EP208 - Elliot CEO and Founder, Sergio Villasenor


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EP208 - Elliot CEO and Founder, Sergio Villasenor

Sergio Villasenor (@sir_gee_ohhhhh) is the CEO and Founder of Elliot. Elliot is a modern, mobile first e-commerce platform that describes itself as: "The easiest way to sell there, there, there too, yes there & yes all the way over there. No-code e-commerce platform for every there & where you want to sell."

In this interview with Sergio, we get a great overview of Elliot's features, what sets it apart, and what their vision for the first is. Sergio also breaks some news about the platform. As of April 1st, they will offer a free SaaS version (except for payment processing fees), and will open source the entire platform.

You can join Elliots WhatsApp group by sending a message to 347-715-0728, and get early access to new features.

Don't forget to like our facebook page, and if you enjoyed this episode please write us a review on itunes.

Episode 208 of the Jason & Scot show was recorded on Thursday, February 20th, 2020.


Join your hosts Jason "Retailgeek" Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis, and Scot Wingo, CEO of GetSpiffy and Co-Founder of ChannelAdvisor as they discuss the latest news and trends in the world of e-commerce and digital shopper marketing.

Google Automated Transcription of the show


Jason: [0:24] Welcome to the Jason and Scott show this is episode 208 being recorded on Thursday February 20th 2020 I'm your host Jason retailgeek Goldberg and as usual I'm here with your co-host Scot Wingo. Scot: [0:38] Hey Jason and welcome back Jason Scott show listeners well listeners we have a real treat for you today in today's show we are going to explore one of the big new trends and e-commerce platforms called headless Commerce or no / low / 0 code please welcome to the Jason Scott show Sergio Villasenor who is founder of Elliott welcome, Sergio. Sergio: [1:04] Hey guys happy to be on the show. Jason: [1:06] Sergio we are thrilled to have you and I feel like Scott May of potentially even inadvertently introduced controversy already just in the description and the intro so I do I do want to jump to that but before we do listeners always like to know just a little bit about the background of our guests so could you tell us what led you to your current role as CEO at Elliot. Sergio: [1:31] Yeah happy too happy to give that background, I spent the last 10 years in e-commerce coming more from the engineering side of things working with mid to large Market Brands predominantly at agencies or software companies, most notably One-Stop internet which was a PC back agency that worked with Brands like Lululemon John Varvatos dragon bone J Brand, and over that time had built kind of my own blueprint and flavor of tech that allowed Brands to stand up e-commerce stores or supply chain technology that help them either streamlined how they sold online or offline or just across borders. Jason: [2:07] That's awesome and did I hear a rumor you also played college football. Sergio: [2:11] I did I played at the University of Nevada Reno I played free safety there. Jason: [2:16] Awesome so that makes you the like debatably the fastest guy on this podcast. Sergio: [2:22] Depending on what we're racing against yes I would say I asked this. Jason: [2:24] I don't know if you've ever seen Scott her I run but at the bar is very well. Scot: [2:29] Unless it's a Starbucks Jason can haul ass for a Starbucks. Sergio: [2:33] I was about to say for the right Frappuccino y'all might be. Jason: [2:37] But potentially true. Sergio: [2:39] All good. Scot: [2:41] So give listeners and let's start at the 30,000 foot level because I follow you on Twitter and it can go deep very quickly what how do you describe Elliot at like a cocktail party kind of scenario. Sergio: [2:55] Yep Elliot is just a new Commerce platform that allows sellers to stand up storefronts that can accept payments and shipped globally instantly without writing a single line of code adding an app or Plugin you don't even need to use your credit card you can just come on Elliot launch of store sell and less than 5 minutes. Scot: [3:15] Got it okay so when people hear that I'm sure the Shopify and Bigcommerce and some of this what I would think of as the software as a service type platforms probably come up how do you guys compared to something like that. Sergio: [3:31] Great question I would say that outwardly most people would perceive us as being a, SAS e-commerce competitor to a Bigcommerce the Shopify and other incumbents in the space however Elliott's very different in the sense that we, part of the payment processor and Merchant of record on every transaction so we're more like a Marketplace except as most people in the United States and Western Society no marketplaces don't necessarily provide the most brand new experience, we provide immediate global distribution but in a very branded way where you can create different websites looks and fill that are all properly conveying your brand message and tone on the URL that's yours and owning the customer data except we just provide access to a payment processor and Merchant of record service that allows you to sell in chip. Jason: [4:20] Just a quick question on that Sergio so. I feel like an obvious analogy to you guys is going to be Shopify and in the Shopify echo system, there's a you can choose to use a Shopify payment processor or you could use a third-party payment processor. Is Shopify with their own native payment system is that most similar to you guys is that fair or is there still a distinction in your status as seller of record versus theirs. Sergio: [4:55] There is still a distinction between the two if