Episode 5 – Duelling Podcasts!

Today’s Guest

Gil Roberts
Director, BrickBridge Consulting

Episode Summary

In this episode we speak with Gil, Jarett and Alex from BrickBridge Consulting, a Podio Partner who is also building an exciting new tool for launching solutions using Podio.

This is a fascinating discussion about their business, about Podio in general and how Podio can be used to build Enterprise level software in an accelerated way.

BrickBridge can be reached at http://www.brickbridgeconsulting.com/and please check out their awesome new podcast here! It’s a great place to learn more about Podio!

Listen Now

Audio Transcription

Narrator:0:01Welcome to powered by Podio. Automation is everything. Supercharge your business with Podio. Get ready for another episode of Supercharged! With Jordan Samuel Fleming, your weekly dive into the awesome impact workflow and automation can have on your business when it’s Powered by Podio. Join us each week as we learn from the top Podio partners in the world, as we investigate system integrations and add-ons, and hear from real business owners who have implemented Podio into their business. Now, join your host, Jordan Samuel Fleming, CEO of Gamechangers for this week’s episode.

Jordan:0:44Hey everybody, and welcome to this episode of supercharged. I’m your host, Jordan, Samuel Fleming here to talk all about the power of workflow and automation when your business is Powered by Podio. Now, today’s guest really special Alex ,Jarret and Gil from brickbridge consulting. Really are they fellow Podio partners, but they are also fellow podcast is about Podio and they have an awesome podcast called Podio Solutions podcast, which I highly recommend. We recorded one for them last week and now they are returning the favor and coming on mine. Guys, welcome to the podcast. Introduce yourself to the audience.

Gil:1:17Thank you so much Jordan. This is Gil Roberts here and with me today is our lead developer Alex Shull and our principal consultant here at BrickBridge Jarett Duker. We do design and development on the Podio platform as you said, we’ve been also working on a product called Sassafras, which is a Podio toolkit to really round out a lot of the features, feature gaps that are missing from Podio to make it more closer to a product platform. So something that we’re developing and, uh, soon be releasing to the rest of the community.

Jordan:1:52Well, I know I’m excited about that and I’m excited to, uh, uh, to really dig into that and learn more because of the power that can bring to all of us. But just let’s roll back a bit and, um, if we can start a, just how you guys first got involved with Podio and when you realized it was going to be a platform you can take to your clients.

Gil:2:12Sure. I’ll take this sequentially. First, I think I’m out of the three of us. I ran into it at originally back in 2012, December 2012 in the nonprofit world. We were looking to do something to capture outcomes. Really back then the workflows weren’t even implemented. Uh, so it was kind of a forum software back December, December 2012. And I’ve personally, I’ve been involved with it since, so either through that position I held a nonprofit and then future businesses that I’ve started as, as well as clients that we’ve helped so far. Uh, Jared, I think you got introduced next in about 2015?

Jarett:2:54Yes. We were using it to run a multiple departments at the same nonprofit.

Gil:3:02And then Alex, we, uh, we can cajoled you in. I think we touched on Podio, maybe 2014 ish,

Alex:3:13yeah I’d used an early version of it with you when we had a prior business and then you and Jared got ahold of me and gave me a little vision for what you needed to do and I took a look at it. Podio, I thought it would be a really interesting opportunity and we’ve been at it ever since.

Jordan:3:33So will you guys then. So you guys were working wind Podio and then made the decision to form this consultancy around Podio at that point. That’s pretty close. Um, so we started bridge consulting in 2016, uh, formally in December. Really over that summer we built some, uh, over the summer, Jared and I were sitting on a board for the metro government, so local government here in Kentucky and they were looking for some type of solution to be able to collect feedback and pass it between 13 and other nonprofit partners. So they were looking for some kind of collaborative workflow. Right. And of course we’re, Jared and I are using Podio at this time and we’re like, hey, you know, this is something that could potentially be a solution for what we’re looking at. It’s cloud based. Everybody ready can join it and everybody can see all the feedback and the surveys that come in from the city.

