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Episode 15: Aiming High - Catapult’s Quest to Slay RFP Dragons


   Kingsmen Beyond the Build YouTube Channel

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About the Episode:

In this episode of the Beyond the Build podcast, hosted by Kevin Carney of Kingsmen Software, listeners get an insightful look into Catapult, a platform revolutionizing the RFP process for businesses. Justin Witz, co-founder and CEO of Catapult, shares the journey of developing a system that drastically reduces the time and complexity associated with RFPs. The discussion covers Catapult's beginnings, its impact on various industries, and how it uses AI to improve efficiency and decision-making. The episode also dives into the challenges and breakthroughs encountered while building an enterprise-quality software solution, highlighting Catapult's role in helping companies navigate the RFP process more effectively. 

Key Takeaways:  

  • Revolutionizing RFPs: Catapult's journey to streamline the RFP and RFQ processes, making them more efficient and less time-consuming. 
  • The Power of AI and Data Analytics: How Catapult leverages artificial intelligence to offer predictive insights, saving companies countless hours. 
  • Global Impact and Industry Adaptation: With over $340 billion worth of RFPs processed, Catapult's significant footprint across multiple sectors including finance, healthcare, and technology. 


Learn more about our guest:  

Justin Witz, a seasoned U.S. Air Force veteran with experience in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of Catapult HQ, Inc. This company offers a versatile Request for Proposal ("RFP") platform that accommodates various industries and project types, including RFPs, RFIs, RFQs, DDQs, Cybersecurity, Government, and more. Catapult HQ has garnered numerous awards both locally and globally, recognized as a leading startup to watch for its groundbreaking, time-saving technology, widely adopted by Fortune 500 companies. Catapult HQ streamlines the RFx workflow for organizations worldwide, achieving efficiency improvements of over 90% while standardizing their internal processes. 

Furthermore, Justin has earned widespread acclaim for his technological contributions, particularly in the Financial Services - Retirement sector. He has developed three Target Date Solutions for prominent institutions like AllianzGI, Merrill Lynch, and the highly successful Principal Financial Group's Target Date Analyzer. Additionally, he has crafted custom solutions for Vanguard, Nationwide, and other notable entities. His work has been featured in publications by Google, Atlassian, Balsamiq, Forbes, ASPPA's Plan Consultant Magazine, Bloomberg BNA, 401kWire, 401k Help Center, StartCharlotte, and the Charlotte Business Journal. Justin has also shared his expertise on a global stage, speaking at industry-related conferences hosted by Google, Atlassian, Startup Grind, NAPA, Excel 401(k), and CFDD, covering topics such as project management, team empowerment, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and more. 



About the Host: Kevin Carney, Managing Partner of Kingsmen Software

Kevin Carney is a Managing Partner at Kingsmen Software. As Client Partner, Kevin assists clients in their transition from Sales to Delivery and then maintains a relationship to ensure successful completion. A Finance major by training, Kevin bridges the gap between business and technology, especially for Kingsmen’s banking and capital markets clients. Kevin has 30 years of experience in consulting to financial services institutions. 


About Kingsmen Software:

We are dedicated, experienced practitioners of software development. We grow software iteratively and adapt quickly to changing business objectives, so we deliver the right software at the right time. Our proven approach combines processes, tooling, automation, and frameworks to enable scalability, efficiency, and business agility. Meanwhile, our advisory & coaching services enable technology leaders, business partners and their teams to learn and adapt their way to sustainable, collaborative, and data-driven operating models.

Kevin Carney 00:10

Welcome to Kingsmen software is beyond the build podcast at Kingsman. We pride ourselves on building enterprise quality software and we have the privilege of meeting some pretty interesting people along the way. Come join us to meet the visionaries, the disruptors, the entrepreneurs and the innovators that envision new technology solutions and then bring them to life. Come join us to hear what happens beyond the build. Coming to you from the Kingsmen software bourbon podcast studio, this is Kevin Carney, managing partner of Kingsmen software. And I'll be hosting today's podcast joining us we have I gotta mention Rashmili Vemula. Nice. Hello, who does all of our social media so when you see the podcast out there, that's all freshman Lee's doing. Also our sound engineer and video engineer video working this time Bill. Oh, who knows? We'll find out. Also, our intrepid CEO and for those who buy them in our office in the past couple of days, Bill has been like a kid at Christmas. You got some new toys, didn't you? I'm always


Bill Clerici 01:13

getting new. That's the best part of age lights. We have lights, all kinds of stuff. Yeah. And now we're gonna get a disco and we'll have a disco. I don't know when that's going to happen. But get your platform shoes ready. And you know, we'll see what kind of fun we can have. We get some roller skates maybe I think roller skates are a must have you awesome. Well, we do have a full circle. So you have the space. Yeah, you could go in a big circle. We could Yeah, you could hold hands and you know, as you go around together just like the old days or some leg warmers hot pans. Yeah, everybody always go to your left, right? You gotta go and I left in a circle. I'll


Kevin Carney 01:43

get a headband, a sweatband or something like that. Oh, yeah. Yeah.


Bill Clerici 01:46

Your leg warmers? Like bringing them out and back out? Back


Kevin Carney 01:50

out? Yes, yes. Talking to us today from catapult founder and CEO Justin Witz. Welcome.


Justin Witz 01:57

Thank you. Great to be here. So


Kevin Carney 01:59

we met at a poker match, right? Yeah. So a couple months ago. One goes on ticket up the torch of the founders poker tournament, from Priya Malani from StashWealth. And so we hosted here at Kingsmen software one night, and we are at the same poker table. Right? We I think we're sharing cards and beating the table there.


Bill Clerici 02:25

We like hearing cards. Well, you know, surely


Justin Witz 02:27

you gotta get ahead, somehow. Okay,


Kevin Carney 02:29

that's the idea of writing. Yeah, well, you know. So that's where I learned about catapult. So give us a little more detailed description about what catapult does give us a status. Give us the, I don't know, never vusers number of companies number of RFPs. Explain what it is give us all the good gory details. Oh, geez. Well, it's


Justin Witz 02:48

funny. I just have stuff to prompt you from your website, in case you forget. Oh, no, I appreciate that. I actually just read a shareholders letter today that's gonna go out tomorrow. So I was looking at the stats. And it's fun to actually challenge your team on like, the numbers, you see. And you're just like, wait a second, what does? What does this number mean? Like, give me this? Like, what's the context of that use case? So to date, we've done over $340 billion worth of RFPs on catapult B, with a Bee Gees, yeah, so but you got to like the context of our situation. We're dominant inside of the financial services, retirement plan space. So when you think of like a retirement plan, like Google's retirement plan, a multibillion dollar retirement plan, if that goes through Caterpillar, we're classifying that as one project, and then the size of the plan opportunity. So this is assets under management, yes, his assets under management. So over 340 billion in assets under management, since we've started, we represent about 720 billion across 10,000 users. Okay, wow. But we are in 27 different industries. So not just the wealth, not just the wealth, or the retirement side, we have candy companies that use us health care companies. It's government agencies, food companies, it's a vast array. So to date, we've had almost 7000 Total RFPs created on our system, and about 4000 Instant side by side comparison. So if you think like auto trader putting cars next to each other, same thing, but in the advisory world, you want to do that with recordkeepers. So what are those services look like? What's the cost look like? And can you line those up and see which the best model to move forward with?


Kevin Carney 04:28

Gotcha. 300 And what 40,000,000,300 40 billion so what point are you start you saying well, like half a billion like is right and half a trillion? Excuse me? trillion?


Justin Witz 04:38

Yeah, half a trillion. Yeah. Getting close. Yeah, we're getting close. And I can't wait to use the T instead of the B word.


Kevin Carney 04:43

Isn't. That's amazing. That's big bucks. There's,


Justin Witz 04:45

there's Alright. And then, from a penetration perspective of companies we catch we're over 50% in the Fortune 500. So I mean, Facebook, Microsoft, or I guess Mehta now, Google's used us we've we've had a litany of Incredible companies on our platform. So


Kevin Carney 05:02

how long have you been around? Like that's a great base of users and RFPs and companies. So how long has your company been around? And how long is a platform been around? Has it made changes be pivoted give us the background.


Justin Witz 05:15

So we just hit seven years in February. The one challenge I always ask my employees is what is our actual birthday? Because to me, it's the formation date.


Kevin Carney 05:23

That is a tough question. Right? It is it when you start first try the ideas when you first had the meeting, is it when you have to band together as you need to first office your first contract a week we understand that challenge


Justin Witz 05:34

it which is crazy. So we are to me, it's February 22 is the formation date. So to me that's the date although I started the company mentally in 2016. Physically started in in obviously 2017. We had our first paid client off of an MVP, they paid us $1,000.05 weeks in,


Kevin Carney 05:52

did you buy booze club? No, no, I actually, that's what we did.


Justin Witz 05:56

I think honestly, it was like kind of tangible with the first hire I made, and medicated that person at a at a kid's birthday party. And we were standing we were the two nerds standing off to the side, not interacting. So I'm an ambivert. So this is like, okay to do stuff like this. But then you'll get me in environments, I get very isolated off because the ambiverts the in between, he obviously was an introvert. So we're standing next to each other against a wall, working side by side. And we finally just said, so what do you do? And all of a sudden, I found out he was a developer. And he came in, he built our MVP in four weeks. And literally, we fortuitous. Yeah, it was just it was perfect. And he kept iterating on it and iterating on it. And you know, it came to what it is today.


Kevin Carney 06:41

What did Lauren from Sydney call for serendipity? Oh, yeah, yeah. You never know when the person next to you is the person that you need? Or you want to know. Yeah,


Justin Witz 06:49

I refer to that as spontaneous growth. So he's like, leave room in my calendar for those opportunities.


Kevin Carney 06:54

My wife is great at this situation because she says the person next to you is probably more nervous about the situation than you are. Yes. So make them feel more comfortable. Don't look at as being your nervous look as they're more nervous. The


Justin Witz 07:04

other one, I've got that similar to that when people say if your speaking no one knows you made a mistake, but you so just keep going because no one's aware.


Kevin Carney 07:12

Like when you give the wrong title. Everyone knew that the room so you started 2017 Like formally, I guess. Did you do a incubator?


Justin Witz 07:23

I did. I went through QC fintech. I actually had met and


Kevin Carney 07:27

QC Fintech is now called ref tech lab. So to me,


Justin Witz 07:31

I don't know everyone's disposition here. But Dan Rizzoli, to me is the godfather of entrepreneurship in the city of Shriver.


Kevin Carney 07:37

We never met them in the


Justin Witz 07:40

first time I heard his name. Yeah, you totally should. I think


Kevin Carney 07:43

we did a deep fake on the deep fake. I know. So I remember, by the way, class 20 ref tech labs class 20 is doing their match. This will probably be posted after, but what was the date regimen? The 26th of May, march, march 26 is when they're doing the class 20 matchmaking party here at Kings at the Kingsmen software studio. Perfect police work. Yeah, right. But anyway, so class six now class 20. So you're, you're an old man.


Justin Witz 08:14

I'm an old man. Okay. Yeah. So I did that class. There were 12 of us. I think there's maybe four or five companies left. And we some of us still keep in touch, which is really nice. So your survivor, okay, I'm a survivor. What do you like to when you create a company, I hopefully you can attest to this. It's it's endurance, it's a race. It's, you know, everyone's better. Everyone has more money. Sometimes you have more money, but it's literally just endurance. Can I outlast and outpace my competition? And


Kevin Carney 08:40

I'm sure I'm going to project a little bit on you. But like, there's so many challenges that happen every day with our company. But we project such a rosy facade, right? Because you kind of have to be a little bit like selling selling, but I'm sure you have you, especially as the owner face those challenges all day long. And you could just give up at any point in time, or do you keep fighting for it?


Justin Witz 09:03

Right? Yeah, that's correct. Yeah, we buy we put off the highlight reel as we discussed. But no, I mean, I think everyone's glue taped together. Yeah,


Kevin Carney 09:11

yeah. So 2017 ref tech or QC FinTech at a time class seven and great bases of of companies. Can we list some of those clients that I have gotten? Can I listen to ones I found on the website? Oh, yeah, I mean, these are these are household brand names, right like Principal Financial Group Vanguard, DIA. Fidelity. I mean, I've got a whole list here. It's like, empowers a big don't they have like the the Denver Broncos stadium or something? Yes, they do. Right? And other than immigrants, they're Voya who we use? Yeah, so there's some great names there. And when I miss the word really highlight


Justin Witz 09:54

Gosh, you go with HUB International shortage IK or tire my partners would be great additions to that. Use


Kevin Carney 10:00

hub as well. Yeah, for our insurance. That's like, I have insurance with them to No. Corporate insurance. Yeah, that's great. It's amazing how many policies you have to, I know write it, as we get in the RFP process a little bit later in the interview, like every time that we do another RFP for a bank, they want another insurance or they want a different limit, right, like just wanted


Justin Witz 10:25

or their name listed on it. Oh, yeah.


Kevin Carney 10:27

Yeah, I mean, it shows the shirts, the SERPs, the COI and whatnot. But


Justin Witz 10:33

okay, how about capital raise. So to date, we've raised 3.1 million. Our last round we did was August 2020. Just just around 2.5 million. We we did a different strategy. We saw some of the pain points in Charlotte trying to raise capital. It's something Dan kind of practice on. Like, when we were in the classics program, he did a great job educating making introductions to mentor ships helped tremendously. But the capital is risk averse in this city. In my opinion. I use the term funding desert. Yes, 100% is, so I wanted to play a more strategic role. We didn't need the money. It was great to have to obviously achieve certain milestones we wanted to do a little bit faster. So I ended up bringing on seven pivotal influencers in our industry. And I don't mean influencers like tick tock or Instagram, but like influencers in the space we're in. And the reason we got all this company so quickly, is because they were able to open doors incredibly fast. It wasn't me saying, hey, principal use catapult, because then their response would be who are you? Right? What is we don't know you're not approved. But when it came from an advisor that's pushing a $1 billion plan or Novant, health RFP, all of a sudden it's get on there respond in just organic growth boomed very quickly for us.


Kevin Carney 11:50

Right, right. Are those also investors in Caterpillar are advisors? So we have to answer the question a little differently. Yeah. So the money that you raised was that from individuals or from like a VC type


Justin Witz 12:03

type individuals, okay. Okay. Okay.


Kevin Carney 12:07

Because I know oftentimes VCs, also, whether they make introductions or not, sometimes they have a branding or a cachet that kind of adds to


Justin Witz 12:14

now the only one that would be more public, and I wouldn't classify Dan red tech labs as a VC but they're surely only one we have. Yeah,


Kevin Carney 12:21

sure. Okay. Gotcha. Okay. And you come from a fairly unconventional background. Right. Tell us about I mean, your your military service a little bit and how you did an RFP early on in your career that that was pretty impressive. Yeah.


