The Entrepreneur Podcast
The Entrepreneur Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

12. Building Bridgit with Co-founders Mallorie Brodie and Lauren Lake

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

If Bridgit rings a bell, you have probably read one of the many articles on the tech company’s rise on the Globe & Mail, BetaKit, Forbes, or the Financial Post; Two young female entrepreneurs, making waves in the construction industry.

In this episode of the Ivey Entrepreneur Podcast, Eric Janssen speaks to Mallorie Brodie, HBA ’13, and Lauren Lake, B.E.Sc '13, about their journey of discovering entrepreneurship, starting a company through Next36, raising money, the challenge of hiring, and pivoting to stay relevant in a competitive industry.

You're listening to the IVYENTRERNORpodcast from the Pierre L, Moriset Institute, Forente Preneurship at theIvy Business School in this series I e entrepreneur, an IV faculty member,Eric Janson, will anchor the session okay, herewith, Maory, Brodie and LornLake from bridget thanks so much for making the time they appreciate youcoming in thanks for having us. Of course, I have a lot to cover with you.You've had a really well documented story in the media, starting as twostudent, almost entrepreneurs, but I want to rewind way back to thebeginning, wherein you started your untriperial journey, an maybe evenbefore that was there someone in either of your families that sort ofencouraged you to be an entrepreneur or was an entrepreneur, and you thought HM.That looks like something that I might be interested in doing. Where did thisOllit started? So for me, I was studying in civil engineering and Inever really saw a path, an g cernership for myself, even though Idid have family members who were very entreprenourial. I just didn't reallysee that that was what I was going to do. I think, because I wasn't inbusiness school I didn't feel like I had the skillset, and so when I cameacross an NTRCRERNERSHIP program towards the end of university, I wasreally excited. I think I was always intrigued to start my own business, butjust didn't feel like I had that foundation and so applying to theprogram was kind of my way to get to know more about what that would looklike, but it wasn't something not growing up. I really thought I would bein so you was it a program at the university that you ere at or where wasthe program. It was the next thirty six. It's called next Canada now and that'show Mallory and I actually first met. We didn't know each other at the time,even though we were both studying atwestern, I was in engineering andMallery was at Ivy, so we had never cross pass until independently applyingto the same program and finding out we were at the same school. So how did youexrt? That's not like a dip, your toe in the water. Next Thery six is apretty serious program. How did you that's a pretty big commitment to makenot really knowing if Entrepreniutia was for you? I think I knew deep downthat I was. It was something I was really interested in and I think if Ireally were to think hard on it, I think I was always like throghoutuniversity getting more and more interested, but just feeling like itwas an unknown to me, and so I was more than happy to make the commitment tothe program and a like very confident in doing that. I just felt like thatwas a more secure way for me to kind of get into it: verses, Mallory, who hadbeen kind of doing entrepreneurial initiatives like for some time before,applying to the program cool, so then Mallory. I know you and I had met yearsago. Where did you get started? What t? What encouraged you to sign up for nextthirty six, so I always had you know, been starting clubs in high school andstarting different initiatives, but I never put the term etmernership on itand it was actually upon applying to Ivy and Western that I got thisscholarship from IV for the preecceptance program. Just saying thatyou know, if you decide to go to ivy and you'll enter the entrecreneurshipcertificate program, then you get the scholarship and it's for theentcanerial success you've had today- and I was like- did they send this tothe wrong person, because I haven't started a business and it was, I guess,through all the clubs and everything that I had started in high school, thatthey recognized the same sort of characteristics as as being an Atcanerand starting an actual business. And so that was the first time that itoccurred to me that this actually could be a fees feasible path upon graduation.And so I started my first company M Start Gallery, which is something thatyou mentered me on. I remember panicking over how to register acompany- and you said just Google it and pay the eighty bucks and you'redone. It will be much harder after that, so that was kind of the first step andthat business ultimately was not successful. But I knew that you kn. Ireally enjoyed the experience of starting that company and it encouragedme to apply for the next thirty six, so I could get a little bit more formaltraining around it, I'm a little bit of funding. Hopefully if the company gotoff the ground and that was sort of my...

