The Small Tech Podcast by EC

Join us as Sam Chan from Launch Academy reveals why 'problem obsession' rather than 'solutions oriented' is key in the startup scene. In this episode, we give you business insights and unpack the art of identifying and sticking with genuine customer problems to create impactful tech products. Learn how to balance your passion for building with the market's need for practical solutions. This conversation is a goldmine for anyone ready to turn their startup idea into a reality without getting lost in the innovation noise.

Launch Academy has been a hub for innovators, helping over 3000 companies and facilitating the raising of $3 billion across 35 countries. Visit them here https://www.launchacademy.ca/ for more info! 


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Creators & Guests

Host
Raphaël Titsworth-Morin
Trying to do good in the world with tech and design. I also take the occasional photograph. Co-founder of Éphémère Creative. He/him.
Guest
Sam Chan
VP of Programs @ Launch Academy

What is The Small Tech Podcast by EC?

A podcast about building tech products with Éphémère Creative.

There's a lot of content out there about the big tech companies and how they work. But what about solopreneurs, early stage startups, non-profits, and small businesses building tech? It turns out that building small systems is an art, and in this podcast we'll talk about what it takes.

🗣️ Got feedback? Want to be a part of this? Contact us!
hello@smalltechpodcast.com

🚀 Subscribe to the podcast:
https://smalltechpodcast.com/

✉️ Subscribe to the newsletter:
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🎥 Watch on YouTube:
https://s.goec.io/stp-youtube

📄 Read the EC blog:
https://s.goec.io/ec-blog

🛠️ Need help building something?
https://s.goec.io/build-together

Raph: Hey folks, and welcome to this
latest episode of the small tech podcast

by EC I'm your host Raph And today we're
going to be doing something that I've

wanted to do for a while, but haven't
been able to yet we're doing an interview.

We're going to be talking to Sam Chan
VP of programs at launch academy.

Launch academy is a community here in
Vancouver that has helped me out a lot

has helped loads of local entrepreneurs.

And people from around the world really,
who are coming to Canada to set up their

businesses and expand into north America.

Sam has done so much work with so many
of these people, I thought he would

be a great person to talk to about
how to launch a small tech product.

So without further ado, let's get into it.

My interview with Sam Chan.

Yeah.

Hi, Sam

Sam: Awesome, Raph happy to be here.

Raph: Yeah.

Do you wanna introduce
yourself launch and.

Sam: My name's Sam.

I've been around tech companies
basically my whole career.

Worked for a lot of names that you've
never heard of worked remotely in

2008, long before it was cool and
then now back to being not cool.

Worked for places like Blackberry.

I worked in the mobile developer,
scene for a couple years as well.

And I think most known for these days.

I've spent the last nine years
at a nonprofit tech incubator in

Vancouver, BC called Launch Academy.

We've helped, grow, raise,
fund, not directly fund.

We're nonprofit, as I mentioned.

But over, I think it's 3000
companies, $3 billion raised, in

35 plus different countries as
well, over the last year, 12 years.

Now, I said 10 because I don't
count the covid years like

we, we were busy then too.

Raph: Yeah.

So yeah, I'm curious if you can, I
don't know, talk to what is it that

you see um, successful small, small
tech companies do what, what are some

commonalities, some patterns that,
that you see in, in their products

Sam: That's a loaded question

Raph: very broad question.

Sam: many thousands of hours
of podcasts is spent time.

Trying to derive and go
what is the central way,

Raph: Yeah.

Yeah.

Sam: How do you grow something
from ideation into reality?

And that's even the slogan on a lot
of events, programs, et cetera, right?

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: I think at launch we've spent, again
a very early part of the decade working

with what we call ideation companies.

And I don't know how, startup focused
the listeners may be so feel free to

just ignore me if I'm like explaining
like your five or something like that.

But I don't know who you are so I
assume that, but . But like we spend

a lot of our time working with folks
that, that want to build something.

Some of them technically know
how, like in terms of Skillset

to, to build some of them don't.

And so like the programming and the
courses that we have built for folks like

really have to cater to both parties.

And of course, like I'm non
technical myself, right?

Like I've lived my life surrounding
around really technical people.

And so I always joke like I'm always
the dumbest person in any room I'm in.

But somehow I'm in the room, right?

So maybe I did something right, but like
when someone originally comes to us and

they're, we're talking about brand new, we
also work with companies that are growing

and in growth stages as well, right?

So that's not the only
thing we do at launch.

But in terms of working with ideation
companies, . It's always around focused

around like problems versus solutions.

And the biggest distraction I think
is like when we go back to the origin

of why someone starts to create
something like, and you're digging

a little bit deeper, usually it's,
there's a pain somewhere, right?

Like you either, it's a lot of times
for founders, it's their own pain,

Maybe I'm working at Microsoft
my day-to-day job, and they're

like, I have to do this thing
over and over and over again.

I'm tired of doing this.

I could just create blank
and I don't have to do this.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: And so that, that is the problem
that, that you're trying to solve.

And immediately you go to
how do I fix that problem?

I could do this, I could scrape that.

I could add in this
plugin, so on, so forth.

I can push that and then boom it's

good

Raph: Problem solved.

Sam: Problem solved, right?

And in many cases I think it does
solve that original founder's problem.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: but the difference between,
and that, that's I think that's

great use of your time in terms of
keeping your brain fresh, right?

Because I think a lot of us, I.

Like when we start working and I'm
talking more, it could, you could be a

developer, you could be, you could be a
business analyst, you could be a marketer.

Like stuff starts to get mundane when
you're doing like, monotonous work

and I think creating new ways to, or
more efficient ways to solve your I

always joke that lazy people are the
best because lazy people are willing to

work themselves out of a job in theory.

Raph: Yeah.

Yeah.

Sam: it, and but that means that
they have to put that creative juice

to work and that keeps you fresh.

So I don't look down on lazy people that I
think is the takeaway from this but yeah.

And a lot of people leave it there, right?

Problem solved.

And then they go on with
it in, and that's cool.

Then maybe 5%, 1% of those folks
are like, Hey, what if other

people have that problem too,

Raph: Yeah.

Yep.

Sam: And I think that's where the creation
of a lot of things end up happening.

I don't want to say by mistake,

But because they recognize there's pain
points and there's a market for that pain.

And that pain is universal or more than
just, it's very specific to my pain.

Raph: How have you seen people
deal with figuring out whether

or not their pain is actually one
worth solving for other people?

Like whether it's a dollar
value or just there's actually

an audience there, or, yeah.

Sam: I think that's the pivot
point and like the first

mistake that early founders make

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: They had a pain point.

They solved it with whatever their
solution is and going forward, when

they start to create what they would
consider their company, the focus is

all about look at this thing I've made.

Look at this solution I've created,

Isn't this solution great?

And Raph, you're a nice guy, so you'll be
like, yeah, it looks pretty good, right?

But actually for a founder, looks
pretty good and not acting on it.

Is like the worst feedback ever.

Because

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: internally, you feel good

Raph: I wanna know what's bad.

Sam: Yeah.

I'm like, I wanna know how to
make it something that you would

put your hard earned money for.

Raph: Yeah.

Give me a hundred bucks.

Sam: know I'm, yeah I know I'm being very
like, and you and I have had many inside

conversation about this, but regardless
of your focus on capitalism or whatever,

Everything needs to be
funded in one form or matter,

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: And that goes into a whole different
conversation of customer versus user.

And we can dive into that if you want.

But just focusing back on, on the
solution part is the mistake that people

make is when they're solution oriented
versus problem obsessed, I think is

the fancy startup term that people

Raph: I, that's funny.

I don't think I'd actually come
across that specific phrasing.

I like that.

what was it?

Sam: Obsessed.

Raph: Okay.

Problem.

Obsessed instead of solution.

Yeah.

Yeah.

'cause you want to be, yeah.

You want to be obsessed with what's
the pain that, like if someone,

if you're not solving someone's
pain point then what's the point?

Your product can be very shiny and,

Sam: I think it's because we all
start out with the problem, but

once we find a solution, we've put
all our focus and all our eggs in

the basket on that solution, right?

This watch app is gonna
change everyone's life.

Like this watch app is the best,
not realizing that the core

demographic of people who have this
pain do not have smart watches.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: So yeah, in theory it would
solve their pain, but now you're not

just selling them your watch app,
you're also selling them the watch.

And you're also selling them the
data plan that comes with the watch.

And guess what, now it's unaffordable,

Raph: yeah.

Sam: right?

So I think the difficult part is not
stopping, being obsessed with the problem

after you have an initial solution.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: So it might, the solution might
work for you and maybe your small

group of friends, does it scale, right?

Do more people have this problem
and enough me people to reach what

you consider a critical mass that's
worth pursuing as a business, right?

And that's the journey that people
. That's not a very enjoyable part of

the journey, especially when you're
basically going out asking people to

tell you what you think is crap, right?

Because that is the most
helpful thing, right?

If they're telling if you think of
it as if it's a combination lock

and everybody's telling you those
numbers are good, but the lock is not

unlocking all the advice that's been
given to you is actually useless.

You need people to tell you
like that five is, it's wrong.

It should be a four.

It should be a three.

And that's how you get
closer to unlocking it.

But everybody tells you it's good.

It's useless.

Raph: Yep.

I'm curious with all of that in mind,
do you have have you seen companies.

I don't know, build out like frameworks
or ways of thinking and working around,

like gathering that information.

Like how do you keep track?

How do you make sure, like beyond
just like seeing some dollars come in

or not , how do you stay aware as a
company of whether you are focused on

the right problem and whether you do
actually have the right audience like

Sam: So there's a couple of things there.

I think To start with, you need to
have a little bit of self-awareness,

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: So you gotta know whether
you're the guy or person that

loves to build stuff, right?

And you and I both know plenty of people
that just love to build and there's

absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I don't call that a business,
I call that playing with Lego.

Raph: yeah.

Yep.

Sam: And it's a great thing to build
and create and whatever, right?

And I think if you're satisfied
with that and that gives you

fulfillment, that gives you joy.

Keep doing it.

Ignore, are we allowed to swear on this?

Ignore all the BS of, startup land,
raising money, like all that stuff.

You don't need it and you can ignore
all the advice that comes out, right?

Just keep building, right?

That's perfectly fine,

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: But if you think that you
have an aspiration to do something

larger, to run a business out of it,
to maybe have it feed your family

to whatever your goals are, right?

Then you gotta recognize
okay, what are my strengths?

What are my limitations?

If I'm the builder, that usually
means I have a bias towards

Hey, I want this thing to work.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: but I may be less interested
in making sure that it's

affordable and it's accessible
and it's reachable for the masses.

Whatever, however you
wanna define masses, right?

So I think that's
recognizing the first point.

And then once you're honest with
yourself and of course I'm giving a

very stereotypical Hey, I'm a developer.

I like building, I don't like selling.

Raph: Feel like you're
talking about me, Sam

Sam: I am definitely
not talking about you.

But like I, that is a stereotype, right?

But if you're a developer that also
likes selling, like that's great, right?

Don't, I don't wanna dismiss that.

And tho those folks are
absolutely out there.

And the reverse is of course
absolutely true too, right?

Like people who just want to talk
and never actually build anything.

So there's all types of people out there,
but I think the first point is like

recognizing which one of those you are
and then the second point is understanding

Hey, if I'm not that other part, let's
say I'm the builder, not the seller,

am I willing to be the seller until I
find a partner that can sell with me?

And I don't mean a staff, somebody that's
gonna walk alongside you that has the

same vision and beliefs that you do.

Raph: so if you are a seller and
not a builder, then please come

to ephemerecreative.ca, where
we can be your builder, partner,

Sam: I am getting the
referral fee for that Right

Raph: Yeah that's the plug is there
because that is who we like to work with.

People who have ideas and don't know how
to make them work and who can sell them,

but don't know how to materialize them.

Sam: I feel like I set you up for that

Raph: Yeah.

Thank you.

Sam: But yeah I think that is the
first step and then depending on

which role you end up playing keep
in mind that if you're starting a

business, yes, that is your strength.

Doesn't mean you don't
work on your weaknesses.

At least be in the beginning, right?

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: if you think that you're just gonna
be just the technical guy or just the

selling guy, don't think that you're
not gonna be involved with product.

There's only one person on the team,
or two people on the team, right?

Like you're gonna, you need to
have a breadth of understanding

of majority of the company, right?

And so with that, once you get
there, . In terms of talking about like

how do you methodically find out if
people have the same problem with you?

Is you gotta go out and ask, right?

And this is the even people who
sell don't really like doing this,

to be completely honest with you.

Like nobody really likes doing
this, I have met some personalities

that enjoy going door to door.

It's really strange.

Like we've all been

Raph: me.

Sam: had our open our door and
like they're selling chocolates,

they're selling something, whatever.

But there are some people
that, that enjoy that.

They don't mind just give
them something to sell.

But the majority of

Raph: cold calling.

Sam: exactly, the majority of people I've
met don't, aren't really fond of that,

what I would call like grunt grind work.

But it has to be done so, when
I talk to more, more successful

founders, and success in that, their
experience, they've, maybe they've

built some products that have had
millions of users or they've exited

or however you want to define success.

Like they've done this
a couple times, right?

It sounds ridiculously easy
from their point of view.

I was talking to the founder, I think
it was Matt Smith, who's one of the

founders of both later and Thinkific.

Later, I think recently both our launch
alumni later I think recently got acquired

or they merged or something like that.

Don't quote me on that.

Sorry.

Sorry Matt, if I said it wrong.

. And then Thinkific is a public
company so both they, he scaled

a few things now and then.

And . When he said it, I'm like, he's
like, how do you find initial users?

It's really easy.

You find 10 people who have
similar traits to the problem

that you're trying to solve.

And then you say Hey, do you want this?

And do you wanna buy it?

And some will, five will say yes,
five will say no, that's fine.

Go and tell you.

Find 10 that say yes.

Raph: Yep.

Sam: Whatever method that is.

Whether it's friends and family, maybe
it's your LinkedIn, maybe it's cold

calling, that part doesn't really matter.

Just get to 10.

Once you have those 10
yeses, then you go, great.

Do you have 10 friends
that you can recommend

That can use my stuff?

And so the way he describes,

Raph: they're willing to recommend,

then

Sam: have a hundred users.

That's more than 90% of
startups out there Right?

And so when he says it like
that, it sounds really easy,

Raph: getting those 10 and
getting 10, who actually are like

Sam: Exactly.

Raph: ready to drop dollars.

Yeah.

Sam: But the secret is
there's no secret, right?

Raph: Yeah.

It's just hard work.

Sam: you'll never get
to a hundred without 10

Raph: Yep.

Yep.

Yep.

Sam: I am a math major

Raph: Yeah, I think there's a previous
video that I did on on, actually, it

might have been on a different podcast,
but but about keeping track of both

quantitative and qualitative data.

Like you want to talk to people, you want
to get a sense of how they feel about

what you're building and not just keep
track of like your Google Analytics,

because on some level the numbers can lie.

Yeah.

Sam: And, I think just be aware
of your own biases, right?

Like I think that's one of the
most difficult things is like

Raph: but I like my product.

Sam: Yeah.

Yeah.

And it's oh, only two out of 10 liked it.

But the other eight, they're
losers, so they don't really count.

So really it's two outta two, which is a
hundred percent, which is pretty great.

Raph: Yeah.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I'm curious with the stuff that
you're doing at launch do you

see any trends in the types of
products that people are building?

I don't know if that's you could talk
about like LLMs and AI driven stuff.

Is there more and more of that?

What kind of tools and, and products
or are people building out there?

Sam: Def.

So, So we also run something called Launch
Builders, which I know you're a fan of.

You've been a great attendee
for the last couple.

Raph: It is so much fun,

Sam: Yeah we do them two every two months.

So if you're interested I'm sure Raf can
get you the details on this podcast, but

What we do in those sessions is we
do an open call and we ask for, for

anybody who's building something cool
and then we ask them to tell us why

it's cool and why they should present.

And then we pick what are
the most interesting ones.

And then they do the demo.

Live once every two months.

Right now we're only doing it in
Vancouver, if you want me to come to your

city, let's talk I'm super open to that.

But yeah, the idea is being in
Vancouver specifically we realize

there's a lot of people building a
lot of cool stuff, but there's not

enough spaces for us to talk about it.

There's a lot of space once you're ready
to raise money and pitch and go through

your projections and all that stuff, but
in terms of tinkering with cool toys,

beta toys, alpha toys, like I'm using
this word very loosely here, right?

We're I imagine if you're listening
to this you're some degree of a nerd

And I'm not even meaning that in a
dismissive way like I am huge nerd.

And so I like seeing cool
toys, cool gadgets that I can

get my hands around, right?

And so really like builders is about Hey,
if you could see the next five iPhones.

Wouldn't you want to?

And so at that same idea, it's
okay, hey, if you could see the

next five coolest products in
Vancouver, wouldn't you want to,

Raph: yeah.

Sam: So that's the base of it.

But back to your kind of original
question, definitely there's a lot of ais.

I'm super happy because I think
we're starting to move past what

I call the Chat-GPT skin products.

Raph: Yeah.

Yeah.

Sam: Which are like, Hey,
we're the Chat-GPT for bankers?

We're the Chat-GPT for bankers that
spend a lot of time in the washroom.

So like it just, it gets more and more
specific, but really the core of it is,

Raph: This is just

Sam: The user is prompting something
and then chatGPT spits something out

in a more organized manner, right?

Raph: Yeah, so I'm just gonna, just
because this came up yesterday.

I went to Langara Volition
Student Showcase, and they

were showing their products.

They were building real products.

One of the things that I think is
really interesting with regard to what

you're saying right here is I saw this
at this student showcase yesterday.

This team built a product called
Learnium and what they did is they

built this system around open AI's APIs.

And so it's using a large language
model to do you input a PDF and it

breaks it down into a learning plan.

So if you're a student and you've
got a book that you need to

get through and learn it'll pull
it apart and create flashcards.

And you can ask questions about the
book, but it'll also use the LLM to

figure out what you should be learning.

And basically check your answers
as you do these flashcards.

Really cool and like, you, I'm
so happy that we're . We're

like moving past the oh yeah.

It's like Chat-GPT.

But.

With, I don't know a bit of data
about like your specific I don't know.

Your persona fed into it.

It's yeah.

Really exciting stuff.

Sam: And I mean nothing against it.

If you're building something like
and, and that's why I go back to

what is your intention, right?

I think it's a great tool if it inspires
you to learn and build something

out, even if it's a clone, right?

I don't actually think there's
anything wrong with skins or clones

or how I'm describing them, right?

But I just think like in the long
run, if you're trying to build

something that's really, truly like,
exciting and scalable and sustainable,

I think is the most key word.

It needs to have its own
kind of value proposition.

Raph: Yep.

I agree.

I feel like it, it does kind of go
back to like toy versus product.

'cause if it's just the layer on top
of something else, then I don't know.

Does it really have much value, like

Sam: Yeah.

Raph: the long run?

Sam: are great, which is what
I want people to take away is

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: just because it's not gonna go on the
public markets doesn't mean it's not cool.

Raph: Yeah, absolutely.

Like a toy is fun, but you have
to recognize that it's a toy

Sam: Yeah..

Raph: I'm kind of curious , if you
could tell me what it's like being , on

your end of this whole like process.

You're supporting so many
people who are building products

building cool tech companies.

What's it like?

Sam: So I think most folks who work at
incubators, program builders, I don't

know what you wanna define, these kind of
roles that support services for startups.

They're all a little bit crazy.

And I mean that in the kindest sense,

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: but like the emotion emotional
kind of quotient, I don't know, EQ

that comes with building a product.

Like you're building something
out from scratch and then for

many founders you see the life and
death of those things you create.

And with support services,
and someone in my position.

And you and I have gone through this
probably a couple times where it's

like, we, we see, you get this idea,
you're like, Hey, this is a problem.

It's really interesting.

I'm learning all these cool things.

I plugged in all these cool
SaaS's into the, into my product.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: And then initial
traction even, right?

Hey, a couple people are
using this, it's great.

And then for whatever reason you hit a
wall, maybe you have life circumstances

that change, oh, I'm getting married,
I'm moving to X, Y, Z, Zed for two years.

Can't keep working on this.

Microsoft gave me an offer.

I can't refuse, whatever.

And it dies, right?

And, but like all of that,
that has highs and lows.

There's a lot of peaks, a lot of valleys
and support services, if we're being

negative on a negative day, I can just
be like, I've seen this movie before.

But that's not a very nice support
service if no, they're not like,

you wanna work with people that
are as enthused as you are.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: But the reality is when on
those down and on those lows,

you might feel low, right?

But you feel low once or twice, or
depending on how many products you

make, you feel low that many times.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: I will be working
with a hundred different

Raph: Oh man.

Yeah, I hadn't

Sam: If it's 50 lows every single time,

Raph: God.

Yeah,

Sam: I'm gonna go outta my mind depressed.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: And that's if I'm at maximum empathy

Raph: yeah.

Sam: maximum I really want this to work
for you and so the healthy balance that,

that my team and I have are forever
continuing to try and work on is that

how do we have the right amount of
excitement for our founders when they

find initial success or that moments, but
also not let the lows kick us in the nuts.

Which they both are
bound to happen, right?

And so that is the tough part.

And why, honestly when I talk about
like having worked at launch for nine

years, people are generally surprised
now because most folks in my position

do not stay that long at one place.

Raph: That, yeah, it does
sound potentially exhausting.

Also, I guess like exciting
if got 50 lows, but you also

have 50 highs, hopefully.

Sam: It just depends on
what's your latest thing,

Raph: But yeah,

Sam: depending on when you ask me like,
some, something could be really exciting

or something could be really down

Raph: yeah,

Sam: but I think to some degree,
like you have to have a little

bit of schizophrenia too, right?

Again, I'm using this very loosely.

I'm not trying to

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: Diminish medical
conditions and things like that.

But one, one end, I'll be talking about
tech and talking to a company about, how

to help the next generation of children.

Next thing I'll be talking to someone
who had a product in Medicare and how to

have people die honorably and, at peace
and there's tech to support them with

their last days . And so you jump around
from place to place really quickly and

all have their part in the world and
all have their own version of meaning.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: but they're no way
related to each other.

Raph: Yep.

Sounds like a wild ride.

Okay, so last little thing we're gonna
wrap this up with, what is one small

tech product, like a, a Google Docs or
like a HubSpot, or even at this point I'm

gonna call Thinkific a big tech product.

Yeah what's a neat small tech product
that has significantly impacted

your life, the way you do things.

I don't know.

Something that's been good for you,

Sam: So you mean I can't say
notion, here's my referral code

Raph: Yeah.

No.

Sam: What if I threw a curve
ball and said notion Anyway?

You know what's funny is don't use notion

Raph: You just want them, those sweet
referral dollars from our 12 listeners

Sam: yeah.

I don't even know the, my referral
code at this rate, but the tool

that I was gonna mention is as
you start out on your products,

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: Here's a persona that I'm
imagining folks like listening

to this might be on, right?

Some of them will be working part
full-time on their product, and so they

have their own company like Raf, right?

Some of them will, maybe they do some
consultants, some services maybe they

have some things in the background.

They're working on top of their
full-time job And then there's gonna be

some that are just full-time working.

Some they're enthusiasts.

Raph: yeah.

Yep.

Sam: I'd say one of the first things
that happens when someone creates a

company, it's probably shouldn't be
the first thing that happens, but we

all know it happens, is they'll go buy
a domain name, they'll get their own

inbox, they'll go raf@newcompany.com
and go Look at this, my shiny new email.

Raph: I feel called out

Sam: I've done that more
than a couple times.

So you're not the only guilty one here.

And then of course you start to take
meetings or you start to have some

of those cold calls that we talked
about and all that kind of stuff.

And so for me, like the tool that I've
talked about definitely in, in our launch

we have this series called Tool Time,
where we share different tools within it.

It's called Cron, so that's CRON.

But I'm not actually promoting Cron
'cause I think there's other, it's a

calendar app that's owned by Notion.

Now they got acquired by Notion,
so technically I'm saying notion.

Raph: Okay.

I see.

I see.

Yeah.

Sam: but I don't care about
the notes part at all.

I think they're gonna have some
integrations in the long run.

So if you're already using Notion, I
think it's a no brainer to use CRON.

But even within CRON, like it
to me is just another calendar.

So really it's which interface you
prefer and all that kind of stuff.

The key feature that I wanna highlight
is this one little feature that

I have no idea what they call it,
but now I can't live without it.

And what happens is when you start a
new project . You'll probably still have

a personal email, which is what you do
when you go to Safeway and they ask you

for your email to, to get the receipt.

You'll have your work email at Microsoft
or Apple or wherever the heck it is.

You work and you have that inbox, and
both of those will have calendars.

And then now you're gonna have another
calendar for this new venture with this

new email that, that you just created.

They have this one really nifty
feature where if I book a call with

RAF on my new company, it blocks
off the time on my other calendars.

Raph: Oh, that is really practical.

Sam: Yeah.

And so it's just that one
feature, like I use it in CRON.

Maybe you have another calendar
app that uses it, and that's fine.

Don't move to CRON, whatever.

Raph: Yeah,

Sam: But that has been a life changer.

Raph: that's too late.

I just signed up.

Sam: It's fine.

Just use it for that.

Raph: Yep.

Sam: And like really what it ends
up being is like maybe you guys

have kids or whatever and it's
okay, I have to pick up the kids

for 15 minutes from three to 50 15.

I don't really wanna put that
on my work calendar because

that seems like kind of stupid.

so what you do is you put pick
up kids on your home calendar.

On your work calendar.

It'll say busy.

Raph: Yeah.

Sam: And that makes sure, because we all
have Calendly and different things out

there that, like people can just sign up
and book a meeting with me randomly, and I

may not even know until I check it later.

This allows those block offs
to be actually blocked off.

That aligns, that allows you to separate
your work from your life in a way.

But we all live in the same
24 hour like time sphere.

So at the end of the day, if I'm
doing something at three, I can't

be doing something else at three.

Or I shouldn't be

Raph: Yeah

Sam: so that, that's my key tip.

Hopefully it's helpful.

Raph: I love it.

That's I literally just signed up
while you were talking about it.

'cause I was like, that is something
that I have run into so often between

like my personal and professional emails.

That is fantastic.

Sam: My wife signed up for
CRON, just uses that feature.

She never uses CRON

Raph: Yeah, I was actually gonna
ask, is it just kinda like a set

it and forget it sort of thing?

Like you set it up once and
then you just kinda Yeah,

Sam: Yeah.

Raph: that

is,

Sam: breaks

Raph: yeah.

. That is fantastic.

Cool.

Awesome.

Thank you so much for
being on the podcast.

Do you wanna plug, launch
or plug something else or?

Sam: Sure.

Yeah.

If you are working on a startup,
feel free, we're friendly.

Feel free to chat us.

Uh, You can email me at
sam@launchacademy.ca You

can find me on Twitter.

I think.

I think our company, Twitter's
Launch Academy HQ on pretty

much every single platform.

I think we're on all of them.

If we're not on a platform email me
and tell me we're not on that platform.

and we'll go from there.

Raph: Awesome.

This has been another episode
of The Small Tech Podcast.

First one with a guest.

Thanks to the amazing Sam Chan for being
on board and, and chatting , with me,

building small tech products and we all
want to do something good in the world.

So go out there and build something good
folks, I will see you in the next episode.

See ya.

Sam: Bye.