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Decision Making

Marc-Antoine Bonin and Emeric Noel: Planning Your Businesses’ Success – Joel Goldberg Media

Entrepreneurship / November 25, 2022

Decision making and entrepreneurship go hand in hand. Especially in the start-up game, territory is often uncharted and time is of the essence. So what do you do? Review the facts, make a call and hope it was the right one.

When the pandemic brought baseball to a grinding halt in 2020, like many, I had some decision making to do. Not everyone may know this, but as a sports broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals, no games means no paycheck. While trying to figure out my next move, I spoke with a friend who told me, “Joel, pressure is a gift.” And she could not have been more right.

decision making

In that time of crucial decision making, I finally found the time to write my book, Small Ball, Big Results. I was able to accelerate my keynoting – virtually, of course – to corporate audiences who were struggling with their own cultural identity crises after workplace models had been disrupted literally overnight. My sessions aren’t about baseball, but they do include many of the lessons I’ve learned from a career broadcasting about it. And I believe the nostalgia and familiarity of America’s pastime brought some comfort to during those uncertain times.

I was also able to fine tune my podcast. It has been around for five years now, but during that time, I delivered interviews almost daily. They featured everyone from athletes to business execs to influencers, and gave people a sense of connection during their isolation.

decision making

All of this is to say that circumstances pushed me to become an entrepreneur. And while I haven’t seen everything or pretend to hold all of the answers, I can appreciate what it’s like to have a move to make but not know which is right. And on a recent episode of Rounding the Bases, I was joined by two entrepreneurs who experienced the same.

If overnight success takes 10 years, then my guest’s practically did it in an afternoon. Marc-Antoine Bonin and Emeric Noel are the Montreal-based CEO and CPO behind Planned, a first of its kind marketplace that’s streamlining corporate events like never before. Since 2018, it has simultaneously disrupted an industry and commanded the attention of the world’s most powerful corporations, transforming the planning process from stressFUL to stressFREE. With a bursting portfolio of carefully selected vendors and real-time user transparency, Planned takes the guesswork out of planning. All that’s left to do is show up and enjoy.

SINGLE: Hail Mary 

When I have business co-owners on the show, I always enjoy asking them how the partnership came to be. Oftentimes they were friends sitting around who decided to take an idea and put it into action. Marc and Emeric are unique in that they didn’t have an idea. They just knew they wanted to work together, and they were willing to go all in to make it happen.

“We basically had four months to come up with an idea that would generate revenue,” Marc shared. “We sold our car and Emeric sold his condo.” And then they created a list of ideas to guide them in their decision making.

The first iteration was a marketplace for offices, similar to an AirBnB targeting traditional enterprise models. In month one, they earned $36 in revenue. And in month two, they accepted that they had not yet found their million dollar idea, so to speak. They went back to the drawing board. Or in their case, spreadsheet.

After exploring everything from cottages to meeting spaces, they settled on corporate events. And this time, month one generated $50,000 in revenue. “That was our ah-ha moment,” Marc shared. So they set out to refine their concept, but this time, it was complete with everything planners needed to execute as well.

DOUBLE: Balancing Act

Getting a startup off the ground calls for a number of things, but grit, ambition and nimble decision making top the list.

Emeric and Marc each brings his own individual strengths that helps the day-to-day business thrive. Emeric has a background in product development and marketing while Marc comes from finance and sales. “That’s a great combination for the type of business that we do right now,” Emeric told me.

But it’s their shared core values that keep them focused on the end goal. “We’re more aligned on things that I feel are important,” shared Marc. It includes work ethic and an understanding over what they will and won’t sacrifice in the name of success. “I feel that on that aspect, we’re very similar,” Marc said. “That’s what makes us work well together.”

TRIPLE: A Cold Connection

Professionals can appreciate that LinkedIn serves a very real purpose…when done right. And in the case of Marc and Emeric, a cold contact was the start of an entrepreneurial success story for the ages.

Before Planned came to be, Marc tried his hand at a smartwatch product he launched on Kickstarter. But he needed decision making advice from someone who had been down that path before. Happenstance led him to Emeric.

It’s tough to find the right person to go into business with, but they found it in each other. “We just really clicked,” said Emeric. “I quit everything and jumped with him.”

