What it Takes to Build Something from Nothing (E132)

Gene Caballero
Co-Founder of GreenPal

Show Notes:



Gene Caballero is a co-founder of GreenPal which has been described as Uber for lawn care. GreenPal started in one market and now has grown to be available in 46 states.



Charles (00:00):

In this episode of the Business of eCommerce, I talked with Gene Caballero about what it takes to build something from nothing. This is a business of e-commerce episode 132 .

Charles (00:16):

Welcome to the Business of eCommerce. The show that helps eCommerce retailers start launch and grow their eCommerce business. I’m your host, Charles Palleschi I’m here with Gene Caballero. Jean is a cofounder of green pal, which is described as the Uber of lawn care. Greenhill started in one market. It has now grown to over 46 States. I, as you on the show today to have a, how he got his stash, some advice you can give to other retailers who are just starting off and his origin story. Super interesting. Watch the whole show. He gives some tips at the end that I highly recommend you check out. So now onto the show, Jean, how are you doing today?

Gene (00:51):

I’m doing fantastic. How are you

Charles (00:52):

Doing good, Austin, to have you on the show. I love chatting with retailers and kind of get into the origin story, kind of how you got your start and that’s first where you are today or let’s even back up. So you’re the founder of GreenPower right? That is correct. Co-Founder so make sure some people get that. It’s important thing. There’s three of us total three total. Okay. So three founders, three co-founders that? Uber for lawn care. What exactly is that?

Gene (01:22):

Yeah, so I guess back a little bit back up a little bit, I’ve been in the landscaping industry, me and another, co-founder kind of in a landscape and industry your whole entire life, you know, did it in middle school, high school and college, just for beer money, you know? And when I graduated college, I actually got a job in tech sales. My territory was the West coast, so I was kind of privy to, you know, the new technologies, the Uber, the Lyft, the Airbnb, and kind of knew that if somebody was gonna, you know, someone, a stranger to come pick them up for dinner or, you know, stay on a stranger’s couch that at some point they would do the same with lawn care. And so we launched green pal in the spring of 2012. And as of now, we’re in 46 States and over 200 major markets.

Charles (02:12):

Okay. So it’s something. So if I understand, let’s say I want my lawn mowed or trimmed or whatever it is, right. Instead of having a call one random, like a couple different random, long companies, I use the app of the site and that kind of finds Harrison folks in my area kind of connects me with them. That sort of thing. Yeah.

Gene (02:31):

So you need your lawn mowed. You put the address the day that you want it done, that alerts all the pre-screened vendors in the area that there’s a new lawn up for bid those vendors bid on it. All those bids go to the homeowner and the homeowner, or can see the vendors, writing reviews and price and decide who they want to work with. So our software basically just kind of connects and you know, is a kind of whole connection process.

Charles (02:57):

Got it. Okay. Anything for like snow removal

Gene (03:00):

Orders, all kind of lawn stuff. We actually did a, we actually started snow removal last year as well, so kind of parallel business models. So we incorporated incorporated that last year,

Charles (03:12):

We’re up in the Northeast area. So I feel like that’s pretty big for us. And especially one of those things you don’t think of it in that snows, you look out the window and you’re like, I need someone over here. Yeah. I can do this right now. Or you like, you think you can, and you think it’s going to be like four inches of snow. It’s really 18.

Gene (03:27):

It’s been compacted and it’s like, eh, this is more of a pain than anything. Yeah. Okay, cool. So how long have you,

Charles (03:33):

I’m doing this for and how’d you kind of get the start?

Gene (03:36):

Yes. So we started in this, like the idea came about probably in the winter of 2012 early winter. And, you know, you kind of do your, you know, your preliminary Google search, like, Hey, is there anything out there like this? You know, does any major huge conglomerate already have some sort of you know, some sort of software in place? And we kind of saw a little bit, but nothing that had tackled it from the vendor side of it. Most companies at that point were more lead generation and more geared to the homeowners, but there was no real true operating system for the landscaping professional, and that’s kind of where our background came in. And so we kind of took a vendor first development stand. And that’s kinda how we you know, built the first product.

Charles (04:29):

Will you say you started in 2012, he started building the product or when did it actually launch?

Gene (04:34):

So the three cofounders that we had, none of us had any sort of web development you know, background. So what we did and what we thought everybody did was just go to a local firm in Nashville and say, Hey, we’ve got this idea. Can you build it? And of course, they’ll tell you they can build it. They’ll tell you, you know, the time you want to hear and the dollar amount that it’s going to take. And so we did that in the spring of 2000, actually in the summer of 2012. And about eight months after them building what we thought was going to be a usable product. They delivered something that was unusable and they went out of business. So we’re actually in the whole $125,000 before, before even having a usable, a usable website, 25 a yeah, it was just a, all three.

Gene (05:31):

Co-Founders just kind of put our, put our money together and 401ks and all that stuff. It’s just kind of an unusual product. And honestly, it’s kind of funny now, and it’s a blessing in disguise that had happened. But the only thing that we kept or they create a animated video of like how green cow works, we kept that it was like a minute and we just kind of tell people like, yeah, it was $125,000 video that was not directed by James Cameron. It’s still uses those day. And that’s the only thing that we kept

Charles (06:02):

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Gene (07:14):

Well, I think it was more of like, you know, we knew we had something that people were going to use at some point. And just to back up before we even gave them $125,000 what we did is we went around to, I think probably for like two months in that spring, we had questionnaires on our iPads and we literally went door to door for, for a whole entire month or two, just knocking on people’s doors and saying, Hey, we have this new service that we want to launch. It’s kind of like Uber for lawn care. First, do you actually get your lawn mowed or do you do it yourself? You know, how do you vet these people? How do you pay and would a service like ours be something that you would have been interested in using? And so we asked that question to hundreds of hundreds of homeowners during that one month period and gathered, gathered all this raw data.

Gene (08:05):

And after those those very humiliating times, you know, ruining barbecues and parties and stuff like that, and going door to door, which is just a lost art in itself. But we realized that, you know, half the people, you know, said they would use a product like doors for the simple fact that, you know, they don’t have to leave a check under the mat or they don’t have to leave, you know, cash, or they don’t literally don’t want to talk to anybody. You know, it can be done without, without you know, having to meet the person at the property or anything like that. So we had that data and we knew that we wanted to move forward. And, you know, after that after that debacle $125,000 debacle, you know, half of it was just like, okay, we need to get our money patch somehow.

Gene (08:46):

And we’ve got a good enough idea we think to, to move forward. And that’s when one of our co-founders quit his day job and went to software school here in Nashville to learn a website. So it took him about six months and he had a consultant that he was, that he was working with through the Nashville software school that kind of helped guide him, build the whole entire process. And during that process, we were doing usability tests working with, with designers and kind of tweaking everything while the backend stuff was being built. So we kind of took that year to kind of just, you know, make this a usable product that we didn’t have to outsource anything other than design work to to anybody and kind of kept our costs low and, you know, single workout. That’s the very first piece of advice I would give anybody is to have a you know, some sort of tech team, you know, person on the roster.

Charles (09:51):

So if you can’t, and if you can’t find a techo founder, you have to just create one, you just go to co founders and put them in school and all right now

Gene (09:58):

Really, really want to make it happen. You know, a lot of things are a little bit different than they were, you know, seven, eight years ago that you can kind of cobble some some things together and get something, get an MVP going and start making some revenue.

Charles (10:15):

I think that’s the coolest thing I’ve talked to. Not many people have done that successfully pull that off now kind of guts. I don’t know what it is, but a lot of people, they keep thinking nice to hire someone to tie. They literally just keep doing that one 25 and they just keep doing that again and again. And then,

Gene (10:32):

Well, if you think about it, it’s just going to nickel and dime you to death. You know, your site is down on a Saturday, that’s all, you know, you’re from the person that who, who built it to, Hey, make this change. Why are we down? And it’s, you know, it’s a hundred dollars an hour. So, I mean, we would have been out of business even faster if we would have, if it were worked out perfectly. So that’s a blessing in disguise. And you know, now, like you need to do, you know, if we have a change or just tap somebody on the shoulder and say, Hey, make this change.

Charles (11:00):

Yeah. I don’t think a lot of people realize though, when you start, when you start, right, you think, Hey, want to build this and you get this quote, right. A hundred grand, and we’re going to have this, but you don’t realize how this is really like to actually get your vision built the way it should be. It’s probably a million or whatever that number is. Right.

Gene (11:17):

It’s never ending, you know, you constantly want to make your product perfect. You want to, yeah. You want to make conversion easier. You want to take anxiety out of the whole onboarding process. So it’s a constant, it’s a constant evolving, you know, organism. And you just need a technical cofounder almost to be able to make those changes and implement those changes sooner than later.

Charles (11:40):

Yeah. I was thinking about like it’d be like getting your kitchen remodeled, except when you have the contractor, they never go home. They just stay in it. They just like live in your kitchen forever. And every day like, Hey, can we move that over there? And they’re like, yeah, sure. Let’s keep trying. And like, it just, it’ll just go on forever. The contract that never leaves

Gene (11:54):

Want to change this faucet. So

Charles (11:57):

Yeah. Yeah. Every day that goes to move the faucets around just going to wake up and put them somewhere. And you don’t realize that that’s software, that’s just you and people think it’s like the hiring the contractor, they build the kitchen, go home, you enjoy it for the next 10 years. It’s not like that. The contractors don’t go home. They just live in a kitchen with you.

Gene (12:13):

You want to stay relative. You’ve got to make constant changes.

Charles (12:16):

Yeah. So that’s, so anytime you’re basically like what you guys did build the tech stack from the ground up. So you’re not going just using off the shelf, you know, taking a Shopify and running a couple of plugins you are coming up with, we have to build, we really do have to build our own platform there or highly customized something that’s off the shelf either way.

Gene (12:36):

Exactly. Then you want to build it for the future. You don’t want to build it for now. You know, we want to build it. We have a hundred thousand people, you know, a week using it as opposed to, you know, the 200 that are using it now. So gotta kind of do a little more forward thinking as well.

Charles (12:51):

Yup. So then, so that was, so it took you probably what, until 2013, 2014 to actually get it

Gene (12:57):

Without doubt, halfway through 2013, we were kind of able to, to kind of, you know, launch it and try to find new ways to get people to use us.

Charles (13:11):

So, so now you you’ve launched, you’ve got the product, you got it in hand and you have bunch of user testing. So like, I know these people want it. I know now we have a thing they want. So you have the two, like in Greece, you have the two like raw ingredients, but then what did you do to put those two ingredients together?

Gene (13:26):

Yes. So a lot of it you know, you obviously have to have you know, the, the, the vendor side. So homeowners, you know, when they come to your website, don’t, they don’t get quotes, then they’re never coming back. So our biggest problem was getting vendors on board. And what we did is we just went on Craigslist and just cold called, you know, guys that were throwing their landscaping business on Craigslist. And they called those people until we got maybe 20 or 30 in the Nashville area. And that’s when we kind of started you know, doing the press release and stuff like that. And, and, and in the Nashville area to, to help bring some awareness to our to our websites. So until about three years ago, that was still a hand cranking process. The vendor side of it, when we launched a new market, you know, we cold call, we would, you know, send text messages and into the area and get, you know, 10 to 15 vendors and then launch. So now we’ve automated that process and that’s allowed us to grow exponentially about two to three markets a week now.

Charles (14:37):

Wow. So you basically did the, almost the two most difficult things in launching a business, right? So first you basically launched a software business without a technical cofounder. And then you’re essentially launched a double sided marketplace, which is one of the notoriously, it’s one of the best businesses to have to run, but one of the toughest businesses to stash, right? Cause you’re not selling to one customer you’re selling to two completely different customers. So it’s not. So you don’t have to just get to know this one customer very well. You need to get to know the customer, let’s say in the vendor side, and you need to understand both of them and basically sell to both of them before you get your first sale.

Gene (15:15):

Right. And, you know, till this day we still do usability tests. But that first year that we launched when we were meeting with vendors on a weekly basis we were actually meeting with homeowners as well. That used the product and, you know, Hey, do you mind meeting us at Starbucks for 15 to 20 minutes? You know, we’d kind of tell them to walk us through their experience. And you know, we did usability tests probably for the first two years, just to kind of keep maintaining, you know, where there may be confusion or our website where we could maybe pick up some you know, some customers and fallen off. So that, that is just, you know, it’s invaluable when it comes to those first couple of years that typically a lot of businesses go under because, you know, they don’t have that data or they’re, they don’t know how to get it. But you know, after going door to door for, you know two months asking a customer to meet them at Starbucks is just, it’s, it’s so easy. It’s so easy to do so

Charles (16:14):

Well then you kind of build up that, like that understanding of a customer. So intimately, right. You’ve sat down and you’ve quite literally had a coffee with them at Starbucks and you, so I think what a lot of people are doing is they’re skipping over that step and there copying someone else’s a little further ahead and they’re saying, all right, what do they do? And they’re doing what they do, but not, they don’t know why they do it that way. Right. So then they, all they can do is copy them, but they can never actually like understand the customer so they can never really innovate there. All they can do is just copy their competition. At that point. It sounds like you really got that understanding upfront.

Gene (16:49):

Yeah. I mean, it was like, you know, some of those initial meetings were so beneficial to, you know, you’ve been in the landscaping industry, your whole entire life. And I was a homeowner for most of my adult life, you know, and there’s some things that that we didn’t think of that were just like, Oh shit, why didn’t we think of that? You know, or why is this here? So a lot of that, a lot of that data is you know, helped change our onboarding process what homeowners expect and kind of what vendors are looking for. So that whole, that whole, you know, that whole year, year and a half of getting that data from the initial users was, it’s just, we can’t put a value on it. It’s, it’s incredible. And at us at a perfect time in your business, when you can make changes really quick, and if you need to do a whole, a whole different overhaul on something, you’re not, you’re not going to piss off thousands of people. You’re going to piss off some friends as a family and, you know, the early adopters that that are using your, so it’s very beneficial to get that data fraud. And as soon as possible,

Charles (17:54):

Well, even like you said, you can be very nimble at first, right. So yeah. And things can fix and change overnight, and it doesn’t really affect anyone. No, one’s really kind of like relying on this, but as you grow now, you have people that are counting on us. And like every, every two weeks they use this, they use a site, they kind of expect it to be the same. And when you actually, even if you improve something, it’s almost now it’s changing there. You know, some homeowner now he has to like learn some new button. He has to press doesn’t like it. So you’re almost like adding a obstacle for the current users when you’re in a new feature,

Gene (18:26):

When it could have taken you, you know, an hour and a $5 coffee to get that information,

Charles (18:33):

What was it like dealing with the vendors? Cause I feel like a lot of these folks, aren’t very tech savvy. These aren’t, you know, a lot of them they’re out, right. They’re mowing lawns, things like that. They’re not, not sitting behind a computer all day.

Gene (18:45):

That’s a, that’s, that’s a, that’s a great point. You know, a lot of them, you know you know, dealt with stuff, pen and pad, you know, like they had their schedule on a, on a piece of notebook paper that they had in in the passenger seat, you know? So we knew we had to make it super easy for them to use and beneficial as well. So, you know, if we could get a vendor, you know, 10 to 15 new jobs, then he’s going to, you know, tell his, you know, his current non-green pal home owners that he wants to bring them onto this platform. You know? So that’s kind of a channel that we used for growth as well as not only would we have to get you new customers, but we make it so easy for you to get new customers and get paid that you want to bring your non-green Cal customers onto the platform just because we make it. So Danny’s

Charles (19:33):

Yeah. How about payments? Right. Cause these guys are probably, they want to go out there and they want to, you know, do work, get paid. Well, probably half of their day is like collecting money from people that

Gene (19:42):

Yeah. You know, growing your business and doing your accounts receivable, whatnot are the biggest two pain in the ass in the business. And, you know, if you can just show up in Mo and then, you know, we’ve, we’ve solved a lot of the problems and that was kind of our you know, kind of our mindset is like, okay, if we can just give them a tool that only cost them 5%, you know, very low dollar amount give them, you know, added benefits of, you know, not only take care of your demand creation, we take care of your scheduling. We take care of your route optimization. We take care of your emailing all throughout the year for additional services and also your payment processing. Then it’s kind of a no brainer to, to join green pal. And to also kind of bring your your non-green top customers into the platform.

Charles (20:29):

So they only have to pay 5% to be on it. It’s a 5%. Does that include credit card processing fees or is Ash?

Gene (20:35):

Yes. So yeah, we use Stripe. So Stripe takes their 2.8% and we take our five. So vendor gets about 92% of everything.

Charles (20:44):

Okay. So pill that’s five, five for you and then start gets there, whatever it is.

Gene (20:50):

Yeah. And, you know, we’re making those cold calls, getting these vendors online, you know, it was it was eyeopening. The, you know, they were just like, okay, you know, where am I getting screwed here? I’m like, no, you’re not getting screwed. It’s just 5%. And so you kind of knew that the margins were super thin in this industry, that if you were trying to charge somebody of a monthly fee or a, or a fee to bid or something like that, that it was going to be, it’s going to be very, very tough to, you know, to, to keep somebody engaged and to, you know, to have their you know, have their business. So we knew that that 5% was probably the most, we were going to be able to charge.

Charles (21:29):

And that’s still, I mean, that’s a great deal for them just as it’s, it’s great for you once you’re at scale. Right. Cause right now it sounds like you have, you know, 26, 26 States, you said no, 46 States, 46. You’re probably doing okay in 5%, but yeah. But on that first user mow that first law in 5%, you’re like, Oh, okay. We’ve made know a couple bucks to spend this dollar. We just reinvest that another one that’s coffee’s over there. Yeah. So that, and that’s like the, that’s the thing with a double sided marketplace, any marketplace, right. Where it’s greatest scale, but really tough to start. Cause that first user does not bring in a loss. Right. So at what point could you actually, you and your other cofounder now? So we went and what, like 2015, let’s say, when did you and the other cofounder actually say, all right, we can, like, we can jump ship and actually all go on full time.

Gene (22:21):

Yeah. So it was 2017 where we’re just like, okay, we gotta be all in. And I’m like, this thing’s the next level by just, you know, putting our heads down and growing as fast as we can while providing the best service that we possibly can to both sides of the market.

Charles (22:40):

What was it in 2017 that made you kind of think, okay, now’s the time? Was it you had some sort of revenue or,

Gene (22:45):

Yeah, it was, it was revenue related. It was like, you know, if we can get to this certain point we can pay, you know, a couple of hundred bucks a month for expenses per cofounder and rationalize the whole fact of like, alright like this, let’s get serious about this and not have this a hobby let’s make this, you know, as big as we possibly can.

Charles (23:06):

How was it going from, you know, part time like nights and weekends to jumping in and full time?

Gene (23:11):

I mean, it was, it was kind of a relief because when you have a corporate job during the day, you know, all you’re thinking about is what you need to do at night, you know, with your, with your business. And it kind of takes over your life. Now, you don’t have a loan you know, you have to pay the bills and then you have to work on this. So it was, it was kind of a relief that you know, you only had one thing to worry about as opposed to, you know, another job and, you know, getting photos and stuff. So it was a relief, but you know, still kind of scary. But you know, the good thing is, you know, older in life, you know, in your thirties, you probably have a little more money saved than you knew in your twenties. And so you kind of have a little cushion of of money that can kind of get you through the dark times

Charles (23:53):

Flip side, right. Because you also might have more expenses, might be married, might have some kids, you know,

Gene (24:01):

Two rental properties that I had to sell and a 401k had to cash out. So the dark times came and came and went and we made it through and made it through.

Charles (24:11):

That’s awesome. Yeah. I think a lot of people see that moment where they’re going to leave a full time job and they see it as like, you know, everything, they’ll, there’ll be like, not much work. Like all of a sudden I’ll be easy. Like there’ll be switching to easy mode. What they don’t realize is more work. It’s more with more work by lot. And you’re already doing a ridiculous amount of work cause you were doing at night and now you’re saying, all right, let’s do all that network. And now we’re just gonna do it all day. So instead of just being, you know, two hours a day, now we’re going 10 hours a day on this thing. So it’s not like you’re taking those two hours and all right, I get everything else is free. Now. Now you just dumping all your time into this one thing.

