Understanding the difference between acceptable and worrying churn

David Darmanin




David Darmanin
David Darmanin

Episode Summary

Today on the show we have David Darmanin, Founder and previous CEO of Hotjar.

In this episode, David shared what he misses most about being the CEO of Hotjar, and what led him to realize it was time to step down and hand over the role. 

We then dove into the importance of giving your people the freedom to fail, how Hotjar reduced churn by doubling down on their ICP in their go-to-market strategy, and the differences between acceptable and worrying churn. David then explains the Hotjar ethos and the impact it has had on the company.

Mentioned Resources



Handing over the role of CEO. 00:05:27
Giving your people the freedom to fail. 00:010:10
Worrying churn VS Acceptable churn 00:14:58
How Hotjar reduced churn by focusing on their ICP. 00:18:44
The Hotjar ethos. 00:24:52


[00:01:26] Andrew Michael: Hey David, welcome to the show. 

[00:01:29] David Darmanin: Really great to be here, Andrew, as always. Great 

[00:01:31] Andrew Michael: to talk with. Yeah, it's awesome to have you on the show for the listeners. David is the founder and strategic advisor to hot charm and as well now, strategic advisor to content square, uh, as well as previous CEO of Hotjar hunter provides a suite of product experience tools to help you understand how users behave on your sites, what they need and how they feel.

David founded Hotjar in 2014 with his four co-founders and they bootstrap the business to become a leader in the industry before successfully exiting the [00:02:00] company to content square. At the end of 2021, uh, prior to founding Hotjar, David was a conversion rate optimization consultant conversion rate experts, where you had the opportunity to work with the world's most sophisticated brands that were leading the web revolution.

It was at conversion rate experts where he got the inspiration to build Hotjar. So my first question for you, David. Do you miss it? And thinking back to conversation, we had together at a meetup and the early days when I think one of us asked a would you ever sell Hotjar? Uh, your response was you went to Shaw, uh, youth, you and your executives.

I think at the time was like seeing as it's so difficult to be able to build a product and get to the stage that we are today. I don't know if I want to go through this again. So. Do you miss it? And how does it feel 

[00:02:44] David Darmanin: now? Look, the reality is there isn't much to miss because I'm still deeply involved right.

In a completely different capacity. And I think I realized my role and my involvement had to change way before. Um, [00:03:00] acquisition talks started. We had been talking with content square for some time. So I think there was a natural progression for me as a founder of a bootstrap business. So I wouldn't say there is like maybe the dynamic you miss a little bit, but I'm still involved with both businesses.

It's fun, completely new challenges on a much bigger scale. So. Yeah, I wouldn't say there's anything particular to miss. I think if anything, what I miss is the project, you know, working on the project the early days, I think, but that's irrelevant the acquisition more than anything, but I think I'd get a little bit of that through doing some advising to two founders, CEOs doing some angel investments.

So I think that that's also nice. So that's refreshing to be involved a little bit at the earliest stage. Uh, vicariously let's call it that 

[00:03:48] Andrew Michael: way. Very cool. Will you, uh, start again, uh, obviously like mentioning it was difficult to get, to send you a Hotjar. Is there plans or any thoughts, like, are you thinking about doing something.[00:04:00] 

[00:04:01] David Darmanin: Yeah, look, I would say, never say never, but I think at this point it's very clear to me. Like I've always been very value driven, which I think is part of the success I've had. Right. So I'm lucky enough to intern, like automatically think about how can I provide value and use that for a platform. And I guess I learned that through making a lot of mistakes with Hotjar.

I was using the software and I wasn't happy with it. So I built something for myself. Um, and that made it easy. So I can't see myself right now forcing another round. Cause I don't see that obvious thing. And then when I speak to other founders are also executives or hardware content square, the values.

So obvious of what, um, Help or at least I hope so. Maybe they're just being nice, um, now, but the value is clear and I love doing that. So currently that satisfy, that satisfies my need to kind of give value. I don't know what would be the best way to [00:05:00] describe it. So currently nothing on the horizon, but yeah.

You know me, right? Like, so it's difficult to say never to anything. 

[00:05:08] Andrew Michael: I think it's hard as well. Like, especially once you have the backend, uh, like in Greek, they call it a Schoology, which is basically the same thing in a bug. But once you have it, it's like difficult to get rid of. And then there's always things that like you see improvements or problems that things could be done better.

And, uh, it's like curving the enthusiasm. Uh, Tom. To get to involve. Uh, you mentioned as well though, that's obviously you had sort of made these transitions, uh, previously, uh, to even the sale itself. And one of those transition actually was, uh, handing over the role of CEO, um, to now, um, a hundred, uh, who's currently CEO of HighJump.

This is not an easy decision, I think, to make for any like founder and CEO. And I think a lot of times it's probably as the best decision for the business. And as you mentioned, in your case, you realizing that earlier, how did you sort of realize that this was something that needed to be done? [00:06:00] Uh, what was it for you that said, okay, like it's time for us to start figuring out what the transition looks like and who this next person is.

[00:06:08] David Darmanin: I would say it was multiple factors and it's not an overnight thing. Right. It's something that grows on you. Look, I'd say the main factors is that slowly, all the co-founders were starting to take a step back from leadership. I think we all realize. That we were all operators, right? We all love being in the trenches, doing the work.

And as the company grew, we started to realize there was a need for more professional leaders. Let's call it right. Let's call it that. So that's one factor. I think there's also self-awareness on our end that, you know, we could do much better. I'd say the second part was the fact that hardware was bootstrapped.

Right? So today. Well, when we did the deal harder was over $40 million in ARR, which is quite a feat to start from nothing and with no, no investors, no board. And this was the [00:07:00] stage where I started to say, you know what? The business is big enough that we actually maybe a little bit too late, the, the boards and the final piece, which then plays with that second one was quite frankly, At closing in on 200 people.

I just wasn't, it wasn't fun for me anymore being the CEO. And there's a reason why, because I finally realized what the job of the CEO. I think I became much clearer. It's not, uh, getting involved in decisions with the team or throwing grenades at them and changing direction. Your job is to make sure you're hiring the best people to build out the vision you have, and then making sure you acquire the resources.

To get those people in the right place and to be able to do their job became very clear to me. I think I could have done it, but quite frankly, it wasn't like that. Wasn't exciting to me. And I'm just type the person I'm not excited anymore then. So that's right. So that lack of maybe excitement. I [00:08:00] don't think I'm also like the type of person who likes to be the best at something.

So I did CEO and then it was kind of this combination of, I was a little bit inspired by the book by the Patagonia founder, let my people go surfing, which was a gift. From the Hotjar team, ironically. Um, so at this point, we're actually, I said, you know what? I want to focus. I want to double down focus being more of an entrepreneur, and maybe I hit the word chairman, but kind of more running the business, not on an executive level.

And then I'm very lucky to have found Mo who is our CEO with whom? He, and I still, today we have a very good combo of he's really good on the executive side. I'm a little bit more strategic. So we had that good combo. So yeah. Yeah. I think it was all those things kind of combined together. 

[00:08:47] Andrew Michael: So basically you're just like,

[00:08:51] David Darmanin: No, but here's the problem, right? So when you're a CEO who has a background in design, which is where it all [00:09:00] started for me. Right. And then I went into product and then into marketing, like that's really dangerous, right? Like I could sounds horrible. I would see work being done by people and the immediate response.

Cause obviously I know the full history of the business. I know where we want to go. So just to jump in and say, no, let's do it like this, right? Yeah. And that's precisely the grenade piece, which is your. I'm doing the process of setting up teams to own it. Right. So you can't interfere. So yeah, it wasn't going to end well, yeah, 

[00:09:34] Andrew Michael: I think this is something that you did start to do some good.

I remember we even had discussions previously. We all go to and say like, we're clearly making mistakes in some area. Why are we doing this? And then you would like, we had a discussion together at one point, it was like at some point. Need to let people make these mistakes. Cause we're going to learn the lessons we're going to build and we're we gonna be stronger for it.

Uh, we can't keep like step again. And, uh, so like lessons sort of hit home a lot to me as well. So that's something I still think about quite a bit now as well. Like you [00:10:00] gotta realize like what things are okay to let people make mistakes with and learn. And what's like, uh, where you need to step in and like having that macro and, uh, uh, what you call a view as well.


[00:10:10] David Darmanin: yeah, and I think this is where the impact of hiring executives from the outside. We're very lucky to still find executives that have strong values fit with us. But the fact that they came like with this professional experience really taught us these, the us residents, not just me, taught us a lot around this, which were difficult lessons to kind of.

Swallow. Let's put it that way, but like, there's also a little bit of leap of faith. The way Moe, for example, describes is it is freedom to fail. And when you think about it, like if you hire people to do a job and you don't give them that freedom, then you're kind of. You're on like a low gear and you're just stuck there.


[00:10:50] Andrew Michael: Everyone's too scared to make decisions, to test things out, to try and set up for failure. Nah, I definitely saw like a big step change [00:11:00] when Mon the exact started joining the team, sort of seeing the structure they're coming in and, uh, you can see it now as well, obviously in the business and the way things have accelerated since I've left.

Like I, every so often I speak to. People from HR and just hear like it updates every now and again, it's like mind blowing just to see how fast and how progress the team has got in such a short space of time. So, uh, a great job, uh, or Rhonda, I think what you said, like the, the role of the CEO is really just finding these great people and then giving them the resources to do it.


[00:11:28] David Darmanin: yeah, I'd say probably cause you asked about missing, let's say the saddest thing for me has been this slow, but gradual retreat, because the problem is like, If you are to present, right. And you're the founder XCO. And, you know, there's that obviously there's the past that you want to honor, but it can also get in the way of things.

Right? So I'd say the saddest thing for me has been this gradual kind of slow retreat, which is a little bit sad because I want to be involved with the team and everything. So [00:12:00] that's probably the thing that I miss the most. Being on the frontline, but after like what has it been two years? We're finally doing our next meetup again in June.

So the whole team's meeting up together. So I'm really looking 

[00:12:11] Andrew Michael: forward to that. Yeah. Yeah. And for the listeners, if you're not aware, like QUATRA as a fully remote business, we used to, and I say we, because I was obviously working with David at Hotjar, we used to have. Um, meetups twice a year. Like really cool places.

I think my first day actually working at hot show was in Spain, in my Bayer and Avila where, uh, we slept 

[00:12:30] David Darmanin: in the same room exactly. First night 

[00:12:34] Andrew Michael: at our. It was good. It was actually had the room with David first day on the job. And actually there was a coworker at the time and, and, uh, quite a big tall guy.

Uh, and I actually taken his room. He arrived late or whatever, and I remember him turning to me, Christian, and he was like, and is this the pipsqueak that took my room? I was like, he is my first day. Obviously he was joking. I think at the time it is like, I've just arrived, but yeah, really fantastic meetups.

And [00:13:00] I think that's like the remote culture at Hotjar. For me, it's like next to none. I speak to a lot of different teams, a lot of founders and people thinking. And I think that's one thing that I think as a leader, you did an exceptional job of sort of infiltrating and facilitating. And, um, any plans, I think you mentioned previously, potentially maybe writing a book on this stuff as you needed that progress.


[00:13:21] David Darmanin: yeah. Yes. W yes, it has actually. And you're way too kind. So thanks a lot. And I'd say the best word to describe it is. I'm writing about it now. So it's fresh, right. I'm trying to do away with the word remote, which is more an output. So I'm speaking more about the concept of how do you build a distributed business of which geographical location is just one factor and yeah, and I think when you're building a distributed business early on, the founder plays the role of the whole.

And I think maybe that's what I was kind of good at early on is being that host because in this invisible world of this [00:14:00] business that you're creating, you need the gel, right? So you need something to bring it up. 

[00:14:06] Andrew Michael: So the days of organizing parties or clubs really helped bring things together, perhaps, 

[00:14:12] David Darmanin: perhaps.

[00:14:14] Andrew Michael: Um, cool. So I wanted to as well chat about a little bit today about the transition around churn and retention at the time, obviously we mentioned at the start of the show and, um, how this maybe perhaps changed for you over time. So Hotjar had an incredibly artist successful, uh, launch for a beta product and into the market.

It was loved very, very early on. Uh, you saw some rapid growth in the early days. How did your perception change over time? Maybe give us a couple of minutes of how it started your thoughts on a 10, if there were any thoughts to start with and then how that evolved at the time, 

[00:14:49] David Darmanin: when you say thoughts on it, thoughts about how we had launched or one particular aspect, how you 

[00:14:54] Andrew Michael: viewed churn and retention.


[00:14:56] David Darmanin: I turn your attention. Got it. Got it. Got it. Yeah, it looks so there's a funny [00:15:00] story that I don't think I've ever told anyone, but, um, early on, we were speaking to some investors. And I remember, uh, this was before we had to hit the market and start scaling really fast. And we had a couple of term term sheets actually.

Uh, and, but through that process, like we reporting by the tech and all these numbers and everything, but halfway through the process, we realized that our churn numbers were wrong. So actually the software we're using to track. I think we did something wrong, which is if you switch to free or something versus downgrading, I forgot what it was.

But basically we were reporting only half of our churn. And obviously besides this being like a horrible moment, but obviously we were super transparent with the investors who loved it and like the way we approached it and presented them with all the new data and everything, besides that being a little bit humiliating.

And like Nicole said, it didn't have an impact actually on us raising. Uh, potentially raising cause we didn't, um, [00:16:00] it was shocking to us to actually realize, right. So that was kind of this first real experience of holy shit. Like this is kind of scary. And I think it was also the beginning of us, of this journey of us kind of obsessing about what felt like the big dent in our armor.

And we read everything we could and spoke to people that just, we were really obsessed about the subject. And, and we should be right, because like the more you think about churn, it can be, it can have a huge, huge impact on that, on the success of any subscription business. But I'd say there's a few lessons that we learned and yes, definitely to your question, we came to see it a little bit differently over the years in the sense that ultimately.

Churn and the size of the amount of churn you have matters as much as the size of your market and the speed at which you're bringing up. New customers. Right? [00:17:00] So if we think about B2C, right, or even, um, companies that sell to let's say prosumers, right. I'm thinking of the whole Shopify guys and whatnot.

These are all businesses that have. Bad churn. Right. And if you applied that to a B2B environment, that would be lethal. Um, so with Hotjar, I guess it was a little bit difficult for us because we, we were clearly, consumerizing an industry which had not been yet. Right. So let's really, you thought you'd by heart or like just you're buying a Netflix subscription.

Right. Um, but there was also a heavy process. Piece to it and also tiny agencies. Right. So there was a lot of that going on. Um, so I think what we came to realize is that ultimately. In the go-to market strategy that we have Wranglers are using big words, but basically what does it mean [00:18:00] when we talk about going after a big market with low friction, that low friction approach and just targeting such a big group and acquire them them is actually, if not more important as equally important as churn, which means as part of that journey.

You might need to live with a certain part of churn. So we came to realize that there's a, I wouldn't say good churn. There is acceptable churn. Right. And then there's more in churn. I'd say like before everything was worrying, sort of just look at the numbers. Yeah. So it took us time to realize this, and it was kind of very worrying for lots of time in terms of what are we doing wrong.

And, and basically what we came to realize is we talked about go-to-market strategy. And it makes sense when you think about it, if you want to really lower friction and targets a huge group of people it's, and I hate this way of [00:19:00] describing it. Right. But it's like they use this analogy is of fishing, right?

When you have sales team enterprise, you're, you're throwing spirits away. Horrible analogy, but it works. And on the other end of the spectrum, you've got the consumer approach, right. Where you're basically throwing these nets and just throwing. Right. And I think that's the whole point, which is to a certain extent, it's very difficult for this product.

Super productive consumerized model to work. If there isn't any churn, it has to be there. I think the watering churn, which we came to understand truly understand is where you have, especially a slightly going up market model or where you've identified an ideal customer, like a target group, and they're coming on board, then they stop using it or they stop paying for it.

Right. That's where it starts to become. Why does this, does this make sense? Yeah, 

[00:19:55] Andrew Michael: of course. And we discussed this in length. [00:20:00] I think there was an analogy that I like to think about it as well. In this case specifically for our chairs, like when you're building a fire, you need sort of like the, Firestarters like the little twigs to get the fuel burning, but then you already have the logs, which is like your ICP that really build that deep fire they built in.

You have that engine and you're gonna burn through. Uh, like twigs to build like a really, really strong fire. Um, and some of it is accepted on sexually. I think obviously, you know, as well, Emeric from, um, a lot of posts. Like we had him on the show and we had this discussion where they did a really interesting thing where they measured, they broke their tone down into different categories of sort of what.

