The Human Centered Design Podcast with Gerry Scullion

Royce Wong 'Scaling Design at Big Commerce & Building the future of asynchronous collaboration'

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December 12, 2022
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Royce Wong 'Scaling Design at Big Commerce & Building the future of asynchronous collaboration'

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Episode shownotes

I caught up Royce Wong, Co-Founder and CEO of InOrbit and Global Director - Product Design at BigCommerce. Royce is based out of Sydney, Australia and in this conversation we speak about Big Commerce’s growth, a strategic direction and differentiation. We speak about the balancing of two titles with his start up InOrbit, that is setting out to tackle the asynchronous collaboration space. Royce is awesome and I know you’re going to love this episode.

Episode Transcript

This transcript was created using the awesome, Descript. It may contain minor errors.
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[00:00:00] Royce Wong: What does that journey look like? Where are the touchpoints across all of the businesses that's affecting the 60, 90 day onboarding period to which our merchants experiencing pre commerce? Right. In doing so, we evaluated okay. Of those touchpoints, what were the things that were broken and weren't ideal in terms of the setup and the exploration of pc.

[00:00:20] Royce Wong: And that equated to a customer journey map, a service map, if you would, that identified, oh, there's an opportunity here for sbd or professional services to have a bigger role. All the way down to, oh, how many times have we actually contacted the merchant to underst. Whether they're onboarding well, whether the setup is going on track, and those things really kind of seeded the changes in organization.

[00:00:40] Royce Wong: And that all stems from our customer journey.

[00:00:49] Gerry Scullion: Hello and welcome to this is a c D. My name is Jerry Sian and I'm a designer, educator, and the host of this. CD based in the wonderful city of Dublin, Ireland. Now our goal [00:01:00] here is top conversations that inspire and help move the dial forward for organizations to become more human-centered in their approach to solving complex business and societal problems.

[00:01:09] Gerry Scullion: I caught up recently with Royce Wong, co-founder. And CEO of In Orbit and Global Director of Product Design at Big Commerce. Now Royce is based outta Sydney, Australia, my old home, and in this conversation we speak about big Commerce's growth and their strategic direction and differentiation between all the other players in that niche.

[00:01:28] Gerry Scullion: We speak about balancing of the two titles. He's also, as I said, CEO of an orbit, his own startup, and that's what he's trying to tackle. There is the asynchronous collaboration space. It's a really fascinating space to get. Royce is truly awesome. I absolutely loved connecting with them and I know you're gonna love this episode.

[00:01:46] Gerry Scullion: Now, if you like what we're doing at, this is Eight City, please help us out by leaving a review wherever you're listening to this podcast. As you know, it only takes a couple of minutes and it really helps to find ability for other designers around the world to find us. Or you could go on better by becoming a [00:02:00] patron.

[00:02:00] Gerry Scullion: Folks. Uh, you can get an ad free stream of the podcast for as little as one Euro 66. We're 20 euros a year, and you also get a shout out as a thanks for everyone that does that. So, as you know, this is has become a repository for human-centered design. Goodness. We're now over 230 episodes, so if you do like what we're doing, think about becoming a patron, it really helps us out.

[00:02:20] Gerry Scullion: Let's get into it. Roy Wong, how are you doing? Delighted to have you on the podcast.

[00:02:27] Royce Wong: Yeah, doing well. I'm glad to be here. Really excited to kind of chat with you and just.

[00:02:32] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, I've been a fan, uh, you know, Eduardo Krantz, who is cos studio lead in Tokyo, put us in touch, um, a number of months ago.

[00:02:45] Gerry Scullion: And, you know, I have to sought myself doing an impression of Eduardo here, but I don't know if I'm gonna be able to do that for an entire episode. But he went, Hey man, you need to, you need to speak to Rice. And I said, ok, well, you know, he mentioned to me many [00:03:00] times over the years, Some of the brilliant work that you've been doing in your, in your career.

[00:03:05] Gerry Scullion: So it's great to finally get some time with you and to chat about it. But for our listeners who don't really know a little bit about you, you're an interesting person because you've got two titles and so that means that you're actually a hundred percent better than everybody else we've ever had on the podcast

[00:03:22] Gerry Scullion: So, cause you've got two, most people only have one. Maybe you kick off and tell us, um, a little bit about yourself

[00:03:29] Royce Wong: and what you. Yeah, absolutely. And um, I wouldn't say a hundred percent, maybe 50%. Oh yeah, 50% shit. 50%, you know, Monday morning here. Yeah, exactly right. No, um, yeah, thanks for that. I mean, okay, so I have two titles.

