Ep. 526 w/ Daniel Nissan President & CEO at StructuredWeb

StructuredWeb is now a leading provider of Marketing Automation, Demand Generation and Sales Management platforms for channel partners.

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Kevin Horek: Welcome back to the show today. We have Daniel Neeson. He's the founder and CEO at structured web Daniel. Welcome to the show,

Daniel Nissan: Kevin, thank you for having me on the show today.

Kevin Horek: Yeah, I'm excited to have you on the show. You've done a phenomenal amount of stuff before even structured web. How about before we get into what you're doing today, let's get to know you better and start off with kind of where you grew up.

Daniel Nissan: Yeah. I was born in Israel and grew up there in a small town in the desert near the dead sea, which I believed maybe people will know that part. It's a very dry area, not much train, but you get snow from time to time.

Kevin Horek: Okay, interesting. Walk us through your, like, did you go to university and if you did, what did you take and why?

Daniel Nissan: No, actually I went through like every Israeli and the age of 18, I joined the army air force, went through pilot training initially they didn't finish that training. Later on both the intelligence forces of these really air force. What's a kind of a combat intelligence unit with field unit that the different missions to gather intelligence. There. I spent about six years in the army and went through officer academy and went to big without unit and learned a lot about, eh, army planning, intelligence gathering and processing. At some point to go to my access to a PC that started to pop up in the army and IBM original computer and growth, excited to explore what else you can do with that. From that was part of the past that I started much earlier age to explore computers and find how to use them in business or an army operation or otherwise.

Kevin Horek: Okay. What made you want to go into the army and the air force and then what got you passionate about technology at an early age?

Daniel Nissan: Army, what was it's amendatory so you have to go to the age of 18. You have to go, you have a mandatory three years service and you go through different revelation. They, they choose you don't choose. I was, I went through different tests than a violation and they accepted me to the air force academy at the beginning. At the early age, I don't know. I wrote the very small Sinkler computer when I was, I think, 14 years old, 15 years old. After that, in the power and Commodore, and I don't have technology from the first time I put my hands on the keyboard to go with me fascinated. I always want to think, what do you do with that? I was less interested in hardware, always self-aware and always, what can I do with that? If it will be a game. Business application, or later in the army, developing a system to manage a database of targets and manage them on the map.

Daniel Nissan: I was in a small field unit then and used to visit the lot the headquarter. They have those fancy maps that you see on the movies and big screens. Were still pointing, paints on paper maps. I said, oh, I want something like that. We figure out how to take a personal computer and turn it to a B target management system at the price. That was probably 1% of what they spent on those headquarter systems.

Kevin Horek: Wow. That's cool. Interesting. Okay. Walk us through the rest of your career. Maybe some highlights along the way up until structured web, because you've done some astronomical stuff before structured web as well.

Daniel Nissan: Thank you. Yeah. After my army service, I started my first startup with a friend and it was mostly focused on building a software for business, operation and attendees, really market that time. Israel was maybe four or 5 million people a country today it's reaching close to 10 million people. We sold a specific vertical market and view. I sent them a year and a half later we had the entire market share. So we said, okay, what's next? What do we do? It wasn't a big market. What's a tiny market, but we almost got everybody. We could sell the software to that time. We looked around and said, look, we have to go. I'll tell it to build this software company that will create a product in English to the American market. Luckily we had access to a car that was then being developed by Intel. To enable you to send faxes, right from computers to do, write the document on your computer and then click connected.

Daniel Nissan: You're connected the fax guard through a phone line, and then you can send faxes to people right from the system. We said, well, it will be nice if you take it up, combine it with the leader, combine it with a database of fax numbers and people. You could do a mass blasting of faxes, personalize the people with their information. We built a product called the perfection and they, until card calls, satisfaction, fax in the middle. So we felt it will be nice. And we had an OEM deal. Intel included that product in their brain, their product consultant market. That was my first kind of few S venture as well. They come to market, try to sell it didn't work out. A year later I returned to Israel. Later on, I came across another company that knew me from my doing the prior company. They offered me to join was a group of five engineers at a company called Paul Caltech.