you opt in to shop pay it's still your brand on let's say the bank statement whereas when you come on and sell on Elliot Elliot would be seen on the bank statement very much like square or another Marketplace, so that's where we differentiate. Between Jack and fire Delia. Jason: [5:14] Got it okay totally fair, and I know you guys got some private funding last year just went or, early last year just went live middle of last year so they do I have those dates kind of right and and be if you got any traction do you have any clients that are using the platform that our listeners would have heard of. Sergio: [5:39] Yes a bunch of questions there so I'll take them I won we are we are venture-backed to date we have raised a little over five point two million dollars, most notably from sus Adventures SV Angel pentland Ventures which is the Venture arm of pentland Brands who owns Brands like Lacoste and track Smith and Speedo, and yes today since launching the storefront platform that everyone now just more enthralled with on October 17th of last year, we have on-boarded over 1,700 Merchants from 92 countries some of those Merchants include predominantly Shopify shop for five plus Brands like rooted goddess dough Mifflin and others as well as other startup brands, they're kind of coming into the scene like a shotgun and next which is actually actually Aladdin, Etsy style Marketplace or even co-working spaces here in Brooklyn like at those club that uses Elliott as their cash flows point of sale systems. Scot: [6:35] Frankel your reference Team all do you guys have a front door that Aggregates all this kind of I don't know if you think of them as stores but all the all the brands that are selling on the platform or does each brand kind of have its own front door. Sergio: [6:51] Each brand has their own front door it's very much their brand we haven't set up Elliot as a Marketplace as you would know it today were if you went to Team all or Amazon or Lazada or zalando, it would be very much those Brands shopping experience, if anything down the road will roll out Marketplace features that other connect Brands and consumers in our own unique way and fashion in flavor but that is still to be unveiled. Scot: [7:17] Got it and then because you're kind of speaking my language of marketplace is here let's say I come and I want to set up Scott's shoe store and then I want to invite other third parties in it seems like you'd be uniquely positioned to do that because you're already kind of just be like another another, another flavor another kind of seller on my own site is is that a capability you guys have today. Sergio: [7:40] Correct yeah if you actually go to shop Latin x.com that's actually a multi-vendor Elliott storefront so as a user of Elliot, Hugh Scott wanted to create a Marketplace and add bankers and have variable commission rates with split orders and payments you would be able to do that just out of the box. Scot: [7:57] Okay very cool so in a way you're competing with Miracle on that side of things because that's part of their value proposition is helping people kind of add a Marketplace to their storefront. Is that a fair comparison. Sergio: [8:12] Correct yeah when we look at the competitive landscape that Elliot, erupting really were disrupting a 600 billion dollar ecosystem of software spending e-commerce platforms headless Finance product in order Management Systems cross-border tools, multi-channel software fulfillment software single sign on One Tap check out, if anything what we're implying and striving to do is a lot like what Apple did in the 80s for personal Computing which is just completely reimagine and re-architect the entire category and come out with, entirely different way of thinking about how to sell and buy products. Jason: [8:48] This is awesome so there's a ton of follow-ups I'm dying to ask but I feel like I should get one more precursor question in because I also don't know the answer to it how did you come up with the name Elliot. Sergio: [9:00] Well despite being an athlete I am a nerd so the double out and is typically an operator for or so when we initially launched Elliott the Elliott logo was fouled out Elliot with period, so it was e-commerce or iot we just believe that this generation of Commerce began and ended with Ellie. Jason: [9:20] That is definitely a more geeky answer than I was expecting. Sergio: [9:25] Alternatively though on my more hood side and you know when we took it to Google and we searched the Elliot Urban Dictionary came up and it had 20 very vulgar definitions of why Elliot was an awesome name and I was like reinforcements done. [9:44] Rami Malek did a great job of Bohemian Rhapsody so I would not mind that comparison need. Scot: [9:50] Where does where's the cow come from. Sergio: [9:55] The cow is a tribute to my grandmother so you know I came from very humble beginnings my parents would work one to two what two or three jobs each I get dropped off at Grandma's house at six picked up at seven eight she was a crazy Cuban woman that lived and died by all her beliefs one of those was drinking a whole glass of milk at every meal so she passed away last Christmas as I was kind of, getting Elliott's and market and it was a very simple way of tributing someone that had a huge impact on my life in a very simple way that meant a lot. Jason: [10:26] That is terrific so let's jump into the product a little bit before I go into the specific questions I'm kind of curious what, what you perceived as the sort of Gap like in my mind there's there's a dearth of platforms out there there's, big establish ones that are kind of long and the teeth there's you know new ones that have gone a lot of traction lately like you know you got to one of