Combining Live and Virtual Services to Drive a Forever Transaction — Fuzzy Pet Care
Sometimes, the best way to launch a digital subscription is to launch a physical subscription first. Even if you plan to scale with a virtual business model, you can learn so much more about your customer value proposition, and messaging by starting the old-fashioned way in person. That’s the approach Zubin Bhettay used in launching Fuzzy.
Today, Fuzzy’s pet parents get round-the-clock access to exceptional virtual veterinary care as well as wellness products for their pet’s health needs. When Zubin and his co-founder launched the company in 2016, they recruited and served their pet parents in person. Starting slow, it allowed Fuzzy to crack the product market fit code and scale rapidly raising over $80 million in the process.
Full disclosure, I’ve been involved with Fuzzy since the beginning, and think Fuzzy is one of the most thoughtful membership economy organizations I’ve ever worked with. In this conversation, Zubin and I reflect on Fuzzy’s humble beginnings in San Francisco dog parks and pet parent living rooms, explore the path to profitability, and discuss the right metrics at each stage.
Robbie Baxter: Welcome, Zubin.
Zubin Bhettay: Thanks for having me, Robbie. This has been a long time coming. I’m excited to dive in.
Robbie Baxter: I’ve been chasing you for a while really wanting to get you onto the show. I think you have a lot to share in terms of your story. Also, in terms of the thoughtful way you think about the relationship you have with your subscribers and members and how that has evolved over time. I wanted to start by asking you to take us back to 2016 when you and I first met. You and your business partner, Eric Palm, had an ambitious vision, a forever promise that you wanted to make to pet parents, those people that had pets at home. Can you share that starting point, what you guys were thinking about, and what your promise was?
Zubin Bhettay: Going back to why we were excited about building a business in this category in the first place, and then what we unpacked from the relationship that we were building with pet parents that made it very clear why this was something that we cared deeply about. Eric and I had known each other for almost ten years when we decided to start a business together.
Both of us realized that we benefited profoundly from the impact that pets had on our lives. In my story specifically, I’m a nomad. I grew up in South Africa and left when I was fifteen years old. In my last company, I was practically living in three different countries at the same time. I lived in San Francisco, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong. Being that nomad, I got asked frequently, “Where do you feel at home?” For me, I feel at home when I’m around where my dog is. That was something that hit me. It’s what made me feel like I belong and something was relying on me.
There are so many pet parents out there that have that realization. Most people, for the first time in their lives, have this living breathing thing that is relying on them for their existence. For us, we realized that there was a gap for pet parents where they felt lost and confused when it came to how to care for that living breathing thing. We realize that in most instances, we will outlive our pets. Unfortunately, pets have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
Robbie Baxter: Are those dogs and cats, mostly?
Zubin Bhettay: Yes. It’s depending on the breed as well. On average, larger breeds are 7 to 10 years, and smaller breeds of dogs are 12 to 14 years. Cats can be 15 to 20 years. The reality that hit us was that there was the scope and ability to be able to extend the lives of pets through better care. We’ve seen all the research around humans and how healthier lives and behaviors, etc. have led to longevity. We wanted to empower pet parents to be able to do the same. Fundamentally, we want to empower pet parents to give them control along their pet care journey to help them extend the lives of their pets and give their pets a better quality of life. That meant that the relationships that we have with our pet parents last years and years.
Robbie Baxter: Correct me if I’m wrong, but originally, it all serves pet parents for the entire life of their pets. Everything possible to help with longevity, which is a big and ambitious vision for what you guys were trying to do.
Zubin Bhettay: Since then, we’ve recognized the key areas in which we can add value to pet parents, deliver value, drive better engagement, and lead to better outcomes. We started off with this big, huge, ambitious vision. We haven’t shifted from that ambitious vision, but we’ve gotten clear around where we fit in along that pet care journey and how we can better empower pet parents.
Robbie Baxter: This is important. A lot of businesses, especially in the subscription and membership space where the vision is an ongoing goal that the member is trying to achieve. In your case, optimal health and longevity for their pet. You start with a big vision and then you have to take a step back and say, “Where’s the place to start? Where is the greatest need that we are best able to engage with these people on this long journey?” I remember having many conversations with you early on. Can you talk a little bit about some of the questions that you and Eric had to answer in those early days to figure out where is the best place to start with, who the audience was and what your promise was or what you were able to provide with?
Zubin Bhettay: Early on, we went through a lot of experimentation, but what was key for us in the early days was that we went out and spoke to as many pet parents as we could. In the very earliest days of Fuzzy, Eric and I, at 6:00 and 7:00 AM, go to local dog parks in San Francisco Bay Area, and speak to as many pet parents as we possibly could and understand what their pain points were, how they felt about their pet care journey, what the moments of delight were, and what their moments of pain and anxiety were.
Zubin Bhettay: By understanding what their moments of pain, anxiety or stress were, we were able to uncover the key areas that were unserved at that point in time. We could address an existing need that wasn’t being addressed by the existing infrastructure, care delivery mechanism, or ecosystem as it was at that point in time.
If you think about the earliest stages of pet parenting, when we spoke to every pet parent, what we heard was, everyone we spoke to felt like they were doing it alone. Everyone that we spoke with felt that there wasn’t a guide or anyone to help them through the journey. Think about it, when you’re getting ready to welcome a baby into your home, and I’ve gone through this experience, there’s this huge support in network and infrastructure. You have family and friends that have had kids. You have relatives, doulas, doctors, books, and videos.
Robbie Baxter: There are clubs where new parents gather, like all the October baby parents gather.
Zubin Bhettay: All of that provides a supporting network around what to expect, what to prepare, what to do when, how to sense what phase you’re in, or even when your kid is born, and what leap they’re in certain periods. Not to equate the two because they’re very different, but if you think about it now, for a lot of people that are first-time pet parents, it is similar. People are putting off having kids. Their pets are their kids. That’s being responsible for a living breathing thing, and there isn’t that support network so they feel like they’re going it alone.
Taking care of little kids is similar to having pets. They are both responsible for a living, breathing thing. But pet parents do not have a proper support network. — Zubin Bhettay
Zubin Bhettay: For us, that shines the light. There are these moments of high anxiety, high stress, and motive points that if we can ensure that we provide folks with advice that comes from a credible source with the information that can make them feel in control of the situation that they’re in, and with a guide that can help them through the different stages of their pet parenting journey, then that may lead to a much lighter, happier, more enjoyable pet parenting journey as a whole. That was exciting for us to unpack. It’s something we learned in the earliest days and something that we’ve stayed true to through the years of Fuzzy.
Robbie Baxter: One of the big a-has it sounds like was that moment of bringing home your puppy or your adopted cat from the rescue place and you say, “What do I do if something goes wrong? What food do I feed them?” It’s from the sublime to the ridiculous, “What toys might they enjoy? Also, she seems a little lethargic, I’m not sure what to do.” It’s at that moment of new pet parentdom. Was that a-ha a good place to start the relationship when they were starting their relationship with their pet, or did you find that there were other pain points along the way or moments where they might be looking for guidance or support maybe beyond that bringing Fido home?
Zubin Bhettay: What we found was that there were these common things that would happen at different stages of a pet’s life. For most pet parents, that was their first foray into experiencing that thing. Again, I’ll go back to the analogy of kids. A toddler’s behavior is different from a teenager’s behavior or a ten-year-old’s behavior. When they’re experiencing or going through that phase of their life, that is something that you, as a pet parent, may be experiencing for the first time.
A similar thing happens with pets. What happens at the puppy phase when they are playful and have high energy, it’s a grueling part of the journey, potty training, etc., that’s a different set of challenges to, “My pet is two years old. How do I feed them and care for them and make sure that their health is an autopilot,” versus, “At 8 to 10 years old, where they’re starting to have some issues around health wellness, chronic conditions, and mobility. What do I do?”
What we identified was that there were these acute moments or pain points that created enough stress and anxiety that pet parents were looking for solutions, and those solutions weren’t available to them. We could insert ourselves in the journey at that point to be able to be seen as a credible source for information for the pet parent and help them recognize that what they were experiencing, they weren’t alone, and it’s something that is fairly common and that there are ways to be able to navigate through, what they were experiencing. Also, help put them on a roadmap and a plan to be able to feel like they were more in control.
The most important thing that we recognized was that most pet parents, they felt like they didn’t have control. As a pet parent, I’ve had this, there’s nothing more stressful than rushing your pet into an emergency vet clinic at midnight. Maybe there’s blood, they’re not behaving correctly, or they’re having a seizure, but you feel totally lost and out of control. There’s no place to turn to get a sense of, “What is going on right now?” They need a security blanket. They feel like they want more control and that can give them the confidence to be able to make the right decisions.
