We recently completed a 10-part mini series on our podcast, CodePen Radio, in which we talk with

1) Sparkbox

Episode 101:

We talk to Ben Callahan and Rob Harr from Sparkbox about their experience running an agency - hiring employees, forecasting cash flow, diversifying income, how Sparkbox handles apprenticeships, and how they're handling growth.

2) BuySellAds

Episode 102:

We're chatting with Todd Garland from BuySellAds about being the middle-person between publishers and advertisers - and building advertising with respect for the readers. How do they compete against a multi-billion dollar companies like Google? How do they deal with copycat companies? What's up with ad blockers?

3) CraftCMS

Episode 103:

We talk to Brandon Kelly and Brad Bell from Pixel and Tonic, the company behind CraftCMS. CraftCMS is a powerful CMS for building a bring-your-own-HTML website. We talk about things like the challenges of marketing a CMS targeting at designers and developers, pricing a CMS when there's lots of "free" CMS's out there, a la carte pricing, and iterating a pricing model.

4) Zapier

Episode 104:

We have a conversation with Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier ("Zapier makes you happier"), about Zapier's origin story, their fundraising experience, growing with your customers, dealing with user churn, marketing to new users as well as existing users about features they may have forgotten about, and how Zapier manages customer support issues.

5) HoneyBadger

Episode 105:

We catch up with Josh and Ben from Honeybadger, a service for tracking errors in a web app. We use Honeybadger here at CodePen and find it extremely valuable. We also worked with Josh on upgrading Rails here at CodePen. We talk about the decisions they've made along the way, how they're similar to CodePen, and ways they plan to grow without losing control of their business.

6) Roost

Episode 106:

We've got Dan from Roost - a web notification service that helps businesses send better notifications to users. They rely heavily on native web technology to do what they do, which is interesting and slightly unusual. We talk about their competition, how they keep ahead of the competition, freemium pricing vs sales, trying to get into YC and Techcrunch Disrupt and whether it was working. We ask about managing support and the spam situation.

7) Justin Gitlin

Episode 107:

He recently dissolved the agency, Modeset, that he was a part of for over 10 years. They focused on working with startups and helping them build their MVP and then moving on to the next project and helping the startup replace them with employees. We talk about ways they knew which project to take on and which to avoid, catering to one community over another, and the age old question of client work vs product work.

8) Slides.com

Episode 108:

We get to talk to Hakim El Hattab and Owen Bossola, co-founders of Slides.com. They are a business that is smilar to CodePen in a number of ways, and we talk about things like building community among their users, reaching outside of the tech audience, ways they're marketing their Pro features, and fighting spam accounts. Not to mention how they decided to build and design their user interface, handling support, pricing models, and their decision to serve enterprise customers.

9) Dribbble

Episode 109:

We talk to Dan Cederholm and Rich Thornett from Dribbble. We pick their brains on ideas like the value of meetups, building community, and dealing with spam. We dig into the unusual invite system they use on Dribbble and how that works for them. We talk about their job board and future ideas around that as well as Pro accounts, and the other ways both of our businesses operate.

10) CodeShip

Episode 110:

We speak with Manuel Weiss from Codeship to talk about remote and local employees, running standups in Slack, pricing Codeship along with user's success, supporting customers as humans, deciding when to add a sales team, taking funding, and best practicing when hiring.


It's been a fun ride getting to talk to so many successful businesses. Here's to hoping it rubs off on us.

We have a few more episodes coming up this year, then stay tuned for more CodePen Radio in 2017.