Gene (24:46):

Right. And then there’s just never, there’s never an end of the things that you can do. You know, there’s, there’s always new markets that can be launched. There’s always a, you know, things you can do that that’ll help grow the business. So the list is just, it’s just huge and it just never ends.

Charles (25:03):

Gotcha. Yeah. It’s one of those things kind of like the the contractor he’s never going to go home. He’s just gonna stay in your kitchen forever. It’s just going to keep it yeah.

Gene (25:11):

Set up. Shop in the extra bedroom.

Charles (25:13):

Yeah. Well, and cause you can always write, you can always add new markets, add more vendors, add more users, optimize what you already have going. Right.

Gene (25:21):

Once you figure it out, you know, how to duplicate and replicate, you know, it’s, it’s, it makes it a little bit easier. So we kind of learned that in 2015, 16, and you know, even though the process was still a little slow, we knew what it, what we needed to launch a new market. And then, you know, after that, we’re able to automate it and grow even faster. So just takes learning and executing.

Charles (25:45):

What do you spend most of your time on today doing

Gene (25:47):

A lot of it is growth. So granted we’ve, we’ve been fortunate enough to launch into a lot of the major cities, but a lot of the States have, you know, five or six sub markets in every state that are huge as well. So, you know, kind of going back through the U S and launching those you know, those second tier markets, which just thousands of us, and that’s kind of where we are are kind of concentrating. Well, I’m contracted my time on right now.

Charles (26:13):

So basically run that. So you have the same playbook. You want the 46 States, but there’s other, like, I know, so I’m from Boston Hill, but then there’s Western mass, right. And it’s a whole nother hold on the world. Now another set of vendors, they didn’t go back and forth ever. So that’s a whole different market. So you’re going back to those

Gene (26:32):

Exactly different media outlets to pitch new vendors to get all that landing pages to be built, all that stuff. So the process is pretty, you know, when you write it out or her talk it out, but you know, you still kind of have to, you know, do the task. So just a lot easier now than it was four years ago.

Charles (26:53):

So now you’ve got yourself a playbook, right? So you say, Hey, here are the five or 10 markets we want to target this month or whatever it is. And let’s just, Hey, here are the steps one through one, two, one through 10 checklist. Let’s just execute now. And now it’s just about executing.

Gene (27:07):

That is, that is 100%, you know, the playbook, write it down in four steps and move on to the next market.

Charles (27:14):

Four is better than 10, I guess. That’s true. Yeah. So if someone was sitting there listening at home right now are wherever they are and they were thinking, Hey, you know, I have an idea. I have this app or I have this e-commerce I want to launch, what would you recommend? So what would you be saying if, if you could speak back to you and, you know, 2012, what would you want to tell that person?

Gene (27:36):

Oh man. You know, I have friends that, that they, you know, come to me and ask me for advice and, you know, sadly, the first thing I tell them, I was like, don’t I say, don’t do it. Like I say, don’t do it unless you are 100% all in your wife, your significant other is 100% all in. You can go without a paycheck for a year. Like I just tell them the, you know, the, the blunt truthness upfront of you know, what it takes to, to, to make. And another thing is just get out of the building. Yeah, you may think you have a great product, but if nobody is buying it, then it’s kind of pointless. And also how are you plan on distributing this, this new product? If you don’t have a plan to, to grow this or get this in front of people, then you may have the best widget, but with zero sales.

Gene (28:32):

So those are kind of the main three things I would go back and tell myself. And like I said, talk to strangers, talk to go door to door. It’s not a legal you know, I forgot, I even forgot about this, but we actually rented a kiosk at the mall one weekend and we were literally, you know, giving out $5 Starbucks gift cards, you know, for people to sit down and fill out a questionnaire about our business. So, you know, we, we did everything we possibly could to get as much data as we possibly could to make sure that this thing had legs and for us to move forward. So get as much feedback as you can from any, and everybody realize that it’s going to be a lonely journey and make sure that you’ve got buy in from, you know, your your close friends, stuff like that. I’ve seen a lot of know, a lot of bad endings when it comes to that. So just be careful.

