The impact of integrations on churn and retention.

Mohammad Nasrullah


Founder and CEO


Mohammad Nasrullah
Mohammad Nasrullah

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have Nash, founder and CEO of Integry.

In this episode, Nash shares the hardest part of starting a company straight out of school, and the perks of naive optimism when starting a company. 

We also discussed what is Integry and how the company was born, the impact of integrations on retention, and the main differences between B2C and B2B, when it comes to churn and retention.

Mentioned Resources



The hardest part starting a company straight out of uni. 00:01:41
Customer Feedback and how difficult it is to collect. 00:03:03
Naive optimism. 00:03:57
What is Integry and how the idea was born. 00:05:35
The impact of integrations on retention. 00:12:08
Differences in B2B and B2C when it comes to churn and retention. 00:19:43


[00:01:18] Andrew Michael: , Hey Nash, welcome to this.

[00:01:19] Mohammad Nasrullah: Glad to be here. 

[00:01:22] Andrew Michael: It's good to have you for the listeners. Nash's the founder and CEO of Integry and integration experience. Your users will love fresh out of university nest start his entrepreneurial journey as the co-founder and CTO of six tenths before making a move to Ericsson Nash, then founded a couple of other companies on his route two areas today at Integry.

So my first question for you Nash is like, what was the hardest part for you of starting a company coming straight out of uni?

[00:01:51] Mohammad Nasrullah: It's actually pretty weird. It was something I always wanted to do. And so I grew up in FoxTown and much of the people, if you talk to in the Pakistan, India, [00:02:00] general area, anybody who born in the eighties be idolized, bill gates still gets like every kid's dream, everybody looked up to them.

So everybody in India and Pakistan. And so I always knew I wanted to do a company. I knew it since my eighth grade. And as a matter of fact, While I was in my university in my third year. I the company 6 cents that you mentioned it was the first opportunity we had was about trigger-based training.

And so it was stupidly easy to get into it because we were very naive. We thought everything is super easy. We're just going to do it. And the idea was, again, bill gates, as a persona, as somebody who had worked hard and uses intelligence to become the world's richest guy. Again, this is, a kid just looking at the media, but knowing a lot of details in context, Just the idea of somebody who can really work hard and become the verge, which is using technology was mindblowing.

And so I thought that's how it should be. And so starting at most really easy, I think anybody can start a company. This is what happens after it is hard. And I think it typically becomes a usual suspects. In the beginning we were working with a few large customers like [00:03:00] the UN and so on and very quickly.

That user feedback is really important. And so the old way of doing things and I'm, I graduated in 2004. So back then Asia was still very new and things were still in this waterfall fashion. And we learned the hardware that you need early customer feedback and need to iTrade. And so that still today is one of the hardest things.

And it's actually hard getting feedback out of customers. If you have a Salesforce product, a product led growth company, if a hundred customers, there's an issue. I see only one person actually bothers to get angry enough to report it. And so getting feedback as to a thing, still, one of the hardest thing, everything else I think is somewhat, you can figure it out, but not knowing what to do or how exactly you're doing.

I think that's as. 

[00:03:48] Andrew Michael: Yeah, for sure. I think like the one thing is if you're not getting feedback, also the things that probably people don't care enough about your product or service, you have an even bigger problem. If you're not hearing the bad feedback, but I was sending what you touched on as well as like their [00:04:00] naivety is definitely something like I notice as I get older now as well, like starting new companies again, is that.

When you are younger, you think less about all the things that need to be tackled and things that need to get done and like anything is possible. And we're just going to get this done. There's that sort of I think. The strength, not strength, not the right word, but like you're able to do more.

I think when you have this, like naive approach to things and getting started because the beginner's mindset, like just coming to like meetings can be done, you can think about things differently. And there's definitely a certain power that comes with it. Yeah. 

[00:04:35] Mohammad Nasrullah: Yeah, you're absolutely right. And I would say that a lot of entrepreneurs who've done great things in their life.

If they on the onset knew how hard it was going to be, they wouldn't have done it. And so naive optimism, actually, it was too late. They couldn't get out of it. So they have to go all the way. And many entrepreneurs have are well known to saying that our adverse thanks for an activity. We went this far.

