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EP 13: Lio Slama, CEO at AskNeo

Podcast Transcript

James Mackey  0:00  
Hello, and welcome to Scale by Design. I'm here today with Lio Slama. Lio, welcome. How are you doing?

Lio Slama  0:18  
Thank you. I'm great. How are you? 

James Mackey  0:20  
Good. So before we jump into everything, could you just share with everybody a little bit about yourself and what you're up to these days?

Lio Slama  0:27  
Yeah, sure. I'm a serial entrepreneur, I grew up in France. That's where my accent is from if people can never figure this out. I used to be an architect for buildings. I was the Head Architect for the International Labour Organisation in Switzerland. It was a $300 million project. So I was managing the entire design and engineering. And I'm a painter as well. I do a lot of abstract expressionism. And I'm a tech entrepreneur. So I design software and then scale them. And, you know, I realized a few years ago that whether it's through building a painting, or software, what I'm really interested in is designing amazing experiences for people. That's it. That's me.

James Mackey  1:11  
That's really cool. Where can I see your paintings?

Lio Slama  1:17  
I actually have an Instagram account just for art. It's ary_newyork. So you can find me on Instagram.

James Mackey  1:32  
I'll definitely check that out. Really cool stuff. And so how long have you been in this business?

Lio Slama  1:39  
So we started about two years ago, we launched on Product Hunt. We got to number one on Product Hunt. And it crashes the system because they're just way too many companies signing up at once. It was just an MVP back in the day. So, we always say when you launch something you have to be ashamed of your launch. Otherwise, it's too perfect. And of course, it doesn't work. So we were really ashamed. So I'm very happy about that. And, yeah, so since then, we really built a robust and scalable solution. And we really grew significantly with our early adopters. But yeah, that's, that's how we launched.

James Mackey  2:24  
So when you did the MVP, was that like, you were still kind of bootstrapped at that point in time? So it was prior to fundraising, or was that after fundraising?

Lio Slama  2:32  
Yeah, actually, we pivoted from another company. So we fundraised before we did TechStars. And actually before, right before the pandemic. And back in the day before the pandemic before the pivot, it was called the square plan. And it was a property management tool for office space. And we lost all of our traction overnight, because of COVID, because his space went to shit, as you know. And so I was okay, we need to pivot. You know, a lot of my mentors were like, no, wait a few months, you know, by July of 2020, everything will be back to normal. And I was like, Well if you look at the data from 1918, or 1958, it takes at least two years to get back to normal. And so I decided to pivot and it takes time to pivot. But we're very successful in the pivot. As I said, it crashed the system. And so we raised money before and after raising money also, last year.

James Mackey  3:31  
That's awesome. And I actually have a similar story. So I started my company seven years ago. But around the time of the pandemic, we used that as an opportunity to overhaul the entire business model. So basically, successfully stuff like if somebody took a candidate from us, they pay us a fee. And then we switched over to a recurring revenue model, which was subscription based, which was a total game changer in terms of allowing us to start scaling. So I honestly kind of consider this my second startup, even though it's the same one, it's been like a different company for the last 18 months, two years.

Lio Slama  4:09  
That's pretty amazing. I think the pandemic brought us a lot of problems, but a lot of good things too. And a lot of companies had to evolve.

James Mackey  4:22  
It was really hard. For us, as a hiring company, we lost like, 80 90% of our revenue in like three weeks. It was just devastating. 

Lio Slama  4:33  
Back in the day, we had a few skyscrapers in New York City. It started to really look good for us and super excited, you know? Overnight, boom. No one zero.

James Mackey  4:48  
Crushes your dreams, for a little bit. So anyway,  what exactly does your product do?

Lio Slama  4:55  
Yeah,  so we launched AskNeo. We call the company AskNeo because if you remember Matrix, Neo helps humans literally disconnect from the fake world of the matrix. And we connect human to human. And that's exactly what we do. We help consumer brands reconnect with their customers, human to human. And, there are two problems with solving once one. 

The first problem is, people, especially sales and marketing, have no clue how to be human anymore. They just don't know. They might use bots. But they are bots themselves, they act like robots, and they just apply the same recipe that they learned because they don't know any better. And they just spam people. We are all fed up with getting spammed by email, text messages, or LinkedIn messages, it has to stop now. And the second problem that we discovered actually by launching AskNeo is most companies still work in silos. Because the software and the solutions they use are good for one particular thing. Sales, Marketing, retargeting, customer success, customer support, you name it. So each team and each staff member work in a silo with their own software. And with AskNeo we solve those two problems. 

We help those brands personalize every interaction at scale, no more spam. You always have to be relevant. And the most important is that all those staff teams and even consultants can collaborate on conversation threads with customers during the entire customer lifecycle. And that's a paradigm shift. That's a game-changer. I don't know if you saw Adobe buying Figma I think two weeks ago.

James Mackey  7:04  

Lio Slama  7:08  
I've used Adobe for 20 years. And they try to move to the cloud, Adobe Cloud, and no offense to them but it's not so good because you cannot collaborate in real-time with your team. It doesn't happen. So they tried, they tried hard, but they cannot because their software isn't built for that. So they had to buy Figma. Figma does that. And this trend started probably with Microsoft Excel, and Google Sheets, the same paradigm shift towards collaborative stuff and more collaboration between teams. So at AskNeo, that's what we do. We help teams, internal teams, and external consultants collaborate on customer conversations at scale. And so the result of that is an increase in repeat sales, business continuity like it's just insane. The benefits that they get from it.

James Mackey  8:07  
It's like an end-to-end experience and it helps different departments communicate and kind of pick up where one left off, and then eliminate, like, kind of spam or mass marketing efforts. So there have to be salespeople or customer success people on the other end, right? 

Lio Slama  8:25  
Yeah. When brands sign up for this thought by doing marketing and sales, with AskNeo basically, they can send a mass marketing message that's personalized with like the first name of people and also their preferences by texting, we focus on SMS to get started. That's how we actually started SMS. But we're the only ones that translate the mass personalized marketing message into one on one conversations. And I know that because the people who switched to AskNeo they're like, this is insane. Like, we've never seen that before. And I'm like, What do you mean? And we build AskNeo for our customers. I don't look at the competitors. I know who they are or what they do. But I really build that with early adopters and customers. 

So what it does is the marketing team sends a very relevant segmented and personalized message to say 20,000 people and instantly translates into one on one deals 20,000 times. So the sales team after that, or the front desk, like whatever company they close deals with, I don't know, they might take like, two, three days with the entire team, but they make hundreds of 1000s of dollars in just a few days. And that's unheard of. That's the value prop there.

James Mackey  9:46  
And this really hasn't been done before? It's a great concept and it's never really been done like this?

Lio Slama  9:52  
No, never done like this. We're surprised ourselves but as I say we built the product and the company with customers. So we just listened to what they needed, and what to do, we observed as well. And then after that, the customer success, and customer support team are on the platform as well. Again, there's one conversation thread per customer. So you don't have to look for things like, what happened before or everything is there. And that's a game-changer for those teams, basically. 

James Mackey  10:26  
Yeah, for sure. And is it primarily targeting enterprise or mid-market or SMB,  what's the focus?

Lio Slama  10:32  
You know, when we launched on Product Hunt, we got mostly SMBs, a lot of e-commerce and retail companies, mostly consumer brands, but we got more and more like financial services, or lawyers or SMBs. Now we're actually working with larger and larger companies. So they might put like, 10,15, 20 people on the platform, they might have a few hundred employees, but they put like their sales, marketing, and customer success teams. Some people are starting to use it for HR, human resources as well. Which is really interesting, actually. 

James Mackey  11:14  
Or, like employee lifecycle.

Lio Slama  11:17  
So there is an issue with consumer brands, especially for salespeople, or sales reps. That there is a big turnover like they stay one, or two years, and then they leave. So there are two problems, they don't want the employee to leave with the portfolio of consumers like phone numbers, names, etc. So that's why we have different roles in AskNeo. So they can do that. But then there's business continuity on the platform, anyone can take over the conversation, and reassign the conversation, to another team or another staff in just two seconds.  

So yeah, a lot of SMBs. And now we have more and more enterprises reaching out to us. Because they need our solution. They've been working with, I don't know, 20 different systems. And their teams and staff, departments, and consultants are all working in silos. Everyone is spamming everyone. It's a shitshow out there. And those legacy brands are down like a lot of consumer brands, like cosmetics or clothing, or they know that if they don't evolve, now, they're gonna die, or they're gonna, go to bankruptcy. So they have to evolve. And evolving is understanding that happy teams make happy customers. 

So you have to take care of your teams and your staff, they have to be happy, they have to have better tools to collaborate, and track customer engagement. That makes happy customers, customers are getting pissed if they have to call another department or be bounced around between different channels. Every time I need something from a brand. It's never the right channel. It's never the right time. It's never the right person. Come back tomorrow, oh, you have to contact sales or it's like, Why? Why are you doing this? Because you don't have the tools or you have 20 tools? You know. So that's why we started.

James Mackey  13:28  
Yeah, that's a really great idea. And so it sounds like right now, and I don't know how much you want to talk about this but it sounds like you're growing and sounds like you're ready to kind of take the next step in the business. So whatever you feel comfortable sharing with us, what are you working on right now?

Lio Slama  13:48  
Yeah, that's great. We're working on everything at the same time, we are adding more features and more layers to those collaborative tools. We have a tonne of automation tools as well for them. The second thing is I am starting to interview potential key hires. Because right now, it's mostly my co-founder and me and a few more people. But we need to hire a CMO and CFO. And, we are producing more and more content. 

So I have a team for content as well, but I need more people. And so the third element is fundraising. I don't want to take too much time to fundraise. Sometimes it can take six months and more because there's too much demand right now. We have brands texting us every day. They have to text Neo to our phone number to get a trial or demo. But the truth is, there are so many people texting that we just put a lot of them on a waitlist, and so we get back to them as soon as possible. But yeah, that's what we're working on.

James Mackey  15:02  
That's really cool. And I wanted to talk to you a little bit about fundraising because I think you did an initial seed raise. Is that right?

Lio Slama  15:09  
Yeah, we did precede with some angels and TechStars.

James Mackey  15:13  
Okay, cool. So can we talk a little bit about how you went about doing that? Maybe some advice to early-stage entrepreneurs that are thinking about going through the fundraising? It will be really cool to slow down on that for a minute.

Lio Slama  15:27  
Yeah, for sure. Well, the first round is usually friends and family. We did the first round, somewhere with friends and family, but half of the angels were professional angels. So, they invest in, I don't know, five to 10 companies a year, they invested in, like 50, companies assisting companies so far. And so they're a little more sophisticated investors. So we had a few of them as well. And we did TechStars, New York City, so they invested as well. And I highly encourage people to do an accelerator. There are so many accelerators nowadays, it's very helpful. They give you money, but money is one thing, smart money from the start is really, really important. So an accelerator can help tremendously. 

James Mackey  16:19  
Do they help with distribution too? Did you get any helpful introductions to customers or anything like that? Or was it more so to advisors, what was the biggest benefit?

Lio Slama  16:33  
Yeah, it really depends on the stage, and also, what you're looking for. So it's always like, you know when you apply to universities, or like a master's degree, even a Ph.D., like it's, we need to meet with the professors before you need to make sure that the program corresponds to you. That's kind of the same here, you need to talk before to see if it really corresponds to you, and what type of help they can give you. 

So, they can help with anything like advising interest to investors or customers, but really, the biggest part is the mentorship. So mentorship is key. Again, whatever you need, if you need mentorship for a go-to-market, financial planning, or whatever you need, they have a huge network of people that can help you. And I think what's helped us a lot it's not just the program itself because it lasts three months. It's the network afterward. Like I'm working on actually reaching out to potential advisors or mentors if I need help with something. And as you grow because you're growing, you know, your startup, you're growing, you potentially need different people at different stages. So yeah, the mentorship is the biggest part.

James Mackey  17:55  
Yeah, for sure. That's huge. I ran into a new type of accelerator that was really interesting. It was called NewChip. Have you heard of them?

Lio Slama  18:07  
I knew you would say that. 

James Mackey  18:11  
They hit us up. Okay, so do you know their model?

Lio Slama  18:17  
Remind me of their model.

James Mackey  18:19  
So they actually don't take equity. It's like, you pay a certain amount of cash, not a tonne of money into the program and then they basically give you access to their advisors. And they say it's like distribution, right? Like making introductions to people that will become customers. And then basically, when you're ready to raise money, I don't know if it's like a right of first refusal, or basically, they have the opportunity to buy in with the other investor. So they're not actually taking equity at first.

Lio Slama  18:58  
Let me be clear, do you have to pay them?

James Mackey  19:01  
Yeah, you have to pay, I mean, not a tonne of money, but you have to pay them some kind of fee to be part of the community. Like I you know, they might have changed their price, but it's low five figures. 

Lio Slama  19:18  
That's not an accelerator. That's a consultancy business. Nothing against them, I don't know them. 

James Mackey  19:26  
Even if they're basically saying they have the right to buy into the first fundraising round that's still not an accelerator? 

Lio Slama  19:35  
An accelerator gives you money and helps you and is on your side. I tell you that because TechStars, the mantra there is give first, okay and give first, it's not just like give money first or whatever. First, they mentor you. I am a mentor at Columbia Startup Lab, I don't get paid of course, and I give some of my time to help younger entrepreneurs who are earlier in the journey because I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning. And so I tried to help them not make the same mistakes and also help them with their pitch, narrative, etc. But an accelerator or an incubator might take equity, but they give you something, and you don't pay money. So if you pay money, it sounds like a consultancy business.

James Mackey  20:36  
Yeah, that makes sense. Is there a range of equity that an accelerator takes typically?

Lio Slama  20:47  
TechStars takes 6%, I think YC takes also six or 7%. But yeah, there's always a range. It's always between, I would say, two and 10%, depending on the accelerator.

James Mackey  21:03  
Is it similar to fundraising from a VC and you do kind of your pitch and if they like it, we'll do it? Or how, what's that process look like?

Lio Slama  21:17  
Yes, and no. Again, it's highly personal. So for us, when we got accepted to TechStars, the managing director was Jenny Fielding in New York City. And we actually met two different managing directors, one in Seattle, and one in New York City. And we just showed our MVP but we had different discussions about what we wanted to do and what we needed. And back in the day, we had an MVP, but we were pre-revenue and were probably one of the only companies that got accepted pre-revenue. Yeah, so we learned a lot for sure.

James Mackey  22:07  
That's awesome!

Lio Slama  22:10  
Usually, you start to realize or digest, like, it can take months, for us it took us years, probably after the program, but I think it depends, it's highly personal. And I think VC funding as well, especially before Series A, it's highly personal anyway, they believe in you or not, of course, they have to have some sort of overlap with the market or you know, the product you're building, but it's always highly personal. 

James Mackey  22:40  
Yeah, I mean, it's primarily betting on the entrepreneur, right? I mean, I have a buddy, he is a VC, managing partner at a smaller VC. And that's basically what he's saying. He wants to know about the entrepreneur. And then he also wants to understand, like, what's the entrepreneur's vision of the future? And why is that founder well-positioned to thrive in that future? And then also, just general market trends? Like, is the greater economy kind of moving in that direction? Like, do they believe in that future, too? 

Lio Slama  23:14  
Yeah. And also, you know, at pre-series A, like, are the founders or CO founding team are resilient? And so, you know, I was slightly not too shame but slightly shy of having pivoted during COVID. Because you have to do everything almost from scratch again.  But I noticed something is like, you know, some investors, I'm talking to now they ask you like, Okay, so how did you get started, and I tell them as we pivoted from another company. When they hear that, usually, they want to know more and they are happy to hear that, because what really happened during COVID is that my co-founder was not my co-founder, he was just the CTO of the company. But he decided to stay with me and helped me pivot. And after a product turn, and after the successful pivot, it was like, you know the job I'm doing here is that of an employee's job for co-founders, so I love to be a co-founder. And I remember, I was like, Well, that's about time you asked.

