Watch Treehouse Founder Ryan Carson on TWiST #198 (Video)

If you missed This Week in Startups #198, watch here as host Jason Calacanis speaks with Treehouse and Carsonified founder Ryan Carson. Ryan talks about how he attracted top-tier investors, how he bootstrapped his first companies to a profitable exit and how he manages his team that works just four days a week. 


0:00-4:00 Welcome everyone. We’re live today with Ryan Carson of Carsonified and Treehouse.
4:00-5:00 What’s your secret, Ryan?
5:00-7:00 Thank you to GoToMeeting for sponsoring the show today. Everyone thank @GoToMeeting on Twitter for their support!
7:00-9:30 How many events do I turn down vs. accept to attend or speak at?
9:30-11:30 So you 100% bootstrapped your conference?
11:30-12:15 And you started the conferences 10 years before TedX?
12:15-13:00 If you are the person throwing the party, you have this light on you, you’re the center of the community.
13:00-14:00 How many people came to the first FOWA?
14:00-15:00 When did you realize you were becoming a power broker in London?
15:00-16:00 Tell me about the most stressful moment of your conference experience?
16:00-18:45 Did it break you to the point that you got out of control?
18:45-19:15 Ryan: Why is it that web entrepreneurs under-rate the ability to sell?
19:15-21:45 So you’ve sold the “Future Of” events?
21:45-23:30 How did you arrive at the decision to sell the business?
23:30-24:30 Thanks for joining us today, EP Jeff Hoffer! If you want to sit in on a live TWiST taping like Jeff, become an Executive Producer on the TWiST List! Go to and join today!
24:30-26:45 Thank you to Squarespace for sponsoring the show. If you want to get 20% off on your website for 6 months, sign up at with the promo code ‘twist10.’
26:45-31:45 What is Treehouse and why did you build it?
31:45-33:00 What are the people with doing with it?
33:00-34:15 How does Treehouse work?
34:15-36:00 Ryan: Brad Feld told me, “The key to marketing is thought leadership.”
36:00-38:00 So did you get a lawyer to help you negotiate the deal terms?
38:00-42:30 Jason invests live on the show in Treehouse! Then Ryan explains how he attracted the investors he got.
42:30-45:30 Ryan: Do your time making friends and take care of people. Then, when the moment is right, offer them something of value.
45:30-46:45 How did you book the Chirp conference for Twitter?
46:45-50:30 Ryan explains his four day work week and “Idea Week.”
50:30-51:30 What do you think is going on at Twitter? Why wouldn’t they have confidence in Dick Costollo?
51:30-52:00 Question from the chat: Is there going to be another FOWA Vegas?
52:00-52:30 How long are you still going to be involved in the events?
52:30-55:00 Question from the chat: Is Ryan interested in angel investing or becoming a VC? (Ryan tells us who he would invest in!)
55:00-56:15 Rich, you have an Ask Jason question. What is it?
56:15-57:30 How does BigStove technically work?
57:30-58:30 BigStove got a cease and desist letter from a bigger start up claiming they’re infringing on their name. What should they do?
58:30-1:01:00 Jason explains what he would do: put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
1:01:00-1:01:30 Jason: Call up their lawyer and ask them, what is your concern? And then you’re running up their legal bill?
1:01:30-1:02:30 Insight from Tyler: It’s like a creationist who gets a flu shot every year.
1:02:30-1:05:45 Ryan, how would you handle this?
1:05:45-1:09:45 Jason explains how his landlord attempted to change the lease on him.
01:09:45-1:11:15 Rich, the lesson here is to not sweat it. This will happen, just let it roll off your back.
01:11:15-1:12:15 Have people used your service? Do they like it?
1:12:15-1:13:15 Jason, Tyler and Ryan brainstorm a new name for BigStove.
1:13:15-1:18:00 Thank you to GoToMeeting and Squarespace for sponsoring the show.
1:18:00-1:19:30 Thanks for watching everyone! Stay tuned for This Week in Web Design.
1:19:30-1:21:00 How much is Treehouse for a year? Everyone visit and check it out! If you’re a great designer or developer, email
1:21:00-1:23:00 Tyler: Jason, what makes you want to invest in Treehouse?
1:23:00-1:23:30 Thanks everyone, see you next time.



Jason Calacanis: @jason
Tyler Crowley: @steepdecline
Ryan Carson: @ryancarson
Treehouse: @treehouse
Carsonified: @carsonified