Motion.io’s Big Pivot

Featured Image for Designing Growth Episode 31 showing podcast host Sam Chlebowski as well as guest & Motion.io Co-Founder Perry Rosenbloom.


Following a month-long hiatus, Designing Growth is back in full force and publishing new weekly episodes. In this episode, Co-Founders Sam Chlebowski and Perry Rosenbloom sit down to explain the reason for the hiatus, the decision to completely overhaul the Motion.io product, and detail exciting new features currently available and coming soon to Motion.io.

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Sam Chlebowski: Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome back to Designing Growth. As you may have noticed, if you’ve been tuning into this podcast every week, we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus the last month, and I will get to that in a second and kind of explain what we’ve been up to, what’s going on with motion.io, and a little bit about how we are.

[00:00:18] I’m doing a slight change of direction with this podcast, not a major one, but first I am very excited to have my friend, my co-founder, Perry Rosenbloom, back on the show with us. Perry, how you doing?

[00:00:31] Perry Rosenbloom: I’m doing good, man. I think this is the first episode we’re recording when I’m actually in my house. I’m still holding the mic up, so for everybody who’s seeing the videos and giving a few chuckles at me — I’m still holding that up cause I don’t have a boom or anything like you do.

[00:00:48] But, uh, you we are recording this and we are both in our home offices as opposed to where I had been like on the road for, I don’t know, like five months or so, uh, when we were recording last and super excited to, to let folks know what we’ve been up to and some of these changes we’re making.

[00:01:04] Feel like it’s gonna be really, really valuable for y’all. So let’s dive into it. Huh?

[00:01:07] Sam Chlebowski: the Rosenblum family tour has concluded. Perry is back in his house. I probably look a lot different. I cut off all of my hair and also had a baby, since I recorded the last episode because I’ve recorded a bunch before I went away but he’s almost three months now and things are going good.

[00:01:21] Perry Rosenbloom: Sam, we gotta shine the lights a little brighter. We don’t see the bags under your eyes anymore.

[00:01:25] Sam Chlebowski: I was thankful to have missed the real heavy bags under the eyes period of recording new episodes, cuz I had so many done in advance. if I do turn up the brightness a little bit, you would see those. so I wanted to get into it here with you. It is a slight changing direction for this podcast, but I think it’s actually a pretty significant new direction for the motion.io product itself.

[00:01:47] and let’s just get into that. Perry, if I could ask you first, and I’ll give my take too, but I wanna talk a little bit about the problems. The first version of motion.io, the one that we had talked about on this podcast previously, what we had built, what were some of the things that we saw that led us into this pivot, and we’ll explain that in a bit.

[00:02:08] Perry Rosenbloom: Yeah, so you know, from my perspective, what we saw was that. People were using Motion.io in its first iteration as an effective onboarding tool and asking their clients to do things, and then it kind of just became a checklist of tasks for the owner of the project. And that whole checklist of tasks became a major hurdle to actually using the product and all the value that people were seeing was in the requesting a client to do something, requesting a client to upload something.

[00:02:45] To provide feedback on something, to make a decision on something. to write a review, so we saw all of the value people were getting out of it was in this kind of like requesting of stuff and all of the hurdles to using it. Was everything else we had built. Would you say that’s pretty accurate, Sam?

[00:03:05] Sam Chlebowski: I would say that was spot on. I honestly wouldn’t change a single thing with the way that you put that We had built this project management solution, and I guess this is the one thing that I would add, but the problem was, it was another project management solution. There were parts of it that took away from the aspects of Motion.io where people really were getting that value.

It was an easy way to get things from clients, to build a checklist of tasks and requests and action items for clients and all the other project management stuff Ultimately ended up getting the way, because everybody has a slightly different way that they use.

[00:03:39] Project management tools and to upend that and force somebody to use a new one, just to get value out of the parts of motion.io where they were getting value is a big hurdle and ultimately made us wanna revisit kind of what we had built so far.

[00:03:54] Perry Rosenbloom: So what did we revisit and what did we rebuild? Like what? What is Motion.io today, Sam?

