Thomas is currently the CEO of Blossom. He previously built high traffic Facebook apps for Red Bull, Jim Beam & FIFA Soccer World Cup. He also relaunched Play.fm and studied Computer Science at Vienna Technical University.
→ Find out what Blossom IO do
→ What are Blossom IO specific use cases of product teams with integrations with tools like HipChat and GitHub
→ What are general purpose project management tool, similar to Basecamp
→ KISSmetrics and Mixpanel to track metrics and gather data on how people interact with and use the product
→ Blossom IO targets the startup community and aims to differentiate itself
→ His beliefs in building growth into the product and strategy for sustainable growth
→ His focus on marketing and growth hacking aspects of Blossom IO
→ How to observe common mistakes among startups, including not prioritizing tasks
→ And a whole lot more
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have Thomas Franz with us. Thomas, thanks for coming on the program.
Thomas: Thanks for having me.
Bronson: Absolutely. So, Thomas, you’re the co-founder and the CEO of Blossom IO. So let’s start with that. Tell us what is Blossom.
Thomas: That’s right. So Blossom basically is a project management tool focusing on product people. So we wanted to create a project management tool that’s easy to use for people working on products, working on web and mobile applications, basically.
Bronson: Gotcha. So you’re really targeting the startup community with this product.
Thomas: That’s. That’s correct. Yes. Yeah.
Bronson: Okay, perfect. So this is probably a question you’ve had to answer a million times, and you might even be tired of hearing it. But what are the primary differences between Blossom IO and base camp? Because base camp is, you know, the de facto standard. Everyone kind of uses it. So. So give the pitch. Why should we care about Blossom IO?
Thomas: Yeah, that’s a great question. Base camp base is an easy to use general purpose project management tool. We also like it a lot. I would say Blossom focuses more on the specific use cases for product teams. So we’re integrating with tools like Hip Chad GitHub and make it making it really easy for people who create software to get an overview on the feature pipeline and what they’re currently working on. So it’s more targeted.
Bronson: Towards product people. Hip Chad I think KISSmetrics plugs in things like that. Mixpanel How do they plug in? It’s kind of hard for me to wrap my head around because I think about KISSmetrics and it’s so huge. It does so much. What do you actually pull in to blossom IO?
Thomas: So, so our integrations with KISSmetrics and Mixpanel aren’t actually live yet.
Bronson: But give us a sneak peek. What is it going to do?
Thomas: So what we’re looking into is like usually with project management and productivity tools, you usually only track what’s going on at the moment, and when a feature is done, you archive it and no longer look, look into it. And what we think is that actually at the moment where the feature is done, it’s starting to get really interesting because then it lives in your product. So you want to know like how people interact with it if it actually makes the product better or not. And the kind of information that you get from tools like KISSmetrics and Mixpanel, but they’re also like feeding back into what the next steps in your future development will look like.
Bronson: Okay. Do you think it also is going to have the kind of the benefit of now instead of just the person that’s in charge of growth now, kind of everyone on the team can see these key metrics on their dashboard. They can see kind of, you know, the hip chat they have their conversations, the KISSmetrics, they have the data points that matter. So it kind of lets other people kind of see overall what’s going on. Is that part of what you think will happen?
Thomas: Yeah, I think that that’s a great that’s a great point. We see more and more teams being structured in a more like cross-functional way. So it’s no longer like just the development team. It’s actually a team that has UX people in their marketing people. The whole team is really like product focused and interested in like how people are actually using and interacting with the product. So it makes a lot of sense to have a like understanding of metrics as well. And in the project management.
Bronson: Know it makes a lot of sense. What kind of gave you the the, the impetus for creating it? Did you use tools like Basecamp? And you just kept saying, I wish you could do this. I wish it was more for startups or. Or did you just kind of envision this from, you know, from nothing? Like how did you come to where you felt like this was something the world needed? Was it a personal pain or what?
Thomas: Yeah, it’s that’s that’s spot on. We basically used every, like, popular project management tool that was used for software development. It was on the market and some of them were quite okay, but like nothing really felt that it’s their thing. And then we thought, well, we are software developers ourselves. Why not, like, start something on our own? That’s kind of how it involved people.
