Ep. 17 How Revolut cracked their Product: the Amazon of banking
[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the bottom up podcast. I’m Mike Parons. And  I’m the chief innovation officer at Qualitance, and today we’re going to be doing a case study on Revolut who we have called the Amazon of banking. So we’re going to dig right into, uh, what they’ve been doing and see fundamentally what we can learn from them.

So to get you up to speed. These guys have been quite busy the last five years since they started. They have over 10 million users. They have over 800 million in funding. Evaluation is roughly a five, five and a half billion and they have over 2000 staff. So they’re doing a lot of things right. I can promise you that.

I think they’re moving into disrupting a very traditional market. So that’s also very interesting. And I think that, uh, unlike the WeWork case study, I think these guys are pretty strong [00:01:00] across the board and showing all the signals that they are going to dominate the market. So what a perfect time to look in to learn to understand what they’re doing so well.

Now as usual, we’re going to use our famous bottom up, four P’s, people, product, profit and promotion to understand their business. And the reason I really liked these so much is we get to look on the outside of the business, on the inside of the business. It’s a very good way for us to understand what they’re doing and really to try and try and learn from them.

So. For today’s episode, we’re going to get into the world of product. Let’s dive in there, and I think the first thought that I have for you is this really is not just a good product. I think it’s actually a great product, and the reason for this has got two characteristics. The first thing is it’s solving a massive problem.

I mean, money is really important to get so much done in our lives. This is not a nice to have. This is [00:02:00] pretty much, you got to have this. And what goes alongside that so very well is this is something that you use every single day, whether your buying things, transferring, checking balances, traveling, you name it.

Um, money kind of comes up a lot. And so they’re very lucky. I think of this very much like a venture capitalists, a wet dream. I mean, this is perfect for them. This is. Hey product, that solves a big problem and it solves every single day. So I mean, this is getting on the home page of your iPhone. I mean, this is a great product.

So let’s have a look at the kind of five key pillars of what they’re doing now. And I will say this, that they are releasing new features pretty quickly. So I think you can expect this to double or triple by 2021. So Revolut will help you manage your money, travel with these, uh, send money, uh, to friends.

[00:03:00] Um, they’ve got some good security phages and lastly, they’ve just really ramped up their exchange on cryptocurrency, so pretty solid start there and can, considering that they already have 10 million users, and it’s a pretty phenomenal. Job. Now let’s break down even further to some of the things that they’re doing.

Some of the things that we can learn from how they’re building their product, and you might want to put these features into your product to number one. The first thing that they are doing is they have a very clear focus on this thing, which we call that aha moment. And what that is, is they know that when you transfer five-year-olds to a friend, it’s so easy, so far, so instant, so satisfying, but you’re sort of hooked on their product after that.

You’ve really got it. And so they really focus on getting customers to that moment of transfer as quick as possible. And now if they do this, you know, they pretty much know that they’re gold. And the real, um, [00:04:00] reminder in this product is it is insanely simple. And this enables. Both speed and ease of use.

Like you don’t have to think too hard to get the jump down here. And sometimes when I look at how easy it is to transfer money on Revolut, I kind of feel like they’ve removed every single step or click that they could. Much like in the way Uber, for example, really tries to remove any data entry. Uh, you don’t have to get out of your credit card.

So in that way, I think Revolut is quite similar to Amazon. Now, the next thing is that what they do super well is they have this incredible useful search. I don’t know about you, but I find search pretty rotten with most of my banking products that I use, either for home or for business. And what they’ve done is they’ve done a couple of really, really good.

Um, industry practice practices, first of all, they start pre-loading results as [00:05:00] you type and they give you predictive search, meaning that as you’re typing, I try to guess the word that you are are actually typing in. Again, these are little micro seconds, uh, that they are trying to cut out of the experience so you can get there as fast as possible.

So that search is really important and it’s almost Google. Like. And the way you search now, why my banks don’t make search, and it’s such a straightforward, standard, uh, feature. It’s just amazing to me that that Revolut have been able to come along and produce something that is just so simple and easy to use and so compelling compared to the industry.

Okay. Next thing. This is the third thing they do around product, which I think is super interesting is they’ve done some really interesting thinking around the product and how they want to build it, and it means that they can introduce new features really quickly and easily. I will come to how they, how they’ve actually engineered on the [00:06:00] back end to do that, but I want to stay with the front end features right now.

They offer a really compelling ease of use. When we moved to additional products or features, and this is what we call in the industry that cross sell. So in this case, it’s very easy, easy for me to jump into, say crypto, um, when I’m just finished checking my balances and because they make this so easy, it’s so seamless.

One app. What’s really interesting is a lot of banks that I’ve used my investment app, it’s actually a separate app to the normal banking app. Just a little bit of extra friction there. Revolut have have removed those, so they make crypto investing really easy. Now, I mentioned a little bit about, uh, the thinking in terms of backend architecture and how they think about the product stack.

Now this is the fourth thing that we can really learn from them. They call it banking as a platform. This is just another fancy way of saying end to end application. [00:07:00] So, um, I want to unpack this a little bit through an example. Um, and, and the starting point here is that they, they build, um, most of their core features, if not all of them themselves.

And they have very little third party dependencies. This gives them an, a couple of really key benefits. They are agile. They can release new features really fast. And, um, they understand the product stack. So if they need to, to change something in the way a particular feature works, say a credit check, they can do that with great control and precision.

If you’re licensing it through a third party becomes a bit harder because you have to go with a third party now. I’ve got this great example I want to share with you. Uh, it’s around a card fraud detection system. And in the case of Revolute, what they went and did is they went and built it all themselves and they called it Sherlock.

Now, what’s really interesting about Sherlock is they built it in just nine months, was actually pretty good. And, um, here’s some interesting facts about [00:08:00] Sherlock. They saved a ton of money in production cause they got it done in nine months. Um. It’s very, very accurate on catching historical fraudulent transactions, Baton 96%.

But what’s really cool is it’s predictive technology, um, is actually, um. Very, very accurate. So three out of every 10 predictions turn out to be right so they can predict fraud before it happens. Now, if you’re super interested in this, jump onto Google and have a surf around and you’ll actually find they’ve got a whole article about how they built it.

Uh, using the Google cloud platform is just really interesting to show you how they went about building one of the features, um, in their banking as a platform architecture. So. Before we wrap up a couple of key thoughts here. Now, this is where we really start to expand our understanding of their product.

Um, and I’m going to explain to you that their essential product strategy, and [00:09:00] I’m going to do it through a little quote from , founder and CEO of . Revolut and just check this out. This is what he says. The reality is, what we’re trying to achieve is to build a 10 X better financial services company. It is 10 X cheaper as well, and the only way to do it.

Is not building just one product, a building a platform with a lot of products on top of it. So we know we can expect a ton more products and features coming on this platform. And what’s really interesting is that the bar that they are sitting is not only making it 10 times better and getting the jobs to be done for users like ticked, they’re also going to make it radically cheaper.

And it’s because they built the platform that they can go. Faster release, more products, release better products, but also because they are in so much control of the platform, you’re going to see that they’re going to make a lot more money. Now, I’m going to get onto profit in a separate [00:10:00] episode, but this was some really interesting thinking around the product and it’s so good to hear from the founder about their product vision.

So, uh, before we do a recap, if you do want to know anything more about Revolut, jump on over to bottom up.io there. You’re gonna find a whole ton of work that we’ve done a whole masterclass on these guys, lots of video and research and data. So jump over to bottom up, got IO and, um, make sure you remember, uh, some of the key principles that Revolut have done in building their product.

Number one, they’re solving a massive problem every single day. Don’t under estimate that super useful. It’s on my homepage. They focus on this aha moment. They know when they’ve got the customer, they make retrieving data, like so simple, so easy. The delightful, even. And lastly, they’ve thought about this as, you know, banking as a platform.

So they have a, this is the product of Revolut. Once again, if [00:11:00] you are interested, jump over to bottom up.io and you can get a whole lot more on Revolut case studies on we work in many, many others. That’s it for today’s episode of the bottom up podcast.

016 Digital Workspaces
 [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:09] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. My name’s Mike Parsons. I’m your host, and we are here to share with your skills, tips, tricks for innovators, creators, designers, builders, you name it. Anyone who’s out there daring to create something new. I’m excited to share with all of you the fifth and final installment of our top five emerging [00:00:34] technology series.

[00:00:35] I’ve been doing this now for four years, picking the top five technologies. It creates so much conversation, argumentation. I love it, trying to pick winners. You know the reason I like it so much is it forces you to think through what’s going to succeed and you keep on working on this and you just get better and better and better.

[00:00:55] So we’ve had a lot of exciting picks so far, we’ve had four. Here’s our final one. It’s called digital workplace or said better, if you want to be customer first, you need to be employee [00:01:08] first. So, if you want to learn about this or any other of our top five emerging technologies, head over to BottomUp.io.

[00:01:16] Everything’s there for you to read, digest, sign up, get the master class, get the video. You’ll thoroughly love that and everything else we’ve got on offer there. So, the digital workplace. What on earth are we going on about? Well, the anchoring idea for this is that, if you want to be customer-first, if you want to provide all these great, amazing services and experiences for your customers, we often neglect [00:01:42] the people that actually have to build, create, and support, maintain these experiences.

[00:01:46] And that’s the employee. So, this puts firmly at the top of the table, the importance of the digital workplace. So, what do we mean when we say digital workplace? Like what are we talking about here? Mike? Well, it’s the tools, the apps, the dashboards, and all of the services that we use during our day to power all of the experiences that our customers’ touch.

[00:02:08] So this can be workflow management, process management, systems management, application layers, all of the web [00:02:16] service connections that might service a product or a service. That’s what we’re talking about. It’s the ability for the team to get together and deliver these products and services, keep them going to maintain the beating heart of a business.

[00:02:31] So let’s cut through all the hype about digital workplace and all of that. And let’s get to the three big things that really matter that you need to know. Number one, when we talk about employees and working, there is a huge boom in remote and virtual working. Not only, you know, [00:02:50] the classic freelance,

[00:02:53] global traveler archetype, but actually even within large organizations, more and more they’re seeing advantages in letting their teams work remotely. Perhaps not permanently, but definitely on particular days on particular projects. Remote working is huge. I think with the 2020 virus context, you’re going to see a ton more remote working.

[00:03:13] So digital workplace, which we picked way before. Any mention of a virus has now doubled down on this one cause it’s going to be huge. The next one is that business [00:03:24] overall is going through an enormous transformation. I mean, a lot of the catchphrase in enterprise circles right now is about digital transformation, which is firmly not only about delivering great customer experiences, but it’s also about creating employee experiences.

[00:03:43] And, like the best companies, if you really understand that you’ve got to nurture your employees with the tools, the apps, and the services that they use, you’re only setting yourself up to be able to better deliver [00:03:58] customer experiences. And this remote working and digital transformation are two things happening on the inside of a business that are radically changing the digital workplace. But if there was to be one thing that is causing those two changes, which I’ve left for last, it is the huge growth we’ve seen in omnichannel customer experience. Even if your business is not in retail like Amazon or not in search like Google, you’re [00:04:32] kind of competing with Amazon and Google. Let me explain why. If we use Amazon and Google every day, we become enabled with a sort of a defacto standard that every experience will be as quick, efficient, elegant, and seamless as Amazon and Google. So, what happens is we, therefore, transfer these expectations into other categories, other use cases, other products, and services, even if they’re not retail in surge.

[00:05:03] We still expect them to be as good as an [00:05:06] experience as those from Amazon and Google. And this is the big catch. Every business now has to deliver its product and service as good as Amazon does this because our customers are using them. And here’s the real flip, on the inside, enterprise technology actually has to be that level of consumer-grade too.

[00:05:29] And way too often, we forget the employee. In fact, if you look at the data, it’s almost a factor of [00:05:40] 1000 times more investment, this is the one number that counts, 1000 times more is invested in understanding customer behavior than is spent on understanding employee behavior. It’s crazy, but yet the employees are the ones that have to create or the magic for the customers.

[00:06:00] So there is this huge opportunity with the digital workplace. So, let’s do the pros and cons here. Okay, without a doubt, if you make a great digital workplace, your employees are going to be more engaged. [00:06:14] And what do we know? If an employee is more engaged, they’ll stay better, they’ll do better work, and they will go, and they will advocate about working at your company and bring other good people in. I mean, that’s an undeniable, huge benefit, you know, putting employees first. So. Okay, if this sounding pretty good, Mike, what’s the catch? Well, listen, the truth really is the digital workplace. That employee experience is sort of an emerging field because truth be told, most [00:06:48] businesses have neglected the employee experience.

[00:06:52] And so when we talk about creating great employee experiences, most companies have never met the employee user journey. I bet you they’ve mapped the customer journey, but the employee is something that’s been neglected. So, if you don’t know the journey, it’s very hard to digitize. So, it means a lot of time and effort has to go into doing things for the first time.

[00:07:16] And as we all know, doing things for the first time is a bit harder than doing it the second or third, or fourth. [00:07:22] So we’re getting like-new muscle memory inside of the organization. Enormously challenging time, effort, resources. You know what, that just equals one thing, money. And we haven’t traditionally had a big line item for the employee experience.

[00:07:38] And that’s why if you want to be customer first, you have to be employee first. Why this digital workplace is so damn hard because it’s often a first-time adventure for the enterprise. So, there you have it. Digital workplace number five of our top five [00:07:56] emerging technology trends for 2020. Just to recap, we had number one was 5G networks.

[00:08:03] Number two was a prickly one. Mass surveillance. Number three, boundless automation for the collective cloud. I mean, these are some killer, killer ideas here. The last one, digital workplace, I mean, there’s so much here. So, as you decompress on some of these topics, head over to BottomUp.io. Get one of our courses and masterclasses.

[00:08:25] Make sure you dig into the top five emerging technologies. There’s plenty of others too, [00:08:30] including design thinking. There’s all the skills, tips, and tricks you need to be a better innovator. I’m your host, Mike Parsons here on the BottomUp podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. We’ll see you bottomup.io.

015 – Cloud
 [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. My name is Mike Parsons. I’m your host and it is a pleasure to bring you part four of our top five emerging technologies. And here today we’re going to give you skills to grow, design, build, create your new product, service, or business. That’s what we’re all about at the BottomUp podcasts.

[00:00:31] And today, our subject [00:00:34] is the collective cloud. That’s right. You’re probably very familiar with AWS, Azure, Google cloud, or Red Hat. You’ve heard about all these guys. Things are really cooking in the cloud. All these different clouds, both private, public, on-premise, you name it. It’s all starting to come together.

[00:00:53] And that’s why we’ve called it collective cloud so that it’s part four of our top five emerging technologies. Now, if you’re very interested in all of these emerging technologies, and you’d love to get the master class, the video [00:01:08] keynote or anything around essential skills for innovation, go to BottomUp.io and you’ll find all the goodies you need.

[00:01:16] All right, let’s get into the world of cloud computing. So, what is this thing? Well. Cloud computing is all about moving away from having all your applications sitting on a local server in your office, right physically next to you, and moving to our remote or virtual model where the server is actually online, as they say, in the cloud.

[00:01:40] So Google docs [00:01:42] is a great example of something we all used to do in Microsoft Word 20 years ago, 15 years ago, and now so much of our word processing is done online, in the cloud, on a server rather than being installed locally. It’s a great example, and you’re probably using a ton of services like Dropbox and so forth.

[00:02:02] Even of course, what we take for granted now are services like Netflix. They’re all driven by the cloud. So, that’s what the cloud is all about getting all that hassle kind of out of the office. I mean, [00:02:16] I even remember the excitement, Oh gosh. When was this? 1997 when we got our first web server. I think it was a son’s box server, and literally we had a physical server.

[00:02:28] Nobody does that anymore. It’s so amazing how web applications, in particular, have transformed how everything has moved to the cloud. So, let’s cut through all the hype in the conversation and cut to three things that really matter about cloud computing or what we call collective cloud. 

[00:02:47] Well, the first thing that’s probably come across [00:02:50] your inbox is the scandal around the JEDI project with the Pentagon. Now the Pentagon actually awarded this 10 gazillion Chilean billion-dollar project all exclusively to Microsoft. And well, Amazon, they were very upset, and this has been all over the place for a number of reasons. There was all sorts of Trump stuff involved, but it was also a pure-play.

[00:03:15] They chose one vendor and we see the whole movement to a collective cloud, which is hybrid cloud. Many different providers, many [00:03:24] different installations on-premise, off-premise, public and private. This JEDI contract has been huge in the cloud community because it was one of the biggest deals ever signed.

[00:03:35] So check out that JEDI contract with the Pentagon. Now, I mentioned Amazon, and when we talk cloud, you have to be talking about AWS, their web services division, which really pioneered this technology as a commercial offering. They’re the market leader, but Hey, Microsoft is catching up as is Google. So, this is a very exciting place [00:03:58] because you’ve got a number of tech titans duking it out.

