Working with Partners to Deliver Value to the Customer
Aptitude 8's CEO Connor Jeffers, joins Barrett King on, "Partnerships in SaaS", to discuss leveraging partnerships to deliver value to customers.
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Speaker 1: (00:01)
Dax Miller, Welcome to Agents Unfilter. Man. How you doing,
Speaker 2: (00:04)
Man? I'm at my house, so I'm feeling myself. That's it. We're doing good.
Speaker 1: (00:07)
Most of us are these days. Well, at least at home. I don't know, I can't speak to anyone feeling themselves, but everyone's at least at home at this point, right?
Speaker 2: (00:13)
Oh, well, I would like to double tap on that. You should be feeling yourself, you alive and breathing. We're doing good, but happy to be here, man. Thanks for the opportunity to, to speak to Rift, to to be behold the presence.
Speaker 1: (00:24)
Yeah, it's gonna be fun. Uh, uh, a Eight Labs naturally, uh, feels like the right, uh, team. You feel like the right person to talk to, uh, about the HubSpot app ecosystem, uh, specifically, specifically through the lens of Solutions Partners and how they should be leveraging and thinking about it. Uh, obviously, you, yourself and the team, uh, develops apps as well. Uh, and so taking that angle and our partners considering leveraging their own developer resources, similarly, any guidance, There's so many things that we can unpack here. Um, so I'm excited for it. And so, Daks, maybe the best place to start, uh, from your perspective, from a eight Lab's perspective, how should HubSpot Solutions Partners be thinking about and leveraging the app ecosystem to sell more services to strengthen their services? How, how do they take advantage of the app ecosystem in your eyes?
Speaker 2: (01:16)
Man, it's a, it's a really big deal to think about. Um, here, I'll, I'll do a, let's see, Quick cut. I'm looking at my, my thing, my name, and there's no audio recording. There's like no wavelengths. Is that a issue?
Speaker 1: (01:28)
No, I'm, I'm seeing it on my side.
Speaker 2: (01:30)
Okay. I just wanna make sure, like, if we get all the way through this and it's like, Oh, there's no audio. It's the worst thing I can have. All right.
Speaker 1: (01:35)
I'm seeing it come through, man. I'm seeing it come through. So you should be good. Uh, and so, yeah, Yeah, you're
Speaker 2: (01:39)
Good. All right, cool. So, so, yeah, man, it's a big deal to leverage the ecosystem, uh, for services. Uh, that's what we, that's what we're kind of building this entire software company about. It's what can I do to provide more value for my clients? What can I do to expand the retainer? What can I do to, uh, uh, you know, level up that retainer? What can I do to get deeper into it? Uh, how can I help them make decisions of their business of what's possible? Right? A lot of people kind of just glance over or forget that the ecosystem exists, but it is exists to, number one, solve the problem at hand. But number two, to solve, you know, future problems. Like, for example, uh, easy one I could talk about. You know, we've been working with lots of partners for, uh, that are, you know, adding these services on when easy one comes to mind, uh, cobblestone marketing, shout out to them.
Speaker 2: (02:24)
Uh, they're leveraging real city. They're out over in Memphis, and they have a couple clients that are real estate clients. So they're realtors, they're, uh, brokerages that want to build like a Zillow in a box, right? So you could build all of that from scratch, but all they had to do is come to us, come to eight labs, boom, real city does exactly what you want. And now they're building web projects on top of that, on top of the web projects. Now there's automations. Hey, if this person favorites a two bedroom, three bath, I can build a whole workflow around kind of anything around that based upon kind of that, how the app is set up. And that is, so you go from, Hey, I have a real estate client that might need a website to, I can provide all of that, and then some. And then also on top of that with the, the email automation. So you got some rev ops, you're gonna have some sales enablement to teach them. So it just, the list goes on and on just because of the enablement that this app does, right? So if you're,
Speaker 1: (03:15)
Who thinks here is what I'm seeing Daks is that it's, well, two, two, well, first, uh, it's, it's more customized or extended. It's, it's framed around the very unique needs of like that real estate client in your perspective, or the Zillow in a box. But at the same time, it feels like there's a whole lot of time and bandwidth that partners getting back by not having to build all of those things bespoke, right? So is it equal parts time saving and increased value for the end client?
Speaker 2: (03:41)
I was gonna say, it's gonna be more increased value. So real, real, uh, real city is an interesting example because it is a kind of really full featured app that, uh, can enable not only the services on top of it, but the verticalization of an agency as a whole, right? Like, you could take this app and say, Well, I'm gonna go build a, a real estate marketing con, uh, agency and sell real estate marketing services and rev ops around that, right? That's a whole thing. So that's, yeah, you get the, the framework for a business model. But yeah, you're gonna save the client a ton of time too, because number one, they're not gonna be able to do all this stuff. Or do they even have the idea or the concept, right? You don't know what you don't know. And clients, as we we're all agency owners of, of of source here, right?
Speaker 2: (04:22)
I would say I own a software company, but agent clients don't know what they don't know. And they don't know until they see something they don't want. They don't know what they want until they're like, I don't want that. Like, that's not what I asked for. Um, so I, I think that, again, when you, you are gonna be able to save some time by not having to build from scratch, that's just a given based upon the ecosystem. I mean, think about org chart hub, Shout out to the org chart. Ho hub homies like you to be able to build that. Like why would, why would you even start, Right? But when you think about that, you can take that off the shelf and put a lot of services around it, because as a agency owner, as a, as a marketing op, as a rev ops, as a web op person, you can really imagine the potential and sell that potential and provide value on the potential so that when that, when that retainer comes up for renewal, they're not gonna be like, What do these guys even do? Right? And again, there's not 10 apps in the ecosystem. There's hundreds of apps. So there's hundreds of potentially things that you can do to provide service. It's that you have the visibility in the access to those app developers to really kind of make that blossom.
Speaker 1: (05:24)
Um, uh, what would be your recommended frame of reference or approach to navigating the marketplace or to the hundreds of apps in this ecosystem? Where, and how do I start assessing what would be a fit for me in, uh, what, where should I be looking, right? Uh, do I start with the services that I currently offer? And are there places to strengthen, uh, what future lines of business do I hope to add? And start there. What's, what's your approach for navigating and, and assessing the apps available?
Speaker 2: (05:53)
So, I really think that when you are looking at the client as a whole, look at the macro lens of your clients, what are they trying to do? What's bothering them every day? Now granted, you're, you're working with them already, so you already have kind of a place in that path. But when they start to, when you start to work in, in HubSpot, when you start to get your hands really dirty and see like, why is this so repetitive? Why is this like this? When you start to ask your question those questions yourself prior to the client, Eva, understanding that, you know, I would say lack of features, lack of, uh, extensibility. Cuz it's twofold too, right? It's things the client can't do and they want to do. Or it's things that I am as a service offering, I can't do them or I can't do them, uh, fast enough or cheap enough.
Speaker 2: (06:36)
Uh, I need help there. So again, twofold, looking at the macro lens of what the client's looking to do. Uh, easy example is, uh, I know one of our, one of our partners is Aptitude Date that we work with. Um, so they have, they got a really larger client from, uh, in the payment space and the, on the initial scoping, they're like, Well, we were trying to integrate payments using Stripe and we can't get the subscriptions over, We have a certain workflow. So it's either build a Stripe integration, build the specific workflow, uh, how that going spend, you know, a ton of money doing that cuz software is not cheap. I'll throw that out there. This is a, a, a cost thing, right? We spend 50, $60,000 a month trying to build stuff. So it's not, it's not just something you wanna be like, Oh, client, yeah, I can build that.
Speaker 2: (07:17)
It'll cost you 300 grand to start, and then we don't know if it'll work or not, right? So, but long story short is they were able to close this client because there is an app called Zebra that is the defacto Stripe and host by integration. And just take that, plop it in place, and add a couple different things with workflows and a couple custom coded actions to give them exactly what they want, right? And again, whatever your, your, your charging model is like, you can, you're gonna be charging for the implementation of the app. And then us as Aid Labs, we don't want your services, we just want you to buy the app. Like I'm a software company. If you buy the app, I'm excited and I would help, help to support that and help to build out that here's how you would implement it if I were you.
Speaker 2: (07:57)
Right? And that is where kind of everything ties together to be able to see, hey, they had an issue. I can look in, search Stripe in the ecosystem, and boom, there's, there's my options and I can look into that, reach out to the developer, hopefully they answer, right? And get, get your, um, kinda get your guidance, right? Because you almost get like a pseudo shadow partner to help you behind the scenes that can stay behind the scenes, right? Cause I would love to just, you deal with the client, we'll take care of you and make you look like the hero. And that's what a labs is here
Speaker 1: (08:25)
For, right? That's great. Uh, does AA Labs only focus on, Well, I wanna get into kind of the, the decision making process and like how you determine what to build, right? You've referenced a couple, I'd be interested there. Um, now is it, but before we get there, are you exclusively building apps that are available publicly in the marketplace? Uh, do you ever get commissioned to solve, uh, individual client problems from another partner? Do you de do you do a little bit of both? How do you, do you have delineation there?
Speaker 2: (08:53)
So yeah, so we are a software company. So all we do is build apps for public use. Now, one things that we have kind of started doing is helping larger, I wouldn't say partners, but more or less on the side of existing app ecosystem kind of software companies. So one good example is connect and sell huge, um, sales enablement software, that they have a HubSpot integration with their software, but because they're not, you know, it's not their main thing. It's understanding HubSpot, how it works. We're able to come in and help say, Hey, here's how your app works. Right now you're using Leg, you're using undocumented, or you're using Legacy Endpoints. You gotta switch up these endpoints. You gotta add these between, to get your less data. You gotta know about this API limit. You can't be doing search read more than four times a second.