Justin Witz 12:39

Well, I'll tell you, I've had an entrepreneurial drive since I was a kid. We were talking about emails earlier. Like, what was the earliest email you had? So the one thing I didn't tell you all surf net or something? Well, when AOL dis mates like think Barnes and Nobles, and think a while this one he used to give them for free away? Sure. I used to sell this for $5 a pop at school. Wait, you sold them? Yep. convenience fee? Well, what became a huge trend, right? You may well with some thinking about this, but the reflection on the back of the disc that was clear, and shiny what the mere people wanted those to put around the room. So from a kid, I was selling those, and then all of a sudden, I had a friend who hooks me up with cases of Chick fil A passes for the number one for free. So then we were able to flip those. So everything was always entrepreneurial drive. Anyway, so I decide to go into the military serve in the Air Force. did four years active duty got out honorably? Thankfully? Not that that was in question by any means. I did a tour in Iraq. And prior to that when I met my wife, so I met my wife, December 7 2007. We got married April 16 2008. So four months later, rapid, and I was really cool. At the time. We had just done this RFP for Ula,


Kevin Carney 13:57

which is United Launch Alliance, and yep, thank you. Yeah. And it was for rocket scientists as a son, we know Ula. So you're


Justin Witz 14:03

good. You got this one. So we were building a satellite for Italy, the country of Italy. And it was being sent out of our base Vandenberg Air Force Base. And at the time, when we were doing this, it was a $2.2 billion project. And my leadership looked at me and they said, Wis. And I looked and I was like, yeah, and they're like, you're in charge from a CE perspective. And so my first RFP was a $2.2 billion satellite launch from a city perspective was civil engineering. Okay, so everything that was operational from engineering electrical came from me. So I worked very closely with NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman ULA a few different government agencies. Obviously, the Air Force, the chain of command that kind of runs down from that perspective. And there were a few pain points that I experienced, but I never thought anything of it, because I wouldn't have known there was a different way of doing it. Because every day you arrive to work you see a sticker that says, If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And So that's like the first moto. Yeah, that's your that's your mantra walking into it. But we would literally go through this RFP and there are hundreds of them for this $2.2 billion project from things ranging from the types of nuts and bolts you are used all the way down to the materials, like metals to launch times and launch codes, launch codes for an RFP. What was crazy was you take a table like we're on right now at Starbucks, and we were putting blueprints with top secret information at a Starbucks table, like this is how bad the process was.


Kevin Carney 15:31

You said launch codes? Yeah. What does that mean? Like?


Justin Witz 15:35

So we were talking about silos? Yeah, precisely. The one that blew up. So you go down the silos, and they're still operational on certain bases, and we haven't have a base that was still operational. And you have when you look at the blueprints in the top right, and in the top left, alongside the legends, you have coats, and these are what you're typing in to actually commit the launch. Okay. And those were publicly shared, which, from a cyber tech perspective, I mean, it's not like a nuclear bomb sort of launch. There's nothing detrimental, but at the same time, if you're still a missile, yeah, I know. That's, that's to have that readily available. Yeah.


Kevin Carney 16:09

Just next to your mocha latte.


Justin Witz 16:13

Or you're sitting and talking. You're reading things in different languages and having a translator talk to you at the same time. That's news, pre Google Translate. That's what we had was a person flying in and educating us. Okay. Wow.


Kevin Carney 16:26

So you thought at the time you're like, Oh, this is just the way


Justin Witz 16:29

it works. And it was awful. Yeah. Yeah, it was it was I think we did early estimates, but I think it was over 400 million in taxpayer dollars we wasted on that project.


Kevin Carney 16:38

How much over 400 million 400 million. Yeah. So what, what, where, at what point? Did you say? There's got to be a better way to go do that. The first


Justin Witz 16:47

day, the first day? Oh, yeah. Yeah. When they handed me documents, and hours later, they handed me updated documents saying, oh, this person didn't submit on time. We've got to factor this in these changes. And I was like, there is no process to this. That's when I knew this is a pain. There's got to be something better. But the government does not open that budget, or wallet for anything. Yeah.


Kevin Carney 17:08

Isn't it that old NASA saying is that? Take comfort, knowing that we are about to be launched off a rocket that was made by the contractor that made the lowest bid? Yep. Yeah. Yeah, that means it's the movie War. Paraphrasing that paraphrasing a little bit, but


Justin Witz 17:26

well, some everyone on my team has to watch for dogs. The Jonah Hill movie. Oh, yes. It's an RFP, shout out the ammunition. And it's literally the lowest bidder. And when they held them accountable was well, you gave us the quote, go figure out how to get it. Yeah, yeah. That's the government. Okay. And it's not a bad thing. It's just the way it is. Did you happen to read Elon Musk book yet? No, from a launch. So when you think about NASA, when they do a space shuttle launch, or just the launch in general, there was a crack and I'm going to get the pieces incorrect so just bear with me here but at the bottom of the rocket, there's there's a crack that's in the middle. And what NASA would do when this happens is they would shut it down, scrapped the launch and wait a few months, kind of going through the restoration process, fixing it testing and validating and and doing the rock the launch again, and Elon mindset was as he's informed that, hey, the launch has been stalled in time not not scrubbed, just paused. And he says, Well, what happened? And they say, well, there was a crack and in this flap, and he said, Well, do we need the flap? Can we just fix the crack? Yeah. And they said no, we will if we take the flap out it's going to change these metrics for distance launch and everything he's like, Whoa, yeah, but we accounted for this as a variable and it's still within the margin of the tolerance. Yeah, and so they ended up launching in did it same day. So it's just how do you want to look at it and for some reason, we feel like it's it makes sense to spend more months more money and more time for something that's nonsensical when a practical thing or something simplistic is just do you need it or not?


Kevin Carney 18:55

He does a different way of looking at things actually does. Absolutely. All right. Okay, so we're gonna get into some an icebreaker here a little bit but before I do because I need to set the stage here this is all a context setting very strategic. So catapult the name of your company help us understand where catapult as a name came from? I'll give a little Kingsman background as well but but give us your your story as the caterpillar first and how it it pervades into your product mix and your mindset and your gifts that you brought us. Oh, wow. Yes, yes.


Justin Witz 19:29

Oh, gosh. Okay, so we got books we got shirts


Kevin Carney 19:31

we got we're gonna do stuff libel.


Justin Witz 19:33

It'd be


Kevin Carney 19:36

good to get those damn Gideons Mission Impossible. Right. You got it? Well, it


Justin Witz 19:42

was a job wasn't to reverse on job job. Yeah. That's right. Yeah. Which came back in the later movies again, I think so. So the TMI answer is I came up with catapult in the shower. Oh, so there's, there's, well, we'll bleep that out. He. So my whole experience has been sort


Kevin Carney 20:04

of soundboard aspect of that there's gotta be a sound what you think about that?


Justin Witz 20:07

Rain showers?


Kevin Carney 20:08

Oh, no, there's got to be different.


Justin Witz 20:12

Alright, so the whole premise of an RFP was really how like, depending on the side you played, if you're issuing and you're inviting companies, it's, you know, how do I propel you ahead? Like, how do you go beyond Kevin so that you shine brighter than he shines? And that makes me more dear to you wanting to pick you as a as a provider? And that whole mindset was, well, how do you throw yourself in front of somebody else? How do you watch yourself and then catapults sort of became the name but before Caterpillar it was trade with Che. And the problem with Sherry boo che is nobody can spell it. Right. And


Kevin Carney 20:44

I'm going through already see why I brought this up. Yeah, I know. Yeah, keep going. You know, so


Justin Witz 20:48

I'm asking a ton of people. I'm like, Hey, I'm thinking about starting this company. You guys have done this before. You've had successful outcomes. You've had failed outcomes. But you know, tell me from a brand perspective, marketing Troubleshooter. What do you think? And they would all say what? Yeah, like, what is it? Oh, I've heard of that. How do you spell it? Tr U


Kevin Carney 21:06

  1. E trade? True translate. All right. Well, I think that's the wrong name. SHA y is our tea. Yeah,


Justin Witz 21:13

it was. So as a new nurse. It was so scattered. So I'm showering in. I think it was during the shampoo session that I


Kevin Carney 21:22

realized was that the repeat or just the wash over? This


Justin Witz 21:26

is good. Or the rinse, rinse and repeat. Man, I've got a lot of topics on this one. I'm gonna pause on. I came up with catapult and immediately when the word catapult came to mind, I jumped out of the shower. And when did you catapult yourself out of the shower I prayed with it will play into this. And I secured the Twitter handle for it. Oh, yeah. But at the time. So this was one of the funny things at the time, though, in 2017, that that trend was HQ at the end of the name. So it's catapult underscore HQ, because catapult HQ has taken a catapult was taken. So we did the underscore HQ. And everything we do is themed as as a medieval theme. And really that's from people that I've had that have kind of mentored me and guided me and things that I thought were interest growing up. I wanted to set a tone of, of the right type of culture, and cultures, obviously a mixture of being born and then growing as your team grows, you kind of change your culture. So you've got the swag things here. So one of the things we do with new employees is we give them a wonderful book called rules for a night by Ethan Hawke. This book was actually written by a great great grandfather of Ethan Hawke, he took a trip home. I can't remember if Scotland or somewhere else. But on his trip home, he found these manuscripts hidden under the floorboards and finished off the stories and published it as a book. And it is such an incredible book for perseverance for your mindset. There's a lot of things from about comparison in there. And it's just been a wealth of knowledge and sort of like setting the expectations of how you should be as a human being going beyond what I call a gentleman like Kingsman gentleman, like opening a door for someone, it goes beyond that. And so that's one of the books that our team gets. The other is give your goal and adventure, you've got your your heroes journal, this is more like a daily breakdown of what you're working on. And they get swag shirts, they get laptops, everything we try to do is fully emphasized about unlocking the potential of a person. So whatever they can do to have that creativity unlocked. We want to equip them with those tools. So I don't set budgets for employees saying, hey, how much do you need this year to go pursue things? What I ask is, what do you need to make you more creative? And to give you the freedom to think the way you desire to think, and it totally changes the paradigm? Because if you say, Hey, your budgets 1500 They're gonna spend it. If you ask, what do you need? They'll say, Well, I feel like I need a $2,000 monitor. But if you change it and say, what, what can I do to help you be more creative? It's totally different. All of a sudden, you'll see plants come out of the equation, something like LED lights or RBG like something totally different. That doesn't make sense. Yeah. Interesting.


Kevin Carney 24:11

Okay. I'm not gonna ask Bill that question. He's gonna buy more toys. Yeah, you


Bill Clerici 24:15

don't know the answer. I


Kevin Carney 24:17

liked it, though. I mean, we, if I get into the Kingsman a little bit so we we also agree about the the culture and the DNA. We've always started off from thinking our developers think of thinking of our developers as craftsmen. And we went down a similar path of you know, a craftsman and a master craftsman are more junior people are apprentices. And we don't know whether the plural of apprentices is a print tie. Right? Yeah. journeyman never took off. That was kind of a weird one. But but the same idea, right? Like, developers are not slinging code developers are have an art to it, right? There's a science and an art. And we want our developers to develop their craft just like a woodworker, or an artist would do that. And that does lend itself to the kind of the medieval age. But we started off our company name as develop, guess.


Bill Clerici 25:23

What? Why do you go there? Because


Kevin Carney 25:26

it's important to our back history, origin story, right? We're probably gonna get sued for this. But anyway. So developers, we, you know, when you get into a room and you start breathing your own air, things start to make sense that when you open the door and get some fresh oxygen, then it doesn't make sense. But we're like, we're a development center. And so we're devel. Center, like, like, so center in Latin is locus, so devel locus devel, Locus developers, developers, developers. Yeah. And we will open the door and it was like, what is that what else at two is a devil locus is a devilish is no one could pronounce it or spell it or remember it. And when they can't type your email address, that's kind of a barrier. And so after way too long of a period, we had a marketing consultant come in, Heather, clearly, and she gave us some, some mental exercises. And she said, you know, what, what do you guys? How do you represent yourself? Well, we're kind of like a pit crew. Like, we don't drive the car. But we help our clients drive the car. So we like we build, we build the car, and then we support them during the race. But they win the race and they take the trophy. And they they were in the winner's circle. But you know, we we did all the work. NASCAR town, not too bad, right? But then we also thought about like, SEAL Team Six. Like we have all the tools and the right skills and we can parachute in. We can blow shit up and we can get out the explicit rating


Justin Witz 27:04

for the leadway sorry, right. Do players are the best players to play poker with?


Kevin Carney 27:08

Oh, you're right. Oh, yeah, I've


Justin Witz 27:09

got so many knives and good paraphernalia from them. It's great. Yeah, it's awesome. Do you bet on that? Oh, yeah. Okay, so they run out of money really quick, just all of a sudden just put it in there. They're better


Kevin Carney 27:19

at other skills. So we sort of like we're like that, like, Yeah, our marketing consultant, that's kind of violet. And then she said, what another exercise what makes you feel powerful, like we work with a lot of banks and a lot of trading floors, and we walk out the trading floor and we've got, you know, like pinstripe suits and power ties and cufflinks. We're talking to traders and understanding how they how they do interest rate derivatives and Total Return Swaps and things along those lines. And are like it's kinda like the movie Kingsman, where they've got the suits and they've got the the gadgets and the planes and they're kind of under the radar on the side of the world. No one knows that they're there. And so that's where the name like Kingsman movie is King's Man, but we're plurals workings men. See now we're gonna get this cease and desist letter from them. Probably right. Um, maybe, maybe, maybe, I


Justin Witz 28:06

mean, like you say,


Bill Clerici 28:08

more about how it's man and men and we didn't even include into the league. Well, we have somebody should ask that question.


Kevin Carney 28:13

He's our partner. She is now the queen of the king's men. Yeah, self proclaimed kind


Bill Clerici 28:18

of weird, but yeah, it works. Yeah, yeah.


Kevin Carney 28:21

Tomorrow I'm going to Queen's University to do a pitch contest. Kingsmen software at Queen's University, right. That works very regal.


Justin Witz 28:30

You Should Do you know how the word woman came to be? I don't So God created man. Yeah. Oh, man exists.


Kevin Carney 28:39

This is another explicit rating. Notice this


Justin Witz 28:41

this should be actually I don't know. We'll find out. I'm actually I'm looking at your eyes to see if someone's gonna go tell HR


Bill Clerici 28:47

or you just get punched in


Justin Witz 28:49

the face. See? One of the two. Right so God creates Man Man Man obviously walks right in heaven, enjoying life and all of a sudden God's like, Hey, you're alone. I don't want you to be alone. So he creates this other lady. And Adam looks at this woman and says, Wow, man, thus woman purpose created safe is that on the rating of safe


Kevin Carney 29:14

that's on the dad jokes spectrum.


Bill Clerici 29:16

That goes back kids cheese list.


Kevin Carney 29:23

Okay, so now with some introductions to catapult, a Kingsman and the names. So now we're gonna do our icebreaker. Now that we're like halfway done. We're good icebreaker. So here is our six questions about catapults that been used in movies and TVs. Oh, here we go. Our TV. Do


Bill Clerici 29:42

you need a drumroll? Maybe, maybe.


Kevin Carney 29:43

Let me see. Oh, Trevor Shay's as well. There's some troubleshooting.


Justin Witz 29:48

Do people know the difference between the two? I don't know. Do you really do you don't know the difference?


Kevin Carney 29:57

I know the top 10 list. Thanks, guys. If so, explain it. So nobody explained to the audience what the differences between the catapult the treble che


Justin Witz 30:06

well, because I remember us talking about this and so I know the difference but well and I read up a ton on this because I was I was incredibly curious on the differences Sheldon Cooper nerd Well, my mindset was tribute che you know, obviously think French and you think it's been around longer than catapult because catapults easier to enunciate and reality a catapult came first. And catapult was more for precision accuracy of targets of people. So you can shoot and have like a very accurate shot. And the weight was anywhere between you know, kilos, so maybe like 30 to 40 kilos, was


Kevin Carney 30:40

it kilos back then was it was it No.


Justin Witz 30:44

Metric System heavy


Kevin Carney 30:45

stone? Yeah, it'd


Justin Witz 30:46

be stone Yeah. And then trade was shaves was between like four and 600. So it made like a drastic difference and not meant for accuracy but meant for tearing down walls. So you're literally just destruction was the intent.


Kevin Carney 30:59

But the point of the trebuchet which we'll get into a little bit soon, is is much bigger. Projectile like 10 100 times. Oh,


Justin Witz 31:09

right. Massive That and more of a slingshotting experience. That's right. Yeah, that's


Kevin Carney 31:14

right. Okay. All right. So just restarted or Morgan are in the opening scene of gladiator get started Gladiator. That is the best way the Romans to the opening say that the Romans had their final battle against the Germanic


Justin Witz 31:33

tribes. Yeah, just got the dirt in his hands.


Kevin Carney 31:36

Yeah, having it on right what do they Yeah, like Russell Crowe? He's great right? What do they have in their catapults the heads they were heads now they're stuck that's so crazy like that.


Justin Witz 31:49

Sure. Well,


Kevin Carney 31:51

they could have had heads I didn't watch the whole movie in preparation


Justin Witz 31:55

No, they had heads in one they Oh flung heads in all right maybe what are the options here?


Kevin Carney 32:00

No, it's just it's just a you get it you don't get it? Oh there's no scoring though. So that's brutal. So at least the the the opening scene that I saw this is not Jeopardy where I have to like fact check my answers here. pots of burning oil Yeah, yeah, so like fire that's right. So they would they would put these pots of oil set them on fire, catapult them across the lines and then like set stuff on fire, including people including their own people, potentially if they didn't work out really well. Okay, all right. Is there a maybe we'll get a buzzer on that one. All right in in The Sandlot remember, yeah, I did right. The Boys Next Door make a catapult to retrieve their baseball from WHO? Oh,


Justin Witz 32:44

gosh, I forget that guy's name. Well, it's a dog.


Kevin Carney 32:46

It's a dog. Yeah, dog the big dog. They


Justin Witz 32:49

should have big mid of the hand. Oh, right. I bought the shoes by the way. They came out as a special updated in all six years ago. Okay. Yeah. All right.


Kevin Carney 32:58

All right, third question. So he gets that one. That's the thing that's a secured this is close to home here in what Star Wars battle or catapults used?


Justin Witz 33:15

Can I pick the movie? Yeah, sure. Because it's the it was the so if I look at the original six, and you go in the order of like the last three that were done, it was a Hayden Christianson version. I think it was number five with Joshua banks, because Joshua being said, they


Kevin Carney 33:31

did have a lot of you're absolutely right. That was the first one. Yep, that was episode one. Yeah, yeah. And yeah, you're absolutely right. I forgot about that one. Okay, nice. Yeah. All right. That's


Justin Witz 33:46

like stump the chump. This helps that my 10 and eight year old have rewatched them all and I'll kind of like sit through these.


Kevin Carney 33:52

Well, I went for the Battle of Endor which is returned the Jedi the Ewoks. Yeah, right. They were like old school catapults, not fancy one. Gungans were using I totally forgot about that. Right? Yeah. I had to check whether in the Battle of Ashiq that the the Wookies were using but they weren't see


Justin Witz 34:10

the fact that you even know how to enunciate the name. Now


Kevin Carney 34:13

spelling chic with three wise that's the tough one. Battlefront two kind of got here. This is just coming out in PS five. We release. All right, number four. In the grand tour, Jeremy Clarkson Richard Hammond James May Kathlyn slow use a trivia che to attempt to send what car back to France?


Justin Witz 34:37

Not that Fiat because that's Italian Italian but it actually looks a lot like a Fiat. Yeah, I know. I know the vehicle I don't know the name


Kevin Carney 34:44

citron. Yeah, the pluriel this this car this is a big car and it gets serious air. Really? Oh, yeah. It's I mean, talk about a trigger Shay being able to launch a lot. It launched this. It looks like a few It was a small convertible, but they launched a sucker I don't know hundreds of feet in the air and hundreds of feet downrange. So amazing. went right into a barn straight out. Alright, that's a buzz, I think there. Yeah. All right, so your Air Force guy, I'm a Navy guy. So the USS Gerald R Ford brand new class of aircraft carrier nuclear powered aircraft carrier. All of our carriers going back to 1950s use steam powered catapults to launch their aircraft off the deck of the carrier. What do the Ford carriers use?


Justin Witz 35:39

Would it be hydraulic?


Kevin Carney 35:40



Justin Witz 35:42

Wouldn't be gas like gas


Kevin Carney 35:45

diesel electromagnetic you're the electrician


Justin Witz 35:49

I honestly I didn't even know they use catapults. No, I really had no clue.


Kevin Carney 35:54

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. So the steam catapults the downside of the steam kept the night now you're gonna get me going here. The steam catapults launch planes. Strong. Right launch small planes strong. They launch big planes strong is like one power


Justin Witz 36:09

set. You're talking about the metal hook that's out there. Flings them forward and they


Kevin Carney 36:14

are exactly that. So they walk up and they put their nose they put their nose gear on that yeah, and then launches them off the carrier


Justin Witz 36:19

that's classified as a catapult absolutely is


Kevin Carney 36:21

Oh, wow. Oh, yeah. Well, I


Justin Witz 36:23

mean, yeah, it's launching so yeah, well, it's


Kevin Carney 36:24

called a catapult right. So yeah, so you mean these these these?


Justin Witz 36:28

I'm going to rewatch Top Gun again,


Kevin Carney 36:29

these huge opening scene was


Justin Witz 36:32

incredible. First, my favorite Yeah.


Kevin Carney 36:35

So these electromagnetic catapults now where you can vary the the intensity of it, and so it's more of a smoother launch. And you can make it a strong launch or a soft launch depending upon the weight of the plane and what they are currently holding. And bills give me the signal to move on. Alright, last question. An oldie but a goodie here. Monty Python's Holy Grail. The French knights. Or can they get scared right. As as John Cleese says, catapults something out of the castle onto King Arthur. Now what did they launch out of the castle? By the lions? A lot of things what the one big thing in the beginning?


Justin Witz 37:26

Isn't? Isn't isn't there a scene in that movie to about give us your dead?


Kevin Carney 37:30



Bill Clerici 37:33

your website different animal cats though.


Justin Witz 37:35

Yeah, it's not dead yet. You are now.


Kevin Carney 37:38

Yeah, started beating the cat against


Bill Clerici 37:41

bring out your dead.


Kevin Carney 37:43

I don't know. What did they fail?


Justin Witz 37:47

Oh, the cow. Oh. I love their great moustache.


