Kintone is an all-in-one workplace platform with a fascinating history, and in this edition of the UpTech report, we get into all of it. Host Alexander Ferguson has the CEO of Kintone, Dave Landa, on the show to talk about the wide range of solutions that they offer and what they’ve been up to all these years.
For starters, the platform empowers anyone within a company to build custom workflows and pick and choose the perfect apps for their department. Whether that’s a sales team that requires a CRM, marketers that require a calendar, or a human resources team that’s in need of an applicant tracking system, Kintone has you covered. Employees can select from dozens of different app templates, then customize them so that they work exactly how they want them to.
Plus, it’s all integrated together in a unified system making collaboration between different departments a dream come true. With Kintone, you’ll constantly be pulling in new, important data from every corner of your organization, allowing you to analyze your processes, make data-driven decisions, and increase ROI around the board.
Dave Landa is the chief executive officer of Kintone Corporation, the San Francisco startup behind Kintone, a teamwork platform with a visual application builder that empowers individuals, teams and organizations to effectively manage their data and workflow for better collaboration.
Since 2004, Dave has been on the forefront of the cloud revolution, driving strategic business development on the executive teams of leading SaaS application providers. His career includes stints at Fortune 500 companies (Ball Corporation) and startups (Blue Rice, SPG Solutions, Electric Run), and he was instrumental in bringing a mid-stage company (Active Network) through to a successful IPO.”show more
Kintone is a customizable digital workplace platform that lets you manage your data, tasks, and communication in one central place. Over 21,000 customers use Kintone’s no-code platform with more than 1.5 million database and workflow applications custom built for their businesses. Kintone is provided by Cybozu Inc., a Tokyo-based public company founded in 1997. For more information, please visit kintone.com.show less
DISCLAIMER: Below is an AI generated transcript. There could be a few typos but it should be at least 90% accurate. Watch video or listen to the podcast for the full experience!
Dave Landa 0:00
Our platform is part of kind of the no code revolution, which empowers anyone, any usually a subject matter expert, or an operations leader, to be able to build solutions.
Alexander Ferguson 0:18
Welcome to UpTech Report. This is our applied tech series. UpTech Report is sponsored by TeraLeap. Learn how to leverage the power of video at teraleap.io. Today, I’m excited to be joined by my guest, Dave Landa, who’s based in San Francisco, California. He’s the CEO at Kintone. Welcome, Dave, good to have you on.
Dave Landa 0:36
Great to be here. I’m looking forward to the conversation.
Alexander Ferguson 0:40
Now. Kintone is, is a workplace platform, a digital workplace platform, we are focused on helping teams making them more productive? And we’ll unpack that in a little bit. But how understanding what’s the problem that you see in the marketplace?
Unknown Speaker 0:56
Yeah, I think there’s there’s two core problems that we’re looking to solve. One is really just a resource problem. There tend to be and there has been for a long time a shortage of developers. And our platform is part of kind of the no code revolution, which empowers anyone, any usually a subject matter expert, or an operations leader, to be able to build solutions, custom fitting their process, operational database needs. So one is, you know, kind of filling that gap where there’s never enough developers to build solutions that organizations need. The other one, which I think is deeper and more broadly, kind of societal in nature, is actually access to information. And we’re very focused on that issue of empowering individuals in an organization with the information they need to be able to have the power to make decisions, the insights to make decisions, but also just the the ability to know what’s going on and be a part of the solution. So we’ve we feel like getting information access to the right people at the right time, is essential in creating essentially new organizations that are much more empowered. And that’s kind of our deeper, our deeper effort.
Alexander Ferguson 2:32
So the two pieces there one, you say, a lack of enough developers or just you want to build things, there’s a big demand and need to build things with your data, but you don’t have developers. And the other is just increased transparency and the ability for more people to get access to data. Well, we’ll come back to how you guys are solving that you shared a little bit already. But I for those who’ve listened to our series, I always like to hear the journey, because that’s part of it getting to the how you built the solution today. You’ve been with them for for seven, seven years, but it’s actually part of a parent company in Japan, correct?