But investors at this stage they're looking for resilient people. Are you going to stop what you're doing if there is, you know, an issue or problem, or are you going to continue and how, and at the beginning, and always, probably there are ups and downs. And before series A, it's very easy to just stop, you know, not much responsibility, not much investment. And so when you start seeing what you really need to do when you start encountering challenges whether it's out of your control or not, can you deal with it? And can you deal with it in the long term? And can you deal with it in the long term with your team? And how? And so that's what I noticed, like pre-series A investors, or maybe later as well, it's very personal. But beyond the market, beyond the product, or the traction, or the product market fit, which is important, who are those people? Are they resilient or just exploring ideas and playing with money? So that's probably the most important thing at the beginning.

James Mackey  25:38  
I'm actually looking and trying to look something up. So let me just see here. There are so many founders that failed their first company or went through a similar motion to that where there's a big pivot. If you Google successful entrepreneurs, where the first venture was a total failure, and then they basically started a company, another one, and it was a huge success. For instance, I know a guy that I recently spoke with that, basically, his first two companies failed. And then the third one, he blew up and sold for like, mid. 9 figures. And he built it in a few years. 

Lio Slama  26:30  
Doesn't surprise me at all.

James Mackey  26:32  
I think sometimes, you can turn those experiences into a positive because as long as you can articulate what happened, and then what you learned, it's seen as a plus. Right? Because you can have confidence in your skill set now. But also the humility to know that it is possible to fail, right? And you've learned from that situation. 

I'm not fundraising, but typically when I'm making high-level connections with people that have scaled like a billion-dollar company, or whatever it might be. And I tell that story, it's usually not frowned upon. It's usually like, people are like, Tell me more, as you said, like, tell me more about that. Oh, that's cool. Like, you know, they love that right? At least from my experience, I don't think it's seen as a negative at all.

Lio Slama  27:17  
No, it's not. It's funny because when we launched AskNeo we did it in three months what took us three years with the previous company, yeah. For real, like, because I knew what to do. So I rebuilt a brand with a good name and a good brand. But after we pivoted in three months, we started having more customers than what we had before. And that's why you have to be resilient. But you also have to be pivoting or changing or you have to, you know, we always say you have to be coachable. Yes. But you have to be coachable with yourself as well. If you have to look at the data, you have to look at what customers are saying. 

James Mackey  28:12  
Yeah. And I have always said the same thing to like, I feel like I could build my business to where it is today in like, six months to a year,  with my experience at this point. Because I know the playbook. I've already gone through the motions, I know, it works, I know it doesn't work. And for the things that I didn't know what to work on, I know how to pick good advisors. Now I've been able to surround myself with people that are like, who I want to become. And I've been able to develop good relationships with them. And I've also realized that the fastest path to scale is like, if, let's say if one of those advisors isn't your friend, that's just like, helping out, right? Like, I handpick people, like, if I see somebody that's like, I want that skill set, I want that exact person, I will pay them a ridiculous amount of money per hour. In order to get them on my advisory team, if I can afford it, I'm gonna do it. 

And a lot of people are just like, Oh my God, why would you spend like, you know, over 1000 bucks an hour or whatever, you know, to talk? Because I can save 20 years, I can talk to somebody who's been doing this for 20 years and specialize in this one area, and it's going to dramatically accelerate my scale. Like, why am I gonna waste my time trying to figure this stuff out when there are people that are way better at it that have already solved this puzzle, right? I don't need to solve this puzzle. I just have to find the people who have solved it. And to the extent that I can develop those relationships with advisors with potential customers, and really just be the relationship person that's pulling in the people. I don't really need to do anything else.

Lio Slama  29:57  
This is the real power of the accelerator. Like you don't have to pay. You have to find a good accelerator and then you can ask for mentorship or you're part of a network, basically.

