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Ep. 194 – Matt Barnett developed his company from sales hack to side hustle to global business in 18 months, and now has a team across 5 continents.

Matt Barnett
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A British designer by trade, Bonjoro is Matts second company, founded out of Sydney Australia. What started as a sales hack for an Agency he was running, Bonjoro went from hack to side hustle to global business in 18 months, and now has team across 5 continents.

Matts love of building great products is only surpassed by that of building great culture, and his goal is to be the next Zappos, to be most loved brand in the world.

When not heads down in product, Matt spends his time rescuing wildlife, teaching his daughter about beekeeping and running one of Sydney’s largest tech founder networks.

 

Most passionate about

  • I love building great products.
  • The second thing I love most is people. I’m very much an extrovert. So, I love the idea of building great products and then using them to help people connect with other people better.

Matt’s career and story

  • I’m from the UK originally, and I came to Australia eleven years ago. I was originally an industrial designer. I earned an MBA and fell into running an agency.
  • We found that by sending videos to individuals, we get much more engagement. A few agencies wanted to use that technique, and their customers used it, so in 2017, we launched a technology company developing personal videos called Bonjoro.
  • It’s all about connecting with customers at key points on the customer journey. What we find is that they’re investing a little bit of time checking in personally with leads. Using videos and media is incredibly powerful in terms of engagement.
  • Today, I run that company full-time. The product team is here, in Australia. Then, most of the rest of our team is outside Australia because our customer base is located around the world.
  • Right now, it’s really about taking the business to the next stage. So we kind of three years behind in Australia, it is definitely not Israel or the West Coast of the States.

Best advice for entrepreneurs

  • I think you have to stay connected to the front line.
    • I don’t pick and choose. We just send to anyone a personal video and ask them to respond to me personally, to give me feedback. Every single day, I ensure that I talk to a couple of customers on the front line.
  • I have a handle on how well the product is performing and how well our funnel is performing overall, qualitatively.
    • That gives me a better ability to work with my managers across marketing, across customer success, and across products.

The biggest, most critical failure with customers

  • The first business that I mentioned we tried to start, we actually built the product and raised lots of money. Then it failed quite spectacularly and we made a critical error.
    • A lot of people loved the idea and loved what we were doing. We had a lot of paying customers. Then none of those activated. There wasn’t a sense of urgency within what we were trying to do.
    • Call that a failure of research, or call that making assumptions that were wrong, but ultimately, we couldn’t keep that business going.

Biggest success with customers

  • I think it was deciding to go full-time into the Bonjoro product when we already had another business running.
  • It wasn’t ever meant to be a business but it looked like we should invest some more time, in this project and it became bigger and bigger so we decided to focus on it as our main business.

Matt’s recommendation of a tool

  • Amplitude or Metabase.
    • We use both to track data, measure it, and help inform decisions.
    • It is absolutely crucial to helping marketing improve their funnel.

Matt’s one key success factor

  • I think it’s the love of customers.
  • We talk to them a lot. We hang out with them. We always treat them as friends and it has helped us on every level. It has helped us get amazing marketing opportunities and co-partnerships.
  • It has helped us build integrations and partnerships with much larger companies than us.

Matt’s Mountain

Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, I want to ask you: Is there a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?

  • I love mountains, but I love taking people up mountains with me. So, last winter, we climbed the highest mountain in Tasmania, in Australia, but I did it with my wife and one-year-old daughter.
  • In terms of the metaphor, the metaphor is: Don’t struggle with mountains on your own.
  • As a founder, as a leader, there are always other people who will come and support you and make the journey to the top much more enjoyable.
  • It’s about a journey, it’s not about the destination, and without people, it’s a lonely walk.
Mount Ossa Tasmania

Mount Ossa (Tasmania)

 

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