Kevin Carney 37:55

So I had to rewatch the scene because it's awesome. But John Cleese. Well, clearly he's British guy. And he's and he's trying to put his French accent in a typical French kind of thing. As he's on the parapet, he turns his his buddy and yells fetch a lavosh. Now lavosh is cow okay, but Fetch as a word. He's just making stuff up like like, if I say English with it with a French accent, then it'll be must be French right? Fetch a lavosh. Alright, let's get back to business here. Okay, let's I think we see on the website here. We've got RF X. Yep. Okay. So explain to our audience are a fire of Q or if P Diddy Q MOS, E, Mo USC, PDQ, PDQ, AOL. You. Yeah. Yeah. So explain all the acronyms and what they mean. And then you know, what the logistics of an RFP, there's someone requesting the RFP there, they're ordering the P Yeah. And then someone is responding to the P. It's and all that.


Justin Witz 39:10

When I hired my first two people that did not know anything about what an RFP was, I realized that that moment, I kind of needed to create a bible of acronyms for people and you'll see, yeah, automating our effects. It's funny how many different vernaculars there are to describe this, when in reality, it's very simplistic. So you have RFP request for proposal. And the intent is you're you're looking to do something formal is the best way to describe it. I'm formally saying I'm Starbucks, and I want a new plastic cup vendor. I've narrowed it down to you three. Now, let me send something out because I'm going to have an action based on your responses. I'm going to make a decision who will moving forward with you want to get bids basically, that's exactly right. And then from that bid, you're making a decision who you move forward with. There's requests for Information RFI. And there's when you think about requests for information, it's data gathering. So it's not really a bid, it's more or less the autotrader experience tells me everything about a Toyota Corolla versus a Nissan Maxima. And let me compare those specs. Now. It's faster, a little bit different. They are but yeah,


Kevin Carney 40:19

the cars used to choose different examples of a Porsche. No, I'm just saying like, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic like, like, Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's


Justin Witz 40:28

true. So ultimate would classify that though with the Corolla, maybe the Sentra Sentra. Okay, so I'm a car guy. What's fun, though, are funny is when you do an RFI like that comparison. People actually make buying decisions off of that alone, right? It's no different. Like, there are two things I always tell when it's funny, like now I hear my employees when they're on calls, and they'll get asked a question like, what's the difference? What's my use case? And they'll use the Starbucks analogy I just used in the original one I used to use with Dan Roselli or ref tech labs QC Fintech is I would use Apple versus PC, just any PC vendor. Like when you go to buy a computer, you walk into Best Buy as an example and you say, Alright, I need a computer. And somebody's gonna ask you a question. Well, what's your use case? I need it for score. I need it for work. Okay, well, what kind of work do you do? What specs do you need? Are you a hardcore gamer? Maybe you need more RAM, maybe you need a better GPU. So all those factor in mentally very quickly as an RFI. And right from that, you could say, Well, this looks better. So I'm just gonna buy the Alienware or Dells notorious and corporate worlds I'm gonna buy ducks are more cost affordable, and it's I can replace parts really easily. But that's all an RFI, that kind of can translate to something more formal and detailed like an RFP, but it's just quick, tangible information. Then you have others pre qualification questionnaire, which is a PQ, Q, you've got an RFQ request for qualification, also a request for quote, they reuse these letters interchangeably. And I could go through describing them all, but really the gist is, I decided to start using AR effects because x replaces anything else. Sure. In years ago, I just was so shocked at how many people had different terms. Like I say you're responding to a proposal. Well, in Australia, one of our Australian clients says they respond to tenders. So now it's like for sure. It's like, oh, my gosh, how many? How many different ways can we describe responding? So now we just say there's issuing, there's responding? What are you trying to do? What's your use case? And we'll help you. So in catapult, how we serve three different types of users, the one who has to create enough artifacts and send it out? The one who has to respond to that are effects. And then the third person is somebody who's managing content. Because sometimes you want a digital library of every answer you've ever used to every question. You want historical version control, you want to see who last updated it. Maybe Kevin, for example, your answer for how Kingsman name came to be, is very different than bills. But whose are we going to use


Kevin Carney 42:56

mine? Right, Bill? Mine's better. Yeah.


Justin Witz 42:59

So but those all factor into it. So that's, that's literally the premise for catapult is bringing all of those three aspects together in one centralized experience that is simplified and intuitive. Like normally, I pull out my iPhone at this moment. And I say the worst thing that you should ever say to an Android user, you know, do you remember the first time you bought an iPhone, if you don't have one, I'm really sorry for you. But if you ever had an iPhone, the very first time you opened it, pulled it out of the box, turned it on, you instinctively knew how to use it, literally how catapults been made, take a painful process that exists and simplify it because it doesn't need to be arduous and archaic.


Kevin Carney 43:34

You know, when I first when we're talking about poker, and maybe it was the Manhattan's talking but, you know, I understood what you're talking about. But I didn't see the use case directly. As I started thinking about other further, we've helped our clients create RFIs RFPs. And it's a pain to go create those things like knowing what questions to ask. And of course, it's not the first RFP any of these big banks we've worked with and put together because a lot of them are all the same questions, right? I mean, yes, there's some very specific about what product you're asking for. But you also want to know, like, how big are you? How long have you been around? What are your support levels? And that's similar to Derrick generic questions that I just kind of want to like templatized and just put in there. I understand the RFI versus the RFP, the RFI being, I don't know who you are, and I don't know what questions to ask you. And so instead of me trying to ask you all the final questions, I'm going to give you a request for information saying, Tell me a little about yourself and making little more open and making it non competitive, right? So I might send our AI information out to 10 Different companies getting information back in, then I know better what questions to ask back out and then I only give it to three or five of those companies is more of a selective group and the extra pricing so I can appreciate that. And then on the on the on the Kingsman side, we're responding to RFPs we don't typically respond to a lot of them, but you're absolutely right that that it's not just the The question of where the Kingsman name came from, it could be like, what's your cybersecurity policy? Right? Or what is your support metric? What are your support metrics or describe what your differentiators are? And yeah, every time we see an RFP, we've got to write that stuff over again, or go searching some file directory somewhere, if these were canned answers, which are, they should be canned answers, right? Just pluck those up, put them in and go, alright, I can see the productivity increase, man,


Justin Witz 45:31

it's, it's fascinating. So when you talk about your process that you have what's really intriguing is, so many people struggle with what questions should I ask just like you said, so one of the things we created to help with that was templates. And we took basic, educated experts in a specific industry and segment cluding, financial services on their retirement plan side, and we said, what are the most important questions you should ask? And we'll get a list. It's four or 500 questions. And we'll look at that list as a team and say, This is so inflated, it needs to be condensed, I don't need to ask you five different ways. What did you study and do at college? I can just ask you one way, like, I like to compare it to when I dated my wife, I was obviously getting married and four months from meeting her. I did RSP for your wife I should have. But I mean, in a way it probably did. But you asked the right specific questions like Are you good with that? Do you have debt? Like are you could just say, how are you from a financial perspective, something really simple. So we've created these templates that are great starters, foundational builders, fully condensed, very intentional, that you can make a decision off of. And then the other thing we did was we launched something cycle, or quest for information, we call it RF instant. It's our most used product that we've launched in the past few years. This has seen more activity than anything else. We were actually shocked and love how successful this product actually is. But we have 94 as of last week, 94 Total recordkeepers that use this they literally saw on your shirts it says Forge and this was what this was the product launch t shirt for Forge. It is a database of over 800 questions, everything you can possibly ask about a record keeper before they can provide a service to you. So you said use Voya So imagine you have this database of 800 questions and 800 answers from not just Moya, but principal Tia JP Morgan, Charles Schwab fidelity all of them right at your fingertips. And then you can pick and choose what's necessary. So based on Kingsman, not all 800 questions are valuable to you. But there might be very specific things that aren't you can just literally say I want to see this and that, like tell me about the engine performance on a car. And tell me how fast is it on a quarter miles since I just watched Fast and Furious today? And next I'm going back through which one? Yeah, Team failure the furious right now I'm I've been watching them as I've been working out. And then you immediately get those results. You can say oh my gosh, I want this car. Well, oh my gosh, I want this record keeper. And so forging wise, how do we forge relationships between a financial advisor and a record keeper instantaneously and have them have a harmonious outcome. And that's literally been the most successful? So 94 Total record keepers are on there. Last year, we did almost $100 billion in retirement plan AUM RFPs just just in that tool itself. Wow.


Kevin Carney 48:18

Okay. Okay. So let's get into the wealth management and that aspect. So I got to give a little story from Kingsmen. Maybe this helps add some color to it. We have a retirement plan. Five ish years ago, we didn't have a retirement plan, and we had to go get one. Now you kind of like call people you know, and that kind of thing. You get referrals. But if we were a bigger company, we would have to say, let's put that out to bid, right? Because retirement plans don't only affect us, it affects our employees as well in terms of what sort of fees that they're maybe not directly paying but implicitly and being a fiduciary or plansponsor, right, we have a fiduciary responsibility to go to go get the best pricing and the best service for that. So maybe not Kingsman but I can see it certainly see a bigger company A, I don't know $50 million company having to go do that. And so there's lots of providers out there. And if I'm going to create an RFP, I'm going to go call up whether it's a boya or am I am I calling up boy, am I calling up a Ria? Like a wealth advisor?


Justin Witz 49:26

Oh, like an RA? Yeah. So you if you


Kevin Carney 49:31

were, I didn't do this clearly our CFO


Justin Witz 49:35

given the fact that you're the plan sponsor, you would literally be calling a financial advisor. Okay. Okay. advisor would be doing that process. So


Kevin Carney 49:42

if we're calling them then lots of companies our size are calling them as well. And so if I'm a financial advisor, I'm responding all of these RFPs all day long, all day long, but maybe once a week, right. And so all of a sudden now I have a lot Out of these, if I want to gain more business, I have to respond to RFPs. That's really my sales process, or my proposal process. And so there's so many I have to respond to. And they're all generally the same. Right? And so that's you said you have a you have a, you have a library of content of responses. And based on the questions that come in, you kind of respond this question this, this answer this question is answer. I think you've got an approval process as well. And a compliance review. Right. So the if I'm, and we've you've repricing as well, so you can identify what sort of pricing plan you haven't been, pricing is a little more complicated than people might


Justin Witz 50:39

assume it to be. But it's a disqualifier immediately, which is fascinating. Oh, is it? Yeah, people will say, give me your best price. And if you're not one of like the top three price points, just like in the government, it's like everyone else goes away. Now let me negotiate the heck out of


Kevin Carney 50:52

you. Wow. Okay. So you get great, let's take underbid for this.


Justin Witz 50:57

That's a race to the bottom bottom. Sure.


Kevin Carney 51:02

But I can certainly see how if if I am responding to RFPs, all day long, this becomes a drag. It's not a good use of my time. Because I'm probably a Certified Financial Planner. And that's where I have real value not responding to the same question over and over again, correct. Yeah, that's, that's, I love that efficiency there. And then you can also as if you are the financial advisor, at Morgan a higher level, you want to know how many RFPs you responded to how many RFPs? You won? How many RFPs are in process? What's your turnaround time? So you got some metrics on that as well, right projects that are open and


Justin Witz 51:43

well. And that's, that's what everyone's lacking right now is analytics and insights into the activity, like you could take Principal Financial Group has no idea how many advisors are sending them an RFP and who they're coming from. They just know something came in, they answered it, they send it out. So you really don't know who are you growing the most with? But what if you found out that there's an advisor in Texas that has brought you $10 million in new arr? They have no way of tracking that a catapult we do. And so we're able to give them visibility into those insights. So they know exactly where they should be monetizing their efforts. And that becomes a tremendous contribution to how they actually can grow and scale their business or their sales team or support, you know, who they're actually pursuing. But the one thing I will say, too, so ERISA, Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Not to go nerdy. You're already but yeah, just just did, I can literally add is speaking good


Kevin Carney 52:37

rule. Yeah. You knew that acronym. Yeah. beaten down


Justin Witz 52:41

to me smells a little kid. It doesn't matter the plant size. So the requirement is, is that every three to five years, you take retirement plan through an RFP to evaluate services and pricing. And fee reasonableness is kind of what we classify as pricing. So any size should really go through this. And you will find advisors that are lackadaisical, and they won't do this, because they're golf buddies that you met, you'll find other elitist advisors that really have a process in place, and they'll continue to invest in that process. So it depends on the mix you fall through.


Kevin Carney 53:11

Right. Yeah. So you have to keep winning the business correct when the business but you have to keep winning the business every three to five years. Yeah.


Justin Witz 53:16

And then some people just can't shake it and call it a day. And those are the ones that are constantly in litigation. I mean, other plants are too for other reasons. But right, right, great spotlights on that aspect,


Kevin Carney 53:26

but that also gives the non incumbent I love the word you're using non incumbent.


Justin Witz 53:35

I don't think non incumbent. incumbent is right.


Kevin Carney 53:37

What are the opposite of an incumbent is like the newcomer like it gives you an opportunity to get in there. It gives you the opportunity to win business. And so if the company gets lazy, because they're just golfing with that with their buddy, and the plan comes up every three years, it's your opportunity to sneak in there. Right and opportunity to catapult over the existing business. Yeah, well,


Bill Clerici 53:57

I had a suit. That was nice. Yeah,


Justin Witz 54:00

it was great. It was a good transition into it. I've talked to a lot of advisors that literally rebid themselves every year. And in their mind, the way I'm not an advisor, so you can see my face and kind of realize that I don't know how, what advisor would look like to say that. But there are some advisors that I deal with that because they're doing this annually. Their mindset is we can lose this business at any time. So might as well give a competitive edge by constantly being over informative, letting our, our client know that plan sponsor know, hey, we're on top of this, this is what we're doing. This is how we're servicing you. This is the products that we're offering you. This is how we're assessing that marketplace on that continuous basis. They have a higher likelihood of retaining. And I think that's a big step ahead. Not everyone does that but there are firms that do.


Kevin Carney 54:46

Okay. So you've built a lot of this in house, right? Yes. And you you've got some technical background. You got some coder gamer hacker background, right? Yep. And then You've got an offshore team, which sounds pretty cool. You just did a tour of India, right?


Justin Witz 55:05

I did, like how many cities? Oh, gosh, I think I'm at nine total now. Chase. Okay,


Kevin Carney 55:10

nice. Yeah. But you mentioned the Mac analogy. I did see that on your website where? I don't know your


Justin Witz 55:17

your Tony Blevins with Apple. Is that the one you saw? Well,


Kevin Carney 55:20

I did see the Tony Blevins the blood inator Yeah, yeah, there's now been fired. But let's do that. But no, I think there's a picture of you, your your girlfriend or wife at the time. 100% understand what the time I don't know what the time it would be. Okay, it was wife at the time. Okay. But she had a Mac, and you started using it? And you're like, oh, this just makes sense.