Dave Landa 3:06
That’s right. That’s right. So kintone Corporation in the US was established back in 2014. And I was the first hire here, but the parent company’s IBOs, which in Japanese means cyber kid was actually established in 1997. Three very young engineers kind of leapt out of Panasonic at the time to build a Office Productivity Suite, software, think of calendars and task management and the like. Of course, back then it was an on premise solution. But they they definitely created something that touched a nerve and was very popular. In Japan back then. company actually went public in 2000, at the time, the fastest company in Japanese history to go from inception to IPO. So they they were on a very fast track. went public, had a lot of money started buying a lot of companies wanted to really make, you know, become this very large organization with lots of different moving parts. The original mission was to make teamwork better. And we still honor a version of that our current mission is to build a society brimming with teamwork. So it’s a little bit bigger, a little bit broader. And that speaks to that. That second problem I was talking about. But what happened with sai Bose who after being very aggressive and a young kind of freshly minted, public company, got very aggressive on the acquisition side and had a culture and a mentality of very hard charging, working around the clock. And about four or five years after that IPO in the mid 2000s, kind of had a bit of an existential crisis. huge turnover rate, almost 30% folks who are not happy, right? There was almost every week there was a going away party going on. And leadership actually, you know, huge kudos to them, they took a step back and really deeply thought about, what’s the purpose of this organization? Why are we doing this? What do we want to actually get out of it. And they really transitioned at that point, to a focus on people focus on flexible work styles, they actually came up with the concept 100 Different people have 100 different work styles. And that was back in 2005. And for the last 1516 years, much of the HR much of the company culture has been based off of that initial concept. And after about, honestly, three, four years of relative stagnation from a business perspective, but a really significant drop in the turnover rate, the company essentially turned the corner got below 5%, in turnover, I think in 2010, and have been there for the last 11 years. And as well moved to the cloud, right around that same time 2010 2011 maintain that super low turnover rate. And revenues have just been accelerating, and the business has been accelerating since. So that’s, you know, kind of a nutshell of the parent company.
Alexander Ferguson 6:54
It was focused specifically on the on the market, or Japanese marketplace or Asia, Asian marketplace. And what when did it was kintone was the first leap leap out of that,
Dave Landa 7:04
actually, they established the parent company established an organization in China first went to China, with one of the initial couple of software solutions that they’d created, which are not no code are not the same as kintone. We have a couple of older legacy solutions called garoun in office, and they moved into China, about six years before coming to the US, I think about 2008 established there. And I’ve built up a business there that originally was based off of non kintone solutions, but now is primarily kintone. So kintone was launched along with the transition to cloud in 2011. In Japan, but it was launched in Japanese, Chinese and English, but it was only really promoted in China and Japan initially. So it was it was about four years of constant iteration, SaaS platforms, a constant sort of improvement, that I think they felt ready to move into the global market and come to the US in 2014.
Alexander Ferguson 8:20
So 2014 comes along, and and you join the team. But let’s let’s actually, I’m curious as to your journey. Have you been in technology as well as years before? And?
Unknown Speaker 8:32
Yeah, yeah, I had. So I been in. Well, going way back right out of school, I was in hardware technology, I worked for a company called Silicon Valley technology that made computer motherboards. And I was actually headed up to Taiwan, country office, mostly procurement, but a little bit of business development as well there. And so that was hardware. But that was a long time ago. That was I’ll date myself, that was early 90s. But starting in the 2000s, moved back to the States, I spent about a decade in Asia, and then moved back to the states in 2000. And from that point on, I’ve been in software as a service. So I worked for a few different companies, one active network, which kind of joined at sort of mid level, we went public while I was with the company and did strategic business development with them. And a couple other kind of SAS startups in a couple different spaces prior to joining kintone in 2014.
Alexander Ferguson 9:39
So you come to this opportunity, like hey, we want you to lead the America division of kintone. You’re like Yes.
Dave Landa 9:48
Well, I was I’ll be honest, I was a little bit hesitant because I was aware of the challenges historically. That software companies, particularly Japanese software companies had in going beyond their shores and expanding hardware, great cars, you know, music What happened
Alexander Ferguson 10:11
since then, like what’s what comes to software? Why is that a roadblock compared to what
Dave Landa 10:16
I think what, what sai Bose credit to them. And also what I recognized was essentially, you know, a fundamental difference in UI expectations that I think there was actually sai Bose back in 2004 2005, did set up a representative office in the US and tried to sell their original product into the US and had some challenges, recognize that there was a cultural difference in terms of that UI expectation. But they didn’t have a platform that was customizable at the time. So they kind of pulled back realize there, you know, there’s a challenge here. But our founder, Ayaan, Hassan, was kind of determined to go global with his vision. And so he recognized that to go back into the US market, and and essentially outside of Japan, needed to provide an opportunity for the UI to align with or fit with the cultural realities and expectations of different countries. And so the very
Alexander Ferguson 11:24
basis of a customizable interface actually lends itself to a global expansion.
