The Build #38: Giving

Making a charitable donation online is now as simple as posting a hashtag comment on your favorite social media post, thanks to the innovative idea behind John Gossart’s startup company Goodworld. Goodworld has eliminated expensive processing fees and security hurdles and kept charitable donations where they belong — within the moment that inspired the generosity behind them.

John joins me today to discuss the ‘right idea at the right time’ concept behind Goodworld. He shares the strategies that have kept them on equal playing grounds with big businesses and reminds us that starting any company comes with challenges that simply can’t be solved with hustle alone. It’s the story of Goodworld on The Build.

More about today’s guest:

Key Takeaways

[1:38] The journey that took John from military life to civilian life and entrepreneurship.
[4:25] The mission and execution of the GoodWorld donation movement.
[9:01] Thriving as a startup will require careful management and strategic navigation among big businesses.
[12:27] The contextual differentiation of GoodWorld that makes their idea so simple and so effective.
[15:14] An overview of the user experience for a GoodWorld customer.
[17:20] Using GoodWorld as a platform to increase awareness across multiple charities.
[19:26] Maintaining integrity with the charities and keeping the donations secure.
[23:36] Scaling this growing company and what John looks for in GoodWorld recruits.
[27:02] Balancing the entrepreneur lifestyle with personal life.
[29:19] Overcoming the challenges that every startup company is destined to face.
[34:00] Forecasting the future of GoodWorld.


Announcer (00:01):
From 2820 Radio in Philadelphia, it's The Build. Conversations with entrepreneurs and innovators about their dreams, their triumphs, and their challenges.

Joe Taylor Jr. (00:14):
Giving. Americans give more than $400 billion to charities every year, and yet most nonprofit organizations rely on impulse donations for much of their funding. Until recently, it was hard to process donations of 5, 10 or 20 bucks online without running into expensive implementation and security hurdles. Today's guest has been working on a solution to that challenge. He spent more than two decades in the military and as a counterterrorism policy director before shifting gears and joining his first startup. And as John Gossart was negotiating the sale of that company, he met a new co founder with a vision for a social media tool that makes donating to charity as easy as posting a hashtag. And if that sounds too easy to be true, John is here to remind us all that launching a company, even one with the attention of changing the world for the better, comes with challenges you always solve with hustle alone. It's the story of GoodWorld, coming up next on The Build.

Announcer (01:20):
The Build is made possible with support from 2820 Press. Providing business consulting and content strategy services to customer obsessed companies nationwide. More information at

Joe Taylor Jr. (01:38):
It's The Build. I'm Joe Taylor Jr. joined today by John Gossart at GoodWorld. Welcome to the show.

John Gossart (01:44):
Thanks for having me, Joe.

Joe Taylor Jr. (01:45):
My pleasure. Give us a little rundown. I think that you have one of the more interesting LinkedIn pages that I think I've ever seen a big transition from military life into civilian life and entrepreneurship. Run down the journey for us that folks can understand.

John Gossart (02:04):
I started out trying to go to Boston College and get my undergraduate degree and I didn't have the money to do that. So I looked at a lot of potential scholarships and grants and things like that. It was the military that was offering me the most. I didn't know anything. I couldn't spell Army, but I applied for and got an army ROTC scholarship which afforded me a four year scholarship, a way to get my undergraduate degree. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. It certainly wasn't a military career and I fully intended to serve the four years that I owed to payback the scholarship. And I just never got out. By the time that time came I was already in Europe and I was already into my second tour as an Army officer and I ended up doing about 22 1/2 years in military and government. I kind of transitioned over to the counterterrorism policy side the last six or seven years of my career. And I just ended up making a career of that and so I was all over the world. I was spending most of my time, at the end of my career, in places like Pakistan and Yemen in East Africa. But mid career either been afforded the opportunity to go to grad school at Georgetonn and to teach at West Point. And there was a handful of guys that I met there that were likeminded that reached out to me as they were getting out of the military. They had an idea and it became RideScout. I didn't really know too much about entrepreneurship or tech. I was working with what some of those bleeding edge technology in the world in my day job and the counter terrorism world.

