Wade Foster is the Co-founder/CEO of Zapier, Zapier is software that connects apps and automates tasks
What are the tools or apps that are mostly connected by Zapier?
If you are just starting today in your field, from where you will start and what are you going to focus on to be more successful?
In 1987 I was born in the middle of a January snowstorm in Missouri. I didn’t always have entrepreneurship in my blood. Growing up my dad worked for the state and my mom a pharmacist. There wasn’t much entrepreneurship in my extended family either: teachers, lawyers, doctors, insurance agents, but no entrepreneurs.
All in all I lived a pretty typical upper-middle class, midwestern childhood. I played soccer, baseball, basketball, swam and generally got exposure to all the opportunities I wanted because my parents went to great lengths to make sure I had those opportunities.
Music as Entrepreneurship
In middle school I took up playing the saxophone. I quickly fell in love. I would pull out Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Ray Charles albums and try and play along.
At first I wasn’t very good, but over time I could hold my own with the local jazz musicians. In 9th grade I got asked to play my first professional gig and made $50 playing at the Missouri Governor’s Mansion for just three hours of my time.
This was the first time I ever got paid for a specialized skill that I had and not because I was a warm body that could perform menial tasks. I didn’t realize it at the time, but this was my first foray into entrepreneurship.
The Search in High School and College
Like many of my friends, in high school and college I had no idea what to do with my life. I blindly followed the rules, got good grades and made my teachers and parents happy.
I had a knack for math and science so everyone told me to I should be an engineer because that’s what engineers do. So in college I settled on majoring in industrial engineering even though I wasn’t super sure what they did at the time. I knew it had something to do with efficiency and that’s something I could get behind.
Eventually my junior year of college I decided that I needed to figure out what the heck I would do with my life so I took an internship with a major telecom provider because they paid well and it seemed like a stable gig.
Over the course of the summer I realized how much I hated corporate life. I would come into the office and work hard for a solid hour each day and surf the web the rest of the time. It was the worst.
The brutal irony is that my bosses loved what I did and praised my work every step of the way. I realized that summer that a “regular” job wasn’t for me.
Becoming an Entrepreneur
I didn’t decide on entrepreneurship immediately after that summer. All I knew was that I hated wasting away for 8 hours a day at a job I could do effectively in 1 hour a day.
That final year of school I started looking for different types of work I could do. Something a little outside the box and I found a small, local tech company that was looking for a marketing intern.
I had zero marketing experience at the time, but I picked up a Seth Godin book and talked my way into the job.
It turned out to be a pivotal turning point in becoming an entrepreneur.
Learning the Ropes
Over the next year as an intern and ffull-timeemployee at this local tech company I learned a lot about product and marketing. I had no idea what worked and what didn’t so I tried my hand at just about everything.
Essentially, I was honing my chops to become what I call a Full Stack Marketer.
After about a year I’d learned about as much as I could and started trying to build my own company. I spent my spare time selling people in the community on just about anything I could. I built WordPress sites, I whipped up email marketing templates, I built a small web app. Anything to learn problems that other business owners were having.
During the day I started working with local Columbia, Missouri entrepreneur, Brant Bukowksy, doing email marketing automation at VAMortgageCenter.com. It was there that then co-worker, Bryan Helmig, devised the initial seeds of our first startup, Zapier.
In October of 2011, Bryan and I teamed up with our friend and local developer, Mike Knoop, to build the initial prototype of Zapier and win the first annual Columbia Startup Weekend.
After the weekend we worked nights and weekends to build the initial beta product for customers and in January of 2012 I was able to start my entrepreneurial journey full time by quitting my day job.
With the Zapier beta going well, we applied to Y Combinator’s summer 2012 batch and were accepted. In May of 2012 I moved to California with my wife and we’ve been loving it ever since.
I’m by no means an expert at anything, but I do have a lot of in-the-trenches experience at marketing, team building, fundraising, bootstrapping, and product. I love to help out when I can.
If you want to get a hold of me let me know if the form below. I usually dedicate one day a week to respond to these requests so it could take up to 7 days or so before I respond.
If it’s more urgent than that, then you’ll find a way to get in touch with me. 😀
Website & social media links
- What’s your background before Zapier?
- You studied industrial engineering. Then you did a Master in Business Administration. How did you get into the software world? And can you code?
- You worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Missouri, then started working as customer development lead at the Idea Works, then email marketing manager at Veterans United Home Longs. Why did you decide to leave the teaching job at the university?
- Why did you call it Zapier & what’s really is Zapier?
- How did you meet your co-founder and how important to have a co-founder in a startup?
- How to soft launch a startup efficiently? What did you do at Zapier?
- How did you get your first customer then scaled Zapier?
- How do you currently market for Zapier?
- What are the tools or apps that are mostly connected by Zapier?
- How to post from buffer or facebook to Instagram? I personally struggle with that?
- How Zapier manage to connect the apps without getting access to some security data? How it makes two apps talking to each others? Do you get permissions from those apps to connect with others?
- For nontechi people what does APIs means?
- The Below two Questions are from Alex Kei to Wade Foster
- – Are your integrations API based only or do you use any other method?
- – Any plans on adding Wistia zaps based on view percentage and be able to tag viewers in Ontraport according to how much they watched a video?
- Ideas to use Zapier with Asana?
- Ideas to use Zapier with google sheets?
- Ideas to use Zapier with Mailchimp? And What’s the best email marketing auto responder?
- Ideas to use Zapier with WordPress?
- Ideas to use Zapier with QuickBooks?
- Ideas to use Zapier with Rescuetime?
- You are the tools connector guy, which tools you are using the most in your business & life?
- Zapier Vs. IFTTT
- Tell us more about your other projects that you are currently working on or planning for the future?
- Share with us some of the tools or software that make you more efficient?
- What’s your daily life and work routine looks like?
- What’s one marketing strategy that helped you the most in developing your business?
- What are your other hobbies?
- Who are your top 3 mentors?
- If you are just starting today in your field, from where you will start and what are you going to focus on to be more successful?
- The most important factors for success in 3 words?
- What’s the biggest failure moment in your life and what did you learn from it?
- What are the Top 3 apps that you use on your smartphone?
- What are the habits that you are trying to develop to stay efficient?
- What do you do to change your mood when you are depressed?
- What’s the best advice that you ever received?
- If you have the chance, what would you say to advise your younger self?
- What are your top 3 favorite books?
- What are the top 3 people that you are inspired by?
- Do you listen to any music when you work?
- Do you follow any routine to sleep?
- What makes you really happy?
- Is there’s any other question that I didn’t ask you and you wanted to talk about?
- How can people contact you?