Within the control and was without side of the control. So as you mentioned, like for small businesses being an example, like going out of business is not something that hot shot is really going to fix for the small business, but it's going to happen a lot just to, to the nature of the product and the service.

And so at the exit survey, they obviously had like a few different reasons for churn and they ultimately then said, [00:21:00] okay, whatever our churn rate is X percent, that's just for random second, I'm saying 10%, but it wasn't that, um, 2% is businesses going under. We can't do anything about that. 2%, whatever, like 3% was a XYZ reason outside of a control.

Uh, the other 7%, this is what we're going after. And this is where we focusing. And then again, further segments and make you say, like by the audience, by ICP, ideal customer profile, and then UN, and I think even at a shot, that's where we saw. The biggest shift and focus is when we made that switch to really focus on the ICP.

And, uh, like this is who we were serving, this is who we're building for. Um, and then the features and everything really sort of aligned around that as well. Yeah. 

[00:21:43] David Darmanin: The only thing I would add on the back of that card, like the way you explain that is. It's a little bit different in the sense that we've come also to realize now that to keep that fire alive, you need to keep, you need to have the twigs constantly being put in there.

And like, it's kind of, I think the [00:22:00] most important thing to that's about where you have a go-to market strategy, which is low friction, and you're going for the volume is more, how do people feel about the product? As they exit potentially that let's say paid experience. Right. Which is to be different. And again, like churn from usage is also that you need to analyze that as well.

Right. Is it because they're unhappy with the product? Is it because you talked a lot about this when you were a toddler, right? Is it the natural cycle, the natural way of how it's using it? So I think it's much more important. To spend time then, by the way, I'm not saying that Audra nailed this painting by any way.

Right. It's just thinking about this in a different way, because ultimately I think what has a much bigger impact on this kind of flywheel you're creating in our case, Audra that if people are exiting this experience or pausing or whatever, we're going to call it with the. Feeling [00:23:00] that actually has a much bigger impact than the fact that they stopped paying you because where the mouth for us is actually much bigger fuel than the revenue that we're collecting or churning or dropping or whatever.

So I think it all comes back to strategy 

[00:23:17] Andrew Michael: on. For sure. And I think in that flywheel, uh, example, that's like, couldn't remember who mentioned this as a statistic, like in most Haas businesses around 40% of successful sauce, acquisition comes from word of mouth. Uh, so slowly over time, like that becomes your main acquisition channel is the word of mouth.

And specifically as well, like in Hotjar, You do have the same effect where somebody might use Hotjar to company, they turn, but they loved it. They go on to the next company, they become the champion, they bring it in, or they might've had their own small business. Like, uh, in my case, I came to Hotjar. I said maybe not a good example, but I was using child before I came to HR.

Uh, and it wasn't successful. And then like if I wasn't coming to watch, I would have introduced Hotjar at that company [00:24:00] I was going to, so you have this really powerful flower that even though there is a churn on the one side of it, there's still an opportunity for acquisition on the other end because of the reasons.

And, uh, as you say, like, uh, it really sort of fuels, uh, growth on the other side of it and the backend. 

[00:24:15] David Darmanin: And I think a lot of people take this for granted or don't invest in it because it's also very difficult to meet. How do you attribute this? Right. Also there's situations where someone loves Hotjar mom and pop shop.

Right. But then their cousin is the VP of marketing at a, at a blue chip company. Right. And then just over the weekend, tell them, holy shit, check this out. We know of these situations, right? How do you measure that? Right. So again, it all comes down to. Your go-to market strategy is this big flywheel and whatnot.

You just need to look at things from a different lens 

[00:24:51] Andrew Michael: for sure. Uh, one thing actually just reminded me now we actually chatted about email and boarding a couple of episodes ago. I'm not too sure [00:25:00] when this one will be released, but, um, and we, we discussed one of the emails that I really loved, that I got from her personally.

And I want to understand sort of the inspiration. I don't know if we ever discussed it in detail, but what. There was an email going out when a subscription had the payments had not been processed. And why? I clearly remember Hotjar's email at the time was, was completely different to everybody else on the market was we had our own startup.

We had limited funds in the bank, so we wouldn't be able to like, sort of process the payments on subscriptions. And you would get different emails coming through, like warning. Your credit card has been expired. Like your subscription is going to be canceled. Like some of them like bright red, And the message from Hotjar itself was just a plain text, email, like saying, Hey, it's dated.

