June 13, 2023

Disrupting the Status Quo: Gated’s Approach to Continuous Improvement

Have you ever wanted to tune out the noise in your email inbox?  

Most of us would love to take a break from email from time to time, but it’s easier said than done. This was a dilemma that Andy Mowat had, which led him to start Gated, a unique solution to cut through the noise to find the conversations that truly matter. 

Tune in to the latest episode of Built Right, where Andy and host Matt Paige discuss user-focused strategies and rethinking communication in the digital age. Uncover valuable insights on solving problems, iterating quickly, and maintaining a user-centric approach to product development.  

Keep reading for some takeaways from the episode or check out the full discussion below. 

What is strategy? 

For Andy, strategy is about being clearly focused on a single problem or opportunity. In Gated’s case, it’s all about building a tool that anybody can use. That means Gated’s strategy is focused on understanding user behavior and figuring out how to solve their problems. 

The team at Gated is in agreement that strategy is about understanding the problem you’re trying to solve versus developing features and figuring out how to deliver them to users.  

How Gated began from a common frustration 

Known as “noise canceling headphones for your email,” the idea for Gated came from Andy’s frustration with the number of irrelevant emails he was receiving each day. He started to reply to emails saying, “if you want to Venmo me 10 cents, I’ll pay attention to it,” and put that money into his nonprofit as a donation.  

That was the bare-bones version of Gated, which Andy built in AirTable before hiring developers to enhance the product.  

Gated’s mission to change the world of communication 

Gated’s mission is one that a lot of people can get behind. Many of us would love a way to cut through the noise in our email inboxes, and Gated offers a neat solution.  

Most people can’t afford to detach themselves from email completely, so Gated offers a way around that.  

Andy says that their mission is to “change the world of communication.” Rather than letting everyone flood your inbox, DMs, LinkedIn chats and Slack messages, it guides people to engage with topics that you truly care about.  

The idea of Gated is so unique and unheard of, we asked Andy how you can drive change and get people to adopt something so foreign to them. For Andy, this is about more than getting people to sign up for yet another digital tool. It’s about creating a cultural moment where people can articulate what they’re really interested in to try and drive more relevant online conversations. 

This benefits people in two ways – not only does it help the person being contacted, it also helps the person reaching out to communicate more effectively and avoid wasting time. 

If you can get a clearer understanding of how you prefer to engage and be engaged, you can set those boundaries with others. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone, you can start to cultivate more meaningful conversations as a result.  

Building a product that people love 

For those involved in product design, there is a constant balance between building a product that is financially viable and can be monetized, and creating a tool that users love. In an ideal world, a product will achieve both things.  

Andy’s mission with Gated is to change the world of communication – and he strongly believes that if you can change the world, “there are a lot of interesting ways you can make money from it.” 

The way Andy’s team looks at monetization is first, to make sure people use it, love it, and that it can drive change. The second job is to figure out how you can get people to pay and to make the product go viral.  

How to get customer discovery and engagement right 

With any digital product, you need to prioritize customer discovery and engagement. This is something that Andy takes very seriously and leads by example as CEO. 

If Andy sees an interesting person has made a donation through Gated, he will drop a note to thank them and to ask for feedback on anything they could improve. This is how you can draw people into believing in your product and turn people into customer advocates.  

Andy has spent a lot of his career asking himself: how do you use data in a product to trigger the right actions in your team? With better technology and AI, you can start to automate some of those actions and decisions – even when it comes to customer engagement.  

A common mistake that businesses make is leaving customer engagement as an afterthought. Meanwhile, Andy has built this into Gated’s workflow and developed a system for continuous discovery.  

Making the hard calls as a product CEO 

Another mistake that Andy sees companies make is a reluctance to make the hard decisions. Companies are eager to keep everyone happy and will over-promise and spend much of the team’s time on developing more and more features.  

But leading a product is also about knowing when to “kill stuff.”  

Andy believes that very few companies have an architect/product person who is empowered to make those hard decisions – but this is something Andy wanted to avoid with Gated. 

Being able to make hard decisions is core to a successful product strategy, says Andy. 

To hear more about Gated, how it started, and Andy’s insights into building a product, tune in to the full episode today. Subscribe to Built Right for more engaging conversations that will help you build the right products the right way! 

Matt Paige: Today we’re chatting with my friend Andy Mowat, CEO of Gated, and we’re gonna go deep into the land of product strategy today through the lens of Andy’s experience in building gated, as well as some past experience at big name companies that you all will recognize. But before we jump in, Andy would love for you to provide a brief intro. You know who you are, what do you do, some of your past experience to 

Andy Mowat: kick. Yeah, absolutely Matt. Great to see. I historically have scaled companies up to, large scales. I’ve taken Upwork. Box and most recently CultureAmp to unicorn status. Periodically I start something from scratch and I’m doing that right now. I’m running gated gated. The original product takes unknown email outta your inbox and challenges people to think Hey, is your attention worthwhile? And as we talked about we’re launching in a couple weeks, which probably is launched by the time we talk here our new right platform, which is helping people. Take control of their attention on all platforms. We’ll dive into that.

Matt: Yeah, so excited to get into this and there’s some nice kind of meaty pivots along the way throughout the journey, kinda leading to this new gated 2.0 here. But I wanna start with, a meaty kind of meta question here. And how would you define strategy? This is such a, I think, a nebulous question sometimes, and feel free to jump into examples from past experience, but how, in your mind, what is strategy? 

Andy: I think it’s being as clearly focused on a single problem or opportunity as possible. For us, when we’re building a tool that anybody can use. It’s understanding user behavior really well and then figuring out how to do that. It’s, and this kind of goes counter to my approach, but our ctl Allen’s very passionate about it, which is it’s understanding what’s the problem you’re trying to solve versus Yeah. The features, and then, yeah, figuring out how do you deliver the right solution to that problem.

Matt: Yeah, it’s perfect. It’s that element of choice, right? And making a decision and being deliberate. About where you’re going. And I, that’s missed so many times. I think in strategy. That’s what I love about, gated, you’re very focused in who you serve and which what you’re doing there. Another element though that I love about gated is this element of the manifesto. Yeah. And your view of the market. And it kind of encapsulates your strategy in a sense, in this kind of narrative format. But with, I would love to, you. Give your overview, your take on leveraging something like that to help convey your strategy. 

Andy: Yeah, I think we spent a couple months iterating on the manifesto. If people haven’t seen.com/manifesto, I think it helps people understand what the company’s trying to accomplish. And I think, you probably, I don’t know when you encounter a manifesto versus when you first learned about gated. I think if you’re like, okay, it’s just a tool you’re gonna do I need the tool or not? But I think a lot of people have also really gravitated towards like the change we’re trying to bring in the world, which is like communications less noisy, more personal and all of those things. For me, I think with the original manifesto came from the concept of not everyone can use our original email product, but everyone should believe in the mission we’re trying to accomplish. I think as we launched this new platform, literally anyone can use it, which is fun. And so we’re rethinking the manifesto, but it’s just small tweaks. But, it doesn’t fundamentally change, but it guides the decisions we make on the product. And so we take it very seriously and it’s not a, here’s three bullet points on a webpage. It’s it’s an interactive kind of flowing manifest.

Matt: That’s what I love about it. It puts your stance, your viewpoint in the market. And you mentioned like how I found out about I’m a great, a user gated now. I love it. I remember I saw y’all put something out there around noise canceling headphones for your email and that kind of just clicked for me. It’s actually how we first engaged and interacted. But it just clicked, which is awesome. But I want to get into gated, and this is a really interesting. Where y’all first started and where you’re moving towards. So we’d love, maybe start there with the where did gated originate? Where did you first come up with this idea? And then we can get into where it’s going, which I think is really the exciting spot. You’re l you’re learning from customer behavior as you go and talking to customers and iterating on the product. 

Andy: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve sent billions of emails. I’ve caused a lot of pain. Probably a lot of your listeners. Sitting there saying Godammit, all those emails I think I’ve sent push send on like 8 billion emails or my teams hat, right? And so we’re all guilty, right? I know all the hacks. I was sitting there at a series E company and I was just getting blown up. I wake up every morning and I was the buyer for a lot of tools and People would ping me and I was just like, God damnit. Like this stuff’s irrelevant most of the time. And so I wrote an email and said, I don’t know you. Here’s my Venmo. If you wanna Venmo me 10 cents, I’ll pay attention to it. And then I threw on my nonprofit. It was like, Hey, if you want to donate to my nonprofit, but people started donating, like they started donating like 10 bucks, 20 bucks off of 10 cent As, I’m like, this is interesting. I gave it to a lot of friends and they’re like, man, this changed my email inbox. So that’s the original product. I think what we’ve learned in the, so we’ve got tens of thousands of users that are using it and passionate. Yeah. But I think we’ve also, 

Matt: and I wanna pause there real quick, Andy, just on that point, super interesting. Just for the audience. Like the key thing I get from that is you noticed a pain point in the market in verse going into a hole and, trying to build something out for months on end. It’s like the best example of a… You put your Venmo in his email, 

Andy: kinda iterate there and Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So I built the first version in Air Table and, actually I built the first version, I just sent my demo in. Then I was, yeah, exactly. Then I built it in Air Table in Zer. Then I like hired a young kid to code it up and then I finally was like, okay, I need to get some actual developers. Yeah, and, it’s, and so I, it was more just a side hobby for a while until people be like, Hey can you so yeah, that’s, that was it was a lot of fun, but I wasn’t looking at it as what’s the market problem? I’m more looking at what’s bugging the crap outta me? 

Matt: Yeah. I love, it’s such a good point. It’s solve your own problems is such a good starting point. And you had this hypothesis of, okay, maybe this could be a mechanism to do that. And you did it in an early kind of quick, iterative way. It’s such a great, just lesson for folks out there building digital solutions. Start there, start small, start to it. But yeah. So you’re at this point, you’re starting to get some traction with this initial kind of idea, iteration of gated. So what comes next from there? 

Andy: Yeah, so we’ve, as I said, we’ve got like tens of thousands of users using it, loving it. But I think we, our vision is how do we change the world of communication? And I think the insight we’ve had in your user of the original product is there are people that can afford to just turn off the noise and. But most of us can’t. Most of us need to live in that noise, see that opportunity. And so our new platform is focused on helping people surface the right conversations out of the noise. So our fundamental thesis is this, on the new platform it’s hard to filter email after it’s been set. And everyone lines up and they just, and I’m talking not just email, but email, LinkedIn, dm, slack messages. And the problem is everyone can reach you on all these places. They, some places are like, oh, you’ve gotta be connected to me to reach people. But we all get the LinkedIn invite, it’s random that we don’t know and we have to deal with this. So our thesis is instead of letting people just blow you, Let’s guide people to engage around the topics that you care about. Yeah, so we believe you should be as available as possible for the things you want to talk about. And for the rest of this stuff, no. And so we are building a universal link. So you can get gated.com/. If it’s not taken, if it is, we can talk about this call. I gotta get that one early. Yeah. If it’s not, I’ll give it to you and if not we can get you page or something like that. There you go. And so you get that and you can, we can help you articulate what you’re focused on, keep it updated, and then let people that want to communicate with you around those things, regardless of whether you’re linked into them or connected to them or they have your email or anything, be as available as possible for the right opportu. Yeah. And the rest of this stuff, people gotta go figure out a different way to reach you. And so that’s what we’re building and that’s what data is all about going forward. Yeah. It’s such 

Matt: a real pain point out there in the market. A lot of ways we like to think about it, the, person that’s brought this out into the world, the Marty Kagan thinking around valuable, viable, and feasible. You’re hitting that valuable point head on. Cuz I know everybody listening has experienced this, especially our product in engineering. Folks who get inundated with emails, they could care less about. One interesting thing though, this is not something that’s just commonplace. You could even argue this is more kind of category creation lens, but what you’re combating, I feel in a lot of ways is just the status quo. They’ve always done it this way, and you’re looking to break a habit, which is difficult. I think it’s probably one of the. Under considered things, when you’re building a solution that’s driving a change in habit, how do you actually go about driving that change and getting people to adopt it when it’s something maybe a little more foreign or unknown to them? 

