Ep. 98

The Most Important Thing to Implement in Your Business with Team Interact

This episode features Interact Digital Marketing Manager and Host, Jessmyn Solana, Customer Success Manager, Damaris Pacheco, Growth Manager, Jackie Aguglia, Social Content Manager, Jesy Nelson, and Engineer, Evan Nichols.

In this episode we will explore how company culture and values set the foundation for success in your business. Plus, implementations you should be doing every day that will relate back to your foundational values.

Ready to put our AI-powered quiz maker to the test? Get started here!

Hi guys, and welcome back to Interact’s Grow podcast. I’m your host, Jessmyn Solana, and we have all four ladies on with us today. But we do have a special guest, drumroll.

If you’re not watching and you are listening to us, we do have one of our product engineers on the show with us, Evan. Evan, thank you so much for joining us today. Hey everyone. Thanks for having me. Super pumped to be joining the podcast. So last week, or not last week. Wow. Last month. Everyone met Graham, who’s also on the product team.

But Evan, can you give everybody a quick intro to, you know, who you are, how long you’ve been at the company, and what you do here? Sure. So I joined Interact about four months ago. Still a baby, just still still getting my sea legs. Hmm. Before [00:01:00] that I was a software engineer at Google for about five and a half, six years.

I worked on Google Forms, which is pretty similar in terms of like the product offering to interact. And then before that I worked on like Google Classroom as well. So as an engineer for Interact, I’m working on kind of two big projects. We’re doing a big rewrite of our quiz builder. UI to use a more modern tech stack, and that should make it a little easier to update in the future and add new features.

And on the other side of things, we’re working on AI content generation. I know in the last podcast episode you all talked a lot about that, so I won’t go too deep into it. But we are working on a system to like more, you know, have like an automated way to generate the content for customers and then put that into our tool.

Yeah, so I work with Graham and Matt. And [00:02:00] Jared, and then a contractor as well to build new features, you know, improve existing features, find bugs with our current application, and you know, keep the lights on, keep the product running. I love that. Keep the lights on. So true. Yeah. Yep. Something goes down and we’re like, hello, engineers.

Who turn the lights off? What’s going on? Exactly. There was this side story. There was this moment before all of you guys got here years ago where the analytics just completely broke over the weekend. And we all had to like rush on to figure out what was going on. But like at the time, Matt didn’t know what was going on ’cause he’s not customer facing, so he doesn’t get those emails.

But. I just think about how now we have this whole team and that’s not as likely to happen. But Matt did a great job in fixing that, and I always think about that. Every time somebody says like, oh, we’re like keeping the lights on, or like fixing things, or we’re like making [00:03:00] sure this doesn’t happen. I always think back to that time ’cause it was nuts.

It was absolutely nuts. But Evan, thanks for introducing yourself and letting everybody get to know you and hopping on with us. I think like. Out of everybody. No one’s came on the show four months after working here, so this is pretty big. Pretty, pretty. Oh, you’re, you’re scaring me by saying that, but we’ll do it live.

Here we are. Yeah. Doing it live. So what we like to do is we kind of like to start off with a topic and I ask a general question and we’ll kind of discuss and, and just see where it goes. And I thought that this would be really interesting, especially you coming from a much bigger company like Google.

I know, I’m sorry, I kind of nitpicked this specifically ’cause you were on this episode, but Okay. What do you think is the most important thing to implement in your business? Can I start? Yeah, go ahead. Alright, sweet. So I went with the broad answer here. I was thinking about [00:04:00] this a little bit before the show, and I think the most important thing for a company to implement is like company culture or a strong company culture.

And to Pat interact on the back. That’s one of the big reasons I really wanted to join this team was that it had a, a great culture and a great work environment as well. The company culture, it’s one aside. I think company culture is a term is gonna go outta style in 20 years and it’s just gonna be replaced by company vibe.

It’s just. Vibe, vibe but like culture is like, you know, what values and what things do are you doing day to day that are important within the company. And I think what I like about Interact is that it has like a really good sense of work-life balance, a really good sense of transparency. Credit [00:05:00] to our C F O Annie for always providing like really in-depth looks at like how we’re doing financially, what our forecasts are looking like and then also like bringing your whole self to work.

Everybody outside interact has like really rich personal lives. Like Graham shout out is like a legitimate eco-conscious farmer who raises his own animals and vegetables. Jesy is like acro CrossFit guru. It’s Jackie’s the world traveler. Yeah, exactly. And everybody’s so willing to, to share as well, which I love, you know, that’s a really important part of work for me.

So yeah, company culture is my big one. Happy to talk a little bit more about like, you know, Google’s culture and like the, the culture I had on teams there and how that compares, but I don’t wanna hog. So if other people want to jump in, please do. Yeah, I mean, I can jump in. I, I. Completely [00:06:00] agree with what you’re saying.

I also sort of came from a big corporate company and moving into a smaller scale, sort of more, well, it’s a startup company, of course, you know, it’s a smaller team. It definitely feels more inclusive, more private. It feels more. It feels like everybody’s role matters in, in interact, and you do feel valued.

You feel like your input matters and your work matters. Because we’re such a small team that if you, we don’t pull our weight, guess what? It’s not gonna be an oil weld machine. It’s going to just slowly start shrinking and it’s gonna be all bad. So I feel like we’ve done a great job of sort of.

Becoming one team and really taking each, each, each other’s input and sort of going with the flow and really pulling each other’s weight. Or if we need help, we certainly ask help [00:07:00] for help in areas that, you know, maybe I’m overwhelmed in or maybe we need to relax on. I think that Interact has done such a great job in that, and I always feel very.

I’m not shy at all to just be like, Hey guys, what do you guys think about this? Or, Hey guys, you know, I’m struggling with this, or I’ll ask, you know, our C F O, Annie or Josh, Hey, can I ask you a question about X, Y, Z? It’s just, it just feels very inclusive. So I, I completely agree with, with with Evan. That’s very important for me as well.

I can also agree. So the first time I ever had to interview somebody to get hired was here at Interact. It wasn’t Evan but it was somebody else. And there was I think, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of us at the team. Now remember, we’re only a team of 10, so that’s about half of our team who interviewed somebody. And of course, we’re looking for company culture and a good fit and like a good, just a good person to bring on.

But you’re also looking at skillset, right? And so, There was one candidate that we [00:08:00] interviewed previously for a different role that just sort of like stood out from everybody else in terms of skillset and how they responded to questions. I guess maybe just more so like how they interviewed and that person did not even end up get, I mean, they got hired, but then it didn’t end up working like our customers never met this person because we realized very quickly.

That they were not a good fit culturally. And so we really spent a lot of time in interviews after that. Focusing on the company culture and who these people are as, as a person, I guess I could say, just to make sure that they’re the right fit for the team because really I. The, the jobs that we do every day, because we’re such a small team, it cannot be written on a, on a piece of paper.

Something comes up like the analytics break, and everybody’s just like all hands on deck. What can we do to figure this out? Nobody told me when I got hired, I’d be making AI quizzes, right? But this feature became available. We’re building it and we’re just doing it because that’s what we do. And so, I just say, yeah, I totally agree because I mean, it didn’t work out when we hired somebody that wasn’t a, a cultural fit, right?

Or just didn’t [00:09:00] fit with our, our company vibe even though they had the skillset. But the skillset, I think, can always be taught for the most part. You, you, we we’re all constantly learning. That’s part of our culture and who we are as people. We like to keep evolving and growing and learning individually and professionally.

And so, The focus, the biggest takeaway for me from doing interviews when, when that happened was really focusing on who this person was like in their day-to-day life, how they are a part of a team, what their vibe is because, or as opposed to, you know, how they would specifically answer questions in an interview or help a, a specific customer in this situation because it really didn’t work out.

So yes, Evan, totally agree. Jesy, I wanna give you the floor just in case you have something to add before. No, I was just gonna say that I’m kind of like Evan and Damaris, that I came from a larger, kind of more corporate-y setting, and even that company we grew really quickly in the time that I was there.

