June 21, 2024


Dialing In

Hosted by

Jordan Gal Brian Casel
Dialing In
Bootstrapped Web
Dialing In

Jun 21 2024 | 01:02:04


Show Notes

Tailor-Made UI.  Knowing your customer.  Launch-week learnings.  Sales calls.  Cold outreach.  Margin & space.  Date night hangovers.  Summer camp.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:17] Speaker A: Welcome back, everybody. Another episode of Bootstrapped Web. It's Friday, June 22. How we doing, Bryce? [00:00:26] Speaker B: Yeah, I believe it's the 21st. [00:00:29] Speaker A: I knew that. It's fine. You know what today is? Today is my 16 year weathering anniversary. [00:00:34] Speaker B: Oh, wow. Congrats. [00:00:35] Speaker A: No joke. Yeah. That's the 21st. The solstice. [00:00:40] Speaker B: There you go. Yeah, I was hearing about the solstice yesterday. We had a nice date night last night, my wife and I, because my kids are at Grandpa's house. We're going to get them back later today. [00:00:52] Speaker A: Nice. [00:00:53] Speaker B: Thursday night, date night. [00:00:55] Speaker A: Nice. We did that on Wednesday because our kids went out. Both of them had a sleepover. We have three kids, but our oldest is now at camp. So we have a bunch of twelve year olds running around making a giant mess. But it's a little quiet without her. Yeah, and the two little ones are still here for another two weeks. So it's like a different dynamic, you know? [00:01:17] Speaker B: Nice. Yeah, my girls are starting to cast. [00:01:19] Speaker A: A big shadow, so it's just like a different dynamic with them. [00:01:23] Speaker B: Yeah. Yeah. We're starting day camp next week on Monday. But, you know, date night these days is we like to go out to, like, a tapas restaurant and get a bottle of wine. And so I am running on fumes today. [00:01:37] Speaker A: Oh, so you went out last night? [00:01:39] Speaker B: Last night, yes. [00:01:42] Speaker A: The ability to handle a night out is at an all time low. [00:01:46] Speaker B: That's right. [00:01:47] Speaker A: All time low. And I don't think it's going up from here. I think it's just all down. [00:01:52] Speaker B: Just trying to. Just trying to survive out here. [00:01:54] Speaker A: Yeah, that's fine. That's fine. Okay. [00:01:57] Speaker B: All right, what do we got? [00:01:59] Speaker A: So, you know, the last week has been, it's been fun. It's been energizing. We launched Rosie, and then over this last week, it's been like, launch week, basically. Like, this is our first week out in the open and it's been a good experience overall. I'm very energized. I feel like I haven't felt like this in a while. Just that, like, energy. [00:02:24] Speaker B: I want to ask you all about that. I want to ask about your, obviously the launch and everything that's happening, but also where your head is at with the startup roller coaster and this being a whole new thing. I actually just launched something today as well. Literally 20 minutes ago. Deployed tellermade ui.com dot. That's the new iteration of my consulting service. So that landing page is out. I was able to hustle and get that put together and launch. That feels pretty good. Talk more about that. [00:02:59] Speaker A: So both of us launching? [00:03:00] Speaker B: Hell yeah, I want to talk about that, but more about, I think, the power of knowing your customer when it comes to writing a landing page and marketing and coming up with a product or service concept. Because I've gone through multiple iterations and this is the most, with tailor made UI, it's like the most dialed in and easiest time that I've had in writing a landing page. Because I know exactly, because it's basically a service that I've been offering all year long to SaaS clients, where I design and redesign UI and components, and I give them their own teller made UI components library. Right. [00:03:42] Speaker A: Okay. [00:03:43] Speaker B: And I've had multiple clients like this already, so I know exactly what the perfect client looks like to me. I know their characteristics. So, like, when I'm writing copy, I can write to them or all about them. [00:03:55] Speaker A: Okay, very interesting. [00:03:57] Speaker B: That's been interesting. And then the same thing happened with clarity flow. Just two weeks ago, I rewrote the entire homepage and just dialed in even, even more to coaches and everything else, everything that I know about them and already seeing some pretty good results from that. So anyway, well, that's basically the thing is, like, knowing your customer really, really works. [00:04:19] Speaker A: Okay. So we can talk about this from two different angles, because we are launching first and learning second. So whereas tailor made Ui, that new site is. Is an evolution from starting points and learning and then gathering more info and then, like, reaching more conclusions. Right. And where you are right now, it's like the most evolved that it's been. We are just much earlier on there. And I would say probably the most important thing over the last week was, was, was going from everything being hypothetical and a bunch of assumptions and then talking to real people. So we've had somewhere in the area of like 15 to 20 demos since we launched. And in those conversations, a lot of the thinking has evolved. What I've noticed is my need to come up with new analogies and new stories. So with rally a 30 minutes conversation, I have an endless number of stories, analogies, anecdotes, information, data, experiences to talk about why checkout matters, this conversion rate thing, this other thing, this previous experience, and now doing a 30 minutes demo with Rosie right now, it's called the demo. It's just a conversation. Maybe one or two of those calls has actually been me picking up the phone and calling the agent and talking about that and person hearing it. Other than that, it's been just conversations. [00:05:57] Speaker B: I know exactly what you're talking about when you say, like these, like, stories start to bubble. Like, you know, you and I both have gone through multiple businesses where we do a lot of sales calls and demo calls and. Yeah, I totally know what you mean. Where it's, like, the early days of that. The first call, it, like, the first 20 calls, you're grasping for, like, what works. You know, you're listening, you're learning, but you're also, like, trying to explain your initial gut concept for what it is you're selling. And then over time, you just hear someone more. So you hear so many stories and anecdotes from the customers that it just becomes easier and easier to speak their language. [00:06:39] Speaker A: Yes. [00:06:40] Speaker B: And, like, pull on, like, oh, yeah, it sounds like you care about this point. I've got three stories in my pocket. [00:06:46] Speaker A: That's right. And it's in your borrowing their experiences and incorporating it into your talk track. And you also feel the lack of confidence around your explanations and articulations around this. [00:07:03] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:07:03] Speaker A: And so that has been a big experience, a big part of the experience over the last week. And this is, I think, basically everybody listen to this right now is familiar with that feeling of going into something, fully acknowledging. I have no idea what I'm talking about. I have no idea what I'm about to say. This is going to be embarrassing and uncomfortable, and I hope it works out. And then you just go