Ben Lee Talks Building Better Products On The Working Without Pants Podcast

Doug Mallette

Doug Mallette

SEO Marketer / Copywriter for Neon Roots

Hopefully you’ve been getting used to the sound of our CEO Ben Lee’s voice. He’s recently been invited to speak on several podcasts, preaching the good word of Rootstrap and its recent successes. To get caught up, you can listen to him on the Hubstaff Agency Advantage podcast and on the Weekly Wandery with Jessie Cooper.

His most recent conversation took place on Episode 067 of the Working Without Pants podcast (probably one of the greatest podcast names ever). Canadian creative strategist Jake Jorgovan is the founder of Outbound Creative and creator of the Working Without Pants podcast where he interviews “agency owners and consultants to uncover the secret of their success… and talk about how they got started, what led to their success, and how they maintain a life / work balance.”

In Ben’s episode titled “Ben Lee on productizing the discovery process” they spoke for nearly an hour on how Rootstrap has become one of our Los Angeles mobile app development company’s main revenue streams.

working without pants

Highlights From Working Without Pants Ep. 067

Here is the breakdown of their conversation from Jorgovan’s site:

[2:20] Ben has to wear pants at work now, but he did work with Snoop Dogg’s management company before moving to his new location in West Hollywood, and he talks about random run-ins with celebrities

[4:55] He and his co-founder started Neon Roots to challenge the traditional agency model, and actually practice what is preached about agile methods, lean startup, etc.

[6:00] He discusses the bloated, risk-avoidant and unhappy lifestyle common in the service industry, and how he ditched it to start something new- pioneering AR/VR before the market was ready

[7:15] Story carding and discovery was a way to qualify clients, manage expectations, and truly aligned interests- and was incredibly successful

[10:27] How the Rootstrap offer evolved, and how it was influenced by Ben’s background in hospitality

[13:50] He discusses the psychology that goes into the Rootstrap customer experience

[16:00] The Rootstrap Swag Box is a powerful component of the whole experience, triggering positive emotions, and taking on a life of its own as a storytelling mechanism- whether it’s for a 23 year-old first time entrepreneur or Tony Robbins

[19:10] Competitors talk about the Swag Box

[19:37] Discovery and other engagement activities after kickoff are all about providing value to the customer

[21:45] Rootstrap has built a reputation among VCs, from whom they get a lot of deal flow

[22:13] Brand grows in thought-leadership

[23:30] He doesn’t hire sales people, but many former participants sell for him by simply sharing their stories

[25:10] Offering free advice over the phone for young entrepreneurs who aren’t yet a good fit is great for building relationships, which have resulted in referrals several years later

[29:20] Embarrassing sleazy sales guy vs the former participants who aren’t sure their confident enough for sales

[30:39] The sales cycle involves less commitment, or going on dates before you get engaged

[32:35] They (over)deliver so much value that other agencies resell Rootstrap

[33:05] Rootstrap vs ongoing consulting, and why many Rootstrap participants don’t convert because they don’t have an internal dev team or they need help fundraising

[35:18] The solution to a hybrid agency is proper siloing. Going forward, Neon Roots will be doing more creative stuff, which can happen because the service side is completely separate- plus Rootstrap Studios in Uruguay

[40:40] Ben gives his words of wisdom to agency owners to build their way up and increase sales

[42:25] You can reformulate lean/agile methods to any industry/business

But even better than print is listening for yourself. You can get their full conversation RIGHT HERE.

Photo Credit: EDGARD GARRIDO/REUTERS