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39 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
How seemingly subtle product strategy decisions can set you apart in a big way
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to grow the impact we can make by superpowering our communications. My guest is Surbhi Rathore, Co-Founder, and CEO of Symbl.Surbhi is an international tech leader who advocates for Women in AI with a personal mission to inspire more women to work in Data Science. She comes with experience from technical and customer-obsessed roles in both startups and enterprises such as Nevis Networks and Amdocs. She is a national speaker, an accessibility equity champion, and the ultimate adventure capitalist.Today she's is the CEO and co-founder of Symbl.ai. With her team, she's on a mission to leverage AI technology to democratize conversational tech to make collaboration effortless. And in line with that, they created a new category of voice tech infrastructure – “Conversational Intelligence as a Service”. This inspired me, and hence I invited Surbhi to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the way we communicate and collaborate digitally. We discuss what is required to capitalize on the potential of human intellect by making collaboration effortless. We also address the tough choices Surbhi made in not going with the flow - but instead taking a radically different approach to solving the big problem in the market. Last but not least we discuss what it takes to build a remarkable software business. Here are some of her quotes:When we started the company, it was super crowded. There were so many businesses trying to build automated meeting notes products. I think we always had the right positioning in our minds. But as a founder, it's so hard to articulate that and other people. It was hard for us to just articulate our go-to-market motion of the product that we are building the right way. Although we had an idea that what is going to set us apart. But I think it just came over time as we evolved in terms of 'Okay, we want to we want to build a platform that enables businesses to analyze conversation data without building an in house data science team.' So making it absolutely easy and removing the dependency on data. So there is no data labeling training annotation that goes in the cycle. It's a plug-and-play experience. And that really created a very compelling like aha moment for businesses.During this interview, you will learn four things:Why, to streamline your business and get razor-focused, it's key to get crystal clear on your positioning.That love for the problem is critical to success, but there are some other equally crucial skills to develop/look for in new hiresThe importance of the role of marketing and content creation early in the lifecycle of your company to establish the foundation for inbound trafficHow to prevent investing your newly gained funding on the wrong initiativesFor more information about the guest from this week:Surbhi RathoreWebsite Symbl See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
43 minutes | Oct 13, 2021
A story about executing bold vision - one about reimagining the way the world works for the benefit of employees
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform our workplace into a fair workplace - starting with fair pay. My guest is Maria Colacurcio, CEO of SyndioMaria is a tech veteran – she previously co-founded Smartsheet, which went public in 2018. She spent three years at Starbucks, one of the first Fortune 50 companies to go public with pay equity results. Having started her career working on congressional campaigns, she has a long history of mission-driven work, and a compassionate and competitive attitude to spur change.She serves on the board of the nonprofit Fair Pay Workplace and has been named by Goldman Sachs Builders + Innovators Summit one of this year’s 100 most intriguing entrepreneurs.As a CEO and a mom of 7, Maria is walking the walk on eradicating workplace inequities. Today Maria is the CEO at Syndio, a SaaS startup helping companies around the world create an equitable workplace for all employees, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity. That inspired me, and hence I invited Maria to my podcast. We explore what's broken in today's workplace when it comes to valuing people for the contribution they bring and paying them fairly independent of who they are. We discuss the pivot and what it took to change course. We discuss the effects the Pandemic introduced, and what was critical to not only bounce back, but actually come out stronger. And last but not least we address the role of the CEO in creating a business that people love talking about. Here are some of her quotes:If we get it right we quite literally transform society. I think the gender and race pay gaps resulted in lifetime wages that are often hundreds of 1000s of dollars less for women and people of color. So I think when you think about the wealth gap, and how we just compound over time, that's where we have a tremendous opportunity to transform society. And for companies, it's just as big because, if we get it right, it means they move away from this cycle of annual one and done remediation. And they actually get to stay on top of this proactively overtime on both sides.We really believe that workplace equity is a combination of two things. We started with pay equity, and now we're moving over to more broad workplace equity to look at promotions and when you can get to both. That's when you have a company that Really has an enduring ability to create value and to measure how they're valuing their employees not just for who they are, but the contributions they bring.During this interview, you will learn four things:That the odds of success and surviving any crisis starts with having a solution that's perceived as mission-critical, and not a nice to have.How to prioritize your roadmap by focusing on the smallest ingredient that driving the biggest impact for your ideal customersThat your ideal customers are not the ones that have the biggest budgets, but the ones where you align on world-views and show the courage to stick to it no matter whatHow to focus your leadership team on looking at a problem and brainstorming a solution collaboratively without blaming and fingerpointingFor more information about the guest from this week:Maria ColacurcioWebsite See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
55 minutes | Oct 6, 2021
By thinking differently about three ways in which we approach data, we enable the future of the world
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to move us to where we are at the centre of our own digital life, and back in control over our own data. My guest is Julian Ranger, Executive Chairman and Founder of Digi.me.Julian is an aeronautical engineer specialising in interoperability and the military internet. He founded STASYS Ltd in 1987, and grew it to a staff of 230, with subsidiaries in the USA, Germany, Malaysia and Australia prior to sale to Lockheed Martin in 2005. He's an angel investor in more than 20 start-up businesses, including firms such as Hailo, DataSift, and Astrobotic.His passion for the power of personal data led him to build new businesses. Today he's the Exec Chairman and founder of digi.me, a company that's on a mission to enable the Internet of Me, enabling us to do amazing things with our personal data without compromising our privacy or security.And that inspired me, and hence I invited you Julian to my podcast. We explore how the internet has become a place where no one is in control anymore over their own data, but no one is in control over all data. And exactly the latter is the problem that stops us from having the level of personalization we really want, and the big breakthroughs we all need, like precision medicine. Fixing privacy, security and consent is not the way forward. That's about stopping the bad stuff from happening. What we need