[00:03:59] Sam Chlebowski: Absolutely. So Motion.io and where we really saw that, that people were getting value out of it was that specific. Piece of a project and working with a client where there are things that you need from a client throughout that project. There are no project management tools out there that facilitate that interaction and make it really easy for a client to do things like provide documents, like to fill out an onboarding.

[00:04:27] provide feedback on a design, make a payment, give their signature. There are all of these things that clients need to do, and they’re probably more than you actually sometimes realize, taking up a ton of time within your day between all of the follow-ups, all of the customizing emails, and.

[00:04:42] Writing up those emails to send them to clients, to hopping on a call when they don’t understand how to provide something, it can be a huge time suck. And we saw a big opportunity with motion.io to really. Dig into that piece and make the most effective possible tool to help you get the things that you need from clients.

[00:05:02] ultimately gonna result in number one, happier clients, but also a more scalable and sustainable business where you are not buried in one task after another. And you can focus on providing that best client experience possible and also other growth initiatives related to your business.

[00:05:19] Perry Rosenbloom: So if we’re to kinda like summarize what we are today for folks, we’ve done a lot of work on this internally, and I, I know this isn’t the exact language we have all decided on. We’re still working. I’m gonna go ahead and give my summary of it that, uh, I was just talking to chat g p t about, to kind of help me understand, how an AI system would think of it.

[00:05:41] So, motion.io today is a secure platform that enables small businesses to easily request track and collect documents, decisions, files, and feedback from their clients in an automated and organized manner within seconds of signing. You can create a request. Request that file, request that decision, request them to fill out a form, send it off to your client.

[00:06:09] They’ll get access to a client portal where they’ll see that request, as well as any other requests you have for them. And motion.io will automatically follow up with your client until they complete the request, and we’ll all live in a nice organized location for you to be able to access all. decisions.

[00:06:26] All those documents, all those files, all that feedback.

[00:06:30] Sam Chlebowski: Man, ChatGPT went off there.

[00:06:33] Perry Rosenbloom: that was me speaking of the ChatGPT there, that was our language there, man.

[00:06:37] Sam Chlebowski: Did ChatGPT give you the first part of that though?

[00:06:39] Perry Rosenbloom: No, dude. That was prompt.

[00:06:41] Sam Chlebowski: That, was all. Okay.

[00:06:42] Perry Rosenbloom: that was all my prompt, but you should check out Slack. you must have missed that. I like posted it right before we started recording. Nah, dude, that was my prompt. you know, ChatGPT was able to take that and kind of expand, on it from whom would benefit from it.

[00:06:54] here, I’ll tell you what ChatGPT said so I gave ChatGPT that description, and then I said, so tell me what types of businesses would benefit most from this type of tool? And here’s what ChatGPT said motion DAO could be beneficial for any type of small or medium size business that regularly requires documents, decisions, feedback, or forms from their.

[00:07:16] However, it could be particularly useful for businesses that have a large volume of clients, a need to keep track of multiple requests simultaneously. Examples of such businesses could include marketing agencies, virtual assistance, accounting, or legal firms, insurance agencies, and real estate.

[00:07:36] Additionally, any business that wants to streamline their workflow and automate their processes could benefit from using motion.io.

[00:07:43] Sam Chlebowski: The AI did a good job.

[00:07:47] Sam Chlebowski: You did an even better job with the first part of that, with the prompt itself.

[00:07:51] Perry Rosenbloom: That’s a secret to ChatGPT, right? You gotta prompt it right.

[00:07:55] Sam Chlebowski: I love it. I love it. what ChatGPT actually spit out is a good opportunity for me to just talk real quick, 30 seconds about what we’re doing with this podcast. So this started as a podcast that was specifically focused on design businesses, brand and web designers, you know, brand strategists.

[00:08:12] And we’re still gonna be talking about those things. Still gonna be speaking. Those bus types of business owners, but we are gonna expand on that slightly. And what we’re turning this podcast into is really just a broader concept. That’s all types of small business owners, entrepreneurs who are out there in the world growing and want tips and want advice from other business owners.

[00:08:35] So just a little tiny pivot there, and not necessarily as big as motion aos pivot. I wanted to then talk about Perry, the things that we have launched in the last month since deciding to go this new direction, with motion dot.

[00:08:50] Perry Rosenbloom: Yeah, totally. And a major shout out to our CTO here who in the span of a month completely reconfigured motion do IO ripped out all the stuff that was causing people headaches and relaunched it, to folks

[00:09:03] Sam Chlebowski: I don’t know when he has time to sleep because it’s like, we’ll come in in the morning be like, oh, by the way, I have this new thing ready for QA. And then later that day he’s like, this is ready for prod. we can publish it now. Are you guys ready? And we’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

[00:09:15] Holy cow.

[00:09:16] Perry Rosenbloom: let’s ship it. Let’s ship. Go, go, go. All right, so let, let’s outline what we got right now, right.

[00:09:20] Sam Chlebowski: Yep, let’s go. So since deciding to do this pivot with Motion ao, the first thing that we wanted to do, and it wasn’t really the perfect step for us, but it’s what we had and what we could launch this client request tool with was our visual feedback. The tool. So that existed in the project management version of motion.io, but not in a way that was particularly streamlined and easy to use.

[00:09:44] So our first step was we pulled that out it takes. 10 seconds for you to send a design, a mockup, anything you want to a client and have them leave feedback for you. And then it automates the follow ups, cuz that was a part that was missing from the PM version of motion initially, was those automated email reminders.

[00:10:03] So you didn’t have to be chasing down clients to get that feedback from them.

[00:10:07] Perry Rosenbloom: Another thing that we’ve released in this version is content requests. So if you have a client and you need to gather, Are files from them. Let’s say you need them to upload their brand guidelines, or you need them to upload their bank statements. If you’re doing bookkeeping for them, you can make that request and your client will see that request.

[00:10:26] You can write a custom message for them. They’re able to upload their documents. Mark it as complete, and you are notified immediately that you now have those documents you need to keep pushing that project forward.

[00:10:37] Sam Chlebowski: And I think that the content request is a really good example. Of the power of motion.io and what it can do for your business. Because on the surface you may be saying like, oh, a content request, all I have to do is email a client. They attach a file and send it back. But what makes motion.io so great and what makes it faster than trying to do this by email is number one, the UPS are all automated for you based on the due date that you set for that client.

[00:11:05] So you don’t have to worry about that. And then the second part, With motion.io, you can provide additional instructions for things that you want them to upload. They can upload from their Google Drive account. They can upload via a link. They can even, uh, with our recent update, upload from their phones photo library or their phone’s file library.

[00:11:24] and finally, It uses a magic link to send this request so your client doesn’t have to log into some file management portal. They just click that link in their email. They’re pulled into the content request, and they can begin, providing you those things that you need.

[00:11:38] Perry Rosenbloom: Another element that that makes us better than email for small businesses is you’re not gonna get lost in an email thread and then have to click through and search and try and find the right, communication for every single request. motion.io has a chat box where you or your. Can write a message to each other and you are automatically notified of that message and can reply to it.

[00:12:05] And so everything stays as opposed to this threaded email conversation that you might have to click through 30 threads and 30 different emails, opening and closing them all to find the right message. It all lives in the sidebar of that specific request. So if you’re requesting bank statements, for example, you and your client are able to communicate about those bank statements, right?

[00:12:26] In that request, and you are able to understand that it’s associated with this request, so it makes it a lot more streamlined from a communications perspective as well.

[00:12:34] Sam Chlebowski: That’s a fantastic point, Perry, and something I actually hadn’t fully conceptualized until now. But looking back, it was a huge problem for us at Brighter Vision, especially when we were building 200 websites for clients in a month. Things were getting lost. All the time via email, especially things like files and feedback, which are things that you can do right now, uh, within motion.io. So with that, we have some really exciting updates that are like just over the horizon this week, and I wanted to drill into those.

