Hannah Chaplin von Receptive

Gr├╝nderkaffee Folge 008

Ich bin Jeroen von Salesflare und das ist Founder Coffee.

Every two weeks I have coffee with a different founder. We discuss life, passions, learnings, … in an intimate talk, getting to know the person behind the company.

F├╝r diese achte Folge hatte ich ein Gespr├Ąch mit Hannah Chaplin, Mitbegr├╝nderin von Receptive, der Software, die Ihr Produktmanagement rationalisiert. Hannah begann als Empfangsdame bei einem Softwareunternehmen, gr├╝ndete dann eine Entwicklungsagentur und hat seitdem mehrere SaaS- und eCommerce-Unternehmen gegr├╝ndet.

Wir sprechen ├╝ber brillante SaaS-Unternehmen, die Bedeutung von Nutzerfeedback und Lernen, die Vorz├╝ge von GDPR und dar├╝ber, wie wir dort gelandet sind, wo wir jetzt sind.

Willkommen bei Founder Coffee.


M├Âchten Sie lieber zuh├Âren? Sie finden diese Folge auf:



Jeroen: Hallo Hannah, sch├Ân, dass du bei Founder Coffee bist.

Hannah: Thank you. I’ve actually got a cup of coffee. So we’re doing this right, aren’t we?

Jeroen: Ja, ich auch auf meiner Seite.

Hannah: Perfekt.

Jeroen: It’s almost finished but maybe we can stop half way and I’ll get another one.

Hannah: Ja, k├Ânntest du auf halber Strecke ein bisschen Musik einspielen? Damit die Leute einfach zuh├Âren k├Ânnen, w├Ąhrend wir einen Drink machen?

Jeroen: Well, don’t tell the people, but I edit it.

Hannah: Secret’s out.

Jeroen: You are the Founder of Receptive. There are a lot of people in our network who are not in SaaS, don’t know about the awesome tools to manage products or make their product management more efficient. For those who don’t know about Receptive, what does the product do?

Hannah: If you want to be super precise, we’re specifically for B2B SaaS companies. Product feedback is a huge problem, so we’ve got a system that helps these companies collect the feedback from customers, their internal teams and the market. The tool offers lots of reporting and analytics, that can help them understand all the data and make sure everybody is working on things that really count — product wise. We help them when they start to scale or reach an enterprise level.

Jeroen: Sie holen also grunds├Ątzlich Feedback ein, organisieren es, verbinden es mit den Funktionen und setzen Priorit├Ąten f├╝r die zuk├╝nftige Roadmap. Ist das korrekt?

Hannah: Yeah, exactly. So all the feedback’s highly prioritized. We’ve got a really nice dashboard that offers a lovely customer experience. They can basically go in at any time and see how things are looking for their product and change the priorities. People need to change product roadmaps all the time!

Wir sorgen daf├╝r, dass die Leute auf dem Laufenden gehalten werden und wissen, wo die Dinge stehen, und das alles wird durch das Reporting abgedeckt. Mit einem Klick k├Ânnen Sie sehen, was Unternehmenskunden in Deutschland im Vergleich zu kostenlosen Testnutzern wollen. Man sieht zum Beispiel sehr sch├Ân aufgeschl├╝sselte Daten, die bei der Entscheidung helfen, was in die Produkt-Roadmap aufgenommen wird.

Jeroen: Und sind Sie irgendwie mit anderen Tools verbunden?

Hannah: Yeah, we’ve got a few integrations actually.

Obviously a lot of the feedback process runs through systems like Salesforce, and Zendesk. So we’ve connected with tools that customer facing teams use to receive feedback on feature requests.

Andererseits sind wir auch mit Tools wie JIRA integriert. Wenn Sie also in Receptive zustimmen, eine der Funktionen zu bauen, die ein Feedback vorschl├Ągt, wird die Aufgabe automatisch f├╝r das Entwicklungsteam erstellt.

Es funktioniert auch andersherum. So ist Receptive immer auf dem neuesten Stand!

Jeroen: Based on the tools you mentioned, it’s more aimed at bigger companies I guess?

Hannah: Auf jeden Fall.

I think when you’re smaller, you can get away with a spreadsheet or just getting your feedback on Trello. That’s what even we used before Receptive days.

But at one point, you have a lot of feedback coming in to all the different teams. For example, your sales teams will have hundreds of discussions every day and some feedback would definitely come out of it. It’s really a scale that feedback is a huge problem. But if you do it right, it’s a massive opportunity. It’s just getting those processes right and in place.

Jeroen: Ja. Sie sagten, dass Sie vorher einige Dinge in Trello organisiert haben, war das bei einem anderen Unternehmen?

Hannah: Yes. So this is actually the fourth business I’ve had and the second SaaS company. I actually started off as a project manager. So we used Basecamp, Trello and a few other tools like them.

Jeroen: K├Ânnen Sie uns die verschiedenen Startups vorstellen, die Sie gegr├╝ndet haben?

Hannah: Sure. I won’t make it too long, don’t worry.

Jeroen: Oh nein, nur zu!

Hannah: The first one I started was when I was 21. I’d left school and got a job on the reception desk of a software company, and then I got really fascinated by it all and got into it completely.

Ich gr├╝ndete also eine Entwicklungsagentur, und wir stellten technische Teams zusammen und arbeiteten mit gro├čen Branding-Agenturen in London zusammen. Wir haben die technische Seite ihrer Projekte entwickelt und umgesetzt.

Dann hatten wir ein Unternehmen f├╝r ein Lagerverwaltungssystem, das eine Art SaaS-Produkt war. Von dort kamen viele Ideen f├╝r Receptive. Zwischen diesen beiden Dingen habe ich viel im eCommerce gearbeitet. Ich leitete ein Unternehmen, das sich mit eCommerce-Entwicklung besch├Ąftigte und gro├če Gentoo-Plattformen betrieb.

Eine ziemliche Mischung von Dingen, wirklich. Allerdings alles Software!

Jeroen: Alles, was mit Software zu tun hat, okay.

Hannah: Ja.

Jeroen: Wenn Sie sich mit solchen Dingen besch├Ąftigen, warum haben Sie dann als Empfangsdame angefangen?

Hannah: I don’t know. I just literally left school and was like, “I need a job.”

Jeroen: Was haben Sie studiert?

Hannah: In der Schule? Alles M├Âgliche.

Ich interessierte mich f├╝r Musik, Wirtschaft, Politik, BWL und auch f├╝r Sport. Ich hatte also keine Ahnung, was ich in diesem Moment machen wollte. Wussten Sie, dass Sie ein Unternehmen aufbauen wollten?

Jeroen: Irgendwie schon, ja. Eigentlich wusste ich schon mit 10 Jahren oder so, dass ich Ingenieur werden wollte, glaube ich.

Hannah: Wirklich?

Jeroen: Ja, und das lag daran, dass meine Eltern, insbesondere mein Vater. Er war ein eingefleischter Ingenieur und hat immer F&E-Abteilungen geleitet. Ich wusste also, dass ich Ingenieur werden w├╝rde, und irgendwie wusste ich auch, dass ich mein eigenes Unternehmen haben wollte.

Seit ich etwa 15 Jahre alt war, habe ich angefangen, Websites zu erstellen, und schon damals tr├Ąumte ich davon, meine eigene Webagentur zu haben. Daran gab es nie einen wirklichen Zweifel. Die Vorstellung, in einem gro├čen Unternehmen zu arbeiten, habe ich immer gehasst. Das habe ich tats├Ąchlich getan!

Hannah: Hast du das?

Jeroen: Ja.

Hannah: Wie war das? War es schrecklich?

Jeroen: Oh, es war so schrecklich. Ich habe es 10 Monate lang gemacht, aber ich habe es von Anfang an gehasst. Nach acht Monaten hatte ich einen anderen Job, den ich ebenfalls nach zehn Monaten aufgab. Ich habe bei Baxter angefangen, falls Sie diese Firma kennen.

Hannah: Nein. Das war also ein Unternehmen, das Sie gegr├╝ndet haben, nachdem Sie 10 Monate f├╝r eine gro├če Organisation gearbeitet hatten?