[00:04:02] AWS and Amazon leading the way, but don’t count out the guys in Redmond and the guys at Mountain View, they might catch up. So, it’s a very exciting couple of years in cloud computing and all of that competition, that’s good news for you and I, because it actually means competition will drive new products and services.

[00:04:24] It will drive a more affordable service. And frankly, you know, cloud’s pretty affordable, but it could even get more [00:04:32] affordable as that competition matures and the market grows. Third reason why we’re all talking about this is actually the dark horse in this race is an old company. Yes, IBM. Now you might thought IBM in cloud, not so sure about that, but their recent acquisition of Red Hat has really brought a different idea to the table.

[00:04:57] Red Hat, a much more open source, IBM is becoming more and more so that way. So, we’ve got our very exciting, more agnostic [00:05:06] proposition coming into the market with huge power and distribution of IBM. I think this is very exciting for the collective cloud game for the cloud computing industry. 

[00:05:16] That’s three reasons, the JEDI contract, AWS, all the big tech titans, including IBM, are getting in on this game. Let’s see what happens there. But if you want to know one number, I love just picking one number. One number that tells the story already in 2019, cloud computing makes up 30% of enterprise [00:05:40] IT budgets. That’s already 30% I can guarantee before we know it, it’s the majority of what IT spends its money on because it is such a better proposition than having server racks sitting in the back of your office and trying to maintain, update, and create new products and services on top of that legacy infrastructure. Forget it. It’s all in the cloud, baby. Now, let’s quickly wrap this up with some pros and cons.

[00:06:08] Okay. Look, I don’t work for any of these cloud providers, but I will tell you this is the ultimate [00:06:14] proposition. Cloud is faster, cheaper, better than its previous version of local native installed applications. I mean, almost in all cases it’s a better proposition. So that’s the pro. Now you’re thinking, okay, my good luck finding a challenge with this.

[00:06:31] Well, it actually, I think it is such a paradigm shift in computing, actually, the biggest challenge for business is the lack of skills and expertise in running large scale cloud environments. I mean, we’re talking about DevOps load [00:06:48] balancing. We’re talking about a lot of, you know, weaving together a web of microservices, running across a lot of different platforms.

[00:06:56] This is no easy task and actually there’s not a lot of people that have actually got much experience or expertise doing this and then cut it down. Like once you say, we’re real serious about doing a large-scale application, serving hundreds or maybe even thousands of simultaneous concurrent users, you’re getting into just a handful of people in any city can really do that well.

[00:07:18] So that’s the challenge on the cloud computing side, but it will [00:07:22] all come good as the market matures because, without a doubt, cloud computing is faster, cheaper, better. It’s super exciting. Now, with all that excitement you’re thinking, where can I find out more information, Mike? Well, the good news is you go to BottomUp.io, sign up for one of our masterclasses or keynotes. Get all the information not only on the top five emerging technologies, but you know what? You can go and discover a whole bunch more, design thinking, future of media. It’s all their BottomUp.io. My name’s Mike Parsons. I’m your host of the BottomUp podcast.

[00:07:55] It’s [00:07:56] been so great to share cloud computing with you. We’ll see you for the last installation of the top five emerging technologies.

014 – Automation
 [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:09] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your host, Mike Parsons. And as usual, I am here to share with you some essential skills for innovation, design creation, building good stuff. And today we’re reviewing the topic of automation. In fact, I call it boundless automation, ubiquitous automation, and if you’re [00:00:34] thinking, ah, well listen, I’m a creative type, this doesn’t apply to me.

[00:00:38] It does. Because whether you’re a consumer or an entrepreneur. Automation is becoming ubiquitous. It’s essential to understand. It’s the third part of our five-part annual top five emerging technologies. I really love doing this. This is the fourth year of my top five emerging technology picks. I’m really grateful to all the feedback I’ve had over the years.

[00:01:01] On all my different picks. If you’d like to know more about some of the retrospective picks, some of the winners and the losers [00:01:08] pop over to bottomup.io because you’ll find all sorts of goodies there. Not only a full master class and keynote on this entire top five emerging technologies for 2020 but you can get access to a whole bunch of courses on design thinking, lean, agile, and innovation overall.

[00:01:25] So that’s bottom up.io. Okay. Let’s get into this boundless automation universe. Firstly, what is it? Well, it’s really super simple. It’s all about using technology to automate, especially these complex [00:01:42] business processes. Sometimes today we might find that those processes have a lot of manual work.

[00:01:48] They can be slow and inconsistent, and frankly, computers and robots can just do them better. So, what we’re talking about is using automation to improve, you know, payroll, order processing, even a lot of marketing processes that have a lot of data, perfect thing to automate. So, when we talk about boundless innovation and boundless automation, it could be that classic kind of factory robot, you know, [00:02:16] Amazon or Ocado kind of vision that you have of just a few people and millions of robots.

[00:02:21] But it can also be software too. And that’s what’s so exciting about it. It’s sort of a hardware-software play. So why is this so hyped up? What’s going on here with boundless automation? What’s behind the story?  Well, the real truth here is there one company has pioneered this perhaps better than any others, and that’s Amazon because they have the hardware automation happening in their factories and distribution centers. And then they have the software automation happening in their [00:02:50] retail and online environments. It’s the Amazon effect. They are just more efficient than any other retailer on the planet. And that’s why with their championing of this cause everybody’s talking about automation.

[00:03:06] They are the poster child of automation. They are absolutely killing it. We haven’t even seen the end result yet. I can assure you that there are some super macro, long-term economic cycles for us to go through. We will see the true power of automation. Number two, why is [00:03:24] this so, so important? Well, it is hugely efficient, particularly in 2020 as we go post virus, we’re going to see a huge push on efficiency.

[00:03:34] Automation will deliver. And the reason that automation is just so powerful is that it can take error-prone, slow human processes, and just do them better. And you know, the truth here is that the power of hardware and software automation can get so much done and deliver so much cost savings to the bottom line [00:03:58] of an organization in 2020 I’m sure that is going to be the number one driver.

[00:04:03] The third thing that’s got us all talking about this and why we’ve picked it as a top-five emerging technology for 2020 is the whole conversation about job displacement and the job fears that people have about automation. Now in the master class that we’ve got on bottom up.io, you will see that yes, we did find the data that actually proves that there will be job displacement.

[00:04:32] [00:04:31] Without a doubt, there will just be some jobs that go away. We’ve been seeing that in manufacturing for years. But here’s the thing. The world economic forum found that 75 million jobs will be displaced, but by 2022 automation will create a net new 133 million jobs. So, come on guys. We don’t have to be so freaked out.

[00:04:53] There is an upside to automation, and that’s why we’re talking about it. So, the Amazon effect, it’s hugely efficient and it’s not really about job displacement. It’s about job [00:05:06] growth. That’s why it really matters. Now, as usual, I’ve got one number that matters and this one’s going to blow your socks off.

[00:05:13] Deloitte found that by 2023 the adoption of robotic process automation, RPA, will be nearly ubiquitous in industry. 89% will have adopted this because it’s so damn efficient. So just think about that. This technology is on track for ubiquity within the next three years. Boundless [00:05:40] automation, whether it’s in hardware or software, you can bet your bottom dollar, particularly with the tough economic climate of 2020 this is going to be huge.

[00:05:50] So let’s look at the pros and cons and sort of frame the boundless automation conversation. Without a doubt, the big benefit is this thing saves money for business. I think we’ve made a good case for that, but here’s the con: automating a non-digital business is actually quite hard to do.

[00:06:09] And that’s the big catch because often these processes have not been mapped. [00:06:14] There are no journeys. Nobody actually has a workflow. So, we have to capture the workflow as it is today. But then there’s another job we have to ask ourselves rather than just how do we copy-paste what’s offline and put it online, we actually have to ask ourselves, how can we make it better as a process, as a workflow with technology, and this is not easy to do. It’s both left and right brain. It’s creative, it’s hardcore engineering. This is why automation, great proposition, great [00:06:48] benefits, but actually as you’d expect, it’s going to take a bit of hard work to get the job done.

[00:06:53] So there you go. That’s pick number three of our top five emerging technologies. It’s boundless automation. It’s this opportunity for us all to have a little bit of Jeff Bezos magic in our business, in our product, in our service. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. If you want to download all the goodies you can at bottomup.io, my name is Mike Parsons.

[00:07:16] I’m your host here at the BottomUp podcast. It’s been a pleasure. I can’t wait to have you on the fourth [00:07:22] installment of our top five emerging technologies.

013 – Mass Surveillance
 [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:11] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your host, Mike Parsons, and as always, I’m here to share with you essential skills for innovators, designers, creators, builders, you name it, people building new products and services. And today we’re reviewing the topic of mass surveillance. This is actually the second part of our [00:00:34] annual top five emerging technology picks.

[00:00:36] We’ve been doing this for four years now, and this one, mass surveillance is one of the trickiest. Now you might be thinking, what is mass surveillance? Well, I’m going to tell you everything, but if you want to go super deep into this topic and to many other emerging technologies and skills for innovators, head over to BottomUp.io and you can get a bunch of goodies. It’s all free and you can grow as an innovator. All right let’s talk about mass surveillance. Well, what do we mean by mass surveillance? Well, it’s kind of two parts. The [00:01:08] online privacy world, you know, the classic, the cookies, they’re being tracked online.

[00:01:12] And secondly, and equally as important is what happens in public spaces outside. That’s the monitoring of civilians by video face recognition and so forth. Two big pillars, the on and the offline bit. No matter how you play it, this is a big, big topic. As emerging technology is put both online and, in our worlds, in our public spaces.

[00:01:35] There’s never been a time where we’ve been under monitor and surveillance like we are today, [00:01:42] and that’s why we’ve picked it as our second of five emerging technology trends that are essential to know about as a designer, as a creator, as an innovator. So, let’s ask ourselves, what’s all the hype around this?

[00:01:56] Well, there’s probably three big things that I point out that make this topic du jour. Number one: Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. This really exposed what happens with our personal data and how users really don’t appreciate when they sign up for those privacy terms. [00:02:16] What companies turn around and do with that information and this whole expose around Cambridge Analytica really demonstrated to us that our data is not secure. In fact, it gets shared with many different other online companies who get to leverage, utilize, and exploit that information. Now, the next big thing that’s been happening is not only in China but even in places like the UK we’re seeing this explosion of surveillance [00:02:50] cameras. When we walk around those cities, you will be surprised that there are some cities.

[00:02:56] Both in China and in Western cities where there are over 100 cameras per 1000 people. It’s exploding. It’s a way of preventing terrorism. It’s preventing crime monitoring the social and public spaces. But this is happening everywhere. And if you look at that in the online world, nearly 80% of all the sites you visit will be [00:03:24] tracking you.

[00:03:24] So no matter where we go, at home, on the internet or outside or to work, we are being watched. And that’s why it’s so important to understand. And if you want one number. That points to why we selected this as something that has to be on the table, has to be in the discussion, is that this amazing fact found by Deloitte, which is less than 5% of online users actually read the privacy policies that they accept and agree to. 

[00:03:54] And what this means is we have no idea what’s happening with [00:03:58] our personal data. And when we elect governments, we really have very little sense of what rights we’ve given them to have our data, to have our personal image. This is enormous. And this brings up this pressure cooker conversation about who owns our data, what are our rights?

[00:04:17] And this is why mass surveillance is critical to understand. And it’s also, even if you’re not in government, even if you’re not an online publisher, if you have a product or service without doubt, at some point, there’s going to be a transaction of data. And [00:04:32] what I encourage you to do is to be open, to be transparent and respect that data.

[00:04:37] And in turn, your customers we’ll respect you. Okay, just to wrap up, what are the pros and cons around this whole mass surveillance discussion? Well, number one, without a doubt, this kind of surveillance both on and offline, it deters crime. It deters terrorism. I mean, it even improves safety and performance and delivery of public services and infrastructure.

[00:04:59] I got you there. But equally on the other hand, what’s the big catch here? [00:05:06] It’s our loss of privacy. So as citizens, we should be aware, but also as entrepreneurs, here’s a chance for us to protect the data of our customers. And if we do the right thing by them, they’ll do the right thing by us. 

[00:05:20] Okay, so that’s it, mass surveillance. That’s number two of a five-part series looking at the top five emerging technologies for 2020. I’m still pumped. I got three more to go. I can’t wait to share them with you. If you want to know anything about these top five emerging technologies or anything about [00:05:40] skills that will help you innovate, then you should just pop over to BottomUp.io and you’ll find everything you need there. I’ve hope you’ve enjoyed this short conversation on mass surveillance. My name is Mike Parsons. I’m the host of the BottomUp podcast. I’ll see you next time.

012 5G Networks
 [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:09] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your host, Mike Parsons, and I am so glad to be sharing with you today some brand-new skills for innovators. That’s right, today we’re reviewing the world of 5G networks. This is going to be big for anybody creating a new product or a service, and this is the first of five parts in [00:00:34] our annual top five emerging technology keynote. Now, if you would like to get the full one-hour keynote, you can do so at BottomUp.io. I highly recommend you jump over there and get not only good is about emerging technologies, but about design thinking. Lean and agile, all the good stuff, all the modern-day tools of innovation.

[00:00:57] All right, so we’re talking about 5G. I think this is going to have huge implications on how we build, create, design, develop new products and services. Let’s get [00:01:08] into 5G networks. Now, first of all, what are we talking about here? We’re talking about fifth-generation cellular technology. The most likely situation is that you’re listening to this very podcast on perhaps a 4G, maybe a 3G cell connection. And this delivers some, you know, pretty remarkable speeds if you think about having broadband in your pocket. But wait for this 5G, fifth-generation cellular technology, this is going to mean speeds of up to and including a hundred [00:01:42] times faster than 4G. This is massive and no wonder there’s some hype, but when we do our top five emerging technologies, we try to cut through all that hype, cut through all of the noise to find out what really matters.

[00:01:57] Now, if you ask me like why does 5G really matter? I think there’s three big driving factors that are getting 5G on the list to talk about and why I picked it as a top-five emerging technologies for 2020. Number one: fifth generation [00:02:16] cell networks are crucial parts of the mobile industry.

[00:02:20] Here’s the thing. It works beautifully as another reason to upgrade AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, you name it. All the huge global networks need a reason for you to upgrade because we’re on cycles now of every two to three years, we upgrade our device. And we move into a new renewed contract. So often the mobile carrier will dangle a new device, a new feature, a new speed through the [00:02:50] network, has a reason to continue with them.

[00:02:53] So everybody’s got hooked on this three-year rollover model that has meant that we continually upgrade our iPhones. We continually upgrade our contracts with the mobile providers. So, this is why it is getting so much hype. You will have seen in 2019, everybody in the US all those big cell providers desperately trying to shout and scream about 5G as a reason to stay on their network.

[00:03:22] So this is reason number one, that the [00:03:24] hype is so big. Number two, totally different trajectory here, Huawei. A lot of concerns around a Chinese state influenced organization providing the infrastructure for many modern Western governments and industries and economies. So, no doubt, no matter where you are around the world, you’ve probably heard conversations, discussions, perhaps arguments about whether your government should approve that national 5G infrastructure should be provided in part or in whole by Huawei. And this has caused a [00:03:58] lot of conversation. This is an essential part of the whole business economy of the mobile business. We’ve got huge government security concerns coming up through Huawei.

[00:04:09] And lastly, somebody who’s a little bit more off the radar but is super important why the hype is so big, is some of the health concerns that exist around 5G. Without doubt, there’s certainly some concerns around radiation and the different radio waves that 5G uses in order to get those super-fast adrenalized speeds.

[00:04:30] So that’s why the [00:04:32] hype is happening. First thing I want to give you though, after all of that to cut through it or is a number that matters. And if there was one single number that is going to make the point of why 5G’s going to be so big, it’s the Qualcomm forecast that in 2020 there will be 200 million active users of 5G.

[00:04:53] That’s not 2021 it’s not 2025 they’re talking about. Ladies and gentlemen this year, but Huawei not to be outdone. They’ve actually countered that and said they believe [00:05:06] that China alone will have 200,000,000 5G network users in 2020. Look, it really doesn’t matter who you’re going to believe. The truth here is that so much infrastructure has already been put in place.

[00:05:20] The handsets are coming in 2020 it’s going to be fireworks, and 5G is definitely one of our big picks for 2020 so just lastly to wrap up pros and cons. Well without doubt, what’s the real benefit here for the user experience? We always bring things back to the user and I think [00:05:40] that finally, the promise of these rich services and experience delivered either in a remote or a virtual capacity will be able to happen with 5G.

[00:05:49] People won’t need fiber to the home if they have a 5G device. People will be able to have great services like telemedicine, remote working. This could be really huge for 2020 particularly with all the remote working and work from home that has kicked off in the first part of the year. I mentioned earlier if there’s a con to this whole thing, there’s some real concerns around [00:06:14] radiation around all the different radio frequencies that are used here. I mean, the only way they can get these speeds is to get busy on a number of different frequencies with a lot of throughput. We heard stories in both the Netherlands and Japan of birds mysteriously dying around 5G towers.

[00:06:31] So yeah, there is a bit to be worried about. There’s a lot of conjecture and conversation there, but the real impact here is regardless of the pros and the cons, one truth remains, 5G is going to be absolutely huge in 2020. So if you want to know more about [00:06:48] 5G, if you want to get the masterclass, if you want to download the whole keynote, or if you want to know about anything else, that’s an essential skill for an innovator, hop over to BottomUp.io and get all the goodies there. I’m your host, Mike Parsons. It was great having you on the show today. We’ll see you next time.

011 – Presentation – Survey Monkey – Tools and Technology

[00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:08] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your cohost Mike Parsons and as always, I’m joined by the presenter himself, Mr. Chad Owen.

[00:00:19] Chad: [00:00:19] I don’t know why, but I always get a little sad when we reached the end of any of our podcast series, but we’re going to leave you on a high note here because this is where all of your hard work finally pays off.

[00:00:31] Mike: [00:00:31] Indeed because the greatest [00:00:34] irony about this episode is that if you don’t really practice the art of presenting surveys to others, then everything else that we talked about in the last six episodes goes to waste, doesn’t it?

[00:00:45] Chad: [00:00:45] Yeah. And we’ll just cut to the chase and give you advice. Don’t pull up surveymonkey.com in a meeting and start scrolling through the results pages because that’s not going to get you the results you’re looking for.

[00:00:59] Mike: [00:00:59] No, no, no, because I think that what we have to remember, let’s just assume that all of our audience are busy. They’ve got [00:01:08] surveymonkey.com open right now. They’re getting all this great advice and, they’re about to. Walk into the room and present. Everyone’s like, so Chad, Mike, what have you learned right.

[00:01:20] The thing is that you know, we will have spent hours and hours and hours, days, and perhaps weeks working on this research. So, we’ll have lots of the context and rationale and we’ll be hanging on the responses of every single question. But the truth here is that you don’t build products in isolation.

[00:01:40] You’re often part of like a [00:01:42] core team, but perhaps there are stakeholders and sponsors and all sorts of people, third party partners, lots and lots of people, and let’s say you’ve done a bunch of research using Survey Monkey and everyone’s keen to like know what you found, the truth really is it’s your ability to tell the story and just don’t bombard them with numbers and don’t read to them like in a rote manner.

[00:02:08] 42% of people said yes to question two. 38% of people said no to question [00:02:16] three. Because the truth here is, they have none of the real context insights and understanding. So, you need to be much more of a storyteller. And after years and years of learning, I think we’ve kind of cracked a very nice way for you to tell your story.

[00:02:30] So where does that start? Chad.

[00:02:32] Chad: [00:02:32] I’m going to call an audible here. I’m going to invert your framework here because you said something that fired the neurons in my brain. You said, you know, tell the story. So, I think rather than leading with the data and the numbers. Start with the recommendation of what you should do based on what you’ve [00:02:50] learned.

[00:02:50] And so if you can say, well, we need to test this thing in the market, you can say, well, we need to test this thing in the New York market because we had an insight from the data that there was, you know, strong scores in the Northeast. And we know that because, you know, 80% of people in the Northeast gave us a score of eight or higher.

[00:03:08] So, rather than starting with the data, you can start with the recommendation. It came from an insight from the data that came from the hard number. Does that seem like one potential strategy for sharing the information?

[00:03:20] Mike: [00:03:20] Bang on. Whether you, you know, lead strong or [00:03:24] you take them on a logical path, I think the real beauty is you can go either way. But the key thing is, be clear in what action you should take as a result of the survey. Because if you don’t do that, everyone will deduce their own imagination, their own perception of what we should do, and you won’t have alignment.

[00:03:46] Now, if you’re working on a fairly big, ambitious early-stage product, you cannot afford for that misalignment. For example, I would be as bold [00:03:58] as using examples like this. We should only launch our MVP in the state of New York, and we shouldn’t move out of New York until we get an NPS of 8.5 and above.

[00:04:13] Let me tell you the insights behind that. Like I would be really declarative in how I make my recommendations and then almost unpack that in the storytelling. Because when you do a big bunch of research work, there is so many nuances that could be [00:04:32] jumping-off points for people to go off the reservation and draw their own conclusions.

[00:04:36] If you want people to be aligned on the insights, you have to make strong recommendations and almost the very act of making a strong recommendation forces you to have good insights. And if you need good insights, you need to always go back to the data. And this is the three-part approach: have the data, have the insights, have the recommendations.

[00:05:00] I love the way you said it, like don’t just open up Survey Monkey in the meeting, put it on the screen and say, [00:05:06] okay, should we scroll through? That is so perfect. That is like the worst meeting ever because someone says, stop, stop, stop there. Where did you get that data? Oh my gosh. We’re off track.

[00:05:15] Chad: [00:05:15] And like you might get distracted by Survey Monkey’s, awesome export features, and you’re like, Ooh, I can just put this straight into PowerPoint. Again, you’re missing the point of why you were doing this in the first place. Like go back to your research plan and figure out like, what you were trying to learn, and then, you know, use that data to make those strong recommendations just like you’re saying.

[00:05:36] Mike: [00:05:36] I think this is a good sort of baseline. If [00:05:40] you’re presenting key research findings, everyone in that room should have read and agreed with your research plan. I have witnessed people with really great ideas presenting research findings, and people have said, well, I disagree with the whole research approach.

[00:05:59] I don’t understand why you did quant. You should’ve done qual. I don’t understand why you did this. You should’ve done this another way.

[00:06:04] Chad: [00:06:04] Why didn’t you talk to this customer instead of that one?

[00:06:07] Mike: [00:06:07] Right. But then you get in an argument about the means, not even the findings, and it basically [00:06:14] invalidates the findings because if someone says, I don’t agree with the approach, so, therefore, I can’t get on board with the findings, then you’re sunk.

[00:06:22] Like as a product owner, you’re sunk, like you’re dead. Then you’re also probably full of all this inspiration, excitement, and insight, and then you’re like, oh, I didn’t bring my defensive argument for the method of research because you’re so convinced, but your stakeholders might not be.

[00:06:39] Chad: [00:06:39] This comes back to why we are doing these surveys in the first place, and it’s to validate an idea, a hypothesis or [00:06:48] prototype or an MVP that you have. And so, you should be making these really strong recommendations for how you need to move that project forward and you can be confident in doing so because you have the insights from the data.

[00:07:01] Mike: [00:07:01] Absolutely right. And I think there’s a real joy that you can find, looking at the data, asking them what does this mean? And then the next question is, what should we do? And the clearer and the more concise you can be about what you think we should do, we’ll actually [00:07:22] provoke you to be really sharp on the insights in the data.

[00:07:25] Because if you are like, we should do this, we should test it only in California and only in San Jose because, and then if you will, as you’re saying that going, I’m not really sure I totally believe this. That should be a warning sign that you haven’t got the right insights because you’re trying to draw a conclusion and a path to action that doesn’t feel convincing. And it may be a continuous cycle of going back through the data,

[00:07:52] what’s our data? What does this mean? What do we do? And you [00:07:56] might be kind of stuck in that. I think another practical advice, work in a pair. Don’t try and crunch your big truckload of data on your own.

[00:08:07] Chad: [00:08:07] You’ll get lost in the numbers. It happened to me.

[00:08:10] Mike: [00:08:10] You want to talk pivot tables?

[00:08:13] Chad: [00:08:13] I have named it my beautiful mind moment. I was presenting a spreadsheet of pivot tables to Mike, and at one point he just stopped me, and he just said, stop, you know, get out of the spreadsheet. I’d spent way too much of time with the numbers.

[00:08:28]Mike: [00:08:28] I was actually on the [00:08:30] subway and I was looking at the pivot tables on my iPad, and it’s like the worst device you could possibly try and look at the world’s biggest set of pivot tables. And I remember just scrolling out and out and out. It was like good to into like five-point font and whatever, and I’m trying to like, oh my God, I know why this is so much data.

[00:08:48] And I’m like, okay, let’s zoom out a little bit. You know, Chad, we’ve been through a bit of a journey here because we’ve really traveled right the way through Survey Monkey, and there’s been some really, really core learnings. And I think there’s a huge [00:09:04] truth to the idea of think before you do. I think in the case of Survey Monkey, you really need to have a good research plan and know why you’re doing this quant research and just take the care and the time with the designing and the previewing.

[00:09:19] Chad: [00:09:19] And keep it simple.

[00:09:20] Mike: [00:09:20] Yes, that was a good one. Keeping it simple. And your favorite one is the acceleration through the recruitment right.

[00:09:26] Chad: [00:09:26] Yeah. That buy targeted responses option, it can allow you to get results in just a matter of hours. So, if you’re under some time constraints, it can be a real lifesaver.

[00:09:37] Mike: [00:09:37] And then [00:09:38] obviously get rigorous with the filter and the compare function in the analyzed results. And as we’ve been saying on this last episode in this series, really ask yourself, what do we learn? What do we do? And really think through the storytelling, the narrative of what you’ve learned. How does this propel us towards building a great product, telling a great story about this product, and I think you’ll be in good shape.

[00:10:02] Chad: [00:10:02] Yeah, and don’t forget you can link this quantitative survey with other quantitative surveys or go through the magic sequence of quant qual, quant, qual, that we [00:10:12] outlined in the first episode. So, you don’t have to just rely on one survey, and you shouldn’t just rely on one survey. You should, you know, approach learning from your customers in any and all ways that you can.

[00:10:25] Mike: [00:10:25] Absolutely. Well, there we go. We have the Survey Monkey series in the bag. What are tour I mean; we use this so much. The two other tools that we’re going to cover this year, again, it’d be Otter.ai and dovetail. Also, huge fans of those tools. I mean, this is the innovator’s toolkit. These three, I mean, this will get you a long way, [00:10:46] but we’re going to segue out of tools for our next series and episode, and we may be going to what is definitely a home game for us, maybe our true love, which is drum roll. Chad Owen, are you ready to announce what our next series is going to be on the podcast?

[00:11:04] Chad: [00:11:04] I don’t think it could be anything other than Design Thinking.

[00:11:08] Mike: [00:11:08] Ooh, so get your horses ready, because we’ll be off to the races into a world of design thinking. All right, Chad, we’re done on Survey Monkey, I think, don’t you?

[00:11:19] Chad: [00:11:19] Yeah, [00:11:20] it was fun to share. It’s a bit of a secret weapon of ours, I mean not so secret anymore now that it’s on the BottomUp podcast. But you know, you can get a more in-depth masterclass on Survey Monkey and many more on BottomUp.io so be sure to check out our learning platform there. And yeah, I can’t wait for the Design Thinking masterclass series here on the podcast Mike. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.

[00:11:44] Mike: [00:11:44] Yeah. Me too. Really, really love that one. I’m just going to have to not talk too much.

[00:11:48] Chad: [00:11:48] Yeah. Otherwise, it’ll be 28 episodes. It would be a year’s worth of content.

[00:11:53] Mike: [00:11:53] Exactly. [00:11:54] All right. Thank you to you, Chad, to our listeners here at the BottomUp podcast, remember you can find us at bottomup.io. Thanks again, and that’s a wrap of the BottomUp podcast.

 [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:09] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your cohost. Mike Parsons, and as always, I’m joined by Mr. Results, Mr. Chad Owen.

[00:00:19] Chad: [00:00:19] So you spent all that time crafting the survey. You double, triple checked it. You gone and recruited your 80 plus-year-old fish owners in the UK and your results are pouring in.

[00:00:33] Mike: [00:00:33] There’s a [00:00:34] deluge. You’re swimming in it.

[00:00:36] Chad: [00:00:36] I see what you did there, Mike.

[00:00:37] Mike: [00:00:37] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know, I know. I’ve been working on that one. So, yeah, you’re very, very welcome to continue listening to this podcast, but you will double up the value if you go to Survey Monkey.com and you’re logged in there cause you’ll understand some of the tips and tricks that we’re giving or alternatively come back to this and listen a second time with your browser open.

[00:00:57] But this is all about helping you work out, what’s the results here? How do I report it back? Because you got a ton of data. You might have a hundred, you might have [00:01:08] a thousand respondents, and we’re now moving into the world of how on earth do we work out what’s the story here and where do we extract the most value?

[00:01:17] Because, it’s good if you’ve asked some insightful questions in your survey, but you can actually make the results great, if you know how to do one key thing, and it’s a double-barrel concept. It’s all about comparing and contrasting the results or the responses of users. [00:01:42] Again, you’ve got all these users, all of their responses are in the database.

[00:01:46] If you can compare them, and if you contrast them in the right way, this is where you can get amazing understanding of what’s going on and you can do this almost forensic isolation of the key drivers of motivation, of intent of activity. What are the real pains that people experience with products and services?

[00:02:11] What are the gains they’re looking for? You can often use this [00:02:16] comparing and contrasting, and it reveals magic. And Chad, this is where you and I just go OCD in Survey Monkey. Tell me, what do you love about getting into the analyze results tab of Survey Monkey?

[00:02:31] Chad: [00:02:31] Yeah so, if you’re following along with us, the second to last tab when you’re creating your survey is the analyzed results tab and you won’t have anything here unless you’ve gotten some responses setting up your collectors. So be sure you’ve set those up beforehand. And really what Mike’s getting at is don’t just simply take [00:02:50] the data that you’ve collected in the survey and just export it and call it a day.

[00:02:55] Because what Survey Monkey allows you to do is both filter and compare the data. So, if we want to know the spending habits of dog owners versus cat owners versus fish owners, by clicking on compare in the filters area, we can compare all three of those and their spending responses, which is something that we could export into a pivot table and manually figure all that out.

[00:03:22] But Survey Monkey does all of that [00:03:24] work for you and it’s really simple to set up.

[00:03:27] Mike: [00:03:27] And so the key thing that you can dig around and discover is whether there’s, you know, causation between factors. If people live in rural areas, therefore they’re 10 times more likely to do X, Y, and Z. So, you might have direct causation, or you might have what we call correlation between data. And whether it’s either a cause or a correlation, the power of these insights is very [00:03:58] specific towards taking action.

[00:04:00] The things you should do based on the data that you’ve collected. We’re going to deal with that in our last show on Survey Monkey, but what I really want to get comfortable with, in Survey Monkey in the analyzed results tab is you will see that when you click on filter and compare, you can do some amazing things.

[00:04:19] For example. You could say, I want to filter based on a particular aspect in my survey. I only want to see people that, and through social media, I only want to [00:04:32] see people that answered on a particular day. So, when we talk about filtering, this is your capacity to isolate something. So, let’s say I asked people what their age was in my survey.

[00:04:45] Then I might want to filter out any results of 18 to 24-year olds. Or inversely, I might only want to see a snapshot of this segment of my customer base. So, what you do is you select, that question and Survey Monkey reloads the results.  only shows you the [00:05:06] answers of the entire survey from those who were in that filter criteria.

[00:05:11] Now, this is really interesting because as you’re getting to know your customer, I just chose a simple demographic, but you can actually select a particular question. So, let’s say we had a question. Let’s keep going with the goldfish angle. Let’s say you asked people about their preference on color for goldfish, and you want to identify like what’s going on with all the people who love blue goldfish, so you could see only the answers from them.

[00:05:37] And this is the power of filtering. [00:05:40] You can just cut down your data and really see how things change between different segments, different personas that you may have screened into your survey. I mean, this is pretty cool stuff. Chad.

[00:05:51] Chad: [00:05:51] Yeah, and it makes it really fun and easy to highlight the most interesting results from the data. Or even tailored to the audience in which you’re sharing it. So if you’re the global director of marketing and you’re going on tour, you don’t really want to bring up your middle East and European and Australian consumer numbers when you’re in the US so you can just filter out all the others and only focus [00:06:14] on US respondents.

[00:06:15] It can be as simple as that. Or you could say, I only want US-based, 25 to 34 greater than $100,000 of income, what device do they use? Android, iOS, or none.

[00:06:27] Mike: [00:06:27] So good, but it doesn’t just stop at the filtering. Okay, so in the analyzed results tab, you’ll see next to filter, right beside that is the compare filter, and this takes things next level because side by side, let’s use the age question again. I’m going to choose the question, [00:06:48] which was what is your age?

[00:06:49] I’m going to compare 18 to 24 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 and then I hit activate. And then what happens is the entire results of my survey, are shown in three parts, every single question right next to each other, there’s a chart for each of the age categories that I selected.

[00:07:12] I’m actually looking at an old survey we did hundreds of people filled it out, and I can see that 25 to 34-year olds on question three had a [00:07:22] wildly different response then the other two segments. Again, same thing here on the next question. What I notice here on the fifth question is that 18 22 to 24 we’re way less likely than 35 to 40 fours on a particular question.

[00:07:38] This is gold because you can see all the variations and permutations in your customers, and this enables you to go, oh my gosh, I think our core audience is 25 to 34s. Or we know that the user behavior of those [00:07:56] 25 to 34 has a much higher frequency than other age segments. This is gold. If you’re creating products, if you’re launching marketing campaigns, it doesn’t matter.

[00:08:07] These insights can all be unlocked by just using these filter and compare options.

[00:08:14] Chad: [00:08:14] Yeah. This is where the fun is in Survey Monkey.

[00:08:17] Mike: [00:08:17] Right. On this survey, Chad, there is, I think more than 20 different compare or filters that we ran on the report in order to try and decode some [00:08:30] insights and some learnings over 20 of these comparisons, try and isolate gold.

[00:08:35] I mean, how cool is that? I mean, that’s how deep you can go.

[00:08:38] Chad: [00:08:39] And again, this is the fun part because this is where you’re uncovering the insights. Like again, you could export this data and put it into a pivot table and try to figure it out for yourself. But Survey Monkey makes it so easy by using the filter and compare filters under the analyzed results.

[00:08:54] Mike: [00:08:54] And I must say a lot of people who are on a budget, will use Google survey, which just kind of feeds into Google sheets. The [00:09:04] reason we choose Survey Monkey above and beyond anything else over any other option is what we’re talking about on this episode, results, and reports. This is the best filtering and comparing you’ll be able to do this is what really saves you tons of time and effort and drama trying to work out what it all means.

[00:09:26] This is like a massive accelerant.

[00:09:28] Chad: [00:09:29] Well that and buying targeted responses, don’t forget that.

[00:09:32] Mike: [00:09:32] There you go. So, one, two punch. Have we decoded results and reports?   

[00:09:37] Chad: [00:09:37] Yeah. But we [00:09:38] can’t let these insights stay stuck inside of Survey Monkey. So in the next episode, we’re going to talk about how to get all these results out, but not only that but how to best present it to your ultimate stakeholder audiences to be sure that you can get the most out of the data that you’ve spent so much time and effort to get.

[00:09:55] Mike: [00:09:55] Fantastic. I would say my last advice, probably want to listen to this episode again, make sure you go through and get the most out of filtering and comparing cause you’ll have the best results if you do that.  So that wraps up the second last part of our Survey Monkey series [00:10:12] here on the BottomUp podcast.

[00:10:13] Thanks for joining us. That’s goodbye, from Mike and Chad.
009 – Collectors – Survey Monkey – Tools and Technology
 [00:00:00]Mike: [00:00:08] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your cohost, Mike Parsons, and as always, I’m joined by the survey guru himself, Mr. Chad Owen.

[00:00:18] Chad: [00:00:18] Now, if you remember from last episode, I said that we’re going to reveal my favorite feature of Survey Monkey here. So what do you think that a feature is, Mike?

[00:00:28] Mike: [00:00:28] I have [00:00:30] a feeling it might be about sending the beacon, lighting the fire and getting hundreds and thousands of people flooding into your survey and telling us what they think and what they feel.

[00:00:43] Chad: [00:00:43] Yeah. And Survey Monkey can do it for you. That’s the best part. You don’t need a giant email list. You don’t have to buy a list or spam people. Survey Monkey does it all for you. And so, we’re going to talk to you about that in today’s episode on Survey Monkey’s collectors.

[00:00:58] Mike: [00:00:58] Yeah. So once [00:01:00] again, if you are not able to get online and log into Survey Monkey while we’re chatting, totally cool. You can listen along. You will get an extra boost if you are actually in Survey Monkey because you actually see the things that we’re talking about, which will be a more powerful learning experience.

[00:01:15] If you want to double down and really learn, you can go to BottomUp.io and you can grab one of our masterclasses. We’ve done a whole masterclass on Survey Monkey that you can check out too. That’ll take you right through, but we’re just giving you some of the highlights here. [00:01:30] Let’s talk about getting people to fill out your survey.

[00:01:32] Now, obviously, if you know your customers, if you have a customer base or if it’s for employees or you want to survey your sports team or whatever, you can make a web link with Survey Monkey and you can send it out to those people. You can have Survey Monkey/Janessoccerteam. And when people go to that, they can fill out the survey.

[00:01:55] So when we talk about collectors. It’s not only that way [00:02:00] that I just mentioned with the web link to bring people in. There’s actually a lot of different ways you can get people to your survey. So you can push this directly into your mobile app. You can put it into Facebook messenger. You can even have it in an analog kiosk.

[00:02:15] Survey setups are when people come into your cafe or your retail store, you can post it to social media. You can actually, something I don’t usually advise, Chad, is using the email collector where Survey Monkey [00:02:30] will email directly the people your survey. I think if you’re going to do that, you actually want to use a professional mail service or if it’s to a known group of people, just send it through your corporate mail.

[00:02:40] But I think we want to spend the most time talking about buying targeted responses. I think this is what is the icing on the cake, the joie de vivre for Chad Owen and when we talk Survey Monkey.

[00:02:54] Chad: [00:02:54] And one thing to not forget here is Survey Monkey tracks [00:03:00] everything, like absolutely everything. So when you get to analyzing results, you can even filter the information based on how you went and collected the information. So if you have a list of customers that you are manually, you know, sending through your CRM, the survey, and you’re also buying targeted responses from the general public, you can compare those two different audiences inside of Survey Monkey.

[00:03:22] But, I don’t want to gloss over this feature. That Survey Monkey will allow you to move some sliders and choose [00:03:30] some attributes of targeted survey takers and then recruit, pay them a nominal fee, and get them to take the survey for you. So without any work on your part, other than choosing some demographic and geographic information, they’ll get them all of the survey takers that you will pay for.


[00:03:45] Mike: [00:03:45] so this is particularly relevant if you want to talk to non-customers. If you want to talk to people in different markets, let’s say you’ve got a great product in the UK and you want to launch in Australia, you could do a quick [00:04:00] survey from the UK. Survey Monkey will recruit the people in.

[00:04:03] So if you’ve got a consumer product, if you want to talk to the general population in a market in a city, you can actually do so. And the beauty here is that Survey Monkey will recruit the people. And I would say, Chad, it’s not perfect. But it’s absolutely good enough to give you directional feedback. And what I mean by that is you will struggle a little bit to find [00:04:30] 35 to 55 medium to high-income professional executives using this tool.

[00:04:35] The reason why is because those people don’t have time to fill out surveys during the day. But in general, it’s a very good way to get a quick read. And I must say that when I’ve compared Survey Monkey’s results to other real enterprise surveys, there is a definite correlation in the data. I even had time recently where the [00:05:00] US data that we surveyed on Survey Monkey was very close to the patterns and the insights that this big global brand had from surveys and feedback that they had done with their existing customers. So the risk, obviously in that situation was that we said, Hey, we’ve got all these insights about the American market, and then they go, well, all our surveys are giving different results. That would have [00:05:30] been really tricky to try and work that out.

[00:05:32] But the really pleasant surprise we had is the themes and the insights and recommendations, all ran closely together. And that was a really powerful moment for me when I realized like, wow, so they make you use gold because it’s correlating well. So the people that they can recruit, they’re doing actually a good job on recruiting real human beings to give real feedback.

[00:05:55] So it gets really interesting. I mean, it’s been a really powerful tool for us, hasn’t it? Chad?

[00:06:00] [00:06:00] Chad: [00:06:00] Yeah. For just a couple of hours and a couple of hundred dollars. You can get some, as you said, valid data that correlates to what you would maybe have to pay tens of thousands, if not hundreds, thousands of dollars for going, you know, to a professional research firm, or we had another client,

[00:06:18] they thought this was magic. They were like, oh my God, how did you get this information? And so quickly? we have whole teams of people doing this and here you’re able to do it overnight and granted, it’s not the same kind of data, but it’s certainly [00:06:30] directional and points you in the right direction when it comes to understanding, you know, customer sentiment.

[00:06:34] Mike: [00:06:34] Well, let’s really break this down a bit and let’s actually get into how deep you can actually get into this. So you can actually go into the Survey Monkey tool. And right now, obviously, we are in these collector’s area that we’ve been talking about.

[00:06:51] Chad: [00:06:51] Yeah. Collect responses and then the buy targeted responses, that’s the key area.

[00:06:57] Mike: [00:06:57] Now, so here’s the interesting thing [00:07:00] is you can configure this like crazy. So you load it in, you’re going to get probably the following default settings, country, all of the US gender or genders, all ages 18 and above or incomes. Now, Chad, we have to warn everybody what happens as soon as you start playing with all the targeting options and all the filters on an audience.

[00:07:27] Chad: [00:07:27] So as of the beginning of 2020 [00:07:30] that gen pop survey will cost you anywhere between like $3 and $4. But as soon as you start narrowing it to, you know, surveying only women or only the UK or only people that make $150,000 or more, the cost per survey participant goes up quite a bit.

[00:07:47] Mike: [00:07:47] Let’s look at some fun ones. You could do employment status full time, part-time retired, so you could actually prescreen all your respondents to those. You could do it on technology. What devices [00:08:00] do they own? What are some other fun ones? Do they like gaming? For example? You could just survey Xbox users.

[00:08:06] Chad: [00:08:06] Do they have cable or satellite or internet only.

[00:08:11] Mike: [00:08:11] Yeah. This is great. Pet ownership. Oh, this is good. Owns a dog, owns a cat. Are you ready for this next one, Chad? Owns a fish, cause I’m dying to know what fish owners are thinking. Okay, no disrespect to all our listeners that own fish. But this [00:08:30] is the power, right? So you can go and look at how much they frequent movie sinners.

[00:08:35]Do they have mortgages? You know, what kind of vehicles? What sort of social media do they like? The caution here is obviously, not only does this get more expensive, but the more refined your targeting gets, the longer people take to fill it out.

[00:08:51] Chad: [00:08:51] Yeah, so if you’re looking for overnight results, you might not be able to get it. You might have to extend the survey time to several days, if not a week or two.

[00:08:58] Mike: [00:08:58] Exactly. [00:09:00] But for me, Chad, I must say, I agree. The ability to recruit an audience in is so turnkey. Because think about what would be your other option if you couldn’t do this. Like what would you do if you couldn’t recruit a firm and you’re in a different country, you just couldn’t do it.

[00:09:17] Chad: [00:09:17] You’d have to pay a recruitment from tens of thousands of dollars is what you’d have to do.

[00:09:22] Mike: [00:09:22] And you and I both know because we do recruit via professional consumer recruiters and it is very expensive.

[00:09:28] Chad: [00:09:28] Now granted, those are for in-person [00:09:30] experiences or interviews, but still Survey Monkey, just by the fact that you know, it’s been around for, I remember running into people from Survey Monkey at South by Southwest in like 2008 or 2009. So they’ve been around for a long time and they’ve got the user base that they can just go out to blast out these surveys and do much if not all of that recruitment work for you.

[00:09:51] Mike: [00:09:51] There you go. So this is the huge benefit from the Survey Monkey platform. If you use their collectors, it’s a great way to quickly [00:10:00] understand what customers are thinking and feeling, particularly when you want to go global, your ability to leap into another market and quickly get a taste of what people are thinking.

[00:10:08] It is so, so powerful. But Chad, we’ve got two more episodes left of the Survey Monkey series. What’s left for our listeners.

[00:10:17] Chad: [00:10:17] Well, everything that happens after you’ve sent out your survey and you’re starting to collect all of those wonderful responses, but it doesn’t just stop there because data in Survey Monkey that doesn’t go anywhere is no good to you. So [00:10:30] we’ll wrap up the series talking about reporting and sharing out

[00:10:34] all of the wonderful insights from the surveys that you spend a lot of time and creating double, triple checking and recruiting for.

[00:10:41] Mike: [00:10:41] All right, so there you have it, everyone. That is the fifth part of our seven-part series on Survey Monkey. If you’re keen to know more, head over to BottomUp.io you can get all our podcast archive. You can even grab your own masterclass and we’ve got two more really useful episodes left [00:11:00] in the SurveyMonkey series of the BottomUp podcast.
 [00:00:00] Mike: [00:00:08] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your cohost Mike Parsons, and as always, I am joined by the Survey Monkey himself. Mr. Chad Owen.

[00:00:18] Chad: [00:00:18] Well, here we are in the fourth episode in the Survey Monkey series. We’ve given you an intro to why quantitative research is important. Talked about, what do you need to do before you even dive into Survey Monkey to prepare and create a research plan, talked a little bit about designing [00:00:34] surveys in the last episode, and here we are with the, my hand is hovering over the button.

[00:00:39] I’m about to launch it to get a thousand responses and oh wait, there’s a missing question or a huge typo, or we forgot to upload the image.

[00:00:48] Mike: [00:00:48] Yeah. Hold the press. Just hang on a second. Because before, which will be in our next show, we talk about how to get people into your survey. A tried and tested warrior’s advice from Chad and myself to all of our listeners. [00:01:08] Please preview and check your survey before you send it out.

[00:01:12] Chad: [00:01:12] And then check it again and then have someone else check it.

[00:01:16] Mike: [00:01:16] All right, so here’s the thing, why this is a bit different to maybe publishing a website. Let’s say you’ve got a typo on your website; you can update it and then you know from now on it’s all fixed. The problem when it comes to quant research and doing a survey in Survey Monkey is you’ve often invited people to fill it out, and once you start changing the questions midstream through recruitment of people to [00:01:42] respond to your survey.

[00:01:43] You are basically invalidating the data because not everybody saw the same set of questions. So, you can’t draw a really broad analysis of the data because you essentially have to split all the data up. Doubling down on this, Chad, the big booboo is when you’ve paid to recruit people in and then you realize you didn’t preview and check your survey, and so it’s not only cost you time,

[00:02:06] it’s costs you some dollars.

[00:02:08] Chad: [00:02:08] Yeah. And if you’re sending it to more than a hundred people and you’re changing things, or you’re getting back data, that could be a several hundred-dollar mistake. [00:02:16] The numbers only just go up if you’re sending it out to even more people.

[00:02:19] Mike: [00:02:19] And more specialized people as well. You could easily find yourself spending a couple of thousand on recruitment, so you want to make sure it’s right first time.

[00:02:28] Chad: [00:02:28] Yeah, and Survey Monkey actually gives you some really great tools to preview your surveys on not only just desktop computers but mobile and tablet. Mike, I think we probably get over half responses coming from mobile devices. So, there’s a great way for you to check that out and preview it straight from within Survey Monkey.

[00:02:45] Mike: [00:02:45] Yeah, because the catch is you’re often building this on a computer, on a laptop, but it’s [00:02:50] actually often responded to via mobile as much the same in terms of, you know, newsletters and so forth that it’s a majority mobile these days. I think the greatest thing to do, simple thing, take the survey yourself.

[00:03:04] And actually you should be in surveymonkey.com if you can be while we’re doing this show, so you can actually see the area we’re talking about, but there’s actually a tab there that runs from left to right that says summary design survey. And then where we are right now is preview and score. Now when you’re in your preview and score, you get to see the survey as it [00:03:24] would appear to a respondent, and you can actually do it as a respondent and you can do it on a PC tablet,

[00:03:31] or mobile and it’s really good and right next to it, it has this survey score that we’ve talked about in the previous episode where they give you an estimated completion rate and your estimated completion rate is basically telling you, out of every hundred people that do this, here’s the percentage of people we think will actually complete it.

[00:03:50] Because the thing to keep in mind, Chad, is the longer your survey gets, the [00:03:58] lower your completion rate is going to be because people simply bail on your survey, don’t they?

[00:04:03] Chad: [00:04:03] Yeah. I mean, you start getting over five questions and that estimated completion rate can start going down pretty quickly.

[00:04:10] Mike: [00:04:10] Yeah. So, we have seen time and time again when a team is working on a survey, and particularly when you’ve got perhaps a broader team that includes maybe a client or a vendor. Before you know it, everyone’s got a smart question and you’re at 20, 22 questions. I would never, ever send out a survey with 22 [00:04:32] questions.

[00:04:32] If they were 22 amazing questions, I’d send out two different surveys a week apart because people don’t want to fill out that many questions. I think that’s been one of our biggest learnings, hasn’t it? Chad.

[00:04:42] Chad: [00:04:42] Yeah, I mean, I’ll say it again. Keep it simple, stupid. Find out exactly what you want to learn from the survey ahead of time, and then be sure that all of your questions are delivering on that promise of finding out what you want to learn.

[00:04:56] Mike: [00:04:56] If you’re getting a really bad survey score, a prediction of your completion rate, I think the best advice we’d give you is, try and break your survey up into two [00:05:06] parts and do a second survey at a later time. Let’s say you had 16 questions, which would be too many, okay? I would much rather do two surveys of eight questions,

[00:05:17] than risk sending a survey of 16. Eight questions. You’ll have a really high completion rate. You’ll learn some things from that. That maybe change some of the questions in the second eight questions. This would be a far wiser approach than that of just trying to cram as many questions into one go. There’s plenty of chances to survey your customers and your users. Don’t rush it.