I do believe that in today's. And a good team. You did a mix of both idealists who are, early name and you need all the people [00:05:00] who have some experience. There has to be good balance. As I 

got older, just like you mentioned. And I was starting this company in 2017. I actually made a list of all the companies I wanted to do.

And I wanted to do an electric car company. I want to do a decentralized solar grid. I want to do Uber for farming. All these lists, but because I advisor, I knew all the things that would go wrong, these are all the risks here. This is all. This is. When I was young, I would look at the opportunity.

Now I'm older. I look at all of it. Things will fall apart and how hard it's going to be. And I miss some of that negativity and I wish I could erase some parts of my experience, but I completely concur. 

[00:05:35] Andrew Michael: Absolutely. It's super interesting that you went through that process of just trying to figure out what to do next and then allowing your own self doubt and thinking like of all the problems that can come occur that might not, but Talk to us a little bit about Integry as well.

I'm sure. I came across the initial launch on product hunt. I was really fascinated by the idea as a previous Zapier use r like having used up yet quite heavily in different places. And obviously had being a [00:06:00] startup founder myself. Like I was really intrigued by the idea. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the way I saw it was like, what Zappia does for the consumer you do for businesses.

And you allow businesses to create that same experience within their products, but not having them to have Zapier accounts. So I think like a lot of startups might try in the early days, like a K Zapier is a great move for me to integrate with because it allows my customers to interact with all the different services.

But that means your customers need to have another service, like Zapier as well for that to work. Am I correct? Am I getting that. 

[00:06:28] Mohammad Nasrullah: I think you're broadly correct. So what Integry does is that we help B2B SaaS companies create, build, manage, and deploy integrations for their end users. So say you are a CRM.

You need to have a way to give your end users the ability to import it at a for example, your new customer you're on. She would import data and you might need to give users the ability to sync that up between multiple systems. Maybe you are setting up a sync with a HubSpot or whatever, or maybe you are trying to get customers from competitive areas or other products.

You want to have the ability to have a [00:07:00] sink there, or maybe have some customer workflows, lead credit in my CRM. I want to get a notification on slack and so on. So today in 2021, integrations is not exactly a solved problem. So if you ask an engineering team, how are you guys doing integration?

You'll get a whole host of answers. There's a Zapier is definitely one of the go to marketplaces where companies use. And it's really great. It's really helpful too. And I think Zapier did a fantastic job in making. Integrations popular and reducing the barrier, such that anybody could be an integrator.

The industry uses the term citizen integrator. And so Zapier that day in 2012, when they came along and they did a good job of this, anybody could be integrated the issue habit. So the reason why he started his company was that. Before this company starting 2017, I was working as head of engineering at at a company called Convault and Khan was like a Facebook for work.

So it's essentially like your own social network and a social network without integration. Doesn't really do much. It's like having a communication tool like slack without integration. It doesn't really help much. And so what we did was on the request [00:08:00] of one of our customers, we implemented a Salesforce integrate.

So the way it worked was I heard there was a new lead at, it will just create a post in your social feed and what we saw the numbers really, despite that we saw a lot of daily active usage has increased and it was really cool seeing all of that. And what happened us that we build that integration through Zapier and.

The issue with that was that our customers were non-technical. So there were like people in SMB, people in HR and so on. And what we were asking them to do is, Hey, if you want to do this integration, we want you to leave our app, go to, sign up figure out what their triggers actions and all that stuff is, and build that integration.

But also. Salesforce is a paid off. So you have to upgrade. So you have to pay as April as well. And we found that 85% users would just simply drop. They wouldn't go ahead. And what ended up doing was we ended up collecting all these zip, your user names and passwords, and just working on the user's behalf.

And in parallel we did was we build the same integration. [00:09:00] And what we found out. So the red work grid was just a button. You clicked, you said authorized Salesforce and you were done right. Much cleaner experience. And what we found out was that the in app integration outperform the exact same one on Zapier.

By 30 X, not 30% but 30 times. And so given the option user would just prefer in app integration. I think this echoes our daily experience. If you're using slack, you'd rather use the built in app. If it matches your needs, you wouldn't go to Zapier do that. And that became really part because what we found out was once a user is integrated, the user has a 30 to 40% of the work because now they're getting data of the log in or not.