Bronson: Yeah, now it makes sense because you think about, you know, 37 signals and Basecamp and they were a web development company and so they created Basecamp to kind of scratch their own. It’s the way they say it. But then even since that’s been ten years now, since they created that, you know, startups, they’re doing more than just creating websites now. We’re creating these really fully, you know, applications. And so the needs are different. You know, back ten years ago, you didn’t need KISSmetrics, you didn’t need hip, you didn’t need these things plugged in, you didn’t need all these features. So it makes sense that there’s another company that were themselves software engineers that in a building their own project, collaboration software. So it seems like you’re following kind of a parallel line there.
Thomas: Yeah, I think like it’s it’s actually funny that many companies kind of now start to scratch their own itch. And, um, yeah, it’s a, it’s a really inspiring story followed 37 singers guys, guys for a long time and it’s really inspiring what they’re doing.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. I’m now on your various online profiles. You mentioned a few places that you’re interested in growth engineering. I like that phrase. So let’s get into that just a little bit. How do you define growth engineering? What is that?
Thomas: I would say like Grove Engineering, probably the same thing as people understand under the term growth hacking. Just said I thought it like the hacking word implies kind of like cheap dirty tricks that might work for like a few days or something like that. And I think, like, if you look at many of the growth hacking techniques, they are actually really holistic and like the idea is to build growth into your product, into your whole strategy. So there’s like a sustainable growth and not just like something that works for a couple of days.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. And despite the fact that our name is Growth Hacker TV, what you just said applies perfectly to the kinds of people we interview and the kinds of, you know, tricks and things they share with us. We take a long view. You know, I’m like you. It’s not a get in quick, do something and see a quick result and then move on. It’s really building it into the product, like you said and some of the other ways. Let me ask you this. How did you learn about growth engineering, a growth hacking, whatever phrase we put to it? What taught you the most about that subject? Did you do your own projects and learn? Did you read certain things? Did you watch people? How did you learn about growth engineering?
Thomas: So I think the first thing I consciously saw was the presentation by Dave McClure on the pirate metrics. That’s something that probably yeah, that’s probably something that, that, that really made a huge impact. Um, we also went to the, to the Growth Hackers Conference in Palo Alto. Okay. That’s, that was a really great event. Then there’s the KISSmetrics blog is a great resource. Um, there’s also really, really great articles by best trainer of Intercom on the Intercom and audio blog. Um, yeah, I think there’s, there’s quite some interesting stuff. Obviously, growth factor TV as well.
Bronson: There you go. You can’t leave that one out, right? That’s great. Now, you’re also a software engineer yourself, is that right?
Thomas: That’s that’s correct, yeah.
Bronson: Are you the primary software engineer for Blossom IO?
Thomas: Actually, at the moment, I’m not allowed to code.
Bronson: So what do you have to focus on?
Thomas: So I’m focusing on on marketing and like some of the growth hacking aspects that also have like technical details. So I do some coding, but actually like the main development work on the product is done by my other two co-founders, Ellen and Nick.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great because that’s that leads into my next question. Being an actual software developer. Do you think it gives you an advantage in terms of growth? Because I guess there’s two ways to look at it. You have the engineering side, which can help you actually code things and understand the logic of things. But then maybe you don’t have the traditional marketing background, the creativity or, you know, the way was. You kind of pigeonholed these roles. Do you think being a software engineer helps or hurts or it doesn’t matter?
Thomas: I think it definitely doesn’t hurt. I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely necessary if you have like if you’re really, like, curious and not afraid of like just taking a script or a code snippet or looking into SEO optimizations and actually be able to apply those things. But it’s definitely useful to have like some technical understanding to see how everything fits together. But I would say that it’s also true for other disciplines, like if you’re curious about user experience, a bit like towards psychology or sociology or like marketing in general, that that always helps.
Bronson: Yeah, now it makes sense. Let me ask you this. We’re going to get into Blossom I o in just a second and kind of the details of your ALS growth and what you’re doing there. But kind of taking a broad view for a second. Do you see any common mistakes among startups because you’re in the startup world, you’re interacting with startups or rubbing shoulders with them, and you yourself are very interested in growth, engineering and all the things you just said. Are there any common mistakes that you see your colleagues make?
Thomas: Um. I would say, like what? One topic. There was like, like a warning topic from the growth hackers conference itself was that many people who are looking into growth or growth hacking are like really focusing on something like viral growth or more more on the customer acquisition kind of side and like kind of skip retention or customer development or like, um. Yeah, like, like the steps that you need to take to actually have, like, for like fix the holes in your funnel. So people focus on the acquisition, but then they like can’t hold them into product and it’s kind of wasted, wasted effort.
Thomas: So I wouldn’t say that’s like true for like, like most of, of, of the people in this are the world. But that’s definitely like, like one of the key misconceptions about like that people bring into the growth hacking topic, I guess.
Bronson: Absolutely. You mentioned Dave McClure’s, you know, pirate metrics and you know, the first, you know, A is acquisition. But there’s four of the things he talks about that don’t get as much press and those four things are the rest of the funnel and how important those things are. So I think you’re absolutely right that, you know, focusing exclusively on customer acquisition, it’s shortsighted. You know, and I’ve had somebody on the show before, they said something that was really interesting, probably worth repeating. They said, you know, you can either double the amount of people that you’re acquiring in the front of the funnel, or you can just double the percentage of conversions anywhere in the funnel. And you’re effectively doing the same thing mathematically, but sometimes going from 1% to 2% within the funnel is much easier than doubling the number of customers requiring. So it’s kind of a cool way to see the whole funnel. And I think you’re right, there are some startups that make that mistake.
Thomas: That’s a great point. It is a great way to see it, I guess.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. Let’s talk about some of the specifics of Blossom Micro, because this is what our audience is really going to be, you know, excited to hear about. So when did you all actually launch Blossom IO?
Thomas: Yeah, that’s a great question. So we actually didn’t like properly launch yet, so we kind of like we never did a huge launch announcement or went on Hacker News or or TechCrunch or something like that yet.
Bronson: Well, what was your thinking there? Well, you know, so many startups make a big splash, you know, to growth hack. They want to build to get a bunch of users. Why why did you do it quietly?
Thomas: I think one thing is that all of our co-founders, all of us have like technical background and we’re like kind of view the product from a point where we say like, it’s not ready yet. It’s not good enough. It’s like the funnel leaks are not large, like sort of funnels still to leak for whatever we want to see and stuff like that. So we think it’s not ready yet, but probably in the next couple of weeks.
Bronson: Yeah. See that’s very wise what you’re saying right there that so many startups. So let’s get to that just a little bit. So are you saying that you’re not letting everyone know that it’s available even though it is, so that you can get some data, learn from it, figure out the holes in the funnel, and then when you fix those holes, then you might make a bigger splash and try to get on Hacker News or something like that. Is that what you’re saying?
Thomas: Yeah, that’s that’s absolutely true. So we see like like there are some rockets you can launch. And launching is like one of those rockets you kind of have. And if if the numbers you’re seeing are not the numbers you want to see, it might make sense to wait a couple of days or weeks or.
Bronson: Yeah. Yeah. And when you when you call launching a rocket, you mean those one time events that you can make a lot of noise, but that you can launch it next week? It’s a one. Exactly. So you might as well get the data and learn from it before you launch a rocket you can’t relaunch.
Thomas: That’s that’s so true. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, you can you can always announce something, but like a a launch a proper launch is probably one of the biggest announcements you can make.
Bronson: No, absolutely no. That’s great. And and that’s wisdom. You know, it’s hard to do that because people are so excited about their product. They’re excited about the lines, and they want to jump over that stage of learning for a few more weeks or a few more months, you know, and getting it just right. So I think there’s a lot of wisdom in what you’re saying right there. So you you said you kind of let people in without making a lot of noise about it. When did you start letting people in? Are we talking? A few weeks. A few months. How long have people been using the product for?