Gil:4:27The city said, yes, jared and I, we, we built that for free, gave it to the city. Now we have built systems for our jobs just as just as a part of our job, make our lives easier at work, right. Um, that, that were for tracking and reporting for federal grants. So a similar to what I was doing in 2012 that just kind of progressed forward. So on that board of 13, there was another nonprofit who is our current partner with the impact pro solution that saw what we were doing and said, hey, uh, do you guys do more of this? And we’re like, if the price is right, you know, so he said, sure, I’m with Jared, we jumped into Jared’s convertible and we drove to Lexington, which is about 80 minutes away from Louisville, and we wrote the presentation on the way there.

Gil:5:20We pitched our hearts out and we landed a contract and a cheque with a business name on it that didn’t exist yet. So we actually had a check that went to a business that didn’t exist. So we had to go get a lawyer and get everything formed and so that we can cash the check and get a bank account. So it Kinda just happened, um, and then we just had success ever since. That was a very large product, uh, the mpact pro product. We did some episodes about that on our podcast for those who want to understand detail, but, uh, that, that’s a huge product sound. 12 states now and other very successful co development partner with us. Interesting

Alex:5:58after you finished the Alpha is when I got involved. That was after they have already successfully done all that.

Gil:6:07That’s a good point. Alex. the, uh, jared and I have no development, quote unquote development experience. We’re not, when we went to mba school together, that’s how we know each other were business guys. Jared is great consultant, a process guy. I’m moreover in sales and operation and uh, w we were able to use GlobiFlow, right and Podio and cobbled together a working alpha solution the best of our ability. And then we had to go get a wizard here, Alex, to kind of take us to the next level.

Jordan:6:41That sounds very familiar to me. I mean, I, uh, I started in Podio myself, uh, you know, as I was looking for a solution for my company and I built things and I got very good at designing and Podio, but then very quickly realized that I wasn’t really a developer and I was never really going to think, uh, I was never really going to execute along those lines. So I ended up instead building a team of people who could and who were better at that than me to let me do the things that I’m good at. And uh, I think that’s probably when once you start to scale a bit in Podio at all, I think that’s unnecessary step because the, you know, you need people who are very focused on development, who can really think through things and who can do things, uh, you know, using javascript, using api calls and et cetera. So that’s very familiar to me.

Gil:7:32We had to have Alex and I’m a one hour to talk about this a little bit. We had to have alex in because when the impact pro solution, which is again for another nonprofit, we hook that solution to the federal government. So this, this actually hooks up with HUD, uh, as well as Freddie Mac. So these are two large organizations. We needed deep API integration between Podio and those systems and that’s Kinda what begat a Sassafras, its initial structure. So Alex, I’ll let you talk a little bit about that.

Alex:8:06Uh, as I recall, the, the real, um, driving, um, purpose for my involvement was to address the issue of having many environments being managed with the same solution on each one of them. And so for us, a solution is actually a collection of Podio workspaces and we use the Podio workspaces, um, as sort of, um, groups of where work is done. Jared, jared, can you speak to that? How, how do you design that Podio solution you, that kind of precedes by my, my little bit.

Jarett:8:43Well, when we got to the end of Alpha for impact pro in June of last year, we were very much faced with the two realizations. One is the product we built was top of the line class 10 years ahead of what anyone else in the industry was using. It was phenomenal and that it was awful to replicate on a one off basis. It took a lot of one on one attention and individual consulting every time we wanted to create a new organization inside of the mpact pro solution. And we really had to approach the problem holistically and think in terms of how can we create scalability inside of these, what we started calling Podio solutions. Podio is great when you’re working inside of a workspace. Every, all the apps are interconnected. The Globiflow replication tools even work fairly well, but that pro, yeah, excuse me. Impact pro was nine workspaces, all of which needed to work together seamlessly to deliver that best in class solution, uh, to the, to the industry.

Alex:9:47Yeah. And just to, just to make sure that people understand the situation mpact pro is being resold to agencies. And so our client is an organization that manages the relationship to all those agencies. And so each one of those environments is again, um, used by a different end user and so deploying those and making sure that they are using a consistent version of the back end system is not something that’s easy to do. Um, today with globiflow you can do it. Um, and the tools are getting better. I know that there is a deployment manager, I haven’t used it extensively in part because that’s what Sassafras does for us. Sassafras, um, allows us to capture a instead of Podio workspaces and then to deploy a new version of those mapped into a specific client’s environment. So, um, in addition, when we put them in into the Sassafras back end, um, we also run all of our functions essentially on a custom AWS back end, which allows us to run every single one of those environments on exactly the same code. So we know that they’re using exactly the same version of a flow, for instance. And again, you can do this with globiflow, um,

Jordan:11:20super manual. You will not, yeah, it’s not built

Alex:11:25that. I mean it isn’t, it isn’t. And so, and it could be extended to that, but today it’s not built for that and it’s the, the beauty of globiflow, we love GlobiFlow, because it is an amazing prototyping tool for us. You can produce working software so quickly using GlobiFlow and then our transition point, if we want to really have a lot of installations is just translate those flows into the back end. And so it’s kind of a two stage development. We don’t like to prototype software on the backend because it’s not built in that.