Robbie Baxter: What is important about what you said and the approach that you took in those early days is understanding the full journey of the pet parent and the pet, and identifying, as you described, those acute pain points. It enabled you to design an experience that almost allowed you to help them see around corners. As you said, for them, this feels like they’re going in blind, “I don’t know what’s going to happen to this puppy. Is it going to be super high energy and destroy my furniture forever?” You could say, “No, that’s going to last for X number of months and then the next problem is going to be something different.”
Having that knowledge and being with them for the journey as opposed to the acute pain point are the hallmarks of membership subscription business models. It’s that focus on the whole journey and not just like the emergency vet, “Let’s get them at midnight and charge them a lot of money because they are freaking out and their dog is not doing well.” Your approach is much more, “We’re going to be with you for the whole journey.”
Zubin Bhettay: That’s one of the key components and one of the things that we’ve continued to think about as relates to a subscription business. We recognized that you’re delivering value on an ongoing basis. You may capture someone at that acute point, and at that point, you can be incredibly valuable to them. Unless you’re finding moments to be able to continue delivering value to them on an ongoing basis. Through doing that, that’s how you warn and validate them continuing to pay you as a member and building that longer-term relationship.
Robbie Baxter: Acquisition benefits are what brings them through the door and these are those acute moments of like, “I got my pet and I want to be a responsible pet parent. My pet had an acute incident and I don’t ever want to be alone when that happens again.” What happens in between is important to balance those two kinds of benefits when you’re designing your offer. I’m realizing we haven’t described the Fuzzy membership and what it includes. Could you describe what fuzzy is and what people get if they went to your site now? What is it? What is the offering?
Zubin Bhettay: It’s evolved a lot since the earliest days when you and I first met. In today’s world, a Fuzzy membership involves an annual membership that gives you unlimited access to a licensed veteran care team for acute care support, but ongoing advice and guidance around your pet parenting journey. To speak what you mentioned around, we acquire a customer at points of acute need. Typically, we’ll have a customer come in when their dog has diarrhea, their cat isn’t eating, drinking, or urinating, which is pretty dangerous, or their pet is exhibiting some strange behavior or has an illness.
They come in a very stressful state of mind. We can help them navigate through what the symptoms are. We can help them triage that. In many instances, we can help diagnose what the concern is and then help them figure out what the best course of action is. Sometimes, that course of action can be care from home, over-the-counter treatment, or prescription medication that can be provided. Sometimes, as you can’t manage all care virtually, it involves us referring someone to a physical veteran clinic, where a vet needs to get their hands on a pet. The pet parent feels confident about them understanding what the concern and symptoms are, and what the appropriate course of action is.
Our annual membership means that folks get immediate access in less than two minutes to a team of licensed veteran professionals. We can address their acute care needs, but we then also accumulate and basically aggregate all of their pet’s medical history, data, and information to then create a care plan and program specifically tailored to that pet for longevity and the best quality of life.
What that entails is you may come in for an acute need, but we’re then providing you, as a pet parent, a guide on how you can care for your pet on a daily and weekly basis like what to feed them, how to care for them, and what their activity plan should be. Also, how to manage things like behavior concerns, stress, and anxiety, how to prepare for different stages of life if your pet is going to a senior stage, and how to prepare for certain concerns that could be breed specific or based on their medical history.
It’s understanding where you are as a pet parent in the life stage of your pet and how to prepare for each ongoing life stage. The Fuzzy membership gives you access to acute care, preventive care, or care plans that help you guide through that journey. Also, medications, supplements, and food are tailored to your pet through our store.
Robbie Baxter: You mentioned that the offering has evolved since you launched. One of the things that have evolved, which I find interesting and very clever was that when you launched, a lot of it was in person. The vets came to your home. I remember having a vet come to our house to see our dog, Mona, and it was great because it’s a huge time saver, convenient, and personal. Our dog wasn’t stressed having to be in the car, at the vet with all the other animals, and all of that.
In these early days, you had vets going into homes. You and Eric hanging out at neighborhood fairs and dog parks at 6:00 AM. It’s not super sustainable, but it’s a great way to get close to your customer and learn a tremendous amount about their needs and preferences. I’m wondering at what point did you decide that it was time to flip the switch and begin investing more in digital scaling?
Zubin Bhettay: We ran the in-home care business for a couple of years in San Francisco and saw exciting signals and success. Off the back of that success, we expanded and opened up an operation in New York as well. There were two things that became clear to us after we expanded into New York. On one hand, customers absolutely loved the service. The NPS was through the roof. Retention was incredibly high. Once they had that experience of a doctor showing up on their doorstep and giving them basic veterinary care, they were thrilled. It was a complete shift from the experience of spending hours in a waiting room. The other part that was clear to us was that operationally, running that business was incredibly complex and very expensive.
What we realized was we’d always had this vision where we forever promised that we wanted to make to pet parents about being their guide and partner through every stage of their pet’s life. We wanted to ensure that that was available to every pet parent. What we didn’t want to do is have it be a luxury service that was only available to the select few in certain cities.
We realized that after expanding to New York. It was going to take us a ton of time and capital, and it wasn’t going to address the access to care that we wanted to solve. We realized that there are 96 million households in this country with a pet. For many of those households, the challenge of getting access to care, the logistics around, to your point, putting your pet in a car, having them be stressed and anxious about going into a veterinary clinic, etc. didn’t achieve the goal that we wanted to.
At the same time, we also recognize that in many instances, when a vet needs to get their hands on a pet, many instances, you’re looking for advanced diagnostics and an advanced level of care that you want to be delivered in a vet clinic setting. We were clear that all primary care, all preventive care, and all rudimentary care that can have the highest level of impact on the longevity of a pet could be done virtually. In early 2020, it’s ahead of COVID, we shifted our business entirely to being a digital virtual veterinary clinic. We were incredibly lucky. It was a very fortunate decision that we made at the right time.
Robbie Baxter: What are the metrics that you’ve used before and after that time that tell you when you’re doing well? What are the metrics that have been important for running the business and also for demonstrating the effectiveness of the business to the outside world, investors, board, and so on?
Zubin Bhettay: I mentioned NPS or Net Promoter Score. That was something that we looked to. Retention, customer acquisition, cost, and LTV or Lifetime Value. Those three metrics for us were key.
Robbie Baxter: Which ones? Cost of acquisition, lifetime value, retention, and NPS?
Zubin Bhettay: NPS is a great measure, but those three are the key business health metrics. You also have certain metrics, especially for retention, for instance, when you have annual memberships where we shifted a large percentage of our business from monthly memberships to annual memberships. Remember I mentioned that you want to be sure that you’re delivering value on an ongoing basis to ensure that people are going to continue you paying you and stick around. When you have an annual membership, you have limited signals as to whether people are going to stick around or not.
For us, we recognize that engagement was a key measurement there as a proxy for retention on an annual basis. Over the course of the last few years, engagement has suddenly stood out as a key measurement for us. People are engaging with our platform and our veteran team or the tools that we make available to them on a regular enough basis. That translate to us delivering value to them that warrants them sticking around and continuing to being a member.
Robbie Baxter: A really interesting point that you make about those initial metrics, the cost of acquisition, the lifetime value, and retention churn numbers, and how over time that engagement metric became increasingly important. You’re absolutely right that it is a super important leading indicator of churn. If people aren’t engaging, they’re pretty likely to cancel and may have not gotten around to it, or maybe aspirational and hoping that tomorrow they need it, but they’re not happy. They’re not feeling like they’re getting value. You’ve mentioned the engagement metric of interacting with your live team, but also the creation of always available tools. You’re thinking hard about how you layer in more engagement benefits.
Zubin Bhettay: That’s part of the evolution that I mentioned to you. What we realized was that there’s a lot of value in making a licensed professional available to a pet parent. They certainly perceive that value, but at the same time, there’s a cognitive load in having a P2P or person-to-person interaction. Similar to whether you go into the vet clinic, the majority of veterinary clinic visits happen when a problem that a pet parent has been aware of for a reasonable amount of time has gone to a point of escalation that leads to them going into the vet clinic.
The majority of veterinary clinic visits happen when the pet’s problem that a parent has been aware of for a reasonable amount of time has gone to the point of escalation. — Zubin Bhettay
Zubin Bhettay: Similarly, with our telehealth service, someone may recognize, “My dog didn’t eat their food. There’s a little bit of diarrhea,” and what happens is they will wait for 1 to 2 weeks before reaching out and initiating a consult. In most instances, that’s totally fine, but there are certain instances where that can be a challenge and dangerous to the pet’s health.
Robbie Baxter: If your dog stops drinking water, isn’t that a big flag?
Zubin Bhettay: Yes. Don’t wait a week. I don’t have cats. I’ve never been a cat parent, but a cat not urinating is a huge red flag. It could lead to crystallization in the bladder, which could be fatal if not treated or if not caught soon enough. Coincidentally, that was one of the big challenges that, my Co-Founder, Eric had with his cat which got him excited about starting this business in the first place. Treatment for his cat costs $5,000. The premise behind Fuzzy is that we lower the barriers to getting people in front of a licensed veteran professional so they get to tackle these things early. We set them up for a longer healthier life with their pets.
Zubin Bhettay: As we continue to evolve this service offering and our value proposition, it’s creating these additional tools and instruments of value that we can deliver to the pet parent on an ongoing basis. We make medical records available within our app where we don’t ask the pet parent to go through any work apart from telling us any vet clinic that they’ve taken their pet to. We go out and call all those medical records and put them in our app for the pet parents to then be able to show that to an airline when they’re traveling. Also, to a border when they’re going away on holiday and leaving their pet at the border or a groomer and having that information available and easily accessible.
Similarly, with asynchronous care, we have this concept of a care coordinator team now where you can communicate with that team asynchronously, so you don’t need to start a message interaction and then be there live and engaged all the way through. You can do it and have Fuzzy fit into your routine. Those are certain things that we continue to look to evolve to innovate around how we can be ever-present and available to pet parents on an ongoing basis and ensure that we increase the spheres of influence that we have on when we can deliver value to pet parents.
Robbie Baxter: It’s super interesting on a bunch of different levels. One of the things that come to mind, you opened by talking about the similarities between a pet and a child. I think about my own medical care and all of the innovation that is happening in the world of direct-to-consumer healthcare and telehealth. I wonder to what extent they’re learning from you or you’re learning from them in terms of these elements like the combined records and asynchronous chat, communication, or the acute versus the ongoing.
Zubin Bhettay: In many instances, we’re learning from human healthcare. If you look at the comparison between veterinary care and human healthcare, veterinary care as a practice is typically 20 to 30 years behind in terms of customer engagement and support, and even innovation. COVID was an accelerant for human healthcare in many instances as relates to digital care.
In many instances with human healthcare, most of the changes are driven by insurance companies. That’s the payer dynamic that exists. In pet care, that isn’t the case. The payer is the pet parent. Pet insurance is still very tiny in terms of adoption. What we are learning is that humans have become accustomed to certain care delivery mechanisms and innovations in human healthcare. They’re now getting to a place of demand that as relates to their pets. We are in a position where we get to learn from what’s happened in human healthcare and translate that into veterinary care, but then there are some instances where we can go a lot further, to your point, around medical records. There is no such thing as HIPAA in veterinary care, for example, so we can do a lot more.
We can go a lot further in capturing data, but then we can also use that data and make that more actionable in leveraging that data to inform future care decisions. Right now, one of the challenges in human healthcare is medical record data and information, firstly, we’re still only getting to a place where that information is shared. We’re not in a place where that information is actionable, and folks are using that. There are certainly some human healthcare companies that are doing some exciting work. There is an exciting example of that. We have some other IoT wearables and companies that are starting to leverage data to inform better routines and focus on better health outcomes.
All of those things are exciting. I also think that in human healthcare, the size of the prize is huge. We’ve witnessed the digitization of human healthcare and what started off in acute care, so coughs, sneezes, ear infections, or eye infections with Doctor On Demand and The Cell Doc. It has since shifted to address chronic care, preventive care, specialist care, etc.
I believe that we’re looking at north of $1 trillion of spending going towards digital health in the next year. There’s a lot of innovation that is happening there. In pet, it’s still very early and very nascent, but we get excited about what the opportunities are. We’ve got a head start in some ways, but it’s also exciting to be able to lean into some of the learnings that we have from human healthcare.
Robbie Baxter: There are lots of room for pet health. For people who are interested in human health and subscriptions, we’ve had Joanna Strober, the Founder of Midi, health for women at midlife and menopause. We’ve had Whoop, the wearable, as you mentioned and we had guests from Thirty Madison, which has a whole series of brands around different chronic health issues ranging from gastrointestinal issues to hair loss to allergies.
It’s a super active space, interesting, and has great potential. In all of these areas, the power of subscription hasn’t been fully utilized. Knowing of the patient, both when they’re in an acute stage, and also as they learn about their conditions, best practices, and take care of prevention as well as finding cures when they’re sick.
I want to change gears a little bit and talk to you as a business leader. There’s always pressure on a founder between growth and profitability. I’m sure your investors would like both at all times. You haven’t even talked about profitability. You’ve focused on acquisition, engagement, retention, and lifetime value. When is the right time for a founder to start thinking about profitability, particularly in a recurring revenue business? How do you manage your board?
Zubin Bhettay: I haven’t spoken about profitability explicitly but I spoke about operational complexity when I was talking about our in-home care business. I mentioned that running that business was expensive. That was one of the key realizations. We got to a certain scale and then recognized that we can continue growing the business, but launching in new cities and moving bets from point A to point B was going to be expensive, so the profitability and the profit profile of that business were challenging.
As we thought about scaling that business, we recognized that it wasn’t the most sustainable business that we wanted to build. As we’ve shifted to being a virtual-first business, that completely shifted. We went from having a business where you’re looking at 20% to 30% gross margin when you’re moving from point A to point B. Most veteran clinics are running from about the same amount to a virtual business where you can basically be operating at software-type margins. If you’re running that business efficiently, which we learned from our previous experience.
Robbie Baxter: Can you say a word about your previous experience for the readers?
Zubin Bhettay: The previous experience of running the in-home care business is understanding and recognizing the operational complexities and optimizing for profitability. Needing to optimize for profitability led us to be laser-focused in this business moving forward. How do we manage our board? This depends on the time.
A lot of the thinking that we had around 2019 and 2020 when we were thinking about shutting down our in-home care business coincided with some macro shifts that were taking place. There are a number of companies that were either going public or planning to go public at the time that had questionable or challenging unit economics from a gross margin profile so investor sentiment shifted very quickly. As that investor sentiment shifted, it obviously then led to a number of founders having to think more clearly and sharpen the pencils around how we had to run our businesses.
Similarly, if you then move a year beyond that 2020 or 2021, everyone was in a growth mode. It was growth at all costs in many instances. A lot of businesses weren’t thinking about profitability, but it was, “How quickly can we deploy capital to grow and be able to take the market as much as we could?” We got to a place where in the last several months or so, that has certainly shifted. We were fortunate that we had that prior experience that led to us being a bit more measured around how we thought about growth and we’re fortunate enough to be in a position where our margins and profitability were in a good place.
It then comes down to staying ahead of the curve, communicating frequently and often with your investors and your board, and getting an understanding from them around what they’re seeing and what trends they’re witnessing. You may be able to hear it a few months ahead of podcasts, Twitter threads, Twitterstorms, etc. from your board. You can then calibrate around how you’re running your business and what your board communications and board meeting discussion topics need to be centered around.
Robbie Baxter: I’m wondering if you’d be up for a quick speed round before we close out.
Zubin Bhettay: Okay.
Robbie Baxter: First question, the first subscription that you ever had?
Zubin Bhettay: It was probably a Cricket Magazine membership.
Robbie Baxter: Your favorite subscription that you used besides Fuzzy?
Zubin Bhettay: It’s my fitness membership. I use Tonal.
Robbie Baxter: The craziest pet emergency you’ve heard about in your time at Fuzzy?
Zubin Bhettay: I’ll give you two. One was a dog ingesting LSD and the other was a dog ingesting a whole duck.
Robbie Baxter: Your favorite pet name other than your own pet’s name?
Zubin Bhettay: One of our members has a pet that’s called Sir Maximus Reginald III.
Robbie Baxter: That’s very fancy. Finally, your advice for subscription entrepreneurs?
Zubin Bhettay: One of the learnings that we had is that there are certain value props that fit into a subscription model, and there are some that don’t. Understanding whether your model does fit into a subscription membership or not is important as a first step. The business model around having a subscription business is very compelling and appealing, but does the product and service that you offer lend itself to being a subscription business?
Not every business can be a subscription business, even though we have seen a lot of businesses transition, shift, and experiment into being subscription businesses over the course of the last 5 to 10 years. You’ve spoken about that more than most people I know. That’s something that’s important to note.
Having a subscription business is compelling and appealing. But not every business needs this model, even though a lot of businesses shifted into this for the last few years. — Zubin Bhettay
Zubin Bhettay: Understanding what the unit economics are around what that business model can and should look like, and opt-in around that. We didn’t know and understand this in the earliest days. The most important point for me is know the customer, customer need, and customer pain point so that you’re solving the right problem rather than solving for something that, in your mind, could be a solution for a problem that may not necessarily exist.
Robbie Baxter: That’s great advice. On that note, I want to thank you so much for spending time with us and for sharing your journey in the world of subscriptions. I appreciate your time and insights.
Zubin Bhettay: Thanks for having me and thank you for all of your support through the years too, Robbie.
Robbie Baxter: My pleasure.