Giving Every Employee a Voice, Gideon from Workvivo
It all started with voice. I’m referring to the PBX or even hosted PBX. Today, voice is the add-on and many apps don’t even offer it. That opens up a lot of possibilities because voice is both hard and expensive.
Of course, voice has multiple meanings. Above, I am talking about telephony. Having a voice also means freedom to express oneself. Ironically, voice (telephony) complicates this. Voice (telephony) adds cost, and not all employees need a phone number. Also, voice (telephony) isn’t well suited for broadcast and sharing.
So there’s a new breed of enterprise communications apps that A) don’t have voice (telephony), and B) democratize expression and participation via a low-cost, friendly app…like Workvivo.
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Dave Michels 0:12
Welcome to talk to you. Today Evan and I will be talking with Gideon free door of work below. But before that, Evan, what do you think of all this stuff with Elon Musk and Twitter?
Evan Kirstel 0:23
Well, you know, on Musk is sort of a genius lunatic, almost the definition of mega maniacal. So I’m not sure what to make of it. I mean, I’d love to see Twitter, be more aggressive and change and do more interesting things. But I wonder if this just isn’t one big distraction in game for mosque
Dave Michels 0:43
or for Twitter for that matter, but in terms of distraction, but, you know, it’s interesting, a lot of people seem to agree that Twitter should be better and could be better. And maybe that’s true, but it could also be a lot worse. And so I’m not too excited. You know, me I like things just the way they are. So I don’t understand the need to change everything, it seems to me seems to be working for you pretty well.
Evan Kirstel 1:06
It’s working for me. And plus the whole notion of a quote unquote, free speech platform is dubious to me. I mean, freedom to spread misinformation or hate or disinformation. You know, in politics. That’s not freedom in my view. But we shall see. The other news of the day is Netflix is crash and burn, you know, big Netflix fan, are you one of these password sharers?
Dave Michels 1:31
You? I think that flicks kind of promoted the password sharing for years. It’s kind of I think Microsoft did the same thing back in the early days, you know, that’s the way you get viral adoption, right? Everyone’s downloading a copy of word or something like that. And that’s why you have viral adoption. So now that you get successful, you go, Hey, wait, what’s going on here? Everyone’s sharing password sharing licenses. This is no good. So yeah, they’ll fix it. They’ll clean it up, but their stock is way over corrected. In my opinion, you know, this pandemic, you know, whether it’s peloton or zoom for that matter, or Netflix, people are just overreacting like crazy on both directions.
Evan Kirstel 2:10
And you know, some of the Netflix issues were unique to Netflix, though. I mean, they have some great content, but there’s some other great content outside of Netflix, and I couldn’t live without it if I wanted to. And I think a lot of people are discovering that. So it’s gonna be an interesting challenge. But let’s get back to our main topic of enterprise communications here. All right,
talking. It’s a semi monthly podcast with interviews of the top movers and shakers in enterprise communications and collaboration, your host, Dave Michaels and Evan Kirkstall, both of which offer extraordinary services including research, analysis and social media marketing. You can find them on Twitter, LinkedIn, or at talking points.com. That’s points with the Z and Evan costco.com. That’s que ir S T E L.
Dave Michels 3:00
Today on Talking Heads. We have Gideon praetor, the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief storyteller of work vivo. Welcome, Gideon.
Gideon Pridor 3:10
Thanks for having me.
Dave Michels 3:12
It’s great to have you here. Our first question for you, your company, work vivo has the name work in the title of your company? Now we talk a lot about work. But you’re in Barcelona, the culture there is more about sunshine, beaches and sangria. So what do you know about work?
Gideon Pridor 3:33
I already see that this is going to be an interesting experience. I’m actually from Israel, born and raised in Tel Aviv, we know a lot about work too much about work. And I spent years living in the States in New York and Boston, then moved over to Europe and actually learned a lot about balance and about stuff that I think a lot of people are trying to are starting to figure out around the world today. And what a healthy corporate environment could look like not too extreme this way. Not too extreme that way. That’s the way I would put it. But yes, sunshine, yes, amazing food. He has good weather. Even in February. I used to live in Boston, then I discovered that my eyeballs could freeze and the weather is way better here.
Dave Michels 4:13
I had my first trip to Tel Aviv, in January 2020. Just before the great pandemic, great food in Israel, too. So you’re a food guy.
Gideon Pridor 4:23
Sort of Yeah, I’m sort of a food guy Israel. I love the food. It’s very, it’s like everything in that country is very disruptive right kitchens mixed from all over the world and the waiters sitting with you at the table and everything is like live music. It’s a different experience. And here in Spain, it’s more classic, but still level of seafood that you get and everything. It’s amazing.
Evan Kirstel 4:46
I feel this is a travel podcast and not a enterprise communications podcast. I do want to ask you one more thing about Barcelona one of my favorite cities. Tell me something I don’t know as a tourist or you know as a visitor or to Mobile World Congress or some other event? What? What’s it like living there?
Gideon Pridor 5:05
So, actually, when you think about the stereotype of Spanish, then when you ask a Spanish guy about Catalans, these are the people in this region in Catalonia, they would describe a completely different stereotype for you, I would say that they are more like the North Europeans off Spain. So Catalans come on time to meetings, they do not like working or anything like that, that it’s actually quite opposite. And when you live here, then anyways, the stereotype is very, very different. Next time that you do come, my first recommendation would be to get out of the city, go up north a little bit, spend some time in Costa Brava, you know, the beaches, the food views, it’s like an hour away. It’s amazing. It is turning into a travel podcast,
Dave Michels 5:52
we’ll kind of move a little bit toward work vivo, this next question I’ve got, but we’ll stick with geography for just a little bit here, because I see that work vivo is actually headquartered in Cork, Ireland. And we haven’t even talked about Ireland yet. So I’m thinking, you know, the difference for you between work at the office and work from home is Murphy’s Irish stout versus the century I mentioned earlier,
Gideon Pridor 6:15
it’s very different, okay, to be honest, people used to work remotely for a lot of years now, in the US more than in other parts in the world. I remember, half of my team working remotely when I was managing marketing at Boston and Perfecto 2012 2014. But now it’s way more possible. So I am managing a team and sitting on the executive team of a company in Ireland, I’m sitting in Barcelona, some guys are in the US traveling around doing a lot of zooms. And as expectation sort of changed over the past two years, it’s I think, working in a more much more natural way than ever before. And as I’m sure we’ll speak about new problems. So reason,
Dave Michels 6:55
I really liked cork, I made it there once. And I remember, every night, I rented a car, it was a Volvo. Kind of a kind of a purplish car, but they call it aubergine and I thought that was pretty cool. I thought that was really nice. You don’t see any aubergine cars in the US.
Gideon Pridor 7:12
You don’t see any cars driving on the wrong side of the road under us. That’s
Evan Kirstel 7:18
alright guys, well, let’s get to work vivo, I really understand why. And I’m intrigued as to what the name means. So you can tell us that but also tell us what your company does size and your number of employees etc.
Gideon Pridor 7:32
We’re working with based out of cork, Dublin, we have customers all over the world, from small companies to Nike and parts of Amazon and their status. And we like to call it employee experience and employee experience platform, which is basically an employee communications platform where people communicate to each other, give each other a shout out a good word, post stuff in a top down or bottom up, the CEO wants to update people about something or do a quick poll, or people want to chime in and do feedback or post something about an event and connected to company value or go, it sort of naturally becomes the digital heartbeat of the company. The company exists for almost five years. So it started before COVID. But obviously, naturally, there was a huge boost since COVID. Because if before we need to convince people about why this is important, you have CEOs of I’m not talking to startups, but very, very traditional companies, you know, supply chain location logistics mining, that come to us searching exactly for this, we just left the office, it seemed like it was working. But then a lot of stuff started to break, people started to leave or wanting to leave. And a lot of the stuff that we used to naturally have in an office sort of vanished, and companies are freaking out, I’d say it’s the number one challenge I think that CEOs are dealing with right now. And they’re looking for a digital replacement, something that could create that sort of vibe culture, sense of belonging, at least to an extent. And this is where we come in. It’s very asynchronous, it connects to everything else that is more hyperactive, like Slack or teams that is important, but overloaded right now. And it lets people emotionally connect and feel they belong to what we call open community based communications, much less pyramidal structures or much less technical intranet that nobody’s actually using. It’s a familiar experience. It’s very consumer. It’s very mobile, people like it. It’s natural, it’s fast, and it’s making a big impact and companies have actually adopted.
Dave Michels 9:31
All right, well, that sounds really interesting employee experience. Got to get a little more specific here. I’m looking at your website, trying to figure out what we’re vivo actually does and looks like you have an activity feed, a people directory, podcast plus live stream and critical communications which looks like crisis management and messaging. I want to hear more about that. I don’t see voice I don’t see telephone, so you’re not a UCAS offers that accurate?
