a very different world. 99% of their traffic’s direct, that’s really hard to like, create again in this world of SaaS. But if you want something really, really big, you have to be able to, you know, give up short term gain for or have some short term pain for that long term gain, as they say, right? And I think that’s the thing with a lot of bootstrappers or indie hackers, however you wanna kind of define it, is like, know what you want, and then like, go after it. 

And there’s plenty of examples where people are like, I wanna go big, but not raise money. So I’m gonna go a little slower, that’s the trade off. And then all of a sudden, they start building and they realize, no, I kind of wanna like just work a day a week, you know. I got my software working, that’s all the markets moving, all that kind of stuff. And that’s great. And you should be okay with that. But I think that’s the problem where people, they don’t bridge that gap to like going for it. We were like, we’re willing to go to zero. We’re willing to go after this like, because we’re trying to build a big company. But it’s just a different way of thinking about it, I think.

Arvid Kahl  12:50  

Yeah. I think you need role models. Like in our community in particular, it’s very people centric, you need those people that have done it before. I guess you’re now that person. Congratulations.

Patrick Campbell  13:00  

Yeah. I think it’s really funny. I almost resent it a little bit. Because, like, none of my advice has changed in like, let’s say the past year, like it’s changed over a decade, but like it hasn’t changed in the past year. Now, people listen to me so much more just because we had an exit. And when you’ve gone through an exit, you realize like, yes, it doesn’t feel like you’re winning the lottery, because you’re like, “Well, no, we worked really hard for this. And we did this and this is the outcome.” But there’s definitely some luck involved. There was timing involved. 

So it’s almost like one of those things where it’s like, you know, you stick to running the race. And so but now all of a sudden, because you have, you know, nine figure exit, people are like, listening, which is fine. Like, I’ll take it. It’s a little resentful because it’s not like anything’s changed. I just have more evidence of why something won’t work. And even then, like, you know, you shouldn’t take my word for it. You should follow the data or the logic, but yeah, it’s interesting.

Arvid Kahl  13:53  

So don’t listen to Patrick. But let’s keep talking to Patrick. I get what you’re saying. That’s always just kind of credibility boost from something public, right? Like from some public activity and obviously, nothing changed in terms of the realism of the advice you’re giving or the applicability, how much ever there is, right? And any kind of anecdotal or exemplary advice, but you know, that’s just what it is. People need to filter in some way and I feel

Patrick Campbell 

Yeah, that’s a human thing. Yeah, yeah.

Arvid Kahl

Yeah, that’s a way for us to be able to even handle a society at a larger scale. But let’s talk about the exit. I think that is one of the probably the biggest acquisition I’ve ever seen in the indie hacker adjacent space. Let’s just call it that, because everybody there’s a lot involved, right? And probably also one of the most well documented, I don’t think like anybody filmed a documentary doing this while they were doing it. 

And honestly, when I watched it the first time it came out like what was like half a year ago or something or a while ago, that’s just not date, this in particular. I was like, “How did this man find not only the time to deal with this crazy acquisition, but also have the kind of the presence to have a movie team there recording the whole thing? How did you navigate this like from the start? That seems like such a, it’s such a troublesome and stress inducing activity.

Patrick Campbell  15:21  

Yeah, well, we always it’s a very indie or bootstrapper mindset, at least in my opinion, where you’re like, if I’m gonna invest time or money, how do I hedge the decision or hedge the time or the money, right? So we’ve been doing this for years, where we’re gonna sponsor as a bootstrapped, or indie company, SaaStr, which is like, the highest concentration of our customers. But it’s still hundreds of 1000s of dollars to not only sponsor, but send 12 people there and buy T-shirts and all this other stuff, right? 

And so what we would do is we would do things like, okay, we’re gonna do that. But then we’re also gonna make sure we have the right marketing plan, and we’re gonna record a bunch of content, because worst case scenario, you know, if we don’t sell any more deals, we don’t get any, like attribution from this. We have 12 episodes of podcasts, right? Because I would record interviews and stuff and all the people we wanna record, they show up in person. In person is better than online. But online is a good second place here. 

But so long story short, we’re like, we’ve always had that mindset and what was kind of cool. And I think what made the the acquisition and kind of coming together as two companies great is, we had kind of a calculus moment where on our side, we were like, as soon as we sign the LOI, and the way that we kind of made that decision is Facundo, Peter and I who are like kind of the core business partners, we’re gonna make the ultimate decision. 

But we brought in about an additional five people who are kind of like, you know, a good red team. And we presented the options. We had a couple of options, not just joining Paddle. And that red team, one of the people in there was Dan, who leads the Ricker Studios team. And to make a long story short, I ended up telling him I was like, okay, let’s just record the process. And let’s just record as much as we can. Because worst case scenario, this falls apart, we can put together a series or a documentary or something about what it’s like to go through being acquired, and then the cliffhanger can be it didn’t work out, or it did work out. It was kind of cool is Andrew, the CMO of Paddle what, you know, believes in content and these types of things. 

And he had not a similar from like a failing perspective. He’s a lot more positive than I am. But he was basically like, oh, like, it would be just really cool to record this and see how, you know, this all works out, right? And what you’ll notice is a lot of the content is from later in the diligence process, because it got closer and closer to okay, this is gonna work or this is, you know, we went from 50% chance to 75% chance and 90% chance. And so that’s when the production went up. Like there’s a voicemail, that’s the actual voicemail, or the voice notice increased around like the number and stuff like that. 