Dave Landa 11:31
Yeah, yeah, very much. So. And I think that was so my initial hesitation around, you know, that concern was, was quickly evaporated. When I went into my first free trial accounts, before I had joined the company to kind of check it out and start playing around with it. And I was really amazed and astounded about how quickly I could create a, you know, a nice operation solution, a custom solution, and how deep it went, as I peel back the onion and the layers of the things I could do with it. As a non coder, it was really quite astounding. So the product caught me first. But then I started learning more about the culture too. And by that time, by 2014, they’re about almost 10 years into this cultural transformation as an organization. And so a lot of thought leadership had already been put into this. And so I was kind of the beneficiary of a lot of really interesting and quite compelling and inspirational effort around company culture.
Alexander Ferguson 12:40
Can you give me like a tactical element? Like What Did you see that helped you recognize this culture?
Dave Landa 12:47
Well, just a very progressive progressive mindset around HR number one I talked about, you know, 100, different people have 100, different work styles. So that is, you know, the way that worked itself out, sort of culturally within the organization was number one, our founder and CEO, became known in Japan as the CEO, Papa, because he’s the only to this date, still the only CEO on the Tokyo first stock exchange to have ever taken paternity leave. And he’s actually done it three times now. So So, so that kind of walking the talk, also the way they encouraged folks to do either part time or hold second, you know, jobs and provide sort of their, the work to kintone into devotion to kintone, that kind of fit their needs, as it were. So very flexible in that regard. Also, you know, a lot of focus on gender equality, pretty amazing for a Japanese company, a Japanese technology company, when I joined, they’re about 40 45%, female, which was, like, astounding. And it was really, because of this, these progressive values, which were very, I don’t know if at odds is the right phrase, but unique for Japan, and even unique for the US, honestly, just how deep it went. And what was really interesting to me, was how that company culture was, was not only aligned with but actually supported by the kintone product platform. And there was a really interesting connection there that there, you know, 10 years ago are already promoting the fact and utilizing ourselves internally, that by having this this collaborative collaboration platform that enabled folks to be able to build custom solutions to kind of manage their own operations anywhere any time. With whatever level of permission or access that you need, it enabled, this type of remote work this flexible work style, people being able to work asynchronously, because the, the data is all there, the communication is all there in one place. And so it really like at what I found really compelling was this meshing of culture and product. That was that was really appealing to me. And, and again, like, inspirational.
Alexander Ferguson 15:30
So you see all these elements that that that map together of one, bringing it to a different global markets. Not much of an issue, because the interface but also the culture behind it, you resonate with you saw it, and the product itself actually reflected elements of it. So you’re saying, yes, let’s do 2014 They, what do they give you? Here’s money go launch. It’s like, what did it look like? Well, well, we
Dave Landa 15:56
actually had I was very much been a beneficiary, again, of the fact that one of the the board of directors, Osamu Yamada, and one of the leading sort of thought leaders around the cultural transformation, he actually was stationed in the US. So he came over. And so we kind of started this together as a partnership, he and I, and he was absolutely essential in sort of managing the relationship with, you know, the parent company. And so I was I could remain really focused on building the business here in the US, building our team, finding partners figuring out our strategy and our channels. And, and he helped with all of this sort of communication, I don’t speak Japanese, I actually speak Chinese. So it’s kind of ironic. That 10 years, he said it, I lived in the Greater China region I speak well, you don’t speak Japanese. I don’t speak Japanese. So sort of sort of odd. But Samu is bilingual. And he was, and he was great in being that kind of, you know, he would be able to provide all the sort of communication back and forth. So So yeah, we, you know, I wouldn’t say we were funded the way you know, a typical Silicon Valley VC funded company was funded, we didn’t go overboard, massive hiring and massive investment right off the top we were, we were definitely persistent and consistent, a little bit conservative initially, until we knew we had something and we and we kind of figured out what our messaging would be in our, in our channels, and our markets would be
Alexander Ferguson 17:51
different basically take the first couple years 2014 2015 2016 like figuring that out and
Dave Landa 17:57
trying different approaches, you know, seeing, Okay, should we go through, you know, should we target enterprise right off the bat? Should we just go after SMB? Should we try to do self serve more? Should we be more involved in the process of creating solutions? You know, there’s a lot a lot of kind of different ideas, we tried different approaches to the market that that we, that we took to try to try to find our space, find our niche.