Speaker 2: (09:36)
Like, when you start to get into nitty gritty and help them do a better job of providing the app. And also work on getting listed, getting certified, your go to market. How do you get more people? How do you get as a lead? So that's kind of the other delineation that we do. We do help people that have apps in the marketplace that are larger SaaS companies, helping them build them better. Cuz all we do is sit here all day in break HomeSpot, and then on top of that, it's strictly apps for public consumption. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (10:01)
So there go, so there's like this consultancy coaching arm as well where, hey, we'll actually help you strengthen the app you already have. Right? Love that. Um, so I alluded to it. Let's go back to it. Uh, primary focus is public app or apps for public consumption. What's the, what's the process to determine what we should build? What, what's next? How do you get a lay of the land of opportunity and, and channel that through, uh, a project plan?
Speaker 2: (10:24)
So we look at the number one, we look at thi problems that we have, uh, every day, uh, and do some of those things. A couple of the apps that we have built were, I would say ahead of their time, but they were, I would say, more fun because we just like to have fun all day and we build things and then all of a sudden HubSpot comes out with them. Uh, Mass Edit was a app that never saw the light of day, but as soon as Kyle Jefferson hit that, hit that LinkedIn with the inline editing, I was like, Well, that one's going in the trash. But again, it's, it's the, it's the, the message in the medium. Like we built it, we were gonna launch it, Uh, we saw was gonna be subset of fat like the next day, which was just hilarious. Like somebody, Kyle, I know you, you bugging my phone. It's all good. Yeah, but the idea
Speaker 1: (11:02)
Speaker 2: (11:03)
Kyle, Jeff's Omni, It's all good. This is the thing, like, it's, it's all net positive because we learned, we saw that we found a need. It was a true need to the point where HubSpot was going to come out with it, similar to something that we just, that just hit the shelf, Man, your podcast, you're about to get all the, all the sneaky things like, like objects, contacts to contacts, tickets to tickets, deals to deals fresh coming out. Uh, we had an app a year and a half ago, two years ago called Super G that basically did that. It allows you to create contacts to contacts, tickets to tickets, right? So it's something that, you know, is going to come out, but it solves problems now and people can build workflows around it. So again, those were all from, I have this issue. I would love to fix it.
Speaker 2: (11:43)
Um, so we talk, look at things that we, we have problems with daily. We look at the HubSpot, uh, uh, request, I think not the request form, the, uh, ideas form. Yeah, the ideas. Yeah, ideas form, form. I mean, I can't lie, Clone Attack came from the deals forum. So everybody, I can't duplicate stuff. I can't duplicate stuff automatically. I wanna duplicate stuff and change the dates. Those are just obvious things that we're like, well, let's build it. That was like our, our second app. So, uh, ideas is the ideas, forms, everything. Sprocket, shout out to Grant and all them, like, just listening to the grapevine, right? Like, what do people having issues with? What can we do to challenge that? Like, we can't say what people need. We let people tell us what they need. And that's where we, um, we like to do that. And then because of our, you know, connections at HubSpot, we like to find out, Hey, are you going to build this tomorrow,
Speaker 1: (12:26)
Before we do, you know, are will you, Yeah, I was taking Dragon
Speaker 2: (12:29)
Speaker 1: (12:30)
This tomorrow bin.
Speaker 2: (12:31)
Yeah. Yeah. We just have to understand what the roadmap is ish, Right? Everything can change. Uh, but again, we would, I would, I have no issue building something that may have a shelf life because, and a nutshell, pretty much anything could potentially have a, have a, a life basically end, end of life. Sure.
Speaker 1: (12:50)
There's a place in value for a stopgap solution, right?
Speaker 2: (12:54)
Speaker 1: (12:56)
Yep. And honestly, there's probably, there's a healthy degree of validation if the things that you're building are being prioritized within the hubs stop product. Well, well, we were onto something there, right? So
Speaker 2: (13:04)
Exactly. Our ability to get a pulse on
Speaker 1: (13:06)
Community. Yeah. Hundred percent.
Speaker 2: (13:08)
That's a really good one too. Let, should bring that up because we, we always wanna make sure that, again, software is expensive. So we, we don't wanna build things to have them die, but we do want to solve problems and differentiate ourselves from the core feature set because we have the flexibility and the extensibility to customize. Cause every business is different, and they're always gonna need something a little bit further. And what we wanna, we know the HubSpot is building for platform, so you wanna have everything that you kind of need, but then there's a couple things, uh, that are on the, the next level that you'd want to add that customization.
Speaker 1: (13:38)
Yep. No, that's great. Um, d now just pull away from the fact that this would be adding potential competition into the ecosystem for AA labs, but should more solutions partners, especially with those that may have, like those in-house development resources already, should they be thinking about expanding their business similarly and start to eye, uh, public app development and get getting entries into the app ecosystem? Uh, is that, is that a direction more partners should be thinking about in taking? I
Speaker 2: (14:10)
Think it's definitely worth considering, Number one, there's no competition. I, we, uh, just because the fact that there's so much to do, so much to build, uh, I don't see anything in competition. I would welcome anyone to build Ash, because there's only like seven of us. So let's, let's be real. Like we, we, we, we have, you know, seven, eight apps, uh, in the store, and we want to, we want people to be built. We want to, we have, we have, you know, we'd like to form the union because there are things that we want to really see happen in the ecosystem as it's early in this wild, wild west. We wanna make sure that we kinda steer the ship the correct way. So in terms of lead gen, yes. Uh, if you have a app that, or if you have done something dope, right?