So we just kind of recorded everything, which makes lawyers really, really excited, you know, when you record everything. But yeah, it was good. So it was yeah, it’s I think that’s the thing of like, the lesson there is like, always be thinking about these pieces. But also like it’s an acquisition isn’t something that people get a lot of insight into, right? Unless you go through it. And so that was one of those things we back to teaching we really wanted to do is like, make sure everyone you know, could kind of see everything.

Arvid Kahl  18:29  

How did you navigate like having all of this attention on the process and not scaring your team or your co founders or yourself at the same time?

Patrick Campbell  18:39  

It was really hard, like not, in terms of like the documentary, it was easy, because it was just kind of me recording. So that was easy. And a lot of the conversations amongst the team, we wouldn’t record those. But I think in terms of just the diligence process, the hardest part was having eight people all super crucial inside the business. Pretty much distracted, you know, for those three months and we really protected them. 

So it was myself and Andrew who runs kind of our operations and finance. We were the only ones really involved in the day to day like getting on the phone with the lawyers, dealing with this fire that came up, “Oh, this fire drill happen,” like those types of things. And then we kept a Slack channel with the group who was in the know and then over time more people got in the know because of this or that. 

And I just kind of made sure to constantly like update them a bit and just constant like, hey, I know like there’s some anxiety around this or stuff, you know, blah, blah, blah. And then constantly reminding them like don’t pull out a calculator, don’t try to calculate like the money because again, this can all fall apart like just really reminding them up until the day before a close like this can all fall apart, right? 

And I think that like it helped maybe because it just got rid of the short term anxiety. Like if it did fall apart, it would have been really tough because especially given what’s happened this year, because all of a sudden, you know, we were in a position where we definitely were ready to raise money, at least let alone sell. And so, yeah, it’s just one of those things where it can be hugely, hugely distracting. But like bifurcating the team as much as humanly possible from the day to day, I think, helps. 

And frankly, like, having a couple of conversations, like there were definitely some arguments, mostly with Facundo and me, or Peter and me, or the three of us were, like, Peter needs something. And I would just be like, hey, like, you have to figure this out. Like, you have to figure this out like and that causing friction. And you know, us getting into it, like brothers, that type of thing, just because like, there’s just so much going on. And, you know, there’s a lot of short term thinking that ends up accepting people when this stuff happens, and just trying to keep them on track is really, really tough.

Arvid Kahl  20:53  

Was there anything specific that kind of tripped you up that now in retrospect, seems kind of petty or pointless?

Patrick Campbell  20:59  

Yeah, like, there’s a lot of things. There were like, the thing when you’re getting acquired, or you’re acquiring someone. And it depends on the size of the deal. But there’s always like disclosures. And there’s always like, all this stuff that goes into the agreement. Like if this happens, if this other thing happens, then this happens. And I’m sure it’s like, let’s say there’s 70 bullets, and there’s lots more than 70. But it’s like 67 of those will not matter. You just don’t know which 67, right? And so you kind of have to treat every single one. 

So there’ll be a lot of like, petty not petty, but there’ll be a lot of things where it’s like, yeah, I remember when we spent 10 grand and lawyer fees on that bullet point. I think in the context of what I was talking about, though, I think like, there was just little things like, “Hey, can I get budget for this?” And it’s like, no, we’re in this stage where every dollar gets reported, right? And I don’t think the $5,000 we want to spend on this travel is gonna tip something over. But I would rather not have that be a conversation when I have these three other conversations like in flight. And that’s the other thing, there’s a lot of like multithreading going on. 

And you’re kind of like taking and not consciously like, it’s not like the movies, but you’re subconsciously. And in some case, I guess consciously being like, “Well, I’m gonna give a little here because I wanna get a little over here.” And it’s a lot of that stuff happening. And I think that, yeah, it’s hard for the team to empathize, because they’re not in the know, because you’ve separated them out. 

But you’ve separated them out, because you don’t want them to have to handle the totality of all the anxiety, the ups and downs on a day to day basis where the lawyers are, like, “I don’t know how we’re gonna figure this out.” And then it’s like, “We figure it out.” I don’t know, there’s this problem now. Oh, this came back in diligence. Oh, we have to go get the money for this. And you know, this person, you know, they gave us a term sheet, and then they rescinded it, like all that type of stuff happening. Like, they can’t know all the context, because it really has to be on one person. 

And so that it was an extremely peaceful and actual peaceful like situation, until there was like, the bubbles needing to kind of be combined in certain cases, because, you know, I think founders were really good at crises typically. And so it was just kind of like a really long crisis. It’s just your team isn’t always good with that. And, you know, it’s hard to, like, communicate with them. So I didn’t really give you a specific, you know, petty thing, but there were plenty of like little charges, right? Like, we had this pro, here’s a good one. We had this program, like this benefit we were doing were like, someone would get a flight if they did this thing. 

Well, in between sign and close. We did a split sign and close you sign one day, and then there’s some things you have to do. And then you close, you know, some of our team was like, oh, yeah, let’s sneak these charges in. You know, before this, like happens, because we don’t know what’s gonna happen after we close and I was like, guys that line was three months ago. Like that line of sneaking stuff in like, now we have to disclose everything and a $3,000 charge probably gets looked at.

And again, like I was saying before, probably not something that we wanna have to have a conversation about. So but like they don’t understand that fully because they don’t understand all the other bullets that you’ve talked through. So yeah, just little stuff like that. It’s definitely, you’re bringing back the memories now. So yeah, that’s interesting. 

