My guest for Ep155 of The Startup Playbook Podcast was the Founder & CEO of Tablo, Ash Davies.
Tablo is one of the world’s leading book publishing platforms which allows over 100,000 authors to publish and distribute printed books at the touch of a button.
But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing!
In this interview, Ash Shares for the first time how a failed acquisition offer from Apple, led to a pivot and evolution into building the business that Tablo is today.
Outside of Tablo, Ash also runs two highly successful side hustles, name Nonsense Inc, which creates parody car air freshners such as Elon’s Musk and last year he launched Melbourne Mask Company, which has become Australia’s largest distributor of reusable face masks.
In this interview we also discussed:
How he’s taken a data-driven approach that has allowed him to grow the business 40-50% YoY despite only raising $400K in funding 7 years ago.
How 2 successful side-hustles have helped him to focus and create a better business at Tablo
How Ash approaches execution of new ideas
Early mistakes Ash made when trying to grow Tablo
The importance of self awareness as a founder
How a failed acquisition by Apple led to a pivot and evolution into creating the business that Tablo is today
& much more!
2.34 – Introduction to Ash and Tablo
3.25 – How Ash’s passion for business came from building go-karts
6.41 – Ash’s experience at University and deciding to pave out a unique career path
9.05 – Starting Tablo after seeing first-hand the struggles of self-publishing and ebook publishing
12.31 – How Ash first built a version of Tablo with very little technical experience
15.23 – Why it’s important to launch a product rather than spending too much time perfecting it
17.01 – The value of using free trial offers to validate an idea and connect with customers
18.31 – The benefits of participating in an accelerator program
20.24 – The importance of building a solid business rather than focusing on just raising capital
23.26 – Partnering with Apple and pivoting after the project fell through
28.28 – Deciding what is important to focus on and what isn’t worth continuing with
29.49 – Why Ash suggests launching customer-facing features first so you can find pain points in the backend initially
32.43 – Keeping calm and making smart decisions in times of stress
35.44 – Why it’s important to have a deep love for the product and be able to turn ‘failures’ into opportunities
39.46 – Why Ash prefers working on multiple projects and businesses at the same time
47.01 – How Ash started a reusable mask business at the start of the pandemic
48.34 – How past projects falling through allowed for a successful move into print publishing
52.25 – Spending over a year working on print publishing without knowing whether it was the right move for the company
54.16 – Focusing on customers and building a great product over PR and marketing in the early days
57.39 – Building customer relationships as an early-stage founder