Tools that generate demand

Ramit Sethi had this amazing sales page that me and my entire team admired.

He basically said, decide how much money you want to make by plugging in how many customers you’ll have and what you’re going to charge. And he embedded a calculator readers could use to better understand his message.

Joining me as an entrepreneur who realized the same thing while he was selling development services and he wanted to communicate how much it would cost to get different types of apps made.

He said, More entrepreneurs, more entrepreneurs, more businesses, more marketers need this type of tool. But they shouldn’t have to get a developer in order to build it.

And so he did it for them. Randy Rayess created software called Outgrow, which allows you to create sliders, calculators, quizzes, chatbots, and so many other tools that help you make your pages more interactive and close more sales.

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Randy Rayess

Randy Rayess

Outgrow

Randy Rayess is the founder of Outgrow.co which offers no-code tools to boost your interactive content and drive more leads.

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Full Interview Transcript

Andrew: hey, there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner and one of my past guests had this amazing sales page. So good that we passed it around. you know, why am I hiding his name? It was roommate safety and yes, it had photos of him with before and after.

Yes. It also had long form content describing what he did, but. Something about the middle part , that caught my eye. He basically said, decide how much money you want to make by plugging in how many, how many customers you’ll have and what you’re going to charge. It was something like that. And so I did it and I got the number and, Oh, wow.

This is impressive. Now I get what he’s aiming for. I get what we could do. I see the possibility. And more importantly, I have something that I can just fidget around with on the sales page. It doesn’t feel like the page was talking at me. It felt like I could do something to help me understand the message that he was trying to communicate.

So I, I thought I’d like to have one of those. And I couldn’t, it was just a pain in the butt to even have one Korean. I had to go to Upwork to see if I could get somebody to build it, but it wasn’t able to be built properly. And it was a whole thing. I ended up getting somebody eventually years later to build one for me and sure enough, it was cool.

And yes, it did increase conversions on a page. It was already standing. My brother came in, coded it up and it worked. Joining me as an entrepreneur who realized the same thing, he was selling development services and he wanted to communicate how much it would cost to get different types of apps made.

And he said, let’s just throw a calculator up. Instead of adding more texts, the calculator not only made it easier for people to understand what he was charging, but allowed him to. Get more sales and he said, more entrepreneurs, more businesses, more marketers need this type of tool. They shouldn’t have to get a developer in order to build.

And so he did it for them. He created software called outgrow. And today it’s available for everyone to use, allows you to create yes, those sliders, those calculators, but you went beyond that to quizzes, chatbots, so many other tools that basically help you generate demand, help you make your pages more interactive, close, more sales, and yeah.

And get more leads. His name is Randy Reyes. I invited him here to talk about how he did it. And we can talk about it. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors. The first, if you’re doing content marketing of any kind, you need to know about SEM rush, and I’m going to tell you about how one of my users is using them and let you use them for free for yourself.

If you just go to mixergy.com/sem rush. And the second, if you want to get a sense of how your customers feel about your business, um, use delighted, and you can use them for free at delighted.com/mixergy. But I’ll talk about those later first, Randy. Good to have you here.

Randy: Great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Andrew: Dude how much revenue you’re doing now with the software.

Randy: So where as people know, we haven’t specifically released our numbers, but we are, uh, of course, into the seven figures,

Andrew: So over a million dollars, no outside funding.

Randy: no outside funding.

Andrew: Wow. Profitable. What have you been able to do with all this profit? Buy anything? Do anything for yourself?

Randy: uh, well, it’s interesting. Um, Michael founder, Tom and I are both pretty minimalists. So we make sure we invest in, in screens and, and good mattress and a good pillow, but very simple fundamentals. We don’t really have anything fancy.

Andrew: So just reinvest it back in the business. Are you investing it in something else?

Randy: mainly yeah, mainly back into the business, actually, I

Andrew: All right. And that previous company that we talked about was venture packed. Right?

Randy: guess.

Andrew: What’d you come up with the idea for venture pact, the business that led you to come up with

these different marketing tools.

Randy: well I think we ha there was a mix of things happening, um, about a decade ago, as you know, when  Apple decided to launch the app store it, there was a pretty transitional moment that happened in the field of technology. And it was pretty clear early on to most people that this was kind of a new platform and it trends and a big transition.

but, The concept of building mobile apps was so new. So there were so many questions around, okay, well, no one had a mobile app and everyone needed one. And so there was this gap in terms of, we all need them, but there’s no like expert mobile app developers. Cause it’s, I feel that it’s just being creative.

And so we came in and decided and started to learn about it and solve it. This is what’s crazy demand. And we basically dove into it and said, you know what, why don’t we help fill that gap

Andrew: but you are going to do this through hiring developers for them.

Randy: the final version of venture back that became a, basically a marketplace for teams. So you can find like a team of developers. Um, but the, the first, the first thing we did was we would basically go in and work with a company really early on and then help them build their mobile app.

depending on the size of the business, we usually take an equity stake and then we’d help them with the belt. and then over time there, obviously some companies said, Oh, we don’t want to do equity. And then we added a cash model. And then over time we, made it as a marketplace where we said, we’re not actually doing the building, but we’re going to connect you with people that we prefect.

And then we basically teams that we prevent. So it’s kind of, there are different versions.

Andrew: And in the beginning, it was you who was doing the coding yourself. I know you had a little bit of experience

Randy: yeah, yeah, exactly. Was my cofounder myself. And then we, we had a couple people with us as well. Um, that we, we started off with a few, a couple of like contractors helping us but it was very small. Like we were just a few people. we scaled that out and then it’d be perfectly realized that.

It would make sense to get people were like, Oh, we also want to optimize. So you have iOS, then you have Android. And then people said, Oh, we also want to do like, can you also help us with like internet Explorer optimization of this? And then, Oh, can we also get a security consultant for that? And, um, and then we basically realized that we weren’t going to be able to do everything just ourselves and a couple of contractors.

 

Andrew: It seems like it’s also not an easy way to build a big company.

Randy: It’s tough. It’s tough.

Andrew: What are some of the difficulties that you had as you were scaling up as an agency?

Randy: Well, I think that well, so there’s, there’s a, there’s a wide range of things, right? The first thing I think is when you’re working with companies at such an early stage, there’s a lot of iteration that goes on. And so people, their initial vision for their product is going to change as they work with customers.

And so, and the speed at which they need to move out is really fast because they’re first customers. Or taking a bet on them and they need to make sure those first customers are happy and they can learn from them. when you only have a few customers, they kind of, they can dictate your product.

And now suddenly we, as the extension of their development team or as their entire development team are building multiple products. And if you speak to any development team building one product, they’re like, Oh my God, this is crazy. This is a lot of work. But now when you’re doing multiple ones, it’s hard, but I think your skillset and product improves and your skillset and communication improves.

So like the ability to communicate both with the, with our, which the customer either are taking an equity stake in, or, or, uh, or basically our customer and then their customers, you have like, there’s different layers of communication. so I think you learn a lot from communication. You learn from, from a product standpoint, And you learn a lot from, from marketing and trust because these companies are, they meet to really trust you.

You’re, you’re not just kind of a site, a small side thing for them. You are their product. to be clear, we were working with tech enabled businesses. So these aren’t businesses that are building like a new video engine, that’s like revolutionizing video, they’re basically tech enabled. So it’s like e-commerce or telemedicine or things like this.

 

Andrew: you know, Randy, as I’m going through, you’re in your LinkedIn profile. I think I understand something for some reason, 2012. I see you both starting this business and investing in nuke, investing in Alice, investing in, uh, so many products it’s because whenever you had a client, you got some money and you got equity.

 

Did any of this pay off

Randy: Yes, actually. Um, some of them  haven’t sold yet, but they’ve raised a lot of money. So hospitality, Alice, um, that’s, they’ve raised a lot of money over, well, over 10 million they’ve raised, um, in multiple rounds.

And so obviously that paid off, but then there’s a bit, they still haven’t exited then, uh, the telemedicine app for nursing got bought out. I want to say 15 or 16. and so we did, we did have, we’d have some positive outcomes out of it, which was both great. And, and it’s also great because you build very, like, we, we built very close ties with the first few people we worked with those companies because, you’re, you’re kind of like a, not really a cofounder, but close to that, I wouldn’t say co-founder, but you’re close to that.

So you’re kind of like an early team member that may be the better way to describe it. You, you do build relationships with them and you do really, you’re invested in their success and you want them to be successful. Um, and you invest a lot of time. So it’s not just a cash book. When you just write a check, you’re not investing a lot of your time.

So obviously you want them to succeed, but you’re not investing your time or your both time and energy and money into it, then you’re like, Oh, actually your interest becomes much higher. And your satisfaction, if they do well is actually also higher.

Andrew: I’ve seen a lot of people try this model. But it doesn’t seem to work. Why doesn’t it take off the idea of I’ll take money up front, but I’ll also take equity and the money will pay for my developers. The equity is where I see my real profit. Why I’m looking at your eyes as I’m asking you that it’s almost like you’re going to shoot me.

What are you feeling? As I say that.

Randy: I think it’s very hard for it to be really big in terms of number of companies you work with because of the bandwidth required for each client. However, it can work. Um, there are companies where they get, when they work with a few clients, One of them ends up being super big and they ended up just becoming part of that team.

So you will see companies that became big, had this model. And then, um, but then you’ll realize that. The one of the first, then they basically started with maybe 10 companies or 20 companies. And then once one of them became really big, basically just swallowed the entire company and said, yeah, we’re going to take your whole tech team.

And because they needed tech faster. So you’ll see that happen a lot. Um, it’s hard for it to, for you to say, Oh, we have 10,000 companies that we work with as clients. Um, unless you move into a marketplace model. Okay. So the, like, like, uh, where you have, uh, where you basically are not actually hiring the people as full time employees and you’re an agency, but you’re basically a network.

So kind of like an Airbnb or

Andrew: And that’s what you ended up as a, as a model, as a marketplace model. How did that do for you revenue wise?

Randy: Yeah. So it did well, it did well for, well, so it did well for us, but we, there was another challenge which was project management. So the challenge is that, um, We have tech and chief product officers CTOs, those those works well. And then what our salespeople was really struggling when we had marketers, trying to build things kind of similar to your case where you’d have, you’d say, Oh, I want to build a calculator.

I want to build a tool. And so what we saw was, Oh, we need to, we first said, okay, we need to better educate. So that’s when we said, okay, we’re going to create a calculator to better educate people on pricing and features. But the second thing that,

Andrew: This was for your own site. You said people are coming over. They don’t even know what to expect. They just say, I need this app build. Show me a menu, give me some context of what I could get and what it would cost. Right. And so that’s where you said let’s just okay to calculate it for them. What else?

Project management you were starting to say was

Randy: Yeah, exactly. So, so you want to think, so the education sales skulls, as understanding of pricing and then project management, those are the key things that we had to really figure out. Um, so education was a big thing because people don’t know how much things cost and in the early days you wouldn’t have as many plugins and things to do.

So adding features that aren’t absolutely necessary. Um, Are, um, it can be detrimental to both cost and time. And so you first have to educate them. If they don’t know about MVP, if you give them about MVPs, then you have to educate them about the cost of building. Then you have to educate them about like, Oh, there’s both design and development and then the screens, and then you have different users.

There’s just so much things to teach. And, um, if they don’t have a lot of experience, of course, if they have a lot of experience, it works really great because they know they’re coming in knowing what their, what they want. And they don’t have a lot of experience. That’s when it becomes a challenge. And so.

One of the things we did early on when we decided to do the calculator was we wanted it to show them how price varies, both by geography and by feature. And that was actually turned out to be a great insight or decision that we had because, um, when you look at our sales calls, you realize. It’s a lot of education.

And then at the end, um, they, they might be like, Oh, I want it to build the whole app for $2,000. And it wasn’t, it’s like,

Andrew: And you spent all that time

Randy: yeah. Right, exactly. And so then it’d be realized, you know, you don’t want to be, we didn’t want to be like, uh, We didn’t want to be like, Oh, how much money do you have at the beginning of the call and beat that type of company.

But then on the other hand, our sales people were like, this is, we need the better way to manage it. And so that ended up being a great decision because now people could see, Oh, actually if I remove these three features and I moved from San Francisco to Argentina, I’m now within budgets. And so when they schedule a call with us, they already know that and think about how much, and that’s, that’s pretty amazing in terms of how much time we save with this result, speech that, um, that

Andrew: And so that was, that is what became outgrow. But at first you built it for yourself to not waste your time, to educate your customer and to have them ready to buy if it’s a good fit, but also understand it’s too expensive before they waste your people’s time. You created it. How does it go from you creating this calculator on your site?

To the understanding that there are other marketers, other salespeople who need something similar, and this could become a product that you sell.

Randy: Yeah. So a couple things, um, when, when we launched it and we saw the growth, we were all, we were also pretty lucky because the calculator, we invested a lot in making the results to be really good. But what happened was when people saw it, they ended up sharing it on a lot of forums. And because it was a common question you’d get on entrepreneur forums.

I’m sure you probably remember at that time, entrepreneur forums all were always asking mobile development. How much does it cost? How does it work asking for people’s

Andrew: Ah, so now there’s a calculator that even if they don’t want to hire you, they could go and try out and it starts to take off.

Randy: Exactly. And so that was so that when we saw that we were like, Oh wow, this is basically like we invested in the technology.

It took us time to build it, but we were starting to get free marketing. Because people are there people that we didn’t know were sharing it. So that was really cool. The second thing. And so that helps us get leads. The second thing that we realized was we were circumventing a full requirements, specification document, and getting, obviously it wasn’t a hundred percent, but it was at least 80% of the way there.

To a full requirements, verification documents, which when you tell a customer, Oh, we need a requirements, specification document. It’s just a lot of words and it’s a long process, but what you really need are 10, eight to 12 questions. Usually the cover, the most common things to get a sense of is this going to be a fit?

And so when you really drill it down and simplify it, and you can do that in a couple of minutes and have that whole experience in a couple of minutes that also held this weight. This is not just lead gen. This is also lead qualification.

Andrew: Right,

Randy: And, and, and so there was a lot of things there. And so we realized this was a very powerful, the challenge now became okay, well, um, do we, do we do this?

Do we do this as a separate task tool or not? That became the next question.

Andrew: Were you, were you the kind of people who are constantly looking for SAS? Who said, you know, what, development consulting too much of a pain, let’s find a way to switch over into software. The way kind of base camp is known for having done,

Randy: that’s funny. So base camp, I was, I meant to say base camp, uh, did that, but what was interesting from us that wasn’t actually how it happened. Right? What happened was we kind of stumbled upon this and then we were at the beginning, we were, our first question was can, can we do this as well? And that was the first question.

Would it make sense to do this as a, as another thing, as a SAS, as a SAS thing, and would we be able to execute on both? And that was, that was the first question. And then once what we realized was as we worked with more marketers on the. The venture backed side of the business, where marketers were building technology.

We realized that the right thing for marketers, we were like very conf, confident was assassinated. It would be, and we knew we weren’t going to cover a hundred percent of use cases because we saw a pretty broad set of use cases marketers had. And now you’ll see, okay, we have eight content types. So you can do like.

Eat things, which, which covers a lot of their use cases, but there’s still customers even today that will come and say, Hey, we want to do this. And we’re like, Oh, okay. We’re not fully custom. Like we’re a SAS tool. We’re not fully custom. We’re trying to get to be pretty powerful and really help the marketer demand gen, um, as much as we can.

Um, but you know, and so we basically kind of fit in that middle ground and it really works with the marketer. Well, so we got lucky.

Andrew: did they, did they come to you and say, I want one of these myself and ask you, can you code it up for me or did you just start? How did you know that people wanted this?

Randy: Um, well, so, so we have marketers on the, uh, the venture backed platform who are building software and we saw what they were building. So they were very various versions. So there was like coupon companies, um, that were doing basically different versions of calculators and different versions

Andrew: they were hiring your team to create these calculators. Anyway,

Randy: Estimators. Yeah. So we had, we had a few, yeah, like different estimators, different calculators. And, um, there are certain things that are basically calculators of the logic. And basically it’s like, Oh, we want to help people figure out which, you know, article is right for them. But that’s basically just a calculator recommendation tool thing where you basically figure out.

So they were, they were named differently. Um, but the thing is, um, at the, the way it’s actually built is a set of logic that says, Oh, okay, we’re going to ask you. Yeah, these are a basic set of questions based on either their past purchase history or based on if we don’t have any information about them, we ask them questions.

And then based on that, we can see, Oh, these are the things that person needs. So these are the articles or podcasts or eBooks that are relevant to them. And that’s a recommendation tool. And so, yeah,

Andrew: you said, you know what we’re seeing, we’re seeing the need for this. We think we could create it. A lot of what people think they want is actually another version of a calculator. We’ve already built it for ourselves. Let’s launch SAS. How long did it take you to the launch, the first version,

Randy: Well, so where we were MVP people at that point, because we have done this multiple times. So yeah. Yeah. So we were very MVP. We were very much in the MVP crowd. So the first version did not have eight content types. The first version was basically calculators, right? Um, you could build. So we, we had the first version had two layouts.

It was a real time calculator option. So you basically could have a re you you’d get to a page. And the first two cases were. Um, for marketing agencies to do, you know, ROI of your marketing spend and things like that. So you’d basically go in and you’d put marketing spend by channel like Facebook, Google, all these advertising channels, and then you could see how much you made, how many, you know, users jump generated from those ads.

And then you can look at the ROI of your marketing spend. So things like that, that was like a real time ROI. And then the other layouts. Was instead of having everything real time, where you, as you modify the questions, you see the results, the result appears on a separate page. So you actually click submit and then you see the result at the end.

Um, so those were the two kind of versions, and that was basically how it works. So you, most people were building costs, calculator seedings calculators time and money savings, and then, and then ROI stuff.

Andrew: And was it all for landing pages? The way I imagined for just collecting leads and qualifying them,

Randy: Uh, the first basically, well, so that was a, that was the intention. What we realized though, a lot of people were starting. There’s a lot of sales, people were starting to use this and sales in sales calls. So they’ll bring in a whole sales team. They’ll bring in a whole team on a call and then they were, they would open up the calculator and in real time in screen, say, okay, This is the number of employees you have.

This is how, what sales software you use. This is how much time you can save on your sales team. This is how much money you save. This is the cost of our product. And so we’re like, Oh, so now the sales people are using this manually, like not manually manually, but like kind of audit calls showing it. And they were like, they were like, this works well, all we want is our salespeople to do it.

And so that became a new, a new use case.

Andrew: What’d you get your first customers?

Randy: The first customers. Okay. Well, so the, the very first ones were, were through venture backed. Um, so they were coming on to venture back. They were like, Hey, you guys want something along the lines of a calculator. This is, you know, try out algebra. So that was where we got our

Andrew: These are people who are paying you to develop their apps, develop their websites. They wanted this feature. You said, instead of me building it for free or not for free for big fee, go use this software to pay monthly it’s cheaper.

Randy: at a fraction of the cost. Exactly. Hey, this is much cheaper. Just do try this. And then they gave us a lot of great feedback, um, to be fair, they, Oh, so the first thing was they wanted more layout options, um, because people were like, Oh, like I want to capture the leads. Jen form on a real time calculator.

So we thought on realtime, you either capturing the leads on the welcome page or you’re capturing the leads, um, below the result to get some additional information. People were like, no, actually what we want to do is we want to capture the leads, um, show like a subset of information on the results page, or just block the right side of the results page with a lead gen form.

And so they would like the different use cases of how they want things to happen.

Andrew: it.

Randy: So that was one. And then the other one, which was really cool was people like, Hey, can I show a subsection of information, like an overview summary and then pay them and then have them charge for a PDF detailed information.

So they’re like, yeah. Which turns out to be really cool. And we were like, Oh, so you want a PDF builder? And we’re were hesitant to do that because we knew that we have people asking for. ECommerce product recommendations. We have so many things, chat bots and all these things were coming up. When should we do it?

And we took our time to add that because we basically had a priority based on the number of requests. But once we got a lot of requests for payments, Billing and, uh, and, and PDFs, we did it. And by the way, people hack this solution before we even bolted, like we have customers, cause we have custom HTML and custom CSS that you can add.

We had a customer who just hacked it together and it was amazing flow for them

Andrew: Well, what did he want to do? Yeah. Tell me when he would. The

Randy: Sure, sure. So their issue was, um, basically they were, they had a real estate SAS business and they were like, Oh, let’s um, We want to recommend people, which plan is relevant to them. And if you want to sign them up on billing and build like a full workflow to get them to the right billing, basically plan is right for them.

But that needs to sync not only with Beeman’s, but also their billing platform, because it’s a subscription. So they be created a, an amazingly powerful tool. So this was, we have, we have. We have great software, but they did a really good job setting up the logic. So we obviously get credit for that. Um, and then on the results page, you would, uh, you would be able to sign up for their plan right away and now, and it would give you the exact right plan for you, like customized based on the inputs you provided.

And we looked at it and we’re like, this is amazing. And we loved it. And so we’re like, well, let’s make this such that non developed. I mean, these people were really intelligent and have technical capabilities and used our product in a way we didn’t anticipate, but we’re like, we should allow a marketer to do this.

Um, if so they can get payments and do billing. And so that’s when we, that’s how the product has

Andrew: and more. Alright, let me take a moment. Talk about my first sponsor. And then I want to come back and understand what you did when you needed to go and get more customers just for this, because I don’t think there are a lot of people who are looking for calculator tool for marketing. Like how do you do that?

Alright. My first sponsor is a company called S E M rush. I, uh, I know them as a search engine marketing company, but they actually have expanded to any kind of marketing that you want to do, especially, essentially for earned media too. So content that you create, et cetera, content, you create a social media, et cetera.

What am I? I’m, I’m kind of hesitating because I asked my audience, tell me how you used it. And this one person came in and said, Andrew, I’ll tell you, but please don’t use my name in the ad. I just don’t want anyone to know the details, my number, so. Here’s what she did. She said, look, I have a site. We make money by creating content.

I know my audience is a business audience. What I decide to do is just write what I think they want to know. And then at some point you started hiring people to do this for her and paying them to build, to write articles that they thought business people would want. And it was going well, but she realized, you know, what.

We might just be wasting a lot of money here because maybe we’re not creating what our people want. She signed up for SEM rush. She started doing a little bit of research and she realized actually there are clear topics that people are looking for, that there aren’t great articles on that have to do with our business.

Let’s just focus my writers on those topics. And now for the same amount of money, she was able to get articles written by her people that. People were actually searching for on search engines. And she saw that it started paying off, offer itself really quickly, allowed her to grow her business. She told me what the revenue was, and then she said, Andrew, I don’t want to say anymore.

And I’d rather, he was my specific story in the interview. I’ve got tons of people who responded a lot of them saying. Andrew. Here’s what I do with SCM rush. It really works. Please. Don’t say too much. There’s another guy I’m going to give you. He said I could use his name Sharif from Redshift security. He created a security product called Redshift security, which helps developers write more secure code.

He says there are a lot of coding tools out there, but they’re old and they target the security professionals, not developers. It says most people think developers don’t really care about security. But he knew that it was fake, but he just didn’t know what, how do you address it? So what he did was cause he went to SEM rush and he looked up what a competitor of his was doing somebody who was selling to them the same audience.

And he said, ah, that’s the keywords. Those are the articles that bring in people who are developers, who care about security. And it started with growing his traffic. He said, please don’t tell anyone who else I’m using, um, SEM, Rashaan, but he’s using SEM rush. Anyone who’s listening to me. Who’s in content at all.

Who’s. In the business of bringing people to their site should go and get SCM rush. And I’m going to give you an opportunity to use our software a hundred percent for free. All you have to do is go to mixergy.com/sem rush S E M rush. And when you do, you’re going to get their guru level, which is their higher level package for free.

For two weeks, you don’t have to put in a credit card, you don’t have to do anything. You just get to use it, get the insights. If you don’t like it, cancel. If you get the benefit and you want to walk away, cancel, but if it changes your business substantially in two weeks, you could continue from there. All right.

Again, no credit card required. All you have to do is go use it for free. Right now, they’re making it available to anyone who goes to mixergy.com/sem rush for a limited time. And then we’re going to take that URL down. Randy. I feel like you’ve started to do a little bit more, content marketing lately, but you’re still not huge in it.

Randy: Yeah. so we have done some content marketing, um, we’ve done. So one of the things we did early on for our kind of content marketing, which we call kind of interactive content marketing was, um, the use of an idea generation tool. So the first thing we realized was the. Kind of people aren’t searching, Oh, I need like an interactive content management or interactive content and builder.

Um, that’s not what people, well, we’re thinking about the, what people were thinking about was like, how do we grow our audience online? Or how do we help them better educate our customers and things like that. And so what we did was we said, let’s use our own tool to build an idea generation tool. So we used the outgrow and we created an idea generation to where you’d put it in your industry.

You’d put in, um, the types of people you’re targeting. Um, and you’ve put in, you can, you can kind of put it also, um, you, we asked for your email and then we say these are a set of ideas that you can do to attract people at the top of your funnel, to attract people in the middle of the funnel and to attract people and engage people in the bottom of the funnel.

And you get that person it’s kind of for your industry. And we build the idea generation tool and. That ended up being very helpful because the idea generation tool, the results page. Again, we care a lot about the results page, as you can tell, that’s a consistent theme. Um, but, um, there’s all speeds became really good that people could share that with their rest of the marketing team.

You’re like, well, check out all these ideas. They’re really good. And they’re segmented by, by, by, by

Andrew: and they’re customized to us based on what we said we needed and where we are. Okay.

Randy: Exactly. And so that helped get buying from marketing teams to try out into our free trial. And are we, what we do with our free trial is we didn’t put a card and requirements and we didn’t have any front charge for the free trial.

And that helped people, at least kind of come into it and see, try using the tool. And we. Most people will come in and be like, Oh wow, this is really powerful. Um, and if they’re not very experienced with technology, they might take 15 to 30 minutes to fully understand what they can do with it. Um, but that was very helpful to get that free trial, low barrier to entry.

So people can kind of say, okay, these are cool ideas. Let me try one of them. And then as soon as they come in, We give really good chat support for any questions. So we’re right there, even if they’re not strong in math and they want to build an ROI calculator, we’re right there to say, Hey, you don’t need any expertise in maths.

We’ll be there to help

Andrew: You know what I think I’m using it. And I’m not sure that I’m getting that. So I did my, I filled in my profile here are the three sections, right? Where does this sales process come in? What I see instead is here’s the top of the funnel. Here’s the middle, here’s the bottom of the funnel. Here’s some suggestions for what you could do, like, uh, for the bottom of the funnel, what’s the ROI of going to Harvard, but.

Randy: so, so what happens? Okay. So, um, so what happens is you put your email in, through the capture process as well. Um, Yeah, so that there’s, there’s different of that results page. So I’ll show you a couple of other versions as well. There is the, that result. Once you put in your email, you get this result speech, and then you get a PDF attachment in a followup email that PDF on the followup.

If, depending on the size of the business, what we’ll do. As we can sometimes even manually do that. So for larger companies, we will ma we’ll go in and look at specifically like based on their blog and their press come up with

Andrew: Based on their email address, you can tell if they’re working for a bigger organization that you want to court,

Randy: Yeah, for example, let’s say you come in and you say like, okay, I’m like@amazon.com, so, okay. This is an Amazon person and we know that you’re on, you’re an Amazon and you work in the AWS team. So we already have that information. Now on that results page, we’ll give you ,  top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel ideas. Right. But we will also send them. Personalized ideas for that specific person. So if that person’s coming in saying, Oh, I work at AWS, right?

We’ll then we’ll then go in and say, Oh, for AWS, you’re specifically want to show people how you’re better than Azure. How you’re better than Google cloud platform. And then we’ll so show them it’s good. It could be cost. It could be, stability. It could be uptime. It could be how easy it is to add certain components.

It’s like, there’s so many different things, so we’ll do personalization as well. So the original, the original result page is kind of helpful cause you show top, middle and bottom, but then the, uh, the addition PDF is really helpful for larger companies as well, but we’ll do,

Andrew: And the email follow ups too.

Randy: Yes. And then we’ll do email follow.

So that helps with conversion as well. And sometimes people are just like, Hey, we’re interested, but we don’t have the bandwidth right now. And so we get that as well. And then we, they say, you know, check in with us in six months or a

Andrew: let’s go back to the beginning then. So the first people came in because they were customers of yours who are paying you for services. The next that came from where, before you figured out how to use your own calculators to get customers, what else did you do?

Randy: We did so, so there’s, we, we, we, we do a lot of things, um, and kind of experiment a lot. And so the first thing we did was obviously we said, okay, let’s try some ads. So we did some Google ads and Facebook ads and they were okay. We were driving

Andrew: We’re doing it a little bit after the MVP.

Randy: And so well, okay. Wait. So the first customers we got through venture pack, then really early on, we were investing a lot of the tool.

We did a couple of, we would do like events. Um, uh, so we did quite a few, like we would say, okay, we’re going to sponsor an event. We were lucky in the sense that we also had the venture backed business. So we weren’t like which we’re using to finance it. So we couldn’t do events. Uh, and that was where we would go in and we’re able to meet people.

Andrew: Really. And so people would come. All right.

Randy: So we, we do that. And we basically, once we did, when we went to the, that model, what we really did was we were able to learn things and people came in, they were challenging us, like, okay, who are your customers? And we were lucky that we had some customers, um, But they were like really adamant about like, do you have customers in our industry and how do they use it?

And give me examples. And there were quite a few customers who we would, we would show them like, Oh, look, look at these use cases, look at what we’ve built. And what we realized was assessments. We, when we started the pitch assessments, it turned out to work really well. So we would call accompany with common.

They’d be like, Oh, we’re a security consultants. And we say, okay, we’re going to create an assessment. Like we just get focused on one thing. So basically, um, I’ll give you like a few examples security company with common, we’d say, yeah. Assess, create an assessment on algebra four, assess your current security level.

So they ask them a set of questions about what protections they have in place. And you kind of create a security scanner that gives them a score. And then, and so we would do this and for each type of company, you have something. If it’s a size of business, assess your current productivity, if it’s a productivity software, right.

If it’s content marketing, it’s assess your current content marketing, right. And so we, we did this for like a system, email marketing. Is

Andrew: You just sat down and you created all the different variations that you anticipated. People would want based on conversations you had at conferences.

Randy: And when you folk, when we focused on assessment, it really helps because now it was easier because there were so many ideas that we had, and it kind of was overwhelming to do in a, in a short kind of thing on a call or an in person meeting. So now when we focus on assessments, that was very helpful.

So he said, okay, we’re gonna help you with an assessment. And then people say, Oh, that’s a really easy use case because every customer, we need to sell them an assessment, show them a score and then show them how we can help them.

Andrew: Yeah, that explains it because you know what? You’re so low. The freelancer version costs only $14 a month. I was thinking, well, these guys going into a conference, paying to be at a conference, standing up all day and selling for $14 a month, and then they have to negotiate and argue with the customer to explain it.

It’s not about the sales. It’s about understanding the customer at that point. Am I right?

Randy: Yes. Yes, for sure. And the, to be another point to clarify is that at an event, uh, there are either marketing agencies as well, and the marketing agency can come in and they might not want, they usually don’t want the freelancer plan. They want to run multiple clients. Through the software and they probably want big, larger plants.

So it’s not just so they’re the financial plans, but then you have larger companies and agencies that are going to want more of our custom HTML, custom CSS, different additional services, like all these other things. So it’s, it’s it’s so it’s both, it’s supposedly education from our standpoint, we learned a lot.

Um,

Andrew: And actual sales that, and you made your money back from these conferences.

Randy: Not all of them. So I’ll

Andrew: a conference that you went to, what are some that worked in ones that

Randy: God. Um, we went to a lot, we were in New York and we would just go to events. So like tech, tech, tech, tech, tech, mid markets, GMO MarTech, like so

Andrew: marketing related, you wanted to be a part of somehow and in New York there ton of them.

Randy: exactly. There there’s. Yeah, there were times where you’d have, like, it will be Tuesday, nine to 10 and there’ll be like three marketing, at least small marketing events, like three people, three people giving a talk.

And so

Andrew: And you’d show up and have a booth in the back.

Randy: Well, so in those events, that depends on those, on those specific events. It’s not, it’s more like a marketing networking event. It’s not a, it’s not a trade show booth event. Um, it depends. There’s so many different types of events. I would say 90% of events. We definitely lost money.

Okay.

Andrew: but you kept going because.

Randy: Um, because the, so there were two things, there were one was the education and we didn’t keep going to all of them, the ones that failed, we stopped going to, um, and then over time we, if events are there, they’re taxing. You, you travel, you work. It’s, it’s a very taxing thing. Um, but I think from our standpoint, I would say we, we went.

On the purpose of sales. And we came out looking back, it’s probably like 80 to 90% was education and then 10 to 20% with sales. So yeah.

Andrew: At some point you get fed up with these marketers. I feel like marketers are so exciting, but also so draining because you get, I don’t know, I get cynical about the world after I’m around marketers all day.

Randy: Well, I think it depends. Um, I think we. We realized that marketers are very well, his idea of a degeneration creative process, like creative thinking process. And because we are in interactive if content marketing and not like we’re not talking about like ad networks, party ads and that type of thing, which I can see, that can be a bit yeah.

Difficult. But what we’re talking about is. Walk me through the most common questions your customers have, that they struggle with. Walk me through the questions that your customers have that you say it depends walk. And then it’s like, you’re going really deep into their business and their customers issues.

And now you’re saying, you know, what? If your customers are struggling to understand this value, your customers are struggling to understand this. And you have to say, it depends because there’s so many variables let’s create an assessment that calculated. And so

Andrew: And you’d sit and create it using your, your creation tool.

Randy: Well, so it depends some of them, we would show like an initial version.

Sometimes the logic is complicated. Like if you’re doing a car recommendation engine, there’s a lot of complex logic there because there’s so many different car options and we can’t do it right away. But we were, we’re very familiar with our tool and we like my cofounder pressed him and I both have a very strong.

Math skillset. So we can’t show something functional, um, pretty quickly. So that was helpful in, in person events as well.

Andrew: I see. Yeah, there’s nothing like saying, let me whip it up for you. Does this make sense? Now let’s talk about how we would change it instead of whether this makes sense or not, right. Whether you want it or not. I’m curious about how you found your cofounder, why you didn’t raise money, why you’re still even running venture packed at this point, considering that this is that growth producing more profit than venture packed.

Randy: Outgrow. Yeah. Outgrow outgrow has surpassed venture back then. So for the cofounder thing, it was, um, we were college friends and we both had this insight. At that time of, wow, these mobile apps are crazy at night. Well, to be fair, a lot of people knew that the mobile app store was going to be big. So, uh, but what was cool was that because we had both been on the tech investing side, working at like larger tech investing firms.

We could also see like every single company we were investing in or with a company that we worked with was investing. We were, we were basically financial analysts.

Andrew: I saw that you were with, uh, who was it? Hang on a second. You were with one of the major VC firms, but it was just for a few months.

Randy: Yeah. I was with silver Lake and I worked with them and I worked also with their Cleantech fund as well. And I think what I, what we, what we, what I learned when I was there. And when he learned, when he was in, he was in a, in a VC fund, um, Was that every single techno technology company that we were working with because we were investing into companies, had this question of, Oh, like tech talent is a challenge.

Hiring tech is a problem. Uh, and so we consistently would see it and it became very clear to us. Like, you know, they say after eight touch points, you really understand it. And so once you saw like eight companies struggling with it, and basically across the board, we kind of understood that, you know what, this is an issue.

And so we both had the insight and we both got along pretty well. We had done group projects together in college and, um, We said, let’s try let’s, let’s start working together and try it and see how it goes. Um, and then we learned a lot working together, give school founders, and we also have a unique advantage was that we, by working with a lot of co founders early on, like we would work with co founders of other companies.

We would also learn through the each IX each of those experiences. Um, and so that helps a lot, I

Andrew: What do you mean what’s another cofounder experience you’ve had,

Randy: So we would work with co-founding teams for

Andrew: right. That’s right. It seems like such an amazing way to learn. You’re coding up for other businesses, seeing what works and what doesn’t, they’re paying you basically to learn. But because you’re so deep in the company, you get access to data on what’s working within the software, was working within the team dynamic and you can understand that’s what it is.

You can understand what you want to do. What’s not going to work.

Randy: Yeah, it’s kind of an accidental, accidental education. We didn’t, we didn’t go into it. That wasn’t a part of the business plan of venture back, but that turned out to be like a really cool thing. It’s like, Oh, we learned through this as well.

Andrew: Alright, let me talk about my second company, a second sponsor, delighted, you know, delighted.com

Randy: I do.

Andrew: you do. How do you know delighted? How does everyone know them?

Randy: I met the light. I met a girl who works there at a conference.

Andrew: Ah, you know what? My last guest said that he met somebody who’s a good friend of his who was working at delighted. It took me a while to understand who they were, but I’ve been using their software for a long time. This guy, Andy user software, he said, I want to get a sense of whether people like my product, like my website, he was selling pants on the internet.

And so we wanted to keep making lots of changes and see, obviously, am I going to make more sales? If I make a change to my shop, to my shipping page, to my order page, but also since he was selling online, want to know, is this a good experience beyond making money now? Why is this such a good experience?

You’d tell your friends about some dude was selling pants online. And so he signed up for delighted. The beauty. The beauty of delighted is I think it’s easier to create these quick forms. Well, you get feedback from people. Are they delighted or not on a scale of one to 10? How likely are they to share your product with their friends?

Why or why not? You can do it via email website. More importantly, when you get all that data, it makes sense of it so that you don’t have a lot of data to go now with the, after we do, what are we doing here? Anyway, it turns out one of the brilliant changes that he made actually resulted in. A lot of people disliking his whole process, disliking his company.

And he knew it because the light, his forms quickly told them, Hey, negative, negative, negative move on from this. And so they changed and moved away. The company that he created, this pant company is Bonobos, but knows was, was an early company and early client of delighted. The reason I’m bringing this up is everybody wants to understand how their customers are feeling about their site, whether they recommend it, whether they like their product, it’s a pain to create this.

And it’s more of a pain to actually make sense of the feedback that comes in. The lady makes it easy. You can go and sign up and pay, or since your Mixergy listener, for a limited time, you can get free access to their software. I did this months ago. Using the code I’m about to give you months ago, they didn’t ask me for actually they did.

It asked me for a credit card. They’re worried about spam dude. Randy people can actually use their software to just send out a bunch of email for free and walk. So anyway, to make sure that I’m not a spammer, they asked me for a credit card, they didn’t charge a credit card. I’d gotten to use them for free for months.

And if you’re listening to me, you get to use them for free. Right now, all you have to do is go to delighted.com/mixergy, delighted.com/mixergy limited time. Go use it for free. If you decide that you want to scale up even more, they have these reasonably priced options, but frankly, go use it right now and experience it for yourself.

Understand what your customers, what your users, what your readers are feeling about you. delighted.com/mixergy. How are you dealing with COVID? Are you in New York?

Randy: Uh, I’m in the Bay area.

Andrew: You are like me,

Randy: yeah. Yeah. So we spent most of my time in the Bay area in Florida right now. Um, and. How am I going to go with well, so to be fair, I think, um, there are a couple of things. So first is I really tried to prioritize, um, you know, at home workouts, um, try just trying to stay same. Um, it’s very easy for me to work every minute of that I’m awake.

Um, it’s easy in the sense that there is, there is enough work for me to, to be occupied every minute that I’m awake. So if I don’t. Carve out time to work out. I’ll just spend my whole time working. So, um, so that’s the first thing that I try to do. Um, and the second thing is, um, from the business standpoint, it’s been a lot of trying to think through, okay.

Which of our customers are gonna are going through tough pain points of obviously every company in the travel industry that works with us is struggling, is going through a tough phase. Um, and then restaurants are going through a transition. Period, which is kind of moving, you know, moving a lot of their operations online.

And so what can we do to help with that? So that has been another thing we’ve been looking into. And then the third is also the team making sure the team, like we came up with this idea of like, Oh, let’s do a yoga session team, yoga session, virtually zoom, zoom. Yeah. And, um, we had a, you know, semi yoga expert on the team who was like, you know, I’ll, I’ll leave.

It’s like, great. We have a lead, we have everyone. And so everyone did it. Um, and it was just maybe a half an hour. I think it was that wasn’t a very long session, but, um, but the feedback after it was great and we’re like, okay, let’s do another one. And so, um, that was a cool, there’s just a cool idea to do.

Um, and we have been doing, we’re not overdoing it on like call like virtual calls all the time. Um, but we also understand, like, it is a challenge for a lot of the. The people with very young kids who are, you know, always trying to, you know, and who aren’t going to school, who are at home. Um, and so there is, there is a challenge for them as well.

So we do understand that. And, um, we try to think through how it relates to each individual person, the team, the customers, um, there’s a lot of impacts, but you know, it’s trying to do our best.

Andrew: Are you living with someone now?

Randy: Um, in, so it’s me in Florida and we’ll have one of my brother’s in Florida and one of my brothers in, um, in debate.

Andrew: Okay. So not a relationship, just you and your brothers. You’ve got in each city. You’ve got a different brother, so you’ve got some company, but since you’re brothers, you can also kind of ignore each other for a couple of days. If you want to.

Randy: Yeah. Yeah. So I think, you know, um, each we, we got along, well, we were pretty close. Um, so we don’t have, we don’t really get into each other. I’m working from home and they work they’re there. They’re in, in Madison. So they have to work. They have to go in. So we don’t actually. Um, there’s there’s this and that problem of like, you know, where you, you have a lot of husbands and wives are both working from home and they don’t have two workspaces.

So when you both, they cause it’s an issue and there’s a lot of fights over that. We don’t fight over. Where do we take calls? Cause I’m taking calls in there, like somewhere there in like physically at work. So we don’t have that issue. Thankfully.

Andrew: You told me when you were four years old, was it you were doing your brother’s math homework and their older brothers.

Randy: Yeah, we, we had, um, we, we had kind of a thing where, um, we were both, they were good at math and I was pretty good at math. And so, um, there was this, I don’t know if you remember this, but when we were, when that time is very common to have like, The same math question repeated like, Oh, this is a simultaneous equation.

Like solve it 15 times, but once you figure it out, the first three, it’s like very repetitive. Um, and so I would say, okay, I will, if I do this, can I like hang out with you and your friends? Um,

Andrew: If I just read, so they do one of it and then you go and do the other variations.

Randy: a yeah. And something like that, kind of. So basically it depends on the, it depends on the situation, but like usually what would happen is the. For each problems. So there’s like three examples and then they give you a problem set. And so I would read the examples and do it. And it’s not, it’s not, I mean like a four year old can do a nine year olds homework.

It’s not like that. Um, it’s not that challenging. Um, so I

Andrew: I feel like you’re not giving yourself enough credit four year old. Can’t do math at all. Usually they do basic math five plus five, right. But a ten-year-olds math problem and eight year olds math problem. That seems a little bit much.

Randy: I don’t know. I don’t know. I, after going through that, I do have this. I do, I do have a maybe biased perspective that I think. People can do a lot more at a younger age. Then we, uh, then the current

Andrew: I agree.

Randy: this is designed for, I have ran experiments where I take really young people and try to teach them like college level stuff and just see if it works.

And, um, I think maybe that’s a bit, that’s a bit extreme, um, that big of a V level, if you try to do like 15 years difference, but I think, um, five years is definitely doable for, for people. If they have a strong foundation,

Andrew: You know what I’m watching my kid do homework right now. They use Seesaw, which is great app, uh, to get assignments from their teacher. Return it back on the iPad. I’m looking over his shoulder to see how the app works. What they’re learning kids in first grade, he’s got count how many balls there are on the screen?

And he says, dad, this is too stupid. It doesn’t say it exactly like that. But he goes, this is beneath me. How many balls are on the screen? I’m six years old. And I couldn’t bring myself to tell, to tell him, do it anyway, because that’s what the teacher said. What I want to do is have them just say, tell me if this is ridiculous.

Just say, cause you can hit record on it. Just say, this is too easy for me. And then maybe show a better math problem that he did instead. Right? Don’t you think.

Randy: Right. I agree. I agree. And it’s funny because. Um, so I had a meeting with a company, uh, I would say maybe six or seven years ago. And they were talking about, um, the idea of like personalized learning and the concept was, Oh, like, if, if someone can solve a problem, like if I give you, uh, you know, a quadratic equation or a, or a math or Southeast division or whatever, algebra two or something, and if I’m giving I think a concept, and once you answer a concept, Easy question.

I’ll give you one more. If you answer that correctly, I go to medium. If you answered that question, go to heart. I’m not going to give you 15 easy, 15 medium, 15 heart, and that level kind of logic jump. And one of the things we’ve seen is because with our assessments, you can kind of build these math, math exams.

What we’ll tell people to do is on lodging, jump, create different logic sets. So if it’s a hard question, it’s multiple choice, then there is a chance the person doesn’t actually understand the concept. Because they guessed. So you want to see if, if the question is text input, where they’re actually coming up with the answer, it’s very difficult for a math problem to just get seven and 70.

Right. But if it’s multiple stories, it’s easier. So we basically explained, like, use a difference to the logic based on the answer options. And based once you have, once you say when, at what point are you confident? The person understands this concept and segment the entire test by concept. And so got more granular than algebra two.

It might be like quadratic.

Andrew: what people are doing testing within outgrow.

Randy: Well, that was our intention, but we have people using this for the skew skis, because you can build it. You can build, this is the same logic, right? You’re just building an assessment or a graded quiz. It’s the same kind of logic. It’s just a calculator. You ask them a set of questions. You see which ones they got.

Right. Then you can come up with a map of the bottom, but we have people, these are use cases that people are using our tool that we, that we didn’t design it for, but you can’t do it.

Andrew: It’s just because you made it so easy to create this. I don’t even know what we’d call it. Is it, it’s not a form. It’s not, it’s some kind of interactive. Yeah. What would you call it?

Randy: Well, so this is exactly the challenge. We, what we kind of say is we say people use us for demand generation predominantly. Okay. That’s the main use case. This is an example which is not in the metric remain these next generation. And what we focus on are tools that are kind of interactive tools that you can build with algebra.

So calculators, quizzes, chatbots, recommendation engines, and the assessments are a few examples of things that are. Interacted with personalized tools that you can create the challenges because it’s a relatively newer category. It isn’t, it’s going to like in 2008, when HubSpot was thinking of inbound marketing, now we think of inbound marketing, content marketing, and you say one word and people get it.

But at that time it was, it was novel. And people are like, what do you call that as a blogging is a content. Is

Andrew: The Dharmesh Shaw though. I interviewed him soon after he launched. He wrote, I think a book on it first and before that he did it as a class assignment, and then he evangelize it and created software that in my, from my, what I understood was pretty half-assed at first. And then the next version was really good, but all he had at first was an idea.

That he talked about nonstop. I feel like with you guys there and that one idea that you’re evangelizing, there’s a great tool that could be used for so many different things. The number one group people will go after as marketers or people who need what you call demand generation, because they have the budget.

They have the willingness to try their constant experimenters. Anyway, every little advantage pays off money, so that, so it makes sense for them to do it. But that, that one phrase, that one word is not there. Right? The one that you could evangelize to the sky.

Randy: That’s true. I think we, what will we use it? We initially said, okay, interactive content would be the category. Um, or, but that’s just, it’s just not a category that people search for or use. So interactive or interactive tools. So when people think of a blog post, it’s a static piece of copy. Um, and then when people, so inbound marketing is basically helping people come into you within inbound marketing, there’s static content where it, which is, which is basically the same comments for everyone.

And then there’s personalized content, which is where you show different content to different people. Kind of lining that second subset of inbound marketing, which is interactive content or interactive content marketing. Uh, the challenge is, um, we, we, we haven’t written a book about it. We haven’t created a conference about it.

And so, um, the, the, if you look at searches for interactive content, there’s not much. And or if you talk to, if you say, Oh, we’re interactive content, marketing platform, people don’t. So some of the people, so our marketing team was like, Oh, let’s try growth marketing platform and, or try different things.

See what resonates with people. Um, but you know,

Andrew: And you don’t have the, you don’t have the free version, which would allow you to put a simple form on someone’s site with a link back to outgrow. That’s another marketing technique that I’ve seen people

Randy: That. Yeah. And we got that feedback a lot. And so we’re going to do that. You’ll you will you’ll see us. We are, we have that, that will happen soon, but by the

Andrew: is promotion to

Randy: Yeah, by the time this goes live, it might, it might already be up. But yeah. Yeah, we, we w that, so we got that feedback from people.

So we do listen to feedback, um, quite a bit. Um, and that’s why we went beyond calculators and that’s why we’ve added a range of plans. So, um, we have people, people who come with really advanced use cases we’ll need, uh, large enterprise companies. We’ll leave. We’ll need a lot of services and larger plans, but then we also have people who are really small.

They’re like, Hey, like, I know what I’m doing. Like give me a plan that’s for me. And so that’s when we created the freelancer plan, we actually agreed the freelancer plan leader on for them. And now the free plan is when the feeling of people coming on in the fields are fine. They’re like, Hey, there’s COVID and you, can you help us

Andrew: Are you getting a lot of that?

Randy: Yeah, we do. Well, I would say, especially, um, For new, like young creators or new create people who are new into their course saying, Hey, you know what, I’m experimenting with a course I’m creating, or I’m excited with this new. I want to add this to my YouTube channel. I know, but I’m really new.

Like they’re there. They might have, you know, Less than 10,000 subscribers and they’re relatively new and they haven’t, um, they haven’t really monetized their, their, their, um, channel yet, or their course yet as well as they could have. And so they’ll come in and say, Hey, can you give us something to start with?

Because we like what you have. And we tried the free trial and we like it, but we can’t, you know, so then we help them. We help out the small people, the

Andrew: It is nice for people to have the confidence to go and ask for something for free or to adjust. I remember one year I said, I’m making money this year and I’m going to cash basis. And then I think it was Josh from bare metrics who sent out an email saying if anyone’s on a cash basis and wants to pay all up front for next year, we’d be happy to do it at a discount.

So I signed up for that. And then I started emailing everybody who software I was using, like help scout got an email from me, the founder. I said, can I just pay you everything for next year? Right now? It’s like, sure. You know, and it was fantastic, but it made me realize, yeah, you could go negotiate this stuff.

You might as well reach out to people.

Randy: Yeah. And we, we, we made initiative early on because when we were starting, uh, there were small business incentive programs with a lot of the, a lot of our, a lot of our partners are people. We, we, we, we were talking to early on, had small business incentive programs. And so we created a small business incentive program.

To help people saying, Hey, you know what, sometimes people might need a really advanced feature, but they’re like an individual or freelancer or a small business is what we say. Okay. We’ll, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll have a small business at the program for that. Um, and so obviously we can’t do that for everyone because.

We wouldn’t be able to be profitable if we did that. But if, if someone is, is really like a small business and they say, Hey, can you give us a custom, you know, can we apply to be part of the small business program then they apply. And if they are actually a small business, they will get accepted. So, um, and then we’ll, we’ll help them out.

Andrew: Alright, we should say you are going to be a sponsor at some point it Mixergy. And you’ve got a URL that you’re going to be offering. Um, it’s a small test that you’re doing with us. What’s the URL that you’re creating. What are you offering?

Randy: Sure. So it’s outgrow that co for last Mixergy outgrow is spelled O U T G R O w.com forward slash mixer G. Um, and the basically when you go to that link, um, you will be able to get a 30 day free trial instead of, instead of our traditional seven day free trial. So you get our extra time to really evaluate the tool and, um, Always strongly recommend to use the chat on the bottom.

Right. And ask us questions. The tool is very powerful. So sometimes people who come in for two minutes are like, well, this is overwhelming. But once they get to 15 minutes, I think they, they better understand it and we’re working on making that better. But I think that’s why the 30 day free trial will help.

And the chat on the bottom right. Will help. And then they also get additional,

Andrew: see what they could do with it. There’s also a coupon. What?

Randy: There’s also a coupon that they’ll be able to see it on the landing page.

Andrew: Oh, I’ve noticed that a lot of your forms result in a button that then triggers the Intercom chat for a live conversation.

Randy: Yeah.

Andrew: ones that you guys use for your marketing.

Randy: Oh, yeah. Yeah. So what happens? Yeah. So a lot of the times, especially when people come in and say, Hey, can I do I, do I qualify for what a small business center program? Where can you help me better understand your features? Um, we do say, you know, we’ll happy to help you and we’ll talk to you so that we can help them kind of better understand.

So our goal is to help people better understand the different use cases that can be done without you, and as well as how we can, you know, there’s, they can create a custom plan for us because we need this plan minus plus this fund minus this, and then we can do that.

Andrew: All right. Why, why are you keeping venture packed? Why don’t you sell them that? And focusing on outgrow.

Randy: Um, so we, we have, um, I looked at that option. We have basically thought of the people have approached us about this type of a model that you’re basically, uh, we haven’t, uh, we haven’t done that. Um, we, um, you know, we never see never, and the people say, Oh, you’re never going to do this. Are you ever going to do that?

And obviously we know that the world changes and everything changes, but for now we are focused now on basically reinvesting, uh, what we, uh, What we make on those businesses in back into the company and trying to prove we think we have

Andrew: But venture pack venture pact is profitable enough that it, it is profitable enough that you’re using the money for outgrow still.

Randy: Yeah. So both. Yeah. So both thankfully we we’ve made, we’ve done we’ve come up. Cause we bootstrapped, we thought about profitability early on and making sure we were, um, being thoughtful with, with our, with our spend. Um, and so, um, we’ve for both businesses, we we’ve had that mindset from the

Andrew: Meaning they’re both profitable on their own. Now, you know what? I have a theory on why. I was looking at where the employees of venture pact are and where the employees of outgrow are. And there’s a lot of similarities. And my feeling is that the venture pack people are obviously they’re there. You’ve got some developers on staff, some of them seem to work for your clients, but also work for you at outgrow that it gives you a pool of developers that you can tap into.

Am I right about that?

Randy: Um, so that’s, that’s true for a few people. Uh, that’s true. As, so we do have people who are, um, work work on both the venture backed platform and the algo platform. And w there are a couple of things that I think. The reason I would say because we never raised money as well. I think that’s another thing that helped us because we never had a point where we were like, Oh, we’re going to spend a lot more than we make.

Um, and so that helped as well, but yeah, we also are very thoughtful about not, um, we were never in the early days, we weren’t like, Oh, this is working, let’s hire 20 people. We’re always like let’s hire in stages and phases. And that also helped. Um, I mean, a lot of people

Andrew: but I guess I’m wondering why your, why your, why you’re allowing yourself to have two companies. When one is clearly taking off outgrow is why have the distraction of a second company?

Randy: Well, so I think we are in terms of time. So there’s two things you have to think about. One is the time investment and the second is having a good team. So I think when you have a for outgrow, I’ll spend more time on that because it requires more of my time and there’s a lot of. The things that I, that I think we can do to improve that for venture back, because it’s a much older company.

Um, we do have better systems in place so that, uh, I think what matters more is attention and time allocation. So, um, then, so we were able to do that because if you have a good system in place and you have good people, then you are able to reallocate time. So I think that might be why, uh,

Andrew: Okay. Are you saying it just doesn’t take up that much of your time and my theory that there’s some shared resources that true too.

Randy: There are shared resources.

Andrew: Yeah, they are right. I’m looking at even the universities that they graduated from, the employees of both companies have the same universities often

Randy: Yeah. So we do, we definitely do. We do recruit. Yeah. So we do, uh, we do recruit, uh, people and I think it’s a common thing. A lot of times bunnies will do is they’ll say, um, once they, once they get a few good people and they’ll say, Oh, this is a lot of these people are coming from, you know, XYZ graduate school or X,

Andrew: Let’s go

Randy: company.

And then we’ll go back again. So that’s really helpful. And so sometimes, uh, When, when we hire a new person to be like from a new company or a new, uh, a university, they are, um, you know, they have a lot on the line for their next classmates. Cause we are a small company, but for big companies, especially if you’re going to a big company, you make a good impression and that really helps

Andrew: And it’s largely in India, it looks like

Randy: Um, yeah, so we are, yeah. So us, um, and then a bit in Europe and then India.

Andrew: All right. Cool. Thanks so much for being on here. The website is actually, why don’t you give the URL where people can go and sign up for free.

Randy: Um, so our, our website is just outgrow.co and then to get the additional, um, free trial, the extended free trial. Uh, if you go on outgrow.com forward slash Mixergy, that gives you the extra free trial. So I would recommend going there to get that

Andrew: Okay. Alright, cool. And I want to thank the two sponsors, right? This interview happen. delighted.com/mixergy and SEM rush, where you can get them at SC mixergy.com/sem rush. Feel kind of weird about giving out your URL and saying you’re an upcoming sponsor because this is like, we’re thinking about this.

Well, not thinking. But basically there, but it’s weird to interview a sponsor, even I’ll tell ya, honestly, even as I’m talking about it, I go, wait, is that something I need to disclose earlier? Is this going to be an issue? I also do get paranoid. Is there a period in life where we just stopped being paranoid about running a company?

Randy: I mean, you know, I don’t know. I don’t know. I thought if you asked me, I thought, you know, after two to three years, that will stop. And I said that every two to three years, I think there’s two to three more years and now I’m come to a point where I’m like, you know what? I don’t think it ever happens.

Andrew: I don’t think I thought it was when I started out. I thought it was enough money in the bank to know that you’re going to be okay. That if you, if you don’t get any more money that you still could survive, it doesn’t go away. It’s just this feeling of, Oh man, there’s potential doom. This could be terrible.

What if I said this thing here? I wonder if I wonder if that’s just part of the job, part of being an

Randy: It’s, it’s a, it’s a huge challenge. I agree with you a hundred percent and you know, there’s interesting things like, um, Paul, George is a basketball player. Who’s, who’s making, I don’t know, maybe 20 to 40 million, probably 30 million a year. I’m not sure exactly, but around that number 30 million a year, and he’s been doing that for maybe eight years.

Um, so I think he’s, he’s basically set for life at this point, you know, and he talks about his mental health issues. He was talking about mental health issues yesterday, and I thought I’m like, wait a second. So. This person from 20 to 30, which is like, you know, he’s been making close to 30 million a year.

Most people at 20 are earned college and they’re negative. And you know, and he, but he, he still has mental health issues. So the mindset isn’t about security or reaching a number because that number is when you reach it, you’re just like, you know, maybe I can to exit. And then that’s because you always say you’re always going to move to X right at the beginning.

You’re like, Oh, I just want to meet like. $10,000. And once I make 10,000 and then you go up and you keep on going up and it never ends. And, um, so I think about it like running after a moving target, you’re like on a treadmill and you’re never going to reach the end of the treadmill because the chuckle just keeps going.

Um, and it’s a challenge. I don’t think there is. Um, there is any point where an entrepreneur is, um, fully satisfied.

Andrew: And are you still worried? Do you still wake up in the middle of the night? Do you still have issues where you’re like, what if this goes away? What if I screw it up?

Randy: I would say I go through phases.

Andrew: do when you, when you go through a phase, what’s it like for you? I’m just reading you and I don’t see that in you when, give me a little vulnerability here when you go through it.

What’s that like for you?

Randy: So I think it depends on the situation. I would say. Um, when am I vulnerable? I think when I feel like. I think there’s a sense of overwhelmed. Like I feel overwhelmed and I think there’s a responsibility that, um, did I feel so first with every, so I feel like there’s a responsibility that any co should have to not only every employee, but to every customer.

And, um, and I think that is where you feel overwhelmed when. As soon as it’s, once you have a lot of customers that you can’t even, there’s like impossible for you to service all of them. And when you have, uh, you know, people that it’s impossible for you to kind of like really communicate with each of them every day, that’s you are always trying to make sure people are.

Enjoying what they’re doing. People are learning at outgrow people. Well like the, the employees, but then also the customers feel like they’re getting value from the tool that they’re able to execute on what they want to do. And, um, so there’s, those are the things that get me anxious when someone misunderstand something.

Right. A lot of the times people will communicate to do an email. They misunderstand something we say, or they misunderstand, um, an aspect of the tool. They’re like, wait, this tool, I can’t do this. And then we’re like, Oh, you’re in a layout that is, you know, real time. And so you have to move to this other layout.

We have the solution, but they might not even be listening to able to listen because they spent time in one flow and all these things, part of that’s on us. Cause we were like, Oh, we should have probably educated them better about this, but those all sort of struggle or hard for us when we see a customer misunderstand something.

And, um, I don’t know all of the above.

Andrew: So it’s all these different voices, all these different needs, all these different people who maybe you’re letting down intentionally, or maybe they just don’t realize that you didn’t mean to let them down, or you made you have the thing that they’re looking for, but they don’t even realize it. It’s all of that weight on you.

And you wake up in the middle of the night. Is that what it comes down to for you? Or just throughout the day and you have to keep working and that’s why you can’t sit down and watch Netflix.

Randy: I think, I think I, so I think it’s an, it’s an energy that, um, there’s a bit of anxiety and, um, there is. I think it’s a bit of anxiety in terms of sleep. I really do try to make sure I see, I mean, talking today versus early days, but today I really try to make sure I sleep. Um, well, um, in the early days I didn’t realize the importance of sleep and because I thought that.

I didn’t really read the science and everyone says like, Oh, like, your sleep is for the week. Um, and you don’t, if you sleep properly, you will be more productive and you will, uh, you will perform better and it’s healthier. And it’s just helps in so many different ways. And you’ll be, and you’ll, if you know that you have to sleep a certain, you have to sleep well, then you will make sure the most important things in that day get done.

And then the things that don’t get done because you have to sleep are the things that aren’t as important.

Andrew: I found having a kid helps with that too. It just forces you get it all done because you can’t do any, you can’t do it tonight. They need you, right. You have this hard stop. You have to get out of here. You promise that you’re going to be back and pick them up from preschool. There’s they’re arresting you.

If you leave your kid in preschool all night, they’ll finish fast and get out of here and let go of the things that don’t matter.

Randy: Constraint is a greatest enabler. Once you apply a constraint, you have to go home by a certain time forces. You it’s a forcing function. So I do believe constraint is important.

Andrew: Alright, outgrow.co outgrow. Thank you, Randy so much for being here. Thank you all for listening. Bye everyone.

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