Arvid Kahl  24:23  

Well, I hope that’s okay. 

Patrick Campbell 

Yeah, yeah totally. Totally. 

Arvid Kahl

That’s the kind of thing you don’t get to see. And I think the too many cooks metaphor certainly makes a lot of sense here, right? Let the more people are involved with their own little goals, short term goals that they may have, like, obviously, that derails the process. Very interesting. Could you describe your kind of your own, like anxiety levels, like throughout this journey? 

I’m saying this because I remember my own journey of selling my business and I was at a pretty high burnout point before we sold. Then it kind of ticked up a little bit because there was a lot of you know, due diligence and stuff. But then very quickly flatline because there was, it worked out pretty well for me, let’s just say that. So how was that for you? And how is it right now, now that you passed that?

Patrick Campbell  25:10  

That’s a good question. I think that my anxiety levels leading up to the LOI, I was very, very calm. Because our BATNA like our, you know, worst case scenario to use more common parlance was, oh, we just, we have a profitable business. We just keep building, right? Maybe we don’t build it as fast. There isn’t, you know, exit money, that type of a thing, but we just keep building it. And I think what was really interesting too, was, when we looked at what was going on, it was, I needed a break, like I was gonna take January off. 

And then this conversation started in November, and, you know, running around on flights, and all that kind of stuff to figure out, you know, trying to get multiple different suitors and stuff like that. Right before the LOI, there was some stuff that like, I have kind of a, let’s just say, a very fragmented founder story. I had some like, folks that we thought were gonna come on, but the paperwork wasn’t great. And they didn’t end up coming on. So that like, we had to kind of fix the paperwork. We didn’t fix it. Like in the moment, we kind of like, alright, let’s fix it over time. 

And so there was some cleanup that needed to happen before the LOI. So there was a lot of anxiety right there. Because we’re trying to accelerate something, and then the folks involved, you know, not necessarily unfairly, we’re like, well, we didn’t get to these, you know, 12 or 18 month milestone, so we should just stop here. And I was like, well, that’s not gonna be, that’s not gonna work for me, because it was a little bit of protecting my own peace, but also making sure that like other people got what I thought that they deserved. 

So that was kind of tough to kind of think through. We got there. And then in the actual diligence period, there was, it was almost like, hurry up and wait, like that phrase, it was a lot of that. So it was like you have nothing going on. And you have to keep your calendar up. And because as soon as that next email comes in, you gotta jump on it, right? So we would like jump on it, get the answer. And then he kind of like wait again. And so there was these little ups and downs. 

And there were some different like diligence things around like, you know, Paddle being a European company and really caring about certain things that a lot of US companies just don’t care about, and vice versa, as well. And so there’s like little things here and there. And so the anxiety was good, and then the anxiety kept going down each day. And I love those like fire moments. I do really well with those, almost to the detriment because like, sometimes I’ll make a fire out of something that doesn’t need a fire, right? 

And so as we got towards, like we signed, there was one thing that was tough, and I’m not gonna say what it is. But there was one thing that like, everything else, if it didn’t happen between sign and close, like we were good. There was one thing that really needed to get done. To the point where we are willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money to fix it. It’s nothing bad or it’s just like, we needed to clean one thing up. And so that had some anxiety. 

And then as soon as we close, like a serenity that I’ve never felt and also like, I don’t know, if I fully remember it, like I slept so well. Everything was so comfortable, because you like you’re on this like grind. You have this tension in your stomach, in your head, because you’re always kind of like on. Like, it’s kind of like very PTSD, like you’re always just kind of wound up as being a founder, even if you’re, you know, lifestyle are all that kind of fun stuff. Because, you know, you’re always like, well, something could break and I have to be the one to kind of take care of it. 

And it was just a moment where I was like none of this is on my shoulders theoretically anymore. And then all of a sudden, the anxiety over the last like six eight months has crept back up, different types of anxiety. Now it’s existential anxiety now, you know, I have more money than any generation in my family tree will ever need. So now there’s this responsibility of like, what do I do, right? And I’m not one to like, you know, just I’m not a person who can just like live a great life you know. I’m just not wired that way. 

And so now it’s like there’s a pressure that I’m building up totally self inflicted around, “Well I have to build something else. Was this a fluke? Blah blah blah.” Like this that all this other stuff and then what makes it kind of worse is my role was kind of up in the air. Like it was like we’re gonna do something we’re gonna have impact all this other stuff which you know, I am. But it’s like we’re not really sure where and so over the past like six months we’ve been like, “Well maybe it’s this. Ah, it doesn’t make sense, maybe this, maybe this.” And so you don’t want to fall like everyone’s like, you know, very earnest to like figure everything out.

And there’s a bunch of stuff I’ve been doing but that like I don’t have my lane. I am having this like, existential like what do I do. Jenny and I like what do we want our family to do, all this other stuff? Like it’s a lot of interesting, like champagne problems to kind of consider. And I would say I was kind of like this. And then now I’m like, evening out, again, just with realizations, and you know, acclimating to everything. So I don’t know if that’s really useful to anybody except from just hearing it. But yeah.

Arvid Kahl  30:13  

You know what? I had, obviously not at that scale, but I had this, I went through the same steps. And I think the more founders I talked to who sell their business, they all have the exact same experience. 