HOME RUN: Tough Decisions

Sometimes our business feels the impact of our own poor decision making. Each of us tries to do our best, in the moment, it can be imperfect. Other times, your business feels the impact of something far beyond your control. And it can be a far more difficult place.

Most businesses require some degree of in-person activity. And when the pandemic hit, it dealt them a hard blow. For a startup like Planned that is entirely dependent on events, Covid could have been the end. “From one day to the other, we lost our revenue,” Marc shared. And so they had to choose.

Pivoting to virtual was an option, and given the circumstances, every shareholder would have understood. Maybe even encouraged it as sound decision making. Instead, Marc and Emeric surprised everyone when they decided to double down on their in-person events model.

“We felt enough conviction that we had a market fit with what we were building,” Emeric said. “We really thought in-person events would come back.” So while the world came to terms with its new reality, the Planned partners used the time to refine their platform. And positioned themselves to capture share before re-emerging as market leaders.

It was a big decision at the time. But as Marc shared, “In hindsight, I think it was a good one.”

Listen to the full interview here or tune into Rounding the Bases every Monday and Thursday, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Learn More About Decision making from Joel

Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.

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Full Transcript:

Joel Goldberg 0:19
Hey everybody, welcome into Rounding the Bases, the podcast about culture and leadership with a baseball twist presented by Community America Credit Union: Believe in Unbelievable. Quick shout out to my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City, they will help you if you’re looking to hire someone, if you’re looking for a job, if you’re just looking for someone to talk to. That’s why their tagline really applies: Making Connections That Matter. It’s always about the people. And whether you’re in Kansas City somewhere else in the United States or around the world, for that matter. I highly encourage you to check them out at chiefofstaffkc.com We are going not just outside of Kansas City, but we’re going outside the United States for this interview today to visit with a couple of guys that are located in one of my favorite cities in the world. If overnight success takes 10 years, then today’s guests practically did it in an afternoon. I’m joined by Marc-Antoine Bonin and Emeric Noel, the Montreal-based CEO and CPO behind Planned. It’s the first of its kind of marketplace that’s streamlining corporate events like never before. Since 2017, it has simultaneously disrupted in industry and commanded the attention of the world’s most powerful corporations, transforming the planning process from stressful to stress-free. With a bursting portfolio of carefully selected vendors and real time user transparency, Planned takes the guesswork out of planning. All that’s left to do is show up and enjoy. I love when I can have guests on that have that entrepreneurial spirit, spirit that found something and it’s clicked. It’s worked. And so I am excited right now via Montreal to be joined by Marc-Antoine Bonin and Emeric Noel. Gentlemen, how are you?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 2:09
Doing great here. Thanks for having us.

Emeric Noel 2:13

Joel Goldberg 2:13
All right. That was, the first voice was Marc-Antoine, the second voice was Emeric, you will hear some of those French accents in there. Which means that these guys are local products of Quebec, I would imagine is the case. And it just I told them both. Before we went on that I’ve got relatives up in Montreal, I grew up going there. And so it’s a piece of my heart truly one of the best cities in the world. And I think maybe the best city in North America, we can all debate that one, they may or may not agree with me or disagree with me. Mac-Antoine, let me start with you. Tell me about Planned and how the two of you came together and formed this.