Daniel Nissan: They developed a technology to run voice over local area networks. When I joined them, I said, this is nice, very interesting. What about if we take it and put it on this something emerging called internet? And we're talking about early 1993. Before I joined them, I just got a call from a friend of mine. That was a professor in Weitzman Institute in Israel. When he introduced me to the internet and to the web first web browser, and that was fascinating. I did kind of one plus one, I said, oh, we'll take that voice technology and put it on the internet. And I see a reason. I see value people, right? They can talk to anybody around the world. They don't spend between door to five doors per minute. It was a challenge because the technology was not there, that the level could run it bandwidth compression on computers, CPU, power.

Daniel Nissan: The ID came kind of, we had a product that could let you run voiceover local or a network in late 93. It took us about two years to come with the product that enable you to brown boys over the internet for people that don't know that back then you around internet connection, over modem connection with very narrow bandwidth, like 14.4 28.8 bits per second.

Kevin Horek: So.

Daniel Nissan: We, we, we launched out that was a big success, a lot of innovation, no, we had the internet product, so we had to sell it. There I developed the first, e-commerce say application to sell a software open internet that we sold close to 10 million doors worth of software in one year. Wow. Also we have to advertise. We did a lot of advertising and build affiliate marketing. We didn't call it that right. Went through different websites and say, Hey, put our banner on your website, click to our website. If somebody buys it, we'll pay you a 20% commission of the transaction. Right. We did online advertising with four mostly website because there was no advertising infrastructure and successfully took the company public in 1996. It was the second ever internet IPO after Netscape was the first pick was the second.

Kevin Horek: Fascinating. That's cool, man. Very cool. Okay. Keep going.

Daniel Nissan: Eh, after that or the approach, but somebody that came from the consumer packaged goods industry kind of groceries and sets up and they did, let's say sell groceries online. You understand the e-commerce you build this platform and join me. I joined him and we founded the Ned grocer. That was the first online grocery supermarket online. That was focusing mostly on dry goods. The idea there wasn't to replicate the supermarket was kind of a combination between the supermarket and a club store like Sam's club or Costco. So, but the items was the regular items defined supermarket. We didn't ask people to buy those Bouche items, to invest a lot inventory, but more efficient, reducing the costs of the fulfillment, reducing the cost of storage and driving value. Through online commerce. We were selling groceries at about, I would say about 25% below supermarket prices and we had to deal with FedEx.

Daniel Nissan: So, which was interesting. I, I went to Memphis, met with Fred Smith and convinced him to join us as a strategic partner and to deliver groceries. He told me, look, you're sitting on the chair that actually Sam Bolton sit on Cymbalta for Walmart. I told Sam Walton, he said, he told me Fred Smith, that one day FedEx will deliver groceries because we need the volume of delivery on a daily basis to residential in order to justify all the infrastructure, we'll be able to deliver gifts in during the holidays. My dude, that was the early days of e-commerce. The volume of e-commerce deliveries in general were still small and companies like FedEx and ups and other were looking for a way to drive volume and justify and whole infrastructure cost of drivers and so on when they deliver it to residential, because it was much less profitable or most of the time not profitable to deliver to residential areas compared to businesses.

Kevin Horek: Interesting, keep going.

Daniel Nissan: So they doubt for two years. We tried to take the company public. There was a financial crisis in 1990, late 1998, the IPO didn't succeed. Started structured web. The idea of structure was kind of cumulative of my experience of the internet from building websites, doing marketing and dealing with the technology, understand the opportunity and this thing, how fast it keeps moving, but also understand the challenges of a small business or an emerging business to build their online presence. The structure whereby they was at the beginning to build a vertical market solution. We build a platform and within that platform, we can build different solution for different industries and create structure women. If you're in a specific industry that we target, our first industry was chiropractors. We'll give you a ready-made website, not do a tool to web it, to build a website, not a service to create the custom website, not to do it yourself website, but you go in, you put your name, your logo, opening hours, and some additional click save 10 minutes later, you have a fully functional website with all the content, all the information that you can imagine that you'll need to run a website for chiropractors, right?