We know, things can get busy time, like, uh, economists have the exact wording of it itself, but it was like, if there's anything we can do to help you just let us know whatever. And I remember thinking to myself, like that was such like a human approach, such an amazing email to get like [00:26:00] at a time when things were really shit and like a lot of stress was going on.

And I think that's sort of like another example of how you can really win customers and. Keeping that, uh, that feeling sweet at the end of it, it was like, although I did churn, like I left with like a really good experience at the end of it. Like, I would become a champion for life after that. And it's a simple gesture, but really focusing on the way people feel about the experience, as opposed to just like the, um, uh, the overall like usage.

And, but 

[00:26:27] David Darmanin: here's where it gets. Interesting. I didn't write that email. Yeah. And why is that interesting? It's interesting because when we started Hotjar. I was very strategically. We knew that treating people with. I know now it's going to get through the bit lovey-dovey, but it is important, right? It was the central part to our strategy.

I love putting Devin's strategy in the same sentence. What do we mean by that? I even, I even wrote a piece which we put public, which was called the Hotjar ethos in which we [00:27:00] laid out. That one thing that is so important to us is just treating people. As humans and treating them nicely, which is why we invest in support.

And we had an ethos for support, like with basic rules of just how to be nice, right. Following up, don't over promise. Right? Like these basic things, but the intentionality of writing these kinds of things. Right. Really. Armed the team to then someone deciding to write an email like that. And in my opinion, that's a real win, not the fact that you receive that email it's that someone felt that that would be, I knew about this email.

Right. But I didn't write it in. Someone felt that that would be a representation. 

[00:27:40] Andrew Michael: I feel 

[00:27:40] David Darmanin: cheated now, but okay. I signed off on. 

[00:27:46] Andrew Michael: No, definitely. I think, yeah, if you can get that sort of level of understanding within your team of like the ethos and what we're trying to achieve and who we are. And I think that's also another participant to the values that were instilled at Hotjar and, uh, [00:28:00] the team and Becca for me, my experience and my time at Archer was like definitely by far the most amazing professional experience I've ever had and being in surrounded.

Really really great talented people as a, it was a great experience for me. So, 

[00:28:13] David Darmanin: uh, great. We're very lucky to have had some amazing people, including you and three have had a big impact. 

[00:28:18] Andrew Michael: Thank you. Um, so the next thing I wanted to ask, cause I see we actually running up on time is let's imagine a hypothetical scenario because I asked this question to every guest, you arrive at a new company, general attention is not doing great at this company.

And the CEO comes to you and says, Hey, David, we really need to turn things around and we want to do it for. Um, we have 90 days and we want to reduce churn, uh, at the company you're in charge. What do you do? But you're not going to tell me I'm going to go and speak to customers or look at the data and figure out the biggest pain points and start there.

You're just going to choose one thing that you've seen be effective as a playbook and run with that blindly hoping it works this new company. What would you choose? 

[00:28:59] David Darmanin: [00:29:00] So wait a second. Wait a second. Just so it's clear. So the CEO is telling me we have 90 days to fix churn. Okay. I quit. This is the best answer I've had.

So that's what I'm going to do. Yeah, I think I, I'm not joking. I think I would quit. That's a hard I'm joking, but joking aside, like that is not a good time, right. Because I don't think that's possible if there's like critical, like this is just important for the survival of the business. What's the price point?

What are 

[00:29:33] Andrew Michael: we selling at? If you got more complicated now? Um, let's say it's a thousand years a month and when our business, huh? 

[00:29:42] David Darmanin: Okay. So then very high LTV, right? Assuming for 12, 13, 14 months, if on a, on a negative side, we're talking quite high LTV. Um, yeah, I think if the business depends on. [00:30:00] I think what I would do is three months.

Like, it's not like you're going to change the product around like that. Like you're not going to do anything like properly saying, right? Yeah. I think what I would do is I would just reach out to the customers, I think, who are probably at risk. And I would just appeal to them from a human point of view and say, listen, At being honest, tell them the whole story.

We've invested our life into this. This is really important to us. Here's what we want to do. We know we fucked up. We want to change, just give us a year. Right? Just give us a year to address shit. And we're going to speak to each one of you and figure out why, like meet you're potentially unhappy with the product.

