Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Navigating Business Transformations With Lanny Baker CFO of Eventbrite

Navigating Business Transformations With Lanny Baker CFO of Eventbrite

In this episode, CJ is joined by Lanny Baker, the CFO of Eventbrite, and former CFO of Yelp,, and ZipRealty. Lanny has been a part of some incredible business transformations or pivots at each of these companies and has some profound insights to share on the topic. First, he explains some of the differences between consumer-facing internet businesses versus SaaS or B2B. He sheds light on Eventbrite’s unique creator and consumer model, the virtuous cycle of network effects it benefits from, and how the company’s take rate is determined. Lanny also talks about the ways that internet platforms expand their TAM over time. This leads to a conversation on business transformations or pivots, the role of a CFO in them, whether to retain or replace people in such a situation, and how to handle investors. Tune in for all this and the hilarious story about a marketing stunt gone wrong.

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@cjgustafson222 (CJ)


(00:00) Preview and Intro

(02:25) Sponsor - NetSuite | Maxio 

(05:16) How to “Show Up for Life” in Business

(06:54) Consumer-facing Internet Businesses Versus SaaS or B2B

(11:03) First Principles in Building Your Operating Plan as a Finance Team

(13:13) The Benefits of Eventbrite’s Unique Creator and a Consumer Model

(17:28) The Most Important Metric for Eventbrite

(19:04) Sponsor - Mercury 

(21:34) The Factors That Determine Eventbrite’s Take Rate

(25:57) How Internet Companies Expand Their TAMs Over Time

(29:46) The Role of a CFO in a Business Transformation

(40:38) Replacing Versus Retaining People in a Business Transformation

(48:08) Handling Investors in a Business Transformation

(52:33) Long Ass-lightning Round: a Profound Lesson From Lanny’s Time at Monster

(55:26) The Hilarious Story About a Marketing Stunt Gone Wrong

(57:07) Lanny’s Parking-related Life Hack

(58:37) Eventbrite’s Finance Team’s Tech Tooling

(01:00:35) The Craziest Thing Someone Tried to Expense

Mostly metrics
Run the Numbers
Run the Numbers is a twice-weekly podcast about financial metrics and business models, designed for ambitious people operating tech startups. It's a collection of things host CJ Gustafson (CFO at Partstech and writer of Mostly Metrics) has learned and thought about in the trenches as a tech CFO.
This show is meant to serve as a playbook of sorts for the stuff CJ wishes he knew earlier in his career, both from experience and from copying people smarter than himself.
Topics frequently touch upon Startup SaaS Metrics, Annual Budgeting, Financial Forecasting, Headcount, Equity, Dilution, and Fundraising – and how all of these drive business performance and growth.