...way of legitimizing starting a companyand not going the typical career path after graduation coo. So next thirtysix is soon a nut shol. What is that program for people that are familiarwith it? So basically they take at least in our year. They took seventytwo students from across Canada after they had applied fer an application.They brought you in for a finalist weekend then picked thirty, six andsplit that group into three teams of twelve and from there you essentiallyhad the first night and then ultimately the entire nine months to come up witha business idea. You know hopefully find investors for the business. Ifthat's the path, you wanted to go down and launch your company. So for us wewere entering without an idea without any money to start the business withand without a a business partner, and we got all of that through the program.So they took you through the process of like idiation validation. How would youpotentially pitch this or sell this like the whole process? And that'swhere so you two met there? You were paired up on a team of twelve. It wastwelve teams of three Twelvt Thirtysay, twelve, as a big CINK, sotwelve, twelveteen to three. We always say that Lawrence here to kind of quality checkme. So I come up with ideas and then Lauren fixes all the ideas her toCallon Cason, point yeah, so we were randomly put on the same team, and soit was just an odd coincidence that, like we really were aligned from dayone, we had really complementary skillseds. We had this great chemistrythat just happened, and I don't think that's very common, but for us it justended up working out that way and then we ended up. There were three people onour team and we didn't really have the same vision, Mallery and I were veryaligned from day one and our third team member just had a different kind of endgoal in mind, and so we ended up splitting kind of early on andcontinuing on. Just the two of US got it so you arrived at the constructionindustry ecause. I understand both of your families have sort of backgroundduinit right, yepsomy grandfather had a demolition company, great grandfatherat a Steel Company and an laurence family. Her grandfather as well had aspecialty trade contractor, so we both grew up at least knowing about theindustry and then Lauren had some onsiht experience as well as th thedegree incivil engineering cool. So you understood the little bit about theindustry. How did the initial idea, though, come to be? What did you? Howdid you figure it out yeah, so ihad spent a little bit of time on sa, likeliterally just as a coop student, and so I had just seen kind of how the siteoperated. I spent time working with different sites and just understandingthat there was very little technology that was being used. So when Malleryand I started talking that's kind of where the conversation started was justaround you know, isn't it odd that everybody has you know a cellphone? Youknow smartphone with them at all times, yet everyone's using pen and paper onsight, and it was really just quick, google searches at that point. We'verealized we had this shared family background. That was interesting and westarted calling all of the friends and family. We could just asking them whattheir experience in the industry was o just trying to reach out to people. Weknew had some construction experience in asking them what they felt thechallenges were, and so that's what led us to our very first concept, which wejust came up with kind of that first day and the program which was around amobile at for construction teams to do daily logs. It wasn't what we ended uppursuing, but it got us on that path of kind of thinking about mobiletechnology and why it wasn't being used on the job site at that time. But itwas really just through talking to people who were in the industry andtrying to get their perspective, so that was like literally day one. Youcame up with that idea in the nxt re six that was day on that was the firstnight of the program. They kind of put this time pressure on you to come upwith your first idea that night and present it the next morning, so we hada few hours to kind of get that together. So that was the very firstconcept. We came up with a name bridget that night as well. We pitched it thenext morning we had overall lik good feedback, but the one thing that cameup because people in the audience were not from construction. They felt likeit was an unrealistic idea, they v kind...

...of said. This is good in theory, butyou're never going to get construction teams to use technology on sight. It'sjust too old school. It's not going to happen, and so that's what led us todoing our true onsate research that lasted the next six months, where wejust drove around to construction sites and talk to people and tried to gettheir perspective and their understanding and realize that thatreally wasn't true people on say, really wanted to leverage technology.They just didn't feel like they had the tools that they needed. So I'd love togo into some detail here, ond how you got that feetback, because I often getthe question like I have this Indea for an AP. Where should I go get it developed? Andso you said you had. The idea initially got some feedback from the judges. Itsounds like in the next thirty six that were like, maybe not going to work inthe industry you kept going anyway and then what did you show up on site with d?Just talking? Did you dougnuts? Okay, you have food, so how did that go likewha? Would your first meeting go like to get feedback onsife with this ideayeah? So we got back to the Western campus and it was actually when the newIVY building was under construction and just a block away from where Lauren wasliving at the time. So we basically walked on the site with coffee andDoghnuts, and we said Hey. Can we have ten minutes of your time? Ere studentswere doing research on a project and they said okay sure sounds good. Wehave five five or ten minutes for you and we just start asking you knowwhat's challenging for you on site, what's frustrating what takes too muchtime? What costs a lot of money and Thot is sort of the first of many manyinterviews that we did and the IVY building. We actually ended upshadowing them. Many many mornings on sight, so we would just come back andfollow them around watch what they were doing. You know look at kind of all thepaperwork they had in their sate office, and it was this sight that was thefirst one that talked to us about the punchlist management, PR process ordeficiency management, and that's kind of what prompted us to actually startdesigning the APP and what it should look like and how it should work cool.So they literally like just let you follow them around and watch them andsee how they put information in their computers or not or not, computers,yeah ND. I think the reason they like allowed us to keep coming back wasbecause every time we came back, we had dohnuts and coffee, but we also hadmade progress, and so they, I think it built confidence that we ere seriousabout this, and we really wanted to launch something. So they weren't justwasting their time. They were actually going to get the solution. Theyhad beenlooking for. Out of you know, giving us some other time up front so day, oneyou show up with doughnuts and coffee and some ideas as it progress. Whatwere you bringing back to them to show them that you were making progress? Yes,we ended up doing that over five hundred times over those six months.I've a hundred meeting live hundred, yes, and that was because we ere also justreally understanding the industry at this point. So it was a lot ofgroundwork, kind of research to begin with, and then trying to understandwhat all the different challenges were and figuring out where our focus pointwas going to be, but we kept coming back with kind of the next iteration ofour product and so as like, like an actual APP or like no screen shots likewhat did you? It was not a real apt because neither of US ar softwareengineers, neither of us, could actually code the APP which was veryfrustrating, but it forced us to really be diligent in that research process.So what we ended up doing was it started off as just hand drawn kind ofscreen shots in a notebook and just bringing that to the sit and saying youknow. How would this work? You Click on this button and we would flip the pageand you now. This is what you see now and you take a picture flip the page,and so we went from that to kind of building out more. You know just powerpoint slides with what the APP would look like. We had different sites kindof trial, different apts that had components that we thought would beuseful in our product to try and figure out. Is this actually useful featurefor you? Is it worth US building something like this, or does it not addvalue? So we had one concept early on where we thought it would be helpfulfor people on sight to take photos and then be able to mark them up and addtext, and you know you know, hand,...