Uh, I take the human approach because in three months I don't really. I don't really think you can solve this. 

[00:30:48] Andrew Michael: Yeah, for sure. It is sort of a trick question that if we ask, uh, on the show, cause I agree with you. Like there's not much you can do. That's really impactful for churn. I think the only things that come back like that are sometimes [00:31:00] interesting is tactic stuck, churn deflection, or.

Uh, credit card declined and sex solving the Dunning process and these sorts of things where you can implement them, maybe have a small dent, but ultimately, uh, you're not really having a long-term impact, I 

[00:31:14] David Darmanin: think. Yeah, I think exactly. I think those are all wins, but those, those are not the things that turn around in three months.

Right. So I think that's where maybe I got tripped up. It's a very good thing. 

[00:31:26] Andrew Michael: The quick things are based on stuff. Because I think that's probably what I'll go, someone that comes to me and I would have asked that question. Hopefully that'd be four. I would have saved by 

[00:31:37] David Darmanin: catching her attention. 

[00:31:41] Andrew Michael: Nice. Um, last question then on this is what's, uh, one thing that you know today about Shannon retention that you wish you knew when you got started with your business.

[00:31:56] David Darmanin: Oh, that's a good one. I'd say what I would say to myself back then [00:32:00] is that there is also. And the aspect of churn that goes with the industry and type of product that you're selling, which is inherent and kind of molded into it. So it's maybe something we're thinking about when you choose which industry started your business.


[00:32:20] Andrew Michael: it is. It is a good a benchmark to look at us. It's something I did consider as well when starting out to the new company, uh, just thinking about smart, like 10. It's. Yeah, it can be very, very difficult if you pick the wrong segment and wrong industry. For sure. Very cool. 

[00:32:36] David Darmanin: But then again, I wouldn't choose an industry because the churn is better.

So I think it's more from a sanity point of view. I'm saying rather than 

[00:32:46] Andrew Michael: I think that would be

[00:32:50] David Darmanin: then. Yeah, 

[00:32:52] Andrew Michael: for sure. Cool. Well, Dave, it's been a pleasure chatting to you today. Um, have the listeners have enjoyed the show? [00:33:00] Is there any final thoughts you wanna leave us with? Like any words of wisdom or ways we can keep up to speed with your work? 

[00:33:08] David Darmanin: Um, words of wisdom, obviously the topic is churn, right?

So I I'd say maybe it's a little bit cliche, but I think it's worth seeing it because it's something I just really believe in. Let's not forget. We're talking about humans, right? Not. I'm not saying that you are saying, that's just the, I think it's just an important thing to think about. And ultimately I think it's really, really important to make it about the conversation, to understand what is ultimately driving people to make decisions.

And I think that's where we should always be starting from, right. Like what is it, why are we not delivering value? Or what is. What is ultimately leading to, to the relationship to break down? I think it's just, it's so easy to kind of miss the mark on this, but this underpins everything else. Um, and in terms of, uh, where people can find me, like I'm [00:34:00] hanging out more with, it's interesting, like I'm doing both strategic work on the higher end scaling.

I think to keep my sanity and stay fun, hanging out with a lot of startups and founders. So anyone who has questions, I'm more than happy to pay it. I was going to say, pay it forward to pass on the help that I received from others and passed forward. So you can find me on Twitter. You can find me on LinkedIn more than happy to share any possible wisdom.

Accumulated, if any, if any. 

[00:34:30] Andrew Michael: Yeah, I definitely definitely take David up on that. Uh, uh, honestly from our perspective, like one of the most amazing CEOs I've ever seen and like worked with, and like, even like we mentioned earlier, just having that, like, um, What's the right word, did words living here, but just having the right understanding of like being the right fit for the right stage and being able to hand in the maturity and understanding, I think like as a leader, I would definitely not want to miss out on the opportunity to, uh, to have a chat with David and see [00:35:00] how you can help you with your business.

A but thank you so much for joining today, David really, really appreciate the time. It was great to chatting to you and wish you best of luck now in this new journey, as you figure out what's next and, uh, look forward to hearing what the new startups about. 

[00:35:13] David Darmanin: Thank you. Absolute pleasure as usual.


David Darmanin
David Darmanin

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.


Listen To Next