This notion of an always active user came into being. And so we looked around, we couldn't find a company that did integrations enough or could maybe solve this for us in a, and we started the company. So I am the head of integrations. And we bought one of the engineers. We both quit to start this company.

And so Integry today [00:10:00] because of this origin story, because it's experienced, we get a lot of emphasis on a fantastic and user experience. So if you look at any of our customers, If you sign up on their app and you go to the integration page, it all looks native. It looks like this design by their own team.

The user STK, the signup experience is super clean. You can have a very clean visit and that visitor could do something very complex. Like you're just importing data and simultaneously then setting up a live to a sync stuff that you is not trivial on offsite integration platforms. Like Xavier and all these other things.

Irregular user can set up something so complex. So we have these, so we create this idea of an ILX and integration experience. And this is what the user sees and the jewelry, how these are sets it up in the UX. And then when the integration runs in the background, all these issues around, is your data.

European is the other app, state American, all of these data, conversion issues, ETL and all that stuff. How well does that integration? And so all these fitting that UI UX and the running up integration, we call it as an IEX and. The [00:11:00] thesis is that users today expect integrations from the get-go 10, 15 years ago.

These public cloud companies would require integrations, but not for starting off. If you are a pre-seed company, you need integrations. And so we are on a mission to make it very easy for B2B SaaS companies to integrate with the soul. 

[00:11:18] Andrew Michael: Yeah, I absolutely see that. And I see as a pre-seed company, as a founder of one myself, like I've literally been on conversations where I'm giving a demo and then I'm showing like throws up integration.

You can do X, Y, or Z, and then questions come in. So do I need is up here? Account to make this work, like how does, and then you need to go through the process of explaining all of that. When something that's actually both natively into your product that's already like prefilled and you don't need to tell them what details to put in which field and so forth.

Definitely looking into Integry of stay on a hunt side as well as an option to provide that service. Nice. So that's super cool. Yeah. This sort of came out of a pain point that you faced at the previous [00:12:00] company where you had to combo, you mentioned something around like how it increased activation or retention around 30 X or engagements economy.

What is exactly, but this is definitely a theme we've heard previously on the show, the impact of integrations on retention itself and. Maybe you want to talk into that a little bit more? Like how did you go about understanding that this was the increase and was a result of the integration?

What did the team do from there afterwards? 

[00:12:28] Mohammad Nasrullah: Absolutely. What happened was that So the integration is a very general term and I typically don't like it because it's like saying, when you say you sell integrated flexing, I sell computers. And so it means many things to many people, but I think integrations is at least three things.

One is it is helping users onboard on your app, which means there may be importing data. It means setting up maybe some sort of overflow live on virtual and It can also mean automations on top of your apps. So for example there are certain things that you want to set up as virtuals within your app as well.

So Integry does all of these [00:13:00] three things. And so just going back to the origin story here. The main reason why we lost users when we send them Xavier of ours. These are not very technical users. And so as UI and the number of steps that you saw were quite a lot. And so that took a lot of understanding on their end to just set something up like that.

So that became very clear from a product experience perspective that in app integrations is definitely going to end. The challenge with that is it is not trivial to be. Maybe hundreds of integrations for your apps. So we have to solve this problem in that way. But if you just think about it from a user experience perspective, so for example, let's suppose you are a slack user.

And if you are, if you want to connect to slack with, let's say Salesforce, the first thing you might do is You would just visit the slack app store, which has list of all the integrations that they have. And so you would just click on that and you would accurate that. And in most cases, 90% of users cases you're done most, the general use cases are covered by the.

You want to sell to go to these [00:14:00] offsite integrations, but let's suppose that app doesn't really do what you want. That's when you would Google the words, slack, Salesforce integration, and that's where all these integration companies will do SEO and SEM to capture your attention or the, and so our thesis is that if you're buying an app, a B2B SaaS app that you're paying for, and it comes with integrations or they come batteries included, so to speak.

You are much more bound to use that in app integration because the experience is better. And so the numbers, like I mentioned, the range was 20 X to 40 minutes. Higher set up rate for integration versus using an offset integration. And then the users that set up the integration habit, 30% lower churn.