is a way to share more and better data - to make the good stuff happening (without the bad stuff)Here are some of his quotes:Rich data, now ask yourself, is there a company in the world that can do that? And people say, 'well, Google, and Facebook and Axiom', but if you take a circle of my data, they have a wedge. But they don't have my health, my purchases, or my media, my wearables, and stuff. In fact, because of all the stovepipes or silos, whichever analogy you like, it is impossible for any company to bring all that data together to get a rich data library view. So we are effectively stopped from our future at this point. And the laws are shrinking those wedges that people have, but nobody said, Well, how do I open up the whole circle to do it? Now when you look at it, no company can. But there is one entity in the whole system that knows all about you and me. Yourself.You know where your data is. You have a right for that data. And you're the only entity with unlimited usage rights. When you understand those three things, you can only aggregate rich data at the individual. And that's the key insight for what my business does. That's our big idea. And it's no less than enables the future of the world. During this interview, you will learn four things:Why too often we approach the problem from the wrong end - by not looking far enough ahead: the simple desired outcome for the userWhat it requires to succeed when your big idea hits the road and you discover that the road is not quite as smooth as you'd likeThat everybody is lucky - but that many are just not seeing the luck around them.Why as entrepreneurs we often spend too much time on the idea and the instantiation of it, and not enough time on the internal and external messaging For more information about the guest from this week:Julian RangerWebsite Digi.me See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
49 minutes | Sep 29, 2021
Radical Product Thinking - the art of creating world-changing products
This podcast interview focuses on the art to transform our visions into reality - and with that create products that create meaningful change. My guest is Radhika Dutt, Author of Radical Product ThinkingRadhika is an entrepreneur and product leader who has participated in four acquisitions, two of which were companies that she founded. She is an Advisor on Product Thinking to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore’s financial regulator and central bank. She teaches entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern’s D’Amore McKim School of Business and is an advisor to several startups. She graduated from MIT with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, and speaks nine languages, currently learning her tenth.Radhika co-founded Radical Product Thinking as a movement of leaders creating vision-driven change. She was on my podcast in December 2019 as a consequence of that. Recently she released her book Radical Product Thinking - and that was the perfect reason to interview her again. We explore what's broken in the way we build software products - and the challenges that lead to excessive cost, compromised growth potential, demotivated teams, and so on. We discuss in detail how you can recognize looming problems, and what you can do differently to fix them once and forever. Here are some of her quotes:It's not that companies don't have a vision, you can have varying degrees of good visions. But it's incredible how expensive it is when your vision isn't quite right, or you haven't uncovered these misalignments. And the cost of not having this alignment is what really keeps coming up in organizations. You see it at every step where somehow your vision becomes disconnected and you start running into what I call 'product diseases', which is where innovation kind of dies on the vine. And that's really the cost of them. Not starting with a deep enough detailed enough vision.During this interview, you will learn four things:The methodology to create a remarkable vision and translate it into everyday action.What signals to look for to understand whether you have a sizeable innovation problem The simple framework to avoid vision debt in your organization and how to empower everyone to successfully apply ithow to engineer a culture of innovation by approaching it as if it was a productFor more information about the guest from this week:Radhika DuttWebsite Radical Product Thinking See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
51 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
How taking a radically different approach to solving a problem can move an entire industry into having a massive competitive disadvantage
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to provide all of us with a highly intelligent and hyper-personalized assistant. My guest is Peter Voss, Founder, CEO, and Chief Scientist of Aigo AIPeter is a serial entrepreneur, engineer, inventor, and pioneer in Artificial Intelligence. He coined the term ‘AGI’ (Artificial General Intelligence) with fellow luminaries in this space.He started in electronics engineering, then fell in love with software. His first major success was developing a comprehensive ERP package and taking that company from Zero to 400-person IPO in seven years.Fueled by the fragile nature of software, he embarked on a journey 15+ years ago studying what intelligence is, how it develops in humans, and the current state of AI. This research culminated in the creation of a natural language intelligence engine that can think, learn, and reason -- and adapt to and grow with the user.He founded Aigo in July 2017 where he's focused on commercializing the second generation of their AGI-based ‘Conversational AI’ technology. The most simple way to explain what the product is about is this: It's a chatbot with a brain. What does this mean? It remembers what was said before. It can learn interactively. It has a deep contextual understanding. It can reason and explain itself. The result: It finally makes meaningful ongoing conversations with technology possible.And this inspired me, and hence I invited Peter to my podcast. We explore what's broken in the world of Chatbots - and why conventional approaches can only bring us so far. We then explore what can be i.e. what potential is ahead of us if we take a different approach. Peter further talks about the challenges he faced and overcame through sheer perseverance. Here are some of his quotes:We started with a brain. This was really my motivation of initially starting the AI company in 2001. It was not to build a chatbot. The motivation was to build an intelligent machine, an intelligent system, a system that can learn and reason and understand and remember, and so on. So that was the starting point. And then we said: "Okay, we have a brain. What do we want to use this brain for?" Do we want to put it into a robot to help, run the robot? Do we want to use it for conversation? Or do we want to use it for image recognition, to help it to drive a car or something? And, as I said - we decided that the best path forward for us was to focus on the conversation.During this interview, you will learn four things:That the more human our software becomes, the less friction in adoption we'll experienceThat staying true to your vision and aiming to be different (not just better) will give initial pushback, but will help overcome the biggest hurdlesThat true innovation is not about embracing the latest shiny technology, but about solving meaningful problems in a remarkable way.How to overcome the trap of losing all your resources and energy on building table-stake features to overcome sales bottlenecks - thereby risking you'll lose your biggest sales argument: your edgeFor more information about the guest from this week:Peter VossWebsite Aigo AI See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
33 minutes | Sep 15, 2021
Focus on Burn rate, People, and Product Innovation - a recipe to not only survive a crisis but to come out stronger.
