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Maker vs. Manager

April 1, 2022 |  

About this episode


In 2019, Ben Tossell was a frustrated entrepreneur, launching products nobody bought. His contacts showed little interest in his concepts but were curious about how he built his online offerings – especially because Tossell admitted he didn’t know how to code.

Tossell decided to create videos of how non-technical people could launch online products and put them behind a paywall. He got his first 15 orders for the “how-to” videos on the back of one email he sent to his contacts and realized he might be on to something. Two years later, Tossell’s company Makerpad, had around $500,000 per year of revenue when the automation giant Zapier acquired it.

Tossell took the cash, bought a house and an Aston Martin for the driveway, and continues to run Makerpad as an independent division of Zapier.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to:

  • Identify a product idea with the potential to become a business.
  • Leverage Twitter to build your business.
  • Raise capital without dealing with venture capitalists.
  • Decide between the lifetime membership vs. subscription business models.
  • Know if you’re a “maker” vs. “manager”.
  • Value your business for an investor and why that may be different in the eyes of an acquirer.

Show Notes & Links

Maker vs. Manager original post.

Ben’s former employer, Product Hunt.

Ben’s investor, Calm Fund.

Sureswift Capital.

Tiny Capital.

Ben’s Tweet that caught the attention of Wade Foster, CEO & co-founder of Zapier.

Ben’s company, Makerpad.

Ben’s acquirer, Zapier.

The Messy Marketplace – Brent Beshore.

Curious about what your company might be worth? Start with a Built to Sell Valuation.

Check out our full M&A Glossary


No-code development platforms (NCDPs) allow programmers and non-programmers to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional computer programming”.


About Our Guest

Ben Tossell

Ben Tossell is the CEO and founder of Makerpad, which helps people build business ideas without writing code. Ben launched Makerpad in 2019 and in 2021 it was acquired by Zapier – an automation tool that connects thousands of apps and tools together to automate business processes.

At that time, Zapier was a major partner of Makerpad – we’ve always featured it extensively in our tutorials, and to run our own business. Wade (Zapier CEO) and I had met several times virtually and in-person in San Francisco at the No-Code Conference. The more we spoke, the more we realized our visions for the future of no-code were aligned.

Then someone from the community tweeted back in 2020 that Zapier should buy Makerpad. Wade reached out to say we should chat about it, and it all went from there. We started talking about what we both wanted, and it was clear we both wanted the same thing: to spread knowledge of no-code and automation as far as possible. And we knew it’d be much easier to do it together. Makerpad officially became part of the Zapier family in March 2021.

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