Jordan:12:00No. And actually that brings up an interesting point and you know, I know we discussed in the podcast a podcast the other day about this notion of, of Podio is a platform and the end as, as a vehicle to build these software products on. Now we have, um, we’ve been, we’ve just launched a at the end of last year, uh, one for the property management space. Um, and uh, one of the things that we’ve decided to do was to run all the core automation, et Cetera on our own server using direct API calls, etc. But, but we’re, we’re, we’re so, every time someone buys one of the product, we actually create a new organization for them. Everybody who’s with their employee becomes a full Podio user so that we have a full globiflow account for them, for individual unique customizations that can be done best in Globiflow. So why development?

Alex:12:55Yeah, exactly. That’s the thing, you don’t have to lose those kind of capabilities. It’s still right there. You can still listen to, for the events and you can still do customizations that don’t have the impact of your other users. It’s a beautiful platform. And what else can you do that so easily? I don’t, I don’t know, another system out there where you can achieve that kind of balance between customization and also just the standardization. It’s great.

Jordan:13:22So are you guys with this? Uh, I mean we’ll get to the sassafras, I’m very interested in that, but in terms of the product, uh, the mpact pro product then when this is, when someone buys that, are you, did you mean that you installed that in their own organization?

Gil:13:40I can speak to that a little bit. Um, so no, actually we have just a master Podio account that all workspaces are hosted on her, partly because of the terms of service with Citrix, right. So we have, we have a special deal with them on how that account operates. So there’s no distinction between internal, extra and users. All seats are charged, which is fine because anybody that has access to the system is paying our partner to access that solution. This, this one, Podio account. I mean it’s got hundreds of workspaces and it at this point, so it’s pretty massive. Hundreds of users in there, but you know, it’s controlled via that sassafras backend, we don’t have to worry about the functions. We can go to one place and edit if we need to change behavior, we make one edit in the sassafras back and then all the workspaces received the update. And, and I, I think one of the things that has been really powerful with us is the ability to patch because if you have that many apps and that many workspaces out there, you know, if you need to change a field, right, you have to go through every single one of the copies of those apps. We, we’ve, we’ve developed a solution to where you can make a change in a master copy and then it will cascade that changes throughout the Podio system. So you can actually just patch environments inside of Podio.

Jordan:15:03And how do you look at it in terms of, you know, one of, I think, I think everyone would agree that one of Podio’s biggest strengths is the customization, um, you know, is, is the fact that I can run the things the way I want to run them as opposed to what, how in someone else’s software is telling me to run them. So when you’re looking at rolling out this product across maybe 10 different, uh, agencies, are you giving them the opportunity to customize or are you trying to lead them down a path?

Jarett:15:36I’ve thought a lot about that over the last couple of years and we’ve kind of come to a couple of rules that is just good design. One is inside of the core solution, which is usually as minimalist as possible. We do not allow customization, we have already spoken to dozens of different experts and part of the value that we’re bringing to them as, as a product is the fact that our workflow is an industry best practice. Um, at the same time we want them to be able to customize fields and, uh, have that deep level of individuality inside of their software and it, and it was an issue because we couldn’t just open the door and let them change anything because in the back end wouldn’t work. They are invariably going to break it. Um, so we, we eventually came to two methods. One is if it’s adding fields, a direct customer support agents can add fields to apps. That’s no problem at all. They know not to delete them. And the other thing is we can add entire applications or secondary workspaces that they can then build their own software in without. And they can have admin privileges inside of that workspace without the danger of them disrupting the core product or workflow

Jordan:16:49Without them impacting the central product. They can almost spin off on their own a little and, and do something with it. And you know that your product is fine.

Alex:16:59Absolutely you don’t. They don’t touch the golden record as it were, privileged workspaces where you know that the data is going to be preserved, but you can automatically just given them a copy to play with. And if they destroy it, well that’s their sandbox, kind of, you know?

Jordan:17:16Absolutely. Absolutely. And when you’re looking at a product like this, I mean, uh, you know, the, it’s such a. I think it’s one of those things that a few people have done well now and that’s something that I hope more people focus on and I’m really glad you’re podcast is showcased it immediately because I don’t, I can’t think is, as you pointed out, I can’t think of another platform that allows you to build what I class as enterprise software quickly on someone else’s dime. Right? Like, I don’t have to do the heavy lifting. Citrix owns, you know, has the heavy lifting on this and we can build it quickly, we can roll it out quickly and we can customize in an almost unbelievable way and we’re not, and we’re not having to manage the under lying architecture, uh, on that end. And I think that’s amazing. And so what you’re doing is sort of how I can see Podio really progressing.

Jarett:18:20It really impresses me how, uh, even though we’re on different sides of the world, we still end up using the same terminology that we’ve just come to very organically over the last couple of years.

Gil:18:32There’s something else that I’ve noticed about the Podio platform in general, outside of its ability to scale is also just the user friendliness and approachability. I think that I always like to note this because at the end of the day, the end user is the one that experiences the software, right? So having Podio invest into that front end heavily has allowed us to not have to go and get front end designers, right? Like that. That helps as, as a younger company like ours, we don’t have to get the personnel and the expertise and the talent to do that yet. Right? So having that allows other Podio developers, you know, take advantage of that. Anybody listening just take advantage of that. You have this beautiful front end, build the functionality in behind it. You can quickly iterate a, it’s very amenable to the lean startup process. Uh, so that you can get early versions out, you know, a lot of times when we do development, we try to get something out to them in two weeks.

Gil:19:37It’s rough shot, it’s, it’s not feature complete, but we want to get at least a few of their users in there immediately to make sure that we’re going down the right development path and, and then help build and then continue to complete this offer from there. It’s just, it’s just a better quality product for the clients. At the end of the day, it’s a little rougher for them because they, you know, they expect kind of off the shelf ready to go, but you know, they kind of buy in and we talked about that on our podcast as well. Once management buys in and these end users by, in they end up with what they really want and where they really need. Honestly at the end of the day.

Jordan:20:17And um, I think, uh, I can’t remember if we talked about this on your podcast, but one of the things that, um, that, uh, I think is also a big Podio strength way. We talked with the front end that Podio has his, um, whilst I know everybody is constantly like, oh, couldn’t I? Wouldn’t it be nicer if I could make this adjustment? Or if I could make it look a little different here and here and here. I think that consistency of the way Podio works means that you can start with something and once people are trained up on Podio, they, you can actually roll out features very quickly because everything always works the exact same way. And people are like, oh, I get it, I can you get out a whole other business process or section two, your Podio system and every instinctively know how to use it. That’s how,

Alex:21:04yeah, the, I like to think of it as, you know, adoption of software and functionality is inhibited by different sources of friction. And by having that commonality of the ui experience of the interactions, you just removed a huge source of friction, you know, it’s all very smooth and it makes it much easier to really expand and get that interaction cycle to get the feedback from the users and they know what it’s capable of and they know where to expect the enhancements.

Jordan:21:37So I’m curious guys, when you’re a. One of the things I wanted to get your take on is um, and I don’t know you from your client base, but we’ve got a lot of clients that I would class our field operational. So they’ve got field teams who are out and about doing things all the time, which needs to be impacted into Podio in some way. Now I think the mobile environment on Podio is, is one of its weakest features. Uh, how do you address that where you’ve got clients who need to do relatively extensive things, outs out when they don’t have a laptop with them?