John Gossart (03:43):
But, you know, my personal phone was a flip phone. But these guys reached out to me at a time that I had been away from home for the better part of a decade. My sons were getting older, high school and college age and I thought maybe this would be a good time for a transition. So, I joined these guys figuring that like most of these ventures it would fail in six months or so and give me time to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. We raised a couple million dollars and we ended up selling that company getting acquired by Diamond Mercedes. So my foray into the entrepreneurial space in the tech space was actually kind of incidental in many ways, accidental.

Joe Taylor Jr. (04:23):
Now the exit, for most folks- they go through a journey like that. They exit, they take a little time away, they think about maybe doing some vc or they just kind of head out to early retirement. You dive right back in with GoodWorld. So tell us a little bit about GoodWorld, the mission, what attracted you to the idea and how are you executing on that?

Speaker 3 (04:50):
So GoodWorld was the other half of the founding team, Dale Pfeifer- it was her original idea and vision. And as we were going through what would become diligence with the german bankers for the acquisition of my last company, I had been advised, I had met Dale in Washington DC, kind of in similar entrepreneurial circles. She had this great idea but she didn't have any corporate governance or financial instrument on. She basically had this great idea, a laptop and an intern. So I was trying to help her think through some of the, kind of, foundational pieces that she needed to put together to make it a company. Your 10 thIngs that you need to do, and kind of in the order that I think you need to do these things. She and I became close, and the more that I advised her and we had these kind of sessions that were becoming regular advisory sessions, the more that idea was getting under my skin and getting and digging into my brain. So by the time we get acquired at the end of '14, that RideScout gets acquired-- I mean, I'm already thinking very hard about the implications of GoodWorld and I almost immediately started negotiating with diamler on how I could exit, maintain most of my equity and my comp, but at the same time be free to work on work this other thing, which I thought was, it was much bigger and it was something to be honest, I was much more passionate about. So what GoodWorld does is we allow people to donation enable their social media content. So we've got thousands of charity partners, including some of the very biggest of the world.

John Gossart (06:31):
Greenpeace, PETA, Save the Children. UNICEF, UN Foundation and thousands of dog shelters that you've never heard of and another smaller charities. But we allow them to, in just a matter of a couple of minutes, connect to our technology, our platform and donation enable all their social content. So what they Tweet or just a comment on Facebook, you can trigger an instant donation. And also instant engagement because when you come and hashtag donate to save the children, you say hashtag donate pen on any one of their posts right now. You'll get a Facebook reply back from Save the Children. It's our technology, but it's their social media saying thanks for your donatIon. Credit card, debit card is being swiped, the money's being bashed in ACH directly to the charity. You got to customize email receipt coming your way.

John Gossart (07:23):
Donor and nonprofit dashboards being dynamically updated, data dashboards, CRM integration-- the whole works. So the fundamental premise of GoodWorld. And of course it has implications for payments at large. Not just donations. Political contributions, university donations and commerce, ultimately, which is why very soon we're going to be announcing kind of a new step in our partnership with Mastercard. And in fact, by the time this airs, we'll have made that announcement about a strategic investment for Mastercard. Sothis has implications that could run pretty deep across commerce because it's really true social payments, which nobody else is doing right now. The payments industry right now is trying to figure out if everyone's getting inspired on social and mobile to make consumption towards this, how can we redirect them to a place where they can have a secure transaction, which is typically like a website or web form.

John Gossart (08:19):
And we just think that is fundamentally flawed. Why not allow people to have a secure payment experience at the moment they're inspired, inside the content that inspired them. And in many cases that's inside your Facebook newsfeed or inside your Twitter stream or your Instagram feed and don't redirect them at all. And so that's what we've done-- knock on wood, you know-- nobody else is doing it right now. So we've got a little bit of first mover advantage. We've got some great strategic partnerships with people like Mastercard and Paypal and Twitter itself. We've got a little special permission from Facebook, do what we do. We've got thousands of charity partners and we're on the move; we're moving fast.