Alexander Ferguson 18:26
What do you look back at? What, seven, eight years that it’s been seven years? If you go back and tell yourself something that you know, now, through the through this journey, what would you go and say, or tell yourself,
Dave Landa 18:40
I think, in the early days, probably should have leaned more on the culture side than we did to utilize that early on, as part of our messaging and part of our approach, because we’re finding it, it’s unique, it resonates. And there is a deep connection with the product. And I think in the early days, honestly, although it resonated with me, and we talked about it internally, we didn’t we didn’t really push it out there externally. And so we were kind of battling with a lot of other players in the space specifically on features and functions. And we didn’t have a bigger vision of what we were trying to bring to the market. And I think, you know, in a way that helped us be very quick and nimble and try different things without major changes, I guess overall. But but I you know, as I think back I think that actually would have helped us if we had leaned into that, that value leaned into that unique characteristic that that we had
Alexander Ferguson 19:52
the thought of using your own values or culture as as a defining element in your own marketing efforts and Saying this is who we are, and wondering how many companies actually think about that, versus oh, here’s our product, it’s better. Here’s, here’s the technology is just, it’s really, once you use it, then you’ll understand it versus how your approach and the purpose that it exists.
Dave Landa 20:16
Yeah. I mean, I think obviously, when it gets down to brass tacks, and sales, folks are doing demos, you know, you got to have, you gotta have the features and functions, right, you got it, you got to be able to solve problems, you have to be able to, to create the types of solutions that that clients need. But I think, at least at at a high level of messaging, and kind of getting above the fray. I think, you know, having that unique value proposition that is very much aligned with who you are, and what your culture is, I think is meaningful. I think back to
Alexander Ferguson 20:53
the problem that you you stated early on. Let’s start with one the, well, the transparency concept, I think nicely aligns with your values with the fact that you want everyone to have access. So that that definitely ties with it, the need for developers or rather, we need it, we have all this information, we need new ways to code it. Did you see that? Was there a demand for that back in 2014? Or? Or is that a more recent push and desire?
Dave Landa 21:23
There was definitely a lot of education going on in the early back in 2014. Around that, you know, I think, I think there was a general concept of what like, no code was some SAS solutions, you could already, you know, build things and configure things. But the idea of creating a database solution, adding, you know, business process management to it, having the collaboration with notifications and such, so creating a full sort of from scratch solution was not that prevalent, right? Was not in
Alexander Ferguson 22:03
Excel as an Excel spreadsheet, right?
Dave Landa 22:05
Yeah, basically, yeah, like an Excel spreadsheet, you know, it was was what people were doing, right? They were starting with, okay, I want to put some data in here, I gotta store this, oh, now I want to, like share this and communicate around it. It would be nice if I could manage access a little bit easier. You know, so once people start using Excel as like some sort of process, or for reporting or for collaboration, that’s where things get pretty messy and ugly. But it’s remarkable how many organizations even today are still are still doing that and, and caught in the throes of that. But to answer your question, there was education, it wasn’t well known. There were, there were some, I’d call them low code platform providers that were very focused on the, on the enterprise market, who were getting traction in those early days already. dealing specifically with IT leaders in organizations, just to make the custom development process quicker and easier, using some devices of of configuration of abstraction. But not like a full on kind of no code platform that was somewhat foreign to folks and it did take a few years of of education. And people hearing about it and experiencing it and trying different, you know, different platforms and different versions.
Alexander Ferguson 23:37
Is there I guess there’s multiple ways one could buy assess, or a solution of off the shelf is cheap, it’s just what it is. But it doesn’t get customized then you have the the no code or low code be able to customize and then perfect your customize where you’re then you’re bringing developers and then they’re they’re creating it is it I guess there’s a use case for each one of those. But you guys are solely focused on that middle one,
Dave Landa 24:01
we are smack dab in the middle. Absolutely. That that is really the the big gap that we saw and continue to see between the off the shelf point solutions. And you know, the the custom development, expensive time consuming, when you want to update it, it’s time consuming. Again, if you can get the developers you know, to work back on it. So we are very much in the middle where you can you can create a custom solution. You can very rapidly iterate on it.
Alexander Ferguson 24:36
Like a use case, let’s just let’s actually play that. Play it out for a second. If you can think of one even a case study of a customer. What does it look like? Yeah.