Gil:22:16Yeah. So right now we’ve done some field service field service agents, actually a prior business that Jarett and I owned for about four years. We did a field service and we use, Podio is mobile app for about four years. It got the job done. I’m going to, I’m going to say that a little, you know, it, it, it gets the job done. I don’t have really anything negative like really bad beer. No. A, it’s there that the beer yet, alcohol is in there and there it’s going to do what it does. It’s better to have that than not have it. I will say that I, I’d rather have it in its current form that not at all. So I think that, uh, if you want to talk about some areas of investment on, on Citrix side, I think coming together onto the mobile app was probably going to be better. I know, and I don’t know if they’ve resolved this or not, but Jarett, I’ve found out about a year or so ago over on a samsung tablet, if you went to edit something, it brought up a bunch of blank fields as you type in what your edits where and when you get saved. Well, read those blank fields to save and it would just override everything blind so you’d literally have to fill out the whole thing again. It was only on these samsung tablets. It was really weird because it’s just like some attention over there as needed. Maybe

Jordan:23:43that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Get your feedback. I’m wondering is attention really needed there or do we or is a better solution because everybody’s going to be different and every

Alex:23:59I have technical opinion, which is the, um, from the standpoint of where I think I’m, the Podio team can support to really drive the mobile and frankly just better web utilization would be to go along the lines of, of um, well my name is something like graphql. Have you heard of that? It’s the facebook interface to Basically object level data and it’s, it’s a, is, is an api support that the Podio team could build in which would allow people to do react based website development, which is very popular today. There’s a lot of people with that skillset, but the easiest way to consume data and display it is using graphql and so I think that a direction like that would be very good. It doesn’t change the core platform, it doesn’t change the api, it extends it into a new direction which makes it even, um, you know, address issues like mobile and web, um, you know, ui interfaces and that kind of flexibility at the same time.

Gil:25:22So alex, just for I’m not as familiar and not as technical event, that sounds to me from a business perspective and I can, I can go grab a front end guy, gal and build my skin Podio, so to speak. Using that react. Am I am I

Alex:25:42thank you. Just one example of, you know, a front end java script if the client side javascript interface platform so you can use, it’s very, very popular. React and angular was very popular, but the point is that graphql is a very standardized and a modern way of making that kind of data available for a client side web application to consume. And that same development approach could address your concerns about, about mobile without having to change the core Podio platform. That’s the point. I don’t think the core Podio platform needs to be changed. It’s great. Don’t change it. Extended.

Jordan:26:29Yeah. I mean we, we look at, we tend to focus on two types of solutions through the, the problem, um, one, uh, you know, on a very simple basis if we, if you got something like the WAUportal, you can provide people with a very easy interface. I look at mobile iS usually needed. If you’re talking field for like one or two specific things. It’s not like they need to do everything in Podio, in it, it’s that they need, if they’re out and about and they’re an engineering company, they need to do these couple processes mobile and everything else is done on the computer. So I look at it as a solution for right now, we kind of concentrate or our solutions to this problem around either like a WAUportal setup or a bootstrap version on a, you know, set up on our own servers where we’re providing them with just a very concentrated kind of mobile environments that just allows them to have all the fields, the bits they need for Podio, do it in a nice way and mobile and then push all the data automatically to Podio. That’s how we address it right now.

Jordan:27:36Uh, well yes and no. I mean we do have some like, like this property management product, um, we’re, you know, very much like what you’re doing, you know, we’ve got one, one, one way of doing it and we’re just replicating it. Um, you know, each time. But each one of them runs off of our own servers so that we can give them a more guided mobile experience for the one or two processes that need to happen. And that’s where I think, that’s why I think I’m curious what would Podio be able to do from a mobile app? Because everY process is so different, it strikes me is almost impossible to.

Alex:28:17I totally agree with you, but I honestly believe that a technology like graph ql does, does address your exact concern because it would give a developer who has the skills to do a simple bootstrap website or whatever you’re doing to consume an api that, um, would give them this specific kinds of interactions you need. BuT that’s just, you know, that’s just one of many ways to do it.

Jordan:28:45Sounds. Uh, I mean that sounds. I’ll often take a look at it. It’s not my, I’m not the developer, so this is when I, this is when I forwarded it over to andrew. Andrew Cranston is our CTO and manages all that technical side of things. So this is one of those, I just wrote to him and say, take a look.

Alex:29:04I’d love to hear his take on it. That’s why we got alex.

Gil:29:10We’re very fortunate to bring them on as a partner once we’re. Once we were able to get into the partnership.

Jordan:29:18So let me ask in terms of, because I’m sure that there are like the two, two things, two things that I’m, I know that everybody’s going to be excited by and, and, uh, you know, when people have given me a lot of feedback so far on the podcast already on, in terms of like people who are maybe just Podio your users and they want to see some things that we’ve talked about, like, oh my god, how did you. and that’s awesome. I love that. Right? It’s like this is exactly why we’re doing this. All of us, we were opening the Podio community but, but from a developer point of view and Podio partner point of view, obviously you’re sassafras product is going to be something that’s potentially a, a big impact. So can you talk a bit about that? I mean, whatever you can tell us how you’re approaching it because it sounds to me very exciting.

Gil:30:04I’ll do a quick intro and alex, uh, it’s, it’s your brainchild. Uh, the reason we got you on. So I’m on to you. But basically we wanted to have the ability and, and quite selfishly to, to make our lives easier for our clients, right. Our lives creating solutions and mpact pro is kind of an initial driver of that. We’ve since we have about 12, 13 working solutions products out there right now that, that had been developed over the last couple of years. So we selfIshly use sassafras to, to make our lives easier, right? Like we can just prototype in GlobiFlow, convert it over to sassafras. It’s really easy to scale it out with our clients because that’s what they’re asking for. They’re looking for software, right? Just like the old old days of stamping a cd. So we needed to make the cd stamper, right. So they can distribute the software, software’s out to their client bases, or their locations or whatever their setup maybe. And that’s where alex comes in.

Speaker 4:31:06InitiallY my effort was built around exporting GlobiFlow xml and reconfiguring it and then importing it back into globiflow. But I ran into a lot of obstacles that had some success, but it didn’t turn into a manual process and it wasn’t perfect. But along the way, uh, I had to write a custom integration with an api, which you’ll mentioned previously and the level of integration I needed, it just wasn’t possible to do through globiflow. I needed to generate a very specific xml and I needed to submit it with the different kinds of security that just wasn’t there. So when I started building that integration using amazon web services and started learning more about the entire Podio api, I realized that I could support a direct, you know, an event based integration and in that direction, um, it, it really just grew into, um, you know, three, three major things. First of all, a, as gill mentioned, a system to just stamp out a cd which had a certain agencies name on it. And so the events in that agency all get mapped back to the sassafras back and just like they would get top GlobiFlow. And when those events go back, there is a, an entire system that understands, you know, which environment it’s coming from and how to access all the other elements of data that we record it for them. When we initially stamp that cd, so to speak, and so that’s the second piece is the entire, um, means to process those events on a single version of the software. And so in the last piece is if you need to update the software, then you can apply a patch all those environments and update the version number and then start processing a new set of events to an updated set of functions on the, on the sassafras back end.

Alex:33:10So it’s, those is that those three elements are really the motivation behind I’m a sassafras and the easiest way for me to, to, you know, do an elevator pitch for what we were trying to address. It really comes down to, um, what I consider enterprise class concerns for Podio, which are, um, you’re able to deliver because the Podio api supports you delivering them, but they’re not built into Podio and not in GlobiFlow And um, again, the Podio environment itself wasn’t built for that. And so sassafras just extends that capability by managing those Podio environments for you. We really think of it as bringing your Podio environment under management by sassafras. And then it can kind of handle all of those issues of security and integration for you.

Jordan:34:04It’s interesting. I was um, I had a, I had Andreas, the founder Globiflow ProcFu and GlobiMail on. I’m in my first episode And one of the things he said to me, which again, alex will understand probably immediately, and I didn’t because I’m not technical, but he said what really intrigued him about one of the things that intrigued them about Podio was it was his own api client was his own api client, I think it was, it was api first versus he described a lot of other systems where api as a secondary thought like, oh gosh, people may want to get some data in here, so let’s open some stuff up. Whereas Podio has a much, much stronger api functionality. And that, again, for those of us who develop more complex systems, opens up a world of truth of possibility to us. Is that correct, alex?

Alex:34:56Yes. You hit the nail on the head. I mean, for, from a developer’s perspective, I’m someone who really wants to build something on top of a good platform to have a team that is thinking services versus the way I think of an api versus the same idea I’m really means that they’re dedicated to having a platform because that means that I can do everything in an automated fashion that you can do from the ui. And so that gives you that, that special level of customization capability when you say, you know what, you don’t need to do this anymore because it’s repetitive or whatever you can. You can really find those little integration points, those extension points that make your work with the automation because it’s the same level of capability. You got it spot on. And I think that, um, it’s the same idea that I had for sassafras honestly. And when I went into building sassafras services first, we weren’t sure that we would be able to offer this to anyone else. But given the fact that I, I followed that same approach. It gives me special abilities to now extend it. And Podio has the same. Same idea. You build it services first and so when the, the developers come, they’re ready to, you know, integrate with you and to extend your platform and it’s exactly because their api first.