James Mackey  30:13  
Yeah, it's a different motion. I'm a services company. So we've had to be profitable since day one. So it's like, you know, for me, it's like, it's either way you pay, right? Like you either paint with equity, or you pay with cash, right? Like, to some extent, right. For us, like our business model, I would get a terrible valuation. At this point, like we'd have to achieve a much more significant scale in order, that's a different, great valuation.

So it makes a lot more sense for us to try to pay up because we're profitable. If I can maintain triple-digit growth year over year, then I can start to get some pretty cool multiples. So we've been doing that for the past year or two, I guess, close to two years at this point. But yeah, if I can put together another few years, which we'll see in this market. But if I can do that a few more times, then like, that starts to be a really compelling story. And I can start thinking about doing that play, but it's obviously like, our gross margin is way different than a software company. 

Are you getting to the point where you're tracking Core Metrics when it comes to customers and growth and retention and all that kind of stuff?

Lio Slama  31:29  
Yeah, you always tracking Core Metrics is just that it evolves over time. So we are tracking probably way too many KPIs at this stage, but it's a lot about engagement and usage, KPIs, and what's great, and what's important is that the customers are using it more and more, the more they use SEO, the more they want to use it. And so that's what we've been seeing over time. And that's the most important. What I'm tracking as well is the churn rate. So we got to a 0% churn rate because we know exactly which type of customer and Persona we can onboard now. And it's always like, I don't know, certain types of companies, for example, that are in Europe or the Middle East, you know, we're not going to onboard them now. Because we're not ready for that, you know, we are focusing on the US and Canada. That's just one example.

James Mackey  32:34  
So yeah, the KPIs are evolving over time. And every time you do evolve, then you change the KPIs you're tracking basically.

Yeah, we also track very similar things.  I'm really big into trend reports. So I look at Are we closing more deals quarter over quarter than the previous quarters? We look at stuff like that with trends, obviously, like revenue trends, gross margins, trends, operating income trends, we have targets, but we're also tracking like, are we moving in the right direction, and cash flow trends.

Lio Slama  33:25  
Yeah, it's funny like for SaaS, for a tech company like us. At this stage, it is mostly about engagement, its usage, and it's like, okay, this type of company is using it more and more, they use it, I don't know, every 37 seconds, which is huge. And, so the market for this type of company is, I don't know, $10 billion, or whatever. So, you know, by getting 2% of this market, we can make this amount of money. So that's how we calculate, you know, the potential revenue we can get within the next few years. And that's why usage and engagement over time are so important and so critical at this stage.

James Mackey  34:14  
And you can attach targets to that, right? Once you have enough data, you can say like, alright, this is our ideal, you know, engagement rate or whatever it might be, right?

Lio Slama  34:23  
It's funny because first, we have two types of companies they are, they're always B2C or D2C, but there are companies that use it like, like, they would send a big, personalized, broadcast once in a while, like once a week, for example, and they would get a tonne of answers like the same day. Okay. So that's what they do. marketing offers and sales and then customer support. But then there are other companies, different types of companies that have to engage with their audience, every minute. For example, we have some mental health or wellness companies or coaching companies. and people are texting the brand, like the patients or the end user, or the person being coached. Like they have 1000s of customers, every time I look at the logs, you know, I can see the logs, every few seconds, there is a message coming in or out. And so that's a different type of usage,

James Mackey  35:20  
You kind of segmented based on the use case.

Lio Slama  35:23  
Exactly. And so we have those two types of usage. And it's funny because they both pay similar amounts of money.

James Mackey  35:38  
Does that make it more complicated to scale, like having two different, like drastically different use, maybe it's not drastically different, but getting more siloed, where it's like, alright, we're only going to work with this type of use case or something?

Lio Slama  35:53  
It's funny because, in the beginning, that's what some mentors were saying, like, get more siloed, etc. And, and we decided to do the contrary because what they do if a school is the exact same thing, they communicate personally with their audience, and they collaborate between teams and stuff, I remember that the collaboration tools are the most important here, that probably our biggest competitive advantage, we have a brand avatar as well, we're the only company that saves information automatically through texting from a bot. So you can ask people for their name, phone number, whatever you need. It sends information automatically into the CRM. 

