Episode 161 Featuring Joseph Ianni

Mike Schmidt - Dovetale, Converging Influencers Marketing and Engineering

Mike Schmidt - Dovetale, Converging Influencers Marketing and Engineering

Mike Schmidt of Dovetale at long last, helps me understand a term that for a long time has been of significance to me. In this episode, we talk about his influencer service so aptly named, and how the relationship between it and your business is a reflection of this concept. We talk about what problems in the market it's setting out to solve, his take on influencer marketing and how his journey as a software engineer brought him to this point. Was I tempted to describe how his background in software engineering dovetailed into this platform? Yes. Yes I was.


Mike is the founder of Dovetale.com - a platform to help Shopify merchants work with creators and influencers. Prior to founding Dovetale, he started Listn.co, a social music app, and later sold it to the media holdings group: SFX Entertainment where he led Beatport, now the largest community of electronic dance music fans and DJs. He is on the board of The Knowledge Society, a graduate of Queen’s University in the department of Engineering Chemistry and now lives in New York City.

Who are you and what do you do

Mike Schmidt: I kind of do a bit of everything right now, uh, for the company. So maybe just a helpful background and I studied engineering, went into the world of kind of software stuff, and then sort of fell in love with just the ability to create something really quickly with not a lot of capital.

So dovetale definitely checks that box. Um, it's my second company that I've been fortunate to start and really the problem that we solve is kind of the rising customer acquisition costs across like merchant category. So if you've been sort of traditionally spending a lot of money on paid programmatic media, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tiktok, Snapchat, et cetera.

Great channels, awesome stuff. But it's becoming a little bit more expensive for merchants to do stuff on. And really what we found is like, I mean, we've been working on dovetail for several years now founded in 2016, kind of got our footing in 2017 with our entrepreneur first product. But the idea really is it's just like, how do you think customers that are selling something to people that want to promote something. A lot of people call it influencers. We call it community. Uh, we believe very specifically in the terminology. Um, we do use kind of like the word influencer and creator here and there, but mostly we help Shopify merchants or recently it's our flagship product now work with content, creators, influencers, and their community to drive sales conversions, and content and stories and all those kinds of fun things.

So we like to think more like the easiest way to help a merchant get started with kind of like this creative. Influencer type marketing that's happening right now. We're also the most, we're trying to be like the most affordable solution. Our real philosophy is how do we get more money into the hands of the people that are promoting these products and then create this like you know, collaborative relationship between brands and content creators.

How Dovetale was founded

Joseph: Okay. Well, that's one thing that I definitely noted as well. Um, just looking into your profile and the website's profile is the, the decision to focus on the community language rather than necessarily influencer.

Not that, that word doesn't , it comes up, but, um, the community is far and away. The more, uh, the important element that, that you guys have support and an advocate for and integrate into, into your business. So that's definitely one of the main things that we want to talk about. You also, um, you like you Semite answered usually what's my question, too, when it comes to services and platforms, which is always like, you know, what problem did dovetale identify a need of solving?

So I also just want to make sure that we, um, we focused on that just for a little bit, cause I was wanting to hear about the point of view where you were in the market and. What you saw was going unsolved, which was the catalyst to, uh, to start this program going.

Mike Schmidt: Yeah. So a bit of a story. We started a company just right out of college, my co-founder and I, and it was kind of like Instagram for music. So imagine being able to follow your friends, listen to their music library, listen to their music, live, all that kind of fun stuff. We now have through Spotify and through all the other kind of cool streaming services and stuff.

But the reason why I bring it up is because we grew pretty heavily because we worked with influencers, content, creators, like cool people that were just like making cool content on vine. Um, so as far as I know, we were like one of the first companies to kinda like broker like a big partnership relationship with a lot of different creators on vine and, you know, sort of just like a really cool introduction to the whole space.

So that was almost a decade ago. And we sort of fell in love with the whole creative space and different things. And around the time that we started kind of, we sold the company. And around the time we were thinking about leaving the company, throwing around all these different ideas. And we were thinking back to the times of just what it looked like to get attention on the internet.

In 2016, we met the co-founder Uber and we were really excited about sort of like this new age publishing narrative. So publishers that Google index is on the internet are very specific. They're usually just like www.mikeschmidt.com. And I have all my blog and different kind of cool stuff that's going on there.

They do an awesome job at that, but what Google kind of misses is everything else. So the publisher of today, which is like the Twitch broadcaster or the Instagram or the YouTube or the tick talker. And it's just a different format that needs to be indexed. So we pitched this idea, Google for people, right.

And the inauguration of dovetail was really just like, how can we build a search engine that just sort of blew everything out of water? Uh, and there was certainly a lot of companies out there just like when Google started back in the nineties. And we just had to kind of build a better product. We, the index more pages, we had to go out and make search more usable.

We had to do all the things you would want to do. And we sort of just kind of, to be quite honest, we just fell into the whole influencer marketing world. We didn't categorize ourselves as an influencer marketing company. We didn't do anything else like that. We just said, here's the problem we wanted to solve.

And here's how we went to market with a better product. So definitely happy to kind of like elaborate on any of those pieces, but that's kinda how it kind of came about. You know, the story and the pieces just sorta make sense. And then more recently, happy to kind of talk about like how we got onto the Shopify thing.

Um, because that's, that's just like contributed to so much growth across the company. More growth happened this year, as far as usage revenue, pretty much every metric you can imagine because of Shopify. Then the last, like five years combined of our company.

Joseph: Okay. I've definitely written that down is how we got onto Shopify.

So there is a pin in that and I will unpin that momentarily. I guess the assessment that I made listening to your story is as a, as an engineer, right? As a software engineer, I think the approach that one such as you takes is, you know, focused on the tools and focus on the functionality and it's almost observing and seeing who are the ones that are, um, adopting those tools and in doing so you can then adjust what you're designing to defend them more specifically, rather than say like the marketer. And I'm not saying a marketers did make the wrong choice here, but a marketer might start with, um, wanting to appeal to a certain demographic and kind of knows what they want to do. And then they reach out to the design side to build the tools to fit that in specific.

Mike Schmidt: You pretty much summarized like big, big part of the problem is where do you start? Like, as a, as someone that's wanting to contract these talented people, how do you go and find them? How do you kind of slice and dice all the millions of users across all the different social networks?

How do you use a search engine to basically find the right, the right people that is still a huge part of the problem. And always has been, probably, always will be is, you know, these people that can promote your products and promote your services and do all that stuff. But how do you go about doing it personally between like, be in your audience and you and different people is like, I think that search product is a commodity. So eventually kind of like where we go and we've obviously built a bunch of other tools is we try to bring the cost of search as close to zero as possible. And I think that's a very different thing. Like you talk about community and how we're different and nomenclature, but like one of the big philosophical differences between us is how can we, like Amazonify the entire industry of quote unquote influencer marketing and creative marketing, that type of thing.

We're a big believer in like ecosystem through growth, a rising tide lifts, all ships, those types of those types of concepts. And when you start to charge brands and creators and members and stuff like that. Every focal point in the process, which is kind of like what a lot of our competitors do. They charge huge fees to like engage with influencers.

They take huge brokerage cuts, all this type of thing. It works really, really well for the short term, but for the long-term it really pain. Like I can see it very clearly. It's happened to many different technology companies, Google being the most known for this, um, search is free and they have one of the biggest businesses in the entire world because they played it really long.

And they said no to a lot of stuff. I think the influence of marketing world is very, very similar. And I just kinda want to throw a question back on you is like, what do you, what do you, what do you think about like when you read dovetail? I mean, you've been around marketing world. You're clearly in the shopify world.

What do you see, like dovetale lies? Like, do you, what do you think about community? What are you thinking about that type of thing? Because I think it's important thing for us.

Efficacy of influencers in the community

Joseph: You’ll be happy to know that well, you know, when I do my prep for this, a lot of what I think is considering it in advance because I don't, I'm not just pulling questions out of the can.

Pulling questions based off, you know, my understanding and you know, and where I'm at. And the thing that sticks out to me the most is the relationship between the influencer and the community. And my point of view, going into this conversation is that oftentimes the two, they, they get along, but there isn't that level of in meshing where now the influencer is a recognized member of the community. They tend to stay as an outsider. And so seeing that the, you know, the community and it just goes beyond terminology, it is definitely about, uh, about the, the strategy. Um, what. Uh, curious to learn more about in this context is how has it been, have you noticed the, the, uh, efficacy of actually encouraging influencers to become a part of the community?

And is, would you say that that's kind of one of the, the, the bigger issues to work on is, and then we'll, we'll, we'll follow up on that, but that's just what I might, what I think to start.

Mike Schmidt: My quick commentary on it. Uh, you're, you're exactly right. Like the name, the strategy is sometimes our biggest differentiation in, you know, conversations with potential customers.

And I mean, you look at the entire market, there's influencer this influencer, that creator that's creator, that that's just very conflated. There's a lot of competition, so much choice paralysis for merchants. They don't know where to go and it can be, it can be very hard to make it. To make a decision. So the community nomenclature matters a lot for us because it is built and designed not to be marginalizing.

I'll give you an example. Almost every one of our sales calls, the first five to 10 minutes of a 30 minute call. So roughly 30% of the call is unlearning everything you know about influencer marketing potentially. So we ask very specific questions that kind of go through a process of like identification, information collection, those types of things, how you've been doing things what's been going on.

There's just so much information out there on different publishers and, you know, even the sales processes, some of our competitors lead you to think down a certain path and you kind of just have to trust our process in order to do what is right for your brand, right for your community, right for your influencers, right for your creators, really depends on like what you classify them as. So community is built as this overarching tool so that you can self identify your own customers. However, you'd like, some customers want to call them ambassadors. Some customers want to call them influencers. Some customers want to call them like partners or creatures or fleets or like, whatever it is.

If you think about like modern commerce and sort of the way it's going with respect to strong communities, it is like compartmentalized with influencers. Like it just has to be, uh, if you look at like Lulu lemon, Sephora, best buy, these like big, big brands and you, you put in. You put in like Lululemon.com/community.

For example, they all have communities. They all have like influencers that work with them. They'll have like these people telling stories on behalf of the brand, to me, those experiences are kind of like the future of where we're going versus like are a lot of our competitors. They just like sort of broker relationships.

They spam influencers. They're just trying to get like quick wins. They're trying to get like them to post really quickly. Like that works really, really well for 2021. CPC is on Facebook are super high. In 2025, those brands will be super, super tired, and those merchants will leave thinking. I need to refresh my strategy.

Oh, dovetale could be potentially my solution for this.

The story behind Dovetale’s name

Joseph: Oh, sorry. One thing that, by the way, just before we continue on with this thread, I guess one thing that I cannot have a wonder, cause I actually like, I've always enjoyed that word dovetail. I've it's, it's one of those, it's one of those words that I've, I can integrate it into conversation.

I will. Uh, but why did, why did you . Guys go with that name?

Mike Schmidt: Dovetail is a woodworking joint in Japanese woodworking. It is the strong bond between two things. I'm not sure if you've ever seen this at like the corner of two, like a, like a wooden desk or something like that, where it's just like an interlocking piece and there's some really cool designs and stuff like that.

So the idea is dovetale is two or more components. So brands, creators, community members, whatever you want to call them, coming together to create a really strong bond, oftentimes without glue or anything else like that, they just sort of stick together and they fit really well together. And then tail is spelled T A L E like a story. So that's like coming together. The story.


