Podcast September 23, 2020

Bringing the feel of consumer products to business

Consumer products these days are sleek.

So, why do business products look like they were all made in preparation for a 19th-century world fair? 

Hamed Abbasi, Co-Founder & CEO at Plooto, is on a mission to prove there is no reason business products can’t be just as sleek.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How Plooto is innovating accounts payable and receivable
  • Why most business products create a terrible experience
  • How to make complex products easy to use

Plooto’s mission

Plooto originally started as a blockchain Bitcoin company for their first 6 months in existence.

Their goal was to radically change how businesses transacted with one another. 

Being a next-generation payment platform, it seemed like a next-generation currency was the way to go. 

But Plooto listened to their customers. And their customers kept saying the same thing. 

We love how your product makes payments as easy as possible, but what’s up with this blockchain thing? Can you just make it work with my bank?

“Small and medium-sized businesses had a pain. They knew that pain and they really didn’t care about how it was done. What they care about is that it just gets done.” — Hamed Abbasi

The company pivoted to remove the blockchain elements and plug the tech they’d created on top of the existing architecture. 

Still, the overall goal remained the same: Plooto wanted to fix the broken payments systems that plagued most small to medium-sized businesses. 

There was no standardization; there wasn’t a process written down. Every company had their own ways of doing things. 

Most would put their receipts and bills into a shoebox and figure out where their financials stood at the end of the month. 

So, Plooto stepped in as a mission control for accounts payable and receivable. 

They wanted to solve the problems these companies faced. 

And they wanted to do it in the easiest way possible. 

The problem with clunky business products

The ease-of-use that Plooto holds paramount is important because so many business products may do difficult tasks, but they’re often awful for consumers. 

“A lot of times also, business products are built silos and then they’re just glued together, which really creates a terrible experience for the customer.” — Hamed Abbasi

And this is something that Hamed — like most millennials — noticed early in his career. 

Millennials enter the workforce used to a customer app experience and then encounter financial products that seem as though they were built before the Titanic set sail. 

It’s a problem that often spirals out of control. 

Many of these products began with a simple concept. And over the years (or is it centuries?) more and more features until the products become indecipherable digital Rube Goldberg machines. 

So, how do you fix it?

How to solve the problem

Plooto approaches their product with a holistic view of financial operations.

They look at the process of managing accounts payable and accounts receivable as one single unit. 

When they build controls, they have to be put on top of each. And they look at the experience as a single experience. 

So, because of that, the company always starts with product experience and work backwards. 

That way, their product feels and looks like the consumer products people are so accustomed to using — the Ubers and Spotifys of the world.

“If you look at likes of Zoom, Asana, Slack — all the apps that are taking over the world, they’re very consumer-looking and feeling products, but at the same time, they’re very complex.” — Hamed Abbasi

Hamed thinks this innovative approach to business products will eventually become the new normal. 

As the lines blur between consumer and business products, he believes the room to build the clunky, retro business products everyone has developed a love-hate relationship with will shrink and eventually disappear altogether. 

And that’s good news for your team, your business and even your customers. 

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