Dave Landa 24:45
So you know, it’s interesting we have I was just looking at this today from our customer base. If you look at it from an industry perspective, we have in our customer base we have over 21,000 clients globally. And if we look at our customer base in the US, we have not a not a single industry represented over 5%. So our top 10 industries, where we have use cases, all are within like 4.9 and 3.8%, of, of our customer base. So, so So that tells you something from an industry perspective. And And interestingly enough, the the use cases are similarly diverse. But there are a few, a few consistent elements. So, you know, number one, obviously, you know, someone’s dealing with data, a database of some sorts, they’ve got a team that they’re managing, or is managing that data in some way. And it’s going through some sort of process of approval, or a review or of completion, whatever, whatever it may be. So as long as you have those three kind of core elements, database process and sort of team collaboration needs, then you know, we can be a pretty good solution. And you don’t have something that perfectly fits off the shelf. And it’s not something that you’re going to get a team of developers to work on custom, because it just doesn’t make sense to, to go that deep on it. So in terms of, you know, a real use case example, can take like, retail. So, organization looking to launch a whole bunch of stores around the country, within partner stores, for example. So kind of store within the stores, they were looking to manage the whole process of identifying store opportunities with this, you know, series of partners, contracting for those store, within stores, procuring the equipment and the furniture to go there and get delivered. Managing the approval of the setup, managing the delivery of the product into those store within a store. And then that was kind of the the initial thought, right. And so there was nothing that was really clean and well fitting that particular need in the market as a as a point solution. And they needed to do it quick, because they were going from 50 to like 1500 In the next 18 months. And so they needed to build something really fast that could that could grow and expand with what they were going to do. They didn’t know all of their requirements, because it was going so rapidly, and they didn’t know how much they were going to fit into it. So they started with, okay, we need a database of all of our potential stores. And then that needs to roll into the ones that become actual stores. And then we need to figure out, okay, what are we going to procure, and when are we going to send them and who’s, you know, approving the purchases, you know, the the purchase orders, who’s approving and accepting those when they arrive, who’s approving once they’re set up that the store is in good shape. So all of these things, it’s a classic example of like, we know, we need something that’s going to be centralized, we know we need something that’s really agile. And we also need to have pretty significant permission controls. So if we want a vendor to have access to this database, so we know what the status is, and they can tell us when something is being shipped and when it should arrive. And we want it in one central place. We only need them to see part of this overall database, right. And then we have a partner these different partners, well, we don’t want this partner to see all of our stores with his other partner and the details there. So knowing that you have those type of permission controls, knowing that you can manage various different processes, you can have it in one central location, create dashboards for different levels of management and folks who need to see what’s going on at any given time. That’s yeah, and you need to be able to do it on the fly changes need to be done on the fly. fields need to change processes need to change, people need to change, and you need to have, you know, an operations manager who can do most of that. Not not having to go back to developers because the developing time is so dear and so difficult to get your hands on right?
Alexander Ferguson 29:44
The need for solutions like this. And all done remotely where the teams can collaborate see the information change the operating procedure and system on the fly is only increased Team A COVID as well as in the options out there to do this. So when you when when I think of the other solutions out there, Monday or airtable, or things like that, how do you perceive yourself in the marketplace, then?