Joseph: I'll start, I'll start with like. So the first, I guess, first chunk of it is what's been, I guess, your, your, your, your best milestones so far. Like what are the, some of the brands that you've brought on that are a positive sign of the momentum that you're building?

Mike Schmidt: Brands that we've been able to bring on probably more recently are the ones I'm most excited about, but in general, I think all customers are just as valuable.

So if you pay $0 or if you pay. A hundred thousand half a million dollars per year to the platform doesn't really matter to me. It just sorta matters about your experience and I'll put the same amount of effort on a customer that pays nothing as a customer that pays, you know, million dollars on, on the platform for, for me, like what gets me super excited about just like the growth is just seeing the amount of companies that are coming on dovetale right now.

So just the appetite, like when you build a product, you always have this existential worry that you haven't hit product market fit, or you're not going to get to like product, extra market fit and, and different things like that. You know, when we launched the platform, like the new application that's listed in the Shopify app store, we just saw really high quality brands coming in. So like control freak, and Italian and Therese, honey love and do kitchen and, and Moxie lash and, and different companies like this. We, we started talking to them even before we had launched the, the application. No, we were like really excited about just like these specific kind of like modern brands.

So you make the comparison between like taco bell and maybe like a hot sauce company. I actually think taco bell just partnered with trough, um, the hot sauce company. So you're seeing sort of like these modern connections between brands. And then you're also seeing these kind of like new age brands popping up.

But I would say that just like the milestone that I'm excited about is just like we launched a low cost. Highly effective tool for any merchant to start an influencer marketing strategy. And that's where I specifically say influencer marketing strategy, because that's what merchants are looking for today.

They're just looking for something where they can sort of check the box and say, I've got all these other customer acquisition strategies, but there's a gaping hole in my influencer marketing strategy. Even if they have used some other tool or product or service, they're like that tool is too expensive and it doesn't really do what I want them to do.

So when we go to market with, there are really simple ways to go about influencer marketing intersects with most pieces of your business gifting and affiliate codes and paid promotions and content and all these other things. And I think one of the big differentiations we have is we look at traction sales and, and, uh, exposure for the brand.

So all of our case studies that we, that we release have numbers and metrics and success metrics. Whereas like, I think entirely differentiated from the industry at large, where no one will tell you if you plug in service X, how much revenue will you get from this? If you sort of just trust the process going through this.

So I just want to highlight that too. I know it's a little bit tangential to the point, but you know, there is this kind of larger point around customer acquisition for the influence of marketing category. That kind of like there's proof in the pudding. If that makes sense. We don't want to sell someone a product.

That's not going to work for them. We don't want someone leaving after a year. That's frustrated being locked into a year contract. We, we, we really want every company that invest in the solution to be successful the way we kind of presented internally. If I don't know if you've heard this, but like Harley and the team at Shopify saying like, we're arming the rebels, that's this horror, the whole rhetoric around it.

They have sort of indicated that, you know, there's different toolings and pieces around the ecosystem that can be built and we very, very much feel like we're sort of this like artillery weapon on top of Shopify that we're just building this. Like, if, if Shopify is arming the rebels, we want to build the biggest Canon for them to, to strap onto to their website, to drive conversions.

Joseph: Oh, as soon as I hear arming the rebels, I mainly jumped a star wars, or I shouldn't say I associate jumped back to star wars because I've been thinking about star wars a lot lately. Uh, okay. So let's unpin the Shopify, uh, question, because I wanted to make sure that we talk about that before we, um, before he ran at a time and forgets to talk about it.

So, uh, just tell us about that part of the story is, you know, getting onto Shopify and, uh, what were the, the, the next major, um, events that occurred as a result?

Mike Schmidt: So first off, I think that there's so much opportunity in the Shopify ecosystem. I think there's less than 10,000 apps in the Shopify app store today.

