The cavnessHR Podcast can be found at the following places or you can just type in cavnessHR on the respective site.
iTunes: https://cavnesshr.co /theca54f53 Amazon Alexa: https://cavnesshr.co/f2191
Pocket Casts: https://cavnesshr.co/pocke97daa Stitcher: https://cavnesshr.co/thecae7de3
Breaker: https://cavnesshr.co/breakb93d8 Spotify: https://cavnesshr.co/theca9811a
Castbox: https://cavnesshr.co/theca97b36 Anchor: https://anchor.fm/cavnesshr
YouTube: https://cavnesshr.co/cc0bb Overcast: https://cavnesshr.co/thecae86ea
RadioPublic: https://cavnesshr.co/theca4ba98 Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/407777549
TuneIn: https://cavnesshr.co/2abb0 Google Play: https://cavnesshr.co/googl6be3a
The cavnessHR Podcast is now available as an Alexa Skill on Amazon Alexa!!!! Amazon Alexa: https://cavnesshr.co/f2191
Social Media links for Yannick!!
Yannick's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/yannickrault/
Sheetgo website: https://sheetgo.com
Sheetgo on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sheetgo
Sheetgo on FB: https://www.facebook.com/Sheetgo/
Sheetgo on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Sheetgo
We are working on our work-flows. We want people to be able to automate their workflow and we want teams to be able to do that. So, what we're going to be providing for your listeners is people that this month work with us to make sure they can automate their work and save themselves time and buy with us a team license. We're going to give them a really cool swag bag. We want to be able to give swag bags to these people that are hiring teams that the commercial team is also going to be providing discounts for team sales this month.
Jason: Hello, and welcome to the cavnessHR podcast. I'm your host, Jason Cavness. Our guest today is Yannick Rault. Yannick, are you ready to be great today?
Jason: Yannick is CEO of Sheetgo, a cloud-based platform that allows people to build entire automated workplaces. Even ERPs, right from the spreadsheet. 2018 winner of the most innovative IT start-up in Spain and Portugal, as well as the most scalable start-up and Saas of Europe at the South Summit and part of Black Box in the valley. In parallel, he's on the board of the two fastest growing coworking organizations focused on the impact to society, with spaces in Spain and Brazil, helping hundreds of innovators. He was previously CEO of Avamar. Best company for the world in 2015, according to B Corp. Which built low-income, environmentally-friendly, residential buildings in neighborhoods in Brazil. Before he spent a decade as a leader in the corporate world, focused on online enterprise software, at Author Anderson and FedEx. He is also a published author and has been a regular featured speaker at major conferences like TedX, Universities like Columbia University, and leading companies like Google, as well as being featured in dozens of publications, such as The Economist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Admin. on International Finance and Marketing, with minors in Industrial Engineering and Computer Information Systems. In his spare time he practices, sports, designs and writes. Yannick, do you ever sleep? Wow, you have a lot going on there!
Yannick: I do, I try to make it a point to sleep lately. So, I didn't do much sleeping for a few years because it was kind of cool back then not to sleep very much. Then I realized it was really starting to affect me. So it took me a lot of effort after a few stressful years to get back to a sleeping rhythm. Now I do actually sleep, although last night, with the release today. I think I went to sleep at 2:30 and I was up already at 7:30 this morning, but that's more the exception than the rule.
Jason: You have a lot of experience in start-ups. Can you tell me why you enjoy the start-up experience so much?
Yannick: This last start-up was out of more survival and after you crash so hard, as I did, I had to land back on my feet. So it was more survival. But lately, now that things are taking an accelerated pace. I'm realizing that I do enjoy it, actually,. It's kind of funny that you ask if I enjoy it. I'm beginning to realize I do enjoy it, although some years have been so, so hard. I did question, especially with some of my friends that have been very good in the investment banking or private banking or the corporate world and have stable families and nice cars and nothing to worry about in terms of having a house and all of that. I have questioned that many, many years. But now I think I'm in a situation where I can say that it's the kind of place I like to be in.
