Hannah Chaplin de Receptive

Café du fondateur épisode 008

Je suis Jeroen de Salesflare et voici Founder Coffee.

Toutes les deux semaines, je prends un caf√© avec un fondateur diff√©rent. Nous discutons de notre vie, de nos passions, de ce que nous avons appris, ... dans le cadre d'un entretien intime, pour apprendre √† conna√ģtre la personne qui se cache derri√®re l'entreprise.

Pour ce huitième épisode, j'ai discuté avec Hannah Chaplin, cofondatrice de Receptive, le logiciel qui rationalise votre gestion de produits. Hannah a commencé par travailler comme réceptionniste dans une entreprise de logiciels, puis elle a fondé une agence de développement et, depuis, elle a dirigé plusieurs entreprises de SaaS et de commerce électronique.

Nous discutons des entreprises SaaS les plus brillantes, de l'importance du retour d'information et de l'apprentissage des utilisateurs, des vertus du GDPR et de la façon dont nous en sommes arrivés là.

Bienvenue à Founder Coffee.


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Jeroen : Bonjour Hannah, c'est un plaisir de vous recevoir sur Founder Coffee.

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

Jeroen : Oui, moi aussi de mon c√īt√©.

Hannah : Parfait.

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

Hannah : Oui, pourriez-vous mettre un peu de musique à mi-parcours ? Pour que les gens puissent l'écouter pendant qu'on se prépare un verre ?

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 : En gros, vous recueillez les commentaires, vous les organisez, vous les reliez aux fonctionnalités et vous donnez la priorité à la future feuille de route. C'est bien cela ?

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!

Nous veillons √† ce que les gens soient tenus au courant et √† ce qu'ils comprennent o√Ļ en sont les choses. En un seul clic, vous pouvez voir ce que veulent les entreprises clientes en Allemagne par rapport aux utilisateurs de la version d'essai gratuite. Par exemple, vous pouvez voir de tr√®s belles donn√©es d√©coup√©es en tranches et en d√©s pour vous aider √† d√©cider ce qui doit figurer sur la feuille de route de votre produit.

Jeroen : Et êtes-vous connecté d'une manière ou d'une autre à d'autres outils ?

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.

D'autre part, nous nous int√©grons √©galement √† des outils tels que JIRA. Ainsi, dans Receptive, si vous acceptez de poursuivre la construction d'une des fonctionnalit√©s sugg√©r√©es par un retour d'information, la t√Ęche est automatiquement cr√©√©e pour l'√©quipe de d√©veloppement.

Cela fonctionne également dans l'autre sens. Le réceptif est donc toujours à jour !

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

Hannah : Tout à fait.

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 : Oui. Vous avez dit que vous organisiez des choses dans Trello auparavant, était-ce dans une autre entreprise ?

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 : Pouvez-vous nous présenter les différentes start-ups que vous avez créées ?

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

Jeroen : Oh non, allez-y !

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.

J'ai donc cr√©√© une agence de d√©veloppement et nous avions l'habitude de r√©unir des √©quipes techniques et de travailler avec de grandes agences de marque √† Londres. Nous d√©veloppions et mettions en Ňďuvre l'aspect technique de leurs projets.

Ensuite, nous avons eu une entreprise de syst√®me de contr√īle des stocks, qui √©tait comme un produit SaaS. C'est de l√† que sont venues de nombreuses id√©es pour Receptive. Entre ces deux projets, j'ai beaucoup travaill√© dans le domaine du commerce √©lectronique. Je dirigeais une entreprise sp√©cialis√©e dans le d√©veloppement du commerce √©lectronique, qui utilisait de grandes plates-formes Gentoo.

C'est un mélange de choses, vraiment. Mais que des logiciels !

Jeroen : Tous les logiciels, d'accord.

Hannah : Oui.

Jeroen : Si vous étiez dans ce genre de choses, pourquoi avez-vous commencé comme réceptionniste ?

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

Jeroen : Qu'avez-vous étudié ?

Hannah : A l'école ? Toutes sortes de choses.

Je faisais de la musique, de l'économie, de la politique, des études commerciales et aussi du sport. Je n'avais donc aucune idée de ce que je voulais faire à ce moment-là. Saviez-vous que vous vouliez créer une entreprise ?