...circles or arrows, and so we downloadeda free ap onto a bunch of people's phones, and we said use this for thenext. You know week we'll come back in a week from now and we're going to seewhat you've done as we go back to the site. That was actually this sight. Wecame back a week later and they were like this is amazing. We've taken somany photos. We sent these pictures to our electrician and they knew exactlywhat we were talking about. We added the measurements onto this, and so weare like okay, perfect we're going to add this same future into our product,but we didn't need to build that to test it. So we did a bunch of thingslike that, just to kind of validate whether or not things would be valuableto them, but in a way that was free and didn't require any coding from us, sothat happened over and over again and the sites were very willing to be partof that because they wanted to be part of the process. I think it was excitingfor a lot of sights to have their say when it came to technology. We hadanother sigt that allowed us to come back every Thursday morning and sit inon there jobsate meetings, as we just got to hear kind of be fly on the wallsand just hear what everyone was saying. What the arguments were just got abetter feel for the challenges on sight. That's neat, a lot of students is partof the program. We have this new venture project and the new ventureproject. A lot of these customer surveys are typically like survey, twohundred people and give you this. Like superhigh level data sounds like you.Overtime went to had five hundred separate meetings, but you went superdeep with a couple of people and like really day to day understood how theywere using things today and piloted things super cheaply. So you wentreally deep rather than super broad. I remember like doing some of thosesurveys and everything when I would have done the new ventore project and Idefinitely always saw it as being like a burden in a way and I'm like. AH Thestep we have to do before we complete the rest of the project. We must dotheyeah. We must do these survey interviews and I think for some reason,when, like you're literally about to spend money on this thing, you want tomake sure you are spending money on the right thing and you're not going tohave to do reework down the road. It was like the only way, and so even now,when we're thinking about product development and we're a forty fivepercent company. Now we don't have these debates in the boardroom aboutwhat we should build. We go out and we talk to the customers, 'cause theyare,ultimately the ones who can best describe what their painpoints are. SoI think it's it's when you're really about to actually invest in somethingmaking sure that you're genuinely interested and curious about what yourcustomers' painpoints may be, as opposed to seeing it as this step thatyou just have to do to check off a box, we started really open ended, so itwasn't it wasn't from day on, like we were doing these really focused surveys.It was very broad questions like what Mallory said. You know. What's thebiggest frustration in your day and every interview would go a differentdirection and it was challenging at that time to figure out what the focuspoint for us should be, because there were endless opportunities we foundwithin the construction industry, and so we had to be really careful that weweren't trying to go too wide too quickly. We knew that it was just thetwo of us. We had limited money at that time, so we really wanted to picksomething superfocused and do a good job of that before just trying to doeverything, rigt yeah, it's it', it's interesting t en you and the fact thatyou used other apps that had features similar to the ones that you wanted andactually had them. Try. Those ot first is really smart at smart, okay. So then,eventually you get to a point where you have an idea of what they want. Youarrive after hundreds and hundreds of meetings at asolution that you think is good. Then, what how did you get this thing builtso by nd, then we were out probably month, five or six in the next thirtysix, and so we had a little bit of funding through through the programs orprobably twenty thousand or thirty thousand dollars, and so what we decideto do as Hie coop students from the University of Waterloo and we hired twofirst year, students and we essentially said okay, here's what this looks likein addition to the students we hired, someone that was an experienced productmanager on contracts or just to...