[00:05:40] [00:05:40] Chad: [00:05:40] And one thing that we always love to do as well is send the survey to our colleagues first, before sending it out. Because every single time we’ve done it, someone has, you know, made a suggestion and how to improve it. Either adding or removing an answer, rephrasing a question to make it more clear what you’re trying to learn and understand.

[00:05:58] It can only get better by sharing it with others and it just makes the user experience from the survey takers’ point of view that much better.

[00:06:04] Mike: [00:06:04] One sort of last advance Ninja tip is that often advanced surveys, we’ll have a form of logic in them, meaning that [00:06:14] if a respondent answers the question in a particular way. For example, if they choose answer A, you’re going to send them to a different page or question than if they answer a question B.

[00:06:25] And what happens is in the preview and score, you can actually preview the logic side by side as you go through the survey. In a side panel, Survey Monkey will show you the logic that’s underneath what you see, and this is like really, really helpful, as you preview and check. And Chad, look, I think I’ve got some even more folksy [00:06:48] advice.

[00:06:49] I think if you’re getting to the point where you’re not sure if the survey is good enough to send out, is it maybe too long other the questions right? I would honestly give people this advice, pause, go home, sleep on it, come back to it in the morning. Because with this, it’s kind of like better not to send it, then send it wrong.

[00:07:09] It’s a bit different to a website. A website, people are like just get it up. We can always change it. You don’t have that privilege with surveys. Do you.

[00:07:17] Chad: [00:07:17] Well, not without spending more money to get more responses.

[00:07:22] [00:07:21] Mike: [00:07:21] Exactly. If you’re actually surveying your existing customer base like you should be sparing in what you ask because they only have a limited appetite to share with you what they’re thinking and feeling.

[00:07:31] Chad: [00:07:31] So what do we do after we’ve proofed and checked it? How do we get people to actually fill out our surveys?

[00:07:37] Mike: [00:07:37] What a golden segue there Chad Owen, yes. In the next episode of the BottomUp podcast, we’re going to look at collectors in Survey Monkey. These are essentially the doors and windows that open up a world of users giving us feedback to our survey, and there are some dark arts. There’s some complexities here, but there’s also some great opportunities to [00:07:56] get massive insights into how your customers and users are thinking. So that will be on the next episode of our Survey Monkey series. Chad, are you ready to sign off and jump into a world of collectors?

[00:08:08] Chad: [00:08:08] You’re going to learn actually my favorite feature of Survey Monkey in the next episode, so stay tuned.

[00:08:13] Mike: [00:08:13] Ooh, sounds good. All right, everybody, if you would like to know more about the bottom app podcast, you can jump over to bottomup.io. This is Mike and Chad signing off for the BottomUp podcast.

 [00:00:30] Mike: [00:00:30] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your cohost Mike persons, and as always, I’m joined by Chad Owen. Are you ready to design your survey in Survey Monkey Chad Owen?

[00:00:51] Chad: [00:00:51] Oh you mean I can finally go to surveymonkey.com and play around?

[00:00:54] Mike: [00:00:54] Good point. So for all of our listeners there, follow Chad’s very wise advice. You are [00:01:00] very welcome to just enjoy the show in its audio form. But if you’d like to get the most out of this show, jump into surveymonkey.com, create a free account because we’re going to be poking around in there and sharing with you some best practices on how you might design your survey and design it well. Now, as a way of introduction, as everybody is scrambling around typing in surveymonkey.com, I have to say the reason this episode [00:01:30] is going to save you time and money is, like many things in life, once you get into it, you realize it’s going to take you a lot more time to do it properly than you first thought.

[00:01:38] Have you had this experience, Chad Owen?

[00:01:40] Chad: [00:01:40] Yes. I always get something wrong. I either ask the wrong question, I leave an answer out, I send it to the wrong people. There’s always something that goes wrong.

[00:01:50] Mike: [00:01:50] I had a time once where I forgot to make a number of questions compulsory so that in the survey, they were skippable [00:02:00] and I remember I couldn’t work out. There was like, I don’t know, two or 300 people had completed the survey, but I would have like, any three-quarters of people answered a question.

[00:02:10] I’m like, this is the weirdest thing. And I realized that I had left the mandatory like the question must be answered, radio button. I hadn’t ticked it


[00:02:20] and I was like, oh, no.

[00:02:22] They probably spent three or 400 extra dollars on those useless answers.

[00:02:27] So this ladies and gentlemen is why getting [00:02:30] the design right matters. Because if you think it through and do it rigorously once, there’s a huge benefit here, isn’t there Chad?

[00:02:38] Chad: [00:02:38] Yeah. My mantra with surveys is K.I.S.S.: keep it simple, stupid. So if this is your first one, try a survey with just two questions, that’s it. You can always send out another survey later, but if you’re just trying it out for the first time, I would say, you know, pick either one of Survey Monkey’s templates. Which you’ll see have very few questions.

[00:03:00] [00:02:59] So, the NPS survey is just one question that’s mandatory, and then there’s a follow-up. If you want to type in your thoughts or leave a comment, and even if you’re not going to use one of the Survey Monkey templates, I did advise you to look through them because they have seen millions of surveys designed and know what a good survey looks like.

[00:03:18] And so you can use those as inspiration.

[00:03:21] Mike: [00:03:21] And so if you follow this line of thinking that we’re on, what we’re really saying is, look, getting a survey, right takes time. [00:03:30] But there’s a great feature inside of surveymonkey.com. If you just go to the create a new survey tab, what you’ll see is you’re going to be presented with a couple of really important options.

[00:03:42] One copy a past survey. Now this one works really well. If you’ve got like a corporate branding in your survey and you design a nice template, you can just copy that template that you’ve made for a previous one, or you can just copy a survey and it picks up the questions, the look and feel and makes a new survey. [00:04:00] Saved you heaps of time.

[00:04:01] So this is one way to move fast with surveymonkey.com copy a past survey. If you want to be a bit more structured about it, the second option you have is start from a template. So you can actually build custom templates. So you say, use our corporate branding, use this branding or, whatever look and feel is appropriate.

[00:04:18] Chad: [00:04:18] Here’s all the demographic questions we ask every single person.

[00:04:21] Mike: [00:04:21] Yes, and it’s right there, Chad, that once you’ve rigorously built a template, you should have like warning signals going off. If you [00:04:30] hit the start from scratch button in Survey Monkey, you should just be like, hang on, Mike and Chad said, touch this as a last resort. 

[00:04:38] Chad: [00:04:38] Grab a coffee and be in it for the long haul.

[00:04:41] Mike: [00:04:41] Because it really, you have to rebuild everything to look and feel and the questions. Now I’m thinking to myself, okay, I followed Mike and Chad’s advice. I opened up a survey. There’s a couple of key things here when you’re building a survey that I think we should touch on, and if you look down [00:05:00] the left hand side of Survey Monkey you’re in a survey, you will see that you can click on the question builder and it gives you all these different choices.

[00:05:11] And I think it’s important that we sort of call out what these are for. Invariably, I think you’re going to find yourself going for multiple-choice as a starting point. Chad, wouldn’t you say that’s the survey classic, the good old multiple choice?

[00:05:24] Chad: [00:05:24] Yup. That and or the radio boxes where you can only choose one.

[00:05:29] Mike: [00:05:29] Yeah. Now [00:05:30] you can start to get a little bit more fancy. I think one of our favorites is the rating scale where you say to someone, one being terrible, 10 being great, can you please rate your customer experience for us? Now, what’s interesting about that is that you get a little bit more nuanced than just, you know, click which option best describes your customer experience? Good. Bad, otherwise. You start to get more accurate statistical data, that can [00:06:00] be very helpful. Now, once you go beyond just asking questions, you can actually build into your survey stimulus. What we mean by stimulus is you could show someone a picture and say, tell us what you think.

[00:06:14] So you can actually embed not only images using the question builder, you can actually embed video, all sorts of content and so forth. And this is where you really started having like a rich quant survey where you’re not only asking them about [00:06:30] themselves, but you’re actually providing them with stimulus and starting to give feedback.

[00:06:34] Now, Chad, we’ve done a number of design thinking workshops where after the first day, we’ve actually put the workout to survey overnight so that when we come in on the second day, we already get like a global point of view. Do you want to maybe talk about what we’ve done and how we’ve done that? Because that’s a great thing to design into your survey.

[00:06:53] Chad: [00:06:53] So essentially, we spent a whole day working in collaboration with customers to figure out what their pains and gains are and what they [00:07:00] want for a particular solution. And rather than just, you know, go home and sleep on it the first night, we actually have Survey Monkey do all this work for us. So at the end of the first day, we come up with an image and a headline to kind of represent whatever our best idea is to solve the customer’s pains and give them the gains that they’re seeking. So maybe we have four or five different versions of that. We send it out to a couple hundred survey participants recruited by Survey Monkey, by the way, [00:07:30] and then we can come back in the morning and have all this rich data around work that was only completed the day before.

[00:07:36] And it’s just as simple as uploading an image and asking a question. It could be a rating or it could be a forced ranking. There’s a number of ways that you can do it on Survey Monkey.

[00:07:45] Mike: [00:07:45] You can even in your surveys, ask the user to upload content and share that with you as well. You can even go as far as creating all sorts of things like logic. So if people [00:08:00] identify as being from, say, the East coast, they fill out a different set of questions to those that come from the West coast. I also think another great practice in design is break up your survey.

[00:08:10] If you’ve got 15 questions, I’d break it up into three parts of five questions each, because if you put all the questions on a page, there’s this weird thing where it freaks users out. They’re like, wow, that’s a lot of questions. But you could ask the same question in three steps and they think that’s totally fine.

[00:08:28] I don’t know what that is, [00:08:30] but it’s like just make it digestible and you can do all of these things inside of Survey Monkey. I think the real point here is it takes a lot of effort to build a survey. I think Chad, we probably have, out of all the work we do across all the offices, maybe five templates that we use most of the time.

[00:08:48] Chad: [00:08:48] Yeah, and we might just swap in a question or two, but yeah, it could take an hour or two to get this survey created the first time. But as Mike was saying, if you’re hitting that start from scratch button every single time, you’re doing something [00:09:00] wrong, in Survey Monkey.

[00:09:01] Mike: [00:09:01] Yeah. Avoid at all costs. All right, Chad, I think this was a big time-saving episode, don’t you?

[00:09:06] Chad: [00:09:06] Yeah, and the most important part, I think is actually what comes next, which is going to be previewing the survey and double, triple, quadruple checking the survey before sending it out. So stay tuned for that episode. Coming up next.

[00:09:22] Mike: [00:09:22] Yes, indeed. Now, if you want anything else, any goodies, archive shows from the BottomUp podcast, just jump on to [00:09:30] your browser and go to BottomUp.io and you can find all the goodies there. All right. Thanks, from Chad and I, this is another episode of the BottomUp podcast.
[00:00:00] [00:00:00] Mike: Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast on your cohost, Mike Parsons and I’m joined by Chad Owen into this journey into the wonderful tool of survey monkey.

[00:00:21] Chad: I don’t know about you, Mike, but I’m really enjoying these short, punchy information-dense episodes here on the BottomUp podcasts. It’s a nice way to share.

[00:00:29] all of [00:00:30] our learning 

[00:00:31] Mike: It

[00:00:31] is. It’s pragmatic. And I like this idea of punchy, so let’s really throw some punches about how to think about preparing your survey for survey monkey. Now you’re going to first think, Hey guys, on the last show, you gave me a bit of an introduction to surveys and quant research, and now before we open up the tool surveymonkey.com we’re going to talk about a research plan, and you’re like, [00:01:00] guys, this is a whole lot of planning and talking.

[00:01:02] Chad: Yeah. I just want to get in and create this survey.

[00:01:04] Mike: Right. Right, right. Exactly. But how important is it, Chad? Because if you don’t think through a survey on survey monkey, if you don’t think through your research, well number one, you’re not going to get the most out of it, but it takes a fair bit of time to build a survey that works properly. So, you want to make sure that the plan, what you’re hoping to learn from it is actually thought through.

[00:01:26] Otherwise it can be a long and somewhat expensive [00:01:30] process. Right. 

[00:01:30] Chad: Oh yeah, you can go down roads you’d never meant to go through. Going back to this story about doing interviews and in surveys in China, I was so worried on that trip because I was literally flying around the world and you know, a week beforehand, I kind of had an oh, no moment where I realized that I hadn’t quite solidified everything in my research plan because I knew that once I started, I couldn’t really stop. So,

[00:01:55] imagine knowing that you’re going to talk to 50 different people [00:02:00] conducting 50 different interviews in 50 surveys. You have to know exactly what you’re going to do ahead of time because you can’t change it midstream cause that’s going to affect the data and information that you’re collecting. So, I can’t stress how important it is to have a research plan in place because it really just makes the data rock-solid in the end.

[00:02:18] Mike: It does, and it’s a survival tool as well. What’s really important is it points out a very distinct. Difference between quant and qual research, because Quan, you need to always keep the baseline the [00:02:30] same,


[00:02:31] so you can’t change the questions in the survey midstream because then the data doesn’t match because the first half of the respondents answered these questions.

[00:02:40] The second half of the respondents answered different or slightly different. So, therefore, it’s harder to compare them. So, I think our big piece of advice for this show make a research plan frame how you’re going to think about your research. And I think one of the most important parts of a research plan is what [00:03:00] questions need to be answered.

[00:03:01] How many of our customers are aged 18 to 24 is a very legitimate key question to be answered. What interests do our customers have? How much do they spend on fashion every month? Just as an example, do they live in urban or rural areas? Just get that clear because often your survey is not a kind of isolated one-off event.

[00:03:22] It’s part of maybe an effort to build a product, to do a marketing campaign to improve customer experience. So, you should have a research plan [00:03:30] that you share and present to your colleagues and or clients. And Chad, how beneficial is it when we get our research plans together and we share them with each other and our clients.

[00:03:39] I mean, when you’ve been in that process, how has this been helpful for you when you are like owning the strategy for a huge new product.

[00:03:47] Chad: The clients demand it. So, at the outset, it can really just be a Google doc and you start with like, what do we want to learn? What are our goals in conducting this research? Then you should have some important [00:04:00] questions to be able to screen your respondents to be sure that you’re collecting data from the right individuals.

[00:04:05] So that can be demographic or behavioral psychographic.

[00:04:08] Mike: Can we talk about screens just for a second, Chad? Sorry to just capture you in mid 

[00:04:13] Chad: they’re so important.


[00:04:14] Mike: But seriously thinking through your screening questions is a chance to say, well, who is our target audience here and who’s not? Because imagine if you did this big survey and you forgot to have a location screener, and you [00:04:30] had people may be from a different country, or maybe you’re just on the East coast of the US and you’ve now got people from California answering the questions.

[00:04:38] You’re really diluting the data.

[00:04:40] Chad: And spending a lot more money.

[00:04:42] Mike: Right. And so screening questions, so they’re only talking to people that you want to talk is really important. But you were saying goals and screeners, and then what’s next in a research plan?

[00:04:52] Chad: How the data’s going to be collected. You know? Are you putting it into an Excel spreadsheet that everyone’s looking at? Are you putting it into a really awesome tool [00:05:00] that we use called Dovetail? You know, a database and just being sure that you have a plan to keep and store the data and be able to share it with everyone that needs to have access to it.

[00:05:09] Mike: Socially, because you know, so often people are like oh, where’s the stuff? And they’re like, all the data’s in this place. Well do, I have access? Ah, no, you need a login. Oh, I don’t have a login. And you just lost 48 hours. 

[00:05:23] So a research plan can be so practical like that. For example, if you’re working with a virtual team, you’re like, Oh, we’re going to need to [00:05:30] give, you know, Joe and Jane access, because they’re in a different market.

[00:05:34] And then, I think once you recognize that your quan survey is perhaps part of a larger series of efforts to get closer to your customer. We talked a lot about this in the previous episode. Why don’t you share with us Chad like, how did you find it when you’ve been making research plans? What’s the benefit of sort of mapping out the process and the context in which this survey’s going to like happen in a broader program?

[00:06:00] [00:05:59] Chad: The best thing for me actually was because I had such a detailed research plan, I could recruit a partner to help with the research. So, imagine having to source your own survey and interview subjects in four different global locations. That can be pretty tough if that’s not your daily work. But because I had the research plan, I could share that with a third party, and they helped recruit the right

[00:06:22] individuals to give us the right information for that particular project. So just having the research plan makes it so much easier to keep everyone on the [00:06:30] same page and know where this part of the research fits in the grand scheme of things. So, this may be your first quantitative survey that you’re doing, your deep mapping exercise, or it could be later in the process as you’re validating some ideas, maybe that you and your team have come up with.

