By Mark Evans
Mark is a Toronto-based tech blogger and startup marketer. He sat down with Rodolfo Novak to learn about why he joined Method and his plans for the coming months.
Without a doubt, it has been an exciting couple of months for Method. It kicked off the year in style and generated considerable industry buzz by raising $3-million in Series A financing from Klass Capital. And now, it has snapped up Rodolfo Novak, one of Toronto’s hottest user experience and product strategy professionals.
With Method aggressively moving forward, attracting top talent such as Rodolfo is a big win. Rodolfo’s portfolio includes work with high-profile companies such as WattPad, RipeApps, BMO and AppHero (which, by the way, was recently described as the “best free app ever”).
So an obvious question to Rodolfo is “Why Method?”
“No one – not even Salesforce.com - is doing CRM for small business right,” he said. “There is a huge under-served market out there of small businesses using terrible software. The big and exciting opportunity for us is to make these businesses perform better with great software.”
With Rodolfo now on board as VP of Product (a position often occupied by marketing and project managers), it is clear that Method CEO Paul Jackson sees UX as a critical part of the strategic and tactical mix.
At the same time, Paul is assembling a top-notch team to evolve Method’s CRM platform and drive the company’s growth.
A native of Brazil, living in Toronto’s red-hot tech sector, Rodolfo said he has exposure to many opportunities, but jumped at the chance to join Method because it is tackling a challenging and complicated problem: creating a customizable CRM platform specifically for small business owners.
From the outside looking in, you might ask: “Why is creating a CRM for small business such a big deal?”
The answer is small business owners have many different needs, so they want a CRM that adapts to their unique business, with minimal investment, but at the same time be useful and friendly for their staff.
“One of the biggest hurdles in creating a next-generation CRM, is that it has to be robust and flexible,” Rodolfo said. “The mandate that Paul has given me is bold and inspiring: we’re going to take on the market with a new model. Method is going to provide an affordable way for small businesses to have the level of personalization previously available only to larger enterprises. My job is to take this powerful engine that makes Method run, and present it in a way that is intuitive and immediately useful to the small business user.”
So what are the top things on Rodolfo’s plate?
With meeting the needs of SMBs as the focus, Rodolfo said Method will launch an app store that will make it easy for developers to build new tools or modify existing ones to add new features – all without writing a single line of code. While apps are hot these days, Rodolfo said the important difference with Method’s approach is encouraging the creation of small granular apps that are fine-tuned to do specific tasks, and then allow the apps to be further customized to each business. In addition, these granular apps will play nicely with SMB's backend accounting system (QuickBooks, FreshBoooks, Wave, Xero, Intaact).
The first critical release of the next version of Method is the mobile application. One of the key considerations, Rodolfo said, will be creating a mobile experience that is not a replication of the desktop experience – yet will be just as customizable to each company.
When asked to describe what he wants to achieve at Method, Rodolfo has a big goal.
“People start small businesses because they aren’t satisfied with the status quo. They want to disrupt their markets, and quickly turn their ideas into reality. I believe CRM systems should not only keep up with these leaders, but actually help them go faster. We want to help small businesses out-innovate their competition.”
About Mark Evans:
Mark Evans works with early-stage startups and fast-growing companies looking for strategic and tactical help to jump-start their marketing activities. He writes a regular blog about startup marketing, as well as a popular newsletter about Canadian startups. Mark is also one of the organizers of mesh, Canada's leading digital conference, and meshmarketing. Learn more about Mark here: