Building a successful product while scaling a team with competence and diversity doesn't have to be a big headache. In this Smooth Scaling Webinar, Mike Bandar (CEO @ Waybook) welcomes Paul Archer (Founder and CEO at Duel) to explore practical tips on:
- Build a product strategy compatible with the company's strategy;
- How to conduct a selection process to attract diverse and appropriate people
- How to evaluate and develop your Product Team.
Watch the full episode or read the transcript below:
Mike: [00:00:00] Hello. Good morning, good afternoon, goodevening. It's great to see you all. Coming into today's Smooth Scaling webinar,we are here to ask some of the big questions of scaling our businesses. And I'mjoined by the one, the only Mr. Paul Archer. Paul has been a good friend ofmine for many years now, and he runs a fantastic jewel tech.
Jewel is anamazing business that focuses on brands and helping them build their advocacy.I'm not gonna butcher the jeweler introduction, Paul, I'm gonna hand that overto you very shortly. But as more and more people are coming into the room, justso welcome you Paul. How are you doing today?
Paul: I'mdoing very well. Excited to be here. Thanks for having me.
Mike: Noworries. Thanks for coming. Thanks for coming. So we're still waiting [00:01:00] as more and more people are connecting.We're bang on the hour. But as we get going, Paul, I'd love to just ask you toshare with our good audience here how we know each other because it's beenquite, quite a few years
Paul: now,hasn't it?
Yeah, I'mtrying to remember. I think we met in jail. Was it? It was jail, yeah.
Mike: Justbefore jail. Just before.
Paul: Justbefore jail. Oh yeah. We went so we met, we went back at university when wewere Bert Youngins and we went and organized a trip to to East Africa togetherto go and work with some of the local communities there.
And in mycase, go whitewater kayaking , which was a it was ahead of a hell of a lot offun.
Mike: It wasa hell of a lot of fun. And we are talking back now, what was this? 2005,
Paul: 2000.2007, 2008 maybe.
Mike: Yeah.Okay. Yeah, long enough. And ago that we've got a few more gray hairs now sincethen.
Paul: Butyeah, Paul, for yourself, I look exactly the same.
Mike: So youdo look yeah, you do. So Paul's introduced me to whitewater rafting, to thejoys of [00:02:00] building things in Uganda.And and for that I'm ever grateful. But since then Paul, you've got on to doincredible things. Paul is actually a world record holder.
I thinkmultiple, but the most impressive perhaps is the longest black cab meter ridebecause Paul and a couple of friends actually drove around the world in a blackcab. And that just gives you a bit of an insight into Paul's character, thesorts of things that interest excites and drives him.
So Paul,without Firm do, we are here to talk about how on earth can you focus anditerate your product market fit while scaling your team, whilst keeping thelights on, whil spinning every other plane. But before we begin, I'd love justfor you to introduce yourself and also share a little bit about Joel.
What is it,how did it come
Paul: about?Great. Cool. Thanks. Thanks again having me. So yeah, my name's PaulArcher. I'm the CEO andfounder and one of the founders at Jewel. And so we are a B2B SaaS company thatwork with some of the [00:03:00] biggest brandsin the world to help them grow through the advocacy of their most passionatecustomers and fans.
And so what weare on a mission to make word of mouth and advocacy as easy, as measurable, aspredictable and as scalable as buying an ad. Which is a huge opportunity forthese brands because, the way that we communicate now is that we are likedeeply in this sort of social commerce era.
Every singlebit of information we learn about brands, we learn about things. So much ofthat comes from what people are saying on social media and social at its. Is auser generated platform, right? Everything is coming from grassroots, from realpeople like us. And so if a brand wants to penetrate that needs to be able toget those people to tell their brand message so that they can actually continuegrowing in this, then they need to build and nurture relationships withthousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of these people to be andnurture them from customers and into fans and from fans into advocates.
And so what wedo is we work with [00:04:00] brands advisingthem on this, the methodology. Brand advocacy, marketing the process of doingit, the relationship, the generosity that they need to have for it. So thosepeople will tell everyone they know and support that brand publicly. And theproblem is that brands face particularly if you're at the larger end of this,is managing that and scaling at massive scale across, tens of different marketsand tens of thousands of different advocates is near on impossible without somecomplex software.
So what Jewelis this enterprise software that plugs into all of their different tools, theireCommerce platform, their CRM platforms, to create an interactive layer wherebrands can create programs and build communities of advocates and setchallenges and tasks and activities and reward them, incentivize them by givingthem early access to products, discounts, VIP experiences and then also somecash as well if they're able to drive the revenue.
And yeah, andthat's what we do.
Mike:Amazing. And and I know from hearing your journey over the last few years, theproduct is expansive, right? There's lots of [00:05:00]things that people can do, all of course, focused on this advocacy piece. Jujust to give us a sense what sort of stages the business at now in terms ofteam size, in terms of, what do the operations
So we've gotaround 30 people working for us. We are, we work with 50 brands from variousdifferent sizes, but many would've heard of that what the software right now.And yeah, we've been knocking around for a while. This business, the idea forthis business came around 2017. But the platform itself only came out in 2020.
And I'd say weonly really found product market fit, which we're gonna talk about in much moredetail at the very well towards the back end of 2020.
Mike:Amazing. Okay so actually just unpicking that we are obviously here talkingabout scaling the team and product market fit at the same time. What washappening within the business between the 2017 piece and actually launching theproduct in 20?
When did yousay launch product? Sorry. March,
Paul: 2020.Just a great time. Great time for any publicity launch you're gonna have. .Yeah, we first of all we are lucky enough to be venture [00:06:00] capital backed, which meant that we could invest ingetting it right from an r and d perspective, which I understand is a luxury.
Not everyonehas. But so that is a caveat to a lot that I've said. Not ridiculously but itjust seed capital coming in and not the, like a Silicon Valley seed capital andwe're like, oh, I've only raised 5 million. No, it was much more modest thanthat. In terms of when we first started out.
It basically,we set out on that vision that I outlined in, in terms of trying to figure outa way that brands could grow through these customers. And what we found wasit's incredibly hard. And it wasn't actually a software solution that would doit. We had a piece of software that we thought would do it.
We built it,took it to market. We were completely wrong because actually it was a muchbroader problem that we needed to do. So what we did is we teamed up with a.Jack Crocker said she was GM of brand and community Lululemon, who are probablythe best community led advocacy led brand in the world, and reverse engineeredout a lot of what they did as well as got ourselves the opportunity to consultfor about a hundred brands where they would, we would go into them and we would[00:07:00] be able to, we would come from mybackground, which previous to that we'd make games, so gamification and viralvirality and her background that people would let us come in and sometimes wecharge them, sometimes we wouldn't.
But we werebasically able to get as much information as round how they would view thesethings. We were able to understand the problems that had within the software.And also from that we did a lot of study a lot of studies on the best brands aswell as Lulu. And what we found was that very top tier of brand the ones whowere absolutely the best is that they were.
Built in adifferent way. They were optimizing for word of mouth, not just for drivingsomeone to sell. They were engineered in that sort of way. And so what wepuzzled out was how every brand could be engineered in this way. This becamebrand advocacy marketing, which we've applied for quite a lot of brands andquite successfully.
Then thesolution was then abundantly clear that we just needed to build a software thatwould allow brands to scale the methodology from that. And that's what westarted building. And it took a, took about a year of [00:08:00]heads down building. But we knew what the market wanted from the methodologyonce we got that bit first.
And then itwas understanding how we can then try and sell that in a way that wasmeaningful and finding all those other good bit. That's
Mike: reallyfascinating. And actually there's a few, this model I absolutely love, andthere's a few businesses I massively admire in this space where venturebuilders as way Book is part of a venture builder studio.
So we createdmultiple businesses based on different needs as well. And there's some peoplewithin our space of venture building that will only start a software businessby creating either an agency or a consultancy because they're saying, we wantto be providing the value, understanding those challenges as soon as we'veunderstood exactly what people need and the point, then we create technologyaround it.
And at thatpoint, how large was your team? What did your team make up look like when youwere in that kind of early stage?
Paul: Wewere sub 10 people including developers and ourselves doing the consultancy onthat. Okay. And
Mike: with that,[00:09:00] the the kind of growth of the teamfrom that.
So once we'veunderstood what the technology is and now we're building out those operationshow would you say you have adapted your kind of approach to the team? Do youlook for different kind of skill sets and characteristics or actually, are youstill looking for those kind of explorers that can find new ways of doing newthings?
Paul: So Ithink at the stage we're, right now, we're still looking for those innovatorsthe explorers. And I suspect we will be until there are hundreds of peopleworking for the company. The. Thing that we need are people who aregeneralists, who are able to adapt, who are able to like, iterate and becreative in, in, in what they do, but also just get the mindset of iteration ofof building a startup and get the brands that we wanna work with.
And , everyonewho works at JS is pretty passionate about the end user. And one I spend timewith them, they're excited about their logos that, their mums heard of thatthey can work with on a day to day basis. [00:10:00]And the type of personality type we, we hire is quite specific and that's issomething which we've had to really nurture.
How do you getthat into something which scales? And when it's not just me doing the hiringnecessarily, like everyone then fits a kind of a criteria to that means thatthey're going to really fit in with our culture.
Mike:Amazing. I'm gonna come back to that. The so just to get it in your mind whatexactly do you look for and how have you scaled that kind of recruitment, butjust heading back into the product market fit?
So you, yousaid that you launched a product and then actually it probably took three yearsor so, two, three years before you felt like you got product market fits. Let'sunpack that a little bit. What was that experience like? What were the mainchallenges you found and how did you identify those new opportunities?
Paul: So acertain amount of it was covid. So that slowed things down. And then rapidlyaccelerated our space in 2021. So it was a blessing and a curse in, in, in manyways. With enterprise mid or mid-market type of product, which is difference toa consumer product, is that [00:11:00] you haveto sign up brands and get them to use it and then adapt, which means thefeedback cycle that you get from them is much longer.
So compared towhen we made apps and games, when you would get it out there and you'd be ableto get feedback within a month of their life cycle, in many times the lifecycle is 12 months. Not counting the sales cycle that would go before that,which would be, another three or four, five months in some cases.
Sure. So it'sa lot harder to iterate and so you have to run on gut shots in many ways andyou have to back what you think is right to iterate where the product shouldgo. But that is, Just doing it in isolation. When we were in the marketconsulting, we were in the market selling, we were having conversations with,many brands every single day.
So we knewwhat they wanted, we knew what they were doing on a day to day basis. So thosegut shots were well informed, but at the end of the day, they weren't purelydata led. Because I think that if you just worked off the data, just worked offthe immediate feedback [00:12:00] of theoperators, the product would become incrementally better.
But with someof the sort of decisions that we made, that that was based on a lot ofinformation being assimilated, it was, they were binary. They were zero to onedecisions. They were exponential. That, that we were like, oh, we should buildthis thing. And that is the thing that, app people latched on.
And that isthe thing that kind of progressed us a couple of times that would happen. Butalso there were a couple that went massively wrong. It was being able to knowthat when it got to market or the concept when you were testing it just didn'tresonate. And then you would just backtrack and you do something else.
Mike: that,that makes sense. Do you have any particular examples of where that hashappened? Where actually you've taken a gut shot? What assumptions was thatbased on and where that kind of turned out to be something that really enabledyou to get to that product market fair?
Paul: Yeah.So the thing that we've really found traction with is Basically allowing, jewelallows a brand to build any kind of advocacy program.
And so weinitially, those advocacy programs were very much focused around gettingengagement from your [00:13:00] customers. Aglorified loyalty program that rewarded people for what they do as well as whatthey buy. But what we did is, was an experiment with one brands to test whetherit could be used to manage their social.
And thesoftware was basically the same. It was like, could we build a community of adifferent demographic to your customers? They're all customers, but they're thetype of customer who is an active creator. It's sub 10% of your customer base.They're a particular type of person, but because we were already building thecommunities, there was no reason why this wouldn't work.
And so it waslike, yeah, let's experiment with that. That ended up going quite successfullyand it was the call to be like, yeah, we're doubling down on this. This is nowthe product that we are selling more than anything else was one of the hards tomake, and it's something which we didn't take fast enough.
And even thenit was a hard call to make, and had we done it much faster, it would'veaccelerated things. Considerably as well. So there are a couple of examplesthere, and there are features as well that we decided to build because it justseemed like the thing that the, we needed to build, that the industry [00:14:00] wanted.
But if you'dasked any of the people on a day to day basis who were operating the software,it was different because what we were they would've said different things. Theywould've said things that make their lives easier, but what we were buildingwere things that would make the brand a lot more money.
So the CMOwould buy because of the things that we were building but the operator's lifewould not be made any easier, which is in fact potentially be made even harder,which is not necessarily, which is really flies counter to a lot of the waywhen you've gotta be iterative with the kind of classic lean startupmethodologies is when you're working with enterprise software, is that thereare two, two buyers or two, there's a user and there's a buyer, and those twoare not necessarily the same and they often don't have similar objectives.
Mike: Anddid you have a root of communication to both, both the kind of customer and theconsumer within that or were you mainly speaking to the people using the
Paul:platforms? I was speaking mainly to the buyers because I was doing all thesales. So I would have the relationships with the person who would write thechecks [00:15:00] and some, and then sometimesthey are the ones who are using the software.
But actuallyin most mid-market enterprise software, if you sell something to a CEO or acmo, the chances are of them ever having a login to the bit of software isrelatively simple. And so they are very different mindsets. And so you the mostvaluable thing that we and I and the team could do was to spend as much timetalking to as many different people as we possibly can to get their feedback,to get their ideas.
Notnecessarily about the way that they use software, but to actually understandwhat their day to day looks like. So if you take the example of the creatorcommunity that we were building by sitting down and talking to the operatorthat was managing that, they were talking about all these tasks that they weredoing around gifting and around tracking and around conversations and aroundnegotiations.
And thosethings felt very separate. If you looked at what does your day look like fromnine to five, all your week [00:16:00] looklike, where are those tasks? What do you have to do and itemize those. You geta feel for what the activities are, what the costs are. Then you can find outother peripheral areas that you can actually support them on.
And so that'sone thing on the user level. And then with the buyer level, you're just talkingto them about what do they need to achieve? What are the objectives? What,where are the biggest pain points? What's gonna get them promoted or stop themgetting fired? And getting the information from that.
And betweenthe two of those, you then have to toss up to figure out what's more important.
Mike: Yeah,that's that's then good product management, right? In terms of understandingwhat do we prioritize, where do our resources go to? And so it sounds likeyou've found this kind of creating the specific creator communities is almostthe kind of.
Big draw thathad a lot of resonance for customers. How did you know that was the decision todouble down in that direction driven by data, or was that still led by your
Paul:intuition? Yeah, so having, we did not have product market fit with the firstproduct that we released in 2017.
And within thefir, [00:17:00] the second iteration of it,which is this the Jewel platform in 2020, we didn't really, we had a fewevangelists who just loved the idea of it. They weren't that, like theywould've bought anything. Like their software was only just bought into theidea of brand advocacy.
And that'samazing. You need to find those, right? And that's like the first thing thatallows you to then get in and then figure out what the, what you have to do.And so someone who buys into the vision for that to happen, it almost has toalways be the founder that sells that. You can't outsource that sales piece atall because the haptic feedback you get instant from the conversations you getwith selling iterates and changes in a way that only put the, a founder isrelatively uniquely in the position of the middle of seeing everything from thefeedback from the developer developers, from the feedback, from the operatorsright away, from very top of the funnel when they're having live conversationswith buyers to understand what their pain points are, to be able to use thatto, to sniff out and find that product market.
And so that [00:18:00] was the biggest mistakes I've ever made iswhen I lost my vision with that and started to scale too soon. And so I, Ithink that. That role as a, as the founder is different to the role of a ceo.And so a CEO is a manager of manager a, a person who can orchestrate people.Some of the best CEOs are founders that they don't necessarily have to be in,in that sense.
But it isimpossible to be a CEO of a business that hasn't found product market fit,because that is the role of the founder to, to sniff that out, to get in there,to have those conversations, to be creative, to iterate, and that is the onlything that matters. Until you've found it, because you can't scale until you'vegot product market fit.
And the CEO'srole is to scale. And the mistakes that I've made in the past have always beenscaling too fast, thinking we got it. Oh, someone wants to give us some moneyfor this thing, let's go out there and do it. And then, oh, it's not quitethere. And then you have to have awkward conversations and it doesn't [00:19:00] necessarily work.
Which meantthat I always thought that we were just, we were very close to product marketfit. We're really almost there. We just need to do this thing and this featurethat's over line there. And we'll be there. And actually the difference is whenyou have product market fit, you've got product market fit.
Mike: what'sthe feeling? What's the kind of insight?
Paul:Because people just wanna buy it all the time. It's like the, if you, if itdoesn't fly off the shelves, Then you haven't got product market fit. The marketdoesn't want your product. Now then there's another stage to this, which issales market fit, which I can talk about in a moment, but understanding whatthe product is and the market have a pain point.
It's do youhave a solution to their pain? And it may well be that you're not positioningit but there is a good chance that you're just not solving the right problems.Because when you sit down with a person, you say, this is what we do. Is thatinteresting to you? And they go yes I do.
And then youstart, then in that first call, you start talking about pricing and you startnegotiating. And all those buying signs are [00:20:00]there. That's because you've got product market fit. If you are still relyingon the vision cell and you can't just show them a platform and then they go,yeah, I. Then you probably aren't there yet, and that's fine, that's not aproblem.
But what it,what I don't think is articulated enough, enough to early stage founders isthat is the job of being a founder. Like you should minimize any managementlayers or anything that gets in the way of you having direct relationships withyour operators, with your buyers uhhuh, and with your team, so you can get asmuch feedback as you possibly can because that person in the middle uniquely willsniff out product market fit, and that is the only responsibility of a founderuntil you've got it.
Then onceyou've got it, your job changes. It is then to build the machine to sell it.But if you've gotta try and build the machine, you've gotta try and build themachine first. In fact, actually there's a good, sorry. The good analogy Ialways think of this is if you imagine you're trying to, you're trying to builda.
Right factory.You're trying to build like a, a [00:21:00]Ford whatever. The very first stage is not to build the factory of the car, itis to build one version of the car that works. Yeah. Figuring out that you'vegotta have wheels and an engine and a steering wheel and stick those thingstogether and you just have to do that once and the next phase is not then toget a gigafactory.
The next phaseis to then have a couple of artisans who will build that bespoke in a garage soyou can then show. Not just that first car, but you can churn out three cars,maybe then five cars. And once you've got that, then you then, okay, then let'sreplicate that a bit more and a bit more.
At which pointthen you need to think about having people who could specialize, who can beunique people in building the factory to build the cars. But before you get tothat point, you've gotta figure out how a car works. And if you don't knowexactly what that looks like, people far too early scale, particularly whenthey're able to raise capital, which you know, isn't really a problem very manypeople have going into 23.
The that, thatkind of, that job and that work is often neglected.
Mike: [00:22:00] And I'm smiling along here because thetitle of this session is of course, how to iterate your product Market fitwhile scaling your team. And we're potentially getting onto the answer of, youcan't go backwards but I think actually there's a really interestingdifferentiation differentiation here.
Between thesedifferent gates and stages of us as a business. And I think firstly, evenbefore product market fit, we've got this problem solution fit, right? In termsof actually do we have resonance with the challenge that you have, the problemyou have, the opportunity you have and what our solution is proposing.
So once we'vegot that problem solution fit, which can actually be tested throughconversation and events and MVPs and whatnot, then we've got the product marketfit. So that is actually making sure we're delivering that value. But we'realso now tapping into this second part of or the third part that you've alludedto here of this product or this market sales fit or market marketing bit.
Tell us aboutthat and actually is that a. Is that a whole [00:23:00]different brand, a whole different breeder? Is that just something that comeseasier once you've got that product market fit?
Paul: Yeahso if you think about that first real product market fit, a big part of that isensuring that the right product that the market wants and integral to that isbeing able to articulate that product to the market reasonably well, thatsomeone gets it.