Joe Taylor Jr. (09:02):
I think you're bumping up into some pretty big potential competitors. I can think that some of the social media platforms themselves may want to get into this space. And then, even the payment platforms that are customized for the nonprofit community, there is a big industry behind supporting nonprofits. So how does a startup like GoodWorld navigate that space in such a way that you can grow and thrive and not necessarily just get stomped out by a potential bigger competitor?

John Gossart (09:39):
I mean, not to be flippant, but how we navigate that is very carefully. Especially before we had institutional capital behind us, we're very fortunate to have some of the best institutional capital partners in the world. Nika partners led our first institutional round right out the gate. They've got a lot of lps that are part of a lot of very big FinTech, Paypal and ebay and Google payments and many others. So I think we're very fortunate that we have good, big FinTech names, brothers and kind of benefactors in capital around us that help us with the expertise to navigate- but also the network to navigate and the understanding, institutional expertise to understand that opportunities as well as risks. A lot of times they format in the same types of entity.

John Gossart (10:37):
So for us, if we didn't manage our own narrative well, we could look like a threat to all of those activities that you talked about. The platforms themselves. Certainly the FinTech or payments facilitation space, you know, just the nonprofit space in general CRM managers, you name it. Content providers, even. We could represent a threat for all of those entities. We could also represent a great opportunity to differentiate an offering with your competitors. and that's really when we came out of beta, we had done a few million in transactions, we had tens of thousands of unique payers. It was enough data for us to really dig into the 1.0, figure out how to get better product market fit. But one of the things that jumped out at us, the cpa is that require our own customers were a little high and the time it was taking us to grow at a rate that we needed to maintain the first mover average and to become sustainable and become profitable, that the physics wasn't working there. So we made a delIberate decision to lock arms with these. A lot of these sectors that you're talking about, a lock arms with important strategic corporates like Mastercard and Paypal and Twitter and say, let's work together. We'll give you a technology that can help improve your offering and differentiate you in some ways from your competition. And in exchange we get access to a massive distribution network that you already own. And so it resonated with a lot of strategic corporate. Facebook- they like us because we help people stay on Facebook. So in a way, you know, , it's a bit of a mutually beneficial arrangement there. And with these other corporates, it's about giving them something that they can offer their customers that they don't have, that their competitors don't have.

Joe Taylor Jr. (12:29):
I can empathize with someone who's a campaign manager at a nonprofit because I can envision choosing GoodWorld as a preferred social media donation platform means I'm managing one account, one relationship, and I'm not having to set up at Twitter at Facebook at Instagram and think that-- oh, now I have to manage all of these separate accounts.

John Gossart (12:53):
Yeah, I think that's a great point. But also, if you do try to do it separately, most of those tools are still gonna require that redirect. And I think the most fundamental experiential difference with GoodWorld is that it's truly at the moment of inspiration in the stream, you're turning that sentiment, that hashtag into an action. You're turning it into an actual transaction- sentiment into a transaction. And nobody else is doing that right now. Facebook's got a tool now that certainly keeps you on Facebook and can keep you inside a campaign page, but nobody is allowing you to transact right inside a public newsfeed. So think of like a venmo experience. But venmo is still kind of a private network, they're asking you-- we love those guys by the way-- but venmo is saying, let's take this conversation to a different social network and socIal networks built all around payments and we just don't think payments are fun enough to deserve their own social network.

John Gossart (13:53):
That conversation started on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. So if we've been inspired to make a consumption choice there, whether it's donate to a charity, make a peer to peer payment or buy a pair of shoes, why not allow people to make that transaction in the place where they're inspired. And that's on the platform. So that's our true differentiator and that's why we call it contextual. Were portable, exportable and contextual. And the contextual piece is one of the most important parts because if you want true social payments, there's nothing social about filling out a web form. It's a very lonely experience. But let's say you don't follow Save the Children, but you and I are Facebook friends, when I come and hashtag donate 25 on a Save the Children post, you're very likely now, or much more likely, to see that content that Save the Children didn't even pay to boost because you and I are friends. You're very unlikely to see that content, even if you follow Save the Children and they boost it and they're trying to get that content to you from a commercial perspective or from a sponsored post perspective. So now you're seeing content you otherwise wouldn't have seen because you and I are friends and I'm a much more credIble ambassador for the product in this case, Save the Children, because you know me. When you see your friends do something much more likely to influence your behavior, then if you're just getting served a sponsored post.

