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Episode 7: Building a Successful Software Company from Scratch: A Conversation with Tyler Traudt of DebtBook

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About the Episode:

Tyler Traudt, Co-Founder and CEO of DebtBook, shares his experience building a successful software company from scratch. Traudt discusses the challenges of working in the public finance investment banking industry and the need for better software tools to help organizations manage their debt. He also talks about the importance of timing and hard work in building a successful startup, as well as the importance of listening to customer feedback and adapting to their needs.


About the Guest: Tyler Traudt

Tyler began his career in the Public Finance Investment Banking group at Citigroup in New York before becoming a financial advisor at a top 10-ranked firm in the Southeast. He served as financial advisor for finance teams in local government, higher education, and healthcare for nearly eight years before founding DebtBook to bring modern software to debt and lease management.


About the Guest: Kevin Carney

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 the Host: Pete Seeber

Pete Seeber is a Partner and the Chief Strategy Officer at Kingsmen Software. In this role, Pete is responsible for overseeing the expansion of Kingsmen. Pete also plays a key role in developing new products and services, identifying new markets, and creating strategies to achieve these goals. To this end, Pete is adept at partnering with our clients to help them overcome their technology and business challenges to reach the complete development of their business model and vision. Pete is a combination of technology, risk and finance executive who has developed his multi-disciplinary background over 25+ years of business and entrepreneurial experience in professional services, large scale consulting, information technology and cybersecurity. He is an entrepreneur who was lucky enough to start his career under the umbrella of one of the most respected consulting firms in the world. It was these early professional experiences that shaped his passion for moving businesses in the right direction and his own personal mantra, “Always Forward”.  He is a proud graduate of Wake Forest University. Pete has been actively involved in the Charlotte and Lake Norman communities as a member of the Board of Managers for Greater Charlotte YMCA (through YMCA Lake Norman and YMCA Camp Harrison), Eliminate the Digital Divide, Habitat for Humanity, Summit Foundation, Davidson Youth Baseball Association and others.


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.


Production Credits:

Produced in partnership with Mistry Projects: https://mistryprojects.com/

Tyler Traudt  0:04  
If you want to know what somebody thinks about your product, ask them for money. Tell them to write you a check, completely different question. And people love giving their opinions do not confuse that for somebody being willing to go to their boss and request additional budget and justify the purchase of your software that doesn't even exist or maybe exists in parts.

Pete Seeber  0:28  
Welcome to the Kingsmen Software Beyond the Build podcast, where we highlight our friends in the software development community. We get to know them their story, their influence and their impact at a deeper level. We also have a good bit of fun along the way. I'm your host, Pete Seeber. And among other things, I'm the Chief Strategy Officer here at Kingsmen Software.

Welcome back to another episode of Beyond the Build. Thanks for being with us today. We're excited. We have another great guest today. Today, we have Tyler Traudt from DebtBook. Tyler, welcome.

Tyler Traudt  1:04  
Well, thanks. Thanks for having me.

Pete Seeber  1:06  
And also another round with Kevin Carney.

Kevin Carney  1:09  
Yay. Thanks for inviting me back.

Pete Seeber  1:10  
Absolutely. You haven't worn out. You're welcome yet. Good job.

Kevin Carney  1:13  
Well, that last one was a little rough.

Pete Seeber  1:14  
No, it's okay. We'll just edit it out. It'll be fine. You won't be here when it's all over. So Tyler, thanks a lot. Tell us we want to hear the story. Right? You know, tell us about DebtBook, we want to hear your personal journey as a founder and an entrepreneur. We want to hear about the product, right? And the market that you serve. And you know where it's going, right? You've had a tremendous rise over four years, right? You've raised some funding, and you've hired a bunch of people, you've been a mentor to ton of your employees, you've made an impact on the market, congrats on all that. But there's a million different stories underneath all of that right to how you've been impactful to the Charlotte area and to your company. So that's what we want to do here today to talk a little bit about software development along the way, at the same time, and this is in the finance space. So Kevin's got some topics he wants to talk about digging deep on that.

Kevin Carney  2:02  
Yeah, congratulations on where you've come for years. And you're already almost 100 people and series A around last summer, I saw on your website, 1400 customers, amazing if 

Tyler Traudt  2:16  
1500. Now 

Kevin Carney  2:17  
1500. Now, I went on Capterra. And you have a rating of 4.9 out of five,

Tyler Traudt  2:22  
probably asked every single one of those people to submit a-

Kevin Carney  2:26  
But these are some these are some amazing stats, right? I mean, for four years of a software company that came from nothing into it's not like you were born out of some other company, right? You started from scratch. Four years in, you've got 100 employees 1500 customers. Great Series A round like, how did you do that? How did you how did you get from where you started to there to where we are now.

Tyler Traudt  2:49  
I'll share a lot and I'll walk through it along the way. But what immediately jumps to mind that I want to share here, there's a book that I used as a Bible really early on Four Steps to the Epiphany. I found it from just reading different books about lean startups getting going. They referenced this book, I read it over and over again, I exercise every single morning. And so this book is so gross, because I'll be on my peloton reading it. And so all the pages like are what clearly were wet from all of my sweat at some point. Really gross. But I've got the book. And the reason I'm bringing it up is at some point, I think it's near the end of the book, it says if if all of these things present themselves to you smile, because the startup gods have looked favorably upon you and have created the perfect opportunity for you to go and be successful. And that's exactly I think, a major element of our story that must be said not to disregard and as we walk through it all the amazing efforts from all the various team members that we have. But we absolutely have such an element of timing in our story. Great timing for us luck. No, do we do the work necessary to take advantage of it? Absolutely. And that's the hard part. Look, luck alone is not going to allow you to create an incredible organization. But man yes 4 years 1500 customers with a with a really long way to go. We feel tremendously blessed about our timing, which obviously you can't plan for but we came into market at the right time and took advantage of it and hopefully get more luck in the future too. So four steps the epiphany that's 4 Steps to the Epiphany.

Kevin Carney  4:42  
I got four steps to the apocalypse. That's what I was doing wrong. 

Pete Seeber  4:44  
Totally different. So let's start with the basics right little product demo here real quick. 30 seconds DebtBook. What is it? Why you know what, when did the light bulb come on? Where's the market need? Just kind of walk us through that that moment?

Tyler Traudt  4:58  
Yeah, absolutely. And I'll back it up to To my story, so I came out of school wanted to do finance

Kevin Carney  5:04  
Which school?

