January 27, 2023
Ken Babcock - Leaving Harvard to Bet On Yourself

Ken Babcock, along with his 2 co-founders, dropped out of Harvard Business School during the pandemic to launch their business, Tango, a SaaS company that helps users create beautiful step-by-step tutorials of any digital pro...

Ken Babcock, along with his 2 co-founders, dropped out of Harvard Business School during the pandemic to launch their business, Tango, a SaaS company that helps users create beautiful step-by-step tutorials of any digital process without the performance art of video recordings. 

As a graduate student at Harvard Business School with a keen interest in what makes high performing teams tick, Ken and his friends honed in on documentation as a key challenge affecting team performance. Because documentation is something people don’t like to do, given the amount of time it takes and how quickly it can become out of date, Ken’s group set out to create a solution to lower the barrier to creating documentation. Today, their SaaS solution, Tango, has over 200,000 users.  

In this episode, Ken tells us about the decision to drop out of Harvard to pursue his business idea, how they funded the business, their user-centric approach to growth, and the elements that have led to their success. 

Ken explains how Tango works to document processes and how it’s being used with different clients.  Ken explains why he and his co-founders pursued funding early on and one aspect that made their business especially attractive to investors.  

Next, he shares the one steadfast focus that has helped them drive the company forward and build an award-winning product, and how their innovation efforts are driven by using data to gather customer feedback.

Finally, Ken discusses what it’s like to work with co-founders and the culture they’ve established that has been key to their success. He also mentions how well TikTok has worked for Tango in attracting customers, the exciting new things they are developing, and the difference between what he learned in business school compared to what he's experienced in the real world of starting a business.

Skip to Topics:
1:59 - How an interest in team performance led to identifying a problem to solve
6:47 - Description of the solution they developed & how it works
7:44 - Different use cases for the Tango product
9:50 - The biggest roadblock for people to do documentation
11:49 - Making the decision to drop out of Harvard to pursue the business
12:28 - How the pandemic exposed an urgent need for Tango’s solution
14:00 - Securing funding to start the business
14:49 - The tactic that helped Tango secure funding
16:03 - The key ingredient that has contributed to the company’s progress
17:49 - The data-driven approach they take to innovation
20:46 - What it takes to establish a good working relationship with co-founders
25:19 - A user and product-led approach to growth  
28:22 - Using a top of funnel sales strategy
29:24 - Their success using TikTok to attract customers
32:56 - Tango’s big mission and the cool things Tango is working on for the future 36:24 - What Ken says is different about what you learn in business school vs. what’s real about running a business

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Welcome to the Real People Real Business Show. My name is Stephanie Hayes, and I'm a business strategist who loves to speak with like-minded entrepreneurs to share their real stories and the gritty details on building their businesses. On this show, you won't hear about the glamorized entrepreneurship journeys that you see online. You won't be told how to make six figures in six weeks. Instead, you can expect to hear real, vulnerable and inspiring stories you can relate to that have helped create the foundation of each of our guests businesses. Goodbye, boss Babes. Hello, real life entrepreneurs today. I'm so excited to welcome Ken Babcock. Ken is the co-founder and CEO of Tango, which allows users to create beautiful step-by-step tutorials of any digital process without the performance art of video recordings. Ken, along with his co-founders, Brian Schultz and Dan Giovacchini dropped out of Harper Business School during the pandemic to start the company. Since then, the company has grown to nearly 50,000 users and 20 full-time team members. Welcome to the show, Ken, and thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today. Thanks Stephanie. Yeah, and you know, a quick update, we're, we're now 35 people and 200,000 users, so Wow. Yeah. Things have, things have really escalated I think, since we first got in touch. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I, I mean that's, that's what your bio said, but I think that's an amazing, that's an amazing place for us to start the conversation so clearly. In a short period of time, you have grown this business. You have experienced growth that a lot of people might be really, um, excited to hear about. So tell me the story. How did you end up digital process management, digital process recordings? Tell me the story. Yeah, so when my co-founders, Brian, Dan and I, we were at Harvard Business School, um, we had been introduced to mutual friends, um, got along great as friends, and quickly realized that we were all there to, to do something entrepreneurial. Um, whether start a company join in an early stage company. The thing we kept coming back to or the, the ideas that we, um, enjoyed talking about all related to team performance and what makes teams tick, what makes teams. High performing. Um, you know, cuz we, I think we've all had the experience of, um, a team is not just the sum of its parts, right? There's something intangible there. And so, you know, what we honed in on was really, you know, within a team you've got these high performers and the ability for a high performer to share and scale, scale their knowledge to the rest of the team. That really creates a high performing team. And so the more we spent with that, You know, I wouldn't even call it problem, but just opportunity that every team has. The more we realize that the problem, you know, lied with documentation, um, people dread documentation. In fact, when I say the word, most people kind of wince. Um, but you know, it takes too long to create once you do it. It gets outdated pretty quickly. Um, and then once it's outdated, you know, people start pinging you with questions and, um, you become almost like a support manager for that piece of documentation you created. So for us, we said, you know, what, if we could lower the barrier to create a documentation, what if we could remove that dread? Um, and that was something that we all got really excited about. We had seen it in our, in our prior, uh, careers before heading to school where, you know, the teams that excelled the most are the ones that are able to say, Hey, here's what we know and, and how do we scale that to the rest of the company? And so that was really the start of Tango is, is we wanted to basically make documentation a passive process, um, turn it into something that just by executing in your. You were inherently creating documentation. So that was really, that was our start. Yeah, I love it. I mean, there's huge demand for that too. I do a lot of corporate consulting, and I can tell you that that is one of the roadblocks that a lot of these, um, even the high performing teams have is extracting and recognizing that the knowledge exists inside of the heads of these people and what happens if they lose them. And that happens, right? Yeah, and I think, you know, what happens also with process is at the high, you know, at the leadership levels, a lot of leaders will assume, oh, you know, our company runs on 40 core processes. Um, when you start talking to frontline workers, the people that are actually executing on that process, we've seen that number. 30, 40 x what, what leaders, um, know to be true. And so there's just this lack of visibility. And then, you know, when you ask those frontline workers, how much of your process is documented? We actually did this in a, in a webinar. Um, a majority of those people said that, you know, 25 to 50% of our process is documented. That becomes really challenging. You have people leaving, maybe you have layoffs, you have new hires. How are they supposed to, how are they supposed to know what those 1200 processes might be? Yeah, absolutely. And I think the, you know, as, as somebody who used to be a business protest consultant, I have been on the front lines too, and I have seen that the devil is in the details, right? And it's, you can, you can commit to your 40 processes throughout the organization. But those frontline workers are executing in, in a very detailed way. And when those aren't, those details aren't clear, that's where we end up with the breakdown. Right. So whatever your strategy is, doesn't matter if the execution continues to be fragmented and decentralized, right? Totally. Uh, yeah. And I think there's a piece in there where those processes also, Yeah. Uh, and, and the improvisation that frontline workers often have to create and, and they encounter daily, that means that your, your processes need to adapt. Um, you know, there's, I mentioned it kind of at the beginning, but everyone talks about Oh yeah. The documentation we have, like, we have some of it, but a lot of it's stale. Um, yeah. And that's a real problem that we're, we're trying to address too. So tell me a little bit more about how you've addressed. Partially because I'm being self-serving now. Cause I wanna know . But, but I mean, what you've got is a great story around really understanding the problem area and trying to develop something accessible that's going to solve it. So tell me a little bit more about how that actually happens. Yeah, so I'll, I'll get very tactical about what our product does. So we are a Chrome extension as well as a desktop application that allows you to, um, basical. Turn it on, press play, press capture, walk through your process on any webpage, any tool, um, and we capture the actions, the clicks, types, text, copy, paste, um, of everything that you do. Once you're done with that process, you hit end capture. And then what we spit out is a step-by-step tutorial automatically of screenshots, descriptions, URLs of everything that you just did. Um, and we give you a canvas to, to edit it as well. You know, maybe you picked up an extra click, maybe you didn't mean to do that one thing. Um, and then you know what you have at your fingertip. It's the documentation that would usually take you hours, all the screenshots, all the editing, all the compiling of links. Um, we, we give that to you in a matter of seconds. And who's the ideal client? So we've seen, uh, a ton of adoption from customer support teams, IT teams. Teams with training and their titles. Basically anyone that needs to teach a lot of people how to use software within their organization, um, support teams tend to be a great one because, um, They're large teams, they're typically, you know, defining escalation paths, reactive to tickets that are coming in, helping users get over, you know, an issue that they're experiencing. And Tanga really becomes a sidekick for them, um, which is pretty powerful. So that internal and external training use case, if that's core to the role, then tango usually ends up being a great. do you think it would be good fit for? Um, I'm thinking about even like solo entrepreneurs who hire their first team member and hire virtual assistants, and they're, they're always confounded by how they document and, and they feel like they need to create a whole bunch of stuff before they can even hire their first team member, which leaves them at a point of not being able to. Yeah, and I'll, I'll generalize that even at a higher level, like any new hire onboarding, right? I think there's, uh, again, there's so many processes that need to be documented, especially when you're hiring for your first person in a role or in a function and you're saying, okay, I used to do this all the time and here's what I did. Um, now I'm expecting you to kind of take that, run with it, build on top of it. Um, the first step. Writing it down. And so, um, yeah, whether you're a solopreneur, whether you're a team leader, I think onboarding new hires is a, is a core use case. So what prevents, I mean, there's this gap, right? Where we have all these undocumented processes that are happening, you know, 75% of them are undocumented. So why at the individual level, it's a little bit. You know, I don't see the ROI or maybe, um, I have to do this kind of on extra time. You know, I've got a core job that I need to fulfill. But then when it comes to documenting what that core job is, I need to do that after hours. And again, like, you know, the staleness piece, like business has changed rapidly. Processes change rapidly for people to create something that's gonna go out of date quickly, they tend to, you know, they tend to not see the ROI there. I think another piece. You know, is, is less focused on the individual and more about the team, you know, which articulates a little bit of like the movement and the vision that we have. Scaling your knowledge, you know, having impact through others typically isn't included in a performance review, right? Mm-hmm. , your ability to, to execute and your ability to amass knowledge. Is typically what is tied to that. And so, you know, for us, what we're trying to say is that, you know, achieving scale through the processes that you've defined, the knowledge that you've accumulated, making sure others can replicate that and, and follow your lead. That should be sort of what defines performance within an organization. So there's a few factors at play there. Um, you know, and I think it's really. Part of what we're doing beyond just tango, the Chrome extension, what we're really trying to say is that, you know, documentation, that's the leading indicator of operational excellence. Every team leader wants to be operationally excellent and the first step is what are we doing today and how can, how can we adjust that? Yeah. So let me back up. You dropped out of Harvard, which a lot of people don't. And that's part of your, that's part of your origin story, right? So tell me a little bit more about that. What did that mean to you? Sure. So I mean, it it is, it is absolutely part of the origin story. I think when we were working at Tango it o it almost became a no-brainer though. Um, you know, we were at Harvard for graduate school, so, you know, the three of us had already, you know, we, we had undergraduate degrees, we. You know, prior careers before going to, to business school. Um, and the ultimate goal for us in going to business school was to either start a company, find some co-founders, or join in an early stage company. And when that opportunity presented itself, it was a little bit like we kind of got what we were looking for. So let's go for it. Um, yeah. And then, you know, the other piece as well is that, you know, entrepreneurship. Um, you know, business opportunity is so much about timing. Um, you know, the onset of the pandemic, which happened during our first year at at H B S, and that's right around when we were thinking about Tango. It really accelerated a lot of our thinking, um, and accelerated a lot of our customers thinking too, because, What had happened was these gaps around documentation, these gaps around operational excellence had gotten exposed. All these teams went remote, distributed, and suddenly team leaders realized, oh my gosh, like we, we don't even, we don't even really know what it takes to execute in this role. And so, um, that for us turned into a call to action to say, we should probably go build this because the market needs it and customer. Need it. Um, the, the level of urgency around the conversations we were having was, was palpable. And so, um, you know, when you see that type of opportunity, you know, you're gonna, you're gonna take risks and you're gonna make, you know, decisions that maybe at the outset look like, Ooh, I don't know if I would drop outta Harvard, um, But it was the right time. Yeah. And did you, and you had partners and did those partners fulfill. All the rules that you needed, were you bootstrapping? But you went for money at some point in time, didn't you? We did. So, um, yeah, so it's, it was a founding team of the three of us. Um, you know, we're obviously a, a software company and so, um, what you often need in software is a great team of engineers and, and so. We went out to raise our seed round of funding pretty shortly after we dropped out. I think it was the fall of 2020, um, basically saying, Hey, you know what, here are the skill sets that we need in an engineering team to be able to take this prototype and, um, bring a real product to market. And, and so, you know, that's what got got us started on the, on the venture backed sort of growth startup path. Yeah. And was that, how far in was. Four months, five months. Oh, okay. So, so you guys pretty, pretty early? We, yeah, we had a working prototype, um, that we could bring together in pitch decks. Um, but you know, what was, what was really fascinating, what excited investors the most was all those conversations that we were having with customers and that urgency that we. We were able to put them in touch with investors and say, Hey, you should actually, you should talk to these, these people if they're thinking about investing in us. Articulate the problems you're experiencing and how Tango would, would solve that if we're able to build it. Um, and so, you know, really it was those customers that were, that allowed us to secure our initial funding for the business. Mm-hmm. . And then how long ago? So fall of 2020, it's a little over, a little over two years now. Um, since then, we also raised a series a, um, series A funding in, in April of this past year. So, um, you know, that allowed us to continue to grow the team. Like I said, 35 people today remote, fully distributed. And, you know, gives us enough capital to kind of go into a lot of market uncertainty that people are projecting in in 2023. Yeah. And I, I mean, who knows how much validity there is to that, if it's hype, if it's, and, and so that's a really good question. So you've been, you've endured for, you know, three years-ish. And what do you think has been sort of the driving force? What's kept you kind of going, because this can be a hard journey, right? Especially when you introduce, um, capital into your business, then the ownership structure changes and who you're accountable to changes. . And so tell me a little bit more about what's kind of driving you forward. The biggest thing and, and this makes it easier to manage a lot of those stakeholders, is if you're able to truly prioritize the customer. I think what we've been able to build, which, you know, at this point is, is truly become like an award-winning product. Is, is because. Or, you know, focus on the customer. And so when you talk to investors, when you talk to advisors, when you talk to the team about why are we going this direction versus another, like, what is it that we're focused on? If it all comes back to the customer and the customer can clearly articulate the value that they're receiving from the product where they wanna see the product go, what other jobs to be done? They have. It kind of cuts out a lot of the noise because you're right, when you, when you introduce more capital, you introduce more stakeholders. They have their own priorities, they have things that they care about. But if you can kind of continue to beat this drum of, we listen to the customer, we prioritize the customer, and that's why we're doing what we're doing, um, it, uh, you know, it tends to, it tends to cut out the noise.. So to be completely self-serving, I wanna talk to you about, uh, innovation strategy, because that is one of my areas of focus. And so tell me a little bit about how you're harnessing that customer feedback and the, the customer needs back into the business. What's the innovation cycle look like? How are you managing that? Yeah, so I think there's kind of two components, um, to. Keeping that sort of loop with the customer. There's quantitative feedback as well as qualitative feedback. And so, you know, my, my prior experience, um, before business school, I was a, a data scientist, uh, at Uber for a little over four years and had a few other experiences along the way. And so my background is in a lot of that quantitative analysis mm-hmm. . And I think by being at Uber, which was a best in class data organiz. I was able to understand how, you know, data can serve as that, like leading trigger or leading hypothesis that then drives a lot of the questioning and a lot of the, um, understanding that you need to get from customers. And so we kind of have a recurring cadence of data within Tango where, you know, we have obviously like high level KPIs with their business metrics, but, um, the team is also, you know, encouraged to explore hypotheses that they. and then that dictates, oh, hey, we're seeing this type of behavior in the data. Let's go talk to a set of customers that fit that, you know, sort of behavioral demographic and understand why they're doing what it is that they're doing. You know, why are they engaging with this, this feature in this way? Um, you know, which may be unexpected or maybe totally what we intended, right? So I think you need the marriage between that qualitative and quantitative. One can't speak louder than the other. Um, and you know, that really allows us to make sure that we're not just seeing the behavior at scale, but we're also understanding why it is what they're doing. So that, that really drives a lot of our, our innovation, the data. and who's interpreting the data? Like, do you have an actual team of individuals whose job it is, is to wa That's you, . That's me. You know, we're, I'm trying to remove, you know, some of that dependency. Obviously as the ceo I've got a lot of things going on, but, um, no, I, I think we've brought on more people who are. You know, dangerous with data, which is good. Um, but, you know, a lot of our like planning process, it, it, you know, involves kind of big rocks, KPIs, different priorities, and so, you know, the team is very like data minded. Mm-hmm. . Um, but in terms of, you know, deeper dive analysis that historically has been me to date, but I'm, I'm excited for a few other folks that we're bringing. And would you say that the, the original partners and, and who I'm assuming are, are in leadership capacity now? Did you all bring to the table, you know, complimentary skill sets or were there real big gaps that you needed to fill? I mean, there were, there will always be gaps , um, you know, but I would say yeah, yeah, we were very complimentary. So Brian, my co-founder engineering background. Um, very comfortably slotted into the CTO role, which we needed, obviously as a c as a software company. Um, Dan, my other co-founder, had been an investor and really knew sort of the, the financial ins and outs. Um, and also just like. Some of these different like monetization models and strategies from a lot of the companies that he invested in, um, particularly on the go-to-market side. So he slotted in nicely there, you know, and then for me, um, you know, I had had some experience with, you know, obviously at high growth companies, leading teams, um, also, you know, fundraising and so, All those experiences kind of fit well with, with the CEO role. So, um, we were extremely complimentary, but I think, you know, the biggest thing you, you can look for kind of complimentary skillsets in co-founders. I mean, that's pretty easy to look at in a resume. But, you know, the intangible piece, just of how we worked together, I, I felt like there was, um, a sort of an, an undertone. You know what? We're gonna have healthy discussions, healthy debates, but ultimately what we decide as a group, even if we disagree, even if one of us disagrees, um, it's a culture of sort of disagree and commit. Um, yeah. So that I think has really allowed us to, to be successful, the complimentary nature, like. Obviously has helped, but, um, the way we make decisions and process information, um, has, has probably been the biggest benefit. Yeah, absolutely critical, right? You've seen so many examples of the companies where, you know, the, the partners get together on a whim. And it falls apart because there's just a lack of value structure or communication skills or whatever it might be. And, and those, you know, my partners and I have been together for 20 years and just because we had so much background together, Um, when we built a software company, it was just like sliding right in and we've, you know, we just communicate well and, and that's what been incredibly important. They happen to be really good technical resources too, so that helps. But I think that, that, that gelling of the leadership team is extremely important. I mean, we, we talk about it like. We probably spend more time with each other than we do anybody else in our lives. Right? I mean, it's, it's sort of a, when you phrase it like that, it's kind of a grim reality, but that is the nature of a founding relationship. Yep. Um, you need to be able to have like the hardest of hard conversations. Um, you need to be motivating each other, reinforcing, you know, what you want the company to stand for. You know, the other piece too is that like people rarely give the founding team feedback on your team. You know, you guys are assumed to have the most context or, um, the strategy and the vision for the company. And so there's not a lot of upward feedback. So you also need to be that sounding board for your founding team where you say, Hey man, like, here's some things I think we could like work on together and improve. Um, and that journey has been incredibly rewarding. You know, I think we all embrace kind of that like growth mindset, the idea that we can continue to get better. And so, um, that's another piece too, like if you can't, if you can't give your fa your co-founder honest feedback, it's gonna be a long, or maybe , maybe very short journey. . Yeah. And I think also the commitment to a growth plan, like a, an intentional growth plan. Amongst yourselves is critical to, you know, the, the health of that leadership team. Sure. Yeah. Um, so let's, uh, switch techs a little bit. Um, so you have a software company and a software company, um, can grow through a number of different models. So tell me a little bit about what growth has meant to you and what's worked best for. Yeah, and this is, this is an area that we spent a lot of time early on thinking about as we were getting excited about the idea as we understood the market opportunity. The inherent benefit that our product has to a, to a growth model is that, you know, documentation is usually a one to many relationship meaning. There's someone who creates documentation, and then there are usually a lot of people that consume that documentation, that knowledge. Because of that, that's a, a natural viral loop to get the product in front of more people. And so what we focused on early in our product development was how do we continue to accelerate that one to any relationship? How do we make it as easy as possible for the creator of documentation to share a tan? Um, because, you know, they're sharing it so someone else can learn it, someone else can get up to speed. And we need that person to know that this was created with Tango. And so to date, 40% of our growth has come from word of mouth and that viral loop, which is, um, not just, you know, something that's exciting about the spread referral, testimonial nature of the business, but um, it's also incredibly low cost. So, yeah. Whereas, yeah, absolutely a lot of people might spend on paid marketing ads. You know, we've, we've benefited tremendously from our users doing a lot of that work for us. Um, so that has been amazing, you know, just an amazing sort of viral growth strategy I would say. The other piece that we really emphasized was being product led. Mm-hmm. and what that means, you know, I mean, any, any creator of product is gonna say, well, like the, you know, we're product led, we need to be, we need to win on the product. But, um, for us, really what that meant was, um, being bottoms up and driving adoption, uh, sort of from those frontline creators of document. The opposite would be being sales led, going to team leaders, selling them on a solution, and then it sort of comes top down to the rest of the team. What we said was, let's focus on the people that are feeling this pain point acutely, cuz it's gonna make our marketing more compelling. It's gonna allow us to, to continue to build a product for those people. Um, and, you know, we can make everything self-serve so. Those strategies in tandem have been really powerful because that viral loop also benefits from the fact that anyone can see and experience tango and sign up, you know, in a matter of seconds. So do you employ a sales team? Is there a sales strategy, a direct sales strategy, or are you kind of hitting it from both sides? So we have, uh, one salesperson. He's great. Um, but the other benefit of being product led is, you know, we've got over 200,000 users today. Mm-hmm. , um, and, you know, Colby, our sales guy, can kind of look at that pipeline of users and their level of engagement, whether they've upgraded to our pro plan, which is also self-serve, and he can say, oh, these would be really interesting enterprise customers. You know, let me reach out and see if there's, there's a fit. And so a lot of his work to date and a lot of the, the deals that he's signed has come from people finding us, downloading the products, using it, and then having a conversation with Colby. And so, you know, I think one of the benefits of being product led is that you also don't necessarily need to invest. Super heavily in sales. I mean, we're, we're lucky in the sense that we have a great salesperson who's able to kind of manage that pipeline and, and handle what is ultimately a lot of inbound leads. Yeah. Um, so we're hitting it from both sides, but I would say, you know, the core focus is still on that, that top of funnel user growth. And how are those guys finding you? I mean, is that traditional, you know, content or are you showing up in different communities? So, I mean, you know, people may laugh at this, but TikTok has been incredible for us. So the viral loop is, you know, 40% like we said. But you know, there's obviously the question of when that first person finds tango, how do they find it? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, you know, TikTok has been amazing. Our. Sort of showcases really well via short form video. Um, really easy to demo tango and get a sense for what it's about. Um, and then I would say the other thing too is that, you know, we have really like raving fans who are users. Um, and so, you know, anytime you can lead into user-generated content testimonials, That's usually the best proof point for your product, um, as opposed to, you know, what you might be telling a prospective customer. And so TikTok as well as some other channels that we're, you know, we're still ramping up on have been, have been really great to get that first user. You know, I got TikTok, gives a bad rap, gets a bad rap in sort of traditional business circle maybe, maybe. I'm hoping that's changing now. I'm, I'm 47, right? So I'm not the TikTok generation, but I will spend a considerable amount of time on there because there are some incredibly talented people and the, the business use case is getting super interesting so that, that really consumable bite size content if, if the product lends itself, To that kind of consumption, I would be leveraging that like a hundred percent. Do you have to do any dances, ? You know, it's funny, it's, I mean, I the, the people that we work with are, yeah, like you said, phenomenal. I mean, it's a unique skillset, um, to be able to communicate a message. So clearly, I think where our product also lends itself to that is like, Users reach our aha moment really, really quickly. Mm-hmm. , that's really important in a product-led business, like if you can get to that point where you're like, holy cow, I see the value of this product. If you can get to that in a matter of minutes. I think right now, or maybe, yeah. Most recently when we, when we measure this, it was 4.8 minutes for a user from the, from the point where they create an account. They make their first tango. Um, and so that, for us, that's, that's the aha moment. So if people can get there really quickly, they see the value, they become recurring users. That translates to that short form too. You know, if people can demo the product and show the value really quickly, um, you know, that's a, that's a really viable channel. What a great test as well, right? If you, if you can make a TikTok video and it's effective. In, in, you know, under five minutes, then I think that proves you've got viability inside of the product and the use case. Right. ? I think I love it. I think so. I love it. So what's in the future for Tango? What's in the future for you guys? Yeah, I mean, I think, I think for us it's, um, continuing to build for those creators of documentation. We've got, um, you know, a lot. Exciting things that we want to, um, deploy in the next year. Part of that, not just for creators, but also for viewers. So if you think about, you know, traditionally today going into your internal wiki, finding a relevant piece of documentation, trying to follow along, you're usually kind of splitting your screen, going through the process, you know, and then following. On one side, what we want to really do is actually drive. that tango that someone's created. Real time onto your screen to actually walk you through the steps. So imagine, you know, a cursor or a highlight field that actually shows you, Hey, to execute on this task, here's where you go. Um, and so, you know, that'll continue to. To build for the viewer, but also give the right feedback back to the creator. Like, Hey, someone was able to do this in 10 minutes, um, because of the workflow that you created on Tango. So there's a lot of cool stuff that we've, we've got planned in the hopper. And, you know, I think the, the big vision for us is, you know, how do we make documentation something. Is adaptable to the rate of change of a business is adaptable to anyone who's consuming it, anyone who's creating it. Um, that dynamic nature, I think is really where existing solutions fall flat. Cuz usually when it's created, it stays static for a while and then it's, then it's out of date. Yeah. And I think there's also a tendency to think that whatever we produce has to be like, You know, high production value and, you know, formatted in a certain way and all of that. And if we can, it's kind of like with, with, uh, content creation these days that the more kind of authentic it is, the, the more believable and the more useful it is. So we're moving away from this need for, you know, for that what I think is a big barrier to people getting started. Totally. Yeah. I mean, We, we've embraced that in our product development too. I mean, we try to remove as much formatting need as as possible. Yeah. Um, and a lot of the feedback we get is, you know, people are like, oh, I just, I love the look and feel of the tango. Like, it's, it's a lot. I know. I just share, I think about the, the, like the frontline workers, uh, you know, I worked at a utility doing, you know, some process improvement and integration work, and I think about. These folks who were sitting there in their trucks and those were the keepers of the knowledge. They knew. They knew the process and, and getting them to the office to sit down and document processes was, forget it. Right? They were being measured on, you know, how quickly they could do service calls, that kind of stuff. Mm-hmm. . So super interesting, um, opportunity. I think. Uh, I have one question before we wrap up that, uh, I ask all of my guests and I'd love to hear your perspective. Especially given that you dropped out of Harvard, um, what's the difference? and I actually totally get it. Um, yeah. What's the difference between what we hear out there in the business world, in business school, and in the online business world, and what's real about running a business? It's a good question. I, you know, I. The, I loved the classroom environment at HBS because it was all case study based, all grounded in reality. Um, and you needed to have kind of like a healthy discussion on a path forward. What, what was this business gonna do at this point in time? They were facing some dilemma and you needed to kind of, you know, lay the course for, for what they were gonna do next. Really engaging form of learning, I think, where that's, Pretty disconnected from building a business is that those points in time, those decisions are happening multiple times a day. Oh, yeah. Um, you know, there's not just this like, all right, let's, let's take the temperature, let's get all the resources together, let's package it into a case study. Yeah. The case study. Let's decide what we're gonna do. It's like, okay, well I'm facing a decision now and this decision needs to be made in an hour, and then like an hour later there's a new decision that comes up and I need to react in real time. And then there's some things I can take more time with and think about. But, um, you know, it's not as, you don't have as full of a picture as you might in a case study that has exhibits and appendixes and, you know, you can leverage all these different resources to come up with an analysis. You know, a lot of times you need to, you know, in a, in a real business, you need to kind of go with your gut, and hopefully your gut is informed by being prepared and being thoughtful and having the insights that you need, but, You know, you don't, you don't have these, these moments in time to turn your business into a case study. Let me just go write a case study. Yeah. I mean, we did, I have a master's degree in business as well, and I like the amount of case, the amount of H B R case studies that we, or Harvard Business School case studies that we had to do. Were just, you know, I Amazing. And there's a, there's a usefulness to them for sure. When you get into entrepreneurship and you start going, it's you. You know it's a tidal wave and you never stop making decisions, and I think that that's one of the things I wish people knew is that you're never arriving, right? You're never arriving at this place you thought you'd get to by the time you get there. You're already looking at something else. And so the, you know, a lot of entrepreneurs I think, struggle with this where they think that they should have reached a milestone and they've failed because they haven't. But you know, once you accept that entrepreneurship is just a flow and it's a flow of decisions, it's a flow of of circumstances, um, it becomes a little bit more comfortable. Not a lot, but a little bit . All right. It's a really good way to frame. Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think, I wish more people knew that and, and knew that going in, um, we're coming up on time. I don't wanna thank you a lot for taking the time to chat with me today. And of course I've got tangled up on my screen right now cuz I know I'm gonna have to go and check it out, um, for my own clients. But can you tell the listeners where they can find you? Yes. So the easiest way, just go to tango.us. That's our website. Um, and if you wanna reach out directly to me, talk a little bit more about some of the things we talked about on this show, uh, feel free to reach out directly at Ken ken@tango.us. Awesome. We'll put all of those links in the show notes and we will send people off to become new fans, new raving fans of Tango . Awesome. Awesome. Okay, and that's a wrap. I'm so happy we had the opportunity to chat with Ken today to hear more about how his business came to be, his experiences along the way, and what the future of the business entails. Thanks for tuning into this episode of The Real People Real Business Show, where we can get the real ex. Entrepreneurial stories and journeys that you can relate to. The show notes, resources, and links from this episode are available on my website and social media platforms. Thanks again for joining us today. If you've enjoyed today's content, I would love for you to leave us a review on whatever platform you're on to help us share these genuine stories with an even bigger audience. Until next time, keep building, keep dreaming and keeping real.

Ken BabcockProfile Photo

Ken Babcock

Co-Founder & CEO