Joe Taylor Jr. (15:15):
So what's the user experience for someone that sees- if we're Facebook friends, I see you say #donate25 and I see that happening- am I asking you what? Hey, what's that about? Or if I try and do that, but I haven't signed up for GoodWorld yet, what happens? What brings me over into the realm of signing up for an account and actually transacting?

Speaker 3 (15:44):
It's that first conversion that's always the challenge, right? Because we are going to need to get a payment credential. So if you said #donate10 or if you retweeted my hashtag donate tweet, you would get a tweet or a Facebook reply to your comment back that instead of saying thanks for your donation, Joe, it would say, thanks for your pledge. You know, thanks for your $10 or $25 pledge and there'd be a bitly or a little short link that would take you to the place to complete that donation. It would say click here to complete your donation. But when you land, and the one time that we will ever ask you to redirect from a GoodWorld platform perspective, you don't have to put your name in your email address, social media handles, we have all that because you gave that to Facebook and Twitter. So we get that through the APIs that we're connected to and the only thing you need to put in as your credit card and expiration date.

John Gossart (16:36):
And that's why on Facebook our conversion rate is about 61 percent, which way outside market. Then once you've done that, you can hashtag donate across any social media platform across any of our thousands of charity partners. So of course, repeat donations on social are going to be near 100 percent conversion. You'd have to physically go into your dashboard and cancel it to walk back that donation. So conversion rates are very high. The whole point is getting you past that one small conversion hurdle. And then you're off and running. I mean, we want people making motive decisions about donating to causes they're passionate about. If you have a couple of beers and make a couple of drunk donations because the content speaks to you, then all the better.

Joe Taylor Jr. (17:22):
Well, I think that's the other interesting thing because it's always a challenge for nonprofits to build enough of that trust to get that impulse donation. How are you seeing folks use GoodWorld as a platform to learn about other causes once they're registered, that payment credentials essentially good across all of the charities you work with, right?

Speaker 3 (17:55):
That's true. That's just all of the charities we work with. Whatever platforms they are connected to. So it's ubiquitous. That's what we mean when we say what we mean when we say we're portable. So it's not just a Facebook tool or Twitter tool or web tool, Instagram-- it's a you tool. Once you empower yourself and whatever that payment credential, that credit card or debit card, with the power of the hashtag donate, you can take it. You have that with you wherever you go, whether you're on mobile or their desktop, whatever platform and whatever nonprofit. Now, nonprofIts probably aren't in the business of touting another nonprofit, especially if it's in the same kind of issue space as them- like hey, check out these guys because they see that maybe some opportunity cost. But we certainly do see some cross pollinization. I would say our biggest data pool would probably be people that donate and make repeat donations to the cause that introduced them to the psychology and the first place. You know, it's very much the cars in front and GoodWorld and support as opposed to the GoodWorld brand being out in front.

John Gossart (18:55):
But then the next biggest pool is probably people that stay in the same space. So they're given to, you know, a couple of different dog rescues maybe based on breed or I dunno- a geography. We see that same type of pooling with poverty or hunger types of charities. But for the most part I would say the biggest, you know, the mode in this case would probably be people that got introduced to technology in a particular cause or charity and they're kind of sticking with that charity. And they've got that relationship with that charity.

Joe Taylor Jr. (19:29):
So whenever I see a new vehicle that includes payments, I immediately get concerned about the potential for fraud or misuse. How do you keep bad actors off your platform?

John Gossart (19:43):
We do a lot of vetting both from a human perspective as well as from an automated perspective. On the nonprofit side we made sure that every nonprofit that gets access to the platform, we're checking them against the IRS database to ensure that they are a 501c3 or 4 that's in good standing, or that standIng hasn't been revoked. Also we check OFAC to make sure that there's no terrorist financing, or ties. That's another treasury based database, and all that's automated through their EIN. As far as the people go, when they're putting their credit card in during that short onboarding process, they're actually tunneling into Stripe which is our front end payment processor. So we at GoodWorld never touch the credit card and we actually never touch the money. It goes straight from the swipe through Stripe as a processor and then to the coffers our nonprofit partner. So that helps us protect maybe the most sensitive data, payment credentials and when the banking information for our nonprofit partners because, technically, we don't have that information. We use a tokenized fault to process those transactions. But I think the other thing is if you could walk away from your laptop or from your phone logged into amazon or logged into GoodWorld. And you know, I can't imagine that there'd be some big nefarious action around donating to Save the Children on your behalf. But if somebody did want to do that, we also make sure that our donors are ultimately in charge of their credentials and have of their ability to hashtag donate. Within 12 hours you can always go on your own, into your own, dashboard and GoodWorld and you could cancel a donation.

John Gossart (21:37):
Or you can edit the amounts. If you say #donate1000 and you meant to say 10 or 100 -- we don't want to say gotcha and there's nothing you can do. You can go in there and edit that yourself. We're trying to breed trust in those ways too, to let people have access to their data, access to their accounts, and even make changes if they make mistakes or if somebody were to donate on your behalf-- if your kid picks up your phone and #donate10,000 to Greenpeace you're going to get that email, you're going to get you're the badge on your Facebook app. It's going to light up some of these talking about you. Of course this is a Greenpeace saying thanks for $10,000 donation. So you're going to get notified and a lot of ways that that just happened. Then you can easily go in there and correct it inside 12 hours. If 12 hours expires we'd go in and do the manual refund.

Joe Taylor Jr. (22:29):
Oh sure. And I think that's a huge advantage. I know from my own, the first half of my career, was spent in the nonprofit space and I know the fact that you can ride on top of the existing credit card processing platforms means that you are backed up for things like charge backs or potential fraud. The thing that strikes me on your pricing page is that from a nonprofit point of view, seven percent of a transaction for a new donor is a bargain. If you ask any kind of nonprofit fundraiser, most of the services or folks that are out there doing rainmaking for nonprofits are charging significantly more. Often in the realm of 20 to 25 percent. So seven percent is a pretty good bargain. You're basically writing your fee on top of those Stripe fees. So the opportunity to grow your platform is basically just a matter of scaling donations in general. So tell me a little bit about how you've scaled so far from launch. What are the aspects of the team members that you recruit to be able to make this transition? The transition from just a couple of folks with a startup to a team of over a dozen, really growing this platform

John Gossart (24:06):
Yeah- I definitely think there was some learning that went on in almost a two year beta period. And, to be honest, there's learning that's still going on. I think in some ways we grew too quickly. I knew that we needed to build both sides of the market relatively quickly just so we had enough data points that the observations that we're making could be made in a rigorous way that we could actually put more faith in resources behind. I didn't want 50 beta users running around donating to two charities and try to somehow extrapolate human behavior from that because there's not enough data there. So we hired a decent sized sales team, a CS team, communications, marketing so that we could build up. I wanted about 10,000, I thought, unique payers or unique donors. We originally set a goal of about a thousand nonprofits. The nonprofits came on more quickly than we anticipated. So we bumped that up very quIckly.

