The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 4 months ago

Ep 204: Tactical Advice On Finding PMF and Building Community w/ Lloyed Lobo, Cofounder Boast.ai

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Ep 204: Tactical Advice On Finding PMF and Building Community w/ Lloyed Lobo, Cofounder Boast.ai 

Part of the TGIM (Thank God It's Monday!) series hosted by Tom Alaimo.

Part everybody, welcome back to the pavilion podcast. Thank God it's Monday. I am your host, um a Lamo. Work over at gone and I'm excited to bring you the show. But we learned the tips, the tricks and the tactics that revenue leaders need to be successful in their roles. Got A great interview today my man Lloyd Lowbow and before we get into Lloyd, let's just talk about the episode today. A lot of PODCASTS, mine included, are very high level, right. They're very they're talking about people's careers and they might be inspirational, they might be entertaining, but they're not only super educational and tactical, and this is not one of those podcasts. Is extremely tactical. This is a masterclass. My my mouth was, my job was on the floor at times when I was talking with Lloyd, because he broke down both the tactics to build product market fit at a startup as well as how to use community to build your customer base and to build, you know, a company that doesn't become a commodity, right, and it was really, really tacticle and I really enjoyed it. I mean, Lloyd has a ton, he's you know, he's done it all in terms of entrepreneurship. He started multiple companies. Most recently he cofounded post capital, which turned into boast dot a I, and recently, as of two thousand and twenty two, has now become a board member and dropped off of being the president of the company. Also started the traction conference, traction COMP DOT ioh think they've got like a hundred seventyzero people that are part of the community. On their newsletter and on their youtube channels see millions of views. It's crazy. So if you want to get tactical, if you want to learn how to build product market and fit and community, you joined the right place. Before we get to that, I got two things to tell you. At number one, give me a follow on Linkedin. My Name's Tom Alemo. I work over a Gog. Number two, hit me up if you're interested in sales. I have a sales podcast called millennial sales. You could check that out if you're a young salesperson that's getting after it. And now a quick word from our sponsor and then move go straight to the interview with Lloyd. All right, this episode is brought to you by Sendoso, the leading corporate gifting platform that inspires human connections for revenue driven teams to stand out at strategic points through the customer journey and check them out at sendsocom. Now back to the show. All right, fresh off of his move to Austin, Texas, we got Lloyd Lobo on the PODCAST. Good morning, Lloyd, how are you? I'm doing well. Thanks for having me. Yeah, I'm excited to excited to chat with you. Any friend of mark over at Duley's is a friend of mine. He's a great guy, so I'm glad he connected US and glad we chatting with you today. Likewise, man, have been big fan off pavilion and I'm excited and happy you guys invited me. Yeah, yeah, for sure. There's a lot that I want to get into today, so let's let's just cut straight to the chase on a lot of it. So you made a recent shift here in two thousand and twenty two from from President of boast too to being on the board and now the day today operations. But you spent so much time building it up and bootstrapping it. We have a lot of members that are at companies that are trying to find product market fit, experimenting with that at early stage startups. Could you talk about the process of boots trapping to product market fit? Definitely. You know what I learned, because Bost was not my first outing. I've been a part of four or five venture back companies, right, and first two companies I was running product and growth and they had raised a lot of...

