Craig Unger: Rigor from the Start [Built in Seattle Ep. #17]
2 min read

Craig Unger: Rigor from the Start [Built in Seattle Ep. #17]

Hyperproof CEO and Founder and former Microsoft veteran, Craig Unger talks about rigor and patience in his founding process, how 50+ customer interviews built confidence in his darker moments, and his unique approach to sales hiring.

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Hyperproof was one those startups that seem to "easily" get funded and "quickly" rack up customers. Craig Unger raised $5.8M early on and pilled up customer logos.

But the reality was tons of rigor and patience behind the scenes. Craig had the idea marinating for 15 years. He did 50+ customer interviews before writing any code. 100+ interviews before hiring a head of sales. Told his founding story over 400 times to investors, customers, employees. And that was after 20 years at Microsoft.

Craig shared his lessons on a new episode of The Built in Seattle Podcast.

Episode Highlights

  • Why the "how" and founding process were as important as the "what" in Craig's second startup.
  • How Craig brought analytical rigor and patience to the earliest stages of founding,.
  • How 20 years at Microsoft helped (and didn't help!) when Craig started founding companies
  • Craig's process for conducting 50+ user interviews and driving meaningful discussions with potential customers.
  • How he got proof of concept users and converting them to customers
  • The process for identifying a company's ideal customer profile
  • Ways to recruit your initial salespeople when your product is still under development.

Craig Unger Bio

Manny co-founded Outreach in 2014 and now serves as CEO. Prior to Outreach, Manny was employee number three on Amazon’s AWS team, and led the Microsoft mobile division from launch to $50M in annual revenue. He holds an MBA from Harvard and a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Manny is a model of vulnerable and transparent leadership to his employees, from his heartfelt weekly email to his employees, to the traditional Friday get-together where the whole company shares their highs and lows of the week. He is a proponent of saving the planet by consuming less and purchasing second-hand whenever possible (he might be the only CEO to take the stage at industry events in shirts purchased from Goodwill). Manny grew up in Ecuador and now lives with his wife and three children in Seattle.