Gideon Pridor 10:05
No, we integrate to almost,
Dave Michels 10:09
if you’re gonna be in critical communications, you need to add voice, you gotta, you know, it’s one or the other,
Gideon Pridor 10:13
we integrate to almost everything else that is out there. So usually customers end up using us as the center of everything comes like Nike, for example, have 80,000 employees in the world. And they use us for that companies have also zoom or slack or teams and other stuff, usually integrating through us using us as a sort of orchestration layer in order to do that. But essentially, in terms of feature functions, what we have, yes, there is an internal community or social network, if you will, and spaces where you could have as synchronous long term discussions, brainstorming in a team or a group of interest in that sort of things. You have a lot of types of communications, from posts, to articles, to podcasts, to live streams, we have companies that do 50,000 People live streams, with a CEO, for example, speaking to people in over 50 countries, and we have an intranet, but a lean intranet, that wouldn’t be SharePoint in terms of the depth of functionality. But it’s sort of like what I like to call a lean intranet. That gives you the document sharing, and it gives you pages, Wiki pages and stuff that people usually use. And for about 80% of our customers, it’s enough because usually they start either with what they have alongside us. And the truth of the matter is the intranet or something that about 10% of the employees actually actually use, we tend to become that thing that people actually use and integrate into everything else. But we start we do try to focus so we try to develop voice and chat and compete with Slack. And it will be the resume would be mediocre like everything. By the way, the CEO of zoom. Eric Yuan is the first investor in work view. Oh, I’ve heard of him. Right.
Evan Kirstel 11:53
Yeah. Well, congratulations on that.
Dave Michels 11:56
He’s been on the talking heads podcast, by the way.
Gideon Pridor 11:59
Yeah. Oh, I should have I missed that. I saw you one with workplace with Facebook. Sorry, meta, and listen to that.
Evan Kirstel 12:06
So it seems like you are a social app for work, which I love. That social media is what I do for work, if you call it that. I don’t think you work. It’s not a real job. No, I agree. But is it meant for internal use only? Or can you invite, you know, customers, partners, suppliers into work vivo conversations?
Gideon Pridor 12:25
No, the answer is right now we can’t. But it’s we can’t invite external people to the conversation. We have like, at least not like as a normal feature. We do have a customer, for example, it’s a premier league soccer or football team in the UK, they are inviting external organizations like a fanclub into into the conversation. But it’s designed 90% for internal use, you have advocacy features that let people actually take a post internally and posted on externally facing social networks upon approvals, usually. And this is definitely a place that we probably will take the platform towards once we finish becoming better at the core, because it is coming from customers, a lot of types of customers are asking for including the second or third tier on their company, in at least some of the conversations. So it is a need.
Dave Michels 13:19
So tell us a little bit about the client. Is this a web based app? Is it a mobile client? How do people actually use or access your service,
Gideon Pridor 13:28
about 5050. It’s a web app. But it’s also a mobile native mobile app. And the usage usage is about I think, 6040 right now towards desktop, but mobile is growing very, very fast. Mobile is actually a big advantage, especially with most of our big customers that would have employees at the frontline, you know, the 70% that don’t work in an office that actually don’t have an email for these guys, not just getting what you call before critical communications. But to actually feel a part of something, getting a good word, getting a shout out for the team for yourself. A lot of other stuff that happened in the platform that are very community social like is a big upgrade. And they do all of that on the mobile device. So mobile is growing very, very fast. If you ask me in a year from now, it will be probably 6040 towards mobile, this is the trend.
Evan Kirstel 14:15
So it seems like work vivo is a really important product in a pandemic world. You mentioned you came several years before COVID hit. So what was the impact of the pandemic on business and your customers?
Gideon Pridor 14:29
The impact on business was it was amazing in the last like two years we’ve been growing over 100% year on year and also going up market with companies that I didn’t imagine like two three years ago would come in so right so mature and what they’re looking for CEOs of big companies coming in putting engagement first employee experience feeling the voice giving a voice to people flattening out you know the communication structure and like saying stuff that we used to preach, but people are looking for right now. Because this is the this became critical, you don’t have the office in order for people to get a little bit human. So humanizing the workplace, which is a lot, a lot about communications became critical. It’s like I said, in a talk that I did like recently, it’s like everybody was were pushed like off a cliff. And there are people that are just doing this, and trying to just wait for this nightmare to be over with. And I think these are the next like codecs, you know, companies that aren’t really reading the map as it is right now. Because there is a change of paradigm really happening. And there are people that are trying to build a parachute on the way down. So the flow is not that hard. And they’re the ones, the old ones, trying to build an airplane on the way down and take this opportunity, which I think is historical, to a far greater place than ever before. going digital means that you could actually take a shot at connecting to the 70%, working in the field, and doing amazing stuff without excluding people like before, it’s a huge opportunity, actually, we find ourselves in the middle of this perfect storm, enabling companies that are that feel they’re ready for that or curious enough, I still think we’re very early on the maturity curve. And if you ask me, the only thing that would work in terms of communications or tool or not, in general, philosophically speaking, is open communications or community based open communications, something that companies need to learn how to give out, give up a little bit of control, be less control freaks, in it, they won’t be able to design the communications pyramid. These things just like in social media, in our consumer life, have a life of their own. But the boat companies are going to be okay with hearing some things that don’t like give freedom within boundaries, and take that, you know, leap of faith are going to get to a far greater place than ever before. And you’re going to discover social carriers, people that really carry their culture to other places, they’re going to make remote work or hybrid work actually work. And they’re going to be able to actually keep employees and even poach other employees, from companies that they could never compete within an office world before just by giving this essence that people are so desperate for right now.