Patrick Campbell


Arvid Kahl  

And I think it’s very important that people know that no matter what, how many digits that number has, that you sell for the person behind it. And I exactly understand that feeling. When the money hit our account for something Feedback Panda, we’re looking at each other and saying, “Nothing is different.” Like, we still feel like we need to prove ourselves to somebody. We still need to have a passion to follow. 

Patrick Campbell  30:47  

It kinda sucks, right? Like, it kinda sucks, because you’re like, I wish that just would fill that hole.

Arvid Kahl 

Yeah, that would be nice.

Patrick Campbell 

Fill the hole, because it doesn’t take that much probably to fill that hole. Theoretically, it’s just your wiring. And I think for me, the thing I kind of came to is, you amplify the best and the worst of you in an exit. Like, it’s not like, hey, if you’re unhealthy, you’re instantly gonna be healthy. It’s easier to get healthy. But it’s also one of those things where you’re like, oh, it’s really easy for me to get the things to be healthy. And I’m still not doing it. Oh my god, this is who I am. 

Arvid Kahl 

You should see my gym that I am not using.

Patrick Campbell  31:22  

Yeah exactly. You know, right? And you’re like, well, I’m gonna go start a gym, and I’m gonna get this and then all of a sudden, like, I’m not really going to it, right? And that’s, yeah, man. It’s a lot of champagne problems, a lot of champagne problems. You know, there’s still problems, but it is interesting. 

Arvid Kahl


Patrick Campbell 

It’s very interesting.

Arvid Kahl  31:39  

They certainly, you’re graduated to new problems, but they are still problems. And I think they feel just as present, if not more present than the problems you had before, right? You’re kind of now, you have something to protect that if it falls away, just levels you down to something where you don’t wanna be ever again.

Patrick Campbell  31:56  

I never feared death. And never thought like I actually was like, yeah, I could die tomorrow and fine because I was like fighting up the hill, you know, Sisyphean task of the hill. All of a sudden, I started fearing death. Like, I was just like, “Oh, God,” you know, it’s kind of weird. Because you’re because you get that protect mode. You’re like, well, I made it. Now what if I lose it, right? And you’re just a human, right? 

And you have that paranoia, like a lot of founders, not every founder, but you have some of that paranoia in the business in general, like Only The Paranoid Survive, as Andy Grove would say, right? But all of a sudden, it’s like, now you’re paranoid on multiple levels. And I’m not as paranoid anymore. I don’t think about death as much anymore. I am more acclimated. But it’s, you know, you’re going through a big life event. And I don’t know, it’s a life event, that’s very instant. And it feels it’s not like I imagined I don’t have a kid. 

But it’s not like I imagined have a kid or I imagine have, you know, something, because you’re kinda like you’re dealing with, you know, the kid, nine months, you know, growing and then comes and then it kind of doesn’t do much and starts to do much. And there’s like this really, like, it’s not slow, but it’s got a gradual like graduation. And you know, it spikes up in certain places. Here it’s like, it doesn’t happen until it happens. And then when it happens, it happened. And then you’re like, “Okay, what do I do?” 

And I had, I talked to 30 founders before selling. Half of them regretted it. But I don’t, I’ve realized now going through my own experience, I don’t think they truly regret selling. I think that they went through a very similar feeling that I went through. And it’s just, well, I shouldn’t have done it. And it’s like, no, like, I kind of have this feeling, I should have still done it. Like it was the right logical move. But now I have to deal with these feelings and grow as a human. I’m not saying these folks didn’t grow as a human, but of those 15, who said they didn’t, they shouldn’t have sold. A number of them didn’t go along with the company, and three of them became drug addicts. 

And so it was just like one of those things where I think it’s a purpose thing. And when you sell a company, you lose your purpose. You just need to be prepared, or have like the right people around you. Because even if you have the right people around you, and you’re prepared, you’re still gonna go through this, like, this moment of like, well, what do I do? I don’t have to do anything. And you’re like, oh, that’s good. Because you have freedom. It’s really bad because that thing that you felt you had to do really drove you a lot more than you think it did. At least you know, one guy’s opinion.

Arvid Kahl  34:21  

Oh, not just one guy’s opinion. I know it, feel it too. And I’ve heard it many, many times. Is that why you jumped into your new position in Paddle immediately?

Patrick Campbell  34:30  

I think I don’t know how conscious this was. I think it was really smart for me to stay. One, like originally I was staying because I was like, we’re knocked on building, another bite at the apple IPO in a couple years, all this kind of thing. But I think that in hindsight, the drug addict piece really scared me like I have never had like addiction issues of any kind. I just but I know I have that personality because it’s very common in the founder world and it kind of scared me because I just was like, I don’t really drink or do drugs, but I could see myself falling into something like that, and getting more manic on certain things. 

But I also think that like, I don’t know, I really like Christian. I really like the team. I think that there’s a lot that we can do in this unique part in the market. And there’s just a lot to do. Now, I don’t know, like, I think some of those things that I thought pre sale, I don’t know if I was rationalizing, or I was just trying to get into the moment. Other those things, I’m kind of like, “Ah, that was wrong.” Like, I think like, I don’t really know where I stand right now, or, like, put this better. Like, there were some things I was certain of in July, let’s say. 

And those things, nothing to do necessarily with Paddle, but just about my life. I’m gonna do this, then we’re gonna go do this, and we’re gonna start a new company around this and blah, blah, blah. And I like now I’m like, not certain of a lot of things. Like, I’m kind of like, “Oh, I was dumb to be that certain.” And I think it was just that anxiety and that like purpose being rejiggered. Because when you go through an integration, no matter if it’s big company, buying small company, merger, or whatever it is, it’s just like, you’re just changing everything overnight. 