[00:13:06] Actually like 30 minutes before recording this episode. published the client portal, within motion io, and then we’re just days away from releasing a very powerful form builder to do things like onboarding forms.

[00:13:18] But because we just released this client portal Perry, could you share a little bit more about that and what that will allow people to?

[00:13:25] Perry Rosenbloom: Yeah, so if you’re working with. And you’re onboarding them and you have a bunch of things that you need from them. Let’s say you have brand guidelines, you need ’em to fill out an onboarding form. You need them to, you know, make a payment. We don’t have that yet, but that will be there soon.

[00:13:39] you might need them to. make selection on colors. all these things can kind of be organized in, this one section. And so if you’re sending these requests to the client, they need a way to see all of them. And so the client portal is a way for, for your clients to see all of the requests that are.

[00:13:56] Pending that they need to complete, and so they’re able to go from one request into the other as well as for them to see all of the requests that have been completed from there as well, from from your perspective as as a business owner, you’re able to preview that client portal so you’re able to, to see what your client is seeing.

[00:14:14] And be able to easily, understand and be able to easily reference, you know, those conversations, be able to collect those files after they’ve been uploaded, collect the form data after it’s been filled out, and it’s all gonna live in one really clean, really simple client portal area.

[00:14:31] Sam Chlebowski: And I think the coolest thing for me personally with the client portal, because client portals in the in and of themselves are not really anything new, but. motion.io does that I think really changes the game in terms of client portals is it does all of this for you. It assembles all of these tasks into a very simple, clean dashboard where that client can see, here’s the things that I need to do with the due date.

[00:14:55] Here are the things I’ve already completed, and then a message will pop up when there’s nothing left for them to do, and it does all of that for you. There’s nothing that you need to do to set other than creating. Tasks and requests themselves, which you can do in like literally 15 seconds, and it removes a lot of that kind of busy work from the admin side of your business as well, while giving the client this really crystal clear visibility into the things that you need from them to keep that project on track and ultimately delight them with a fantastic end.

[00:15:26] Perry Rosenbloom: Very well said there, Sam.

[00:15:27] Sam Chlebowski: So that is the client portal and that is now live on motion.io. You can go sign up for free, try it out, see how it works. and then we are just days away from releasing a very powerful form builder. the long story short on that is we have been working on this now for what, two, three.

[00:15:45] Perry Rosenbloom: The form builder, I believe we started working on in early January. So it’s a, you know, a solid three months. Now, by the time this gets released, a little more than that, it’s solid four months,

[00:15:56] Sam Chlebowski: What’s really cool about the form builder is that’s gonna allow you a ton of flexibility, especially for things like onboarding forms where onboarding processes change from business to business. The onboarding process for a web design agency is gonna look completely different for a wedding and event planner, but you can still customize that to be able to ask the types of questions that are gonna help you expedite that project. Move it into the next stage. it’s gonna have all of the same automation and tracking features of some of these other request types we’ve talked about already, like the content request and the feedback request. But you’re able to build these customized forms, that are going to be tailored to your business and your process.

[00:16:37] So we’re really, really excited about.

[00:16:39] Perry Rosenbloom: And then we also have coming soon our request a decision, which. Is really a game changer in my opinion, for small businesses where, there’s so many things that you, when you’re working with a client or or a vendor that. You need to ask of them. You need to ask them to make a decision about something.

[00:16:58] So , for a wedding photographer, what location do you want your first look? Pictures, location, a, B, or C, if you’re a website designer, which color scheme do you like? Or which fonts do you like? Choose between A, B, C, or D. if you’re a wedding planner, do you approve this expense or do you approve this change to your budget?

[00:17:15] All these things. Are communications that you’re having with your client, but often result in a ton of follow up. It can result in a ton of, things slipping through the cracks. Decisions being forgotten about this keep. And what motion that IO is gonna do is keep it all organized for you. So when you make a request that you requested decision, you can choose between two to four options, upload images associated with those options, and you can send it off to your.

