Resi CEO, Alexandra DePledge, shares how her team built the UK’s largest architectural platform in only 2.5 years.

Episode 4 November 08, 2019 00:33:59
Resi CEO, Alexandra DePledge, shares how her team built the UK’s largest architectural platform in only 2.5 years.
The Breakout Growth Podcast
Resi CEO, Alexandra DePledge, shares how her team built the UK’s largest architectural platform in only 2.5 years.

Nov 08 2019 | 00:33:59

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Show Notes

In this episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, Sean Ellis interviews Alexandra DePledge, CEO of Resi, a UK based company that aims to reduce the challenges of home renovation and building projects. After only 2.5 years, they have built Resi to become the largest architectural platform in the UK.

Sean’s goal with this interview is to understand what is truly driving breakout growth success for Resi. While Resi’s goal is to build a broad platform for the full range of building challenges, they narrowed their initial solution to a low level, affordable entry product so they could ensure a quality solution and achieve initial product-market fit. By onboarding customers into this solution, the Resi team was able to learn about other pressing challenges that people face with their home building and renovation projects. From this initial solution, they have expanded into architectural planning and design services, financing solutions and even a marketplace for builders and contractors. They have developed a unique team structure that combines both a team to iterate around these new opportunities and an operating team to capitalize on product/market fit for the solutions that have been validated.

One highly effective tactic for Resi is a free telephone hotline to answer any questions about the home building and renovation process. This hotline is available to both existing customers and non-customers, providing a powerful way to build trust and eventually cross-sell a broad range of building services. Given that the typical family rarely does a home renovation or building projects, Resi does not have a long-term engagement loop. So instead, they focus on building a strong referral loop via ambassadors. They also benefit from significant average revenue per customer which they can use to fund the paid acquisition loop. 

Learn more about Alexandra DePledge here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-depledge-mbe-22b57a14/?originalSubdomain=uk

And learn more about Resi here: https://resi.co.uk/

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00 <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:03 <inaudible> Speaker 2 00:08 come to the breakout growth podcast where Sean Ellis interviews leaders from the world's fastest growing companies to get to the heart of what's really driving their growth. And now here's your host, Sean Ellis. Speaker 3 00:23 In this episode, we'll look at Rezi, a UK based service that aims to reduce the challenges of home renovation and building projects. So I'm speaking with the CEO at Rezi Alexandra to pledge. She previously built and sold hassled.com which was Europe's largest marketplace for domestic cleaners. Now she and her team, after only 2.5 years, they built Rezi to become the largest residential architectural platform in the U K and I think they've really done it in something that's particularly challenging, which is a a product that solves a really infrequent use case. And so there's some opportunities with that and some challenges with that that I'll discuss with Alex. And I personally was really inspired by the way that she and her team are taking on this challenge. So let's get started. All right, welcome to the breakout growth podcast, Alex. Speaker 5 01:21 Thanks so glad to be here. Speaker 3 01:23 And so it was very cool to actually spend time with you yesterday in our workshop and then to be able to come today and talk through growth because you clearly have a lot of experience, not just growing your current company, but also, uh, your, your previous company. So can you, can you give a little bit of background on both what you're currently doing now with Rezi and then what you previously did so that our listeners, Speaker 5 01:47 yeah, sure. So, um, so I'll do the other way around. So, um, in 2012, um, Jules and I started hassell.com. Um, well it wasn't a hassle in the beginning, but that's another story, but it be, it was, um, Europe's largest, um, marketplace for finding domestic cleaner. The U S comparison would be home joy or handy. Um, so, and we started at slightly before them got cracking, went through, um, four European countries and ended up selling in 2015. So a German competitor. Um, George and I left the business six months afterwards while we would never do this again. And then lo and behold, six months after that, I started to do a renovation on my home and got increased. Incredibly frustrated with the, uh, how long everything took, how it was really confusing. Um, and then I spoke to Jules about this and a week later we had a working prototype that went to market, formerly called bill path. Um, it's now been rebranded to <inaudible>. So we're going two and a half years and we're now the largest residential architectural platform in the UK, but we do a little bit more than that. They're just sort of building and sorry, like design and planning and building regs. We actually now finance the build people and we also introduced contractors and the relevant people that you need. So the whole idea is that we're cradle to grave solution for anyone that's wanting to build a house or renovate a house. Speaker 3 03:09 So as I mentioned before we got started, I'm in the process of building a house. So yeah. So this, this really hits home for me, including, I recently got denied for a loan to build