Building Bots as a Business (BaaBs)

Andrew interviews Jamie Wright on his path into technology and bots, and explores modern tools and kits that help streamline BaaBs (bots as a business).

Presented by
Andrew Verboncouer
Partner & CEO
Jamie Wright
Entrepreneur & Developer

Andrew Verboncouer: You're listening to the Seaworthy Podcast, Episode 8, Building Bots as a Business. Seaworthy is a podcast about building successful software. Today we're talking about building bots and co-working with Jamie Wright of Tatsu.

Hey everybody. Andrew Verboncouer here -  I'm joined by Jamie Wright, entrepreneur and software and bot developer from Toledo, Ohio. Jamie, welcome to the show and thanks for joining us. How you doing? 

Jamie Wright: Good. Thanks Andrew. Thanks for having me.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, absolutely. Um, can you give us a little background on who you are and what you do? 

Jamie Wright: Sure. Yeah, I tell people I'm a professional nerd - basically means I'm just mostly a software developer. I've been developing software for, I don't know, 15 or 20 years, probably now, professionally, and I run a software consultancy. I'm an independent, it's called brilliant, fantastic, where I write mostly web programs for clients. And then I also have a product kind of split my time between both of those, which is a bot for slack. And I'm sure we'll talk about that in a bit. But that's that's pretty how much I split my time 50-50 right now.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah. So you've been in the tech industry for about 20 years. And how did you get started into the tech industry and into programming and what was like your first foot in the door? 

Jamie Wright: High school really - actually started with my cousin, my cousin is little older me, and he would come over and write some basic programs on our Windows computer. I don't remember what we had at the time. But I thought that was really cool. And then in high school, I took some software classes I like just started offering them. And I just like the idea of like, creating stuff like creating stuff that's not there and kind of felt like a little superpower. And then I didn't know what I was going to do in college. So I just said, Hey, I'm going to do computer science. And I ended up falling in love with it. So that's pretty much how I got started.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, yeah, that's, that's cool. I think that's, how a lot of people kind of stumble into it. Or I think...

Jamie Wright: Yeah, we lost a lot of a lot of good souls too during college. I remember like, as soon as we started talking about pointers or something. There's a lot of people that bailed.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah.

Jamie Wright: But yeah, the good, the good people stuck with it.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right. So you mentioned your bot. Let's, uh, let's talk about that. But before we talk about your bot, what is a bot? And how did they get started?

Jamie Wright: Yeah. So a chat bot is simply a software program that simulates a conversation with a human, and they go back as far as -  it's not a new concept. Like, they go back as far as, like 1965 with Eliza, which is kind of considered the first chat bot, which was about that simulated a psychotherapist. And you would give it your symptoms, and it would tell you what it thought your diagnosis was. And it was based on work from Alan Turing, which is from the 1950s. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Right.

Jamie Wright: And then, you know, they continued. Another popular one was in the 2000s with AOL messenger, MSM Messenger. There's a bot called smarter child.

Andrew Verboncouer: I remember that smarter child. Yeah.

Jamie Wright: Yeah. Which,  did like the things that Siri and all that stuff does. Now, you could ask for the whether you're gonna ask for the news... and that was by a company called active buddy, who also did a bot for Radiohead? I don't know if you ever...yea, Radiohead used to have a bot on their homepage called the googly monster - I forgot the name of it, but it is googly something. And it would tell you, you know, tour dates, and things like that. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, that's kind of cool. 

Jamie Wright: Specs about radiohead, yeah. And, and then, of course, with the advent of slack, and even with camp fire from 37 signals, you know, 2006, they've kind of made a comeback in recent years, especially with slack. So they've been a lot around for a while. They're just now easier to build. But we're still in the early days.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, yeah, thanks for that background. Um, so what I mean, what does the market look like now for bots? What's, what's the landscape? What's possible? You mentioned, it's easier to build, I'm assuming people are taking on bigger challenges. But...