And some of those changes, you realize right away, and some of those changes take a while to realize, and it’s just, it’s really hard. It’s really hard. I never understood why integrations are hard or buying a company. Everyone was like, it’s terrible. It’s so hard. I was like, “Nah, not us.” And I’m like, even when the product vision completely aligns, the marketing vision completely aligns, all these things completely aligned, it’s still really hard. 

And everyone’s trying to make it work. Everyone’s trying to be good. And so it’s just like, all those things, just because people are heart, you know. And you gotta like, combine everybody, you got to decide on new ways of doing things or pick a way of doing things. And yeah, I think it’s a lot of like that anxious energy. And that’s why it was like this. And that’s why we’re evening out again, because it’s just getting used to it and getting back to center, basically.

Arvid Kahl  37:00  

So what were those things that you did not expect to happen like that, or that took a long time to show themselves? Can you talk about it?

Patrick Campbell  37:09  

One yeah, yeah, yeah. One, like kind of existential thing, not existential, but like more fluffy, but really important. If you’re going through an acquisition, I think you immediately, immediately need to get your executive or leadership team together. And just like, do a bunch of trust building stuff. I don’t know if it’s trust falls, I don’t know what it is. But like you need, if I were to do this all over again, and I think Christian would agree with this as well. And Jimmy, our CEO, and President as well, like, I think like having a structured, we’re gonna have a facilitator month, one, three, and six, like that person, same person, they’re gonna come help us. 

Because trust, you don’t realize how much trust you built with your like core team, even if you only been working together for a couple years. And you also don’t realize like how important it is to start gelling as a wider team. Because we thought, “Oh, they don’t have a product leader. We have a strong product leader, great product leader. We don’t have a CMO, but we appreciate it.” They have a good CMO. “Oh, there’s a CMO. These people are gonna report to this team.” Now these people are gonna report to this team, all this other stuff. And the team had to go through trust stuff. And we didn’t really understand that fully. 

But I think the exec team, we didn’t we were like, “Yeah, Vision makes sense. All stuff makes sense. Let’s just start talking.” We kind of have similar vibes in general. And I think that was just really hard. Like, I don’t think we totally under, in my opinion, I don’t know. I think most people would have this opinion internally, but like, in my opinion, we underestimated how important trust was and did not proactively try to build it. And you can’t do it in one meeting. So I think like having that facilitator. I think some other things that I thought. 

I’ll speak personally, I was like, there’s this company I wanna build as a side project. I’ve always wanted to have a side project. I’m not good at side projects. Let me go all in. I had the deck. I had everything figured out. I was gonna go do this. You know, I have the resources now. And then Heaton Hinshaw, good friend of mine, good friend of you know, the indie world and the non indie world. He was like, “What are you doing?” What do you mean, this is great at it? He’s like, “Yeah, it’s a great idea.” You have 70 slides. You have not tested, not done your customer development, anything past the first slide. Because it was just that founder energy, it was just like, “Great, I’m gonna do this and then we’re gonna optimize this and this is how we’re gonna ramp up content production and all this other stuff.” 

And he’s like, “You need to slow the F down.” And I was like, “I don’t wanna slow down. I don’t wanna slow down.” So that was another thing. I think another thing, time. I don’t know like I’m, I still struggle with this one because I’m a very like don’t put off till tomorrow, what you can do today type person. Not everyone’s wired like that. And that doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. There’s a line like putting it off next week, you know. It’s too long, but two days is fine. I’m like a day person. 

And I think that that was a really hard thing, especially going into, you know, a European company, European company, like, just vacation time, like just the relationship of work is very different. And it wasn’t like I never resented anyone for taking time, but you just don’t realize like, wait a minute, we have to, like coordinate these four schedules. And those four schedules during a summer are all over the place. And you’re like, well, we have this one day. Oh, someone’s out sick. And now it’s like, “Guys, what are we doing? We gotta go faster,” right? 

And so it’s kind of like adapting to, you know, that type of, you know, okay, that means we need to have like, more recent conversations, and we need to, you know, have a little more planning, and we need to do these types of things. Yeah, those are a couple things. Nothing like, too shocking, I don’t think but I’m trying to think of some juicy, salacious things to bring to the podcast here.

Arvid Kahl  41:09  

Well, there are a lot of assumptions, right? When you go into anything, and something like an acquisition of that size. If one of your assumptions doesn’t work, is not like reflecting reality and causes you a lot of stuff that are a lot of trouble that you probably didn’t wanna invite into your life. So I very much get that. It’s like a death by 1000 cuts kind of situation too, I would feel, right? Because there are so many ways. 

Patrick Campbell  41:35  

Yeah. And there have been like a lot of cuts, and no one. I think in a different mindset, they wouldn’t feel like cuts. They would feel, I don’t know what they would feel like pine needle, I don’t know, something softer than a cut. But I think that the other thing is like, I think it was the right thing not to define my role. Because it’s really hard, like you’re dealing with this diligence. You’re dealing with all this other stuff. And you’re trying to make sure that certain other people are taken care of. 

And my mind just wasn’t in a good place to understand exactly what it was. But I did, I do think that caused a lot of anxiety on multiple fronts. Because it was like, I would get involved in a conversation. And people were like, “Well, is Patrick doing this? Is he not doing this? How part is it? Is he taking over this, is he not?” And then we wouldn’t have like, because no one knew, like no one knew. Like is he, is he not, right? 

