Hi, I am Anand from the Outgrow team. Randy and Pratham were college friends and started Outgrow together. We are a B2B SaaS company that caters to improving customer experience through interactive content. Things like calculators, quizzes, chatbots, surveys, polls and more can be created using Outgrow without indulging into any code whatsoever.
Outgrow is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to create, track and analyze your interactive content pieces. These aim at generating leads while answering most of your customer’s questions in a personalized way. You can also segment, qualify and nurture your leads, with the benefit of improving the conversion rate on your website traffic.
We believe that marketers have to reinvent the way we think about marketing. As today customers don’t want to be sold to. We believe that interactive content is a key step in the future of marketing, and built Outgrow to facilitate this transition.
What's your backstory and how did you get into entrepreneurship?
Pratham and Randy graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. They both worked on the investing side, and at tech startups prior to starting companies. They originally got into the thought of building companies from working at startups and attending many tech/startup events.
You can’t work alone. You need to grow with like-minded people who believe in your idea.
Then they were lucky to see the mobile app store take off in the early 2010s which created a very unique opportunity. Every new company and old company needed mobile apps but there was no standard, no experienced mobile app developers and it was very very new. So Pratham and Randy started helping entrepreneurs build mobile apps and build that out into a marketplace called VenturePact for a wide range of software work. The timing was very unique as it’s rare to see a new trend take off so quickly and truly revolutionize so many industries. The mobile app store was a pivotal movement for many technology companies.
Take us through your entrepreneurial journey. How did you go from day 1 to today?
Randy and Pratham, first created a company called VenturePact. VenturePact was created in order to help businesses better address their tech needs. And in the early days, while looking to grow VenturePact, they built a calculator. In the early 2010s, it was very expensive, difficult and no one had a lot of experience with mobile apps. It was a new concept and everyone needed mobile apps.
So they created a calculator: ‘How Much Does It Cost To Build A Mobile App?’ It was built to help companies and entrepreneurs estimate the cost of building THEIR mobile app. It wasn’t a general blog post on the cost, but we did a reasonable job putting together a range/estimate of the cost of building the mobile app you wanted to build. And it generated over 11K leads in a few months. In B2B software projects, 11K leads is a crazy high number! Which is when we realized interactive tools can be a great marketing strategy? And we decided to build Outgrow - a tool that lets you create interactive content easily.
In the beginning, the concept of building interactive content for demand generation was not very well known. So it was difficult to educate people about its use. It was something that did not occur to people as an option. They weren’t actively searching for a solution like that. So we created some samples that we thought would appeal to people from all industries and backgrounds, an Outgrow Idea Generator, an Outgrow ROI calculator and an example page showing interactive content ideas for all industries. These pages helped us kick start towards promoting our calculators.
Over time, marketers came with more advanced functionality and Outgrow kept growing. We kept adding more advanced features based on what customers need. Today, we have over 8 interactive content types with a deep feature set and are used by over 5000 companies. We are even used as a no-code software solution by some creative entrepreneurs looking to build basic MVPs.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We are focused on building the most powerful interactive content platform. We are fortunate to have tens of thousands of users across a wide range of industries.
In the future, we are looking to continue to build out our team and our product to address our client's needs. We take regular feedback from our customers on what they would like to see in Outgrow and we keep refining our product roadmap with that in mind. We want to be able to offer our customers the easiest possible way to build interactive and personalized content that helps them engage their audience and acquire qualified leads.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
We learn something new every day. One of the key challenges that we faced promoting Outgrow was making people realize that interactive content helped solve their lead gen/demand gen/growth issues. People had never used content like quizzes, calculators, assessments, etc. for demand gen so they never thought of this option. But the Outgrow idea generator really helped educate people on what can be done with our tool.
Another important lesson was that the first business you start is very hard to bootstrap but it was through the bootstrapped constraint that we came up with a creative marketing strategy of a calculator that helped VenturePact grow and which triggered the start Outgrow. So there is definitely a lot of effort and a lot of luck required.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Marketing tools that we use for our content and social media marketing strategies are Outgrow (of course), Mailchimp and Buffer. They help us track our landing pages, ads, social media presence, build interactive tools and generate leads. These tools have made our marketing strategies more efficient and helped our marketing team focus their efforts.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
Zero to One by Peter Thiel has been one of our favorites. Another popular book that has really influenced me is The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber. It talks about small businesses and why most of them don’t turn into big businesses. It is a must-read for anyone starting a business. The book talks about decentralization and independence in any business. There should be enough consistency and trust in an organization so that parts of the business can run without the direct involvement of the owner.
How To Start A Startup by Sam Altman is a great podcast. From product development to team development to raising money, it has it all.
A few others:
- Give and Take by Adam Grant
- Drive by Daniel Pink
- High Output Management by Andy Grove
- Crossing the chasm by Geoff Moore
- Good to Great by Jim Collins
### Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Today’s marketing is harder than ever. You absolutely cannot go on and on about what your product is and what it does. There are so many companies competing for people’s attention that it’s a lot harder to stand out from all the noise. But instead, focus on the problem it solves and the value it adds. You can’t afford to be too ‘salesy’, you’re gonna scare your audience away.
Secondly, work on building a good team. You can’t work alone. You need to grow with like-minded people who believe in your idea. Your team is your first line of defense in executing your company mission. If you are an entrepreneur who is just starting out, invest time in building a good team. You will definitely reap the benefits later.
You can’t work alone. Everybody that you hire will bring something to the table. And you will see yourself teaching and learning, all at the same time. And that, in the end, is what will help your company grow.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you want to reach out to us, you can email us at [email protected] or use the chat on the bottom right of the Outgrow site and we’d love to help :)
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