Moving on from KISSmetrics…

hiten shah and neil patel

When you start a company, it becomes your baby, and one of the hardest things to do is let go of it.

In 2008, I started a company called KISSmetrics with my co-founder Hiten Shah. The company has grown nicely, and we raised millions of dollars to help expand the growth of the business.

But what Hiten and I never really announced was that in 2014, we left KISSmetrics. Here’s why we left, and here’s what’s next… 

Leaving KISSmetrics

We started KISSmetrics with a small team consisting of Hiten, me, an engineer, and a designer. As the company progressed, we added more people, raised more cash, and, of course, generated more revenue.

The journey with KISSmetrics has been fun. Although there were a lot of ups and downs, including hiccups such as a class action lawsuit and an FTC investigation, we learned a lot and are grateful for opportunities our investors, team members, and customers gave us.

As the company progressed, we have had a few different CEOs at the helm to help us grow the business further. And as they started to take on a lot of the responsibilities that Hiten and I once had to deal with, it opened up some free time, which allowed us to focus on some of our older businesses: Crazy Egg and Hello Bar.

What most people don’t realize is that although those companies may not be as well-known as KISSmetrics, they are larger in size from a revenue and profitability standpoint…especially when you consider that Crazy Egg has only five team members and was started 10 years ago. So in early 2014, Hiten and I started transitioning out of KISSmetrics so that we could focus on our other businesses and new things.

What’s next?

As you can see, I’ve been blogging a lot more. Since mid-2014, I’ve had a lot more time—my role at KISSmetrics was “Chief Evangelist,” and at the end of 2014, I fully transitioned out of it. This has allowed me to blog more on Quick Sprout as well as to start a new personal blog.

As time goes on, I will continue to blog as often as I am doing now. I don’t see how I can ramp it up, but I will be maintaining this level and trying to continually improve upon the quality.

Hiten and I—along with John Butler, who is the other partner and CTO of those two businesses—will also continue to grow Crazy Egg and Hello Bar. You should see a lot of new product releases with both of those companies this year and in future years.

As for Quick Sprout, there are a few things that are going to take place:

  1. Hiten and I have been working on creating new marketing software to help you grow your traffic. We have a very early version that we are using ourselves, and within three to six months from now, a minimal viable version will be released to all of you for free. (You can signup for early access by going to the Quick Sprout homepage.)
  2. I will be partnering up with a few companies during my spare time. So if you have a business that is generating seven figures in income and you want to work together, you can read this letter to learn more.
  3. I will also be taking on a few consulting projects. I don’t really care for the revenue, but I’d like to work on fun projects. Almost all of the knowledge I’ve gained has been through consulting, which is why I still do it every once in a while. It doesn’t make the best money, but knowledge is priceless, and you gain it faster by working in multiple industries at the same time. If you are interested in us working together, go here.

Conclusion

KISSmetrics is still cranking away and growing. So if you are a KISSmetrics customer, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you aren’t one, you should check it out.

As for my time and Hiten’s time, we will be spending more of it on Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and creating new marketing software that you can use as part of Quick Sprout. 🙂

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to respond.

P.S. If you want to learn more about my business partner Hiten, you can subscribe to his newsletter. He breaks down everything we’ve learned about building companies here.

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Comments

  1. Parampreet Chanana :

    new marketing software — Yeahhhhh! Seems interesting 😉

    • Hi Neil,

      Thanks for the update.

      Can you please update us on the nutrition blog and the 100K a month plan?

      -Christian

      • Christian,

        Just like you I’m also following the nutrition blog and the 100K a month plan.

        Neil, KUDOS!!!

        • Parampreet,
          Yeah, our aim is to provide more valuable tools to the community.

          Christian,
          I should have a new post in the coming weeks outlining the process along with updates.

          Kofori,
          Let me know if you need any help with anything. Thanks for the support.

          • Mark Ugwuanyi :

            I must really say: it hard to let go of your company, but it is a sign of maturity to focus on what need your time and resources.

            I will like to know how grew KissMetric to what it is today. Although, I have read the lawsuit issue some time ago. But a post like how the four members team was working, the management and coordination will be ok.

            In one of your blog post, you highlighted that you have a blog editor that help in editing the post and other wordpress issues. I must say such insight helped me lot. For beginner especially startup, we must not only work smart but work hard at the same time. So time saving tips from a guru like you will be appreciated.

            Also I am much more interested in nutrition blog and its update, I intend to start a new personal blog outside my startup blog to (promote my programming skill) and follow your update as you build the nutrition blog.

            Thanks for your time and resources invested in helping the community, I really appreciate

            One more thing: I sort of liked your previous picture, still the new one is good

            Cheers

            • Anil Agarwal :

              I always loved KISSMetrics Neil. You have created one of the greatest tools for marketers to track their visitor behavior.

              So glad to be using the tool! Success to your new ventures Neil!

  2. Steve Estimable :

    Good luck and success in your new adventures Neil!

    Q: Nothing
    A: Nothing… 😉

    Have a great day!

  3. Ayush Sharma :

    Amazing post, but I am surprised you didn’t mention anything about your nutrition blog and the job?

    If you will be doing that on the side too, don’t you think you will be taking on too much on yourself?

    If you want, I can help you find a domain that hasn’t been updated , if you haven’t found one already.

    Just my small way of saying thanks for the bundle of information you have posted here.

    Let me know.

    Regards,
    Ayush Sharma

    • Ayush,

      I am pretty good at planning and strategy so I definitely have time for all these activities.

      The nutrition blog has already started and I should have an update soon. As for the “work with me” opportunity, we are still reviewing applicants and should have an update soon.

      Thanks for the offer of help on the domain, but I have already found one.

      Thanks for all the support.

      • Ayush Sharma :

        I am glad to hear we can have an update on the nutritional and the job opening really soon.

        Looking forward to it.

        Regards,
        Ayush Sharma

      • I am pretty good at planning and strategy so I definitely have time for all these activities

        Can you please share that Recipe with us?

  4. Hi Neil

    Good luck with your new project mate!

    We’ll be here waiting for your new posts, as always.

    Jawad

  5. So Neil who is now handling and controlling KISSmetrics………

  6. Best of luck with the future! I, for one, am enjoying the increased amount of blogging you’ve been doing. It’s an inspiration to me, because I enjoy blogging, too.

    And now I know the secret to your productivity. You just devote a lot of time to this blogging thing, don’t you?

    • Randy, blogging amongst other things. I find that blogging achieves great results for me. That is why it’s one of my main focuses.

  7. Hi Neil,

    I know how it feels to get out of something that you cared like your baby. The word ‘baby’ exactly describes it all.

    I had a website that generated some thousands every month and I did not made it simply, After two years of revenueless effort, the website finally made some great earnings. But later me and my partner decided to sell it and invest on something that we actually belong to.

    Actually IT was a football website previously and we sold that, collected some revenue and invested in an IT firm, that is what our educational background.

    However life moves on and we need to adapt it. 🙂

    • Dipendra, It’s often tough to let go. However, seeing something grow and continue to thrive once you have left is a great feeling. Thanks for sharing your story — sounds like a great transition you made because you are happy with it.

  8. Peter Nicholls :

    Hi Neil – always look forward to your blog posts. They are always so refreshing, engaging, and act as a great refresher on so many subjects. Just wanted to say thanks!

    • Peter, glad I could help. Looking forward to hearing much more from you. Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  9. William Zimmerman :

    Neil, Much Success with everything. If I can ever help you with anything please do not hesitate to email me.

    All the Best,
    Bill Z

  10. Rohan Bhardwaj :

    Hellobar has a lot of potential with its ad supported and premium version

    I am happy that you have left kissmetrics as you are now creating something new for your fans.

    Looking forward for that software.

    No wonder you are posting more, I am in love with it.

    P.S. Second day today for me to consume your advanced guide to content marketing. Its awesome. I am.on chapter 3,now.

    You are awesome buddy. Take care.

    • Rohan, thanks for all the support. Sounds like you are trudging through that guide. Let me know if you need help with anything at all.

  11. Alex Whitfield :

    Best of Luck for your Marketing Software, and new Fitness Blog.

  12. Spencer Wade :

    Thanks for everything, I look forward to what’s to come! Onward & Upward!

  13. “What most people don’t realize is that although those companies may not be as well-known as KISSmetrics, they are larger in size from a revenue and profitability standpoint”
    Wow, would never have expected that. Isn’t HelloBar just like $5/month?
    Anyway, wishing you the best of luck!

    • Ramin, the plans start pretty low but it’s a volume game. Crazy Egg has been around for quite some time and has done exceptionally well.

  14. James Miller :

    Neil, congratulations on moving on to doing more things that you want to do. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Looking forward to the marketing software.

  15. Randy Kauffman :

    I will be contacting you as I have done before about a nice business opportunity.

  16. Tauseef Alam :

    Hi Neil,

    Best of luck for your next project. I can assure you that I’ll be the one out of first 10 people who will give your new software a try as soon it will be available. Looking forward to hear more from you on your new venture.

    Regards
    Tauseef Alam

  17. John GP Forsyth :

    Dude, y’all are awesome Neil.

  18. It’s good that you know when to leave things behind and start new challenges. Very curious about the new tool you’re developing. You know what we need to grow our traffic and I’m sure you will provide the best tool. Of course I’m already a reader of Hitenism too.
    Best of luck to both of you!

    • Raul, more details are coming soon – so stay tuned. Thanks for your continued support of all our ventures.

  19. I’m over curious about the nutrition blog project you mentioned. I haven’t seen any updates around domain selection. I was hoping to follow along with the project.

    Thanks

  20. Chris Boulanger :

    It must be exciting & gratifying to have multiple successful businesses, and have the freedom to switch your focus. Best of luck. Looking forward to seeing the software in the coming months.

  21. Nisha Pandey :

    Hello Neil,

    You are my all time inspiration. This is good to read about your journey with KISSmetrics and future planning with the Crazy Egg and Hello Bar.

    I have some amazing plannings for my future. And would like to discuss with you on regarding it. I will contact you soon.

    I would love to see your success further. All the very best!

    Have an amazing day!

  22. Wishing you all the best!

    I guess you will at some point share what your exit strategy was.

    Looking forward to hearing more about this Marketing Software and your nutrition blog

    Keep up the fantastic work.

    Toye

    • Toye, it’s likely that it may be a future blog posts — who knows.

      More details to come — stay tuned.

  23. Walter Hawkes :

    Love the blog posts, Neil. Keep ’em coming. Good luck in your continued transitioning…

    Best, Walter

  24. Adarsh Sojitra :

    It is very sad to know that you left kissmetrics and it is very good to know that software will be available for us also…
    Thanks sir…

  25. Hi Neil,

    I truly understand and agree with your decision, in the beginning of any project, the passion and drive is there and once that company is profitable, we as entrepreneurs look forward to the next level, I am proud of your accomplishment and decision to focus on new projects that will assist many who truly desire your expert ways of growing and maintaining companies.

    Awesome Job Bro,
    John Pate

    • John, I am always looking for a new challenge — which is what drives me. Thanks for the support. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.

  26. Good luck Neil! Your Seth Godin look is awesome too.

  27. I feel dumb. I had no idea you were behind crazy egg, kissmetrics, and hello bar… Wow, way to pay attention. Explains a lot about those companies, they all kick @$$ and you are behind them, coincidence?

    Chris

    • Chris, Thanks for the support. I don’t always talk about all of them but they are all projects I work(ed) very hard on.

  28. Exciting news! You have been a terrific resource and I know that will continue.

  29. Mary Collings :

    Neil – thanks for sharing that with us.

    I have no doubt that whatever you do, you’ll turn it around, increase it, bring new life to it and generally improve it!

    Loving your new look too! It really suits you!

    All the best in your new ventures and you know we’ll be behind you all the way 🙂

  30. Get More Website Traffic :

    Great story,

    KissMetrics is great. So is hellobar & crazyegg.

    🙂

  31. Please accept my best wishes for your continued activities – you make everyone else I know look like an under-achiever. I’d also love to know how you are progressing with your nutrition project – it’s the only one I understand because the one thing I can understand, and do, is eat.

    • Zarayna, I like to think everyone works equally hard and achieves success in different ways. Stay tuned for details on the nutrition project.

  32. Thanks for the update and Continued Success to you. I am sure we will stay in touch. I am eager to see what new horizons will unfold for you. It is always a pleasure!

    Regards!

    Johnny

  33. Congrats and all the best Neil for your new assignments and exciting business venture ahead

  34. I’m watching the upsell video for TrafficDomination and there are some valuable insights from you Neil:

    1). Blogging is your highest ROI activity
    2). You piggyback off of your old businesses (brilliant, Anik Singal came back on the IM scene and said he used his old email list to do it)
    3). Recurring revenue is where it’s at; don’t stress about new customers; the money is in the backend
    4). Infographics are the biggest source of your traffic

    I’m going to keep following you and emulate your 100k/month blogging challenge.

    Raza

    • Raza, thanks for the support and for sharing these great points. I think number 1 is one that I talk about very often — and it really resonates with everyone. Let me know if you need any help along the way.

  35. Hi, Neil.

    It’s always nice reading your stories and case studies here.
    I think it’s important to let go of something when you feel like you have done what you had to do, your mission is completed and by just remaining in one place it won’t get you to grow and advance. Or create more opportunities for yourself & others.

    I had to let go of two startups even if one was profitable from the start and the other had a lot of opportunities to offer, it’s painful – I guess I felt like mom&dad when I left for college and they had to let me go because this was the best choice – and it’s hard with all the efforts, energy, time investment, enthusiasm you put in to make it work.

    But that gives you another chance to take on new challenges and focus on what’s more important.

    I’m actually excited to see your presentation in May at GPeC summit in Bucharest. Hope you can share the principle of moving on from a profitable business with the audience there, they need this lesson.

    • Roxana, growth is what allows people to learn new things. They say it’s also a driver of wisdom. Thanks for all the support and I look forward to seeing you in Bucharest as well.

      • I’d add Focus to the whole wisdom equation. 🙂
        I will sacrifice my morning sleep just to hear your speech and Matthew Woodward’s at the summit.

        Plus, the after parties are cool, last year the beer and fun talks were neverending.

  36. Congrats on the move, Neil! Moving on from a venture I’ve founded is always bittersweet. Moving on opens up new space in your life for new creative ventures! Best of luck going forward!

    Thanks,
    Vi

  37. Hey Neil,

    Thanks for all of your insights!

  38. Thanks for letting us know what is happening in the background.

    It’s nice when you can step back from your accomplishments and then pick & choose which direction you would like to venture into next… I can’t wait to get there myself 🙂

  39. Neil,

    I love the letter and application to work with you. Some very nice ad copy!

    -Toby

  40. Leaving a business you have created is hard, but having a new challenge is something very stimulating. I really enjoy reading all your blogs Neil and wish you great success with your future projects.

  41. Yo Neil. Glad to see that you are spending more time on blogging and replying on comments.
    Hope we will get Nutrition blog update soon.

  42. All the best to you, you are a hard working and a smart man bets of luck

  43. Hi Neil,

    Just wanted to say good luck and more success to come. Thank you for all the insights you share. Looking forward to trying the new software.

  44. Blaine Wilkerson :

    Thanks for the update Neil. It must be difficult to move on from one of your “babies”.

    But this seems like a positive transition for you. Crazy Egg and Hello Bar are amazing services with outstanding potential. The “cool factor” of Crazy Egg still blows me away!

    Wanna know what I find most impressive?

    Your tenacious blogging on Quicksprout and NeilPatel.com…hands down. The quality and quantity of the posts rival some of the most in-depth guides you’ve ever created.

    Simply amazing. You’ve set the bar so, so high.

    Your marketing and blogging accomplishments continue to inspire me to push forward, create more value, and share more of my knowledge with the world.

    Given your track record, it’s almost scary to think about what you have in store for the future! 😉

    Good Luck with all your endeavors, Neil. I’m right here to support you like the rest, man! Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Cheers!

    • Blaine, thanks for the kind words of support. It is my passion to blog and share all the tricks and tools I have learned along the way. I also like engaging with the marketing community. I look forward to hearing much more from you.

  45. Hi Neil

    I have first to wish you great success marketing software. I have no doubt it will be a great tool. Well I’m a little bit worrying about pricing. I’m dreaming for years now of an affordable marketing tool to sell here in Senegal.

    Our companies in Senegal and Africa in general definitely cannot afford some software like Hubspot for example. So I really hope your pricing policy in new marketing software plan will take account of companies in emerging countries.

    Thanks for sharing
    Issa

    • Issa, I will definitely take that into consideration. Most of my tools have been affordable to the masses so I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

  46. Letting go is very difficult.. Best of luck for your future endeavors.

  47. Jelena Milosevic :

    I wish you all best and that you will enjoy your future !

    And I’m curiose about your next projetcts 🙂

  48. Hi neil,

    your blog is always so informational, detailed and inspiring. You’ve indeed came a long way to your success. Thank you for sharing great stuffs and tips. Keep up the good work!

  49. Great achievements,…. Your Blog is Kinda inspiring one……Keep rocking with your ideas neil bro… 🙂

  50. Hey Neil

    Are you guys still shareholders of KissMetrics?

    Good luck with all the other ventures.

    Simon

  51. Hi Niel,
    Good fortunes for your Future and definitely you’ll get all from your diligent work.

  52. Harekrishna :

    Your all companies, KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and Quick Sprout are popular companies. The new marketing software is interesting.

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