And I thinkthat means that, and a founder being the initial salesperson is brilliant. Andthere's a bunch of benchmarks that be capitalists talk about, tends to be afounder should do the first million in sales. And now I work in B2B SaaS. LikeI don't, these are completely different when you're talking about consumerbusinesses, but for intensive purposes will stick here cuz that's the one thatI know the best.
So that piecethere is about okay, understanding how do I articul, articulate, how do Iarticulate the value proposition in a way that makes you interested in it? Andthat's okay to do that. An initial level there. The bit that then comes afterthat is how do I train someone else to articulate?
The valueproposition, so someone else wants to buy it and to be able to then [00:24:00] scale and start removing the founder fromit. And so that is something where, talking about hiring there, you need the,what's called the Renaissance rep, which is that first sales rep that is likepart founder parts sales animal, adaptable, creative.
It's a bit ofa unicorn role that most people fail to try and do and often try and hire avery senior VP of sales who, yeah, great. I ran a hundred sales people atSalesforce and it's just like they are the worst people to hire in many ways.And often I've heard people that get great success with someone who's morejunior in their career and things like that.
I'd be verylucky to be working with an ex head of commercial who's joined us doing thisthing o Ollie Smith. And he's coming from an experience that's not SAS basednecessarily from agency world, but still just can sell. Can sell anything. Andit's that ability to innovate, to be, to take what's a bit of a crude model,which is people wanna buy it because it does this and it helps 'em do that, andthen turns that into a bit of a scalable machine.
This is thegoing from [00:25:00] building one prototypecar to. Building a workshop where you can churn out five cars a year. You'vegot a bit of automation there. You've got a bit of process that goes into playthere to thinking, how do I start to, to build a factory or build a machine forbuilding these things?
And that'sthat bit there when you have to really understand how do you articulate it? Howdo you have the materials? You have decks, you have different stages. What isit that works for selling your product? And in our case, it's a veryconsultative led education led cell because it's quite a new area that peoplewanna be educated around that works for us.
Everyone'sgonna be different. And so it's understanding those things and then nudgingpeople over to get to their clothes and then knowing how to implement them sothat software sticks, that people use it. And so that come 12 months time whenthey wanna renew or whatever your model is, they are renewing and they arerenewing at a higher value that you got 'em in the first.
Mike: Sothat, that makes perfect sense. But going back to your experience where yousaid you didn't quite have product market fits until the end of 2021[00:26:00] and then bringing this into your team howbig was your team at the end of 2021?
Paul: I'dsay end of 2021. It was mid 2021. That we did there.
That was, wegrew from nine people to 2020 people or so in 2021. Okay.
Mike: Andwas that pre or
Paul: postmarket fair? That was during, if like we had I'd say that we. Thought we hadbetter product market fit when we started hiring them. Fortunately we found herin the way on the way.
And so there'sa lot of like operational pieces there that as a team started to bulk up anamazing customer success team and more developers and, more operationalefficiencies that sit within a large business. And that would be where we wereheading for it. We did have a product that people wanted, but what reallyresonated was a product that people needed.
And so we, wewere able to get lucky and have that kind of pre chasm cell where just you getthese early adopters that just get it. The shift in the mindset, the [00:27:00] slight pivot in the product positioningwas then we were able to get late adopters, just everybody wanted to buy it.And that in that sense then, and that was very beneficial to us.
And then weknew that we had a thing that we needed to sell and which case we then had tostop ramping up and getting front of as many people as we possibly can. Andeven then, 12 months after that. And it's only now that we can really start toscale that operation because you then need case studies and case studies oftentake you six to 12 months to at least get it made get the data, and then youneed to get them made and approved.
And you couldbe looking at an eight 18 month cycle, but before you have quality case studiesthat you can use to sell, which means that sometimes it just takes a little bitlonger.
Mike: Yeah,that, that makes a lot of sense, particularly in, in the enterprise sell. Andlet's dive a little bit deeper into the team and then I'm gonna, and I'm gonnatry and play devil's advocate between these two pieces.
So whenscaling your team, what would you say have been the main challenges that, thatyou've faced in going from that kind of, cause I guess you've gone from [00:28:00] 10 to 30 in a relatively short space oftime and I guess even 20 to 30 even faster. So what challenges have you faced?Both as a, but also then as a business?
Paul: So Ithink one of the cha challenges throughout this was scaling too soon. It was.So done there is what is in danger is removing me from the situation too earlyand trying to automate those things that when you hadn't quite found thatproduct market fit which is a desire, right? It's fun to be managing people,particularly when you're earlier in your career and you've never done it.
It soundscool. There's all of these grown up things that you're like, yeah, it soundsgreat. I wanna do that. And that's what something very early on, start hiringpeople to try and do the work that they don't want to do. And actually oftenthat work is the most important thing they do. We talk a lot about communitybuilding is if you're a consumer brand, we talk to a lot of them.
If the CEOjust picked up the phone and just called every customer as soon as they boughtthe, each one of those customers would turn into massive advocates and bring in10 more customers. It's the most efficient use of their time yet no one ever. .Every single time someone responds and posts [00:29:00]about them onto Instagram, they get a generic one coming back from the from thebrand account at best run by the intern, when actually they could have the CEOjust saying, DMing them, thank you so much.
This isamazing. That person then will post about them every single month. And so it'sthis kind of work that, that is super important that people try and scale tooearly and I'm super guilty of that. So that's one thing that I've learned. Theother thing, which is about trusting your instinct and trusting your gut whenyou are hiring, and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out how toquantitatively analyze people to make sure that they tick all the right boxesand they go through various different processes.
But if youknow what and that, that's really, I. But at the same time, you should onlyhire people that you really love. And I know that every time we've, I've nothired someone who hasn't, I haven't truly thought that I love this person. Theyare excellent and I truly am a hell. Yeah. And then it's been like, oh yeah,that CVS gray and this and that, and all those things.
[00:30:00] And I spent a lot of time in mybrain trying to persuade me that this is a good idea versus other than thiswalk off that first interview an hour in, just fucking love them. Pardon myFrench. That's the thing that just makes you just go, yes, that's it. And Iknow that person's gonna be an amazing hire.
And they havebeen amazing hires. And every single time that's happened and every single timemy brain has tried to argue that someone will be good. And when they come in,never. It never works. And it's something which is very hard to cultivate. It'ssomething that's very hard to do. So I kind try and keep track of every timethat I've done it.
If someone's ahell yeah. Like I note down that it's a hell yeah. Or at least keep a mentalnote that I was like, yeah, I walked out about and said, yeah. Yep. Absolutely.And others, which were like a little bit harder, I note those ones down andthen and then check back a year later, how did that hire go?
And I thinkthat this is a discipline for people to train themselves into trusting that gutfeeling will unlock a lot of doors. And it's infuriating for team members. Oryou're like, that everyone looks for everything is perfect on paper, but yousay, yeah, no, they just, [00:31:00] how can Ido this? You just, you can't do it.
