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Bootstrapping with Services: Codesigned CEO Jake Weaver (Part 5)

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 15th 2020

Sramana Mitra: What happened in 2019? How much did you do?

Jake Weaver: That was the $5 million year. That was the breakout from where we had been before. For anybody that talks about valuations, a professional services firm is not valued as a product company. Even though revenue was staying the same, the value was increasing.

Sramana Mitra: How did the revenue mix change as you moved through this?

Jake Weaver: We grew from 100% professional services to not more than 10% of our revenue in the first year. Then we switched over to recurring revenue. It was in that following year that it got to 15%. Last year, it got closer to 25% to 30%. This was the year that it really would have approached 50% to 60%. 

Sramana Mitra: What else should we discuss?

Jake Weaver: You have to identify early on if you’re good at something or not. Anybody that’s reading this would be well-served to know that identifying that early on can completely change your business. I feel I had hurt my business over the years by ignoring that fact.

I’m not a good operator. I’m a good seller or vision guy. I am just not good at the day-to-day operations and the functional pieces. I think you can do yourself a disservice to not recognize that you might have a weakness in one of those areas and then find someone who can offset that. It can truly change everything about the business.

Sramana Mitra: Absolutely. Being self aware is very helpful. Anything else?

Jake Weaver: Intranets were a hard sell before because companies found them to be just an expense. The pandemic and everybody working from home has really shed light on what an intranet means for the company.

Sramana Mitra: Are you seeing that in your business?

Jake Weaver: Absolutely. Texas Roadhouse is the case study we were running with in 2021 that has done phenomenally well during this pandemic. They really value culture, communication, and engagement.

We have an entire analytics engine in their platform that measures employee engagement. They’re constantly ranked high in these categories as well. With their intranet in place, they were able to break down walls between executives communicating to their employees.

They just provide this instant sharing mechanism of communication and information. Then we have the communications people measuring that engagement and actively positioning content towards it. We have definitely seen a complete turnaround in how senior leadership is feeling the importance of the intranet and communicating to all their employees.

The reason I say 2021 is people in 2020 are still not talking about spending money. Everybody is shy to start projects, but we hear a ton of talk about 2021 as the year that somebody is going to get the intranet that’s 10 years old finally redone.

That has been the big problem. These old intranets are text-based linked farms that don’t service the organization. We’re really excited for 2021.

Sramana Mitra: Interesting. Thank you for your time.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Bootstrapping with Services: Codesigned CEO Jake Weaver
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