In this episode of the ProductHooman Podcast, we've invited Doug Dosberg, founder of HeyTaco, a peer-to-peer recognition platform that builds happier teams by inspiring positive communication.
It all started from a passion project for fun in 2016, and since then, he has been running HeyTaco as a solopreneur. Today, HeyTaco has thousands of customers worldwide and is a million-plus revenue company. In today's episode, we had so many insightful and relatable discussions:
How HeyTaco came into existence:
Two things happened at that point in time, one Slack had just exploded out of nowhere. They introduced the idea of an app ecosystem around a product. They introduced this ecosystem around their software. So he saw this as a really cool opportunity at that point in time, chatbots where everybody is talking about chatbots. But seven years ago, chatbots were a really cool thing for him. Support systems were getting much better.
He used to think of, HeyTaco as a chatbot, and it still is as it's like an information broker acting as a middleman helping me celebrate.
HeyTaco was one of the early apps in Slack's app directory which was really helpful and gave HeyTaco an edge in the beginning as it was getting promoted as an app within the app directory.
Biggest problem people in the HR industry face:
The biggest problem he heard from the prospects and people coming to HeyTaco was engagement. People want a certain amount of engagement in a tool, and when they don't get it, they go looking for something else, and the secret to increasing user engagement is really simple. If you want people to engage and use your tool, you better make it fun for them. Make them want to use it because if people feel that they have to use a tool because they're being told by someone in HR, it's not gonna be fun and the engagement is not even gonna be genuine. So you just have to make that experience fun for the person as if it's fun, the engagement will be much more genuine.
Personas buying HR software and solutions to the industry problems:
As there are problems in each vertical, he touched only one vertical here and that's peer-to-peer recognition. HeyTaco is a celebration business and its job is to help others celebrate moments with the team and bring people together. He shared the biggest problem by highlighting the work culture difference between the pre-covid and post-covid company cultures.
Insiders of HeyTaco - road mapping methods and organic growth:
Most of the road mapping thing at HeyTaco is based on gut feeling. As Doug wants to be the best at celebrations, he doesn't want to build a product that has feature after feature, and every feature is mediocre. Instead, he wants to specialize in one thing. So, he focused solely on providing too much value to users. Also, his gamification techniques have made people enjoy using HeyTaco, and they don't even feel pressured to use it. HeyTaco's growth has been more or less organic, and he has always considered it like a barbecue growth method. It takes time, but with persistence, focus and some time, you get rewarded.
Cool things Doug is currently working on:
One cool and big thing right now that Doug has been working on is a way to celebrate groups of people. As there are so many people involved in the success of the company, so it's important to recognize and celebrate my whole team instead of the individuals. He kind of turned the scarcity of HeyTaco into an opportunity and now rolling out HeyTaco stickers to let you recognize the whole team.
Recent realization or learning:
Doug had this recent realization of building things for the future. Over the past 7 years, he has been solving the problem that day without thinking of the future. But you can't predict everything about the future, so it's better to document stuff and explain your decisions. Also, it becomes really hard to document your decisions in the beginning as you just want to get the market as fast as possible and get feedback, and documenting stuff slows you down.
At last, Doug answered, "WHY TACOS?" Watch the full episode to know the last answer!