Earlier this week, Evan Fitzgerald and I took a flight down from San Francisco to Newport Beach to provide Partner Training to the NetChemistry team. We took an early flight down from SFO on Alaska Airlines. The flight was comfortable.
Breakfast with Tony Forbes
Upon landing at John Wayne Airport (SNA), Tony Forbes invited us to breakfast at Galley Cafe. A short Uber ride later, we were catching up with Tony, who is also one of our investors. Tony co-founded Budget Blinds in 1992 with four partners. As the business grew, Tony learned invaluable lessons on building a successful franchise model. In my my opinion, the Partner model in B2B SaaS has a lot in common with franchises. I'd say we have a lot to learn from Tony. Here are my takeaways from breakfast at Galley Cafe:
- Discovery Day was a way to get to know prospect franchise prospects better. They saw a 75% close rate after they implemented Discovery Day
- Tony Forbes: "Basically every one of your partners is a franchise partner."
- Having a three day convention seems to be the best timespan
- "It was one of the most important things we did in the life of the business" Tony on Conventions
After breakfast, we caught a ride to the NetChemistry office in Tony's Surf Van. The Tony Forbes Surf Van
"Just Like Sending an Email"
As Evan began his Paubox Email Suite demo, it became apparent to those in the room the product was designed by putting the user experience first, but not at the expense of security. It was evidenced by remarks like Lewis Cabrera: "It's just like sending an email." It's also demonstrated by our commitment to security: We recently achieved HITRUST certification for 4 of our solutions.
The Paubox Time Challenge
During partner training, we tested how long it took to open a secure email from Paubox vs. other competitors like Virtru. I opened the stopwatch on my iPhone and timed Chris Cruttenden and Tony as they opened secure emails from Paubox and Virtru. The results were remarkable. Here's more context on the Paubox Time Challenge:
- Secure emails were sent from an email address that had not previously sent email to either Chris or Tony
- The Time Challenge began when the secure message appeared in Chris and Tony's inboxes. In other words, how long did it take from opening the secure message to actually being able to read its contents?
- Chris and Tony solely used their iPhones
- Virtru: 76 seconds to open a secure email
- Paubox: 2 seconds to open a secure email
- Virtru: 152 seconds to open a secure email
- Paubox: 3 seconds to open a secure email
"I've never met anybody that likes Zix and Cisco"
As we continued discussing the competitive landscape, familiar names like Zix and Cisco popped up. Sure enough, our partners also echoed what our customers often say, "I've never met anybody that likes Zix and Cisco." The level of friction introduced by competing solutions is often too high a barrier for users to cross to actually open and read secure email.
Pri-Med West Conference
Keith Matsutsuyu recommended attending Pri-Med Conference in Anaheim. I last saw Keith at HIMSS19 in Orlando in February.
Lunch at Ten Asian Bistro
We finished the day with lunch at Ten Asian Bistro.
After taking Selfie with Ines Faguas, Evan and I hopped on a United flight back to SFO. It was not a comfortable flight. I can't believe United charges you extra to sit in the middle seat.