...money. And then I did a company which when the which got into an accelerator that failed, who was a chat bought. Then I did a company that was funded by Bessemer and sales force. I joined that founding team and we had raised six million on idea. That failed and I realized through that journey that customers are looking for an outcome, they're not looking for software, and your job is to get them that outcome by any means possible. Right. Companies are built in phase is. They're not built like you know. You can't scale from zero too hundred on day one. You got to nail it and then scale it right. So what are the phases then? Phase one is your job in phase one is literally validating the market. Right. Who is your ideal customer profile? What are the problems in pains they're facing and how are you going to deliver them a delighted state. Your job is to get pilots. Maybe your job is to get Beta customers. Your job is to validate the market that, hey, I am interested validation. Once you get that validation, maybe you know it's ten pilots. Maybe it's fifty pilots, depending on sort of where in the price point it is or what kind of solution it is. Maybe it's an enterprise solution. You got five ten pilots. Maybe it's a smaller sort of SASS product. That's five tenzero and you got fifty pilots. Right. So your job is to validate the market. No other metric matters. Can I get people interested in the product to try it out, to pay me to try it out? If you're in SASS, the next phase is getting to product market fit. They're what matters. The only thing that matters is you have high retention. Your customers don't leave you. Right, these people are paying you and then they don't leave you. Once you get to product market fit, maybe you're half a million, a million in revenue, but you have very, very higher retention. Then your job is to figure out one repeatable, scalable channel right of growth, and they're your number one metric is do I have repeatability in customer acquisition? Can I figure out one way to get keeping grow customers right? And of course you have the higher retention. Plus you have one repeatable, scalable channel. And maybe you know that takes you two, three to five million in revenue and then you raise your series b maybe, or your continue to boot trap. But then you're at a point of scale. And when you're scaling, the way I look at it is you're spending seventy five percent of your time scaling what you've nailed right. You figured out one thing. You're putting fuel on that fire and you're spending twenty five percent of the time testing new things, like how do I increase the Tam? How do I get new channels? How do I maybe at a second product, have a second act? Those kinds of things, you're spending twenty five percent of your time. So if you break it down, how do you get validation right? What is the process for customer validation? And this is how I like to do it. I first figure out what is the ideal customer profile. And people make this mistake. You know, when we were at speak easy, were building a calling out for salespeople. And when we launch the APP we got tenzero people download it and when I looked at the user profiles, they were all butchers, bakers and candlestick makers. Everyone was using the APP for calling. We're like, Hey, there's a company funded by BESTMER and sales force. We want to make sales people more productive by automatically updating their crm, prepping them for the call and generating an ex set of action items. You got cabbies using the APP for calling, you got you got pastors using it to run mass service. You got, you know, Bernie Sanders was using it for election campaigns. It was ridiculous. And then we saw the churn was very, very high and we couldn't draw a customer profile there.

And, you know, we argued and argued and argued and we said we're going to make it paid instead of free, because everyone's downloading the free app because it's free. It's three calling. WHO Doesn't want free calling? So when we made it paid, three hundred people's paid and stuck around and they were all salespeople. Right. So the way I look at it is you got to understand when you're ready to grow and when you're not ready to go. Your first phase is validation. Second is product market fit. Right. If you before product market fit starts spending money on growth, you're going to fill right. You got if you don't have retention, you're going to fail. The way I look at it is you have one ideal customer coming to your product to get a specific job done. Right. When are you ready to go? Your one ideal customer profile coming to your product to get a specific job done, and then the second thing is any time they want to get that specific job done, they keep coming back to your product. The first one is ideal customer coming to your product to get a job done. That's your validation. They're trying it out. But if, any time they have that problem, they don't keep coming back to your product to get that job done, then you're not a product market fit right, you don't have higher retention. So that's that's what I look at it. So my process is basically there's there's two ways to do it or a few ways to do it right. What's the fastest way? The only thing that's matters and building a startup is speed and doing speed with with great precision. Right, if you if you sort of try a hundred things and nothing works, you're going to fail. So you know, I developed this philosophy and and it's not something that I came up with. Everyone's come to this realization. Maybe up to ten million dollars you can get there serving one kind of customer, coming through one kind of channel, getting one kind of value. Right. So boast bost mission is to help innovators change the world. Every dollar spent in innovation returns twenty to the economy, vaccines to robots, to clean drinking water, right. So we want to help companies accelerate innovation. In the last fifteen years more than fifty percent of the fortune five hundred of evaporated because they haven't innovated as fast. But the first step was, hey, how do we get collect their data? Now, globally hundreds of billions of dollars are given in government funding and already incentives, but it's a manual, cumbersome process to apply for these already tax credits. It is prone to expect sense of audits from the government and it takes a long time to get that money. So we said if we integrate with the company's technical systems and financial systems and pull that data in real time through the year. Then we can apply for these near automatically with limited burden on them. You know it. It won't be a cumbersome process because they are not looking back after the year is over and trying to figure out what qualifies when it gets audited. We have all the documentation and it won't take a long time because we're stream laying the process. And now that we have that data, then we're like, you know what, they still got a weight to apply for this from the government. Then we raised a hundred million dollar fund. We said, you know what, we know that they have qualifying rd work which qualifies for these tax credits and funding. Why don't we just give them the cash ahead, right, so they don't wait to get it from the government? Now that we've given them the cash, then the next act is, Hey, now we have their data, we've given them the cash. How do we help them innovate faster? How do we look at their data and tell them what projects they should invest in, who they should hire? Right? What is the row I on their R and d? Basically R and D intelligence. So That's how you phase it and and that's tied to you know, your job is to make your customer successful. HMM. Right, and customers want an outcome. So if you fall in love with your solution, you'll always be stuck with that solution. But if you fall in love with your customer and make them successful beyond your product or service, you'll keep building things that solve...