Dave Landa 30:12
Yeah, yeah, it’s, you know, it’s it’s a rapidly growing market from a customer and use case standpoint and awareness decades. But as obviously a rapidly growing competitive landscape as well, lots of folks are jumping into the space, I think, in most cases, still starting to change a little bit now. But for the first, you know, five or six years I was in the space, most folks in our space had kind of an origin story. That was either database, or BPM. And those were most of them as either we’re, you know, we’re an online database. And now we’re going to try to expand into managing process, managing team collaboration. And generally, you could go and look at these different solutions out there. And recognize, okay, this is what they’re strong at. But these things not so much. We actually came from this collaboration, origin. And that’s what we started with our other solutions, we’re very much focused on team productivity, team communication. And so a lot of that went into our, our platform, the kintone platform, and but from the very beginning, we knew that process, and database were critical as well. So I think initially, we were able to differentiate ourselves from the fact that we’re really all about supporting teams, a lot of other folks in this sort of no codes, platform or no code, solution space, we’re about either creating apps, you know, it didn’t really matter, what sort of, you know, platform they went on, it didn’t matter who was accessing them. Right. Or it was about process, you know, we can create a good, you know, business process management flow workflow. And then, you know, in terms of data, managing database or managing teams, those are kind of afterthoughts. Right. I think when you look at like Monday, and airtable, kind of more relatively newer entrants, I think, relative to some of the others folks out there. They definitely came at it from a kind of a, an enhanced spreadsheet perspective. Right, so recognizing the issue with Excel, and I think we all in our space, recognize the issue with Excel, and, and are thankful for all the problems that people have with Excel these days. But I think they you know, those guys definitely are, are, are pretty firmly from that perspective, I think. And then, you know, additional things that they add in, have come after the fact. And, you know, they have nice, nice interfaces, absolutely great UI. I think where we, where we stand out, in addition to sort of the collaboration DNA, is the fact that we have been at it for 20 plus years, and we’ve been able to bring in a lot of functionality and features that are, like I mentioned earlier, there’s layers to it, you don’t get overwhelmed when you first go in there. But if you need to do something like three levels of have access controls, and permission controls, that sort of thing. We’ve got really interesting. We call them lookups. And, and connected apps, where we kind of connect different apps amongst one another, to create just just greater reporting, better interaction of data. And we and we, we’ve built a bunch of, you know, plugins and additional pieces that can be added on to the platform. So I think those things help us still stand out. But again, like for us, it’s it has a lot to do with the comprehensive nature of the solution. So a lot of times we do start with a particular problem that we help solve for an organization. But as they recognize the sort of the overall capable capability and the overall, say, philosophy of the platform, they start to recognize that, yeah, this is about this is about information access. This is about empowering team members to be able to do what they need to do whenever wherever they can. And it’s and it’s even, you know, it’s even deeper in terms of distributing and decentralizing sort of decision. making processes. And the more we can support that, from, from a team, digital workplace perspective, you know, the I think the more we’re differentiated and the better off we are,
Alexander Ferguson 35:15
it’s this layered approach of the base being you’re where you came from of your this culture that you’re saying this desire for transparency for people to come in and see all the data be able to work with it, then come up to already from the beginning, you’ve been focused, or both pulling from your communication background or team collaboration from 20 years ago, but also from 2014, focused on this building a no code or low code solution, that is building the apps not building a spreadsheet, and then add that ability later, it’s like going straight to the root of that, that that issue is interesting, then then your your so what do you see is the future of the space? Of of? What is it gonna look like in two, three years from now?
Unknown Speaker 36:03
Yeah, I think it’s, it’s really interesting. You know, I’ve been having a handful of conversations with different folks about this. And, and it feels to me, like we’re at a at a point in which we’re kind of transitioning into a new era of cloud, a new era of SAS, I think, you can tie it, and even software for that matter, you know, early era, that kind of ERP, the big, behemoth, monolithic, you know, software solution that, you know, you had all the data in one place, you had everything there, but it was a nightmare to try to pull stuff and use stuff. And, you know, it was it was really challenging. And then SAS came around, and you had these great point solutions, you know, best in class solutions for individual needs in an organization CRM, you know, marketing automation, etc, etc. And I think what you’ve seen over the course of the last, you know, 1012 years, is so much siloing of data. You know, you certainly focus on the integration side, the API, you know, hubs that are trying to respond to this, but it’s just, it’s just something that is continuous. And there’s so many organizations with with such disconnected data. And it really is a matter of there being so many different disconnected point solutions that have been developed over the years that it feels like there’s a really strong impetus right now to move to a more centralized solution. But that is like super customized for specific industries, specific companies. And so I can see where there will be solutions that will be able to provide kind of that initial ERP, centralization of data, but the benefits of the best in class for specific industries that they need it
Alexander Ferguson 38:24
varying the, to all the data in one place, but actually easy to access this this customized to your approach in your industry.
Dave Landa 38:30
Yeah, yeah. And I think, you know, I think the security issues are screaming for this type of, you know, centralization, I think, just inefficiencies and lack of productivity, are screaming for these types of, you know, centralization ones. You know, it’s amazing, some of the stats coming out to the individual workers, how many different apps they go in and out of, on a given day? You know, obviously, a lot of this, this, this single sign on, work that’s being done is part of this, but I think there’s more and I think it gets deeper. And I think that’s the direction I see software going and I think that is the direction that our industry as well the no code space is is or should be going.