Andy: Yeah, I think you gotta, you gotta, we talk about creating the cultural moment. So when we’re launching, whether this podcast drops before or after that you. Wake people up and be like, whoa, that’s interesting. That’s different, right? With the original email product, people are like, wait a second I’m getting this email when I sent you an email because I don’t know you. It’s forcing me to think, I think with this new one, we won’t be like interrupting the flow of communications more way for the good stuff to rise above it. We’re launching with, tons of leading people that are sitting there saying, like, when you ask me Matt Andy, how can I help? I’m not doing a good job of articulating that right now. So we, if we can put that on everyone’s LinkedIn profiles, put it in people’s emails, we can start to, people be like, Hey, like what is this thing? And I see all of the other people like Matt articulating really well now, what he’s interested in and how I can help him. Like how do I get that? So yeah, it’s gonna be interesting, like we’re pushing the bounds of communication, but I think rather than there’s a better world out there, right? Which, I show up and I see you and I figure out like email, LinkedIn, dm, slack, whatever, and I’m like, here’s what I wanna send. Or even worse. Here’s what the AI tool that I use decided that it wants to send. Yeah. Copy and paste that. And so I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Like we’re taking a big swing at communication and we think that there is a better way, which is let’s be, it comes down to the in, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but like the concept of. How do you want to engage? How do I want you to engage with me? Yeah. And we’re helping our users articulate that, right? I always love, I’ve written my own user manual. I’m like, how do I work? I love that. And there’s, it’s like when you join a company, like here’s our norms, here’s how we work, here’s how we wanna engage. And so I think that concept of let’s just not. Punching bags for somebody else, but let’s have our own gate. That helps people understand how we want to engage and on what topics I think becomes interesting. And so hopefully people listen to this get excited about that vision for a better world of communication and go get your gated profile. It’s it’s free. I think over time people are like how are you gonna make money in, on the original product we charged the sender. Here. I think we see, if we can change communication the right way and create the value. There’s lots of fun ways to like power features for power users type of thing.

Matt: Yeah, and it’s interesting, it’s not, maybe the traditional two-sided marketplace type of solution, but providing those kind of rules of engagement doesn’t just serve you as the person that people are trying to reach out to. It also serves the person trying to do the outreach, think of how more, optimized, I guess their outreach can be. If they know who they’re reaching out to and understanding how they want to be engaged, what they’re interested in. So you’re serving both sides of the market. You kinda have your core user over here. That person performing the outreach is very much probably in your consideration set, I’m sure as you’re building out gated.

Andy: Yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s, with the original product it was all about like how you stop people selling you things Here. I think it’s like, how do you actually get the people. They’re maybe in your peripheral tangential network to know how they can help you, right? There are probably people you’re trying to meet every day, right? Like for me, I look at it as I, in addition to like my core day job, like I love helping like high like revenue leaders that are trying to competition things. And if I, if there’s a half an hour call, like I love helping you help vice versa. Like how do we help each other? And so I think there’s a lot of those conversations we’re all trying to have that we haven’t articulated well. And you and I haven’t chatted in a little while and I don’t even know what are the types of people you’d want to meet and all that stuff. So I think there’s, yeah, it’s the sales people, which is the original product. But we also like forcing sales people to pay, like only creates so much value, right? Like they’re still trying to save. Yeah. Yeah. But helping people understand the topics you want to connect on is a much more powerful plan. 

Matt: Yeah, that’s interesting. So it’s deeper than just this transactional. Type of piece. It’s like, how are meeting and growing and working and networking with other people. It’s more than just the transactional level. Yeah. I love that. 

Andy: I, when I go on LinkedIn I know who Matt is. Yeah. I know what Matt’s done, but I don’t know what Matt wants to connect on and talk about. 