the house despite having like, probably about as good credit score as you can have and having this diversified sources of income. But because I just recently started my own self-employment company and don't have enough income history for them to, to fund it. So fortunately I have the bank balances that are pretty close to get me there anyway. And it's very good motivation to keep working hard so that I continue to have the income coming in so that I can hit those. But I mean, just for me to see that it was hard for me to get some funding. Um, all of the problems that you list I have experienced recently. Speaker 3 03:57 So, um, to me, I think that's one of the, one of the keys to any breakout growth company and this whole podcast is about trying to understand what drives breakout growth. And it's, it's, you know, product market fit, it's solving a problem that is real, that's widespread with a solution that really does solve that problem. And so, um, yeah, I mean it's, it definitely strikes as you go through each one of these things. Um, you know, everything from how picking the right architect, um, how, how do you do that? Most people have never been through a building project. Fortunately for us, we, this is our second building project, our second major building project. Um, but yeah, I mean, uh, you're just, you're flying through all of these things blindly and it's exciting that you're pulling together solution to help someone through those challenging parts. Speaker 5 04:44 Yeah. And I think so like, you know, to be really clear, I'm not an architect nor have I ever been an architect. So it's kind of an odd thing to go into because it's a very professional environment. But I think the big difference between Rezi and everybody else's, we came at it from what does a consumer one, so the whole of architecture for the longest time has been this quite elitist, quite sort of stuffy, very high brow discipline that you know, Oh you've got an architect. Um, whereas some people just went ahead without an architect cause they either were too intimidated or didn't realize they needed one. Another people like you say, where, how, how do I find a good one? And what we've tried to do is turn it on its head and make it all about the consumer instead of about the architect. So we serve the consumer rather than the other way around. Speaker 3 05:24 Yep. No, that makes, that makes a lot of sense. So if you were to break down what the kind of, what's gotten you to this point and you can even, I think reference your, your previous company where you had a lot of success. Um, what, what do you think the key factors are that have helped you get to this point? And obviously no good entrepreneurs satisfied with where they are. It's all about going further. But when in some of the external numbers that I saw about the company, I can see you guys are on a really nice growth trajectory. Speaker 5 05:54 Yeah. So I guess, um, I think what, what was great doing it the second time around is you made a load of mistakes the first time out that you learn from. So, um, we decided we were going to keep a bunch of stuff that we did while it has sold and then get rid of a bunch of other stuff. So one of the things that we said was rather than trying to kind of do lots of different things all at once and also internationalize and do all the things that you typically see tech companies do, we said we were going to start really, really small. So we started just with concepts. So the idea that someone needs thinking about doing something to their home but they don't want to pay two or 3000 pounds for an architect. They want to just understand what are the cost implications, what's possible, what value will it add, what will it look like? Speaker 5 06:36 So we started with a really low level entry product for a couple hundred bucks and you could find out all of that stuff. And we did that. And then we let the customers lead us, which we didn't do before. And so at the end of, you know, when we'd done a, you know, a couple of hundred of those concept designs for a few hundred bucks, people were saying to us, this is great. We love this. Can you not get planning? So you're like, Oh, okay, what do we need to do to get planning? So then, you know, we went down that path and we started to become the planning agent. We've now integrated 60% of local councils or like plan what, what do you call those in the States? You're, you're the planning commission. Exactly. So same thing here. So now we have like automated into the back end of them. So everything's, it automatically goes through and we act as a planning agent. Speaker 5 07:15 And then beyond that people within like, Oh this is great, you know, you've got us planning quick. Like we trust you. Can you do our building regs drone? So they, you technical specs that basically mean that the building standup don't fall down. And we were like, Oh, okay, well yeah, okay, let's do that. And then we get to the end of that journey and everyone's like, Oh, right now I need a builder, can you help with that? And we were like, Oh well how do we solve that? So I guess the way that we've done it is take a really operationally complex project, complex thing that people do. And instead of going and going, okay, we're going to serve the whole thing, let's just serve a bit of it, learn from that and then see where that takes us. And that's served us really well because we've had product market fit, you can argue from day one, not the whole product, but part of the problem solved an important problem in the mix of problems. Speaker 5 07:58 And you've kind of started to find the other related problems that you can move to now completely. And then a lot of people were came to us and they were like, well look, you know, I want to do this thing, but I don't know how much it's going to cost and therefore I don't know how much to ask the bank for. So we were like, hang on a minute, how can they go to a bank and ask for an unknown amount? But equally they don't want to pay us any money when they don't know if they can get to the bank and fought it. So this chicken and egg process, we were like, well why wouldn't we find onset? So then we went out and started talking to finance providers to come up with a bespoke product. So people like you that have got assets in the bank can borrow money. Speaker 5 08:31 Cause this is a typical problem. You know, people who are like self-employed often get declined equally the way, you know, a lot of people don't want to remortgage their entire house just to do a 50 grand extension. So what we do is we provide a purpose book finance product that allows you to do the kind of work without paying any, it's a borrow but pay nothing. And then you wrap it all up into a remote at the end of the increased value. So the whole thing works out better. Um, but you know, all, we wouldn't have known that two and a half years ago. So that's kind of the gift really I think of letting the market leaders rather than us try and lead. Speaker 3 09:04 All right. And just to put like that finance into, into perspective. I don't even have a mortgage on my primary residence. We own it straight out. I was trying to borrow against my primary residence to fund this and I still got denied in an in a bank where I had enough cash to actually cover the project. It was just more of a credit line in case we have overages. And so I definitely see where the problem can be. Speaker 5 09:28 And you know what, again, I always, I've always said, you know, a hassle really wouldn't have been possible without the advent of the smartphone. And I think, you know, the finance product part of Rezi wouldn't have been possible without the rise of new banks like the New York banks have here because they were really challenging some of the bigger institutions to change, to do things quicker. And so again, a lot of this stuff is timing. Speaker 3 09:48 Yeah. And then another trend that feeds into that though is, is that my situation is much less unique than it would have been 10 or 20 years ago. You have a lot of self employed people with, with essentially a diverse source of income. And it's that untraditional type of person that, that the banks just aren't in a position to fund really. And so I think that's, I mean, it's neat because it almost puts you as a FinTech business. It puts you at which, yeah, which can be scary, but I mean, it's don't want any competition. Speaker 3 10:21 But I mean, I do think that, um, that the more important thing is that you're identifying problems, that there's so many problems when you're tackling a, uh, building project. And that, I mean, even even recently, a debate with my wife and me, um, do we, do we have an interior designer or do we not? When we did our primary home, we originally had an interior designer who was driving my wife absolutely crazy. And we had prepaid her and I said, let's get rid of her because life's too short. And I don't care if we've prepaid her, I just don't like to see you be miserable. You're great at design. Why don't you just do it? And so as we revisited that, it's just like you're great at design. Let's not work with an outside designer, but just there's so many really hard decisions with this, that, that and so many marketplace opportunities and different places that you can take this that uh, it's super exciting. And Speaker 5 11:14 I think that's, that is something we identified straight away. So, you know, everybody always says to you like, what's your USP? Like what's your big thing? Are you cheaper? Are you faster? And I guess we're both of those things. But really for me, it's exactly what you just said that I would, this is an education and a trust play. It's like when you walk into it, there are so many moving parts and so many different people that need to be involved and you've got no idea. You, you as a person, if no idea how much it costs to plaster a wall and whether that person's being genuine in the pricing. Right? So you, you kind of need that sort of trusted advisor. I hate that word, but that's the kind of, and that's the role that we tried to play at Rezi. So we tried to be an independence of these are the things that we do and then this is a whole bunch of stuff that we will kind of put you in into play. So really what we're actually trying to do is we're trying to become the plumbing of the entire residential kind of sector, not the buying and selling, but the building and the kind of changing of it. Speaker 3 12:03 Yeah. And then I also saw that you have like a hotline on the phone on the website. So I mean just having that source where when you have those questions you can call in and I D is that available for people who are not yet paying customers so we don't discriminate. So that's awesome. And free advice basically, which is a great potential way to build that trust to then onboard them into the overall system. Yeah, exactly. There's so many questions that I could go here, but I guess one, one question is how do you make money right now? Speaker 5 12:31 Oh yeah. So good question. So we sell surfaces. Um, so if you take a concept or you do building regs through us or you want planning where you charge a fee, um, so it's straightforward, there's no subscription. Um, so you know, basically the, once you've bought a house, the second most expensive thing you will do with that house after buying it is to renovate it. Um, and so this is usually a one time only purchase, which doesn't make me very attractive to VC's, but Hey, I don't care anyway. Um, but what it is, it's a huge basket size. So, you know, our average basket size is about two and a half thousand pounds, and our cost of