...literally put in a couple hours a weekto help us manage those developers and the goal was to get a product out thedoor by the end of the summer. So you know a few months later and we did itsomehow, some way with first year, engineering, students and Abl thatenabled us to raise a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar round of AngelFinancing, get our first couple of customers paying to do the Beta testand really that sort of where things really started, to become very real forfor Bridgett. And did you those early customers? Were they some of the peoplethat you originally were meeting with, to develop it with so yeah? So the specific first customerwas not one of our research contacts, but many of those research contacts didturn into customers and I think that's another reason why that the research isvaluable is because it essentially becomes your sales pipeline when youactually launch the product. So all of a sudden, you have five hundred peoplethat have been engaged in this process. That could become your customer veryquickly as opposed to starting just from scratch. So yeah, a bunch of themdid become customers. Do you remember who was the first customer? Yes, we remember it very well, umthey're, still a customer. Today I was a large general contractor just northof Toronto, and we pretty much started our sales process by just having a listof the largest GCS in the Toronto area and just starting to send cold emailsout uto sending the Yas us. So we kind of divided the list. We start emailingpeople saying we have this new product. Would you be free to meet so we canshow it to you, and at least I don't know about Mallery, but at least Idon't think I was prepared to get response back. I think I just thought:okay, we'll keep sending these emails and see what happens, and you know acouple of hours later we get a reply from the president of one of thelargest g CS in the Torono area. Sying, you know sure come by my office onFriday, and so that was when we had to start thinking about you know: What arewe going to charge for this product? What what does the Asso Te Book? Whatdoes the actual sale look like, but that became that company became ourfirst customer and then that kind of triggered us closing the next ten Betacustomers and using not to get our first kind of set of real onsitfeedback cool. So it sails for a second h sounds like very product focused inthe beginning. For both of you, then you were like great. We have a product,we have something to sell whic's. Just I don't know who should we? I guess youwould have developed it with General Contractors Right, so you knew you knewwho it was for and the pain that you were solving. So you had a prettynarrow idea, like did you categorize by geography, because you wanted to sor beable to service them in your area, but then size like? How did you figure outthat initial list? We just contacted contractors that were the same size ofcompanies? We did research with identified this as being a problem.Basically, so we knew right away. We were selling to general contractors andsubcontractors would use the at, but they wouldn't be the customer. So allof that had been really just become quite obvious through the researchprocess, and did you learn about t how they were going to buy this from thatprocess as well like that, came more through the actualsales meetings that we ended up having? And it was really just a lot of trialand error, so testing up different prising models, kind of along the way,and we went through three or four different prising models on that firstproduct before arriving at kind of the final model that we found really worked,but it really was yeah just trying different things, trying to understandwhat the friction points would be for the customer during that sales processand understanding if the pricing was part of that there wasn't really anyscience to it. At that point and yeah, I was kind of bit by bit tweaking thatand trying to understand how much value are we actually adding to the site, and thenyou know what somebody willing to pay and how do we make sure that that'scaptured and how we priced this mallory? You didn't come to her rescueas the business school student and say like like business plan, one. Oh One,like pricing promotion. However, y...

...going to sell this, I always learned by doing and so therewasI had a lot of I'd, say known unknown coming into coming out of coming out ofschool. where, like I knew, accounting was a thing or I knew marketing was athing in the details of those things, but I didn't know like indepth how tonecessarily go about them in the real world. So I knew that like we should be,you know, hiring a bookkeeper or that we should be putting together amarketing plan, but then, when it came to the meat of those actual plans, wedefinitely just had to test a lot of things in market 'cause. You learnabout all these different tactics, but you don't actually know what's going toresonate with your customers, so, for instance, like our customers aren'tbuying from seeing you know, instigram pictures, so social was not going to bea channel that we would sell thes, who we had to like really learn thatthrough our own process. So I don't know how much my business background. Ithink it helped hopefully, but we also made the decision to charge for thoseBeta testing customers like at the last minute. Going into that meeting, wethought we were going to give the Bata version out for free in order to getlots of Baita customers, and it was like I think, hours before. The meetinghappened that we just kind of looked at each other and said: Does this makesense like? Are we going to learn anything? If we give this away for free,you know anyone will take something for free, even if it's just to be polite,and so we kind of said, even if somebody doesn't pay much money forthis, it's better for them to pay something, and at least we validatethat they're willing to write a check and go through that that process, andso it was a very lost minute decision to like actually try to get some moneyfor it, verses going the free route, and so that was kind of what sparkedlike okay. Well, if we're going to charge something, then what should thatbe? The APP was also so buggy at that time. It was, it didn't, have anydesign elements to it like it was very rough, and so also trying to understandyou know, maybe in the future we can charge on this more sophisticatedpricing model at this higher price point. But what would somebody actuallypay for like this very early version? Yeah you're S, I mean you're, it's funny,but you're really smart to go about it. That way, you know. So many peoplespend time on what I call playing business like Tweek, Yeur logo makesure your website's perfect. We we need well publish case studies. Maybe weshould work on some PR. Perfect financial model yeah like let's tweakthe financial model a little bit more, Oh, like should be priceit like this orlike that. You were just like look. We have a product, ple's just startsending emails. Do you have a website like where they cal? They see a websitethat you maybe like a launch rock like landing, something yeah. I think we would send like somedifferent screen shots, or we had like a bit of a one pasure one pater that wewould send, but I think that was one of the things coming out of engineering.That kind of scared me away from this entreprenourial dream I had in the backof my head and I kind of kept forcing myself to just forget about it becauseI felt like, like I didn't, have kind of all ofthose. I guess keyfoundation kind of piecesand I think getting into what I realized like those are all greatthings that mallery had through Ivy. But at the end of the day it was just alot of trial and error, and so we didn't at that point like there wasn'tany perfect pricing model. We were going to come up with because we didn'tknow yet what someone was willing to pay for the product, and so we couldhave debated all we wanted over like the best way to do that. But at the endof the day we just had to go and say a number and see if the person you knowif the company laughed at it or if they thought it was crazy, expensive, yeah,it's interesting, there's a think. It's Murifolio who says everything is figureoutable. Just like you know we're just going to start doing things and yeah tees, probably a bunch of things that we should figure out, but we'll justfigure that out what we need to yeah. Okay. So then you get your first fewcustomers you went on to be Soyo. Did part of you were part of the creativedestruction lab and after that ended up raising a pretty big seed bround. Soyou raised a couple hundred grand out...

...of next thirty six and then did aproper seed of two point: two million YP. So in totall, we've dined abouteleven million dollars of fun, raising on the equity side and two point: Twowas the seed six point: Seven and a quarter roughly was UN the series a andthen we did a bunch of kind of convertible notes and Angel Rounds inbetween at the createve destruction lab. I think the biggest thing thatgenerated interest in that round was there as one individual who had run aconstruction company and in front of the full room of all the M B, astudents all the investors. You know all the advisors as part of the programsaid that this was the biggest painpoint. He experienced herout hisentire career in the industry and he had sold his business, so he he put hishand up to invest and then, of course, ten other people did as well in thatreally prompted kind of that. Fundraising from that program. So twopoint: two in the bank, so people often look at once you raise money is likegreat. Now we've got money, we can relax a little bit so you'd raised acouple of hundred grand. Then you raise two point. Two and then you go to thebeach, I'm sure what happened would happen after you raised th Tunaf. Ithink the thing people forget it when they raise money is you know you thinkall your problems have been solved, but now you have investors that areexpecting you to hit the next set of milestone, so it actually becomes in alot of ways, more stressful and there's more pressure. Once you have peoplethat have decided to back you, because we wanted to make sure that we, youknow absolutely not only got them their money back, but also a nice healthyreturn on that investment. So we were always planning. You know inparallel toactually the fundraising. You know the second that money was in the bank. Whatwere all the things we were going to execute on? Who Do we need to hire so?Who shoull we be interviewing today? So we are ready to hire them the second.We did have the money and just making sure everything was perfectly planed,so we could act very quickly because there's also this big, you can't waitto ramp up because you only have limited time before the next RANDOFfinancing. So you need to make sure that you can actually start showingresults quickly with that funding, as opposed to waiting to you know, sixmonths before you're out of cash, increasing your spend and not havingtime to show the results so being able to just react very quickly after theround, I think was critical and I think we always did a good job at that. It'sinteresting! That's that Balancing Act! You almost need to your bont on thehiring side. You need to build the talent pipelines so get the peopleready so that when the money's in the bank you can toll the trigger on thehigh rigt away versus great now, we've got money, and now we sh Oy and you'vedone nothing. So so the demands the pressure went up with the two point:two, but there's a period of time between the two point. Two and you hadjust under a year ago raised your last six or seven right. So when did youraise the two and a half and then how much time was between that and yourmost recent race, two and a half would have been twenty. Sixteen seventeen,those two or three Es, sixteen an two sixteen OAS. So during that time wewere growing our first product brigit field and then the series a was reallyraised around our new product launch and that just launched about six monthsago and thats brirget bench. And so when we raised the series a we werestill in the research and early phases of the second product. But we were ableto generate a lot of excitement around what that product would be, and we haddone kind of that same research process all over again with the new product andthen raise that money use that money to accelerate the development of bridgetbench and launchd. That June of this year, cool when you raise the two pointtwo so now, there's big demands to prove out whatever you had started. Howdid you go about growing? So one major thing was we invested in the productand development team, and you know I think the obvious thing sometimes is:Oh, you want Ta grew revenue, O hire more sales raps, but what we werefinding was that if we could just increase the conversion rate of thedeals that our sales reps were working on of their pipeline, then we didn'tnecessarily need more reps. so we were looking at. You know what would getthem to get a yes from a cust. You know five out of ten people. They talk toversus two out of every ten. They talk...

