Alumni Spotlight: The Unexpected Twists & Turns of Robert and Alex Moutal’s Path to Creating their First SaaS
Not all our journeys are the same. We all have our own paths to creating a life we love! Such is the journey of each The Foundation Alumni. Once a month we’ll share these stories, straight from the source. Here’s our TF Alumni Spotlight of the month, Robert and Alex Moutal, Founder of Clarity Wave.
My brother Alex and I never wanted a software company. We didn't even know that it was possible to start one without being a tech wiz.
But things happen for a reason.
In mid-2013 my brother Alex and I decided that we wanted to buy and sell online businesses and we got in touch with a couple of great guys who put together an Internet Investment Summit in Boise, ID.
All the speakers at the summit had something to do with buying, evaluating, marketing building or selling websites.
All except for one - Dane Maxwell.
Diving into the Unknown
Dane did not fit in with the rest of the presenters. For starters, he began talking about SaaS – a term that I had never heard before. Then, he cried as he spoke about his childhood. Yes, he wept at an Internet Investment Summit.
But then he started talking about The Foundation. It sounded exciting, but it also sounded like a lot of work in a field that did not interest me in the least.
Until I saw Alex filling out an application.
What!?!? What happened to "buying and selling websites"? We never wanted to build a software company!
Alex is as tech savvy as my grandmother! He can barely work the remote. What was he thinking?
Needless to say, I did not want to be left behind. If my brother saw something in Dane's presentation, I wanted to at least check it out.
So we did.
The first time we applied, we were both rejected. That didn’t stop us. When we were finally accepted into The Foundation, we went through the program 100% committed to building a SaaS business.
Finding a Very Big Stinking Pain
We began by searching for a market. I started making Idea Extraction calls from realtors, preschools, dance studios, music studios, video production companies to photography businesses. I simply couldn't find a pain big enough that would justify developing a business around it – at least not for our first business.
Alex, on the other hand, didn't go through as many markets. Being a partner in 23 Häagen Dazs stores all over Mexico, he had a very big stinking pain: dealing with employee turnover and dissatisfaction.
So we both decided to start digging deeper into the Human Resources field. Together, we must have made about 50 calls and interviews trying to find a way to improve employee happiness.
We analyzed our competition and saw that they were missing a few features that would tremendously benefit companies. We put together a sketch of the software and we pre-sold it to Häagen Dazs for enough money to get the MVP built.
Thus began the wildest roller coaster ride of our lives.
The Birth of Our First SaaS
In September of 2014, nearly a year after we joined The Foundation, we launched Clarity Wave with our first product: EPIC, Employee Perceived Image of the Company.
It has not been an easy ride at all. B2B sales cycles are very slow and sluggish, and trying to get to the decision maker is not always easy. But slowly, we've been gaining momentum.
Today, 15 months after launch, we have 16 clients from a wide range of industries.
We offer our software to hotels, restaurants, telecommunication companies, law firms, shopping malls, publishers and many more. Some of these companies have under 50 employees and others are as big as 100,000 team members.
Are we ready to quit our day jobs and do this full time?
Not yet. I wish I could say that in just 6 months were making millions, but that's not nearly the case for us. We are consistently building a better product that we are proud of, while working our day gigs. We will keep on sowing the seeds that will grow to build our future. That future looks brighter than ever before and we know that, if we keep at it, hitting the pavement every single day and doing the 20-mile march, we will get there.
And the best part... we are making a lot of people happy along the way.
Robert and Alex Moutal
Robert currently works for a Spanish-language TV and radio conglomerate and has won 16 Emmy Awards for his performance on Television. Alex is a partner of 23 Häagen Dazs stores in Mexico for over 20 years now. Together, they founded Clarity Wave, a tool to help corporations improve their workplace climate and employee happiness.