Dan Engel specializes in the marketing and distribution of software products. Prior to being CEO at FastSpring and SaaSy , he was with Google, where he led online consumer acquisition for Google’s multi-billion dollar products, AdSense™ and AdWords™. Before Google, Dan was VP of Market Development at Picasa™, a digital photo software company acquired by Google in 2004. Today Picasa is a leading online photo destination with over 50 million unique monthly visitors. Prior to Picasa, Dan marketed GoToMyPC® software, generating over $25 million in revenue over 18 months, helping lead to a $225 million acquisition by Citrix Systems in 2003, and building what is today a leading online consumer brand. With annual revenues over $300 million, it has become one of a handful of web-based software companies that is worth more than $1 billion today. At 24, Dan was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Idealab. Dan graduated from Tulane University with a BS in Management and a concentration in Finance. He is a member of YPO, a global organization for CEOs.

What are you working on right now?

FastSpring has been selling downloadable software for 1000+ companies worldwide since 2005, and we’ve just launched SaaSy, the first all-inclusive subscription management and payment service for SaaS, Web 2.0, and Web service companies. From this point on, companies selling subscription-based Web services can avoid spending valuable years building and maintaining their own subscription e-commerce infrastructure, and instead focus exclusively on growing their companies, leaving everything else to SaaSy.

3 trends that excite you?

  • First, software becoming more of a service.
  • Second, social media and commerce further converging.
  • Third, social media becoming useful in life.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Bootstrap them – that is the best way to bring ideas to life.

What inspires you?

Other entrepreneurs inspire me.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

I should have worked harder to find more mentors over the years. I’ve learned it’s worth investing in trench-based entrepreneurial education.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

There is a lot of opportunity to help individuals invest their money through an online service.

What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?

Years ago I read the autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and Benjamin Franklin, plus Dale Carnegie’s books, and the Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship authored by folks from Babson College. I suppose Camtasia helps brings some ideas to life.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

Bill Gross of Idealab.

What was a crowning achievement in your career?

I had the opportunity to be an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Idealab during the dot-com days when I was 24. Quite an experience, as was being with Google during their IPO years later.

What is your favorite hobby?

Stickball.

Connect:

FastSpring on Twitter – http://twitter.com/FastSpring
Dan Engel on LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/danengel1

[box size=”small” border=”full”]This interview was brought to you by Rohit Jain who works in business development. You can follow Rohit via his blog and on Twitter. [/box]