And some of those things, it was very much like, “Oh, this is a big problem, go take a look.” Go take a look to me means go fix it, go figure it out. You know, go take a look is more like yeah, give us some thoughts, you know, that type of thing for some folks. And so I think that that was a, I don’t think it was a mistake, because I don’t think it feels like a mistake. But I don’t think we could have avoided it. We probably could have like set some guardrails around it in order to like pause just defining that role. 

I think some people just expected me to kind of like rest, invest, like, I honestly do. I haven’t confronted anyone about it. But I think some people just expected that. And there’s part of me that probably expected that too, just again, that wiring isn’t there. And so defining that role probably would have helped a lot or defining like, you know, submissions, or where I was gonna sink my teeth in probably would have helped. 

And it was also just busy, because there’s just so much stuff, right? Like, I think that’s another not again, a mistake, but something to kind of keep in mind. We were like, yeah, everything’s gonna gel, like the strategy is gonna like Christian and I as head, it all makes sense, right? So everyone else should get it. It’s like they got 350 people. You gotta do like a roadshow to make sure everyone understands. You gotta like talk through things. You gotta make sure there’s sub stuff. But everyone’s been so well intentioned.

And so like, trying to figure everything out on all sides of all every coin that you could think of with this whole situation. And so I can’t imagine going through a more. Like, I can’t imagine going through an average, you know, integration. Like this is definitely above average, like everything kind of works. And you know, we have all these systems like going through average one. Oh, my God! Like this is why a lot of them don’t work this way. I think a lot of M&A just doesn’t work is because, you know, if you get one thing off, then when I just said it just gets really complicated.

Arvid Kahl  44:20  

Yeah. It seems like you’re well aligned, like between the businesses and between leadership as well.

Patrick Campbell  44:25  

Totally. And I think, yeah, it always comes back to that because at the end of the day, it’s like, well, that stuff’s figured out. We can obviously figure out all this other stuff and get gelling and all that kind of stuff. And so yeah, I think I’m looking forward to 2023 mainly because we don’t have all this other stuff. I described it to Christian yesterday is like, it feels like 2023 was a lot of like, running in place. Because like you make a decision on a deal. 

You’re running in place to get the deal done. You rebudget and reforecast because the deal went through so now you officially can do that and that’s a lot of running in place. Then you’re going through 2023 planning. It’s kind of running in place, you’re not like doing and there’s a bunch of doing going on. But yeah, it’s just interesting.

Arvid Kahl  45:08  

Do you think you’ll ever like take a vacation? Because it feels like you just jumped from one thing into the other. I wonder if you’re physically able to relax

Patrick Campbell  45:17  

Funny story, funny story. We were in a meeting, and this time thing came up. And I want, I haven’t gotten permission to share this. So, but I won’t tell you who it was. But the time thing came up, like, oh, maybe like your expectation should be, you know, two days, not an hour, right? And it wasn’t like, those aren’t the actual numbers. And then we were talking and so I was like, “Maybe, you should take a vacation.” And that was like, the most offensive thing everyone could say, like, I had not gotten defensive on anything. 

And then all of a sudden, that was the most offensive thing. I was like, “Do not tell me.” And partially because I think like I will, I love my job. So like, don’t, you know, don’t tell me what to do that kind of thing. And then another part of it is probably like I needed a vacation. So but, so I took a vacation for the first time in five years in August. But here’s the funny story. I had so much energy, like I taper down my meetings. So I didn’t have any meetings Thursday or Friday. I still had to get some stuff done. I did some work over the weekend. 

And then on Monday, I was like at 12pm, we’re leaving to go wherever. And so I need to get done by 12pm. I had a meeting at 11, ended the meeting at 12. But going to the resort, we went in Puerto Rico, where I live and I just had so much anxiety. So I just was like, I had dinner. But I was just like couldn’t get the energy out. I wake up, this is not. I wake up at like three in the morning. I normally wake up at 4 so it’s not that far off. And I’m just like, I just need to go walk. So I went to the gym. 

And I was like, I’m just gonna walk until I can’t walk anymore. I walked 31 miles on the treadmill. Like, just like, I was like, I need to stop. I just need to keep walking. I’m just gonna keep walking. I was like, can I do 100,000 steps like that was kind of the idea. And then it got into a little bit of a mission. But I literally walked until like, my lower back was just like, nope, we are done. So I walked for, I think it was like 13 hours, like some crazy number like that. And then the rest of the vacation was amazing. Like, I just read a bunch of books, just hung out. 

But I got all that tension out. And yeah, I’m bad at like the time off. And I know it’s important. I never expect anyone on my team. This is always a thing that comes up when I mentioned stuff like this, I just love what I do so much. Like, I feel like you and I are, you know, kindred spirits in this where I’m like, you know, this weekend, I’m gonna do stuff. But it’s gonna be like setting up my studio and like, I get a lot of energy out of it, right? 

But I have been getting better about, you know, taking my own advice to my team, which is always like schedule the next one while you’re on the current one. And so, you know, I’m taking next week off. You know, take another time off that type of a thing. So, one day we’ll get there. I don’t know if I’ll ever take more than like two weeks at a time off. But we’ll see. We’ll see.

Arvid Kahl  48:10  

It’s nice to know that you enjoy what you’re doing. You know, and even though you might be over committing a little bit occasionally, right? 