...to and a lot of that came to differentfeatures that customers felt like the product was missing, and so we reallyinvested a lot in design and development to be able to add differentfeatures and use cases to the product, and that made it easier for the samesize. Sales team to sell mor more deals. Essentially, I'm interested in digginginto that in my time here, an ive tot try to figure out that balance betweenearly sales, people like just shut up and sell what we have. No, we don'tneed more building more stuff like just sell the stuff we have versus listeningto customers and building in those new features so like who were your firstsalespeople and did you have a product person that they worked with? How didyou manage that? Our first salespeople were really just us before we evenhired a sales team, we kind of mimicked what we thought. The sales processwould look like by the two of US playing different roles, so initiallyMallori kind of played the the role of being the we hall them business,development, raps, but kind of the top a funnel person. So Mallory was lookingto book meetings and just trying to get kind of that pipeline generated, andthen she would pass those meetings off to me and I would kind of act as theaccount executive talk about pricing demo, the product and closed the deal,and so we did that for a while to try and t figure out does that flowactually work? Does it work for our customers and is this something that wefeel like could be? You know repeated by a sales team, and so once we hadproven that out with the two of us, then we started to hire very juniorsales tea members at that point, but it's always been a balance of you knowtrying to sell what we have today, but also understanding that our product isnever done and it's it's always been. You know, D, a work in progress and indevelopment, so we really rely on the sales team too. Like yes, sell what wehave today and make sure that you know given the product today, the customercan be successful with it, but also using that as an opportunity to getfeedback and use that to pass onto the product teams that were building theright features going forward. So woulyou first replace the topofunnel.You stayed on as the yeah we both would just then be the accounticsaccsessentially and then eventually we hired acaneaxto backfill. What we hadbeen doing- and I mean even to the state like we- both- do some salesbased on certain relationships we have in the industry, so I don't know thatthat ever totally stops, but there's a sales team to kind of support. Theactual revenue forecast that we that we have in place got it. So then the big,I guess the big change lately has been the launch, the full launch of the newproduct. So why the change? Why the change from what you had in thebeginning to the new product that is going really well today, yeah, therewas always a lot of like really positive feedback. We got on the firstproduct, bridgit field from our customers and the industry loved it. Itwas new for the industry, so all of that was great. I feel like. We did agood job with that, but there was two changes. One was that it startedbecoming much more competitive, so there was companies in the: U S thathad significantly more funding that were also starting to compete in thesame space. So was the first thing and the second thing was over time. Werealized it didn't, have a recurring revenue model, so we'd sell on a perproject basis, which meant that you know twelve eighteen months later,you're losing that revenue and when it comes to the world of tecompanyvaluations are very much based on how recurring your revenue is just becauseit ends up being less expensive for the business over time. So we felt, likeyou know, in order to really give our investors the best return possible. Weneeded a business model that was going to be recurring, so we went out to theindustry di the exact same research process. Again, just didn't need totalk to as many people and we're looking for a product that we couldsell on that recurring business model at the enterprise level. So we did thatwe kind of checked off the boxes of the things we the objectives we had set forthe second product launched it and it's performed exactly as we anticipatedcool. So the first one. Could you have...

...just changed the pricing model on it orwas it? It was the way that the product or service was packaged, that you couldnever turn it into a recurring revenue type thing. So we did try multipletimes to turn it into more of a recurring model, and that was alwaysthe intent. We thought that, as we signed on more projects, WEO'd be ableto convert those customers from paying on a per project basis to paying forkind of a companywide license. That would be, you know recurring and annual,and we just found that the customer didn't want to buy that way, because wewere selling a you know sight solution of field based solution. It really onlydelivered value while that project was under construction, and it wassomething that would happen differently on every single sight and so for themost part, the contractors wanted to pass that cost off, and you know havethat part of the project budget versus part of their overhead expense, so forthem to buy it at the corporate level. Just really didn't make sense to them.Even if a company would mandate our tool in their company, they would stillask for every site to pay for it and work it into their budget separately,depending on kind of how that project was operating. So it just didn't end upbeing something the customer was interested in doing, even if they couldsave a bit of money. Even if we discounted the price they still wantedto split that up across their projects. So we were able to kind of do a coupleof things: we're able to get project commitments from people, so we couldget. You know years worth of projects committed ahead of time and things likethat that helped somewhat and we did get a few enterprise deals from certaincustomers, but it wasn't. It wasn't going to convert magically to beingthat unless we found a product that added value at the corporate level andnot just at the field level, God it so the. I think I understand that so thenew product is not just something that the people on site would use todistribute the work or Monito the work. The new one is tackling like they're,using it in corporate office with allivied resources, yeah yeah, so it'sa workforce, planning tool, bridget bench and it's used by the operationsteam in the office to manage all of their people and all of their projects.So it doesn't matter what stage each of those projects is at they're alwaysplanning their resources, and it's that's happening on an ongoing basis,so for them to pay for that at the kind of enterprise level. Just makes a lotof sense, and so that's something that we wanted to ensure that we weren'tselling at the sit level anymore. Did you have to change your sales strategy,O ' like where you selling the different people, or only after adifferent budget? Then? So we really encourage the sales team to kind ofthink about what are all the things that didn't work on the first productand be open to the fact that maybe they will work on this second product justso, we weren't you know taking certain behaviors and in assuming that the samewould be true on this new product, but it ended up actually being incrediblysimilar. So we 're often talking to a VP of operations at a constructioncompany regardless, so the persona was more or less the same. The user wasdifferent, but that's okay, 'cause we were selling still to almost the sameperson and the same sales reps could sell both products. So there wasn'tactually any major structural changes we had to make internally is basicallyour team just moving over an they're focused to the new product, that's cool,so reflecting back now so you're how many years in almost seven homedecemberseventeenth a our seventh anhappy upcoming innimersary, something that we never let our kidsoff the hook with saying like whether ther day was good or bad. We alwaysaske Thom t best parts in worse Mars, so would have been the best parts ofthe journey so far and would have been the call, the worse sparts or partsthat you maybe don't want to repeat. Ygan best ars WESTRTS, a couple F bestparts I think, like our business partnership, has been incredible and Ithink that's something that's really difficult with a lot of businesses. Ifthe partners aren't getting along, then everything suffers because of it. Butwe've always just been. You know, I think, very aligned in what we werelooking to accomplish: ith the business and really good at working together. Weboth definitely are appreciative of the...

...different skills that we bring to thetable. So that's definitely been one of the best parts and the other one. Iwould add to that, and I'm just going to leave the worst parts to you. The other best part, I would say, isjust I think, we've become incredibly confident overtime that no matter whatchallenge we come across, Ot the business. We will be able to solve itand we don't know what those things will be necessarily, but we know thatwe'll figure it out and I think our team as a whole feels that, because theteam has been through Challenges Together- and I think that's something-that's just going to be incredibly valuable, going forward in our careers,whether it's starting another business at some point- or you know getting ajob at some point- I don't know but yeah. I think that's something that weboth really value. Beforelorn is the pleasure of doing the worst. What a eyou two do to work on that relationship. I've had other founders at the sametime on the PO gest and they do little things that they do to keep each otherin checks. Do you have any regular things that you do together? I thinkearly on. We, if there was anything that we felt like there was any tensionover. It was just because no one was accountable for that part of thebusiness yet because therewas literally new departments emerging as the companygrew and we're like. Oh wait, which one of us is doing marketing again. So Ithink just making sure that the division of Accountabilities is veryclear. Make sure that there's no confusion about you know who should beworking on what part of the business? That was one thing that we definitelydid H and now like we try to have lunch together whenever we're both in thesame place- and I think that's just become kind of habitual may be for us,and it gives us an opportunity out of the office to just catch up on what'sgoing on, and I think that just keeps like each other kind of in the loop andthat's C, sometimes where our best ideas come from, is just being able tobrain storm and being able to just kind of chat and figure out. What the nextplan is, so I think we just yet we spend a lot of time together. We jokethat we're telepathic and we always kind of know. What's what's going on,and so I think just staying like open with that and not kind of letting eachother kind of get on a different page, cool Morin. Worse part, worse parts Um, I mean there ther're specific thingslike decisions that maybe we would go back and make differently, but Iwouldn't say that those were necessarily the worst parts by anymeans, because we were learning and usually the decision we made was theright decision at the time we just didn't have all of the information, andso in hindsight it's easy to say we would have done something differently,so I wouldn't say that there's any decision that was necessarily like theworst part. I would say for me Mallery. I guess you can say if you agree, Ithink the hardest part maybeits, not the worst part, but the hardest part isjust how like taxing. It is energy wise to have your own business and it nevergoes away an so. I think in the beginning at least, I felt like okay,we're just going to work superhard for another six months and then it'll geteasier, and then I can kind o take a break and it'll be fine, or you knowthis won't last forever, so like just push through now and you'll kind of getto the other side, and it just doesn't really work that way. There's always anew stresser there's a new problem and so just being able to figure out how todeal with that as just an ongoing thing versus thinking that it's magicallygoing to go away someday, and I think we've gotten better at that. I thinkyou get also just used to having kind of that pressure on you at all times,but definitely being able to take a step back when we can and kind of tryto forget about some of that stuff temporarily is definitely important,because otherwise it d like it really does take a toll. I find like on these pot gass and Idon't know business books and blogs. You talk a lot about the company, butlot of bu the people like how are you versus Howis, the company? If you askhow how ar things going the default h answer is always well the company'sgoing well. Thine go hold on what about you. So what? What do you do to keepsaying like? Do you have your own? I don't know peditation exercise travelwhatever. What are the things that you do to keep you good...