...the problem and make them successful. Right. So look, Lord Tonnec, that can I cutch you for for one question that I have here. So when you're talking about the validation step, let's stick to the example of the the calling APP that there's a bunch of other people and you and you want to be for salespeople. How much of what you're doing there is surveying, talking to salespeople, Hey, what do you want, versus you coming to them and saying this is what we have and seeing if they got if they come to and come back to it. You know what I mean are are you actually asking them first, or you just going for it and if they don't stick then you're making tweaks from there. So I have this philosophy, at least in d tob sass build stuff and then or sell stuff and then build it. A lot of people build stuff and then sell it, and that's very, very painful. So when you are doing when you are a founder and you're a technical founder and a business founder, if you don't validate the market by talking to people before you build it effectively, what's going to happen is you're delaying the pain of talking to customers later because you're gonna have to sell it anyway. Right. So my process, you know, walking through this this journey, was talked to customers. Right. So I both. I'll just give you the example of boast. We were doing these arready credits manually for many years. It's sold customers. We said, Hey, you're working with big four, but how's the process? Right? Have you ever, you know question we have you ever been in a process where you have to file for ardy credits? What did the process look like? Oh, you know, a big four accounting firm came at the end of the year. They talk to our CTO, they asked all these questions with to pull all this documentation. It was really painful. Why was it painful? Well, you know, at the end of the year, when we finish the RD they're asking us, how are we going to remember? I can't remember what I ate look for lunch yesterday. Well, if you had a magic wand, how would you solve this problem? Well, if I had a magic one, maybe something would be would be capturing all my information and just, you know, gather it so I can remember. Boom, we're like, okay, you know what, will start collecting this data from you manually and we'll start, you know, gathering this information. Right, and then we did a few clients, number of clients, and we got paid. Right. That's the way to bootstrap. The best way to boots strap is deliver a service manually and get paid for people often would love to pay for will pay pay a consultant to get a job done, but they won't pay for software. So then a great way to bootstrap is do it manually. Then, when you've done it manually, you figure out, Hey, what are the manual things I'm doing? Okay, you're doing data collection, you're doing data normalization and you're doing workflow. Well, let me collect the data automatically, let me build integrations with the commonly used tools that they have and collect the data. Then let me write some algorithms to normalize it and then I'll do workflow to act on that normalized data. And then, when you have some inner rations, of data and successful claims, then you can apply machine learning. Right, that's that's the flow. So when you came to speak easy, what we talked to? We talked to when we shut down free and made it paid, three hundred sales people stuck around. We went to the salespeople and we said, hey, tell me about your sales process, right. Or have you ever been in a situation where you're getting reprimanded by your sales leader because you're not logging calls to sales force? Right, are you there or day losing? Yeah, yeah, you're not. And they're like, oh, it happens all the time. Or why don't you log calls to sales force? They're like, man, my job is selling. I want to get on the phone and I feel that. Yeah, I don't want to do all this documentation. It takes so much time. And then we punted to the evenings and the weekends and then, you know, we still procrastinate and it becomes end of the month we get into trouble. Well, if you had a magic wand, how would you solve this problem? Man, if I had a magic one, I just wish...