Jordan:36:23Yeah, that was a really interesting part of, uh, you know, of listening to andreas the other day and something that is someone who’s not a developer. I probably didn’t understand as much. Um, but, uh, I thought that was interesting and I think it points, you know, what you guys are doing with sassafras and what you’ve developed with, uh, with your other products. Um, you know, it just points to I think the future for a lot of Podio partners where we are, uh, I mean we, we’ve, we just launched the property management tool, um, a system that we have created before we even launched. We already had 150 companies who signed up to take part. I, you know, and so suddenly our ability to prototype and develop a saas software system, which we, I would never have thought I’d ever do if I’m brutally honest. That’s not, that’s not me, but our power of the platform. Well, And that is, if I look at a Podio and I’m sure you guys are familiar with investorfuse with dan, one of the founders of investorfuse, dan, um, he came to our first ever Podio partner meet up in europe and it was just as he was trying to get investorfuse off the ground and so he was talking to us all about this, this product he was developing investorfuse and he was really. And you’ve got to give them whatever you think of the platform when you think of of it, because I’m sure we’ve all got real estate called clients. And so we, we see pluses and minuses of the way maybe it was done. Whatever you think about that, you cannot deny that, that that team saw a vision for a saas based system based on Podio probably before or at least the executed it before most of us. and that’s a great opportunity for Podio partners. I think

Gil:38:17a funny side note, we actually talked to dan and his group very early on, jared and I during the alpha of impact pro just to talk to him about the concerns and some other things about growing because we, we caught on pretty early on the alpha one, took about a 120 days, four months to build out, which is amazingly fast. It’s just by any standard to get to get something out there that’s functional. We figured out pretty early on and it was going to be hard for us to replicate by just trying to a manually copying things, be using some of the tools that were available. We knew that something that was a multifaceted multi workspace. Half the flows are cross workspace flows, you know, it’s not, we’re not, we’re not even cross app. It’s like cross workspace and, and some of the flows were multicross workspace. We knew that we were going to run into some trouble. So when we, when we talked to dan and his group, he said, yeah, you guys need to think about doing, doing your own thing, uh, off, off the GklobiFlowe of platform.

Gil:39:35It’s not going to scale out like you think it is when it comes to replication. That was our first kind of barrier. It’s like the, the ability to replicate all that, all the complication we have built into the product we had, we had one of our developers dylan and very early on we said make a copy at the end of the office and we want to, we want a clean copy to just kind of store right of what we had built. He sat there for four days to make one copy and I feel like we’re still working out of my dining room at that point. And uh, and uh, he just sat there for four days and did it. It was, it was absolutely miserable, but he, he copied a, it was that the mpact pro at full strength here and how many, how many hundreds of flows did you think we had by the end?

Jarett:40:25But It was at least 90 individual flows, almost all of them referenced crossword space data over nine workspaces. So it was a, it was a significant product and

Gil:40:36then one have the audit flows on time and it was just, there was, there was a lot to it. But then again, you know, it was built for nonprofit agencies that work with the federal government, so they had strict rules and strict reporting requirements and we had to ensure that compliance, uh, by people entering stuff into the front end and Podio. So, uh, there was a lot automation under the hood to make all that possible feedback through comments, corrections. It was just a lot to it. And him having to sit there and copy all those flows. And of course you used the tool. Some of it breaks the blogs.

Alex:41:13I want to say that there were actually over 170 flows because I remember replicating them. But we actually were able to reduce some of those on sassafras for us because one of the things that you can do when you have custom code is do, um, dIfferent kinds of branching logic with within a single flow. And so a lot of that kind of capability will reduce the total number of assets that you would versus that lovely flow. But, but aside from that, the, the thing I really wanted to crow about is that today we can deploy that same environment and it’s done in under 10 minutes using sassafras. So it’s a much more scalable.

Jordan:41:52So what the hell does dylan?

Alex:41:55He’s in miami living it up now.

