Shane Hegde founded Air.inc, which is superseding platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive in organizational visual asset management. Not only is Air revolutionizing how companies collaborate on media projects, it also has a reputation for being a truly great place to work. Jason and Shane get into what it takes to innovate products and being a great employer in this value-packed conversation.
In this episode of Ecommerce Building Blocks, Jason talks to Shane Hegde, the co-founder and CEO of Air.inc. Jason has specific questions for Shane about how Air has a reputation for being a great place to work, with excellent operations. Shane shares his hard-earned wisdom (as Jason says, there’s no real “founders school”) that led him to build his organization on principles he truly believes in. He and Jason discuss how he ran his team when it was just him and his co-founder, and how he runs it now. Then he breaks down the essential components of a true one-on-one, and talks about why this essential meeting is what makes his company run. These meetings allow employees and employers to give each other tactical advice, constructive feedback, and to understand the larger scope of the organization and its goals. Finally, Jason and Shane talk about Air’s product and how it is seeking to innovate by being the world’s first cloud-based creative operating system.
Shane’s Linked In: linkedin.com/in/shanehegde/
➡️ Building Blocks website: bbclass.co
🍍Jason’s twitter: https://twitter.com/EggrolI
Shane founded a consumer banking app at Stanford before moving into tech and media investing at Highbridge, a private equity firm. Before launching Air, he served as the Chief Digital Strategist for REVOLT TV, a multi-platform media company. Air is a creative operating system that automates content management.
[00:00:00] Shane Hegde: If you're running a business, there's an obsession. And there's so much literature about how important it is to get your product experience right. And I think not enough people are talking about how important it is to get your employee experience right. That's a third leg of the stool. When you're working in investing or in finance, you look at numbers in an Excel sheet and you're like, Hey, if the business needs to go from 50 salespeople to 12, and if it does that, then it's efficient. But it's a whole nother ball game when you step into the organization, you start to understand the people and the human story that a lot of it.
[00:00:40] Jason Wong: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to another episode of the building blocks podcast. Today I'm joined by Shane Hegde who is the co-founder and CEO of Air. And if you guys don't know Air yet, you need to check it out. It is a miracle that we recently installed on our store and this is not an ad by the way. I just love it so much that I went out and invited the CEO [00:01:00] to come talk to me.
[00:01:00] Jason Wong: So Shane welcome.
[00:01:02] Shane Hegde: Thank you so much for having me, Jason, really excited to be here. And, I look as long as it's working for you guys, we're happy and can't wait to, get it in front of more folks.
[00:01:11] Jason Wong: It's
[00:01:12] Jason Wong: definitely one of those apps where when I first got pitched and I get pitched all the time, I'm like, ah, well, let's see about it.
[00:01:19] Jason Wong: But I really like, um, exploring new tech for my company. I like to see where I can have the edge. And if that means productivity, if that means efficiency, I'm always open to exploring it. But trust me, when I first got pitched by you guys, I honestly thought it was going to be a lot more expensive, but, but we'll get into that later.
[00:01:38] Jason Wong: Um, really, I don't want this to be like a full pitch, but I just love this so much that I actually became like a, Hey, I want to tell everyone about this, but we'll get into that in a bit. Well, Shane, I initially wanted to talk to you because I read something online and I heard from your coworkers, just what, what a great place and [00:02:00] what a great workflow that you guys have at Air.
[00:02:02] Jason Wong: And it always gets me intrigued because as a. My job is to always find ways to lead my team more efficiently. And I know that's always been a huge topic for other founders too. Like we didn't really go through founder school. Um, most of us either didn't go through college or we studied business in some capacity, but it's really difficult to understand how to lead a team effectively.
[00:02:25] Jason Wong: And it seems like you found a system. Can you tell me a little bit more about what you guys do at Air?
[00:02:29] Shane Hegde: Yeah.