Patrick Campbell  48:19  

No, that’s true. So I think you know, where it comes from, it comes from I’ve been thinking about this because I was like, why am I like this? I think it comes from one. Like there’s some negativity, it comes from where we were growing up. Like, you know, my dad was a union guy. Like, there was definitely times when he like, couldn’t he was on strike, you know, not getting paid. You know, we’re you know, I call it like, you know, Campbell’s soup with milk. Like for those don’t know, like, when you buy canned soup. I didn’t know people made it with milk, like for years because I was like, oh, you just use water, right? You just use water. You know, that’s what you have to use it for, more poor people tend to do. 

And so there’s some negativity and then like, the other part of it is I went through, you know, about with cancer, you know, right before I started getting an entrepreneurship, it’s that positive, like, you know, Memento mori. You’re gonna die one day, like, get everything out, you know. Make sure you get out there kind of energy that ends up happening. 

And so it’s just one of those things that like, I tried to, like latch on to and, you know, I think I could do better about you know. This year, we’re doing 2023 planning as a household and like Jenny and I are like, let’s pick some adventures. Let’s pick some things we wanna do. So we’re not reacting to it. And yeah, I’ll get there. One day, I’ll have a life of leisure and, you know, listen to this again and be like, “Ah, you dumb kid.” But we’ll see. We’ll see.

Arvid Kahl  49:38  

I mean, who knows, right? These are the things like it feels like in many ways, a post exit life is in itself, again, an entrepreneurial journey, because you’re in full control. Now you don’t have any kind of responsibilities outside of what you choose to be responsible for. 

Patrick Campbell 


Arvid Kahl 

And with that comes all the optionality and all the paradox of choice that you have, particularly after an exit like yours. I’m glad that you’re finding ways to deal with this because I feel in many, many ways, we under discuss the mental health issues that are happening throughout the whole journey. 

There is a lot of risks and fear in the beginning of any business journey, but the same risks. And maybe an even stronger version of that existential fear exists throughout an acquisition, potentially, potential acquisition. And after, even though it is a successful thing, I think it never goes away, or at least there’s always a version of it to deal with. 

And I’m really glad that you’re sharing this because, honestly, from the outside an acquisition like this, the numbers involved to anybody looked like, this is just a jackpot that everybody’s dreaming about, right? But that jackpot comes with a darker side as well. And I think, discuss this publicly, like you’ve been doing just now. And over the last many months and years, honestly, throughout the whole journey, that is an important thing. I’m trying to do it in my work as well. And I’m glad you’re doing it too. Because

Patrick Campbell  51:05  

Thanks, man. 

Arvid Kahl 


Patrick Campbell

I’m just trying to learn from you about this whole building in public thing. This is like building in public, you know, and all the advantages and disadvantages. But I don’t wanna start another hour on that, because I’ve learned so much from you on that. So that’s good.

Arvid Kahl  51:19  

I guess we should do that another time.

Patrick Campbell  51:22  

Let’s do that another time. Yeah, definitely. I’m glad you’re interviewing folks. It’s been fun to kind of like, you know, I think I liked the other content here. I think you should continue that too. But I think it’s a good mix and stuff like that, because you asked really, really, really good questions.

Arvid Kahl  51:36  

Thank you. Well, I appreciate it, honestly. And in many ways, this is also a mental health coping mechanism for myself. Like I’m sitting here, in my little unfinished basement in Canada. Everyday, I’m like, well, I’m just sitting in my basement. I wanna talk to people and to have a platform as a podcast is amazing. 

Because not only can I talk to people, which is great, but learning from people at the same time, amazing. And being able to share this with the community. That’s my jackpot, right? And all of this has, again, been enabled by my own software exit as well, right? There are so many things you can do. And I’ve fortunately found something that kind of drives my passion for it. 

And I see you finding similar things or figuring out how to find it as well, which is nice. And maybe let’s close with what’s gonna happen professionally in your future. You just said you had a side project, but people are discouraging you from that. Then you have the whole Paddle situation. What do you think is gonna happen in the next couple of months or years in the world of payments, on payment and pricing that you’re a part of?

Patrick Campbell  52:41  

Wooh! So yeah, in terms of an industry, I think it’s actually gonna be really, it’s gonna be fascinating. I think it’s gonna be fascinating because, you know, Gumroad raised their prices, and a lot of people freaked out. But, I think the main reason that they freaked out is because the communication was a little, there wasn’t really a why. And then there wasn’t a like, in the context of the customer. Because we’ve done a lot of price increase emails, you know, with our pricing product. 

And basically, like, you always wanna make it about them not about you. You always wanna explain what’s going on. And, you know, the communication wasn’t, it wasn’t “Hey, inflation cost went up, you know. We’re gonna raise our prices.” But it wasn’t. It wasn’t not that, you know. And so I think that was the trouble there. But in listening to Sahil, who’s on, you know, this podcast as well, like, the reasoning makes total sense. Like, you have this world where Gumroad has what’s called a merchant of record, which is also what Paddle is. There’s some other folks who are these merchant of records. 

And I didn’t understand Paddle’s business, when we’re going through like the sale process, until Christian was like explaining the org chart, basically. And I was like, why do you have nine people in a risk department? Why do you have 10 people in a tax department? I don’t understand.” And he was just like, well, they need to handle all these constituencies for sales tax for digital products. And we need to, we take on the risk of our customers. So if they’re chargebacks are bad, Paddle’s chargebacks are bad. 