Dave Michels 17:14
There’s quite a bit and what you just said that we can double click on but it sounds like you’re declaring a what is the term you use an open communications manifesto? And I look for that I heard you mentioned that open communications manifesto. I’ve heard you’ve mentioned it, but I couldn’t find it. So does this manifesto exist? Or was that it that you just shared?
Gideon Pridor 17:35
The system exists? We haven’t like published a paper called The Open comms manifesto. It’s something that we I’m working on alongside other people, some authors, some academia and some business partners that are helping us do this. My plan is to publish something like this. And to put it out there just like they did with the Agile Manifesto all these years ago, because I think it’s very, very necessary in order to give companies confidence to use when something has a name, it gives a lot of like less bold companies, people, it gives people courage to actually try stuff because it’s the thing. I really, really think that open columns need to be a thing today.
Dave Michels 18:17
So you want to give the people a voice and you want to cause a communications revolution with your manifesto.
Evan Kirstel 18:24
So it’s called the Communist Manifesto didn’t didn’t that already get
Dave Michels 18:27
exactly what it sounds? Updated? adapted. But yes, I think that’s a reasonable. But by the way, if you’re gonna give employees a voice, you need to give them a voice. You don’t have UCAS. And so let’s just say you want to give people the people a channel. I think that’s more accurate. But anyway, when I heard you talk about that you were talking about how giving people a channel reduces turnover. Now, how do you get to that conclusion
Gideon Pridor 18:52
that it reduces churn? First of all, there’s a lot of research about that, not specifically about giving people a channeler voice, but about the connection between engagement with which is something that could be measured in different ways, some ways I like more than others. But the connection between engagement and retention, which does not only exist, but according to Gallup or Gartner Ray wine, and a lot of other companies that research that it has the number one impact on retention, or on attrition, a trillion dollars in the US alone in a year before this like great reset that we’re seeing right now. So engagement is extremely important. Letting people express themselves or feel a part of something is a core core fundamental of engagement. It’s much more than just letting them raise their hand in a bingo game. So I think these two are very, very much connected and by giving people what you call a channel and I call the voice and letting them participate, I’m not saying you know, make it like a chaotic like the you know, the Basecamp episode that happened like last year. There needs to be restrictions. My previous company was also in Barcelona, there was the whole thing with independence referendum for Catalonia in Spain, very sensitive subject for people that live here. And it came to a place that we asked people not to speak about it in the office. Why? Because when people used to speak about it, it was too much for some other people. It’s so so so tensed. So I don’t have like, you know, a solution for that. But there needs to be boundaries in a workplace communication environment, that’s clear. But giving people a voice and ability to vote to like common to maybe post stuff of their own, helps them go back home, feeling like they’re more than just selling their time, more than just forfeiting a chunk of their lives. And I think that what everybody’s calling now the great reset, there’s a lot a lot about that sort of awakening right now, given given a little bit of that to people that never learned to even expected, I think could be revolutionary to the experience at work that some of these people have, especially people that don’t work in a cool tech company in the valley.
Dave Michels 21:11
Well, I think I caught you and your contradictions here, Gideon, because what you’re describing is a democracy. And you’re pretty excited about this. I understand what you’re describing. But then you gave yourself the title, Chief storyteller, so So you want everyone to be a storyteller. But as long as long as you’re still the chief is that right?
Gideon Pridor 21:29
Now? That’s just that’s just having some fun. I think we shouldn’t take yourself yeah. Like, seriously, I could have called myself a chief culinary officer, or something like that as well. The truth behind that, by the way, is that I realized that I’ve done like, 20 years or so in marketing, building marketing teams working in Israel in the States and Europe, I never liked my job enough. And after leaving my previous company, to big unicorn, today was a big success, I had some time to think it took a sabbatical with my family. And I decided that my goal for the rest of my career is to spend 80% of my time on the 20% that flow naturally, that I’m good at, which is not the case. For most of us, we spend 80% of the time and 80%, that the 80% that doesn’t come naturally. For me, it’s storytelling. You know, marketers could do a lot of things under social media, I haven’t mentioned it before, some do analytics and like ours, almost engineers, I like telling stories, or I like finding the right way to tell you a bunch of facts in a way that resonates. I enjoy that. And in this gig in work vivo, there is a lot of that it’s all a part of one big story that resonates with almost everybody, so but it’s just having a little bit of fun, I could have just been the storyteller and be good with it.
Evan Kirstel 22:51
I do like the title, page title is actually chief complaining officer, but that’s actually not a
Unknown Speaker 22:58
chief complaint, you had to be the chief complaint, you could have been the chief complaint. Complaint.
Dave Michels 23:06
Yeah, I’m good at it any percent.
Evan Kirstel 23:09
So you know, given this balance of quote, unquote, free speech versus moderated speech, within a company, what’s a good fit with a customer for work vivo, you know, how to align with your customers goals and values.
Gideon Pridor 23:24
So first of all, it’s something that we discuss all the time, because this market, you know, this better than than I do, this market of enterprise communication, and employee engagement, these are very confused markets, meaning they’re like tons of players. Everybody calls themselves a platform. And a lot of overlapping functionalities. It’s like a jungle out there. We have the Fit discussion all the time, because the market is maturing. And when you’re when you’re disrupting a market, this is something that you need to talk about once a quarter with feedback that you’re getting from the sales and from the field. The perfect fit for us would be small enterprise, mid market, small enterprise. In some cases, larger enterprises, like the ones that I mentioned before, but I’m talking about the ideal, you know, customer fit. And customers that companies that care about employee experience that worry about retention, that are open to investing in, in giving people more freedom. And you have companies like that a lot of younger CEOs, by the way to take over and come with that understanding to very traditional companies. If we even hear one of these words, hear them engagement, community, employee experience, employee satisfaction, sense of belonging, culture, a lot of culture, whatever that is, we know that we’re going to win. We know that we’re going to win sometimes we’ll be there with metta for example, and will almost always win.
Dave Michels 24:57
Mother gets a lot of traction with the organization. Seems that have a lot of frontline employees. You mentioned that earlier, frontline. Is that a characteristic you look for? And you’re
Gideon Pridor 25:06
not necessarily but when I think about our bigger customers, it’s a criteria that they usually have. Not always. But in a lot of cases, the best fit would be the ones that combine meaning they have office, they have home, they have in between, they have a lot of frontline. They have offices in different places. And they’re trying to get some sort of unity now without offices and with less traveling in general.
Dave Michels 25:31
So how are they distributed? Organizations are a good fit, because they don’t they don’t have that watercooler?
Gideon Pridor 25:36
Yes. And I think it’s more than a water cooler. I gave you a long winded answer before to actually very fair question. And I think that the better answer would be companies that care about culture, companies that really care about culture, not just as a word, but you see the CEOs that I’m saying CEOs, because before the pandemic, we didn’t talk to CEOs. We talked to communication managers. Now we talked to a forum of the CIO CEO, CHRO and comms manager, and everybody’s interested, it became strategic budgets went up there converged with intranet, and other tools that people want to replace, as fast as possible in order to put something meaningful in there, we find ourselves in the middle in the middle of that, so we became more strategic. And they come to us and come to us, and they like, tell us these things. So some of them, you know, they would cut, they would come and say that they want the better intranet, so people could see the company policy and like access all of the information, and they want a lot of levels of permissions, it’s completely top down, we know we’re not going to win, this is not a good fit. It’s not, but when they come in, they’re enthusiastic about the culture, it’s important to them, they tell you about it and all that, then I know we’re going to win because the company, the big differentiators that are a platform that shares a lot of functionality with other companies out there. It’s not like another intranet with a like button. It’s built around that it’s built to be community based. It’s built for recognition and values and goals and purpose. And all of these things. It’s built for mobile. And then we added the other functionality that is necessary, integrations, app launchers, API, internet stuff on top of that. So it’s coming from here and like not from here. Actually, you can’t see me on the video. And I’m like, using my hands a lot.
Dave Michels 27:20
Well, I’m sure our listeners gonna instinctively know your hands are moving around quite a bit. You’re in Spain, that’s just kind of a natural requirement. So I want to go back to this point about engagement and turnover, the relationship between engagement and turnover. There’s been a lot of conversation this recently about what you know, the great resignation, that’s happening, and why do you think that is happening now? I mean, people have not been engaged in their work for years. And so what’s the change that’s occurred? So
Gideon Pridor 27:49
I’ll tell you what I think first of all, I’m sure that there’ll be 1000s of books written about this. But to me, it’s, it’s simple, people have time to realize, think, reassess. And some of them discovered the flexibility or the ability to do work, and also be with their families or do other stuff. Some of them just had enough time to realize that they were programmed, but they were very unhappy. And I think this is how it started. Because when you you put yourself in a different situation. And some of that situation is better, it’s very hard to make you go back to something that you remember is less good. That’s called waking up. And Ariana Huffington she wrote a post about that it’s not the great reset. It’s the Great Awakening. And I liked that a lot. Because I think there is sort of an awakening right now, people don’t know maybe what they do want. But they have a stronger sense for what they don’t want, or what didn’t use to work for them. In the talk that I sent you from the talent Summit. Then I have a personal story there. I showed the like my own face blurred. And I told them, This person is a father that worked like crazy for 20 years. And now he has like a five year old and a two year old and he obviously sees them he comes back home, his wife tells him we always get the leftovers, which is true. And all you really wants us to take them to school to be with him a little bit to be to see them grow up. It’s true. And that person has made. And since you know, COVID happened, it suddenly happened. I had more time, I worked more remotely, I became more involved. I have a different, much deeper relationship with my kids right now. To me personally, that’s something I’m never giving up ever. And it took that in order to discover it.