And the reason why is that? If you're a new app and if I'm a CRM and I can integrate with a calendar, if I can integrate with my email or I'm dead on the road, I'm DOE obviously nobody's going to use me. That in some apps that becomes table stakes, you cannot even get off the ground without having integration, especially the ones that import but then also apps that so it's for example, in if you set up integration with slack Salesforce, I know it, doesn't the opportunity.[00:15:00] 

That's an a V for you too. If you're a slack, that's a way for you to pull users back into your app, to show activity where there, and it's available. Excuse me, it's a way for you to show ongoing value into your app. And I actually liked that because. A lot of these SaaS companies focus on daily active users.

Everybody's trying to get you logged into their app and it puts a lot of pressure on you that just so their key value metric is are you logging in and stuff like that? Integrations allow your users, your customers to continue on getting the benefit of your app without necessarily having login.

There are many apps which should do this, but I think integrations really. And retention. And the value that you give your users by virtue of an automatic, all this on all this active user. 

[00:15:48] Andrew Michael: It's funny that you mentioned this because we had this debate quite a bit at Hotjar when.

We're looking into sort of like the tracking and at 1.2, we're setting up a slack integration. And again, like we were measuring [00:16:00] like weekly active usage or daily active usage depending on if a use actually had come into the product and triggered certain actions. And with places like slack, you can track certain aspects through the platform, but not everything.

And this was like, the question is okay, so how are we going to understand now? If this really makes an impact, or if it doesn't, what are we looking to track in each platform? Because ultimately. Just because the user's not coming to the product doesn't mean they're not receiving value from it. If anything, the value is increased now because they don't need to waste time coming to the product and they get it where they're already working.

It's definitely an interesting points and one just to figure out and think out okay how's this, if this is something that you want to be able to measure, how are you going to be able to do that effectively to understand that you're delivering like a really. And increased and better experience for your end user at the end of the day, and not thinking about metrics for the sake of metrics.

So nice. You mentioned before the show as well, that actually Integry started out and churn and retention was one of the reasons I was the reason this starting [00:17:00] out with Integry and integrations, or was there something else that sparked it? 

[00:17:04] Mohammad Nasrullah: Definitely the the heart of the problem was that our users are not being able to set up integrations.

And if they wouldn't. And that'd be sticky. They wouldn't get value or at worst, they would, it would feel for them. And so they wouldn't necessarily set up. Definitely that was. Is there a real problem that we identified and in some ways it's tragic. I mentioned all the other startups I wanted to do the so cool ride that like electric car and all that stuff.

But ultimately I th the same thing was something which I had actually seen myself and I had experienced it directly because this is a problem I saw firsthand. And I knew customers that I can go to and talk to right now, whereas the other ones, while exciting, required more work. And I, so I like to joke, we do something very boring.

We do internet. But it's a very important thing to do. And the reason I stood out is that integration is a precursor to automation. So once the systems talk to each other, then you can implement in automations on top of that. So once in a factory, if you have the central system can talk to [00:18:00] different robots or in any system, the communication happens through integration.

And so once you have integration in place, you can do really cool automations on top of that. Our core idea here is that. With the SaaS, the rise in SaaS, every worker is being inundated with a lot of apps that they have to use. It's like apps. The D you have the average worker is not switching between 12 and 14 apps.

And so that's a lot, but apps are really awesome. Apps are like magic powers and they really make you more productive. But what's happening is we're hitting this logical limit on how many apps a single person can use. And a lot of the stuff that you do. You shouldn't necessarily be doing, you're like a modern clerk, just moving data between a lot of these apps.

So I think a lot of that stuff should be automated away and you should be free from the drudgery to do the work creative aspects of the job. And what that allows you to do is allows you to maybe use more apps and it allows you to do more productive stuff. And it's funny, if you look at the apps that you use today, I think more than half of them did not exist 10 years ago.

And so this is going to keep. But you can't keep on adding more [00:19:00] apps because it's just a lot. So one way of mitigating that is having good clean integrations. That's how we're approaching this. And I do feel that if we don't solve this problem, there's like a limit on how much a modern worker can really use an advanced and manage these apps.