I started a company when I was in my dorm room in college, and I immediately went to the apple app store as a place where I could build for relatively low cost. And as like a developer designer, I was excited about sort of those opportunities and same with my team. Today, it's not necessarily true. Right? Like the app store is, or sort of reached that S curve of saturation where certainly there'll be a lot of really successful companies still in the future there.

But competition is in the low hanging fruit has just already been snapped up. Shopify feels young Mason and opportunistic. So when we went to Shopify, we picked very specifically. Where are the opportunities in this space? And we had a ton of Shopify store signing up to our, our, our existing platform. And we just started talking to them.

We said, what are the problems that you have right now? And everything sort of just seemed like the net promoter score was very low. So everything from like affiliate marketing solutions to influencer marketing solutions, there was some complaint about something or content solutions or something. And we just kind of felt like the infrastructure we had was very well aligned to solve the problems that they had.

So when we approached and the build on Shopify. I mean, we didn't really know anyone there or anything else like that. We just sort of started building their development documents are incredible. They're on the same level of Stripe or any other company. It felt like new world order for us when building there compared to like building on top of a social network where it's much more restrictive these days, it's like an, I mean, now for your first million dollars that you make on the, on the platforms, you take it all home.

Right? So there's no cut. It's very, very friendly for developers to build on. Not to mention just like the amount of merchants they use the platform today. So I think the latest number is like, what 1.7 million merchants that are on Shopify today. And then when you look at the landscape of e-commerce solutions, Shopify has the same philosophy as us.

They're the apple of palmer software, right? Like they have a ecosystem approach. They have platform approach. They help developers. They do all the things that you need to do to build a healthy technology company. And we were just like, it makes no sense to build on anything other than Shopify. So when we launched the application in may obviously you've been testing out with a couple of merchants before that it was sort of just like super well-received anytime we wanted to jump on with like their partner team or anything else like that, it felt very friendly and it felt like they were very open to feedback and it felt like everything just was awesome.

And we had never experienced that from any other company that we've kind of partnered with or, or built on top of. I just think that they're a very special company when it comes to like building things and supporting, and also in contrast to like other bigger technology companies that sort of squander and squash competitor.

It doesn't feel like Shopify will ever do that. So we also kind of looked at that as like a, a risk point and said, okay, if we launched this app, are we going to be replaced in the future by the tech company? Probably not. Um, so that, that gave us a lot of confidence going in. And then when we launched the app, it just sort of pick up featured.

It was like top trending app. Like it still isn't trending like for the last like two months. So it feels right to continue to invest in there. And we sign up like several thousand merchants since the, uh, since the start. And we have some other growth plans that we are probably going to be launching in September.

How Dovetale works

Joseph: The next thing that I, that I want to ask you, I could pretend and say, this is for my audience, but realistically, this is also for me, uh, because after having done this for, uh, just over a year, It's, it's hard to resist the temptation to set up my own business and have a go at it. Um, which is why I did not resist that temptation.

And I gave him. And then also, you know, if anybody should be able to do this, they should be the guy who spent a blessed year. Receiving such high quality information for so long. So there's that, uh, however, like I was talking about with the bucket metaphor and the water filling in, I'm going through some analysis paralysis on my own right.

Opportunity paralysis, you know, a lot of options are coming in. I need, I, I'm looking for clarity here and now hoping my audience is looking for that clarity too. Um, for people who are just getting started and resources are scarce, um, what are some of the first steps that a brand can take to start using dovetale effectively?

Mike Schmidt: So you can go to the app store on Shopify and download the app for free, super simple. There is we have a product led growth philosophy, similar to some of the biggest companies in the world. Twilio. You know, Salesforce, you know, any of the companies that have sort of led through like Xavier, even Shopify, like sort of like starting out, slow growing with the customer over time, again, like full philosophically.

We're not going to charge you two, $3,000 to sign up to the platform. Never be able to try it. And then just sort of committing to a piece of software before, you know, it's going to work. We believe that you should be able to start for free move into the tier that is most appropriate for you. As you grow your business, we grow our business and you feel much more aligned with, you know, paying, paying a little bit more money.