Thomas: So we actually let people let people not actually sign up but like register over Facebook Connect before we actually started building the product that was in some some time into like early 2011. So we basically only had like a manifest website that said like what we kind of are looking to build. And we had a Facebook connect that we didn’t like. People can’t log in through Facebook Connect right now was just something we we built like because it was really easy to add back then. So we let people sign up just to like, see if there’s actually interest for what we were like wanted to build. And then we said, okay, there’s a couple of hundred people on the waiting list, so make sense. We should actually invest some time and start to build a product.
Bronson: And those couple hundred people that came, you didn’t market to get them. You didn’t go out and do a lot of stuff. It was just kind of people found it. They were interested. They connected with Facebook to let you know they’re interested.
Thomas: So the only thing we did was link to the page from our profiles and that basically was it. We didn’t even like tweet about it or. Yeah, there was a lot of noise.
Bronson: No, that’s good. It puts those 200 people in perspective. It’s 200 people that just founded, not 200 people that you targeted and spent a bunch of money to acquire. So you had a couple hundred people, a couple emails. How many people do you had? Did you let in? Did you list let any of those people in or you let a couple of them in?
Thomas: So that’s another thing. So we like some of those people who were very early in signing up. Some of them still don’t know that the product actually launched because we like we sent out some emails, but also we sent them out in batches and we didn’t sent them out like all at once. So we’re still kind of letting some of the early sign ups know that the product is like available already.
Bronson: Okay. And you’re doing that for the same reason to learn from batch one before you send that batch to.
Thomas: Exactly. Exactly.
Bronson: So we are very methodically.
Thomas: Yeah, maybe we’re a bit overdoing it, but what we are doing is we’re like kind of measuring engagement in cohorts. So we have like different like classes of people.
Bronson: Is that based on the month you let them in? Is that the cohort, the exact analyzing? Okay.
Thomas: Yes, it’s it’s like a monthly cohort thing. And so the product hopefully improves every month. And then we send out an email to the people who are like in the waiting list and like try to improve the email but also try to prod to improve the product as well and try to see like if our numbers improve.
Bronson: Yeah. Are you seeing that your cohorts are getting better. Are you see you’re making changes and learning, okay, this is great because the amount of detail you’re putting in to the pre launch is more than a lot of companies put in to the post launch in terms of analyzing data, looking for cohorts, figuring out how to improve their product month after month. So it’s really interesting to talk to somebody that’s so engaged with that level so early on. I didn’t expect that to be honest.
Thomas: I think the cool thing the cool thing about it is that that you don’t have to start like really, really sophisticated. So we, we basically just just started to track people in cohorts and then we added some like events in a product that we wanted to, to measure and to be honest, like one, when you start out right in the beginning, you probably don’t even know what kind of what kind of events you want to track or what kind of behavior in the first couple of days is a like proxy for what the retention later will be. So something you learn on the go. But the cool thing is you can like just add one thing and then it tracks the events and then you like take a day and browse through like your data and try to make sense out of it.
Bronson: And yeah, well, let’s dig into the data a little bit because you know, you’ve talked about how you’re interested in growth engineering. So I’m sure that you look at the data and you’re making very specific changes based on what it’s saying. What are some of the changes that you’ve made to the product to make those cohorts get better month after month and be specific, you know, is it you, you know, created a different menu. You moved this over there, you added this option, you took away that. What are some of the specific things that you did and how did it kind of impact the cohorts?
Thomas: So so one thing that we we kind of learned from from speaking to speaking to customers, speaking like doing customer development with them, was that some of the customers that use our product were not familiar with Kanban, which is like like software development. Methodology that we support in our tool. And we learned or we understood that if people would know about Kanban, they would probably get more value out of our product. So what we did is just add to the welcome email, just like a very simple welcome email just says like thanks for signing up and feel free to contact us any time. We just added a line that says, here’s also here’s an article about that might help you to get the most out of our product. So we try to like say specifically is an article. If you read it, you will get more out of your out of our product. And the cool thing is we like that was our like like trail of thought that that might help and it actually made a difference. So people like not all of them take the time to read the article, but at least they’d know something that there is something that they can look into. And some of them retail articles. And they’re more engaged with the product.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great. Has there been any other specifics that you’ve learned? Yeah, I look at the data it tells and I mean, this is interesting.