Jeroen: Nein. Das waren die 10 Monate. Die 10 Monate waren bei Baxter.

Hannah: Oh, richtig, okay.

Jeroen: It’s a pharma company.

Hannah: Was hat Ihnen daran nicht gefallen?

Jeroen: The corporate way of doing things, and the limited aspect of your job. The lack of feeling of responsibility and the way you cannot set the culture yourself — a combination of all these things, actually.

Hannah: Ja, das macht das Arbeitsleben einfach schwierig.

Jeroen: Ja.

Hannah: Some people are really suited for that though. Aren’t they?

And I think we must be quite similar in that sense. I always knew I wanted to start a business. I don’t know why, I just did. I also would have struggled in a big corporate environment.

Jeroen: Ja.

Hannah: I guess every big company’s different, just like every small one is.

Jeroen: They’re different.

Actually, in the job after I was in an agency and I was doing projects for companies, but also sometimes onsite. I’ve worked with five companies and the differences are huge. In terms of how the culture can make you feel different, as a person even, is amazing. Just the way people treat you, the way people communicate, had a huge impact on my emotional life.

Hannah: Yeah, that’s not good.

Jeroen: Wie auch immer, es scheint, dass Sie sehr breit gef├Ącherte Interessen haben. Haben Sie damals alle diese Studien kombiniert, oder wie hat das funktioniert?

Hannah: I don’t really know what happened. But while I was doing my first job at the software agency, I decided to take up a degree in my spare time.

I basically didn’t have a weekend or an evening for four years. I don’t know why I did that, but it was fun. So I actually did my degree in social science and economics.

Jeroen: Oh, okay.

Hannah: But I really like economics. It’s funny, isn’t it?

Jeroen: Der gesch├Ąftliche Aspekt vielleicht?

Hannah: Yeah, or maybe all of it. I just really enjoyed that sort of thing. So I did that while I was working. I think I’d just finished my degree when I set up the first business.

Jeroen: Sie haben also mehrere Abschl├╝sse?

Hannah: Nur die eine. Oh mein Gott, ich lerne nicht mehr.

You learn so much as a founder, don’t you? You feel like you’re constantly learning and changing, and feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing. So you have to go away and just always be on top of that stuff.

For now, I wouldn’t undertake a formal qualification for a good while. Would you?

Was haben Sie studiert?

Jeroen: Eigentlich habe ich als Elektronikingenieur angefangen. Dann habe ich den Master in Biomedizintechnik gemacht. Danach habe ich ein Wirtschaftsstudium absolviert.

Hannah: Okay. Wie du schon sagtest, da du dich schon so fr├╝h f├╝r das Ingenieurwesen interessiert hast, war es wohl naheliegend, ein eigenes Unternehmen zu gr├╝nden?

Jeroen: Yeah, but then I figured I didn’t really want to be an engineer. I wanted to bring things to people. Engineering things, perhaps, but to people at least. That’s why I did business school, and then I figured I wanted to start my own company.

Ich dachte mir, der beste Weg, das zu tun, ist wahrscheinlich, Produktmanager in einem Unternehmen zu werden. Da ich biomedizinische Technik studiert habe, dachte ich, dass ich in einer Pharmafirma arbeiten w├╝rde. Und das war falsch.

Hannah: Yeah, I guess. It’s a learning thing though, isn’t it? It might have felt wrong at the time, but like you said, you brought a lot of what was wrong with that to making things right and building a company out in a way that you’re happy with?

Jeroen: Ganz genau. Wurden Sie irgendwie von Ihrer Familie beeinflusst?

Hannah: I don’t know. My dad works at the university as director of facilities and estates, so he’s into property management. I don’t really understand what he does, but he does a lot. My mum was in nursing and became a receptionist, and my brother and sister both went down the medical route. Well, my sister’s a vet and my brother’s a doctor.

So I was the one who didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was the one just making it up.

Jeroen: It was not really your family, maybe your dad a bit. Or let’s just say, your friends?

Hannah: I honestly have no idea. It’s funny isn’t it?