through it, and then it's a little bit better and a little bit better and a little bit better the more you do it. [00:07:33] Speaker B: I mean, I think historically still to this day, I'm such a question based seller on these calls. [00:07:40] Speaker A: Okay. [00:07:41] Speaker B: I just ask a lot of questions. Um, and most of it is it because to me, most sales calls or demo calls, whatever, we end up calling them consultation requests, you know, I've called it different things in different businesses, but, like, in all cases, it's like, you booked the call, so. [00:08:00] Speaker A: Right. Why would you spend 30 minutes with me? [00:08:02] Speaker B: Yeah, what's. What's going on? Tell me. Like, you know, and then, and then we go from there and. And. And, you know, I mean, yeah. Like, so I'll just ask leading questions and get them talking and, yeah. How are you currently handling that? And then, and then that inevitably leads to, this is why I'm frustrated with how we're currently handling that. And, like, oh, okay, yeah. [00:08:26] Speaker A: Tell me more. Yeah, it's easy to dig that way. And I think that's, you know, that's, that's the most effective way to sell, to let them. Let the prospect, like, sell themselves, expand. Right. Tell themselves expand on what they're trying to accomplish and why. I like to hear myself talk a little bit more than I like, but that's just the reality. [00:08:44] Speaker B: I have a habit of that, too. [00:08:46] Speaker A: Right. It's fine. And for me, a lot of it ends up being lessons for myself. And then I basically go back to the team and explain my thinking. That's what I did today. Here's an example. Going into this, I only knew a layer, maybe two layers deep into what the problem and how we're solving it. But as I have these conversations, I start to get a deeper understanding. And then mixed in this week was some investor outreach. People like, hey, I cover AI voice agents for this fund. I like what you're doing. Can we talk? So I took a few of those calls, partly to practice my explanation and my articulation of the product and the idea, the problem, all these things. And that I find very helpful, because I like that part of the conversation. I had a great experience. As a quick aside, a few weeks ago, I shared an article from a 16 z about voice agents. I think maybe we talked about on this podcast. [00:09:53] Speaker B: I think we did, yeah. [00:09:54] Speaker A: Okay. So yesterday, the author reached out. [00:09:56] Speaker B: Oh, cool. [00:09:57] Speaker A: Hell, yes. I share that with the team. Everyone kind of gets from this podcast. [00:10:00] Speaker B: From listening to it? [00:10:01] Speaker A: No, from the tweet. [00:10:02] Speaker B: Oh, you tweeted? Okay, nice. [00:10:04] Speaker A: I tweeted. Just. Just, you know, introducing Rosie. [00:10:07] Speaker B: Right, right. [00:10:08] Speaker A: And they found that tweet and reached out. So it was like, total coincidence on the. On the article that I shared with the team. [00:10:14] Speaker B: Yeah, yeah. [00:10:15] Speaker A: Cool. Okay, so if. Let's come back to the example I was trying to give. One of the most unexpected elements is that we thought calendar appointments were going to be very, very central to what we're doing. Explain things, take questions, provide accurate information, elevate to a human when necessary. And the next thing in line was set calendar appointments. That's what we thought a very key function of Rosie was going to be this week. What we found is that it's 50 50, and 50% just wants to provide information to the customer. And I didn't know how to think about that. But eventually, after having a few of these conversations, I started to understand. Oh, this is like a speech interface with a database. Okay. Think about what happens when you call. We had a moving company. I think I talked about them last week also, where the person just wanted to understand if their delivery was scheduled and when it was scheduled to be delivered. Okay. Like, that helped me understand. Then I had a few more conversations like it. That what Rosie actually does is instead of a human being answering the phone and looking at their screen and explaining, this is basically the technical version of that. So just to get that insight and then be able to explain it to an investor just gave me this next level of understanding and confidence on like, oh, that's what the problem is overall. And we're building solutions that interact with these different databases, different integrations, different APIs, but it's really aimed at getting the human being out of the way because that's low level work for a human being looking at a screen and explaining, but, like, that's the human being should be doing higher level work. [00:12:04] Speaker B: It's interesting to me to hear how you are. You've got two types of calls going on. You've got customer demo calls, and they're explaining these pain points that your product doesn't quite solve today. [00:12:16] Speaker A: Yep. [00:12:18] Speaker B: And you're having these investor calls where it's like you can sell the version of the product as if it solves those things. It doesn't quite yet, but that's what investors want to hear. It's like, what? [00:12:30] Speaker A: Guess what? [00:12:31] Speaker B: Is this going to be in the future? [00:12:32] Speaker A: Yes, exactly right. What problems are you tackling? Are those big problems? How big is the market for that set of problems? More so than like, well, what does this product do? How does it, how does it look? How much does it cost? It's like similar size, of the same shape, but it's not that straightforward. Yeah, so the calls have been awesome. [00:12:50] Speaker B: Very cool. It's actually going back to that idea of, you were talking about launching a version of your site and messaging and then doing the learnings. I mean, the same thing really happened with clarity flow, even though it existed as zip message for two years before we changed to clarity flow. And I, and I spent like, more than like half a year of just interviewing coach after coach after coach, all these jobs to be done interviews, and I felt like. And this was around, this was 2022, heading into 2023. It was that period where I was doing a ton of these interviews. I felt like I learned a ton about coaches. And it was enough to drive the decision to relaunch as clarity flow with an all new website and messaging on the homepage. And then we spent the upcoming year building out the rest of the clarity flow product. And I thought that I had a really good understanding of really nailing the headlines and the sub headlines, having done all that jobs to be done research. But you know what? You still don't really, really know because two weeks ago, we launched a new version of the homepage after like a year of being out in the market as clarity flow. And I can't believe it took me that long to do like another rewrite of the homepage, but just so busy. And I did. But as I rewrote all the headlines and all the copy on the homepage, it was like, I just know these customers so much better than I did a year ago because I see them every day and cat our customer success deals with them every day and we know what the most important features are and how they use them and why they are important and big important features that I thought were important to put all over our homepage a year ago turn out to be more secondary than I realized. Things like courses. When I did all the initial research, it became really clear to me that there were a lot of coaches who had a bunch of tools that they were using for communicating with their clients and they also used some sort of courses tool to deliver some course like content. So that led us to build course delivery features in modules, different steps, sequences, automated workflows and stuff like that. And we have that and customers do use that stuff quite a bit, but they don't. Like, I thought that we had to market that as if we are a course platform, okay? And we had a whole dedicated page to like course software. And the reality is like, we don't even have to market it as a course platform software thing. We're not even really going to compete with those because those are going to, they're specialized course platforms, you know, but in the way that coaches use them, it's, coaches were using core stuff in more of a coaching capacity to have like templates anyway, so like it's just a different, like wording things differently, emphasizing different aspects of it and yeah, it's just a much more effective page overall. And so now we're making a bunch of other tweaks. It's been nice to kill a bunch of pages that were not doing anything for us or attracting the wrong types of customers. Redirected those. So we're literally reducing the number of pages in our sitemap now and we're starting to see some pretty interesting results in terms of traffic traction, the types of trials. We're getting a couple more changes to come in the next few weeks, but yeah, that's been an interesting little experiment. [00:16:42] Speaker A: Cool. What comes to mind for me, we, as expected, I think we talked about this a few weeks ago. As soon as we launch there is pressure coming from us, but it's being sparked by these external conversations to go beyond the niche, I thought home services. I mean, it is a very large niche. I don't know if you want to call it a niche. It's like 50 different subcategories. [00:17:13] Speaker B: It's like business, right? [00:17:15] Speaker A: It's a huge term, but we are already. I would say 50% are not home services that are interested. And, well, like, I don't know, like. [00:17:29] Speaker B: What'S not a home service that's interested? [00:17:30] Speaker A: So I had a funny experience this morning. So one of our investors, who's a friend of mine, lives in Portland, calls me. I mean, we talk on Zoom every few months. He never calls me. I'm like, this is weird. Hopefully, everything's cool. So I pick up the phone, he's like, I'm listening to your podcast, and I have to call because yesterday, I'm at the barber shop in Portland, and my barber's cutting my hair, and the phone's just ringing in the background, and he's like, this freaking phone drives me nuts. Everyone's cutting hair. These people call, they just want to make an appointment, and I can't do anything about it, and it drives me nuts. So then he's listening to the podcast, and he's like, I have to call you. So that I see. [00:18:14] Speaker B: So they're still, like, in person services. They're just not home services. [00:18:18] Speaker A: That's right. They're just businesses that get a lot of phone calls. So the moving company that I keep bringing up, this dog daycare franchise that we're setting up calls with, like, I don't know what to call that. [00:18:33] Speaker B: Yeah. But I guess what you're saying is, like, it's not necessarily home services, but it is appointment based services. [00:18:40] Speaker A: Yeah. Local businesses. I need to find a term, and. [00:18:44] Speaker B: What I really need. Yeah. Cause if I. Yeah, you're right. Like, doggy daycare services. Even, like, things like yoga studios, where you're scheduling classes. [00:18:56] Speaker A: That's right. It's kind of local. It's, like, geographic based. When do you call a company? Most often, it's a local company in your geographic area. Sure. There are other companies that you call on the phone, but not many. [00:19:11] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:19:12] Speaker A: So this feels like. It feels like I'm gonna crumble under the pressure within, like, two weeks. You remember? I was like, no, we're gonna stick with home services. We're gonna nail that niche first. Everyone else is going too horizontal, and I'm already feeling the pressure on whether or not to expand. Cause right now, the site says home services. It's not overt. It's not in the h one, it's not gigantic, but it is in the h two. And people just ignore it and are just like, I have this problem. Can we talk? [00:19:43] Speaker B: Yeah. And I think for you at this stage, it's still a lot of, it's so new and it's so based on you tweeting it and sharing it with your networks and your investors, that like, the mix of leads that you're going to attract naturally. It's not like you're directly marketing to home services, yet you're marketing through your network, which is just going to attract a lot of randomness no matter what you have on your website. [00:20:09] Speaker A: That's right. Totally agree. And I think that's a good segue into what I want to ask you. Now that you've made these adjustments to clarity flow, how is that going to change your marketing approach? Which keywords you go after? Is it kind of like you already have some traffic and now you're adjusting that next step in the funnel with clarity flow? [00:20:38] Speaker B: I can talk about this in two ways, clarity flow and actually tailor made UI because that's where it's even more of a diet. It's more of a strategic change. Clarity flow. Right now, the changes that we're doing are like a dialing in, like a full. Okay. Like if a year ago, a year and a half ago, we changed from zip message to clarity flow, that was saying like, hey, we're going from being a general messaging tool to being a tool made for coaches. But if I'm honest, looking back, I didn't think at the time, I thought we were going all in on coaches and we. But reality was like 80 or 90% in on coaches. [00:21:19] Speaker A: Okay. [00:21:19] Speaker B: And what I mean is like, there was still a lot of like leftover stuff both marketing wise and in the product that was still like hanging around because we have users who are not coaches using it and pages on our site that were marketing these use cases that are not quite what coaches really care about. And now the changes that we're making are like we're going from 80% to 100% coaches. Like really just. I don't know how to describe this, but it's like a dialing in. It's like making sure that if we're going to. I don't like to use the term like win this space because I think we're a bootstrap company. There's plenty of space for a lot of players. [00:22:07] Speaker A: There's always going to be in satisfying. [00:22:10] Speaker B: But just, just executing at the best. Possible way that we can do it, that we can do the strategy, which is, yeah, it's a mix of SEO, it's a mix of, we're still doing cold outreach to coaches, which that's also interesting. They seem to respond even a little bit better. Seeing our current homepage. We're going to do a few more experiments in terms of the funnel of, like, how people sign up and buy and onboard. But I think still, the big, high level, high level strategy that I had for 2024 in clarity flow has not changed. And that is an investment in customer success. I hired a customer success person and the thing that we