So, you know, I think that there's, it's really easy. Like we sign up a lot of free customers that are just curious about how to work with creators influencers, to start a community of people that love their products. And then we have people that come in platform frustrated with other solutions in the market, and they're like, we need to move things over super quick.

We have a month to move things over. Let's just get this. Let's just sort of bite the bullet and they're jumping right over to enterprise within the first like week. It's pretty accommodating, depending on what stage of company you're at. And we don't believe that we're going after just the enterprise market or just the SMB market we're going after the e-commerce market.

And we're going to arm every single Shopify merchant with our tool to help bring more opportunity to creators. So as friendly as I can make that to merchants. Is sort of the plan right now.

Influencer niches

Joseph: Okay. So, so the next one, this one's a asked a more and more for the fun of it, but right now, the, uh, the bar for the most unexpected, um, realm for influencers to participate in has been horses get stethoscopes.

Um, just to continue to, I think, um, uh, break down the, the stereotype, but I think people have with influencers. I hear that. I think clothing, I think jewelry. I swimwear. Okay. I should maybe should have said that out loud. Um, but there are so many other things that influencers are, are involved in. So what have been some of the, the standout examples or some of the niches that maybe were even surprised to see where we're involving the influencer and community building?

Mike Schmidt: There's so much diversity in clients from our X-rated stuff to you know, probably should keep it off the podcast, but there's a lot of diversity in clients.

Joseph: I mean, we don't, we don't, we don't really have those kinds of limitations once in a while. Somebody will be like, yeah, I'm going to say something pretty dark. I'm like, go ahead. It's fine.

Mike Schmidt: Yeah. But one of the, one of the funnier one, like actually not necessarily funny, it's like, I just didn't know it was an industry, but it's called table scaping. It's like people that set up tables of like really cool designs and, and different things. I talked to a customer that has a huge business, by the way, just in people's scaping.

So plates and napkins and like different trinkets and things like that on the, on the table. And you know, it's a multi-million dollar business and they're just selling kits to kind of make your dinner table. Cool and unique and different things like that. It's a massive business on Pinterest and Instagram where people are kind of just like showing off the quality.

It's almost like if there was a competition or contest for just how well or how chic your, your table looks, it would be these, these individuals. I think the company is, there's probably a bunch of them in this space, but there's a bunch of companies that probably do really, really well. So that's probably the most surprising one within the last month or so, but I'd have to look through the archives. I've seen so many different companies, but I just never thought that that was a business. And it turns out to be a huge, huge one.

Joseph: And are you finding brands have the ability to, or even if I'm not a brand yet, let's just say I'm just like, you know, a user and I haven't really settled on, on an, on a niche yet. Uh, have you seen. Um, users can actually use the, uh, the, the, the influencer database to even try to figure out what are problems in.

Mike Schmidt: Yeah. I mean like the law of large average is suggests that if you have an idea that probably someone else's thought of it. So I think in this situation, because you're dealing with like the law of large averages across audiences that have curated attention, it's very, very likely that if you're selling come up with a very obscure product, like.

You know, googly eyes on top of a phone case or something like that. And there's like a market just for googly eyes on top of a phone case. There's probably other people that have probably thought about that or talked about it. So our database is so large that you can search very, very specific keywords.

A more common case of this is like, I want to find. Uh, mom that lives in Montana that has two French bulldogs, three kids, and has most of their audience based in the United States, those are more common kind of use cases around things, because like you can kind of bucket archetypes of creators into only so many different categories and even YouTube and TikTok have predefined categories up to 15 or 20. So there's only so much you can do, but there's obviously sub categories that you can think through. But in general, I think your question is interesting because. The more niche your product is the more niche those audience members will become. And the more niche those customers will become.