This podcast interview focuses on the big resilience lessons learned during the recent Pandemic. My guest is Ronni Zehavi, CEO and Co-founder of HibobRonni has over 25 years of experience in multinational, hi-tech companies. Prior to setting up hibob, he was an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Silicon Valley-based Bessemer Venture Partners. He’s the strategic advisor and co-founder of Team8 Cyber Security, a powerhouse developing disruptive tech in the cyber security space. Ronni was also the co-founder and CEO of Cotendo, a content delivery network which in 2012, just four years after it was founded, was acquired by Akamai in a $300m.Ronni has a BA in History and Educational Management from Tel Aviv University and a MA in Organisational Sociology from Bar-Ilan University.This is the second time Ronni features on my podcast, the first episode was launch in December 2019. The reason why I invited him again is to hear about his story of what happened after that - and in particular - how they navigated the effects of the pandemic.We explore what happened with HiBob the moment COVID kicked in in March 2020. How did Ronni and his Management Team shift their focus? What became the critical priories (and why). And what decisions did they take to not only survive but to actually come out stronger as a business? Here are some of his quotes:The restart around COVID had a very good impact from an 18-month retro perspective. We were more focused. Really made a crystal clear vision, so we all understand what we do and why we do it, i.e. "all hands on deck, let's make sure that we cross this uncertainty together."We slowed down expansion to the US because we were new there. And we doubled on the markets where we felt more comfortable: Europe, UK, Israel. We tried not to cut our budget in engineering. Because we knew, at some point it will be over, so we really want to take advantage and speed up some other projects that we thought are relevant.During this interview, you will learn four things:The critical things to refocus the business on when a crisis kicks in, especially if you don't know if its behavior will be U, V, or for example W-shaped What to do differently to ensure you will come out stronger from a crisisWhy you should be on your marks not to BS yourself - and how to avoid that in a smart way.Why a crisis is a great opportunity to grow the bond inside the business, the alignment, and everyone’s commitmentFor more information about the guest from this week:Ronni ZehaviWebsite HibobLink to our initial podcast interview See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
38 minutes | Sep 8, 2021
When innovation gets so impactful that the industry starts working against you
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give blind people their sight back and make robots see and interpret exactly what we see. My guest is Sheila Nirenberg, Founder, and CEO of Bionic Sight and Nirenberg Neuroscience.Sheila Nirenberg is a professor of neuroscience at Cornell Medical School and the founder of two start-up companies in New York City – one that develops new kinds of prosthetic devices (Bionic Sight, LLC), and one that develops new kinds of smart robots (Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC). Her lab at the university focuses on basic science, and her companies take what’s learned in the lab and use it to develop solutions to real-world problems. She’s won numerous awards for innovative research, including a MacArthur “genius” Award, and has been featured in a TED talk, a BBC documentary, a PBS documentary, the Discovery Channel, Scientific American, as well as many peer-reviewed publications. The reason? Her work on cracking the neural code of the retina i.e. the code the retina uses to communicate with the brain to allow us to see.And that inspired me, and hence I invited Sheila to my podcast. We explore what's still broken in deep-learning approaches and how that holds us back. We dig into her breakthrough - and what opportunities this enables for remarkable innovation that impact all of us. During our conversation, she shares some of her biggest challenges which were often led by the limited mindset of humans rather than driven by limitations in technology. She also shares her vision on what it takes to shape a software business that people keep talking about. Here are some of her quotes:My claim to fame is that I cracked this code in the retina, so the transformation mathematically from images to the signals that leave the eye, and go to the brain, As soon as I did that, I realized immediately the application of it is that you can make an artificial retina that could restore sight to the blind. And then I was thinking, well, if I could make if that really were true, and I can make send the same signals to the brain, why couldn't I send it to a robot’s brain? So I quickly patented that and started a second company.During this interview, you will learn four things:True value can arrive when we challenge ourselves to find innovative approaches that require exponentially less dataThat often technology is not the issue to drive meaningful change, but skepticism, fear, and narrow mindedness - and how to go about that The lessons to be learned on how to go about funding and taking the Venture Capital routeThe big lessons around having grid and perseverance to succeedFor more information about the guest from this week:Sheila NirenbergWebsite Nirenberg NeuroscienceWebsite Bionic Sight See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
43 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
A story about creating business software people love, not just like
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to create top-performing sales teams that live and breath their sales ambition - because they're highly motivated and their natural competitive instinct is supercharged. My guest is Sindre Haaland, Founder and CEO of SalesScreen.Sindre is the CEO & Founder of SalesScreen. Born and raised in Norway, but today lives in Brooklyn, NY. He believes that the success of every company is a result of their combined talent. That even the leading products and services fall short if the people behind them can’t perform at their very best. That sparked the big idea behind SalesScreen. A tool that turns the process of selling into a team effort, combining individual motivational instruments with cultural aspects and a winning mentality. In short, SalesScreen transforms the challenging work of sales into a professional, motivating and exciting game. A game where all your employees will have fun whilst competing amongst each other for the top-position!This inspired me, and hence I invited Sindre to my podcast. We explore his journey as a tech entrepreneur. What he did wrong, that caused him to waste a full year. What it takes to break new ground in a highly competitive space like Sales Automation. We discuss why humanizing software (rather than automation alone) is key to delivering remarkable impact. Lastly, Sindre shares his experience about the importance of embracing emotion as a way to stand out in the market. Here are some of his quotes:At our first client, I remember one guy there, he took up the mobile phone application, went to the middle of off the sales floor, kind of demanded attention of everyone, and then he hits "sale." Then all the TV screens lit up with Eye of the Tiger playing. Everyone was just going crazy, the energy was so good. We were like, "Okay, we found something here." And look and behold, a week later, this executive from a large insurance chain in Europe called because she had visited this particular call center and seeing the energy for herself. She said "I'm not sure what this product is called or if you're the right one, but we want to buy. We want this for our sales teams as well. During this interview, you will learn four things:Why making people love what they do rather than just like it can mean the difference between success and failure. A massive innovation opportunityThe journey to create a product that has a wow-effect that's too compelling to ignoreHow to break new ground and defend your price tag when you're selling something people aren't necessarily looking forWhy investing in amazing people who have relevant experience and have done it before is the best thing you can do as an entrepreneur.For more information about the guest from this week:Sindre Haaland Website SalesScreen See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
39 minutes | Aug 25, 2021
How creating the right content can turn a cash-challenged business into a growth machine