Because we didn’t have such a solid company culture as we [00:10:00] grew, things kind of seemed to fall apart. You know, the departments weren’t cohesive, things weren’t running like a well-oiled machine. So I 100% agree that company culture, if you’re starting a new business, that is something you need to implement because as you grow, that is gonna.

Help determine if you’re gonna be successful growing and scaling. If you always go back to that, it’ll make such a huge difference. So I love that. I think that’s huge. Yeah. I wanna pull us into this mindset of like, why, why this particular I. Sort of idea is really important, important, especially when you’re starting to figure out like not only like who would be on your team as like a new hire, but also you know, the type of clients that you work with.

When you’re thinking about, like, especially if you’re doing one-on-one client work, like who you work with and who is your client really matters because if. If you don’t have those values set and you know the work that you’re doing for [00:11:00] that client or you know, the way you communicate and interact with that client doesn’t sort of sit well with what your company values and culture is.

You know, one, you’re not gonna have a good time actually, you know, providing services or working with that client. But also I think like the deliverables that you give them won’t be well done either ’cause you’re not gonna enjoy what you’re doing. And I kind of feel like. Thinking about what your company culture and values are really helps pave the way for what most of your life is gonna be, which is your career, right?

Yeah. Yeah. I also feel like we really have to like, because we have such a good company culture, we have the ability to fully trust each other. And I can’t say that’s been true in all the other roles I’ve been in at other places that I know that if I step away and I ask you guys to do, I. My task. I trust that you guys are gonna execute it the way and with my standards and you know, with our company standards, like I’m [00:12:00] not worried that either any of you were gonna drop the ball or make me look bad or do anything like that.

And I think that’s huge to have that with literally everyone on our team. I love that. Trust. Trust. Yeah. And it, it reminds me a lot of niching down, right? Like within your business, you can’t say yes to everybody because you can’t serve everybody. And it’s okay if you’re not an interact vibe employee, right?

Like, it’s okay if you didn’t make the cut because of that, because you have a different vibe, but it’s a different area of expertise or business or whatever. And so I just, I think, you know, make sure that we’re, make sure you’re thinking of that too, even though you, you know, you. This client doesn’t match you perfectly.

There is somebody else out there who will, and the work will be more fun. It will be more beneficial, it will create better case studies. You’ll probably get better results because you’re working so well together. I think there’s a lot to be said for being able to know everybody in your company. You know, it makes it feel more like a family and, and like Jesy was saying, You can hand off a task to someone or [00:13:00] have someone cover for you and be very, very confident that they’re gonna, you know, do a great job.

Not to say that, you know, large companies have their benefits. Obviously, the larger it is, you can build stuff at scale. You can do efforts that are like multi-year, you know, multi-decade even. Mm-hmm. But those come with, you know, not being able to know large swaths of a project or like, Never being able to meet someone that you’re actually collaborating with indirectly.

Which can feel, you know, a little isolating at times. So it’s really refreshing to, to just be able to get in the room and be like, I know everybody’s strengths. I know everybody’s weaknesses. I know who I can ask to cover for me, you know, when I can’t do something. Hmm. And I think that that’s the same, right, for a team like ours or like Jess was saying earlier, with your clients and you like your own business.

So if you’re a solopreneur working with, you know, brand collaborations or other partnerships or [00:14:00] other clients, like, you still want that same cultural fit between everybody because like I was saying earlier, it’s just gonna help everybody grow and win faster, better. I, I’m thinking back at like, I remember listening to Matt and Josh in a podcast.

It wasn’t our podcast, but it was a different one they were part of, and they mentioned that developing the visions and goals for interact as a company really help them sort out of. Narrow down the talent that they wanted to hire on because it, it made it a very clear sort of pathway for them to circle back to, which I think Jesy had mentioned, you know, like the culture and the, and the company, the company culture.

I. Which is interesting to me because I remember when I was getting interviewed for Interact, that was one of the questions that they asked me. They asked me about adaptability and change and how I manage that. You know, in basically fast-paced environments, [00:15:00] and not everybody can. Handle rapid change or Hey, let’s drop everything and change and you know, or, or let’s drop everything and sort of pivot into something completely different.

Some people would take, that’s very difficult to do. You know, just a mindset. And so I think it’s just for those listing out there, like what’s the most important asset or thing that you’re looking for? And people that. Or just really important, like a core value for you and for your business. And make sure you’re sort of hunting out the talent for that specific thing that you’re looking for.

And then hammer in in that. I think that’s, that’s, that’s very helpful as well. I wanna add to this that it’s okay for it to sort of change or, you know, tweak over time. When I started here, I don’t even think we. I, I don’t remember if we talked much about like what the mission and values of the company were besides sort of like, you know, helping people scale their businesses and really [00:16:00] like fast track their growth.

But internally, I think we were still kind of figuring it out as we went along. And I think it wasn’t until Annie got here that she was like, Tell me like what you think about the company. Like what do you think we embody? Like what type of work do we do? And I feel like that’s when we really actually kind of wrote down historically what we’ve done and like how it kind of morphed into this mission and values that it is today.

Because we realized like, oh, this is actually what works for us as a team and this is what we’re gonna set out to look for. But you know, we have. Worked with, with clients, with partners, with, with people that we were like, Hmm, that that didn’t feel quite right. And you have to also kind of keep in mind when it’s okay to, I guess, not necessarily call it quits because it’s bad, or just that it’s like it’s just not a good fit, you know?

And it’s like we can’t really create what we wanna create if we’re [00:17:00] not sort of following that same mission and values that we have. Yeah. No one to walk away and take it as a learning lesson, not as a failure. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I think there’s like always a negative connotation with sort of this idea of, you know, canceling people, but not necessarily canceling people, but just knowing like, okay, this isn’t a good fit and that’s okay.

You know, sort of like a trial and error rather than like a, ooh, that was bad. It was a fail. Let’s, let’s cancel this and move on. But, Really figuring that foundation out, I think is super crucial in putting out a product or putting out services that do make changes in people’s lives. I do wanna open it up to see if there’s any other things people would implement in a business.

I mean, go. No, I was gonna say, I just think everybody has a different, [00:18:00] Vision for their business and what they wanna incorporate. I mean, just basic level, like even with us, like I mainly manage customer support and live chat, you know? What type of people are you going to hire with that? Is that something that you need in your business right now?

Is that something that you can handle? If not, who do you want that to represent? Marketing, the marketing team. You know, I think they’re super vitally important because they have. Important projects. I mean, it just depends on what stage of your business you’re in. But I don’t think I have a better, I think some, if somebody else has better answers than I do.

Not true. I think this totally aligns with what Evan was saying with company culture and vibe. What I, my head keeps going back to is partnerships. And Jess, what you were just saying about walking away, or not even walking away, but being okay with change. The reason I said, I mean, is because I have had the most difficult last two weeks here at interact, changing the terms actually last month.

Mm-hmm. Changing the terms of our [00:19:00] affiliate program and there was reasons that we had to do that. We have. New developers on the team that are bringing in new features. The cost to acquire a customer through our old program terms became way too high for us to keep moving forward in the direction that we want to move our business in so that we can support bringing in high quality engineers like Evan.

Right? And so I, I, I. I guess I’ll just say I think partnerships are crucial. I mean, and I, I think it goes back to finding the right partnerships goes back to the company culture. So that’s why, again, I’m agreeing with Evan, but I think partnerships are really important to business because. There are specifically with Interact, there are tools that we integrate with.

We probably would not be as successful if we didn’t have these email marketing systems that we’re integrating with because the, one of the biggest, probably the biggest reason people are wanting to use quizzes is to grow their email list. If you couldn’t get a subscriber into an email marketing system that you’re already using, then you’re probably not gonna wanna use Interact.

Right? And [00:20:00] so, That’s what, that’s where I think about is partnerships. But for all of those people who may have had the terms changed on them from the affiliate program, I just wanna say that’s part of change. That’s part of growing a business. It’s not to say that we won’t ever get back to a recurring model.

