Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact

Off the Record: Acquiring B2B customers & growing traction - Chieu Cao of Mintago & Perkbox

February 14, 2023 Maiko Schaffrath Episode 127
Impact Hustlers - Entrepreneurs with Social Impact
Off the Record: Acquiring B2B customers & growing traction - Chieu Cao of Mintago & Perkbox
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Chieu Cao is the co-founder of Mintago, a financial wellbeing platform for employees offering financial education, financial planning tools and pensions through salary sacrifice. He’s worked for many years at some of the world’s most renowned brands like Amazon,  Microsoft and Yahoo. Before Mintago, he co-founded PerkBox which became one the fastest growing employee service platforms.


  • [1:17] Chieu Chao's background.
  • [4:07] Next step after leaving Perkbox.
  • [6:04] Lessons learnt from Perkbox.
  • [10:34] Overcoming mental hurdles as an entrepreneur.
  • [13:32] Dealing with mental hurdles as a founder.
  • [15:45] How to look for an advisor.
  • [20:18] Step by Step process to building a profitable business.
  • [28:10] Pushing the presale concept.


  • “It takes a lot to be an entrepreneur and to really dedicate yourself to this craft. It's not for everyone but if you find it’s rewarding, you can kind of justify the hardships” [1:27]
  • “It is more than just building a big business because there's so many options, so many ways to build a business, so many types of businesses. I'd say choose the model that really appeals to you on multiple levels” [1:48]
  • ”Just having experience isn't enough.You need to have resilience.You need to have that resourcefulness,that drive” [5:01]

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Today's episode is a very special one and the first of a new series where interview experienced founders who share some of the hardest lessons learned and very practical advice that has helped them become successful. The first half of this episode is recorded while the second half will be completely off the record. Safe space for members of the Impact Hustlers community to ask questions and get support from our guests. If you'd like to join the community and not miss out on the second half, because you won't hear that on the podcast, you can go to and check out the community and join in. Our guest today is Chieu Cao. He is the co-founder of Mintago uh, financial Wellbeing platform for employees, offering financial education, financial planning tools and pensions through salary sacrifice. And we'll talk about how that works in a second. Chieu spent actually many years at Amazon, Yahoo, Microsoft before co-founding Perkbox, which became one of the fastest growing employee experience platforms and in my mind it's recently, but it's been a few years already. He set up Mingo and I'm really excited to talk about both Perkbox and Mintago with you Chieu, great to have you. Thanks for having me, Maiko. It's a pleasure. Give us a brief background of yourself. What drives you as a founder? Yeah. Well, listen, I think you covered it really well. Nothing much more I can add to that in terms of the history. What I would say is like, I really love what I do. I think the key thing is, it takes a lot to be an entrepreneur to really dedicate yourself to this craft. I would say, it's not for everyone. But if you find it rewarding, you can kind of justify the hardships. And I think, creating businesses like Perkbox and now Mintago, is all about social impact and doing something that I really care about. Cuz that's really what drives me. It is more than just building a big business because there's so many options, so many ways to build a business. So many types of businesses, you know, I'd say choose the model that really appeals to you on multiple levels. But yeah, I think that's where I am right now. I'm still on the board of Perkbox as a co-founder started that in 2011. Grew that business to tens of millions in revenues. In 2019 or 18, I made a tough decision to kind of take a step back, cuz I was a CMO and co-founder. And I knew that my aspirations was to be, more than just be a CMO and I felt like I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to kind of, extend my wings and kind of, do more. And that kind of led me to think about how I structured the organization that I built. So I hired a great marketing director. I came in, sort of took over essentially. And, it took me 12 to 18 months to kind of wean myself, sort of off that business. So it wasn't an easy overnight decision, cause it's still my baby but I've left it in a way that's very strong and it's growing. And since Covid, Perkbox has really gone global. This whole remote working culture that's totally embraced. And they're one of the only organizations in the UK that offers truly global you know, employee benefits and recognition software. Which is where most of this programs are quite domestic, you know, UK based and regional. So that's pretty good. So in 2019, I took some time off, I decided to do some sort of angel investments and non-exec directorships. And what I found out was it wasn't as rewarding as I thought it would be, and I need to kind of do more. And so I looked around and I said, what is it that drives me? What was it that I want to spend another five to 10 years doing? And what I came out thinking, was that I really cared about a business that, had social impact, something that I really, you know, felt like I can leave it like this and feel, great about. Financial wellbeing is something that I thought was, not addressed in the way I think it should be. There are lots of products in the market. There are lots of B2C products, solutions but nothing in the B2BC space. And that's something that's truly unbiased, not pride led. So it's truly a wellbeing solution. And the third part was, I really enjoyed the B2B2C approach to the market. You know, creating this social impact through the workplace as an entry point was really exciting for me and I really enjoyed it at Perkbox. And so I wanted to adopt that model again. So those are the three things that I kind of came up with. And then took a bit of time and go through how I got to where I am with Mintago, but that's how I started with Mintago. And when you well left your executive role at Pekbox, as you said, you're still involved as a board member, but was it very clear for you the next thing is I'm gonna be a founder again? Or as you hinted to it, it wasn't actually that clear in the beginning. And what made you say, okay, I'm gonna be founder again. What was it their? Yeah, that's a really good question. I mean, I get all sorts of advice from friends and family and saying like, you've been through a lot of pain the last 10 years. You wanna go through another 10 years of pain. And I say, what valid point, it wasn't always easy. But the reality is to really understand yourself. What drives you and drives me. And what I've learned, is I love building, I love creating new businesses, overcoming challenges and winning. And I can do all of that by starting another business. And I think there's enough energy and drive and persistence in me to do that. And that's important because it's not easy. It's not the same. It's actually difficult. It's hard, you know, just having experience isn't enough. You know, you need to have resilience. You need to have, you know, that resourcefulness, that drive, right? So that's really, what I thought a lot about and I realized that's really how I wanna spend my time. Obviously, speak to my wife and , make sure that's okay with her as well. But it's a family thing as well. You need to kind of consider it cuz it sucks up a lot of your time. And so by taking all those boxes, I say, why not? Otherwise the alternative would be what? Right? And so that's something I spent some time doing the alternatives and kind of to clear my system as well. So that could be, you know, doing a bit of angel investments, not exact work, advisory work, those types of things. It's fine but it doesn't fulfill me in the way that I think creating a new business that I truly believe in. And I'm very fortunate to have found something, I can really embrace. And that's the other thing, you know, if I didn't find that, It wouldn't be the same thing. I'd continued looking for something until I found something I really cared about. That's key. Got it. What I'm curious on is the moment when you launched Mintago, and maybe even now with having built meant Mintago for a couple of years. I'm curious to know whether there's been like some big lessons learned or big mistakes you made at Perkbox that you learn from Mintago, that you feel like, it really helped me build a better company second time around or just avoid some mistakes that you made the first time around. Is there anything that comes to mind that were like big lessons learned for you from your previous career that you were able to learn from Mintago? Sure. That's a really good question. So let me unpack this. So what did I learn from Perkbox that, you know, helped me with Mintago? The things I learned a lot that was really helpful and that's transferable is having that sort of mental stability, that knowing, you know, you've seen it before. So the reaction I'd have for like a problem or a challenge is a lot more balanced. So when I saw it for the first time at Perkbox, I'm all over the place, stressed out this, that and the other. And that gets, you know, obviously seen by the, team and it affects the organization. And it's not always helpful. You know, there's a level of stress where it is helpful that drives you, and then there's overreacting to situations in ways that are not helpful. I've learned a lot, from that and even keel, right? Because there are good days and the bad days and you don't want to be over excited or very depressed either. So keeping that kind of stability is really helpful. It's a mind game, you know, it really is. You know, you have to overcome mental hurdles first, then you can start processing and leading and solving problems and building. And so that's the first bit about entrepreneurship, you know, control your mind. Right. So that's the biggest lesson. Okay. And then the second one would, you know, then people talk about operational experience or, you know, the nuts and bolts of running a business. I'd say about 50% or if not less are transferable. But obviously I started Perkbox in 2011, right? It's a decade ago. Wellbeing was very different. The solutions and the opportunities we had very different back then. So one example was I launched, so my background's marketing, so I was a CMO and at that time, you know, we really grew very fast using Facebook as a lead generation platform, cuz we were one of the first advertisers on Facebook on their sort of newsfeed. Before that it was all personal and it was very controversial cuz some of the readers didn't wanna see ads and we were like, sorry we're the first of many, so you have to talk to Facebook and it was kind of weird, but we came in a time where we really scaled and now that doesn't exist anymore. And so the tools that I use back then aren't always applicable. But, so that's about half of it. And I think, the other things that are really transferable, is really management and how you look at people, teams, a lot of things that I didn't realize I learned until it presents itself again with Mintago, I guess you gotta do this or you gotta do that. You know, team management, people management, you know, really important. One, advice I'd say, that I kind of stuck out is, when you're new, you want to incentivize your staff, give them what they want, as much as you can and one of the things I've learned is that titles are very important, right? You know what I said to people is like, you can always give more, but you can't take away. Simple logic, right? That applies to everything in terms of compensation, titles, responsibilities, because people are psychologically wired to not have things taken away, they lost a version, right? And so one example would people, I think one of my colleagues or someone who said, so we're gonna hire this person and should we just give him the highest title we can? It's like, okay, right? So give him a directorship, right? Or head of, or a senior. I said, be careful beacuse, what's the next title after that? And when do you expect to give him that next title as a, you know, promotion. And so we realized, okay, right, he's right now a senior X, you know, then senior, whatever, just get parody and then say, if he proves himself, then move it up and up and up. And that's very simple logic, but applies to everything in terms of, you know, commission-based, just allow yourself that, breathing rooms to incentivize and move them up. And so these are things that you learned over, over the years. And it really helps. So in summary, learning to manage my sort of mental state is really important. I learn that from Perkbox. Some of the tools and tips about 50% I've learned. Big chunk of what I've kind of transferred is also people management. And the other thing I'd say is, you know, we are in the tech business, but in reality, a tech business is a people business. That's it. All you have are people around you. And so, depending how good you are in terms of managing and interacting with the people in the around you will affect the outcome of your business. Got it. I'd love to zoom in on some of those points that you mentioned. Let's start with the kind of mental hurdles, mental challenges. What are some of the concrete examples that come to mind from your personal experience that you felt like as an entrepreneur you had to constantly overcome them, and how did you overcome them? Can you come up with some examples from your perspective? It's constant, right? So one of the constant challenges we have is hitting your revenue targets every month, right? You have to keep growing, you have to manage your costs, you burn. These are just challenges that you have because there's no safety net. Unlike work for big corporate, I used to work for Microsoft, right? You get a budget every week, every month, whatever, you know, use your budget. I'll give you new budgets, don't worry. You as a marketer, it was an endless supply of money. That's not the case here. So how do you mentally, manage your expectations. How do you express that to your team? How do you encourage your sales team to produce and deliver without, so the balancing act, without showing a stress and over, egging it and pushing them too far? And so the approach there would be to be collaborative, you know, understand the process, understand the issues that are underlying and causing that problem because that's really what drives the outcome. And so, for me it's okay to, you know, be open and transparent about your, thoughts. You know, if it's not a good week or not a good month, you say that, but at the same time, you wanna sandwich that with, okay how do we solve it? What are the drivers? What are the problems that cause this? And it makes you feel better as well, because you become the solution as well as just, you know, the person saying, get the job done. You say, okay let's do it together. And I coach a lot of my other senior people to do that as well. You know, be the last to speak. Don't be the first. If you have a problem to solve, don't open up the meeting. Say, hey, look, here's the problem. I think the solution is this. What do you guys think. That's the worst thing you can do. It needs to be the opposite. It'll be like, here's a problem, or I'd like to hear from you guys what do you think the problem is as well and what you think the solutions are. And then once you hear all of that, then you, can, you know, choose to put your, you know, thoughts across or not. So as a leader, you need to be very sensitive about those small points of management. And the thing is, you can make one small change in your management style and it can have huge repercussions, right? But that's just by just changing that one point, you are gonna get so much more empowered feedback from employees cuz they know you want to listen to them and they don't have filter. Once you say what you feel first or even express the solution. It's already tainted. They're gonna say, okay, well I can't, depending on the person, obviously they may not say what they really feel, which is a shame. So these are the kind of the mental hurdles, slash management challenges that I think I've, you know, learned a lot about and it's not easy, but it's also rewarding if you get them right, you know, one out 10 ideas would stick, you know, one out of 10 sales, marketing you know, approaches will work. So I mean, I can go into the sales marketing techniques as well, but like for me, the mental hurdle there, are really important to kind of overcome. Got it. What I'm curious about as well, with Perkbox and with Mintago, you started by yourself initially, right? Obviously you built your team, but do you feel there was a difference in how you were able to deal with mental hurdles and just being a founder? Especially in the early days, you're basically on your own more or less. Yeah, I'd say it was important early on I Perkbox to have, a co-founder kinda structure. But it grew to a point where every personality is different, I think and you have to pick your co-founders very carefully in that sense as well, because It's like a marriage, more than just, you know, don't pick friends, don't pick family, you know, I'd say pick people who are just, you know, very complimentary to you. That's the key thing. And what I've done with mintago, is actually I've come to a similar situation where I started out as a so founder and then I found great people around me to kind of take on those responsibilities that complement to me. So, you know, one of my, earliest employees and he's now offered him sort of the co foundership title is my COO, he looks after the product. His background is finance. Incredible individual, you know, one of the best I've worked with. So, yeah, I've got to the same place, but different approaches I think I'd say. But it really is important to have, you know, people that you can use as a sounding board that you can be open about. So a few ideas here, right? It's lonely being at the top. That's the whole point here, right? You know, you have problems. And the thing is, you shouldn't always keep that to yourself. It's not healthy. And so you need, some sort of outlet almost like a psychologically safe place. This is kind of what they say and you know, sometimes you have advisors. So we have a great advisor as well where, they'll just say, hey, like, are you okay? You know, are you really okay? So, you don't have to sugar coat these things. And if you can have at least just one person where you don't have to sugar coat anything, it's such boost to your productivity, your mental health and everything. Just have that one person that you can just talk to. And sometimes it's better if, they're not too close to the business. They know the business enough to give good feedback, but they're not always sort of sitting next to you. So you had to find those individuals. So advisors are really helpful, especially if your first problems, it doesn't have to be formal, it doesn't have be a non-exec directorship, just, an advisors like, can I just call you once a month? That's it. And in a way I'm at advice, but it's quite rewarding for me because, I like to give back and I don't have a lot of time. That's the problem. So just giving back maybe like an hour a month or two works out for everyone, but they consolidate big chunky questions into that one little session, it's, it's rewarding for everyone involved. How do you select that person? I'm kind of, very selfishly asking that here as well because I constantly trying to figure out like, how can I build group of advisors around me especially as a solo founder, but like, been wondering, like, do you select for just like the best possible human that is good at listening and maybe just a good friend, like, okay, hey, let's catch up once a month, or do you want to get somebody that is very experienced in building the type of business you're building so they understand a bit more the specific challenges? Or do you have different people for different purposes? Maybe that's the answer, right? But how do you go about selecting that person or thinking about who you need to surround yourself with? Sure. And that's a really good question. My tip would be, to ask a little from a lot of people, don't start by asking a lot from a few people, right? What does that mean? So go on LinkedIn, ping a few people says, like I'm looking for advice, but more importantly, I have a very important question. See if, you can help answer this question. Either I reply to me or maybe five, 10 minutes online, here's my link to my calendar, and see what happens, right? But obviously do your research, but LinkedIn is such a powerful tool because you can start filtering out for people different sectors, different levels. LinkedIn is solely dependent on how good you are with their search tools. So, you know, you have limiting factors, right? Like in the world of finding the right people is actually a function how, well you can do searches and filters. That's really what it boils down to. If you're really good at that on LinkedIn, you'll find that short list of people, and the next step is just reaching out to them, which is the easy part. Right. So, you know, that's how I see it. And I'm very much a big proponent of using tools and technologies. You know, there are lots of like, you know, automation tools that can help you if you want to use some of those, be actually mindful of how much you use it. But, sitting all day and manually copying and pasting, clicking on LinkedIn, email sequencing software as well that you use. I think there's one called Klenty, which is K L E and T Y, which is better than just Googling, just using Gmail, right? It's cheap as well but it sends out emails and there's sort of more sort of sequential way, but it has limits, so it doesn't look like it's spammy stuff like that. So that's email loads of software for like LinkedIn automation, just, Google it, you know, jupify or loads of tools there. Go out and reach out to these people. It doesn't hurt, you know, when you have downtime. The different types of people in terms of advisors and mentors, some are sort of career advisor. Like they'll say I'm a non-exec. You know, they'll ask for a fee, they'll ask for like whatever, cuz that's their job and that's how they pay themselves. But there are others that they'll have spare time and they're busy, but they'll give you, you know, because they like what you're doing. And those are the best ones I think, in a sense, you know, you don't want to tax them too much. But since you wanna build that connection over time and then In the future, you could offer them more formal role. You know, they may ask for a bit of equity, which is fine. But that's how I would align their interests yours. But don't stop looking for connection. That's one of the most important things I've learned. You know, it's a people business in the day. Again, like I said, whatever tech it is, it's a people business. Actually there's the few areas that I use Advices for one would be just, you know, people who are really good at management, understanding your mental state and the stress involved with being a founder of those people you can talk to about that. That's great. There's one group of people, another group would be more functional advisors where say like, you've done this before. I'm trying to do this. Can we kind of connect and just give you tips on how to do that? And another one would be just those who have connections, say, look in the right space. I'm not sure if you have practical advice. I'm not gonna go you for like mental support, but you have a network. Could we just, help me grow, but link me to the right partnerships, advice, you know, you're in that space. So those are generally the three types of connections you wanna go for. And what you need to do is kind of break down, you know, do the searches, like I was saying before, for those types of people. I go for people who are like, running similar businesses or invested in similar businesses or something like that. Can knows the space. That's a good starting point. If you wanna, you know, choose one thing to go after. I think there's one conversation I had with one company. So they do a lot of emailing automation. So they picked an advisor who used to work for like one of these big, email systems as an advisor. That's perfect. That's a very functional operational advisor to get on board. Got it. Let's zoom into actually some of the kind of key practical advice you can give around the early days of B2B sales and partnerships and I'd like to actually use the Mintago case study because I remember we actually met up a few years ago, when you first started to go and well, I don't know if I saw the very initial idea, but you know, like at that stage the business was quite different to what you're doing now. And I'm just like trying to figure out like what was kind of the step by step process in your mind from, okay, I have this idea, now what do I do next to balance traction, fundraising, building a team and building a product. And do it in the right, sequence. You know, obviously there's kind of the common advice around lean startup and mom tests and validate and lean and so on. I don't know how much you followed that, but I'd love to understand what was your process in your head and how did you go step by step to generate traction and be able to actually get the company off the ground? That's a great question. That's probably one of the most important questions I guess tonight. I wasn't an expert at this, I had to kind of learn my way. But if you were to summarize what I've done the first thing I think is most important is to understand what your proposition is. So define proposition. What is a proposition? A proposition is a sum of what you're producing as a product. It's sum of what the market wants, the market demand and the third would be how you position yourself and promote yourself. And you get those combinations, right and you have a strong proposition, right? You know, some people would start with one bit and be, okay, we have a product. It looks good, it does all these things, but who wants it or not? And how are you promoting it? Those two components are not working. You don't have a proposition, you just have a product. Right. So get that right. And that took us a while because we were in that situation early days, of Mintago where we were just trying to figure out a financial wellbeing platform. And when we started out, we weren't too sure how to get to the market. What is the real pain point? How do we solve for that? We didn't understand what the buyer, which are business owners, what they really wanted from a financial wellbeing program. And then how do we promote ourselves? And so that took a long time. And then the other component of all that is actually having a strong sales team or yourself even. And I would recommend if you're a founder, to be the very first salesperson and it could be the only salesperson, because that loop between understanding what the proposition should be trying to sell to the buyer and feeding it back, needs to be done all the time. It's about trial and error, and that loop, that feedback loop is so important before you hire sales person especially junior ones. We're not used to kind of discovery and iterating. Don't hire them because you're gonna, have a lot of headaches cuz you don't know what to tell them and they don't know what to take. They don't know how to adapt and learn, right? Unless one of your founders or someone senior understands how to do that. It should rest on your shoulders, and you have to be comfortable with sales. No way around that either. You're selling to buyers, you're selling to investors, selling to your own team. You're selling to yourself. You gotta be a salesperson. So get the proposition. Understand who's the salesperson here? And If it's yourself own, own it, you know, learn how to be a good salesperson. Learn how to pitch, do the demos, because the conviction of a founder is so powerful. Most sales, we can't replicate that. And they love the fact that you're a founder, you're gonna be engaged with them. And that for me, allowed me to close loads of deals just on, that point. I wasn't polished. I didn't know exactly what to say. I didn't know all the right questions, but I cared and I wanna solve their problems. Okay. And so the next stage would be okay, right? You have the proposition more or less ,you have a salesperson better is the pitch. How do you really get them that right? How do you actually convert, right? Because all that means nothing if you don't have your sales. That's really the bottom line, and what I've learned over the years and it's almost more recently is, need to understand what you're solving for. What is that pinpoint It's not what you can do. It's not all the features that you can throw out. You don't want to kill them with features. We've done that because, we've fall in love with our product. We have to tell them every it does. Right? Because it's a cool product and well, that's, your perspective. That's not them thinking so well, hold on. So is it employee churn, a staff turnover? Is it culture, morale? Is it saving money? You know, these are the problems that we have to solve for from, Mintago. It's not about financial wellbeing, it's the outcomes. I want to improve my culture. I want to make sure that they cost of living crisis is being managed properly, cuz my employees are panicking cuz you know the living wages are not supporting them. And they're leaving. They're looking for another job somewhere else. How do I slow that down? How do I show my team that I could actually offer something, that is not just a higher salary? Cuz we couldn't afford to pay everyone more. So these are real problems. Now you take that, and stick it right in the middle and say, look, these are the problems. I get it. You get it. Is that correct? Does everyone agree? Right. And you hold onto that and every time you talk to them, it's like, we're solving for that. Right. Okay. And then what happens is that flows through the whole pipeline, and then they were to take that proposal back to their board, to their teams, their peers. Like Mintago solves for that. And that's a problem that we're trying to solve ourselves. Oh, how do they solve it? Oh, yeah, they have this great tool, da da da da. See what I'm saying here? We're talking about, the outcomes versus the product. Product is they can solve that outcome with loads of products in the market. They can, like I said, pay them more, a whole lot of things. But the fact that we can show them that we are aligned to their problem is literally 80% of sales. That's it. The 20% could be like technique, you know, ways of charisma, whatever, right. Process. But then again, by doing that, you know who are your buyers and who are not buyers. Cause if they say, hey, I don't have a problem, or my problem doesn't actually connect with you. Or you can see theirselves like what they have is a problem, is not what you can solve. Stop, walk away. Then you save your time. And so the other bit now, is about sales efficiency, right? Okay, now you have your solution, the deck. How quickly can you convert them in a way that's, you know, they'll hit you goals and that you can afford to and so sales efficiency is important. Pick the right kind of buyers. You can shoot for the big ones. It may take a long time, but you know, it can convert this, you've done the bit that I said before, right? You know, the problem is connected to your solution. And so you have faith that you can, you should hold onto it for six months, whatever long, or you go to smaller deals, which you know can convert faster and you have more cycles to learn. You pick your path. I'd start with the small ones so have more cycles and builds momentum and confidence in yourselves in terms of how you pitch, and then you kinda build with the big ones. Depends on the product. Some products are just enterprise level product, which is they go decisions made there. And then from there, obviously, start looking at that process and if you think you can repeat that, start hiring people. Then they have a process, kind of repeat. Now you don't know how to do any of this stuff, and if you can afford it, just hire like a team lead who can do a lot of this stuff together with you. You know, give 'em a great title, support him. For me, that's such an important part of, a startup because founders, you can have the greatest product, you can have all the charisma, ultimate investors look at your revenues. It's like, are you selling anything. That's the cohort truth, you know, everything else could sound good, but if you're not converting or getting traffic or any kind of metric that shows growth, it is just an idea. Hopefully that helps. Tools and you know, structure like I use HubSpot, I use now we use Gong which is like sales conversion software. And a few other things. But like, say I can, go through all that different software, but the view here is to perfect the process and then start looking at systems to scale. And that's the other mindset you need to do. Like if you wanna be a big business, you need to be good at systems and building systems, because if it's just dependent on you or a rockstar salesperson, you are not gonna go beyond that one person or yourself. And then that process is whole new conversation about how do you build systems? How do you delegate, how do how do you accept the mistakes early on? Because they need to learn to allow you to build system that works and that scales. Hopefully that helps. Absolutely. What I'm curious about with Mintago, did you actually spend quite a lot of time just with you a pitch deck and a bunch of customers to first get like the alignment of the problem and your idea? Correct. Right. And understand, really, okay what problem do they care about? What I'm spend without even building any product? So just to summarize the question again, is it worth spending time pitching and selling before you have the product? Is that the question? And how long did you do that? If you followed that approach. Yeah. That's a great idea. I think that's one of the lessons I'm learning as well as like, how far can you push that pre-sale concept, you know, sell before you build. I agree that if you can have these proof of concepts and start pitching out and, and getting those conversations, that's great. You could be waiting for that, build to take place. And it could be six months. What you can do is use those six months to pre-sale. So there are two ways to do it. So, you know, if you're starting fresh, you do that, you know, to launch a business. My other sort of thought on that is that, you wanna launch to a new market, you can presale. So I'm using that technique potentially to launch into the US and Canada. Right from Mintago and we'll go from. Got it.

Chieu Chao's background
Next step after leaving Perkbox
Lessons learnt from Perkbox
Overcoming mental hurdles as an entrepreneur
Dealing with mental hurdles as a founder
How to look for an advisor
Step by Step process to building a profitable business
Pushing the presale concept