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to enable creative thinkers and storytellers to create content people actually want to read. My guest is Ryo Chiba, Co-founder, and CEO of Topic.Ryo started his first business in 2012 at USC. While in college, he co-founded a marketing technology company called TINT which he grew to 40 full-time employees, millions in annual recurring revenue, and 1000+ customers in 172 countries. In 2018 we sold the company to Filestack.Today he's working on his next venture, Topic, which he co-founded in 2019.Their mission: Helping organizations produce better content.This inspired me, and hence I invited Ryo to my podcast. We explore what's broken in content creation and how current solutions are obsessed with metrics and creating more content, not content that people want to read and engage with. We also dig into the key learnings Ryo took away from his entrepreneurial journey, why he stopped obsessing about the competition, and what's required to create a business that can accelerate growth based on word-of-mouth.Here are some of his quotes:We were working on a Pinterest clone because social media and visual social media were a big trend at the time. However, we struggled to gain users, pivoted to turn it into a b2b product, and we almost ran out of cash. But then, with about two months of runway left, we were looking for some way to create a sustainable business. I'd self-learned SEO and sort of taught myself how to produce content. And we ended up taking that business and growing it and bootstrapping it to around 40 employees and hundreds of customers. And we were able to do that all through our SEO program and the content that we were producing. What I found during that journey was that the actual act of scaling up content is extremely challenging, even for highly technical and analytical people. So you can imagine how much more difficult it is for people who don't have that kind of mindset, who are more creative thinkers and storytellers.During this interview, you will learn four things:Why building relationships with your competitors can be extremely handy as you evolve your ventureWhy being supercritical with yourself on 'who's it for' i.e., which persona to become your ultimate ambassador is critical to securing product-market fit and creating momentumWhy, even if you're loaded with funding, you should keep a bootstrappers mindset and be disciplined and legitimate about deploying themHow it's possible to operate in a highly competitive space and still find space to succeed and stand out.For more information about the guest from this week:Ryo ChibaWebsite TopicFree Content Tools by TopicPeople Also Ask Question FinderWordpress Table of Contents GeneratorIdeal Blog Post Length CalculatorBlog Idea Generator See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
43 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
How digital transformation successfully helps grow and win back customers by leveraging paper-based experiences
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give marketers the freedom to leverage the combined power of direct and digital marketing while removing the compromises. And my guest is Dennis Kelly, CEO of PostalyticsDennis is a serial entrepreneur. He started off as a sales guy, spent time building products, and running data centers. Late 90's he co-founded Anyday.com which was sold to Palm in 2000. This immersed him into the world of wireless. After leaving Palm he co-founded Adjoin to tackle some challenging Webservice management problems. He sold this company to Computer Associates, to then become the CEO of Adesso Systems, an enterprise mobility software company. In 2006 he became the co-owner of Wireless City - a chain of 37 Verizon Wireless stores. He sold this company to Go Wireless in October 2011. From there he switched his focus to researching startup ideas, angel investing, and helping local startups with strategy & advice. This led him to become the CEO of Boingnet, a software platform helping direct mailers generate personalized, multi-channel campaigns across mail, web, and email channels.This is where he saw a big disconnect in the market between direct and digital marketing, and that sparked the idea behind Postalytics of which he's now the CEOAs digital marketing channels get more crowded, and marketers are all using the same playbook, they’re increasingly looking for new ways to put their messages directly into the hands of their audiences. That's why they are giving direct mail another look. The problem is that the direct mail industry hasn’t kept up with changes in technology. It feels very…1990’s - it's slow, costly, disconnected from the marketing technology stack, and impossible to track. That's what Postalytics solves.This inspired me, and hence I invited Dennis to my podcast. We explore the opportunity for value creation by blending the online- with the offline marketing world, and how this can create a 1+1=3 concept because you're combining unique strengths into one. We also address the lessons Dennis learned to create growth and momentum in B2B technology, and what it takes to build a great software business that customers just keep talking about.Here are some of his quotes:We started having some brands come to us and say, "Hey, I just invested in Salesforce, you guys are living in this kind of a hybrid between digital and direct. Can you help us deploy direct mail more efficiently, more quickly, as a part of our Salesforce as a part of our HubSpot?" And it took a few of those conversations, let's realize there's a bigger opportunity out here to take some of this measurement and analytic work that we've done and to solve a problem that is far more pervasive and has a much bigger scope.That was happening in 2015, and 2016, and we spent about a year just heads down building Postalytics. And now Postalytics is our primary focus.During this interview, you will learn four things:Why limiting your focus on a highly specific audience is essential to maximize buzz and fuel the growth and momentum of your software businessThe positive things that happen when you decide sales is actually part of your onboarding processWhy killing something early is often the best move - and what early signs you should be highly sensitive toWhy the goal of a startup should be to create a great business instead of focusing on a great exitFor more information about the guest from this week:Dennis Kelly Website Postalytics See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
51 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
A story about a startup that's transforming individual learning
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to take our personal growth to new levels in a way that's not only fun and easy to accomplish, but also highly accessible and affordable. My guest is Elena Agaragimova, Founder and Chief Growth Officer at BessernElena is both an entrepreneur as well as an engaging skilled trainer and talent development specialist. She is known for her ability to drive change within individuals and organizations that are looking to reach their potential and maintain their competitive edge in the business world. She has started her career in higher education but then shifted towards corporate learning and talent acquisition in the last few years of her career, providing talent onboarding and development to multi-nationals across the MENA region.Elena has a strong passion for L&D, promoting creative and engaging workplaces, and all about optimizing performance through the development of others with a keen interest in neuroscience.In 2019 she co-founded Bessern - and is on a mission to fast-track behavior change and disrupt the way people learn. They believe the future of learning is individualized and that learning is about action and consistency. Change is not easy for most of us; unless we create consistent routines (micro-actions) so that change does not depend on our motivationThis inspired me, and hence I invited Elena to my podcast. We explore what's broken when it comes to the traditional approach to Learning & Development. We dig into how people learn, and how technology can help people learn more, faster, and with more joy by taking a radically different approach. We discussed their journey from idea to go-to-market and how this could be done in a way that was financially attractive. Beyond that, we explore how they overcame one of their biggest challenges to creating app-stickiness - a critical ingredient to their growth strategy.Here