care about most is attracting our best customers who are like coaches with active coaching businesses and really making sure that, like, if, if you're a coach, there's, there's no good reason why you should not convert and stick around on clarity flow for a long period of time. I know that SaaS is a numbers game and you're gonna have, like, most of your leads are going to churn or not convert, but to me, like, like, we're in the game of, like, this product is made for coaches. If you are a coach, we are failing if you are not converting. [00:23:31] Speaker A: So less of a focus on the top of funnel and just put people in, but more on, I mean, like you said, success, which is we should be satisfying your problems. We've dialed it in. [00:23:45] Speaker B: We launched clarity flow under the name Clarity Flow in early 2023, but we had like, less than half of the product that we needed to have to fully satisfy coaches. So we spent the rest of 23 building all these big features, culminating in clarityflow, commerce, the ability to sell your coaching services. And so now in 24, we have mostly been focused on refining and smoothing out the rough edges, all the ux little improvements and really making it super reliable. Like, we've come a really long way on all that. So just making it easier to use because we have all the big tent pole features now in the product, but actually now, like, and this also gets back to that hundred, like going from 80% to 100%. For coaches. We're building a pretty big feature now that's like something that lots and lots of coaches have been asking for that I historically have just said no to. Cause I'm like, that's not part of the original product. And now it's like, yeah, we're doing it because we're for coaches and coaches want it and that's what we want. [00:24:53] Speaker A: Okay. [00:24:53] Speaker B: And so we're like halfway through building this big feature that'll be coming out next, next month. But like, yeah, so there's a couple features that I like. Back in when we reset message, I would have been like, yeah, that's not the product that we're building. But now that we're for coaches and I know that coaches like literally are typing in emails saying, I'm not signing up until you have this feature. Okay. And we will have that feature. That's it? [00:25:18] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, just hearing that just makes me, reminds me how early on we are because we have some back and forth to go. And what I mean by that is the focus on right now we have the beginnings of a product of basic feature set and then we go out to the market, we learn a little more and we start adjusting and then we start to go, we'll go out and get traffic and then inevitably the product will not satisfy those people quite the right way. And then we have to go back toward the product and then back and forth. [00:25:51] Speaker B: I want to talk a bit about tailor made UI because it goes to that same question you were just asking about like, what's different? Okay, so like, Aaron Francis actually just asked on Twitter today. He was like, is this what you were doing with instrumental products? Is it different? Are you redirecting that? So I haven't redirected it yet, but like earlier in the year I started consulting and mostly with SaaS companies and I was offering, I still sort of offer like full stack app development, but in some cases I was doing like just the UI and UX consulting and designing in the browser, delivering coded HTML, tailwind, CSS, some JavaScript stuff. And I learned over these engagements that like really the best possible engagements for me are the UI UX engagements and for so many reasons, and I sort of lay them all out on the landing page on tailor made UI. But what the dialing in here is I've had a handful of these clients already this year, so now I know exactly who they are. Whereas before it was super theory, it was so much more like Rosie before, like when I had instrumental, when I launched instrumental products, the website I was writing like theoretically for like who I might work with in the future as a consultant. [00:27:24] Speaker A: Yeah, you're conjuring up some ideal customer. [00:27:26] Speaker B: Conjuring ideas, but now it's like, I know who the best clients I've worked with are and why those projects were perfect and why those are sustainable going forward. And it's directly with SaaS companies, specifically SaaS companies, especially those who don't have an in house designer or front end developer team and more typically SaaS have a full stack developer or two or three, and they tend to lean more back end development, which means the front end UI stuff ends up being sort of like good enough, like slap it together, grab whatever UI components and stuff and you can get by with some rough edges. But ultimately as you start to grow, you need something higher quality. But then it's just slow and time consuming to eat up your developers time with the detailed UI implementation. And anyway, so this version of tailor made UI is like so dialed in to that. This is something that I could literally go to SaaS companies and be like, what do you think of this? And even do more direct sales. Not that I want a high volume of clients. It's booked out and there's limited availability. But if I wanted to scale this up, this gives me a pathway to be like, this is a direct problem with a direct solution for a direct customer. And I know exactly what that customer looks like. I know their characteristics even within SaaS. Like, what types of SaaS companies are perfect for this. It's something that I can just literally send people messages and be like, what do you think of this? [00:29:17] Speaker A: Yeah, it reminds me a bit of Sam Hewlett and his dialing in around onboarding. [00:29:21] Speaker B: Exactly. Yeah. Very similar. [00:29:23] Speaker A: I like it. So, so this new site is like a more precise articulation. I saw the site. I like what you did in adding the tweets that have the videos, because it's not just adding the videos on their own. It's like almost like, go look at the context around this and what people that know me are saying also instead of just the videos themselves. [00:29:44] Speaker B: Yeah. Yep. And I'm, I'm leaning into Twitter or X or whatever because like, look, us SaaS people, we still use x. We might be the only ones in the world still using x. Us and like the politicians. But like, I love, you know. Yeah. The portfolio, the samples that I'm showing on there are the tweets that where I build in public and show a 62nd video of the Ui work that I've been doing and I'm going to continue to do that kind of stuff. And, and it's also like, hey, I'm a SaaS founder too. I'm friends with SAS founders. I'm your people, you're my people. This is all the same thing. [00:30:29] Speaker A: There's a lot of credibility stacked on top of itself. Prior experience on your own. What I think that so in your videos, you're showing your projects and you're kind of explaining the thinking behind it. One thing that comes to mind as I hear you say this, and as I blend in the Sam Hewlett user onboard positioning, one of the things that he did incredibly well was use zeitgeist to get eyeballs. [00:30:57] Speaker B: So tear downs, the. [00:30:58] Speaker A: That's right. So whatever app was in the news and everyone talked about, that's what he would analyze and show his expertise layered on top of something that was very