And if they’re really bad, they get kicked off visa. If they get kicked off visa, the world ends, right? For Paddle, right? So I was like, oh, it’s very expensive. Like it’s extremely expensive. And so when you know, so he was talking about Gumroad, I was like, “Oh, yeah, like this is like the era of 0% interest rates.” Those are gone for a while. And when that happens, you only have so many levers to grow. And I think what’s interesting about you know him and substack is that a lot of those creators do not care, like they do not care. 

The people who care like are gonna go to a Paddle which is at 5% or Lemon Squeezy, which is a 5% or they’re gonna try to spin it up themselves using Stripe and realize, oh, it actually costs 8% on Stripe. That’s what a lot of people don’t realize, like all in international payments on Stripe is like 8 to 10, maybe 11%. And you have to do all the work to set it up versus like a Paddle where you kind of combine everything. 

So I think what’s gonna happen in the space and payments is the cost is gonna go up, you know, overall. And it’s gonna push people to, you know, accept the Gumroad payment, go to a Paddle, go to a Lemon Squeezy, go to like a Chargebee with some add ons versus going straight to Stripe. Stripe is still gonna make money because Stripe’s on the back end of all of these products. And I think that it’s going to help us sell more internationally. 

And when you can sell more internationally, I think ultimately, businesses grow. I think they just grow because you have such a huge denominator, you know, when you go out of your home region. So I think that’s what a lot of stuff’s gonna happen. And then I think that from a personal perspective, right now, this is a little shocking, and I hope I don’t offend anyone who has been following the journey. But like, I don’t know, if I wanna sell to B2B SaaS in the next thing. You know, I’ve been doing this for a decade. I think I’m gonna do it for a few more years. 

And then I’m like, I don’t wanna be the cliche B2B founder who’s like, let’s do a consumer thing. But I do think, I do wanna do something that’s a little bit more like, and I think helping B2B companies grow is very impactful, but maybe something that’s a little more obviously impactful. I’ve been exploring, like the defense industry, exploring, you know, the debt industry, which is really fascinating. Debt, insurance industries, these types of things, we’ll see what happens. Like I hired a team of researchers who’s like going deep on stuff just in the background in parallel. Because I think like those things are really interesting. 

And, you know, I’ve been thinking about B2B SaaS for a long time. And so I think it’s like, you know, I’ll probably end up coming back, because that’s what most founders do for their second x. But yeah, we’ll just see. We’ll see.

Arvid Kahl  57:01  

Yeah, that sounds like a nice little hedge again, right? Because you don’t need to make this choice, which is the greatest thing about it, right? You can say, yeah, maybe we’ll see. Let’s see what research turns up and where to take it from here. That sounds wonderful. Thanks for that assessment of the industry going forward. It’s certainly an interesting time, let’s just say that, right? 

Like for the whole payment industry for how people conduct their business online, I’m also looking forward to seeing like the long term effects, not just a public outcry over people raising their prices in what is by all experts called, yeah, what is it? Second, a recession, right? Like, if there’s a recession going on, stuff will happen. And you’ll have to see through it and make choices that keep your business alive. So we’ll see a lot of that as well, I would assume.

Patrick Campbell  57:56  

I think the thing to think about is what comes after the recession. So recession’s average about 18 months, this one, and then it sometimes it’s another 6 to 12, before we realize we’re out of it, right? And so it just kind of depends. And so I don’t, this looks, it looks like the beginning of 2008. But we don’t have these giant exogenous things that you know, like the housing market that makes it a 2008. 

So I think this is, you know, average to lower than average, at least in my opinion. But economists only make predictions in the past. So, you know, don’t hold me to it. But I think it’s like, what comes after, because I think that’s where it gets really interesting, just in business in general, right? Like, if you’re thinking about, you know, a cool product in a cool space, like keep going. 

But if you’re thinking about the industry as a whole, which obviously we need to because we think about, you know, we serve this industry, it’s gonna get weird, because like, I don’t know, if we’re gonna go back to this 0% world that we were in for so long. Because there isn’t necessarily a huge advantage to it. But then there’s a bunch of other stuff that happened the last couple of years, that’s affecting the economy, like, you know, supply chain, all this other stuff. So, I don’t know, it’s gonna be a you know, again, economists only make predictions in the past. So we’ll see.

Arvid Kahl  59:14  

I like that. We’ll see. I think it applies to almost everything we talked about today, right? 

Patrick Campbell 

Of course

Arvid Kahl

Your future, personal, professional, economy, individual things. We’ll see where it takes us. Well, where will people be able to see where your life is over the last couple months? Where do you want people to follow you?

Patrick Campbell  59:31  

Yeah, just follow me on Twitter: Patticus. PATTICUS. And then, yeah, we’ll rock from there.

Arvid Kahl  59:37  

Thanks so much, Pat. That was really insightful. Thanks for sharing. 

Patrick Campbell 

Appreciate it. Awesome. 

Arvid Kahl 

And that’s it for today. Thank you for listening to the Bootstrapped Founder. You can find me on Twitter @arvidkahl, ARVID KAHL and you’ll find my books Zero to Sold and The Embedded Entrepreneur and my Twitter course, find your following there as well. If you wanna support me and the Bootstrapped Founder, please follow my YouTube channel. Subscribe to the podcast and your podcast player of choice and leave a rating and a review by going to Any of this will help the show. So thank you very much for listening and have a wonderful day. Bye bye.


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