33: Robert Moore | CEO and Co-Founder of RJ Metrics

Episode 33: Robert Moore | CEO and Co-Founder of RJ Metrics

UPDATE: Bob’s company was recently acquired by Magento. Read more about Bob’s experience here: https://technical.ly/philly/2016/08/01/qa-rjmetrics-bob-moore-acquisition/

Robert Moore, 32, CEO and Co-Founder of Rj Metrics which is a company that inspires and empowers data driven people. RJ Metrics does this by building software that helps online businesses make smarter decisions.

Philadelphia resident and a proud South Jersey native, Bob started RJ Metrics  with his cofounder Jake Stein. The idea came from his experience while he and Jake were working together at Insight Venture Partners. At Insight, Jake and Bob were able to meet a ton of high level entrepreneurs because their job was to evaluate companies investment decisions when the firm (Insight) was thinking about making an investment. As a result, Bob got to see a ton of opportunities from these organizations that were obtaining funding. One in particular was how much data that existed that the organizations were not using in order to make smarter business decisions.

Insight venture was his first job out of college and the only reason he got the job in the first place was that it wasn’t a “traditional? VC Firm. Bob had the lowest possible position at Insight, his official title was an analyst. His role dealt with deal flow and allowed him to actively reach out to entrepreneurs and startups that fit the business profile set by the company. “A lot of people think that people come to VC firms and ask for money, but it was the opposite. These companies are so attractive, the money comes to Insight.” Said Bob.

During his time at Insight, Bob made it clear to the team what his long term goals were. Once Bob met his personal qualifications to quit his job, they spent the next several years in the attic and in a small office in  Camden New Jersey to help build RJ Metrics to 85 plus employees and a recipient of a significant amount of venture money received.

In college, Bob started a couple of companies. The business that was most interesting, was when he went to Princeton University back in 2004. There was this thing going on called online poker. The world was slowly starting to shift and so was technology. During this time, due to loose laws, you can get gamble money and take the money “on and off” the platform relatively easy. There  was so much money going on, Bob decided to get involved, since he also had a special place in his heart for the game.

One of Bob’s early stories was when Chris Moneymaker came off the street and got into the game of poker. “It was this great story where a guy literally was like your average man, came into the world series of poker and won.” Said Bob. “Everyone wanted to gamble. At the time, if you walked into a classroom in Princeton, everyone had an online poker game up and running. So, over the summer of sophomore and junior year, I built a program that would tell you at a given point, what the probability of winning the hand, based off of the cards that have been dealt, what has been shown, and the cards currently floating around in circulation.”

At first, Bob gave the software initially to his friends, but then began selling it for $30 bucks online. Bob was the first to market for this type of platform. He crushed Google Adwords by buying keywords for around $.10 cents a click. Bob strategically never got into gambling but was more interested in the side of analytics.

Bob was officially making money while he was sleeping and seeing that happen taught him all he needed to see to about software, how fun entrepreneurship was, and what it took to create a sustainable business.

If you would like to know the real hardships of entrepreneurship and understand what it’s like to obtain money from a VC you need to listen to the 21 minute mark. It’s some of the best and most real advice you will hear directly from a young CEO.

Entrepreneurship Isn’t For Everybody

“I took a more pragmatic approach before becoming an entrepreneur. For me, I needed two checkmarks before I went all in:

1. Did I feel like If I didn’t do this I would be wondering for the rest of my life?

2. Do I have an idea that I have legitimately validated and have made other people extremely excited about either joining me, investing real dollars, or paying for the product/service.

Before you quit your job and make a drastic move, you need to know if this idea gets you from nothing to something. A lot of people go after entrepreneurial ideas by building out a slide deck filled with information. They then tell their best friends and/or college professors about their idea, but it’s dangerous because of course they give you positive feedback!

Force Those Awkward Conversations

So many companies get started from not asking the right questions. Force the hard questions like, what would it take to invest 10k into the business or what would it take to join me in this journey. Getting the feedback to whats missing is so important and will help you in the long run.

Honesty and DTRT

There are two of our core values at RJ Metrics. Do The Right Thing (DTRT) was always an argument ender in a situation between things that are morally grey. No matter how big or small the company is, doing right by your customers makes you sleep better at night. If you apply DTRT to any situation, there is always a clear answer.

BONUS Have Fun!

 

Fun Fact: 

  1. When he was 3 years old all Bob wanted was a cash register.
  2. When Jake and Bob quit their jobs in September 2008, the next day the entire economy went down the tubes. The VC market went dry and everyone stopped spending money. There were good and bad moments that came out this, but they knew that the only way to survive was to make revenue and grow the business organically. The RJ Metrics team created processes and procedures to do so. From 2008 until 2012, RJ Metrics had a very slow grind. They only grew to about a dozen f employees and 1 million in revenue. Bob and his cofounder both worked several years without a sustainable salary.

 

Bob Moore

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertjmoore
Website: https://rjmetrics.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/robertjmoore
Personal Website: http://www.robertjmoore.com
The Article That Inspired This Interview: http://technical.ly/philly/2016/02/16/rjmetrics-25-layoffs/
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RJMetrics

June 12, 2016 38 mins
Download (MP3)

#Timestamp

00:30 - Introduction
04:20 - How Poker Started His Entrepreneurship Career
09:10 - Bob’s Parents Were The Perfect Combo of Who Bob is Today
10:45 - Nature Vs Nurture
12:00 - Struggles in Business
16:30 - Was There Ever Any Doubt? And The Escape Hatch
18:30 - Mental State Before and After Considerable Growth
22:00 - The Article That Inspired The Interview
29:08 - Entrepreneurship Isn’t For Everybody, Force Those Awkward Conversations, Honesty and DTRT, and Have Fun!
35:50 - Pork Tacos!