764: Top 4 Cautionary Tales in Failure w/ Richard Chang

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Richard Chang, CEO at NewFoundry.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

... Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers? Learn more at sweet phish MEDIACOM. You're listening to be tob growth, a daily podcast for B TOB leaders. We've interviewed names you've probably heard before, like Gary Vander truck and Simon Senek, but you've probably never heard from the majority of our guests. That's because the bulk of our interviews aren't with professional speakers and authors. Most of our guests are in the trenches leading sales and marketing teams. They're implementing strategy, they're experimenting with tactics, they're building the fastest growing BTB companies in the world. My name is James Carberry. I'm the founder of sweet fish media, a podcast agency for BB brands, and I'm also one of the cohosts of this show. When we're not interviewing sales and marketing leaders, you'll hear stories from behind the scenes of our own business. Will share the ups and downs of our journey as we attempt to take over the world. Just getting well? Maybe let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BEDB grows show. Today we're joined by Richard Chang. Richard is the CEO that a new foundry. Richard, welcome to the show. Ah, thanks for having me, Jonathan. That's a pleasure to get to interview today. We're going to we're going to be talking about sort of your your top for lessons in failure, which I think is a very compelling topic. You know, it's obviously it's tough to fail. It's never fun to fail, but it can be it can be useful, it can be full of cautionary tails and and you know sometimes they are. They are unfortunately wildly entertaining. So thank you for sharing that with us today. But before we do get into these four lessons in failure, Richard Minty, you can tell us a little bit about new foundry and what you and your...

...team are up to these days? Yeah, for sure. So in new foundry were based out of an Oar Michigan, right pretty much in the Midwest, and we're basically a multi disciplinary innovation studio that fuses based strategy, design and engineering all under one roof, because we're trying to basically create a next generation market opportunities, products services, primarily by writing software for our clients, and our clients are basically organizations of all sizes across pretty much any major industry, and what typically find is that they're actually looking for a trusted partner to deliver these engineer solutions and market place experiences that basically help them grow. Right that it's all about making money for them, and so they look to us and basically like hey, sometimes it's I have an idea and a Napkin that I'm not sure if I can bring into market, or can you actually come up with something based on us time a conversation and determining what kind of challenges are trying to solve? A lot of our stuff recently has been around Fintech and autonous vehicles. Were doing a lot of research and development to prove a concept for various companies in that space. Wow, that is that is very cool. Some some cutting edge stuff and and I know that new foundry. I mean you've got you guys have been you guys have been growing. You guys have had a lot of recent success, which is fantastic, and one of the reasons that we wanted to tap you to come on and be on the show, but I also know that it based on our email correspondence, it's it's not the first company that that you've sort of led and that's sort of the genesis, part of the input is behind today's topic. These riches for lessons in failure, especially as it relates to sales and marketing. Richard, we're going to be talking about some of your mistakes today and I think that's that's incredible that you're coming on into to share that with us. So what are we kind of where we started? Why don't you want to you take it away. Well, our company has been around for five and a half years right now, but, frankly, if it wasn't for past experiences, especially the feds, we would not be at the point that we are...

...with this company. We've had we've been very, very lucky. Have had great growth, have an awesome team, get to work on some really great projects. But a lot of that, frankly, business development, that sales, is a huge component and this is the seventh start up that I've been involved in and it's the third one where I've basically found it or been a cofounder or very early team members, such as like you know, employing number four, to the failures that I had initially, was very early on in my career, well, pretty pretty early out of my career. So this is around two thousand and two. For the first one. Where nowadays you hear the word triple play, like comcasters use that term all over the place. That's rebringing supplying TV, Internet and phone service. We basically thought before comcast or was even a buzz word, we went into large apartment complexes and said, hey, we can bring you this great solution where you can offer Internet, TV and phone service to your tenants and you can market at two different ways. One is you and basically say like hey, it's included as part of your your rent, or two, we can offer to at a very discounted rate. And what we do is we'd basically physically cut the cablemodeum connections, say coming from comcast or charter, whoever. Then come a carrier is and then drop in a head end and the head has busily just a building that's full with a whole bunch of network year would bring Internet, we bring in a whole bunch of satellite TV's one per channel and then the phone service that we're doing was actually voiced over Ip, and so there is a another lesson that I'll talk about here in a little bit. But the main thing is it was an awesome return investor for these apartment complexes because for them to pay for that headend based on just based selling all three of those services for about twenty five a month, they paid off that head end in about six to nine months, depending on the side of apartment complex. So it's a great marketing tool for them. But the thing is we, my other founders and I, were just by engineers and we kind of followed the whole field of dreams theory of you build it, they will come. Well,...

...after about two years of US growing hiring people, we basically run on a money because we didn't have anyone dedicated it just going out because one but we're joy is pretty new, and so we spent most of our well, pretty much I felt like eighteen to twenty hours a day just focus on developing this product, getting it up and running, because there wasn't really a bit at us. It was just we had some clients. They wanted to do it, so we did it. The other thing that we learned is that timing is important. So that's all US knows. I was talking about condition to the sales and marketing and that the voice of our ippiece. We were who's very, very early on. Like nowadays, everyone knows a pretty much about voice of our Ip and they understand that well. Act Have Internet connection and to make sure it's up and running. And at these apartment complexes a lot of the folks are families and so they've children and they were due two things. One, they would want one service, which voice over a p at that time did not offer, and then to a lot of one actually unplugged their cable modem when they weren't using it. While when they do that it takes the phone down so they can't get calls and they can't make calls. And this is before cell phones, you know, they have is as prevalent as it is today with the limited calling that kind of stuff. And so we had very high support costs in addition to not having any sales and marketing. And we were growing more in like the Midwest, in the Michigan era, the southeast Michigan, but that's very slow grows and for us to support the number of staff that we had and and we would always front the initial hardware costs and then the Parma Complex is basically pay us back. And so, yeah, it was just a lot of money flowing out not a lot coming in. So that one failed after two years. Then I decided hey, this voice over our peace stuff is really cool, and so I then went to a company was actually supplying the voice of our peace service for us. And again this was a big lesson in sales one marketing. So we kind of say, okay, we're not going to make that same mistake. Let's try and do some sales on marketing. But then again, timing happens,...

...and this is another lesson about dedicating enough money or having enough money to dedicate it. Vantage came around and I'm sure everyone here as soon as they heard that word they probably had the vantage to UN pop up in their head. Yeah, they basically killed us because they this year they had a super bowl ad and we had a lot of folks that signed up for us, but then, because Vores, our very was reting you, most people are not going to sign a dedicated like one year term, and that was one of the beauties. We said Hey, you can sign a month to month, while of course they at an option. They like the Jingle on I Chad, very flashy services they offer, and so we were losing customers by droves and ended up folding again. Well, that company had been around about two years because they rush. You are are force of our PEO provided when I have the last company, and then another two year. So it's basically four years and then that product was dead. So it was really good lessons on one. Either you have to figure it out yourself or her experts to do it for you. But nowadays I don't think there's any excuse or anyone not to do this because there's so many tools, so much software out there, a lot of platforms as a service and software service solutions that can do across many different channels thanks to the technology advances that we have that I don't think there's any excuse for anyone not. I don't think anyone should be able to come, say four years or now, to your show, Jonathan, and say, Oh yeah, one of my lessons was about sales and marketing, because we didn't do it. That's that's we go. Okay, now at you didn't learn anything. For me. That today's gross story revolves around search engine marketing. Delphis, a big data platform, had hired an agency to manage their Google adds a few years ago, but they weren't seeing the results they wanted to see. Being such a technical be tob solution, they set out to find a team that could take on their challenge. After countless proposals, they found the perfect fit directive consulting, the B Tob Search Marketing Agency. And just one week after launching directives campaigns, delphis saw their lead...

...volume double and their costper lead drop by sixty percent. I have a hunch that directive can get these kind of results for you too, so head over to directive consultingcom and request a totally free custom proposal. That's directive consultingcom. All right, let's get back to this interview. Yeah, I got it well, and so Richard, and you know, as you're as you're talking through some of these lessons, and one of the big ones being that timing is important. Is there, in your opinion, anyway then, to account for for timing? I mean you've got, you know, you've got this great idea and you know you maybe you want to be first to market, but at the same time. You know, then then the market is not ready. So you know, you have this investment up fronts where you just know, like hey, we're going to have to be convincing people why they need this in the first place, rather than Steven starting from a place where let's just convince them that that were the best I mean, they don't even have in their opinion, they don't even sign something that they're that's on their radar. So how do how would you maybe, what kind of advice would you give to someone that you trying to account for this, this idea of timing. Yeah, I mean that's timing is always a tough one and I think that's a constant battle that everyone plays with, even large corporations, is like, you know when to release this product? When are the when are these features that we want to add going to resonate with a P and users? So there's there's two components to that in my mind. One is basically, do you have enough funds to get you through that little bit of law where you can spend all this time product developing until the timings right to release it? Or Two, do you have the ability to shelve what you're working on right now work on something else and then pull it off the shelf when you need it. And one of the startups that I was at there a network services company, or at that we're security company. They had basically one...

...of the CO founders had done some work as a PhD student was really cool technology. Shelt it because I said, well, there's no market for this right now, went on to work at some other research and then there's an incident that happened and they got contacted by this one particular ended up being a client. Basically like hey, we heard that you had done something. You talked about it at a conference. Whereas that state right now? Right? Is it something that we can actually buy your use? And they basically dust it off the shelf and then actually turn it into a company around that particular product. And so that's that's themily right. It's unfortunately the money rules for a lot of this and it's either sustain yourself to have enough time to support it, or do you have enough money to actually focus on something else until the timings right? Yep, Yep, absolutely, Richard. You know, obviously you have you've got this entrepreneurial spirit, you've you have vision and you execute on on vision and as you've as you've talked through, I mean you know it's it's not always successful, but you you learn your lesson, the study from your failures. You take that you applied to the next thing until you achieve that measure of that level of success that you're driving towards. So this is this next question is kind of related to that. It's related to some of the incredible leaders, thought leaders that we've been featuring on the show, especially in two thousand and eighteen. But I'd love to know and share with our listeners this idea of legacy and Richard, kind of what sort of legacy you are hoping to leave behind at the end of the day, whether that's personal, professional or even a combination of the team. It's probably more a combination of the two. So the two things that always have on my head is always striving toward be able to give back, and right now the way my company operates is that I'm actually a lot out of the day to day. I've too awesome partners plus an awesome team that they're will just continue to keep them the company chugging along. Well, I probably focus on business...

...development also other endeavors to that in the end translate into busy develop right. So I'm involved with a bunch of different boards, the bunch of different organizations that a social missions, that kind of thing. But the other thing that I'm very, very interested in has to do with workforce pipeline, where a lot of folks all that like workforce development. That's a coast to coast problem that we have, where there's a lot of companies which job openings where they can't find the skilled workers to fill those seats. So, for instance, here in Michigan, we have a big issue with that where we could ginerally try to attract tell out from the coast, but in the end there's actually a lot of pop there's a population in our area that potentially aren't four year graduates from Lena University College, but there's understerred, under privilege, low income, low education, veterans fifty five and over, prisoner pipeline, recovering addicts, that kind of stuff, right, and these are these are folks that have brains, that have given the opportunity, they can actually be Awso and contributing members and able to support themselves. And we as a community, especially the business community and education community, need to come together and figure out how do we get them at least the base skills that they need, because it's not just tech, right. I mean there's trade, their services, there's hospitality, there's a lot of different jobs at these folks can do, and then we just have to get them at least some base core skills and then provide their to support to those businesses that they'll continue to actually educate and raise a level of skill levels at these new workers have. HMM, yeah, that's brilliant. I mean, I love this idea, this this focus on education community. So definitely a powerful, powerful legacy. We wish you all the success in achieving that goal. Sounds like you're certainly on your way with that with new foundry, and things have been going great and you guys are doing some amazing things over there. So again we've been talking with Richard Changs, the CEO of new foundry, and Richard, thank you again so much for your time. It really was a pleasure getting to interview on the show...

...today. But before I do let you go, if any of our listeners are interested in finding out more about today's topic, to, you know, find out more about new foundry. They want to connect with you whatever it is. What's the best way for them to go about do that? Sure, yeah, the best way, has all our contact information, is just to visit our is that our website, which is new foundrycom? That's an Ew Fou and the urycom. Fantastic risk. Thanks again, so much pleasure getting to talk to you. Yeah, thanks so much to you too, Jonathan. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the be tob growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BEDB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (1800)