are some of her quotes:Being self funded, b2c is a very expensive market, a very saturated market. To spend the kind of marketing that you need to get noticed in a b2c market is very high. We purposely tried to avoid investments for as long as possible. So we said; "How can we make/create a product and how can we test it in a way that makes sense for us financially?" What we know and what we practice is that at the end of the day, it's about creating processes. Just like when you're building a startup - you're going through that agile methodology, where you're just continuously experimenting, like the lean methodology for startups. And we apply the same for the personal growth, whether it's leadership development, etcetera. So it became more interesting for organizations, and we already had the network. So it was a much easier market entry for us to be honest with you.During this interview, you will learn four things:How you can deliver transformative change to any industry even if it has not changed in decadesHow, by offering a solution that's delivered through a blend of both technology and people can give you a highly defensible advantage. That stickiness grows once individual users start to realize they get nuggets of value that they'd miss if they were goneThat creating new products to take to market can accelerate if you're architecting for reusability For more information about the guest from this week:Elena AgaragimovaWebsite Bessern See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
48 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
How technology can make a live event worth being live and worth experiencing with other people – online
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform the virtual experiences we have today into near-live experiences. My guest is Sean Heiney, Founder and COO at SignalWire.Sean is an experienced entrepreneur and product marketing/management start-up executive with extensive expertise in SaaS, network security, communication, and VOIP. He has 18 years of startup experience as a serial entrepreneur.In the early 2000s, Sean formed and built Periscan, a pioneer SaaS-managed security software company specializing in VISA/Mastercard PCI Compliance. The company got acquired by Catbird Networks in 2006.Sean then led, developed, launched, and marketed new products at Barracuda Networks to over $300M in revenue and IPO. In December 2017 he co-founded SignalWire. He drives strategy and business around the SignalWire products and services as well as the FreeSWITCH open-source project. SignalWire has, in the meantime, become the technology backbone of modern communications applications like Amazon, Netflix, and Zoom. Their mission is a simple one: To empower you to build whatever you can imagine utilizing software-defined telecom capabilities. SignalWire wants its customers to do one thing: To focus on their ideas instead of worrying about developing, scaling, maintaining, and of course, overpaying for complex communications technology and services.This inspired me, and hence I invited Sean to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the telecom industry and what’s kept it behind for so long. We also discuss why the video communication tools we’ve become use to like Zoom and Teams are very degrading, demoralizing or even soul-sucking. Sean elaborates on ‘what can be’ – that it’s up to our own imagination to create the experiences we hope for, and how they are growing a global community of developers from the grass-roots up to enable this. He finishes by sharing his believes about what it takes to build a software business people keep talking about.Here are some of his quotes:Everything we're doing with our tools, we're enabling developers to do. We don't claim that we're gonna have the best ideas around the best way. But we know that the world's changing, and the current video and audio products that we're left to collaborate with our soul-sucking. And what we hope to do is enable the next developers, the next product builders: “hey, you don't have to worry about the technology on the audio-video side. SignalWire has that taken care of. I have to just think about the interface, how I'm going to creatively interact with people using this new technology and make something more human than the current options.During this interview, you will learn four things:That business resilience can be hidden in simple things – like productizing elements that underpin the power of your own infrastructureThat to build virtual experiences people keep talking about is about understanding the essence of what people truly value from the non-virtual experiencesHow giving away some of your product can help you build a vending-machine for growth, and give you the platform for true leverageWhy it’s key to break-away from the pack i.e. have an x-factor, and how that can be achieved with very simple, but very lucrative ideas.For more information about the guest from this week:Sean HeineySignalWire Website See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
49 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
A fresh technology approach to bringing measurement and accountability to workplace D&I commitments
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give under-represented groups a fair opportunity in the workplace while helping businesses attract 70% more diverse talent and twice the relevant talent, in half the time. My guest is Helen McGuire, Co-founder, and CEO of Diversely.Helen is a champion of under-represented groups. She’s an international speaker on the topics of diversity, equality, and inclusion and has meanwhile become an award-winning entrepreneur in the diversity space.She founded the first women’s careers platform in the Middle East – Hopscotch.work – in 2016, which grew to a worldwide community of over 80k working with businesses like Facebook, Mastercard, and Nestle.Still, she experienced frustration with the lack of impact of its in-person business model and the fact that 75% of businesses say they are committed to improving diversity, yet just 8% have the tools in place to measure hiring improvement; This led her to found Diversely in 2020 together with her co-founder Hayley Bakker.The vision for the company is clear and compelling: A global workplace that’s freed from bias for all those from under-represented groups – not just women. Their mission: to provide an integrated solution to the issues around diverse hiring.This inspired me, and hence I invited Helen to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the workplace when it comes to hiring the best people for the job, and how this bias is actually impacting the performance potential of many businesses around the world. We discuss Diversely’s approach to solving this massive global problem at the very core, and what obstacles they had to overcome to ensure a rapid go-to-market.Here are some of her quotes:You don't see representation of real-life within those offices in those boardrooms, or those shop floors, or those restaurants or wherever it might be, you're not seeing a genuine representation of even the customers or the clients that you're trying to serve. And that really puts you on the back foot in terms of attracting the right employees to your business, but also in terms of being able to serve those people in the best way you could possibly serve. And if you don't have the perspective of 50% of the population where women are concerned, or 20% of the population where disabled people are concerned? Or whatever the percentage population is of your specific race and ethnicities in the location that you are, then how are you really understanding what your client or your customer wants? And are you actually limiting your sales revenue because of that?During this interview, you will learn four things:That teams that are slightly uncomfortable with each other, come up with much better solutions.How starting with solving the essence of the problem, not aiming to reinvent the wheel, and changing behavior in that very moment can spark momentumHow pricing can be used as a lever to get to market quicklyWhy taking a rebellious mindset and looking at the problem from a completely different perspective is the recipe to create something remarkable (and not burn out along the way)For more information about the guest from this week:Helen McGuireWebsite Diversely See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
53 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Imagine if we could accurately predict a customer’s response, rather than guessing at it?