That's interesting because whether you use it like once a week for a big broadcast, or every couple of seconds, is the same use case, you are collaborating with your team. Communicating with a large audience. And there's no software today that does that well. If you look at Zendesk, they do that well, for customer support. But that's it, that's just customer support, if you look at Salesforce it is great for sales teams, right? It's just great for sales. If you look at, I don't know, MailChimp, for example, that's great for marketing. And so instead of getting siloed anymore, we help those teams collaborate on customer compensation, as I say, whether the customer is a patient for health care or an e-commerce customer who wants to buy a t-shirt, like at the end of the day doesn't matter.

James Mackey  37:36  
Yeah, that's really cool. What tech are you using to track engagement and usage? Are there any recommendations you make there?

Lio Slama  37:48  
It's funny because I tried to hire some data scientist interns for some time because I thought they would build an amazing, I don't know, let me sort of dashboard, but like, an amazing stack to track all the KPIs we need in real-time. And I learned that data scientists and school what they learned is to play with data, that, you know, they give like sets of huge data, big data, and play with it. But they don't learn how to build a data engine or so there's probably Tableau for that, or you know, other software. But you still have to build it yourself, you still have to link everything together. 

So at this stage, things are evolving so fast that I don't think it's really good for us to use Tableau or something like that. So we use it as new actually, for sales. We eat our own dog food, so we track people there. It's the best tool to centralize all the conversations for prospects, customers, repeat customers, and potential investors as well. And also segment them and collaborate with the team, even if the team is small right now. We use Google Sheets, simply Google Sheets. And we use all the tools, I'm not going to reveal the entire stack, but we use tools to track the money, for example or this type of stuff. But having everything in one dashboard. Maybe you can do that with Tableau. But it depends on the stage. 

James Mackey  39:34  
I think companies are using Tableau or the robust data tools like they have a team of data scientists that are actually working alongside function leaders right? We're in talent acquisition, we know some bigger companies that have Greenhouse, integrate with Tableau, and they have a team of data scientists sometimes even reporting into talent acquisition that is supporting that specific org. So that's when you can really start to do some really cool stuff. I can't wait till we have that level of scale. I would love to do that. I mean, I don't know if we will, like, we're gonna have to make sure that the ROI makes sense. But I love playing with data and running those types of things and running turn reports. It's just really cool to see. 

Lio Slama  40:19  
Data is key. I remember when we looked at the number of staff members per account for AskNeo, and we noticed that it was way higher than we thought. We found this to be what I Oh, people are coming for the collaborative tool for the shared inbox. And then when I started asking people, how did you find us? It was all by SEO organically, because of the collaborative tools or sharing books. And so it was like, okay, it makes sense.

James Mackey  40:50  
All right. That's really cool. 

Lio Slama  40:52  
Yeah, it's all about data. If you don't look at the data, you don't have a way to see the data, right? You don't know what you don't know.

James Mackey  40:59  
You're gonna end up making assumptions that are not accurate, right? Well, really cool. We're coming up on time here. I really enjoyed talking with you and learning more about your business and what you're building. So I'm really excited to see your company scale. And you're definitely gonna have to come back on and let us know how you're doing as you guys continue to grow. So I just want to say thank you for coming to the show and joining me today.

Lio Slama  41:26  
Sounds good. Thanks for inviting me.

James Mackey  41:29  
If people want to engage with you, or your company what's the best way to get in touch?

Lio Slama  41:37  
So if they are curious about using AskNeo, like they are consumer brands or whatever brand, they can text Neo at 29174515515. That's a phone number. And if there are investors or people who want to work with us as potential key hires, they can text investor at 917-451-5515. And they can also connect with me on LinkedIn, but it is more difficult to connect on LinkedIn.

James Mackey  42:13  
Gotcha. All right. Well, to everybody tuning thank you for joining us, and we will see you next time. 

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