April 24, 2023

Episode 250: Vinay Patankar, Co-founder & CEO of Process Street

Vinay Patankar is the CEO of Process Street, a modern process management platform for employee onboarding, workflow automation, checklists, the team’s handbook, and more. He was the youngest Cisco engineer in Australia at age 16 and has a background in IT, finance, and software recruitment. He also founded an affiliate marketing company with teams in 3 countries (USA, Philippines, and India), that generated $1 million in revenue in less than 3 years.

Julian: Hi everyone. This isJulian Torres here with Behind Company Lines. Today we're interviewing Vinayco-founder and CEO of Process Street. Process Street is a AI powered processplatform. Vinay, I'm so excited to chat with you and get to know more about you,share your story with the audience, but also really get into the weeds of, of,of processes and this whole kind of ecosystem around workflows that I think, alot of companies don't really see the, the, the pain of it until it becomes aproblem.

And, and that of oftentimes comes withscaling and, and really it's just, a lot of foundational changes or, or alongthe way they, they can kind of improve their overall structure of. Of howthey're doing things and documenting. And we'll get into all that as I'm extremelyexcited to see how you kind of created this ecosystem around, creating reallyefficient workflows for companies.

But before we get into all that, whatwere you doing before you started the company?

Vinay: Well, great to meetyou Julian. Excited to be here. So originally I'm from Australia and my story'sI guess a little bit interesting, but I, I left Australia when I was 24 andbasically went backpacking read the four hour work week, and I was like, Iwanna do that.

And I saved up, I saved up enough moneyto basically go traveling for a year and at the same time launched my firstcompany, which is like an e-commerce store. I literally just like followed theplaybook and kind of things went from there and I continued to, to launchbusinesses and continued to make more money and extended that like.

One year trip into 10 years basically.So right before Process Street I was running a marketing company, basically anSEO company. We were running a bunch of, like a whole portfolio of websites doinga bunch of content marketing, and that was the business that kind of sparkedthe idea for Process Street.

So, It was, it was a remote team. I'vebeen running remote teams since 2009. Had, had employees all across the world.Yeah, big teams in, in India and the Philippines. And we were just looking fora platform to help run that business and keep everyone on track. And so that,that kind of sparked the idea for across the street.

Julian: What was theincumbent, before that, what were you, looking into and consideringimplementing before you had to kind of solve the problem yourself?  

Vinay: Yeah. So, we're doinga lot of stuff on spreadsheets and docs. We were testing project managementtools and the way that you could think about Process Street is it's somethinglike Notion or Monday, but for process and compliance driven teams.

So it's, it, it let's, it kind of haslike a builder user model versus a, like a collaborator model where everybody'sa collaborator on the platform. Mm-hmm. And the builders define these verystructured processes where you can get into the very details. Like, you mustupload a PDF file here, and if you don't, if it's, if it's not a PDF file, likeit's gonna fail.

Right? And you can create these very,very, like tight like workflows and processes that don't allow the users. Tokind of go off the rails in any way. So this becomes really valuable for right,compliance driven teams where there's, your. Like regulation that you'redealing with, or health and safety that you're dealing with, or just like verylike repetitive processes where you've already figured out what to do and youjust want people to follow that process versus like the collaboration platformswhere everybody's coming in and adding tasks and doing stuff and moving stuffaround or or like a spreadsheet or something Right.

Where you, where you get Yeah, like alot of freedom to do different things which can be great for certain teams thatare more like creative project based teams, but. Again, we, we focus on, onthose process driven teams.  

Julian: Yeah. And, and thoseprocess driven teams, can you define a couple use cases? Just, for the audienceto get, to get some context?

Vinay: Yeah, so like our topuse cases are hr, finance, and it. So they, they tend to be the kind of backoffice process and compliance driven teams. So employee onboarding, financialreporting, anything around like payment approvals or processing. Yeah. And thenthere's like certain industries that are very process driven as well.

For example, real estate's a bigindustry for us.  

Julian: Yeah, it, it'sfascinating to think about how, process are built, especially at largercompanies and are they also using spreadsheets? There's a, there's a bunch ofonboarding tools, but you know, it, it kind of cuts off at some point. And thenthere's kind of this, this gap in knowledge that I feel like a lot of employeeshave to learn, whether it's during an onboarding process or whether they'regoing, doing some maybe auxiliary task.

That's not a main function of theirposition, but you need the information and need to know. What were companiesdocumenting and putting that, information at for comp, for, for employees tofind it previously?  

Vinay: Yeah. So like in theenterprise the biggest product is Microsoft SharePoint.

And that's like a very old, likedinosaur of a product, but, does 10 billion in revenue or some crazy number.And The big problem with SharePoint though, is that it's not no code. So itrequires like an engineering team or like a SharePoint team where there'sbasically SharePoint developers and you gotta go and get your SharePointdeveloper certification and you need to have a background in like softwareengineering.

And so these big companies have theselike teams that basically manage SharePoint and build out these workflows andprocesses and all the integrations. And it does the job right when you get itbuilt. But it's an extremely heavy lift and a very poor user experience. And sothe HR team can't touch it, right?

Like if the HR team wants to make achange to the SharePoint workflow, they've gotta go, like, submit a request tothe SharePoint team. Usually they have a backlog of like six months, so they'vegotta wait six months for like their, their, request to get processed. Andyeah, it just becomes this very like, annoying heavy lift.

But that is how the enterprises have,have been doing it for a long time. Small businesses. Sorry,  

Julian: just to jump, yeah,just to jump in real quick, uh uh, I'm curious in terms of that, that process,does that change? You mentioned the user experience, but how does that changefrom going. From, from a heavy coded, SharePoint, kind of Microsoft SharePointto no-code.

And, and was that, is that a function oftheir business? Is that just a, the reality of technology at that time beingthat you had to kind of build into an enterprise versus you offering almost a,a package solution? Is that an evolution of technology or, or business model,or is it something that you know now you're capable to do or you choose to doit because you want kind of a better experience for your customers?

Vinay: Yeah, I think it's, Ithink it's both like, basically both. So one is like you kind of had the. Thetechnology platform of things like Angular or like basically single page webapps that essentially allow you to kind of create these experiences wherethey're not, these like form kind of click through kind of experiences whereit's much more like, I dunno if you've used something like Trello or Notionwhere you, you're kind of like having this experience where like everything'sin one page and it feels more like you're playing a video game.

That's actually like a technology likeparadigm shift in, in the release of certain programming languages and, and thesupport of like the browsers to be able to like Yeah. Support that. So that,that is, it's about 10 years old at this point, but way newer than like whereSharePoint is. And then, and then there's also like the business model shift,which is basically bottoms up or product like growth.

And so basically the enterprise teamsgetting more comfortable, or you might call it like shadow software, wherethese teams are kind of like going, oh, I don't actually want to like, Use thisproduct that's been purchased top down by the CIO and the IT department. I wantto go like, just adopt my own software for our team and just like, put it onour credit card, right?

And so that like bottoms up kind of wayto sneak into enterprises has allowed us to kind of get into those businesses.And, it's, it's a, it's a common strategy at this point. Yeah. But yeah, thosewere, those were two shifts.  

Julian: Yeah. It seems like alot of founders are, are really taking that approach, seeing that, having thatuser experience and that that customer feedback on the ground level for those,and, and it kind of, rather than having this trickle down effect, which, whichI think traditionally was a lot of ways, companies were trying to get intoorganizations versus.

Like that shadow software approach,which is extremely, exciting to see the, the capabilities from a businessstandpoint and to really get into these organizations. And ob obviously itrelies on, a seamless and, and easy kind of experience. And I'm curious, basedon, with all workflows and all these processes and all the technology that canbe integrated, how do you keep such a simple experience being that things couldget extremely complicated and complex as you continue building into it?

Vinay: It's hard. I thinkit's like in general, like basically what you just asked is essentially one ofthe hardest problems in product to solve, right? Yeah. Is like, how do youbuild a complex product that has a simple user experience? This is like whatApple figured out, right? And I actually think that's, that's like one of theother actually paradigm shifts that's happened to support this.

Is that, People have gotten more used tousing software that has a high quality user experience. Like in the first kindof generations of software, you would just take anything because anything wasbetter than nothing. The what you had before, right? So you, you, you woulddeal with it even if it's a poor user experience, even if you had to have yourengineering team do stuff because it was still better than what you had before.

But, once the iPhone came out, onceGmail came out, like once these products came out where like people just gotused to using these better user experience software. They started to expectthat at, at work as well as at home. Right? Yeah. And, and started to searchfor that like, similar experience.

They're like, why is this so much worsethan like, what I have on my phone or whatever. Yeah. But yeah, I mean it's,it's, it's a complicated question or, or problem to solve, right? Yeah. So abig part of it is for us has been basically building the product as, as aproduct led or a self-serve product first, right?

So that's the type of software that wewant to use because we're, we're small businesses and, and, and we're used tothat again, that kind of consumerized experience. And so by building theproduct in a way where anybody can sign up and then anybody can go and buildtheir own workflow and it doesn't need code, they don't need to know how tocode.

That becomes like a core kind of pillarof the product that we then iterate around, right? Yeah. Many of ourcompetitors, for example, like. When you go to the website and try to sign up,like you can't use the product like you, you get pushed into like a demo flowand you have to like speak to a sales rep and then someone on their team willlike customize the software and then they'll show you what it looks like when somebody'scustomized it on the back end.

Yeah. And so they're basically notrequired to make that building experience like streamlined because they're kindof like using people to. Cover up that bad experience. Right. Whereas we've hadthe product open since day one and we didn't, especially at the early days whenwe were mostly selling to SMBs, we didn't have like people even available liketo, to go and build that stuff for you.

You just, if you wanted to use, we hadthousands of people coming in every week. Like we couldn't build that stuff forpeople. If you wanted to do it, you had to do it yourself. And so, We justconsistently took the feedback from the users of like, oh, I can't figure outhow to do this. I can't find that, I can't click here.

How does this work? Yeah. We justconstantly just like polished it and polished it and polished it and polishedit to the point where like people could figure it out on their own. Right.Yeah. And like even today, like we're still working on how do we continue toimprove that experience? Like, for example now where we're working on a bunchof like AI G B T features and, and that's really actually really, reallyexciting for us.

It's like a big, I know I got some. SanFrancisco ambulance back there. That's gonna be a huge, huge paradigm shift forus. Like for a number of a number of companies, they're, they're quite scaredabout ai, that it's gonna basically eat their lunch. But for us it's gonna be amassive, massive like, blessing.

And, and one of the biggest, hardestparts about like building out processes and workflows. Is the build processitself, right? If you've got a complicated process that's complicated to buildno matter how easy the software is, right? Right. But like with ai, we canbasically generate these really, really complicated processes in like one clickessentially.

And that's really like, lightening thelift for our users.  

Julian: Yeah, I can imagine.Obviously I'm wanna tap into, to AI and kind of how that, that's impacted. Butjust I guess taking a step back, going a little bit more broad I feel like theword process maybe needs a little bit more it's clarity from, from your end,it's like the word scaling.

Yeah. Like, what does that actually meanmechanically? In terms of how you think about processes and how you think aboutprocesses at or other organizations entirety, how do you feel about that?  

Vinay: Yeah. So I think that,most people underestimate the power of process, like mm-hmm. They stick it inthe back seat, and especially when they're a smaller business or a growingbusiness, they, it becomes like a kind of secondary focus, but they reallyshouldn't, right?

Processes are actually, like, whathappens most of the time in a business, they, they run the world, right? Like,that's the reason that you have stock supermarkets on time, trains safely,landing planes, like, like all of that is powered by processes, right? But, Alot of people kind of buzz around, projects, OKRs and strategies.

But like when it comes to executing thecompany's most important activities people tend to get a bit bored and, andstop paying attention. But you know, the fact is that most work that happens inany successful team is process, not projects. Yeah. Yeah. It's just like acyour, your day-to-day activities like making the product or selling theproduct, right?

Or delivering a service like that is thecore of like what goes on in a business every day. And once companies get toscale and they really figure that out, think like Salesforce or Sony or SpaceXor whatever they, they understand and see the value of well maintained anditerative processes, right?

Yeah. Like, but Yeah, but, but a lot ofcompanies don't, or take a long time to figure that out, and they tend to justlike, Continue to do these like work, do work once, throw it away, do workagain, throw it away, do work again, throw it away. And that's a lot of likethis kind of like project driven mentality where you're using spreadsheets oryou're using documents or.

Project management tools but, successfulteams quickly figure out how to basically take a project that worked andtransform that into a process and shift the focus to scaling and optimizing thethings that are working and encoding that into, into the business, into the,into the, into the kind of core of the, the culture and the way that thatbusiness runs and when that shift happens.

That's when like huge value getscreated, right? That's when you can unlock scale. That's when you can unlockefficiency. That's where you can drive, drive the business and drive growth.And so, Yeah, we, that's what we're passionate about. And, and that's where wesee like, the most successful businesses where they get a lot of their leverageand, and, and scale from.

Julian: Yeah. It's fascinatingto think about, when is the right time for companies to start bringing in atool like Process Street and start building out these processes? Is it at theconception of an idea and you, is it involved during the iterative process? Ofunderstanding, whether it's a product or a feature or even just.

Communicating with clients and, and kindof going down funnel with that. When do I incorporate Process Street? Yeah.Into my team. Is it, yeah. During the iterative process, is it after the fact?Where do you see the most value for teams looking to bring on ProcessStreet?  

Vinay: Yeah, so like, it'swhen you hit a certain.

A, like a certain level of scale, right?So for like, say a sales team or a finance team, an IT team, that might be likein the three to five people, like in that team itself. Yeah. And or it could belike when you're, when you're, when you're hitting some type of scale, like sayyou're doing employee onboarding maybe your HR team is not five people, butmaybe you're onboarding.

3, 4, 5 people a month, that's when itbecomes like, yeah. A much more important to have that process. It's not asuseful if you're a really, really small business or a really small team. Itbecomes a bit more like there's a bit, there's overhead to build and maintainprocesses, right? And at, at some point, like you need that overhead to beworthwhile, right?

Otherwise, you can just be kind of likeburning time doing. Doing process work and ignoring customers or just like notfiguring out how to grow the business. And I would say just, generally kind ofcoming back to like general founder tips like. Focus on the money first, focuson growth first, focus on sales first.

Get some type of repeatability there,like get some, get, get the business to a point where you can actually affordto, build out a, a decent size team. And then start thinking about how do youlike, systemize that team and, and make it efficient so that it's ready to, to,to continue growing.

Julian: Yeah, it's sofascinating thinking about even the word scale is really just automating enoughof other process of the business so that people who are onboarding can use it.You, you, as a founder, you don't have to have such a hands-on interaction withevery part of, of the, the function of a business, but it's repeatable.

It's measurable, and it's a consistentexperience from, from. At least a client standpoint, a customer standpoint.Mm-hmm. To be able to, get to that point. But tell, talking a little bit moreabout Process Street, tell us a little bit more about the traction. What haveyou seen, what's been exciting about the growth up to this moment?

And being that you're starting toincorporate AI and all these new technologies, what are you particularlyexcited about in terms of the next milestones of Process  

Vinay: Street? Yeah, totally.So, at this point we have thousands of customers all around the world, 150countries. Okay. We started the product as an SMB product.

So really kind of like building it forourselves I guess. I was running a company that was 20, 30 people and just.It's just a lot easier to, to sell to smaller businesses like the bigcompanies, they're very sensitive around their processes, right? Yeah. Likethat. A lot of that is their, their secret source, their propriety inproprietary information.

So they wanna see a lot of security.They wanna see a lot of stability. But over, over time, That, like as I justmentioned, like you get more value outta processes as you're a bigger business,right? Right. The ROI becomes higher and higher and higher. So there is morevalue to, to optimizing your processes the bigger you are as a business.

And so that naturally was like where wekind of went as a product and so, Now we have, huge companies like Salesforceand Colliers and m I t and these, these, huge enterprises with thousands ofpeople that, that we run all sorts of crazy processes for. Yeah. A lot ofonboarding, a lot of like document automation, financial reporting approvals,The product's being built out from like a very simple process management toolto, or like workflow tool to a full process management platform.

So we have the core workflow product, wehave a pagers product that's like a Wiki. We have a database product that'slike Airtable. We have a forms product that's like type form and they all worktogether into this kind of like process management platform that lets youbasically, coordinate large complex teams and processes even.

Cross multiple teams in multiplelocations automate a lot of data, automate a lot of work, and we have like aSlack app and a teams app. So you can just like do your approvals inside Slackor fill out your forms inside Microsoft teams and the platforms kind of builtout, mobile apps, all that type of stuff.

So, it's really kind of grown from thissimple, simple, really basic workflow tool into a fully powered. Process,platform and as you said now or you mentioned, sorry, go ahead.  

Julian: I was gonna, I wasgonna ask, you said you, you have forms like Typeform, are you integratingthose form those technologies into Process Street?

Or are you building similar types of, ofof technologies that then kind of are incorporated in the ecosystem?  

Vinay: No. So this is all,it's all part of the platform, right? So you think about them as likedifferent, different kind of modules inside the platform that you can use. Andso, and then they all work together, right?

So you can have a workflow that thenkind of embeds your page. That's like your your documentation, like your sop,right? And then, yeah, so as part of the workflow you can be like, Hey, youneed to do this now. And it's like, oh, you don't know how to do that. Checkout the sop. Or it's like you need to collect some data from a customer.

Like. Send them a form so that they canfill out the form and then have that data come back into the workflow and thentake that data and store it in the database. Yeah, like, so they all, they allwork together basically as a, as a, as a tool that you can kind of pull and pushfrom the different modules and use them to basically make that.

Management of the process, much morestreamlined and all inside one place, all inside your slack, all inside yourteam. Yeah. So you don't have to be logging into different tools or like havingdifferent apps and how they work. Right. You can just, have Slack basically,and all work there, for example.

Yeah. Yeah.  

Julian: And, and what's kindof the biggest challenge you see in terms of building? Is it, I, is it, beingup to date with, with technologies that you're integrating into the tool? Is itbeing, Compliant with other customers of yours that say, have more privacy,heavy restrictions or, financial tools or, personal information.

What's kind of the challenge of buildinga platform that, touches so many different pieces of technology and parts ofthe business?  

Vinay: Yeah, yeah. All ofthat and more like going up, market enterprises are very demanding. They havereally complex things. They have very complex environments.

They have really complex processes that,can be a thousand steps right across like hundreds of people where there's justlike all sorts of crazy shit going on. They, they're, they're very sensitiveabout their data. They're very sensitive about their security. They're verysensitive about their stability.

So, having a really stable, scalableplatform that's super secure, that's compliant, does all the, has all thesecurity certifications. But then also just like can, integrate with all thedifferent things they need it to integrate with. Can Candle or the complexlogic and routing and like controls that they might need.

And then just kind of dealing with aplatform as itself, like, like I just said, it's like lots of productsbasically. Yeah. Like all those could almost be their own products. Right. So,like there's just a lot of like functionality that can be built and soprioritizing that and making sure that it all works well together and it's goodexperiences.

Yes. It's, it's all pretty hot.  

Julian: Yeah, I can imagine.And always like to kind of think about, whether it's external or internal fromyour point of view, what's kind of the, what are some of the biggest risks thatProcess Street faces today?  

Vinay: I mean, at this point,like, I'd probably say some of the big risks might be like something likeMicrosoft basically building a clone of our tool right?

Than them doing like, What they did to,to Slack, and they're kind of going around doing this to a number of othertools. So yeah. Yeah, basically like some of the big companies that just haveway larger budgets and own like a large chunk of the customers already if theycan kind of figure out how to build, really nice really nice experiencedproducts like, like ours.

That could be a risk, but it could alsobe an opportunity for us as well to kind of partner with their competitors orwhatever. So, yeah, I think that like we were talking about before, I like aifor example. I don't think it's a, a risk. I think it's a huge blessing for us.And that's like what we're most excited about right now is, is, is building outa ton of different AI features, both on the generative side to help our, ourusers, customers build the workflows.

Like really, really easily on demand.Like one click you can build these really complex workflows with, hundreds offields and, and steps and they can get really, really complex. But then alsousing AI in a lot of, in the workflows themselves. So yeah. Yeah. Transformingdata, merging data, integrating data.

Like, doing complex formulas, doingcomplex logic on like, on like data. Yeah. There's, there's a lot ofinteresting stuff you can do.  

Julian: Yeah. And, and maybeeven, I, I, I'm just spitballing, but maybe even just like setting up theframework, do you see kind of a lot of that in terms of templatizing using AIto really kind of, and machine learning to really understand the, how arecustomers building in.

Process Street and how can I almosttemplatize that to really kind of accurately maybe set up and, and even for,for speed of, of adoption for certain, industries or certain yeah,stakeholders. That's, how do you kind of think about that?  

Vinay: Yeah. So that was,that's been our approach from the beginning is like how do you templatize it?

And that has definitely helped kind ofusers. Adopt, adopt the product and just like helped with their likeunderstanding and imagination of what they can build. But AI basically takesthat to a whole new level where you don't even need to templatize it. Like itwill just generate it.

Yeah. So it essentially gives youinfinite templates that can be extremely, extremely. Long tail right in. Howso? You can be like, oh, I'm a, bur like, a hamburger restaurant in Tennessee.I need a onboarding workflow. And like, we probably wouldn't build anonboarding template for, like, specifically for a hamburger restaurant inTennessee, right.

But the AI can, right? It knows what theHR laws are in Tennessee. It knows like what the difference would be for ahamburger restaurant versus a Chinese restaurant, right? And like it, so itkind of like, it can give you essentially like an infinite template stack.Which, for us to build. To try to templatize those like manually, which is whatwe're doing in the past.

Right? Yeah. We, we have hundreds oftemplates, right? And now with ai, we essentially have millions of templates,yeah. And, and, and, and trying to make that ourselves would've been like,virtually impossible. But now it's literally, you can just do it in aclick.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Does thatchange the onboarding kind of procedure?

So, say if I click into across thestreet, I download it, I'm starting my free trial. Yeah. I get all thesenotifications on how to build, what to build, where things are. But if I, I cansee that if, if you kind of have a AI component, it almost could be just like aone one prompt. Like, all right, what are you looking to build?

What process are you looking into? Andalmost just like expediting that and, and kind of creating this collaborative,do you get really excited about how you're able to not only just use templatesand build out with ai, but even bring the user journey way more customized to,what your customers are coming into?

Is that kind of the what amongst that iskind of on the next frontier?  

Vinay: Exactly what you justsaid. Yeah. Like that is that is like what's happening. Yep. So, we can, we canjust kind of like take what you've given us and we can do like some lookups onyour business. So we can say, we can see like, oh, you're an HR manager atNetflix.

We can, we can just auto almostautomatically drop you into a screen that's like, we know you're an HR manager,we know you're at Netflix. We know you're in, California, Los Gatos orwhatever. Then we are like, what? Then just like tell us like what you're, whatyou're trying to do here.

Like you're trying to do performancereviews or you're trying to do onboarding, right? Yeah. You just type inonboarding and like, and it'll know, it will know about Netflix, it'll knowabout Netflix's culture already, and like it can build out like that workflowlike in, in the first few seconds of you, of you coming into the product.

What else it can do that's really coolas well, is it can It, it can take it to another level where it can basicallyintake any type of file, right? So if you already have something, if you'vewritten down some bullet points, if you have got a document already, if you'vegot a spreadsheet already, if you've got a, a vi diagram, a work flight flowdiagram, even if you've drawn a workflow on a napkin and taken a photo of it,right?

We can basically take that and then turnthat into your workflow. So we can kind of like intake any type of like fileessentially. And merge that with what we know. We know that you're a Netflix,we know that you're an HR manager. You've given us this napkin photo of like,kind of what you want it to be like.

Right? And then we can turn all of thatin, like one click and like design your work, like generate your workflow.Yeah. That's pretty cool.  

Julian: Yeah. And, and I, I'mcurious, how do, how do you think, or for what, for what reason? Did you notsay, go into a particular market segment, say HR workflow processes and reallykind of focus there and kind of scale that and maybe go upstream there.

What's made you kind of think abouttackling entire workflows and how's that been challenging being that that's alittle bit non-traditional in terms of. How most startups, if you think aboutall the accelerator groups you like, yc, Techstars, they always tell you pick,one ICP go after tenaciously and once you kind of reach scaling their foundproduct market fit, then kind of go and expand with fundraising and things likethat.

It's kinda like the traditionalapproach, but you, you, you're taking a really broad strokes into, tapping intoa lot of teams in a lot of different industries. Was that by design or is thatjust because it's so robust and has a lot of capabilities?  

Vinay: Look, that's, that'sbeen a constant point of contention over the years.

And I think the answer is like, youcould, you could make it work either way. Yeah, there are, there are a lot ofexamples in our space of, big companies that do hundreds of millions in revenuethat are horizontal. Right? And the. The big advantage of that is that you justhave a much larger market to play with.

And that's the, the, the positive side.Especially like for us, I think another component was that because we were productled and self-serve, having that large horizontal market actually is quiteimportant. You don't really see actually very, very many successful POGproducts that are.

Vertical because like the market's sosmall that you kind of need to go more outbound and like acquire thosecustomers in a more like traditional sales model. So it was part of us wantingto build like the, the first PLG like process management platform. Right? Yeah.And Yeah, it, over the years it's, we've, we've definitely had this debate anumber of times.

But I think the other thing too was alsojust us dog fooding it. Like we use Process Street across every team. We use itas the central storage for all the processes in the business. And the way thatwe, we found value was, Its ability to basically manage not just like theprocesses for a single use case or a single department, but alsocross-functionally, right.

Manage processes across different teamsand departments. And that's actually where, yeah, a lot of our use cases liewhere we, we handle these cross-functional workflows where you are trying tocoordinate multiple teams to do stuff and you want visibility across thosedifferent teams and you want accountability and understand where thebottlenecks are.

And so that's a lot of the value of theplatform, but it also creates a, a lot of challenges, right? Like you said, nothaving clear ICPs needing to sell to multiple stakeholders, needing to get, orauthentication approval into multiple different apps that are owned bydifferent teams. Those, those all create challenges and, and I think thatanybody who's selling horizontally like experiences those, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Julian: If everything goeswell, what's the long term vision for Process Street?  

Vinay: I think long termwould, I think we would eventually sell to a company, right? Like we, there's alot of great software companies out there that we already integrate with that Ithink would be a great partner for, and there's a lot of, crossover between ourproducts and, and so I think that, that there's gonna be a nice place for us toto kind of partner up and, and continue to grow that way.

Julian: Yeah, I love this nextsection. I call it my founder faq. So I'm gonna hit you with some rapid firequestion and we'll see where we go. First question I always like to open it upis what's particularly hard about your job?

Vinay: Probably like thecontext switching, so Sure. I'm like, I'm managing all the differentdepartments, essentially.

One hour I'm head of product, one hourI'm head of hr, one hour. I'm head of marketing when I'm head of sales. And so,I'm just, and I'm constantly just getting like, Hey, can you help me with thisdeal? Hey, can you help me with this? Like, personnel problem. Hey, we've gotthis new like product that we're working on, like, can you gimme feedback onit?

And so it's just constantly having toswitch between all those different yeah. Like functions is, is quitechallenging. And yeah, it's a lot to stay on top of.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. Thinkingabout no-code and, and this huge revolution, even on the development side noteven just with these tools, but what, what are your kind of, what's kind ofhopeful about the transition to no-code and what does it allow in terms of theoutcomes, that I should expect as a consumer or as a business bringing onsomething no code?

Is it the velocity, is it the ease of,of implementation? Is it, the saving of, of not hiring? Specialist to be ableto, use the software to build into my, my company and my organization. Whathave you seen that's really exciting about the no-code revolution and is it afad or is it something that it's gonna be more commonplace, moving forward?

Vinay: Yeah, I mean, what I,what I'd even say is that basically AI or generative AI is almost like the nextphase of, of no code, right? And Sure, basically what you're seeing is you'rebasically. Seeing like programming power being given to non-programmers, right?Yeah. And so like if you think that you know everybody in the world, noteverybody, but you know anybody, anybody with an internet connection or a phoneor whatever, or a computer is using software right?

Yet only 1% of the world or something lessthan 1% of the world knows how to code. Yeah. And so n n no code and AIbasically, or generative AI specifically, is just like putting more and morepower in that other 99%. Yeah. And like opening up the kind of like ability forthe rest of the world to transform the devices that they're using.

Right. To actually like, have an impacton those devices and not just be users, but be builders. Right? Yeah. Andactually be able to contribute to that environment and shape the, the, theexperience of the devices that they're actually using all day every day. Right.And so I don't think that's going anywhere.

I think it's just gonna, now it's gonnago from 1% to 5% of people to 10% of people to 50% of people. Right. We'relike, More and more, you're gonna be able to have control over thatenvironment, over that like virtual space that you're, that you're in. Andthat, that increases velocity, right?

It allows a lot more personalization.And it, and it takes away the bottlenecks of like, needing those engineers todo stuff.  

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. It's sofascinating thinking about the capabilities and, and what it allows founders todo, even early on, founders who are, wanting to start a product and, and beingable to do so with, with.

Less investment, less friction, and youget consumer feedback at least. It's such a rapid rate, and then you couldbuild such a  

Vinay: sophisticatedorganization.  

Right. But founders, I'd still put mostof them in that 1%. Right, right. Like even if they're not full, even ifthey're not engineers, they're still like very advanced like users.

Yeah. But you know, I'm gonna, you'regonna see this go so that like your grandmother Right, will be able to likecustomize like her experience, you know what I mean? It's not just gonna be.The, the HR assistant's gonna be able to customize their experience, right?Like, it's gonna be way deeper than just founders, right?

Yeah. Founders are gonna be the earlyadopters and the superpower users, but it's gonna, it's gonna go really deep.Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.  

Julian: I always like to askthis question cuz I love how founders extract knowledge from anything theyingest, whether it is early in your career now, what books are people haveinfluenced you the most?

Vinay: Oh, I mean, it's beena, it's been a journey over the, over the years. I think some of the early,early books that I read, like when I was a teenager, for example, like RichDad, poor Dad, was pretty influential. Just trying to understand money. I thinkthat the four hour work week was influential when, when thinking about how tojust like know, knowing nothing about starting a business to just like gettingsomething going.

And I actually think that's the hardest.Like part of the journey is kind of switching from like employee mode tofounder mode. Because once you're in founder mode, now you're in like knowledgeconsumption mode. You're in experimentation mode and like that allows you tobasically identify and test and, and, and execute on opportunities.

But you, you can't start that, you don'treally start that process until you unlock the time and the head space to dothat. So I think that would be my advice, I guess to founders as well is like,Start, start earlier, right? Like even if you do, even if your idea is stupid,like it doesn't matter, right?

Because like it's more about shiftingyour mindset from like this, I'm an employee, I'm waiting for this like, superidea or this moment to like, I'm a founder, I need to, I, I, the buck stops atme. I take complete responsibility for everything. I'm now an experimentationand like an a learning machine, right?

And like, that's all I do. And, andwhether it's gonna be the first, the first thing or the second thing, like, orthe 10th thing, right? Like starting earlier is important.  

Yeah. And but like more, more recently,I'd say like some of the most important books have been around. Mindfulness andconsciousness. Yeah. So, how those are helpful. Yeah. So like the managementframework that I use is something called conscious leadership. Yeah. Whichbasically applies mindfulness or consciousness to running a business ormanaging a team or, managing work relationships.

And so there's, there's a really goodbook called Conscious Leadership the 15 Tenants of Conscious Leadership,something like that. So that's a really good one. And then there's, there'ssome other books that I like in this space called, one's called the UntetheredSoul, another one's called Waking Up.

And so those have just been really,really powerful around one just management and like the relationships that Ihave with my team. And then also just how. How, like I'm intentional with my,with my mind and my decisions and my priorities and kind of like, and, and justlike keeping my own, like stress and sanity, like under check.

Julian: Yeah. Yeah. I knowwe're coming to the end of the episode here, so I wanna make sure we get achance to, make sure we didn't leave anything on the table. So I'll let you,I'll let you get that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Okay, perfect. I'm gonna restart.We'll, we'll do some clipping, so don't worry.

Yeah, we're coming to the, yeah, we'recoming to the end of the episode and I wanna make sure we didn't leave anythingon the table here. So, is there any question I didn't ask you that I shouldhave, or anything that we didn't talk about that you wanted to bring up? Any lastsecond things that we left on the table here?

Vinay: No, just if you'reinterested in optimizing or scaling your processes. Yeah, just if you'reinterested in in, in figuring out how to scale and optimize your processes,then just recommend checking out the product.

Julian: Yeah. And we alwayslike to add this little bit at the end. Where can we find you? Where can wefind your product? Where can we support?

Give us your LinkedIn, your websites,where can we be part of you as a founder of Vene and also Process Street? Andif you wanna start playing with the product, where can we go find it?  

Vinay: Yeah, definitely. Soeverything about the product process.st can find us. Or just Google ProcessStreet. And then you can find me on Twitter @vinayp10.

Julian: Amazing Vinay. It's soexciting. Not only learn about your background, your experience, but honhonestly, how you. Started building Process Street, kinda how you think aboutbuilding a product. And I, I wouldn't wanna say non-traditional way, but onethat it kind of really taps into a lot of different users, a lot of differentuse cases.

And what's really exciting is, is thebit about AI and how that's gonna really expedite not only the onboarding, butthe user experience and also the ability that Process Street has to, createthese really intensive, sophisticated workflows and organizations. Here in, in,in broadly. So I'm so excited to share this to the audience.

I hope you enjoyed yourself, and thankyou so much for joining us on Behind, Company Lines today.  

Vinay: Awesome. Great to behere. Thanks, Julian. Appreciate it.

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