...something would automatically log my calls to the crm we're like, boom, if you had that magic one solution, how much would you pay for it? The same thing. You go to sales leaders, right and we ask them, Hey, have you been in a situation where you know your sales force data is is not clean, your sales people are not logging. Why do you think that's happening? They're like, you know, they spend all their days calling and strategizing how to close deals and then they procrastinate on taking notes and logging in to the CRM. What happens as a result of that? Like we don't have clean data so we can coach them. We can't like being best practices from the best salespeople to the newcomers or the underperformers. So we don't know. Like basically, cloudy data makes the process inefficient. That in turn destroys any reporting. Right when you don't have clean data, you can't report on it, you can't coach effectively, and then and then sour sales efficiency goes down. All of this and then they start like, you know, like it's like spin selling right now. If you heard of NEIL RANDOM SPIN selling? Your so, Sarah's sit you ask some situation questions. You ask implications. You ask problems, problem questions. Yeah, implication, and then need payoff questions. Right, that's what I although I'm an engineer, I went into sales right away, right because as a founder and working in startups. Right, and so I'd ask this follow the Spin format of like situation questions. Have you ever been in a situation? Right, implication or what happened? Or problem questions. What is the problem? What call you know, how does it happen? And then implication. Well, because of this, what other things happen as a result? And then need payoff. If you had a magic one, how would you solve this kind of thing? And and and and sales managers would be like, man, if I had a magic wand, if I could just automatically capture all the data from from the sales calls and log it to the Crm, then I could my surmber data would be clean and I could pull a next set of action items so them I could better coach and whatnot. And so that formulated the thesis that we had enough data. We're like, okay, you know what, we figured out one thing talking to sales leaders, hundreds of them, hundreds, when I say hundreds, meeting it was hundreds upon hundreds, and I'll get to the mechanism of how we did it. Hundreds upon hundreds of people we talked to and effectively. What would what would what? We came to the conclusion that why sales people don't lock calls to the CRM is because logging calls and taking notes is a non selling activity. You got selling activity, which is talking to sales people closing deals, and that is non selling activity. What if we bring the non selling activity to the selling activity and so when they're talking in the phone, we capture the recording, transcribing and automatically update the Crram and then apply some machine learning to automatically generate an extet of action items so they know who to follow up within when and all that. Yeah, and and we knew what price point people would pay for. And so we start, as you ask these pilots. Yeah, right, and so we would, because because we ask them like what's in your tool set? Right? So then you figure like, okay, they're paying for a conference calling solution, they're paying for a note taking solution, they're paying for all of these things. Well, you know what, if we if they use us, then we may be a lib able to eliminate some of these or, as a function of using us, their sales efficiency would go up. So there's an Roym model. Yeah, so what we how we went about that was we had the baseline of three hundred people that stuck around. We started calling them and their managers, interviewing them and signing up pilots. and which find a pilot and be like, okay, phase one is we're going to on board you. Face two is we're going to do a thirty day pilot. Week over week, we're going to look at number of calls logged, how clean is your crm hygiene, and at the end of thirty days will sign a contract and you'll pay us. Right. So goes back to this concept. Customers want an outcome, they don't want software. So this end of thirty days, if you get them that outcome, then they're signing the pilots. Yeah, you, yeah, ultimately, speak as you failed, because by the time we got to that realization it was a little too late and we ran out of money and the team lost motivation because...

...we're wasted so much time building a horizontal turning this thing into horizontal solution. Right, because when we launched they got tenzero people signing up. The nemage like, Oh, we're getting slack like growth. This was twenty fifteen, the year of the slack like growth, dropouts like Road Oh, make this thing go viral. Customers want an outcome. It's better to be an inch wide and a mile deep than a mild wide and hd do things that don't scale in the beginning and make a small group of customers very successful, or else you'll make an expensive mistake trying to sell you know everything to everybody and you'll sell to nobody and you'll have poor retention. So my framework, then, how did I expand that set of three hundred people? Is I knew my deal customer profile. They were sales reps in SASS companies, sales managers in SASS companies. So I mind the list. Right back then there were no like Zoom Info and everything was really expensive. So we use mechanical Turk, which is an Amazon product, and you've put a hit on Mechanical Turk. You say hey, I'm looking for this profile. You go to sleep and like for twenty cents, people are mining emails for you. So we built a list of thousands of people. We were doing outbound, reaching to like maybe from like ten in boxes. We're reaching to thousands of people a day and we'd just be like, you know, would test different messaging. What outlun lets you do is two things, right. It lets you test different messaging to see what resonates. Yeah, and it also is a little de disarming. Right. My emails would be like Hey, I'm a sell I'm a I'm a product person at XYZ company. I never say anything else. Right, product person is company and we're building a solution to make sales up some more efficient. You are an expert in the space and I'd love to get your feedback. I'm really not looking to sell you anything. You have twenty, thirty minutes and your job is to optimize for what. Selling building products building companies like dating, and you don't go to a bar and ask somebody to marry. Optimize for what, the phone number, then you optimize for the text, then you optimize for the next day and next day, the next day. So all I was doing is optimizing for calls. Who would take the first call with me? Yeah, the messaging was very concise. I'm not looking to sell you anything. Then on that call we'd understand and then and go through that those spin selling questions and be like yeah, we have a real problem. And I'm like, Hey, if I built a solution like this, would you pilot it? They're like yeah, take their name down, like like a kickstarter campaign done manually, right, and then every time we launch something, would keep them updated and then we'd roll it. So I love God like tons, tons of pilots. Right. So that is how you validate the market. You Talk to people. Now that also builds another great muscle, right one it as a as a sort of founder or product person. It helps you outreach to customers. Right. You're testing messaging from day one, not after you built a product, you're testing messaging from day one, so you know what's working. You're talking to customers. Your pitch is getting better and better and better. You're also getting better and better an objection handling right, and it's disarming because you're not selling them anything. You're like trying to get their feedback and then they're telling you, yes, I will pilot it. Right, you're keeping people updated on progress and then you're running a pilot. So through that process of validation, what you've effectively done is you figure out what messaging resonates because you know you're you're reaching out of thousands of people and maybe you're getting one, two, three percent and you're looking for like something that gives you like two, three, five percent, seeing how that conversion goes up. And so you know the messaging is working. So what happens in as a founder, once you validate the market, is now you're like, okay, I'm gonna hire two sales people and rather than me doing it, I'm going to put these salespeople on the same messaging. Yeah, and because you've gone through, you've created the decks to walk them through the pilot process. Right. So imagine when you when you're convincing somebody to go through a pilot, you can just say I have sketches here. You're basically walking through them through Deki. This is phase one of the pilot. You're thinking like a consultant. Basically, yeah, this is, you know, phase one of the pilot, phase to phase three week and then by the end of phase for you going to...

