Excerpts from A Fireside Chat with Angela Castillo of HelloGuru

Angela Castillo is the co-founder of HelloGuru. She’s an executive with experience scaling hyper-growth companies, including Drift.

HelloGuru offers No Code opportunity. Using her platform, people get to create custom software without having to learn/write code.

She has vast expertise in brand development, using technology for marketing, and bringing products to consumers internationally and in the US. 

Angela’s last role as the Chief of Staff to the CEO at Drift provided her the skills to lead cross-functional teams towards efficiency and selected objectives. 

I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing her on Fuse.Show. Our refreshing conversation lasted about an hour and I have some bits that make for some great reading...

1.#freethedeveloper

“I want to use my creative brain, my power, and my time for something that makes me feel like I am adding value to society, to my colleagues, to the company, and to the world in general.”

Let the developers focus on coding and building high-tech that’ll change the world!

#freethedeveloper proponents don’t want developers stuck to copy-pasting code or operational tasks. 

Angela believes that building knockout tools as they are at HelloGuru is a way to free developers from the shackles of operational tasks so they can focus on changing the world with code!

She points out that coders spent 27% of their time on tasks that didn’t enhance their skills.

The Takeaway

It’s a waste of talent to have coders spending time on routine tasks when they could be doing something phenomenal. #freethedeveloper to focus on changing the world. 

2.Sales vs. Retention; what to focus on

“When you acquire a customer, you just have to make sure that their experience is 11 out of 10…you not only exceed their expectations, but you find ways to expand within their organization. And that is retention.”

You first need to land on the island, then you can expand, a couple of marketing executives shared these words of wisdom, and Angela agrees!

She says that most founders focus on the sale more than retention, pointing out that often ‘once we sell, we relax’

This shouldn’t be! According to Angela Castillo…it’s critical to stay close with the customer after the sale, bearing in mind that people are willing to try different options, so only when people come back, can you breathe easy!

The Takeaway

People warm up to people and not things. Customers like to come back to places where they’re treated with warmth and care. Your end goal shouldn’t be on the sale; it should be the customer’s happiness because that’s the way to make them return (with friends)!

3.Finding the Balance

“You make progress and learn from your complex challenges. Everything you have in a startup are unknowns; you don’t have a playbook for most things.”

You may not have achieved the ultimate goal but the fact is; you’re working towards something, and that’s great. Progress is progress no matter how small the impact.

Angela recognizes that a founder’s path is riddled with challenges, advising us to handle one at a time.

The Takeaway

The path is clear – challenges are there! One day it’s unhappy customers, the next, a supplier fails you! Remaining level-headed can be difficult, especially when you’re being pulled in all directions. The trick to making it through each day is to bite only what you can chew!

4. Passion is the name of the game

If it’s only for money, there’s easier ways to make money than being an entrepreneur.


Entrepreneurship is risk-A business! Each day, startup founders have to handle the entire organization, and it can get overwhelming. This explains why entrepreneurs need more grit! 

For Angela, the driving force is creating a world where coders can do what they love most by relieving them from routine operational tasks. She is fascinated by engaging with different people and learning from their unique perspectives. This is possible for her through HelloGuru, as she gets to meet people who are constantly trying to nourish their minds towards their vision for the future.

The Takeaway

Passion drives you through the hard days and keeps you from forgetting the bigger picture. Without it, startups would crumble as founders fizzle under the pressure of wearing too many hats!

5. The Long Game

I believe in progress; if you’re going in the right direction (the faster, the better). Thinking in the long term doesn’t allow you to focus too much on the goal.”


The idea is to tackle whatever is at hand and let things fall into place. You cannot be thinking EXIT plans when you’re barely off the ground!

You cannot think that you’ll achieve your goals; what works is that you learn from unique complex daily challenges and keep moving forward.

Startups are a world of unknowns, and there’s no playbook for much. Angela advises that as long as you’re working towards something, don’t go around beating yourself up over missed KPIs, and so on. 

Sweating the small stuff will leave you miserable. Instead; focus on each task at a time.

The Takeaway

The best way to sum this up would be; set reasonable goals for your day and even if you do not tick everything off your to-do list, remember progress, no matter how small, is still PROGRESS!

To wrap it up!

It’s critical to create an environment where team members can do their best. This means automating routine processes to leave them free to focus on making a real impact. Businesses benefit most from automation as it leaves the team less stressed and more productive. The good news is that there are multiple tools including HelloGuru, out there to show you the way without you having to learn or use complex codes.  

Want more? Watch the full episode here! It’s a good use of your time!