[00:19:17] Andrew Michael: Yeah, for sure. At some point it becomes diminishing returns on the performance gains. You're getting from all of these apps. I'm interested as well on another topic, just too diverse a little bit. Is that previously as well? You are one of the founders of Pring which I think you mentioned is one of the largest social networks in Pakistan.

At some point you'd have 8 million users coming into now like a B2B environment having worked in like the B2C for most of your career. And in the, like the context of general retention. What would you say is like one of the big differences and what would you say is like something that's absolutely common across both.

[00:19:54] Mohammad Nasrullah: It's a great question. And I, and so just for context, we build I'm from originally from Pakistan. [00:20:00] So we build one of the largest social networks in Pakistan before we sold it again, I'm an old hands and this is early, late two thousands and then early 2010s. And so I am from a Buddhist background and so today's.

Popular to say PLG product, but in the beauty or less, the only way you do things, there is no sales guy. There is no document that you have to read. Do you want to use Facebook? You use Facebook. You want to put images out, you just use Instagram. There's no provisioning of photos on Instagram and stuff like that.

And so everything is just as simple as possible. As Susan, one of the. Very early stage artists have worked on the apple computer. Then she joined and they were like, you got to design this like a game so that nobody uses a manual to do a game and so on in that fashion. So when I started Integry, as a matter of.

I Integry as a sales led company. And so you couldn't sign up on Integry. You'd have to go to the website. You have to sign up for a demo call. A sales guy would do the song and dance in front of you. And if you like what you saw you, you would then maybe purchase and stuff like that.

And, we'd make [00:21:00] promises about the Integry, but doing so, just the typical sales process. Ultimately, what we talked about is that integration is a early enough pain and a common enough thing from startup level that, that we need to flip this model. We need to make integrations more accessible.

And what we realized was the most easiest way to make integrations accessible is pricing. So every company you talk to in the, in what is called the I-PASS the integration platform as a service space There are these annual upfront contracts, big commitment and stuff like that. And we said, let's just put in a rate, generous, free tier.

So we give like a very large street, 10,000, if you call it, it runs. It's like a single import is one run. So 10,000 runs a month. And and the idea was that, and then we had to make a self service product, and this is a really hard product to make self service because integrations is our heart. We do a whole bunch of things and we're still, we launched in October.

So we're very new and the new Salesforce product, there were still going through feedback. And so any customer that signs up, [00:22:00] they send feedback. We're very grateful to them, but a lot of those lessons in the B2C world that we had. Like I said, users are, if they don't like it, they're silent, they'll come in, they won't complain.

And so a lot of those things we start seeing and a lot of those lessons and how you track funnels and how you do experiments and how you create the B2C world knows this really well. The B2B world is just catching up on that. It's just literally, learning what they calling a PLG and stuff like that.

So a lot of those lessons were very useful. My co-founder who was in Germany, he was the head of innovation and growth at line Messenger, which is the far Eastern market is the largest Dysinger I think, half a billion users. And he's also very much familiar with how to run a. You see a PLG based motion.

And I do feel that even today, a B2B is not very, it can be when it comes to a product as UI and UX and the field emotion. And I think B2B companies need to hire more people from UC, especially from the acquisition side [00:23:00] and the onboarding side. There's a lot to do with. And then I also think that B to C companies are actually far behind gaming companies.

If you want to see good UI and UX, you should play games there. They've done a phenomenal job. For example, king has the reason why king and Farmville and all those guys became successful is that they did a phenomenal job in becoming literal psychological hackers and getting you to click and so on.

Not necessarily good, but Useful lessons over there, but I think there's a lot of things for the B2B community to learn from the B2C community and from the gaming community. 

[00:23:30] Andrew Michael: Yeah. I definitely see the analogy and the drivers between the two and again like that, the PLG sort of movement that's come about is it's really nothing new.

As you say, it's been existence forever. It's more just about. Focusing on creating really great UX for your users and everything else comes from there. We might've said to a few people are saying that on the show today, but 

[00:23:49] Mohammad Nasrullah: but it's funny, right? It feels very recently. But a product seven there's at the beginning of the B2C product beginning at the beginning of planning fiscal, because the beginning of Google is PLG, [00:24:00] essentially Google his field.

He has been there since ninety one, ninety nine. There are call it that, but certainly it's and obviously not criticizing anybody, but certainly this is this is this new way of doing things. Not quite right. So if you want to do good field, gee, I think there's a lot of learning from you to see that.

[00:24:17] Andrew Michael: Yeah, but I really like the points you made as well as just thinking outside the box a little bit, and actually hiring from B2C brings in a lot of domain expertise and things like that. So I remember at Hotjar itself, we're a B2B company, but we ended up hiring quite a few people from B2C companies.

And like you said, that level of sophistication when it comes to experimentation, And setting up programs like is it a much higher bar than anyone coming from any other sauce business out there? And I think just because also you have the luxury then of the huge user base that you can get to the level of sophistication that's required.

I think with the B2C business, I'm absolutely sold that we 

[00:24:52] Mohammad Nasrullah: experience. And one of the things as B2B founders, I think we are afraid of if we burn these users because of an [00:25:00] experiment is there a large enough Tam, is there a larger market available? And that is a constant fear. And and I was definitely one of the biggest Hesitations I had from moving from a sales lead to a product organization was this question because we are currently saying it'd be to be SaaS companies.

How many B2B SaaS companies are really there? How big is this market? And it's a starting point. It's just a starting point. There are further concentric circles where we increase our time, but this is our beachhead, but it turns out there were a lot. We we just launched in October and the goals we had for the number of signs, the number of companies that would.

We actually have the end of the year, the goal we had, we have already crossed Forex. Even though we knew the market was large, but it is it's been tremendously larger. And I think it helps to take some of those naive risks from youth that we just talked about. And so I think that's very useful.

And the other thing I think you'd see people bring is velocity. These guys were really fast and they are very impatient, which I think is a good mix to have in a company in a bit of religious typically. 

[00:25:57] Andrew Michael: Absolutely. Very cool. I want to save some [00:26:00] time because I see what we're running up on. It's a question that I ask every guest.

Let's imagine a hypothetical scenario that you join a new company general. Attention's not doing great. The CEO comes in and says, Hey, Nash. We really need to turn things around. We have 90 days to do it. You're in charge. What do you. But the catch is you're not going to tell me I'm going to go speak to customers.

Find the biggest pain points and start there because that's what everyone would do. You're just going to pick something that you've seen be effective in one of your previous roles. And you're going to run with that playbook blindly or. 

[00:26:33] Mohammad Nasrullah: I be like, Hey, do you guys have integrations right now? I feel like what it was blocked into that one.

So yeah if you're a B2B SaaS company, I would definitely retention wise. That's one of the things that I look at. And because that's one of the reasons that we exist in someone. So that's something I know work. So if there are customers looking for demanding integrations, which I am sure there are sure.

Bibi's ask them. You cannot exist in isolation. The day off a SaaS computer not connected to the world is over [00:27:00] SaaS apps have to become connected apps. So that's separately there. Beyond that, I feel it's hard, becomes hard to give a general answer without getting specific here. But I'm obviously.

I truly believe they're just two gold standards either. They're people paying you money or they're using a product. And so you would look at user's data, you'll see where the pipelines are falling off and what can you do to improve them? And the answers aren't necessarily not necessarily clear. I remember Twitter in various.

Some years ago they increased your onboarding flow. They went from four screens of onboarding to six, and that actually improve it, that it screens for. What are your interests? Would you like to follow these accounts and that actually improve retention? And so similarly in slack Stewart, Bearfield, Scott has famously said saving clicks is not necessarily improving the user experience.

And It does require more deeper dive, but that's my Astoria, go with integration, look for a company. That name is closer to the word integration. So 

[00:27:55] Andrew Michael: if you want to do it to something that. Here's integrations if you want to do [00:28:00] 90 days use Integry and yeah. Cool. But I also like the points as well.

That's come up quite a bit on the show about the onboarding experience and how everybody's like reduced the number of clicks, but that's not always what's best for the user and best for the experience that you're going to deliver to them. So it really just goes back to really thinking through the experience and what's best for the user, as opposed to just okay.

This is an extra thing they need to do, but if that extra thing adds extra value, then yes. Maybe that's the extra thing they should be doing. Last question then what's one thing, today about churn and retention that you wish you knew when you got started with your career? 

