In this productivity podcast, you will discover important strategies that drive a business forward. Procedures such as the importance of customer feedback to create a product or service that they really need, using automation to speed up repetitive chores, and developing a remote work culture that embraces the team spirit.

Listen in as Peldi explains his thought processes on boosting productivity within his fully remote workplace and reveals the one important skill that everyone needs.

You can find Get More Done on:

Listen to episode 11:

 


In the episode “Productivity podcast: Championing customer feedback and automation,” we discuss:

  • Taking a look at repetitive, time-consuming tasks to see how they can be automated
  • Steps to take to create efficiency so you don’t waste time on things that could be done so much better
  • How to efficiently run a company supporting million-plus customers with six people
  • The importance of building a tight feedback loop with customers so they care about your product and service
  • How to build a multi-generational company by stepping away from it
  • Creating a sense of team spirit and camaraderie when everyone works remotely
  • Building long-term relationships with customers based on mutual trust
  • How transparent customer relationships bolster success

Favorite Quotes

“One important skill everyone should have is a minimum knowledge of a scripting computer. Not programming, just scripting. Just automating those tedious tasks that everybody has to do in their life. Just the other day I had to create 33 spreadsheets that were all similar to each other. And instead of doing it manually, I created a script in an hour and a half, and now forever a test that used to take me two days will take me two minutes. So I wish they would spend more time in high schools teaching people the basics of just plain, boring scripts.” - Peldi


“I find it frustrating when people waste time on things that could be done so much better. And I love seeing people who say, ‘oh my gosh, this is magical. This was so painful and now I can go home and be with my family instead of wasting my time doing it.’ So I love to do it for other people, but I love to do it for myself too.”  -  Peldi


“We listed a number of different efforts that we do for creating a sense of teaminess when everybody's remote. So we do things in person, a company retreat once a year. We haven't done it in person because of COVID the last couple of years, but we've done virtual ones where for a week we get together on Zoom, but not to talk about work. Instead we did an eighties aerobic dance class. We've done facials, spa treatment, yoga classes, meditation classes, a lot of cooking classes.” - Peldi


“We encourage people to take up team sports or team activities like Zumba or whatever group classes rather than individual things. As humans, we really need human interaction. I joined a book club, for instance, and that's where I get my intellectual stimulation and human interaction that is not about business and not about software. I feel over time, we've all learned how to do these kinds of remedies for loneliness. A lot of us have pets. I have a dog with me in the office all day and a lot of employees do as well. So I feel like you start looking for the connection outside of work. I think it's an opportunity for some businesses. This is gonna be more and more of a need for people.” - Peldi

“I have to either have a conversation or write things down in order to really think through things. I can't really predict things in my head without verbalizing them. And so at the beginning, I would blog as a tool to help me think and, genuinely, it was a cry for help from people, ‘anyone who's reading this, please tell me what to do.’ I did it for myself, but also because I believe that every relationship with a customer is like a long-term relationship. And so you wanna base those out of mutual trust.” - Peldi 

Meet today’s guest, Peldi

Photo of Peldi from Balsamiq

Giacomo Guilizzoni is the founder and CEO of Balsamiq, a wireframing tool that speeds up the prototyping process. You may know him by his nickname, Peldi. He moved to America in 2001 after completing his master’s in CS at the University of Bologna. 

Peldi had a five-year plan to squeeze as much knowledge as he possibly could from "corporate USA" before returning to Italy to start something of his own. That something was Balsamiq - the same name as the vinegar but ending with a 'q' instead of a 'c'.

Why launch Balsamiq? 

As Peldi says on his website: "I want to see how much a single person can achieve with an idea, a laptop and the Internet. I want to learn what my limits are. Being the product of just myself, Balsamiq is a tangible representation of ‘the best that I can do,’ which is fascinating to me.

“I want to build software that solves real problems, makes people more productive and elicits powerful feelings. I want Balsamiq to be known for its customer service and I want it to be part of a new breed of startups: small, bootstrapped software companies with big ambitions."

Productivity resources to explore

“Productivity podcast: Championing customer feedback and automation,” full transcript

This transcript has been slightly edited for clarity and readability.