[00:17:43] And be able to get them to make a decision more effectively. And again, we will automatically follow up with them until those decisions are made and a selection is made.

[00:17:52] Sam Chlebowski: And what’s especially cool about all of these request types that we are adding, Ocean Dot. I own all the things that you’re allowed to do. You know, first of all, it’s a lot faster, easier than sending an email hopping on a phone call. But second of all, it allows you to have what we’ve kind of been calling internally a paper trail of approvals.

[00:18:09] And I know when you know, we were building brighter vision, growing that business, there were all of these times where a client would be like, well, why did you use this? I didn’t agree to that. And we would have to dig through our inboxes to say, oh, well you provided this information on the form. That’s why we included it.

[00:18:24] And it took forever. To resolve those situations, and now it’s all right there. But not only do you have that information, but your client has that too, because they can look through these completed tasks in their client portal and see that the things that they requested you to do for them and see the decisions that they made and the approvals that they gave, throughout that project.

[00:18:44] So Perry, we are approaching the 25 minute mark here. Do you want to just run down the list of the other things that we have coming a little bit further down the road with motion.io

[00:18:55] Perry Rosenbloom: yeah, totally. So, coming soon, and by soon, you know, three to six weeks or so, you’re gonna be able to set a custom email cadence. So how often you want motion.io to remind your client, you’ll be able to request an approval. When you’re requesting feedback, you could also say, Hey, is this version good?

[00:19:13] is this the final version? Do you have any additional feedback? If you don’t, do you approve this? Great. you’ll be able to customize your motion that I owes branding a little bit to match your. Business aesthetics and your brand aesthetics, both on the notification side and the client portal side.

[00:19:28] And perhaps most importantly you’re going to be able to link together multiple requests to build complete workflows. So right now, all of these requests are kind of like siloed off. You have, request a decision, request approval, request a form completion. And in isolation that’s effective.

[00:19:46] But what’s gonna become much more effective is when you can say, okay, request this decision. When this decision is made, ask them to complete this form. And then when this form is completed, ask them to approve this file, for example. and you’ll be able to link together requests to create a workflow that you’ll then be able to use regular.

[00:20:06] with your clients, a as you work through various projects with them, and that should really enable you to streamline your workflows, to automate your workflows, and to save time in your small business and make you more productive as a business owner.

[00:20:21] Sam Chlebowski: I couldn’t have said it better myself, and thanks for that rundown. And one note, I wanted to just, you know, mention on that, Perry, having all of these decisions and all of these steps within a client process, those were things that we. Did with software at Brighter Vision, but we had to hack all of that together.

[00:20:37] It took us, I think, the better part of, three to four years to have something that worked really well and still, you know, it would break.

[00:20:46] Perry Rosenbloom: It was so brittle. Like if you made the wrong change, the person didn’t know what they were doing, it would all fall. Because we are hacking together these different tools, right? Nothing actually works well and allows you to, communicate in that kind of workflow process that you need.

[00:21:00] Sam Chlebowski: And with motion.io syncing those up will take seconds and it’ll be super intuitive, super easy to do, and we’re really, really excited about this new direction. So with that, Perry, thanks for your time. Anything else before we sign off here?

[00:21:14] Perry Rosenbloom: Take it away, Sam.

[00:21:15] Sam Chlebowski: Awesome. this is a super exciting time for [email protected], and we’d love to have you try out what we’ve built . What’s more is that if you’ve been listening to this episode and hearing some of the things that we’re talking about and you say to yourself, well, I might try it, but it would have to already have this thing that they mentioned.

[00:21:32] We want to know that. We want to know what things we need to do now and what we should prioritize to have you use this with your business and with your clients sooner. So let us know. Sign up for a free account. You can go to just motion.io. Click the button anywhere on our site. It’s all over there.

[00:21:49] Try it for free. Sign up for an account. No credit card, no long-term commitments required. Motion.io is free throughout our early access period. With that, everybody, my name is Samuel Chlebowski, Co-founder of Motion.io. Have fun, good luck, and go crush it.

Submit your response

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *