Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva Podcast Summary

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Masters of Scale – Reid Hoffman: Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva

Onboarding isn’t just for employees. The step-by-step process to join a product or company lays the foundation for everything that follows. No one knows this better than Melanie Perkins, co-founder and CEO of Canva.

From the moment she started the Australia-based graphic design platform, she knew she had to engage newcomers with simplicity and speed. First, onboard early users to her product; then, onboard investors and employees to help her build her values and her vision.

The onboarding skill

  • Onboarding is not just about adding new employees or users to a platform; it is also about creating long-term buy-in. Quick wins, challenges, and showing the end goal make it fun and engaging. Framing content to help learners understand what to expect is crucial.
  • Onboarding is a crucial step in introducing someone to your product or service. It helps build confidence and understanding over the long term.

Observing and interacting with the users

Canva understood its users’ needs through observation and interaction, and improved its product with personalized onboarding.

This approach led to user retention, growth, and expansion into other markets. Just-in-time learning was also essential.

Entrepreneurs can benefit from learning on the fly, rather than spending years preparing for a role that may not even exist when they’re ready. Mimicking communication techniques can be helpful, but being intentional and sincere is crucial.

The right team members

Clearly present your investment thesis, educate yourself on fundraising and finance, and build a strong case for your company’s mission to attract investors.

Finding the right team members, especially a strong CTO, is crucial for technology success. Onboarding users requires refining the experience to make it easy, playful, and fun.

Right onboarding is the key

  • Onboarding is more than just training. By creating a shared experience and celebrating progress, new hires and investors feel like part of the team, leading to happy and successful teams.
  • A successful onboarding process involves bringing in investors, building a great product with easy user onboarding, hiring new employees, onboarding partners for an integrated user experience, and creating special moments for customers.

Tips for successfully pitching to investors

  • When pitching to investors, it’s important to introduce them not only to the “what” of your company but also the “why.” Give them a quick win and clearly present your investment thesis. It’s also important to understand how investors think and what they’re looking for in potential investments.
  • Don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know, and take the time to educate yourself on fundraising and the world of finance. The right team and advisors can also help attract investors.
  • By building a case for a big market and a solution to a widespread problem, you can create buy-in from investors who may not have known they cared about your company’s mission before.

I happened to learn, apparently, if you mimic someone’s body language, they’ll like you more.

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