About three years ago, Basecamp built Know Your Company to solve their own growing pains as a company. The tool helped their partners, Jason and David, get weekly insights into their company they’d never known about before.
Know Your Company worked so well for them that they decided to launch it as a product. Word soon caught on, and Know Your Company started working well for other companies too… It worked so well in fact, that Basecamp decided to spin out Know Your Company into its own separate company, and I became the CEO.
That was back in December 2013. Since then, we’ve worked with hundreds of companies, helping over 10,000 employees in more than 15 different countries feel more connected and their voices more heard.
During that time, we’ve learned a lot. And those learnings are what pushed us to make a big change to our business…
Starting today, you can sign up for a free trial of Know Your Company yourself. You can come to our website, see the product for yourself, take it for a spin, and then decide whether or not you want to buy it.
This is the first time we’ve ever done this.
Prior to today, if you were interested in using Know Your Company, you had to signup for a 30 minute personal demo with me via WebEx, GoToMeeting, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. We didn’t show the product on our website at all. No screenshots. No video. Nothing. If you wanted to see the product, you had to talk to me. It was all very manual and very high-touch.
Why did we do this? And why are we now changing it?
Focusing on the outcomes
When I first started running Know Your Company, the most important thing to me was to make sure people had really good outcomes when using the product. I wanted to make sure the CEOs we worked with were learning things about their companies they never knew before .
In order to get those successful outcomes with Know Your Company, I realized you need an upfront commitment from the CEO to spearhead the initiative. Getting to know your company requires a shift in culture at your company. That kind of shift only happens when it starts at the top.
We figured that if a business owner was willing to commit 30 minutes of her time for a demo, she’d be committed to using Know Your Company in the right way. She’d take the program seriously, write her own thoughtful questions, and act on the feedback she received. And in turn, she’d see successful outcomes in her company because of it.
So we purposely created an initial high barrier to entry in order to filter for that commitment.
We also knew that because I’d be talking one-on-one with each CEO, I’d be able to ensure that Know Your Company was a good fit for them. I’d share best practices around the tool — how to encourage employees to give honest feedback, how to follow up with employees — so they could get those outcomes they were looking for. You can’t be there for your potential customer and have their back like that, unless you go the route of a manual, high-touch sales process, like we did.
It worked well. For the past two and a half years, we’ve helped our customers achieve some incredible results. I regularly hear how a company has changed their benefits policy and saved bunch of money, because of Know Your Company. Or how they’ve restructured their meetings as a company, and become entirely more productive. Or how they revamped their business development because of an insight learned through Know Your Company, and have become more profitable as a company.
Most incredibly, some companies have even detected through Know Your Company that an employee was disgruntled, and were able to keep that person from potentially leaving. All because of Know Your Company.
In fact, 98% of the customers who signed up for Know Your Company last year are still with us today.
Wanting to help more people
While we’ve helped our customers achieve great outcomes with the product, there was one big, obvious downside to this manual process: We weren’t getting to help as many people as we’d like. Naturally, when you’re doing in-person demos, there are only so many you can do in a day. You start to feel the constraints around scale.
Sure, we could potentially build out a sales team and scale that way… But to what end?
With our manual process, I also saw how we could be unintentionally turning away some business owners who might otherwise be a great fit for Know Your Company. I could see how asking some business owners to commit 30 minutes of their time for a personal demo could be discouraging. Perhaps they were highly committed to getting feedback from the team, but the barrier to entry we created was too high.
So at the end of last year, I asked myself this question:
“Are we doing our best to help as many people as we can, in the best way that we can?”
My answer was, “No.” There’s more we can do to help even more people.
So we set to work. We decided to move Know Your Company to be self-signup so we can help even more people benefit from the outcomes we know we’re able to help create.
Better than ever
My desire to help more people feels urgent because I believe the current version of Know Your Company is the best version we’ve ever put out.
We’ve spent the past almost three years studying the hundreds of companies who’ve used our software — coming up with the best questions to ask, refining our methodology to ask those questions, and observing the best ways to use those questions to uncover blindspots in a company.
The 208 questions that we give you with Know Your Company have been carefully researched, tested, tweaked, and then tweaked again. And the method behind how we ask those questions something we’ve evolved over time.
We’ve come up with a system that works.
Now, more than ever before, is the best time time for a business owner to be using Know Your Company. And now, we’re excited to have more people be able to use it.
Put it to work for you
If you have at least 10 employees, but no greater than 100, and you’ve been feeling growing pains as a company, come take a look at Know Your Company.
You’ll be able to try us on for size, yourself. Sign up here for a free trial of Know Your Company.
Or if you’d prefer a personal walkthrough of the product, I’m still very much happy to do that. You can schedule a 30 minute demo with me here.
Either way, I’m excited to fully open the doors to Know Your Company, and help more people create an open, honest work environment at their companies.
Come on in!