Tyler Traudt  5:05  
Wen to Alabama

Kevin Carney  5:05  
Roll tide had to get that in there

Tyler Traudt  5:08  
tough end to the tournament this year for them. Tough team right now. So we'll get that figured out. But Graduated, went to work at Citigroup and public finance, investment banking. Did that work for a little bit less than two years as an analyst, right guy with a spreadsheet, got recruited to Charlotte to do financial consulting work. So if you're not familiar, public finance, this is all non corporate organizations, its governmental and nonprofits. These are folks that don't issue equity when they need money to go do things. These organizations need money to do things all the time, we're talking about hospitals and transit systems, airports, we're talking about cities and counties and senior care facilities, health care, higher education, all those folks. They build dorms, they improve water systems, they build affordable housing and parks and public safety facilities. There's so much capital intensive stuff and they borrow money to do it. So this is the municipal securities industry, you can go buy tax free, munis, right that that is the end state, there's a tremendous amount of work that happens from the time that an organization identifies that they need a project, they need to build something pay for something to the point in time, which it ends up as a municipal security that you can go purchase and put into your investment portfolio. All that work. That's public finance. So I did that work as a financial consultant for about seven years or so ish. And that work was helping these organizations understand, what can we afford to borrow? My elected official wants us to build a new park? Can we afford to do that? I don't have enough cash to do that. Can we borrow the money? Is a bank willing to lend? If they do lend? Do I need to do a five year term 10 year term 30 year term? Can I afford it? What kind of covenants will I receive? Should I enter into that agreement? Tremendous amount of work, and there's a lot of really wonderful financial consultants, lawyers, accountants, banks, investment banks, all those folks. So I did that work for about in total 10 years or so. Something like that. Little bit less than that.

Pete Seeber  7:05  
Not afraid of hard work? 

Tyler Traudt  7:07  
Uh, no, absolutely. 

Pete Seeber  7:08  
80 hour weeks, pencils up, head down.

Tyler Traudt  7:10  
Yeah, I mean, look, I, I didn't know what I wanted to do coming out of college. But I, I absolutely wanted to be successful. I didn't know what that meant. I assumed that like being successful at a bank made made you successful. And so I went to work and I worked hard I, I didn't get to go to some of the incredible schools that the folks that I worked with, went to a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, I think to to prove that I could be successful. And, and worked hard and had a lot of fun, but worked with some amazing people worked for amazing people along the way. I will say that after about 10 years, I learned a lot of the stuff to be learned obviously had a lot of room for improvement, no doubt. But you do something for 10 years, you learn a lot about it. And started reading started becoming interested in software, the work that we're doing all day long. At one of my firms, we were pitched by a software company, and it wasn't right. But it really got me interested like, Gosh, why is there no great software in our space? Because I got a gazillion spreadsheets that are probably not all right, right? Large, lots of data changes over time with debt, you take it out, you maybe refinance a piece of it, it changes you do it again. And the information was so important to the work that we were doing all day long, because I'm trying to give you financial advice. And if I was gonna give you financial advice about whether you could or could not afford a new loan, well, gosh, I sure as heck need to know whether or not like you got debt outstanding now, like what are the payments look like? When did they go away? So complex, so much work to be done? And yet all that underlying information, sales and spreadsheet, and it just doesn't make any sense? I mean, you guys build software all day long. You You hear that, giant spreadsheet changes over time shared internally, externally. Version control issues, error prone, like you're like software software, like that's a cloud based app. And exactly like, I'm not a software person, but I was like, gosh, this doesn't make sense. I started reading and pretty much immediately was like, there's a there's a company here like that somebody should go and build better tools to solve these problems. And I can talk more about why they're important, but catch you up. Does that make sense? So far? I haven't even told you-

Pete Seeber  9:24  
No, absolutely. As a former, you know, finance CPA guy myself, you're right. They that's a tough audience to sell to because they love their spreadsheets. They love their three ring binders and their hole punches and the library of stuff that they have behind them in those binders. And you're right, none of it's right. It was right at a time for a specific purpose. But when you go back to it six months to recreate those calculations, oh, yeah, I missed something or somebody changed something and inevitable. You're starting from scratch. And that's time and efficiency. Of all starting-

Tyler Traudt  9:56  
And think about and think about the outcome of that work because if you're working for or hospitals and governments and transit systems, if you're working for water systems or senior care facilities, the reason that you are working with that organization is because they need money to go and deliver some critical service into their organization or community. So it's something that's going to impact literally all of us like we don't, we don't really question whether or not when we turn the faucet on clean water is going to come out or not, we assume that it's going to happen, we assume that we're safe. If you walk up and down the street, you assume that you're safe? Well, there are so many people that are working to make those things happen. So that you just assume that it works every single time. And to do those things, they need money, they need infrastructure, they need to borrow money to do it. And so this industry exists to serve these organizations that are so critically important to what you and I rely on. We all need clean water, people need education, they need health care, these are not wants to have. And so why in the world, aren't we arming those organizations and the people that help them with world class software? It's it's unacceptable, I'm gonna get like angry now. But like, it's, it's bullshit, excuse my language, like, it's bullshit, that we don't have amazing, affordable software for these organizations, and their network of professionals to deliver their phenomenal work into these organizations so they can all benefit everybody.

Pete Seeber  11:31  
And that's some of the beauty of what you've done in building DebtBook is that if you can elegantly design a solution that makes somebody else go, duh, why didn't I think of that? That's so obvious. Why did it take so long right into to break something that complex down into that You know, that easy simplicity? That's brilliant.