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help creative people know upfront whether their Creative will work – and with that produce work that has an exponentially bigger impact. My guest is Coen Olde Olthof, CEO of Alpha.OneCoen started his career at KPMG in information risk management. He then moved to Getronics, where he became responsible for digital identify management and later on IT Services Sales. When Getronics got acquired by KPN, the largest Telco in the Netherlands he was asked to lead the process to turn KPN into an online organization. Shortly after that he added Marketing to his portfolio as well. Today he’s Ranked as a one of the top 10 Marketeers in the Netherlands and the CEO of Alpha.One. Alpha.One a fast-growing consumer neuroscience company that’s on a mission to ‘Helping good companies make better decisions.’ Coen has a fascination for decision architecture. What drives people in their day-to-day choices? And how can we use neuroscience to decode this. Together with a team of scientist he analyses the brains’ reaction to content to predict market level outcomes. And that inspired me, and hence I invited Coen to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the creative media & marketing landscape. We discuss why the traditional approaches don’t work, and why it’s not technology but and open mindset that prevent the route to success. Coen shares fascinating wisdom about what drives the behavioral change that lead to adoption and more sales. He also explains how exponential thinking helped them create the remarkable solution they have today.Here are some of his quotes:“I was brought up with an understanding that if your NPS scores are higher, people are more likely to buy from you or more likely to stay. If you look at the research, that's not the case. People that give you high NPS still are not likely to buy more. The only thing that you can really measure from that measurement is that if you have a very low NPS, that's a solid basis for people going away.Byron Sharp, an Australian Professor of Marketing, who looked at 10s and 10s of years of data, concluded that if you have a product that is physically available, and mentally available, you will do very well. Those are very data driven, solid insights that most of the marketers should know, but not all of them do”During this interview, you will learn four things:How driving momentum is highly dependent on your ability to hit the right nerve i.e. creating positive tension and desire with the right peopleWhy making things memorable is essential to influence behavioral changeHow exponential thinking puts you in the right mind-set to create transformational change in a market.That if your customer doesn’t say ‘Exactly’ you won’t have a deal. And that’s all about finding the unfair thing that hurts your customer most.For more information about the guest from this week:Coen Olde OlthofCompany Website Alpha.One Platform website: Expoze.ioCoen’s Ted Talk See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
37 minutes | Jun 30, 2021
A story about how taking a contrarian approach helped create defensible differentiation and remove barriers for growth
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that enables small & medium businesses around the world escape the chaos of managing their software subscriptions. My guest is Gordian Braun, CEO and Co-founder of onetoolGordian is bilingual, analytical, and a highly creative leader experienced in entrepreneurship & innovation. He’s got a strong passion for product marketing, performance marketing, product management & development, and business development.He started his career as a financial analyst, and quickly after that became the co-founder of a music record label startup in 2010. In 2015 he co-founded his second startup, Locana. He went back into the financial world in by joining G51 Amplify Venture Capital, after which he became the director of growth and business acceleration at CleverShuttle in 2017.In 2019, he then co-founded onetool – where he acts as CEO. onetool is on a mission to solve the daily chaos and outrageous fees small & medium sized businesses encountering when it comes to managing SaaS subscriptions, software usage and access rights. This inspired me, and hence I invited Gordian to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the SaaS market when it comes to managing subscriptions, usage and access. The sheer simplicity of adopting SaaS solutions is growing the problem every day. We discuss what’s missing, and what’s required to solve the problem. We dig deep on what it took to create a solution that stands out from the pack, and what mindset tech-entrepreneurs need to embrace to shape a software business that creates products their customers cannot live without. Here are some of his quotes:The first strategic choice that we had to do is: “Do we do long sales cycles with a lot of consulting effort, or do we do, what I call, funnel automation?”A lot of people will say, especially in the VC industry, if you are a b2b Enterprise product, then do Enterprise Sales. Whereas we decided to do the opposite – saying “No, we want the more customer centric approach around this. We want to make it so easy that people can start using the whole thing in 10 minutes.”That's obviously a very challenging decision. Because on the one side, you spend endless hours optimizing your product, and you cannot really sell something if it's not perfect. On the other side, you have the highest demands on yourself, and you know what you would like to be using, rather than what our competition is offering.During this interview, you will learn four things:Why approaching things differently gives you powers that are hard to beat by competitorsThat becoming a great entrepreneur is about shipping fast (not perfect), being open minded and don’t worry too much.That just because you spend five years on something, trying to make it perfect, doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect eventuallyWhy it’s essential for every CEO to not have one mentor, but to surround themselves with a lot of the right people around key aspect For more information about the guest from this week:Gordian BraunWebsite onetool See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
45 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
A story about thinking big, starting small, to transform the way people and goods move across cities.
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to transform the way we experience commuting for all of us. My guest is Ryan Green, Co-Founder and CEO Gridwise. Ryan is a driven, self-starter with a passion for building businesses that positively impact the lives of millions. He co-founded his first business, FXConnection back in 2012. FXConnection was a platform that provided tools to educate people on the Forex Markets, and connects them to trading coaches. He then joined PNC in FX Sales and trading, after which he co-founded Gridwise in June 2016 to turn an idea that sparked during his time at the US Navy into reality. Their mission: To impact the global society by improving the way people and goods move in cities. How? By creating a smarter mobility grid that empowers on-demand drivers, cities, and mobility stakeholders to plan ahead by understanding transit patterns across the major service providers in real-time. This inspired me, and hence I invited Ryan to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in mobility, and all the problems that lead to. We then dive into his founder story, what sparked the big idea, and how persistence helped Ryan succeed when no one believed in his idea upfront. We discuss his extremely lean approach to innovation and what he believes is required to build a software business your customers just keep talking about. Here are some of his quotes:What was really important was – and I think a constant battle for people who are starting out a new concept but also just people at different stages of growing a product in launching new features - is always taking initially a minimal and iterative approach to product development.We started with an email that we manually produced every week and a text message service that was us manually typing alerts to drivers. There's no automation to it at the start. And we did things that didn't scale. But it allowed us to prove out, and just save a lot of time and a lot of money by being able to learn from our users, before we built something that nobody wants.And so I think that was that approach and that mindset, we applied to the first concept, and then the next version of the app, and the next version, we just continued to maintain that mentality. And I believe that really led to our success and enabled us to grow Gridwise to what it is today. During this interview, you will learn three things:1) How taking an abundance approach to problem-solving can help you make an impact on a global scale2) That just because people don’t believe in your idea at the start doesn’t mean it has legs. Just start – start small, validate, iterate and evolve your vision from there.3) Why our assumptions are sometimes totally off – and that can stop us from achieving our biggest breakthroughs in creating value4) How giving something of value away can help you unlock and accelerate much larger value monetization opportunities.For more information about the guest from this week:· Ryan Green· Website Gridwise See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
43 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
How technology designed to stop hacker attacks can give us a position of advantage that drives remarkable growth
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to give every business the intelligence to anticipate hacker attacks before they happen. My guest is Karim Hijazi, Founder and CEO of PrevailionKarim is a cybersecurity veteran who has worked closely with the US intelligence community for many years. He’s been at the forefront of attacker counterintelligence and infiltration research for the last decade, developing new ways for security teams to clandestinely monitor hackers and anticipate attacks before they happen. His previous startup, Unveillance, was acquired by Mandiant (now FireEye) in 2012. Karim noticed a vulnerability in the way businesses have begun to rely on their third-party partners. The size of a business’ perimeter had increased along with the size of their third-party ecosystem, and there was no clear way to monitor that vast new space. That inspired the start of Prevailion.Prevailion envisions a world in which the adversary no longer has the benefit of stealth and surprise, but is instead openly tracked and monitored through a real-time intelligence platform that all companies and organizations have access to. Through clear visibility and real-time tracking, we can turn the tables on threat actors and give network defenders the upper hand.And this inspired me, and hence I invited Karim to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the market of cyber crime protection. Why the typical reactive approach of traditional solutions is more a hinder than a help – and why to really tackle this problem we have to approach it by taking an outside-in perspective. We discuss the challenges of solving this problem – not only technically, but most of all also commercially, since so much is in changing perspectives and behaviours. You’ll be inspired with some fresh thinking and true entrepreneurial mindset.Here are some of his quotes:What makes us uniquely different is that instead of looking at the victim organizations, and determining, by way of investigations and looking through their data to see if they have anything that can be considered malicious, we actually chase down the adversary back to your point about that we look for the infrastructure that these criminals setup.Those servers are intended to be the equivalency of what would be like a dumping zone or drop zone for something. That dumpster is effectively the equivalency of what we're looking for online to infiltrate and sit and wait to see what actually gets dumped there. And we do this without the adversaries understanding of that. So what's really powerful about that is that because it's digital, everyone that gets impacted by these adversaries all communicate to that digital dumpster, and we are able to see who's victimized by it, just like the adversary can see. So our perspective is that of the adversary. And that does exactly highlights the fact that the security technologies in these organizations may or may not be working.During this interview, you will learn four things:How creative spirit combined with highly technical science skills can give you an advantage that’s hard to beatWhy instead of creating solutions that are about repairing something that’s broken, we should aim our efforts at taking out the root cause.That we’re too focused on communicating how we help reduce cost, while we can easily flip the narrative around how our solutions accelerate growthHow to create critical mass by changing behaviour of people For more information about the guest from this week:Karim HijaziWebsite Prevailion See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
48 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
A story about overcoming financial challenges and growing a stronger software business by being different, not just better.