Jamie Wright: It's a lot like the App Store from 2007, 2008, where everybody's getting in on it, the opportunity is high, but it's starting to get saturated a little bit, you're starting to see a lot of the fart apps, you know, of the bots get created and then dumped but there are, you know, big companies are investing a lot of money, Google and Amazon and apple. And they're all investing money in kind of AI and, and chat bot infrastructure. You know, Apple has their iMessage that they're opening up, right, Google just bought API, which is a conversational, bot-studio type of type of deal. So there's a lot of money, the times are still - the technology is still relatively dumb, to be honest. So that's why I say we're in the early days, but it's only going to get better. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, yeah, it's interesting, that, you know, bots paired with the AI in like, the voice interfaces, text interfaces, is that a lot of the same infrastructure behind it? On like, how programs are written or like the decision making process for bots?

Jamie Wright: Yeah, some are better than others, obviously. But there's a lot of like, these conversational NLPs. So natural language processing as a service. So you can give it a phrase, and it will tell you, what's your intent was, what are the things you're acting on. So you could pass it things like, what is the weather and it will tell you back, it'll tell you that your intent is that you're checking the weather, and you may say, "what is the weather in Toledo?" and it'll tell you, you know, you're trying to check the weather, and you're trying to check it in Toledo. So a lot of the hard work in terms of like, trying to figure out what people are saying is kind of done for you. And then it's up to your bot to determine what the user can do next, what what feedback what sort of feedback to give them. So it's kind of a level playing ground in that in that sense, but there is a lot of, you know, obviously, Google spending a lot of money with their service and Apple spending a lot of money on, you know, Siri and making that smarter.

Andrew Verboncouer: Where does -  I know a few people that have the Amazon Echo. That's I mean, along the same lines, I think they're and maybe I'm wrong, they were opening up their API to developers soon?

Jamie Wright: Yeah, it's, it's open, its open, they actually have a fund as well, there's an Amazon Alexa Fund, I think it's 100 million dollars. They're, they're investing in applications that are built on top of their Echo platform,

Andrew Verboncouer: Right. And so that's, like you said, a lot of the hard lifting is already been done in, you know, detecting intent, what these is trying to do maybe contextual information. But then I think the biggest thing, the biggest gap is, you know, like any software, right, so many things have been streamlined. It's about deciding what those workflows are, and what those and outcomes that people actually want to create are. And I think that's where, you know, bought design, kind of, that's how you separate your bot from someone else's bad is, does this really fit a need? And then how does this work?

Jamie Wright: Exactly -  Does this save the user time? Or is it just is it just a inconvenience, that's really where you see the the popular bots vs. the not popular bots. Is this actually helping people solve a problem?

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, and I think, yeah, that's common in software. Yeah, as I mentioned, it's, there's so many, you know, there's UI kits out there. Now, there's, I mean, plug and play templates that you can do. But is this is the solving the right problem? Is this communicating right? Is this telling the right story, you know, relative to the user, and I think that's huge,

Jamie Wright: Right.

Andrew Verboncouer: So when did you first get into, bots?

Jamie Wright: Well, I've been always into the idea of bots, probably from when smarter child was around, remember that specifically, I started building bots around a campfire days, there was a there's a software layer that sat on top of the camp fire API that I was building, building some little small integrations with things like, you know, build statuses and trying to help them some of the Dev Ops II stuff. And, you know, I always kind of viewed this, I'm always interested in saving time. Time is my number one thing that I try to focus on streamlining in things that I build and build for myself. And so I always had this idea and love for like assistance, and the ability to have a virtual assistant, right. And there's a, there's a package that I'm sorry, an application that Twitter bought, and the name is escaping me, but Oh, it was Sandy. It was iwantsandy.com. And I love that idea. And basically, Sandy was a bot that's that as a text message that you could have it do things like remember things and give you calendar information and things like that. So I've always been fascinated with with that sort of those those ideas of how kind of this assistant that sits out in the internet somewhere and bots are kind of the best way to get at that assistant.