Tyler Traudt  11:47  
It is. It is my co founder it is Eric, there. We talked about this a moment ago. But look, ideas are just really cheap. They are. You, you you have to you got to get timing right, you got to get the first version, right, you got to really shape your own view of the problem. You have to engage honestly, with your customers and be ready for them to tell you that you're wrong. And when they tell you, you're wrong, are you going to plow through that and be like, No, you're wrong, like, or are you going to be like, Okay, I'll listen to you like, Well, tell me what specifically I'm wrong about and, and at the end of the day, what you need to be successful is a lot of people to pay you money for the things that you make, like that's what you have to get to. And you got to ask them that question. Hey, what would you be willing to pay $20,000 a year for go? Like, tell me, what is it? Is it not the thing that I just showed you? That's kind of a problem for me. But that's also an opportunity for me to go get better

Pete Seeber  12:44  
What so tell us about those early days, right? When you were out there doing that, right? When you didn't necessarily had a product, you had more of a vision, and you're sitting down and you're selling, but you're, you're doing what I would call a customer discovery, trying to understand what they need, because you said something a minute ago that if you get into these conversations, and your customer, or your target, tells you, you're wrong, and you look at them and say no, you're wrong, that's not a customer for very long, right? You have to be humble enough and self aware to listen

Tyler Traudt  13:12  
So when we started, I was fortunate I worked in banking for 10 years, I was able to save some money, it helped me I also have an amazing wife that had a good job, she was able to continue to support us, we were gonna burn money in our personal life. But I had some savings that we could eat through, I took some of my money. And we built, we built a prototype, but not no code. All designs, if you're familiar with Figma, or InVision so we built a, we built an InVision prototype. And we built it off of Excel spreadsheets that I had created and worked with a couple other folks to create. And we got it good enough. And coming from the industry with 10 years of experience there. I knew who I knew who to call, I had their cell phone numbers, and I picked up the phone and I call them and I said I want to come I want to come see you I want to show you this thing. And I got into their office and I pulled it up on the screen and I got up there and I pitched it just like I was walking through an application. I said, Look, I think this is a problem. I think it's a problem. But what I need to do is I need to verify that you agree and no sugarcoating here. Like you're harming me if you tell me it's awesome. And you walk out of this room and you're like, I'm never I'm never going to buy that. What a crazy guy, right? I mean like that, that harms me. And so I was really clear up front that I no BS here, like, tell me exactly the truth. And we got a lot of people they're like, yeah, like, Wait, yeah, absolutely. I remember we were thinking that our product was going to cost 5, 10,000 bucks. And I asked one CFO, how much would you pay for this? And just like $30,000 I was like, holy shit. Sign here. Yes, I'll sign Oh my god. Well, I was like, that's amazing. Can you believe that she just said that. Um, it was it was awesome. It was so much fun. But I'll be really honest, we talked to a lot of people that were like, you know, that's not really a problem for me. But you know, what is a problem for me? This is a problem for me. And really early, when we started doing our exploration, we learned that managing all of your loans and bonds and state loans and interfund loans and interagency loans. Yeah, certain organizations, you start to figure out ideal customer profile, how complex is the problem? What what point does it become such a great problem for you that you want to pay for a solution to make it easier, where's the spreadsheet break down. But what we also learned was, gosh, accounting is a pain in the butt, we really learned that, you know what? a spreadsheet does a fine job of presenting a static view of what my loan looks like today. And yeah, I got like, v 36 that I'm working on right now, which is a whole nother problem that we're gonna be able to eliminate for you. But I think you could very clearly give me an object that was like, objection, that was something along the lines of, hey, my spreadsheet, like, I can get the data out of it, too. But it absolutely cannot, like do all of the accounting for you really quickly. It was year end financial reporting. Really quickly. It was amortizations. Like, like, we have revenue recognition issues that our business, right, we're a SaaS business, we charge a subscription. Okay, great. They gave us the money, but we're not going to recognize the revenue on that day. So we have to now amortize that revenue. Well, they have similar issues, right? They borrow money, sometimes investors pay a premium, I have to amortize that premium over a certain period of time. And now there's like, accounting math that I have to go and do. And I paid a portion off, like what happens to that. So really quickly, we heard our customers share with us accounting, and then very specifically, there was one organization, it was the city of Raleigh, and we went and showed our thing to the city of Raleigh. And they're like, some of the people thought it was cool. They had a big teams, big, big organization. But there was one person there that was like, no, no, no, this, this is wrong, no on that. And we would go back, we would go literally mock it up, I was presenting one time in our staging environment, an InVision prototype, and then separately, like mock ups, I think, is the thing that like Eric had jammed together to show this one feature-

Pete Seeber  17:26  
Like spreadsheet battles

Tyler Traudt  17:27  
literally, I was going through three different applications presenting one like solution to them. This is how that's gonna work this out, that's going to work and what we wore them down, like we just eventually, eventually they, they saw us listen to them. And we hear that a lot like DebtBook actually listens to their customers, and we make improvements. We listened. We learned about payment reporting from them, they're like, I'll tell you what's a huge pain in the butt, we have to go and make sure that this wire goes out on time, because I gotta make a $10 million, like debt payment can not be late, like must make it on time. If you could give me some workflow tool that would allow me to better initiate and give the person sending the wire all the information that they need, maybe a cover sheet, we're like, bang, great idea. And we rolled back in there two months later, with a new, like, new mock up, and we showed it to them. And finally they were like, Alright, fine. Well, we'll buy this. 

Pete Seeber  18:22  
So all the nits and gnats of compliance and reporting and calculations and finance versus accounting answers. At the end of the day, I just need to get this $10 million out the door by Friday. And if that doesn't happen, everything else doesn't matter.

Tyler Traudt  18:34  
Yeah, I think I think like, there's a cautionary tale, which is, if you go and make very specific customized software, for your customers, right, you might find yourself in a challenging position. Because ultimately, what we want to have is one thing that we can sell over and over and over because we got to implement it and support it, we got to renew this thing. We got to sell this thing. And so Eric, is amazing, and was hyper focused on ensuring that as we were out seeking feedback, and updating our prototypes and iterating, on our vision, we were going to only end up with one application that would benefit all these people. And so, yes, we went out into the world with a vision. We also had some stuff that we wanted to do for banks, we launched our product in February of 20. Right COVID became a thing about 30 days after we went out into market with our product. And we were trying to sell two different things to two different parties. We really quickly had to say, Okay, we're not going to sell we're not going to sell any sort of data or information to any organizations other than ultimately like the CFOs office inside this organization. And that was hindsight absolutely a blessing scary at the time, but a blessing to go and focus And then we started really trying to knock those things down what are we? We're going to create a system of record, like we're going to be the thing that you put all your debt into, I put all of my documents into it, all of my schedules, all of my accounting schedules, all of my year end financial reports, I do my payment workflows in here. If it has anything to do with debt, once I got it, we're going to go put that into DebtBook. And that's the thing that we're going to use. And, and I think that that completely makes sense, right? I mean, you should have a system of record for all these loans. And so that's really where we started. And some of our first breaks were going, listening, caring rapidly iterating on our thing, seeking feedback and getting to something that people were willing to pay for.

Kevin Carney  20:45  
The public finance industry is really large, right? It's a very diverse. You mentioned hospitals and local governments and utilities and transportation authorities. If you went to 20 different customers, they must have had 20 different ideas, right? How do you figure out which ones you're going to put into the product so that other other organizations can leverage it as well, I have to believe like you mentioned, going back and forth with the, with the City of Raleigh, and they've raised some really great ideas are really good for Raleigh, but might not be good for the next customer, like how do you? How do you filter all of that down into what the core product would be? And how much it is really only used by one customer? I have to believe that saying no, sometimes it's harder.

Tyler Traudt  21:27  
We are blessed in that the problems that we're trying to solve, they stem from the financial instruments that these organizations end up with, right. And there's some uniformity there, because banks really have some guidelines around how they're going to lend, right? There is a language there. There are only so many ways to calculate interest on a loan. Now there's like five, okay, which we gotta go knock down. But But generally speaking, if you have ended up with debt, it it's it's obviously come from some other organization, and most likely a bank or an investor. And there are standardized practices around how loans are going to be structured. So there are varying levels of complexity in these different structures. And absolutely, yes, there are some that everyone's going to have fixed rate loans, right, nice and easy. Really vanilla like, Yeah, let's do that one, before we go do capital appreciation bonds or like this one crazy thing they do over here because of this local law, or whatever it is. So absolutely, being really thoughtful about who we're going to serve, and which products and which features inside those products we're going to deliver. And where are we going to deliver them? Absolutely. But for our initial build, it was with a lot of subject matter expertise that we had, like we kind of knew, like most of the people are going to have this, most of the people are going to have that they're going to have that. And you know what, yeah, eventually, we're going to have to get to this over here. And we're just going to ask for a little bit of grace. If your customers are all working out of spreadsheets, our Ask was like, can't you? Can't you keep two of them? I mean, you got seven, right? Can't I deliver tremendous value by taking you from seven to two? Do I really need to take you to zero before you're willing to pay me? And oh, by the way, do you think this is a problem? And if your answer is yes, great. You want to how you solve the problem, you support companies like ours, we need money, we need revenue to go hire people to solve more problems for you. So ultimately, yes, there's the job of the entrepreneur to like, make those decisions in the product team and again, blessed that I have a wonderful cofounder, Eric. But the customers, they need to play ball, they need to want the thing. And if you have customers ultimately that want these problems solved, like you're going to be able to solve those problems

Pete Seeber  23:55  
And the beauty of that, and I'm sure you recognize this is that you were selling against a process that was embedded since 1987 in spreadsheets and three ring binders, right? It's essentially Greenfield, right, I don't I don't know that there were 8 competitors already out there selling a similar application. So it gives you the ability to do that, right. And a lot of other startups, maybe there's three other people in the space. And you do have to provide that right away 

Tyler Traudt  24:22  

Pete Seeber  24:23  
But man, leveraging that customer feedback, and that discovery is so important, right? Because then then you go from, you know, you're building something with that feedback. And then you have to morph and change. And now you're a sales organization who has to get it to market and use certain channels. And then you solve it. And now you can celebrate, and then you go, Oh, we got to support this for the next not next 12 months, they signed a one year contract. Now you got to turn into a support organization. And by the way, you better have a cab function right as a customer advisory board to continue that feedback loop for enhancements. And now you as the individual sitting around the table with the vision All these other skill sets and all these other roles come into play that you have to support and keep moving, right. So you have to build the team around you. 

Tyler Traudt  25:08  
100%, you here, you hear folks use the building the airplane, like as you're like, off the cliff, you're driving a car, and you're building the bridge in front of you as you go. Absolutely true. It is like this constant evolution of your organization. And all it is, is just more problems, right? It's just like always, the next problem, you, you need to be somebody and you need to find a bunch of partners that just love solving problems all day long. Because that's all you're gonna get, like, that's literally all you're gonna get is more and more problems and they just change. We have 100 employees, now we want to grow to 200 employees, we, we have so many more things that we want to create. And the problems that we have today are completely different than the problems we had before. But again, you're in this like constant state of having to encounter and solve problems that you've never experienced before, because you're in a brand new stage of the organization. And the only way I think, at least for for us that we're going to be successful is if we like solving problems, like we love learning and growing and overcoming obstacles and great like, bring on all the problems, we have success, it just means more issues potentially coming our way that we have to go in and knock down. So you got to you're right, completely. And you got to really embrace that you got to want that challenge

Pete Seeber  26:26  
in all those different roles, where do you find yourself spending your time now? Are you the founder CEO that still I spend 75% of my time talking to clients and customers? Or are you Hey, I've hired great people, I'm going to let them do that. I'll be in the background, where do you find your balance in your role?

Tyler Traudt  26:44  
I am. I am currently our VP of sales. I have a VP of sales starting on Monday. We're very excited about Chris and think he's going to be really wonderful.

Pete Seeber  26:55  
Does Chris know that you're still the VP of sales, even though he's the VP of sales.

Tyler Traudt  26:58  
He knows, he's not he's not here yet. Started, he hasn't started.

Pete Seeber  27:02  
So I'm not going to wreck it for him. We won't launch this until after Chris is happy

Tyler Traudt  27:07  
So I spend, I spend, I'll tell you what I spend most of my time doing and I'll tell you what I should be spending most of my time doing. I spend most of my time working with sales managers and sales people inside of our organization. I spend most of my time working with our CSMs. So implementation, we had to do it, we figured it out support, we're great at support, we figure that out. Oh my goodness, like what is this client segmentation thing? What is journey mapping? How do I ensure a customer actually uses the dang thing? Like, what What does that look like? I've got a mentor, board member, a guy named Ben Harrison. He's a local guy here. He's in New York now. I always remember him saying you gotta make them use it, make them use it, like a guy like how do we do that? Like, how do we actually affect that. So I spent a lot of my time there with that team right now. I spend a lot of my time recruiting, I talked to a lot of folks, as we get bigger, I should be spending all of my time I believe company building DebtBook. And one of my other mentors, our lead investor guy named Bud Watts, Bud always shares over and over you started by building a product. Now you got to build a company, I need to spend all of my time company building, making sure that at 200, 300, 400, 500 employees, everybody that comes here is exceptional, they align to our values, they're onboarded well, they're in a real learning development program, they're getting better every single day, they're in the right job for themselves. I need to make sure the DebtBook is a phenomenal place for phenomenal people to be. And if I can do that, holy cow, I think we can have a ton of success together, right. But if I spent all my time like closing deals or whatever, like what terrible leverage, right terrible leverage for me as a leader of an organization, so I'm too far into it right now. I don't want to be as far down into it as I want. I want. I want phenomenal people to come in and run these functions, and I want to support them. But right now, yeah, I'm involved in and around sales in and around Prague. I like to live about two years out into the future. I don't want to I don't want to be anywhere close to like Figma right now. Except if it's like, I can't wait to see how that thing is shaping up like, Ooh, I'm excited by that. But I should be nowhere near like, tickets. I should not be in GitLab. Like, I mean, I think I am, but I should not be