Matt: Yeah. No, that’s perfect. One piece that’s really interesting, this ties back to strategy and good strategy, and I heard you mention. There’s been this change in the market very recently. This, rise of generative ai. And it’s just changing things in terms of making it even that much more easy for people to spam, reach out to folks and just go crazy with it. I think that’s an element of good strategies when you. Tie what you’re trying to do to a change in the market, an inflection point in the market, and I think that’s an interesting piece. Maybe speak on that some. Just the element of strategy and being able to leverage market trends and things 

Andy: going on. Yeah. I see three major trends that we’re thinking about. Yeah. One is the proliferation channels, right? Hey. You need to join this Slack group this Discord channel. You gotta be on TikTok now or whatever. It’s, yeah. And so you’ve gotta to be able to be successful, like you keep getting pulled to more channels. Every single channel is dying, right? Like it’s, aI will kill every single channel. Over time. If you’re not overwhelmed by LinkedIn, you soon will be. Yeah. And then the final one that’s really been the most nuanced for us is the barriers to reach. Are being shattered, right? So every morning you wake up, you get like a couple to, maybe for me it’s 10 or 15, like LinkedIn invites from people. I don’t know. And I gotta decide, do I want to accept them and have them live in my dms forever or do I wanna ignore them? And it’s like that whole concept that’s a really interesting one we spend a lot of time thinking about, which is, it doesn’t feel like the right way to decide, do I wanna have a conversation? I haven’t decided if I wanna let you in forever. And so I think LinkedIn’s there’s an interesting trend where it’s become more of a social graph than like actually people, and yeah, that’s, that is it’s hurt them, but it’s just changed the world. So we spend a lot of time thinking about what are those trends? And then how do we take it, how do we position our plots in the right way? 

Matt: Yeah the other piece I heard you touched on too, this focus of building the experience and a product user’s love versus the focus on mod monetization. What’s your thoughts on that, especially early on in terms of trying to get scale and all of that? You wanna create a viable business that’s gotta be part of the roadmap in some way. But what’s your take. 

Andy: Yeah, I’ve learned a lot on that one. I think we gotta, 

Matt: I bet with Upwork and Box and all those I’m sure. Yeah. Past experience. 

Andy: I think it’s interesting. Like we’ve, we went, we have a very interesting model with our original product, right? Which is users get it for free. We take a percentage of the sender donations and fine for that. I think, that is, it’s a very innovative revenue model. And it. As we move to the new one, like that model doesn’t apply as much. And so what I look at is, I guess I’m in it to change the world. And I think if you can change the world, there are a lot of interesting ways you can make money on it. At the same time, like I’m conscious, there are products like Loom, right? Like it’s my favorite example of I freaking loved them. It was a hundred million people used the damn thing. And then. They got their pricing model and they were like, okay, now you’re using an infant, and then we gotta roll that back. Yeah. And I think a lot of people were pissed off and looking for alternative solutions. And so I think the way we think about monetization is first job, make sure people use it, love it, and can try change. Second job is like how you pay, how do you make this thing viral? So you can go change the world. And then if we’re providing value to. And I think that the, so we’ve really defined very early of what are the values with this new product that we can create? And we look at it as three things, and I was just pulling up on my side. One is, in the, in this order, in this like sequence of can we help you articulate the topics you care about and keep them current. I think that’s a subtle thing, but it’s, it’s hard to keep current. You go on your LinkedIn or your, your GitHub or whatever, and. This was me two years ago, or I’ve never updated this thing. Can we give you peace of mind of not checking other channels and can we help you make like new and valuable connections? If we can do those things, I think there’ll be a subset of people that will value it enough to pay for it, or we are, they like, Hey, if I’m using it for these things, get this one additional feature. So I think I look at it as you have to have a philosophy, and this is what we’ve been talking about internally, a philosophy of what would be a paid feature and what would not And yeah, also not dumping everything out there of every feature on day one. Keeping it very narrowly focused. Like I looked at a tangential comp and I was like, man, they got everything. Like it’s and so I think it’s, how do you keep it very simple solutions focused on one use case versus everything under the sun and then, You don’t need to bring additional functionality and charge for it versus trying to reel functionality back, which Ishmm like Loom did and I think it went down pretty badly.

Matt: Yeah. An interesting point you mentioned that I was chatting with the CTO O of Hockey stack the other day on one of our built right episodes, and they hit this inflection point. They’d built this product and they’re doing their customer research, which is something y’all do an awesome job at gated. But they had this insight where the person was like, I don’t want to use 90% of this solution, but this 10%, this is what I need. And they actually cut the bloat out of the pro product, created hyperfocus in this one area and it just drove a lot of their growth. But I heard you mentioning, focusing in on kind of core use cases a super interesting area there. One thing y’all do at gated, though, I always see you out there wanting to talk to more customers, more users. Yes. How do you weave that into your process? It’s such a big thing. We do AtWork with continuous discovery, but I think you’re one of the better added, especially, leading a company as a C E O.

Andy: Oh, thanks man. I appreciate that. That is, I’ve gotten an article on my LinkedIn profile about it. I can I can drop it. Sisi I call we, you don’t need to put it in the show notes there. Yeah. I’ll send it to you. But it’s a customer advocacy playbook. I think I look at it as, first off, the product has way, like interesting moments of joy and excitement. And then we can build little things off of it of awesome, you’ve got this really, we saw a $250 donation off a $2 ask last week. We’re like, yeah, hey that’s pretty cool. And we can reach out and we can talk to people. So I think it’s like engineering the product where there’s opportunities to connect with users and then building the motions to be able to do that. I don’t know when you and I first connected, but you probably had a fun donation or something, or like one of our teams. Hey Matt, congrats. And you’re like, ah, that’s awesome. And then you’re like, you ideally the product creates joy and then you can start a conversation around that. And, I’ll be candid, like we’ve templatized some of those things, right? I, yeah. Have this fun thing where if I see an interesting person make a donation through our, just feeds through Slack all day long. And if I’m like, wow, that one was cool, I’ll drop an be like, need to see your donation via gated. And people will be like, oh my God, I love this thing. I’d be like, okay, cool. I think I literally have a follow up feedback, which. Awesome. Thanks so much. We love feedback do you have anything that you’d improve? And people like, yeah. You bring ’em in, you throw ’em in, then you can turn ’em into advocates. And so there’s a lot of, I don’t know where I developed it, but I’m really passionate about engaging customers. Now there’s a balance to it too, right? You want your product to do that all. And we haven’t built that all into the original product and on day one, we’re not gonna build it all into the other ones. So it’s like the how do. This is what I’ve spent a lot of my career on. Which is how do you use data in product Yeah. To trigger the right team actions. And then over time, like with technology and ai, you can start on automate more and more of those things. Yeah. I don’t wanna 

Matt: pause, pause there. Anybody passively listening right now? This is your indicator to, to heighten your sense. But the piece you did there, you identified these triggers in, your user’s journey and you systematized actually talking to those users. So you’ve almost built this operating model or system for continuous discovery, which is a great way to do it cuz everybody says they want to talk to customers, but if you don’t consciously think about it, it’ll fall to the wayside with everything going on. So that is critical. I think you’ve identified. At what points, what inflection points are great opportunities to talk to customers and learn. And you built a kind of a system around it. It doesn’t have to be, some over-engineered thing, but you have these inflection points. So that’s super interesting there. Maybe the last point to get into here you start, you’re making this pivot in essence with gated. How do you think, in terms of making a pivot what is. What’s going through your mind where you decide, okay, we gotta make a change. You’ve probably been through some pivots in your career in the past. Is there any similarities you’ve seen through them When a pivot’s ready to happen, different things happening at the same time anything around a pivot in general that just kind of triggers in your mind where it’s more than just a small tweak, it’s something found. 

Andy: Yeah, it’s interesting, like generally I am growing companies really rapidly, right? Like my sweet spot. 5 million, hundred million sales. This is a little earlier stage than I’ve played before. I think for me it’s more if you see the friction in the growth motion, which, for us, I think we’ve built a to people love. Yeah. But it’s, not everyone can sign up for the original email product. And so what we said is, Can we change the world? And if we can’t with the original product, like we’re still gonna keep it over here, but like what? Like we’re always thinking of like, how do we get this to go to millions of people and drive that impact? And so yeah. I don’t think I’ve come across the pivots before on the product side. I think I’ve definitely encountered other things where okay, like we’re not growing fast enough. What else? What other products can we add? But I think here, I guess I would say. I’m conscious you can’t like, keep adding to the product bloat. And so we’re very much like on that day, in mid-May, the new platform will be our focus and yeah, that’s really important. And the existing platform will be there for the original users. We’re not gonna kill it, but I think, so for me it’s being comfortable making those shifts. If you took it maybe a step like. Every company I’ve ever been at has struggled with. We can’t ship more stuff. It’s hire 10 more engineers. You get no more growth no, no more product features. And so I remember I was talking to this dude at Facebook, I was like, man, you guys are constantly innovating. And this is eight years ago, right? And he’s yeah. What’s your secret? He’s we make the hard. And so I was like, okay, gimme an example. He’s messenger. And at the time, I actually still used Facebook and I was like, yeah, I freaking hate how now I have an app for Facebook and an app for Messenger. And he’s I know. We knew it would piss some people off, but by doing that we got the ability to move a lot faster with both products. And so what I’ve seen consistently within companies is they’re afraid to make the hard decision. And yeah, I, in my historical world, it’s go to market changes. And I think within product, which I’ve always been partnered deeply with product, it’s the hard architectural decisions, right? So everyone wants to make everybody happy. They do. It’s let’s add this feature. But no one’s saying, okay we have to kill stuff. And I think that very few c. Have that architect slash product person that’s empowered to make those hard calls. And that’s exactly what we’re doing here, right? Which is we built a product that people absolutely love. I think we send 700,000 challenge emails a month and the world knows about us, and we’re gonna blow it all up to change the world in an even bigger way and bring a new platform. 

Matt: And you just hit on one of the core elements of strategy right there. It’s being willing to make those. Decisions and many aren’t. And that’s where people fail. That is so core to strategy is being able to do that. So hats off to y’all for doing that. And the other thing I heard too, is it tied back to where you wanted to go. Tying back to the manifesto, the impact you wanted to make, and you realized we can’t do that with where we are today, so we need to make a change. So it, it ties back to that thread of where you want to go, what you want to do. And it’s just the core elements of strategy being executed really nicely. I’m really enjoying the journey here. Last question for you Andy. I’d like to finish up on this one. What’s something you wish you knew Cerner? Something you could go back in time and tell your former self, and I’ll leave this open-ended. You can take it anywhere you want, whether it’s on the product side, engineering side at go to market side. What’s one thing. 

Andy: You would tell your former self with gated? I think what it would be we saw massive early user love and we’re like, great hire. I think in retrospect, I would hold back on hiring and I see this across the board people like, let’s hire a huge sales team, or let’s hire a huge this or that. I think it would’ve held back on the hiring until we were like, we literally can’t deal with the deluge. Because then I think it would’ve given us the ability to. Iterate faster and all that stuff. And so for us, we probably staffed up early for the growth. We definitely had some, but we didn’t have like millions and millions of users on the original product. And so I think for us, as we personnel we’re like, how lean and mean can we be? Yeah. And for as long as we possibly can. And yeah, so that’s, I think it’s a, it’s also like the world has changed, right? Two years ago. Like when we raised money and when every company raised money, it was like you had infinite capital. And yeah, it was available right across the board. I see it on product. I see it on in, I see it on sales teams. I see it. And I think the world is changing. Now. Will there be another mad rush of this in a couple years where everyone’s go spend it as much as you can? Probably, yes. Yeah, but I think it’s a discipline that I took away. Yeah. I 

Matt: love that. So it’s almost go lean and mean until it’s painful or until it hurts that you it’s, yeah, you gotta have that pain point, right? Yeah. That’s great. Andy, I appreciate the conversation today. Thanks for joining Bil Wright. Have a good rest of 

Andy: your day. Thank you, Matt. Great talking. I’d say last thing I would say is 

Matt: yeah, where can people find you? Yeah, that’s a great point. I missed that. Where can people find you? How about they find gated gated.com?

Andy: We, you can go there, you can find it over the, in kind of mid-May new product will be available. And check out the website and if people wanna email me you can andy gated.com. And if you don’t know me, you’ll still get an ask for a donation. 

Matt: Yeah, and I’m a  user of gated, one of the early adopters of it. Love the product. Can’t wait to see where it’s going next. So you’ll definitely check this tool out. It’s a great one. gated.com. Thanks Andy.

Andy: Thank you, Matt.

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