Larry Port

Apr 6 2012

Larry Port, Founder of Rocket Matter, shares many benefits and challenges he has encountered running a business targeting lawyers. Larry goes on to explain why he strongly prefers working on a business to business solution as opposed to a consumer facing product. It’s a fun interview that challenges a lot of conventional wisdom.

Links referenced in the show:

The music in the show, Have Mercy — Big Walter Horton, was provided by Mevio’s Music Alley.

Transcription

  1. Larry 00:00:21

    I’m Larry Port. I’m the CEO and Chief Software Architect of Rocket Matter, which is a Web-based product for lawyers to manage their offices. And I’m here today to talk about how I got Rocket Matter off the ground.

  2. Ryan 00:00:35

    Cool. So how long has Rocket Matter been a thing?

  3. Larry 00:00:38

    So the initial idea happened in December of 2006 and, kind of, when you’re a software developer, you know, you probably recognize having this thing where people just kind of mooch ideas and advice off of you. Like, “How does this work? How does that work?” So what was happening was is that I was kind of keeping my ear to the ground because I always thought that maybe one day I would start my own business, but at the same time I kind of was, like, thinking that I would never get up the courage to start my own business. So I kept hearing from attorneys more than anyone else. And that’s one of the gifts, I think, of living in South Florida and not being in, kind of, like, a tech hub where there’s all sorts of other ideas floating around. I mean, I was hearing from the actual professionals themselves, what their pain points were, and it kept on coming up with law offices (smaller law offices). So I looked around at what the current offerings were. This was 2006 (late 2006, December). And this was, you know, Salesforce was in full force (no pun intended) at that point. I was working for Ultimate Software, which was an HR payroll system that’s here in Weston; you know, a behemoth organization. I had been doing -- in New York I had been working on Web-based trading systems for Morgan Stanley for, like, hedge funds and things like that. So, like, the world was online using Web-based applications to deal with very sensitive information and there was nothing in legal. So how could this be? I took a deeper look at the space; indeed, there really was nothing. No Web-based software as a service products for legal. And that was kind of the genesis of the idea. So I started coding in January and by August was able to demonstrate it to a local law firm that decided to start using it. And they started using it in November. So it was less than a year from, like, just Eureka moment to having a lawyer actually using it. And it was ten months of development to having somebody actually using it. And at first it wasn’t on any servers or anything like that. We bought some sort of, like, HP machine before we got crazy Rackspace or any other kind of hosting. And there was no EC2 back (way back) in 2007. So we just hosted it on the local network, worked out the bugs that way, made it really easy to deploy fixes and things like that, and by February we were up and hosted at Rackspace. And so we had our production machines up and we were announced to the world, which is a whole ’nother story. But that’s kind of how the genesis of the idea and the initial product got up and into place.

  4. Ryan 00:03:09

    Cool. So the urgency with which you got your first customer implies you bootstrapped?

  5. Larry 00:03:15

    Yes. Right. Very good. So yeah. My business partner at the time, the two of us put in, like, I think $20,000 apiece. And so that got us going for a long time. We didn’t take salaries. We quit our jobs in March or April of 2007 so we had a period, you know, where it was just, like, a total leap of faith. Now the thing is when you’re an engineer I always felt that I could always get a job if I needed to. I mean, it’s just, you know, if you’re a good engineer you’re going to find a job if you fall flat on your face. And I figured, you know, and maybe this was, like, justification and things I told my wife but, you know, the idea was, okay, so I’ll try this, I’ll architect a solution from scratch, and so I’ll pick up those skills having said that I’d build a solution from scratch and maybe some business skills along the way and maybe I’ll be even more marketable at the end of that time. And I had enough of a nest egg and stuff saved up to do it that I figured it was worth the risk.

  6. Ryan 00:04:19

    Cool. So let’s think about this target audience. Did you have any affinity or prior knowledge of lawyers other than you I guess talked to a few that said they had this need? So other than, like, a market-researchy kind of thing I guess the thing that I get hung up on is I think people think of them as being a hard target audience, right? Like, they’ve got a lot of rules that they’ve got to stick to. All the, well, you know compliance regulation. I don’t even know that most people that say those words know what they mean by that and then everyone goes, like, “Yeah, I know. Lawyers, right? That looks hard.”

  7. Larry 00:04:50

    Right. So, no, there’s that. To be honest, like, the real thing we wanted was we wanted some sort of subscription and recurring revenue stream because when we were Ultimate Software which you can kind of look up their history (they’re a publicly traded company), they kind of had something like their first profitable quarter in, like, 17 years when we were there and that was in 2006. I was there from 2004-2007. But they had, like, initially the Oracle style of install. So these huge, crazy, enterprise, mega-bucks, like, six-figure installations. And so the revenues were all over the charts and they couldn’t really predict anything. And then they switched to the software as a service model where they were getting recurring fees. And so it was just, like, kind of a steady incline of income. So the thing was, okay, let’s look around. What could we possibly apply this revenue model to? And so the first thing we were actually going to do was come up with some sort of, like, zombie software where it was, like, you know, some sort of zombie game. And, in retrospect, when you look at Zynga we may have been, like, total idiots. But what happened was is that we saw this thing for lawyers. And we saw the need just because our friends were anecdotally telling us about this need. And then we looked around and the software was so bad. The software is, like, Windows 1995 software. I’ve used some of it. When you export a file you’re limited to eight characters. And then it became less a question of compliance in terms of, like, what problems they had in their law firms that they were trying to solve. And most of it was organizational. Most of it was, like, keeping on top of their cases, which they would call “matters,” which is why we call the company Rocket Matter for, like, “rocket” like speed and “matter” to speak to their technology. So they needed to keep track of their matters and their cases, they need to keep track of their contacts, they need to keep track of their time (that was the big one). They were hemorrhaging their billable time. So, you know, if you’ve worked in any kind of, like, business-to-business context before (like, if you have to understand how options or equities work or HR rules work), what lawyers are trying to solve are really simple problems by comparison.

  8. Ryan 00:06:59

    That’s pretty cool. Now a couple of things come out of that. The first one is so when they’re used to this hastily put together line of business type software are they intimidated when they come against something that looks very nice like your software? Because I have to say I was, like, “Wow, this is for lawyers? This isn’t what I think of that kind of software looking like, right?”

  9. Larry 00:07:21

    You’re right. We made a clean break from what they’re used to using. So the answer is are they intimidated by, like, our new kind of sleek software? And the answer is no because we built it using existing Web idioms that they should be familiar with. So it’s very much constructed like Wikipedia or Internet Movie Database where you have global search, you have dashboard screens, and you have contextual linking to dig deep into your information. So that’s kind of how it’s architected.

  10. Ryan 00:07:47

    That’s cool. I think too many people are quick to jump to the idea that if they’re not targeting, you know, fellow developers then they really need to dumb-down the metaphors, right? Like, “I don’t know that they’re going to understand how to search,” which is, I think, it’s terrible. It’s very dismissive but also kind of common knowledge if you talk to people, right? You know, it’s kind of like a common wisdom that people agree to.

  11. Larry 00:08:10

    Yeah. I think that there’s a huge opportunity there too because what we were coming up against in the space is -- especially if you’re students of, like, you know, what’s happening with, like, modern Web development and user interaction. You read, like, something like “Getting Real” by the 37signals guys and, you know, this whole less is more philosophy. We would case these trade show floors. That was another thing we did in terms of cheap market research. We would find, like, a trade show that would, like, cater to lawyers where there’d be other software vendors and we’d walk the floor and we’d talk to the salespeople. And they’d show off their products and they would brag that 80% of the users were only using 20% of the features as if that was a good thing.

  12. Ryan 00:08:47

    Right.

  13. Larry 00:08:48

    So I think the opportunity exists for almost every business vertical to go in there and just knock it out of the park because the software that’s in there is really bad and the people that are there (the entrenched competition) are not going to be able to turn around and do what you can do because they’re going to have to try and have feature parity and they’re going to want to take their product and port it using the same kind of database/data models and there’s going to be internal strife because they’re going to be these sized organizations where there’s going to be a lot of old school people and the new voices are just going to be beaten down. So today’s the day to go start a business-to-business software product because you can make one on the Web that’s just going to beat the pants off of anything that’s like an old school client/server installation.

  14. Ryan 00:09:33

    Yeah. One of the things I thought was kind of an interesting focus on your main list of features is, you know, this GTD which, again, is another one of those things where I was like, "Wait a minute, isn’t that just a programmer cult? Like, is that a selling feature that, like, a lot of lawyers are looking for? Do they know David Allen?"

  15. Larry 00:09:52

    Well, that’s the thing, right, is that there’s a subset of lawyers that are just really into this kind of stuff. And I think those are going to be your first adopters. So we do a lot of things where we go after the real early adopters. If you think about the, kind of, like, technology-life cycle adoption curve and you think you have the, like, crazy people like you or me that are, like, creating things and then you have the early adopters who are like the business people. Kind of the crazy ones who are like, “Wow, this might work and this might save me oodles.” So they’re real into, you know, what things are out there that could make huge savings. And then you have the majorities, right? But these early adopters are kind of critical to get you, like, up and running. And so what you do is you insert some things in there that, like, resonate with them and GDT is one of those things. So, by way of an example, I went to lunch with an attorney in Chicago last week. And this guy told me that he was reading books on, like, lean manufacturing processes and trying to apply those to legal. Now, you know, what’s interesting about that is that in software we’ve done that. So we’ve taken what the automotive industry has done and adapted it and we have agile and we have lean and we have all sorts of crazy nonsense, right?

  16. Ryan 00:11:00

    Yeah.

  17. Larry 00:11:01

    So we’ve tried to take some of those ideas. Hey, if it can go from automotive to software, why can’t it go from software to legal? So what we do is we put things in there that will resonate with this early adopter crowd and hopefully get adopted by everybody else too.

  18. Ryan 00:11:19

    That seems like that would be really jarring at first. Like, "Why are you reading about Toyota so much, as a lawyer, right?"

  19. Larry 00:11:26

    Right, right. No, it’s interesting. So I had lunch with this attorney because we were at this big convention (a national convention) called ABA Tech Show and he was a speaker there and he did a thing on mind maps. And so I’m like, wow, that’s amazing that, you know, you would think, like, people that are in the mind mapping field are, like, the creatives and, you know, people in software design. But it turns out, like, there’s a small subset of attorneys that are into it because it allows them to see everything that’s going on in a case at a glance. So that’s what kind of peaked my interest and I went out and talked to him and he started talking about all these different things that, like, like you say, like, Toyota has introduced or other things. And what it’s done is it’s allowed us to really kind of have a whole conversation around having a more efficient law firm. So, you know, I come into this space and I’m a software engineer and I don’t necessarily really know how to market it. But, God bless, we live in a time and the age where there’s blogs. So blogs are big. And, you know, we’ve developed, like, kind of a whole thing around giving content out. And that content are all these new, crazy ideas that we’ve observed in the software industry that work and applying them to professional services; namely legal.

  20. Ryan 00:12:42

    That’s really cool because sometimes, you know, a good idea doesn’t have to be restricted to the scope that it kind of first gets traction in, right? Like, just because the nerds want to think about workflows, right, and they understand that you need to set something in place. Whereas I think a lot of other people kind of don’t accept that because they don’t want to think about the problem solving nature of a certain thing, right? But then once you kind of have a nice rule of thumb laid out, like a nice easy enough pattern [13:07] or whatever and you say, “No, no, no, no. I’m telling you; just have faith in the system. It’ll work.” You don’t have to understand the system, right?

  21. Larry 00:13:14

    Right, you don’t. But the thing is, certain ones are the ones that, like, I pride myself that we’ve developed as software engineers (maybe it’s just because we’re, like, algorithm-focused), like, work amazingly well for this vertical. Like, a typical example is the Pomodoro Technique, which is this thing that this Italian software developer invented. It’s called Pomodoro because he’s Italian and that means tomato in Italian, I guess. I guess everybody knows that but just throwing it out there. But in any case, he had a little tomato timer in his kitchen and he wound it up for 25 minutes and he would work on one thing and only one thing for 25 minutes. So no Twitter, no Facebook, no e-mail, can’t get up and get a cup of coffee or I guess espresso in his case, or go to the bathroom or anything like that. You just work on one thing and only one thing for 25 minutes. Then at the end of the 25 minutes you get up, you take a 5 minute break, you get a cup of water, you go to the bathroom, get your cup of coffee. Also, nobody can interrupt you in those 25 minutes so you go out and you say, “Hey, what were you talking to me about?” Now that’s kind of, like, so simple but so amazing in our day and age of constant distraction to work for 25 minutes on only one thing. And for the legal profession they’re constantly getting hammered by their clients or judges. You should spend some time in a small law office. It’s like a World War I trench. Like, bullets whizzing overhead and all that kind of stuff. So the idea that they can, like, get the chunk of time in on average, maybe be unresponsive for 12.5 minutes and still get all their work done is like a huge mind shift. And that’s been, like, such a popular thing that we’ve been talking about that we actually had little tomato timers with our logo printed up on them and sent them out to law firms.

  22. Ryan 00:14:44

    It’s cool that that works really well for you because I think more often I hear stories about people attempting to bring reason into another industry and just being frustrated like, “They just can’t.” Most famously you hear Merlin Mann talk about, like, trying to go to different big companies and try and explain some of his Inbox Zero type ideas. And it works really well at Google but then when you try to give the same talk at, I think it was Pixar, right -- do you know this anecdote?

  23. Larry 00:15:09

    No, I don’t know this one.

  24. Ryan 00:15:10

    So he goes, I’m pretty sure it was Pixar that he was trying to pitch this idea of separating yourself from distractions. And someone said, “Well, that’s great for you, I guess, but I’ve got 35 top priority items.” And, you know, his response to that was, “That’s absurd. You can’t possibly,” right, because if everything’s high priority, nothing is. And I think that’s a thing that, kind of, we get but largely in the business world it seems like it’s a concept that people like to brag about how many plates they’ve got spinning at the same time. But it’s poison, right? It’s toxic to try and do that. Like, you can’t really multitask that way indefinitely, right? So, like, the idea of just kind of breaking things down, actually focusing on what you need to do now, and then do everything else kind of in due time, right?

  25. Larry 00:15:54

    Yeah. I think that’s tricky and I think one of the reasons we’ve been able to do it is because we don’t serve as large organizations that have a built-in corporate culture that, you know, the legal profession, by far, is I think 88% of it or something is, like, 25 total employees or less. When you have that you have organizational freedom and they can work however they want. But it just turns out that this whole movement that we’ve seen in the past couple of years away from multitasking, towards single-tasking, really resonates with people. I do a talk -- as part of our marketing I write a lot of articles and I do a lot of public speaking. They have continuing legal education; that’s been part of our things. But I do this one thing that addresses some of these issues, which is about work life balance. And I talk a lot about what, like, Nicholas Carr talks about in The Shallows and, like, over-Internet exposure and how it screws up our brains and the importance of single-tasking. And when I’m done with this particular talk, people come up to me as if I was, like, a rabbi or a priest (on a street corner at three o’clock in the morning). No, but you know -- some sort of, like, spiritual person and they, like, confess to me and all this crazy stuff. And it’s just nuts. I mean, it’s out there, it’s a real thing, it’s hurting people. And when you are marketing to small businesses that aren’t restricted by a specific kind of organizational culture where Steve Jobs might come down the hall and scream at you, I think it works.

  26. Ryan 00:17:20

    I think there’s a really good lesson in there because I know I’m guilty of this (I think most people are), that the idea that I’m quick to kind of almost, like, paraphrase and lump how I characterize a whole group of people. And I think that the image a lot of times of, like, lawyers, for instance, in this case, are they’re kind of stodgy. So the idea of being able to introduce interesting methodologies to their lifestyle -- I would assume that they’re not into that. But for you to come and describe it the way that you’ve seen it actually from dealing with them, it’s like, well, I mean, in a lot of ways they’re kind of like a startup. They’re these really small teams, they have to wear a lot of hats, and ultimately they don’t want to do half the administrative tasks that they’re forced to do. It’s like, “Wait, I think I can relate to this group of people a lot more than I would have otherwise imagined I could.”

  27. Larry 00:18:07

    That’s a very good way to put it. And keep in mind that I don’t need all of them. I mean, there’s 1.1 million lawyers in the country and I don’t need all of them to really want to jump on the bandwagon. But I guarantee you, in any profession that’s out there you’re going to find the people that are reading Seth Godin and reading Malcolm Gladwell and that are, like, real hip to interesting ideas. And those people are going to be the people that you bond with and they’re going to be the people where you get your toehold. So when you start your business you start a conversation with those people because not only are those people going to be receptive, they’re going to spread the idea. So, you know, it doesn’t have to be the case that all of the people are going to adopt these things. What you need is that some of the people, a highly influential subset of those people, will adopt those ideas and that’s kind of how the whole thing snowballs.

  28. Ryan 00:18:53

    That is a really good and kind of subtle point to bring out about, like, trying to vet whether or not you have a big enough target audience, right? Like, you still have to be able to think about aiming small to miss small and still having enough people, but not getting overwhelmed with this idea of, like, “We need all of the lawyers,” right? No, you don’t. You need enough of them and kind of figure out your business model, which is another thing that I think is really interesting about this target audience because you could keep how many customers you need down because you’re enabled to actually charge them a decent amount of money, right? I think the monthly plans are, like, around 60 bucks. And you could see a lot of people trying to sell to a lot of audiences and saying, “I can’t sell anything for 60 bucks a month,” right? But you found an audience that you can.

  29. Larry 00:19:41

    Well, I think that’s the beauty of professional services. And I think based on what we give them compared to what we give them that $60 is cheap. The way that we priced our software was we did a competitive analysis and the only thing we could really look at was, like, client-server installations. So we talked to some consultants, we got the pricing on those different products, how much they pay up front for them, and we just did this whole total cost of ownership analysis where we figured out how much it would cost to service those things over five years, how much it would cost to install them and, you know, these people are going to have to buy, like, SQL Server licenses and have people come in. And you know what that’s like; it just breaks all the time and stuff. So we backed into a calculation of roughly, like, $50 a month. So that’s what it was initially. And then when we started discovering that there were more one-user accounts than, like, three-user accounts then the first user became more expensive. It became $60 a month. So that’s where our pricing came out on and we were able to write a pretty compelling argument that that was appropriately priced. Compared to, like, a Salesforce or something like that it’s kind of cheap. You know, like a full-on Salesforce product. And we’re not the cheapest ones out there. There are people that undercut us, but we don’t want to be there. We don’t want to be playing that way. I think if you’re in a business-to-business business -- but if you’re in a -- let’s say...

  30. Ryan 00:21:00

    That’s too much business.

  31. Larry 00:21:01

    That’s too much business. If you’re in a B2B business then you have the luxury of charging more because there’s a precedent and an expectation that is there already. And if you price it too low then you’re also not going to be able to leverage the channels of distribution that exist. Like, there’s a whole network of people that, you know, install networks and install software for given verticals. Like, you know, they might do legal only; they might do a bunch of different professional service type things. But if it’s not pricey enough then it’s not going to be of interest to them to distribute it because they’re not going to get enough of a commission. So you have to think about a lot of different things when you’re selling business-to-business but you’re going to be able to sell more stuff and you’re going to be able to sell higher prices.

  32. Ryan 00:21:50

    That is a huge lesson. All too often I’m talking to people and, you know, they say something like they’ve been working, you know, six months or more on, you know, like, an app. Like, maybe it’s a game, maybe it’s whatever. And they’re like, “Yeah. Man, I’m going to have to sell a whole lot of 99 cents to recoup this cost.” And it’s like, “Why don’t you sell it for more, like, if that’s what it takes you to break even?” Like, “No one would pay it.” It’s like, “Well, that would have been a good thing to figure out six months ago.”

  33. Larry 00:22:17

    I would think so. I’ll tell you one thing, not that I would ever do this. I went to a Business of Software Conference, which is a conference they have once a year. Joel Spolsky runs it. The guy from Redgate Software (if that’s what it’s still called), Neil Davidson, he runs it too. And I sat in on this panel and we talked about pricing and we were all talking about this. And there were people that said that they’d tripled their prices. Now this is not consumer. This is not B2C, this is B2B. They tripled their prices and it didn’t make a single bit of difference about who signed up and who did not. Because when you change your pricing expectations for B2B it changes a lot. It changes the perception of your product. Like, so if you have a more expensive product it’s considered premier. You know, there’s a lot that goes into it. And so the B2C market is something I know nothing about so I have no idea how to price for that. My first chops were at Morgan Stanley so I was coding stuff for hedge funds. My second thing was, like, you know, B2B HR software and now I’m doing this so I really don’t know that market. But I will say that in B2B stuff that you have a greater ability to vary your pricing.

  34. Ryan 00:23:16

    That’s a good thing to bring up too because I think conventional wisdom is, well, it’s always easier to lower a price than to raise it, right? People say that but I’m not really convinced that it’s true. I’ve heard too many stories like what you mentioned there or even, like, with freelancers just saying, you know, January came around and they doubled their wage. And they had repeat business and they talked to them about that. And, you know, some people will notice and they’ll ask you why and then you say, “Well, I cost more now. Like, you know, I’ve got this, I’ve got to prioritize this, and I’m doing,” you know, whatever’s different about the company. You can always explain why it’s true and, generally, people are like, “Yeah. No, that makes sense. Most things cost more,” right? Like, when my lease ends at my apartment the price is likely to go up, right? Like, that’s just how the world works but people are really intimidated by that at large.

  35. Larry 00:24:02

    Well, because the problem is it’s really hard to A/B test that, right? Like, you can’t raise prices on one set of customers and see how they react and then decide to raise it on the other. So, you know, it kind of goes against our whole, like, data-driven nature as, like, software people. But, you know, it’s an interesting thing, right? And I think people are too quick to lower their prices. The other part of that is that if you think about it as a consumer, if you’re a business consumer and, like, business budgets are different than personal budgets, you know. Like, businesses will spend $1000/$2000 without even thinking about it. You know, whereas you and me, we’re going to think about it. So, you know, they have a different way of thinking about how they spend their money so I think that needs to be taken into consideration too. And if you’re going to raise their prices -- like, if you have a volume SAAS business and you raise your price by $10, you could be making, like, you know, $100,000 more a month, you know, depending on how many clients you have. So any kind of tick up on a software as a service recurring revenue business you could potentially generate a ton of cash.

  36. Ryan 00:25:04

    Yeah. I can’t remember what the number is but, like, there’s that great anecdote with you had mentioned 37signals before. I forget how much -- they had raised their price and they’d lost some users and they ended up, like, they still doubled their revenue, right? And then they said, “Well, now there’s less support calls. So we’re even more than breaking even”, right?

  37. Larry 00:25:22

    That’s true. And the thing is with the customers that aren’t willing to pay that much, you know, you’ve got to question whether or not they’re the kind of customers that you really want to have. Because we want customers that appreciate, like, value and really get what we’re trying to do. We don’t want people on board who are just trying to find the cheapest solution. That’s not what we’re about. We’re a premier product and we want people to appreciate it.

  38. Ryan 00:25:45

    Yeah. That’s an excellent point to bring up to everybody too, right, because I think that’s not necessarily intuitive for a lot of people.

  39. Larry 00:25:52

    Yeah. And I think it’s a big gamble and people are afraid of it and you can always play around with it. One of the things that’s very interesting in the field, something that we have not done, is have different pricing tiers. That’s kind of interesting. So, you know, most normal SAAS companies, other than mine, have different tiers. So they’ll have, you know, for $19.99 you get x, for $39.99 you get y, and for 59.99 you get z. And so they have all these very clever ways inside of those different tiers of getting people to migrate their way up, you know, whether it’s capacity or whether it’s features or whatever it is. And so, you know, I think that’s a way around it if people are kind of afraid to take the plunge or think that their pricing might be wrong is that you introduce a higher tier. And so you have different price tiers, right? And this is something that fits into the paradigm of kind of what you were alluding to before of the expectations of the consumer and at the same time gives you a chance to maybe intelligently get them more and more into your feature, you know, more and more gummed up and get them on a click-to-upsell to a higher price point. I think that’s another way to go about it.

  40. Ryan 00:27:01

    You know what always hits me a little bit wrong whenever people talk about business models like that where, you know, you’ve got to be the pro tier account before you can get all of the good features is I don’t think that it usually costs you any less to develop or maintain those features that none of your users are using, right? Like, it almost seems like you could amortize that cost out and probably be better off because all of the users have all of the features and, you know, they’re all paying the same amount; they can all be just as frothy about how awesome your product is. Because it’s really dangerous if you can take whatever your magic, you know, the secret sauce (whatever you want to call it). Like, that feature that’s your killer feature and it’s like, “Well, that’s only pro tier guys get to use that feature.” Well then everybody else that has never experienced that doesn’t even understand why you’re that great.

  41. Larry 00:27:50

    So that’s the flipside to the coin, right?

  42. Ryan 00:27:52

    Yeah.

  43. Larry 00:27:52

    So, you know, I think that’s a good thing. I don’t think you want to retroactively do it. That’s a good point. I think that you might want to think about it when you have, like, another feature coming down the road that a lot of people would pay money for. I don’t think it would be a wise move to split your existing product apart and do that. But if you think about it there, just kind of like the example that you said before where there’s going to be less support calls, there are going to be some features in your product that are going to require more support calls than others. Perfect example: Google Calendar integration, right? We have Google Calendar integration in our application and that just takes a while for people to configure, for whatever reason. For, like, you or me or software people that’s, you know, not going to be too hard. But, you know, synchronization can raise its ugly head every once in a while and there could be conflicts or whatever. So features like that, you know, you may want to put in a more expensive, like, price bucket just because it has more of an impact on your organization.

  44. Ryan 00:28:47

    That makes a lot of sense to me in a way that I don’t think that’s oftentimes how people choose which things go into the more expensive bucket, right? It’s more like this idea of you’re trying to dangle that thing that you expect them to want the most, but yeah. Take the expensive features and make them part of the expensive plan. Again, it seems extremely obvious for you to say it, but I don’t think that’s how a lot of businesses structure themselves.

  45. Larry 00:29:11

    Well, I think you have to pretty much create a matrix, right? So you have core functionality and you have the killer feature that everybody wants and will pay money for and then you have stuff that’s, like, kind of hard to do. So I think what you want to do is you want to take stuff that’s hard to do and stuff that people pay money for and put that in your higher tier. And, ideally, it’s new; you’re not cannibalizing your existing product.

  46. Ryan 00:29:33

    Larry, I feel like we could do this for twice as long but I don’t want to hold you up. This has been our thirty minutes. I’m going to have to have you back.

  47. Larry 00:29:39

    Ryan, thank you so much. I appreciate that.