Jeroen : En quelque sorte, oui. En fait, j'ai su que j'allais devenir ing√©nieur √† l'√Ęge de 10 ans environ.

Hannah : Vraiment ?

Jeroen : Oui, et c'est parce que mes parents, en particulier mon père, qui était un ingénieur pur et dur, ont toujours dirigé des départements de recherche et développement. C'était un ingénieur pur et dur, qui a toujours dirigé des départements de recherche et développement. Je savais donc que j'allais devenir ingénieur, et je savais aussi que je voulais avoir ma propre entreprise.

D√®s l'√Ęge de 15 ans environ, j'ai commenc√© √† cr√©er des sites web et je r√™vais d√©j√† d'avoir ma propre agence web. Il n'y a jamais eu de v√©ritable doute √† ce sujet. J'ai toujours d√©test√© l'id√©e d'aller travailler dans une grande entreprise. En fait, c'est ce que j'ai fait !

Hannah : Tu l'as fait ?

Jeroen : Oui.

Hannah : Comment était-ce ? C'était affreux ?

Jeroen : Oh, c'était vraiment horrible. Je l'ai fait pendant dix mois, mais je l'ai détesté dès le début. J'ai eu un autre emploi au bout de huit mois, et je l'ai quitté également au bout de dix mois. En fait, j'ai commencé chez Baxter, si vous connaissez cette société.

Hannah : Non. Il s'agit donc d'une entreprise que vous avez créée après avoir travaillé 10 mois pour une grande organisation ?

Jeroen : Non. C'était les 10 mois. Les 10 mois étaient à Baxter.

Hannah : Oh oui, d'accord.

Jeroen: It’s a pharma company.

Hannah : Qu'est-ce qui vous a déplu ?

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 : Oui, cela rend la vie professionnelle difficile.

Jeroen : Oui.

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 : Oui.

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 : Quoi qu'il en soit, il semble que vous ayez des intérêts très variés. Avez-vous combiné toutes ces études, ou comment cela s'est-il passé ?

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, d'accord.

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

Jeroen : L'aspect commercial peut-être ?

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 : Vous avez donc plusieurs dipl√īmes ?

Hannah : Juste une. Oh mon Dieu, je n'étudie plus.

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?

Qu'avez-vous étudié ?

Jeroen : En fait, j'ai commencé comme ingénieur en électronique. Ensuite, j'ai suivi un master en ingénierie biomédicale. Ensuite, j'ai fait une école de commerce.

Hannah : Donc, comme vous l'avez dit, en vous lan√ßant dans l'ing√©nierie, en voulant faire cela tr√®s t√īt, j'imagine qu'il √©tait √©vident de cr√©er votre propre entreprise ?

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.

Je me suis dit que la meilleure façon d'y parvenir était probablement de devenir chef de produit dans une entreprise. Comme j'ai étudié l'ingénierie biomédicale, j'ai pensé à une entreprise pharmaceutique. Et je me suis trompé.

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 : Exactement. Avez-vous été influencé par votre famille d'une manière ou d'une autre ?

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.

Vous souvenez-vous de l'Atari ? J'ai eu un Atari √† l'√Ęge de six ans.

Jeroen : J'avais aussi un Atari.

Hannah : En avez-vous eu un ? Oui.

Jeroen : Mon père en avait un. Mais en fin de compte, il est resté dans ma chambre.

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

Jeroen : Oui. Même quand j'étais tout petit, on me mettait toujours en garde contre certaines choses. Mon père construisait des ordinateurs qui commençaient toujours par un lecteur de cassettes.

Hannah : Wow.

Jeroen : Oui.

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.

Mais on ne sait jamais. Comme je l'ai dit, j'ai grandi sans trop réfléchir à ce que je voulais faire.

Jeroen : Quel √Ęge ont-ils d√©j√† ?

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

Jeroen : Les tours huit et six, et ils programment déjà ?

Hannah : Eh bien, juste avec Scratch. Mais on apprend les bases de l'informatique en construisant de petits jeux. As-tu utilisé Scratch ?

Jeroen : Non, non.

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 là là.

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 : Oui.

Jeroen : Connaissez-vous d'autres fondateurs de start-ups qui vous ont inspiré, et pourquoi ?

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 : Absolument.

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.

Qu'en est-il de vous ? Avez-vous un réseau étroit de personnes autour de vous à qui vous parlez également ?

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. Eh bien, voilà !

Jeroen : C'était aussi le cas en Belgique.

Hannah : Tu te lances ! Pourquoi ne pas le faire ?

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 : Quelles sont vos ambitions pour Receptive ? Quelle est votre vision de l'avenir ?

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 : Non.

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 : Mais à long terme, que faites-vous ?

Hannah : C'est une bonne question.

Jeroen : Quelle est votre vision ou votre 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 : Dans le produit ou autrement ?

Jeroen : Non, en général. Que faites-vous, en fait ?

Hannah : Cela change tous les jours. Je me retrouve à faire toutes sortes de choses.

Jeroen : Oui.

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 : Oui, je sais.

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.

Mais le r√īle change √©norm√©ment.

Jeroen : Oui. J'évoquais justement les choses qui me donnent de l'énergie. Qu'est-ce qui vous donne l'énergie de continuer ?

Hannah : Il y a plusieurs choses.

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 : Oui, quelle est la distance qui vous sépare de votre travail ?

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 : Oui, des s√©ances d'entra√ģnement tr√®s actives. Je surveille mon rythme cardiaque et d'autres choses pour m'assurer que je fais bien de l'exercice physique. Je pense que cela donne aussi beaucoup d'√©nergie mentale.

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 : C'est dangereux, oui.

Jeroen : Vous restez donc avec votre mari et vos deux enfants ?

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 : Non, je veux dire qu'est-ce qu'il fait comme travail.

Hannah : Ah. Il travaille dans le domaine de l'√©nergie et du d√©veloppement durable pour une grande soci√©t√© immobili√®re. Il fait toutes sortes de choses. Il s'occupe beaucoup du c√īt√© technologique, il √©tudie les diff√©rentes technologies qu'ils peuvent mettre en place dans les b√Ętiments pour les rendre plus efficaces sur le plan √©nerg√©tique.

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 : Oui. En fait, mon beau-père fait la même chose. Nous devrions peut-être les mettre en contact.

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 : Pensez-vous que le moment est bien choisi pour Receptive ou que les gens se préparent encore à professionnaliser leur gestion de produits ?

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.

Je pense donc qu'une certaine traction commence à se manifester, ce qui est très intéressant à voir.

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 : Vous avez dit que vous étiez basé à Londres ?

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

Jeroen : A 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 : Vous survolez souvent le pays ?

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 : Oui. Tant que vous trouvez de bonnes personnes avec qui travailler à Sheffield, je suppose.

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 : Y a-t-il une université ?

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 : C'est vrai, mon Dieu.

Jeroen : Oui.

Hannah : Voilà, une petite ville en Belgique et Sheffield.

Jeroen : Oui, ces endroits sont peut-être même la frontière de la technologie.

Hannah : Oui, on peut le dire de bien des façons, c'est certain.

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 : Non, pas nécessairement au travail, mais en général.

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.

J'ai lu le livre "Play Bigger", qui traite de la conception des catégories.

Jeroen : À propos de quelle conception ?

Hannah : Conception de la catégorie.

Jeroen : C'est vrai.

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 : Oui, exactement. Je recommande donc celui-là.

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 : Oui, ce qui est naturel.

Jeroen : Oui, tout à fait.

Hannah : On se sent en s√©curit√© et on a le contr√īle, je suppose, si on le fait.

Jeroen : Exactement. Mais lorsque vous comprenez cela, cela vous aide d'une certaine manière à ne pas avoir de préjugés bizarres et d'autres choses.

Hannah : Je vais vérifier, merci.

Jeroen : Oui, mais cela devient un peu répétitif après 150/200 pages.

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

Jeroen : Oh, le reste entre dans les détails. J'ai résumé le livre, en gros.

Hannah : Parfait. C'est ce que je vais faire.

Jeroen : Dernière question. Si vous deviez recommencer, qu'auriez-vous fait différemment ?

Hannah : J'aurais recherché et trouvé Ali Mayham, qui est notre directeur de la réussite des clients.

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 : Le mien est terminé, oui.

Hannah : Oh, bravo. Merci beaucoup de m'avoir invitée.

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



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Jeroen Corthout