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to make difficult conversations about money, that little bit easier. My guest is Cormac O’Neill, CEO of Webio.Cormac is an experienced business leader with extensive hands-on experience of multiple aspects of growing profitable businesses. He led myTravelGuide from start-up to €15m turnover in the period ’99 to 2011. He then moved to Voice Sage to establish them as the UKs leading omni-channel customer contact provider.He loves to inspire and motivate people and teams, challenging, supporting and mentoring them to reach higher than they thought possible. Beyond that, he’s passionate about Retail and Sales including effective Customer Communications, the Customer Journey and the Sales Process.He understands the impact that financial wellbeing can have on a person’s mental health, as an entrepreneur he’s had had his fair share of financial challenges. That inspired him, Paul Sweeney and Mark Oppermann to co-found Webio in 2016. Webio is on a mission to make those difficult conversations about money that little bit easier for everyone concerned.That inspired me, and hence I invited Cormac to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the Credit Collection space and why traditional methods just drop in effectiveness. We discuss how taking a different perspective on the problem can fix this – and what the critical ingredients are to stand out, and deliver a remarkable impact for both your customers, and their customers. Last but not least we discuss how to stay resilient and come out stronger from crisis situations and why success starts by making tough decisions to say goodbye to groups of customers.Here are some of his quotes:What our customers have seen, and something we've seen ourselves from having experience in the industry is that traditional methods of how these companies communicate are just not effective anymore. And to solve a problem, you must be able to have a conversation. Communication is fundamentally key here to solve the financial difficulties. So, historically, debt collection agencies or collections departments would use the telephone to try and contact their customers. And unfortunately, as an engagement tool, the engagement rates have been declining on telephone over the last number of years because it's stressful talking about money.Sometimes asynchronous conversations are better than real time conversations. Sometimes people need that little bit of breathing space between their answers.So, the first thing you're doing is you're increasing the engagement rate. Once you got engagement, then you've got opportunity to solve the problem.During this interview, you will learn four things:How thinking in micro-steps can help your customers make massive-steps forward in progress as a result of changing behaviour Why the problem you’re solving often isn’t so much about improving what your customers do, but how they feel doing it: The relief of stress, anxiety, frustration,..Why asynchronous conversations often result in better (data) quality, engagement and outcome than real-time conversations – especially if it’s about stressful topicsWhy you shouldn’t second guess your customers – get your product into their hands as early as possible and let them tell you (even if you think it’s far from ready)For more information about the guest from this week:Cormac O’NeillWebsite Webio See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
53 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
A story about winning in a crowded market by focusing on being different (not better)
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to get all of us closer to professionals we value. My guest is Ashley Friedlein, CEO and Founder of GuildAshley is one of the most influential and connected figures in digital and marketing. As one of the 100+ recommendations for him on LinkedIn reads, “If Ashley doesn’t know it – it ain’t worth knowing.”He’s the author of two best-selling books on digital. A columnist, commentator and blogger, he speaks worldwide on digital and marketing trends and best practice.Ashley is involved in a number of digital businesses and ventures as investor, adviser, mentor and operationally. He believes the world deserves a new kind of digital communications platform and hence founded Guild, a messaging platform for professional groups, networks and communities.. The purpose behind the company is bring people together for professional good. It’s a technology business, but it cares most about human behaviours and the power of connecting people to collaborate and do good things together.And that inspired me, and hence I invited Ashley to my podcast. We explore how technology can help in creating more meaningful connections around professional use cases, and how there’s room for new players, even in a market that densely populated. Asley shares his wisdom around where he puts his focus in building a remarkable software business, what it takes to grow by word-of-mouth and create virality. We also dig into the potential pitfalls to avoid in growing your start-up, especially when venture capital steps in.Here are some of his quotes:Obviously we want and we'll need growth. We want quality and value more than quantity. We don't need massive volumes of usage to drive an ad funded revenue model, because ours isn't an ad funded revenue model. But we, if we're going up against the WhatsApp and LinkedIn and things, ultimately we do need to get engagement, even habits. There is a network effect thing that the more people are on Guild, in many ways, the more valuable it becomes. And if your contacts or professional contacts and your most valued professional contacts are all on Guild, that builds massive defensibility against other competitors or future competitors.We experienced that the other way around, like when you're going up against WhatsApp and stuff, it can be hard cause some people say ‘Yes, I'm just used to using that and yes, yours is better, but I still can't be bothered to switch.’So you know, we do need the growth but I need to try and not sacrifice quality at the same time. So, what we're trying to achieve I call various things but intimacy at scale.During this interview, you will learn four things:How you can create remarkable products by not only solving a specific problem – but also cater to a human need or desireDifferent insights how to think about creating a viral effect with your productWhy big impact is often created by being relentlessly focused on the adding incremental improvements all the timeHow to go about spending (VC) money in a phase where you haven’t reached product market fit yetFor more information about the guest from this week:Ashley FriedleinWebsite Guild See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
41 minutes | May 25, 2021
A story about solving a massive global health problem by smartly leveraging and aligning technology and (ecosystem) resources.
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the potential to prevent well over half a billion females on this planet suffering from mental health problems. My guest is Michel Valstar, CEO BlueSkeye AIMichel Valstar is a visionary scientist and new-found entrepreneur. He’s the founder and Co-CEO of BlueSkeye AI, and remains a part-time professor at the University of Nottingham, where he also is the deputy-director of the Biomedical Research Centre’s Mental Health and Technology programme.Having worked for 15 years on computer vision and machine learning for facial expression analysis, Valstar now wants to see his ground-breaking research turned into real products to improve the lives of people. He is particularly interested in solving the problem of self-management of mental health using technology that runs privately on people’s own hardware.This inspired me, and hence I invited Michel to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the world of treating Mental Health. We discuss why this domain is still in the dark ages and what can be done with technology to take it into the 21st century and make a meaningful impact. We explore what it takes to build solutions people in different demographics actually love to use day to day – and build a trustworthy relationship with. We also discuss how take on this massive global problem, with a very small team, while being resourceful and profitable very early on in the journey. Here are some of his quotes:With blue sky, we really wanted to grab a big problem and try to solve it, not just conceptually, but all the way through to implementing it, validating it, making it self-sustaining. Making it actually value generating in the end. And in perinatal mental health, roughly half of the people on this planet will give birth to a child at some point. And 10 to 20% of those women will suffer, unfortunately, from poor mental health.These are extremely large numbers. We hope to help a very large percentage of these people. But even if we could only help 10% of the people that suffer from this is still a massive contribution to humanity.During this interview, you will learn four things:Why creating something for everyone will end up pleasing no one How you can speed up time to market by working with partners that break your stuffHow leveraging one product category can become the funding source for realizing your big visionWhy the two core selection criteria for picking your projects should be: Alignment with vision and employee motivationFor more information about the guest from this week:Michel Valstar, Website BlueSkeye AI See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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