[00:03:42] Royce Wong: The first one is Global, uh, product designer or product director at, um, at eCommerce. And my role there is really to head up the product design team to envision products, features me, like, you know, solve the merchant need. Hmm. And the other one is, you know, my startup space. So, you know, um, as a [00:04:00] founder or co-founder of In Orbit, and this is more about collaboration in synchronous facilitation, that kinda thing.

[00:04:05] Royce Wong: Yeah. And that's, uh, a passion project, something for us to really kind of move forward in terms of, uh, how we do work in the future. Nice.

[00:04:13] Gerry Scullion: Well, which one do you wanna talk about first? Cuz I, I'm interested in BigCommerce. Um, and what they're doing actually in, in the, the whole kind of e-commerce space. Yeah.

[00:04:23] Gerry Scullion: And how, how they see themselves and how they differ between the Alexas of Shopify, which is obviously mm-hmm. one of the big players in that space, so. Mm-hmm. , why BigCommerce? Why would someone choose big Commerce over some of the other e-commerce platforms?

[00:04:37] Royce Wong: I think one of the key things is that we are leading with the open strategy, right?

[00:04:42] Royce Wong: And one of the key, like e-commerce and, uh, as. in terms of the merchant space, it's very complex. The needs are very different. Workflows are very different, uh, sources of truth in terms of like, you know, your inventory to your E R P. All of those things are very different from our merchant to the next.

[00:04:59] Royce Wong: Yeah. When we [00:05:00] think about, you know, region to region, the need, uh, I think. , in my opinion, uh, commerce has a unique proposition better than that of, uh, Shopify. Yeah,

[00:05:09] Gerry Scullion: but you've gotta have to say that, aren't you? I have to say that.

[00:05:13] Royce Wong: I mean, yeah. I mean, from that perspective, I think we integrate, well. We have a position where we are talking about, you know, regionally specific merchant specific requirements.

[00:05:22] Royce Wong: We're not forcing, you know, unique pro positions and feature sets that it's solely owned. By us. Um, and we, we integrate with the best and breed. So that's, you know, really kind of formulating a foundation where you get the benefits of all those different businesses that you get, uh, access to, right? So I think that's the unique proposition that we have, and I think, you know, we are maturing that space, one by which we can differentiate against Shopify.

[00:05:49] Gerry Scullion: With Big Commerce. I know my, my big brother actually uses Big Commerce in his retail store at Ireland. Like, you know, I mentioned to him that I was gonna be speaking to somebody from Big Commerce and he couldn't believe it. He was like, [00:06:00] I was explaining that they're, they're an Australian business, correct.

[00:06:03] Gerry Scullion: White, aren't they? They're, they're, they're from Sydney, I think.

[00:06:06] Royce Wong: Oh, that Australian founded. Yeah. And headquartered in Austin.

[00:06:09] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Austin and Texas. Yeah. Okay. So I, I was right. Cause I do remember way back in the, the late tens to mm-hmm. Big Commerce was Sydney based. Is that right? Around this time? Yeah. So I'm not, I'm not going crazy, but I guess I'm, I'm interested in, in the evolution of the product from that time.

[00:06:27] Gerry Scullion: Um, can you talk to me a little bit more around. You know, that time of where, where it's come from, where it's at now, and where do you think e-commerce is gonna go? Where's the big challenges for, for big commerce in say, the next 18 months to, to two

[00:06:41] Royce Wong: years? Uh, that would be a difficult answer, question to answer, but I'll try the best.

[00:06:46] Royce Wong: I think the evolution of e-commerce was, you know, we were very much fragmented in terms of the space and the problems that we are trying to solve for SMB complex, low complexity, high complexity. , um, different merchant types, right? From [00:07:00] automotive all the way through to digital, that kind of thing. And I think it, the evolution of our business really started to take hold when Brent Baum started focusing our efforts around mid-market enterprise and, you know, going in that trajectory.

[00:07:13] Royce Wong: And I think that really, you know, differentiated not only, um, what our offering was going to be, you know, and, but our entire mentality, the culture and the workspace was to really focus. Complex needs. How do we really support that? When you think about all the op opportunities in different regions all the way through to selling internationally, it poses a very, very different problem that we need to go and approach.

[00:07:37] Royce Wong: So that, that real kind of focus for, for the product team and the business as a whole, um, really kind of evolved within those few years. And I think now that we've landed at a position where we feel very confident with and we have like, you know, a good trajectory toward, I think that's where we are gonna start to, you know, make headways.