Charles (29:29):

Yeah. It sounds like it’s a long journey. You want to make sure everyone’s on the same page on that one in the family everyone’s kind of in it together at that point.

Gene (29:36):

Yeah, for sure. I think Mark even said it takes eight years to be an overnight success and

Charles (29:41):

It’s so true. Yeah. No, that’s what I hear from a lot of people. You don’t

Charles (29:45):

Everyone can I ask, like, how’d that start working? And you’re like, I’ve been doing it for years. So I didn’t, it didn’t just start working last week. It just, you know, I just failed like a hundred times or a thousand times or whatever it was. I like the idea too, of doing the, talking to people to read the book, the mum test. Oh no, I have not read that one yet. Fantastic book on kind of just going out and basically not just asking, would you pay for this, but finding out, do you already pay, what do you pay for this thing currently? You know, like how much are you paying for this now? Cause a lot of people, if you say, Hey, would you go do access? Yeah, it sounds great. But then if you say, Oh, are you spending money on that? Now?

Charles (30:22):

They’re like, Oh, I do that. You know, I expect you to be completely free. Would you pay for someone to go pump your gas for you? Yeah, sure. That’d be great. Like, Oh, do you pay for someone pumping gas now? You’re like, now we just do a free to get in. Like, all right. So you wouldn’t, so you would like the idea, but you just wouldn’t pay, but you kind of knew going in. Right. You’re like, they’ve clearly paying someone to cut that lawn. They either they’re doing it themselves or they pay someone there’s really only like it’s pretty binary. Yeah. So do you pay if you want me to cut now? Yes. Okay. You would be a customer, right? Yes. And that’s kind of the approach we took and seen blank also has a good book. I think it’s called the four steps. It’s about, you know, getting out of the building and getting that initial feedback and not just from friends and family, because they’re going to tell you what you want to hear, you know, strangers kind of tell you sometimes.

Charles (31:09):

So you’re taking some notes here. I want to include that in the in the show notes. Yeah. I love the talking to the users and this is a reoccurring thing on this show and everyone kind of talks about it. And then I know from actually like, see, so few people do it and actually just, you talk about building those like custom advertise. I’ve mentioned this literally like 50 times and still people don’t do it and just writing down here’s my user, you know, like, you know, a homeowner David and like, here’s what he’s all about. And he’s like, you know, he wants his London every two weeks. It’s about how much he makes he’s married, he’s as this kid, but wants to go to baseball games like that whole like understanding that person and that real in having, you’re not just selling to people with homes, with lawns, you know, it’s not that general, you know, that am I selling to the, the husband of a wife?

Charles (31:59):

What do they look like? Are they married? Are they, how old are they? You know? Cause you’re not selling it as a 20 year old that just bought his first home. Most likely you sell into the 30 year old, it’s too busy and working a job. So knowing that is something you’d get in that tab, that kind of user testing that I think some people just skip over miss that stuff. Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t think we’d be where we are today. If we didn’t get that data up front, it’s just, it’s so valued. Very humiliating. And it’s the worst thing that you’ve probably done personally is, you know, go knocking on people’s doors, you know, standing at a kiosk at the mall, you know, you look at it and you

Gene (32:39):

Know, now that now that the has been so valuable, it’s kind of fun to talk about it and never would I go back to do it again? But yeah, it’s it’s certainly necessary.

Charles (32:53):

Awesome. I love the journey. That’s super interesting. I would, you know, if I had a lawn, I live in Boston, I don’t have a lawn. I would be a customer. So I have a little patchy mulch. Yeah. So, but it sounds, it sounds like something people should definitely check out if people want to kind of learn more about, you kind of see deciding what you’ve been working on, what can they do that?

Gene (33:13):

Yeah, they can just go to our website your green palette.com and kind of check us out. You know, if anybody wants to reach out to me has any questions, they can certainly do that as well. I’m on LinkedIn and my email can be sound. If you want to get my email out, you certainly can.

Charles (33:29):

All right. I will link to your LinkedIn over there and people want it. They should definitely reach out. So I appreciate that. Thanks a lot for coming on the show, Jane, for sure.

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