Speaker 2: (14:48)
Like most of, most hubs by agency have done some crazy things, right? So you'd wanna, if you can package that and see that there's a value across the industry for that, or across a vertical or across a, let's say subset, like a sales marketing service, by all means, uh, learn that ecosystem. It'll just make you better at HubSpot. Now, the, the caveat is it's not cheap. So if you have, um, yeah, the first caveat is not cheap software is not cheap at all. It's not like a, um, we're building a custom module. You're building a full on app with full on infrastructure, full on payments, infrastructure, et cetera, just because of the, how HubSpot is set up. And the second caveat is there has to be a team to do so. We're not talking CMS developers, we're not, we're talking true app developers that understand infrastructure, cloud, microservices, et cetera.
Speaker 2: (15:31)
Because all of those go into, um, all at scale, especially scale at scale based upon a bottleneck of HubSpot. So there's a lot of things that you just have to understand about the HubSpot APIs, the limitations. And you have, if you gotta break stuff a bunch, uh, before you doing that. But if you're all, if you're up for that challenge, by all means, it is a, it is a thing. There's room yeah's, there's their space, man, their elbow room is, is serious. So there's, and it's a great for Legion, right? Especially a freemium tool. Just like HubSpot, you take that freemium model, you get people in a certain industry, uh, real estate, for example. You have a free tool that can help realtors do something within HubSpot, specifically follow ups for follow up formulas or whatever, right? There's, there's a lot that you can do to help bring more services and then looping back to, uh, services, you're gonna be able to, uh, put services on top of what you have.
Speaker 1: (16:19)
Yep. Yep. It's similar to how, uh, you know, a app built by somebody else, somebody else in the ecosystem, how that can impact, uh, the value bring to your clients, the services you offer, the strength and the services you already do. But yeah, if you were building an app in house, now that's available for public consumption, but again, you get to yield the benefits of that too.
Speaker 2: (16:35)
Um, absolutely. Yeah. I think that a big shout out to Remington on that one, because a lot of the things that he's building are based upon the services that he already offered, like LMS hub and all the stuff that he has, you know, and I'm looking at shout out to him on the, the community, uh, app that they have. Like that is, if you're have a client that's looking to build a community, or they have something and you understand that Facebook ads, Google Ads, performance marketing is gonna going all wiry, Like you need to build a community around your product, your service, your, your mantra, your brand, that's the perfect app. It's off the shelf. Just grab that and then you can build all your services on top of it. Moderation, uh, customizing the front end. You know, that's something that I'm looking at for a specific use case as well internally. So just the, there's so much that you can do, and that's why it's a, it's a, it's a ecosystem. It's a community and for services people you should join. In
Speaker 1: (17:20)
Dex, you, you've mentioned a couple times, but there seems to be a significant opportunity in front of partners or like app developers as it relates to industry alignment or verticalization. Is that, like, is that the, the brain, is that the thought process partners should be taking into, kinda mapping out potential apps? Like is verticalization the direction they should be going?
Speaker 2: (17:38)
I think that it's a really, it's a, it's if you're a T-shaped agency, right? Like we do a lot of stuff, but we focus heavily on real estate, on car dealerships, on, uh, hr, right? Then that is a subset of tools and a niche, uh, expertise that you would have that could allow others to then, or it, it narrows the market of who needs to use your app. It's a specific subset that you could be a master of. And there's technology that HubSpot's not going to, uh, address because it is so niche that you, you're gonna find a, you're gonna find a really good, uh, there a really good idea there. Like for example, uh, obviously real city is straight real estate. We had some ideas to go into, like, uh, vacations and having like a whole subset of tools specifically for vacation people that use, uh, HubSpot and, you know, your cruise lines, your vacations, your, all those, your, like, even if, even if you did like marketplaces, like how do you build a marketplace with HubSpot and use that as the backend mm-hmm. , who's got that app, and what, what does that app need? I don't know. I don't mess with marketplaces all day, but somebody does. Mm-hmm. . And that's where you are able to really, uh, distinguish yourself and know that you're not going to kind of be sunset by any features that HubSpot comes out with, because yours is so deep.
Speaker 1: (18:48)
It's interesting. Is that, yeah, it's, it's, it's protection for like an evergreen life cycle of this app, right? If it's, if it's niche down, the longevity of it existing and providing value is extended, right? And so, yeah,
Speaker 2: (19:02)
The services are pretty defined around it as well.
Speaker 1: (19:03)
That's a great point. And so, so verticalization is a one flavor of, but it sounds more so around the Iowa, Well, what are just your specialization, what are you the best at? What are your strengths? What industries do you just know best in having that as a launching off point for some of these things?
Speaker 2: (19:17)
A hundred percent.