the e-commerce shows and you throw a rock and hit 10 of them what what do you feel was missing from the ecosystem or what did you guys expect to do better they caused you to launch Elliot. Sergio: [11:05] Yeah that's a great question I think ultimately what we saw at a very macro level was 5G and smart most 5G and smartphone, proliferation continuing to rise globally, as consumers and Brands became hyper-connected I think the thing that was lacking was access to tools that allowed creators of products to actually not just say hey I have a store but actually be able to connect and ship to, consumers around the world typically that toolkit from across border fulfillment perspective and an on-site cross-border UI ux 1, it always been a very Enterprise tool kit specifically either flow or globally or for free now Pitney Bowes. [11:47] And the reality is that there is not Financial inclusion in the world and creators of products come in all various shapes and sizes so. If anything we saw people becoming more connected to Brands being able to connect with them instantly you know if you're in New Brand today you're building an audience that is by default global, we believe that you should have access to tools to tap into that and maximize the opportunity that you're already building on the gate and four more established brands, just sell and, any more of like a click of a button I don't want to have to go back to engineering and say oh six eight months build shit the the moment in pop culture that was trying to capitalize just passed so forget it and if anything it's just making it easy streamlining sailing, and equipping non-technical operators with the tools to compete globally because the reality is that consumer Demand only increases, consumers say hey if I find your brand online I expect the same level of service from you if you're a new brand as I do Nike and it's tough to compete. Scot: [12:50] So tell me more about the cross-border stuff so so we'll go with Scott shoe store I want that to be a cross-border store so there's there's several elements to that there's the shipping and then there's also you know is this going to create a DOT co uk got ya got it Etc and is it going to translate the language for me and all that or what to what level do you go on the cross quarter side. Sergio: [13:18] Let's touch a lot of levels of granularity here let's just take the basic storefront, every store comes with i18n you can serve up one site for a global audience no subdomains need, each of these storefronts comes with multi-currency multi-language duties presented at the time of check out paid DDP with local payment and shipping options mind you all that's just out of the box so if you're a first-time seller, every storefront that you have on Elliott just comes with that, with that being said there's a lot of things that also come with that there's the Fulfillment side what happens post purchase and transaction, since the duties are paid GDP we provide commercial invoices customs declaration forms the whole nine let's say I don't have HS codes for proper duties and taxes as long as you have a product image you upload it for able to assign an HTS code with a 97 percent great with our image processing services to ensure that the duties are properly calculated as well and my new, all this is just out of the box. Scot: [14:16] Yes about you guys being Merchant of record it kind of this is the huge benefit right because you can kind of umbrella everybody in this one you know by being able to implement this cross-border functionality and have everyone underneath it and then how about the shipping so so let's say I'm going to ship an order you know to the UK do you guys do like a borderfree cross ship where I ship to an address in Miami and it gets reshipped there or or are you let allowing me to set up with the career of my choice of how to ship internationally. Sergio: [14:49] If your store had a UK Shopper when they go to check out they would see Royal Mail and we would do some type of her smile consolidation. The same if that consumer was in China they would be the same type of first mile consolidation with SF Express so typically that first mile consolidation would go to a major airport of either LAX O'Hare or jail. Scot: [15:10] Nice cool and then so I get how this is codeless do you guys sit in there's a big movement in e-commerce is headless where you can kind of take some of the services underlying an e-commerce platform and if I already have some kind of a front-end I can drop those in as is that a part of the market you guys deal with our you're doing much more of this kind of self-service really small business that, doesn't want to do any coding at all. Sergio: [15:41] You know will work with major Holdings companies we already do and which is why we developed a headless Jam stack for an end right out of the gate that will become publicly available, April first however there's already Brands using it, the benefit to having this Jam stack front end is that you can create more robust friend and shopping experiences. With the same cross-border infrastructure so unlike other pwas in the jams X space. This store that you deploy as a developer can already accept payments it can already ship cross-border through the LED API and key already available to you in your admin, it already has a multi currency multi-language i18n baked in natively it has local payment and shipping options that is inherited, and it's round graphql API it's completely serverless so it's kind of this move from monolithic to micro service to serverless it's extremely fast it runs across five clouds for redundancy, it has a Geo partition table database so you don't need to stand up an instance of Magento to be EU