[00:07:57] Gerry Scullion: Okay, so what's the team like at Big [00:08:00] Commerce? And you're not allowed to say that they're awesome, by the way, but we wanna understand the, I'm sure they are, but we wanna understand the, the makeup of the, the design team and how, how design has been used as a strategic lever within the organization.

[00:08:13] Royce Wong: Yeah, this is really, okay.

[00:08:14] Royce Wong: So this is a timely conversation. One of the key things is, um, you know, Mo, our team is spread across four locations, Austin, San Francisco, Kiev, and. Yeah, and our team is steer dispersion that way. And one, one of the key things that we are trying to do is develop, uh, levels of maturity where we inform strategy.

[00:08:36] Royce Wong: and doing that is through, you know, uh, research all the way through to concept testing, getting the, the conference ethnographic research, getting, getting that, and then this continuous pipeline of understanding our merchant bases so that we can compare against like, you know, the Gartner reports, what's coming in from marketing.

[00:08:54] Royce Wong: Yeah. Uh, to evaluate like, oh, truly are we solving this particular. So our [00:09:00] team is structured in that way where we have a researcher, a copywriter, a product designer, really thinking about that particular domain area that they're responsible for, and projecting forward, what can we do to solve that space.

[00:09:12] Royce Wong: Hmm. Um, in terms of the structure. Uh, so what we, what we. right now what we are uh, doing is we are investing into functions, which is, you know, visual design, copywriting, um, moving into interface design, service design. Um, all those things are being invested into. And the underlining or underpinning of that is, you know, developing these components and these structures to support all of the, you know, strategic investments that.

[00:09:41] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. So for something like service design versus, um, say visual design mm-hmm. , there's different, um, I guess, kind of challenges for each one of those, uh, those practitioners. So the, the service designer will be trying to affect ultimately the policy level of design, like, you know, be able [00:10:00] to, how is that being challenged within the organization, because that's a big interest for.

[00:10:06] Gerry Scullion: As a practitioner, a service designer. I love those conversations. I love ev evoking those, the root cause problems for, for things to happen. What does that look like for a, an organization that, that's just taken the first steps into that strategic service design role, um, for big commerce? What's the reporting structure

[00:10:25] Royce Wong: look like there?

[00:10:26] Royce Wong: So I wouldn't say, I mean, I was, I'll discuss the first project that really seeded, you know, the structures of the way that we invested into Yeah. The one things that we were looking at was, um, churn, right? We were facing churn. That's a problem. We need to have retention. So in doing so, we started looking at, okay, what is the child paid conversion like?

[00:10:48] Royce Wong: What does that journey look like? Where are the touchpoints across all of the businesses that's affecting that 60, 90 day onboarding period to which are merchants experiencing pre commerce? Right? [00:11:00] In doing so, we evaluated okay. Of those touchpoints, what were the things that were broken and weren't ideal in terms of the setup in and, and the exploration of pc.

[00:11:09] Royce Wong: And that equated to a customer journey map, uh, a service map, if you would, that identified, oh, there's an opportunity here for sbd or professional services to have a. A bigger role all the way through to down to, oh, how many times have we actually contacted the merchant to understand, you know, whether they're onboarding well, whether the setup is, you know, going on track.

[00:11:30] Royce Wong: And those things really kind of seeded the changes in organization. And that all stems from a customer journey map. Yeah. Right. And then, um, and that, that really became the thing that created this hunger for. , like how do I understand all the interplay and inter connected experiences between, oh, um, customer support, automated, you know, sales, business development all the way through to, um, our product actually fulfilling that value proposition that marketing has kind of put out there.[00:12:00]

[00:12:00] Royce Wong: Um, so this created. Our research team, you know, in terms of value proposition, in terms of the things that we were meant to produce, um, all the way through to, you know, um, the practice itself. How often do we do this, uh, and, and who's gonna be participating. Uh, so product managers are very, I guess, attuned to

[00:12:20] Gerry Scullion: that kind of stuff.

[00:12:20] Gerry Scullion: Okay. You mentioned one of the big challenges for, for the business, um, is the, the different regions and the different behaviors and the different merchant needs. From a, um, distributed team perspective, how are you managing that with research? Um, are you hiring local teams or agencies? What does that look like?

[00:12:43] Royce Wong: We, we try to hire regionally specific. So we have a researcher in Sydney, one in the US and one in Ukraine. And those particular individuals have access to those emea, uh, APAC kind of, uh, marching types so that we are able to get a little bit more of an [00:13:00] understanding in terms of their challenge. Now those, those opportunities really help us understand how the, uh, I guess the e-commerce operation defer from region to region.

[00:13:11] Royce Wong: Yeah. And, and having them present and, you know, uh, accessible to those particular merchants made it a lot easier for us to kind of create the intelligence layer for which, uh, our PMs and PDs are making decisions day. . Um, and we've adopted new Tool Dovetail, if you know of it. Oh yeah. Know Dovetail. Yep.

[00:13:29] Royce Wong: Yeah, so Ben Humphrey and Bradley. Um, so that, that startup really kind of helped us with the infrastructure for our repository and our insides gathering and our reporting, and that really created that momentum for us. I feel. Give us

[00:13:43] Gerry Scullion: a, an an idea of how you're using Dovetail, um, in terms of the distributed research team.

[00:13:50] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Um, and feel free to give it a plug as well, like, you know, if you wanna say it's in the most amazing tool ever, like that's completely fine. Um, cuz I've used it and I'm really impressed with it.

[00:13:59] Royce Wong: [00:14:00] No, it's a, it is an amazing tool and, you know, kudos to the team that built it and, you know, to the founders, Bradley and Ben.

[00:14:06] Royce Wong: Uh, I, I think one of the key things that we've done is we've created stories, alright? And each of those particular things, uh, actually has tags that allows us to identify the key investment areas that we are making. And any product designer and product manager will be able. Click on that tag and understand, oh, actually here's a real in-depth evaluation of this particular area.

[00:14:27] Royce Wong: And when you are actually making decisions on the, trying to understand whether, oh, I'm gonna go into this particular region. What are specific differences, nuances that I need to be aware of the repositories, just spit it out. This is, this is really accessible and really, um, uh, it helps with the guidance in terms of decisions.

[00:14:45] Royce Wong: Yeah. So. . Um, we use it from that point of view and one of the key things that, um, aspirationally I'm trying to do is have dovetail as out intelligently across all e-commerce that our product marketers, SBDs individuals who are, you [00:15:00] know, have high access and high touch points to our merchants will be able to create.

[00:15:03] Royce Wong: Information so that it's access accessible across everybody inside the business. Yeah. Um, what that does, it helps us structure our verticals, our segments a little bit better, and it's a better rep representation of the people that we are solving the problems for. So yeah, I think that real maturity in that structure will help us, um,

[00:15:22] Gerry Scullion: you know.

[00:15:22] Gerry Scullion: Okay. One of the big things for merchants, um, is the speed to get their money . So, um, there's a small little Irish business, I'm not sure if you're aware of it. They're called Stripe. Um, they, uh, they, they're found about the two Killen brothers. Um, anyway, just a joke. We started using Stripe in my former business.

[00:15:47] Gerry Scullion: This is doing a number of years ago. Um, and I was just blown away, literally blown away by the, the work that they do. And this is not me, I have no affiliation, a stripe or anything, but they [00:16:00] really changed the business. Okay. Like be able to get, it was almost like a bank. Okay. It really was like, like a modern bank neobank.

[00:16:08] Gerry Scullion: How does big commerce, um, manage that? Because, From a business perspective, it's almost like that experience, that vendor choice that they choose to handle their money will have an indirect, um, sort of a response to how your own product is being received. Mm-hmm. , that's something that I often look at when you see Big Commerce or Shopify, or there's probably a whole other, other ones out there as well, but they're the two that I, I really kind of, I look at.

[00:16:37] Gerry Scullion: Mm. They're co, they're totally dependent on the speed of the banks and some of the banks that people are working with are old. Okay. So how, how, how do you manage that? Like you can't obviously say just integrate with Stripe everyone, because it's gonna be a better experience where you get your money quicker and all that kinda stuff.

[00:16:56] Gerry Scullion: What are the complexities around that? Do you have any anecdotal evidence or any [00:17:00] an anecdotal stories that you'd like to.

[00:17:03] Royce Wong: I think the difficulty with integrations is we, you solely depend on the third party. Yeah. Whatever APIs, uh, investment points they're providing, how often they're actually updated, all the way through to the experience that, you know, they provide for the merchant who so chooses them, right?

[00:17:19] Royce Wong: Yeah. Um, but from our side, one of the key things, we work very closely with our, um, partners, uh, and those who are, we integrate. and we have a team that really, um, just focuses purely on that particular area. And that it goes back to the, the conversation we, or the question you asked of me, how do we differentiate, we integrate with the best of them, right?

[00:17:38] Royce Wong: And so then the merchants have choice. Who do I want to integrate with and use provider? And in doing so, then it's like, how can I provide the best choice for my shoppers? Yeah. So that they can go from cart to checkout immediately. Right. And if you think about. E-commerce is just a one big conversion engine.

[00:17:57] Royce Wong: All you're doing is trying to get that top of funnel [00:18:00] lead into a sale, right? And so the, the, the better that we integrate with those particular, uh, third parties, uh, and give our merchants choice in terms of what regionally, um, I guess payment provider works best. I think that's where we are gonna win.

[00:18:15] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, it must be kind of hard to, not from a UX perspective, especially not just to kind of have preferences about, Hey, listen, you're gonna get a better experience if you choose this suite of, of collaboration tools or this suite for your business versus these dinosaurs over in the corner over here, .

[00:18:33] Royce Wong: Yeah, exactly.

[00:18:34] Royce Wong: Right. I think this is where it is. The marketplace plays that role, right. And I think it filters the best of them to the top and those who can't play. They can't play, they can't compete. Right. Yeah. And so that's where I think, you know, um, it pushes the, I guess the, the, um, the competition to be better.

[00:18:55] Royce Wong: Yeah. And, uh, I mean, to provide.

[00:18:58] Gerry Scullion: Absolutely. The other [00:19:00] day, um, I got a, an email from PayPal saying that, um, I, money had been taken from my account. And I'm like, yeah, sure. Yeah, okay. Right. This is another one of those spam emails. Okay. And I was like, well, I'm just gonna check it just to make sure. And I have a PayPal account, but I don't really use it.

[00:19:17] Gerry Scullion: I logged in and I tried to get, I clicked the little contact button down the bottom and I was like, Hey, listen. I got this email, can you just authenticate if it's real or not? And they're like, did you mean to say that you are looking for support help on this? And I'm like, no, I didn't. I wanna speak to a human.

[00:19:34] Gerry Scullion: Did you mean you wanna speak to this, uh, department? I'm like, no, I didn't. I wanna speak to a human about this problem that I'm having. And I spent about five minutes and I took a screen grab of it where it just, it start, it started to, you know, degrade in terms of my anger as it went through. And by the end of it I was like, shut up.

[00:19:51] Gerry Scullion: Shut up robot. I'm like, why am I even chatting to this robot anymore? But it just said so much about where PayPal has, has become. I [00:20:00] mean, I couldn't even get hold of anyone. The email, I dunno if it was experiment or it looked. And the only way I could try and decipher the problem was, was there any money taken from my credit card?

[00:20:11] Gerry Scullion: And I'm like, no, there wasn't. I said, okay, it must be a mistake. Never heard back from them. Sent an email to support and stuff versus that. And I think Stripe is probably the equivalent to Stripe and PayPal, or they're both kind of doing something similar. At Strip, I get a response within minutes, um, from, from people when I mess with them, and it just goes so, so far like, you mean that's the bit that I, I see as a big challenge is for, for businesses like Big Commerce and uh, and like Shopify, wherever it is, that dependency on that selection process of, of your partners and who they choose will have an effect on, on how your brand is being perceived UL ultimately.

[00:20:50] Royce Wong: Yeah, absolutely. And I think we are very. I feel like we are very clear about, you know, the choice there and the marketplace, um, and the scopes and [00:21:00] it, and you are exactly right. One of the difficulties is if you integrate into our ecosystem and you just eye frame your solution inside of our control panel, is that the best experience?

[00:21:09] Royce Wong: Maybe not, right? And so there needs to be some evolution where it actually makes sense between the two solutions, and that's where I think that's the opportunity for us, right? How can we work with these partners who wanna inject that value into our e. And curator make it more usable for our merchants in in all the various permutations of their workflow.

[00:21:28] Gerry Scullion: Okay. Well look, we we're, we're, um, I'm, I'm conscious that, uh, we said we're gonna speak about 50 50 and, and your other business like Big Commerce. I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw a link to it, um, in the show notes anyway. Okay. Because, uh, from speaking to my brother, I was like, how's Big Commerce? He, it's brilliant.

[00:21:44] Gerry Scullion: And he was at Shopify, by the way. He was with Shopify and he moved his business over to Big Commerce a couple of years ago. I'll put a link to. It's good, isn't it? Be, be an Oracle conversation if I said he was a big commerce and he moved out the, and Shopify been great partners for, for this is cd, they [00:22:00] were sponsors for the last 12 months.

[00:22:02] Gerry Scullion: Mm-hmm. . Um, so I'm not in any shape or form taking sides here, like, you know, but I'll put a link to Big Commerce, um, into the show notes as well for people to have a look at at this tool as well. Cuz it, it is super cool if you're looking to start a, start a business, um, get online and sell pretty quickly.

[00:22:18] Gerry Scullion: It's, it's a pretty cool. Speaking of pretty cool tool voices. Mm-hmm. , um, in orbit. You've been on a journey with this business for a while. Maybe tell us a little bit about where you're currently at with

[00:22:29] Royce Wong: this startup. Yeah, right now what we are doing is we are looking to launch our, uh, I guess our offering in late December.

[00:22:39] Royce Wong: And one of the key things is this particular tool is all about helping facilitators and, uh, those who are trying to do asynchronous collaboration, uh, get a better outcome, uh, from the, from the time. Um, as, as you know, as we know in this particular geodis world, one of the most difficult things is trying to get FaceTime.

[00:22:58] Royce Wong: You know, get good [00:23:00] results from the time that you're investing into workshops and all meetings. Yeah. So hopefully our tool will be able to resolve any of those

[00:23:06] Gerry Scullion: particular problems. I'd love to have a look at this now. I'm, I'm on, I'm on the website as we speak folks. Mm-hmm. . Um, and it looks pretty interesting.

[00:23:15] Gerry Scullion: There's, there's a few players in this space, just, just one or two I'm sure you're aware of. Um,

[00:23:22] Royce Wong: yeah. OKR tools, murro, all those. Do you integrate with all of those

[00:23:27] Gerry Scullion: or do you compete with them?

[00:23:30] Royce Wong: Well, there are overlaps. So one of the key things is, you know, Miro is a freeform, open, um, kind of a canvas collaboration tool, right?

[00:23:39] Royce Wong: And one of the key things that we are trying to differentiate is we are structured with help with the, uh, actual asynchronous reporting aspects of the collaboration piece. And I think that's where we can, uh, differentiate. . Okay,

[00:23:52] Gerry Scullion: so, um, I'm gonna put a link to this one in the show notes as well, folks, cuz I know a number of people who I hold in the highest regard.

[00:23:59] Gerry Scullion: [00:24:00] Adam Lawrence and Andrad. Two good friends of mine there. Facilitation masters as I call 'em. I'm sure. I'm sure they're cringing cuz I know they listen to the podcast. And I say that whenever we, we looked at a number of tools when we were, we did. Awful lot of facilitation, obviously during the pandemic.

[00:24:17] Gerry Scullion: Thousands and thousands of sessions, okay? Mm-hmm. , we, we went with Zoom, okay. And, um, then we had Mighty Networks, and then we had Slack for the business, and then we had WhatsApp for Friday evenings, like, you know, not doing a weekend kinda conversations. . And then there was another, another business, I'm not sure if you work called Butter, which looks really cool as well.

[00:24:42] Gerry Scullion: They're, they're in, they're in Europe. Yeah. So tell us, um, how in orbit integrates or kind of works from uh, solving all that kind of distributed software problems? Cuz it was very kind of hard to follow, I know. And [00:25:00] then email as well was in there as well, so it was very hard to follow all of these conversations and create those rules.

[00:25:06] Gerry Scullion: Where the files were, Google Drive or Dropbox, or God forbid, box or or somewhere else. What does in Orbit do and how? How does it solve those

[00:25:17] Royce Wong: problems? . I think one of the key things that we found in facilitation is really just getting access to best practices and doing it as an activity, right? And you get templates, you get this, you know, you are able to drag into, for example, a campus like experience and you fill in the box.

[00:25:34] Royce Wong: But one of the key things is you're still largely dependent on reading and getting someone else to have done the pre prep work, to be able to go and contribute meaningfully. Yeah. And that's, that's huge overhead for any facilitator. And also then when you're in the actual mode of, um, running the workshop, you are encouraging people to come in, fill in their content, help them through the process of understanding what they're doing.

[00:25:59] Royce Wong: And I think that's [00:26:00] the, the, the real opportunity for us in, in abi, which is, um, we want to be able to kind of reduce the overhead of structuring a session, if you would. And in doing so, All the plethora best practices that you would want to have access to in a specific, for example, if you are triaging a, you know, um, what is your stack rank or what's the hopes and fears of a project and how can you guide the particular team, uh, if you, if nobody has done that before.