Marc-Antoine Bonin 2:50
So basically, we help enterprises to streamline their event planning processes. So if you take any large enterprise, large tech, or pretty much any of these enterprise they will have a lot of people who are not event planner or being tasked to plan. An event can be a holiday party cocktail with clients or pretty much everything. We basically help these people to connect with the best supplier in their market to create and plan the event easily. And then we’re able to help the management or the procurement to get access to all the data about the booking of events in their company. The story basically we’ve been around since 2018, but Emeric and I worked on a startup before that didn’t work. So back in summer 2018 really wanted to start something else together because we would just like to work together. But we practically lose everything we had in the other startup. So we sold our car, Emeric sold his condo, we put everything we had. And we basically had four months to come up with an idea that would generate revenue. We create an Excel sheet with 20 idea of business that we thought that we could execute on and one of them was a marketplace for office spaces. So to help people to find office space, basically, create the marketplace in a month then started to try to find customer and office space. And after two months, we just realized that didn’t work. I think we made 36 bucks in sales. So we kind of tried that Hail Mary where we put all the category of spaces in that marketplace that we will have offices, cottages, meeting space and event space and we ending up making 50k of sales that month with with event space. So for us it was kind of the aha moment where we thought we will have a business there. So we took Christmas, rebuild a marketplace, rebuild their product and really launched 2018 an Airbnb for event space, then started to get a bit more traction that could do everything from like wedding, baby shower, a bit of coorporate. Analyzing the data, we realize enterprises were actually really good customer with us because, hopefully, wedding you get not that much repeat like people come one time in your tool but enterprise would still go starting to plan one event that month one and month six, they would plan 20 events because they like to talk. So at that point, we started to really focus on enterprise. We raised a bit of money, so a million at the end of 2018. And started to build not only a marketplace to help them to find venue, but also everything they will need for their events. So, towering, AV, like basically that one stop shop or they could find everything. Today we have 10 categories like speakers as well, guest speakers. 2019, we’re from Montreal, that’s that’s the the accent, but really started to get some traction, open all over Canada. Start to open in the US as well, to help our clients to do events everywhere. We raised 4 million at the end of 2019. Scaled the team from 15 to 50. And then Covid hit, so in the matter of a few days, we kind of lost all our revenue. But at that point, we kind of decided to keep focusing into those in person event. So we scaled down the team, really focused on in person and I’ve been building the tech during all COVID. And end of 2021, we actually started to sign, to see in person has been coming back. And we’ve been able to sign a contract with large enterprise which help us to raise our next round and restart to re-accelerate.

Joel Goldberg 7:01
I want to follow up on the COVID piece in a moment. But let me go backwards a little bit. By the way. I mean, the thought thought occurred to me that if you’re if you’re relying totally on the wedding business for repeat events, you need the wedding to not go too well. And that seems like a bad karma type of thing. So I think you’re probably in a better place. But Emeric, I’m just curious. I mean, there are some great partnerships and collaborations and people that really click together. That’s not a unique story. Two guys that maybe meet in college or whatever it is, and your guys case you met you knew you wanted to work together. That’s one thing. It’s another thing that to say, we don’t know what that idea is, we just know that we want to do something together and have this list, right? Usually it’s two guys, two women, whatever it is sitting around saying, well, we should do this together versus what you two, it sounds like we’re saying where we should do something together. What was that process like of not knowing, but knowing if that makes sense. And then finding it?

Emeric Noel 8:12
No, I think to have the right partner, for me, it’s only two things. It’s work ethic first, if we have the same work ethic, then you know, we’ll be putting the same effort into it. And I think that’s whats, you know, that’s what you need. Because there’s so much you know, there’s so much especially at the beginning, there’s so much hardwork to be done that we need to be pushing at the same, the same pace. And the second piece is to want the same thing. So, you know, like we both you know, the same, the same ambitions the same, the same end goal. So yeah, and I think like those two things in common that’s really like what we needed to create a good partnership. And yeah, like for, for when we, when we like did that Excel sheet actually like the tree? We had like four column you know? Like, the name of the idea. And then the other column was actually what can we start and get revenue like the fastest? The second one and like what is the market is the biggest in terms of like, what can we build really? Something big? And the third one was like what matches skill set. So that was was pretty much it.

Joel Goldberg 9:13
Could you have predicted, Emeric, which one would have worked, you know, or I guess I’ll phrase it this way. I mean, were you some nice to stumble upon this? You know, those what? Yeah, you had a lot of good. I would imagine that at the time you knew that. Hey, a lot of these might sound good, but they’re just not going to work. But it sounds to me like Planned wouldn’t have been the one you actually said, Hey, this is the one that’s gonna be the ticket.

Emeric Noel 9:41
No, actually, it didn’t. It also didn’t work, right. Like because like the first idea was actually the Airbnb app for offices, like that’s where we started from. And yeah, we add, actually what Planned is today is the combination of like, about, you know, countless iteration and keep pivoting and doubling down on what’s working.

Joel Goldberg 10:04
So, Marc-Antoine, you mentioned COVID. And it I think it probably did to you guys what it did to everybody, especially those that had some momentum, maybe someone that was, you know, a new entrepreneur or had a new business, a new venture and something you know, you’re feeling really good about it. And then it’s, oh, wait a minute, you know, in your guy’s case, nobody’s planning events right now everything but it sounds to me like you, you said, instead of running away from this, let’s let’s fine tune it. Let’s make it better. Let’s do what we have to do. So that when this mess is over, we are ready to go. I don’t know if I’m reading that right. But tell me about that process.

Marc-Antoine Bonin 10:43
Yeah, for that was kind of a hard moment. Because sometime when in business go, that’s your business go down, it’s because of decision you take. That’s something that was really hard to forecast. We probably started to see events going a bit more slow. Starting in February, like people were a bit more scared about COVID. But from one day to the other, we kind of lost our revenue. So at that point, we kind of had to make a decision like are we pivoting and going to let’s say virtual event who could have been a natural pivot. The life companion industry doubled on virtual. Are we closing the business? What, what are we doing? We just feel enough conviction that we had a market fit with what we were building and we really thought in person event would come back. So at that point for us just want to double down on where we know, we are where we thought we could be the best. And position ourselves to win that market when we’ll be back. So that was a big decision at that point of time. But in hindsight, I think that was a good one.

Joel Goldberg 11:53
So what was the point, Emeric, where was there a point where you could exhale a little bit? I mean, COVID is not totally over yet. But we’re in a different place, obviously, right now than we were even a few months ago. And certainly a year ago. What was, was there a point where you felt like, okay, we’re okay, now?

Emeric Noel 12:11
Yeah, I mean, especially in the beginning, we, I think what was the hardest with COVID, is that we didn’t know how long it would, it would it would last you know? Like it was everybody had a theory, theory on that. So. And I think like, it’s really when we saw, you know, with the vaccine coming out, and we started the enterprise, like the mentality shift that started at some point where, like, now it became, it became okay, like to meet to meet in person. Again, and I think like that, at the moment, we knew that, you know, things will start with start getting better. And yeah, so I think it’s maybe maybe around like 10 months ago, I would say that, that we started to see, to see that shift, that shift

Joel Goldberg 12:55
Marc-Antoine, you threw out some great numbers, in terms of, in terms of seeds, in terms of fundraising. How were you able to do this so quickly?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 13:07
I think for first, when we started in business, we really wanted to go fast. So in a matter of a year, in a year from like the idea to to the first fundraise, we had been able to showcase traction. So I think we had a big market, we had traction, I think investor bid on us on that rollin on the team. So I think that was that was that. Then for the second round, we had actually good stickiness with their customers so we’re about to showcase, then when a customer would start to work with us the first time then he will, they would come back the next time and they would come back and we’ll get more from those customers. That was super important. And for the last round we find people were believing in the team but also in the market on the opportunity because we didn’t really have sales. I was still in the midst of COVID when we raised so that was really to find people that that believe that we could execute on that opportunity and that like the product as well that we built

Joel Goldberg 14:08
So, it’s such a cool idea and it’s so fits in with where we’re at as consumers as far as what we expect we could still do things the old school way. There’s plenty of that. It’s not like everything is all or none. But a lot of people just want to pick up their tablet, their phone, their laptop, their computer and jump on and so you know when I look at the website which is very simply found. Planned.com And whether you jump on the app or the website immediately there all these categories: venues, experiences, gifts, speakers, food and beverage equipment and decor, AV which by the way as a speaker is one of the number one topics that comes up on my end of things because that can potentially be a nightmare. Photo, video, staffing, transport, virtual and and then you jump on there and it, you know, in some ways looks like an Airbnb and then it looks a lot more than just that. Emeric explain how this all works. Because there are a lot of elements to it.

Emeric Noel 15:09
Yeah, no, 100 percent. So for us it’s really like about like helping people to first find the right supplier. Like it’s often like when, where it started and then after that, you know the whole like management like of like finding is it available, or finding, you know, the price negotiation, like getting quotes. And then even like the payments like especially with enterprise like when you find the right the right suppliers, you’re you’re exchanging information you know, as the right one for your event, when you arrive at the payments, like within those enterprise, there’s a lot of red tape internally like to just be able like to pay a vendor and for us, we make it very simple because everything can just be paid and booked to one place, which is, which is true plan. And afterwards, we give the the visibility and control to the procurement department to be able to see, you know, where’s the where’s the spend is going? Are we on budget of that event, able to approve the budget and in the first place? And I would say like, that’s really like, in a nutshell, like the process.

Joel Goldberg 16:11
And I would imagine, Marc-Antoine, a lot of iterations along the way probably will continue to be. What has that feedback been like? You, you know, you’re gonna hear from people and and that has to be a fun aspect of it too, to be able to continue to tweak this, what have you learned along the way?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 16:27
Yeah, then actually, the nicest thing about COVID is that a lot of planners didn’t have a really, at the beginning of COVID, especially. Nobody was buying events. So we had time to take call with customer, like every single day, at least two, three times per day. So that was really insightful. I think a lot of the feedback we receive right now it’s really where we tried to optimize. It’s all about simplicity, like how can we make it simpler and faster for the planner to trigger events? So that’s the feedback we’re looking for. Every time we go on a call with a customer, like how can we simplify that process of creating the event? And we’re everytime able to get something I guess from these calls.

Joel Goldberg 17:13
So where would you say, Emeric, right now, in terms of goals, in terms of what you were hoping, ahead of schedule, behind schedule, where do you want to go?

Emeric Noel 17:25
Yeah, considering COVID I mean, I think we’re right on schedule, for sure. And, yeah, for our goal right now is really to be like the leading platform for enterprise, I think we we feel that like coming out of COVID being the only platform that really like kept going on, on that on that niche, because a lot of player went went on the virtual aspect, like we think that we have a bit of a headstart right now. And we have the opportunity of really being that platform that every enterprise think about when they think about you know, stream, simplifying like their event, event planning process and now we’re just about actually to, to go to go global. To really like be able to expand within like our logo that are that work globally, because we’re mostly like, you know, focus on fortune or main client or like most like fortune 500. That would operate globally. And so that’s really the next step that we’re doing right now and what we think will help us to really achieve our potential

Joel Goldberg 18:25
Was, was there a moment Marc-Antoine that you thought Aha? And you mentioned aha moment, one of you guys did before, but what, where you said we were on to something here. That this is, because I think I would think that the the success that you’re having right now is what you both were dreaming up and collaborating together. You just didn’t know what it was going to look like in terms of what the company was going to be. But now Now you’re there with incredible potential. What, when was the moment that you said this is the one we got this right?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 18:58
I think there were a lot of small moments like that because what’s nice about startup is every time you look about where you were a year ago you think you are super dumb so hopefully we will keep getting those those ah-ha moment. But like the first time we make a sale we’re so excited like that was that was huge. That’s first 500 bucks for the month where we we thought our business was a marketplace for event spaces that was huge when we signed our first contract with the client so they booked all our events through our tool. That was huge because so far we just have been able to get event buy, this never contract for all the events for an enterprise so I think a lot of small ah-ha moments but not a huge one.

Joel Goldberg 19:46
How about for the two of you guys. The the way you met and then it’s how you guys were childhood friends. But you didn’t meet I believe somewhere around college, er, I think up there you guys call it university. But you know what I’m saying there? How did you meet and connect? And what works? What works with the two of you to to mesh so well? We’ll start with Emeric.

Emeric Noel 20:16
Yeah, actually, we met Marc cold reach me on LinkedIn. So it’s really, really random because it’s on my profile, because I did it another startup before when I was in university that was related to Kickstarter. And he was about to go Kickstarter with this startup that he was doing at a time, I just saw that on my profile, and he called, reach me to get some advice on his campaign. And I actually met him at the office that he was working from, like back then. And then we didn’t spoke for a year, actually. And a year later, he was actually going to, like launch the campaign. And he asked me, like, if I could, you know, if I could help them a bit more, like, you know, officially, like, you know, in consulting. And so, so I did, and like, just started working with him. And yeah, just really clicked. And at that time, I was not doing my startup anymore. So it was kind of like, in between, and I knew I wanted to start back. And I knew it’s tough to know, finding the right partner. And I found that like, Marc was that person. So we, I quit everything, and I jumped with him.

Joel Goldberg 21:17
So, so it was that sort of the same thing with with ultimately finding this business. Marc, you would have never known what that initial LinkedIn connection that this is going to be my my partner, there’s no way that you can know that in the moment. When did you know, hey, this, this Emeric guy, this, I would like to work with him?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 21:42
I think, in the other startup, like we were working so hard to get her like that was, oh, basically, we created the a watch, like totally different project. And that was in hardware. But I just think that he had a really, really good work ethic. And both of us would do everything for that business to work. So I’ll have like, a specific moment, but from the get go out, I just thought that we could work well together. And that’s what you want in a partner at the end of the day. Because it’s you need to trust, like the work ethic that’s going to put everything to make it work. And it’s about building that trust. So I think like soon into the last business, a lot of us were able to build that trust between each other.

Joel Goldberg 22:29
It’s, it’s a great thing when you can find it, right? And especially when it can happen organically. And to have sort of stumbled upon this. It’s an amazing thing to just to think that. Because let’s be honest, LinkedIn connections oftentimes can drive you a little crazy. I mean, I don’t know how many days a week you guys are getting messages from people that want something or want to have a discussion about something that you have no interest in, but they assume you’re…I’m probably preaching to the choir on that one. But here’s a connection that was made and turned into a business, which is amazing. What, Emeric, what works or balances you? I mean, usually when you have two people working like this one does one thing well the other does something else well and you’re able to sort of fill in those gaps. I don’t know if that’s the case, maybe you both have the same strong suits, but I’m guessing that there’s some things that you could do to balance each other. What is that?

Emeric Noel 23:23
Yeah, I think first of all your skill set like Marc is coming from more sales and finance that’s really like a skill set for me I’m coming more from product and marketing. So I think like that, that’s like a great you know, great combination for that type that type of business that we do that we do right now. So I think that’s one way. But I think a side of that I think our strength is that we’re more I think it’s more the other side that he was because we’re more similar on on the things I feel that that that are important and like I said like you know ambition where we want to do with the business you know, like the sacrifices we’re willing to make for it and I feel that that on that aspect, we’re very similar. That’s what that make us worked well together.

Joel Goldberg 24:10
Marc, how about you?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 24:12
Yeah, I would say in terms of skill set, we come from a bit, like Emeric say, from different backgrounds. So that that really helps. I think we’re we build that trust, we’re able to challenge each other and you really push your point, but at the end, always disagree and commit which is super important because I’ve seen a lot of startup where you have two co-founder and sometimes don’t know if it’s ego or it’s just they’re unable to get to decisio. And if, startup is all about taking decisions fast. So if you have two people want to take decision but you cannot go fast because you don’t agree, that that can create big issue. I think what works well with us is sometimes I won’t agree or you won’t agree, but we’ll just disagree come in, make a decision fast and never if I took your bad call will Emeric fingerpointing Yeah, like you told us to do that, that that was by, ya know, that was our idea at the end and is doing the same. So I think that’s a big thing.

Joel Goldberg 25:10
Yeah, sounds like great chemistry between the two of you. Which again, it’s hard to find. When you find it, you got to run with it. I’ve got my baseball themed questions that that I want to throw at you and either of you can answer or both, but in terms of Planned or anything else, I guess, for that matter in terms of professional careers, Emeric, what what’s a homerun, that you guys have hit?

Emeric Noel 25:36
I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s hard to say something different than, you know, the, the decision that we, that we make of like, continue to push on in person events, you know? Like, because I think we’re, we’re saying like, back then when COVID and like, everybody would have applauded us to go to to, to to virtual like, even though investors, everything everybody would have understanded. That would have a sound decision to make. But we went with the decision that was you know, the controversial the time to go like with the route and, and I think we to have done that, that told us to really take that kind of like really fast forward like are way to be like one of the leader like in that category, having like, all the players like stuff working on this and like, switching and I think that was, thta was in hindsight, like probably our biggest home run that I did, we did with a company.

Joel Goldberg 26:32
Mark, you’re shaking your head, in agreement, anything to add?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 26:36
Yeah, that’s probably your biggest one. Or anything I can think of, and it’s when you make sometime errors you can really get some homeruns. Like, at the end, it’s all about people company, and sometimes he people can make or break your company. So I think we did some some good hires.

Joel Goldberg 26:55
How about a swing and a miss, which is the nature of entrepreneurship, right? You’re swinging and missing every day. But what’s something, Emeric, that that maybe you guys took a swing and a miss that and you learn from?

Emeric Noel 27:10
Because there’s so many to choose from. So that’s that side. That’s like still, I mean, we made like major bet, like, sometime like with the business that didn’t pan out like and I think one one of them was at some point we thought that we needed to be physically present in every market to be able to launch them so we actually launch offices in in New York and around the in the in the US and that was literally unnecessary. And I’d say that at the end of the day that costs so much money and then you create those kinds of like, different culture and those different office it brings so many only, it only brought problem to us. And it was like a million dollar I think that we just sink. So that was that was one. Marc, I’m sure you have other, another in mind.

Marc-Antoine Bonin 28:00
We went to Dragon’s Den Canada, it’s like Shark Tank, but in Canada, and we thought when we would go live, that business will explode. So we put so much pressure on all the team to get like stuff ready. We did marketing and a lot of stuff. And that one didn’t pan out. So we’re early in the journey. So we didn’t sink that much money, but we definitely sink a lot of time.

Joel Goldberg 28:23
Yeah, Marc, how was the Canadian version of Shark Tank? What was that experience like?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 28:29
There was, there was a great experience, but at the end of the day, like it’s, it’s you know, it’s a TV show. Like, so I think that’s that’s what, yeah, that’s what lets you realize when you go there, like it’s not, yeah, it’s not really like an investment thing, I’d say. So.

Joel Goldberg 28:45
$75,000 for 5%. Is that, is that what came up there?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 28:50
Yeah. So but we didn’t we didn’t raise at the end from from, from the two angels. But they were super great. Like we spoke with them. They were great. It’s just it’s takes time to raise from them. And yeah, but they were great.

Joel Goldberg 29:07
Okay, the last question before we wrap things up is small ball. And that’s what I wrote my book on, I’ll be sending you both copies of it. The little things that add up to the big results. I love to explain it from a sports standpoint, that it’s what does not show up in the stats. It’s what, it’s what does not show up in the box score or oftentimes the summaries and I love this because oftentimes, I’ll hear from players that say this guy is so important because of this, this and this and you would never know it based on the stats because the guy might not have great stats, maybe he’s a great leader, maybe he’s a great voice or whatever it might be. What are the little things that add up to the big results for Planned on an everyday basis? We’ll start, Marc, with you.

Marc-Antoine Bonin 29:53
I seek to two things. They are the people you hire. That makes all the difference. Like at the event companies, people, it’s the culture you build. So I think hiring the right people might not move your, your key metric your revenue into month one. But when you look into month three or four, the year five or six, like it really makes all the difference. So let’s see, yeah, that’s the biggest one by far,

Joel Goldberg 30:22

Emeric Noel 30:23
Yeah, I mean, I had the same one in mind, like, but I guess to build on that, like, I’d say, like, a lot. Also, the best people that we brought in a company actually was not like people that we just like, you know, we found and we hired like that the next month. It’s actually people that we’ve been talking for four years, you know, some time and I think those small interaction that you take with people those those time and like, you know, those those just being, you know, a nice person or on your network, like, I feel like it can it can go can go a long way, at the end of the day, when it allow you like down the line to bring that like really good talent that in three years now becomes available, so.

Joel Goldberg 31:04
So more about the relationships first and foremost in the people that is necessarily about the skill set, Marc?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 31:12

Joel Goldberg 31:15
It’s said over and over again, every profession, it’s always about the people, because you can, you can teach the skills, in all likelihood, but you can’t teach the type of personality that people have. I’ve got some bonus questions that I want to ask both of you on on YouTube, some fun stuff, maybe get into a little bit of some of my favorite things up in Montreal, as well. But I want to let everybody know that if they want to find out information about Planned, you can do so by going to planned.com. Is that, gentleman, is that the easiest way for people to learn a little bit more about what you’re doing?

Marc-Antoine Bonin 31:50

Joel Goldberg 31:54
Well, I really appreciate the time. Thank goodness for virtual at least in terms of the podcasts, although I would have more than welcome the opportunity to get up to Montreal, and and hopefully that’ll happen again, at some point. See some family and all that. But Marc-Antoine Bonin, Emeric Noel, thank you both so much. Congratulations on all the early success of Planned and we really appreciate you joining me on Rounding the Bases.

Marc-Antoine Bonin 40:29
Thanks so much for having us.

Emeric Noel 40:30
Thank you.