Speaker 1: (19:18)
Yeah. Um, you had mentioned this caveat, uh, and I've heard it in a couple different flavors, Uh, that, uh, app developers or what's required, we're not talking about front end CMS development. We're talking about app developers, experts within the limitations and parameters of the HubSpot APIs. Uh, where, where do folks, where do you find that talent? Where does that talent exist? If I'm looking to, to hire the next one for my team?
Speaker 2: (19:41)
Man, that is a
Speaker 1: (19:42)
Million dollar question.
Speaker 2: (19:43)
It's a poach worthy event. If you're a developer, you're not broke and you're not bored. If you're good, you're not broken, you're not bored, you're doing something, you're working on a big project, you're working on something for yourself, you're managing a huge dev team. Uh, you're gonna have to, you're gonna have to poke around to find people that are one, dedicated, right? Uh, number and two, fall in love with HubSpot, because this is a whole thing that, again, when we started our first company, myself and Tyrone, Tyrone was our, our CTO at apt. He had no idea what HubSpot was. I was like, Hey man, come over here. Like, we should build some stuff. And it's about, I have the developer skills, but I don't know anything about HubSpot. And one of the things that we're working on is there's no manual for, when you really get down to building crazy stuff on HubSpot, there's no manual.
Speaker 2: (20:27)
So you have to really break it and learn it. So it's gonna have to be like a labor of love, which most, you know, great developers just love building software. Like they just can't get enough, right? The weekends, they're building software. So it's gonna be one of those, um, you're not gonna be able to train them on the fly as far as like getting a junior dev, like that does, CMS does some custom modules or some custom coded actions, right? That's not gonna be the right person. You're gonna have to find that from someone that already is a developer that has experience building standard loan applications, a little bit of cloud infrastructure. So you're gonna have to get that's, it's a poach worthy event. And unfortunately, yeah, they're not sitting around, they're not sitting outside of Home Depot by any, Yeah.
Speaker 1: (21:03)
And so to, to reflect that back because, you know, hopefully it's like, Well, with that said, if I can, maybe some, I have a, a frontend web developer, uh, who has interest, uh, in some of these things. Or if I can find some junior level, you know, developers and I'll, I'll, I'll kind of bring them in and I'll develop them and train them. But you're saying they might not be the best fit, uh, in to your other points because there isn't a really great instruction manual to, to get them there. Is that, is that a fair assessment?
Speaker 2: (21:30)
Yeah, there's no, there's no outline aside from the stuff that, you know, Tyrone and I have done with labs as far as like how to build an app from scratch, how to understand infrastructure with HubSpot, the limitations, et cetera. Shout out to the, the Lab Notes newsletter where we bring out some, uh, some hints and tricks for actually building deep dive stuff. But yeah, it's like you're not gonna get, if you are trying to do anything in the next year or so, it's not gonna happen from a junior up because, oh, I shouldn't say it. It, it is less likely to happen because there's just so much to be able to build to understand the scale, to support, uh, because that dev is not to qa. You can't have the police police in themselves. You gotta have somebody, the QA and understand the app on the side to be able to really, you know, make it come to fruition and it work. Uh, and then you, then you, you're dreaded four 20 nines. Like how does it work at scale? How do you bang on HubSpot APIs? Um, hard enough, fast enough with the right mechanisms to do it. So there's just so much to it. It would be a, it would be an, uh, an unfair expectation for a junior dev to build a complete, uh, HubSpot app.
Speaker 1: (22:30)
Yeah, it's a, it's a helpful way to think about it, but just like, yeah, the expectations that you'd be asking for somebody in that position to get to the place. Um, that's a, Yeah, that's fair. Um, let me ask you this then, is, is there an opportunity to look at, uh, uh, is there a community of contractors, freelancers, like, okay, maybe I don't have to bring somebody in house full time, but is that, is that an avenue that that partner should consider on that
Speaker 2: (22:51)
Front? A hundred percent. Like I would totally look, um, look at your top towels or any of those places, because again, if you're trying to get the experience and try to sideline some of that stuff to, to make sure that you're getting there, I think that's totally, uh, an option. Look, nearshore, look offshore, Look on the moon. If you could find a developer that's willing to work with you, then yeah, that's,
Speaker 1: (23:10)
That has the prerequisite skill set, correct?
Speaker 2: (23:12)
Yeah. Correct. That's build standalone apps that has a portfolio of, I built this thing on this service structure. I use some cloud computing, whether it be Azure, aws, cuz those are all things that are absolutely dead necessary to build anything that's gonna have more than two people on it.
Speaker 1: (23:25)
Well, Dex I'm not above shameless plugs here. So hopefully this represents an opportunity for something like HubSpot Academy to offer some, uh, education around this topic. Again, to help ease the development of those types of
Speaker 2: (23:36)
Folks. Man, if I was gonna do a shameless plug, I'd be like, Hey, hire us. We have the book, we got the manual. It's like right here. Like all this stuff, There
Speaker 1: (23:43)
It is. Books.