Evan Kirstel 29:40
Nice. Well, that’s that sounds like a wonderful story. But getting back to your customers. I mean, their employees aren’t engaged. Many are quitting with the Great Awakening or great resignation. So how does an app make that better? Are you able to connect the dots are you able to show data or stories still speaking of story retelling case studies that show a direct link there,
Gideon Pridor 30:03
we have a lot of stories, we have a lot more stories about what people feel that, if I’m being honest with you, it’s hard to, it’s hard to show a connection between an app and retention in like six months or a year, because there’s so many factors. So we
Dave Michels 30:21
talked earlier about the frontline employees and the importance of culture. Are there any particular verticals that you’re seeing in your customers, and in particular areas that are getting more traction with your product,
Gideon Pridor 30:34
and we see a lot of manufacturing, a lot of retail, a lot of healthcare. Now, there, it really runs the gamut. There are a lot of them. But these three, we see a lot. And there is a lot of like pain there like wanting to emotionally connect, increase this, that sense of belonging of nurses, and caregivers, especially like in the pandemic is big. In other industries, traditional like manufacturing, that suffer a lot from a 10 to 20% attrition, it’s the number one cost center and it’s getting worse, it could get companies closed, if that gets even worse. So a lot of these that come to us, and are trying to look for the first app in their history that every employee in the company has access to. And that’s usually us in this sense, we do that and we connect to other tools like Slack and teams whenever whatever they used in the office or an app that they use for construction that could connect to us through API, but we usually become the natural sort of like center that like heartbeat that like pond in the savanna or like, animals go out to drink water that naturally becomes us.
Dave Michels 31:49
What about regionally? Are you stronger than certain countries?
Gideon Pridor 31:52
We’re stronger, except for Ireland, because that’s like home turf. US and UK are like about 70% of the client base.
Evan Kirstel 32:02
So how do you get employees to use the service? I know a lot of people have all these apps and they sort of they you know, over time they sort of they go dormant. I remember at Oracle, we had dozens of apps that were graveyards for messaging and internal communication, and just no one use them at what’s, what’s the secret there.
Gideon Pridor 32:22
It’s a huge problem because people have too many tools. And employees don’t want to use the tool. So the two technical answers is a it’s very, very easy to use. And it’s a familiar consumer experience, meaning you don’t need any onboarding of training, you could just jump into it and use it. And that removes a lot of the friction. And to we do have a very strong customer experience team that helps customers why not for technical onboarding, but usually they’re seeking help, or even I would say inspiration in terms of how to create a good engaging internal comms campaign, how to start with engaging the leaders to actually posting these thing, stuff that we need them to do in order for this to get running. And we have a lot of experience from a lot of other customers. So it’s very easy to repurpose ideas and stuff, and give them that and these are the two things that we usually do. I think that like these are stuff that we actually do, but in general philosophically speaking, I believe that about every tool today, people, especially younger people, they don’t use what they don’t want to use. It’s not like 20 years ago, you don’t get a CIO buying a tool, and everybody has to use it tomorrow, intranet, I mentioned this before have less than 10% adoption. There is a CIO that is spending a year on RFPs and whatnot. And they buy a tool or another tool on top of SharePoint that nobody uses to use anyway. And nobody’s using it. So the trick is to design something that people would actually want to use, and then it’s easier to sell it to them. And I think that we belong to that category, like a ladder, a lot of other tools that I like to use. And I use I use notion I use Miro, I use Asana, people like using it.
Evan Kirstel 34:07
Do you ever get into gamification at all? Is that part of your solution? Or have you seen any opportunities there?
Gideon Pridor 34:15
There are other companies that I see here and there that are doing this, we’re not big on gamification. We just like have to focus we have so much stuff that we don’t do well enough yet. When we look ambitiously at what a great communication 360 open communication experience should feel like that we’re more more focused on the on the core, making the core very, very clear and not clunky, and giving you features that I think are missing today. Take an example for a feature that nobody has and I want us to have first. So maybe my product like VP would not like me mentioning this but somebody joins a company in the last two years. You have so many millions that have joined a company and never met a living soul. It’s so crazy. We just get used to it. It’s in Same, it’s insane. It’s such a lonely, lonely, sad experience, really. So there are a lot of moments like this that never used to be good enough. You know, people, like Dave said weren’t engaged, like forever. But then add to that last two years, and people are hitting record levels of loneliness of anxiety. And we want to invent more features like a recognition, for example that I mentioned, we’ve mentioned before, the shout outs is our number, your number one use feature. me giving you a shout on people joining me small thing that goes a long way, want to develop a lot of things like this along the way that recapture moments that help people get some of that human experience digitally.