John Gossart (25:08):
That goal to 1500. We ended up with about 2,500 during the heart of the beta. Then the users kind of came at us in waves. As you know it's seasonal giving, kind of a seasonal thing. There was some frustration around getting nonprofit to activate because it was really a b to b to c play. So we were constantly dialing at marketing and incentives two sided referral credits, things like that to incentivize that behavior. And there was a lot of learning. I mean, we were probably another seven or eight people strong at the height of it and I think I realized that it was important, at the time, to build up those two sides of the market. But then once we started automating our CS through tools like Intercom and bots and we really fleshed out the dashboard so that donors and nonprofits could do 99 percent of the things that they would ask us to do-- they can do them theirselves. Which is great for us from a labor and efficiency perspective and a cost perspective. But it's also great for them because it breeds that trust. I don't have to wait to get ahold of somebody, a GoodWorld to make this change to my account. I can go in there and just do it myself. Get that confirmation. It's effective immediately. So as we started automating a lot of these processes and systems, we realized that a lot of these people that unfortunately weren't even paying for themselves at the time, now were becoming redundant and so we scaled back to try to extend that burn, you know, like you're always trying to do until you can turn the corner and be self sustaining and hit that break even point. And I think that's where we are. 2019 is where we'll hit that point. I think the Mastercard relationship is going to be an important part of that, but we're doing it with a much smaller team than we had kind of the heart of our beta.

Joe Taylor Jr. (27:05):
So shifting gears a little bit from growing a team to growing a family, you've got four sons. How do you make sure that the entrepreneur lifestyle doesn't keep you from burning out or, how do you make sure that you're not sacrificing family time for the sake of growing the business?

John Gossart (27:29):
I'm sure I'm sacrifing a lot family time and it's probably, almost exclusively with my wife. So another reason that I'm fortunate. When we launched GoodWorld, I kind of had this safety net under merit. So all these people that get on shows like yours, Joe, or they speak at events and they talk about-- it was just like, I don't know how to fail, can't quit. Whether it's like veterans or just entrepreneurs in general. A lot of these guys, I think they leave out like an important facet of their story. If you just listen to them and take them at face value, a lot of these guys wIll tell you they were just like working really hard and one day they turned the corner. There's usually some timings, some fortuitous timing in there. And for me there was, there was a lot of It and a bunch of different places.

John Gossart (28:12):
One is we had already sold RideScout. So I was at a point in my life where my kids were going to college and all of a sudden all that was taken care of. So I was afforded the opportunity to take some risk. I also have, significant disability and a decent pension from my 22 1/2 years as an army officer, which allowed me to be able to work for a little bit less or at times nothing, which other people maybe aren't afforded the ability to do. Then with my kids, with my family, it was the same thing. We started very early. So by the time I'm making the jump into the entrepreneurial space, my kids are high school and college age. At this point now I've got three kids in college, one graduated from college. So the three are in Boston. So I come home, there's no kids in this house and haven't been for for some time. So it affords me the time to dedicate, with the exception of my wife who I could probably spend a lot more time with, I think we would both agree.

Joe Taylor Jr. (29:15):
And now we're both on the record because I know my wife gives me that feedback often as well. And I'm sure they're both listening. What, in wrapping up, what haven't I asked you that is an important key part of the GoodWorld story that you want to make sure our listeners hear?

John Gossart (29:35):
Every entrepreneur-- I don't think it's just about GoodWorld, I think it's in general. I've become a pretty astute observer of behaviors because I had to have been in my old careers. But on the entrepreneur side, on the capital side, on the strategic partner side. And I just find myself, I find myself frustrated a lot because I think that a lot of people, under the auspices of 'I'm giving you advice' are telling you things that sound good and they send theIr buzzy and it makes sense. They could go on a poster, but that's not what these guys are doing. So kind of back to my last point where people are telling you that it's just hard work that put us over the edge. I'm like, no, you didn't tell us about this one, very fortuitous incident. And those things are going to be there. So I would say number one, any successful venture you're going to have the night, like we had at RideScout, sitting around the table, where we had $719 in the bank and we weren't gonna be able to make bills at 9:00 in the morning. Like with your back against the wall.

John Gossart (30:40):
That's going to happen. And I think that those are the stories that people should be talking more about and about how you came back from that. In GoodWorld our near death experience was a series A term sheet that blew up and we had five weeks of money left in the bank. We had to walk away and we had to start over-- from scratch. And we had to put together a 1.5 million dollar round a wire to wire, including closing, inside of five weeks starting from scratch. So those, those stories are going to happen. And I think some people, when they're faced with that type of adversity, they tend to fold because they think it's something that's unusual because I obviously didn't do this right. And I'm saying that I think most successful startups, especially the first time around entrepreneurs, those things are gonna happen.