I kind of feel like I fell into a lot of things, but figured things out by just getting there and trying stuff. I started to work on what I enjoyed doing and that helped. I’ve always loved computers since I got an Atari.

Erinnern Sie sich noch an den Atari? Ich bekam einen Atari, als ich sechs Jahre alt war.

Jeroen: Ich hatte auch einen Atari.

Hannah: Hattest du eine? Ja.

Jeroen: Nun, mein Vater hatte einen. Aber am Ende stand es in meinem Zimmer.

Hannah: Well, it would be rude not to play on it then if it’s there. Wouldn’t it?

Jeroen: Ja. Schon als ich sehr klein war, wurde ich immer wieder auf Dinge hingewiesen. Mein Vater baute diese Computer, die noch mit einem Kassettenspieler starteten.

Hannah: Wow.

Jeroen: Ja.

Hannah: That’s really cool though.

Jeroen: So I’ve seen computers since I was really, really small.

Hannah: That’s brilliant. Yeah, I think it does help. Doesn’t it?

Having that sort of thing around. Like both my kids are really interested in computers too. We do Scratch, which is a really nice programming language for kids to learn, and we’ve got Raspberry Pi knocking about the house. So they both enjoy making things.

Aber man wei├č ja nie. Wie gesagt, ich bin damit aufgewachsen, dass ich mir nicht allzu viele Gedanken dar├╝ber gemacht habe, was ich machen will.

Jeroen: Wie alt sind sie schon?

Hannah: They’re just about to turn eight and six.

Jeroen: Runde acht und sechs, und sie programmieren schon?

Hannah: Na ja, nur mit Scratch. Aber man lernt die Grundlagen des Rechnens, indem man kleine Spiele damit baut. Hast du Scratch benutzt?

Jeroen: Nein, nein.

Hannah: It’s fun, it’s good for the basics.

Jeroen: Right. I don’t know what was the first thing I started on. I think hacking some scripts in game to cheat or something.

Hannah: Oh je.

Jeroen: I don’t remember. At some point, I started doing HTML, Flash and stuff.

Hannah: Yeah, HTML is a good place to start. Isn’t it?

Jeroen: Yeah, it’s easy.

Hannah: Ja.

Jeroen: Kennen Sie andere Startup-Gr├╝nder, zu denen Sie irgendwie aufgeschaut haben, und warum?

Hannah: That’s a good question. I think a lot of the time it isn’t the usual suspects, or the people with a big profile. I’ve always really enjoyed meeting other founders, and a lot of them fly underneath the radar.

I’ll give you some good examples. Matt Lanham at Gecko Labs for instance. That’s a brilliant SaaS company. He’s based in Scotland, is doing a lot of business over in the States though at the moment. He’s just really down to earth, and really easy to talk to. I think some people put up a bit of a front, and it’s nice to just get honest advice and he’s definitely one of those people.

Jeroen: Auf jeden Fall.

Hannah: And I look up to Kevin Beals, who’s the CEO at Refract. He builds this training software that SaaS teams use. It’s brilliant!

He was one of my angel investors actually. Again, he’s just so easy to talk to, really practical, really down to earth and he’s building a business just like we are. I think it’s more people like that, I guess.

Was ist mit Ihnen? Haben Sie ein enges Netzwerk von Menschen um sich herum, mit denen Sie ebenfalls sprechen?

Jeroen: Yeah. I like to talk to different people that I think are really doing a good job. It’s often inspiring.

Hannah: It helps, doesn’t it?

Jeroen: Yes, it does. Also, with these Founder Coffees, I get to talk to a lot of really cool people, and we also write about iconic products that have been made — like Trello, Slack, Intercom. They are really inspiring in the sense that these guys really maintain a vision in a very nice and consistent way, and build a product that’s just outstanding. That’s not as easy as it seems.

Hannah: Oh my gosh, yeah. It’s definitely not easy.

We were talking about Intercom yesterday, actually. We were one of the very first users of Intercom, so we’ve followed them all the way through. With the series D that was announced earlier in the week, it’s going to be really cool to watch where they go next. I’m excited to see what they do actually.

Jeroen: Yeah, I’m really wondering what they need all this money for. I can imagine somehow, but still I’m like, “Really? $125 million?”

Hannah: Yeah. You don’t know how much these press releases that go out around raises and stuff are true. A lot of them are nonsense, right? But I was reading that they were looking at getting into artificial intelligence. That’s a lot of money. So I guess, we’ll just have to see.

Jeroen: Yeah, we’ll see I guess. My guess is a lot of money will go into convincing the enterprises, pushing Zendesk out of the market, and Service Cloud or Salesforce.

Hannah: Yeah, they said that they want to be the next Salesforce or as big as that. So good luck to them I think, we’ll see what they do.

Jeroen: People have said that about us in the newspaper already. So it doesn’t mean anything.

Hannah: Wow! Na also, geht doch!

Jeroen: Das war auch in Belgien.

Hannah: Mach du das doch! Warum nicht?

Jeroen: Yeah, why not. Maybe at some point. For now, we’re taking a very different position from Salesforce. They’re going after the big enterprises, and we’re going after the small companies. It’s a totally different solution.

Hannah: Yeah, it’s a big difference I guess.

Jeroen: Was sind Ihre Ambitionen f├╝r Receptive? Wohin soll es gehen?

Hannah: It’s just getting really exciting. We’re closing more and more enterprise SaaS customers. So, last year we had to learn a lot around legals and the onboarding of when you’ve got hundreds or thousands of employees, what that onboarding looks like, and what the customer’s success journey is like.

While we’re getting a lot of really good traction, it also feels like we’re just getting started, which is a really exciting position to be in, I guess. So I’d just like to keep going.

We’ve found a really nice rhythm. We’ve worked out how to sell and who to sell to, because you don’t know that stuff when you start out.

Jeroen: Nein.

Hannah: It’s an evolution along the way, isn’t it? You’re learning all the time. So yeah, I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, and keep going, and keep developing the product and see what we can do.

Jeroen: Aber was machen Sie auf lange Sicht?

Hannah: Das ist eine gute Frage.

Jeroen: Was ist eigentlich Ihre Vision oder Mission?

Hannah: Like I mentioned at the start, feedback is such a big opportunity and SaaS companies are just starting to get their heads around it. So it feels like they’re still at the stage where there’s a lot of early adopters going with Receptive and that’s why it is exciting for us.

But really, I think having a product feedback solution in place, should be so core to building a SaaS product that people should not have to think about it. In the same way as you need hosting and support. Product feedback is forgotten and it’s managed badly in a lot of ways, and our biggest competitor is the spreadsheet. So there’s a better way to do things, and I would like everyone using Receptive. But we’ll see.

Jeroen: Yeah. What are the things you’re working on lately?

Hannah: In dem Produkt oder anders?

Jeroen: Nein, im Allgemeinen. Was machen Sie eigentlich?

Hannah: Das ├Ąndert sich jeden Tag. Am Ende mache ich alle m├Âglichen Dinge.

Jeroen: Ja.

Hannah: So quite recently I’ve been overseeing the GDPR stuff quite closely. Have you got everything that needs in place?

Jeroen: Yeah, actually after this call, I will continue on GDPR stuff. It’s one of our priorities right now, and it followed me. All the others get to do the fun stuff.

Hannah: Oh.

Jeroen: Ja, ich wei├č.

Hannah: That’s being a founder though, isn’t it? Everybody thinks you get to do what you want, and it’s actually, no, you get all the terrible jobs.

Jeroen: Yeah, but it’s a super interesting exercise as well. It’s not something that gives me tons of energy, but just organizing all this in a more thoughtful way, what in the end GDPR is about, is nice. I can see the positive aspects.

Hannah: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of positive things. Other people have been doing the hard work,but being involved in the lawyers and just overseeing the GDPR thing is on me. So there’s been a bit of that going on, and then apart from day to day, to talk broadly because things do change a lot, I’m mainly involved in overseeing the marketing and working closely with sales. There’s a lot of the co-marketing actually, a lot of the partnership type of things and events or speaking engagements.