Dave Michels 35:43
But I like your humility. I’m always telling Evan, that there’s a lot of things he doesn’t do well enough, either. Let me ask you a little bit about your competition. You’ve mentioned workplace by metta a few times, I assume you run into Yammer every once in a while. What do you think separates work vivo? What do you think what makes work vivo unique.
Gideon Pridor 36:03
So it’s everything we talked about so far, work vivo is based and designed and built for employee engagement, for bringing culture to life, for a more emotional connection between the company and the employees, and, you know, meaningful built bonds between the employees and each other. And on top of that, he does a lot of other robust, wide, more traditional functionality for managing and accessing knowledge and tools, and integrations and a lot of stuff like that. Almost every tool that you’ll find out there is built exactly the other way around. And it’s trying to get a little bit more open, more social, more engaging. And that’s a very different experience. So if you’re a company that prioritizes what I just said, and is looking for a way to really, really boost digitally boost the company culture, Foster, you know, culture of recognition, values, mutual purpose, people feeling the leaders of the company, and I just like seeing them in the parking lot every like once every year, then this is what the platform is built around. And you feel it a lot, a lot, a lot more compared to an intranet with a nice UX that also has like a Like button and some other stuff like that. So this is based on community and has other stuff. Others are based on knowledge and access to tools and governance, and might have some social features.
Evan Kirstel 37:34
Got it? So you raised about $16 million last year, continuing to raise money, are you finished?
Gideon Pridor 37:41
Not we’re definitely not finished. But we’ll announce in another round soon enough. The thing is that we we don’t want to overdo it, we feel that we see the growth over the past two years, financially speaking. And we feel that if we don’t, if we continue exactly like this, not changing the product, the focus, not pivoting anything really this better, then we’ll be in an even much, much, much, much better, more ambitious place to raise a lot of money in like a year and a half or two. So there’ll be another round announce in the next few months. But I already tell you now we could talk again, then that round will be a nice round. But there’s a lot of hunger in the market, it could have been much bigger, right? Even right now. And we don’t feel that we need it right now. We still have a lot of cash to run. We want the cash injection in order to make it even bigger, open more countries hire a lot more people, engineers, but we feel that we shouldn’t rush it.
Dave Michels 38:45
When you sell this into an enterprise. Who are you talking to? Is this an IT sale? Or an HR sale? Or is it isn’t? Who’s the chief culture officer that you that you sell this to?
Gideon Pridor 38:57
It’s actually a good question because it’s a pain. Meaning if I had the same person in every job in every conversation, my life would have been much easier as a chief marketing officer because you talk to the same person. But this thing is owned by different people in different companies, which makes it more complex truth. Truly speaking, in some companies a lot in a lot of companies is the chief HR and they have different titles, Chief people’s chief HR, we even have a chief hearts Heart Officer. It’s like endless and then you have others that have a specific title. So there is a VP of culture, another now there is a explosion of VPS or chiefs of employee experience. It’s a new like a rather new thing. So this will be perfect for us. In a lot of cases it starts in comps, but usually that won’t be the guy that signs the check meaning there will be an executive sponsor from HR it or both, in a lot of cases is the CEO him or herself because they consider themselves as is the owner of culture even if there is a chief HR, and it is always involved, but I have to say that most of the opportunities that we naturally when it’s not an IT lead opportunity, it are involved. But it’s led by the people side of the organization.
Evan Kirstel 40:17
I love it. Chief Heart Officer. That’s fantastic. It’s something Dave Michaels could never apply for it. Because you need a heart to actually. What about cost? Is this enterprise wide license? Or is it per employee? How does that work?
Gideon Pridor 40:35
Yeah, it’s apparently so this is why we have smaller companies like mid market startups that use a bigger enterprise would have like an enterprise ticket. Pricing is pretty simple, but it is tiered. So if you’re an enterprise, you’d be paying for also more features and customizations and access to stuff and services that a normal company or a mid market company won’t have, I would say in general, so the key is per employee. But then there is a jump tear between mid market or small enterprise and a bigger enterprise, it will need access to more features, services, customization,
Dave Michels 41:13
but give us an idea of a ballpark in euros or dollars or whatever you happen to be thinking of what we talked in single digits. Terms. 2030 is what give us an idea of what a price is for your product.
Gideon Pridor 41:26
So small, mid market company would start from the 20s.
Dave Michels 41:32
And is there a freemium option?
Gideon Pridor 41:35
No, right now, there isn’t. By the way, it’s another thing that we I mean, I’d love to have, but we’re focusing right now meaning that the customers that we do sell to, I mean, the rollout, the onboarding, from their perspective, that change management is complicated, even in their heads, they wouldn’t go for free anything.