John Gossart (31:31):
The other myth that I would dispel is this whole team bullshit. Team is maybe three or four. Because I do some angel investing myself. Team is maybe three or four on my list. If you give me the screening criteria, which is, it's got to be a real problem that addresses the a sizable enough, addressable market that makes it interesting from a financial perspective. You've got to have a real solution that actually solves that problem. But those are screening criteria. That's just like getting in the door criteria. When we started talking about evaluation critera, what's going to make me want to invest in this. Team is like three or four down. It's timing. I mean, I'll go back to that point again. If you're too early, then it becomes very uninteresting. If you're too late, the market is already saturated. If you give me an average entrepreneur with a great idea and a great adjustable market, we can make that work. But if you give me the most brilliant entrepreneur in the world and the timing's wrong, it's not gonna work, not gonna make it. So I would love if we had some people out there that would, start talking about the things that are really keeping young entrepreneurs up at night. Not this like, who's that guy that makes all the youtube videos? You know what I'm talking about?

Joe Taylor Jr. (32:44):
Gary Vaynerchuck?

John Gossart (32:47):
Yeah. I mean, God bless him. He's a great orator and I've caught myself kind of getting a little bit inspired and fired up by his words. But give me something beyond the abstract, give me something, like, nuts and bolts that I can use, you know? I don't think there's enough of that. I wish somebody had taught me a lot of things. And so now I try to do that when I advise companies. I advise quite a few. But my sessions are not fun. My sessions are kind of roll up your sleeves and let's get to work.

Joe Taylor Jr. (33:19):
I think they're fun when you're on the other side of that adversity and you realize the importance of the choice that you made. I feel like we could probably do an entire six episode mini series just on that stuff because it is true. We, especially on this show, we try to avoid what some of my colleagues called the hustle porn, rIght? Because we just hustle, hustle, hustle, it all works out, right? No. Like you said try and making payroll when you're 20 percent short one day and that's a challenge I don't know that you get at Harvard Business School. So it's why I think it takes a very, very particular kind of person to actually survive in this kind of space. And so I think that leads me to the last question is, this being the second company that you've built hands on, is this something that continues to grow and stay independent or do you think that GoodWorld finds a home as part of a bigger organization?

John Gossart (34:18):
We're going to do what's best for GoodWorld. Right? So if we get the opportunity to bring GoodWorld to the masses and wrap this capability and this technology and this vision around the whole world, and that requires us to remain independent longer, even if we have to wait for the rewards that might come earlier if we would take a different path. I think we're prepared to do that. I think our investors are prepared to do that. But if the path to wrapping GoodWorld around the world is, maybe, a strong strategic partnership with an nt like Mastercard or another and that's the best path then, yeah, we're open to that. So we're open to MNA, we're open to more strategic investment. We're open to staying independent forever, but it's going to be; we're not looking to cash out. We're both in position to passionately fight for this thing, this vision that we're calling GoodWorld and we're going to take the path that's best for that vision. And of course, our investors.

Joe Taylor Jr. (35:23):
Fantastic. John Gossart co- founder and COO of GoodWorld. Thanks for joining us on The Build.

John Gossart (35:29):
Thanks Joe.

Joe Taylor Jr. (35:30):
Thanks again for listening to this episode of The Build. Our producer is Katie Cohen Zahniser. Our production coordinator is Nicole Hubbard. Our production team for this episode included Amelia Lohmann, Jess Ryan, Faiza Samreen, Giana Seeney, and April Smith. Podfly Productions manages our postproduction and our theme music is performed by Arrors and Sound. I'm Joe Taylor Jr.

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Joe Taylor Jr. has produced stories about media, technology, entertainment, and personal finance for over 25 years. His work has been featured on NPR, CNBC, Financial Times Television, and ABC News. After launching one of public radio's first successful digital platforms, Joe helped dozens of client companies launch or migrate their online content libraries. Today, Joe serves as a user experience consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 and Inc. 5000 businesses. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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