Andrew Verboncouer: So when did you start developing for bots -  was? I guess we can talk about Tatsu - is that is that your first bot? 

Jamie Wright: That's my first bot that I brought out in the wild that I had it do stuff for things outside my realm so Tatsu came about, I was working well, actually, it goes back a little farther. So let me explain what Tatsu is, first. Tatsu is a bot that's just for slack right now that allows your team to do stand up meetings without physically getting up off on your computer, and going to a physical space and interrupting your day. So I was involved with lot of different teams and clients, and we would have the stand up meetings on a stand up meeting. It's a really good productive meeting, in my opinion, it's a meeting they usually have at the beginning of the day that you say what you did, what you're planning on doing, and if there's anything standing in your way. And what that does is it kind of clears the plate the slate for your whole team on removing blockers and letting them get on with their day. 

Andrew Verboncouer: It's really big in agile and scrum.

Jamie Wright: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So a stand up meeting allows you to kind of clear the slate with your team, and your team doesn't have to come back during that day to interrupt to you to see what you're working on. Or, or what you're planning on doing, or if there's any, or if they're blocking you in any way. So it's a really good productive meeting. I hate meetings. But I really like the stand up meetings. The problem was that we have to get up at some certain time from whatever we're doing and standard around a circle. And everybody would say, answer those three questions. And so you could be in the flow and developing or designing. And then at 9am, you'd have to get up and go to this meeting. So when slack came around, even with camp fire was kind of thinking, but it will, there really wasn't a way to do it with with camp fire. So I, I immediately thought of doing a stand up bot. And this is before when slack first came out. They didn't have the idea of bots, they they basically had where the bottom was not a user, they basically had incoming and outgoing web hooks. So you could send stuff to slack, and you can get stuff out of slack. And that's really where Tatsu was born, was with that architecture before their bots. And I built it internally at first with a client that I was working with. And we used it, we loved it. And then that's kind of when I, I have an idea to just polish it up a bit and release it as a as an application.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, and it's, you know, just to kind of speak to like the use case, it's been super useful for us, because a lot of times, even in like stand ups, if you're doing you know, you're in a physical location with your team, or even if your remote it's usually about something that exists somewhere else. So, like, in a development team like ours, you know, we're it's PR's - It's, yep, I'm blocked on this. It's a link to something specific. And so like we use Tatsu in you know, our Slack channel and, you know, just kind of helps like along that flow like interruptions is one thing. But then also, here's the information that someone needs to unblock you.

Jamie Wright: Right? Yes - yeah, it's been doing really well, on the slack App Store. So I'm pretty happy with I've gotten a lot of great feedback from people. And it's actually saving time and actually doing good, so. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, so we kind of talked about, you had the idea because of it was, you know, kind of part of this whole agile Scrum process of doing, you know, daily stand ups and, and touch points, making sure that the ball is moving forward on whatever you have on your plate today, or in the next day or so. Was there any -  you mentioned you were building it with a team? Is that part of the validation process? You guys used it internally first? Or was there any type of validation or interviews or things you did kind of before building it?

Jamie Wright: Nope, that was it. That was - we just build it for ourselves and build it the way that we wanted to see it being used, and it was great.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, well, I think, yeah, to kind of, you know, talk to that, too, is one thing we look for in software is a process or a workflow. And, you know, with it being something that was physical before, it seems like you kind of had all the recipes for validation, in order to just make it into something and see, like, is this technology going to uphold the same process as this, you know, typically physical or video based workflow, which is, you know, the daily stand ups?

Jamie Wright: Yeah, there was a lot of consideration with flow, and how, what the user can do at any given point. And there's a lot of design issues around some of that stuff. So there was a lot of thought into that. But yeah, we already have the idea of what the thing should do, because we've done it.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right, what the main outcome was, and that was to be able to give, you know, touch point on where you're at, let people know if they if you're blocked, and what they can do about it. That makes sense.  So how did the launch go? I think, when did you...was it a year ago, I believe, or maybe just slightly longer?

Jamie Wright: Yeah, it was April of 2015. So yeah, about a year and a half ago now, although launch was awesome. So it's really a lot easier to launch stuff nowadays with product hunt. So we were we actually hunted on we were on Product Hunt before we were ready to launch - and that that blew... it was probably two weeks before it was on product hunt again. Product hunt actually took us down because we were in beta at that time. They didn't allow beta things on there. But the launch went really, really well. Our goal was to get on the email, you know, if you get a certain number of how high you are on that days list of of hunts, you get on the email. And the email is where it kind of blows up. So we got a big spike of users in the beginning. And then since then, it's just been word of mouth, word of mouth. And then the slack App Store came out in December of that year. So that was another great a great thing for for katsu. Although we did have a little stumbling block getting into the App Store. But you know, it could have been better, but the App Store is kind of continuously brought us traffic.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, that's good. And I know we've recommended it, you know, he's mentioned word of mouth just to, you know, clients that have, you know, bigger teams at ours that are, are struggling with staying on the same page. And it's not just, you know, development teams, I know, you know, some of our clients use it for their sales teams for a quick stand up, and they're not necessarily doing Scrum or agile on it. It's just a good, you know, call to action to Hey, what are you working on to need any help, and you can customize the questions, which is awesome.

Jamie Wright: Yeah, I think that the stand up meeting, I know, you know, your audience and, and my peers and your peers we're very familiar with the stand up meeting because it's in development. But I think it's a type of meeting that really any vertical could use and use well, and I think it's just a matter of time before they learn about it. So yeah, that's, that's great. I'm happy you - thank you for recommending it.

Andrew Verboncouer: Oh, yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think, you know, a lot of the principles of Scrum and agile can be used, you know, anywhere really, to just kind of for continuous improvement, to gather feedback. But the standard part I think, is super interesting, because it kind of adds a bit of a bit more accountability. Like on a sales team, for example, you might have a monthly sales meeting, and that might be your only touchpoint. Otherwise, you're in the dark the whole time, you know, seeing other people make progress, you making progress, this kind of this psychological push and pull, you know, have a feeling like you're carrying your weight, or maybe some pressure, you know, to make sure you're getting done, what you need to get done. I think that's kind of built into, you know, something like this.

Jamie Wright: Yeah, we have a lot of teams other than development teams and design teams using it. Sales teams, like you mentioned, we have some real estate agents using it, some financial industries using it as well. So it's not just for for those two disciplines.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right. What's the biggest challenge with Tatsu so far? How did you come over it? Or are you still working through it? 

Jamie Wright: The biggest challenge... Well, I guess there's two challenges, because Tatsu does not support full time development right now. There's always a, there's always an internal struggle with me of getting client work done as well as as Tatsu. And it's a lot of hard work. But that's, that's where I want to be. I see a short feature where it is full time, but that's always an internal struggle. But the biggest, probably the biggest struggle for me was the slack app store, you know, slack reached out to me about a month before they were doing their big announcement last last December. And this was the announcement where they announced the slack app directory, the bot architecture and the slack Fund, which they -  slack also has a investment fund that they're investing in companies and those three things. So they reached out and said, Hey, we'd like to mention this event. We'd also like to get Tatsu in our new app directory. And I was like, cool. But it couldn't use the technology that I was using, and which I did not know at the time. So when it launched the day it launched, it was denied from the app directory, because it's still used outgoing web hooks. So I  had to spend some, I actually, I was in San Francisco at the time, and I stayed up all night trying to get it to, to convert over to the bot and it was a mess, like, it was like six in the morning and nothing worked. Everything was broken. And, and I was like, this is ridiculous. So it took me about two weeks to to switch everything over. It was a lot, it's in a lot better space. But that whole week was probably the those two weeks were probably the biggest stumbling block because it would have been nice to be in the app directory at launch obviously.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right. Are there any other bots you're working on or any any type of other things that you can divulge? 