share worthy because it was already being talked about. [00:31:12] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:31:13] Speaker A: So I wonder if you don't have to be limited to the work that you're doing, you can also critique in the right way. That would help. [00:31:21] Speaker B: I've thought about that sort of thing a number of times over the years, actually, but also right now with my consulting work in general, in terms of how much time and energy it takes up, like, I don't know how much marketing I really want to do on that. [00:31:40] Speaker A: Yeah, I hear you. [00:31:41] Speaker B: Other than, like, just put this page out there, put it on my Twitter profile, tweet about it, talk about it here. Like, if I wanted to really engage in a, quote, unquote, content marketing effort or list building effort, like, yeah, that's probably something I would do. Like, something like what Samuel has done really, really well. There could be a. There could come a time when that happens if I'm growing up, if I'm growing up, the team and we're really trying to book out more projects, but, like, right now, like, I literally only take one, maybe two at a time, and the rest I book out into the future, you know? [00:32:17] Speaker A: So I'll talk about, you know, outbound in a sec. But I have to just add, if your supply is fixed, the amount of time you can dedicate and you increase demand, then prices will go up. [00:32:32] Speaker B: Yes. [00:32:33] Speaker A: So that's not necessarily a bad thing to do, even if it doesn't result in more projects, because it could just result in higher prices. [00:32:43] Speaker B: Yeah. I'm also, like, I want to actually, to get this more back to our high level mindset of where we're at this year. Okay. Curious to kick it back to you where you are with Rosie on all this, but, like, for me, I'm. I'm in a 2024. I'm still in this, like, kind of take, trying to. How do I describe it? I. I'm. I'm. I'm just much more short term thinking right now. I'm not. I'm not trying to be all in on any given. [00:33:13] Speaker A: Right. [00:33:15] Speaker B: Like, clarity. Flow is still a long term endeavor. I've, you know, that's something that I'm watering that plant and this consulting thing, I'm sure it's just going to keep going on. But I'm still open to other products. I'm talking about doing other products with other people, and I have other product ideas of my own that I'll do at some point. I'm not really committing to anything. I'm still exploring and settling in in different ways and taking my time with it because I can. I'm bootstrapped and I've got a pretty good income between the consulting and doing a couple different things. So it's like, I guess I'm sorry to figure out, like, how much effort for how long am I going to give to each thing until something figures itself out. [00:34:09] Speaker A: Right. Or pulls you in or however you want to describe that to basically get you off of the slightly more patient, observing things with a bit less emotion. I mean, that's what you said over the last few weeks. You want to be in that position. And I think that makes sense. [00:34:29] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:34:30] Speaker A: I like to run through the scenario, like, what's basically, what's the upside? What's the best case scenario if this thing worked out and at least kind of understand what that is. But I, you know, I feel like you have multiple things progressing and maybe there's a breakout thing that says, hey, I want all your attention, or it doesn't happen for a little bit, and you keep going and keep building things. [00:34:53] Speaker B: Yeah. Like, fundamentally, and I think this is where you and I are in different situations. Now, fundamentally, I am back to, like, 100% bootstrapping. That means profit first on all fronts. No matter what I'm doing, I'm doing it sustainably. And that probably means slower. That probably means a little bit more split, focused, making sure the bills are paid over here, watering some long term investment plants over here, but doing it sustainably, not growing the expenses, not going into debt, or not working with any sort of Runway, paying my way as I go. [00:35:36] Speaker A: Yeah, but, like, that sounds healthy. You know, I, I have put myself in a position where that, that doesn't make sense as the approach, but you're. [00:35:44] Speaker B: You'Re in, like, in some ways, like the optimal version of, of the opposite. Right. Like you have. You've got the firepower in the bank. [00:35:52] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:35:53] Speaker B: To go all in and give it all the resources that you possibly can, you know? [00:35:57] Speaker A: Yeah. There's, it's. [00:35:58] Speaker B: How do you, where's your mindset at right now? [00:36:01] Speaker A: Yeah. So my mindset is to identify the best case scenario and be 75% aggressive at going at it, not 100%, as in, like, burn the boats, don't leave any energy for the swim back kind of thing. I don't operate well in that mindset, but rather aggressive. So I shared a tweet yesterday. There's a company called hey Gen. So this is a gen AI company that does videos, and you can create an avatar of yourself, and then you can dictate, let's say, a message to your company or an onboarding video. But the avatar does the talking. So they have. You can. You can create avatars from, like, models that they have for, let's say, advertising and content, or you can make an avatar of yourself. It's actually very cool looking product. It's impressive looking. This thing just raised this thing. I'm calling it a thing because it feels like a monster. This company just raised a very large series A. You know, it's one of these things. Like, it's called the series A, but like, what's. What's a $60 million series? It's just a bunch of investments. [00:37:23] Speaker B: Yeah, bunch of EMS. [00:37:25] Speaker A: And this company went from a million ARR to 35 million ARR over the last twelve months. [00:37:34] Speaker B: Crazy. [00:37:34] Speaker A: And that is a level of growth that I don't think was really possible a few years ago. And you and I have spoken before. What the hell works in marketing? Like, what? You know, what are you supposed to do? How do you get attention? How do you break through? And in some ways, that is true, but in other ways, the world is so connected. Everyone's so online. There are so many companies that need the same things. It's a global market much more than it used to be. It makes me think of canva. When I first saw canva, I did not think that that could be a gigantic company. And it is now an absolute behemoth. Because not only is it such a widespread set of problems that they're tackling, but the word of mouth networks are so global that growth right now can happen in ways that we're just not used to thinking this, like, you know, double double triple, triple triple kind of thing, or triple triple double double double, like version of the vc growth path. That's ideal. That stuff's out the window. These things can grow at an astronomical pace. And so, if I'm being honest, my mentality is in that direction. [00:38:51] Speaker B: Do you think that's just because of. [00:38:52] Speaker A: How do we incrementally grow? It's how do we explode? Because the problem's big enough, the market's big enough, the solution is wide enough that we shouldn't go to get to a million ARR in twelve months, we should go to a