Pete Seeber  29:35  
But you have to have the confidence in the hiring process that you brought the right people in, you onboard them the right way. They're digging the culture, they have the same vision, the same love and passion that when you go to bed at night, you know they got it handled

Tyler Traudt  29:48  

Pete Seeber  29:49  
Otherwise you can't spend 75% of your time leading from the front on the sales side. And there'll come a time where you put that down and bring in Chris the right person to do that and then you move on to what's next.

Tyler Traudt  29:59  
The best people are not going to come to DebtBook and like, do what I tell them to do. Like, absolutely not. If they come there, they'll realize that oh, wait, like, I don't actually get to run this function, Tyler is going to tell me what to do. And they will leave. There's no doubt about that. I think I'm a lovely guy, I'm not a perfect guy, for sure. I make mistakes all the time. Impatient, like all those things. So I feel like for DebtBook to have success, we've got to create a phenomenal leadership team, full of wonderful, talented people that want to build an exceptional function, and want to work exceptionally well together to solve the real real problems. We had a leadership team meeting yesterday. They got really, I'll say emotional, it was intense. It was intense. And I walked out of there a lot of different feelings. But man, I was like this is exactly what this meeting should feel like, if this meeting is boring, I don't think we're doing it the right way. Like if we're talking about all the real issues, and we are honest with each other, and we are pushing each other to be great. There should be some some feelings in here, there should be some some emotion in here. So I absolutely I do not want to be like the Savior. I don't I don't want that. Like, I want to make sure we recruit phenomenal people, I want to make sure that DebtBook is an incredible place to work. And I want to make sure that all the hard work that we're doing is going to lead us to a place where we very clearly have a competitive advantage two years in the future. All the time and effort you spend all day long, it's going to be worth it because we're going to go here, and this thing is going to be frickin awesome. And we're going to be different, and people are going to value it and we're going to be able to uniquely do this,

Pete Seeber  31:39  
you're just talking about your your meeting yesterday, they call that healthy tension. And when you're going through it, it doesn't feel all that healthy, just feels like tension, right? Until you get to the other side of it. And you're like, Okay, I'm, I feel better for listening. And I've been enlightened about something that I thought I knew, I have a different perspective.

Tyler Traudt  31:58  
an hour long walk this morning with one of my leadership team members debriefing and just trying to understand and we left that frustrated, right, like slacks in my like, we're we're trying to work through all these things. And fundamentally, it's because this person is highly competent, and completely invested in what we're doing and, and believes that this is the right way to do this. And right now I just, I just I disagree, like and so we're trying to like work our way through it, end of the day, that person is responsible for their function, I want to create the space for that person to make that choice. I have a duty to the entire organization and to all of our shareholders. And we're gonna have to find a really great outcome for both of us. But at the end of the day, like we both just want the exact same outcome like we want. We want to be excellent. And so you got to be willing to like put those out there and have those conversations and do it do it the right way.

Kevin Carney  32:50  
Let me go back to the beginning where we had the first product where you you had some Figma prototypes, and you were presenting to customers. You said something interesting, before we started the podcast, you said that you sold clients with contracts, and they paid your invoices before you ever had code written. expound on that a little bit because A, that's amazing that you're able to do that you must be the best salesperson in the world. But But second, that the approach of build it first and sell it later is how many people get trapped, right? They they, they get either friends and family funding, or they put their own money into it. And they go build something because they are if I build it, they will come then they go out and sell it and they can't sell it. Seen it time and time again and totally. So you either you were you mentioned luck earlier, or very clairvoyante that you said, I'm not going to build it, I'm gonna go test it out. I'm gonna go get ideas, you said customer discovery Pete earlier, and then go build it that that's tough to sell something that you don't have yet, especially when you're not a technologist that you have no idea what it would take to build it. And I had Eric to help out as well. But But expound on that, because that's that seemed to be not luck, as opposed to you saw something there. That turned out to be the exact right approach to take.

Tyler Traudt  34:20  
If you want to know what somebody thinks about your product, ask them for money. Ask them for money. Everyone loves your product until you asking for $20,000 

Pete Seeber  34:29  
I ain't paying for that garbage. 

Tyler Traudt  34:30  
Like, tell him to write your check. Completely different question. Technology is awesome, right? Like software is so cool. Especially now. You get to look at it. I mean, it's like showing a movie to somebody. Or am I willing to watch a movie? I love movies. Absolutely. I love entertainment. anybody's going to sit in that meeting and listen to you and see it and people love giving their opinions. Ooh, what What about this over here, do not confuse that for somebody being willing to go to their boss and request additional budget and justify the purchase of your software that doesn't even exist or maybe exists in parts. And so I think I read somewhere along the line, that's like, You got to just ask them for money. And that's what we started doing, how much money you got, it's like the worst way, worse way. But that's how we did it, literally. I mean, I. So there's another thing in here, which I think is a lot of folks naturally are afraid. It's really natural and normal to be afraid of being we none of us want to be rejected, right. And so for me, that was price. So for me, I went to price. And if I, in my fear of being a failure, if I wanted to make sure I got something, I would just go to like, I just go way down on price and tell. But But later in life, you realize, like, you can't build a big business, I mean, not like this $1,000 at a time, like that's not going to be successful, you got to go find something you can sell for 20,000 bucks, like or whatever-

that segment of the market isn't going to pay, then you need to stop hunting in that segment of the market, you need to find a different place to go.

And so I Yeah, we just we went out, we had a InVision prototype, we had all the screens for basically what was going to be our MVP, my cofounder, Eric says, minimum desirable product, not minimum viable product. I, I went to those meetings with Eric, I showed them the thing, and we call the question. Great. You like it. We would say, How much do you think it's worth? And they would say $5,000 and we'd say Phenomenal. I'm going to send you a contract. But you're going to are you going to sign the when do you think you could sign the contract? I'm going to send you an invoice. Are you going to pay for this? And then just shut up. And let them be like, Oh, no, no, no, no, definitely not. Or like, yeah absolutely.

Pete Seeber  37:14  
So very quickly, you separate those with influence from those with authority. Sure, right. If they, if they say no, I really love it. Yeah, I would pay for it. No, don't send the contract that goes to two bosses up from me.

Tyler Traudt  37:27  
Totally different skill, like getting good at sales and like mapping the organization and understanding like where your user is, and who has authority? And who controls the budget? And who do you really need to sell who's blocking you internally, who's influencing 

Pete Seeber  37:40  
a totally different side of the business

Tyler Traudt  37:41  
completely, there is a completely different skill set, like you have to learn to continue to be successful. One of the things that I think you said a moment ago, you were talking about building that next thing, building that next thing, and I was thinking about how we raised modest seed rounds. And for us, like we went and pulled $600,000 from our investors, we're like, how long is this going to last? Like, okay, it's going to last us like nine months, or whatever it is. We had nine months to move the business materially forward, otherwise, we die, period. So we had no choice, we had to go find out. What will you pay me for right now? If I design it can I convince you to trust us, because we care about your problems? Like we're fundamentally here, because we believe the work you're doing is important. Because you got to continue to deliver all the way through because expectations like they don't, they don't plateau. Like they don't go down. The expectations just go up. I got a call from my investor today, asking about our month end, and the numbers great, like relative to where it's been forever. And it's kind of like, Ah, I would have killed to have the kind of numbers that we have today, even 24 months ago

Pete Seeber  38:54  
you're talking about having nine months, like in nine months, we know that we need more, two months into it, you know that you're not hitting it, or you know that you're still fighting to hit it. Right. So then if at that two month mark, you know, you haven't made enough of an impact. You're just staring at seven months of doom and desperation to make something happen, right. So every day matters. When you're in that countdown and the cash is going out the door, you have to make tangible progress each and every day.

Tyler Traudt  39:25  
You guys run a company, you know how this is you. You can't focus on the outcomes, you focus on the activity you can control, you do it exceptionally well. And if you're looking at the right activities, the outcomes come and there is there is such clarity in that there's such peace of mind in that. You can use a sales example really quickly, like big quota, okay, look, don't don't worry about the big number, how many calls are you going to make today. And how many of them are going to pick up? How many times are you going to get past the gatekeeper, how many times are you going to convince the person that they should look at a demo? What percentage of those are going to show up? Okay, now it's over to this person it's their job next. All right, how many times are you going to convince the person to take a second conversation with you and pull somebody else into the conversation? How many times are you going to convince that person to go to proposal? I mean, it's math, right? But ultimately, if you focus the people on the activity that matters most you got to get them right. Then all of a sudden, it's like, oh, yeah, nine months to live. But I'm not worried about nine months. Because I know if I do today, right, then, then if DebtBook deserves to live in nine months, it lives and if DebtBook doesn't deserve to live in nine months. It doesn't. And I'm okay with that.

Pete Seeber  40:44  
So for for somebody who didn't grow up in traditional sales, you you absolutely get it from that 30 seconds, I thought you were gonna say coffee is for closers. At the end of that, but but but you get it in third place, you're fired. Right? And it's, and then, but you also said something that I think Ben told you earlier, right, which I think is hugely intelligent, and you, you forget about this, you have to make them use it, even after they buy it. And even after they pay for it each and every day, you have to give them a reason to pull that application up and replace the other spreadsheet process that they're addicted to that gets to implementation, deployment, how often you're hugging that client, how's the drip on them on a regular basis, that client success manager? Because ultimately, the question is, are they going to renew or not? Right? And but that shouldn't be the question, the question, it should be, are they going to be an evangelist for us and help me close the eight other deals this month that I gotta get done? Because I can use them as a reference, and they can talk about how amazing it is.

Tyler Traudt  41:49  
So it is, is absolutely true, and the work that it really takes to be successful ultimately. So first of all, you have to solve real problems, right? If you solve real problems with people greater chance that they're going to, they're going to renew with you, you got to listen to him, You gotta care. But it's absolutely I mean, think about how hard it is to change behavior. Like just think about yourself personally, like, I asked you to make a major change in your behavior. How hard is that? It's hard, right? It's hard for all of us. And you make a thing that you love. And you just assume that everybody else is going to use it like that is not true, like absolutely not going to happen. And so we have this whole entire segment, right? All these SaaS businesses, and I'm certainly not an expert here, but like, really like what is like customer success, like really mean apart from implementation support. It's like, okay, what value did you think that you were gonna get when you decided to send us money? When you sign that contract, please tell me why I can see what the sales team has said. But like, you tell me what, okay, great. My goal is to make sure that that happens, like we're going to put a plan together, we're going to, we're going to catch up, maybe depending on the size of your organization, once a quarter or once a once a half or once a year, whatever it might be. But you have to know exactly who they are, you have to get multiple points of contact, cause you're going to lose somebody, they're going to leave at some point. And you have to be in it, you got to see their usage, and you got to follow up. And if they're not using it, you gotta get on the phone and say, Mike, share your screen with me and click this button, and I'm going to show it to you Look how amazing this is. And we all have, like, so much work to do in our lives. And you're like out there we release every week, like every single week, we release and guess who like, is not reading every word of our release emails, all of our customers, they're doing other stuff, they have other things to do. So you have to absolutely build an incredible success organization that can can make them use it now we're, we're blessed, because we have compliance. So in our journey that we haven't really covered here yet is August of 2020. Or so many of our prospects asked us to not just make debt management software, but also make lease management software because there was a new regulation coming that was going to create a lot of work for them. We did it began what we started, we started hiring accountants because of the debt accounting stuff that we learned, we started making this we felt like okay, for many of our organizations this is the same human This is a person that's, you know, deciding do I buy that or do I borrow money to buy it? Do I use cash? Do I lease it? Like what do I do? Okay, I've either ended up with a debt instrument or a lease agreement. I gotta manage thing, right? Okay, so it made sense for us. Now, certain organizations, not the case. We are blessed in that these folks have to comply. But we shared this before we started talking here. Pretty paranoid, pretty paranoid guy, pretty paranoid. And every single day, we show up trying to get better at that success function to make sure if if our clients didn't have to comply, what would happen? I'll tell you what would happen. Our turn would look worse than than it does. It absolutely does. And so we have been blessed with timing. Holy cow, we cannot mess that up. We got to get great to let's take all of these amazing advantages that we have greenspace opportunity, everyone's coming off of Excel or Lotus 123. It's like kind of joking.

Kevin Carney  45:23  
That's a deep cut that goes right there. Our floppy disk coasters we have here.

Tyler Traudt  45:29  
And so it's let's be let's have impeccable timing. And let's be really great to add all those things

Pete Seeber  45:35  
You're like the cherry flavor in the Robitussin you sit right in front of the compliance like, oh, yeah, just makes my terrible job easier.

Yeah, we did it. And definitely make your job easier. For sure.

Kevin Carney  45:46  
You talked about a couple of things like you release every week, and you talked about your journey as a company like your your journey in four years has gone on a 10 year journey in four years, right. So you start off with some sales and product. And then there was a technology that you built, right. So that's, that's kind of like any startups, SaaS companies startups approach. But you had to quickly mature, whether you wanted to or not into now, I have to onboard these clients that you've signed up, and they've already paid and you haven't built a product yet, once they get the product built, you have to onboard them. And then you have to support those customers that are calling and trying to figure out what things are not working. And there's defect fixing. And there's now there's deployment schedules, you've got multiple developers, you've got code synchronization, you've got test cases and regression. And then you've got you said release notes. I looked at the release notes online, they're phenomenal. Going back to like September 2020. And there's so detailed, as a as a both a consumer of software, I can appreciate all the detail. And as a developer of software, I'm like those are really hard to do. So so good on you guys on that. But you've developed such a mature company in such a short period of time. I don't know if I have a question as much as I have an awe that you did that. That that clearly you hired the right people, because you did not have maybe Eric had this. But based on my understanding of your background, you didn't have this, you didn't have to run a software firm on it was like that, right? So you either figured it out, you hired the right people that would do all that that's really impressive.

Tyler Traudt  47:30  
Fundamental care, right, you can see it in literally everything that you do. And every every restaurant, you go to every company that you work with every person that you meet. If you care deeply about what you do, I think it is going to show up, it's going to show up in literally everything. We fundamentally care so deeply about what we're doing all day long. And while we are so far from being perfect, holy cow, we want to get there we really want to get there and everything that we do, I think it absolutely gets back to it gets back to values, it gets back to who you are on the inside. What do you want to accomplish? How do you want to be perceived, I want to deliver a phenomenal service to our customers, I want them to be sold the right way I want them to be implemented the Right Way supported the right way. I want all of our employees to feel welcomed in like invested in heard, I want everybody to walk away from DebtBook no matter like what your role is, I want your experience to be phenomenal. And I think that Eric and I in that leadership team and some of the key people that we hired really early on fundamentally care about what they're doing all day long. And they're also obsessed with it because I dream about it every single night and i i go i carpool with somebody that I work with every single day, they drive me and we talk about it, I work all day long. They drive me home, we talk about it, I eat dinner with my family, I put my kids down, and I start thinking about it again. And then I go to sleep and then I dream about it. And I think about it all the time because I am obsessed with DebtBook. And I think I'm surrounded by people that also care so deeply about what we're doing. And so it's not that like we're not magic, man. I mean, like we are normal people. We care deeply. We show up every single day, we try to be great. We're really honest with ourselves, like we admit when we make mistakes, which happens all the time. And we're trying to solve real problems. And we're trying to delight our customers. And we think in return they're going to renew we think that they're going to buy it we think they're going to renew we think that they're going to pay us more. And if you do a wonderful job for those customers, then you've got a shot to go in with that next thing and be like, What do you think about this product? Can I sell you this too? well, I've already had a wonderful experience with your people. You support everything really well. The software slick you listen to us you make improvements over time. Sure, I'm willing to trust you. So That's a rambling answer. But I think it just comes down to like the people that we have a DebtBook, I think they care deeply about what we're doing.

Kevin Carney  50:07  
No doubt there's care. There's also clearly capability, there's also resources being thrown into it, right? I'm you're, you're saying that I'm willing to invest the time and the money to do this, and I'm going to hire the right people to go do that. And let them give more space, as you mentioned earlier. But those, it does take time and investment in dollars. And a lot of organizations don't have the money to go spend on that they like to do it, they don't have the money to spend on it. Or they don't have the interest. And so being able to or going back to the for four years versus 10 years is the time to go do it. Another example I saw on your on your website is you have a whole site that's a page dedicated to security, where you guys had multi factor authentication very early on single sign on, you've got your too, right. I mean, you have all these things that that many startups are in year three or four, when they start to think about that, right, that's when they start to think about, you know, virtual private clouds, and they start to think about multi tenancy, they start to think about having the accounting entries certified by someone like a third party or something like you've already started. Not even thinking about them, but doing them and you do them very early.

Tyler Traudt  51:22  
It's ah, his name is Eric. He is a, he's an incredible person I love I love him. I mean that completely. He'll make me I'll start crying about it. I mean, the guy is one of the most important people in my life. Holly, you know, you get that you get number one there. But Eric, without him, we're not talking like we're not having this conversation. No one cares. There are a handful of people that knew this guy that started this thing, and it just didn't work. And that's why you should keep working your job all day long. Because those stories don't. They don't come together. It's fantasy land. He is a, obviously an incredible product person. He is an incredible leader manager. He brought such maturity to our team, really early on in the process, one of our lead investors I mentioned Bud earlier, he said one of the primary reasons that they invested in us is because when we pitched Eric and I got into an argument, like in the pitch, like the very first time, we were arguing, because Eric called me on something he's like, I disagree. Like in the middle of like, the biggest pitch of our freakin life. And the guy's like Like, No, I disagree with you. And now like, if you talk to Bud, like it's in our thesis, like, Are there multiple co founders that can have an intelligent argument with each other? Can they disagree, get to an answer and move forward under stress? And for me, I think Eric has been one of the I think, strongest influencers and in my personal life, I'm a better father because of Eric, I am a better leader, friend, all of those things because of him. And that's why none of that none of that is me, man, none of it.

Kevin Carney  53:15  
So what happens if you didn't meet him? Like, he was introduced? Are you introduced to him, you know, very early on, like, by someone you went and spoke to, if you didn't meet him, and his skill sets, and I take that as being hard skills and soft skill sets. How's the path different? Like, you may have said, I need to find someone that can, you know, help me with technology, Somebody to help me with the product, but where to go afterwards?

Tyler Traudt  53:37  
Like, I don't think it works. I mean, I really I think I fail. I'm not even just saying that. I first of all, like you saying I'm literally about I couldn't imagine not having him. I mean, I really like it makes me so sad. Yeah. The tissues. It makes me so sad, like having to like think about that question and like actually deliver an answer to you. It doesn't work. But it doesn't work. Because I don't know anything about making software. I don't know how to make good product decisions. I don't know any of those things. And I would have worked with somebody who would have just listened to me and done whatever I told him. And we would have ended up with the wrong thing. It wouldn't work. It wouldn't look pretty. We would have made so many poor decisions three years ago that would screw us today.

Pete Seeber  54:24  
150 miles an hour straight into a brick wall with a smile on your face.

Tyler Traudt  54:28  
I imagine like yeah, whatever it is, I imagine we we make mistake after mistake after mistake. And we just don't know it until six or nine or 12 months later, and then it's just too late. And I've already spent my money and my investors are like, Look, I just don't I don't think so. And then one investor that goes and hey, Tyler look 99% of these things don't work out. It's okay. It's not it's not you. It's um, you should be really proud that you took the risk.

Pete Seeber  54:58  
You said a while ago that If there's a lot of great ideas, the challenge is taking that great idea and turning it into a great business and a great company. And that really starts with the first people that you bring on board. Right? And that you have that mind meld and that level of comfort. And you're both, you know, leave the arrogance at the door, right? You're just humble enough to listen and understand, look at things from a different perspective, hold hands and move forward. That's submarines, so many companies that have great ideas that never make it past 12 months.

Tyler Traudt  55:32  
Nothing that we do, let me rephrase, there are no products or features that we deliver, that do not already exist. Everything that we have made, functionally, you can do with a spreadsheet, there's some other software company that can do that for you like it, it's all out there. It's it's our view of the problem. It's how we build things. It's how we serve people, it's the care that we have in our delivery of services and support when you hit our chat, what does that feel like? It feels different, the responses that you're gonna get. It's the kind of company that we're building, it's kind of the people that we are bringing into the organization. There are 10 different companies that do similar stuff plus, like so many that do similar stuff. So why do we have a right to win? Like, what is your right to win, and I think I know what those I think I know what those things are. And, and I will say that ideas absolutely are cheap, they are starting a company is by far the I think the greatest challenge that's out there. I mean, they're like, I have a limited perspective, obviously, it's just my own. But for me, it's been by far the greatest challenge, I've learned more in three, four years than I have my entire life, it's multiples. And I think to go and do it well and be successful, it's much more than building a thing. It is absolutely not having an idea, that's the cheapest thing in the world. Making a product, you can make a product, you got enough money, you can make a product, okay, selling it, that's harder, implementing it, supporting it, the building a big business, building a big business, it requires a lot of luck, it requires a lot of skill, it requires a lot of care, you got to get gotta be gritty, you gotta absolutely be able to lock in and take it, you're gonna make mistakes, big ones, you got to be honest with yourself about it. And you just got to keep coming back every single day. And then you got a shot of being successful.

Pete Seeber  57:41  
Or you're well on your way. Yeah. So thank you for taking the time with us today. And having this Conversations. I'm a big fan. Like what you're doing is amazing. What you have done is amazing. And I can't wait to see what happens in the next few years. Because I know you have big plans, you are a planner, you don't live one month to the next or one quarter to the next you've got I'm sure you have plans out five, eight years as to where this business is going.

Tyler Traudt  58:04  
Everyone's tired of hearing the vision presentation.

Kevin Carney  58:06  
what is the roadmap? What isn't, and we say roadmap, product is one aspect of the roadmap. But what's the company roadmap, what's the, you know, changing headquarters or like, well, what's on the plan for the company the next couple of years that you're happy to share?

Tyler Traudt  58:22  
We want to build a really big, important business that delivers real products and amazing services that solve very real pain points for finance teams inside of governmental and nonprofit organizations. We want to be the thing that enables the public finance ecosystem, all of the folks that come together to work on these really important projects, we want to enable them to all do more of what they do faster, better, to deliver better outcomes for the organization so they can deliver better outcomes. For every single person, no person in this country is going to know that DebtBook had anything to do with that park, or clean water coming out when they turn the faucet on or that affordable housing community or the airport or the road or whatever it is. But I want all of our people to know that we had a little bit to do with that outcome because of the efficiency and the clarity that we brought to their teams with our software. So if the truth is we don't know exactly what our company is going to be in five or 10 years. We want to go learn that with our customers. We got a bunch of ideas. We're working on a bunch of stuff. We're really excited about where we're headed. My job is to work two plus years out into the future and make sure all that time and energy that's spent is spent effectively because when you think about 100 people working all day long, if I've got them working on the wrong stuff, what a disaster, what a disaster. I feel like my job is to create an incredible company. And make sure that all that time and energy is focused on real frickin problems that people are going to pay for that are going to help them achieve their goals and objectives. And if I can just like do those two things, well, then I would really consider it a success. That's not a perfect answer. But that's that's how I think about it.

Kevin Carney  1:00:29  
The passion is amazing. In our other clients, I hear a passion of what they're doing. I don't hear as much passion about what their clients are doing and how they're enabling their clients to go do what they need to do that that's that's a differentiator that I'm saying, that's amazing. 

Tyler Traudt  1:00:46  
Appreciate it. We're just, we are passionate. We did a lot of emotion over there at DebtBook, you come into that leadership team, you talk to those people, they care so deeply, there are tears, there are tears in that meeting, there are tears in that office, people are all locked in and I love them. Like I don't always like them. But But I love- 

Pete Seeber  1:01:08  
I hear that from my wife once a week.

Tyler Traudt  1:01:12  
And so look, we're just we're trying, we're trying to string one good decision after another one together. We're trying to string them together. And we're trying to hire great people. We're trying to create a great company that makes great things and we're really excited about it. And we got a bunch of mistakes to come that are out in front of us that we're gonna have to overcome too and we look forward to getting better.

Kevin Carney  1:01:33  
We look forward to having you back in a year and seeing how it's changed. 

Pete Seeber  1:01:35  
Yeah, really impressed. Thank you again for taking the time. Listener, appreciate you being here. Go build something great.

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