Evan Kirstel 41:56
Yeah, we saw how well that free sharing went. Netflix. So yeah, maybe maybe not the best approach. Although Eric, Eric wanted zoom might give you some pushback, he’s, you know, the OG of freemium. So
Gideon Pridor 42:10
we want to have freemium. But like, I think that they business wise why? From a business perspective, I think that once we get more confident, more stable, bigger and achieve our goals on the mid market segment, and small enterprise segment, which are huge, infinite, will have more confidence in order to pivot downwards a little bit, which is where everybody wants to be because it’s more fun. And in order to like do that, we’ll need to get freemium. And we’ll need to give a product that is easier to implement, like on a team level right now, for example. And right now, this product is less like this.
Dave Michels 42:46
So I want to go back to that presentation I saw you do you opened with I think was opening, I think you open with you asking people, What is the value of a year of their life? Why do you ask that? And what’s the going rate?
Gideon Pridor 43:00
First of all, I’m a big fan of Dr. Evil, it sounded like an evil thing to do. Just they wanted to change the context, you know, in order for people to really think for a second. And sometimes you need to make people uncomfortable in order to do that. And ask them, how much would it take in order for you to sell me one year of your life? And I told them, You don’t have to do it all at once. You could sell it to me, like, you know, eight hours a day over three, four years. And then we could have like a second plan, you know, for more years? It’s a rhetorical question, the idea was talking about the fact that nobody really wants to sell a part of their lives. Well, we got accustomed a lot of us get accustomed to like a reality where we go to a job that we don’t like, we even a lot of people suffer their work in order to live in the time in the hours that they have left. It’s not like I think that, you know, I’m not like naive, I don’t think that everybody could have their perfect American dream job and you know, find their real potential. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to have a good experience a meaningful experience at work, to not be, you know, like a lever and a machine to have connection to the leaders of the company get talked to be informed about what the company is doing, meet other people physically or digitally, get recognition, feel that they exist, feel they’re included, get asked a thing or two every now and then. So it’s a seat at a table, if not the table. And I think that people that feel like this work will do much, much, much better job as well. So they don’t feel that they’re, they might not feel that they’re working in their dream job, but they don’t feel that they’re like selling their time. They have a meaningful experience. They have colleagues and friends and stuff that are happening and experiences and it’s a positive experience. I think that’s what people maybe phrase it differently, but I think that a lot of people that’s what they they want they don’t want to be leaving Isn’t that machine anymore and go to hibernation for eight or 10 hours a day?
Dave Michels 45:04
If you’re a fan of Dr. Evil, then then it’s not a rhetorical question. And the answer is 1 million. I mean, $1 billion. But hey, I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. And I think we will wrap up this interview here. Do you have any parting thoughts or questions? I haven’t.
Evan Kirstel 45:18
No, I was just going to name my number $1.6 million for a year of my life. And I’ll provide my bitcoin wallet in the show notes, if anyone wants to you’re setting
Unknown Speaker 45:26
yourself sounds very cheap and combined. With inflation of today, you know, this is nothing.
Evan Kirstel 45:33
I’ll keep that in mind. But thanks so much for joining us. Hope to see you in Barcelona, probably in Mobile World Congress next year. And congratulations on all this success onwards and upwards.
Gideon Pridor 45:43
Thank you guys. I enjoyed this a lot. It’s not like other podcasts because like, this was actually really fun. But if I could say one thing is like a sort of like a closing remark, then I really hope that there’ll be more and more bold CEOs out there that understand that they need to cross the chasm they need to invest to take that leap of faith and change the paradigm in terms of how employee experience should feel like in their companies, meaning communicating to people, giving them a voice or a channel, they’ve and making them really feel included. Companies, there are different ways to do that. And all companies are different. But I really believe that companies that won’t do that and just expect things to get back to normal as they used to be in 2019 are going are in for a big surprise. They’re going to lose their best talent. They’re going to pay a lot of money, but good talent, especially young people are not going to want to work for them. They’re going to feel that something’s missing. And this is a big transformation, that the great places to work and the greatest companies of tomorrow need to realize that’s my belief system in a nutshell.
Dave Michels 46:54
I’ve crossed the chasm and the pizza is not any better over there. So I came back. But again, thank you very much for joining us really, really enjoyed talking to you and learning more about work vivo. Thank you. Thank you guys.
Evan Kirstel 47:08
Well, I need some more work life balance like getting in I think I’m gonna move to Barcelona to and start drinking Sangria on the beach. What about you?
Dave Michels 47:15
Well, you know, my plans and actually there’s a big rivalry between Portugal and Spain. I don’t really know why then Portugal is a far superior place to live. But both of us we need to spend more time in that part of the world. I agree.
Evan Kirstel 47:29
So roadtrip Here we go. You may get into conversation man we gotta get out of here. The phone don’t bomb down your phone. No, man. No, it’s me.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai