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Letting The Product Lead The Way with Katy Carrigan

When it comes down to it, selling to businesses vs. selling to consumers isn't all that different. After all, B2B buyers are consumers making purchases using their business credit cards. They have the same buying preferences, browsing habits, and even the same love languages. And for those whose love language is gifting, there is no better marketplace than Goody

Like many marketplaces we’ve explored on Operation Marketplace, the first iteration of Goody, the preeminent B2B gifting marketplace, isn’t its current iteration. Goody began as a mobile-based B2C marketplace. Its goal was to help foster a delightful gifting-giving experience “as easy as sending a text.” When Katy Carrigan joined the team, her first order of business was transitioning Goody from a consumer app to a business product. 

“With any good product, you build it, you put it out there, and then you see how people actually use it,” says Katy. “And something that I noticed fairly quickly was that the people using the app the most frequently and spending the most money were business users. This indicates there is this need for a business gifting platform. We really just dived in from there.”

Built-in Virality: How Goody’s Two-part Ecommerce Strategy Creates Demand

Product-led growth is a strategy that places the company’s product at the core of its customer experience. Goody lets the product lead the way, creating a gifting experience so impressive that it has tapped into an outcome every business hopes for: virality.

Katy often describes this notion as two-part ecommerce. 

The first part of Goody’s ecommerce strategy is the initial transaction. For every gift sent, Goody facilitates gifting between at least two parties. Sometimes, this might mean sending a gift to one specific recipient. Other times, it could mean an EA sends gifts to tens, hundreds, or thousands of clients. 

The second part of Goody’s ecommerce strategy turns the gift recipient into a customer. As recipients receive gifts, Goody nurtures the recipient as a prospect. That prospect then buys a gift and Goody nurtures the recipient of their gift. The cycle continues, enabling the marketplace to continue to expand its reach.  

“Typically, the moments that you receive a gift are not the same moments you're looking to give a gift,” points out Katy. So, our goal is that you create this account, and then we continue to nurture you as an individual so that when you're like, ‘Oh, it's so-and-so's birthday,’ we'll be top of mind for you.” 

The Pros and Cons of Curation

Curating marketplace sellers has pros and cons. Curation requires more FTEs to find and vet sellers and gives marketplace operators greater control over the product catalog and service levels. On the other hand, little curation will mean you get more sellers faster, but it may also sacrifice quality, balanced assortment, and brand continuity. 

Katy inevitably decided that curation was the best decision for Goody. 

“We talked about [a scenario where] anybody could self-onboard. [We’ve asked,] are we putting a ceiling on ourselves through curation? But I think time and time again, we come back to our brand, what we want to stand for, and the type of products we want to have. And I think the curation is a really big part of it.”

How Goody curates sellers 

To source vendors that fit the bill, Katy has a partnerships team dedicated to sourcing and finding the right partners to come onto the platform. She breaks down a few criteria they use to curate the products:

Market gaps: 

First, her team looks for gaps in the market. “Is there a gap in our market that we don't have? Any sort of items that fill an interest or hobby. Now, what are the highest quality [goods in that category]? What are the coolest brands?”


Then, her team looks for companies with a strong vision or values they’d like to uphold. “Are there great founding stories that we want to highlight? We like to highlight female-founded companies. We celebrate our LGBTQ founders. We want to make sure that there's a way that companies can shop with their values.”

Unique offerings 

Katy tries to source vendors outside the box of typical B2B gifting, which she says is usually restricted to t-shirts or ball caps.“[Usually, corporate gifts are] non-offensive and very agnostic. No one can come after you to ask, ‘Why you are giving me this?’ When employees use Goody, one of our top redeemed gifts in the holiday season was a teeth whitener.”

Even while being highly curated, Goody runs asset-light — meaning the marketplace doesn’t hold any inventory, and its sellers are in charge of warehousing and fulfillment. As a result, Goody can create an endless aisle of sellers. This allows Goody to function as both a discovery platform and a relationship platform, a major attractor for sellers. 

How Goody’s Open API Productizes its Marketplace

When marketplaces advance to the later stages of marketplaceification, they can start pulling on monetization levers. For some marketplaces, this means starting to use advertising or paid features. For Katy, it means monetizing Goody’s marketplace infrastructure by building an open API into Goody. 

“If businesses are looking to build out their own or want to have access to our own marketplace [with access to] of all the vendors that we've curated, they have that ability to plug into our marketplace. If they're building a platform where they want to have a gifting solution, they can completely white-label ours.”

The open API has opened up new opportunities with companies adjacent to the gifting space. Dating apps and greeting card companies can integrate Goody’s gifting capabilities into their product experience. Essentially, Goody’s open API productizes the marketplace itself.

“We can power their gifting. When I think about creating the best possible gifting platform out there, that's what we're doing. [We’re] just generally owning the gifting space.” 

Lessons for Other Marketplace Operators: Trust Your Team but Own Your Decisions

Marketplaces are a dynamic work in progress; they are never finished. The evolving nature of marketplaces can lead to uncertainty and insecurity for leaders making decisions.

Katy stepped into Goody mid-stride and was tasked with bringing her predecessor’s vision across the finish line, all while finding her footing in her own vision for the company. To push the company forward, Katy had to trust her team to gut-check her plan while trusting her experience to move the company forward. Her advice to other CEOs in a similar predicament: Own your decisions.

“At the end of the day, you know best. You have the most information to make the decision and the decision isn't always going to be right. But can you defend the decision-making process? That’s how I think about it.”

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Katy: [00:00:00] People think about gifting in the corporate space by budget. And so if you're going to be successful on our platform, like I want you to be in our, like 50 category. If your item is priced at like, let's say 54, you're just going to kind of be in this no man's land that most people are sending out like, you know, a 50 budget per person.

And so if you're at 54, like you're just above. So there's a lot of conversations and strategies of like that, of, Hey, Like, what can we do to bring this into like a price point where you would actually get more action because you're going to be more visible to individuals.

Niklas: Welcome to Operation Marketplace, a series where we talk to the people behind marketplaces, we dive into their mission, how they found success, and talk about the hurdles that they faced along the way.

I'm your host, Niklas Halusa, co founder and CEO of Nautical Commerce.

Hello, and welcome to Operation Marketplace. I am your [00:01:00] host, Nicholas Salusa, the founder and CEO of Nautical Commerce.  today I have on the show, Katie Carrigan. Welcome to the show. 

Hey, happy to be here. 

So we are actually customers of Goody and incredibly happy and satisfied and delighted customers. Our marketing team loves using the platform.

So this is one where we have a lot of personal. Skin in the game, pretzel steak and hearing the story.  but just to set things off, Katie would love to hear,  a little bit of, of your story and a little bit of the company's story,  to get everyone some, some context on what Goody does.

Katy: Yeah, absolutely.

Well, first off,  Love that you all are customers and are having a really delightful experience on the platform. That is always our goal and excited to make a deeper partnership with one another.  but if we rewind back to,  late 2020, right in the midst of COVID,  the original founding team really saw this [00:02:00] issue that.

 there wasn't a easy way to celebrate family and friends.  and for those big moments like graduations or birthdays,  engagements, and not only wasn't there like a good way to, to do that when we're all,  you know, at home apart from each other, but like what to give those people.  and so that's really where the idea of, of Goody was born out.

And we were originally actually started as a consumer mobile app. So when we launched at the end of 2020, it was the goal of a,  mobile application that was going to be a gifting marketplace to make it,  we are, the catchphrase was,  send a gift as easy as the text. The idea was that people would be able to,  send a gift to anyone they love in a few clicks, and it would be a really delightful experience for the recipient side as well.

I think like with any good product, you build it, you put it out there, and then you see how people actually use it.  [00:03:00] especially in early days. So we,  have the app out there. People are beginning to use it. And something that was noticed,  fairly quickly,  was that,  the people who were using the app the most frequently and spending the most money were actually business users.

And that indicated there is this need,  in the market for a business,  gifting platform.  and we really just dived in from there. And that's when I started working,  with,  the founding team as well.  so in early spring, 2021,  my background before that was spending about six and a half years at Dropbox,  who has somewhat of the similar experience, of going from a consumer product to a business users.

And so,  I joined the team with that,  experience and with that in mind of how can I help transition us from a consumer mobile app to a business,  product. And,  [00:04:00] from there, it's what we've been focused on and building,  over the last three years, a really fun journey. Our consumers,  arm still exists.

I still use our app. Very frequently.  and think everybody should have it on their phone, but we've really been leaning into,  our business customers. We started,  when we started this off, we built for executive assistants, actually, and then from executive assistants, we grew into the HR people ops and now working more with sales and marketing.

So it's been really fun to see the expansion, even organically through companies.

Niklas: And one of the things that I've noticed And, and I'm curious whether it's, it's, it's intentional or maybe a, a, a function of, of your background is that,  at least looking at your website, many of the early companies and adopters have been, you know, tech, tech oriented,  is that a, is that a coincidence or is there a reason for that?[00:05:00]

Katy: I think there's definitely a reason, probably a bit about background and where we were building and setting up. So as I,  mentioned,  when we first started saying, okay, we want to go after this like business use case. How do we break into these large companies? We saw this opportunity of working with executive assistants.

And at this time I'm in the Bay Area and I have,   a network within tech, but particularly I get introduced to this group called the E. A. Mafia. which is amazing. And it's the EAs to all of like the, you know, the large fan companies, all the big tech companies, and building a relationship with those individuals meant that we had these door into,  the large tech companies.

So that really started to be our early adopters.  but what's amazing about gifting, it's like super agnostic.  there's not like, it's not industry specific.  we work with, you know, the very large tech companies to,  small orthodontist shops.

Niklas: And so, first of all, the EA mafia is, sounds [00:06:00] like a hedge fund waiting to be built.

That sounds like the best source of, of both incriminating and profit making information in the whole of the U. S.  but,   what, what did you have to change around? Both the business,  but the business and the product to be able to make that transition from, from consumer over to, to business.

Katy: So there's definitely changes, but I think the biggest thing is,  people in businesses are just people, right?

They're consumers. So I think one of,  the things that we really keep top of mind is, and has helped us in our success is,  our consumer votes and just understanding that.  the people inside companies who need to get this task done,  it should feel like an e commerce experience in there that they would have,  when they're a consumer shopping.

So,  yes, there's been changes, but I would say, like, [00:07:00] fundamentally, as I think about it, and as we build,  we truly believe in simplicity and that the idea is just because you're using goody on your work computer versus your personal doesn't mean it has to feel,  like enterprise software.  but we are working with businesses and they do have some different needs than consumer users.

So,  I mean, one of the most immediate things was moving from mobile to a web application. And I would say the majority of people sending now are doing it from the web application. And,  as we've continued to go up market, there's more like controls and customizations that people are looking for.

Niklas: I have to say you're one of the few marketplaces that I've spoken to.

Where the trend is, the other direction. Nearly everybody is saying, oh, we gotta be more mobile. We gotta make it easier there. And you're kind of going the other way. So you're, you're kind of countertrend there.

Katy: Yeah, I think that's,  but I think it's really unique to what we're doing in a way that,  I think most marketplaces are,  [00:08:00] not doing this like one-to-many, right?

So someone comes onto goodie and you're about to send a gift out to 4,000 people at once. Like you want a bigger screen to see,  and make sure that like all your settings are correct, that your CSV was uploaded, or if we're pulling it from an HR system, that that's been integrated. So I think,  the mobile is still such a big place, obviously with e commerce and,  and I see it on the business side as well, but I see the mobile as like, like, I just met someone out at a networking event and I was telling them about a book and I want to pull up my goodie app so I can send them the book really quickly and there's more like one to one personalized type gifting moment, but a lot of what we're doing now is scale and a very much so one to many type of transaction where I think people just want some a bigger screen and more space.To feel confident in it.

Niklas: That's actually really interesting. The one to many, it's not something that I was thinking about before we got into this conversation, but that's maybe worth talking about a little bit [00:09:00] more.   beyond obviously the fact that you want checks and balances and you're now, you know, you're, you're, you're, you're, you're sending out as kind of list building. Can you talk a little bit more about what makes that challenging or unique?

Katy: Early on, and as we're building and even today, as we continue to talk to customers, you'd be pretty shocked about how many, EA's other individuals within a company,  their home becomes like a supply closet,  a mail room during the holidays where like,  there was just a lot of manual logistics going into getting items out to their employee base, to their clients.

And it was worth it because I think we all agree and that like gifting has,  a place in building relationships. And it's very innate to culture, right? Like, it's something that,  is a literal showcase of I'm thinking of you and you are valuable. [00:10:00] To me, and this relationship is valuable. And so people will do the hard work to get it done, but it's really not efficient.

It's not strategic. It's not a good use of someone's time. And so prior to having a solution like goody, it was a lot of people being like doing address collection, maybe through a Google form, maybe pulling it from their HR system, sending all the items to one place, packing it, sending it out. Maybe if you were sophisticated enough to hire a company to do this for you, they would require that you have to buy a minimum amount. So now you have this weird sizing.  ratio left of,  all these leftover boxes.  you send it out to someone, but they're actually at their parents house for the holiday break versus their own home. And so now,  those cookies that you sent them, raccoons got onto their porch and ate them.

Like there's just all of these like, like,  real life things that made it a very, like, manual, difficult process.

Niklas: So I can [00:11:00] absolutely attest to this. We just moved offices and I would say a quarter of all the boxes that we moved are leftover swag, you know, bits and bobs, onesies, twosies, and a previous company that I worked at, a logistics company, we, we used to give out a lot of baseball caps, we worked obviously with, with, with, with truckers and things like this, and that's a, that's a common gift you want to give.

But the only ones left over were the XXLs, and they sat in our closet for two years, because nobody had a head big enough,  at least none of the tech people had a head big enough to fill the caps. And,  they, they gathered dust in the, in the corners. One last one on that is what's, what's your, the way they understand the flow is.

 that you send a link to somebody and they choose to accept the gift and then they provide their, their details and they choose, you know, do they want the sizing or, you know, if you offer them some variations, do you want the water bottle or do you want the key chain or something like this?  but there are two questions [00:12:00] on that.

The first is, what's your, what's your rate of acceptance or what's your uptake rate,  which I would assume is highly correlated to sort of the success of what you guys are doing. And secondly, whether you, you, you, you have anything to share about whether that adds to the virality of, you know, the platform.

Katy: Great question.  so with acceptance,  overall, like For Goody,  it's,  probably in the mid, like 80 percent or so.  so fairly high, but I will say,  that number really breaks down differently depending on the audience of who you're sending gifts to.  so particularly if you're sending it to your own employees,  your clients that you already have relationships with, basically someone, you know, on the other side.

 those accepted rates go up significantly. Then there's this whole other use case with like sales and prospecting,  where it's [00:13:00] similar to cold outbounding emails, right? Of sending gifts to people. The results there of setting meetings are typically significantly higher.  then if you're just doing a cold outbound email without some sort of gift attached to it, but your acceptance rate is significantly higher.

is still much lower. Like, you know, it's, you know, you could think about it in a meeting set. If you're having like a good outbound campaign today is maybe like one to 2%, but then if you're attaching gifting, it can get up to like four to 5%. Right. So now we're in like single digit percentages when you're talking about this outbound,  prospecting,  use case.

So I think one of the reasons that we've had such high,  acceptance, and it's pretty. percentage initially as a company is that,  a lot of our gift giving in the way people are leveraging the platform has been more for this,  internal and like known relationships.

Niklas: And then on the, on the point around, around virality, you know, you have this interesting thing that you can have one customer that [00:14:00] gets goody in front of a huge amount of other businesses.

And of course, you know, one cost, one customer, Who sends it to the employees and, and, and those employees go to other places. I assume this is something that first of all, you, you see in your data, but also I assume this is something that you, that you take advantage of. Can you share a little bit more about, about some of the, the, the, the sort of virality dynamics?

Katy: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So,  I think first off, like sometimes there's the other way I'll describe the Goody platform as like two party commerce.  first necessarily a gifting platform because in that way it's super unique that every transaction has like two people at least involved in it.  and so that's a real opportunity as you're building and you're thinking about, your growth.

So for example,  when,  market shifted,  you know, towards the end of 2021, 2022 money isn't free anymore. It's not like grow at any cost.  we had to make the tough decision of like, okay, we're not going to spend,  our marketing dollars in the [00:15:00] consumer side. Okay. Of,  the world right now because our focus is, is really building the best business product at the moment,  but we know longer term and our vision is,  still involves consumer and I still believe, as I mentioned, it should be on everyone's phone.

And so since then, the way that like we've grown our consumer business has been all organic through our gift recipients. Creating accounts. So the way we see it is that,  oftentimes, like if you're a sender and let's say you're giving gifts to your entire company,  a lot of those people in the,  receiving end at the company, like employees,  probably are not going to be business gift givers themselves, like often due to their position.

But what I do know is that they're individuals with a job, and so they most likely have a disposable income,  to be set, spent. So my goal is to try to, well, how do we get those individuals to be brought into the Goody ecosystem and then use us in their personal lives? And, it's constantly something we're experimenting looking at.

[00:16:00]  it's really challenging, particularly with, gift giving, because typically in the moments that you receive a gift,  are not the same moments you're looking to give a gift.  so it's then like the goal is we want you to create this account and then how do we continue to nurture you as an individual.

So that moment that you're like, Oh, it's so and so's birthday or have an opportunity to gift, like we'll be top of mind for

Niklas: you. And do you think of yourself because your background is my understanding is, is actually on the sales side, right? Do you guys think of yourselves as a, as a sales led company or as a product-led growth company, product-led growth company 100%.

Katy:  So background is in sales, but also, you know,  I think the school of thought I grew up with at Dropbox is definitely product-led growth. And,  one of the things that I always thought about was like this ratio of like the number of employees they had to actual users,  and revenue. And I think a lot about that now as,  growing and building [00:17:00] goody in the way of like, how can I have the, the, the biggest possible company, but, you know,  keep the staff,  lean in a way that, again, the product is so simple,  and frictionless. That,  it just works that you don't need to talk to someone to get started.

And,  we see that all the time. So majority of what we're doing is,  I would say self serve. Then I have a category called sales assist. You know, those individuals who just need to chat with someone one time, take like one type of phone call to get there,  to feel comfortable with the platform, but then they're off to the races.

And then we have the, the very large customers and large deals that are sales led.

Niklas: If you guys are thinking about, you know, forward looking, how do you, how do you think about growing the business from here?

Katy: Like as you're building, it's a lot about like, especially early days, the product market fit, where do we belong?

Is this like, you know, can this be a real business? [00:18:00] And I think for a while in tech, there was a lot of things being pursued that ultimately we found in the last few years can actually be. You know, a real good, like,  business and that it can make money and it can become profitable, especially in last year, we had a really like great year of growth and,  we're continuing to see that,  strong growth going into this year that I'm getting more and more of that, like, opportunity to think that like, Longer term and vision and what do we do if we recapitalize,  the, the business in a, a next round and, and there's lots of, lots of ideas,  there,  particularly one I'm super excited about is a bit more global expansion.

 so right now our marketplace is primarily U. S. Based vendors, but one of the big challenges that a lot of our customers face is that they're dealing with,  international employees or international clientele. [00:19:00] So I'm excited to start bringing on some local brands and partners in different markets to have a better user experience for,  international.

 we definitely have,  a lot of those,  tech roles that I'd be excited to hire for so we can continue to build and put,  product out there faster,  do some more of that mobile development because we haven't been able to really put a lot behind our consumer app in a while. And then,  the last one that I don't, I'm not sure many people realize that we have because it's a bit newer in the last six months or so, but we built an open API into Goody.  so if people are looking to build out their own,  one, want to have access to our own marketplace,  of all the vendors that we've curated,  they have that ability to,  plug into our marketplace.  but two, if they're also building a platform where they want to have a gifting solution,  you can completely white label ours.

So I'm very excited about, [00:20:00]  having more of an opportunity to do business development around the API.

Niklas: Tell me a little bit more about where you find some of your supply.  a little bit of who they are and why they participate in good.

Katy: Yeah, I think,  so how we find them, we have,  an amazing partnerships team who,  is way cooler than I am.

 and they're often introducing me to, to these very cool,  brands and it's been interesting to even see how like their strategies have evolved over time as we've grown and,  the type of companies and brands that we want to work with and that, Can fit into our platform. So,  we have some individuals who are fully just dedicated to sourcing and finding the right, right partners to come onto the platform.

And I think some of the things that they're looking for,  when they're going out and trying to find those partners of,  okay, is there a gap currently in our market,  that we don't have any sort of like items that fill [00:21:00] that interest, that hobby.  okay. Now, what are the highest quality? What are the coolest brands?

For that gap.  and then even more so, are there really,  great, like founding stories, businesses that we want to highlight? That's the other thing that's been really cool about building the company is this opportunity to really think about like the values and missions that we want to embody as a company.

And so with our marketplace, we really like to highlight if it's female founded companies.  if it's, you know, For pride month really celebrating our LGBTQ founders and making sure that there's a way that Companies as well can shop Um with their values But a lot of the brands we're working with if you go through our marketplace are very like b2c oriented, right?

and so they don't have the same opportunity to have Their items at a corporate gifting setting And I think there's a lot of money in corporate gifting, and they're excited to be part of that conversation and have their items in that setting. I always like to share, which [00:22:00] I don't think people think about, is without a platform like Goody, right?

If you're sending out gifts to your employees, I don't know, it's going to be like food or plants or maybe a t shirt, but it's just something that's like Non offensive, very agnostic. No one can come after you of like, why, why are you giving me this? But then when people, when employees are using Goody, they send out these gifts and like one of our top redeemed gifts in,  the holiday season was a teeth whitener.

Ultimately, I see a lot of just like consumer buying. Like normal buying patterns happening,  from what people are picking,  or accepting. And so,  going back to, you know, teeth whitening, they're probably not thinking in the same way of like, well, how do I break into corporate gifting? How do I make it so my gift can get claimed?

by a bunch of employees. And then the exciting part for those brands is we almost become a discovery platform because,  with Goody and how it works is we're not holding any inventory, right? So we did these direct integrations into our brands is now that company gets [00:23:00] to send their product and their own packaging to that,  individual to try.

And then hopefully,  and that tends to be a lower,  customer acquisition cost.  with working with us and if they were just to, to look at their like marketing spend.

Niklas: Now, that's one of the things that I always harp on about my marketplaces are interesting as models is this sort of inherently capitalist,  freedom of putting a platform out there and just figuring out what people want to sell in it, right?

Not necessarily coming in with a strong opinion of saying, you know, corporate employees want t shirts. But kind of putting it out there and saying, okay, you know, let's just figure out what people want to buy, what people have to sell, who thinks they're a good user and kind of giving the power to the sellers.

or power to, to, to, to the community to figure out how to make money through the, the, the, the, you know, the, the, [00:24:00] the platform that you offer to the user base that you, that you offer. Now, how often do you run into a situation with your suppliers that, you know, they, they, they're opinionated about, about the brand fit of what they're trying to offer, you know, sort of Patagonia, not wanting to.

Sell to VCs anymore or not want to sell finance people anymore. And, you know, do you, do you ever have that conversation?

Katy: Not,  we have, we definitely have some brand conversations and I, you know, I often compare like our brands to like the hosts on Airbnb, there's such an important community to us that I want to make feel, make sure I feel like taken care of, appreciated that this is a partnership that they do see, see benefits from us.

So like, I'm happy and always eager to dive into those conversations with our brand partners to understand like. You know, how can we come to the right agreement? Um that it makes sense.  we haven't had like a patagonia Uh situation I think if more and more we're finding brands are eager to say hey, you can customize our stuff [00:25:00] Because they know,  corporations want to do that.

And there's a lot of brands right behind Patagonia who are happy to fill that spot. Like, I don't know if you've seen this in New York, but like the new trendy, like best to send is a Carhartt vest.

Niklas: Oh yes. It's very, it's very in now to be,  to be,  how do you say,  LARPing blue color. If that's not too disparaging to say.

Katy: I know, I was just looking at some of our opportunities and orders, and I was like, when did Carhartt, my dad's a mechanic, like, the stuff that's been constantly in a closet I saw at home become the trendy corporate wear.  so, you know, there's a lot of brands who are ready to fill the spot. Yeah, but,  no, I, I wouldn't say,  I would say a lot of conversations and like that are, Hey, did you know we could brand and like, you should include us in your,  branded merchandise.

But I think otherwise it's a. [00:26:00] Hey, working with them of, Hey, okay. We're not getting as much attention on Goody. We think that we could get, let's have a conversation about changing out the products,  that we're offering,  having a lot of conversations around price point. So I think the really thing that's interesting about,  like what we're creating is,  people think about gifting in the corporate space by budget.

And so if you're going to be successful on our platform, like I want you to be in our, like 50 category. If you want, like, if you, if your item is priced at like, let's say 54, you're just going to kind of be in this no man's land that most people are sending out like, you know, a 50 budget per person. And so if you're at 54, like you're just above.

So there's a lot of conversations and strategies of like that, of, Hey, like, what can we do to bring this into like a price point where you would actually get more action because you're going to be more visible

Niklas: to individuals. And how much time do you spend on the flip side? I spoke a little bit about, about, [00:27:00]  you know, the, the supplier's views, how much time do you spend curating on your side?

You know, how much of an opinion do you put around, you know, who can or cannot be. A member of your, of your,  of your community.

Katy: A fair amount where we're pretty like, we're not like, we're not completely open. We've toyed with that idea. We talked about, we, we were like, well, what if anybody could self onboard integrity, like, you know, and we get into rooms and we talk about those scenarios of like, you know, are we putting, you know, it's a ceiling that sometimes we put on ourself through curation.

Does it make sense? Is it worth it? But I think time and time again, we kind of just come back to like, Our brand and what we want to stand for and the type of products we want to have. And I think the curation is a really big part of it. I think you can be curated, but still have robust and diverse options.

So, so I don't think like,  saying that means we can't be a store with a lot of different options. I just want to say that like, whether you're into golf or knitting, you're very excited [00:28:00] about the brands we carry around those types of hobbies.

Niklas: And how do you figure that out? I mean, how do you figure out that?

You know, you look at the folks who want to be involved in that teeth whitening. Is, you know, is, what does that process look like for you to say, okay, you know, teeth whitening is an option and we think it needs to be part of the marketplace,  if you're making sort of a strong position on what, what should be in the supply.

Katy: Yeah, I think, I mean, I think it goes back to, like I said, it's like consumer trends, wellness and health is a massive consumer trend. More and more spend is going into that category. So then it's like,  we know we need beauty products. And like health and wellness products like that is part of like,  there's so many like just large market signals that say people are buying those things.

People want those things.  and so how then do we make sure that in those categories, like what are the popular brands, what are the things that people are seeing constantly and, you know, Instagram and Tik Tok, [00:29:00]  and then they are getting a gift from their company and they're like, Oh, I didn't, you know, I haven't like wanted to pull the trigger myself to spend money on this, but now I'm excited.

I get to try it because, you know, it's a gift from the company. But,  yeah, I mean, I think,  again, like the people aren't using our, like, it's weird that we do this division sometimes between like consumer versus business. Cause like it is the same person and each. Yeah. So,  we, we do look a lot at consumer trends.

Niklas: And now on the, you mentioned earlier your open API and it's something that we, we've spotted that you guys have a bunch of very interesting integrations. They're sort of not one ones that, that one would expect. For example, I think,  correct me if I'm wrong, you're integrating to a dating platform. You know, it's not something that I would have expected coming into this conversation.

That, for example, one of the focuses right now would be to build an open API. So can you talk a little bit more about how you guys think about both what you mentioned earlier, the, [00:30:00] the white labeling, but you know, your self as a, maybe a platform company that has an API that integrates into things and and,  and where that strategy came from.

Katy: Yeah, I think,  the more and more we got to, like, kind of talk to our customers and see who was using us.  it's always like we're sitting beside other technology,  type of things. And so it came from a conversation of,  Kind of actually like,  I remember it was,  I think the, the spring,  or maybe like fall of 2021, sitting down with one of the,  two of the co founders, one who's our CTO,  one who's on the board now still, and just talking about like, wait, why isn't our functionality in so many platforms?

And it was like, we were talking about how all of a sudden we saw a bunch of orthodox offices using us. We're like, okay, well, what are they using us for? Like, why are they sending things? Well, why doesn't the pop, the [00:31:00] software that this orthodontist office use just automatically have it in that you want to send a birthday gift to your patient, or you want to send them like a re engagement, like thank you gift type of thing like as a functionality, well, because people aren't going to go out, like all these platforms that have specialties aren't going to go out and build the marketplace that we built or this.  ability to have like a, a two party like commerce experience. 

And so,  it came out of conversations like sort of in an early day of thinking about, well, how are people using our product?

And like, wait, why doesn't this functionality just exist in a lot of platforms out there already? And so we saw this opportunity to be able to,  open up the API and now have conversations with things like dating apps, other companies who are adjacent to the gifting space, like greeting card companies who want to add,  Now I want to add gifts to their,  that like greeting card experience and say like, you know, you can use,  we can help take care of that.

We can power that gifting. And, and when I think about creating like the best [00:32:00] possible gifting platform out there,  yes, that's what we're creating. If you're coming directly into the Goody environment, but just generally owning the gifting space. 

Niklas: Yeah, I mean, strategically, that it's a super interesting way of, of, again, to your point of product led growth, getting distribution without necessarily having to pour more money into the, into the flames.

I mean,  I don't know if credit goes to you or, or to your team on, on, on. Clearly a very thoughtful strategy around, around, around growing efficiently. So there's something that I think we can all learn from that. Speaking of, of tech, what did you guys build this with? Did you build it all custom? Do you guys think, you know, do you have a big tech arm? What does that look like?

Katy: Yeah.  we're, we're, we're, we're. pretty much custom across the board. All,  in house built integrations from like the most part.  and like what, like, you know, we built our own apps to integrate into our, our suppliers,  our entire like, Site is all homegrown. [00:33:00]  so, so yeah, all for the most part.

And then like definitely using different,  tech vendors to help us like do that more efficiently and effectively. Like we have a great partnership with Merge which allowed us to now be able to integrate with many like HRAS systems. So, so leveraging that type of tech at times, but in our actual like commerce environment, it's, it's homegrown.

Niklas: Yeah, we like the Merge folks.   and,  and it seems like they're, they're becoming the winners on, on all things, especially HR and things like this billing system integration.  and how has that been for you as a, as a non tech person now leading a, what I assume is large chunk tech organization?

Katy: It's been interesting. I would say like in the transition from, before being solely responsible for our revenue side of the business and now becoming CEO, I did inherit. You know, the tech side as well on this other side of the business that going into it felt like a little bit of a [00:34:00] black box to me.

But I think,  over a lot of time, spending a lot of time with the group, I've, I've learned a ton. I do love product.  so I really enjoy the like product conversations, digging into like, what is good product, what do we build,  design and that side of the house. So,  yeah. That part I've been like loving and probably like one of the things that,  I get most excited about is when we're doing our roadmapping and thinking like what to, to build.

But ultimately,  it comes down to trust in my leadership team.  because when if like, let's talk about our product roadmap and we say, we want to build all of this.  I don't know how long it should actually take. Like, I don't have the expertise to judge and say that, yes, that we can get that done in the next 3 months. 

Niklas: It's okay, neither do they, is my conclusion. And that's something that the great engineers really all agree on is they don't really know.

Katy: Yes. And that's true. But I'm like, you know, but that we can't take that answer though. I need a [00:35:00] plan. So I'm like, is this a three month project? Is this a month? Is this a two week?

And I need to make sure that I just have deep trust that when I'm getting those estimates back that they're not someone, you know, sandbagging, which I don't, you know, the team isn't doing that by any means, but,  I do think it comes from like deep trust in the, my engineer leadership To know that,  they want to keep the same pace that I want to keep in building.

Niklas: Yeah, well, according to Parkinson's law of,  of,  work, always filling the allotted time.  I think you have to assume that they're always sandbagging and forced decisions. So at least I think that's my, my understanding so far. If you're open to sharing, you know, what percentage do you think you spend of your total sort of OPEX spend?

It goes into the, the tech side of things versus the non tech side of things.

Katy: I will say it's  maybe not the majority in that it's like over 50%, but like the majority if you break down each category and I'm putting in like our head account for like [00:36:00] engineering team plus all the software that's included in like maintaining systems, I'd imagine it's like the, the, it is going to be the biggest chunk category that we're spending on.

Niklas: You've had sort of an interesting journey into becoming the CEO at Goody. Can you tell us a little bit more about you know, what it's been like in the role and what it's like running a marketable business and you know, some of the, maybe the advice also that you'd share with other folks who are looking at Being a first time CEO or something like this.

Katy: Yeah. Yeah. It's been an incredible journey and I'm like super thankful,  for the, my board believing in me and giving me this opportunity, but then also like my team supporting me in the transition.  because it definitely was a transition, a lot of imposter syndrome early on. And I think in,  the part of like being,  the CEO of, especially like an earlier on early on company was that people just assume I'm the founder.

All the time. And now I just say, well, I'm the founder of this [00:37:00] like next iteration, cause now it's my vision. But I think I came in and it was under the impression that like I had to execute on someone else's vision. And I think when you come in and that's like your initial standpoint that can get you so far, and I'm an executer or like, Operating like orientation of like, okay, what's my plan?

What's my workout plan? How do I get there? And so when I first came in, that's just definitely, it was like, okay, I know where the last CEO was taking this. I just need to like, get us there. And as we got there, I'm like, well, we still need to plan ahead. And so I would say more and more over the last,  year, particularly getting a lot more comfortable, like owning the vision myself.

And knowing like and deciding that vision and working with the team to set it and execute on,  on it going forward versus having like when you first come in, I think you're still in this mindset of I need to execute someone else's.

Niklas: Yeah, it's one of the best pieces of advice that I think I got when I when I started.

Was that do not try to [00:38:00] be somebody else's impression of a CEO. Don't try to do it like the way that the books say or the, or YouTube says, or don't try to copy the way that somebody else behaves. And that the job is to make good decisions and to set a tone and a culture and, and you should do it your way and be comfortable doing and doing that and not spend so much time and energy and cycles and things like this, trying to be.

somebody that you're not because the job is hard enough. And so doing that while also acting or pretending is a, is a, it's probably a non starter.

Katy: Yeah. I think that definitely like resonates in a way of,  what we're doing today is maybe somewhat similar to someone else, but it is still very particular to our situation and the pieces are never the same for anybody.

So like, I like to get the advice, but at the end of the day, like, you know, best. Like you have the most information to make the decision and like the decision isn't always going to be [00:39:00] right But can you defend the decision making process is how I think about it.

Niklas: Yeah, exactly I mean do you believe in it yourself is the way I often think about it, right?

The more that you are able to to rationalize yourself there from primitives and you understand what data you made on the decision, the easier it is to then change your mind. The easiest to stand there and actually go and convince a room of people, because I think true belief in your own decision making process, process, I think people, people, they feel that that resonates.

Well then finally,  maybe if you can,  give us a little bit of the pitch, first of all, for, you know, why a, a, a, a buyer in short form or, or seller   or even investors should be, should be involved in the goodie story.  and then,  and then where they can find you.

Katy: Yeah, absolutely.  well, people love a goodie and they're loving goodie because of how they can easily show that appreciation.

So. Celebrate,  the important people in their lives. So,  whether that,  started as a family and friends [00:40:00] today, leadership wanting to celebrate their employees and show appreciation to looking to show a future customer that, Hey, you value their time. Enough that you actually want to give them something for taking that meeting.

So what I love about Goody is that I've seen it change behavior in the way that,  something where gifting is a bit, is already a norm in a culture, but we've made it so people are doing it even more often. And that they're seeing,  so much like appreciation and thankfulness and gratitude back when they're doing this type of motion, that it makes them want to do it,  even more and more.

So that's been, that's been really exciting to see. And so I encourage anybody, if you're like reflecting on, should I acknowledge that that person, you know, said, Had a, a late work night to really help me get something done. Or you haven't said thank you to your employees in a while to look at a platform like Goody to show the appreciation to them, or if you're already doing this and you're spending a lot of [00:41:00] time doing it, you don't have to.

 so come talk to us. You can find me on LinkedIn. That's probably one of the best ways.  just Katy Carrigan.

Niklas: Wonderful. Well, really appreciate the time. Thank you for coming on the show. Our team, and especially our marketing team, but also,  I wish you the best of luck,  in the, in the future of the Goody Story.

Katy: Yeah. Thank you for having me.