Alexander Ferguson 39:25
That the type of person that you’re you’re often serving that ends up like signing up for your platform and who they were what do they look like what Who are they
Dave Landa 39:37
depends on the size of the organization, but a lot of times it’s gonna be it’s gonna be operational leaders or, or operational managers. Some sometimes it’s company leaders who are looking for, you know, who have heard the message and are looking for a comprehensive solution to kind of manage their business as it grows. As much as possible in a centralized framework, but a lot of times it’s going to be individual departments or division leads, or individual group leads, who have an operation that is becoming unwieldly and cumbersome on whatever platform they’re using, be it Excel or something else. And they need a solution to that particular issue.
Alexander Ferguson 40:26
If, if you think of one of these, these leaders was operational leader or department leader, and you were to, to give them a word of wisdom, in their job in this in this mindset of shifting to, to what, and not specifically about your platform, but of just this way to work. What would you share with them.
Dave Landa 40:45
So we talk a lot about lightweight management, and empowering your team members to make decisions, to raise problems, to be a part of, you know, any type of any type of decision. We’ve done some and just to give you some anecdotes about our company in particular, we our parent company in Japan recently transitioned the beginning of this year, our board of directors from kind of three, middle aged two founders, and one, you know, joined the company right after founder, they were the three members of the board for a number of years. And, you know, we’ve been talking about this decentralization of like, what’s going on on the board level? So finally, they said, you know, you’re right, we need to change this. So the beginning of this year, transition to 17, board members, wow, ranging in age from, like, 23. Up until and the 50s. Five women on the board, which went from, you know, instantly, the highest female representation on a on a public company board in on the Japanese first stock exchange. And the message was not so much like diversity for diversity sake, although it became a, you know, pretty diverse group, it was that the message was open information means that anyone who raises their hand to take the responsibility can provide oversight, and can actually bring folks to account by asking questions about, you know, why we did this, why we did that. And, and our organization internally uses kintone, to essentially open up every strategic, every operational, every tactical decision, to the to the broad team, unless there’s, you know, very specific confidential privacy issues at hand, we open it up, and we’ve created decision making applications that prompts team members to provide their input and provide their feedback before these decisions are made. And so sort of our vision is that all of these organizations can become much more decentralized by distributing the decision making responsibility, and authority in that way. Even if you have, you have to define who’s the ultimate decision maker. But if you if you open up the decisions, and the information that’s leading those decisions, the decision maker we believe can ultimately make a much better decision, if they’re getting feedback and input from, you know, a variety of diverse people and backgrounds. So we try to create that as much as possible. In our process. We actually another thing we’ve done recently is our founder and CEO, as essentially eliminated himself from the the decision making process. He’s He’s passed his authority back to all of the different gms of the different departments. So when we have our executive meetings now on a regular basis, the GMs come, they present sort of the decisions, they’re working on the budget, be it you know, changes in the direction. And our CEO and founder provides input, they provide feedback, but it’s ultimately up to that subject matter expert that GM to make the decisions on all of their, all their issues. And so we’ve kind of lopped off the top of the pyramid, if you will. And we think it’s, we think it’s working great. And we’re in the process of trying to, you know, lower that process step by step throughout the organization. So, it was kind of long winded, but, but the point is, decentralize the Power empower your people to provide insight you never know where the best ideas are gonna come from you never know where the best inputs are. So open up your information as much as possible. And and you’ll be amazed at how great your people are
Alexander Ferguson 45:20
is a powerful insight on the fact that you’re you’re doing it that you’re actually you’re You’re not just saying one should do this, you’re actually trying to implement it yourself. dogfooding as one said that Dave thank you for for walking us through both the journey of you and and where you’ve been coming from as well as Seibu and where kintone has come from and where it’s headed retrieved to see where it goes. For those that want to learn more, you can go over to kintone.com. That’s k i n t o n e.com. Looks like to be able to get a free trial is a product led growth so people can just jump right in. Thanks for a try.
Dave Landa 45:54
And also, we’ll have one of our platform experts happily help you build out your initial proof of concept solution, if need be,
Alexander Ferguson 46:05
are always there, alongside the product lead with with a team to make it happen. Make it happen. Well, thank you so much, Dave, it was great to have you on.
Dave Landa 46:14
Thank you, Alexander really appreciated the conversation. Thanks so much.
Alexander Ferguson 46:18
We’ll see you all on the next episode of UpTech Report. Have you seen a company using AI machine learning or other technology to transform the way we live work and do business? Go to UpTech report.com and let us know