March 24, 2023

Episode 210: Alex Ghiculescu, Co-Founder of Workforce

Alex Ghiculescu is the co-founder of and runs a fund for B2B SaaS companies built on Rails. He lives in the Colorado mountains with his family.

He writes about what he's learned over 10 years of building software on Substack. You can also find him on LinkedIn and Github.

Julian: Hey everyone. This isJulian with Behind Company Lines here today with Alex Ghiculescu co-founder is a workforce management software technologycompany that helps improve time and labor for shift in hourly workforces. Alex,I'm so excited to chat with you, not only because of your background and yourexperience as an entrepreneur, but also you know, the whole kind of workforcemovement is changing it.

Obviously everybody's privy to gig work,but I don't think we're that much kind of entrenched in, in the, the hourly andthe shift in, in terms of time and labor and that type of workforce, which isso dynamic in, in ways that this workforce can be utilized. But also, um, Ifeel like there's a lot changing in the space and I'd love to get your insightsand in, in, in kind of expertise and what's changing and how we should kind ofexpect workforce and labor to, to be moving forward.

Before we get into all that, what wereyou doing before you started

Alex: I was, I was incollege, so I was in Australia and living with some buddies and we weredrinking lots and we kind of ended up starting a company to stick a problemthat we had, the bar that we were operating, which was an attendance problem.

And that was 11 years ago. And, uh, Ihad like one sort of real job before that, which went for about a year, whichis kind of where I learned to code. Uh, so that was pretty. And then,yeah.  

Julian: Yeah. What, and whatwas the, what was the, the problem that you were seeing, um, you know, when,when you were running the bar and, and what was in particular kind of the, thecatalyst for wanting to introduce some technology into the problem that youwere solving?

Alex: Well, we were runninga bar and people weren't coming to work on time, and it was on a universitycampus, so it was like a pretty credible installment of people working there.Um, all good, but all kind of slack like. And we needed to, all the peopleworked, um, and we went to market and we got quotes for $10,000 fingerprint,scanners and all sorts of shit that seemed bad.

And we kind of just thought that wecould do it better ourselves. Um, and we knew that we could do a T bar andeasier and run it in the cloud. All this stuff that hadn't quite made it tothe, uh, B2B workforce management industry in Australia this year. So we did itourselves.  

Julian: Yeah. Thinking aboutback at that time and, and when you were, um, thinking about the solutions thatwere available, um, you know, you talked about fingerprint scanners and thingslike that, but going to the problem in regards to just like managing aworkforce and things like that, what was, what was the main issue that you werereceiving?

People weren't clocking in, people wereshowing up on time. Um, was it hard to incentivize workers to. Be prompted,punctual and things like that. What in particular were, was it a workforceissue or was it a operations issue in terms of enabling people to, you know,keep track of time, but also, you know, complete shifts?

You know, promptly in, in,  

Alex: I think like, like anybusiness technology that you implement is only really gonna hap like work.There's an organizational operational desire for it to work. Right. That's soit's either gonna make you more efficiently good or more efficiently bad.

Yeah. So we had a lot of operationalYeah. With students running a bar to students work, but we've also, like, wewere not really being helped by not having any technology. Yeah. So I guess itwas, I had, didn't answer your question. It was kind of both. We didn't knowany of this at the time. Like we, we just thought that if we made a time clockthat was cheap, it would sort of fix a lot of problems and it did fix a lot ofproblems.

Yeah. Um, maybe not quite the one weexpected.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. What, whatproblems did it fix in, in, in the beginning and then where has the technologygone now?  

Alex: Well, I mean, at the,it, it, the most obvious one is the fixed load bookkeeping. Like we had to.Figure out how much to pay everyone in Australia, what you pay people is a verycomplicated thing to work out.

It's to pay. There's a lot of laws thatgo into it. It's based on a lot of situational circumstances. Um, so there wasa lot of like people just getting a piece of paper and doing a lot ofcalculations each week. Like by people, I mean, clients, whoever was doingpayroll, which was typically us. So it fixed all of those.

We did a lot of calculationsautomatically, um, which was nice, I think, like what we didn't really realize,We didn't really think there was a business there. We just thought it was likea gadget to fix a problem that we had. And then we sort of thought of more fixto build and talk to more users or potential users and it kind of swed out ofcontrol on that.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. What wasthat initial discovery process like in, in regards to, you know, you've hadthis product, it works within your environment, but now looking to test it orlooking to have others use the product so that you can see kind of itsviability in the market. What was that, you know, process like, and, and wereyou seeing that your customers or future customers had the same problems, orwere the problems slightly different and, and were you building kind of towardsthose once you realized people, people would adopt the te.

Alex: So I wrote a little,um, story about this a little while ago, which maybe we can share in the shownotes or something. It was kind of about the idea that there was a bunch oftechnological waves that we were riding and so yeah, we, people were trying tosell us fingerprint scanners that cost $10,000. And we, in the last year, Idunno if you like, before the iPad, I dunno if you remember like the, the, um,Android tablets, like the Nexus tablets that were people.

That trying to make popular. No oneliked them cuz iPads were most better. But for us, we kind of had this ideathat we could buy a $200 piece of hardware with an internet connection and haset it up so it only runs a single app, which is this an app where you canpunch in and out of work and for $250 you've got a replacement for a $10,000device and then all the software can run in the cloud.

And today this just seems so self like,so evident. Like how what? What? You wouldn't make B2B software any other. Butlike 11 years ago in a backwater countries and this wasn't really the waypeople fall. So yeah, we kind of wrote this wave of why people were justdiscovering the cloud hardware was just becoming cheap enough.

Mobile apps net was kind of prime oneenough, half our customers didn't have wifi. Yeah. And they, we've given themthe zip card and so we kind of like all those things can work. And so in termsof, it's, to answer your question, Like we had a strong intuition that we weren'tthe only people who didn't want pay tens of thousands of dollars to scanfingerprints, which don't even work that well.

Um, you swear, like in terms of how tofind them? We, we hustled a lot of people that we knew. Like we knew someonewho ran a company, a company that did like custom scanning. So we like keptasking him until eventually he tried it. We, like, we sent a letter to everysupermarket in the city, and then one, one supermarket got back to us.

Um, so sending people letters doesn't, wellin my experience, we just tried whatever we could to have anyone talk to usuntil we kind of got the flywheel word of mouth of our website.  

Julian: Yeah. And thinkingabout like the workforce and, and this whole kind of hourly model of, of work,has that changed at all in, in regards to how people are associated with workand, and is it that people, you know, one, one of the questions I've had goinginto this episode was, You know, are people kind of shifting towards havingmultiple jobs and, and then, you know, employers have kind of a, a, a largerpool of, of employees, I assume on college campuses.

People have different schedules. Youkinda have to have a larger pool of employees to make sure times are covered.Is that still the case or are people looking for more long-term, you know,employment and, and consistent employment? Um, you know, today?  

Alex: Yeah. I, uh, Yeah, I'mnot a big believer in the gig economy.

Well, I think like what the originalideas of the gig economy were of like, you know, you have a car and you candrive for a few extra hours, or you have a house and you can rent out a roomwhen you're not home. Like I think those ideas have some merit. The idea that,yeah, it now is becoming a place that you can work full-time and make a livingout of, I think is kind of exchanging a lot of stuff that we've learned as asociety and throwing it in the beard.

It's starting fresh, which I'm not sureis a good. So like from what I've seen, I think most of our, so I mean ourcustomers are companies that employ people who work by the hour, and our endusers are both the managers and the expert from both sides. I think Mo, whatpeople want most is to get paid as much as they can, obviously, but thenstability.

And so I think like, I thinkparticularly, it's surprising how many of these industries people do makecareers out. Like you. Yeah. When you, if you, if you grow up and go to collegeas a software engineer like I did, it may be like you did, you know, you wouldnever consider the idea of like, hospitality being a career and even childcareis one that you don't, I mean, like, you're, you're subconsciously aware of,but never think about it.

There's a lot of, like, it's easy tothink of our work as just like that stepping stone to a real job, which I thinkthat's actually kind of really insulting and it's not, it's not representativeof the society that we actually. So I think the thing that's something thatI've learned through doing this that I'm trying to tell more people is thatthere are, like most of the people who are using our software, it's like it'stheir career.

It's what blank. They don't want. Yeah.They don't wanna be juggling three jobs, doing three different things untilsome, somehow the circumstances change and they don't wanna be told to go to acoding bootcamp. Some, to be clear, many people, like we have, there's a lotof, you know, high school university students on our platform and a lot of themare kind of, this is a setting stone, but there's also equal number of adultsor people who have sort of picked this path.

Yeah. Um, and in general, I think it'salways surprising to be reminded of how few people have an old core jobs, um,outside of very in debt cost of living. , like I'm in Colorado town. So yeah,lots of people here have multiple built, it's kind of how things work aroundhere. You know, in a more white crafted, in a more livable place.

It's not really the case. It's not somethingpeople want.  

Julian: Right, right, right.And thinking about, you know, and I was reading in about yourcompany and, and also, um, You bootstrapped the company for 11 years and, andobviously that's just impressive because as we know you, that that, thatencapsulates the huge boom of, of VC money that was available pre 2020, youknow, and, and there was such a, there was such a.

Yeah, there was such a thirst for thenext best kind of product. How did you kind of mentally stay away from, youknow, jumping into gaining some huge, uh, excuse me, um, raising some, youknow, large amount of capital starting to scale in different parts of thebusiness. What, what, what made you stick to your cones of, of bootstrappingAnd then I know recently you've kind of been more into the funding space and,and I, I think you, you, you raised.

A certain amount recently. What was thecatalyst for, for then going and raising money and, and, you know, starting togrow the business in a different way? Or was there something in particular thatyou saw that, that needed to still.

Alex: No money raised still.Just us. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Um, but, um, we have this book founders and we, uh,like we all live together for a long time, so we're pretty like good at argu.

And I think we could just like neveragree on anything. Yeah. Um, but I was fortunate in the sense that like Iworked with the other garden from a software background, the other guys more ofa spread and business background, finest background and so forth. And they hadpretty firm conviction the, like the best way to operate a business that onyour own terms long term is to own all elevate yourself.

Yeah. And that's proven to be likehundred percent true. Whereas I was more prone to buying into the hype. Yeah.So I kind of was, I was like, I was lucky to follow their judgment and to trusttheir judgment order. Yeah. Um, they were, they were right. Yeah. I just, Ithink, I mean being starting in college made it easier cuz we had no expenses.

Sure. Like we were pretty used to livingtune. We could kind of just grind our way to a point where we couldn't payourselves a little bit and sort of just let that grow. Yeah. But, I mean, if Iwas to do it today now with like I've got kids and stuff, it's kind ofdifferent. So I don't, I don't, I don't know exactly how we do it, but we'vekind of got opportunity now to keep doing this thing that's working.

It's working really well. Yeah. But it'san option, I think like people just assume that you kind of, people assume thatyou need to raise money because you need to build a team because you need to doa lot of stuff in the early days, and I kind of think something that we gotright. was, we kind of, we, I don't know.

We, we figured out that the less peoplewe had in our company, the more we'd be able to actually build the rightproduct, service customers really well and so forth. And we kind of just didn'thire anyone for quite a long time until it, until it was too much. And that,sure, that was hard for a little while.

Yeah. But the flip side is we gotreally, really good, like we understood the customer exceptionally well. andthen when it was time to hire, it was like there was a lot of things that had aplaybook kind of ready to go that we could just pop people to. Yeah. Which Ithink is pretty different to what you see many companies doing.

Julian: Right. and it's socrucial in terms of, you know, when you have that playbook, when you have thatroadmap, uh, assigned for that individual you bring on, uh, for them toexecute. And, and it's so efficient in terms of when they, when they're, whenthey're on board and executing. But it all kind of hinders on finding the rightpeople and talk about that process.

And, and you, you've worked with such atight team for 11 years and or however many years until you started growingthe. What was it like trying to find another crucial piece of your company, acrucial team member? How was that vetting process? Where did you go find that,that talent? Um, and, and was it, is there anything that you would dodifferently?

Alex: Well, we mostly hiredour friends out of uni and, uh, I think that worked pretty well because we, wehired people that we had known for a long time and we knew we could trust and.We knew would tolerate us, which I think was probably the most important thing,actually a h at the time. I didn't think that was the most important thing, butthat's definitely the benefit of hindsight.

Um, and that's gone really well. LikeI'm, I was looking at the numbers for this a little while ago. I was doing somewriting about it, but like, I think if I, senior leadership now wearing threecountries, it's got a fair of senior leadership across, we've got 150 people orsomething in. I think at least more than half Massey, the people that went touni with us or our old friends or like went to high school together and stufflike that.

So that's, I mean, with those people, wekind of found a person and then figured the rollout in a lot of cases. I thinkthat born the role has kept changing constantly, which does over the course of10 years, but I think that's worked really well. Um, and it is repeatable. LikeI think it's. I don't know. I, I've talked to a lot of companies now.

I've started trying to do a little bitof investing on the side just, just for kicks. And people are very hesitant tohire, like, to bring new people from their personal life into their work life.And I get it. Like it's, there's meant to be a balance, right? But like, sure.The counter, the counterpoint that they're, they're doing isn't, they're tryingto like meet someone, do a one hour interview and then commit to this personfor years and years, and.

With like, with their most valuableasset and with their life's work. And to me that just seems like really risky .It's pretty easy to Yeah. So hiring our friends for us.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. And inthinking about, you know, we are building the team, we're scaling and you'regrowing and, um, you know, one thing as, as, as founders is.

Thinking about bootstrapping, you know,this whole concept, it's, it's, um, you know, one, one side, it's veryglorified. The other side, it's like, you know, you're an idiot if you don't goand raise money and go and scale and, and grow a team, but done, right. I thinkbootstrapping can be so powerful, like you said, to find your product marketfit, to know your customers so well, and to really have a, a product that, thatserves the need that you're looking for.

Uh, looking to serve and what, what arethe mechanics that go behind running a, an efficient kind of bootstrap team?And, um, what are some things you learned along the way that, that didn't workout when you were kind of creating a really efficient process around, you know,the company that you were growing, what's some things that really worked welland, and what are some things that you, when you tested them, ended up notbeing, um, yeah, so valuable.

Alex: I mean, I kind of feltlike an idiot in 2021 when it was at, when the market was at its peak and wewere just not taking any of that. So, I could, I could see the appeal. Um, butI work, I mean, now I don't feel so bad. Um, alright. Yeah. Sorry. I, I was likereally a tangent, short question. I think the thing did best early on was like,one of the, the co-founders is from an accounting background and he's very goodat Thread Excel and we just got very good at budget.

We didn't get good at budgeting. We gotvery good at, at least recording all our expenses and categorizing. and then wejust tried really discipline, no spend more than a hundred, and about 105 to110% of revenue was kind of out the target threshold. Yeah, so we're a SaaSproduct. The customers pay lovely or annually when they pay annually they payout front and like we give 'em a little account, but we can spend most of themoney right away, which means that you can spend, which means as long as youkeep selling, you can spend more than you are bringing.

All we've done badly is what we've got.We've got a bit too addicted to that idea and got to like 130, 140 disasterspend. Um, which is, we were sitting around, I think we're sitting around one30 when Covid hit, and half our customers are in hospitality. So that waspretty scary. Um, wow. We had to like that.

We had to figure out ways to cut costs,eh, really quickly. But, um, in general, I think like you can. Again, the VPswill tell you, you should spend 200%, or they won't even think about it as arevenue percentage. I think even just thinking about your spending as a ratioto your rep, to your recurring revenue is, is very empowering because it doesgo up each month, so you always have a little bit more than you can do.

You can make a new hire, you can do anew campaign or whatever, but it kind of forces you to be disciplined aboutlike whatever ratio you've decided is correct or stick to it some. I think we,we sort of did, we started, we've do been doing that from a very early stage. Ithink that's been very helpful.

And as you grow and doesn't get easier,but you can kind seed that each money, but a little bit more on opportunitiesor functionality of what you wanna do with the, with the new revenue that'scoming.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Tell, tellus a little bit about, you know, the traction, obviously, you, has been around for 11 years.

What's been excited about the, thegrowth you've had up to this point and what are you particularly excited aboutthe next step in, in, uh, and, and what you're looking to do andhow to service your customers. Tell us a little bit about the traction and, andalso kind of the future prospects of, of what you're working on.

Alex: Well, we've got tonof, hard to get the exact number. I think we've got about seven or eight datacustomers worldwide. So about half a bit over, a little over half are inAustralia and then in the US and the uk and then the few other long tailmarket. But those are the main ones. And the first 10 years was just kind ofabout, I mean, our core job to be done, we realized recently was just gettingpeople paid correctly, which sounds super trivial, but it's hard.

Yeah. Um, particularly it, um, we'regetting, we've got pretty good at that. Um, What the next 10 years kind ofbrings, which I'm excited about, is we've just had one product the whole timeand I think that's been good. Like for fo for, for focusing and for sort ofdoing that one product really well. I think now the opportunity is that we kindof have the right, I think we've probably got the right team or and the rightbase upon which to build a lot, a lot of products in the same sort of space.

So like we know we. Traditionally wehave just unscheduling and attendance tracking and then integrated with a bunchof other systems. And now it's kind of like, you know, we've probably got a lotof these systems aren't really designed for frontline workforces. So there's alot, I mean, there's so much software designed for software companies.

We think we can do a better job in a lotof these cases of sort of doing our angle of our own, our own TAFE in it. Thatsort of works really well. This for our particular, uh, segment of customers.

Prob. Probably the more funny answer iswe want to think about how we can use AI in our product, but I think everyonejust says that and we'll see in a few years if anyone actually knows what thatmeans. I know.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.Sold. Yeah. Uh, what are some of the biggest challenges that you face today?

Alex: I think the, I mean,it depends how deep you want to get. The biggest challenge is to sort of, ,keep it interesting, right? Like you can, you could become a, the thing aboutSaaS that's so powerful as a business model, which is why it's worth so much,is because you can keep this, like, you don't need to win your currentcustomers back each month.

So you're always this like, revenue'salways growing with relatively little work. Um, it's all grad. But then the trthe trap that so many companies fall into is that they just get addicted tobeing a sales company and all they're doing is try and sell in war each, eachmonth and hit quota and the product doesn't change.

Yeah. Um, because it's like, it's worksand the customers stick out Cause it solves a problem. All them. And it's kindof like, it's a, it's a calf printing machine. Yeah. But, and I, it soundsridiculously privileged to say so, but at a point in time that doesn't, thatstuff being that exciting in an oven, Once you met needs and stuff, like,sorry.

But so to your point, the, the challengeI think if we're gonna do this for 10 more years is how we make it reallyinteresting. And I think to me what makes it really interesting is buildingthose, like building new products, finding new ways to solve problems that arebetter than anyone else has done it, which comes from understanding ourcustomers better than anyone else does.

Um, and what makes that challenging isthe, um, I mean, we're a big company. It's not like when it was just the fourof us in a room, if we decided that we were building something that it wastherefore done. Like there's a lot more that goes into it. Alan. I thinkthat's, for me, it's a constant battle of like not becoming overlybureaucratized and sort of keeping that agility and that ability to do things,but kind of, I've got a lot of people on a team who quite rightfully point outthat we need to not screw over the existing customers in the process.

So it's keeping that balance and. That'shard. That's, I, I think, I don't know of anyone who's, there's, some companiesare good at that, but no one's great at it that I know of in this space. Ithink a lot of companies just opt out of this whole decision and instead justdecide to become really good at selling what they have.

I mean, that's a path to becoming veryrich, but it's kind of, yeah, I don't know. I must, I'm not like, I'm notdisrespecting anyone who does that, but it's not only.  

Julian: Sure, sure. And ifeverything goes well, what's the long-term vision for workforce?  

Alex: Well, the nice thingis we own it. So we don't need to change.

Like there's no pressure to sell orthere's no pressure to list. Like the me, the biggest pressure is to increaseeveryone's salaries aggressively with I'm pretty on, think it's great on you.So, yeah. Um, I'm not, I think like, I mean, we've got lots of ideas aboutstart to build and how to run the company.

There are all sorts of things, but interms of like end game, I don't know. I kind of think like, yeah, I, I thinkbusiness is a game and never ends, right? So you can kind of just keep doing ituntil you actually don't want to. And then there's all, at that point, there'salways some other option. Like I'm sure someone else would be happy to take itoff their hands if they really wanted. I'm not too worried about.  

Julian: Sure. I was like, thisnext section I called my founder faq. So I'm gonna, I'm gonna hit you with somerapid fire questions and um, we'll see where we get. But first question is, youknow, with, with all this talk, I think we've heard it for many years, andwe'll hear, you know, as AI kind of grows, but this whole idea of thisautomated workforce and, and that changing the, the paradigm of people and, um,and, and, and kind of replacing jobs and this whole idea, have you seen a lotof companies move in that direction?

This whole automated workforce kind ofidea, a little bit inflated with, you know, new technology trends and thingslike that. We'd love to hear your opinion on that.  

Alex: Everyone's seen therobot that makes coffees like that sort of stuff. I think there are certainlysome frontline jobs that could get disrupted.

I'd be much more worried if I was alawyer or an accountant, to be frank, to be honest. Yeah, I think lawyers arefucked. Yeah. Um, I, and like, I think there's like, I think people who talkabout this forget how many industries they are, and they just don't consider tobe, they don't think about, like, would you want, if you have a three-year-oldand you wanna put them in daycare, do you want AI care and taking care of yourkids?

I don't. That's a big industry. Yeah,there's a lot of those.  

Julian: What's the, you know,I guess in, in, in your mind, what's the biggest challenge? About growth. Whatis, what's something that while you were growing and scaling the company thatyou know, you, you are better at now, know now, have more knowledge into, uh, butwish you knew earlier on as a founder?

Alex: Don't do enterprisesales.  

Julian: Yeah. Why isthat?  

Alex: I can elaborate.That's answer. Um, it's, it's like what, it's the most competitive space. It'sthe hardest customers to work with the. The checks are bigger, like it'sappealing. Sure. But it's very like, like all things in life, it's easy tothink about the revenue and not think about the costs.

Yeah. And that's particularly true forenterprise. So I would, I, I mean, maybe not, don't do it ever, but I wish wehad waited a little bit longer mm-hmm. And done it a so that we had thematurity a little bit better.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. What's,um, what's particularly hard about your job day-to-day?

Alex: I have the best job atthe Weld Man

I. I think that would be quite difficultto answer actually.  

Yeah. Yeah.  

Julian: Uh, what's something Iguess you, you spend, uh, maybe not a majority, but more time on it than, thanyou would like to spend, um, and what would you like to spend more time on thatyou don't have enough?  

Alex: Yeah. I, because we'rea kind of a weird company in the sense that we really, we really like offices,but West split between different countries, so we have like a weird hybridsetup.

We spend a lot of time. Communicate withwhat's going on between different regions, and that's really necessary. I'dlike, don't beg it. That's not really something that good at. So I wish I, Iwish I could do that less and I probably haven't get that less these days thanI was a year ago. Yeah. Got down to hood good at and let them, um, I wish Icould just spend more time building things from scratch.

I think that's, I wanted to a littlewhile anyway.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. I alwayslike to ask this question cuz I love how founders extract knowledge fromanything that they ingest. And so whether it was early in your career or now,what books or people have influenced you the most?  

Alex: Uh, the most practicalbook was Behind the Cloud by Mark Banov, which is the Salesforce founder.

Um, it's like an intel of theSalesforce, but it's very, the most inspiring book I think was one called Inthe Company of Giants, I don't remember who it's Fire, but by Stanfordresearchers and they interviewed a buds of. Founders in like, I must have beenthe early two thousands. I think it's really good.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. What, whatdid you take from that one?  

Alex: Well, I just, like,these people are like smarter than you or me. They've just probably been morecommitted. They've been, they've, they've been really good at focusing on onething and they've got a, they're probably much better articulating what theybelieve in than most people are, but it can be done.

That was, that was one takeaway. Yeah.All right. It's been a while since I, right. But that was,  

Julian: yeah. Yeah. Thetangibility of actually being able to build something and work on it and getcustomers is, is not too far off with that focus, but that commitment and, and,um, with, with a little bit of just like, I don't know if it's stubbornness, Idon't know if it's optimism, I don't know what word you place on it, but it'sjust persistence of it.

That, that you see in a lot of found, Idon't, maybe, maybe all founders, I think is, is this persistence to either ansget a question answered or solve a problem or talk to a customer. Or learn moreabout their customers. It's, it's prevalent in so many different ways and.

Alex: Yeah, a totally, alittle while ago I went and found all of our paychecks from the i, the earliest,I dunno how many we paid ourselves.

And you can kind of draw a graph and itgrows like that. Yeah. I'll, I'll send you the link if, share it with, withlisteners. Me too. But yeah, it's like if you're willing to, there's a lot ofthings where if you just do the same thing for five years, I think you'll get agood outcome. Those fives can be kind shit.

Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean,persistence thing is definitely key, but all you'll usually persisted on theright thing. Right. So there's like obviously more to it, just that there'sthere's, and there's luck and there's all sorts of stuff that goes into, Iguess, grinder company. Yeah. But my big takeaway was like, I didn't read thisbook and come away with him and being like, man, if I meet knew these people inperson, they would just be.

So much smarter than me that we'respeaking a different language. Yeah. Yeah. And so that's, I think that'sempowering.  

Julian: Yeah. I know we'recoming to the close, the episode here, but I always like to ask this questionto see if we missed anything or see if there's anything that, that we left onthe table here.

But is there any, any question that,that I didn't ask that I should have or that you would have liked toanswer?  

Alex: Should have preparedfor that one earlier? no, I don't think so. I think we had, I think we covereda fair bit of stuff there. One thing that happened doing recently that maybe isinteresting, I don't know, is like, we had a bunch of our, we had some formeremployees and some friends and stuff who started companies and like I saidbefore, when we, when we started, we were in codes, zero expenses.

These days kind of different. So we'vebeen doing some really lined investing on the side just to help out people thatwe, that are doing stuff that we kind of can add value to and understand. I'vebeen fine out. Pretty interesting. I think about learning a lot from theinvestment side and to an extent it's really solidified my opinion that nottaking money is ideal, but it also made me realize that kind of real laugh andget in the way, which was a good, a good lesson.

Right. Um, but no, it's been myth.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. It's beenfascinating to hear that perspective from the Angel ambassador side. You bootstrappedit. You haven't necessarily taken, you know, money for, for your own business,but helping others and, and seeing the, the challenges of a lot ofentrepreneurs and a lot of external factors that, that, like you said, lifegets in the way and, and kind of needs it, whether it's interjection of cash ormentorship or partnerships or what have you.

Um, yeah, there, there's a lot ofresources that, that sometimes are, are needed to continue pushing whatevermission, uh, founder.  

Alex: Yeah, totally. I'vebeen talking to a lot of people who are like, I really want to do this, but Ijust need to get my wife or husband, uh, to let me, I think that's, that's verydifferent to like, I need to hire tenants in the years and make a business planand stuff that, like, there's a terrible idea, but I think getting your spouseon board is pretty good.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Definitwell, Alex, it's been such a pleasure chatting with you and not only learnabout what you're working on at Workforce, but kind of how you view growingcompanies. And, and I love the, you know, the, the introduction to angelinvesting and what you've seen from your perspective and last little bit.

I always wanted, I always like to givemy guests a, a, a chance to share us your, your links and share your plugs.Where can we find you as a founder to support you and what you're working on,but also If I'm a prospective, uh, customer, what can I find?And, and start playing with the technology.

Give us your LinkedIns, your website,anything that we can find and support you.

Alex: If you wanna learnmore about, you can go to and you'll find anythingyou need there. Um, my name is pretty unique, so if you Google it, you'll findme. Um, the thing I'm most excited about is I've been doing a lot of blogginglately and trying to grind up some of the stuff we learned from the early days.

If I could share a link to my, yeah. Inthe show notes. It's just my last name, Um, andyeah.  

Julian: Thank you so much,Alex, for being on the show, and I hope you enjoyed yourself on Behind CompanyLines today.

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