millionar in three months. It's probably not going to happen that way. But looking at the money in the bank, looking at the product, looking at the market, looking at the competition, look at the investment environment, I think that is, that's, if you have that as a mentality, it doesn't mean it's going to happen. But you are looking at investments differently. You're looking at how early to launch differently. So when we do outbound, are we, are we gonna send to 1000 customers, potential customers a month or are we gonna send to 10,000 a month? [00:39:42] Speaker B: Right. [00:39:42] Speaker A: We should send to 10,000. [00:39:43] Speaker B: Yeah. You know what I hear you saying though? I feel like. Cause we were talking earlier about like, do you niche down to home services? Do you niche down to the use case where they're just book and calendar appointments? And I think what you're describing, if you compare the canvas and the, what was it called, Genai? [00:40:07] Speaker A: Hey, Jen. [00:40:08] Speaker B: Hey, Jen. And that's for like video generation. [00:40:13] Speaker A: Yep. [00:40:15] Speaker B: That's what it is. Video generation. Canva is like graphic. Like simple graphic design. [00:40:20] Speaker A: Graphics? Yes. [00:40:21] Speaker B: That's not simple graphic design for home services or simple graphic design for marketers. It's just simple graphic design, period. [00:40:30] Speaker A: Yes, yes. Very horizontal. That's right. [00:40:32] Speaker B: So super horizontal. Right. Like my daughter is obsessed with using canva for her, for her creative projects, but they're also selling to businesses and they've got television commercials and stuff. And so like, if you're talking about like super fast exponential growth like that, that's what it, that to me is like what it is. It's like some, some simple category scaled horizontally that lots and lots of people can use and share virally. I feel like I hear you on the aggressiveness on the numbers because you have the resources to do that. But from a product standpoint, it almost requires an even bigger bet. Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm just thinking out loud here, but like, it sort of requires like a bigger bet to be even more horizontal. Like, I don't know, like voice, just like voice generation for businesses. Like something like that, you know, like. [00:41:40] Speaker A: Yes, I hear you. And that's, that's the, that's the pull, that's also the danger and also the opportunity. Yeah, because if you. Right, this is what we've gotten. A few, a few people, consultants, companies approach us and say, can we white label? We want to sell it to our customer base. And my answer has been absolutely not. Because we need the brand to stick, and we need the word of mouth, and we want six months from today, we want it to be something that's easily talked about and easily spread. And the problem is widespread enough. Everyone picks up the phone. Well, it's not everyone. A very large number of businesses pick up the phone and don't always want to pick up the phone. So that's a very, very widespread, very large tam. [00:42:32] Speaker B: It's so weird how that's, like, so widespread. Everyone is so frustrated with it as customers, but it's still a thing. [00:42:38] Speaker A: They just, this is my argument around AI, around bootstrappers going after it, around AI as an opportunity. I have felt more energy in more demand for this product in one week than I felt for rally for years because people wanted rally, but they, it just, it didn't feel the same. And if you think about that exact situation, that, okay, what you described, very, very widespread problem, painful. A lot of people have it still a problem on the Internet. Those don't really exist, not many of them, or at least they're not easy to find. So AI enabling a new set of solutions means a new sets of problems get. [00:43:33] Speaker B: Yeah, you're right. [00:43:34] Speaker A: And what that really means is the fields are open, so there aren't established amazing companies. There's no canva eating up 80% of the market for your new, you know, simple design tool. [00:43:48] Speaker B: Yeah, it's almost like, like, really like. [00:43:51] Speaker A: Where the growth comes from. There weren't, you didn't have the ability to create an avatar video at scale before. So a company can go from a million to 35 million ar. I've never even heard of them until yesterday. Have you heard of them? No, no one even knows them. [00:44:05] Speaker B: Yeah, right. That's what sort of blows my mind about these, like, huge growth. I tweeted this the other day. I was like, who in the, who is not in tech? Do you know who is, like, using AI tools on a regular basis, like, day to day? Because, like, literally all the people that, I don't know that many people that are not in tech, frankly, I'm not as socially connected. [00:44:29] Speaker A: Your brother, the farmer, and that's it. [00:44:31] Speaker B: Yeah. And he is not using AI, I'll tell you that much. But like, you know, but like, I was, I was even, I was in a text chain with a couple friends from my hometown grew up with. And, like, one of them was talking about how you, like, hired a designer to create, to create, like, the uniform graphic for his daughter's basketball team. Okay, what do you mean you hired a designer? Like, you. You didn't use chat DPT for that, you know, and it's just like, not something that comes up with people who are, like, not like us. Yeah. [00:45:04] Speaker A: Yeah. I'm not worried about that at all because I now run an AI rapper. [00:45:13] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:45:13] Speaker A: And in my thinking through basically how to make that sound better, all an AI rapper is. Is a problem solver. [00:45:24] Speaker B: It's exactly right. [00:45:25] Speaker A: Nobody cares about the tech. Nobody cares at all about the tech. [00:45:28] Speaker B: The tweet I put out, there were a lot of really good replies from people, like, giving really good examples. I noticed actually a bunch in the healthcare space that seems to be that. And lawyers. [00:45:42] Speaker A: Yes, and dentists and doctors. The level of opportunity is astronomical right now in the healthcare field. I don't want to be too specific because someone shared a very interesting idea with me that I'm not going to pursue. I don't want to go too deep into it, but let's just say there are a very significant number of forms that need to be completed by people, and those forms will eat up an incredible percentage of time of that person's working day. And it is solvable. Yeah, it's solved. You can take a 1 hour form and enter it in five minutes with an AI product that allows the person to just talk out loud while they're driving in their car between appointments. That. So that's all gonna happen. It's great that it's gonna happen. And it's mostly gonna be rappers, and no one's gonna mock rappers anymore in a few years because it's like, what are we? What are you, an AWS rapper? Like, who cares? Yeah, yeah. [00:46:42] Speaker B: But it does seem like I think you're right. I think that there are definitely businesses and, like, sectors where AI is starting to see some real traction. I mean, things like generating a video, I could sort of see why that's, like, blowing up so quickly. Because it's like, video is everywhere. More than ever, people need to generate video, but I'm just seeing, like, just in the real