But then I stay really close to customer success as well. I don’t ever want to lose sight of that. I still talk to customers a lot. I still will pick up the phone and will do a demo now and again, because I think it’s really important for me, right now, in terms of how we develop the company and how we develop the product to stay close to the people and the problems that we’re solving.

So it’s quite broad. I guess because of that, I have to be really careful about planning my time — making sure I’m working on the right things, making sure that there’s time to check in with the leaders of other departments. So yeah, it’s really good fun though. It’s nice doing all sorts of things. What does your role span?

Jeroen: It’s very similar to yours. I think we’re in very similar stages.

I’m currently doing lots of marketing and am very involved with the customer relationships as well. Currently, the GDPR stuff. I mean I also still manage the products, so it’s very similar to yours, I would say.

I’m not in a stage where I’m spending all my time hiring or something. We are still looking at how we can make a growth machine, instead of just adding extra people to what we have already nailed.

Hannah: I guess the job evolves all the time as well, doesn’t it? Depending on the stage you’re at, or, like we were saying, something like GDPR comes in and it’s so important to the business functioning side. It does need you to do a good job.

Aber die Rolle ├Ąndert sich sehr stark.

Jeroen: Ja. Ich habe gerade die Dinge erw├Ąhnt, die mir Energie geben. Was ist es, das Ihnen die Energie gibt, weiterzumachen?

Hannah: Nun, da gibt es ein paar Dinge.

I think a big part of keeping the energy up and staying motivated, is you’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing. I really love the problem that we’re solving and the team, and that’s a massive motivating factor for me.

If I wasn’t as into the product and what we’re doing, then that would be hard after a while. The second big thing is just getting out. I go out biking quite a lot — bike to work and back, and I find if I’ve biked into work it really sets you up for the day, and then biking back home, gives me time to get into that home mode.

I think it can be tempting to ignore everything else, when you’re really busy. So trying to fit exercise or something into your routine can be really, really helpful.

Jeroen: Ja, wie weit wohnen Sie von der Arbeit entfernt?

Hannah: It’s not too far. It’s just 10 miles a day on the bike, but then I get on for longer.

Jeroen: Oh, that’s far. 10 miles is like 16 kilometers. That’s pretty far, if you ask me.

Hannah: It’s good fun though. It’s nice, and when you get in, you’re all hyper for the rest of the day. What about you, do you find time for that sort of a thing?

Jeroen: I started making time for that again. For a long time I abandoned these kind of things, but then your body starts disliking it. Right now, I’m trying to work home most of the days, and I’m into sports now. I used to run but I went to biking now.

Hannah: Oh, cool.

Jeroen: Ja, wirklich aktive Workouts. Ich achte auf die Herzfrequenz und so weiter, um sicherzustellen, dass ich mich tats├Ąchlich k├Ârperlich bewege. Ich glaube, das gibt auch eine Menge mentale Energie.

Hannah: Yeah, it’s good thinking time, isn’t it?

I’ll set myself up. While I’m on the bike, going into work, I’ll think through what I’ve got on and what’s important that day. I think having no distractions like the computer or the phone, is really helpful.

Jeroen: Yeah, if you don’t start listening to podcasts, of course.

Hannah: Das ist gef├Ąhrlich, ja.

Jeroen: Du wohnst also mit deinem Mann und deinen zwei Kindern zusammen?

Hannah: Yeah. He’s about the place as well, so it’s good having time with the family doing things nearby.

Jeroen: So is it basically like you work, you bike, and then you home and don’t work? Or how do you keep a balance?

Hannah: I tend to do a lot of reading in the evenings. I’ve got this weird thing, I can’t go to sleep unless I’ve read, I don’t know why. Since I was a child, I just have to read.

So I find it’s a good time for reading, and I do talk about work quite a lot at home as well. But apart from that, I do try to have that separation of, “I’m at home now.” When the kids are around, my phone’s in the top drawer and turned off and we’re just doing daft things, and I think that’s important as well. Like you mentioned the energy thing, having a good balance brings a lot of energy to your work. There’s no point being tired, is there?

If you get yourself exhausted, it’s very hard to recover from that.

Jeroen: Definitely. It’s always a danger, I guess. What does your husband do when you’re talking about work?

Hannah: Rolls his eyes! No, he doesn’t.

Jeroen: Nein, ich meine, was macht er beruflich.

Hannah: Ah. Er arbeitet also im Bereich Energie und Nachhaltigkeit f├╝r ein gro├čes Immobilienunternehmen. Er macht alles M├Âgliche. Er besch├Ąftigt sich viel mit der Technologie, also mit verschiedenen Technologien, die in Geb├Ąuden eingesetzt werden k├Ânnen, um sie energieeffizient zu machen.

Jeroen: Oh, cool.

Hannah: He was working on a project recently. He hooked a load of Raspberry Pis up to monitor a load of energy usage. So we talk about all those sort of things quite a bit. Sounds fun at our house, doesn’t house?

Jeroen: Ja. Eigentlich macht mein Schwiegervater das Gleiche. Wir sollten sie vielleicht zusammenbringen.

Hannah: Oh that’s cool. We definitely should! Who does he work for?

Jeroen: He has his own company that does these kinds of installations and he really cares a lot about the sustainability side, so he’s always looking for ways to work on it. Even if the market is not super ready for it yet, he always finds a way to get it working here and there.

Hannah: That’s cool, because there’s a lot of stuff in that industry. A lot of the hardware and software; although it’s very early days for a lot of these technologies, and they’re moving on very quickly.

Jeroen: Yeah, and also people don’t get why they should get it. I mean it costs a lot of money.

Hannah: Yeah, that’s the other part of his job really, is making those cost arguments, and the ROI analysis, you know, “If we put these heat pumps in this building, it’s going to pay us back over X years, and in the long term the outcome is a saving of whatever.” So that’s the other side of it, and I think that’s kind of like what we do in a lot of ways.

Jeroen: Haben Sie das Gef├╝hl, dass jetzt der richtige Zeitpunkt f├╝r Receptive ist, oder sind die Leute noch dabei, ihr Produktmanagement zu professionalisieren?

Hannah: That’s another good question. We still feel like it’s early days market wise. There’s quite a few smaller companies popping up here and there, for feature request management, and customer feedback insights.

Ich glaube also, dass sich langsam etwas tut, und das ist wirklich spannend zu sehen.

Jeroen: Yeah, that’s how I feel as well. We’re also currently looking to professionalize our stuff, and looking at solutions. We should maybe have another look at Receptive as well, it’s been a while.

Hannah: Oh, any time. But yeah, it’s an interesting one.

Jeroen: Sie sagten, Sie arbeiten in London?

Hannah: We’re actually up in Sheffield. So we’re a couple of hours north of London.

Jeroen: In Sheffield?

Hannah: Yeah, which is pretty nuts, because most of our customers are in the States. I think we’ve got customers from about 35 countries now. We do make a real effort to get out and spend time with customers. We go over to America quite a bit.

Jeroen: Fliegst du oft r├╝ber?

Hannah: Yeah, we do it between us. We’ve not been there yet this year, but we’re going to be over soon. I think that side of thing’s really important for us — to actually spend time with customers onsite. That’s one of the beautiful things about software, you can create something and you can be anywhere and you can still sell it all over the world, which is kind of cool.

Jeroen: Ja. Solange man in Sheffield gute Leute findet, mit denen man arbeiten kann, denke ich.

Hannah: Oh the team is brilliant. Really, really lucky there. There’s actually quite a lot of software and technology companies here, and a lot of creative industries too. So that’s cool.

Jeroen: Gibt es dort eine Universit├Ąt?

Hannah: Yeah, there’s a couple of big universities as well. But it’s big technology companies based here as well — like WANdisco, SkyBet and others.

Jeroen: SkyBet, that’s the betting company?

Hannah: Yeah. I’m not a fan, but they work on some interesting scaling problems. I can’t say I like what they do.

Jeroen: Yeah, we have a similar thing. In Belgium we have, I’ve forgotten the name of the company. But it’s the company behind half of the porn industry.

Hannah: Oh ja, Mensch.

Jeroen: Ja.

Hannah: Da haben Sie es: eine kleine Stadt in Belgien und Sheffield.

Jeroen: Ja, diese Orte sind vielleicht sogar die Grenze der Technologie.

Hannah: Ja, das kann man in vielerlei Hinsicht sagen, definitiv.

Jeroen: Starting to wrap up, what’s the latest good book you’ve read, and why did you choose to read it?

Hannah: Oh, I’m a bit terrible with books because if I’m reading for work stuff it tends to be blog posts.

Jeroen: Nein, nicht unbedingt Arbeit, nur allgemein.

Hannah: Oh my gosh, I read anything. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m reading this really weird series about this lawyer based in London at the time of Henry VII at the moment. I honestly, read anything and everything. So I’ll have to think about which book.

Ich habe das Buch Play Bigger gelesen, in dem es um die Gestaltung von Kategorien geht.

Jeroen: ├ťber welchen Entwurf?

Hannah: Kategorie Design.

Jeroen: Richtig.

Hannah: Yeah. So it’s about, you know, like I was saying about Receptive and where it is in terms of the market and if it’s too early, or whatever. Category design is about you owning the positioning and giving a name to what you do and that’s a really interesting book. I’ve taken a lot away from that one.

Jeroen: Yeah, because you’re basically building out a category.

Hannah: Ja, genau. Also empfehle ich das.

Jeroen: About me, I think I probably shared it on a few other talks as well already, maybe another one. The Black Swan was pretty good, up till some point. I don’t know whether you read it. It’s about how looking back, people look at history and they connect things. While when it actually happens, it wasn’t all that connected — just casually. Like the one thing that didn’t actually happen so logically, makes the other thing happen, because there are many factors. And when we look back, we start ignoring all these little factors here and there, which is a really interesting way of looking at things, because it makes you realize that you do that every day actually.

Not just looking at history, but that you look back and you connect things that make sense for your brain right now, but it didn’t actually happen because of that reason. It’s just you rationalizing things.

Hannah: Ja, das ist eine nat├╝rliche Sache.

Jeroen: Ja, auf jeden Fall.

Hannah: Man f├╝hlt sich sicher und hat die Kontrolle, denke ich, wenn man es tut.

Jeroen: Ganz genau. Aber wenn man das versteht, hilft es einem in gewisser Weise, keine seltsamen Voreingenommenheiten und Dinge zu bekommen.

Hannah: Das werde ich nachschlagen, danke.

Jeroen: Ja. Nach 150/200 Seiten wird es allerdings ein bisschen repetitiv.

Hannah: You just summarize the rest of it then and I’ll read the first 150 pages.

Jeroen: Oh, der Rest des Buches geht mehr ins Detail. Ich habe das Buch im Grunde genommen zusammengefasst.

Hannah: Perfekt. Ich werde das ├╝bernehmen.

Jeroen: Letzte Frage. Wenn Sie noch einmal von vorne anfangen m├╝ssten, was w├╝rden Sie anders machen?

Hannah: Ich h├Ątte Ali Mayham, unseren Director of Customer Success, ausfindig gemacht und gefunden.

If I ever had to start a business again, it would be with Dan and Ali. So Dan’s my current Co-Founder, and Ali has become the third Founder. She came to work with us maybe when we were a year in. She has brought so much to this business from a customer success point of view.

So there’s no way, if I started over again, I would do it without having her there because it’s just bought the company so much.

Jeroen: Yeah, it’s all about the team for you.

Hannah: Yeah, oh my gosh. It is so all about the team. I’ve made a few wrong hires along the way, and that has a lot of impact — not just on you and the business, but on the team around you as well. You don’t realize often how someone’s who’s not a great fit has an impact on everyone around them as well. So yeah, that’s what I do differently. I’d get three co-founders and go from there.

Jeroen: Yeah, cool. Well, that’s all I got for our coffee session today! Thank you for being on Founder Coffee. It was really great to have you.

Hannah: I really enjoyed it. Did you finish your coffee? I think I’ve got a bit left that’s gone cold.

Jeroen: Meiner ist fertig, ja.

Hannah: Oh, gut gemacht. Vielen Dank, dass ich dabei sein durfte.

Jeroen: Thank you and I’ll see you soon!



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