Justin Witz 55:45

Yeah, I don't think my wife knew what she was getting into when, when we started to date. But the first time she stayed in this house, it was divided in half in half. And it was five girls on one side, five guys on another. And I got invited over hanging out because there's this big party. The downside being in the military, as you know, is you all sudden you see drugs come out, you're like hiding, because you can get kicked out immediately. So I'm at this party and versus like, oh, you know, this is my room. And there's people everywhere. And all of a sudden on her desk, I see the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen Aside from her. And it was the white 13 inch MacBook. And I walked up and I was really fist bump. I walked over and I thought oh my what, what is this? And she's like, it's a Mac. And I was like, Do you mind? If I just tinker for a minute? And she's like, sure. I stayed there for like five hours. didn't talk to anybody. I was just like playing around studying the entire OS. Yeah, yeah. It was amazing. It was one of the best gifts. So I bought one weeks later and put myself into debt immediately. Just so I can have one. You


Kevin Carney 56:46

have to like mortgage your first kid for that? Oh, yeah. But but the point is that you build your software, that same sort of approach, right, that that no one should require training, they should just make sense when you sit down as 100% to use it. So under that, under that approach? How do you think this is what we get to self serving? How do you think that AI can add to that? So I think you got some AI components in there already? We do? And how what's your current plan future plan for using Al?


Justin Witz 57:17

Gosh, we've thought a lot about this. So I think one of the unique things we've been doing just like probably a lot of other companies. But for us that's been vital as measured twice, cut once. We've been studying all the attributes of AI over the past two years, and we've invested heavily into building out features that we feel will not only be relevant, but an efficiency driver for them. So what we've released so far as generative AI that pre writes content for you, that's the simplest one, we've released an accuracy score. So if you've answered the question, please describe your company to us 15 different ways where you have 15 different scores on each of those answers, if they're all different. So now when somebody else asked you, please describe your company to us and tell us about your team. It's going to structure out of those 15, which is the best one to use. But it also can take all 15 rewrite them all to give you one perfect answer that we feel could be justified as per perfect. So and it's called relentless AI, which is in our mission statement, that relentless pursuit, and it goes on. But what's coming for us on the roadmap, it's different our industry, I don't think we'll be impacted as heavily by AI. The way people think it will I know its content. And everyone wants to say, Yeah, AI is going to solve this. It's going to remove companies like principle with over 100 people on their RFP team. But in reality, there's so much privatization of data. The government doesn't want answers out there about how they structured deals, right? You would never want something publicized about m&a. So we've created in an basically an LLM that takes Kevin's answers and creates its own AI LLM specifically for you different than Kingsmen. Different from the team, like if you're on a smaller team. So it depends on how you want to answer. But literally right now what we have coming this year, and I'm so excited about this is Kingsmen gets asked a question, it'll structure an answer, leveraging AI based on Kingsmen. It will then say, Well, Kevin, do you want to structured based on how you write and only right, so then you got your version different from Kingsman version, or it could say, Hey, you could pick these three people on your team and write an answer based on all of your tones of voice all of your, your information. So then it's what goes back to global consumption world's data versus what's considered privatized. So everything right now is completely privatized. But you can flip the trigger to capture the world stat and bring it in. Okay, so that's our way of like Canada and the PII pH. i That kind of passes back and forth. That's cool. Yeah. So that that only covers one aspect. That's not the contract creation. So it's not asking questions. We have a whole AI model just for that as well. So AI is we're thrilled right now.


Kevin Carney 59:58

Yeah, I mean, where you're answering the question hands. And that's coming up with the answer. The content is not that hard making it sound good. Yes, the hard part. Yeah. So that's what we written, rewritten those things built. Right? Let me like, like, oh, that sounds great. Yeah,


Justin Witz 1:00:14

the average person responding to an RFP is 39 hours. So without AI, added, catapult took it from 39 hours to just under 45 minutes. Really? Now, that's exciting. Now with AI, we're down to like six to seven minutes. Because really, we still want to implement that proofreading process. So when you factor time on project, and that's one of the metrics we track is how much time are you spending on the project? average person's in there less than 10 minutes? Start to Finish? Now when you factor compliance oversight and their manual I coming in that's a little bit different. But her overall, we're not touching ours anymore. Yeah. So now just imagine you can like principal, as an example could go from 2000 a year to now 13,000. Same headcount no change.


Kevin Carney 1:00:54

You actually have a calculator on your website, right? Yeah. ROI calculator. Yeah, that's pretty neat. But can you bring that up? Maybe?


Justin Witz 1:01:01

Well, I don't even know where it is. That's the scary part. I can probably find resources, it would be under Resources, and then ROI. Yeah, yeah. So you can break down your team here, how much time is being spent? And we kind of calculated based on what we're seeing what your cost comparison would be, and your our comparison. So left sides, three headcount, eight hours, on average spent 120 hours $120 for hourly paix. You can factor and pay into here. And you kind of see, is our tool worth it or not? And then are we saving you time or not? Some people could care less about time savings, they care more about, hey, do we have centralized access for our team all over the world? Like principle, they're in so many different countries, different time zones, different language barriers? So they have different libraries? A library in Japanese versus English versus French versus any other language you can imagine. That's how they set it up in our system,


Kevin Carney 1:01:53

right? Yeah, I mean, forget efficiency for a second, right? If we talk about things like consistency of answers, or a subject matter expert, reviewing the information or compliance reviewing the information, or audit trails and things along those lines, right, that's valuable right there. Even if even if you didn't have a single hour of efficiency.


Justin Witz 1:02:13

That's exactly right. Yeah. Do you got to you got to prioritize? What's your threshold for like, a good metric version for value? And then can we then increase it and make it better? Right.


Kevin Carney 1:02:22

Okay. All right. So what's coming up the next few months? Let's, let's bring this to a close and, like give the looking. Okay, we're being shot on the catapult and what are we what are we seeing the next 12 months? So


Justin Witz 1:02:37

for us, obviously, big focus right now is AI, and gaining more market chairs. I mean, literally the requirement right now for us internally. So we are heavily focused on building out a sales team in a bigger way than what we have right now. We obviously have the clients and the customers on our platform that are obviously making us profitable and allowing us to grow significantly, which is a wonderful attribute, but AI is literally the big focus. Okay,


Kevin Carney 1:03:02

great. And then if people want to get in touch with you, how are they going to get in touch with you? Website events, you're attending things along those lines, pull cash,


Justin Witz 1:03:11

so you've got catapult hq.com I'd give you my cell phone but I can't do that as a catapult dash HQ. No, just catapult HQ. Oh, one McGraw would be classified as one word. I guess if you say it fast enough. It's one more events that we're going to so you've got Napa, which is the start of April. That's I forget what that stands for. But it's a pension thing. Real quick financial industry which segment once first week of April Atlassian. Is team Summit Conference is at the end of April. But you'll find me pretty much anywhere around the world for conferences. Okay, good. They can follow you on LinkedIn and LinkedIn Justin wits you'll find me there Twitter, Beckham, yeah, X yet X. She's going back to the Elan


Kevin Carney 1:03:54

comm which is your your bigger preference LinkedIn


Justin Witz 1:03:56

or x x that's more active. I feel like I'm just like where if somebody can touch the LinkedIn? LinkedIn would be the one to do it on. Yeah. Or called


Kevin Carney 1:04:05

the contact card? Yeah. Okay. All right. Well, Justin, thank you very much. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. It's been great. Yeah. into all the stuff we bleeped out and people don't need to know about that. No, good. It's all good. All right. Rashmi Lee, thank you for giving me the signal to wrap it up. Build we recorded it just hit record.


Bill Clerici 1:04:25

I don't know. We'll see. We'll find out. We'll find out. All right. Well, thanks. Thank


Kevin Carney 1:04:29

you. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Kingsmen is beyond the build podcast, where we discuss interesting innovators from the Charlotte area until the next podcast, go build something awesome.

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