Episode summary

Jonathan Widawski talks Max Gayler through products with meaning, the pitfalls of letting processes win, and the amazing things that happen when you start really listening to your customers. After founding Maze four years ago, he's committed himself to going deeper, finding new ways to leverage community, and doing it all as a remote team. From protecting focus time, to rallying motivation, Jonathan shows us how he's made a global company with team members all around the world.

Who's our guest

Jonathan founded Maze over four years ago and his since turned the company into the highest rated user research business in the world. He's a veteran Product Designer & former UX teacher. As a UX lead working with clients like McKinsey, Rocket Internet & PSG, he saw first-hand how hard it is for product teams to get the data, insights, and feedback they need to make confident design decisions. Now he’s co-founded Maze, a rapid testing platform to enable companies of all sizes to test and learn rapidly.


Hello, and welcome to another episode of Build further, a podcast about making remote work by Claap. In today's episode, you get to hear all about how to build a successful business that's remote from day one. Jonathan Widawski founded Maze in 2018 along with Thomas Mary. Since then, they've turned it into the highest rated user research platform in the world. As well as a wealth of knowledge about building a successful business, Jonathan has an incredible philosophy on why everyone needs to speak to their customers more, and the amazing things that happen when you do just that. He really believes in putting the power of learning into the hands of people who need it. Now, Maze helps more than 80,000 companies crush silos, keep their teams aligned, and communicate clearly while still keeping meeting time to a minimum.

If you are interested in how to build a business that can grow exponentially every year while empowering your remote team, This is the episode for you

Before we kind of dive into like the deeper topics of like product and async communication and distributed work, I would love to just hear about you and about Maze. I would love if you could explain just a little bit to me in your own words, what Maze does. How long you've been building up this company and what you guys are working on now?

Yeah. So I'll try to make a, a short version of, of answer. Maybe I'll start with who I am. So before Maze, I'm a product person. I've been product my whole, so before Masa was leading product design and research in different agencies in Paris. So my role there was teaching people how to do design and research and then ultimately sell these things.

And so the challenge we had at the time was, Well, everyone agreed research was critical in projects. The reality was that research was almost, we were almost never able to sell it, and the reason was it's a long, expensive, time consuming process. And so for most of our customers it was a challenge to get budget approved, to get time approved.

And if it really took eight weeks to get a full research, research fleshed out, but three weeks to build something. The problem we would face was that people would say, let's build instead. Right? And so that's what we aimed at solving with me. So four years ago today, we went on a journey to democratize research.

And so for us, what that really meant was we need to make research happen for companies of all sizes. Which we sell to the smallest startup as much as we sell to IBM and sap. We need to, to democratize research by making research available for every industry. And so we sell to Porsche and Walmart and any other company that has a digital asset.

And finally, the most important part of the story is that we make research happen for everyone within those organizations. And so what it means is that we realized very early on that there was a ratio of one to 100. We serve people in the rest of the product organization, which meant that companies have a hundred times the means to build as they have the means to them.

And so what we wanted to do was how do we solve for putting the means of learnings in the hands of the people that are actually building? And so we, our users are designers and product managers and product marketers. There's been 5% of our user base are actual researchers. And that unlocked. Growth, but also education of the market at a pace that was not just there before.

Right? And so today we exist in a bit more than 80,000 companies worldwide. We're a team of hundred and 30 people in 36 countries to solve for that. So that's kind of the short version of the journey we've been on and it's been fun and we're now the most use user research platform in the world as well.

So it's, it's an exciting.

Yeah, I saw you posting your your winning 20, 22 steps the other day, . That's, it's pretty, it's pretty wild. You know, like I, I, obviously, I know MAs quite well and I have a lot of friends who work at MAs and I knew you guys were doing well, but to see those, those big numbers at the end of the year is quite amazing.

And did, has it come as a shock or is, was 22 a big year for you guys, or is this always.

So it's been, it's been a ramp up. So in 20, so these surveys go out every year since 2019. And I remember for us in 2019, even appearing on the chart was mind blowing, right? Like even being the small bleep on the chart compared to the rest of the, the space was like, holy shit, there's something to celebrate, right?

Mm-hmm. . And then it's been, we've, we've built our way up in the past few years. So last year we were just behind Zoom and Google meet. The real surprise for us was, For the first time in the history of this survey, in the history of generally research, a specialized tool made it to the top of list, which is US today.

Right? So all of a sudden now, it means that there's a level of education for the market that has just grown to the point where there can be a specialized tool that people use to render research. And that was the real surprise for us. So, yeah. Surprising, but, but, but kind of expected through the ramp up that we've seen the.

Great. That's so interest. And was your plan always to kind of have this, this ratio of customers where most of your customers aren't researchers? Was that always the plan or did that happen outta the blue?

So I like to joke around that. A lot of the vision that you have for your company is a lot about shooting arrows and ring the target around them afterward for the one that's steep.

Right. and so and so. That's what we found. Right. It's, I don't think that was a plan originally. I think we thought that we wanted research to be democratized, but for us, we didn't really know what that meant. And so the first version of the product that we released was almost an analytics for indigent prototype at the time.

Right. And so that was the iteration one of what we did. people are building prototypes and at the time that was within vision but they don't have any data on the prototype that they've been creating. That was almost impossible to get the same level of data you had post-development from pre-development.

And so we built this first version of the product and we found a very strong initial product market fit for this specific product line. And what happened then was that we realized all the sheet actually. , 80% of the people that sign up are designers. And so that shaped entirely the vision for the company because more importantly than these are designers that are using the platform.

I believe that's what led to the success that we're seeing today, which is that all of a sudden we unlocked the market entirely. Right? It's the same thing that happened in data 10 years ago. If you think about it 10 years ago, you. People that had data team and people that didn't have data team.

And the problem was that the people that didn't have data team, they really didn't have access to data. And then platforms like Amplitude and came in. And what they did was they really made data self-serve for the rest of the organization. And so all of sudden, You could have a small data team, but the data would be spread across generalization.

So it was more of a cultural shift around data that it was a tool that that's all the data. And so that's exactly what we try to solve with mate, right? It's, we saw that we were solving for designers and all of a sudden we said, well this is what we need to do, right? To make research something that happens in the organization.

We need to exist in the organization that don't have researchers. And that that was what led to the vision that we have.

That's so interesting because I would love, cause I know how hard, I think one of the biggest struggles for a lot of, especially like small startups, is by defining your customer, right?

And who are, who is buying our product and who are, who should be buying our product and who do we want to buying our product? They're, they're completely different things. And I would love mm-hmm. love to hear more. Was it hard to kind of back down from your original intention of like, we're gonna have researchers do this?

Or were those conversations quite, quite natural?

No, it was quite natural. I would say that there was a tension. So for a long time, every time there's this shift in markets, there's this conversation about should designers research and should product mergers run research. And so the natural tension that will exist between.

Your original target personas and how your tool will not replace them, but empower them to do their best work. Right. And so we had to navigate this tension more than anything. But no, we find it very natural actually to have the, the designers in the platform. And then the next iteration of the product we released our.

Automatically generated report, which was the big new step in the journey, right? It was, we need to make it extremely simple for people to create this cause they're non researchers, so it needs to be extremely easy for them to get to a place where they ask relevant question to their audience. We need to make it easy for them to share with their audience.

So one click one, one link to just to share with their audience. And then we need to, we need to make it extremely easy to consume the. Of this research so that they can make decisions even if they're non researchers, right? Even, even they don't have the knowhow on how to process data. And so the report was, step direction realized was that this was what led to the next success first because, Figma was not successful because it allowed two designers to move blocks inside one single fight.

It was successful because all of a sudden design was exposed to the rest of the organization. All of a sudden you had a CEO inside the design file. Right, and that's what happened for us when we read the report. It was all of a sudden research, which used to be like a small, siloed part of the organization.

Was exposed to the rest of the, we saw c e o inside the research report. We saw VP marketing inside the research report. So all of a sudden we had the exposure to expand and prove the value of research beyond the research team. And that was the, the big success. Yeah.

That is so interesting, isn't it? I think I've had, I've had thoughts like this recently where I'm like, I, I do have this, you know, I talk about a lot about kind of the full stack designer.

You know, designers need to be UX researchers and they need to be product people as well, and they need to almost be able to, almost need to be copywriters. And I love this idea of people. Yeah. Jumping into different files that they shouldn't be and kinda having their hands on everything. I would, I think the democratization of data is such an important thing, especially in a company.

Like how many, how many people are you at MAs now? 130 people. 130

people. So you are like a small to medium sized business . And like, it's important, it's important that you guys, like everyone has access to data. You know, I've, my experience of working in similar size companies is the distance you feel from data sometimes is so it slows you down.

Yeah. But it's interesting that you're saying that because the journey that we're on right now is so the fact that you perceive data as the default state of world C needs to be. Is the work of 10 years of data companies trying to build up the fact that data needs to be a default. Right? So again, coming back to the amplitude, the mix panel, the, the category creation they've tried to build is like, no, no, it's not just data analyst that needs to show out.

Report. It's a designer needs to access data and a, an engineer needs to access data. And data needs to be, everyone needs to be data fluent. It's a default state of being for organization. And this exact playbook is what we're trying to replicate for research's. No, no. Research is not just a nice to have, it's a default state that your organization needs to be in to strive and to exist in their market, right?

And so that's the category creation, the category building that you need to engage in if you want to be successful. So yeah, it's exact, exact same journey. The data fluency and the research fluency, which is at the end of the day, the same thing, right? Research is just a data point. Yeah. Needs to be a default state for everyone.

Designers, product managers, engineers.

That's great. And did you have any people, did you have any customers kind of fight back or do have you had many people kind of fight back and be like, I don't think that's, this is a good idea, or I don't think everyone needs to have access to data, or has it been.

Easier. It's, it's been easier. Some, most of the challenges we have are around the level of education of the market. So when we started Maize, there was this great document from Envision at the time that was called the Design Frontier. And what they did was they mapped out the developed maturity of design in the market.

And what they mapped at was like there's the level one to the level five, and for level. Design is mockups, right? So in a company that's level one design is you create pretty mockups. And in level five, design and research are strategic decisions, right? And so, What we found originally was that we were focusing on the level four, level five, so people that were already pro problem aware and solution aware and that we're just trying to unlock faster research for the organization.

But the rest of the time that we had, we spent educating the level one to three, right? Getting them to a place where they were embedded in the value of research. Because more than do we need data, the challenge we had originally was about do we need research entirely? Right? Or perceiving the value of research and the our way of.

Because research is unique in a, in a, in a way that if you are running successful research, you won't see the roi, right? Because you won't fail. So there's a challenge proving the ROI because it's done right, you won't fail and you won't see the value of it . So that, that's been kind of the key, the key challenge we had to, to solve for.

Yeah, it's kind of interesting. It's like you, you shouldn't start drinking water when you get a headache. You should drink water so you don't get a headache.

Exactly. Ex, I'll steal this one, but exact. That's exactly right. Right. It's it's, so, it's a challenge for, for that reason. But yeah.

Okay. That's, and how do you, do you, are you dog fooding Maze? Are you using the, the product internally a lot as well?

I mean, you, you know, we are, right, it's all the time. All, we will probably have 10 products running at attainment. We use it for derisking, everything because, so while we started with a very simple product, which was the, the well simple in the sense of like a very focused product in the sense of it was prototype testing.

We then expanded more and more on the vision, right? It was then the research platform, and today we're called the continuous product discovery platform. And so what we identified was that we started with this very simple use case in which we found product marketing. And then we said, how do we expand on that?

How can we unlock more insight in the product development process? And so we went backward instead of going post development at the time, what we did was we said, how can we. Product managers, the risk problems and solution that they want to solve for. So is it the right problem we need to solve for? Is it the right solution for that problem?

Is it the right design for that solution? Is it the right value proposition before we move to development? And so we solved for all of these use cases, and now a big next step for us is going into the post development world as we're releasing in the next few weeks, which is closing the loop on insights, right?

So anything ranging. Are we solving the right problem all the way to cost development? Now that the feature is live, is it satisfactory for our users? We wanna be here to help you assess these moments and and yeah, treat them as loops of insights that you can act on.

I would love to talk to you a little bit about kind of. Yeah. This idea of closing the feedback loop and ticking off tasks and making acc and making decisions because this is something that at Claap, we're always trying to figure out the best way to do and something that our part, we're always trying to tackle with our product.

So I'd love to hear a little bit about internally. Amazing. How do you go about making strong decisions and not just kind of feeding back?

Yeah. I think, yeah, so we, we have what we call the qual qu sandwich, which is, which is a funny thing, but it's kinda the standard in the, in the market now. So the first thing to, to understand that there's a big philosophical belief that every piece of the product development process is a deliverable.

So what I believe truly is that when you look at the way products are being built, The, it hasn't really changed in the past 20 years. We went from Waterfall, which was we're going to release product in a year, right? And then we learned to lean where it's like we're going to build the product for the next months and then release it.

But the process internal to these systems is, are still the same. You have an id, you design it, you develop it, you release it, and then you learn, right? So one was a year, the next iteration is a shorter version of the year. We, we shortened the, the iteration loop, but we didn't necessarily change the way that we think about the loop itself and the, the things that are internal to these processes.

And so at Mae, the, the, the key belief that we have is that a problem can be tested and the solution can be tested and the design can be tested and the value proposition can be tested. And so that's how we think about all of these things. For every point of iteration, what we do is that we'll define a quantitative survey first.

That will help. Generate IDs, right? Generate IDs around what we need to be building. And then once we identified themes that we think are relevant, we'll go into the qualitative mode and we'll run interviews with our users to dive deeper into some of these generative ID that we, that we created.

And once we are in a place where we have something that we think is relevant and that we wanna expose to our. We then go back to a quantitative mode. And so we'll create then a survey to assess the disability for the thing that we built. And so for every step of the product development process, that's how we'll go about assessing and testing.

Yeah. You, so you are testing literally every, you are talking the torque and walking the walk. You guys are testing every step of the way.

I mean, I mean, we have to set the bar pretty high, I guess, because as a platform, if we're not doing that, then who will, right? So Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's also because we believe.

Right. We believe that that's the way to build product in the future. So we need to be big advocates, just like I'm assuming at Claap you are not doing any meetings. I mean, that, that's my assumption at this point.

We, we try our very, very best to, to exactly the cleanest calendars in all of startup tech. You have to set the tone. You have to set the tone. And this is the thing. Yeah. You have to, to kind of take these strong stances. And speaking of setting the tone, I, I read last week I was reading your report you did with Atlassian. You are about continuous research and I would, I, it's, it's, it's an amazing report.

It's, it's, thank you. It's full of great information and it's stunning and it's, it's visually really, really great. I would love to hear more about this. Like I, I was, I was really enjoying reading about continuous research and like what you're saying about now is kind of, you know, the research process never ends.

And I think a lot, a lot of companies maybe are at fault of like, okay, we'll do user testing at the start and at the end and that's it.

Yeah, exactly. And I think. If you like the report and I can talk more about the report I also suggest reading the article from the c p O at Figma who read an article called Work in Progress, which I think talks about very similar things, right?

I think that we moved away from a world where we believe there's a start and an end to a product, and we start thinking about product as a leaving thing because that's what it's right. The product is, is never done. And so at Maye, just like at Figma, we believe that yeah, everything is a work in progress and everything has a shelf.

And so because of the two things everything is in constant motion. So it's funny that you mentioned the report as well. I, one interesting fact about Maze is that our first employee at Maze was a content writer. Right. She's now a director of content at at Maze.

And that's is Eleanor, correct?

Exactly, exactly. She's amazing. Yeah, she's, she's incredible. Yeah, I've had lots of people introduce me to her. They'd be like, you need to meet this person. She, she, Yeah, absolutely. Amazing. And, and she's worked on the foundation of, of education for us for the past. I mean, she was here almost day one of building this company.

So she's almost a co-founder to this company. And so, but what's interesting there is that we didn't, I think saying that it was intentional would be lying at the time. I think it was just, we were lucky to hire someone as exceptional as she's, and also that she had a vision for why content would be so important at Maze.

Because again, because we're selling research non researchers, 90% of our work is not necessarily fighting competitors. It's more about education, educating the market, getting the market to a place where they know how to run research and they understand the process. So that's why we need to advocate externally.

And we need to use also brand names like Atlassian, like Dotel all the people we can. To educate the market on research. And that's also why we're also happy to work with people within the space, even sometimes some people that we would consider competitors, because we believe that's a greater goal behind what we're doing, that we should all work in educating the research market.

And it's not just an, it's everyone's play. If we.

I a hundred percent agree. And I think there's a really there's a few really amazing pieces out there from companies that kind of do a great job of kind of not ignoring the competition and kind of acknowledging it and kind of being, okay, cool.

Let's, let's all get better together. Exactly.

JONATHANExactly. It's very hard. It's very hard. But also like, people forget, right? When we started Maize the big question VC's hard for us was, is there going to be a research space, right? Because when you looked at the space, it hadn't really moved for the past 20 years.

There's user testing that was here and that was the only somewhat successful company, and that was pretty much it. So for us, I've always now smile when people ask me, how are you guys going to own the space? Because it's a much more interesting question for me to answer than is there gonna be a research space?

So, mm-hmm. , people forget how much work had to be done by the space itself to make it an new space now. But that was not the case four years ago. That was not, I would even say that was not the case two years and a half ago, so, wow. It's exciting. Good.

That's great. It's, that's a good, good way to kind of read that things are going well and I would love to hear Yeah.

Like on that subject of like community and building is, has Maze has always been a remote company, am I correct or, or have you guys moved?

Fully remote from day one remote before Covid as well. So we were remote before it was cool to be remote.

That's good to know because so many companies had crazy teething problems moving into remote remote world.

So I would love to hear how Maze kind of. You said, was it 36 countries you have employees in? Yep. Yep. So I would love to hear how you kind of manage those people and protect everyone's time and what tools you use to make sure that everyone's getting things done without having to constantly just live in each other's ears.

Yeah, I think all of this comes from a place of both being very intentional but also giving clear direction for the rest of the team to operate in. I think that the need for meeting and the need for consent communication is kind of a symptom of lack of clear direction for people to be able to own goals and target.

You need to. Strict guard rails in which they can operate. So for us it's being very intentional about what we share with the rest of organization. So we start with a very clear plan that we need to achieve for the year, and then we share that with the rest of organization. And every manager will have to kinda carve out what that means for every team and the mission for this specific team that work for them.

And so that allow us. To limit the number of touchpoint that we need to have with people. And then on top of that, we're very async, right? So we're an async first company, whatever that means. And so we, we work within notion a lot. 90% of our knowledge is treated in notion for anything live communication.

We use Slack. But slack is mainly used for. Cultural building and meme sharing and none of the actual work related instances, . But yeah, we, we also try to keep it extremely light, right? I think that especially in the remote setting, you wanna be very intentional about the tools that you use.

Cause you want avoid the, both the tool fatigue, but also for knowledge to be spread across. Right? And so for us, that means being very, very light on the tooling that we use and that that has worked really well for us. So yeah. It's funny also that you mentioned that because when we started Maize again remote was a non-abuse choice, right?

We joked at the time that it was going, we, we were making it harder for ourselves, right? Because the reality was we were advocating for every, for the world that remote allow us to hire the best people everywhere. The reality at the time, We were only able to really hire people that already had a remote experience, right?

And so that we had an infinite pull. But the reality was we had a limited pull because we didn't wanted to teach people how to run remote. But this choice that we made intentionally at the time of hiring people that had this remote experience also helped us build on very strong remote foundation.

Because then every senior leader that we. Had seen the journey of a remote organization scale, and so they could build right foundation for their own team as well. So for example, our VP of people was the VP of people at GitLab, where she scaled the team from 300 to 1,300 people, fully remote, right? That was the same for our VP of support, were the VP of support.

And so all of these people came in and they built. The right foundation for, for the team to operate team.

That's crazy, isn't it? Yeah. I How did you guys arrive at that decision when you first made the company? What, what, why were you, why did you decide, let's do it, let's, let's be remote?

I think so with my co-founder, we were remote. For the past seven years before that so he was living London and I was living in Paris. And so remote was kinda the obvious choice. And then when we looked at the lifestyle that we wanted for ourselves and the fact that we didn't wanted to be tied to an office, but also that we truly believed that talent was everywhere.

It was kind of an choice. But I remember a lot of pushback from our board, our VCs the whole market in general. Going remote at the time where remote was a non-abuse decision. Looking back, it's very easy to say. We knew, but we didn't. But I'm glad today that we made the decision.

Did you have are there any moments you can look back on and be like, wow, we, we were, we were doing remote wrong then we're doing it so much better than there

I mean, I don't know if there's a wrong, I, I mean, we were definitely doing things very differently. At the very beginning. We were doing almost, we were doing daily standup for the company. Like we were doing a lot of meetings. Mm-hmm. . But I also think it's a function of the size of the company, like, I, I truly believe in the chaos of the early days and the early stage, and I really like the chaos of these days.

I think that trying to over process things at the time where things are always shifting is an error. Is an error, right? I see these very early stage companies that try to have like, Scalable process. And I'm like, no, no, don't have scalable processes. Have a call every every day if you need to, like, do, do things that that will definitely break as you get to 20 people.

But that's the beauty also of being exposed. So I wouldn't say we made mistake, I would say like, We have one value at base, which, which is everything has a shelf life and it's about even processes that you create within the organization. All of this will have to be destroyed at some point. So yeah, no mistakes, just a lot of things that we had to break.

That's really good advice cuz I think a lot of people who listen. To this, to this podcast are kind of people who are either running or, you know, in, in very involved in the early stages of a company. And, you know, learning from you, from, from, from the way you guys have done it, I think is like, such, such, it's so, so incredibly useful.

Cuz now like you say, you're, you are, you are one of the highest rated and most used testing tools in the world now. So it's it's, it's, it's, it's so interesting looking at a company that, yeah, it's like was ahead of the. And now is kind of like, so now you're fully established and ready for, ready for it.

So I would love to talk a little bit more about as well that the kind of like that, that what the calendars of, of people who look who work at Maya look like because it's such, I, I, I have this obsession with, I always wanna see someone's calendar. I always wanna be like, look, show me your calendar.

I wanna see what you're doing. And I would love to know, definitely you do not need to show me your calendar cause you . But it's one of these very interesting things. I, I dunno if it's something you guys ever think about, is. How much time do people have to the.

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. So there's always this tension I found between async and Sync Time and when we use both of these tools.

So in a remote setting, you will ha you'll find a lot of, that's why I said earlier on that we were async first, whatever that means because I believe Async and Sync both have. Their places as tools as an organization. So for me, for example, so I'll have, most of my synchronous meetings are just one ones with the people I manage.

And that's pretty much it, right? The rest are asynchronous meeting, but we use the synchronous tools as well when we need to make Company-wide decision that requires a lot of cross-functional effort, right? So for example, defining the strategy for the company defining a direction for the quarter, discussing the metrics for a specific month.

That's been the bad months for us, for example. So I'm a bit worried always of ay first as kind of a religion because that's how a lot of people perceive it, right? It's like, but we're async first. And I'm like, those are lines we in the sense that that's we, we are whatever is needed for the company to operate inand.

But yeah, we, we keep it extreme light. If you look at my calendar, it's. Very full, but not with meetings, just the fact that I like to timebox those things that I do. So it's always entire impact. But yeah, most of my sync time is one, one, and I think most manager's time sync time is one. One. And people, I'll give you an example.

So yesterday we did the strategy meeting. It was a three hours. Call. And during the call we realized it's been a year and a half that we've done the three hours call. Like that literally never happens in our company. It doesn't. So yeah, we are really, really also very intentional about group meetings and not having too many people in calls and yeah, making sure that, yeah.

That's a very, that is such a good one because I've, yeah. I've, I've been in so many, like all hands, you know, you like, there's 250 people, 300 people in the all hands and I'm, it's so hard to, it's so hard to engage. It's so hard for me to concentrate in care. It,

it's hard enough when you are in a real life environment.

And I've been sitting in those meetings when I was working agency that time, and you're like, This is a waste of time. And so in a Zoom, in a zoom setup, it's even worse, right? Cause the destruction amount you have is just absurd. So, Oh, I think I disconnected. The, the amount of destruction you have is just absurd.

And so, yeah, I'm not expecting anyone in 150 people meeting to be able to follow through for more than 30 minutes, basically. Like I think that's the threshold of like, focus.

That's that's a good way to, that's a good way to look at it. And just to kind of take, take us into the last section of the, of this, of this episode.

I just have like a couple questions I'd love to ask you just about the world of product and, and, and the. Of mm-hmm. of Maze and working. So the first question would be, is the question I ask everyone is, is there any like trend or something that's happening in the world of work right now? It can be in the world of product or it can just be in the world of working in the company that you think is.

every company should be doing. And you think in five years people will still be doing it. It could be something along the lines of using AI or being a, you know, a, a, a hybrid or remote company. You know, like they, they, they've said that, you know, 70% of companies will be entirely remote or hybrid by 2025.

So I'd love to hear if there's any trends you believe in?

Yeah. Actually I don't believe every company needs to be remote. So that's, that definitely is not what I, what what I would say, I would say. I mean, I'm going to, to obviously talk a bit about research potentially about this, please. I think, I think more than research, I think it's about blurring the line between organization and their users.

I think that the companies that will win tomorrow in the next 5, 10, 15 years are the ones that are successful, are creating this blurry line between themselves and the users that they serve, and creating a more constant. Insight with an organization. For me, the, the companies that are successful at doing that not only have an edge on their market in their capacity to learn faster and deliver value faster.

Like we, we went from a world that was all about the time to deliver and now to meet a world is going to shift to a time to write, right? And I think that's the way that we try to frame. You are going to be successful if you optimize the the cost of wrong, of being wrong and the time of the time to being right.

Right? And so these two things you can do by involving more and more your users at every step of the process being market research, product research, everything just blurring this line between yourself and the people you try to solve things for.

That's great. And do you think this is something that any company any size can do and there's no, is there like, A minimum is there a time that's too early to start doing that?

I think there's no, I mean, this is a softball question. I'll take it. No, there's no, there's no, there's no good. I mean, every time is a good time because the way of doing this changes as your company's skills, right? If you are very early stage startup and you're trying to build things, talking to your users constantly is going to help you get to product market faster.

If you're in a scaling mode, talking to your users will help you prioritize the right bets. As a scaling startup, you only have that many bets that you can do in a given year. And so prioritizing the right bets will allow you to be successful compared to the market you're trying to to compete with. And then as a large, large scale organization, the ROI for you is going to be about the cost and the operational cost that you save, right?

If your IBM and you run a sprint, the sprint cost tens of tens of millions of dollars, right? Just of developers, designers, time, et cetera. Sa saving one decision, like having one decision that you made, right? Cause of talking to your users gonna literally save you millions of dollars. And that's the, the, the shift of our way, depending on your scale.

That is, yeah, that, that, that scare. That's enough to scare me and to start user testing now,T

hat, that was the goal. Perfect.

You, you smashed that then . And the last thing I'd love to hear about is just you don't need to reveal any kind. In you know, any, in their secrets of Maze. But I would love to know what is it that you guys want to be working on in the future as someone who's, you know, a, a product person down, deep down and and loves the products you're working on. What is something you guys want to be moving the product to tackle soon?

Yeah, so we just transitioned we repositioned to a continuous product discovery platform because there's a lot of things that we wanna do around again, solving for more and more use cases in the product development process.

So what that means again, is we're going to go past development. So, In a few weeks from now, we've been working for the past year on live website testing, which we allow our users to test their live website the same way that they've been testing their prototypes in the past, which is our requested feature time.

And then we are going to feedback as well, which is in your live product, you'll able to start collecting insights. You're going to be able to segment your user base and say, show this survey to people that. Users of a platform, paying users of a platform that have already seen the setting page, for example.

And then the next step for us, like the big next step for this is trying to surface more and more insights. And so what that means is that today what we do is we surface data, right? So. Your user of platform, at the end of your test, we'll show you like a report of the data that you've collected, and then the next step is how do we turn this data into actionable insights that you can consume more easily.

So it seems like being able to use the segmentation that we have within the tool and say, oh, for mail over certified this this feature is, is actually we're solving for and for people that are already premium users of your product, this is a feature that you might not wanna build. So this type of insights are the type of thing we're focusing on.

Wow. That's sounds amazing. It sounds so granular. It sounds. It's almost, it's almost like a one-to-one tackling each customer one by one approach.

Exactly. Exactly. And yeah, trying to solve for like, we have such a breadth of audience that we're solving for that. Yeah. That will help us get more granular on the insight that we provide

‍I honestly, I could, I could ask you questions all day because you, you, you've got so much to say and this has been so interesting. But I'll, I'll leave it there and let you get on with your day. But Joe, thank you so much for coming on this and just dropping loads of information.

I really appreciate it. Of course, Max, it's been, it's been great. Very excited for the next one and thanks a lot for having.

Definitely. Yeah, I, yeah, I, but I was, one of my thoughts just in the past half hour is, okay, when we do season two, we have to have we, we have to have Joe again, . If people want to kind of follow you and follow what Maze are doing, what's the best way they can do it?

Yeah, so LinkedIn of Twitter are the two main, I would say platform both for me and for Mace. So I'll send you the social and you'll be able to add, add them to probably link somewhere in a description somewhere. Yes. But yeah, that, that's the easiest way I'm always available for GMs or anything.

I, I have people reach out for research question. How to scale research, how to set up research in org. I'm always happy to chat about this things and help. So yeah, feel free to reach out on any of the social that we reach out.

A huge thank you to Jonathan for joining the show today and to you for listening. You can check out Maze Maze.co and head to Jonathan's LinkedIn to hear more from him. All our music is made by Manure Studios and if you wanna learn a little more about Claap, you can visit our website. Claap.io. Thanks for listening, and we'll see you soon.

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Building remote, reliable, and remarkable

Jonathan Widawski
CEO & Co-Founder
Release date:

February 8, 2023

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