From unemployed to CEO of a company worth 12 billion. This is the story of the founder of Mailchimp, the queen of email marketing who has depopulated without funding


Ben Chestnut CEO Mailchimp

You know when you never give up and try in every way? Here this is the story of Ben Chestnut. He is the co-founder of Mailchimp. A super company that is now worth 12 billion dollars.

But at first, creating this gold mine that is very useful for entrepreneurs for marketing Ben hadn’t got it right.

Several times he had failed or made the wrong choice and society. He could do as many and say that: “He was unlucky”. He could feel sorry for himself. He certainly suffered but he was able to give the best of himself.

Indeed, his experience teaches us something extremely important. He keeps reading this article and you will understand a principle to make yours.

These days Mailchimp has been sold for a lot of money to Intuit. It is a company specializing in financial software.

Listen to me well; in this operation Ben and his partner Dan Kurzius left $300 million to Mailchimp employees in the form of bonuses. They have become billionaires and are always in charge of them.

I would say endless applause for them. This alone would be enough as a lesson. But I assure you that Ben’s life is also interesting and exciting.

So let’s get started…


Ben Chestnut had studied physics at the University of Georgia. And here too the boy had it all wrong. He didn’t like him.

Later he said that physics had taught him that he was poor at physics.

But he at least he was nice LOL.

So he moved on to another university to do industrial design. In the 90s he managed to graduate.

And here is the series of errors.

Before him he leaves his first job. Which could also be brave and spot on. But he finds a job that wasn’t right for him.

He was addicted to Cox; a media conglomerate with largely televisions and radios of America.

So he went looking for a programmer for the mp3 service he was working on. A friend suggested Dan Kurzius, a DJ who supported himself with a job in the real estate sector.

Kurzius avoided specifying that he was a console expert, not a computer expert, and accepted the offer. Within a few months, the mp3 project was wrecked.

A few years later, Chestnut and Kurzius founded the Rocket science group. It was a website design company that was born on the eve of the dot-com bubble burst.

“They then thought of focusing on air travel, just a few months before the attacks of 11 September 2001.”

A disaster. They did a number of clumsy things that hide an interesting mechanism. Keep reading…

It also happened to me that now I am an almost millionaire Italian entrepreneur who makes foolish choices. So silly. But then I realized that… I’ll tell you later…

For example, Rocket customers were asking for help to reach their customers via email. And Ben and his partner founded their business idea on digital greeting cards.

They did not fail but almost… they went badly, come on.

But Ben’s mom was a hairdresser on her own. She was a bit rudimentary but still she was a kind of small entrepreneur. As well as Den’s father.

And also for this reason they wanted to imitate their parents and did not give up…

Ben Chestnut and another man



But you learn from mistakes. Ben with his partner rewrites the project and MailChimp is born as a parallel company to Rocket.

In 2006 Ben then realized that the email business would be more profitable and had more growth potential.


“Thus, in 2007 the chimpanzee took over and MailChimp became the only business of the two co-founders. However, it was born in 2000.”


The chimpanzee is the symbol of this company that is the king of marketing. Why?


Meanwhile, I know that his name is Frederick von

Chimpenheimer IV (aka Freddie) and has become very famous in the United States thanks to advertising in Serial. I hope you know him or else where the heck do you live on Mars?

Come on, I’m kidding… Here’s the reason for this cute little animal…


Ben explained it;


“It reflects MailChimp’s business philosophy. The products must be so easy to use that even a chimpanzee would be able to.”

I would say, smart.


MailChimp, as mentioned, has its headquarters in Ponce City Market, in Atlanta. If by chance you don’t know, I also want to briefly tell you what it does. Because so far I have taken it for granted…


“Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform for small businesses: it allows you to create newsletters even starting from free templates. And it is available in both free and subscription versions.”


Ben and his partner’s company also occupied 14th position on Forbes’ Cloud 100 list. In short, a really cool and badass ranking. If you are there you are on the roof of the world of society.



Mailchimp made $800 million in revenue last year. And all this without ever raising funds on the stock exchange with shares.

In fact, they never raised (or asked for) a dollar of venture capital. That is, money to start the business that comes from an investment fund to finance the start-up or growth of the company.

Ben and Dan said no to finance. This would already be a good lesson but there is another more interesting and exciting one…

Ben chestnut receiving award from another man



I will not be here to tell you that failure is good and therefore you have to throw yourself. The teaching that comes out of Ben’s story is a little different.


“It’s more about intuition. Because we are often used to thinking that to go from point A to point B it is enough to draw a straight line.”


But life works differently:


So many times we reach point B which for Ben and Den was to be entrepreneurs doing so many unimaginable turns and turns.


You would never program those long, wide laps. You want to get straight to the point.


Here, however, sometimes you have to remove reason and follow the flow of intuition. And do all those laps.


Is it likely to lead you to crash and make mistakes? Maybe sometimes yes but it doesn’t matter.
It means you had to do it to understand other things or meet people who will change your life.


And that’s exactly what happened to the founder of Mailchimp. At first glance it seems that in the first part of his life he didn’t get one right. Then he fucking guessed the right thing in the world. A brilliant intuition.


But that wild card came out of the hat because it was behind all that path made up of errors and a flow that Ben followed even if he failed.


“First he met Den by accident. And together with him they founded a company that was a hole in the water but made him understand in reality what it was that really worked.”


And boom! The chimpanzee was born.


After this beautiful story, now I want to introduce myself. This is me…


If you want to have a laugh and keep up to date on crazy and absurd things follow my Twitter profile. It will soon become one of the most controversial and crazy Twitter profile:


Nico Nobili —Alias SirNickNite



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