Ben (00:00):

Hey, I'm Ben and you're listening to Get More Done, a YouCanBook.me podcast. Each month YouCanBook.me saves tens of thousands of customers and millions of users time by automating their scheduling needs, avoiding back and forth emails, and miscommunication. Because of this, we wanted to explore other aspects of productivity. Each episode, we talk with business leaders to learn how they do more with less leverage automation and ultimately help their team get more done. On today's episode, I caught up with Giacomo Guilizzoni. You may know him by his nickname, Peldi. Peldi is the founder and CEO of Balsamiq, a wireframing tool that speeds up the prototyping process. During our conversation, we discuss how over the last 14 years his team has used the power of customer feedback to improve Balsamiq and he shares some ideas on how to build a good remote culture. Enjoy.

Ben (00:59):

Welcome back to the Get More Done podcast where we talk about all things productivity, getting things done, and crushing goals. Today I'm sitting down with Peldi from Balsamiq. Peldi, the legendary Peldi, thank you for coming on. It's awesome to talk with you.

Peldi (01:14):

Thank you guys for having me. I'm always excited to support a new podcast.

Ben (01:18):

Yes. Great. And we're happy to have you. So we typically start these conversations with an icebreaker question and this one for you this week is, one, I think, you'll knock out of the park because you've been around and you know so much. So what is one important skill you think everyone should have?

Peldi (01:37):

I think it's a minimum knowledge of a scripting computer, not programming, just scripting, just automating those tedious tasks that everybody has to do in their life. Just the other day I had to create 33 spreadsheets that were all similar to each other. And instead of doing it manually, I created a script in an hour and a half, and now forever a test that used to take me two days will take me two minutes. So I wish they would spend more time in high schools, teaching people the basics of just plain, boring scripts.

Peldi Quote 1

Ben (02:20):

I'm keen to learn more on that. How would I learn more about scripting? What do you recommend? 

Peldi (02:26):

I was thinking about actually looking up if there are any classes dedicated to that because you don't really need all of the knowledge about programming. It's really very procedural, right? Do this and then do this and then do this and this. If you're on an Apple machine, there are tools that allow you to script everything you do on different apps. This particular example was Google Drive. It's called Google Apps Script where you can instrument any Google docs or Google spreadsheets to do stuff. It's really easy and basic. The documentation's actually pretty good. So I guess I would take a look at any repetitive task that you have and see if it can be automated.

Ben (03:26):

That's great advice. I'll be sure to put something up on the blog about where people can get some more information on that because saving time is what we're all about here and, and making it easier for everybody.

Ben (03:38):

So, speaking of efficiency, you've mentioned you've been obsessed with efficiency ever since you were young. So do you have any good stories from when you were a boy of where you've created some process or you've created some efficiency from back in the day?

Peldi (03:53):

Yeah, it's interesting. My wife calls me Rainman sometimes. I think of it as a compliment. I'll tell you one story. When I was maybe 10 or 11, I would go to school on the bus and I had to walk home from the bus stop every day. I could go three different ways and they were more or less the same in terms of distance. So for days and days I would walk home counting the steps and trying all the different ways until I found one that, on average, took less time and fewer steps. From then on, that was my route home for years and years. I don't know what it is. I find it fun. I find it frustrating when people waste time on things that could be done so much better. And I love seeing people who say, “oh my gosh, this is magical. This was so painful and now I can go home and be with my family instead of wasting my time doing it.” So I love to do it for other people, but I love to do it for myself too.  

Peldi Quote 2

Ben (05:10):

I totally know where you're coming from, that itchiness when you're doing it over and over again, or there's an easier way to do it. Some people call it the lazy person, but really you're just efficient and like, “I don't wanna do that work.” How could we do it or take those steps in your example?

Peldi (05:25):

There's a threshold though. I feel like, for instance, the spreadsheet example for years we did it manually and it was fine because we started with 10 spreadsheets and the format was still not solid. So automating it too early is also a problem. It doesn't really make sense to automate something if you're gonna do it once only. Better to spend some time learning and letting the dust settle. Then when you know that automation really is going to be a game-changer that's the right time to do it. Not too soon.

Ben (06:07):

That makes total sense because you wanna get the process in place and then automate it. Speaking of doing things better, the background of Balsamiq is that you were working for another company, you saw a need and you just went and built the company, and you were profitable within a few weeks, which is wild. And the company's been growing ever since. As we, you and I were talking a bit earlier, do you wish that you started the business sooner?  

Peldi (06:33):

No. At some point in my career, I did have sort of a niche because I was living in San Francisco and it's pure madness there. So if you're not starting something, you're a total loser. I got trapped in that trap for a bit, but I thought maybe I'll start something, but it was clearly too early. The first thing that I did when I had the idea was to buy a business book and this was called You Need To Be A Little Crazy: The Truth About Starting and Growing Your Business. I made it to page 16 before I realized that I was not ready. This was not for me, so not attractive at all. So that stopped me for three or four years before I thought of starting again. But it's interesting because even Al was started as a way to reduce inefficiency. I was spending a lot of time when we were wireframing on a whiteboard in an office and I would have to go back the next day or later after the meeting and copy everything from the whiteboard to digital. And I thought, “this is so slow. I'm just making a copy of something that already existed. If we had started digital already, I wouldn't have to spend this hour doing this.” So that's how the idea started, really.

Ben (08:02):

It's amazing just to see that need. It's like the infomercial where it's all black and white and you're like, “no, there has to be a better way.” We'll just build it. And the wireframing tool, I mean, it's so easy to use and I love the low fidelity. So then people aren't caught up in just making it look exactly like this is just the prototyping phase and I love how you niche down into that. 

Peldi (08:33):

That’s really what I was trying to do. I was trying to replicate the whiteboard. There is a lot of making it look like it was hand-drawn because people then don't get fixated on colors or the size of the logo or pixel-perfect design. There's a time to do that later. But initially, when you're just hashing out the structure of each web page or screen, you really want something that looks sketchy so that you focus on the structure rather than the details.

Ben (09:08):

It makes so much sense. So, you know, you've grown Balsamiq from just you and the early days. And I think you brought your wife on early on to help out a little bit. How many people do you have on your team now?

Peldi (09:21):

We have 33 people. Probably gonna hire a couple more next year, but we haven't hired anybody in a couple of years, which fills me with joy. It means that we are finally reaching our natural size, our sustainable size. Everything is easier if you are not constantly hiring or churning employees because people learn how to work with each other much more. There's not any sort of jostling for position or delegating. After a while it stabilizes and people can just focus on doing the work.

Ben (10:01):

Tell us a bit about how you're keeping the team that small. I assume you have some internal processes that help you all do more at scale and be super-efficient. So any big process that you have in place that helps your team save a ton of time?

Peldi (10:15):

Sure. As a CEO, a lot of my job is to spot inefficiencies and help get rid of them, help make them better. And sometimes it's via software, sometimes it's via process, but one area where a lot of companies grow once they scale is the support team. Now in our case, I've always been afraid of that. And so we've always prioritized bugs over new features because we really want our product that is super solid. If there's a bug that causes support problems, we'll drop everything else and fix that first. After 14 years, we have a very solid product and we're able to support a million-plus customers with six people, who also do support part-time, they also do other things. I'm really proud of that. I feel that is a very efficient way to run your company. And it's not that hard. You just have to make sure that you prioritize bugs over other things, even just a little bit, but over time it adds up.

Ben (11:33):

Yeah, absolutely. How do you build those feedback loops? How does that communication go from the support team through to the product team and then engineers?

Peldi (11:41):

We have a tight feedback loop with our customers, which is the most important thing. If customers don't care, they don't tell you about the bugs. You're not gonna know about them. That's the main problem. So you have to make sure you cultivate that very well. And we do that by offering a lot of different channels to contact us. We have a forum on the website. We have emails, we have phones, we have a Slack community and we listen on Twitter, and anywhere where people mention us, we’re listening. Then, the support team has a bug tracker, called pivotal tracker, which is very lightweight, it’s really just like a list where you can rearrange pretty much anything. So it's very easy for our team to add things to it to make us more efficient.

Peldi (12:37):

I wrote a little Chrome extension that allows people to file things into pivotal tracker from the forums or from wherever they find it. So it adds the link and the form. It's very easy. So that's how we capture everything and we have a culture about capturing more is fine. Even if it's already filed, don't worry about duplicates, better to have a duplicate than not capturing it at all. And then we have a process where we have different product versions, so each product team meets once a week. It's called the priority review board and it's engineering lead, product management, QA, and support. And we go through whatever was filed in the last week. And then we decide, “okay, is this worth fixing now? Or do we put it in the future bucket?”

Peldi (13:32):

We tag everything, make sure that we can find it in the future. And so that's how we stay aligned and aware. Now, if it's something urgent, we have a Slack channel called fires. So if the server goes down or something, the support team chats in there, they have the phone numbers of all the people who are engineers that are on call. So it depends on the priority. But we have a lot of different ways and we think that ¡ because we prioritize bugs over everything else, we really value the opinion of the support team when it comes to making roadmaps, for instance. Every quarter we have a roadmap meeting and every team proposes what we should work on next quarter. And we have the support team and what they say usually goes, even more than me. As the product manager, I usually add my stuff last because I feel like if there's time, if it's solid enough, then we'll do it. Otherwise, we'll focus on bugs and chores.

Ben (14:41):

That's amazing to see that you are just focused on that core and fixing those bugs and that feedback loop and that prioritization and aggregation happening all the time. And everybody involved in that conversation. That's really, really awesome. So I don't think a lot of software companies will do that because they'll be focused on the next big thing, the next shiny thing rather than stabilizing everything.

Peldi (15:02):

It depends on how young your product is, right? Because if it's so young that you haven't found product market fit, then you can have a perfect, super solid product that no one wants. So of course you gotta prioritize some features too, but those come from support too. Support tells you what are the features that people are asking for. So I think it depends. For us, being a mature product, we like to do a mix of things, but we do a little more bugs than other things.  

Ben (15:45):

That's really cool. And you spoke briefly about that Chrome extension that you built out. Have there been any other experiments or things that you've built you are proud of that have helped your team?

Peldi (15:57):

We have maybe seven or eight internal tools that we built to work better. Some of them are very small, like that Chrome extension. I built another Chrome extension that helps with our sponsorships. People on the website submit a form that goes into Help Scout. And I wrote this extension that scrapes the help scout data and puts it in a Google spreadsheet with two clicks. So simple things. Another giant internal tool that we built is called Acetaia. And it's a full-blown project management tool with who's working on what project. It's a full-on product, but it's built specifically for the way we work, which is kind of flat, not really deadline-driven. But if we can't find anything on the market that is exactly what we want, we're not afraid of building a little version of it. In fact, we built a little scheduling tool because YouCanBook.me was great, but we were using a 10th of it and it was missing one tiny little feature. Instead of switching to another big rich tool, I spent five days for fun and I built a little internal version as a learning experience. It just does what we need and nothing more, and we like it.  

Ben (17:32):

We’ll speak of your improvement after this, I'll get what that feature is and I'll prioritize that for you, get it  built in. That's awesome that you are building up those internal tools just to help your team along. And I know that comes with the whole set of headaches where you're trying to update those and keep those in place. So if the need is there, you feel it with the tool and manage that yourself?

Peldi (17:55): 

You definitely have to resist the ‘not invented here’ syndrome where we only use our own thing because we're better than everybody else. These tools require constant maintenance security patches. It's a whole product. So, do it carefully, but I feel people are sometimes too careful where they will be happy spending another $15 a month on a third-party tool where really they could spend $1 a month with a five-day investment of development. And there's also a thing about privacy with GDPR and everything. We've really decided that we want to compete on being the most privacy-conscious company. And so we actively try to reduce our list of third-party vendors that get our customers’ data because if they get the shortest list, the less the risk of a breach for our customers.

Peldi (19:04):

That's why now we replaced some tools that we used to pay for with internal tools because that way the data stays with us and no third-party company gets it. That's nice but it's not great news for our industry as a whole. I think it means that there's gonna be some consolidation where, you know, in our case we've switched things to AWS because they have a similar tool to what we were using. But since we already have AWS on the list and since they're known and accepted, you know, it's the new IBM. People used to say, “no one got, ever got fired for choosing IBM over another vendor.” Now AWS or Google or Azure, they're the big gorillas. And I feel like they're eating a lot of the little infrastructure tools out there, which is sad for little industries, especially for bootstrap little companies.

Ben (20:09):

That vertical integration makes sense because you're saying, you're already using this tool, and expanding into their other offerings, just keeps that data in one spot. Like you mentioned, it is a bit of consolidation, people getting to this first-party data, avoiding third parties just to mitigate that risk, which is imperative. And as long as you're updating those internal tools, then it's all good to keep things close to the cuff. So, you know, you are famously relaxed and informal and super transparent. And you've also mentioned multiple times that you are trying to figure things out and you're not the expert, but is there anything that you actually insist on in your company, anything that has like the Peldi stamp that has to be done this way? 

Peldi (20:52):

First of all, nobody knows what they're doing. That's one lesson I've learned over time, especially the ones that say they do, that's the side of insecurity right there. So, if you're listening and you feel like a fraud, don't worry about it. Everybody's the same. So that's an interesting question. I think I can answer that by saying, “what are the things that I'm still doing that are the last ones to delegate?” These are the ones that I want to keep working on directly. I'd say the first one is the company. I'm still the CEO and so I’m ultimately responsible for the company, company culture, and vision and direction for the company itself. Similarly, the main product, I'm still the product manager for the wireframing editor. I feel very strongly about what should go in and what shouldn't. And then, to a lesser extent, what kind of marketing we do is still something that is on my plate. The fact that we're people-driven, conversation-driven rather than data-driven. That's something I've had to fight tooth and nail to maintain. But again, I feel like this is one of the things that I might hire someone to take over next year. So that's one thing where I feel I'm getting ready to let go a little more.

Ben (22:25):

You've mentioned that you wanted to step away even further and remove yourself entirely from the business, but it sounds like that's an uphill battle because you're still involved in so many things. So how is that?

Peldi (22:36):

Well, it takes time. So the reason I wanna quit, so to speak, is that I don't actually want to quit, but I wanna make sure that the company can work well, even without me, because the main goal is to build a multi-generational business. If I'm able to do that I feel I will have left a legacy in my life and not just for the business for the sake of itself, but because we clearly have a mandate from the market that there is a problem that needs solving, which is conveying your ideas in the early stages. People have this problem and will have this problem forever because there are always younger people that come out and have new ideas. So I feel if I'm able to build a business that is able to solve this problem for more than my lifespan, then I will have done a good job. I will have left the world in a better place than I found it. So that's what I'm working on. And I feel to do that, I have to be able to step away completely. I see it as a five-year project. I think we're in year two, two-and-a-half. We think halfway that hiring someone to take over marketing is gonna be a step in that direction and then eventually hire someone to take over product, etc, etc. 

Ben (24:05):

Three years from now, what does that look like? What are you spending your time doing then?  

Peldi (24:11):

First of all, if I'm not needed anywhere, it gives me the freedom to work on what I want to, whatever I want, which is awesome. I can imagine actually myself spending time going one-to-one with each employee and seeing how they work, seeing what they're doing inefficiently and fixing that for them. Whether teaching them some tools or building some tools or just coaching them on how to work in a different way. I've been around for a long time and I'm pretty fast. Right now, I don't have the time to do this kind of one-on-one coaching. So if I'm free to do that, I would like to spend time doing that. And then I can see still being involved in the roadmap and the company discussions, but maybe once a quarter until it's no longer needed. Who knows?

Ben (25:12):

Do you think your team will do well with you over the shoulder, helping them out?

Peldi (25:18):

I've done a few of these sessions and they've been well received. I guess we'll see. I'll have to do it the right way.

Ben (25:29):

Speaking of your team, your company is one of the first, fully remote companies. So how do you all maintain a strong culture and strong bond as being a fully remote company for the last 14 years now? 

Peldi (25:43):

It takes work. It takes effort. You guys are remote too. Bridget [Bridget Harris, CEO of YouCanBook.me] and I did a workshop a few years ago specifically on this, where we listed a number of different efforts that we do for creating a sense of teaminess when everybody's remote. So we do things in person, a company retreat once a year. We haven't done it in person because of COVID the last couple of years, but we've done virtual ones where for a week we get together on Zoom, but not to talk about work. Instead we did an eighties aerobic dance class. We've done facials, spa treatment, yoga classes, meditation classes, a lot of cooking classes.

Peldi Quote 3

Peldi (26:42):

So we try to do a lot of these things online. And then we do different programs that might last for a while. And then they go away. For instance, for a while, we had what we call the Friday fun time. So every Friday we would put four people at random from the company into a Zoom call for half an hour to discuss weekend plans and spend time with people that they don't normally work with. So we did that for about a couple of years and then people lost interest. So we stopped. So we came up with another thing which was personal PechaKucha. So every PechaKucha is a format, a PowerPoint where it's 20 slides, 20 seconds each, and they advance automatically. So the whole thing is maybe seven minutes.

Peldi (27:32):

Each person would create a personal presentation about whatever they wanted. I did one where I took photos around my house to show people: here's my office, here's where I have my coffee in the morning. You know, the simplest things. And then some people instead did things about their father and, you know, inspirational things. And we laughed, we cried, then we grew closer together because of these things. So we did a whole cycle of those and then we stopped. So basically there's a lot that you can do and you should always look for something to do. Always have a couple of programs going at the same time and over time, it helps.

Ben (28:15):

I love the idea of new things and getting people together. We do something similar like that, ‘anything but work’ calls. So we have a YouCanBook.me page where you can book anybody in the company and it's supposed to be for 15 minutes, but usually it goes for 30 or 45 minutes, because it's just nice to connect and talk with everybody. Speaking to you personally, being a CEO and working fully remote, how do you combat the loneliness that settles in from that experience?

Peldi (28:44):

I used to joke that working remotely is great for the first couple of years and then it gets really tough and it's true. But I feel after eight years it gets easier again. I think you understand that work cannot provide you with the same things that it provides if you go to a physical office. If you go to a physical office, you don't only get colleagues, you also start making friends with your colleagues. You go out after work, you go to lunch together every day. That unfortunately the remote experience doesn't offer. So you have to do two things. One is to accept this reality and accept you grow a little bit more detached from your work than you would normally be.

Peldi (29:41):

I think it's healthy to do that. And the other thing is to replace these social interactions with something else. So we expect that people will spend five hours every week during work time to exercise. And we encourage people to take up team sports or team activities like Zumba or whatever group classes rather than individual things. As humans, we really need human interaction. I joined a book club, for instance, and that's where I get my intellectual stimulation and human interaction that is not about business and not about software. I feel over time, we've all learned how to do these kinds of remedies for loneliness. A lot of us have pets. I have a dog with me in the office all day and a lot of employees do as well. So I feel like you start looking for the connection outside of work. I think it's an opportunity for some businesses. This is gonna be more and more of a need for people. So if you can build something where it's easy for people to make friends or get out of the house and do something social. I took a bunch of woodworking classes and I'm gonna start a ceramic class too. And, again, try to take group classes rather than individual classes.

Peldi Quote 4

Ben (31:15):

Kind of get out there, get in the mix, because like you mentioned, you don't get that in a remote environment because you don't have those spontaneous meetups and everything. So one thing that's always been interesting to me as I was doing some research is that throughout the growth of your business, you've been really transparent and documented everything on your website. How have you seen that level of candor impact the relationships with your customers?

Peldi (31:41):

When I started in 2008, it was because my goal was to build a single-person business forever, a small, micro software vendor. I didn't expect to have anybody to help me think through things. I have to either have a conversation or write things down in order to really think through things. I can't really predict things in my head without verbalizing them. And so at the beginning I would blog as a tool to help me think and, genuinely, it was a cry for help from people, “anyone who's reading this, please tell me what to do.” I did it for myself, but also because I believe that every relationship with a customer is like a long-term relationship. And so you wanna base those out of mutual trust.

Peldi Quote 5

Peldi (32:40):

I never wanted to lie and, even when I was a one-person company, say, “oh, we have a department that does this.” I never wanted to look bigger than I was because I felt like I was lying to my customers. And that's no basis for a long-term relationship. I would rather you know exactly who I am and how I work. That way it's a lot less effort. I just have to be myself. And so back in 2008, when I started that it was radical and I got written up in the New York Times because I was writing everything. Now, building in public is trendy and expected. I'm glad to see that because, as a user, I feel there's a lot less posturing around.

Peldi (33:30):

I think the world is better because of that. So I think we've always had a good, honest, transparent relationship with our customers. And I feel like that's part of our reason for our success because it really cultivated this tight feedback loop that you need so much because we know exactly what we need to work on next. Our community tells us loud and clear and so we haven't had a problem creating a roadmap for 14 years. We know exactly what the roughest edge is now. If we didn't have that, we'd have to look into analytics, the crystal ball. Instead, I feel like if you start on the right foot and are transparent, people will get on board the same train that you are going to. They start rooting for you and they will help you along the way. And it's just so much simpler.

Ben (34:28):

And that trust, I think, is solidified when you're pushing out changes that they're asking for. And they're like, “we're listening to you, “we're responding to you.” Let's talk really quickly about the future. What's on the horizon for you? What's on your next roadmap? What are you all excited about?

Peldi (34:45):

So there's always two products. One is the product. One is the company. So, product-wise, we're in a very good place right now because we're not doing anything big. We spent five years rewriting the whole code base but that's done. And we shipped that a couple of years ago. We fixed all the bugs in the new code base. Now we are back to a very healthy mix of new features and bugs and chores and it's great. It feels really fast because people can see what we're doing. The release notes show a lot of what we do. Before, when it was mostly bugs or chores, the release notes were short. Then people thought that we were going slow, but we were actually going fast, just doing invisible things.

Peldi (35:35):

So product-wise, we are shortening the to-do list. We're finally shipping all the features that people have asked for many years. One by one we're getting them out there. So, there's still a lot to do, but the product is pretty mature. There are fewer big things that we have to do. So that's going very well. And it's a fun period right now. That said, I do see something on the horizon that might be big, another big effort, which is that we might have, uh, messed up our business model, our pricing model, because we price our SaaS by project, but everybody else in the market prices it by the user. And so our customers are very confused when we say unlimited users.

Peldi (36:32):

They're very confused. Of course, we think that if you have more users, they want more projects. And so it's really the same thing, but because we're the odd one out. I feel like we're hurting our customers, our prospective customers, with that. So switching to a user-based business model is a big effort at the beginning. Maybe next year, we'll start making a roadmap to tackle that. That could be another big project for the next couple of years. Company-wise, we are in the middle of progressing in the effort to not be so critical. And so we are in the middle of a process to create these groups and areas, and teams. Basically, the main new thing is that we're finally gonna have official people managers, which is something that we never had before and we've been lacking. That's going well. That's a nice, slow process because when it comes to people, it's better to go slow. I've learned that but we're making good progress there.

Ben (37:54):

Sounds like exciting times ahead with adjusting the pricing model and getting your team in a stronger spot. That's really great to hear. So where can the audience go to learn everything that you're working on?

Peldi (38:06):

We have a giant website, we just added another 50 pages all about our company culture and how we do things. It's balsamiq.com. It has 777 pages and about 800 blog posts from 2007 on. So it is a giant website. You can find pretty much everything we've learned there. And we have an office hours program where you can sign up to meet with one of us to discuss various things. I encourage people to do that if they're interested.

Ben (38:51):

Yeah, very cool. We'll throw that up on our blog as well, to link to your blog and everything. And there's a lot of great information on there. So anybody listening, be sure to check that out at balsamiq.com. Awesome. Peldi. It's been great to talk with you. Thank you so much for coming on Get More Done and sharing your insights of growing your business and everything you've been working on. Really exciting to see and you’re set up for success. Can't wait for you to be out of your business, and still having your business grow. So thank you so much.

Peldi (39:17):

Thank you, Ben. Thank you for this podcast.  

Ben (39:23):

Efficiency, that's what we're all about. Thank you so much. Have a good rest of your day. Bye. We appreciate you listening to Get More Done. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform and feel free to leave a review also of this episode with anyone in your network that may benefit from the conversation. If you or someone you know would like to be on the show, please reach out to community@youcanbook.me, visit getmoredone.youcanbook.me, reach out to us on Twitter @YouCanBookMe or visit us on the forum forum.youcanbook.me. I'll catch you in the next episode. Cheers. 

Subscribe to get productivity tips, news, and updates

The YouCanBook.me team

Written by

The YouCanBook.me team

We care... so we share. The YCBM team has a lot to say about online scheduling and improving productivity. We pay it forward with interesting articles, top tips, updates, and insights about how to be a scheduling ninja and a productivity pro!

The YouCanBook.me team

Written by

The YouCanBook.me team

We care... so we share. The YCBM team has a lot to say about online scheduling and improving productivity. We pay it forward with interesting articles, top tips, updates, and insights about how to be a scheduling ninja and a productivity pro!

Getting started is fast and easy

Get started with a FREE 14 day trial of our paid plan to test out all the features.

Get started for FREE

No credit card required. Cancel anytime.