Jamie Wright: There are - I'm working on a bot with a client right now. I don't know if they want me to talk about, so I'm not going to talk about it.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, that's fine.

Jamie Wright: And I am working on another another project. Another project that involves time and time management for personal use that has a bot component to it. And that's that I'm building on for that I'm building a whole new bot kind of infrastructure and technology stack around that bot based on the things that I learned with Tatsu. So one of the things I learned is if you want to get technical.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, absolutely.

Jamie Wright: Ruby - So I built, Tatsu in Ruby and then there's a lot of other Bot Frameworks, there's a really good Bot Framework called bot kit and it's built in, in Node. And the problem with these these bot frameworks or actually with JavaScript and Ruby is is kind of this idea of the process, and that everybody is tied to that process, or they're outside of a single process. And the communication between those are really hard to do. So the problem with that is if one goes down, or if one bar has an issue, they can all go down your whole your whole, every every customer that you have, can can kind of experience some issues. So I've been learning elixir and elixirs kind of, I think the answer to to that issue in their GP capabilities, where you can spin up processes really cheaply, and they can talk and communicate between each other. So I'm building a Bot Framework on top of on top of elixir, and then I think is going to be pretty neat, pretty easy to get started. And then I'll I plan on building other language bridges. So if you still want to build in Ruby or JavaScript that you can still do that, but the brains of the body are going to be built in an elixir.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right. Yeah. And that's a, that's a growing tool too, I've seen quite a bit in the market, requests for that, and that technology. So if someone wants to make a bot, where do you recommend they start, you mentioned a bot kit. What's, what do you think is the the, you know, the first step for someone interested in, you know, tooling around with with creating bots? 

Jamie Wright: Yeah, bot kit is a great place to start. If you're want to build it in node, you can build you can spin up a new bought with, there's an example out there, Ben Brown, who's the creator of bucket has a tweet where it's a Hello World for bots. And it fits in the hundred and 40 characters using bot kit. So it's really easy to get started, the documentation is really well done. So if you're going to get started, and you want to build it in, in JavaScript, and node, I'd recommend bot kit. There's also like I mentioned earlier up team different bought commerce frameworks now that can actually build your bot for you with those, you can't really do much besides communicate, you can't, it's hard to get data in and out of those. So to have anything that's stable, or connecting to other APIs is kind of hard. But if you just want to play around with conversational you eyes, those are really good places to start. Those are things like api.ai, wit.ai, which Facebook bought. And there's a few other ones as well, there's so many to name, but I would recommend those two spots. Now, if you want to play around with Ruby, there's a slack -Ruby bot, I think, is the name of the gem. And you can just throw that into a Ruby project and get started that way.

Andrew Verboncouer: Cool. Yeah, thanks for sharing those resources.

Jamie Wright: Yeah, and also to understand that we're still really in the early days. So it's hard to...you just have to understand that, like, your bot, to get it to production ready is probably still going to take a lot of work, because bots can go down all the time, slack would just kill web connection, web socket connections when they want. So your bot has to really recover from a lot of different scenarios. So I would also offer also recommend that if you're building a bot, and you want to push it out into a real world make sure you do a lot of dog fooding of it. Because, as developers and and other people, we will try to break it, it's just inevitable. So you have to you have to respond to to those different types of scenarios.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, as a bot maker - I'm always interested - do you you get a like, history of what people are saying to your bot? I know when we get frustrated with bots sometimes you're like, come on bot - like, figure this out, like - do you get a log of that is that like, Oh, I'm trying to do this?

Jamie Wright: You can. But we don't. We don't. We purposely do not log or store any, any conversation that's not directed at the bot just for privacy reasons. But it is pretty trivial in slack to get to know what anybody is saying at any given time. Actually, that type of information would help us out and debugging issues and finding issues. But we don't due to privacy reasons 

Andrew Verboncouer: Right, gotcha. Yeah. Thanks for going into that. I think, you know, you're also a co founder of a brick and mortar business, a co-working space in Ohio. Can you tell us a little bit more about that? I think that's something that you've since moved on from, but you know, how was that experience and can try to build up the ecosystem of startups?

Jamie Wright: So back in 2010, I think it was, maybe even earlier than that. I sent out a tweet saying, hey, I want to open a co working space in Toledo and a colleague of mine who I knew of, but I didn't really know said hey, I want to - I'm trying to do the same thing. So we got together. And it took us about two years to do a few things. The biggest thing with CO working spaces, it's not really about brick and mortar, it's more about the community. So everybody's, I've heard from hundreds of people saying, hey, I want to start co working space, how do you start a co working space? Well, the biggest thing is, you have to have the community, you have to have people around, you can't just open up a co working space by a building and hope that people come to it, or else you'll fail. So it took us about two years to while we were looking for the space to also make sure that we have the community behind us. So we each had our own communities, people were interested, we found the minimum number of people that we needed, we started meeting with them at coffee shops, and Panera's just to work together. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Yep, just kind of build that rapport with them. 

Jamie Wright: Right. And, and so the actual opening of the brick and mortar place, it's like I said, it took us about two years to find the right location. We knew that we wanted it to be downtown Toledo. Although we did search other areas, because everybody kept on saying, I don't want downtown. I don't want downtown. The biggest problem with downtown Toledo is the parking and everybody's afraid of it, until they actually have to deal with it. It's not, it's not that bad at all. But luckily, we found the right partner, we were close to other places, opening in other places. And I'm kind of glad that those fell through. Because our landlord that we have now is is a really understanding person, he understood stands what it does to not only that business, but the surrounding businesses as well. Because now you have people going in and out coming downtown, they're eating, they're drinking, they're staying there. But the actual opening of the brick and mortar business was pretty simple. We, we found the landlord he gave it was it was an empty building just walls and, and some polls and he gave us a budget and we just had to work within that budget. He built it out. And of course, with some, you know, that was part of our monthly, right monthly rent. But yeah, went pretty smooth. We did a Kickstarter to kind of do two things to validate that the community other than our our inner circle, found out about co working and what it was helped us purchase the furniture, so we didn't have to spend about 15 grand of our own money to do that. And then as well validated that people that said that they're interested in CO working would put their money where their mouth was actually they would actually spend, pay for it.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right. revenue is good.

Jamie Wright: Revenue, right.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, that's good. We have a couple of CO working spacs - I think we have just have one actually in Green Bay, but some in the area. But I think, you know, it's always interesting to go into, like Chicago and San Francisco and bigger tech areas, and see just the buzz in the CO working space. And the type of you know, like you said, the value is in the community, like a space without people. It's just a building. 

Jamie Wright: Exactly, exactly.

Andrew Verboncouer: So it you know, it's really cool and I really kind of envy you know, what, they have at like 1871 in Chicago, and you know, how do we build... 

Jamie Wright: 1871 is crazy, yeah.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, you have this long - I don't know if any listeners have been there. But there's this long 200 yard hallway, you have to walk down to get to it. And you wonder, Is this the right place?

Jamie Wright: Yeah, but it's just buzzing with people, obviously, Chicago's a different market than Toledo - little bit bigger, but it has improved Toledo as far as like, it's kind of considered one of the tech hubs. So people that want to either get into the tech industry or want to invest or what questions answered it they all kind of talk about seed, so I'm happy to - I'm happy that that's what has happened. And that was one of one of our goals. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah. Do you guys have any? I know, some co working spaces sometimes do like, yeah, like VCs or mentors and residents? Do you guys do any of that? Or is it more just a space at this moment?

Jamie Wright: Yeah, there are people trying to start those up. So venture funding in Toledo is probably what you imagine it is. It's not really much yet. But there are people that are trying to start up groups to help companies get off the ground to have mentors, whether that's financial tech design, entrepreneurial there, were trying to, to create a group of some free services. And then there's a there's a lot of seed members that are getting there's a program by the government called tech higher where they provide funding and outside outside resources. And so there's a group trying to get Toledo on that list better than our seed members. So that's really interesting. So yeah, there's a lot of it's it's not as big as 1871 but it is kind of getting it start it has been you know, it's been a work in progress for two or so years. So it's kind of coming to fruition now, so. 

Andrew Verboncouer: Good that's exciting. Is that where you're right now, recording? 

Jamie Wright: I am I'm not I have - so like you mentioned, last year our three year lease was up and I wanted to concentrate on Tatsu and some other software projects. So I actually got out of being a partner at Seed, and we found a third partner that kind of took over and, and to kind of take over my space, and my other two partners at the time are still still going. So and then I got a an office near seed. So I kind of switch between seed and my, my office. What I found actually with CO working is that if you do too much CO working in my opinion, it can be really distracting and I don't get as much work done. So there's days when I want to hang out and be around people. And then there's days when I just want to, you know, have my head down and do work. And so those are why I kind of have those two different spaces.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah, I think a lot of us in the tech industry can relate to that. There's days where maybe it's more lighter work and days where it's deeper work. Yeah, you know, where you really have to think and, and focus with. So it sounds like you, you know, you guys did a lot of the validation stuff you did, you know, pre orders, you sold, you kind of gauged on revenue, you know, in order to build it, you had your goals, obviously, um, is there anything that you would do differently if you started from scratch, like you started up today in Toledo and wanted to do a co working space? Anything you look back on and think like, I wish we could have done this differently?

Jamie Wright: Not really different, I would have probably put - when I first opened seed, I was totally against private offices just due to the community aspect like this co working is supposed to be co working it's not supposed to be a bunch of private offices. But there are times when you, like I just mentioned, the reason I have a private office is because I want to get away. Now there are spaces that seemed to do that. But I would have liked to see maybe a few more of those spaces being built. I don't think we had the room but I would have liked to seen a few of those other spaces. And besides that there's a lot of things that we planned on doing that we just didn't get to.

Andrew Verboncouer: Right.

Jamie Wright: So we wanted to we wanted to work with other companies, local companies and I think this is a great idea -  and seeds still going to do it - where if let's say you work you know at a company and you go to the company every single day. Well in order to get the creative juices flowing your creative your creativity is not just you know happen at your desk at your office in fact it probably never happens or rarely happens there it's when you're walking around it's it's when you're in the shower it's when you know when you have this time to think so I think co working has a co working spaces have a great opportunity to reach out to other businesses and say hey this is like a third place for you to come to be around other creative people and to get out of the office one day a week or two days a week or whatever you want to do and I would have liked to see us kind of head up that initiative a little bit more.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yeah that's that's a good idea.

Jamie Wright: Yeah and they're still working on it but it's something I would have liked to see while I was there.

Andrew Verboncouer: So if you're in Toledo or the area passing through hit up Jamie go to Seed - check it out. Where can people find you, follow you and get more details about what you're up to? 

Jamie Wright: The best way is on Twitter -  I tweet a lot @jwright and that's probably the best way to just reach out and then we'll probably move it over to email or whatever but also my consulting is at brilliantfantastic.com, which is another way to reach out to me if you want to email me. 

Andrew Verboncouer: And then Tatsu is @tatsu_io? 

Jamie Wright: Yeah or Tatsu.io is the website. And if you want to get an additional month free so there's a 14 day trial if you want to get an additional month free you can put in tatsu.io/seaworthy and that'll give you another 30 days free to check out tatsu.

Andrew Verboncouer: Yea, very cool yeah thanks for extending that discount. Thanks for being on the show, was great chatting about bots - BaaBs - bots as a business. 

Jamie Wright: Awesome yeah - thanks Andrew, I appreciate it and thanks for having me. It was a blast.

Andrew Verboncouer: Thanks for listening to Seaworthy. Connect with us on Twitter @seaworthyfm and make sure to subscribe, ask questions, and leave feedback on the remarks. We'll see you again in two weeks.

show notes
  • Startup Story
  • Modern tools and Kits to streamline BaaBs