...get this outcome. And do you agree? If I can get you this outcome, would you sign for the contract? Like yeah, why not? Right, yeah, and so so now you've effectively build a sales process right, right, exact. Hire your first two sales people and they just run. You give it. You've given them the deck, you've given them the messaging and you barely have a product at that time. Yeah, so you're doing so. That's what I like to do. If it's a SASS company is mind, I'll figure out the ideal customer or so, to summarize, figure the ideal customer profile, what they're pain points are, what are the jobs they're trying to do? How are they doing it today? What are the manual steps in the process and how you can cut pose out and deliver a delight to say. So that's number one number to mind, the list of those people. And when I say me in be very, very specific. So if it's sells reps at B TOB SASS companies, right, then that's the profile you need and you figure that out and you'd have it. If it sales reps in BB SASS companies that are series B and between series B and Series d, then you got to be very, very, very specific, right. Yeah, because you want just a few people to validate it. You want the earlier doctors, you want people who are going to love it. Give you that feedback. If you go after companies that you know they're they're not a tune to trying new things and you're going to waste all your time. Like if you say I'm going to go after sales reps in large enda prizes where it's like cut throat and they have quotas they want to hit there, we like, man, I don't, I don't have time for this, right. Yeah, so you got a really narrow that down, build a list of people, then start outreaching to them and if you have a little bit of money, I would also test messaging on linkedin ads and Google ads. HMM, right, our test messaging on Linkedin ads and Google adds, maybe linkedin in mail and whatnot, because what happens is through that validation process you're building your messaging framework. You're building. Then they talk to you. Know, when you talk to you, if you just talk to them with blank stairs, like, you know, just a conversation, they're they're like you're not a serious company, right. See, then you build a nice pitch deck to walk them through, screenshots and everything, and it looks like it's it's real right, and you're getting that feedback. Asking them the spin questions and you've developed when you hire your first two sales people, you've developed this playbook. Yeah, develop this playbook of what is me email one look like? What does a disco call look like? What is a demo look like? What does a clothes look like? What does a pilot look like? What are the objections? You you got all this data, hire two sales people and and they're going to implement it. And if they have cadence, then you're like, okay, you know what these two cells guys are are crushing it. It's time for me now to step away from managing them and I'm going to hire a VPS. Yes, yeah, man, that is a that's a master class right there in product market fit. So I hope folks were taken notes on all of that. That's a as a great break I was taken notes, a great breakdown. I'd love to hear you talk for a little bit about Community led growth. I think you have a quote on your linkedin profile. That's a probably butchering it, but it's something like if you don't want to be a commodity, build a community. I don't know if that's exactly right, but but something to that extent. And so I know you've built up the traction audience. Think like a hundred, tenzero subscribers, putting on a hundred events ere. So maybe like take me from you know where it was, from like point a to like you know how you built it up to today. I know it took a lot of time and effort and energy. Yeah, so, after this failure, or speak easy, I came to realize like two things. The one thing was customers want an outcome. They don't want software. Your job is to narrow down the market to one kind of customer, get them one kind of value and and and focus on getting them that outcome, but any means possible, even if you do have to do things manually. The second thing I came to realize is this yesterday's innovation or wow feature becomes today's must have and tomorrow's commodity. Yeah, if you look at the navigation system, the GPS, right back in the day was like nobody had it.

So it was like this massive innovation. It was expensive to get it. Then it's start of started becoming options in cars. Now you know, it's comes standard. Right. Yeah, and every piece of software, if you look at it, you can you can go to websites right now and you can buy the whole front and back end of like everything from facebook to air BN, beat to Canada to launch your own sort of no code product. Right the number of companies raising money and the number of products being launched no code and fundraising has been democratized. The cloud all of this well. So the learning there was if you build a product, definitely others are going to come in the space and eventually you're going to get commoditized. But if you build a community you won't become a commodity. Fall in love with your customer and make them successful beyond your product or service. If you build a community, you won't become a commodity. Given an example of that gainsight. Gainside is a customer success protform. What is customer successfully? It's product of customers support. You Monitor your customers to see how they're using your product, how they're not and you start helping them along the way. It's not a novel concept. gainside, before they had a product, they created the customer success movement. Right they started educating people on why you should do customer success because it improves your retention and Nrr they started coaching people, training people. They brought this group of people and today customer success is one of the fastest growing professionals. From gainside and eventually Sady we have customer success software and they own that space. Up Spot. You know, I'm an engineer. Everything I learned about sales and marketing was from hub spot when they launched the inbound marketing certification program yeah, and they didn't have software or significant software the time, but they started putting out content there to educate. Like that same concept, fall in love with your customer and make them successful. Digital Marketing was just new. There was not a lot of content of them. They said we're going to make people become successful digital marketers because digital marketing is the way of the future. Right. Apple convince the world that everyone can become creators. Lots of content on creation. Harley Davidson. They almost went bankrupt in the s. Then they really refocused and they built a community around writing and the joys of writing, how to become better riders. shopify is convincing everyone that you can be an entrepreneur. Yeah, and in the DDC world. Yeah, right. So that whole concept of found up with the customer and make them successful beyond your product or service. If you build a community, you will not become a commodity. Look at up spots market cap today. gainside was just acquired for a billion dollars. Harley Davidson went from bankruptcy to becoming a multi billion dollar company Apple Night. And what did Nike do? Nike is a commodity. It's shoe. They don't talk about their anti wicking technology and all of the stuff they talk they celebrate athletes and athletics. They are convinced the world and everyone can be an athlete. HMM. and and all their market caps are for everyone to see. Right. I believe the biggest companies of the future will be built on the foundation of community and empathy. Fall in love with the customer and make them successful beyond your product or service. If you're just selling the features and benefits of your product, you know somebody's going to come there do it better, faster cheaper. You're going to get commoditized. But if people feel connected to your brand and they know that you are genuinely interested in helping them become better versions of themselves with just your not just your product, but the content, the resources and the help and the support and the community they will stick with. Right, and that's what boast it. We created the traction community. Our goal was we gotta called the Post Community. But we're like hey, people think we're selling to them. Our our ideal customer profile is the CEO, founder ct of an innovative company. Okay, why do they innovate? Because they want to grow their business. So we bring all these resources to them to get keep and grow customers, higher scale, culture, everything to the traction has a hundred and tenzero subscribers. It's a nonprofit community. We host two webinars a week.

We host dinners in different cities West a conference. We partner with a launch with a nonprofit called Launch Academy. Our Youtube has one point five million views. Every major CEO, from Jeff Loss and at twilly O to Jodi bans all and has been to our events. Right and and it's happening with cadence. It's happening with cadence again, focused on one kind of customer. If we, when we started bost if we started saying, Oh, we're going to serve manufacturing and we're going to serve this and that and everything, then we wouldn't build this core community. People would tell us, hey, you guys are going after these innovators, these startup founders, you're crazy, you're going to go out of business because all startups fill. Today, start up is the fastest growing industry, right, and every technology is disrupting the world. Everyone is forced to have this startup mentality. And so look at it. We build the community around the innovators. It's expanded and as the community is expanded, our revenues also have expanded. A brand is expanded. Last year we added a hundred people to boast and ninety of them we hired without a recruiter, just to in house recruiters. If you don't have this mini brand going, how you going to how you're going to attract these people? Right, we have this mini brand going because attraction. We know. We know everyone. Are Exact team. Most of our exacting we found through the traction community. We got a lot of press. Everyone from tech crunch to Fox business to venture beat covered US two three times Forbes. All those guys come to our conference, those reporters come to our conference and they they covered, like they moderate and they touch base with the speakers. Right, like you know tech crunch for a drink from tech crunch comes, John Puldsier from Forbes comes. So when we raise money, like I got all this free conver right. Yeah, that's value of community. That's the value of community. Do you did you go about building the community in a similar way of how you just describe product mark get fit and ask people what they would want in terms of content? Or is it you like in the gainsite example, for it seems like they just they had a vision and they wanted to educate. It's almost like people didn't really know that's what they wanted until they wanted it. Type of thing. Yeah, so when you when you when you build a community, there's two ways to look at it, and a lot of people ask me this. I want to build a community. Everyone wants to build a community. This year's all of a sudden out of nowhere, because it's the theme of the boardroom. Right. All my investors asked me to build you somebody's build a community. I tell people first you need to have a DNA of giving. Zig ziggler has this quote. Help enough people get what they want and you'll get everything you want. You have to have this DNA of giving in that's number one. Number two, if you have the DNA of giving, you have to spread it within the culture of your company. Right. Fall in love with the customer, make them successful beyond the product or service. How can we do that? Right? And then there's two steps to building a massive community. You got to start with building a community of practice. First, what is the community of practice? Community of practice means a group of people congregate and come together to to improve their knowledge about a field. Right. So customers success. People were making customer success, people better at their jobs. Were helping marketers become better marketers. We're helping creators become better creators. At bost were helping innovators launched successful innovations. Is a community of practice. Once you've got a big community of practice, then you can start subcommunity around your product. If you start a community of product from day one, it will be only confined to your customers, right. Non Customers are our tocome and and like you know, because what is a community of product? People are talking about use you how to use your product better and Leverge to solve their problems. It's going to be small, congregated to your customers. But if you build this massive community of practice, you're actually creating a movement around that practice and then you can start creating subcommunities of products once you have enough sort of customers. And that's how I look at it. Create a community of practice first, make people who are practicing that scale or or form be come successful, and then eventually you'll have...

...a community of product again the same formats, starting with your ideal customer profile. If you don't serve one and do it really well and with cadence, you can't serve many. Hmm, I love it. Lord, I hit you with a couple rapid fires before we before we take off. All right. So first you've been dropping absolute knowledge the last thirty or so minutes. I'm curious at their been any in more big learners on this podcast. Are there any books that stand out to you that have helped you with any of these frameworks or have any sort of significant impact on you as a person or as a businessperson? So I'm going to share something that people are going to laugh at. I hate reading. I don't know, I I genuinely genuinely hate the reading. Now, by saying I hate reading that that doesn't mean I hate gaining knowledge. I love gaining knowledge. Yeah, I hate reading, and so one of my hacks was by talking to people. I learn right. So I through traction. I interview two very smart people every week, like you know this week, last week I interviewed it was Jason Lemkin. I interview the CEO of at last, Sian. I spend an hour interviewing them and I ask them my pressing questions and I gain knowledge. Yeah, there's more than one way to acquire knowledge. Maybe it's going to school, maybe it's reading a book, maybe it's reading an audio and listening to an audiobook, maybe it's scored Sarah, maybe it's watching a youtube video. For me, it's asking questions that are relevant to me. Hmm Right, because that's how I retain information and I interview to people a week and and you know, because I am asking very genuine questions. That's why we have one point five million views combined on Youtube. And so that's my my hack. But in terms of books that I've liked in the in the last little while, you know, I'm just going to pop up my my kindle and I'll tell you the books that I liked. While you do that, I want to just I want to, you know, put an exclamation point on what you just said, because I've been podcasted now for nearly five years and it's the ultimate hack in terms of meeting and learning from people that I won't speak for you, but for me, people that would not sit down in like have a coffee or grab lunch with me. I get them for forty five minutes or an hour because they want to talk about their company or their product or whatever it might be, and it's the ultimate learning tool. So I would definitely set a hundred, a hundred percent, hundred percent, and we have like over three hundred videos on our youtube. We're doing the best of traction of podcast is coming out the second week off of February. Masters of scale from Reid Hoffman. I love anything that has stories in it. To masters of scale by Reid Hoffman. Hooked by near Aal is very good. How to build habit forming products, because changing people's habits are hard, and and spin selling. My Neil rack up some of the basics. And then my favorite book of all time is how to win friends and in fluence people by by Dale Carnegie. It's it's a book that teaches you about life and selling and how to be genuine and get people genuinely interested in you. And that's one of my favorite books of all time and I read that books. All these books that I mentioned I read and imagine a guy who hates to read from from childhood. Masters of scale, hooked how to win friends and influence people are some. Are some great books. And then more recently, the high growth handbook and reading by a lad Gil, the book on Network Effects, Coalstar problem by Andrew Chen and and recent Horowitz is are some good ones. Hmm, I love it. Do you do you tune into other podcasts or youtube channels or anything like that to learn or yeah, I know, all the time, all the time. Like I I learned by listening. I learned by talking to people and that's that's what I spend all my day, talking of people. Yeah, any any particular podcast or youtube that stand out in the space? Yeah, definitely. I like the SASTER...