[00:26:29] Royce Wong: Having to be able to go and do the research and set that up takes a lot of time. And then in doing the actual workshop, um, whether you know, or whether you are on track or you're successful, that's also, you know, quite difficult to gauge. Uh, you know, but solves that problem. We, we structure the session in a meaningful way.

[00:26:46] Royce Wong: We give guidances throughout the each step and then, uh, all steps. All, in all of those particular experiences, you're able to go through asynchronously and come back and reflect on

[00:26:56] Gerry Scullion: the, the content. Okay. So it's an asynchronous workshop so it [00:27:00] helps. Exactly. Right. It's an interesting proposition, um mm-hmm.

[00:27:04] Gerry Scullion: And can you insert videos during that experience of like, say, like, Hey, this is Royce, um, in this section, so it's like a sort of a crossover between a on-demand learning. And workshop facilitation. Is that right? I'm doing your proposition testing here for you, . Yeah, exactly. Confirmed

[00:27:23] Royce Wong: it. Ok. Yeah. Yeah. I I, I'm just nodding my head for those who are listening.

[00:27:27] Royce Wong: Yeah. Um, but yes, it's, it's, it's those particular, I can't say too much more. You're, you're looking into that future state . Okay.

[00:27:35] Gerry Scullion: It's interesting, you know, it, it's like UserTesting um, dot com in some ways. Um, but for workshops, which is a, which is a really interesting space because. When we were working with, you know, this is doing, we had people in Australia, we had people in America working with us, and we had people in Europe and we had that kind of experience of like, what time would we do this workshop at?

[00:27:58] Gerry Scullion: Exactly.

[00:27:58] Royce Wong: Yeah. And [00:28:00] when you commerce as well. Yeah, exactly. Right. And one of the key things, the difficult things is like, how do I go through this template? Like there's no, do I have to read through it where the session. Yeah, exactly. And then when you go through that process, it's, it's, it's a difficult one, right?

[00:28:15] Royce Wong: And so I think in Orbit's, uh, solution is gonna resolve that particular problem. Uh, it's gonna give it a little bit more of a kick up the butt in terms of like, you know, um, Yeah, yeah, just delightful experiences on the UI and that kind of thing. And I think, you know, with the integrations that you were talking about, it's gonna make it even more useful and a little bit more, um, I guess addictive , so,

[00:28:39] Gerry Scullion: yeah.

[00:28:39] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. No one likes to be addicted folks. Um, do you, um, when you, when you look at the, the video engine, is this a place where people meet then if they wanted to do a live session or is it just

[00:28:52] Royce Wong: uh, and I. We, we are looking at both. So if you're doing a live session, um, we have these things called workspaces where you're able to have your [00:29:00] live sessions and scheduled.

[00:29:01] Royce Wong: And in doing so, you'll be able to go and say, here's a cadence of these type of workshops that I wanna run for my team. Versus this is a once off that everybody can join immediately. And you have presence there. You can have your voting and your timers and all that kinda good stuff emerge. Um, I think those are the things that are gonna help us with, you know, um, not.

[00:29:20] Royce Wong: The usefulness of the tool when you're in a live situation versus, you know, you've got a distributed team and you wanna kinda empathize. So everybody can have asynchronous contribution, but the end state is really interesting. When you facilitate a workshop, there's a lot of data information that comes out for those from those, and it's sometimes difficult to translate that from a canvas light or a real life board into a digital format that you can report and kinda think.

[00:29:47] Royce Wong: what we wanna do is resolve that problem too. Ok. So that you'll be able to kinda compare your workshops from all your sessions from one to the next. One of the

[00:29:55] Gerry Scullion: big things with workshops is the, the learning alongside other [00:30:00] people. Mm-hmm. , um, how has that been considered? And also, um, what are the challenges around that?

[00:30:07] Gerry Scullion: Because if it's, if it's asynchronous and yeah, you're the first person in versus the last person, and you're getting a different experience, if that's being catered.

[00:30:15] Royce Wong: Yeah, absolutely. And so one, one of the key things that we are trying to introduce is this ability to do surveys at the end of it. Ok. And, um, there's a builder function that we, our builder feature that we are, uh, looking to build as part of our next iteration.

[00:30:29] Royce Wong: One of the key things that we found in our beta release of the product is that individuals really want to think about. customizing their work, uh, their sessions to mm-hmm. , the, the, the vocabulary of the business all the way through the values and the things that they call Yeah. Um, like, you know, the teams that they, um, they refer to.

[00:30:47] Royce Wong: And so that customization, that level of customization is really important. But what we've, um, I guess concluded from that conversation is that if we created the builder op like option, they can take whatever [00:31:00]baseline template or, you know, play that we've, we've created and they can make it their. And I think this customization, this ability to kind of like, introduce nuances, but also kind of, uh, put the, the, the opportunity or the, um, the edit and customization in the hands of those who are facilitation will make it a lot more, I guess useful and on in context.

[00:31:22] Gerry Scullion: Nice. Well, if, if people want to try it out, like I've gone on the website here and, um, it says you can sign it for a beta. Is that, yeah. Um,

[00:31:29] Royce Wong: is, is the beta open. We will be send, we will be updating in a couple weeks. So look out for that particular launch. And once we have that up, everybody will be able to access, I

[00:31:42] Gerry Scullion: will put a link to in orbit in the show notes and people can put in their details there.

[00:31:47] Gerry Scullion: And when you, if they sign up to that with you, alert them, then when the beta is open, they can get access to it. There's a couple of people here that I, I'd like to share that around too so they can kinda play with it and maybe give you feedback. Um, [00:32:00] I think it's a super cool. An interesting space. Um, especially as the word we find ourselves in now, we're doing hybrid stuff.

[00:32:09] Gerry Scullion: Um, yeah. So it's interesting to, to see where everything goes. She's so best to look with that Royce. Is there anything else you want to, you know, chat about or give a shout out to before we wrap up the episode?

[00:32:20] Royce Wong: No, I really enjoyed this particular conversation. I think one of the key things I just wanted to add is, uh, for those who are thought leaders in this space, and they wanna be able to kind of create their own play and give, you know, access to everybody in terms of helping them facilitate a better outcome from the workshops incapacity and reach out and be always interested.

[00:32:42] Gerry Scullion: I'll put a link to your LinkedIn as well cuz I'm sure people will maybe have questions and just wanna, you know, chat to you anyway. Cuz it, it's, it's interesting to have somebody who's, um, as I said, got two titles. It's, uh, not only that, but it must be kind of challenging cuz you've got two kids as well, a lot of twos in this, um, [00:33:00] balancing a all of this stuff.

[00:33:03] Gerry Scullion: Um, how, how is that and how, how do you manage staying.

[00:33:08] Royce Wong: I, I think one of the key things is compartmentalizing. Um, I feel like I have a pretty good routine with my team at BigCommerce and of, in the, in the family side. I've got a beautiful wife who is very supportive and we have a routine with the kids.

[00:33:24] Royce Wong: Yeah. Um, getting used to the long nights from nine to 1:00 AM it's good too. Uh, nine in the

[00:33:29] Gerry Scullion: morning to 1:00 AM

[00:33:30] Royce Wong: at. Uh, no. So from nine at night to 1:00 AM 2:00 AM in the morning

[00:33:38] Gerry Scullion: for, for big commerce, is that the time you work commerce? Oh, in all day?

[00:33:41] Royce Wong: Yeah. In all the reverse, yeah, that's right.

[00:33:43] Gerry Scullion: Wow. Okay. Um, that's pretty intense.

[00:33:47] Gerry Scullion: Um, so how, how are you, how are you staying on top of like just getting time for yourself? And that's something that I'm, I'm learning about myself. Um, how do you, how do you manage that? Or

[00:33:59] Royce Wong: do you manage. [00:34:00] Uh, well I think I'm probably not managing as west as well as I should be. Um, but I really love what I'm doing.

[00:34:09] Royce Wong: I think Innova is an amazing space and an amazing problem and an opportunity, and I'm. Putting my all and effort into it. And I think that the, the, the thrills from seeing people using it and really connecting with it is making me energized and wanting to do more. So yeah. Um, that's where I'm getting the energy from.

[00:34:27] Gerry Scullion: Uh, okay. That's a good response. Um, but look, Royce, again, thank you for giving me the time. I know it's your, your evening time and in Sydney it's probably cutting into some of your family time, so I don't wanna. Need more of your time. Absolutely. But I'll throw a link to everything that we've spoken about here in the show notes.

[00:34:43] Gerry Scullion: Um, thanks for giving me, uh, all this interesting insights for BigCommerce and in orbit and best to look with everything.

[00:34:49] Royce Wong: Thanks Jerry. Appreciate it.

[00:34:54] Gerry Scullion: And there you go folks. I hope you enjoyed that episode and if you enjoyed it and want to listen to more, why not visit? This is hate [00:35:00] where you can learn more about what we are up to and also explore our courses while through there. Thanks again for listening.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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