Thomas: So another thing was like that’s also like most of these things in hindsight sound like super obvious, but they were like.
Bronson: That’s what data does for you though. It lets you know what should have been obvious.
Thomas: So so we have like we have something like a simple feature that if you create a project, you can also add like a URL for that project, like your project website or something like that. And then we take a screengrab of your project. And so if you if you’re in the overview where you see all your projects, then your projects definitely look nicer with the images. And since we built the software and usually like that’s happens if it’s your own product, you know how to find like the setting. And you also know like what happens if you put in the URL, you already know that you will get the screenshot and that’s the awesome thing. But we didn’t make it too clear to the customer what’s going to happen. So we like we, we just saw that the people who. Maybe by by accident. Ed, you already got the covers, the product covers. And then these people who have product covers are more engaged and other people who don’t have the product covers. So we just added like a question mark to the, to the input field that describes what they’re getting out of it. So what’s the value in feeling? What do I get if I fill in the the URL? And why is it awesome? Mm hmm. And. Like we saw that just adding like a bit of text and a previous screenshot like made more people actually put in the URL and.
Bronson: Oh okay.
Thomas: We got more engagement.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s.
Thomas: Correct. Easy, easy. User experience change. Easy wording change. Probably took like implementing it. Took a couple of minutes. Made a huge difference.
Bronson: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you think about such a small change like that, and yet it gives them a completely different UX to work with and it gets a more engaged and they enjoy your product more. All because you looked at the data, you figured out something that wasn’t quite work and you made a few minute change and then it leads to this. And so how great is it that you’ve made that change before you get tens of thousands of people in there when it’s too late to get them engaged once they don’t like it or something. So that’s great.
Bronson: Any other changes that you’ve learned from the data that you can share with us?
Thomas: So like what? Like another thing where data was, was kind of helpful was that we, so we added a feature where it can edit due date to a feature. And what we did was we said it’s not, probably not super critical to add the feature, so let’s just add an icon that’s that looks like the feature is already implemented. And just like track how many people click on it and that’s awesome. That’s an like I actually read about it in a blog by John Prendergast, who’s I think who’s organizing the Startup Circle in Boston. And I think he called it fi fidelity testing or smoke testing. And we thought like, that’s a great idea. Let’s just try how it works. And yeah, it was fun, fun idea to try and we tried it. Did people actually.
Bronson: Want or didn’t want it?
Thomas: So people clicked on it. So we attracted with KISSmetrics and that gave us the opportunity to drill down like who the actual person was who clicked on it. And then we contacted the people. So we, we were like, so we could do very specific customer development and understand why they’re like asking for that feature, what they would have used it for and stuff like that. So it was really insightful.
Bronson: So you went all the way to actually contacting the individual that clipped the smokescreen so that you could do customer development? Yes. Yeah. So it was an over email. You just talk to them?
Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. So so I tried to contact and over email and then edit them over on Skype and yeah, it was like interesting discussion and some people like the funny thing was that we, we saw that people try to use a feature for a totally different reasons in some in some like in one instance, we understood that the customer was actually not using our product for product development, but for moving from apartment A to apartment E, which is like absolutely not our target audience. But yeah. Really insightful. Yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s great. It’s great to be able to like, have a like bird’s eye view on your data, but also being able to drill down to a specific person and being able to contact them and just ask them what they wanted to do is like that’s really valuable.
Bronson: Yeah. Were they flattered that you reached out to them or were they, like, not happy? We can have their time.
Thomas: But no, they’re all really positive.
Bronson: And yeah, now these are great insights. Anything else? I mean, I know I keep asking that, but any other things the data showed you? Because, I mean, you’re you’re giving us a clinic on how to do customer development. When you take a smokescreen in there, follow with the person in person. It’s great advice.
Thomas: Well, another thing that we what that we saw so weird, we are charging money for the product since last summer. Mm hmm. And the thing was, so we didn’t we didn’t charge money earlier, and we started with a 45 day trial period, and we didn’t see, like, good conversion rates, to be honest, on the 45 day trial. Okay. And then we talked to another founder of a Seedcamp startup, and he recommended to us just to try to get down, get get the trial days down to 14 days. So we we decreased the trial time. We decreased it to 14 days. And then actually the conversions went up. So it didn’t like we still don’t actually like our super certain what happened, but like our guess is that people who have 45 days to try something like they, we just sign up and if they’re not, if, if the pain is not like huge enough, they will think, well, I still have 45 days to try it. So they might like forget about it and, and not return. And at that point of time, we didn’t have any emails, like any retention emails or something like that. So we lost like a bunch of them and we had a 14 day trial, more of them converted. And then we wanted to add, but we, we, we thought like a trial might not be the best, the best way we want to have a free demo that’s like unlimited and a paid version. So you can play around with the demo if you’re convinced you can like go to the like full product with like with a payment step in between. So we wanted to ship that and we thought, okay, the demo version, like doing the demo version will take like a few days, but we can ship the up. Front payment version right now and cheap to download like a couple of days later. So we ended up shipping it just removing the trial period and, and going live with a upfront payment and 30 day refund version of the product and then the conversion where actually even better than the 14 day trial. So that kind of like decreased the priority on shipping the demo and we still don’t have a demo yet. Yeah. So, and we still think it’s, it’s probably a really good idea to add a demo so it’s easier to evaluate the product. But at least metrics wise, we’re doing way better. And then with the 45 five day trial and also better than the 14 day trial, that’s great.
Bronson: So you went from 45 days to 14 days to zero days just with a money back kind of thing. And every time the conversions went up. Have you played with think pricing very much to see what the data says with any of that?
Thomas: Not yet that that will be something we will try out in the future. And I’m I’m super curious what will happen once we get like price segmentations and stuff like that, but we haven’t come around to to do that yet.
Bronson: Yeah. Do me a favor. When you figure out what the data says, just shoot me an email and say, hey, here’s what we figured out about pricing because we do testing, learning from all this stuff. That’s great. Anything else you’ve learned with the data?
Thomas: Just like there’s probably a bunch of stuff we learned to that that.
Bronson: Is that the main stuff though, the stuff you’ve.
Thomas: Already covered? Yeah, that’s yeah, that’s impressive.
Bronson: So every time I ask the question you kept telling me something else. It was awesome. So I wasn’t going to stop until you told me to. No, that’s great. And you know, all the stuff you just told me, it’s so good because you couldn’t do that if you’d already had a big launch. Like, you can’t just, you know, play with, oh, 45 day trial now it’s 14, now it’s no trial. Like people will be mad on Twitter, they’ll be talking about their blog. You know, they’d be upset. But yet when you do it kind of under the radar, no one’s mad at Blossom View. They’re just, you know, learning, you know, as you’re learning and nobody’s, like, upset with the process. So it’s kind of it’s cool the way you’re doing it.
Thomas: So yeah, the thing is like nobody will be angry if like suddenly there’s a huge, like a ton of traffic coming in. So that, that’s, that’s like not a problem. But like, like, as you said, if we would have like properly launched at the time where we had the 45 day trial, we would probably have lost almost every customer back then.
Thomas: And it’s like and that probably wasn’t an issue with the product, like the core product itself because the core product still is very much like that.
Bronson: Mm hmm. That’s great. Let me ask you this. You’re from Austria, right?
Thomas: It’s true.
Bronson: You are. Are Austrians generally more patient than Americans because you seem like you have such patience with your product? I don’t necessarily see over here very much.
Thomas: I don’t know about that.
Bronson: I don’t know. I just wondering. I don’t know. Now, let me ask you this. I was recently reading on your blog and you mentioned how you decided to live a very minimal lifestyle, and you blogged about it at Raymond IO. So so tell us, how much are you downsizing?
Thomas: Yeah. I’m actually trying to get down to a couple of t shirts, two pairs of trousers, hiking boots, and like my gadgets, like Android. Android. I’m thinking about an Android phone and my iPhone and and my MacBook Air, basically. That’s that’s more or less it.
Bronson: So a kind of a backpack full of stuff, right?
Thomas: Yes. That’s basically literally a backpack where everything fits in.
Bronson: All right. So let me ask you this. On your blog, you mentioned mobile technology was a big component in your decision making. So tell me, what does mobile technology and minimalism have in common? How do you connect those dots?
Thomas: So like the downsizing and minimalism, like inspiration, I think like mostly came from Andrew Hyde who started Startup Weekend and also like Downsized a lot. So it was always like, like in the back of my head. But then like on I think it was on Hacker News, I saw a presentation by Kleiner Perkins where they describe something like the asset light lifestyle and that they see it as a huge trend moving forward. And I was like, totally mind blown by the slide deck. And I thought, that’s so spot on and it fits so well. And like, everything made sense for me then. Like all the people I know and like, like some of my idols are like everyone is writing about downsizing. And then I thought like, okay, maybe that’s like it’s, it’s a trend. All the early adopters are doing it. I myself, like, thought about it. And that’s like, it should be like a reason for me to go all in and actually try how it, how it’s like and what the day to day looks like if you’re actually downsizing to like the bare minimum of things.
Bronson: Yeah. And how does mobile technology play into that? Is it just what makes it possible for you or what?
Thomas: I would say, like, if you like, at least if I look at most of the things that I had that occupied space in my apartment, like most most of the things are like books, video game consoles, video games, activities, like tons of DVDs. And all of them are like things that are now delivered over the air on demand to like all devices. So that’s that’s probably the most. Most of the things I had that occupied space are no longer like like necessary to have.
Bronson: Yeah. And do you think that there’s any insights from that, that you could share with other startups that are trying to build things that are going to be relevant in the future? Because if the future is mobile and minimal, then what are some insights that startup founders should hear now so they can plan to build things that are relevant then?
Thomas: I think I definitely look into the slide deck. It’s it’s on my blog, it’s on Raymond or Die or it’s, um, there’s a ton of opportunity in the services space. So like all the car sharing companies, it’s not only like medium content, it’s, I think it’s like, think of the mobile phone, like as your identity card that gives you access to all the services you want. Also, like, like one thought I had maybe it like probably too far into the future and who knows what will happen. But if, if, like, if I’m perfectly fine with living in an apartment that has no, like, personal belongings, belongings, then it would be really easy for me to just, like, take a Airbnb subscription and pay like a month free rent to Airbnb. And knowing that I can move from like one city to another city, like spontaneously and just check in at a random Airbnb thing. So yeah, I don’t know. I think there’s a ton, a ton of opportunity in service areas where you can get access to things that right now you would would have to own.
Bronson: Yeah. No, that’s great. And that’s why I asked you that question, because if you really are an early adopter in the mobile minimal kind of future movement, then you’re going to have insights on what that means. You know, like what you just said, Airbnb and those kind of things. So let me ask you one last question. What’s the best advice that you can give any founder that’s trying to acquire users for their startup is trying to grow, that’s trying to understand growth engineering? What’s the best advice you can give to them?
Thomas: I think like the the best advice I got in that direction was to like actually listen to your customers, actively take the time to do so many interviews. I would like to recommend everyone to check out. The Guide to Customer Development on costs dot com by brands Cooper and pottery. LUCKOVICH It’s a great like easy to read book on actually how to do customer development which turns out it’s not super easy but there’s a bunch of like a bunch of great tips in there to try to understand, like where where customers are coming from, what they’re struggling with. And like, there’s a ton of goals you can learn from, like listening to your customers that directly are applicable for growth engineering and making your product better. So that’s, that’s definitely something that I would recommend. Everyone start with that.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s great advice. Well, Thomas, thank you so much for coming on the show. And I can’t wait to start using Blossom. I Oh.
Thomas: Yeah. Thanks a lot for having me.
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