[00:28:31] Mohammad Nasrullah: Oh, with my career hard to say.

I think if I mentioned this before that. A lot of users that share, and don't really tell you why they'll not talk to you. And that number is very surprisingly low. I would say less than 1% of that. And so if a user is churning, you need to make assumptions of that why they might be churning.

And obviously this requires interviews and like more aggressively talking to users, but I think. And most users are nice to use. It don't necessarily [00:29:00] tell you the actual reasons. So getting feedback from users using a scientific method, I think early on is very important. Trying to separate your, and this is a, this is called Solomon's paradox.

Because every startup is your baby you tend to make bad decisions because you're very emotionally entangled with the product you believe in this idea. And you think that you are right. And so it's when you're going through a breakup, it's very hard for you to just separate yourself from the actual problem and your friends will give you great advice.

It'll tell you what to do here. And that's why it's very important to have other people talking to users, but also having advisors and people who are not necessarily emotionally involved in that. I learned this after my first startup. I'm an old hand here, but in general it's a hard lesson to learn.

You don't make good decisions because you are unable to separate yourself from the actual issue. So I think these two things are key here to be able to use a scientific method, to really go for the insights that are then what you want the insights to be. And the other thing is that. [00:30:00] Retention is indication about churn is an indication that users, if they're not getting value it's a clear indication of that.

And it's your pre-market product market fit. And so I think, again, talking to customers in a way, which is useful as very important, but this sound like very generic advice, but I think, I feel like every entrepreneur should just keep, I'll never forget. Yeah. 

[00:30:20] Andrew Michael: It's definitely mistakes are made in the early days on this time round it's like continuously, like always be speaking daily to customers, really trying to understand the direction you're going and always acts course correctly.

And the thing you mentioned as well, like having. That inherent bias as a founder, like you have a vision for your product to psych. One of the things I heard from somebody once and that stuck with me a long time is don't be precious with your ideas. Be precious with the problem and focus on the problem, because the first idea you have might not be necessarily the way to solve it.

But if you stick to like really trying to solve the problem, then that's the way you can avoid these biases coming in to trying to stay cost on something that's clearly not going to work or. [00:31:00] Absolutely. 

[00:31:01] Mohammad Nasrullah: One of the greatest architects of our time Christopher Alexander, he wrote the book called a pattern language, which is now commonly used in other areas, especially in soccer east, he said, don't get attached to your ideas.

And so he had this very interesting technique that if he's designing a house, he would. Very quick designs in rapid succession, you'll do 10, 15 20. And what happens if you spend too much time on one idea, you end up marrying that too quickly, whereas you haven't explored the space yet. So I really like this technique.

But I completely agree with what you're saying. Yeah, 

[00:31:30] Andrew Michael: very nice. And that's just been a pleasure chatting to you today. Is there any final thoughts you want to leave the listeners with? Anything they should be aware of on your end? 

[00:31:37] Mohammad Nasrullah: No, it was really nice talking to you as well. A super fun conversation.

I'm very passionate about integrations, automation Steiner taking over, or maybe not that, but if you're any questions on integrations or any, if you're a B2B SaaS company, if you want to reach out and just discuss what were integrations look like? What does an IDX and stuff like that? I'm great.

Happy to have the conversation I am @nash on Twitter. [00:32:00] I signed up very early on. I'm like user 800 or something. So if you find me there, please reach out. I'm happy to chat with you. 

[00:32:08] Andrew Michael: Very cool. And we'll obviously leave links in the show notes to Integry. And to Nathan mentioned to today yeah, it was a pleasure chatting to you.

I wish you best of luck now, going forward. Thanks for joining. 

[00:32:19] Mohammad Nasrullah: Thank you so much, Andrew. Have a great day. 


Mohammad Nasrullah
Mohammad Nasrullah

The show

My name is Andrew Michael and I started CHURN.FM, as I was tired of hearing stories about some magical silver bullet that solved churn for company X.

In this podcast, you will hear from founders and subscription economy pros working in product, marketing, customer success, support, and operations roles across different stages of company growth, who are taking a systematic approach to increase retention and engagement within their organizations.


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