[00:06:45] Mike: Totally. Totally. Now, before we run away, let’s give everyone a couple of quick best practices that we have learned through long, hard suffering. If you’ve got your research plan, here’s the next golden advice. [00:07:00] If you’re making a survey, never, ever make it more than 15 questions and make sure that it can be done realistically in about five minutes because Chad, what starts to happen when there’s too many questions and it takes too long?

[00:07:16] What have we seen time and time again? Even when you get close to 15 what starts to happen if you’re asking too much of the user.

[00:07:23] Chad: Well, they’re either dropping out and exiting the survey, or you’re getting really crappy answers to the survey questions.

[00:07:30] [00:07:30] Mike: Yeah. And Survey Monkey actually has this great little genius indicator, and it tells you what the likely completion rate of your survey is. And as a ballpark, very practical advice, we would always advise you to try and get your completion rate above 75%. That’s really, really handy, but we should, before we go, let’s just quickly talk about good types of questions. To put cast in a negative,

[00:07:53] don’t ask too many open questions because then you’re going to have a ton of data to look through and it’s very hard [00:08:00] to draw a statistical relevance from. So how do we like to frame our advice around what type of questions Chad?

[00:08:06] Chad: Well, you should always ask, well, not always, but you should ask more closed questions, which are simple yes, no’s multiple choices. We love using, you know, the rating scale zero to 10. I’ve found that maybe sliding in one open question can kind of be that catchall for, you know, crazy ideas that your customers might give you, but you really shouldn’t ask any more than one open-ended question on these surveys because again, you want [00:08:30] them to be able to do it in less than five minutes and you want it to be able to slice and dice the information in the data easily, which you know, you have to have the rigidity of the multiple-choice,

[00:08:39] yes, no, and the scales to do that.

[00:08:40] Mike: Exactly. Well, there you have it guys, too big, oh geez, lifesaving bits of advice. I wish we had known this a decade or two ago. One, have a research plan to keep it short and simple with some closed questions and you’ll be on your way and get ready ladies and gentlemen because, in the next episode of the BottomUp [00:09:00] podcast, we’ll be designing your Survey Monkey survey.

[00:09:03] So we’re going to get right into the tool and unlock some value there. So, there you have it. That is another BottomUp podcast. We’ll see you next time.

[00:00:00]Mike: [00:00:08] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. I’m your cohost Mike Parsons, and as always, I’m joined by Chad Owen.

[00:00:17]Chad: [00:00:17] Hey Mike, I’m really excited to bring a hyper practical series here to all of our BottomUp listeners, and why don’t you introduce the subject of this next series. [00:00:30]

[00:00:30]Mike: [00:00:30] Yeah, so episode five of the Bottom Up podcast, and we are taking a turn away from our WeWork series, which was a lot of fun. And we’re going deep into the world of a tool that we use all the time. It’s Survey Monkey. You can find it at surveymonkey.com and this opens up a world of surveys and surveys open up a world of quantitative research.

[00:00:55] And Chad Owen, I’ve got to start with, there is no better way. If [00:01:00] you want to get a quick baseline on what your customers are thinking, what your potential customers are thinking, what your employees are thinking. Knocking out a good survey is like a fast way to get going on your journey of design thinking and just trying to understand what users want.

[00:01:16]Chad: [00:01:16] Yeah. As far as like a reward to effort ratio, it’s kind of hard to beat surveys oftentimes.

[00:01:23]Mike: [00:01:23] Yeah,  that’s true, isn’t it? I mean, we get surveys, of all different sorts and flavors. I mean, customer feedback after you’ve bought [00:01:30] something, maybe as an employee, you have an NPS, maybe it’s market research. We’re probably all familiar with those. But what I love about surveys, and particularly what I love about Survey Monkey is they’ve made it very easy.

[00:01:43] And in particular, if you’re like us, Chad, that you’re either working with customers that are not geographically close to you, like in your city. Maybe they’re on the other coast, maybe they’re on another continent, Survey Monkey, stands above all because you can [00:02:00] quickly knock out a survey and get to people without having to get on planes, buses, and boats and all that good stuff.

[00:02:07] But the killer thing, Chad, I propose to you is, if you’re after consumers, they will even help you recruit consumers and you can literally send your survey out at night and come in the next day, and all the answers are in. They’ve done the recruiting. I tell you what, creating user experiences, trying to just find out what people want from a [00:02:30] product,

[00:02:30] this is a must-have tool, right?

[00:02:32]Chad: [00:02:32] Yeah, but it’s not the only tool in the research arsenal. I come to the table having much more experience in the qualitative side of things, doing things like interviews. But, you’ve kind of unlocked this magical one, two, one, two, jab, hook, jab, hook, 

[00:02:51] sort of sequence here where we’re combining the quantitative data that we get from surveys and then can follow that up, [00:03:00] investigating themes, you know, through qualitative interviews.

[00:03:02] And so there’s this really amazing cycle, that you advocate for where you go between surveys and more qualitative, research to really just, exponentially increase the value of the information that you’re gathering.

[00:03:16] Mike: [00:03:16] Yeah. So let’s just try and quickly debunk what you’ll hear a lot of people, talk about like Quan and qual research. In its essence, doing a survey is quant research. It’s data-driven. [00:03:30] It’s often very, strict question answer, and you want very statistical outputs, right? 10% of people like this, 90% of people prefer that.

[00:03:39] That’s quant research, and that’s what a survey is. Its sister field is qualitative, and this is rather than hardcore data. Qualitative is really like, a discussion. So it starts with, rather than having, structured Q&A, you just have a discussion guide. You conduct an interview, it’s often over [00:04:00] Skype or maybe even in person, and you’re looking for themes.

[00:04:03] And the biggest difference between a survey and an interview is often in the interview, you’re more likely to be asking, tell me why. Explain more, why is that? How does that work? Whereas with the survey, you just need a statistical baseline. So I want you to imagine those two things. You’ve got your quant and you’ve got your qual.

[00:04:23] Something you and I have done a lot together, Chad, is in an order to work out like what’s a great product, [00:04:30] to go and build, perhaps what’s a good MVP? Or even if you’re really living up to BottomUp thinking, what’s a great prototype we should build? I want to come back to this one, two, one, two punch. If you conduct quant as a step one, you can get, a baseline, sort of what I call a deep mapping exercise.

[00:04:49] And, this gives you just an anchor point, a foundation like, who the hell is our user? What do they need? What’s bugging them? [00:05:00] And Chad, we’ve done this together a lot of times. It’s so powerful, isn’t it? When you can just create that first step, that baseline, like who is our customer.

[00:05:09]Chad: [00:05:09] Yeah, and it’s kind of like the top of a marketing funnel. We kind of cast the net wide just to understand who exactly is a potential target customer and what are some of their pains and gains, and once we get a little bit of signal from that first round of quantitative surveying, we can feed that

[00:05:27] information and insights into the [00:05:30] qualitative interviews that are done so that we’re already kind of pre-qualifying the people that we’re talking to, getting closer to the ideal customers. And again, kind of peeling the layers of the onion to understand, what our customers are thinking, feeling, and doing when it comes to the offers that we’re making.

[00:05:46]Mike: [00:05:46] Exactly, and that step two often becomes a chance in one on one interviews to go much deeper on what you’ve learned from your first round of quant. And then at that point, you’re really starting to dimensionalize how your customer feels. So the [00:06:00] third round, okay, this next round, you go back to quant and you start proposing solutions.

[00:06:05] You start proposing new ideas, new concepts on how an idea might help them get a job done, relieve some pains, create some gains. And then after you’ve done that, you can close the entire loop with this last round of qual where you’re actually really starting to understand the constraints of this solution.

[00:06:27] If it’s a product or the story, if it’s more marketing [00:06:30] based, you can really start to find out how this all comes together as a complete set of user insights.

[00:06:39] Chad: [00:06:39] You could even make like customer propositions in that fourth round of qualitative, you can almost begin to try and sell the customer or even have the customers, you know, tell the story and advocate to another customer.

[00:06:50]Mike: [00:06:50] Now we’re getting to the highest form of qual interviews and testing. Why don’t you kind of explain a little bit more, I mean, I remember [00:07:00] when you recently went around the world testing for one of our clients. You actually had user to user testing. Do you want to just explain that as we…

[00:07:07] Chad: [00:07:07] It was not only user to user testing; it was user to user testing in Chinese.

[00:07:13]So there were actually four people involved and they were the two customers, the translator, and myself. It was a really fun process where I had a standardized set of nine questions. Quantitative questions that I asked every individual around these potential new healthcare innovations.

[00:07:29] And [00:07:30] off the back of those answers, I then asked qualitative questions. So I was poking around kind of the outliers. So if someone gave a score of one or a two, I dug into that. Or if they gave a score of a 9 or a 10, I dug into that. Or if I wanted a really high score, I said, well. You gave it a five what would make it a 9 or a 10 and so the qualitative allows you to kind of fill in the gaps of the quant, but doing the survey at the outset is really important because that just gives you like a [00:08:00] baseline understanding of where your customers are starting from.

[00:08:03]Mike: [00:08:03] And lastly that end product that you had on that project

[00:08:07] Chad: [00:08:07] Oh, so many pivot tables.

[00:08:10]Mike: [00:08:10] Oh my gosh, yes. We could do a whole show on your pivot tables. I can tell you what. But having gone through around of quant qual, quant qual, but also, in particular, having used Survey Monkey to do great quant surveys, great quant research, and backed it up with some qual.

[00:08:26] Take us to that point, you’ve just toured the world, you’ve tested [00:08:30] all these ideas. Tell us how did it feel in terms of your confidence about those products?

[00:08:35]Chad: [00:08:35] I don’t think I could have been any more confident than having gone through that process. You know, it boiled down to about three or four really important numbers, out of the quantitative research that boiled down to some insights and gave me the confidence to recommend strongly, you know, the courses of action that were backed by those numbers and then had some really fantastic quotes pulled from the qualitative interviews [00:09:00] that really just drove home,

[00:09:02]you know, the numbers. It created a story behind the numbers. That’s why I think it’s so important to alternate, and, you know, use this magic combination as you call it, of quantitative and qualitative research.

[00:09:13]Mike: [00:09:13] Well, they have it. That’s the first of our seven-part series into the world of Survey Monkey. So get ready. We’ll be preparing your surveys and planning your research next, but that’s it for now on the Bottom Up podcast.

Mike: [00:00:01] Hello, and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. This is episode four. I’m your cohost Mike Parsons, and as always, I’m joined by the man with the plan himself. Mr. Chad Owen.
Chad: [00:00:13] Here we are at the profit-focused WeWork case study show Mike, and we’re going to talk all the numbers big and small, negative and positive, the ups and the downs. I’m like real excited to, pick apart why I think, WeWork failed ultimately. And that was really just a lack of fundamentals, in their profit, aspect.

And, and when it comes to breaking down businesses in the four P’s.

Mike: [00:00:40] Totally. It’s such a powerful lesson. And I know if you’ve been tuning into the earlier episodes, we’ve had a lot of positive, things to say about WeWork despite what everyone is saying these days. The truth really is they did build a good culture. They did build a great product. It did disrupt a category.

They really did a thing there. But the truth is, when we look at the numbers, there is like a huge distraction in the numbers and that is the ridiculous growth of this company. Let me put it into perspective for you. So, we’ve got a slide on our case study that you can get at bottomup.io and this is it.

In, 2015, they had 40,000 members at WeWork. By 2019, they had over 400,000. So, it’s like a 10 X increase in a very short time. That is one steep line of growth as the same thing with their locations from over 50 to over 500 and year on year from 16, 17 to 18 they enjoyed 100% growth in their revenues each year.

Now, any company that can grow 10% a year is happy on the top line. These guys were growing 100% so you did a million on year one. You do, 2 million on year two? That is so, so off the charts. it’s, really, Tremendous growth, and that’s when you’ve got a great product and you’ve got great promotion.

These things do tend to work out, don’t they?

Chad: [00:02:18] Yeah. WeWork opened half of all of their total locations in the last 10 months. They were opening four or five locations a week across the globe.

That is. How quickly they’re growing. Imagine having to open up, you know, a hundred thousand or 200,000 square feet of office space, fully staffed and furnished and built out.

Not every week or every month, but every single day.

 Yeah, the growth is, mind-boggling.

Mike: [00:02:51] Yeah. And to put them in perspective, you know, when you’ve been in the office and someone says, let’s change the office, or let’s move to a different floor. This is a massive. Like undertaking. Just something we can relate to. So when you think about the build-out of a new place, the utilities, the furniture, health, and safety, or the facilities, employing the staff, getting all the fobs to work, like the amount of things that can go wrong on a new office build is incredible.

But somehow, they grew like crazy. And as I said earlier, total distraction because, in a culture where everyone was looking for hyper-growth companies. Investments came quick and fast to WeWork. However, there was already a publicly listed company that we compare in this case study is called IWG, and many of you might know this largely from a brand they have in market called Regis, who technically were in market,  quite a time before WeWork.

But the crazy thing is that they had a business similar to WeWork. They weren’t promising to be a tech company. Many of their fundamentals were actually significantly better.

Chad: [00:04:01] They turned a profit. How novel

Mike: [00:04:04] Should we start with; they actually made some money. but they did really smart things. Chad, they had what we call recession clauses in their leases.

So, if, their property experiences recession, then they are actually able to renegotiate their lease down. Now, which competitor of theirs not only took leases at the top of the market but did not include any recession clauses? Can you name to me which company? It starts with W and ends in work

and this is the problem right.

Chad: [00:04:39] there’s an interesting, a chart that just shows the fundamentals of both of the businesses and the biggest ones that stand out to me is they have similar square footage. They have a similar number of workstations, but the biggest two differences is WeWork has lost billions of dollars, and IWG has made some money.

But this evaluation of WeWork at the time was $47 billion and IWG was just shy of four. So WeWork was getting tech company like, you know, priced earnings valuations that a tried and true, hospitality real estate company just could never, get. So going back to this promotion, the previous episode, you know, WeWork was definitely selling themselves as a new kind of company, a new tech-focused company, so that they wouldn’t be put in the same category as a company like IWG that actually has sound business fundamentals.

Mike: [00:05:37] Yeah. So, this is what I talk about, the distractions. So, the growth of WeWork distracted everybody. and once they actually filed their S1 and people could see the real numbers, things just simply didn’t add up. And, what’s interesting about this is it really challenges us to find, the rigor to go deeper than just like, are we growing, or I can imagine a lot of startups are like, do we have a bunch of customers?

How many new customers did we get? Because those are good questions. But I think what WeWork illustrates is a far bigger learning. And in order to get into that chat, I want to share with you what I think the big problem with WeWork was. Are you ready?

Chad: [00:06:31] Lean on me.

Mike: [00:06:32] All right, here we go. Here we go. So, what’s really interesting in the S1 filing, if you look at the revenues of WeWork, between 2017 and 2018 they went up. $1 billion. So, any company that can sit there and say, Hey, our revenue is up $1 billion year-on-year, you’re like, awesome. Right? Party time, or as in Adam Newman’s case.

Bring on the tequila. Now, what is really interesting is if you look at their cost structure and cost base at the same time, I think we can uncover the real problem. So, in the same period that the business grew by a billion, they actually increased their losses by a billion. So, what this means, Chad, is if you get $1 billion in growth, is it costs you $1 billion to get.

Therefore, what was the point?

Chad: [00:07:28] They had negative margins. Like how crazy is that? For every dollar they make, they spend two. So, you have negative a hundred percent margins. It’s not a business that’s a money pit.

Mike: [00:07:38] It’s, one of those situations, Chad, where like you see these top line of growth, but if you actually have the capacity to go rigorously, almost forensically, it brings you to this big idea. I think this is the biggest learning, not only for this episode but of all the four episodes that we’re doing on WeWork, I think this is where it comes to, it’s called customer acquisition costs.

Okay, it’s a very simple formula, but the real truth here is that WeWork, were totally preoccupied with the number of new customers, but they never address that through the lens of what are the total costs of our sales and marketing operation and how many customers do we get for that?

Because, if they had revealed to themselves and studied this number, like by the first half of 2019, they were almost at $3,000 as a cost to acquire the new customer. $3,000 but then if you actually ask, well, how much money do we make over the lifetime with this customer?

You could have asked the question, is this worthwhile? And I can tell you that not only, is this a classic thing that trips startups, it really catches them by surprise. They’re like, oh my gosh, our search words are highly competitive, or it takes much longer to close the deal with our customers, or we have a leaky funnel where we’re churning.

The truth really is here, that they could have asked themselves, what is the appropriate investment to be profitable? And look, they may have found that they can only afford $1,500, to acquire a customer, but they were close to 3000 and then you could have address this by changing not only your advertising costs, but you would’ve looked at it as sort of a full-funnel approach.

This customer acquisition costs was a number that they never acted upon, and it costs them daily. 

Chad: [00:09:53] It only went up over time.