Speaker 2: (23:44)
I got, got this book with all this stuff. You know, I'm, I'm, I'm flat for, for the podcast listeners, I'm flashing notebooks of crazy HubSpot notes. .
Speaker 1: (23:52)
Yeah. Yeah. The highly confidential information I'm seeing
Speaker 2: (23:54)
On those. Yeah. Dude, I'm, it that we, we really wanna work with HubSpot. We wanna bring, we wanna make this into a true ecosystem where we're having a call with all the developers or 6,000 people on the call, right? Yeah. Like it's, we are, we are so aligned with HubSpot's mission of making this a platform, making this ready for developers to come in, see interest, see the wild, wild west, take the Oregon trail, don't get dysentery show up at the end in California with golden riches, right? That's what that, that opportunity is there. It's still there. And we want to enable that. And, uh, it is our duty at labs to provide that, that guidance to provide that, you know, that that documentation to help HubSpot have that content that shows here's how to do X with Y here's how to do, here's, here's y you're getting four 20 nines. Here's how to get around the search API for four minute for a second. Here's how to do, set up your SQLs and Lambda so that you can do a workflow app and have a workflow. And when happens when somebody puts an infinite loop into your workflow, how do you, how do you prevent your server from blowing up when they do that? So just tons of stuff, right? Like, those are, those are things that aren't documented because there's only been a handful of people to even go down that hallway,
Speaker 1: (25:06)
Right? It's just early days, right? It's early discovery to that depth. Yeah. Um, and let's not, you know, uh, let's not get distracted from the fact that you just dropped a, a Oregon trail ary reference and, uh, it was a great game.
Speaker 2: (25:18)
Hey, I would always
Speaker 1: (25:19)
Speaker 2: (25:20)
Speaker 1: (25:21)
An auction. I'd lose an ox every time I forget the float. I'll just forge a river and it, you're
Speaker 2: (25:25)
No forge. And that ends up feed up every time. Yeah.
Speaker 1: (25:29)
Every single time. Um, Dex speaking from this question is, uh, being channeled through my ignorance of the process naturally. Uh, what, what does the life cycle in the timeline look like, right? Uh, okay. Uh, I, I work with SAS companies and I've identified a need to build, uh, a marketplace, uh, app like for a plugin marketplace that can live on HubSpot for these types of business, right? Just throwing it out there, uh, I think you kind of alluded to that, right? Uh, ideation has been completed. What does the life cycle of that process look like from that ideation through the GoLive button within the marketplace?
Speaker 2: (26:06)
So if you're starting from scratch, right? Like you don't have any, uh, previous infrastructure, um, for HubSpot app, and when I say infrastructure, I mean your authentication where like I click install app, that's gonna be all your stuff, like your login page and your, um, kind of your intro onboarding pages. So you gotta build that, You gotta build your, um, you gotta build your backend if you have any settings that are gonna live outside of HubSpot. So you have to build your own infrastructure for that. You gotta build, if it's a workflow, action is a part of your app. You gotta build the sequence, your SQLs, your Lambda, so all your microservices to queue up the deluge of things that are gonna come from HubSpot from all these people. So you gotta build your microservices infrastructure. You have to get your listing going. So you gotta have some copywriting, you gotta have a little bit of go to market, right? So usually from ideation, from our end, from ideation from scratch was like, you know, 45, 60 days. Um, if we're doing like a free v1, which I'll probably plug later, but you'll have a, um, I mean in 45 days you might be able to just throw something out, right? Um, so that feels quicker
Speaker 1: (27:09)
Than I would've anticipated. If I can be honest. Two months that feels pretty, feels pretty
Speaker 2: (27:13)
Slick. It's two months of someone. That's all they do. Sure,
Speaker 1: (27:16)
Sure. Yeah. With singular focus, multitasking is a myth. So singular focus on nothing, but then fair. Sure.
Speaker 2: (27:21)
Yeah. So, and again, this is again starting from scratch. So you don't have any microservices cuz now like with Alab, we have so many apps. If we want to create a new app, we already have, it's already 60% done. The hard part, cause remember your payments infrastructure is on your own if you're on your own too. So you have to build out your payments infrastructure. You have to pay pay, you have to do out your, uh, provisioning. So when someone pays, how do you know if they didn't pay? How do you know if they are credit card declined? And do you cut them off? When do you cut them off? If you have tiered usage, you have to build all of that infrastructure. Cause none of that relies on HubSpot. Like cut 'em off, cut 'em on. Um, how do you report that? How is it connected to your HubSpot?
Speaker 2: (27:58)
How does your service team service that? How do they know what, when somebody emails in, how do you know what tier they're on or what product they're talking about? Uh, all of that is just the, we just go down this rabbit hole. All these things that you need to have to successfully create like a software company, um, is just, you think about, I wanna build an app. Okay, there's a hundred people on it now, now there's one person that just has a cat that has a elbow on the thing. Like, are you ready for that? Right? Um, all of that goes in. So I said like, that's why it's 45 days, 60 days. Uh, you're working magic, you get something out that fast. But that's about where, that's about where I would say a lab sits for a brand new thing, 45 days, uh, with multitasking. But again, the foundational
Speaker 1: (28:40)
From scratch, right?