Daniel Nissan: The idea was that chiropractors are local businesses. They don't care if somebody in 5, 10, 20 miles from there running something very similar, the application enables them to do a nice degree of customization. You can differentiate yourself from the other, but you can get it at a low cost, $50 a month. That was a cost for the service and 10 minutes of work and you're up and running. And we kept it up to date. New content, new technologies as continued things continued to emerge. The idea was that we'll keep that tech stock for your website and web presence from no appointment scheduling to other features and capabilities. If we would have continued to serve the market, maybe patient records and test results for other industries, they was to add more technology and more capabilities to that core structure website, ask the technology, continue and evolve and emerge over the coming years.

Daniel Nissan: But we tried chiropractors. At that time, 2001, we launched the first product. We didn't get much interest from the market. People would say, $50 is a lot of money while you don't need the website. I don't need it. I don't have internet connection. I cannot even see your demo. Were looking for other industry that we said, we'll be more proactive selling online, but we won't go sustain the B2C space. And we picked up the travel industry. We build the vertical product for travel agents was combination of again, websites with product catalogs. Went to different travel suppliers, mostly on travel packages, resort cruises, and others, not just airlines and hotels and things that are more common to a travel agent to sell to their customers. We build for in trouble to cut the structure web and building 10 minutes, a website with your information and with different packages that the offer, because we have connection to a lot of trouble suppliers and then build an email marketing system on top of that.

Daniel Nissan: You can market your practice, go to market and reach customers and drive demand for travel services. Interesting. All good about one problem. We launched the product on September 9th, 2001. Oh wow. Two days after that, we didn't have the market.

Speaker 7: Right.

Daniel Nissan: And, but we are the platform and the platform was horizontal. We could cross from Marriott and other product. And we looked around virtually looked around. No, not virtually actually looked around and across the street was the offices of Panasonic and my VP of sales at that time. The guy by emeralds reach or Jeremiah said, look, I've worked in a dilemma business. I've worked in Dictaphone before. Let's go to Panasonic and tell, we'll build a structure website for the resellers. Went to them and they said, great for us something we'll go and show it to the reseller. We did that and they liked it. They took it to the resellers, came back to us after a few weeks of roadshow and said, we want to buy it. Can you send us a proposal? We send them a proposal said, we'll send you a purchase order. Now, 20 years later, we're still waiting for that purchase order.

Kevin Horek: Okay. Good advice though. I always say it's a nice idea until the check clears in my bank account,

Daniel Nissan: I would say seven days after that's the rule.

Kevin Horek: They go, yeah, there you go. Yeah.

Daniel Nissan: They, they said went to the channel partners and told them they want to offer. They told us the partner got excited. It says, nobody there could be excited. Why won't we try to sell it them? We already had the product credit, right? Where the Panasonic reseller website, ready with the catalog with all the information, because we prepared everything for them, for the roadshow. The end of December, 2001, I went through the website, scrub the least of their channel partners made phone calls. I think I made one day a hundred phone calls and I got 20 orders. The end of that day, wow look, 20% success rate. That's something that you don't usually come across. And that's what we did. So went and called the resellers. I think a month later we doubled the price and we started selling it for $1,200 a year. After that, we double it, we sold it for $2,400 a year to get the Panasonic at reseller its website with up-to-date Panasonic product catalog.