compliant for gdpr anything you can sell from a single command center for the Superfast front end that you can serve up statically across five cdns worldwide. Scot: [16:55] So I grabbed everything you said there but I'm not sure every listener will let's unpack it a little bit what's a jam stack and does it involve peanut butter as well as the gym. Sergio: [17:10] Clay it involves a little bit more it would. The peanut butter the jelly and the toast. Scot: [17:15] Yes sir Jason I know what a jam stacking a PW is but you know again cocktail party level or let's say you were talking to the business person at a brand how would you kind of unpack the that and help them understand. Sergio: [17:30] Yeah that's a that's a great question, I would say that we allow you to run a highly scalable application that super fast that never goes down, that's accessible worldwide and that you can recruit for a very cost-effective way developers to build on top of on top of that, it's not platform dependent so as you move from platform to platform. You can you know D riskier investment have a friend in that you can live with the next five to six years and sell a lot of products there. Scot: [18:05] Got it cool and then when you say serverless across five clouds are you talking about AWS zones or that's more it will work on Azure Google and AWS are all debuff. Sergio: [18:20] All of the above including tencent Ali Cloud select Allen Russia and gcp. Scot: [18:25] Oh nice so you can surf or China you can be behind the great firewall of China with with that model. Sergio: [18:32] You have to love the ability a tunnel across cloud. Jason: [18:42] And so when you were when you say code with what I'm hearing is, no development required everything you need out of the box so click buttons instead of write scripts is that. Sort of what you're getting at. Sergio: [19:03] Yeah and I would say that to that point Ellie is very much a start to scale platform meaning that. The idea that we're going through is that Elliot you don't have to graduate from like let's say I start a business on Shopify and then I moved to like demandware sfcc. With Elliot you're able to start no code you're able to evolve and grow your business and go to low code so we have a motto at Elliot that we Champion called Nolo which is really the movement from starting a business using a visual Builder, to your point not coding anything, but as you grow and scale we have the front and flexibility to for you to create more robust front and experiences that better blend content and commerce and all the things that we see more mature Brands and needing as they grow their. Jason: [19:53] Okay so and you correct me if I have the wrong notion. In my mind like I see a big difference but I also see a similarity again going back to the shop of I analogy the one of the things that seems like particularly strong and cool about you guys is, your lack of dependency on plugins right so. Like you can argue as a strength or a weakness for Shopify but a lot of the functionality you need to run your business is available in the Shopify Echo System but it's provided by a third party and so the, the, the downside of that is you have to turn on these these 20 plugins that each provide this this point solution and that introduces a lot of, potential slowness security risk stability issues there's a lot of baggage that comes with, turning on all these random plugins and their interoperability with each other and what I think I'm hearing from you is we try to avoid the requirements of all those plugins by providing all the native functionality for all the main features that, stored underneath do I have that right. Sergio: [21:10] Yeah you have yes you have the gist of correct. Specifically we provide the payment and fulfillment infrastructure we are working with developers to better integrate marketing tools on site however, as an approach being a start-up we are focusing on kind of categories like beauty and fashion and lifestyle specifically small Home Goods, where purchase intent has typically already been established at the by the consumer on a third-party channel so if anything, we can remove a lot of the what is quote unquote traditional on-site plugins and apps because in the next generation of Commerce we see them as being irrelevant, because there's no need for ugc on a website when you live in an Instagram and Snapchat world the ugc has already been presented to the consumer on, the tag IG posts there's no need for reviews because half the reviews are you know Wise or, misconstrued or you know as a consumer I've already kind of read the reviews that's all my favorite influencer saying oh my God look at that makeup look at that glow kit like a lot of the on-site dependencies are removed in certain categories and we're aligning our go-to-market strategy around that belief. Scot: [22:19] Jason has a two-hour talk he gives on the importance of social proof and you just blew that talk up. Jason: [22:28] Yeah I feel like that is that's I get the sentiment behind that, I'm not sure we're at a world yet wherever you sell or real I can rely on adjacent UD U GC instead of ugc right at the point of purchase but. Sergio: [22:44] I 100% agree with you and just to level set we are building a company that's going to be around for the next three decades and. We have to make decisions and bet on verticals and be strategic and Nimble and that's just one that we're betting on. Jason: [23:00] Sure fair enough I was going to go to a happier example first and it was like like the for example this got already brought up if I'm on almost any other platform and I want to offer Marketplace functionality I'm gonna go get a third-party you like miracle and and plug them into my platform