acquisition is, it's a couple hundred quid. So it's, it's very healthy. Exactly. Um, but what he means is we need to make each of those people ambassadors for us because it's the sort of thing that when you're sitting around the dinner table and having a conversation with your friends, everyone's got those horror stories about, Oh, I got my loft Dawn and the count, you know, I had a cowboy builder or my architect when we give my drawings or the disappeared. Speaker 5 13:27 And so we need to do is like know that our customers are going to be ambassadors for years cause it's not a cotton, it's not frequent purchase. Speaker 3 13:35 And I feel like that's the loop that you have to optimize for an infrequent purchase. You can't optimize engagement. So your value kind of indicator is how, how much referral am I getting? How many people are recommending this service is probably a really important part. Speaker 5 13:51 Yeah, super important. So, um, so yeah, so we just make money off the services that people purchase. Um, and then we also make money from partnerships that we have. Um, when people take other people's services, which is just the standard in industry. Again, we've not done anything crazy with a model. And we haven't gone in with a new business model. We've basically just taken the business model that already exists cause it works and we've just, because we're able to drive efficiencies through the use of technology and various other things like data, um, and the way that we work cause we've modularized the process rather than doing it end to end. Um, that's just driven out probably I'd say about 65% of what we do is automated. And if you think, um, the stat that killed me when I got into this industry was, uh, um, in the UK there's only 35,000 charter architects. Speaker 5 14:36 And of those 35,000, only 3% working practices with or tenable, which basically means there's been zero R and D in the entire sector. And the productivity is the same as it's been since the 1950s. When I found out, I was like, Holy crap to not swear. I was like, this is just right for the tear cane. And so we didn't actually need to do that much other than just be better, you know, be quicker, be you know, more about the customer. Um, make sure that they were at the center of the journey and then, you know, basically try to deliver it in layman's terms rather than in terms of people don't understand. Speaker 3 15:10 Right, right. So, um, as a CEO, there's obviously so many different parts of your day of what you, what you could be doing. And, um, fortunately I think from, from other interviews that I've listened to and from, uh, a little bit of from here, it sounds like you're not really aggressively going out and trying to raise capital, which can be a full time job as a CEO, but you still like building the team, team morale, trying to get the product right, kind of all of these pieces. Where does growth fit into your day in terms of how much time of your day are you really thinking about how do we, how do we acquire and satisfy customers? Speaker 5 15:49 Yeah, so I guess if you break the two founders down, Jules and I, Jules techs, they're kind of, um, product and attack and I tend to take the people and definitely the marketing. So we have a marketing team and you can call it a sales team, but it's not really, it's like business consultation, like business development. So I'd say that, but I don't really, I don't, our COO looks after the sales and then the architect bit, so the through, we'd have about 40 architects here, but definitely with, with marketing, um, I probably spend, um, I'm probably going to get judged on this, but I probably only spend about 20% on that. But I think that's because I'm the guy that I've got in there, well is it, he's him an iron lockstep. So he's really good at kind of, we sat in agenda and then he executes against it. Speaker 5 16:33 And I think I would, learnings at Hassell were really like, you can't build a business on the back of paid marketing. It can be part of the mix, but it can't be everything. So we went out and we went strong into content straight away. So we rank really highly on an SEO. Now we've got great brand awareness and we've got great word of mouth. And so actually a 50% of all of our, um, in month, um, acquisitions come from unpaid marketing. So the work we did in early 2017 when we first started and will was our first employee that's really paid dividends. And I'd say what I'd say is like, I was hugely involved in the beginning. Like it was like my area of quote unquote. And then as time's gone along and we've grown, you know, we're like 70 people now, the, it's less of my time because we kind of have the strategy and it's been executed against. I first got to sound like I'm defending myself and I feel like I should be like, Oh, I'm doing like 80%. Speaker 3 17:28 Well, so I think it's interesting because when you, you immediately when I asked about growth, you went to the amount of time you spend on marketing, but clearly having the solution work in a way that people are so happy that they start telling other people about it. Um, all of these other parts of the business that help to drive growth beyond simply beyond simply just going out and doing paid marketing. That's all part of that formula. And I think even even picking what's the next, what's the next market segment we're going after? What's the unmet need that's closest to what we're already meeting? All of those are part of growth. And so if you, if you think more holistically about all of the things that affect growth in the business, how much of your time do you think you probably spend <inaudible> Speaker 5 18:12 well, I was just about to say that. So the way that the operations divided is James, our COO and techs, all of this can sound such a consulting term, but business as usual. So that's the stuff I've talked about already. That's the finance, the builders, the design, everything else, the marketing, sales. I spend the vast majority of my time on new business. And what I mean by that is new products. So we divide it that way because what we tend to do is incubate new products underneath me with the team. We test those products and run them. And that can mean that we're borrowing resources from BAU or we're hiring, we've got new resources. But what we tend to do is we incubate that, we test and learn. We get, that's where to a scale at which it feels like it's got a cadence and it's got stability. Speaker 5 18:54 And then we really sit back onto James and then we go collection. And the reason that we do that is in the beginning, like when we were little, literally had no idea what we were doing and making it up as we went along. Um, we would, we've launched new things like we launched the vein, we launched brags and it completely sideswiped the business because as they ramped, we've not accounted for. It took a different skill set or it took a slightly different piece, you know, slightly slightly different journey within the technology or, and we needed a, you know, to have a third party come in and do some stuff. We haven't taken into consideration any of that stuff. And what happened is we had a really tough time in 2018 where um, these new products consumed so much oxygen that the car business started to get damaged. Speaker 5 19:39 Then we got backlog. Then you got bad customer complaints or people not being happy. And so what we decided is actually in future we ring fence all new products and we run them separately. So I guess when you put that with my time that I spend on connect is mine. So the the the third party products there, they sit underneath me as well at the minute because we're, we're not a very broad money I guess leadership team at the minute. So I'd probably say then you know, if you put those things together <inaudible> but 65% of my time on on growth and then maybe probably 20% on people and then 15% on external stuff Speaker 3 20:15 and it, and to me it seems like, I mean so, so so much of yesterday for example, I was talking about the importance of, of test and learn and that part of your test and learn are huge. Part of your test and learn is the fact that you said you started small, you picked a very focused problem, you started to solve that problem and you just keep seeing the additional opportunities. I love the fact that you said that as you spread to those additional opportunities, it's easy to take your eye off the ball of the core business, especially um, myself as an add. Like I'm always chasing the next thing and, and sometimes leave a little bit of a mess behind me. And so having a business as usual group that really operationalizes and manages and makes sure that you're delivering to the expectations are hopefully above the expectations of customers. Speaker 3 21:03 And so you've kind of got the discovery almost feel like that's part of your growth model is you keep adding these additional services that increased the breadth of what the product can do, but you're, you're validating them first. You're going as the entrepreneur you're going in and making sure that we can actually create a service that meets the need of that unfulfilled need. And then, and then once you validated that you're plugging it in, you're operationalizing it, making it a standard part of the overall package and that over time you hopefully then have a solution that helps to, to solve more and more of the customer need in the, in the building space. Speaker 5 21:41 Completely. And I think, I think the stark realization for me, it was not like customers complaining. It was like looking around and seeing what I was doing to my staff, you know, because we haven't raised millions and millions of VC dollars and we just said we didn't want to do that this time because we wanted to retain more control and actually be honest, like I don't think this is a really a VC backable business right now. And so I think we made a good choice there. But because of that, you know, we don't have as much money as everybody else and therefore I don't have surplus staff just like hanging out. And so when you, when I looked around the, you know, when I came back from maternity leave and there was just like, I looked at some of the people that have been with us and I was like, Oh my God, I'm killing these guys. And when you, when you pulled it all apart and what is that like, why am I killing them? It wasn't the workload. It was, it was the variety of things that they would be to do. And so that's why we decided we came up with this kind of split, you know, I would take the new stuff. Um, and then James would take the kind of BAU stuff and you know, it worked for now it's working really well. Speaker 3 22:37 I think it's an awesome formula because I do think people are wired differently. There are some people who like the predictability of managing kind of a core proven business. Yeah, me neither. And then there's people that are the explorers that like to, to, to push the edges and figure out the new stuff and create that value. And if you have a team of people that are, that are um, excited about discovery and testing and learning and they're doing that and you've got another group that is all about how do we, how do we build predictability, how do we create outcomes that are based on learning from other outcomes and just really systematize that, that the people who thrive in one environment generally don't in the other, the mistake I see in so many companies is that they are trying to have people wear both hats and, and just, we're not all wired exactly the same. Speaker 5 23:26 Well, and it also, I don't, you must've talked about this on previous podcasts, like you know that kind of like grilled spirit when you kind of go from being like that small generalist team of like 13 and then you suddenly get to close to a hundred and you basically, it's specialization. Like everyone is specialized and these early employees, it's like they've been with you, they're super loyal. What do you do with them? Well, actually this model gives us of flex in that I may, but I love assets I can lift and shift. I know she'd talk about people like that, but that's the kind of, I have a box of people that I know I can lift and shift and they're going to thrive. Yeah. And they have another bunch of people that actually, they like, you know, rigor and control and process and, you know, and, and so it works really well with this model because especially when people get getting a little bit bored, I can offer them something that's not necessarily a promotion or kind of vertical move. I can move them laterally and SICOM them over here. And so, you know, he's working for us now what it's gonna look like when we're, you know, 150 people, 200 people, I don't know. But, um, for now it's, it's serving as well. Speaker 3 24:21 Right. That's, that's great. And I definitely have seen the, um, the generalist to specialist and, and, um, that's, that can be really demoralizing for a lot of people who, because what you're doing, a lot of times it's taking a broad set of responsibilities and this person who helped get you there is suddenly being pigeonholed more and more into one thing. And they're feeling like they're losing influence. And so I love the idea that you can, you can take the strengths of that person, which is that generalist and, and, and probably a really hardworking, passionate person and get that person then focused on, uh, developing new markets and then have some of the other people who literally feel like they're on quicksand in that kind of a world and they need that stability and they liked that stability. So I, I think you have a unique formula there that seems to be working pretty well. Um, so I know one of the things that you mentioned yesterday, um, was that you were excited about this concept of North star metric and the felt like it could bring some value to the business. So Speaker 5 25:22 I do, yeah, I feel like it feels like such like growth one Oh one you know, like, but um, and I don't necessarily think it's that we didn't have one. I think we have at various times been working with one, but just, we haven't formalized it. Cascaded made it a real focal point. And that's one of the things that straightaway, like the team and I were moved out yesterday, which was like, Oh yeah, of course this just makes so much sense, right? Speaker 3 25:47 Especially if you can tie it to mission. If you can bring a number that has really meaning and mission and then rally the troops behind it. Speaker 5 25:54 There's a lot of power in that. Yeah. And I liked their idea of you'd been worn, you know, like simple to understand that it'd been one and even just like yesterday, like I just saw it was great to take the guys out of the office, get them thinking bigger than the kind of tactical day to day. And you saw straight away when we started talking about like what is our nos, not star metric, just the, the, the energy just came back straight away. And you know, this morning they came in, they're like, right, we're going to have a workshop with leadership. We need to workshop this through. And it was just, it was good. And I often find out about workshops. They were really great way to reinvigorate it and also make you think slightly differently about what you're doing. And we were worried, you know, because we're not a SAS business and we're not a subscription business and the kind of normal tech companies, you know, we are usually a one purchase that we wouldn't have as much to get from it. But I didn't find that at all. I actually found we probably actually got more from it. Speaker 3 26:41 Yeah. And um, and I've been struggling with that recently. The, the one purchase companies and um, an engagement loop is so important and how do you drive someone who you retain longterm. And we, we touched on earlier that I think, I think if you can really optimize for value delivery and really meeting that need, that you can hopefully drive that referral loop because that's the challenge with a onetime purchase is that, I mean the, the, the challenge is that you can't really drive that engagement long term. But I think the advantage is that you have a lot of prospects who don't have lock in with a different provider. You have essentially most people are coming in where they were. It's, they don't have that, that high switching costs so you can acquire them. But if you can then take the existing group, really meet their needs and use them as the conduit to get to those other people, then, then I think it can be a really powerful formula. Speaker 3 27:34 But it is very different than a, an engagement business where it's all about how do I get more often for, for a much longer retention cohort with people. Um, so yeah, it's interesting. Not sure there's a question there, just an observation, figure it out. Will you come back and tell me? Yeah, I mean, I, but I think part of that is that figuring out, and I've, I've seen it now, I mean, this is one of the things I love about workshops where I'm, uh, especially when I come to Europe and I obviously want to make the most of my time. So it's like three weeks of workshop after workshop and I, you start to see patterns and, and, and I, I think, uh, I had a workshop in Germany a little while ago that had the same, the same issue and they were, they were in the car space and it's, and it's basically a once every seven year purchase and retention and engagement was not an important part for them. Speaker 3 28:24 And so seeing it now across a few and then like, Oh, well the, but you can still build really successful businesses in that kind of a model. So how is it different? What do you do differently? How do you test an iterate? What metric are you really optimizing on? So that's where I do think something like a North star metric can be, not North star metric, but a a net promoter score. Yeah. But that, like that, that ability of being able to really optimize on what, what, how do you get people to an experience where they're very likely to recommend it to other people. That's, that's I think another part of just how, how you build and accelerate that engine. Yeah. There's so many questions that I would love to ask you, but I want to make sure that we, um, we end on time here. Speaker 3 29:04 So probably the last thing I'd really like to dig into is, um, when you think about growth, you've been now with, with two companies that you've been with lots of companies, obviously you've been in consulting rules, there's like a other things, but yeah. To where you've kind of conceptualized and built and grown, what do you feel like you understand about growth today that you didn't maybe a year ago or two years ago or however long ago? What's, what's that thing that maybe would have been really helpful to understand in the past? Um, I if actually sounds very obvious, but um, I think because I think Speaker 5 29:42 sort of with the advent of like the mobile phone and then social media and big P everybody building platform, building huge businesses on the back of like social media platforms and the iPhone. Um, I definitely thought that like it was all about digital, like it hassle for me, I didn't even consider like brand really as a, as a thing. And I think what I, what how I feel about it now is that there's so much noise out there of people. People have just start to shut down, whether it's to news or whether it's to new products or whether it's to world events, like getting someone's attention is getting harder and harder and harder. Um, and so I feel like the power of brand and the power of mission and the power of values, we've put them front and center in this company where we didn't before. Now I don't know if that just sounds a bit really obvious for any cause. It probably does seem obvious now, but it was a real big realization. Speaker 3 30:36 No, it has been for me as well. I'm so numbers and tests and like just like very localized focused that um, even for me to go from like purely quantitative to qualitative in general to try and understand customers better was a big switch. But then to start thinking about how important mission is in giving people sustainable energy to keep working together to, to do something and, and how important brand is both in pride of the team for serving that brand, but then in how powerful that brand is in, in driving the referrals and in driving just just in enthusiasm for what you're building from the customer base and how that can be an important part of the, the growth engine. So I definitely have made some of those same, uh, evolutions and thinking myself. So, um, I'd love to share with some of my key takeaways from what you, what you've gone through. Speaker 3 31:27 Um, yeah, so I, I mean, what I really like is this idea of it's, it's, it would be so easy in what you're doing to over engineer a solution for it that tries to do everything kind of badly. And I, and I've definitely been guilty of that myself in, in, uh, startups in the past. And so I love this idea of just picking one thing, doing it really well. Don't try to tackle the entire problem, just tackle a piece of it. And then use those relationships and understanding of customers to figure out what's the next problem we're going to solve and that and how you've really built a team that is exploring the edges and validating kind of using that, that that whole lean startup approach of just cause you think there's a problem that's there to be solved and just cause you think the solution is the right one until you really validate that customers who use it and love it, um, you're going to, you're not going to be able to sustainably grow it. Speaker 3 32:23 And so having a team that's doing that and then putting it into the business as usual group, I love that. I think that's, that's unique. I have not seen companies approaching it that way. I've seen companies do that with marketing channels and kind of uh, growth levers where it's sort of the discovery team and the management team of things that are working. But actually doing that with whole kind of business expansion I think is really neat. And then just as we touched on this, this recognition that the, what you're trying to drive people to is an experience that is so great that they're going to refer it and that you may not be able to, of course, you want to engage them through that building process and that building process can be many, many months. So there is a need to engage, but if you can get them to the point where they become big brand advocates for you, I think that's, that's really the, the important shift in focus from what a traditional kind of engagement related business would look like. So those are, those are the big takeaways. I love your passion for what you're doing. I think the problem you're solving is an important one and I can assume that the team is very passionate and motivated to work with you on it. So thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Thank you. It's been great to talk to Sean Speaker 1 33:35 <inaudible>. Speaker 2 33:40 Thanks for listening to the breakout growth podcast. Please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform, and while you're at it, subscribe. So you never miss a show until next week. Speaker 1 33:52 <inaudible>.

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