...yeah? I think we both kind of dodifferent things. I have a family now, so that's different, I think before Ius. I definitely used to exercise as kind of a way to like clear my head andnow like. I should still be doing that, but it's harder. I have a two year old,so just the time is sometimes harder to find, but I think just being able tokind of like be at the Office for me and put my effort in then and kind ofswitch off in the evenings is kind of how I get a bit of a break and thenalso just trying to focus on kind of the other aspects. In life take timeoff, spend weekends, you know with family or friends, and not you knowalways. You know worrying about the next thing in the business and notfeeling guilty about that. I think we've realized that it really is amarathon, so you have to pace yourself or you're not going to like indure it. So, yes, I think it's changed over time,but I think for me just like feeling like the business is moving forward andfeeling like I'm adding value to it. I don't mind putting in the effort, Ithink the Times where it's more deenergizing is when you feel likethere's challenges that are much deeper and harder to solve, and so you feellike you're, spinning your wheels and that's when definitely for me. I feelmore of that, like burnt out feeling verses, just being tired from havingput in a good effort which is a more productive feeling, better, tiredfeeling. Maly would you do? I would say just not traveling, for a few weeks isdefinitely a really helpful way to just unwind a little bit. So when you'rekind of going from place to place to place and that's exciting, there's, youknow really interesting meetings happening but you're like literallyliving out of a suitcase, and then you know you get into this habit. Wherethere's like six bags, you haven't unpacked and then all of a suddenyou're like okay time for a laundry. So as soon as I can just have a stretch athome to sort of get things reorganized again, that's always really nice. Iprobably used to not exercise as much and I've gotten more into exercisingrecently and definitely like crave it when I haven't had a chance to do it,but I'm like every time I travel now I like try and go to the hotel gym andthose are just new habits that I think overtime. I've developed as a way tojust make sure that you know we're boasting healthy and everything, andthe last thing I would add is I think, by having a good partnership. It meansthat if lawrn goes on vacation, she's able to count on me and just completelydisconnect for that vacation, at least I hope she feels that way, and the samegoes for me that you know I'm going away for a week somewhere. Then I knowthat Lawren has everything covered and can truly take that time to just UNMINDas well. So that's when good H, we definitely like. I can't imagine like running abusiness on my own, because I think like having our partnership has beensuch a big part of what we've done and we really count on each other to likekeep me moving forward, even in those really like kind of dark times and soyeah. We count on each other to kind of like lift each other up. If oneperson's having a bad day or there's been, you know a decision, that'sYdidn't go the way we wanted it to or whatever it is, and so I think we'reable to keep each other kind of like looking forward even when it feels likeeverything's falling apart. That's great! Is there anything you wish you wouldhave known earlier or say advice to your twenty something year old sells.If you were just coming out of school and starting c this company again, whatwould be the advice that you'd give yourselves? I think one sort ofrealization was that I think we were very hesitant in a lot of ways to askfor help early on because we'relike, oh, we don't want to bother people or, UKno. We don't want to take up their time and then overtime. We realize thatpeople like really want you to be successful and they really want us tobe successful and if they have the means to help you and you're respectfulof their time, then you know they're all in, and so I think, if you canbuild those relationships overtime, then just realizing that you knowpeople around. You actually really want you to do well, and just you knowleveraging that when possible, as...

...opposed to thinking that you knowyou're, always a burden to sort of advisors or whoever it is that'shelping you. So that's definitely something that we've realized and wedefinitely have a lot of great cheerleaders and that definitely keepsus going too so the community, the I T, entrepreneur,community and the potcastis getting quite a good number of listers now sois there anything that the community can do for you anything that you'reworking on that you need help with on the I don't know, hiring frontfunraising. How can we help go out and start your own businesses?That's definitely something we would love to see. We've been big promotersof women in business as well. So you know if there's anything we can do tohelp there, but that would be the thing that I think would make us the happiestor apply a Birg for a sales job. Thot t fortue start your own, but if not come work Ibridget awesome. Well, I appreciate you makingthe time. It's been really good to hear a little more the details of the earlyday story and Congras on the launch of the new product. It seems to be goingreally well an appreciate you taking the time. Thank you of thankthanksgaving. US You've been listening to the IVIONGMEN or potcast to ensurethat you never miss an episode subscribe to the show in your favoritepodcast player, or visit ivy dot ca forward, slash entremrenorship. Thankyou so much for listening until next time.

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