and do a complicated integration in your providing out-of-the-box Marketplace functionality because you've decided, early on that that's an important feature set for for future sellers. Sergio: [23:29] Correctly believe that. For future salaries that was for things that they had to do they had to create landing pages specifically One Tap check out product landing pages stores, cash this point of sale, and marketplaces all of which are the store types that you can create with our we call experienced builder in Delhi. Jason: [23:49] Yep and so and we didn't touch on this but before you launch the storefront you actually launched a sort of a single page One Click by experience that seems like, like perfectly suited for, you know products that you're driving interest on on Instagram or Whatsapp or any of those sorts of platforms. Sergio: [24:12] Correct and that that payment page had all of the cross-border tooling and fulfillment that we're discussing here, if anything it was a very strategic way that I can align our investment team and backers and team internally. Just be like hey like here's the vision we can simplify the checkout final purchase intent is being established on third parties it works great for painted pages, and the Assumption when we launch that product was, we believed that store owners that used us specifically then in advertising channels on social media SMS email. That they would love the Simplicity and they did they saw a 10x increase in checkout conversion and the sentiment was. If you guys make a very lightweight storefront version of this we believe very firmly as customers of you, that you guys can compete in unseat some incumbents so that was always the broader Vision it was just nice to hear it from the initial adopters and I think when you have an investment team it's nice to go through those milestones and get the feedback like that. Jason: [25:16] Sure so so we start with the payment page migrate to the store front and then you also just mentioned cashew spos so is that something that's currently available is that something you're working on and I'm assuming that's the sort of omni-channel piece of this that you would imagine a seller that has both a store and sells online. Sergio: [25:41] Correct So within Elliot when you create experiences and just to let everyone know what experiences are. Elliot admin unlike Bigcommerce and Shopify you don't need multiple admin panels to run multiple stores you can create multiple shopping experiences and merchandise merchandise the product within them from a single point. With that being said, within an experience cashless POS is just one thing that you can create as a part of our experience Builder it is already available that allows you to shorten the checkout flow, on top of that you can also further checkout you can also further shorted, the cast is point-of-sale solution to have a very Apple like shopping experience its QR code based and already available within the admin. Jason: [26:27] Dodgers so it supports sort of a mobile POS solution that runs on on handheld Hardware, yep and then you're specifically saying cashless which again kind of like bypassing ugc I can imagine it's super easy to see that the future is going to be a retailers cash West. They're like there are a bunch of municipalities where it's kind of illegal to have a cashless store right now. Sergio: [26:53] That's fine you know doing bad things usually resulted in good next steps. Jason: [26:59] Okay and then you you highlighted it hey one of your very first insights that cause you to build this whole platform was was the trend towards 5G and ubiquitous smartphones um you alluded to pwas so, is that your framework for the mobile experience you get when I hit a an Eliot storefront from a mobile device. Sergio: [27:28] That's correct yeah it's a progressive web application using server-side rendering specifically next JS and if anything we're expanding that, for a multitude of reasons but come April 1st you will be able to as a developer you know grab that front end build more robust, shopping experiences and will continue to build on top of that belief system over the next year or two. Jason: [27:52] That's awesome though and so the out-of-the-box experience is is pwa the mobile web experience that you provide is is pwa based which our friends in Canada do not support very well. Sergio: [28:07] I can see why they would. Scot: [28:13] So talk a little bit about the fees how does your fee structure. Sergio: [28:20] Yep I'm gonna give you guys a jam so on April 1st we're actually announcing that the self-service site of Elliot will be completely free no additional commissions on top of the standard stripe pass through cost for payment processing. That's just that on the Enterprise side we have a commission rate based structure with a cap that goes between one by percent. And that varies based on the level of service that you need but come April first anyone will be able to sign up uses Elliot for free. Scot: [28:52] Okay so I have to poke around at this little bit so April 1st you know everyone's Radars up are you sure sure about this this is not an April Fool's kind of setup is. Sergio: [29:04] Actually a part of a campaign called April fools but no the pricing that I. Your percent going live April first. Scot: [29:13] Okay because I know you're a bit of a jokester so I just want to make sure that we're I'm nailing you down a bit here and then. Sergio: [29:19] I like to clown around but when. People's money I take it pretty serious. Scot: [29:23] And then there's no subscription or anything there or if I find a Kardashian and I do, 300 million on the self-service not that it's still free except for the underlying payment fees. Sergio: [29:39] That's correct long as you use our payment processor and Merchants records services for fulfilling and domestic and international it's free. Scot: [29:47] Got it, and then it wouldn't be a Jason and Scot show if we didn't talk a little bit about Amazon how do you do you guys you know so the CEO of Shopify is kind of like gotten into this mode where he's kind of the. We're arming the rebels to take on on the you know the Empire of the death star of Amazon do you guys view yourselves in that kind of a light or how do you think about Amazon. Sergio: [30:14] I wouldn't describe myself as the Death Star I think that they only fired once or twice right. Jason: [30:21] If you are the death start make sure you put a grill on your exhaust vent. Scot: [30:25] Now in this metaphor your ear Luke Skywalker not. Sergio: [30:28] Something. Scot: [30:29] Amazon's the Duster. Sergio: [30:30] Reading at the very least right come on. Scot: [30:32] Yeah. Sergio: [30:34] No but in all seriousness I don't know guys like we're just creating our own lane of Commerce, like we're doing things very differently I can't say that we are going to be like Amazon are going to be like Shopify we're just going to be like Elliot ultimately, the difference between both of the narratives for both Amazon and Shopify is they have their own marketing jargon that speaks x y and z, ultimately what I'm more interested in is providing Financial inclusion for the next generation of entrepreneurs not requiring an abundance of apps that high total cost of ownership, and I promised everyone that that's always going to be what it is so I will not just arm the rebels I will fight alongside them. Scot: [31:18] What if someone reaction is that Amazon could take to this as they already have this whole AWS stack and they could kind of unbundle parts of Amazon and put it out there on AWS now they haven't done that but that could be an obvious reaction if they did that what's your reaction to them doing something like that. Sergio: [31:41] I believe it's like fundamentally we would fill that, directionally in terms of product Vision that were on the right path and you know if anything will be doing something similar, because already underlying Services specifically around HS code classification image processing invoking serverless functions at will likely be doing the same so if anything it will be validating for us. Scot: [32:05] Always a good answer and then on the fee structure so let's say I go to your self service product and I set up my own little sneaker marketplace, do I have flexibility to set up the and I want it to be you know where I collect, twenty percent or something like that it you guys will handle do I have flexibility there how does all that work. Sergio: [32:34] Trick question yes you have flexibility to Define your commission your sellers commission you can have variable commission rates so you can have more than one seller with a different commission rate depending on your business agreement with them. Scot: [32:46] And then do you give me some Frameworks for that or do I need to kind of come up with T's and C's on that cider or are they effectively kind of signing up underneath the the Elliot T's and C's. Sergio: [32:58] You can actually add your own TNC when you invite what we call an Eliot line of Endor they'll be opting into your and are tncs. Scot: [33:08] How many how many folks are running these kind of marketplaces on the platform. Sergio: [33:15] Two dozen now are running them they span everything from Barry, culturally specific Market places like shop land next to leave or launching like Papa brochure and like the marketing like the grocery space so they're diverse they span multiple verticals with anywhere between 20 and 200 vendors. Scot: [33:37] Yeah yeah that's a you're going to cause an explosion of marketplaces I like that. Sergio: [33:44] I do too and I love. Scot: [33:45] Yeah. Jason: [33:49] Let's talk about the opposite side of that that Scott might not love as much though so so you got this great stack for helping me I have a brand and I want to sell my product direct and I'm using your stack, but increasingly people want to sell Direct on a on a brand-new experience that they own which could be Elliott and they also want to sell on marketplaces right so when you added the. The product catalog to launch a storefront did you guys think about any tools, for helping Elliott sellers Syndicate on the other marketplaces. Sergio: [34:31] We did so we began to release those based on the uploading of our community, most notably starting with print on Demand with prettify however over the next 12 months we will allow Brands and sellers on Elliot, to participate in multi-channel selling so yes it is a big belief of ours too and this kind of goes back to the initial narrative which is we want to create an admin panel were sellers can participate in the more unified approach to selling. That includes selling on third-party channels and if anything we believe that the product in order management system that we have currently will be able to support that. Jason: [35:13] Awesome and one of the things that always comes up so you you have a, a very cool architecture you have a bunch of cool and the Box features you have a super appealing onboarding experience and if it's not obvious to listeners yet one of the cool things is, there's no barrier to signing up and setting up a store and it is kind of to me absurd how fast you can get to a, functioning store so so instead of listeners taking our word for it you should you should jump over to Elliot dot store and fire one up and see it for yourself, so I feel like that's all awesome and to be applauded and I can imagine you winning a bunch of customers on