So if you can start a niche in the e-commerce direct consumer world, then you can probably find an interesting B2B opportunity, which is where these tablescape companies have built tremendous value because not only are they selling to families that want to make their tables really cool, but they're also selling like hotels and other places that can make it a little bit more presentable.

And then using that social traffic to get even more consumers, um, eyeballs on top of their products. So nice to win as sort of the philosophy there. And I would say that's why it's a very interesting question that you ask is because if you can figure out a niche and you can really say, for example, it's like cranberry hot sauce.

Like if, if you found that there's a particular community of people. Cranberry hot sauce, then that market can be targeted very, very specifically through all of your advertising. And then you can go build pineapple, hot sauce, and then you can go build apple hot sauce, and then all the other things to widen and broaden your market out.

Investor relationships

Joseph: There's, there's definitely a number of other things that I want to ask you, but the time is short. So I'm going to take up this rare opportunity to talk to somebody who's, uh, who's got an investor backing, so you're, you're, you're invested by an extra capital, same backers for Uber and Foursquare. And I would really like to hear about the relationship, you know, how was the investment acquired and then what is the working relationship with them?

Do they, is it just like we trust you? Just, do you guys do your thing? Do they come in? Do they ask questions? Do they participate? I I'm really, I can hearing about this relationship.

Mike Schmidt: I mean, expo is one of those rare firms where it feels like a true partnership. I think that there, and the reason I say rare is because there's just so much capital right now.

I don't, I have seen, I've talked to a lot of investors. I've talked to a lot of investors before raising the money from. dovetale. And when you meet their team, it's, there are different things that sort of click for you, especially when you're kind of going into the fundraising side of things, giving up equity, and you're going through potentially an emotional layer being like I'm giving up things.

Um, accepting new responsibilities and different things like that too. I've been pretty careful just around how much we give away and what we're raising. So we don't raise too much and grow with the market and appropriate pacing versus a lot of the companies in the social influencer, just analytics space in general, have more recently raised a decent amount of money, uh, compared to us.

But I think we've been playing it pretty careful and they, they understand kind of the, the philosophies that we have. The one great thing about expo is they believe in people. That's the thing. If you have an investor that believes in your idea more than they believe in you, I just think that that's a recipe for disaster.

So my framework has always just been, find people that believe in our team and how do we. How do we be successful with them? Because it is a true partnership. So every stage they're not, we're not under the microscope by any means. Dovetale is not being scrutinized on day-to-day tasks. We've messed up tons of times.

Right. But the thing is, is we learn, we move quickly, we get over it and we're continuing to try to build for our customers. So we've proven that throughout the last several years of doing this. But the project and with the company and the people, the big thing I want to say about expo is like they understand the product and engineering mindset.

They understand internet companies, they understand brand, they understand all of the different things you need to do to be successful. And it's certainly not easy. But the thing is, is that they're there for you not only emotionally, but also like physically, and just trying to make sure that you do the right things and watch your blind spots.

Because I think that's one of the biggest value adds that investors do. They don't tell you like how to build your product or what opportunities are out there. There's just the best investors. I found a message you at the right time and they say, Hey, have you thought about this? Or like, how you doing? Or like, what's going on?

And how can I help you do these specific things? The notable investor tagline is like, how can I help? But it's like, it's, it's two layers deeper than that. It's like, Hey. No, I saw this thing that you posted on LinkedIn or Twitter or something like that. I want to just check in and make sure you're okay about blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

That's that's you helping much more informatively than just being like the laziness of just how can I help or what can I do to connect you, blah, blah, blah. Like there is lazy investor and then there's like, every, like I'm not saying anyone in particular is lazy investor, but there are lazy investors out there.

And I think that there are lazy things that you can do that define you as an investor and the benchmark for investment and venture capital right now is super high. So I'm thankful every day I get to work with the expert team, probably couldn't say a single negative thing about them.

Joseph Ianni
Joseph Ianni

Debutify is the easiest way to launch and scale your eCommerce brand.

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