Daniel Nissan: You can use it to present your business to potential customers and generate leads. Everything was after that was done off the system. Because at that time we didn't have CRM, lead management and capabilities that we added later on. And we grew the business from that. Went through other vendors, other resellers that's where we had company actually focus, which is our core business. They channel marketing started to focus more and more narrowly on channel on resellers dealers, agents, partners. For about 10, 12 years, we sold directly to small businesses. Later on, about six, seven years ago, we turned the platform and added the vendor level and turned the business from selling to small businesses to sell to enterprises. Today almost a hundred percent of our revenue come from enterprises and they take our platform. Instead of selling the services to their partners, which we used to do, we work with vendors, they take our platform, they customize it for their specific network of resellers on a global basis and provide them the solution, which will be content for the website, email marketing, social marketing, online advertising, webinars, events, any type of web presence or digital marketing tool with the content built into the system that they can provide to their local resellers.

Daniel Nissan: They can go and drive demand for the product that represents. Today it's an enterprise software and not, we don't do services or marketing services anymore. Our customers are the top leading brands in the technology space. Everybody from Google to IDM service now, and dozens of thousands of other large global tech companies that rely on our platform to support their channel partners and 52 different languages and countries all around the world.

Kevin Horek: Very cool, man. That's that's awesome. Just so I, a hundred percent understand. If I'm one of these big brands, what do I need to put into structured web? As one of my, the big brand resellers, what do I get from structured web when I log in?

Daniel Nissan: As the big brown, do you go through a structure web and you can upload to the system, any type of marketing, content, marketing instructions, and support and training for your local resellers to use. Basic part you can use our contents indication, which automatically with a simple setup, we'll keep that brown product information presence on their channel partner, the reseller website up to date. At the moment, the resell take a two line of JavaScript and put on their website, they'll have the entire product catalog of the vendors up to date that they may give a moment on their website and they can, of course customize it. If they sell just a portion of that vendor protocol log, they can customize it so they can just present subset of the entire catalog. Of course, all of.com, the vendor can put it in as many languages as they want based on the market and territories that they serve.

Daniel Nissan: They can have everything that could then email. They can put content to the partner's website that will be content syndication. They can upload emails with landing pages, for lead capture to our system. The reseller logs in find out the email, they can dab the library. They can process those, the browser Colvin find them on the treat for their market and their targeting district language, customize it with their logo can customize the content. There is a built-in email marketing system, so they can upload their mailing lists and send the emails and that took them out. He will go to a landing page capture leads and the lead management system. We give them the content and the technology combined together already. Pre-configured. The same, if you go back to the story where we started with the chiropractors died, they was clickable. You're up and running in 10 minutes here as a channel partner representing, let's say Google or IBM or service.

Daniel Nissan: Now you can log into the system, you log in through them. So we're selling it to our customers. It's fully private-label when you go to IBM, it says, IBM, when you go to Google, it says, Google, doesn't say spark to web. You log into your Google relationship to your Google cloud partner portal. You go through the marketing area. From there, you can run all these marketing activities from banner advertising to webinars, events, email marketing, content, syndication, social marketing, and it's all automated. Let's say if you want to keep your Google, your LinkedIn account up to date with Google post about Gregg GCP, Google cloud platform, solution, and product. You just go to the channel marketing platform, powered by structure, web you click subscribe. Every content that Google decide that you should post to your LinkedIn account will go automatically. Every week, the partner gets some certification, what is planned for them for next week?

Daniel Nissan: They do have control of the process. If they like it, they just do nothing. It will be posted to the LinkedIn account. Or if they don't like something or edit something, then need to log into the system. We're virtually kind of automating their local marketing with a degree of involvement so they can configure it. They can change it and they can edit it. They can put their logo and others, but the load of the processes fully automated because most channel partners much smaller organization than the vendors. They don't have that sophisticated marketing skills and dedicated person and dedicated system. Even if they do have to take content from the vendor and configure it in your system, it could be a series of emails with landing pages and lead nurturing. All these steps are kind of complex operation. Even if you have the knowledge, but most channel partners don't have a large dedicated marketing team and that support of content technology and the entire process over a pre-configured enabled them to go and drive local business and grow their operation as well.

Kevin Horek: No, that makes a lot of sense. Well, even if you do have it internally, like the amount of time that it takes to manually do all this stuff is a ton of work. Like it's multiple people's full-time job in a week. Is that fair to say?

Daniel Nissan: Yeah, it's, it's very complex. If you want to go out and maybe hire an expert to do it for you, tens of thousands of doors every year to do that, then that's something that as a channel partner, if you're a vendor work with works with structural way to get them no cost tied to them. As part of being a channel partner. We see businesses a lot of money and enable those small businesses around the world really to go in and embrace and use the digital marketing, but without the complexity and challenges that typically you face with, if you try to do something wrong and we see a great demand for that, we have more and more customers using it and providing it, especially in the last two years where before the pandemic, digital marketing was about 50% of the spend of channel market to channel partners on marketing.

Daniel Nissan: They used to do a lot of events and local activities and breakfast and seminars because the pandemic, these all went away. They had to turn all the marketing hundred percent to digital marketing. And, and we see a big increase in demand for channel marketing solutions in the last three years because of that.

Kevin Horek: No, that makes a lot of sense. So I'm curious. Do I get, well, I'm assuming that as the enterprise company and the reseller, I get kind of stats and updates about how well things are doing or not doing in my local area. I can kind of modify or change to say like, what our Instagram feed is working well, or it's not working well, maybe we should do more or less of those different verticals or how does that kind of work?

Daniel Nissan: Yeah, that's an excellent question. Actually part of the core of the offering of structural is all the analytics. We do provide the channel partners with the analytics, typical that you will expect from a small business marketing automation system. If you sent an email, you could see how many people open it, click rate, lead rate, you share something on social. You can see the engagement level clicks on the content. If there are any links in the content zone, but most channel partners don't have time resources to look at the data. Also they have very small sample of data because just their own local marketing. The strength of the analytics and data is comes more to the vendor side. They have visibility to everything in the process. From the moment they upload content, they can see what content they self upload, because there could be many people in the organization, uploading content.

Daniel Nissan: They can see the engagement of the partners. They can see partners actually go and look at this content. Do they activate the content? If they activate the content, depending on the channel email, social website, contents indication, so on, they can see the engagement level impression number of clicks, number of pleads, and can analyze it also by country, by region, globally by product type of business like messaging. Cause we collect the data across all the partners, right? Without disclosing any partners, a customer's personal information. The vendor never have access to the partner. Customer lists it's kept confidential, but they get aggregated reports that they can analyze. Because of the volume of data, they get much better data to run statistics and understand what message works and what work and what messages don't work and tactics and combination of them at a global scale.

Kevin Horek: Got you. Okay. You guys have a whole services arm side of this business. Do you want to talk about what that means and what services you actually provide your customers?

Daniel Nissan: Yeah. Most of our services are surrounding the implementation of the product. It's provided because it's an enterprise product. It provides a high degree of customization. As we said, if you're a Google or IBM or service, now you can customize the product to pixel perfect match your brown, your go to market strategy. You can customize it to different languages, different territories, even create a lot of variation to support different types of channel partners. Right? If you sell to distributors, you might need a different experience than you. If you sell to a local system integrators or have a other software company that they embed your product into their product, they need typically different types of markets and support. We help our customers with the customization of the product, the best practice to implement the training and support. When it comes to the actual marketing work, we're not a marketing agency.

Daniel Nissan: We're a software company we focused on the software and delivering the best software when it comes to the marketing, to the messaging, creative look and feel the translation, all of that. There are interfaces where other agencies can be integrated to the system to support the vendors and to support the channel partners. We serve as the help for all these different parties to collaborate, but we don't provide or facilitate these services.

Kevin Horek: Got it. Okay. No, that makes sense. How long roughly does it take to onboard one of these brands? I can start actually using this and giving the platform out to my resellers.

Daniel Nissan: The typical process takes us about the what's a 90 days, but we're recently onboard the customer and they went without public. And also share that. I can show where we onboarded zoom. Zoom is one of the structured web customer and they are the target date to launch and we launched them in 30 days. It possibly to move faster, but typically 90 days is the typical integration and launch time.

Kevin Horek: Gotcha. No, that makes a lot of sense. I'm curious because you guys, well, you've had structured web for what, 20 plus years now, how have you made the company relevant and stay relevant and change with the times? Because it's challenging enough to get through, a couple of years a recession, all the different changes that have come with the web, but how have you made sure you've stayed current and pivoted and changed the product to stay with the times because that in itself is extremely difficult.

Daniel Nissan: Yeah, it is. And no, we did two things. First focus on what's currently is in demand in the market. We build a company with focusing on selling and generating revenue and most of the years investing that revenue back into the product. We're a very product driven company and we kept adjusting and pivoting when needed. But the story it's the same story. If you look at where we started structured websites for similar businesses. Today it's not just structure, website, structured marketing for similar businesses, the go-to market is different. The service offering is different, but the core focus of the company, we didn't, when we pivoted, we didn't change the 90 degrees or to the right or to the left. Right. We did small pivots, five degrees here in five degrees there about, we always like to know when you ski, you go, you keep your face focusing downhill, right.

Daniel Nissan: While you go on the slopes, no left and right. We did virtually the same, right. Stayed focused on the target, but you have to change otherwise you'll crush.

Kevin Horek: Right? Interesting. No, that's actually really good advice. I'm curious because you've obviously done this for so long is how have you stuck true to your roadmap, especially when you have huge customers probably saying like, we really want you to add X, Y, and Z. I know you mentioned some customization, so how do you manage your roadmap, their customizations, and kind of their feature requests, whether they make sense for the other two,

Daniel Nissan: One major principle that we kept all the years from day one, and mind you, we start to build SAS software as a service application in 1999 when nobody even felt about it, or it was very common. There were no common practices. We'd made a decision back then to have one platform, right? Never unique version or code to specific customers and multitenant. It's a one instance of the application running for all the customers with the proper security in place. Even today, if it's somebody ask us to add some capabilities to the system, if we need to do customization will always be a coding functionality that will be available to all of our customers, right? We don't have five versions of the product. We have one single version of the product, and if we need to customize, it will be always true configuration. We don't write custom code.

Daniel Nissan: Keeping the operation very efficient and keep those principles as a guidance way to build the product. They'll deviate from that was very important. The other one is just listen to the customer and we just listened to what they did. We keep adjusting, adding more capabilities, changing the features and improving things, but the customer know what they want. If you listen to them. That's the biggest asset as a startup, the biggest problem is you think about something, but you don't have customers as a company over the end market a year or two, even three years, you don't have to have 10 or 20 years, but they've been up there. The handful of customers that are brought up on board, if you listen to them, they guide you where to go. If you listen carefully, you'll find all these nuances that will make the product better, the service better and help you to be successful.

Daniel Nissan: And that's even up to date. That's what we do. Eh, I'm the CEO of the company, but I spend a lot of my time on the product. I believe that the best product essentially winning market, and that's what we do. We're very product driven company and not sales or marketing driven company.

Kevin Horek: Got, that's actually really good advice. I want to get some other advice from you because obviously you've built a number of businesses, some vertical new vertical businesses. You've obviously like we just covered is you've been able to pivot your businesses to stay relevant. What advice do you give people in building these businesses? Because we all know you have highs and lows and a roller coaster ride and all the fun stuff that you're doing, bad stuff that can come. What advice do you give to people to kind of get through some of the hard times?

Daniel Nissan: I would say first you have to be passionate about what you do. If I, I would say always, I'm lucky in my life that I do something that I love it doesn't show that every day is a great day and there are no, as you said, the ups and downs, but I have the luxury to do something that love, build product, build services, deal with technology. And, and that's really what drives me every day, right? When, when I get excited, it's about product and about coal. It's about new technology. If it's AI and machine learning or otherwise. That's what I think what's so fascinating about the technology industry and how I kept myself very focused about the business, this business, the technology, what we do, the product, the customers, where it was 22 years ago, it's quite different than where it is today. It said to a new entrepreneur first know, understand what you're getting into.

Daniel Nissan: It's it's not an easy process at all. You need to be fully devoted to that invest 24 hours of your day, right? Very little amount of sleep, seven days a week, right? So it's a constant business. You never get a break and never take a vacation. Maybe physically, you might take a vacation, but I don't think I took a mentally, took a vacation last 22 years, or since I started to work in startups and they're going to be a lot of challenges or down the road, there are more challenges than upsides and you have to play them and find a way to bypass those challenges and innovate, product innovate, marketing strategies, innovate partnerships through the years that was the number one driver to my progress was that no, you face a challenge. You find a solution. To be honest, that's something I learned in the army.

Daniel Nissan: You go out to a mission, you do a lot of planning and all the preparation, but we're, you're in the field, that's it. You have fixed number of resources. You have fixed number of people with you and you need to get mission accomplished. Now, the training that I got in the army, you don't come back without mission accomplished. Figure out how you learn, how to figure out and you find very interesting and surprising way accomplish the mission business wise, eh, military wise or in personal life.

Kevin Horek: No, I think that's really good advice. There stuff that you wish you knew that you would like to pass on to say your younger self?

Daniel Nissan: Yeah. There's one thing when people ask me this question that I always like to bring up. When, when I said to bill to my first company and want to raise capital, people asked me, do you have a business plan back then? I didn't know how to write a business plan. I went and bought the book, how to write the business plan at one chapter by chapter. They go, no, what is the product? What is the market that present the customer's competition? You go through all these chapters and you read them, you write cause you understand what to do. I go to a chapter that was quite interesting. I'm talking about my first startup was in the early nineties. It's called environmental effects.

Kevin Horek: Okay.

Daniel Nissan: I'm talking about the environment since, know how the weather can affect my business. I didn't understand at that time, but then if fundamental effects and probably there were not enough examples in the book, it's all about the things that you don't control in life. Right? Right. We're talking about new technology emerging, like the internet. That's very minimal effect. Now we had a company that did a and suddenly there is a new technology that's affecting you in a positive way. September 11th was a big shock to the organization. That's affecting you in Berlin, little incremental effect that the negative to the organization. Typically you sit in and build a business plan and you decide what you want to do, you and your team. I think most of us are focused on what we can do and we trust ourselves and we know the skill. We know the weaknesses that we have, and we pay very little attention to what's going in, out in the surrounding of our Corpus.

Daniel Nissan: The surrounding has very significant effect, both positive in many cases positive. If you look up now, if you take Airbnb and they started at a time where no iPhone came to market and Facebook came to market, then if you tried to do Airbnb five for six, or there, it would not be as successful as with, right? Right. Those are positive environmental effects that create new opportunities for you new platform, new technologies, new way to reach customers and also disaster situation like September 11th or not to that degree recession that we have later on day, the housing crisis in 2008, all of those have significant effect on the business. I suggest to people pay attention to them and look for opportunities and be prepared for threats like the pandemic or the housing crisis or something similar to that.

Kevin Horek: Does that mean then that you're constantly reading the news or kind of other publications to make sure up on current events so you can predict future as much as possible? Or what is your advice around that?

Daniel Nissan: I read everything. My wife make a joke of me though. I'm probably the only person in the universe that read the stories on the built books. I read the news, I try to stay up to date from politics to healthcare, to technology, right? And, but then the key part is to read, but also to react. Now, some things sometimes you see them and how to react. Sometimes there a situation that will take you three or four years after they happen, that you can react to them. It's not everything that's really together, but I would say pay attention, not just for the internal core of your business, which all of us do. We focus about ourselves, about the business, about the employees, about the customers, about a lot of what's going on is outside. Doug could represent, I think in most cases, by the way, an opportunity, more than a threat and being able to read the map and see where the industry's going to talk to customers, to look at new platform and not to be too much focused just on your business and your industry.

Daniel Nissan: It can represent an opportunity for you to find new ways to grow the business. And, and you create a new distribution channel. I'll give you example. When we started with vocal tech, we sold the software online and we want to enter to retail and to get to retail back then to put your product packaged a softer product on the shelf is, was no, a lot of money. You have to show that the huge budget for, to create consumer demand. And we tried and we couldn't. One day I went to Comdex and I walked there and it was a booth, beautiful white group with very unique, very different than any other software company. I went to him and said, what do you do? It says, oh, we're a book publisher. So why are you here? It's a software trade show. They look, we created these books called the AOL membership guide, and we want to sell it in bookstores, but no bookstore we'll take our book and put it because they just sell pack software.

Daniel Nissan: Went through AOL America online back then and asked them if we can sell their software and make them AOL or sending bills of their software by mail everyday to subscribe, to gain your subscribers. These guys for internal communication, they did that. They put the book, they took the software from AOL and actually paid a percentage of every book that they sold, looked like a software in a box. And that was a huge success. So I said, you know what? We have this internet phone here and we're trying to get to retail. Would you take the software, put it in the books, write the book about it. Maybe we put also software to connect people to the internet because at that time, most people were not connected to the internet and they did it. Three months later, were on every refill score in the country, selling our product without investing anything, building that infrastructure ourselves.

Kevin Horek: No, that's actually really smart and really actually good advice for people because sometimes you need to partner with somebody that has the resources to get to where you want to be. Right?

Daniel Nissan: Exactly. It can be a distribution channel and new product innovation or threat like the pandemic. And, but actually I saw a lot of companies that took the pandemic, turned them over and created opportunities, especially companies that were focused like zoom online meetings, webinars, events, and online educations. I know some companies that are like visible is another Israeli company that they were all focused. All the business, a hundred percent of the business was on physical events. I believe like 30 or 60 days after the pandemic here, they turned the product over and turn it to be a great product for virtual events. It's so easy. It's quite complex that turned the entire business, but they saw an opportunity. I don't know them personally, but from the stories that they hear they're doing very well because they turned to business. Now they're both in virtual and physical events and growing the business quite nicely.

Kevin Horek: No, I think that's actually really good advice. And, and you're right. Like I think the, one of the pluses of the pandemic, and I don't think there's very many of them was it really made people kind of reinvent themselves. In a lot of cases, it really brought out like the true entrepreneurs, right. Because when there's not a lot of things that are worse than a pandemic to try to get your business through. Right. Yup.

Daniel Nissan: Yeah. Some things it says, look, you cannot change them or give you the travel industry or hospitality. You're you have very little room to innovate and create. You're probably really sorry for a lot of these people, but they probably have to go in and create a completely new business. But the local father, businesses, even restaurants. When I saw a little person aren't changing the way they operate, they moved more to delivery and the repackage, the product, they changed the menu so they can fit better for delivery. So you always have to be agile. You have to change and adapt to the market situation. I'm not talking about the crisis where your business is completely finished and there is no market. Other than that, you are just, or you don't survive.

Kevin Horek: No, I think that's really good advice, but sadly, we're coming to the end of the show. How about we close with mentioning where people can get more information about yourself, structured web in any other links you want to mention?

Daniel Nissan: Eh, about myself, the easiest way to get in touch with me or find me it would be through my LinkedIn page. Just look for Daniel Nissan on LinkedIn and structure web. You can check www.structuredweb.com to find more information. If you have any business in the channel, your channel partner, or vendor selling to child partners would love talking to you.

Kevin Horek: Perfect Daniel. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to be on the show. I look forward to keeping in touch with you and have a dress today, man.

Daniel Nissan: Thank you very much, Kevin. I appreciate the invite then was pleasure. Pleasure having this conversation today.

Kevin Horek: You as well. Thanks very much. Okay. Thank you.

Intro / Outro: Thanks for listening. Please visit our website@buildingthefutureshow.com to join the free community. Sign up for our newsletter or to sponsor the show. The music is done by electric mantra. You can check him out@electricmantra.com and keep building the future.

Ep. 526 w/ Daniel Nissan President & CEO at StructuredWeb
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