that set of benefits but I didn't work with a bunch of Enterprise clients and their a royal pain in the neck mostly because of edge cases, and so they have a million reasons good or bad why, the out-of-the-box Shopify experience doesn't work or demandware experience doesn't work or or you know frankly to the extent that. [36:24] Oracle ACL sapr have out-of-the-box experiences why those don't even work right and every client has some new promotion that no promotion engine has ever seen before or some new you know shipping model or some new attributes for the catalog is. Like and so I feel like the more customers you want to capture the more and more you have to have some answer to those edge cases like is the is the answer for you guys sorry we don't some if that truly is a deal-breaker we don't support it is that we support that through third-party Integrations is it, we supported through our Jam stack and you develop your own Edge case Solutions like what how do you guys think about that. Sergio: [37:12] You're really making me give you guys all the gems today. I haven't said this anywhere literally only two of our investors go. About this but come April first Elliot's core platform will be completely open sourced and there's a couple reasons why we're doing this, number one we're providing cross-border infrastructure from an on-site through our Jam stack technology which initially is going to live with next JS but we'll be going to Gatsby and nuts. We also provide cross-border fulfillment that's what we do as a company we allow you to transact process payments and shipped globally instantly. We are offloading and open sourcing our admin panel and the shopping experience is with the one exception being the checkout function specifically what processes of payment and creates a compliment. With that being said you'll have all the unified approaches to selling on Elliot. Except for the more Enterprise customer you'll be able to clone the admin you'll be able to work with leaving agencies like you know Accenture and Deloitte and sapien, it's a bill that custom edge cases on a very scalable architecture using the non archaic approach to e-commerce which Elliott is because it's based on python building JavaScript, and it's completely selfless and that's our answer to it. Scot: [38:37] Very cool so April 1st is a big day for you I feel like we're. Sergio: [38:41] The big difference. Scot: [38:42] I feel like we're taking time between now and your first time getting a little stressed out just being on the podcast. Sergio: [38:45] I am looking I'm looking at her to lead engineers and they're looking at me look at you look at me you look at. Looking at me like you asshole you really just said that on. Jason: [38:57] I'm super nervous on April 1st that I'm like fall for some dumb prank on Twitter and I feel like you have reason to be a little bit more nervous. Sergio: [39:05] I have a lot of reasons to be nervous yes but I promise you that the April Fool's marketing campaign will not be a joke on you and the only person that could potentially be is on me for over promising but I doubt that will do that. Scot: [39:18] Cool let's so thanks for sharing that with our listeners we appreciate any kind of breaking news on the podcast that's, I've been following you on Twitter for a while and I'm a Serial entrepreneur been at this game for a while no tons of entrepreneurs you have a kind of a real fun style and very transparent way of building the company share a little bit about your thoughts on that and you know what as a leader how you think about things in your company and now you want it to be thought of you've said you've given us some hints you want this to be around for three decades and things like that tireless there's a little bit more about your vision there. Sergio: [40:00] Ground the company or. Scot: [40:02] Vision culture you have you know you're doing a lot of fun kind of interesting stuff that I'd love to try to capture some of that if we could. Sergio: [40:11] Yeah that means it's to kind of focus on one culture making a big believer of mine is transparency like radical candor. I believe a lot of us like to think that we can do that there's very few that actually employ that train of thought, if anything when I think about creating a highly scalable and fast moving company. You have to instill very early on radical Candor but in a very respectful way so bending how I act on social media is providing transparency, speaking my mind not being afraid to, you know put my money where my mouth is and I would love for that culture to resonate through Elliot which specifically is having great governance. Being able to be challenging being able to talk through ideas and more importantly being confident and Resolute in your decision whatever that may be. Scot: [41:06] Cool it let's talk about kind of radical transparency one of the things Mark Lori did a jet is everyone and I don't know the method here but everyone knew what everyone else made it was like very public and you know talking to him there was a good sight of that and kind of a distracting side of that do you go to that level of of transparency. Sergio: [41:28] We do not we do not say how much someone makes but we do allow people to do is come in have an opinion, create a platform for them to feel confident in speaking that opinion removing the bias that comes with opinion based on gender and race and all the Nuance that comes with the world we live in. With regard to pay I don't know if whoever just do that maybe we will maybe we won't I know I joke and Ali with team members because I am actually the lowest paid person that Elliot I make $19,000 a year so maybe it starts there but for me. The bigger issues are ensuring that people that do come in feel like they have a platform and a structure to speak their mind. Do it respectfully and be able to invoke change where they see it necessary. Scot: [42:17] And then as you were saying that I was immediately going to Tony how do you say his name Jason Tony hsieh is that right, yeah founder of Zappos he does there need deeper neck deep into holacracy and then Sergio don't know if you seen this or not but he publishes an Evernote of what he does every day and there's all these people that have built he's a certain format and there's all these people that built stuff on top of there which is kind of a fun thing to think about have you studied some of that kind of stuff and how do you structure the company it seems like you're going to have a really different way of structuring the company. Sergio: [42:57] I haven't studied any of that total transparency I just behave how I behave just instinctively I can't say that I've read a lot of books so I've studied a lot of people I just kind of am this way. It is what it is man I don't know how to I don't know how to put it in any other words and then what was the other question. Scot: [43:21] So sorry for Matt do you have an org chart are you like the CEO and there's like a box with your name on there and then there's a line down to the CTO and or how have you organized the company. Sergio: [43:33] That's a great question so we have not created that vertical hierarchy I think of. Creating a company in pods so building blueprints that you can deploy across ideas I markets opportunities, so if anything were a flat organization we operate as a pod we have a blueprint that we know works and we'll use that blueprint to replicate product lines build into opportunities and go into new markets with. Scot: [44:01] So pod is like a little functional unit that may take Elliott and go after I don't know the you know the office office furniture vertical or something like that. Yeah. So so more kind of like a little little teams that can go tackle something that are relatively independent you should read a book on her locker so you're basically kind of yep you've got in there naturally but you may find something beneficial for him at or you may want to just stay on your own path but yeah the way you're describing it sounds a lot like this interesting new way of doing things called holacracy that you may find interesting. Sergio: [44:40] I will check that out. Jason: [44:42] Dude you have a lot to get done before April first I recommend you not read any books. Scot: [44:46] April 2nd I'll send you as a as a thank you for being on the podcast I'll send you a bunch of books on April 2nd no distractions until then. Sergio: [44:52] I appreciate that okay for sure. Jason: [44:58] You know one thing we didn't cover when we're talking about George structure can you give a super rough idea of how big the company has become in terms of number of inputs. Sergio: [45:09] Yeah between full-time employees and contractors or now over 25, that spans everything from product marketing growth sales Str saec SMS which is crazy when I look back, and October 17th when we actually launched the platform that were talking about because it was literally myself and the two lead Engineers I'm looking at right now polynomial fa. And that was it so that's the team size now and from where we came in October. Jason: [45:40] And let the record show we're recording this show pretty late at night so it's alarming that you're staring at your two developer still that kind of implies you have long days. Sergio: [45:54] I would say yeah we do have long days and. It is tough but ultimately the dates are fine they're challenging. And if anything I appreciate that they are here accompanying me while doing this podcast and. Them trying to make all the crazy shit that I just talked about reality. Jason: [46:15] Yeah well it sounds like you've already built some pretty cool crazy shit and props, ABS to those guys I hope you keep it rolling and that's going to be a perfect place for us to leave it because once again we've used up all the allotted time for the show so if listeners want to continue the conversation you can jump on our Facebook page and ask questions or you can hit us up on Twitter and Sergio if folks want to get in touch with you I'll certainly put a link to the Elliott website in the show notes but how could someone get in touch with you personally. Sergio: [46:52] Link in the show notes is great one thing that we've actually done for those that tune in find us on podcast like this feel free to join our WhatsApp group you can text me at three four seven, seven one five zero seven two eight, actually add you to our WhatsApp group and you actually get exclusive drops access to functionality exclusive merge and invites to our own Ellie experiences that we actually don't make up. Jason: [47:19] That's awesome and presumably you could also call that number if they want to talk to you. Sergio: [47:23] You can give me a call anytime I will literally pick up. Jason: [47:27] I sort of believe that. Sergio: [47:29] How it is and that's real. Scot: [47:31] Yeah and if you just want to follow sir Zhu and not chat with him I strongly recommend his Twitter its Sergio won't you take a shot at explaining this. Sergio: [47:41] It is 3000 with five agent. Scot: [47:45] Angie will put in the sun it's a little hard to spell, Sergio we appreciate you being on the show he with this kind of deadline of April first looming and congrats on what you guys have built we look forward to seeing what you build over the next 30 Years. Sergio: [48:03] Awesome I appreciate the time guys thank you. Jason: [48:06] Great talking to you Sergio and until next time happy commercing.

214 episodes