TMBA 349: The Technical Origin Story of Leadpages

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Like all entrepreneurs, Dan and Ian have fantasized about putting their ideas out on the internet and making millions of dollars. Well, today’s guest has actually done that.

Simon Payne is the co-founder of Leadpages, the industry standard software in creating landing pages for websites. Dan and Ian originally met Simon in the Philippines, around the time that they were forming the Dynamite Circle.

In this episode, you’ll hear how that original meet-up hugely influenced Simon, as well as the true story of how Leadpages was created, and what the future has in store for Simon. It’s pretty epic.


Listen to this week’s show and learn:

  • The story of the very first Dynamite Circle meetup. (5:55)
  • What made Simon decide that he wanted to build something “as big as Twitter or Facebook”. (10:27)
  • Who Clay Collins and Tracy Simmons are and how Simon met them. (17:10)
  • How Clay, Tracy and Simon began to develop Leadpages. (21:35)
  • Why Simon chose to walk away from Leadpages and what is next for him. (27:44)

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Dan & Ian

Published on 08.11.16
  • Congrats Simon! After talking to you at DCBCN I was really curious to see what your next project would be. I was a LeadPlayer customer back in the day and I’m glad you’re bringing that back.

    I also want to thank you because that first meet up in Berlin in 2011 (or was it 2012?) was my first DC meetup ever and it made me realize how awesome the DC community really is. Since then I’ve been organizing meetups/Juntos wherever I go and because of that I’ve met a lot of amazing people :)

  • Thanks Yamile! I’m happy that I met you too back then, those were great times when everything was beginning and everything was so full of excitement. I’m glad me met in Barcelona this year and I hope to see you soon. Cheers!

  • Now I need to make a marketing video, just to be able to embed Convert Player on it… ;)

  • hehe thought the same :D

  • me too, super useful for ‘about’ page videos even for those of us who aren’t regular video publishers

  • I remember LeadPlayer, and seem to recall there were a number of people who were saddened by its discontinuation – so it’s great that you’re resurrecting the idea with ConvertPlayer! Good luck with the marketing part, @SimonPrague:disqus , I think you’ll find it interesting and challenging and you may develop a whole new skill set :-)

    The other thing I found interesting was about how LeadPages getting large meant Simon wasn’t involved in the hands-on coding and crafting as much as he wanted to be, and so leaving to pursue a smaller project was an interesting lifestyle decision to bring his daily work more into alignment with what he enjoys.

    @TropicalMBA:disqus this would be a really interesting podcast topic to hear various voices on – how big does each of us even want to grow our businesses, and why? I guess the “when is enough, enough” podcast sort of covered this, but I’d be interested in hearing from people on both sides – those who scaled back AND those who are intent on reaching 8-figures and hundreds of employees.

  • I still remember forwarding Tracy’s job posting to Simon and saying “hey Simon, you should check this out”. It’s totally amazing how it all worked out. I had huge respect for Simon from the OG meetup, and I’ve really enjoyed watching him succeed!

  • Adrian Edlington

    Inspiring story. Great interview. Keep them coming.

  • Dev

    Fantastic interview!

    In particular, it’s very inspiring to see someone who is marching to their own drumbeat and doing it so successfully. Even within the TMBA community, it seems that there is a tendency or a certain gravitation pull to follow a pre-defined script (move to Southeast Asia to reduce living expenses, set up a blog and hope to make a small one-man business out of it, etc.). Kudos to Simon for thinking big and just going for it!

    One question though– regarding CovertPlayer specifically… To take Simon’s own words, it’s either “a really f- brilliant idea or a really f- stupid idea.” Honestly, I am a bit skeptical about this product– simply because of how easy it is to develop (as Simon himself said). From a business viability perspective, it would be a bit unclear of how one would charge any money for this product because as soon as one does, copycats would spring up overnight offering the same for half the price or free. One would really have to think beyond just an email collection overlay to make a business out of this.

    In any case, I don’t want to take away anything from the great interview! This was just my observation regarding ConverPlayer specifically.


  • thanks will do :)

  • We should have a secret handshake or something?!

  • Cheers Dev, I actually rings of some of the mindset challenges Simon mentioned earlier in the interview around marketing, product market fit, ya know, why would somebody pay 10K for a Specialized bicycle when they can order a 3K one direct from the factory kind of thing? The answer is Simon’s challenge! :) Very curious to see how it goes as well, and plan to have him back on the show.

    And in regards to the TMBA community and the broader ‘location independent’ business scene: it’s worth mentioning that I’ve noticed a great deal of diversity as well in terms of approaches to business and goals and bloggers like me bark loudly but don’t make up much of the community as a whole! :)

  • Thanks Shayna love that topic as well, personally I’m way more fascinated by those who strategically pump the brakes than those who put the petal to the metal (ahem, been watching a lot of Regular Car Reviews on Youtube (

  • Thanks Mike I’ll be forever grateful for your support! And I really hope to see you soon somewhere.

  • Hi @ShaynaOliveira:disqus you are absolutely correct about my motivation. I’m a craftsman at heart and I just needed something more hands on. But I’ve added all marketing responsibilities as something new and a bit scary so that I keep learning and growing. I’m already enjoying it a lot.

  • … me too! :D

  • Thanks, I appreciate your feedback. It’s a great point. If you ask any rocket scientist how hard is their job. Their will tell you it’s easy. I tend to say that all the time about my work. But to be honest problems I’m solving now are not that easy. ;) Also I like creating really awesome solutions even for simple problems. Today so many software tools are crap and it’s worth creating something that really stands out in quality and usability.

    And from business perspective, this is not a new idea. It’s been validated before and I found our there is still great need for it. There just wasn’t a really well crafted solution. I find it less risky to take some idea that already worked and take it to a next level than to come up with completely radical new idea that no-one did before. Because it could also mean that nobody needed it before. And copycats are great! They are a sign you are on a good track. ;) They can never catch up it you keep inventing and evolving yourself.

  • :) I’m very much looking forward to meeting up again. Maybe next year in Prague or Barcelona.

  • @SimonPrague:disqus you are amazing and I’m really glad we met back in the day. ConvertPlayer looks fantastic. Also, great interview. @miks2u:disqus I’m also forever indebted to you for passing along Tracy’s job description.

  • Thanks Clay! I really appreciate you! I can’t wait to show you more of ConvertPlayer.

  • Tracy Simmons

    Simon, so great to see ConvertPlayer! Congrats…I think folks are going to love this product!

  • Thanks for your support Tracy!!

  • :D

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