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Two Lessons Scotch Taught Me About Building a Software Company

Andrew Dymski
Andrew Dymski I'm a Founder at ZenPilot where I help marketing agencies buy back time by developing the processes and systems they need to scale without reinventing the wheel for every client. I'm co-host of the Agency Journey podcast where each week we interview an agency owner, consultant, or author.

I’ve learned two things about fine Scotch. First, it is best when consumed in the company of great friends. Second, the older it is, the more refined it becomes. 

Mike Hollis and I sat on my couch, sipping a Lagavulin 16 year, neat as always. Mike broke several moments of relaxed silence, “So, I think I’m ready to give that inbound product idea a shot.

Mike was hungry to learn a new software coding language and break away from the constraints of his 9-5 job. Gray and I were hungry to craft a system to scale our inbound marketing agency.

The three of us had known each other all through college and it was past time that we entered into a new venture together.

I sat quiet for a moment, a soft inhale revealing the smoky oaky finish of the Lagavulin. “Let’s do it!” I replied with a smile. 

Almost one year later I’ve learned that the same two lessons apply to building a business. First, it is best when consumed in the company of great friends. Second, the older it is, the more refined it becomes.

The Vision for DoInbound

Inbound marketing agency owners and strategists have made it clear that they’re looking for a better platform. They’ve made it clear that they have a desire to run their agencies more profitably, to delight their clients, and to scale their businesses beyond their current capacity.

They’re looking for a platform that can:

  • Maximize agency profitability.
  • Connect agency activity to client results.
  • Create a scalable framework for repeatable client success.
  • Combine best-practice education with real-world execution.

When we began our journey it was only us, the company founders. It didn’t take long, however, to be joined by fellow agency owners from around the world.

The conversations and feedback we have received from inbound marketing agency owners over the past 12 months have seriously validated this idea.

Challenges We’re Facing Right Now

The current tool is in its infancy. We’re only a mile or so into our marathon. User experience is a big area of improvement. Features are spread throughout the tool, several features are missing, and it’s hard to connect content strategy with completing deliverables for clients.

On the whole, people around the world love the idea and the love the direction we’re heading. It is now our job to create a platform that meets the vision.

How We’re Working to Overcome these Challenges

We’re in the process of redesigning the functionality and user experience of DoInbound. Our goal is a simpler, easy-to-use, one-page design. Our goal is to reduce the learning curve, and minimize the number of steps required to leverage the platform to plan, do, track, and measure your work.

This shift means the addition of a new backend infrastructure. To quote Mike, “We’re on the bleeding edge of technology here!” The interface is being built out on Ember.js, while the backend API is powered by Rails. This thing is going to be freaking awesome!

More education is being baked into the tool. Not just education on how to use the platform, but education on why to use the platform. Tutorials and training around how buyer personas serve as the foundation for inbound strategy, how to develop a Buyer’s Jouney for specific personas, and much more will be more integrated into the experience.

If you’re interested in learning how your agency can get involved in this journey, get in touch with us!

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