I mean, simply and just taking it away, we realized, okay, we need to have a strategic partner program, which is the next thing that’s going to come out with a higher model for people who are able to refer. More partners or at a larger scale, right? We can get people there, but we can’t do that for everybody because we will ruin our own business.

And so I just, that’s what I wanted to say, even though that was really hard to say everybody, because it’s hard. Change is hard, especially when you have to piss people off, for lack of better words. Yeah. I actually wanna say that I think your answer might not, not that it isn’t partnerships, but it kind of sounded more like making the hard decisions.

Totally know and, and like knowing that it needs to be made, whether or not it’s gonna make people happy, but it’s [00:21:00] necessary. Right. Yeah. I was also gonna say like partnerships in the sense that like from day one, when you’re starting a business, if you have one customer and they loved. Your work with them and they loved what you did for them, make them a cheerleader for your business.

Don’t think that you have to wait to start a partnerships program or a referral program or anything when you know you’re have a team of 15 or 20, or if you have like a solid website or anything like from day one. Implementing a partnerships program would be, I think, a huge win, which I think is usually a back, like a second thought for most companies when they’re starting out.

Yeah, and I mean, just to add to that, just like everything we do at Interact, where we build something and then unbuild it to rebuild it later, that’s what we’re doing with the affiliate program. There were probably 2000, almost 2000 partners in that program, maybe. 100 of them had brought in recur, maybe even 50 or 20.

We’re bringing in recurring referrals over the years, right? We still want to work with the people who are [00:22:00] gonna refer one person, but we have to work with that person in a different way. So it’s just navigating those partnerships, taking away the program to rebuild it, to figure out how can we best serve all of our customers, all of our partners, but also still be able to follow.

Our big goal, which is making the interact the easiest quiz builder out there. We need AI to do that. We need engineers to put that feature in there. And so yeah, it goes to change, it goes to making hard decisions, but you need the right people in place in order to have those things happen. At the end of the day, your company has to make money.

That’s the important thing, right? Mm-hmm. And what you were just describing about the partnership program, if things don’t become like financially viable, like changes have to be made, or like companies don’t survive. So being able to make those tough decisions and doing it in like a justified manner and communicating that to customers is really, really important.

It kind of reminds me of like when Adobe. Switch [00:23:00] to doing a monthly subscription or like annual subscription based model bef, whereas before you could just like buy Adobe InDesign CSS five and you would pay 500 bucks and you would have it for life. You know, that model in the world of like subscription, subscription-based services and online services where you can push updates more regularly just didn’t become viable.

For them as a business. And they switched to like the Adobe Creative CL crowd creative Cloud platform. And they did the monthly subscription thing and people hated it. You know, they were like, why can’t I just buy it once? Now you’re gonna charge me like every month, have access. But you know, they made a business decision because they saw it as more financially viable.

To move to the subscription based model where they can push out updates more regularly. And you have to make those tough decisions or else you won’t really survive as a company. Which is funny because they make those [00:24:00] tough decisions and I’m sitting here like, oh my gosh, I should have, you know, bought it in full and I had the chance, but here I am, I don’t have a choice, so now I’m paying monthly for it.

You know? Same with Netflix, how they’re like, you can’t share your login anymore, you know? And all of us were like, oh my God, this is terrible. Like, how dare they? Guess what? Now I signed up for my own Netflix. I’m none of my parents, like sometimes customers won’t be happy, but they’ll stick around because they don’t have another choice usually.

But I think there’s something to sort of call out in, in the value that companies like that provide where you know nobody, I mean, not that. People don’t like change. But I think that change like that is hard when you’re so used to, you know how it is, you’re comfortable in that, you know, zone and then it gets switched up on you and you know, it’s like, great if I don’t do this, if I don’t, you know, adapt to this change, then I’m gonna lose that service that I loved using [00:25:00] so much.

So yeah, from the consumer side, it is super hard, but I think there’s something to call out about the value that the company is providing. Which is, you know, to, like Evan was saying, like to continue providing that service. Like these changes do need to be made, you know, like it is a business decision that needs to happen.

And I think, actually, I’ve talked to a ton of people about this in the past, but also have read a lot about it, how a lot of coaches are scared of raising their prices. Because they’re worried that people will not wanna work with them anymore. But they put hours and hours and hours into working like one-on-one with people helping them with their specific transformation.

But you have to be able to make ends meet at the end of the day. Yeah. This reminds me of my previous role when I had to. Relay updates or changes to the team that I [00:26:00] was managing. My best practice was always I needed to first understand the root cause, why this was happening. In order for then being able to relay the information correctly and then have my team’s buy-in.

Nobody’s going to really. Be okay with change unless you fully understand the reason why and the root cause of why it’s happening. Right? And if they understand that, I think then, then, then they will make the conscious decision of continuing the service or not. Right? And so, I think that that is like a base, sort of standard model that should be implemented.

People need to understand the reason why before they can just blindly go and say, yeah, sure, whatever, what, you know, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll make the change. So I think that we do a really great job of explaining to our customers and. Anybody really that asks us the reason why we’re doing X, Y, z since we’ve done a lot of changes this year, it seems like, it seems like all we’ve done this year is just implement a whole bunch of changes this year.

But there’s a [00:27:00] reason behind it. And I think we really try very hard to, to explain to everybody why we’re doing what we’re doing, how we’re trying to make sure that everybody’s still supported, that our customers still feel like we’re here and all of these things. And I think that if you are a business starting out, I.

It’s important to be transparent with your customers and explain to them why things are happening as they’re happening. Transparency has been one of the success stories here at Interact. So I was gonna say kudos. Do you just answer the question with transparency? I guess so.

I don’t know. It may work for some, it may not for others. I mean, I don’t think you can. I don’t think you can fully lose if you’re transparent with people, right. If people like honesty and they’re like, and some, a lot of people would be loyal. I would be loyal to a transparent company. So it just depends.

No, I actually love that you brought that up because I know we’re pivoting a little bit, but it did answer the question like we have been, I. Transparency. I don’t know that if we say it in our [00:28:00] about page, like our mission and values, but it’s something that Josh has always been really adamant about when working with, with customers and with people for partnerships.

At least for me in my time here, because the biggest thing was to, you know, the idea is that like when you’re transparent, it’s like either you like us or you don’t. You know, like, and, and that’s that, like, either you wanna use our product or you don’t wanna use it. And that’s that like, we’re, we’re doing what we can kind of a thing.

Yeah. Yep. As one of my old, I’m even, yeah. No, sorry, go ahead. As one of my old coworkers would say, like, either you like it or you don’t, either it’s your journey or it’s not your journey. Mm-hmm. Like, you make that choice. I like that. Yeah. And I, I think that’s something that I’ve also really valued from like a software perspective.

I. A lot of software can seem like magical or it gets marketed as being something magical, whereas if you pull back the curtain, you know, things aren’t as magical as you may seem. That’s kind [00:29:00] of the allure of Silicon Valley, like doing all these technical innovations, when in reality it’s just a bunch of engineers scrambling behind the scenes, hard coding stuff.

And I don’t think interact. Ever claims to, to be doing anything magical. We’re honest about the value that we’re bringing to customers, and at the end of the day, like we make a quality product, we let people know how we made it and what value it’s gonna bring. And then like a little bit of a pivot, like there’s always humans available at the end of the day that you can talk to.

When I was interviewing with Interact. I bought a trial to interact just so I could play around with it. And then I forgot the wait. He paid? Yeah. Okay. He paid. He paid. Yeah. Here I wasn’t gonna say anything because I was embarrassed, but after I, I signed up for that trial, I got an email from Demaris being like, Hey, thank you for signing on.

And like I recognized her name ’cause I’m like, oh, [00:30:00] I’m interviewing with her in like two days. So she’s gonna be on this call. But like seeing those, you know, emails from actual team members and knowing if you reply, it’s actually going too human is something really, really refreshing. And that you don’t get at every tech company.

Mm-hmm. That’s very true. That’s true. Yeah. I love that. That’s awesome. Actually, I was thinking of Who’s that lady that did so sketchy? She did the my God. Where it like bad blood. Yeah. You like, she like, takes like a piece of your blood and it’s supposed to tell you like everything that’s wrong with you.

But they weren’t like forthcoming with what was actually going on. Yeah. She went to trial like, I think a couple months ago. Mm-hmm. She went to jail. It’s, yeah. And she went to jail. And isn’t she like, and it like got crazy, like, I think she said she, she like got pregnant because like the rumor was that her lawyers would like, advised her that this would help her in her case, like they would sympathize and empathize with the fact that she’s like a [00:31:00] mother and, and all this stuff.

But now she’s in jail and I think pregnant, but correct me if I’m wrong, if that’s incorrect, but I could have sworn that that was part of it. That is great. Look at it. There’s also there’s a documentary on her. Yeah. Elizabeth Holmes. Yes. In the background here, that’s her name. That blood is out for blood in Silicon Valley.

There’s like an documentary about it. Yeah. Very interesting. And do not do that. People. Yeah. Opposite of trans not to do either. This is what not to do when you start your business. Love that. So. Something that came to mind for me in answering this question because I was I was thinking about like, interact AI and Josh had had made this comment when we made the pivot of, you know, we’re doing this due to like the trends in the market.

Like this is what people are looking for. This is like where the move is [00:32:00] going. And so I wrote this article Yesterday about, you know, understanding market trends and one of the things that came up in how you do that is customer research. And so I would say that one of the most important things is to make sure you’re not stopping your customer research and constantly interviewing your customers, talking to them, and sort of like bringing yourself back down to earth, I like to say, because.

When you’re sort of running your company or you know, an employee of a company, it’s hard to remember the perspective of the consumer unless you’re actually there talking to them and understanding them and like doing it the way that they’re doing it, and that’s how you improve the product, in my opinion.

Drop the mic. Stay. Stay humble. Yeah. Stay. I say, yeah. End of show. Because I was, when you originally asked the question, Jess, I was thinking, okay, partnerships. ’cause that’s what I do, right? [00:33:00] Oh, maybe marketing. ’cause you need people to find your business. Maybe it’s customer support. ’cause you need people to know how to use your tool.

And then like what you just said right now, market research is something you should always be doing. But these are things that are like on our. Business checklist that you have to do every single day. These departments aren’t going away, but in order to do them the most effectively, I do think company culture, having the right person behind that job, whether it’s you doing all of them, or a team doing, you know, different depart, working in different departments, you really need to set yourself up for that.

Otherwise it doesn’t matter. You know what actions you’re doing, marketing, partnerships, branding, whatever. You’re not, it’s not gonna last because you, you’re not the the person for the, for that role. Right? Like, or you’re not working towards the right next steps to get somewhere that’s sustainable. Yeah.

So awesome answer Evan. Yeah, I think that is the answer to the question. Yes. Everything else, finish the journey. We’re we’re good. Drop your brand new mic Evan. Let’s watch. [00:34:00] Is this like, kind of funny, Evan, as the engineer comes in and like, you know, engineers. They’re like the heart of our product, which is like the heart of our business.

Comes in here and just drops the ball and instantly answers the perfect answer to our question and we trickle in under it like umbrella kind of thing. That’s perfect. The Evans the most important. There you go guys. Yeah, you guys are gassing me up too much. Although maybe that’s just a way to get me to come back on the podcast.

Ah, you have to. Yeah. The next, next time you come on, we’re just gonna rip you to s Shreds. Just so we, I did wanna jump on Trans transparency was saying you know, about like knowing how your users are, are using the product and like talking with them regularly. Also, another thing that, that interact does really well.

Since we’re a small customer and we’re like consumer facing software, you know, we have so much interaction with customers on a daily basis and that allows us to hear, you [00:35:00] know, real time what features are working, what features aren’t working, what thing do I wish I could do in the product that just isn’t available now.

And you can learn like novel ways that people are misusing your product, but still using it in a way that like achieves their goal. A little story on this. When I was still working on a Google classroom, we did a couple school visits to see how people were using classroom and using another tool called Assignments out in the wild.

And we were in this we were like in a classroom in Brooklyn and we’re watching kids use Google Docs. Not to actually write an essay for their class, which is what we wanted to see, and then see them go through like the, you know, Google Doc submission process to their teacher. They were using Google Docs as a chat app because all of the chat apps like Facebook Messenger and Gchat were blocked.

They just opened up a [00:36:00] Google Chat, shared it with their amazing, their friends, and just started typing using like the real time collaboration feature. So getting, you know, going into the wild and seeing how people are using your products can give you a look into, you know, it challenges all your notions of how people are using it or what the use cases are.

And you learn a lot of new stuff. And that’s something that I love at Interact is like. We share, you know quizzes that are like really popular, getting lots of leads and like, how are people using it? How are they marketing it? Yeah. And that’s, that’s super cool. Yeah. It’s, I think that goes hand in hand too with like like leadership with like Matt, like Matt is like super open to hearing us customer facing.

What are you guys seeing? What, what, what’s working, what’s not working? And, and also with Josh, he does all this, he, he talk, he talks to all of us and tries to understand how the business is flowing, what’s working, what’s not. I think leadership [00:37:00] has a big, big part, part in that as well. I think that’s definitely part of our company culture for sure.

Mm-hmm. But you can also have leaders that don’t fit that type, right? Like maybe there’s, I mean, I’ve worked for people before that are like, here’s the job, these are the steps that you need to do it, and then go do it right here at Interact. It’s like, here’s the job, go figure it out. ’cause no one’s ever done it before.

But there are teams that work under leaders that are like, these are the very specific things that I’m asking you to do. This is what I want you to do. Report back to me, you know? And that’s fine. It’s just that you need to find employees or clients or partners that are al also willing to work in that environment.

And so I think, again, Evan, everything goes back to the answer that you said in the very beginning. It’s we work us on this call, work for the leaders that we work for because that’s the culture that we fit into and that’s why we’re all so successful at Interact. Because we fit that culture, and so I think it’s just a matter of, it’s not saying that if you don’t operate like interact, you’re wrong.

That’s not what [00:38:00] we’re saying at all. It’s just that you’re not necessarily, we’re not on the same page maybe for like lack of better terms, but Right. I guess that’s all I wanted to say is there’s no need to change your culture to match what we’re doing. It’s embrace your culture and make sure that you’re getting more people that fit within that Love it.

Get it Jackie. Love it. There’s definitely something. Drop your mic again. I just wanted to build off that of like a lot of people from this company started at larger companies and then came here, right? Like, and I think that kind of plays into what you were saying, Jackie, at larger companies especially, I think you get more into that.

Kind of transactional, very, very set guidelines about what your rep responsibilities are, which is, you know, some people’s journeys fine. Yeah, that’s great. And it’s a job. You get your job done, it supports you, and you do stuff [00:39:00] outside of that. But that has its drawbacks. It can, it can feel very transactional.

It can feel, you know, like there’s not enough variety. Like you’re not actually learning. You become just this subject matter expert in this very tiny thing and you don’t ever get to take off your blinders and new, you know, learn new stuff. But at interact in particular, you know, we do offer more freedom to learn and you know, a little more f freedom to create and prototype.

And I think, you know, that’s one of the big reasons that I made a move. I loved my time at Google, but being able to move a little bit faster and prototype and, you know, be creative with a smaller team was something that I was, you know, really craving and it’s been a great fit thus far. We love having you, Evan.

Yay. Wonderful edition. I love it. Well guys, thank [00:40:00] you so much for answering my question. I know that one was a little bit of a tough one this week, but you all did really great and I loved it. Yay. For those of you who are listening, hopefully you guys got some good info. For what to do with your own company.

And as always, you could check out Interact AI. I know we talk about it all the time, but fill it out, see how it goes, whether you have a quiz already or not. And with that, we’ll see you guys next time. Bye guys. Hi everyone. Bye.

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Jessmyn Solana

Jessmyn Solana is the Partner Program Manager of Interact, a place for creating beautiful and engaging quizzes that generate email leads. Outside of Interact Jessmyn loves binge watching thriller and sci-fi shows, cuddling with her fluffy dog, and traveling to places she's never been before.