Mike: [00:09:55] Yes, and so the worst thing is though, if we explore this as a number, if you’ve got increasing costs when it comes to acquiring your customer, you have to then increase the total lifetime value in order to protect your margin.

Because let’s say in this case, I pick an arbitrary number, let’s say over the lifetime of a customer who stays on average. I don’t know, two years that you make it $3,000 in profit, but if you’ve paid $3,000 to acquire them, then if that number is going up, at a certain point, you’re in the negative.

So, then you’re forced to look at a bunch of tactics to improve your margin. Now, just quickly. The biggest thing, if you and I were sitting at, WeWork right now, they have to do a couple of quick things. First, with their existing customer base, they’ve got to improve the cross-sell or the upsell.

There’s plenty of things that they could be offering people like yourself. Chad, our office in New York is based out of that beautiful, Docklands area. what’s it referred to as?

Chad: [00:11:00] Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Mike: [00:11:01] The Brooklyn Navy Yard, so there’s an opportunity, but chat, if you were there and you were looking at how you’re going to reduce costs and radically improve your lifetime value of the customers, what else comes to mind?

Chad: [00:11:15] Well, I would suspect that they have more money in sense. And they have thought, well, everyone is our customer, so, let’s advertise and market to everyone. And how much does that cost? Well, billions and billions of dollars. So, I would create some customer profiles and personas that. are going to be much more targeted so that they can direct their ad spends and get the customers that they know are going to have not only a higher spend, but a longer, you know, tendency and, a bigger lifetime value.

Because, I am going to be a very different customer than a corporate client like McKinsey that may move, some of their, you know, thousands of employees into this space. So, a small business owner versus a larger enterprise, they’re very different customers. Therefore, you should be spending your advertising dollars in your customer acquisition dollars, much differently.

Mike: [00:12:05] Yeah. I think you make a really good point like we’ve talked about, you know, the cross-sell and the upsell and existing customers. I think where you’re going is like they should not only improve the funnel by better targeting but also, they might find new segments that they could specifically appeal to sort of widen the funnel.

I think the last thought I have here is I don’t think WeWork, builds gets better. The more people that are using WeWork. And if you think about Uber and Airbnb, they enjoy these great network effects. For Airbnb. The more hosts, the more guests, the more guests, the more hosts. And so, the product gets better.

It’s always a funny thing at the moment. Like WeWork, the more people in your space, like at a certain point, you’re like, Oh, I wish it wasn’t as busy because. You know, I can’t get a call booth. Right. I think they’ve got to ask themselves like, how do we provide more value to the Chad’s of this world?

The more people that are in the space.

Chad: [00:13:07] Yeah, and I think this is actually my biggest criticism of the product. To bring it all the way back to our first episode, they sell community hard. But they don’t follow through on it. And I don’t see the network effects, materialize. You know, they sell you on, Hey, you know, you’re working with a bunch of cool creatives and you know, you’re gonna collaborate and bump into one another and work with one another.

And, that is not supported in any way, shape or form by WeWork the company. It’s all dependent upon the individuals and the people in the companies, unique to each location. And so, I think you’re absolutely right, that that is a huge opportunity for them, that they’re promising and overselling, to be honest, but not delivering

Mike: [00:13:48] Exactly. Well, there you go, Chad. I mean, this is really a lesson on being a bit more rigorous on the numbers, isn’t it?

Chad: [00:13:56] Yeah. And you know, to be clear, I think both you and I think that WeWork nailed it on the product side and did some pretty good things in the people and the promotion side. But when we, you know, had a chance to look under the hood and the public markets had a chance to look under the hood, figured out that, they were making too many financial sacrifices, to make it a sustainable business. And so, I think the WeWork that we’re going to see six months or a year from now is going to be very different. I have high hopes that they stick around, but I see a follow-up episode in our future here, Mike.

Mike: [00:14:32] Well before we talk about that you found this, great study that’s going to be our goodie, our little giveaway. Do you want to talk about that for a second?

Chad: [00:14:41] Yeah. So, I think, some people from, the Harvard business, did a case study. Why WeWork won’t, and what they do is just go through the S1 filing to shine, you know, the sunshine on it and poke all the holes in it. I think for those of you that really, enjoy the kind of Harvard business, financial times sorts of, breakdowns, it’s a really great breakdown on, why the business fundamentals of WeWork don’t work.

And it’s, again, a great elaboration on many of the points that we’ve talked about here on this show and many more.

Mike: [00:15:15] Fantastic. So that’s a bit of a wrap up now for our case study on WeWork. I hope you, have enjoyed, our sort of quick, short, sharp compress breakdown on product people, promotion, and profit. There’s a ton of learning in it.  Do you think we achieved a fairly balanced view, Chad, or did we beat them up a bit too much at the end?

Chad: [00:15:35] I think we’ve highlighted some, good things that we can learn and take away, from WeWork successes and we’ve learned about the caveats, of their story as well. But if we haven’t done a good job, please let us know. Yeah. You can go to podcast.BottomUp.io and, Leave a message there for us. And you know, we’d love to not only hear your thoughts about this show and things that we might’ve missed or not but what other ideas, topics, companies, case studies, methodologies that you would like to hear from us. The next one coming down the pike is all going to be based on our design thinking at masterclass.

Mike has a fantastic masterclass up on our learning platform, bottomup.IO. But we’re gonna break it down into its components and share it with you here in short bite-sized chunks. We’re really excited to share it with you.

Chad, it’s actually going to be 14 different episodes of the show. So, we break it down, make it really bite-size. We’re going to, study Airbnb and how they do design thinking on the inside and on the outside. We’re going to look at the complete toolset, our view, getting to a validated, Product that is really going to knock people’s socks off.

So, stay tuned lots and lots of design thinking goodies coming your way.

Yeah. And for everyone, I just wanted to say thank you for coming on this new podcast and journey with Mike and myself. We’re very curious to get your thoughts. Don’t forget to check us out. leave us a review on iTunes that helps other people discover the show. And you can go to podcast.Bottomup.IO to get all the show notes, previous episodes, future scheduled episodes, and all of the goodies in there as well.

Mike: [00:17:24] Woohoo. Well, Chad, that is, WeWork done and dusted and I cannot wait to dive into a world of design thinking thanks to you and to all our listeners. That’s a wrap of the BottomUp podcast.
Mike: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. This is episode three. I’m your cohost Mike Parsons. And as always, I’m joined by the man from New York state, Mr. Chad Owen himself. Hey, 

Chad: [00:00:13] Mike. We’re, in the middle of our WeWork case study, podcasting here. What’s your biggest takeaway so far? 

Mike: [00:00:21] Well, you know, for all the criticism WeWork have had, they did some good things and I just don’t want us to lose sight of those.

How about you? 

Chad: [00:00:29] Yeah, I mean, certainly here at the end of 2019, they’re getting tons and tons of bad press, but I think that’s why you and I are sitting down here to catalog. Both the positive things that we can learn from, WeWork as well as maybe some of the missteps in the lessons we can learn from that.

And so today we’re going to continue the discussion talking about the third P, the promotion, of WeWork and what they did wrong and what they did right and what we can learn from that. 

Mike: [00:00:55] Exactly. So, this is all about decoding a business under the four P’s. So so far, we’ve done the product, we’ve done the people, we’re in promotion.

Now the next show will be all about profit, which is the big, stinky, hairy one. Let’s just. Get it out there. and we really hope that on this show today that we can share with you one insight that you can take away a bite-sized, compressed, a little practical tool or tip, that will help you build better products or a better business.

So, promotion, well, you know, it’s fitting that we use promotion as our third P because WeWork with the grandmasters of self-promotion. Chad, who rivals. WeWork, particularly Adam Newman, the founder over the last few years. Do you think there’s any company? Maybe Elon Musk is a great self-promoter. I mean, Adam did an amazing job.

Chad: [00:01:52] I would put Elon above Adam, but yeah, Adam Newman’s was certainly giving Elon Musk a run for his money. 

Mike: [00:01:59] and there’s so much to unpack here. not only on a positive side, there are some very critical learnings. and I think we’re going to start with a great little tool that we love to do when we’re working on projects.

It’s a free tool, Google Trends where you can look and quantify, you know, generally awareness or some version of intent by comparing, different search queries. So, here is a massive insight. WeWork is actually bigger as a brand than the entire category of coworking. Keeping in mind that it popularized and brought to life this world of coworking.

But if you put into Google Trends, so just. Typing Google Trends into your search engine, you’ll get there. But if you type in WeWork and compare the search interest with the term WeWork and the term coworking at its peak, WeWork with almost 10 times more popular as a search query than that of coworking.

I find that ridiculous.  Chad, this is enormous. 

Chad: [00:03:12] It’s the Holy Grail for brands, right?  Becoming synonymous with, right. You don’t ask for a tissue, you ask for a Kleenex. You don’t ask for a, you know, sparkling, sugar water. You ask for Coke. 

Mike: [00:03:23] Right?

Chad: [00:03:24] And yeah. You don’t, talk about, Oh, doing, coworking.

You talk about WeWorking. I think its kind of the brand Holy Grail to get there. Where 

Mike: [00:03:31] yes, 

Chad: [00:03:31] you’ve overcome the category in which you’re in. 

Mike: [00:03:34] So for me, that’s just a great little tool that anybody can use. So, if any of our listeners just, it’s so fun. You can do your Pepsi versus Coke.

you can do new England Patriots versus the San Francisco 49ers whatever you like. and compare that data and it gives you a really good sense of what moves the needle on search activity, which should be a proxy for awareness and intent, of your product. And, I think that this is where we should also credit, not only the company but particularly Adam Newman, their founder.

In the previous episode, we mentioned that he was the one that went out and got the first, investment, from SoftBank. And, he played a massive part in, getting so much press, so much awareness and conversation going around the brand. It was a credit to him, and I think, the fact that they were bigger than the category is a big idea.

But I think Chad, this is where we kind of pivot into some of the cautionary tales. I think the second idea that we want to bring you around promotion, building a brand and marketing, is that you need to be very careful of the promises you make, and they had a big promise at WeWork. What was it? 

Chad: [00:04:50] To elevate the consciousness of mankind?

Mike: [00:04:54] I think if we were looking at Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, I believe that might be at the top, Chad. 

Chad: [00:05:00] Yeah. But I think you can lose sight of the fact that you know, their business fundamentals, make them a business that’s in real estate, right? So how do you get from real estate to elevating human consciousness?

Mike: [00:05:14] Right? And that’s where we talk about being careful of the promises you make, because not only did they say they were elevating the world’s consciousness, that they also said that they were a tech company. And the truth really is that when you make a big brand promise, you will be held accountable to it.

So, one of the things that happens is there becomes a reality distortion when the things that you say don’t match the things that you do. And we’ve got this great, data, from CB Insights, which produce a lot of really good work. And they actually studied over the course of three or four years, the volatile new sentiment that was around WeWork.

And what you see are there, these peaks where they do interesting things such as new offices, partnership with MasterCard, something like this. But then what you see is how fragile that is because it’s so big. You’re really held to a very high account. And, what you see is that the sentiment in news shifted from.

Positive two incredibly negative in just a few months. The first news that really started the avalanche was that WeWork disclosed that their founder, Adam Newman, had taken loans from WeWork, had then bought buildings, and then leased those buildings back to WeWork.

Chad: [00:06:45] If that’s not self-dealing, I don’t know. It is. 

Mike: [00:06:47] Yeah. And you can make these fine nuanced argument between, was it legal or not? And you might even find ways of saying, Oh, actually I didn’t break any laws. But when you’ve gone out to the world and said, we’re raising the world’s consciousness, you know mankind’s consciousness.

When you behave in such a self-serving way, it’s so contradictory to that promise. You can see an enormous downside in new center. People started getting very upset with WeWork because of this lesson that we’re sharing, which is, be careful what you promise to the world. And if you’re out there self-promoting and getting yourself on the front of every magazine, just take heed because you’ll be held to a high standard.

And Chad, this kept going, cause you gotta tell everyone what happened when their S1 got filed.

Chad: [00:07:39] Well, this is the other thing you, talked about the reality distortion field. I think this is where a lot of startups can get into trouble as a private company because you’re not required to disclose really how you’re running the business and how profitable or not you are.

You know, how you’re spending your money, where your expenses are going, how you’re getting your revenue, et cetera. But when you’re filing an S1, at least here in the United States, you know, if you want to become a publicly listed company where the public can buy and sell shares of your stock, you have to get very specific and you have to lay it all out there.

And I think what WeWork found was when they tried to bring this, lofty narrative of elevating human consciousness, and we’ve got this amazing founder, and I think, the words community and Adam Newman appeared like 150 times in the S1. But when people started to look at the numbers and start to see these things, like, how money was flowing from the company as loans to Adam and then back to the company as rent payments and all that.

Like, I think that sunshine, kind of burst that bubble of that promise that WeWork made, and they ultimately couldn’t live up to it in the minds of the public markets, and that’s, you know, that’s why they took such a hit in their valuation when they tried to take the company public.


Mike: [00:08:58] Yeah. So, everybody was buying the dream and WeWork had a valuation of around $46 billion. Right, as of today, here we are in November of 2019. It’s down to four or five. But one of the interesting things is that as soon as the S1 filing, which disclosed all their numbers and financials, there’s this great story that we have in the case study on BottomUp.IO,

and I’ll just give you a short insight into it. But effectively, once the world saw the true numbers, it was such a contradiction to the vision and the promise that they had made. Google alerted WeWork and said that it was the most alarming swing to negative sentiment that they’ve ever seen in history for a company that’s either on the stock market or planning to list on the stock market.

And I think I want to bring this all back. Be careful of what you promise because if you are acting in contradiction to it, the retribution will be very, very negative and very quick and strong. And in the course of two months, the company lost approximately 90% of its value. All the key execs got booted and it’s on life support.

Like this company will have a great challenge to survive and many are saying that the rescue funds, committed by SoftBank are essentially the only reason they got that money because no one else would give them a cent, is because SoftBank couldn’t afford for the loss of face, of, WeWork going into bankruptcy.

So, they were very fortunate that their main investor couldn’t afford for them to go out. They were too big to fail. 

Chad: [00:10:52] Yeah, and I think had WeWork not inflated their story so much, they might not have fallen at all. Sure. They might not have risen to such great heights, but the differences made extremely starkly in the second, little goodie that we have to share with you.

And it’s an investor deck that WeWork put together in October of 2019. After their intention to go public, kind of backfired and then they had to go back out and try to raise some funds to save the business. the language is completely different. They’re no longer talking about elevating human consciousness. They’re no longer singing the praises of their founder, Adam Newman, who’s no longer with the company, and they really just focus on the fundamentals of their business. You know, we’re a lease arbitrage company we lease and build-out for less, hopefully than what we’re charging customers.

And you know this is our plan for growing the business. And it’s just the stark difference between what they were promising. in the S1 versus probably what they’re more likely to be able to deliver in this investor deck is really stark and it kind of shows you, the perils of promising too much.

Mike: [00:12:06] Exactly. Well said. And, Chad did a great job of pulling together the original S1 filing and the subsequent investor deck. So, all of our listeners can see the stark difference, perhaps between the dream and reality. And, I think that really brings it together for the end of this show, which is, you know, be careful of the promises you make.

You can go out there and self-promote, but make sure it’s sustainable. Make sure that you are on the right side of reality. Because what we clearly saw from WeWork as, whilst they were great at self-promotion, they pushed it too far and things fell apart at an incredible, never seen before rate so there you go, we’ve broken it all down, Chad. We’ve had a look at the promotion and prior to that, we’ve done people and product that only leaves us with one P left. 

Chad: [00:12:59] That would be the profit P and I can’t wait to go through all of the zany numbers associated with WeWork in, it’s rise and fall. But yeah, that’ll be, in the next episode where we conclude this four-part case study on WeWork, can’t wait to share it with 

Mike: [00:13:15] Alright guys. Well, that’s a wrap of the BottomUp podcast. We’ll see you next time for the last episode on breaking down the case study of WeWork.

Mike: [00:00:07] Hello, and welcome to the BottomUp podcast. This is episode two of the BottomUp podcast. I am your co-host Mike Parsons, and as always, I’m joined by the man with the plan, Mr. Chad Owen himself.

Chad: [00:00:22] Hey Mike, and I just wanted to say thank you, listeners, for continuing to join us here on this journey into decoding and understanding WeWork. We’ve got part two of a four-part case study here. that comes straight from a case study that we’ve put up on the BottomUp.IO coursework. And, Mike, I’m curious, 

if we couldn’t just get right into the second P or people, and break down kind of, WeWork’s successes and maybe failures when it comes to, people and their business.

Mike: [00:00:55] Totally well, much like the product side of the business that WeWork, the people side is a big tick. They got it right in a big way. And the interesting thing here is that obviously their employees were really happy up until very, very recent times, but there’s a bigger learning in this, Chad, which is, and this is one of our tenants in BottomUp thinking, which is that great teams build great products. And,

if you don’t have a great team, we really believe it is impossible to build a great product. And we’ve heard many great entrepreneurs talk about, the fact that if you want happy customers, then your customer support team need to be happy themselves. How can you imagine? Like calling up a call center.

And if everyone’s very, very unhappy, there’s no magical thing. that will instantly mean that they give a great customer experience. So, there is a direct, correlation. You may even say causation between great culture, great people, they make great products. And I think the story is what we have here with WeWork that the employees were really happy.

Don’t you think Chad? 

Chad: [00:02:05] Yeah. They certainly got, all of the benefits of working at a typical startup company. And I would say even beyond, all employees got perks, like insurance, wellness programs, unlimited sick days, which, I don’t know many people have. And you know,


their work experiences would culminate in these, annual retreats that were often treated like summer camp.

I think they actually called them WeWork summer camps, but you know, places like Big Sur in California and, the coasts in England. And of course, with every startup comes your stock options and equity plans, that I’m sure you know, padded out to everyone’s compensation packages.

Mike: [00:02:47] Yeah. And I think, the truth here is that. You’ve got to create great underlying wellness and culture in your organization. If you want to do big and ambitious things in the world. I mean culture and wellness are the things that keep everything together when it’s tough. Culture and wellness are the things that when you face adversity, those are the things that get you through that stopped people quitting when it’s tough times. and I think that the comprehensive nature of what they gave to employees was remarkable. Now, I think the lesson here is that you need great people in order to make great product. I think it’s also fair to say that. You could argue with the unlimited cash that WeWork had for several years.

 They were in a position to give so many perks. And so, I’m not going to argue that, but I think that the really positive learning here is if you take good care of folks, they will go out and build a great product. And I think we’ve established; they’ve got a great product right.

Chad: [00:03:48] Yeah. I think many of these benefits were even offered all the way down to people you know, that were, the community managers and people in charge of, operating and keeping the buildings going. So, this wasn’t, things that were just offered to the leadership teams or management.

Mike: [00:04:03] Yeah, and so these benefits and perks. You could say, well, they cost a lot of money. But, if done in a proportional way, you can create really great sense of wellness. and Chad, you and I have just worked on a project with a client, which was all about creating employee wellness through design thinking.

And you can see how much people yearn to work in an environment that not only respects them and takes care of them but gives them. the benefits to have some sort of harmony in their life. And if you provide these things, it creates enormous loyalty, doesn’t it?

Chad: [00:04:47] Yeah. And I think, my experience of people that are former employees, current employees, they have their own accord, have kind of created the WeWork family to support one another, both to find new jobs and opportunities within WeWork. But then when someone’s ready to leave the company also, be very helpful

in, you know, going through their networks and being sure that they’re also landing in a good place once they leave WeWork. And as you’re saying, you know, these types of cultures, they don’t just kind of happen by accident. It’s very intentional and I think it speaks to the types of individuals and hard workers that WeWork has been able to recruit over the years.

Mike: [00:05:25] Yeah. So, one of the great ways that you can measure your company’s culture and wellness is, doing some form of NPS, or net promoter score, asking folks how likely they would to recommend. the company to family and friends. And that can be a very good indicator of where you stand with culture.

So that’s called NPS. I’ve done that several times in my own organizations or with clients. Very, very good. And in the case of WeWork, you can actually go to Glassdoor and there are hundreds and hundreds of reviews. Have been done by employees themselves of WeWork. And this gives you a really good, insight into actually what’s going on in a company.

So, if you want to know how things are going inside of your company, this is a really good tool to use. The other thing you can do is, you know, for those of our listeners that are considering going to a new company, I would strongly recommend that you check out things like Glassdoor to see what people are actually saying.

The more informed you are about the environment, then I think it’s all about your own empowerment there. And you can see here the recommendation rate. You can see an evaluation of the leadership, not only for, WeWork for thousands and thousands of, companies. I think this is an invaluable tool, don’t you, Chad?

Chad: [00:06:49] I do, and one thing that we’ve maybe overlooked up to this point. But it would be remiss if we didn’t talk about is the importance of the founding team and, or the founder, and leadership of the company. And I don’t think anyone would argue, that there have been some issues with Adam Newman, one of the cofounders of WeWork.

And, so maybe lapses in judgment and good businesses stewardship, that has probably, likely led to, you know, some of the reasons why their IPO, was met with such resistance and skepticism when it was announced in August of 2019.

Mike: [00:07:28] Yeah. I think the founders bring so much to an organization, but the best teams that they put around themselves will be teams that not only do the things they ask but who will challenge them. And, I think there is perhaps too little challenge of Adam Newman too late. He’s no longer with the company, but Chad, this time you’ve brought a great little goodie, a great little download, for our listeners.

Tell us a little bit about this very famous letter.

Chad: [00:08:02] Well it’s been hard to find, things to bring, to share with y’all. Cause there’s so much amazing coverage about, WeWork and what’s been going on inside and outside of the company. But there were two pieces, both from the New York Times that I thought were fantastic to read, kind of in opposition to one another.

The first is, a profile done of Adam Newman by a reporter at the times, Amy Chozick and


It kind of lets you into maybe how he was left to his own devices. And as you said, Mike, not held accountable to and not challenged enough. Certainly, having a 15-minute meeting with, Masayoshi’s son, you know, in charge of the vision fund, that led to an investment of almost, you know, four or $5 billion.

Like. That’s going to bolster your confidence a lot. Just like, huh, I just have a 15-minute conversation with someone in charge of billions of dollars in, you know, they just decided to write me a check. and you know, with much power comes much responsibility, but there’s also a story in the times.

About a group of, WeWork employees called the WeWorker’s Coalition, that wrote a letter to the management, really putting themselves, are distancing themselves from Adam. Even going as far as to say, we are not the Adam Newman’s of this world. And so, I think, if we want to learn about how maybe people can go a bit wrong inside of an organization.

 Reading these two stories. You really understand how disconnected, specifically Adam Newman, but other members of the leadership team, how disconnected they became from their people and not, you know, listening to, the will and the wishes of their people. And, you know, now they’re trying to, kind of organize and save.

The great culture that they had inside of WeWork despite this, mismanagement at the top.

Mike: [00:09:54] So there you got it. You got two great goodies to follow up on this. If you’re interested in that more cultural and team side. I want to, say though that I think the biggest learning here is that we do confirm that great teams do in fact build great product. But I do want to put a little caveat on this.

A great product is not necessarily mean a great business. So, there we got it Chad.  that’s the people side of WeWork before we run away. Yeah. What are the next two shows?

Chad: [00:10:27] So we’re going to talk about the promotion side of, WeWork, and then cap it all off with, I’m sure, what all of your most interested to hear and learn about. And that’s the profit side, AKA the business model side, AKA the vacuum that has imploded here in the past few months.

 But yeah, you have those two shows to look forward to as we, continue that. We were a case study and. We’ll have many more shows beyond that, including, shows, all from our design thinking masterclass, which is live now on BottomUp.IO where you can go and sign up for yourself to get that design thinking course.

This WeWork, case study and video form, and many, many other, materials for you to apply in your day-to-day.

Mike: [00:11:11] Well done, Chad. I think that’s a great wrap. Thank you, everyone. That’s another episode of the BottomUp podcast.
Mike: [00:00:08] Hello and welcome to the BottomUp podcast It’s a very fresh a very new episode one of the BottomUp podcast I’m your cohost might pass ins and as always, I’m joined by the man in Brooklyn himself Mr. Chad Owen 

Chad: [00:00:24] This is a it’s feeling a little different here isn’t it Mike 

Mike: [00:00:28] This is a brand-new podcast Chad and I am so excited about this How are you feeling embarking on this new journey together

Chad: [00:00:37] Great. So, if those of you have been following Mike and I and the Moonshots podcast this is our second venture into podcasting And what we want to do here on the BottomUp podcast is get very practical And transfer some of the skills that Mike and I have been picking up over the years doing design thinking and working with clients and deliver some short less than 10 minute episodes With some bite-sized skills practical tools and tips all so that we can work in this new B world 

Mike: [00:01:13] Absolutely And we have collected so many methodologies frameworks and tools what we really hope for everyone that listens to this show is that they can get one practical thing from each short compressed episode That they could literally press pause on the podcast and start doing at their desk so that they can create better products And Chad we’ve got an absolute cracker today It’s based on one of the case studies that you can find on bottomup.io But where shall we begin this adventure Chad

Chad: [00:01:49] So we’re in November, 2019 and one of the startups that’s been in the news the most recently has been WeWork and We’re going to spend the next four episodes going through four different areas of WeWork’s business a decoding it to figure out what we can learn about WeWork’s product what we can learn about their people their promotion as well as their profit or lack thereof As I’m sure many of you have been reading about lately 

Mike: [00:02:24] yes So this this show is not only our first in the BottomUp podcast but it’s solely gonna deal with the WeWork product So let’s jump straight in I think Chad the thing I want to propose to you that without question we’re not going to think about the fact that they had buckets and buckets of money we’re just gonna focus on the product itself And the truth really is WeWork is a great product Right 

Chad: [00:02:52] Yeah I’m recording right now from a lovely conference room here in the dock 72 WeWork building in the Brooklyn Navy yard and I’ve been a member for almost four years now And as a consumer I must say I do enjoy working here much more than working up from my cramps tiny Brooklyn apartment 

Mike: [00:03:14] Well not only that I think it’s a far cry from how we were all working just 10 20 years ago I mean if you think about how almost industrial age factory like workplaces have been really up until the creation of WeWork It was all about being in a cubicle It was all about a lot of gray and I’m hardly the most inspirational place but right now we live in a world that is firmly in the digital age firmly in the knowledge age And if you want the best knowledge the best insights the best ideas from your employees then you’ve got to create a great work place And what I propose to you Chad is I think the big product insight that we can take away from WeWork is they found a very old dusty industry that was all about the gray cubicle and they went in and totally disrupted it is exactly the same as Uber did to an old dusty industry called the taxi industry WeWork in this case went in and totally re-imagined The workspace and I think at the core of this and this is something I mean you’re such a great test case because you’ve actually been working in these spaces and you’re in one of their premier showcase properties Now what I propose to you is that from a product insight They discovered that people have different modes in the journey during the day or the week in the office Sometimes it’s about focus sometimes about learning or collaboration or socialization and they designed very intentional spaces to that And this is why it was so radical In contrast a stark contrast to the world of the gray cubicle So tell us Chad you use this product every day Tell us about these modalities Because I think what we know is that it was this that created such an exceptional product 

Chad: [00:05:22] Yeah So even some even a creative like myself would be you know stuck at the kitchen counter and essentially have you know only one place from which to work But I would say one of my favorite parts of the WeWork buildings is There’s no fewer than a dozen and sometimes even 20 different kinds of workspaces that you can work at So whether that’s by the cold brew taps working at kind of a high top bar or it’s like a cozy little booth next to the eating area or it can be you know an enclosed conference room And then of course you’ve got your private office spaces as well But when this building first opened it was fun for me just to go and explore all the different types of workspaces and it can be subtle things is as simple as in a conference room Why not have a standing high top table as opposed to a you know a seated table So even just the standing and working in in discussing versus sitting I think they’ve done a really good job at diversifying those different workspaces 

Mike: [00:06:27] So a massive really a massive change in an industry that had essentially been the same for close to a hundred years But the there was another big part of what was so radical about the WeWork product which is it liberated companies from these massive 10 15 sometimes 25 year Corporate or commercial leases it liberated them from the idea of at a minimum in traditional leasing of commercial property you would have to take an entire floor which means that if you’re not at 30 40 or maybe 50 people you were in a no man’s land And they came along and offered this idea of fractional ownership meaning share your space With many others so that you could enjoy all the perks of a large company even though you’re small Now this next thing about fractional ownership is really big because by doing so not only were you able to get a really nice space with all these modalities that made you more productive but what WeWork could in turn do is offer you effectively a lease That was 66% less than the standard lease which included like the build out in the operating of the space So they literally came along to the world and said you know what You can have an amazing space and you can have it for 66% the less than what you would normally do I mean Chad 

Chad: [00:08:05] it’s month to month You’re not locked in for five 10 or 25 years Just have to give 30 days’ notice 

Mike: [00:08:12] Exactly I mean that is like I can’t say no proposition so often one of the things I think about is that when your proposition is so good everybody like can’t say no but they almost want it to be true Great.

Office A third the price and month to monthly so that if things change you can shrink or expand exactly how you like no waste whatsoever Now we’re going to put aside the fact that WeWork as a business It’s profits paid a huge price for offering this That’s in a that’s going to be an episode four so a little teaser but this is an amazing offering 

Chad: [00:08:55] It’s a no brainer Like you said it’s like irrefutable Like again you start to question like how in the world can they offer this office space for $500 a head You’ll have to wait until episode four until we figure out kind of the ramifications of that But as a product offering I think they came onto the market as you said into an industry that was ripe for disruption Typically companies would have to hire architects and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars building things out And yet here I can come in as a small business owner and Enact act as if I’m a much larger corporation I’ve got training rooms and conference rooms and kombucha and Rosie on tap you know It’s like 

Mike: [00:09:37] stop Stop 

Chad: [00:09:39] to afford 

Mike: [00:09:40] Yeah So here’s the thing Not only was the product great there’s also the delivering and the pricing The way to own was also really great So as a total product experience the essential product itself was already great but they made it vastly cheaper So now they’re getting going from good to great and they go from great to exceptional When they say look it’s a month by month lease So this is like This is home run everywhere you look It’s not just the product itself it’s the pricing it’s the delivery method It is a complete home run Now the other thing is a great test of any product is what customers say about it And I’m in a in the case study you’ll find on bottom up dot AAO we found that the actual users of the product the customers the startups the scale-ups They loved it I mean across three major cities in the world you’re looking at an average of 4.4 4.5 out of five in terms of the reviews on Google And that’s hundreds and hundreds of reviews So we know that they got something very right And I think that was a huge gift that they could offer us in terms of the product the way they delivered it the way they priced it And the real proof was customers Were enamored with it They were just simply in love with what they had to deliver to the world And Chad as a customer where are you on your experience with WeWork 

Chad: [00:11:09] it’s not for everyone but I’m definitely I caught myself as I advocate for WeWork I think You know for the price you get a lot And for small business owners it’s you know it’s going to I think save you a lot of money in the long run and also give you the flexibility to pay more attention and to spend resources on other parts of the business that can help you continue to grow So you know While I might have some issues with the long-term viability and you know practices of management of the company Again as a consumer I it’s kind of hard to 

Mike: [00:11:46] Exactly So so much to learn there and great product great delivery over it so please take that away I think we challenge all of our listeners just to go and tune into this Have I got a great product Am I pricing it correctly Am I Reducing the barriers to participation in the product and I think and another thing here is if you’re looking at a tide old dusty industry you’re probably gonna find that there’s an opportunity for you to bring your own disruption just like WeWork where people have sort of accepted the de facto standards and it’s just right for disruption I think that’s another a big takeout that we can all have on Wheeler 

Chad: [00:12:27] mm And Mike you’ve gone back done some research and found some interesting surveys from which Hmm We’ve kind of discovered WeWork you know built their product on the back of you and say a little bit more about that and share some resources with our 

Mike: [00:12:43] Alright So yeah good point at the end of every one of our BottomUp podcasts where you actually going to give you a free download template that really will inspire you to go out and build better product and a better business And this one is it’s a bit of a classic It’s by a very esteemed architectural firm called Gensler And they did a workplace survey in 2013 which captured The essence of these mode these different ways people work in the office And you can see how WeWork as built their product off the back of these And you’re going to find a link in the show notes at bottom app.io where we’ve actually found the entire workplace survey where it outlines all the different modes of people working So yes for all the budding architects They can check it out But I think look we all work in workplaces and I’m sure many of our listeners will be looking to ask the question how can they create a better environment in which they can work And this survey from Gensler around workplace design is really inspirational So you’ll find a link to that in the bottom up.io a section for the podcast Just get all the goodies there and well Chad I think we’re pretty much done It’s short It’s sharp It’s compressed I think 

Chad: [00:14:03] Yeah but there’s more episodes 

Mike: [00:14:04] Oh yeah Yeah So where do we go next 

Chad: [00:14:08] we have three more episodes going over the three other PS of WeWork I’ve got people promotion and profit and then we’ve gotten such a great response from everyone that’s gone through the bottomup.io coursework I think the design thinking masterclass is a favorite and so we’re going to bring that to you here on the podcast in short bite-sized podcast episodes so that’ll be our next series here on the bottom of podcast Got at least a dozen great episodes for you all in on design thinking Can’t wait to share that and all the resources we have for you in those shows as 

Mike: [00:14:48] Awesome Okay Thanks everyone for tuning into our very first episode of the BottomUp podcast There’s going to be plenty more Thanks again This is the BottomUp podcast