Speaker 2:41:59Well, listen guys, um, we, uh, fantastic to speak to you guys. I have no doubt that we are going to, we should probably do more of these as we go. Um, I think there’s lots of discussions to be had. I mean already with the discussions I’ve had with you guys and some of the other partners I can tell I want to have people on again so we can dig deeper and certain bits. Um, in terms of just closing this out from a sassafras point of view. Um, do you have an anticipated timeline or date when you may be looking at, uh, at opening this up? How do we put ourselves forward for the beta? What’s, what, what’s that say I want obviously, you know,

Alex:42:37we will go through, um, the standard Podio forums when we’re ready to look at having, um, you know, early users on and we want feedback, we want to make sure that it’s useful, that it’s working well. But to be honest, you know, we’re, we’re a services first and so we’re just starting to build the ui now and um, we have someone working on that and um, it’s coming along well. Um, but I don’t want to give a timeline. I don’t know if you do. I’m gill, but I just wanted to say that much.

Gil:43:05Yeah, no, I think it’s a fair point. And we, when we first did the first iteration of this, which was last summer, I started reaching out to some people on Podio forums about it and start again. We got, we had a few, quite a few right off the bat. Um, but we decided, uh, my apologies to those that I chatted with, we decided it just wasn’t ready and it was better to just kind of put the kibosh on it and hit the drawing board again. Uh, which allowed us to come out with what we’ve got here now. Now from a, from a level I can say say this, we don’t, we don’t have an exact timeline. We want to make sure that it’s right, it works for our clients. So it is operational, you know,

Alex:43:52we eat our own dog food. This is a product that we used for our business. So it’s something that’s already gone through several internal iterations and that’s one of the reasons that we held back is there was a, an iteration underway the last time, but, so it’s improved since then.

Gil:44:10Go ahead. I was gonna say, so it, it works now. It’s underpinning several products of ours that are scaling. Um, yeah, it’s built on aws, aws lambda specifically. So it is serverless, uh, so it, it from, from a backend perspective, it’s relatively complete this round of versioning, so to speak. We’ve just really started on the ui part, so we’re very early on, that’s why I’m hesitant to give, give a timeframe, however, I do want to encourage people that are interested or have current problems to contact us and we may be able to give them early versions sooner rather than later. Now it’s not going to have a ui to it. So if you’re comfortable with hitting things on a console, you know, those that know what that is, know what I’m talking about. Uh, we might be able to give you some, some really early, but we’ll, we’ll dub as alpha access as a to kind of solve some of your solutions. I don’t want to discourage anybody from reaching out to us, especially if they’re having some significant pain right now and solution replication or patching a particularly those. So, uh, but for the fancy, you know, launch with a pretty ui, click this, click, that kind of stuff. We’re just, we’re very early on on getting that set up.

Jordan:45:39Absolutely. Well listen guys, I’ll make sure that in the details of this podcast and the description, we’ve got a link to your website. I’m also going to put a link to the podcast to make sure that people can go there. I encourage everyone to go there and subscribe, uh, and listen because we’ve got two very complementary a podcasts here, one, one focused, a bit more technical, a bit more deep dive and, and this one which is more a kind of interviewing and talking to people, but some of their experiences and possibilities. So I want to thank all three of you guys for coming on. I want to thank you all for, for starting your own podcast, which is so, so such a useful tool for all the partners and encourage everyone to go and take a look at it. So, uh, thank you very much guys and uh, uh, have a great week.

Gil:46:28Wonderful. Thank you so much. Am I subscribe to both podcast, subscribe, subscribe, subscribe, smashed.

Narrator:46:37You’ve been listening to supercharged with Jordan Samuel Fleming. Subscribe today on itunes, google play or spotify for your weekly dive into how you can supercharge your business by making it powered by Podio. Be sure to check out our website www.WeareGamechangers.com Where you can learn more and arrange a 30 minute call with Jordan to help you understand how Podio can supercharge you.

By |2019-02-13T08:47:04+00:00February 13th, 2019|Podcast|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jordan started out life as a degenerate musician and, for his sins, ended up as a respectable businessman. He's still slightly confused, but a far happier man. Jordan brings a creative flair and an uncanny ability to spot new opportunities - which makes him a good candidate to invite out for lunch. As MD of Gamechangers, he leads a team of people developing innovative business systems for ambitious companies.

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