Ground Up Podcast

From ‘Failed Entrepreneur’ to $10M in ARR in 3+ Years

Russ Perry, founder of Design Pickle, shares how they made unlimited, subscription-based graphic design work.

John Bonini John Bonini on April 23, 2018 • 1 minute read

In 2014, Russ Perry considered himself a failed entrepreneur.

His previous company, an agency, had folded after, in his words, “doing things wrong for so many years.”

His wife, two daughters, and debt owed from his failed business would’ve made it easy to scramble for short term opportunities to pay bills. But what Russ really wanted was for his next idea to be both profitable and a source of personal fulfillment.

He picked up a few consulting jobs, a lot of simple design jobs he facilitated, but mostly, he had a lot of time to think.

He read Dan Noriss’ The 7 Day Startup and became inspired by the parallels he saw between his design consulting and WP Curve’s business model of subscription WordPress updates.

Russ thought, “I wonder if I could make subscription-based graphic design work?”

That was his eureka moment.

Design Pickle launched in January of 2015 as flat rate, unlimited graphic design help.

A little over three years later and they’re on pace for $10M in revenue in 2018.

Russ loves to talk about Design Pickle, but he wanted to tell the whole story, starting with the failure of his previous business and why it didn’t work out…

Subscribe to Ground Up on iTunes and hear honest portrayals of the hard stuff, breakthroughs, and lessons learned from starting or growing a business.

About the author
John Bonini
John Bonini is Director of Marketing at Databox. He's passionate about building brands that tell great stories. Connect with him on Twitter @bonini84.
You may also like...
Read more

Vimeo’s Journey to Full-Service SaaS & One Million Paying Subscribers

On this episode of Ground Up, Vimeo’s Melissa Matlins dives deep into Vimeo’s journey to become a full-service video platform and how they’re repositioning the brand to support that.

Ground Up Podcast   |  Dec 9

Read more

How (and Why) ThriveHive Went All-In On Small, Local Businesses

ThriveHive CMO Dan Slagen shares the challenges of marketing to the SMB, how to build a marketing strategy around those challenges, and why partner marketing has been the key to it all.

Uncategorized   |  Dec 2

Read more

How ActiveCampaign Grew to 80k Customers By Focusing On Product First

Active Campaign’s CMO, Maria Pergolino, joins Ground Up to share how the company netted 80,000 customers without a consistent marketing strategy, how she’s structuring the marketing team now, and why they’re leaning into brand and an already established community to grow.

Ground Up Podcast   |  Nov 25