Why BotXO is the most important thing I have done work wise.
I am writing this post at 7:23 am at the BotXO HQ here in Copenhagen, Denmark. As we’re now out of stealth mode, I want to kick off my writing by sharing with you the reasons for starting up BotXO.
Note: If you want to know in detail about the BotXO platform and solutions, this is not the post. (For that, please visit botxo.co.) This one is a note from me about the why behind the company and what drives us to dedicate the majority of our waking hours to building it.
My own journey into building loveable bots started when I left Leadmill in August 2016. Having sold our first startup in 2012 (mini-exit), Jonas and I launched Leadmill as a platform for people to get access to digital content (ebooks, levels in games, etc.) sold by publishers around the world by taking a questionnaire from a survey company or trying out a third party product. I think the premise is fantastic: you, the user, decides if you want to pay with cash or your info for products. Everyone wins: you get the content, the publisher earns money and the advertiser acquires a new user. Anyways, Leadmill was bootstrapped, later moved into doing user acquisition on mobile and though we were courted by VCs, we never took any external investment.
Learnings from Leadmill and motivation for starting up BotXO
It’s pretty hard to bootstrap a company from 0 to 500+M user interactions on pure cash-flow, with zero bank debt. An example: for us to be competitive, we had to run nearly everything on 48hrs terminate-everything-contracts with advertisers and publishers i.e. no long term commitment from advertisers or publishers. This meant we had to be really really good at providing competitive pricing AND outstanding customer service. The latter is a challenge when you’re a team of 20 people in Denmark and India, having a client in Singapore, running campaigns in Brazil, with a publisher from Poland. Our team became outstanding at this, proven by how customers kept coming back to use Leadmill, even after they shifted jobs to work for another advertiser or publisher.
Because Leadmill, as a B2B company, depended on its customers’ success in acquiring new users we deeply understood how a good customer relation and a good user journey impacts a business. Though we made good money out of it, what really drove me was not doing advertising or the profit in itself. (I know… sounds cliché, but it’s true.) Part of what lead me to start up BotXO, was the following realization of what motivated me at Leadmill.
The motivations for me was building a company with a diverse team of 10+ nationalities and giving colleagues an opportunity to buy homes and start families. Externally it was providing quality customer service and helping Leadmill customers solve a key challenge: acquiring new users in a profitable way.
So, what rocks my boat is helping customers solve their challenges + working together with people with a purpose rather than only profit. At BotXO I think I have found both.
The intersection of major trends
What BotXO does as an “Automated Chat as a Service” platform sits at the intersection of major trends like automating business processes, the use of intelligent machines and conversational interfaces becoming the preferred way people connect with each other and businesses.
The process of automating system-to-human interactions is about making it easier for customers and employees to interact with and get value from a company’s systems. To be successful you need to figure out how to do this intelligently and in the context of how people prefer to communicate. In the conversational era, for many it starts off by being a chatbot used as a marketing/sales tool or FAQ, but thinking long term it’s a strategic, company wide solution on how to serve employees and customers better by providing easier access to info and products, automating tasks that previously required a human and anticipating user needs on an individual level.
The process can be driven by a desire to reduce costs but at BotXO we primarily see it as an opportunity to improve people’s lives as employees and end users, that in return will have tremendous economic benefits for businesses. For me, BotXO is therefore a chance to combine what I’ve learned so far as an entrepreneur with being part of a technology company driven by a purpose I profoundly believe in.
Technology as the enabler
The software we are building is designed for the conversational era and works so it can create value for you immediately and get to know you well enough over time to proactively meet your needs. It is meant to improve the quality of your workday as an employee / business owner and provide you with a more relevant experience as a customer of the brands you love.
Our industry is growing and learning and at BotXO, we are making progress everyday just like other companies, large and small, working in the same field. I am driven daily by the a-ha moments customers get when they realize how adding intelligent, automated system-to-human technology, can provide both their end users with a better customer experience and help their employees have a quality worklife. It is relevant and it is happening right now.
We owe thanks to people like Anders Morgenthaler from WUMO, Morten “Skype investor & Maverick” Lund and Human Shojaee, CEO Venture Cup for being early BotXO adopters. The learnings we got from launching The Real Real Trump bot, Mentor Bot and Moody HR were tremendous.
In the coming months I will share our experiences from helping companies get started with system-to-human automation / chatbots / virtual assistants, while we work on delivering the software companies run their automated conversational interactions on. My aim is to only share thoughts that could be relevant to you, so any feedback is highly valued.
What to do next?
If you’re interested in what makes a good bot-to-human conversation, you should read my colleague Farnaz’ blog series on how the conversation is the message. They also contains a link to a free worksheet that will help you create good conversations.
For the love of what bots can do,
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