How Team Treehouse Started as a Meetup Group and Grew to $15M

In this episode, I interview Ryan Carson, who discovered the power of building a community when he started hosting meet-ups in a bar. The meet-ups evolved into conferences, which he used to launch Team Treehouse, an online education platform, and acquire his first 3,000 customers. Today, Team Treehouse has over 286,000 students in 190 countries and $15M in annual revenue. Pick up some of the lessons that Ryan learned throughout his journey and enjoy the show!

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  • What did Ryan do that put him in a position to be successful with Treehouse? [01:34]
  • Why did Ryan want to start his own company? [05:41]
  • How did Ryan get into the conference business that led to Treehouse? [11:24]
  • How did Ryan build a community of web designers and web developers? [14:48]
  • What is the value of building a community? [15:59]
  • How did Ryan scale his conference business and build Treehouse? [18:23]
  • How did Ryan build his email list? [20:58]
  • What were some of the steps Ryan took to grow from $1M to $15M in revenue? [23:51]
  • How did Ryan figure out the right people to focus on? [24:49]
  • Why should you train managers? [26:59]
  • What started taking up Treehouse’s revenue higher? [27:51]
  • How does Ryan figure out what’s good and what’s bad and what’s the right user experience in terms of improving his product? [29:37]
  • What is Ryan’s advice for people who are interested in potentially raising money? [31:03]
  • What is the one thing Ryan did that had the biggest impact on his growth? [33:15]

“I believe people don’t have some miraculous idea for the company and the best idea of their life in an instant. It’s something that builds over years.” — Ryan Carson

“You have to have a good product and you have to time it right.” — Ryan Carson

More from Ryan Carson

Ryan Carson’s Twitter

Ryan Carson’s Instagram

Treehouse Website

Treehouse Twitter

Not Silicon Valley

Resources mentioned

Jason Fried’s Basecamp

Treehouse blog (formerly Think Vitamin)

Manager Tools Podcast


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