In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr chat with Tony Beltramelli, Uizard’s Co-founder and CEO. If you can picture a perfect up-and-to-the-right curve, then you can visualize what growth looks like for this AI-powered product design tool created for non-designers. To learn what is powering the company’s success we asked Tony to dive further into a LinkedIn post he published where he asked the question, “What did we learn and what did we do differently?” It turned into an amazing discussion.
Product and growth people can easily see the appeal of a rapid-prototyping tool that can turn even hand-drawn sketches into websites, mobile apps, and software designs, but despite that promise, Uizard (pronounced Wizard) was still struggling to grow in its early days. As a technical founder, Tony was frustrated that he could not just fix the problem by writing more code.
Fortunately, with learnings from “Hacking Growth” and insights from Superhuman’s CEO on building a Product/Market Fit Engine, Tony and his team discovered what was actually driving must-have experiences for users. That proved to be a huge confidence booster, and with those learnings, the company’s trajectory shifted quickly and drastically.
What we love about this conversation is Tony’s honesty and enthusiasm. Even though his LinkedIn post took pride in the company’s huge achievements, he wasn’t bragging. It seems that Tony wanted to share what he learned on this “wild ride” to inspire and help others. Turning customer learnings into processes, investing in data, and narrowing the company’s focus have all been key elements of Uizard’s success, but it also appears that creating a great culture to support those efforts has been equally important.
As of our recording, Uizard is looking for Growth Engineers and Marketing Designers to join their team, so if you are looking for an early-stage rocket ship, you may want to get in touch. Jump in and let’s find out what is behind Uizard’s breakout growth success.
* Sharing a hockey stick graphic and learnings from a wild ride and on LinkedIn (08:30)
* Junior founders and early assumptions (11:52)
* How the Product/Market Fit Survey helped change the growth trajectory (12:38)
* Uizard’s evolution from original concept to a prototyping product for non-designers (18:51)
* Magical features and word-of-mouth growth (24:07)
* Deep understanding of the must-have user experiences (30:46)
* Leading breakout growth at Uizard (37:02)
And much, much, more . . .
Introduction 00:00:08 Welcome to the Breakout Growth Podcast where Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr interview leaders from the world’s fastest-growing companies to get to the heart of what’s really driving their growth. And now here are your hosts, Sean Ellis and Ethan Gar,
Sean Ellis 00:00:26 Right in this week’s episode of the Breakout Growth Podcast, Ethan Gar, and I chat with Tony Bertramelli co-founder and CEO of Uizard. And so if you’re trying to find it, it’s, it’s the word Wizard, but instead of a w it’s spelled with a U in the beginning, so that’s a little bit confusing it, Hey, it keeps things interesting. okay. So this company is at a really fun stage. It’s my favorite stage in a startup. Um, they’re just seeing the puzzle pieces come together. It’s manifesting in an excellent growth curve and you could just feel his enthusiasm throughout the conversation.
Ethan Garr 00:01:02 Yeah, definitely. And this is, is a super fun discussion.
Sean Ellis 00:01:05 Yeah. And I mean, part of that is that he really loves his product. Um, but that part, part of the mistakes that he is made along the way too, is, uh, sometimes too much love for the product where, where you’re not paying attention to the audience as much. Um, but let’s, let’s talk a bit about the product. So imagine being able to scan a hand-drawn sketch, or drag and drop design elements on a graphical user interface to quickly create designs for your website, mobile app or software product. So Uizard does this by using AI and other technologies. And that means that non-designers on product marketing and growth teams can bring their ideas to life. So it’s a bit like Canva and, you know, how allows mortals to quickly make marketing materials that look like they were professionally designed, but these guys are doing it in, in product design. So what got us excited about speaking to Tony was this really honest and heartfelt LinkedIn post, where he started to share some of the things that, uh, we talk about in this conversation with, with Tony. So, uh, Ethan, you wanna tell our listeners a bit about this post?
Ethan Garr 00:02:09 Sure. Uh, Tony started in that post by saying that 2021 was a wild year for him and his team. I think it was wild for everybody. Um, and he shared this graph. It was a hockey stick growth chart, which might as well have been just straight up and down and not very much to the right. I mean, it was the growth curve all of us would dream about, but his post wasn’t bragging at all. In fact, what Tony was really explaining was that getting it right, meant getting a lot of things wrong first and learning from it. And you know, what was cool is he put your Product/Market Fit question into action and really honed in on not only what the must-have experience was for the Uizard users, but really on understanding it in a way that would help him and his team use that information to make really smart and good decisions along the way. And you know, so deeply understanding Product/Market Fit and measuring it consistently, which is something you and I have been talking about a lot turned out to be the confidence booster that he and his team needed to transition to and drive breakout growth success. And that again, really ties into the themes you and I have been discussing, especially in our growth snacks of, of late.
Sean Ellis 00:03:09 Yeah, absolutely. And thank you again for, for, uh, correcting him. And, uh, he had attributed my Product/Market Fit question to someone else. So that’s really for funny that when we’re interviewing him and he’s talking about this great question that he learned from this other person, um, it, it was cool to, uh, to, to see that it’s, that it’s, it’s really become something that, uh, has grown beyond me to where lots of people are using it. And so
Ethan Garr 00:03:34 That question helped me. So I, I sort of, I feel like I owe it to you to, to give you all the credit in the world that
Sean Ellis 00:03:39 right. No, I appreciate it. And, um, how he used it was, was amazing. So I was super stoked not just to hear about the PMF survey, but how he’s applied hacking growth. And, uh, and both of these together are writing this super exciting chapter for Uizard and they’re, they’re taking these concepts that it’s easy to read about something, but to actually put them into action, to drive value in your business and to drive success in your business, that’s where it’s really hard. And so he deserves all the credit in the world for that. And so, um, particularly the stage that they’re at right now, where they’ve, it looks like they’ve really dialed in Product/Market Fit and now transitioning to growth through the, at initial growth inflection. That’s an area that I’ve spent a lot of time focused on over the years and really developed a playbook where I can go into a company pretty quickly and, and work through the different areas to, uh, to, to really crank that growth curve and kind of get them, get them to the point where they can think about growth in the longer term over time, but, but figure out those initial channels.
Sean Ellis 00:04:42 And so these guys have done a, a really good job to dial in that, that really understanding the Product/Market Fit and, and building the initial growth curve off of that Product/Market Fit. So, um, it can, it can definitely improve the odds quite a bit when you execute well through that area and, and get you kind of on a faster growth curve, um, more quickly. Um, but, uh, Tony’s experience really shows how these tools and concepts, uh, can, can make the transition to growth more manageable, but it’s also equally important to understand how to operationalize growth, particularly on the back end of, of figuring out how, how to drive it in the first place. And that’s an area where you you’ve spent a lot of time. What, so while I may be focusing on the transition, you’ve focused a lot more on, on operationalizing growth and, and helping a lot of companies in that area, um, recently, and, and with some, some really good success.
Ethan Garr 00:05:34 Yeah. I mean, certainly I’ve tried um, but you know, if I’ve learned anything along the way, it’s that operationalizing growth or trying to operationalize growth too early before you’ve really dialed in all those things that you work on in the transition, um, is really just a, you know, it’s folly. I mean, you, you just end up looking, it ends up looking like a bunch of scattershot tactics and not really a solid plan. And that’s an easy trap for companies to fall into. I think they do it all the time. So it sounds like Tony was kind of there until he started saying, we need to back up and really focus on some of these fundamentals, but, you know, his post starts with, what did we learn and what did we do differently? Which I think is just a great question. We should all be asking ourselves all of the time. And a lot of it was about being intentional with speaking to customers, focusing on a really narrow, I think you said, awkward target and learning to trust and use data. And I think, uh, you know, that’s a good recipe for success for, for most every company.
Sean Ellis 00:06:24 Absolutely. Um, so yeah, this is a, a really great bro breakout growth success story. And I I’m, I’m excited to see where he and Uizard cut go from here. Yeah, I’m definitely a fan. And I think our audience will really appreciate this conversation, particularly, particularly those in earlier stage startups that are moving into growth and you, you just really see the power of Product/Market Fit throughout this conversation. So Tony comes across as super genuine, and I get the feeling that he’s creating a culture where employees are gonna be just really stoked to be a part of that culture and make contributions in that culture.
Ethan Garr 00:07:03 Yeah, absolutely. And to that end, Tony told us offline that they’re actively looking for growth engineers and marketing designers to join their team. So if anyone in, in our audience is interested in joining what seems like just a fantastic cool company, um, with really smart leadership, uh, this could be a cool opportunity. So check it out or try to get in touch with us and we’ll try to make a connection for you.
Sean Ellis 00:07:24 Absolutely. But, uh, for now let’s, let’s jump in and learn more about Uizard and don’t forget that we’re now posting our episodes, uh, and, and the gross snacks on YouTube. So you can actually see Ethan and I are funny looking mu uh, do the, do these things with our, with our, uh, guests, um, on video. And, uh, so you, if you go and subscribe to the YouTube channel, I think you maybe get a little bit more out of it, obviously, if you want to, uh, listen to this podcast and take a walk or drive in your car, um, we don’t recommend video for that but, uh, Sitting in front of a computer that that’s maybe a more fun way to, uh, take in some of these conversations.
Ethan Garr 00:08:04 All right. Let’s do it.
Sean Ellis 00:08:16 Hi, Tony. Welcome to the Breakout Growth Podcast.
Tony Beltramelli 00:08:19 Hi. Hi gentleman. Thanks for having me pleasure to be here.
Sean Ellis 00:08:22 Yeah, we are excited to have you here and I’m joined by my co-host Ethan Gar. Hey Ethan.
Ethan Garr 00:08:27 Hey Sean. Hey, Tony. Good to see you here.
Sean Ellis 00:08:30 Yeah. So, um, I am really looking forward to digging into the business. Uh, you, you made a post on LinkedIn recently that, uh, really jumped out out when we, when we saw this incredible growth curve that you have, and, uh, you were able to, uh, highlight a couple of things that helped drive the inflection point in the business. So, um, we’re, we’re excited to dig into that, but, but really before we do that, it would be great if, maybe give us a little bit of context on, uh, what even, even how would to pronounce the name of the business
Ethan Garr 00:09:01 And,
Sean Ellis 00:09:01 Uh, and then, uh, and then, you know, what it’s all about?
Tony Beltramelli 00:09:05 You know, what I like to say that our name choice is our best and worst decision because PE people don’t know how to pronounce it, but because of that, they often tend to remember the name better. Um, but yeah, yeah. Anyway, the comedy called Uizard with a U as a first letter instead of of a w okay. And we are a product design tool for non designers. Um, so unlike Canva, which helps non designers create, you know, market marketing materials, social media post, we help non designers, design mobile apps, uh, websites and, and software, uh, software interfaces in gen in general.
Sean Ellis 00:09:38 Awesome. And then, uh, can, can you give us a bit of context on, on the, uh, post that you’d, uh, put on LinkedIn that, um, you know, it, it sounds like the growth that you’ve experienced in 2021 was, was incredible. Um, so maybe not, we we’ll we’ll dig into more of it as we ago in the conversation, but like a, a quick preview of, uh, maybe what was behind the, uh, the, the key inflection in the business.
Tony Beltramelli 00:10:03 Yeah, of course. So 2021 has been absolutely wild to say the least. Um, we launched out of beta after a long process of iteration optimization, and we’ve seen like explosive growth as you described. Um, and we’ve learned a ton. Um, and honestly, some of the learning that I’m sure will dig into were pretty dense, pretty simple, uh, you know, after the fact yeah. Speak to customers, um, stick to an awkward narrow target market, um, and then look and trust your data. Um, that’s probably what the two, the three most important takeaway.
Ethan Garr 00:10:40 Cool. Um, would you say that there was something, whether it was it your team or the culture or systems that really allowed you to see and, and seize this opportunity, or was like, did something change that allowed you to capitalize? Or was it just, this was the natural progression?
Tony Beltramelli 00:10:56 That’s a good question. Well, first of all, when we studied optimizing our product, we also realized there was a lot of things that we were not doing. Right. And as a technical founder, it feels frustrated that you couldn’t just fix it with code. You couldn’t just fix it by just, you know, writing a better algorithm. And, and I guess, like discovering the hacking growth methods and putting it side to side with another method, which is often called the Product/Market Fit engine developed by Raul VRA, uh, at superhuman, and then using those two when we’re like, you know, trying to figure out exactly what we’re doing. I think it’s the biggest lever that allow us to just change the mindset of the entire team and just, you know, move the needle, um, as fast as we could.
Ethan Garr 00:11:38 So there wasn’t something like that you felt like was really in the way of, uh, of you finding the success at the time, it was just about sort of find iterating your way to, to the, the right processes and approach to get you there.
Tony Beltramelli 00:11:52 Exactly. I think we were all like very junior first time founders, assuming we could just build a product and then magic magic things will, would happen. And then we just realized, Hey, no, we need to just put some process in, uh, in, in the way we, and in the way we change the product, it’s just not like, Hey, we have a great, idea’s do this customer gonna love it. No, they need to be a process. And for us, it, us a long time to realize the value of processes and the value of actually having mindfulness in the way you do things, um, instead of just hacking things and hoping for the best. Right.
Sean Ellis 00:12:24 So, so when you, uh, referenced Raul’s, um, Product/Market Fit engine, what were, what were some of the things that, um, specifically what you found most helpful in the approach that he’s advocating?
Tony Beltramelli 00:12:38 I guess what, what we liked the most is, is being able to have one KPI to look at because you are an startup, what is your north star KPI, right? Should it be monthly active users? I don’t know. Number of templates, uh, is really hard to you tell when you don’t even know where the business is gonna evolve. Right. And so I guess this methodology makes sure we had one KPI and one KPI only to look at and optimize for, which was how many percentage of people would say that they, they would be very disappointed if they could no longer use the product and this, because since suddenly you have focus and, and then you can optimize towards optimizing that number, that number alone, and then figure out what your north KPI would be later. Um, I guess discipline is pretty much what we got from that method.
Sean Ellis 00:13:24 Yeah. Yeah. So it’s interesting. So Ethan has been using that approach for a long time. I know at, uh, oh really? Yeah. Robo killer. Um, it was, it was something that, uh, you know, ultimately it was something that really helped Ethan and his team hone in on Product/Market Fit. So, um, Ethan is that, do, do you, did you find the same thing where it was just, just having that single metric to optimize on?
Ethan Garr 00:13:49 Yeah, absolutely. I think, um, that question, which, uh, you know, Sean actually, uh, wrote, so, uh, I, I have always have given
Sean Ellis 00:13:57 I say it
Ethan Garr 00:14:00 Yeah. Sean, um,
Sean Ellis 00:14:01 Gives me credit for that as well, but, uh, but yeah, I think he’s actually added quite a bit to the process. So I, I really like his contributions as well, but go ahead. But,
Ethan Garr 00:14:11 But what I always liked about that question is that it’s really that leading indicator of Product/Market Fit. So, you know, actually, uh, also something Sean’s very involved, uh, the go practice simulator course, um, really talks about how you measure Product/Market Fit. And I, you know, and the best measure of course is retention, but it’s a lagging indicator. So I always love that question cuz it was a leading indicator and especially in those early FA is, is for a company when you’re moving fast, you’re iterating quickly. I think having that leading indicator that you can go back to constantly and say, how are we working against that metric is really helpful and you’re right. I mean, if you have 50 KPIs to look at, it’s like looking at it, it, you might as well have, have, have nothing it’s just noise. So I think really focusing in on that north star and I always kinda say like until you have Product/Market Fit, Product/Market Fit is your north star metric.
Ethan Garr 00:15:02 So having that as your KPI, your main focus KPI, it’s really useful. And, and yeah, once we had our first iteration of the product, I, we asked customers, uh, that question and, you know, I was really encouraged because I think the number was probably in like the 20% range said they would be very disappointed. And I thought, well, if it was 5%, then we have to, we have to change everything. But at 20%, like there’s a, there are some people who are saying, this is a must have experience for me, how get that to the next level. And it just, and we were fortunate and moved quickly. I mean, we had a right product at the right place in the right time, but, um, it moved quickly and um, I
Sean Ellis 00:15:39 Think it’s the market part of Product/Market Fit
Ethan Garr 00:15:42 Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So, no, it’s, it’s really great that, uh, that you were able to use that question to really drive growth because
Sean Ellis 00:15:49 I think, yeah. So Tony, would you say that the, the biggest driver of that inflection then was actually getting Product/Market Fit, right. And then, and then that allowed you to start focusing on scale or, or what, what role did Product/Market Fit actually play in that inflection?
Tony Beltramelli 00:16:06 I, I guess it was like the, as, as the conf it gave us the confidence that the product was good enough for prime time essentially. And then if it was good enough for prime time, then we could, we could grow. Then we could actually start, you know, going a bit more crazy in the iteration experimentation. And so, because before you have discovered confidence, you know, are you, I know people always like to say, if you don’t feel awkward about your launch, you launched too late. Right, right. But you also need to make sure you don’t like disappoint people too much on, on your first go to market.
Sean Ellis 00:16:37 Yeah. So they never wanna look at you again yeah,
Tony Beltramelli 00:16:40 Exactly. Exactly. So it provide us the confidence to just say, Hey, it’s time to go out of private beta. This is ready for prime time. And of course we, we feel in different other ways, but at least it give us a confidence. Do
Sean Ellis 00:16:52 You remember what, what starting number was the first time that you ran the survey on what percentage would be very disappointed?
Tony Beltramelli 00:16:59 We were at 27% on the first, uh, run. Um, and, and that’s
Sean Ellis 00:17:03 A good, that’s a pretty good opening gambit as, as, uh, Ethan was saying, I think his, his team was around 20% when they started. And then what, was there something in that 27% that, that they revealed about their experience with the product that helped you really hone in on, on how to make it better?
Tony Beltramelli 00:17:22 I think what we, you know, hit us in the face when we started looking at data and doing it on a more regular basis is that we had found a needle in the haystack. As in, when we started building this company, thought we were going to be the target customer, like developer designer working better together, that kind of stuff. And so we felt in this Henry for trap, like we know better what to build because this is for us but then nothing happened. Users were not active. Retention was really bad. And so using this method really showed us like, Hey, the minority of a customer, which are non designers, non-developers are actually the one getting value what’s going on here and then tailor the product towards these people. Uh, it really what enables the product to become actually useful, uh, even more to even the rest at some point.
Sean Ellis 00:18:10 Gotcha. So the, the, the big insight revealed from the early surveys was the, who really needs this thing
Tony Beltramelli 00:18:17 Pretty much. Yeah. Which is also why we also realized speaking to customers is really overlooked often.
Sean Ellis 00:18:23 Right, right.
Tony Beltramelli 00:18:24 Yeah. You wanna just keep looking at data and just try to find answers that might not be even there. Yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:18:29 Because once you identify the who, then, then the conversations with customers, you’re not, you’re not going out and talking with every potential customer, you start to really figure out the profile of, okay, these are the guys who, who really need this, let’s understand everything we can about these guys. And, uh, and, and we, we start to identify who the market is. So that’s awesome. Absolutely.
Ethan Garr 00:18:51 I, I wanted to back up a second, cuz one, one thing that I found interesting is you said, we, we thought we would be the target customers, but I’m curious when you go back to the very beginning, I think you told us, um, earlier that, you know, you started the business yourself even be, it was a while before you had a team, but what made you act, actually think about building this pro and, and going into this market? I mean, I, you know, I was telling you earlier, I I’ve been using a product with a client in mine called SSO there’s I’ve used other tools to, to wire frame and, and, and draw, you know, draw out products. I’m curious, what made you think that there was a need for this? Why did you start it in the first place?
Tony Beltramelli 00:19:28 We went through major pivots. So, and the company started, actually, we didn’t thought we were going to build, you know, uh, an easy to use design tool. What we built back then was we, what I started working on was purely machine learning research, which was like, Hey, can we just turn sketches and design into, into, into codes to some extent, like, can I sketch something out on a piece of paper and get something designed out of it? And, and so the thought was like, I’m a developer. I don’t want to code the front end, help me do that. And then that’s why it started so much as a research project to just fix my own problem, that we, it took us a long time to realize if it’s so easy for a developer to just get from a to B, it can probably bring a lot more value to own developer and a non-designer. And this is really where things started to make sense and, and, you know, the pieces fit together. Um, essentially. And so it took, so it took us a while between me alone and a team, because it’s been going from research to actually realizing, Hey, there’s a product potential. And then assembling, you know, co-founding team and then moving forward to creating an actual product.
Ethan Garr 00:20:33 And it sounds like you said, like talking to customers really helped accelerate that process. What was like the key que what were the key questions you were asking your customers? Or what were the key things you were surfacing in those conversations?
Tony Beltramelli 00:20:44 So one of the things that it, I guess it’s, it’s not so much about question, but we also try to just remove biases when you have founders. Sometimes you tend to hear what you want to hear. And so what we also did when we spoke to customers in is like, let the team like the, or lead designer or, or, or engineers just speak with customers themselves, because it will hear things differently. And so, uh, yeah, I don’t remember exactly what we’re asking because we still run some of those survey, um, like, you know, fraud, face to face interviews or automatic surveys. We ask a lot often and questions change depending on what we’re digging for. But I guess the biggest value was really like speak to customers, but get multiple people from your team to speak to customers because you will highlight different things. Um,
Ethan Garr 00:21:28 I actually, um, when you, you, you mentioned that in the post about getting other people on the team, asking, asking, you know, speaking to customers. And I always found that to be a real challenge, just cuz people are busy and it’s, but the more you dig in with customers, the more, you know, the more you surface learnings, but it’s interesting that you say that cuz one of the books that, uh, I, you know, uh, I think on turned me on to years ago was, uh, the startup owner manual by Steve blank. And he’s really adamant that founders have to get out there and talk to customers directly. And I don’t think what you’re saying, I is saying you shouldn’t do that. I think what you’re saying is, uh, bring other people into that tent and you’ll have even better results. So it’s a, it’s an interesting learning.
Tony Beltramelli 00:22:07 Yeah. And, and, and I think, you know, we’ve always heard like, Hey, speak to customers, speak to customers. And of course we were doing it, but I guess we’re not doing it enough. And we perhaps were not like ingesting those feedback in the product group as, as much as we should have. I I would say, yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:22:22 Right. So, so once you started to feel like, okay, we’ve, we’ve got the right product now. Um, what, what was the first thing that you did when you decided, okay, let’s, let’s start to scale this business.
Tony Beltramelli 00:22:34 So it’s really trying to just leverage data. We, we, you know, again, nerdy, founding team, we’ve collected a lot of data and then how can we just put a process around this data to actually use it for something mm-hmm and so can
Sean Ellis 00:22:48 You give an example of the, the data that you’re you’re referring to?
Tony Beltramelli 00:22:51 Well, yeah, exactly. So product data, right. Uh, when people click on, on a, like the journey from, from signup to becoming active, what button did they click? What kind of action did they take first? Did they actually use a premed template or when, straight to create something from scratch, basically all the usage data from the product itself. Okay.
Sean Ellis 00:23:08 So, so really like under, are standing, maybe working backwards from your most successful customers, what was the journey that they took to get to that experience?
Tony Beltramelli 00:23:16 Absolutely. And then, and then this is pretty much the moment where we started the well speaking with other founders and learn about the well, the hacking growth methods, which was again, putting a process around data and then modify the product to just smooth KPIs, which was again for us, like a, a big, like a send God. So to say mm-hmm, a God send.
Sean Ellis 00:23:36 Yeah. So were you, were you then focused on, on actually, uh, channels to reach those customers? Or were you looking at more of a, a led growth approach?
Tony Beltramelli 00:23:46 Really much like a product led? How can we just make that product as good as it can possibly get? Um, and try not to create value once, but like, you know, multiple times to make sure that people get value over and over again. Um, we haven’t focused a lot on the channel part. Um, as of today mm-hmm
Sean Ellis 00:24:03 so how, but how do new users discover the product then?
Tony Beltramelli 00:24:07 Well, we have a lot of, of, of word of mouth, uh, because something I didn’t mention, well, I mentioned briefly since we have some of those, like AI driven, magical features, often people will be mind blown and just take a video. And actually one of the big channel has been really word of mouth for a while and then was growth through built into the product. But last summer we were really surprised to see so many people finding us about, about, about Uizard from their kids, seeing TikTok videos of people being mind blown by the features, uh, which was, and then the parents being like, Hey, I can use this for my work. uh,
Sean Ellis 00:24:43 So I actually, it’s interesting that I, I saw a post yesterday on, um, on LinkedIn where somebody mentioned that, uh, they discovered kind of a, a, a feature in one of the Google products for, um, kind of turning a sketch into, into a, a more of an icon type type drawing. And, and like so many people chimed in said, oh my God, this is amazing. You know, so I kind of saw that in motion of what you’re talking about. Sounds like, so you’re, you’re doing something similar there, but in, in their case, they’re, they’re maybe mapping more into kind of emojis and things that might be in chat where, where you actually have a, uh, a, probably a more, um, valuable use case to businesses where, where they can turn a rough sketch, something that’s, that’s a lot more, um, actionable in, in product design.
Tony Beltramelli 00:25:30 Yeah, exactly. I think what people often are like mind blowing is the, uh, so we have one feature where again, like, as you said, you just sketch out some rough wire frame and the, the product will just automatically turn this into a design that you can use. And there is another one where you create something crappy because you’re not a designer and, and just take a screenshot, upload it, and everything will be applied automatically. Like, Hey, make my shitty design look like Twitter and things
Ethan Garr 00:25:55 Happen automatically.
Tony Beltramelli 00:25:57 And people are pretty mind blown by this. So
Sean Ellis 00:25:59 How do, how do you leverage that type of an insight to drive growth?
Tony Beltramelli 00:26:03 The tricky thing about word of mouth as you guys know is that you can’t it’s really to measure, and if you can’t measure it, you can’t really optimize it. Right. Right. So, uh, I guess it’s really trying to just shorten the discovery time. Mm-hmm from new users to that feature.
Sean Ellis 00:26:17 Perfect. Yeah. That’s, that’s what I was thinking that it, I mean, essentially if you know, that that feature drives a lot of buzz and word of mouth, then how do, how do you, how do you get more people actually experiencing that feature to, to unlock that chain
Tony Beltramelli 00:26:31 Precisely. Yeah. Yeah.
Ethan Garr 00:26:32 Cuz one thing I noticed, uh, a while back, uh, Sean had mur on the, uh, on the podcast and I think Miro does this really great job of getting people to think about inviting collaborators onto. And I noticed with, I noticed as I was using Uizard, uh, just yesterday that you’re really focused on, um, on telling people, being really intentional in letting people know that the product is better. When you, when you work on it as a team, have you, have you dialed that in with those, those experiences, like, Hey, let’s really trigger this when a user turns a sketch into a wire frame, like, are you, have you gotten to that level of sophistication where you’re driving those, Hey, you should share this. Or you should invite team members based on specific actions.
Tony Beltramelli 00:27:19 We’ve tried a few things. Um, but we run a of the, we haven’t seen a result where we could actually really drive like massive changes to, to, to team invite for instance, by do, doing those, like in product triggers. Um, so it’s still pretty much like working progress. Um, and I guess the challenge as well is that there’s so different, so many different use cases, right? Uh, uh, so founders just creating something by himself or her of them might not actually necessarily want to have the team come and just, you know, goof around with whatever they created. And so I guess it is really use is dependent where we see like this, um, invite request being actually used and, and leveraging the, the growth loop, uh, that we, that we, that we want.
Sean Ellis 00:28:03 Interesting. And then, um, so let, let’s take it a little bit backwards again. And I mean, again, I think the thing that really jumped out to both Ethan and I was that growth curve that, you know, you, as you said, you’ve been, you’ve been, as we were talking about before that you you’ve been working on this since, uh, kind of mid 2018 in a more formal way. And even even before that, uh, informally, but just this year at one point, it just turns a corner and it doesn’t sound like you, you poured fuel on a fire of validation where you said, okay, we validated this thing. Let’s start spending, you know, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars, um, getting the word out there. So, so something really happened with that spike. And I think as you said, you, you know, you have the, the teams more engineering background and analytical. So I, so I assume that you’ve, you’ve probably really dug into to really trying to understand that spike. And, um, so if, if you could really attribute that to just the, the most important factor in that spike, what would you say that it, that, that it went into Product/Market Fit? Or, or is it something else?
Tony Beltramelli 00:29:13 That’s a really good question. Um, and yeah. Are you absolutely right? We, we, we grow rapidly to, and we don’t really understand all the variables yet. And as a matter of fact, we actually, uh, uh, have, uh, hired, uh, head of marketing and she only joined like three weeks ago now. So until now it’s been really like, you know, product led. Um, and, and, and I guess it’s, it’s a condition of multiple things, uh, as, as Ethan also said before team invites started to be, to being used more widely. Um, but also like people embedding the Uizard design app on the web and then using those embedded prototype as again, like a hook to just acquire new users that has been also like, you know, helping a lot. Um, so it, it is a bunch of different things that really like, uh, enable that, that the needle to be to move. And again, like word of mouth is just insanely powerful. The problem is how can you just replicate it and scale it. Right,
Sean Ellis 00:30:10 Right, right. Um, so
Tony Beltramelli 00:30:11 Did
Sean Ellis 00:30:11 You see, did you see a mark change in retention cohorts over time? Like, like where, you know, in, in the beginning, when you were starting on things, so it tends to like correlate cool us with that survey question that we talked about where in the beginning, after a month, maybe only 20% of the people who signed up are still using the product, but then later when you start getting the right people onboarding in the right way, you get that up to 40% or 50%, did you, did you see those kinds of changes in, in the business or, uh, you know, that that’s kind of hard to track as well? Did you, did you even have the tracking in place to be able to see that
Tony Beltramelli 00:30:46 We actually do? Um, and, and we see the different difference. And I think the difference is, is again, like very dependent on use case. We started seeing, like, for example, like product managers, product owners there, this is like a place where we can definitely see a really, really own retention while you have, you know, founders creating their first MVP. And then they, they leave, they go fundraise or whatever, and then they come back only maybe a few quarters after. So this retention is really like dependent on use case, which is against something we’ve tried to double down, uh, because if use case is such a big viable indicate retention, how can we also like incentivize people and, and model mode the products to say today on use case, which is obviously nontrivial because there’s, you know, so many different things you can do. Right. Sure.
Sean Ellis 00:31:30 sure. And if you, if you, I mean, that’s one of the things I learned at Dropboxes that, um, there were so many different use cases. It could be a file share. It could be, you know, synchronizing my files across my own devices. And if you tried to communicate all of those use cases at once, people would get overwhelmed and say, man, this product sounds super confusing and complex. And so, um, you kind of had to, you had to spoon feed the right use case, and then over time, maybe introduce them to the full capabilities. Um, but it’s, uh, yeah, but the figuring out the right use case for each is not always easy.
Tony Beltramelli 00:32:05 , it’s not, it’s definitely not, especially when you definitely see that, Hey, we could get traction here, there, and there, which one do we go after first? Right.
Sean Ellis 00:32:13 yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And I, but I do think that if you, if you can drive that retention, as we talked about, then the longer that you can retain people, the more likely that they have time to actually spread the word to do some of those collaborative use cases to, to discover some of the wow features that you’ve talked about. And so, um, you know, and then, and then on the other end, sometimes you have really viral products with no retention and they always Al almost always just, uh, just kind of Peter out and, and, and die. So the, the powerful combination is retention multiplied by that virality and, and sharing. And it sounds like kind of both of those have, have happened. And, and, and to me, that’s probably, uh, you know, from, from the outside without looking at the data and just interpreting some of the things you’re saying, it’s that combination that’s probably really critical behind that spike.
Tony Beltramelli 00:33:08 Absolutely. Yeah. It, it, it’s always a combination of multiple things. Right. I, I, I wish it was simpler often ,
Ethan Garr 00:33:16 But it, it sounds like one of the reasons why you’ve been successful and, and you’ve been able to capitalize on these learnings and, and ride the spike is that you’ve really, um, really focused on testing and, and learning as quickly as possible. And I think it also in that post, that post is very we’ll we’ll, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll, uh, put a link to it in the, in the show notes, but, uh, the posts were really full of a lot of, of different things, but you really talked about high tempo testing and how that’s been important for you. Can you tell us a little bit more about why you think testing quickly? And I think you said not focusing on quality of tests, but quantity of tests was really valuable for you.
Tony Beltramelli 00:33:54 Yeah, of course. And, and of course there a pitfall here because, um, I think Sean rod in, in, in the, uh, hacking growth book that, you know, the goal is not to also throw Pty as the wall and see what sticks right. You also quality still is important. Um, uh, but I guess it’s really like the trend of thought is you only want to start optimizing and perfecting solution. That seems to be yielding good results. And when you are so early as a startup, you have limited resources. So you don’t want to just over-engineer and over most things that are actually not worth it. Um, so that’s why initially we’ve always tried to just optimize for quantity and velocity over quality, of course, by still, you know, having some kind of mindfulness over what’s still worth experimenting with, because otherwise you just get, you, get, you, you, you release like very crappy solution as well. So, uh, it shouldn’t be all random either.
Sean Ellis 00:34:44 right, right. No, that’s that’s for sure. And I, I think sometimes people get so obsessed on, on the quality that they, that they actually, you know, spend four months debating a test and then maybe eventually launch it, but, you know, they could have, they could have from 25 tests during that time. So it’s really hard to predict exactly what’s gonna work and what’s not gonna work, but, um, sort of holding yourself accountable to a consistent delivery of tests. And within, within that target number running the very best test you possibly can run. I think that’s the, the balance, but you don’t want over index on just velocity or over index on quality. You wanna find that right. Balance of consistent learning. And, uh, and, and at the same time, uh, you know, getting, getting those tests out the door and, and hopefully having some good ones in the mix.
Ethan Garr 00:35:37 I think the interesting, the interesting thing there, Sean though, is, uh, you know, cuz I, we we’ve actually been talking a lot about that balance between high tempo and high quality, but I was curious Tony, because I, I noticed your background is, uh, you started as a software engineer and then you’re a data analyst. So do you think you’re able to run tech at that velocity faster and more effectively cause of your background and because you have that data analytics background to make sure that even if you’re running them fast, you’re getting good answers to your hypotheses.
Tony Beltramelli 00:36:08 That’s a very good question. Um, honestly, I don’t know. I, I would say I, I mean, I I’ve, I’ve also met a lot of like, like growth people with a, like a marketing background that we’re like super data driven, super number driven. So I’m, I’m not, I’m, I’m not sure that having a technical background per se has been helping, although it definitely helped because you could, we could actually just run queries ourself as technical founders and just, you know, build stuff ourself directly. And I think as an engineer, the, the reason why I said like this hacking growth method was, uh, a gut send is because we finally realized that we could optimize our company growth the same or would optimize code, you know, by using data and a clear method. Um, but apart from that, I guess like any like number minded person was still, you know, have the same advantage. So to say at, at the, at the,
Sean Ellis 00:37:02 Yeah, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll give you my experience. It’s always hard to kind of compare experience that you don’t have, but what I can say, the, the one advantage of, of having the development skills in, in that early team, as you’re running the experiments is that, you know, marketers can often come up with good ideas. I’m, I’m not an engineer by background. So I’m, I’m more of that data driven marketer type, but I still then have to convince engineers to implement a lot of the product led initiatives where, um, you know, so there’s, there’s some selling that takes place where if you have a team with those, uh, implementation capabilities then, and the data driven and the creativity, then, then you can just sometimes move a little faster.
Tony Beltramelli 00:37:45 Yeah, that’s true. Actually, I think you’re right. And, and for a very long time, we’ve been only like, you know, less than 15 in a team. So I GU I guess you’re right. This is probably where it really helped us because we could actually leverage the method, even though we’re just a handful of people around the table.
Sean Ellis 00:37:57 Yeah. And then, um, from a process perspective, um, you know, trying to find that right balance of quality and, and quantity, did you, did you kind of run the, the, the, the meeting process that we talk about in, in hacking growth, where it’s kind of more of like a weekly, uh, meeting where you’re processing the information and did you use things like ice scoring, or did you, did you modify some of that a bit to, to something that felt more appropriate for your situation?
Tony Beltramelli 00:38:22 We’re exactly doing what you said, like running like, uh, weekly sprints. Um, and then the scoring, we kind of like, we didn’t want to overcomplicate things. So we were just like scoring on like, uh, complexity of implementation, uh, potential, um, qu like, um, impact on the KPI. And then we’re just like, summing those two. very naive, but it, it, it works,
Sean Ellis 00:38:43 But that’s really, I mean, that’s, that’s a spirit behind the ice score is that you’re really, you’re really looking at yeah. The most important are, are yeah. Impact as you just talked about and then ease of implementing the confidence is the only thing that you didn’t reference there. But no, we didn’t. The confidence is so hard to predict anyway, like it’s, you know, a lot of times things that, that I’ve given a low confidence score to end up end up working and, and, and really providing a lot of impact and then other things that you’re sure gonna work, you try ’em and they don’t work. And so, um, so I, I think you, you know, you got, if you, if you only had to pick two of the variables to optimize on, I think you picked the best two
Tony Beltramelli 00:39:23 . I I’m, I’m glad to hear, I think we took confidence out because we realized, like there was way too much discussion in those ghost prints about like, you know, whether we were, you know, confident
Sean Ellis 00:39:32 Debate with a test and, and you learn more,
Ethan Garr 00:39:37 Uh, actually this is interesting. That’s an interesting point. And Shauna a question kind of for you, do you think that the, you know, cuz you really championed ice early, do you think that confidence becomes a more important part of the discussion as teams grow? Um, because over time there become, first of all, there’s a bigger backlog, there’s more, uh, there’s more complexities. So debating that confidence in that becomes more of a factor over time.
Sean Ellis 00:40:01 Yeah. You know, it’s um, yeah, there’s, there’s one, uh, set of tests that I remember where, um, you know, we had a 90% drop off on a, on a signup and we ran 10 tests. None of them moved the needle. So our confidence was in the floor, you know, we’re, we’re like the next test is not gonna work. But then, then the next test, we, you know, we, we dug a little bit deeper. We, we did some qualitative research uncovered, why people are not downloading at a certain step. And, um, and then the next test actually gave us a, a 300% improvement on the download rate. The test, after that the confidence score went way back up again, because it was more of a double down test where, where we had some new information and some new insights. And even before that, that, that test that gave us the tripling, our confidence went up quite a bit because you know, it is.
Sean Ellis 00:40:53 So I think a lot of times it’s about diagnosing the problem that you’re trying to solve. And, um, when you, when you uncover a great insight, whether it’s through, uh, a qualitative insight or a quantitative insight or a combination, I think that can impact the confidence. And, um, and so like, I, I, I think that’s, that’s probably an underappreciated part of that is like what, what role can research play particularly in, in, in a startup in the early days where you have a pretty small sample size. And so if you can run some research that helps you contextualize an opportunity, a lot more, or a problem, a lot more, um, you’re gonna run better tests than, than just sort of, again, that, that spaghetti on the wall of just lots and lots of tests. Um, one of the bigger risks there is that you, you start wasting yeah. Testing sample size, that that could have gone to something that could be more impactful on the business. And so, um, a lot of times the big companies over index on too much research, but interestingly, I think it’s the small companies that can often benefit more from the research because it can help them direct those, those limited testing resources and, and limited sample sizes for those tests.
Ethan Garr 00:42:04 Such a challenge though, to find that balance. I mean, I used to, you know, when Sean and I worked together 20 something years ago now, so just dating ourselves a little bit. But, uh, uh, I, you know, I used to, I used to run in with my daily idea R and come in and say to Sean, Hey, I got this great idea. What do you think? And he’d be like, sounds good to me test it, you know? And I’d be like, can’t you just tell me if it’s gonna be a good idea or not, right. Just doesn’t work like that. So I think, I
Sean Ellis 00:42:31 Think where it really comes down to is it’s, it’s, what’s the easiest, cheapest way to validate that idea. And sometimes it’s through a test and sometimes it’s through, we think this is a good idea because we have this assumption that customers are confused about this. And so sometimes it’s faster to, to actually run a usability test and see are they in fact confused about this? And so it’s, it’s really, what’s the cheapest way to uncover the, uh, the, the context that’s gonna let you know, if an idea is good or not. And, and often it’s to run a test, but often it’s a, it’s a bit of research as well. So yeah. Anyway, we, I let you in on this conversation, Tony, sorry.
Tony Beltramelli 00:43:08 I was gonna say, I, I don’t remember who, who, which partner at Wey said that and, and who, which founder told me this, but, you know, they have those weekly meeting at YC, whether we meet the partners and just tell them like, Hey, this is what we’re trying to do. And I apparently there is a story where they said like, Hey, we need to do those three things. What do you think is the best? What should we do? And then a partner look at them like, who do I know to, to who do, who do you think I am to know what’s best.
Ethan Garr 00:43:30
Tony Beltramelli 00:43:31 Do everything. Yeah. Yeah. And see what works.
Sean Ellis 00:43:35 Yeah. Are sorry, are you a part of YC? Is that
Tony Beltramelli 00:43:37 No, no. This is like just a reference to, uh, to, uh, to founders at YC.
Sean Ellis 00:43:41 Yeah. Yeah. No, I that’s, uh, I know they’re doing a lot more in Europe these days, so that’s why I, I thought, uh, maybe, maybe you guys were in there and I had missed that part. Um, but yeah, I mean, it’s, that’s one of the things that I actually think is really cool is that, um, is that, you know, a lot of the, that used to be really centralized in Silicon valley has become a lot more widely dispersed with, you know, some, some, you know, organizations like, like Y Combinator and like, uh, and like first round capital and, and hopefully Ethan and I with this podcast really kind of takes some of the, some of the best learning that’s out, out there and, and make it more accessible to everyone around the world. So, um, absolutely.
Tony Beltramelli 00:44:20 That’s cool. Yeah. We went to the interview over there and failed miserably when we were like in two, 2018, I think, honestly, in retrospect, we had no clue what we, what we’re trying to build at the time. So that makes sense.
Sean Ellis 00:44:31 Yeah. But, you know, it’s one of those things too, that like, uh, you know, they, they don’t get everything right. And, uh, and they get a lot wrong in terms of bets that don’t pan out. And so just like, just like the, the individual bets that we’re making on, on, on tactical experiments, you know, that the, the investing is, is also still just a big get. So,
Tony Beltramelli 00:44:51 Absolutely.
Sean Ellis 00:44:52 Yeah. So you you’re betting on people a lot of times there. Um, but you know, I wanna go back to, uh, you, you talked about that, you’ve now brought in, uh, a marketer to, to compliment the efforts that you guys are doing. What was the profile that you were looking for and why did, why did you feel like a, a marketer would be a good to the team to help take you to the next level?
Tony Beltramelli 00:45:14 So, one of my co-founder was a closest we had from, from head of marketing for, for a long time, but he is of course doing a lot of other things. And, and we could see that, you know, the, the mindset that he had was really like moving the needle, because it, it was forcing us to just think from a distribution standpoint, a channel standpoint. And, but, but we, when we hired ahead of marketing, I guess the biggest important must have for us was being data driven. Um, someone that really can, you know, love crunching numbers and make sure that decisions are backed by data. Um, and then, you know, optimize using data.
Sean Ellis 00:45:49 Yeah, absolutely. And I, and I think especially when, and things are going well, that’s one of the, one of the biggest risks in hiring a marketer is that they come in and they, they, they break something. And so that was, that was my fear. When I went into Dropbox, I saw so much potential. I, I joined the week of, uh, of coming out of private data and I just didn’t wanna break anything, you know, I didn’t wanna to, to ruin this engine. And so I, I think I ran a survey every day for the first 60 days, like took the, took the early users and broke ’em into smaller lists and, and, uh, and then built really good tracking. And just the, the idea of, you know, you have to understand before you try to drive, have too much improvement, um, or, or you can, or you can kind of break things. And so, um, I’m, I’m glad that you say that you were looking for someone who’s really data driven because that’s, that’s the first step in, in understanding and then building on what’s working as opposed to, uh, you know, start, start making changes and actually break something that’s working
Tony Beltramelli 00:46:50 Break something. Yeah. So
Ethan Garr 00:46:51 With your, with that product led I approach, and now bringing on a marketer, if, I mean, I think you’ve proven that it’s hard to predict even a year from now, but if you think about a year from now, do you expect marketing for you to be very different, or do you like in terms of what you’re doing, the channels you’re focused on, or do you think it’ll probably be more figuring out how to really continue to leverage those channels effectively?
Tony Beltramelli 00:47:15 That’s a good question. Well, I guess until now, because we didn’t have enough strong DNA in the team, uh, on, on the marketing side, we’ve, we’ve tried things and collected data on what seems to be working, but we never done it to an academic level. So to say, right. So I guess the point of having a marketer is really like to really optimize and, and squeeze every bits we can of the channel instead of just, you know, scooping the, the first thing that we can grab on. Um, I guess that’s, that’s the goal here really like, and, and again, figure it out exactly what channel can bring, can bring predictable, um, like traffic and, and eventually active and paid users. Um, so that’s gonna be a, probably the big focus for the next 18 months,
Ethan Garr 00:48:00 Tony, what I, um, you know, that’s from the marketing side, I think that’s, you know, an interesting, you know, that makes sense that you’ll, you’ll see where it goes, but you’ll probably, we double down on the channels more, you know, more deliberately, um, I was curious on the product side, uh, you know, you said, you know, in 2018, you didn’t even know where the product was going and, and look where you are now. Um, and I, the product seems to have a very clear direction and I know sort of in this sort of world of wire framing and, um, sort of the promise or the, the, the dream is that one day you’ll be able to take your wire frame, press a button, and it’ll become an app. Right. And I don’t know, I’m curious if with the product long term, do you see more of what you are today, uh, or do you see with your knowledge of AI and machine learning and what you can do? Do you eventually see the, this becoming a more integrated solution from, you know, know, from idea all the way to delivery?
Tony Beltramelli 00:48:53 That’s a really good question. I, I guess the, the value we’re really providing is the fact that design is really ubiquitous. Every company need to design good software, otherwise they just lose customers. I have friends that routinely would choose a bank over another based on the quality of the mobile app and not based on the know interest rate or fees or whatever. And so, because more and more people into design the ideas really like to just empower all those non designers to just be part of those, of making their product better and their offering better. Um, and as you said, like run, we help them get, turn their brainwaves into a design that can test and quickly integrate it. Uh, but eventually, yeah, we would definitely like to imagine a world where they just go on the platform, turn their brainwave into something tangible, and then hit one button and it just hit the hap the app store after a few hours, that’s definitely a dream. Um, but there’s, there’s a few steps along the way to get there
Sean Ellis 00:49:49 I, I know what, what I was gonna ask before the, um, so the domain for the business, um, the, the Uizard with a U, but, um, I owe as the, as the, um, domain name. I’m I’m curious. So, so.com was not available. It’s kind of a, a, an strange enough name. I was, I was curious why, why you don’t have.com.
Tony Beltramelli 00:50:11 We actually have.com it just redirect to IO, so,
Sean Ellis 00:50:14 Gotcha. Oh, you do. Okay. Good. Why, why would you go with IO over.com any?
Tony Beltramelli 00:50:19 So we went for IO because we, you know, we built this platform where you just take something from the real world, and then it just digitizes it to the, to the virtual world. So to say, so we thought like, okay, IO input, output. That that’s, that makes sense. But I guess we were a bit maybe too, too engineer
Ethan Garr 00:50:36 Heavy
Tony Beltramelli 00:50:36 When we thought about
Sean Ellis 00:50:38 The.com. So if you, uh, yeah, as your marketer comes in, that might be a good, good place to start having a conversation around, uh, you know, what, what would you know, whether one directs to the other or, uh, either way, um, you’re, you’re in good shape. Absolutely.
Tony Beltramelli 00:50:52 We have the, we have the dotcom ready for the IPO. perfect.
Sean Ellis 00:50:55 Um, so one question that we like to, to wrap up on and, and as a regular listener of the podcast, I’m sure you know, this, this, uh, this question, but, um, what do you feel like you understand of about growth now that you may not have understood a year ago or, or before that
Tony Beltramelli 00:51:13 It’s really like, growth is growth company growth is similar to optimizing code, uh, which again, really appealed to me. Um, and I guess the biggest learning is that in retrospect, we should probably have assembled a dedicated data team way earlier to make sure we could just, you know, move even faster.
Sean Ellis 00:51:29 Right. So I’m, I’m gonna use that as an opportunity to plug a recent post that, uh, Ethan, Ethan wrote, which, uh, which really, um, brings an engineering concept into, into growth. Do you wanna, do you wanna give a, a quick highlight on that, Ethan?
Ethan Garr 00:51:44 Uh, sure. I wrote a post, uh, it’s on breakout growth.at where I said, uh, in growth, you should write the report before you run the experiment. And I’m, I stole that, uh, from a, um, an engineering lead at TeleTech years ago, he said to me, uh, he was telling me about test driven development, where engineers like yourself, write the test case before you write the code. And I always thought that’s a great way. It’s a, it has such great forcing functions in terms of writing high quality code that meets a set of requirements. So for growth, why not think about the result, get that in focus so that you ask you’re asking the right questions and you have the best chance of delivering on that. So, um, yeah, it’s just a, I, I think it’s a, an interesting way to approach this and maybe solve some of the challenges that, uh, that you know, that companies face when, when experimenting quickly
Sean Ellis 00:52:35 And, and I, that’s an
Tony Beltramelli 00:52:36 Interesting approach.
Sean Ellis 00:52:36 Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think it starts to highlight like the, you know, again, where, where engineering and development and growth, um, are, are, you know, it, it is really accessible. I don’t, I don’t think it’s the exclusive domain of, of engineers to be in growth, but I think, I think they bring a lot to the table when it comes to growth just as, as marketers can bring a lot. And then the power comes when you, when you kind of bring the best of both worlds there. Um, you know, one other thing just based on your comment that, uh, I think is, is important, is that, uh, in, and, and I’m guilty of this for, for a long time, I advocated that, you know, data doesn’t really matter until after you get to Product/Market Fit and you can kind of be more qualitatively driven up to that point.
Sean Ellis 00:53:20 But I think through a lot through my, my work with Ole go practice, um, I I’ve become a lot more appreciative of the role that that data can play on that journey to Product/Market Fit. And particularly when you have off the shelf tools, like, like an amplitude that has a really generous, free, um, free version that, that can allow you to, uh, at, at basically very little engineering costs and no financial costs, to be able to get that visibility into retention, cohort cohorts, and into segmenting, what, what drives that retention. And you can start to make some of those discoveries that you talked about of like, oh, it’s, it’s this user type that, that ultimately is long term retained. And it’s it’s, this is what the journey looks like. That leads to that long term retention. And, um, and those insights are really critical to not just getting to Product/Market Fit, but then scaling on top of it.
Tony Beltramelli 00:54:15 But I guess you also have a point though, because if, if you are really like a B to B, initially you might have almost no data because you have so little customers you’re selling, you know, massive deals. So then, you know, being a lot more, um, qualitative makes sense, but I guess, but
Sean Ellis 00:54:30 I think even there being able to find who are the, who are the five customers that are the most active that’s true. Yeah. Let’s work that from there, like you don’t need huge data sets to, to get really helpful insights from, from data.
Tony Beltramelli 00:54:43 That’s absolutely true. Uh, although I, I, you know, I can’t help things. There’s so much more companies that have a B2 C2, B motion these days, and then data becomes so critical. Right.
Sean Ellis 00:54:50 Yeah. And I think that’s, that’s a big part of why, why they’re moving in that direction is something that Ethan and I have have written about in the past that a lot of the, a lot of the best B2B companies are, are really either modeling after B2C or even have a free component that then the, the reach that, that then gives them the data. So they can, they can execute in a, in a B2C type way. But, um, we could go on and probably talk a lot more here. um, but this is, this has been fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing the journey. Uh, Ethan, any last outlast words before we wrap up?
Ethan Garr 00:55:24 Yeah. I just wanna say Tony, I think your original post that excited about having this conversation with you. You’re so generous and, and not only talking about, Hey, we had this great spike and we’re proud of it, but you really laid out a lot of the things, the mistakes or challenges you faced. And, uh, you know, I, you know, coming from the engineering background and the, and being a technical founder, you, I think you’ve pointed out some of the biases or, or errors that you’ve may have made in, in the journey. But I think they’re so useful for people listening because, um, they’re good mistakes to make. And, uh, and I think, you know, you, the, the key is how you’ve responded and learned from them and, and really turned those into, into action. So congratulations on all the success. I, I think the product is fantastic and I’m really looking forward to seeing where you go with it.
Tony Beltramelli 00:56:06 Thank you so much for having me and the, and, and thanks for the kind words
Sean Ellis 00:56:10 Of course. And yeah. And I, and I, I think just to echo on, on Ethan, that post was amazing. Thank you for the transparency there. Um, so much great learning. And so, uh, reminder, we will put that in the show notes, um, I’ll link to that post, and I’ve gotta assume that was your most popular, uh, LinkedIn post ever in terms of engagement.
Tony Beltramelli 00:56:28 It has been you, so thanks a lot for engaging with it.
Sean Ellis 00:56:32 Absolutely. No, that’s, uh, that’s, that’s awesome engagement that you had on there. So it just shows that there’s a veracious appetite for that kind of learning, um, from, from the trenches of someone who’s going through it. So that’s awesome. You took a step back to share that. So, um, for everyone tuning in, thanks for listening and, uh, again, thanks Tony for, uh, sharing your, your insights.
Tony Beltramelli 00:56:51 Thanks everyone.
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