Jason: As we both know, most start-ups do fail. From your point of view, why do most start-ups not make it?
Yannick: Alignments of personal motivation and life, along with business. I think that's really, really important. I think in my first business that I created. I didn't realign with my business partner so much, or with the customers. I didn't really like them so much. I just wanted to have a start-up. I think in the second one, I fixed that by doing it with my best friend, but I ended up doing it in a place that I really didn't enjoy that much. I think now I've gotten a good sense of all those. So I think aligning your personal life goals and your business is extremely important. Especially because it's not the now, it's what's going to happen 4 years from now and you better be aligned with that and your teams better be aligned with that.
Jason: Let's suppose there's somebody out there right now and they have an idea and they want to build a great company. What would you tell this person?
Yannick: Be careful what you wish for, I would say. I think that, recently I sometimes give a workshop. I start by talking about who wants to kill it, you know, who wants to just create the next super company? Normally everyone has their hands up and they're only CEOs of start-ups either here or in Europe or wherever. By the end of this workshop, after two hours, only one-third of them have their hands up that they really want to kill it. It's not because I'm a de-motivational speaker, but I think it's more that I give them the realities. It's what does 'killing it' really mean. Are you ready to make or break? Not many of us are ready for that. So, you have to really determine what it is that you really want. Killing it means it's a billion dollar company and you do whatever it takes. You'll run over people, you'll run over your best friend, or whatever it is that you really need to do. Or put aside your family, or do you want to do a decent business where you're going to get some returns. Or you just want an experience because you're going to be able to go back and do investment banking or you're going to go back to your family business. I think, really, going back to yourself and saying, 'Hey, be careful what you wish for. What is it you want to imagine yourself as and where are you?' I think that would be my best advice. I'm not one to give advice, actually. After you fail you realize that you don't know anything and I don't know anything. I would say just see what it is that you really want.
Jason: I know for myself, I'm building my own start-up, I've had to learn patience. Nothing ever goes as fast as you want it to go.
Yannick: Patience, yeah, or perseverance, because I think the natural being of yourself, you're not that patient at the end of the day. That's why you're pushing and pushing and pushing. You partly persevere and you're probably always making sure that you're just going to get there, even if something fails. So, something around that. Then again, I don't know anything.
Jason: What's your definition of "product market fit"?
Yannick: I hope my investors don't listen to this because I think that there is a tendency in the United States to over-consider what market really is. There is an over compensation here in Europe sometimes on what fit really means. So, the way we've proven it is in our company, in the worst quarter we ever had. We proved product market fit in the way they told us to do it. Only then you realize that you have to be very careful because product market fit could mean that you fit the product statistically correctly for a market that's 10 million users. Or 100 million users or a billion users or 100 billion users, whatever it is. But, I think part of the market that really has to make sure that aligns both how big of a market you want it to be and are you addressing it? Because sometimes you could be having a great product market fit for a very small market or having a horrible product market fit for a huge market. So I tend to see it as not just a fit, but market size is one.
Jason: Today is a big day for your company, Sheetgo with your release on Product Hunt today. First, for our listeners who might not know, what exactly is Product Hunt?
Yannick: Hell if I know, I was told that that's the place to be and that we should be in that. That's what my team said. Basically, actually, we went back in one of the fairs that we were invited to speak at and we actually asked the person I went to the fair and we had a stand for three days and I asked everyone, 'Hey, do you use Product Hunt? What do you use to really know about your software?" I was surprised by the amount of people that use Product Hunt in the technology world to really get insights into which products to use to really make their life easier. In technology, Product Hunt is a reference point for people that want to know about technology and that's what I've seen. I mean, all of us, many of us, rely on LinkedIn, rely on friends and colleagues, and at the end of the day, many people end up relying on Product Hunt. They come and it's a place where you can see the latest technology.
Jason: Can you tell us about your company 'SheetGo'? How did it come about? The idea phase and what is it going to do for your customers?
Yannick: The first version came out, not the first version, but the first idea came in 2009. I couldn't figure out a way to get myself and my other business to automate the processes and have it all online and synchronized, having a dashboard, a CEO of all the departments. I couldn't see anything that was implementable easily. The dashboard I eventually iPad friendly in it, in 2010 on my phone and that basically anyone from a construction worker all the way to my sales team or my finance team could actually work it. Without, of course, implementing a big ERP system. But then they didn't even have cool dashboards and stuff like that. So, imagine 2009 I was realizing, crap, I think I have to do this myself aI did. I did it with spreadsheets online and by early 2010 some folks at Google had heard about this and invited me to Mountain View and I presented this. What they said is "we didn't know this could be done with our product. We've never seen this. We don't do this internally. Maybe you should do something about it". Back then I had a different business, I wasn't Elon Musk. The idea of having many businesses wasn't something I thought I could do well. I also realized that in order to scale that. I had to create something that was scalable and an incrementation of such systems would require a lot of consulting time. Now, with the release today. I think we are now coming full circle to make people realize that they can automate their processes, their work, using technology that they already know without having to implement what was back then ERPs or management systems and what is now dozens of SAS that you have to implement in your company to be able to automate your processes. So, the idea is to use technology you already know, such as spreadsheets to automate more close and not have to automate anything more fancy than that. You don't have to be an IT person to do so.
Jason: How do you plan on educating your future users on how to actually use the product?
Yannick: Good question. I just came from a meeting on that. So, we are building more and more content around it. We have monthly hackathons with users and partners and those have been proven to be really fun and really good. Everybody in the company, including myself, getting involved in those hackathons once a month. We are going to be continuing the release cycle for the rest of the year. It's going to show how we're going to let that work by itself. We have some ideas around this and mutual common and new releases. Basically, we are going to be making our technology easier and easier to use. Right now, we have people who create automated flows that don't even know how to do a formula spreadsheet. So, we will continue to make that easier and easier and releasing some templates. We just released today 16 automated work flows that any start-up or any medium business or even some of our large customers need to do, anywhere from HR to administrative, sales, marketing, or operations.
Jason: So, of course, you want anyone to buy your product, but do you have a target market to start off?
Yannick: For the most part, it's companies that are mid-sized companies, small-medium businesses that have been using collaborative tools like Gsuite for a couple years. We're also seeing larger companies that are with the ball on cloud and are able to use Gsuite or Office365 and really know how to collaborate for a couple years. To realize that the power of being in the cloud is not just collaboration. It's the power to automate work, so we're looking for that kind of customer. Those people who know how the cloud works.
Jason: In our pre-talk, you were talking about how you have a remote team and people in different countries. How do you go about managing remote teams and how do you go about building a great team?
Yannick: Culture is, I think, the compass that sets it all together. That's easy to say and culture is not easy to hold. But we did a very big effort, and that was thanks to one of our investors, of creating culture. Even our business cards talk about our wall of love and our focus on the customer first. We don't even call them customers. We call them users because for us, we don't differentiate as much because we really think that just helping people make their work better is just going to help them and help us in the future. But, really ensuring that that came first and that it was written. So we have an entire culture book that we created and we improve on every quarter and most people in the company have access to edit it. So, I think just the culture, you can set the culture as you want it to be, but the culture is what the people live with every day. What people talk about without your supervision. So, I think those are the things that define culture. So when I hear, yesterday I was hearing one of our team members in marketing. He is now in Brazil with one of our data scientists over there that had never been there and they were telling me how they really felt as a family there and that they had gone out to do sports as part of a sports challenge that we managed for the company and that they went out to get some beers afterward and they really felt wanted. Those are not things that are organized for the company. That's not something that I organized or thought about. It's something that's happening. So, I think that culture is the thing that puts it all together for us. Caring about the people they realize that that's how you manage remotely. Everything else is just technology.
Jason: What is your long-term goal for your company? What's your long-term vision?