You just haveto trust your gut. There's no way we can do this using data. Because you as afounder will know whether you wanna hire a person or not, and you how does Thatdoesn't scale beyond hundreds of people. But I know that if you look at Amazon,I think Jeff Bezos interviewed the first thousand employees.
Maybe 500.That's, we'll go
Mike: for athousand. It's a much better headline. Yeah.
Paul: Let'scut that bit out. Put that one out as the YouTube bit. I did know that he isviewed a disproportionate number of them relatively, cause it's pretty easy tospend it. There you go. Just to use our kind of that classic Silicon Valleyfanboy analogies the, I think that the interviews, Steve Jobs, one of theinterviews with Steve Jobs said that, he's what's your, what's the mostimportant thing?
Is that themost important thing I've got to do is hire. The most important thing I've gotto do is recruit. And there is nothing more important than building aphenomenal team. When you are at the stage to build a team. And I think that's
Mike: thepoint, right? And in terms of when this point that you have about, you need to [00:32:00] scaling too soon is difficult, but also ifyou are doing both, then it's actually quite challenging in order to do botheffectively because you do need to get these boots on the ground, but you arealso changing what that is.
Just goingback to something that you were saying around you think that the first hundredpeople are gonna have this need to have this kind of, I'm gonna sayentrepreneurial flare, but this ability to identify. And capitalize and iterateand whatever else. Let me show with you something that, that I've come acrossin, in, in other worlds and just see how that plays out in that model.
And a friendcalled Andrew Crump, I think you might know him from Unkillable, and he hasthis amazing concept of core versus explore and this whole world of in ourbusinesses, there's different types of activity to do. There's different thingsfor us to do. Our job as founders are to explore.
We need tounderstand new ways of doing new things, find these opportunities, speak to thecustomers, look at the [00:33:00] products,look at the markets, look at everything else. And we're always constantlyexploring new things in new Horizons. And as soon as we identify, What has tobe done or what can be done and how we do it, we can then codify that to becomea core activity and then we can hire the right people to do those core tasks.
Now thatobviously makes sense. And I'm sure every founder watching this kind of is ohyeah, I am spent, I am an explorer. You may also have, 10, 15 other explorerswithin the business. But unables perspective of this is that you separate thecore and the explore so you can drive the business forward whilst operating.
Does this workwithin your world and your perspective? Or actually, would you, do you want ahundred percent explorers until until either you've explored everything or thechaos gets too much?
Paul: I lovethat. I love that approach. And I think that kind of really plays to what I wassaying earlier about the explore stage of finding product market fits.
That issomething that can't be outsourced. And [00:34:00]then the next stage is, alright, I've made the car, I now need to figure outhow to sell this multiple times. That also can't be outsourced. The first Xnumber of sales have to be done by that founder. And then they can take onsomeone else who can, the Renaissance rep, who can make that a bit more of ascalable machine that than has someone else doing it.
But that whatthey're taking there is, okay, we know how to sell it and we know people wannabuy it. And this is the value proposition. And this is a one liner. The, likethe sales process of Salesforce is probably iterating still 25 years after it,it was launched, right? So the, there's still huge amounts to be figured out,countless amounts to be figured out in every business.
Butparticularly in this sort of early stage. And so if someone is expecting tohave a playbook that's been put in front of them, regardless whether this issales or it's customer success or whatever, but if they're a playbook operator,they are going to struggle massively in a startup environment because thoseplaybooks haven't been written yet.[00:35:00]
And so youneed someone to write those, someone to formulate them to try and do it now.Does that mean that you then can't get someone else to start executing it?Yeah, but the vari the level of fluctuation, the variability as you go fromemployee one to employee 10 to employee 50 to employee a hundred goes from thatto this to, a little bit of variable like that.
And if you goand work at Salesforce now as employee a hundred thousandth or whatever it is,you're still doing a bit of creation, a little bit of iteration, you're doing alittle bit. Otherwise the job would be mind numbingly dull. So I think it's aboutunderstanding that this, that the kind of person has to go in knowing that theyhave to create and they wanna be enthused about that opportunity.
And they haveto be able to do that and adapt to it in this situation because you know what,you could have just been hired about one thing and the company can suddenlypivot dramatically because the founder has realized that there's a much betteropportunity to do that. And they have to be like, yep, all right, cool.
Just gottathrow all that away and we gonna start going in this direction again. Becausethat's actually what they need to do [00:36:00]to make that business a success. And they have to be cool with that. Yeah. No
Mike: I hearthat a lot of what you're saying, and I'm sure it's very similar to toeverybody else watching either or on the replay, is that everything you'resaying here has, so you can tell there's many stories behind this and manypeople in your mind, and I'm reflecting on, previous team members current teammembers, I'm like, oh yeah, that, that is the energy and the kind of focus thatwe have within a team.
And I thinkit's just in interesting to reflect and crystallize on what is important foryour type of business at the stage that you are at, and make sure you've gotthe team around it. And tapping on your last point there how, if actually youmain maintain consistency of your service offering, of your products, of yourcommunication with your clients as you've created new value for your clientshave you, cause obviously you've pivoted and iterated a little bit.
Are you stillservicing clients under a different cell? And how have you managed that?
Paul: That'sthat. Yeah. That's a good question. One of the things I wanted add for theother one earlier, what we talking about earlier is the like [00:37:00] Ill comes down to hiring really excellentpeople.
Becauseactually they will then, if you've got a hun you're going up from nor to ahundred, a lot of those early employees are going to become, now they're gonnahire their own teens and those teams are gonna hire their own teams. And so byhiring the very best, they will always hire great people because if they'reaverage, they often can hire less good people and to make themselves lookbetter.
And then thatbecomes a cycle a dreadful cycle to try, make sure you don't fall into. Sorry,let me look back to that question. How do we make sure we maintain the
Mike:consistency of like previous service and products as you are iterating new?Obviously we're still talking about a relatively small team, so how have youmaintained status grow as well as pushing forward?
Paul: Whatwe should do, what I wish I had done and wish I continue to do is to kill itaggressively. Kill it. Once you've found a thing that works, killeverything else. That doesn'twork. Now, this is the hardest thing that a founder will ever have to do or aCEO will have to do it, is to get rid of [00:38:00]bad p like average people and average ideas.
Now, I dunnoif Matt Lerner, his his kind of mentality of this is seven killed businesses.Which is yeah, if someone's someone is a five you get rid of 'em cause they'renot good enough. And if you have someone who's a, an eight or a nine or a 10,then they're great. But a seven, they're right.
They're not,you don't get rid of them because they're okay, but actually they're occupyinga seat that a 10 could have and that 10 will have exponential effect on yourbusiness. And so they are the thing that you need to watch out for. And that istrue not just with employees, but within ideas.
And withofferings. Because if you've got an average offering, and you've got a greatoffering here, if you try and serve both of those, then you split your focus.It's very hard to have someone who's a customer success to be able to serve twodifferent offering. Maybe there's two different sub buyers within it, subtlydifferent, two different value propositions that may feel similar.
It's all inthe same mindset and same lead. But until you have enough of a team to be ableto fully in on [00:39:00] two differentofferings, then you need to just do one, do it really well. Because two will bedoing both of them badly, and we bit guilty of this for sure. And so maybestill are in some ways.
And but that'sthe kind of the, that's the discipline, which I always have huge amounts ofadmiration for people who are able to really hard that really I, and say no.
Mike: Ithink there must be something in US human nature that, that kind of limits usfrom being that, that ruthless when it matters.
I think I'vetold you before, but I actually teach on an entrepreneurship masters at ucl andevery year I bring new content in. And I'm I can't, I'm putting more contentinto these lectures, but I just don't wanna get rid of other content cause. I'mlike that's still valuable. So I end up having these really long, really busylectures and even just on that rudimentary level it's just difficult to putstuff off.
And my otherreflection on that is, as we're a small group of businesses and when we builtWAY Book a few years ago, we actually built WAY book with the team from HopperHqr planning and scheduling tool. [00:40:00]And actually there was a period where WAY Book started to take off and Hopperwas still a real business.
So we foundourselves with one team and two businesses and yet it was actually at thatpoint where we had to we didn't kill it cuz it was a real business, but weactually had to hire a whole new team for one of the businesses becauseotherwise you end up just you are, you're busy and you're doing work and you'removing in the right direction, but it's the opportunity cost of not having thatfocus and the right drive and the right resource, which actually is the thingyou're really missing out on.
Paul: Andone of those things that, I admire about you, Mike, is that you are a, you areable to run multiple businesses and actually do that for me I really strugglewith that. Cause I have to be single minded, obsessive about one thing. BecauseI know that if I get split, then I actually can't give enough to any of them.
And one or theother, depending on my mood at the given time just gets neglected. And it'sthat's not great for anyone. Yeah, it's a
Mike: it's areal thing. It's a real challenge. And the big ironic or the big irony withinit and this isn't that I'm any, there's [00:41:00]no secret to it other than just putting my ADHD to good use perhaps.
But thereality is actually it's not possible if we didn't have such strongdocumentation, such strong SOPs, strong systems. Anytime something's done, it'swritten down and we always iterate and optimize on what's written down. But. Itexists from the point that we last started rather than having to start fromscratch all the time.
And the reasonwhy that's ironic is obviously that is the seed of why, what way Book does. Sothat's why we love it so much as a business. Anyway so we're running a littlebit short on time, but what other inflection points would you have would yousay you've had from scaling the business so far?
Every time yousay something, I'm certainly getting a lot of resonance and I'm sure otherpeople are, but do you have any other inflection points and any kind of lessonsyou've got from that?
Paul: So Ithink that the one of the things that I learned quite early on when I startedbuilding businesses is that I was pretty [00:42:00]underqualified to do it.
And that Ididn't really have a good idea. I think that's how a lot of the things, a lotof people go out there, One of two happens. One is that they're an entrepreneurand they're desperate to start a business regardless of it. And two, they're anentrepreneur and they can't help but start businesses.
That is one ofthose two things that happen, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they arethe right person to start a business. And I think this is particularlydangerous, like coming out of university without any worldly experience of industriesor the world, things like that. You find a lot of students and early graduates,their businesses are all about student life and that becomes what it is.
And then butactually, and for me, it was, build, building out games and things like that.Which was fine, but it wasn't gonna set the world on fire. And it was actuallyonly later on after I'd been kicking around and was lucky enough to be thefirst employee at SaaS company that I learned actually about b2b.
And that b tothe B2B business model is just [00:43:00]fantastic. It's particularly sas. You're getting licenses that will agree tosomeone to buy a thing, and then they'll probably be with you in five yearstime. And yes, they'll probably be paying you two or three times as much asthey are initially in that time per month.
It's justmagic. And you go and you, and by that time you barely have to do anything tokeep them happy because they have, you've spent so much time up front reallynurturing those relationships and they know how to use the software and that'sit. I think that one of the areas that most people making myself included wasjust thinking, let's get out there and just do whatever is in my world wherethe, when actually it would be far beneficial if I'd actually got a real job earlierand worked with real businesses and understood real business needs and builtsolutions for those business needs.
And inaddition, also, The greatest skill I ever learned from that was learning how tosell big, complex deals to big, complex organizations is very hard. First ofall, the skill set is one thing to learn. The second thing is understanding abig complex organization having not worked in one, is very challenging.
And so there'slike a multi multiple effect onto there. So I think that was a big [00:44:00] inflection point that a lot of people sayit's in a different world and earlier on in my career. But I think it's onething that's worth mention.
Mike: No,that there, there's actually quite a lot in that one, one of them is theability to sell in general.
The other oneis the ability to understand how organizations work to sell into organizations.But I really love your point here about actually not everybody is always gearedup and equipped to, to start a business. I believe everybody can get there, butI think actually a lot of people don't go into it with their rise open.
And one of myfavorite books and coincidentally one of the backbones of the principles withinWAY book is eif. I dunno if you've come across EIF before, is this wholeconcept of. Millions of businesses and entrepreneurs end up with thisentrepreneurial myth where they are good at something, are interested insomething, can see something, and they're like, do you know what?
I'm gonnastart a business around that. So it could be a barista in a coffee shop, andall of a sudden they're great at making coffee. So they want to run a coffeeshop. So they do an amazing job of getting this going and that, they get aplace, they [00:45:00] get a coffee machine,they put a few signs up, but then actually as that becomes successful, theyrealize that, okay, that, yes, they're good at making coffee, but running acoffee shop isn't around.
Running,everything else in terms of build, running a sorry, isn't just making coffee.And it boils down to the principle that within any business you need threedifferent headsets. You need the entrepreneur who creates the vision, whocreates the direction, who maps it out. And everything you are talking about interms of the founder role, the manager in terms of who actually structures,finds, puts resources into action.
And then thetechnician who actually does the work. And the reality is when we get going, wehave to be all of those three different heads and ultimately we can then handoff the tech technician work, we can then eventually hand off the manager workand then we either end up being the entrepreneur or we become one of theothers.
And I thinkwhat you're saying there, Paul is if anything, I'm just saying there's books toback up your point here, Paul that's not, that's [00:46:00]assumption.
Paul: I lovethat framework. I think it's something which I've never thought about the threedifferent steps and yeah, you're right.
That whenyou're an earlier founder, rather than, I think that there's probably somethingelse that comes from this as being the ceo and that is the person that isthere, is the manager. Yeah. There is also, that is the hybrid between those,which is someone who sets a direction, puts the right people on the bus,they're not gonna drive the bus.
And that sortof role is a really interesting evolution. And like for me personally, I'vefound a lot of purpose just in the space itself of becoming a really goodprofessional at being a ceo and understanding my game of how to hire incrediblepeople and to work with them to help them be at the absolute maximumperformance that they can be.
And there'shappy and content, which is a huge part of that. Yeah. The other side of it isthe, Within my industry of B2B SaaS is it's a machine that has variousdifferent. Different like toggles that you can play. It's a constantly movingthing. When you optimize different things. That machine it's an art.
[00:47:00] And if you've never worked in thatspace, you don't quite really understand like quite how beautiful a great SASSmachine can be. And I think that when you're in it, you're like that's alsoexciting in the nerdiest a possible ways, but something which I get a lot ofenergy out of.
Mike: Icertainly do.
Me, me andJames, my co-founder on the team, we were always looking at one point of dataand seeing how that's ricocheted and impacted on other things. We're like, ah,okay, let's tweak this, let's do that. And Ken's just put the chat there thathe said that this chat, I guess it was the product market fit side before areall the ways that he failed his marketing class in college.
, I'm sorry tohear that you failed the marketing class, but hopefully hopefully now you cango back, go smash it. And I know Ken, we've spoken a few times before, so Iknow he's he's clearly survived failing his marketing class and is doing reallyamazing things. So Paul, in our last kind of five five minutes or so the, I didjust wanna tap back into one, one bit.
You said thatactually you are now really enjoying this kind of CEO role and working out howto [00:48:00] like, work with people and getthe best out of people. What would you say are the kind of fundamentals thatyou've learned of the activity you do as a ceo that, that maximizing your, is.
Paul: Ithink bar setting a vision and being uniquely positioned in the middle ofthings to see things differently. Which is often a, an under, under lookededrole. Because that's it's a unique position in an organization. In fact,everyone's position is unique, but the CEO's position is unique in the lev, thebreadth of visibility that they have around different things that will affectdifferent elements.
If oneperson's really annoyed, oh, this isn't working here, often you can be like Iknow, but that person's working their ass off to do this, and actually that'sthe trade off that we have to do, or whatever it is, right? So that, that piecethere, I think is fascinating for me and it's something which which means thatsometimes you have to make calls that no.
Necessarilygets in the short term and hopefully in the long run it makes sense. That's onething. The next thing is [00:49:00] managingand working with great people is what's great? I think constantly keeping aneye to people. You meet and you meet someone, you're just like, wow, I lovethem.
They're great,they're impressive. In social life and business, someone sold to you, someone'sa client, whatever it is, you're like okay. Just keeping a constant Rolodex ofgreat talent in maintaining those relationships. Because often I found when Iwas earlier in the process of doing this to meet people who were incredible,but I couldn't afford them and that's fine and I didn't have a role for themcuz they were too senior or everything like that.
But if you'resuccessful, your business gradually gets bigger and you get more and moresenior people in. And those are some of the best hires that we've ever made. Ofpeople I've met quite a while, previous to them. Eventually they came in and sothat that's one, that's another part of it with you constantly be recruiting.
And then theother one is to allow and to empower those people to be able to run thebusiness in the way that works for them, to be a sounding board, not themicromanager. And now this is something which is a hard thing for founders todo because as a founder [00:50:00] you're inthe weeds.
You areconstantly micromanage. You have to micromanage to find that product marketfit. But as soon as you have that, and then you are then thinking about scalingit. And then scaling is a very different operation and it's a very differentmindset because you are optimizing for growth, you're optimizing for what comesnext rather than optimizing for finding the right thing.
And then thatmeans that you cannot manage it. In fact, you have to be as, as redundant asyou possibly can be, which is one of the hardest things that any founders whobecome CEOs will ever find. And it's something which I'm trying to learn. And,I'm fortunate enough that I've got an incredible leadership team, an incredibleteam in general, of great people who are able to go off and push the businessand create their own different optimized pathways within it because they aretaking an interest in it.
I can't tell'em how to do that. All I can be is a sounding goal to help them feed it. Andjust to tell them constantly where that long term mission is, where thatdirection we are gonna go is, the kind of, the analogy I always think of, it'slike a bus. It's my job to say we're driving this bus to Newcastle.
And to tellpeople continuously about how great [00:51:00]Newcastle's gonna be. We're gonna get Skittles vodkas or whatever it is, ifanyone ever being on Anaya. But then my job is then to put the people on thebus, like great people into that. And then that's it. I'm not gonnadrive the bus and I'm not gonna navigate the bus.
So whetherthey wanna take the M one and the M six or whatever it is, or go cross countryacross Wales, they can make those calls. I can be like, are you sure that's agood idea to go there via Ireland or whatever? Maybe not. And then they'll belike, yeah, oh yeah, you're right. No, I never thought about that.
You're right.Let me do another thing. But that's their decision, that's their role to, to beable to do those and it's not mine. And the more I remember that, the better Iam at my job and when I forget that, it's why I'm shit at my job. And that'sthe longest short but
Mike:fascinating, amazing stuff.
Are you up fora couple of quick fire questions, Paul? Shoot. What would you say is thesmallest thing and let's say mildly quick fire, so it doesn't have to be oneword. What would you say is the smallest thing that's made the biggestdifference when scaling your business?
Paul:Probably reading the quickfire [00:52:00]questions before so I could come up with a better answer than have to do it.
My, my feetthat would've been not doing that would've been a big difference.
Mike: Thatsounds like a cheat to me, Paul. That
Paul: ischeat. Yeah I realize that, I think that the thing, the smallest things thathave made pivotal differences is just getting on, having that one conversationwith someone. I like you.
I think thisis very interesting from an investment perspective, if anyone's gonnafundraise, is. This is a partner who's on the other side of it, on the otherside of the table, you just make a call. Yeah, our job is, it's two-way thing.Just in the same way that when you're interviewing someone, you are selling therole as much as they are being interviewed for the role.
It's a two-waypiece. And so just having that ability to trust that gut, as we talked aboutearlier. And so when you sit down and you're trying to sell someone, just belike, yeah, let's just be friends. And if we can be friends, it would beauthentic. We have an authentic conversation. Then people buy from people theytrust, and if you're being authentic, then they trust you.
And that's thesame with every single stage. Whether you're hiring [00:53:00]someone, you're selling something, whether it's recruiting is just being ableto trust that little part of your brain, which like that's just get rid of thebullshit. That's just be honest. Trust your gut with those people and go.
That was notthe whole thing though, is it? That was not really answering your question.That
Mike: no, itdoes. And it really pulls back into on a lot of the threads that we saidbefore. And if you were starting again, what would be the non-negotiablefoundations you'd build into the business?
Paul:Non-negotiable foundations would be a clear vision for the buyer and anunderstanding who those are before building anything. And that is what we gotwrong at the beginning and what we got right the second time. And so beforebuild, building a single thing, having spent huge amount of time withcustomers, talking to them, understanding their pain points and outlining it,is this, would this be helpful?
Like literallythis thing, if we had this, how would you make this better? Not, is this good?Yes, this is good. I know you guys talk about the mum Tesco a [00:54:00] lot, but it's just thinking of this whatwould make this better? And that's a different question to is, would you likethis? It's just yeah, I like that, but maybe it could be this, maybe it couldbe this.
And soconstantly getting that feedback loop and then building it which is the hardestpart
Mike: makesa lot of sense. Two very last quick ones. What would you what tools would yousay have helped you whilst while scaling?
Paul: SoBeyond Way book, which is very helpful, which we actually do use at ju for ouronboarding we have been remote since before Covid.
And so thewhole sort of suite of g suite, which, which allows us to do that. And I thinkthat there's a, yeah, no, I think that's, that it's very hard to just put itdown just like the amount of conversations and the ability to iterate ondocuments and things like that through the Google Suite has been integral toour entire organization.
And then otherthings that when you're early stage keeping, you don't need a complex crm. Ithink we use Pipedrive, which is cheap, a 50 quid or something like that ahead.And then and then use Mixmax [00:55:00] to todo various different targeting because. Fine product market fit is the same asto sell, like you have to get in front of people.
So using thosetools to automate your emails and to get out to people and say, Hey, would youlike this? Do we have a conversation? Here's what I can offer you. This is my,what I have on offer. And that will save you a huge amount of time. Love it.
Mike: Thefinal one, and I know we are a couple of minutes over, but it would be remissof me to not ask this question when we've got the world's foremost expert inbrand advocacy, but as an expert in advocacy what would you say are the kind ofone or two key things that brands should be doing to promote advocacy withintheir within their brand?
Paul:Remarkably, it's not too dissimilar to what I've been talking about. So whatmost brands really focus on is how do they get the person to buy and they don'tthink about what happens after that. So that person will tell someone else. Andso the key thing is to build a relationship, talk to a person and just be like,okay, why did you buy?
Oh, I saw iton a thing. Okay, why did you buy, why did you buy? Why did you buy? Get downto that, [00:56:00] why? And often what you'llfind is the vast majority of sales come because someone has said somethinginitially, where did you first hear about us? And so that first conversation ofwhere alright, Mike told me about it and I, okay, cool.
What did hesay? Oh, I can't remember. Yeah, just ballpark. What was it? What was it? Whatwere you talking about? Were you asking him if a thing was like, oh, I think itmight have been this and that bit there. And then it's oh, and how did heposition it? What? How would it help you? Then what they say happens there.
That is themost valuable thing that any brand could ever know, any business can note, andto take that little nugget, that secondhand story, that word of mouth story,and to make and to get that, ask enough people, and if you hear the same thingevery. That is your value proposition, and that is the thing you need to befocusing on ensuring you tell people, because then other people will take thatand then they'll tell other people.
And once theydo that, you get exponential growth through advocacy. So that's the first one.So ask those conversations in the process of doing that deeply. Know thatperson, understand their pains and their [00:57:00]wants. Spend as much time with 'em as you possibly can and nurture and play totheir egos and respond to them.
And then thefinal the bit that then comes after that, which is when you're trying to getsomeone to advocate for you, you can't really. You can't make someone do that.You have to earn the right to do it, which means that you've needed to providethem with a remarkable customer experience. So much so that they feel compelledto remark upon it, literally.
And then everythingthey do, you should incentivize to and recognize and reward them for everythingthat they do. And then from there, you'll start to build a little bit of amachine. And all of this has to happen manually at first. An early stagebusiness, it has to be manually. You don't need to scale it until you are at 7million or more if you're a consumer business.
Which issomething that blows people away. We literally scale this for a living. You'vegotta do it manually. You gotta get there in the trenches and really build anarmy of advocates, build a community of advocates. And the hard
Mike: way.Amazing. What how lovely put there and you are right, it does actually [00:58:00] really link into a lot of everything elseyou've said.
So Paul andeveryone, that really brings us to the end of today's smooth scaling webinar.Thank you so much for all of your time and insight. I know actually, genuinelyI've, my, my so many thoughts and experiences have flooded back into my mindhearing you, and I'm like, yes, I have thought that, I have felt that, but Ididn't quite articulate it in that way.
And some ofthe core takeaways that I'll personally take is just this whole concept of notscaling too quickly. And we hear this. All the time. There's actually a bookcalled nail It, then Scale It, I dunno if you've come across it. And it's thiswhole concept that the that there was research that showed that about 70% ofkind of startups failed because of premature scaling and losing those resourcesin the wrong direction.
Paul'sarticulated that in an amazing way and actually focused on what product marketfit feels like and how to get there and whatever else. So yeah, focusing onnailing it before we are scaling it. And [00:59:00]Paul, we seem to have really pulled a lot on this kind of human connection andboth in terms of sales, in terms of recruitment, in terms of management, interms of advocacy.
And actuallybuilding these human connections that you leverage your gut and your intuitionto know that they're the right people in the right place. I'm keen to do thisin two years time, and we can work out how you can codify and scale that evenmore. But for now, that is an amazing learning.
I'll certainlybear in mind. And the other thing that sits in my mind personally is just I'mgonna call it killing averageness or killing average . And, we spoke abouttalent, but I don't wanna say kill average people because that is not themessage that we're trying to say here. But killing average products and servicelines and offerings and whatever else in order to get that focus, in order toget to that product market fit and continue the scaling the importance of thatwas not lost in your message.
Now. I thankyou so much for sharing it with us,
Paul: Mike,you really enjoyed it.
Mike: Thanksfor having. Thank you so much. We've had a few comments. We will continue on inthe chat a little bit afterwards. Ken [01:00:00]has just said that he's been through a lot of different industries.Relationships are key. So agreeing with you there, Paul.
Nothingcomplicated about it and your word is bound and has to be, but communicatingthose key drivers of the business is always the challenge. And he said that'swhy he's a fan of way. But thanks so much Ken. If there's anything else you'dlike to speak to us about, Paul is your man. Building brand advocacy.
You can lookhim up. He's linked in the show notes here and also you can find him online.We'll send all of his contact details around. And if you ever want to talkabout scaling your business, building your knowledge, your systems, yourprocesses, to make sure that you can spend more time exploring in that founderactivity or finding the right customers, finding the new ways of doing newthings, whilst keeping everybody else in your team on the same page as youcontinue to grow, you know where we are.
We are. WayBook. It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much Paul. And thank youeverybody else. We look forward to seeing you next time. Bye-bye
Paul: now.Thanks for going on guys. Cheer.[01:01:00]
Want to get more insights on the future of Scaling & Systematizing your business? Check out our other Smooth Scaling episodes:
- How to Protect and Manage Culture While Scaling Your Business - with Sarah Touzani, COO at The Fractional