[00:02:30] Shane Hegde: Yeah. And, and, you know, I think the first thing I want to highlight within that topic, Jason, is that if you're running a business, you're, there's an obsession and there's so much literature about how important it is to get your product experience right. Um, you know, there's also so much out there highlighting the customer experience and how there needs to be customer obsession and your customer experience needs to be really dialed. Um, and I think not enough people are talking about how important it is to get your employee experience right. Um, and I think that [00:03:00] that's a third leg of the stool that, you know, there there's a ton of different ways to carve it and shape it. And there's no right answer.
[00:03:08] Shane Hegde: And my strong recommendation would be, you know, to build an organization around principles that you genuinely believe in, you know, and, and for us, you know, one of our core values is low ego and another is iteration. And then another is an obsession about documentation.
[00:03:25] Shane Hegde: These are all things that just define what it's like to work at our company. And it's been great to hear you say that, you know, it's great to hear that our employees are out there, um, espousing those values, and they've really taken hold of them. And I think when you have a really, developed sense of who you are and what the experience is like working in your organization, it helps you do a number of things. It helps you evaluate candidates and their performance. Um, it helps you, hire new candidates, um, and figure out exactly who's right for your [00:04:00] organization. Right. And I feel like anytime, um, and you know, Jason we've interviewed in roles in the past before we were founders, you know, the, the classic is like, oh, am I a culture fit here?
[00:04:10] Shane Hegde: And I think what's really hard for new folks, you know, pitching themselves and trying to figure out, you know, can I get this job? Is, am I right for this job? Am I right for this organization? And so, you know, we try to orient around a lot of transparency about our practices and processes and values internally so that the team internally can resonate with them.
[00:04:31] Shane Hegde: And hopefully we can bring on some new folks who do as well.
[00:04:34] Jason Wong: Are there any point in your upbringing that led to this moment of knowing all these things were like, where did you learn it? I'm just curious, because like, knowing what I know now, I just wish I knew this a lot earlier, but it came from trial and error. It came from lots of heartbreak and losses and like, oh man, I really messed it up because I didn't do that. I also know founders who literally were raised [00:05:00] on some of those principles because their parents taught them that. So I'm curious to hear like where
[00:05:04] Shane Hegde: you learned yours.
[00:05:04] Shane Hegde: Yeah. I mean, you know, I grew up in an Asian household, so, you know, I feel like, like you, there's a lot of values that were just put in front of us that we had to say yes to and, and ascribed towards.
[00:05:15] Shane Hegde: Um, but I think, you know, every in many founders journeys, there's tales of misery in the past that helped shaped their understandings of the future they want to create. And, you know, for my story, I'm a second time founder. The first time I failed miserably nd, you know, barely got off the ground.
[00:05:33] Shane Hegde: We raised a pre-seed and we had a little team and we couldn't even get our product out as a FinTech company. And we didn't, we didn't pass some necessary, um, sort of steps in the policy space. Um, so there was failure there. You know, I then had the ability to go out and work with a mentor of mine and in private equity.
[00:05:52] Shane Hegde: And through that experience, it was amazing. You know, I was in my early twenties and got to work with a bunch of executives at companies who [00:06:00] are thinking about, um, organizational design, um, and operational excellence. You know, at businesses that were multiple, you know, sometimes multiple thousands of employees, but in some cases, you know, a few hundred, um, so that gave me like another window into it.
[00:06:16] Shane Hegde: Um, and then right before I started Air, I was, it was basically the chief digital officer of a television network out in LA. And my job was to lean it through a turnaround. And so, you know, I learned a bunch through that. You know, we went from 150 employees to about 90. You know, and I had to go through the process of transforming the organization, which was really tough.
[00:06:37] Shane Hegde: And then I had to help build it back up. And I think that was the really like seminal experience for me to understand how important it is really to get the operations of an organization right. You know, when you're working in investing or in finance, you look at numbers in an Excel sheet and you're like, Hey, you know, the business needs to go from 50 salespeople to 12. [00:07:00] And if it does that, then it's efficient. But it's a whole nother ball game when you step into the organization, you start to understand the people in the human story that, that drives a lot of it.
[00:07:08] Jason Wong: And that's always been the biggest challenge is that it's not that easy. You know, I go through finance meetings and they're like, you need to cut this and cut that. And like, in my head, I'm like, yeah, I, I should. But when you start having those conversations, It's
[00:07:24] Jason Wong: tough.
[00:07:26] Jason Wong: And
[00:07:27] Jason Wong: I like to say that I have empathy, thankfully. Um, and once you pair that and you, once you have to like also balance the needs and requests from the higher ups. And my higher ups are just like the numbers, like the, the number of gods, the bank gods, the cash in my account, it gets challenging because you have to. Right? You have to balance it, but then you also need to understand the human element of building those companies. Like when you hire these people, you have this responsibility to make sure that you are giving them a future, a roadmap, and you can't [00:08:00] just hire them and be like out three days later, you're gone.
[00:08:02] Jason Wong: It's kind of hard. Right? Um, I, I read a little bit that Air has raised four funding rounds up to this point. Um, and I'm curious to hear like how you led your team in the beginning. And how you lead your team now with more money and more resources and even more team members, what are some ways that really help you lead your team effectively?
[00:08:24] Shane Hegde: Yeah. Yeah. It's funny. I just, um, I think there's, there's two things there and I'll highlight them, you know, one is one-on-ones and two is being cognizant of what the business needs of you. Um, and so to highlight the second point that I just made there, um, I just had a conversation with my co-founder Tyler, who's one of my best friends and he's like look Shane, I've been extremely impressed by the fact that you have changed in necessary ways to help account for where the business is today versus where it used to be. Um, to highlight your question, [00:09:00] Jason, I think in the early days, you know, a lot of it is just blind faith. You know, you don't have data. Like everybody's like be data-driven, but what data exists when you're just starting something, you know, it's, it's a, a hope and a dream.
[00:09:15] Shane Hegde: It's a lot of ignorance, that a founder or founding team has to say, Hey, I think this is the right answer, regardless of what the data says or what people around me say. And you gotta galvanize a team around that. And I think when you hire an early team, a lot of those folks are wary of taking the risk. You know, they don't want to be wrong. They have a job to do. They're an employee of an organization and they're trying to like go and get data to drive decisions or to be right. But sometimes, you know, you gotta make clear that we just have to make the bet and it's okay to be wrong. And we've just got to work through being wrong and be wrong a bunch and be wrong quickly and then get to the right answer.
[00:09:58] Shane Hegde: And that's a mentality [00:10:00] that I think we took early on, you know, was Tyler and I putting ourselves in strategic areas of the business, where there was risk and making the bet ourselves and being informed with what that work was. And then once we understood what the strategy should be, and there was a level of efficacy there, then hiring into those roles.
[00:10:20] Shane Hegde: So I think that Tyler and I have played every single role in this organization before we've hired into it. Um, and that was one thing that I think we just approached from the get-go as two folks who had started companies before. Um, I think you have to narrow, to your point around how that's transitioned, now it's a, it's a relationship of trust. You know, my job, you know, we've got a team of about 50 people we're spread out across the globe. Um, and we've got a bunch of folks ho know damn well, what they're doing. You know, our head of engineering, you know, was at Autodesk for 20 years, at Envision for three, led teams of 50 to [00:11:00] 100 engineers.
[00:11:01] Shane Hegde: Our head of design, you know, was one the second designer at slack. And, you know, and was their staff designer when they got acquired by Salesforce. And our head of growth was at Intercom and Coda doing this before. Head of marketing, you know, has been a marketer for 20 plus years. And I don't know shit anymore, Jason. They know everything and I'm learning from them. And I think what I've got to do is make clear what their goals are, make clear what our strategy is and make sure that they have every resource under the sun to drive forward. And that's a dramatically different departure from the way that I characterize my work earlier, and that change had to happen through the course of the last four years since we started this business.
[00:11:42] Shane Hegde: And so, you know, I think I'm excited to see where I'm going to have to grow and change over the course of the next two years or the next four years. Um, and I imagine it's, you know, continuing to allow myself to be molded by what the business needs and what the team needs around me.
[00:11:59] Jason Wong: Yeah. [00:12:00] And it's so important to hire people smarter than you it's.
[00:12:04] Jason Wong: And you know, I stayed as, and it's funny because I, I didn't think about that when I first started my business, because when I first started my business, I'm like, I have a vision and I know how to execute. I'm just going to do it. And I hired too late. I delegated too late. I didn't know how to delegate.
[00:12:20] Jason Wong: And I always thought that I'm just going to build people up. I thought I was in a Build a Bear. Um, but really that hindered my growth so much because I just wasn't hiring the right talent and I didn't let the right people get in the right roles and just let them handle it. Rather than trying to budget and try to do everything.
[00:12:38] Jason Wong: And so that was a learning that I had too late. And another learning that I had too late was really what a one-on-one was. Looking back it's so silly that I didn't know what a one-on-one was, but again, I didn't go through business school. I went to one year of Comp Sci and then dropped out. So like never got taught about it until like later, later, much, much later.
[00:12:58] Jason Wong: And now I understand [00:13:00] it's probably the most important meeting of my week. And I always like to ask this for every founder is like, how do you conduct your one-on-one to make sure that it's effective as possible?
[00:13:08] Shane Hegde: Yeah. It's funny. I've had a similar story as you, you know my one-on-ones used to be unstructured unformatted, um, ad hoc, you know, they used to be check-ins if you will. You know, a lot of people call one-on-one check-ins they are most definitely not. You know, today I, you know, I have five direct reports. My one-on-ones with each are an hour long. Um, and my one-on-ones with my co-founder are two hours long. Um, they're highly structured. Um, and we keep the same framework and drive it through week over week, keeps consistency.
[00:13:43] Shane Hegde: Um, you know, there is room to get tactical in that kinda meeting. We have a sort of fixed topics and agendas and things we're thinking about. Um, then there's also room to be unstructured, you know, and share feelings and thoughts and triage disagreements, or, you know, issues that we're [00:14:00] having with one another. You know, they're the best part of my week. I schedule all of them on Fridays because I want to have a great day on Friday. And I always feel really good about the state of the business, about where I am with these people. Um, you know, I think it's funny, you know, the integration of, um, you know, comp, leveling and feedback, those three things are highly, highly integrated.
[00:14:27] Shane Hegde: And I think there's been a lot of emphasis on comp and leveling. Um, but feedback to your point, hasn't been a topic that's been discussed, you know, given how highly important it is to the degree it needs to be. Um, and so I think that these one-on-ones are really the moment to drive that forward and I would highly recommend anybody listening out there, you know, to spend a good amount of time, you know, as soon as they have it restructuring and reworking their one-on-one processes for, you know, whatever works for them and their direct [00:15:00] reports or their manager. Um, I agree with you, Jason. It is by far and away, the most important meeting of my week. And most fun meeting.
[00:15:08] Jason Wong: At like a high level. How does the structure look like? And it's probably different for everyone, but like very high level.
[00:15:14] Shane Hegde: Oh, yeah. So with my direct reports, there's sort of three sections. First section is a one to five rating of like how you're feeling this week. I'm like, you know, that's just open, you know, it gets us into talking about what happened and how we feel, personal professional.
[00:15:32] Shane Hegde: Um, so that's the first section. Um, and then, you know, we add some, some thoughts there. The second section is about tactical feedback to each other. Um, this is where we can get into a lot of around like, Hey, you said this thing this week. And like, it didn't align with me or, you know, you gave me feedback this week in this way and you're like, it didn't, it didn't resonate with me the way it should have.
[00:15:53] Shane Hegde: Um, it allows us to allow paper cuts to not become problems. Um, and, and it's really tactical. It's [00:16:00] not, it's not petty. It's not like we're every week we're obsessing about like, let me tell this person why they, you know, got me mad this week, but it's choice moments on a consistent weekly basis where we can do that.
[00:16:11] Shane Hegde: And then the last section is sort of a rigid agenda. So it sort of funnels into um, goals and different topics that are happening around the business. Um, hiring, onboarding, like all the different projects that they have. We're doing general check-ins and trying to triage problems and diving into charts and graphs that are relevant to their work or whatever that might be.
[00:16:33] Shane Hegde: Um, so every, basically every Thursday, both me and my reports fill out this doc. And then Friday we walk in and we've already read each other's thoughts. And we come in there and just start talking. Um, you know, we're trying to play to this, and the other thing of note here, Jason, is we've got to, we've got to rebuild all of our systems because now there's remote, there's hybrid, there's, you know like you have to be able to work asynchronously. So the documentation [00:17:00] element of it is really key.
[00:17:01] Jason Wong: I've heard that, um, on a previous podcast actually, who's a founder of a e-commerce brand and he used to be a PM. And so he took a lot of the processes that he had as a product manager, into building his own team and him as a CEO. And it's like, it's efficient because most people who get into these roles, they, they don't know the proper processes. So say they do ad hoc. They just think that meetings are just meetings, but they're structured. And there's things that you have to do in order to align everyone. Communication is so such a key thing, especially for a remote team.
[00:17:35] Jason Wong: And the biggest problem that I'm running into is that sometimes people just don't know what others are working on. Especially once you grow the team a little bigger team mates are across the country or outside the country. Do you guys do anything in the beginning of the week to align everyone on what the weekly goals are and what they need to do, and then on your Friday you have check-ins?
[00:17:57] Shane Hegde: Yeah, it's good. It's good.
[00:17:57] Shane Hegde: I mean It's great that you ask. So [00:18:00] Fridays are my, my one-on-ones with all the different members of the leadership team. I mean, it was my co-founder on Thursday evening for two hours. So that sort of sets the stage for a lot of those conversations. Um, Mondays we do our team and our leadership meetings. Um, so those happen, you know, the team meetings will happen through the day on Monday and the afternoon we have a leadership meeting. You know, on odd weeks, it's just a readout of goals. And on even weeks it's, which is 30 minutes and on even weeks, it's 90 minutes long, and it's 30 minutes on goals, 30 minutes on operations, and then 30 minutes on larger ideas that we're exploring around the business amongst the leadership team.
[00:18:40] Shane Hegde: Um, so that's Monday. And then what happens on Tuesday is all of our notes on goals. Um, an individual on our data team, Sam Chang, he aggregates a lot of that information and what he's been hearing about this business into the newsletter, and then the newsletter goes out to the whole company on Tuesday mornings.
[00:18:59] Shane Hegde: [00:19:00] And it's a written overview of like what's happening in the business, where things are moving, where we're concerned, where we're excited, um, how we're tracking against our goals. And that document goes out in pair with a dashboard of like, here's all the goals and how they're tracking. So again, we believe in transparency here at Air. So every employee knows the state of revenue at the business yesterday, today, last week they knew, you know, how churn is progressing, how NRR is progressing, and it gets a sort of shared buy-in on the organization around we're all looking at the same material. Um, and it allows us to just have really dynamic conversations with folks around business.
[00:19:39] Jason Wong: I love that transparency. So key and I heard a lot of organizations now are really opening up their numbers. Like let everyone know. Um, another, like a tweet I read was like, they start sending their investor updates to the rest of the team and. Yeah, it's
[00:19:55] Shane Hegde: It's crazy that that sounds crazy. It's nuts that that sounds crazy.[00:20:00]
[00:20:00] Shane Hegde: I mean, why is that crazy?
[00:20:01] Jason Wong: These are people who are building your company who are a part of the success and they should see the reds, they should see like greens. Um, and I think companies where employees just don't have that urgency because they don't really know what's going on. Like they don't know what's under the hood.
[00:20:15] Jason Wong: Right. So I I'm in full support of that. I actually do that too. I send it to everyone. I'm like, hey, we're down. And I just want you to know that this is where we're at, and this is what my plan to go forward with. Like you, you need to make sure that they know if they don't know, and then you get upset at them for not performing so there's no fire under them. You never put that urgency there.
[00:20:37] Shane Hegde: Totally, totally. And I think a lot of it is there's like a, and I used to do this early on, even with this company. Like I, I felt like I was trying to carry you know, the, the organization on my back and like bring it up the hill. And like, I didn't want people to be scared or worried or, you know, I, I felt, I feel, and I still [00:21:00] do this to an extent it's an idiosyncrasy that I'm working on.
[00:21:02] Shane Hegde: You know, this is like my, I have to have my own self-improvement. And I think part of it is continuing to grow in my comfort of just having everybody have the same information and being clear about strategic decisions and why we're doing certain things, even though the numbers might suggest something else. You know, I think contextualizing is the challenge of every executive, but just because it's a challenge doesn't mean you should or shouldn't provide the information. You know, I think I made those mistakes earlier on in my career and even at Air to an extent. And, um, I'm really glad and I feel like the organization at large is in a better place because of that change that I've had.
[00:21:39] Shane Hegde: And we've had as a team.
[00:21:41] Jason Wong: I love that. And Shane, this is honesty, like such a good meeting or interview for me to have heading into, like, I have three one-on-ones today. It really makes me rethink I, and I, and that's kinda like why I love like doing this podcast. I'm not a podcast guy. My entire career is not dependent on a [00:22:00] podcast, but then I started liking that I will pick up the phone and call my friends, and ask them for advice. And it feels like what I just did to you. I was like, Hey, like how do I run a better one-on-one meeting? And it always equips me, selfishly. This helps me a lot. And in turn it helps a lot of people around the world who are figuring out. Like, I honestly think if I did one-on-ones better, I could have progressed a lot faster.
[00:22:22] Jason Wong: And it's silly to think back to like: a meeting, could have done that better, but I was like, man, looking back the way that I ran my company could have had a lot more structure. And structure is one of those things that matters so much more at much higher level, but foundationally, like you need to have that foundation set within your company because once you put them in like later on people are like, eh, I don't know.
[00:22:45] Jason Wong: Or like they're not used to it that you're still never do it. So like setting that expectation early on is so important.
[00:22:50] Shane Hegde: How do you structure yours, jason?
[00:22:52] Jason Wong: My meetings is like first one is I check in on how are they doing personally and feeling on their work and in personal [00:23:00] life. I like to check in, like, if I know that like employees with family or like, kids, or whatever I like to check in on them. Um, just, you know, cause me, I actually truly like to have conversations about that with our, and then next I go into what our weekly goals are.
[00:23:19] Jason Wong: Um, so direct reports with like my head of marketing, my head of ops. Um, and then just doing progress on longer term projects, like some projects that take up maybe two, three months. Like a what's up with that project, I'll check in on that. Um, or if we're doing hiring, we'll check in on the progress of it kind of similar to what you're doing.
[00:23:37] Jason Wong: Um, but our meetings are like 30 minutes. So to me, the thing is like, can I reduce other meetings throughout the week to make a longer one that's more structured? And then we don't do the writing. Like we just jump right into it. So I think that I actually want to do more writing.
[00:23:53] Shane Hegde: That was a huge unlock for me.
[00:23:54] Shane Hegde: It was the getting everything down forces me to like sit down and really [00:24:00] think before I just walk into the conversation and get ad hoc. Um, and that was, I, you know, I did that. And then what would happen is we would just fill the meeting and we would never get through everything. So that then forces me, well, why don't we add 15 more minutes?
[00:24:13] Shane Hegde: Wait, why don't we extend it to an hour? And so like naturally blow it up because we realized that we had so much that we wanted to say to each other, right. We would always like run through our week and then step into this meeting and try to vomit it all out. Instead of, like the same way you prepare for an investor meeting, you know, you should be preparing for your one-on-ones and doing that on a weekly basis.
[00:24:34] Shane Hegde: Centering that on documentation I promise is going to unlock conversation that you never would have had otherwise with the folks you work with.
[00:24:43] Jason Wong: I was shocked to see what I can get out of those meetings with people that I didn't think I would get out of it. Like, when you talk me about a designer, for example, like these are people that really like to just draw or like illustrate on their own.
[00:24:56] Jason Wong: So getting them to come to you and be like, here's all the design [00:25:00] challenges I have. And like, whoa, okay. If I asked you will tell me, but like I walk in with the assumptions, like, oh, these people don't want to talk to me. I like probably just marketing ops want to talk to me, but like no, customer support wants to talk to me and tell me all the customer feedback that we had, all the operation challenges. Um, and they're very excited to tell me about all the things happening in and, you know, without jumping too deep into it, I think customer support is one of the most important part of building a business that truly cares about the customer, because it's the frontline with your customer, like every good and bad thing, and mostly bad thing. Because if people that email you are usually having a problem, you hear it first from customer support. And that's why we start staffing up on that. Because we just realized how truly important it is to get feedback fast and iterate on them faster.
[00:25:46] Shane Hegde: Totally. No, I think that's it spot on Jason again, like all of these things that you bring and understandings from your sense of product, which, you know, you have and on your sense of how the customer experience that you have, and you want to build, bring in that stuff into the [00:26:00] employee experience.
[00:26:00] Shane Hegde: It's gonna, it's going to pay dividends.
[00:26:02] Jason Wong: Shane, beyond the
[00:26:04] Jason Wong: brilliant leadership that you've had. You know,
[00:26:11] Shane Hegde: I don't know about brilliant, Jason I'm trying.
[00:26:14] Jason Wong: I mean, I'm learning. So I think there, there's definitely like ways for me to get up there and I truly do respect the product that you built. And I don't say that a lot because I get pitched by dozens of apps every single day and Air is one where I installed and it's like, I don't think I'm ever going back to Google drive and I'm gonna, I'm going to try to talk about this product and you tell me if I, if I'm doing it right. I replaced Google drive with Air. Um, because Google drive is just so dated in the sense where you can have one product in one place, but it can not have be existing in another place. Like you have to go through probably nine folders before you find the right product sometimes. Um, and the search function is broken. It just wasted so much time on our team.
[00:26:59] Jason Wong: And for our very [00:27:00] small team of limited resource, we need every hours we can get back and with Air, we really, really were able to find everything we need, organize it properly, collaborate. And, again, this is not an ad by the way. I'm not getting paid to say as I'm truly a happy customer. Shane does that, does that sound right on what Air is trying to to do?
[00:27:17] Shane Hegde: It does Jason. I mean, look, you know, in many ways the problem feels obvious, right? Every company today is a media company and every employee around their business needs to work with images and videos. And the problem is that they don't have the right infrastructure to do it. Cloud storage was not built for the creative process.
[00:27:38] Shane Hegde: It wasn't built for you to operate like a media company, create content, share it with folks across your team, you know, make decisions on what to use when to use it, how to use it. You know, today 50% of a marketer's day is spent managing and organizing and storing and collecting content. And across the [00:28:00] history of software, any time where there's been a need, that's dramatically grown, like the need for images and videos has dramatically grown.
[00:28:07] Shane Hegde: Um, you know, and the manual support of people's time, isn't able to meet that need automation gets created and it fills that gap. And that's what we're doing at Air. You know, we believe that it is a creative operation system that is allowing your organization ,Jason at doe to operate the same way that, you know, ESPN does or that, you know, MTV does. You know, you can create content with a bunch of different stakeholders all across the globe.
[00:28:38] Shane Hegde: It can sync into Air. You can make decisions in real time off of, Hey, we want to use this thing for this campaign and push it over to the creative team. They can create new versions and edit them. You can give them feedback right in product. You can pass it over to your growth team, they can push it into your ads manager.
[00:28:54] Shane Hegde: Right? We want to be that connective tissue for your organization. That's creating that lift. And it's great [00:29:00] to see you guys being able to save hours of time and create hopefully tens of thousands or millions of dollars of value. You know, that's the dream for us.
[00:29:08] Shane Hegde: Yeah. I mean, I truly didn't think you can iterate on google drive because. I've been using Google drive since I start my business. So like changing something that I've been using since the beginning of my business was well first thing really scary, but then it seems like I can just immediately import everything. And I think we finished the onboarding in a couple hours. Yeah. But no, truly, truly appreciate the product.
[00:29:33] Shane Hegde: And it is one of the few products that I do recommend to everyone because it's actually really affordable. Like when I got picked up. It was going to be like a few hundred dollars a month type of product. It was 29. Am I right?
[00:29:44] Shane Hegde: Yeah. Our pro plan on a monthly basis is $30 a user a month.
[00:29:48] Shane Hegde: So we want you to be. We don't want to see a lot of these enterprise software companies to the history of enterprise [00:30:00] software have hired a bunch of salespeople to go out and sell a narrative, you know, and get you to believe that like this thing is going to be really impactful for your day. And every single one of our partners, that's gone through a sales process.
[00:30:14] Shane Hegde: We said, well, why don't you try out our free product? See if you, if you like it. Okay. Like you think that's good? Why don't you start in a $10 plus plan or a $30 pro plan and like, okay, you're finding value. Great. Then let's, you know, if you scale beyond the value that that's providing, then cool. Let's talk about an enterprise product.
[00:30:29] Shane Hegde: And, you know, I think for us businesseslike Lemonade and Hims and Hers and Spindrift. And Spindrift were all getting pitched by these large archaic enterprise software businesses. And they found our product and they said, well, why don't we try this thing? And in trying that thing and in finding value in it the same way you did by migrating stuff in on their own and playing around with different structures, you know, and using some of our templates, they found value and then we just help them accelerate that value.
[00:30:57] Shane Hegde: Um, and so if you're not building a [00:31:00] product led growth enterprise software business today, um, I'm sort of challenging you to understand or even convey why. And there's definitely certain reasons why you wouldn't do that.
[00:31:10] Shane Hegde: Um, but in a category like ours, 70% of buyers of this software are first-time buyers. They've never bought this type of infrastructure before. We're the first piece of media infrastructure they're buying. And we're the only self-serve product on the market today in the category. Um, so you know, it's it's been really cool to watch the business grow because it's this massive market opportunity where the only way people have found access to it is through talking to people instead of trying it and then buying it and experiencing it and then helping, and then using us to just help them scale.
[00:31:45] Jason Wong: That's phenomenal. Truly, truly. Thank you. Thank you, Shane. And, um, I will put your link to Air. I'll put your link to your social, and I know we're out of time I know you're extremely busy.
[00:31:58] Jason Wong: I'm going to let you go now, [00:32:00] Shane, thank you so so much
[00:32:01] Jason Wong: for coming on.
[00:32:02] Shane Hegde: Jason is always a pleasure. Thank you so much for using the product and you know, stoked to help see you and the team get to the next level.
[00:32:10] Jason Wong: You just heard an episode of the building blocks podcast. If you like what you heard, subscribe below to keep hearing conversations I have with brilliant marketers, founders, and innovators on how they built their best ideas.
[00:32:20] Jason Wong: Now, if you want to learn how you can turn your best ideas and build something massive out of it. Visit my website bbclass.co or follow my Twitter @eggroli.
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