An Interview with Entrepreneur Todd Fisher

Todd Fisher is the Co-Founder and CEO of CallTrackingMetrics, a top-rated call tracking & automation platform. Founded in 2012, CallTrackingMetrics has more than doubled in size every year and now serves over 30,000 businesses around the globe. Todd developed the initial software and continues to be the driving technical force behind the fast-growing company. CallTrackingMetrics is now a powerful player in the industry, but Todd still develops features the same way he did in the beginning—based on customer success. He has also pioneered a number of notable advancements in the development field, especially within the Ruby on Rails community.

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In the following interview, Todd talks about his entrepreneurial journey, struggles and the lessons learned along the journey.

What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?

I’ve definitely learned that life is full of success and failure. Growing up, I witnessed the continuous rise and fall of the technology industry and was able to watch the impact of launching a company like AOL from the early stages along through the big tech crash.

Personally, I think my biggest failures were in the very beginning of my career. Early on, I was very independent and so I really struggled to work in a team setting. I can see now that my expectations didn’t align with reality. Eventually, I learned to work well with others, but I fully admit that I was once pretty difficult to manage.

As for my greatest success in life—raising three amazing children with my wife (and co-founder) Laure. No question.

How did you come up with the idea for CallTrackingMetrics and how did it all start?

Laure and I kind of had an “a-ha moment” while running a marketing consulting firm. We had a few customers who really wanted the ability to measure offline activity, specifically calls, that were generated as a result of their online ad campaigns. After researching existing tools that could track and analyze calls, I decided that the only way to get all of the features and functionality I needed, was to build it myself. At the time, I was also really focused on developing an online payment option, which posed its own challenges back in early 2008.

That basic SaaS platform we developed in our basement would evolve into what is now CallTrackingMetrics. We officially incorporated in 2012, and at the time of this writing, we have 34 employees, over 30,000 customers on our platform, and have landed on the Inc 5000 list for the last three consecutive years. It’s pretty amazing when you look back at how we started, and consider that we’ve built this all ourselves, with no outside funding.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

One of our company’s core values is that we are never satisfied. There’s always more to do: new features to develop, new industries to support, new products to integrate with - it’s an iterative process, and it will always be. As an engineer, I am continuously building, changing, and making better.

We developed our platform based on customer success, and that’s how we continue to evolve it today. I’m always sifting through suggestions from our users and figuring out how to implement them in an organized, efficient way. I love that we are totally focused on solutions here; when speaking with clients, the first thing we do is learn what their pain points are so that we can resolve them—quickly and effectively.

In terms of growth plans, it’s fairly simple, we want to enable better conversations. Whether those conversations are used to align sales, marketing, and service teams or provide best-in-class customer service—we want to be your unified communications platform.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

That’s a tough question!
Growing our business from a room in our basement to what it is today has been quite an adventure! I’ve learned to always push forward and never, ever rewrite. Stay focused on that constant, incremental growth.

Also, from a business perspective, finding a price point suitable for the value our platform is always a challenge. It takes a lot of trial and error to find that balance, and every few years we reevaluate and change things up again to keep up with consumer demand.

There’s no doubt that, looking back over the past ten years, there are things I would have done differently. However, I wouldn’t actually change a thing if given the chance. I’m proud of the challenges we overcame, and the character we’ve built through adversity.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

I think the biggest entrepreneurial challenge I faced was learning to really focus. This may be an issue specific to engineers trying to start their own business because I know my background in writing software didn’t totally prepare me with the laser-like focus I needed as an entrepreneur.

What helped me the most was to personally handle as many phone calls from customers as I could. In fact, I still handle support phone calls on a daily basis so that I never lose that valuable insight which helps prioritize our development roadmap. That said, it’s important to recognize that it’s impossible to please everyone. Not all customer requests are suitable as feature enhancements for the platform—but when they are, it’s our priority to build them well, and build them fast.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.