Yannick: To allow people to create more value. In order for people to do that, they really need to automate a lot of their work on a day-to-day, which many times becomes monotonous. We're seeing people save anywhere from 2 to 8 hours a week in their work. I want to be able to continue that. We have a number of algorithms, it's cool to say, and things that we can implement into the product that can scale that even more. That takes a lot of resources and work. We need to validate a lot of things. But at the end of the day, that's what we want to do. We want to be able to allow people to get more strategic and more valuable work done thanks to us.
Jason: Moving on, next, can you talk about a time you were successful in the past, what you learned from this success and what we can learn from the success?
Yannick: Define success.
Yannick: The easiest one to talk about is the previous company I had. You mentioned before we were voted best company for the world in a way that a company called Bcorp says you are benefiting humanity. It's companies like Patagonia, Ben and Jerry's and other companies like this that are known for this. I think at that company, Avamar was really an amazing company that wanted to change the way we build cities and build neighborhoods and looking at the triple-bottom-line of monetary return, social happiness. I think that was successful because we were able to prove that that could work. I guess that it was not successful because we ended up getting caught up a lot in government things that were happening that were out of our control. Although, at the end of the day, we ended up losing because of that. I think we were successful in growing that concept and that it could be done. But then again, we did really well and then not. So, again, define success.
Jason: Follow-up question: talk about a time you failed in the past, what you learned from this failure, and what we can learn from this.
Yannick: Somebody at some point said to me that I was not just an entrepreneur, but an extreme-entrepreneur. My response to that was, I think I'm more close to extremely stupid than entrepreneur. I think that as entrepreneurs or people that want to get something done, again, be careful what you wish for and make sure that if your challenges are really high and you go against the current on everything. It's going to be really hard. So, whenever I see any depiction of someone going against the current on everything. I always think 'that's really dangerous because you have to try, I believe, to follow a path that's going and then kind of swerving from that. I don't think - Musk didn't start with rockets. He started with the car. Which eventually became other cars and then space rockets, and then all these things. It's an easy one to give an example of, but I think it's the same thing for Steve Jobs with the iPod. Although we all know the story before that. Then it all continued. So I think it's good to go a little bit with the flow and with the flow take some speed and then maybe start going against the current. But not completely against it. That's really dangerous.
Jason: I understand you have something for our listeners.
Yannick: We have a release coming today. We are working on our work-flows. We want people to be able to automate their workflow and we want teams to be able to do that. So, what we're going to be providing for your listeners is people that this month work with us to make sure they can automate their work and save themselves time and buy with us a team license. We're going to give them a really cool swag bag. We want to be able to give swag bags to these people that are hiring teams that the commercial team is also going to be providing discounts for team sales this month. So, yes.
Jason: Thank you for this. Next, can you give us your social links for both yourself and your company so people can reach out to you?
Yannick: Yes, sure. Sheetgo.com is our website and then you can pretty much go anywhere. Otherwise, on LinkedIn, it's Sheetgo, as well, and Twitter. Those are the things we use most. Where I would love people to go is to go to Product Hunt and upvote us. I would love for you to try our product and give us feedback. We have an extremely responsive team and we have very happy users. If something is not working, we want to get feedback. We're a hardworking team of almost 20 people now and are really looking to become better everyday. So, look into Product Hunt and look for SheetGo.
Jason: For all our listeners we have our links to his social media links and everything else in our show notes. Our show notes are at www.cavnesshrblog.com.
Jason: We're coming to the end of our talk, can you give our listeners any advice on any subject you want to talk about?
Yannick: Even though I'm not one to give advice, given some of the hardships that I've gathered over the last few years. I'll do the obvious one. Again, dream very hard, just be careful what you wish for, but dream hard and do things. Find balance of dreaming and doing, is the right way to go.
Jason: Thank you for your time today. I know the day today is a very busy day for you with your product release. Thank you very much for your time.
Yannick: Thank you very much, I appreciate it. I think what you're doing is awesome and hopefully people can learn and get inspired.
Jason: To our listeners, thank you for your time, as well.