Speaker 2: (28:41)
And for the time is you figuring out like what all is need to be done. Mm-hmm. and then you don't, you forget like half the things you have to go back. So that's why we wanna really make this like, make this a lot easier for people to understand. Cuz one of the things Kevin is like, when someone comes to us and says, I wanna build a HubSpot app, there's two ways that they look at it. Number one, they're like, Oh, it's a HubSpot app. It's like Shopify, I just give, I just throw some stuff in. HubSpot's gonna deal with the payment payments, the charging, the provisioning. I'm just gonna throw like a little page on there. Cool. You're like, no, it's not it. Or they're like, Oh, well it's like Salesforce, right? I you got, it's your infrastructure. Salesforce is infrastructure. I just throw a force page together and I can put my stuff in a page. Absolutely not. Uh, it's not how any of it works. Mm-hmm. , so people have then will you, Well, how does it work? You can't Google how it works. You just have to know. And that is what we take on our to be like, well, we need to fix that. So that, you know, like, hey, it's, it is really an app that talks to HubSpot. It is not a HubSpot app.
Speaker 1: (29:40)
And the playbook of steps that you've just kind of previewed us to that doesn't exist. Huh? That, that, that feels like an opportunity for somebody in the know with that expertise that like, hey, here's just the playbook you gotta run. You know, here are
Speaker 2: (29:51)
The things basically you're calling me out for not having it done already. You
Speaker 1: (29:53)
Know, there's a, there's a downloadable, put a price tag on that, you know, Well,
Speaker 2: (29:56)
We gotta we gotta enable, we gotta put it free. You gotta enable my man. Yeah. That's the concept, right? Like it's, it took, you know, it took seven apps or so to just be like, this is how you need to do it. Here's a, here's a structure, here's the template. So internally, we just have a template. We, here's an idea, we go through these steps, boom, boom, boom up. We want an idea, bust out a template of all the steps, checkbox everything, and then we throw it out live.
Speaker 1: (30:17)
Now you mentioned the go to market component, the listing. I've been led to believe that there's like, you know, this, this niche of SEO as it relates to surfacing an app within a marketplace, uh, or within the HubSpot ecosystem. Is that the case? The the go to market feels like something that could be oversimplified, but actually requires a lot of minutia and nuance to it?
Speaker 2: (30:35)
Yeah, you can, if
Speaker 1: (30:36)
I read on that appropriate, you'll
Speaker 2: (30:38)
Read is appropriate. You can't just put an app in the HubSpot ecosystem and expect people to find it. Um, because again, there is a, this isn't like a Shopify, this is not, this is a sales led platform. So there is more go to market than just placing it in the ecosystem because do sales reps look at the ecosystem? Do partners look at the ecosystem? Who is looking at the ecosystem? I wish I could tell you . Um, unfortunately it's early days. I don't have that, I don't have any, uh, data on that. But all I know is that if you sit and twiddle, that was a two and a half years ago thing, and it was good. Um, now it is not why I couldn't also couldn't tell you. Um, but the idea is that you have to reach out and you have to do marketing.
Speaker 2: (31:21)
Like it is almost a, a d to C type of thing, right? And who are your consumers? Well, everybody's a consumer, particularly for us, it's gonna be HubSpot. Like, Kevin, you are my audience. If you know about my app, it's better than, uh, a random person that might, that uses HubSpot. That man, I have my problem, right? Because you're one to many. So that go to market technique is always gonna be a one to many. Is it? Do you know us as a labs really looking to help partners, right? That's gonna be one of our biggest channels we're working towards. We wanna get partners to sell more services by using our apps. We want to get HubSpot reps to close more deals or to lose less deals because of our apps. That is what we're here for, right? So that's the go to market. Like, it's not just a throw it up and list it and let it sit. The listing is just there. So I can point someone there and there's a button to install it, right? Yeah. I can forego all of that if our go to market is correct.
Speaker 1: (32:11)
Yep. That's great. Now Dak, uh, as we wrap on time here, I do wanna get to this question. I think you kind, you may have, uh, alluded to to it for a moment. Uh, what's next for AA Labs? What's in the
Speaker 2: (32:22)
Lab? Oh, the lab is a cooking. Now we're actually coming out with an app called Orchestrate. Uh, Orchestrate is going to be an all in one events solution. So webinars, um, digital, hybrid in, in-person events run completely within HubSpot. So you're gonna be able to have, I know right now people use Zoom webinar a lot, uh, but that marketing event object isn't a real object. So you're able to, this is going to actually create a true session object and build out all of your webinars, automatically build out your flows. It's similar to real city where it's a custom object that's created with a CMS place. So it is gonna be a really big cms, uh, driven events app with a webinar in person, hybrid events. I'm talking printing badge, printing badges at the desk, uh, scanning into rooms, uh, all of that if anybody's been an inbound, Think about that.
Speaker 2: (33:14)
Uh, but all run directly in HubSpot. Um, so talk about marketing services around that. Um, you, you get that app you can orchestrate and you're a marketing agency, or you're a, you're a company that markets events, your life's gonna change because everything's gonna be done outta the box and you're gonna be able to just focus on services on top of it, Implementation, workflows, automations, uh, all of that. You know, the web design, the template design, the module design, it's really going to be heavy and enabling that, that vertical right. Events, marketing webinar and events to just go wild directly in HubSpot. And there's nothing like it right now. So we expect to come out with that, um, probably late next early, I would say early December at the latest. Wow. And the V1 will be free. It'll be free. The V1 will be free.
Speaker 1: (33:59)
There you go. Uh, uh, I know plenty of partners that run webinars, host user groups, uh, you know, in person hybrid, remote event. The use case is there. I mean, the audience feels ginormous. That's exciting. We'll have to keep an eye for that.
Speaker 2: (34:11)
Um, oh, that's a big one. I'm hyped on that one.
Speaker 1: (34:13)
Uh, alright, Dax, last question. We wrap every single episode with this. Uh, now normally it's what is the strangest part of agency life? Uh, but what's the strangest part of, uh, app development or working with partners through, uh, an AA lab? Uh, at Labs App?
Speaker 2: (34:31)
Man, I think the strangest part of working with software in HubSpot is, I'm, I'm gonna do this for an example. One of my favorite apps, right? Timer Man crushes. If you do SLA and you have multiple time zones, you have multiple, your contracts are done based upon the, the client's time zone, Time Man's It, Ty Man was a real tough app to build because we are basically, we are as close to real time timing of everything possible, of everybody that we have it. So we're doing millions and millions of rows of data every single day of timing tickets and deals to the minute, I found a couple things hidden deep into the API that basically increased our processing speed by like 70%. So that times like, because it's just, it's just not, you know, it's just a, a line that could be changed and read differently.
Speaker 2: (35:27)
And I'm like, Wait a minute, is this ask my people at HubSpot? Is this what I think it is? They're like, actually, yeah, you're right. It's not that. It's what you think it is. Wow. Well, so that times a million. Uh, when we, when you build a app and you have people that you've never, with Zebra, when you have people Stripe accounts, I've never seen someone Stripe account. They have three products with 15 different currencies and three different prices and tiered and graded a price burn. Everything exploded. So the strangest thing is seeing data that you would never expect, or volume that you would never expect. I've never seen anybody have 135 pipelines.
Speaker 1: (35:59)
Speaker 2: (35:59)
I was not prepared for
Speaker 1: (36:00)
That. Yeah. Substantial amount. You're like, Okay, I think I understand the limitations of some of this stuff. You're like, No, you barely, No, you don't. Right. The the true where people try and take this stuff depth, breadth. Yeah, it's unreal on
Speaker 2: (36:11)
A map. So just that's, it's always strange to see like a data, somebody do something with HubSpot and interact with our app and break it, you know, and be like, Well, I wasn't ready for that. I thought I was ready for everything. So the continued strangeness, you know, it's like, it's Halloween every other day.
Speaker 1: (36:26)
Well, you have to have a, uh, a mindset around, or eagerness to troubleshoot, Right? Uh, openness to like, okay, fixing the broken stuff. But, uh, yeah, I can imagine some of those use cases that come through are pretty strange. Yeah.
Speaker 2: (36:37)
It's, I wake up for, I wake up to make sure I expect everything broken when I drive, I expect to get pulled over. I expect to get, that's called test driven development. I'm gonna get pulled over. I'm gonna get into an accident. I would've checked, this person's gonna do the dumbest thing ever driving next to me. That's kind of how software works, right? And then there's always just that one thing you weren't expecting. And that's what keeps it strange, But strange is good.
Speaker 1: (36:56)
Yeah. Uh, well thanks so much. This feels like just the, the absolute tip is tip of the iceberg, uh, on this topic. Um, but I appreciate you coming in, sharing your expertise, your perspectives. Uh, it's fun to hear about all the things that a labs has built, is planning to build all good stuff, man. Uh, and so I can imagine this conversation will continue in a whole slew of other places, but, uh, do least for Agency Unfiltered. Thanks for coming in. Thanks for being on the podcast,
Speaker 2: (37:21)
Man. I'm gonna do one more shout. Thanks for everybody. Appreciate this, Kevin. I appreciate the agencies and all you guys are doing for HubSpot. HubSpot is an amazing ecosystem. Uh, can't say enough about how great the software is. Uh, if you, if if you want to increase your services like you want, get some more going for where your agency, thinking about what you can do, check us out. Eight labs, ease defined, and, uh, we're hiring. We talked about developers, . If you're sitting around like, I not didn't say you would, we're hiring for developers. See if you're interested in building on HubSpot and really wanna work on something, we're hiring on all fronts at Eight Labs. So we just wanna sell software, man. That's what we do. Nice.
Speaker 1: (37:56)
Well, we'll leave it there. Uh, and so for folks that have been tuning in, this has been another episode of Agency Unfiltered.