...stuff. A lot of great content. Pavilion has a lot of great content. Sales Hacker has a lot of great content. I always recommend if you're in entrepreneurship, I recommend learning a lot and a lot about sales, because building a product is sales. Right. As a product manager, what are you doing. You're selling to internal and external stakeholders. You're trying to summarize that did and bring it together. You're talking in the press, you're selling, you're talking to in investors, you're selling your set, your evangelizing employees to join, your recruiting, your selling. So I've read a lot about sales, of red legspin selling a very predictable revenue. I've read many, many books on sales, the age old books how to win friends and influence people, influenced by Robert Chenelde Lee, you know, you name it right. I A lot of my foundational years in my twenty I spent reading sales books, although I was an engineer for someone that's, quote unquote, not a salesperson. You sure do know a lot about sales, seems. As a founder and an early employee at startups, it's the number one most important skill to have and and even more. How do you sell or how do you influence people to buy without selling? Right, the job of a product manager, and that's my career, has been at the cusp of product management, growth and sales. You know, they say they have this quote right. A spider man with great power comes great responsibility. As a salesperson. As a product manager, with great responsibility comes no power. How do you influence without power? He who can influence without power, he or she who can influence without power, can rule the world. Hmm, I love it. I got a couple more for you before we take off. What goes on in the in the Lloyd headphones, like on spotify or apple music or wherever you're listening to tunes? What do you listen to? Man? You know, I listen to all kinds of things. I listened to Reggaeton, I listen to Bollywood, I listened to Trans Music. So those are the three things that go on in my head. And you know, in the last forty five days I actually removed every APP on my phone except spotify and text and I wanted to run an experiment that what happens if I remove Linkedin, social everything, slack and my Pomo has gone completely. I'm sleeping better, I'm spending more time with my kids. I got three kids. I'm spending more time with them. My daughter, for the first time says Oh, Daddy, I love you. Spend so much time with me. Right. So I'm spending more time with the family and I'm waking up early so I have more time in my day to do other things, because it's greatly compressed or is created a lot of time for me. And so every thirty days now this year I'm going to spend learning a new skill and I I feel like it's important learn new skills. It expands your brain and makes you smarter. And different walks of life, like when you are starting companies as a bootstrap founder, you're forced to learn many things. Right. I was forced to learn how to build a website, how to sell, and you're doing rapid accelerated learning, you're reading books, are reading blog post and you're implementing it right. And and I was forced to learn Seo. I did a lot of our post SEO, email, marketing, copywriting, a be testing when I was doing everything from product to sales to marketing in the in the early days you're learning why are framing, writing product requirements. So now I'm like, you know what boast has scaled to a hundred, twenty or so, earned thirty people, and how do I keep that learning going right? And so every thirty days I'm going to learn something new. I'm learning to DJ right now. I joined the Double Academy I'm learned to DJ, so I'll chronicle that experience. I'm going to learn Parkour say, how do you keep your brains going? Because your brains are it's like bodybuilding, right,...

...the concept of progressive overload. Every time you conquer a new challenge, although it may be hard, you get stronger. If you look at body builders, reason they're big and Jact is not because they left the same weight every time. They do a little better every day. So when you learn, although you don't know it, then you you level up and you become stronger. Your brain is also a muscle. You got to you gotta build that. HMM, I love that boy. Second to last question for you. Who would you next want to see come on this podcast? WHO WOULD I next want to see on this podcast? Have you had Jason Lemkin? He's great now. I haven't. I would lace and LEM can dayson. Lemkin is my all time favorite. You know, I used to in the early days of, or until last year of the traction channel. I used to edit all the videos myself and then we got an editor and you know that's all been taken care of. But I recently interview Jason Lamkin. I'm like, I'm going to edit it myself. It's going to help me rewatch it. Yeah, NICK MEDA is another great one. Gain sights founder. I don't know if you've had him now. Neither of them. Those would be great. Those would be great. And then code a quote ats, VP of sales. I'm not sure if you are a Qude at the raise like a lot of money and he was, I think, VP sales at slack or something before. Craig Nile. He wilcome it as well. Okay, I can reach out of them for you. That's great. If you send me a blurb. Thank you all right, Lloyd. First of all, thank you for coming on. This was this was just chock full of Great Info for folks that are in this space. Before we let you go, what's the best place for folks to connect if they want to learn more from you, learn more about boasts, connect with you on linkedin maybe. What are the best channels to do so? Definitely, so both study I boast Doti on Linkedin. Ad Me. Please add me. It's double L Y ed. There's an Ian Lloyd, Lloyd Lobo ad me on Linkedin. I'm I'd respond on Linkedin and my Linkedin dtos going to end on February first or JEN thirty one. So I'll be very responsive on linkedin and then on Youtube. Search for traction call and you'll see three hundred plus videos and I'm active on those three. Awesome Lord appreciation coming on definitely. Thanks for having me, men. I thanks for listening. That episode was brought to you by Sindoso. They are redefining the way businesses inspire human connections by offering an intelligent gifting experience with a global fulfillment infrastructure, highly curated premium vendors, deep analytics and personalization at scale. Thanks for listening. Check me out on Linkedin. My name is Tomalemo and until next week, let's keep getting after it. Thank God it's Monday. Peace.

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