world here in the suburbs of Connecticut. [00:47:09] Speaker A: Sure. [00:47:10] Speaker B: To me, it's like, so surprising how much people are just regular people are still sleeping on AI. I asked my kids, and my wife works in the school districts. I'm like, does anybody in the public school, public elementary schools, I'm like, does anybody even talk about Chachi Bt in school at all? [00:47:31] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:47:32] Speaker B: For anything. For generating worksheets that the kids could do, for grading papers, for creating anything. [00:47:39] Speaker A: Is it just super, just total no. [00:47:42] Speaker B: Like a total no. Most of them don't even know what chat GPT is. Like, they don't. They haven't heard of it. Like, how. How are you in school? How are you in a school? And you haven't heard of chat GPT right now? Like, how is that possible? But I feel like that is still the mainstream. It's. It's not quite mainstream yet, but it's going to be very, very quickly, especially, you know, with it, once it gets in, once the, like, the iPhone stuff that they just announced, like, once that rolls out. That's right. That's what. That's what pulls it into the mainstream. [00:48:16] Speaker A: I think it's. It's almost like very few are gonna go out and find it or be made aware of it in the way that we are. Whereas if it just gets forced downward and then all of a sudden it's this new thing that's great. Like, I don't know, what the hell did we do before waze in Google Maps? I literally do not understand. [00:48:37] Speaker B: I remember anyone printing out directions for MapQuest. Like, what? [00:48:41] Speaker A: And we're old enough that we did that. I did that. [00:48:44] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:48:45] Speaker A: But it just got forced fed into us. It just got. Oh, it's on my phone now. Oh, my friend uses it all. Download it. Okay. I adopted. That's it. I don't care. The magic of how it works, of how it tracks mobile phones, and that's how it knows about traffic. I don't care. I just know that it's magic. [00:49:00] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:49:01] Speaker A: So I think it'll just kind of be force fed downward into these different places. And it does make sense that businesses are earlier to adopt because businesses feel pain, and pain translates into less money in people's bank accounts. And people are very motivated to put more money in their bank accounts, and therefore they go out and solve problems sooner. [00:49:18] Speaker B: Yeah, that's it. Yeah, for sure. [00:49:21] Speaker A: All right, so 35 million ARR. Twelve months from today. Here we go. I started doing some math on that. I was like, yeah, so, yeah, like, really crazy. [00:49:31] Speaker B: I mean, how do you feel, like, overall? Like, on, like, the optimism level, on the. On the mindset level? Because you. You know, you made a major pivot with, you know, going from rally to rosie, essentially starting over. You know, you have the resources, you got a great team in place. Yeah. Like. Like, how you feeling overall, man? [00:49:57] Speaker A: You know, there are some. Some corporate issues. And what I mean by that is, like, it's the same cap table and we have evaluation and we have, you know, so there's some things to deal with that that would have been much easier. To deal with if we shut down the company and started over. I decided not to do that. I have my reasons. I did my math. All of these individual potential problems like that, there's nothing to do about them other than grow revenue. That's it. So whenever rock and I are talking, we just come back to that as our north Star. What should we do about fundraising? When should we raise more money? What do we need to get to? Should we go toward profitability? It's just irrelevant outside of growing revenue. And the faster you grow revenue, the more options we have. So it's kind of like, all right, we have a good amount of Runway that over the next six months, we don't really have to think about money. Right. And you budget in, and you put your spreadsheet together, and we say, here's this decent sized marketing budget. And once that's established, we're not really thinking about spending because the budget's been set. It makes sense. We kind of do it unemotionally. You look at the long term, and then it's just like, okay, over these next six months, this is what our team looks like and our spend there, and this is what spend outside of team looks like. And if we swap out one channel or one version of the spend for another, as long as it's within that budget, we don't really have to. We don't have to torture ourselves over a decision. [00:51:45] Speaker B: Yeah, I feel like that's like, you know, again, like the. Trying to live the. See what it's like to be in the. In the. In the shoes of, like, a VC founder. And you. Right with. I. You know, that's not me. So, like, I think it's. It's like you have the benefit of having the margin. You know, like, people there is, like, even without. Even though you're pre revenue, you have plenty of margin and breathing room financially, like, team wise, resource wise. Like, it's all there in front of you. Whereas, like, someone like me and most bootstrappers, it's like we're literally limited on all fronts. So you got to be as efficient as possible and find the fastest path with the least amount of resources. [00:52:37] Speaker A: That's right. [00:52:38] Speaker B: It's like, there's pros and cons to both sides, obviously, but it is a. [00:52:44] Speaker A: It does not mean you're going to be successful. You cannot buy product market fit. But it is a ridiculous advantage to be able to think that way and operate that way. But that's the. That is the agreement that you go into with your investors. You give them a big part of your company. And they say, we will give you the breathing room to try to figure it out. [00:53:05] Speaker B: And what the, what I guess what I'm getting at because, you know, as like a general theme for me mentally this year, it's like how do I stay sane and happy and enjoying what I do every day and still having a life with my family and everything? And it's like having that breathing room gives you the, it like enables the ambition to go, to fully go all in on something because you have plenty of time for this thing to, to do its thing, to do whatever it's gonna do. That's right. Without pressure, day to day needs because you're covered. [00:53:44] Speaker A: Yes, yes. And it does force you. At least it forces me because I have a lot of the bootstrap mentality where I want to wait and see what works before investing. It challenges that and it says, no. Why don't you put $10,000 a month into outbound and $10,000 a month into ads and $10,000 a month into this other thing because you shouldn't sit on your ass like, you know, hurry, hurry up. The competition's coming. Everything is more pressure. But that, that's part of the trade off. [00:54:14] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:54:15] Speaker A: So we are going to go hard at outbound. Yeah, we're going to. Yeah. So that I'm making a decision today, actually, I talked to two people. It's like a done for you outbound service. So I'm going to choose one of them and then emails will start to go out realistically in about 30 days because you have to quote season domains. [00:54:32] Speaker B: I know the whole game. [00:54:34] Speaker A: Yep. Yeah. But there are, there are relatively affordable solutions. [00:54:40] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. [00:54:41] Speaker A: Totally done for you outbound to go out and reach between 1005 thousand potential customers a month. [00:54:47] Speaker B: Very nice. That is still a good channel because it's like, like you said, it is like, it's like kind of complicated to set up initially, but it's good when you use like a done for you service. [00:54:58] Speaker A: It is pretty cool. [00:54:59] Speaker B: I ended up doing it all myself like a couple months ago, but I got some really good advice from some people. But it's nice that it's low cost. Once you have the list building systems and the outreach systems in place, it's set it and forget it. You got tweaking and optimizing. But yeah, it's a low cost and it's a way to just literally knock on the door of your best customers. [00:55:26] Speaker A: Yes. I've been convinced that we should move that much further up in our priorities. I saw Derek Reimer sub Derek. He had a funny tweet. He basically saw that he took a screenshot of a cold email and he was like, I don't understand, why would this ever work? And I feel the same way. So I am with Derek. A lot of us feel the same way. What I've been convinced by people who have very direct experience is that not every industry is like that in software. We get a tremendous amount of email and cold email and cold calls and we have tuned it out. Not every business in industry is like that. And when your inbox and your voicemail box are where your customers leave messages asking for your service, you take your inbox much more seriously. I look at my inbox as a pain. That is a time stuck for me and there's really no money to be made there unless I'm fundraising. [00:56:27] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's been interesting to see all the cold emails that are clearly AI generated now. And like, they literally, I don't know if you've seen this, but like, I don't know, like the mark, like the margin or the spacing is always messed up. Just like this just started like two months ago. All the cold emails that I get are now like super small font with like weird line breaks because probably, probably they're all using the same like, AI generated tool, right? [00:56:50] Speaker A: Terrible. [00:56:51] Speaker B: But I've been running it daily for clarity flow for I think like seven or eight months now. And just high level. Like, we're still running it because we do get leads from it and customers from it. We do get plenty of people saying like, no, stop emailing me. This is annoying. But every single week we also get people who respond to these emails and say like, oh, that's interesting. Send me the link. They just do. And every time, still, every time they do, I'm like, holy shit, how does that happen? [00:57:25] Speaker A: That's great. [00:57:26] Speaker B: But I also think that it is also a function of niching down. When you know exactly who your target customer is, you can only look for those exact customers in their email. Yeah, talk to them and you know exactly how to speak their language. [00:57:44] Speaker A: Yes. [00:57:46] Speaker B: Like with a grain of salt though, because like, even the signups, even the leads and the customers who come through, I will say they are just not as good as organic inbound. Nothing is never as good because you're still interrupting them and they might be intrigued even enough to sign up. [00:58:03] Speaker A: Right, but the intent is different. [00:58:04] Speaker B: But they weren't planning on spending their time on this right now, you know? Yes, but you know, I have to think that we're also planting the seed. Like, I could, I could also see we are definitely getting sign ups. We actually have ways to track this now from people who did not reply to the emails. But I know that they, I know that they received our emails and then they signed up like a few months later. [00:58:25] Speaker A: You know, it is, it does have an element of awareness building. Yeah, a little bit of brand building, but you got to be careful with how you're building the brand in that way. My hope is that it is a Kickstarter and it gets things rolling, but it's not what we do forever. Yeah, but I don't know of any. I don't know of a better way to kickstart. And when I look over the advertising that I really, really want to do, it is a solid five times more expensive. Oh, yeah, four or five times more expensive than outbound. And that is scary. And I. It has convinced me to just push that off a little more until we understand more, until the things worked out and the onboarding works and all this. [00:59:11] Speaker B: I still think that even the cold outreach is even more about gaining awareness with your best customers, even more so than ads, because, yeah, ads are also getting in front of more eyeballs than you otherwise would have been able to. But if it's like search ads, then, then you're still counting on people actually going to Google and searching for something related and then seeing your ad. Whereas a cold outbound is to somebody who was not out there looking for this, you're just going to them like, hey, you should be aware of this. [00:59:44] Speaker A: Yes. My optimism around it, my hope for it is the combination of what we talked about before, where AI solves a problem that a lot of people have but has not been solved. If you combine that with awareness, making non technical people aware, hey, that problem, that really sucks. Now it can be solved. That might make for some magic, not that it's going to be easy or it's definitely going to work or whatever else, but I like the potential there that if we get the messaging right and we feel their pain and articulate that in the right way to make them aware of a potential solution that they never even thought was possible, maybe that creates something great and we'll wrap it up. [01:00:28] Speaker B: But just to sort of tie the knot on coming back to my side of marketing and sales and growth with all my products, it's still, yeah, we're doing a bit of that at cold outreach. We're doing some SEO stuff, but at the end of the day, the thing that always works the best for me is customer success and then customers referring other customers, like, and so, like, if we can, like, completely nail it on clarity flow with a coach, we definitely see this happen all the time. That coach then tells, like five other coaches. [01:01:02] Speaker A: Yeah, you like, penetrate these networks. [01:01:05] Speaker B: Even Tailor made UI that my UI design consulting service, like where, where my clients to date have come from are either people that I know or somebody tweeted and recommended me to someone that was a good fit. And so I just put that tweet out there today and it's like, that's what I rely on to get, like, really good customers for anything that I do is like, you know, it's like lower volume, but it's much higher quality. And then it's a question of like, making that sustainable. [01:01:34] Speaker A: Cool. I like a good place to end things off. I'm going to be thinking about how to build that in to our product and what the right way to do that is for. [01:01:42] Speaker B: Sure. Man. [01:01:43] Speaker A: Friday sunny out. Get out there, everybody. Hope you have a great weekend. [01:01:47] Speaker B: All right, later, folks.

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