Welcome to the Use Case Podcast, episode 212. Today we have Gadi from anywell about the use case or business case for why his customers use anywell.
anywell paves the way for innovative companies to take care of their distributed teams’ environmental needs.
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Show length: 23 minutes
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Music: Welcome to RecruitingDaily’s Use Case podcast, a show dedicated to the storytelling that happens or should happen when practitioners purchase technology. Each episode is designed to inspire new ways and ideas to make your business better. As we speak with the brightest minds in recruitment and HR tech, that’s what we do. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: Ladies and gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the Use Case Podcast today. We have Gadi on from Anywell, and we’ll be talking about the use case or the business case for why his prospects and customers both have purchased Anywell but also why they continue to purchase. So we’ll just jump right into it. Gadi, would you do a favor and introduce both yourself and Anywell?
Gadi: Sure. Hi William. Thank you for having me. A pleasure being here. A few words about myself: I’ve been in the entrepreneurship business for the past 20 years or so. Built a bunch of companies and actually sold them, one to Google, one to Natural Intelligence, which is an another company. So this is actually my third gig and, as I promised to my spouse, the last one,
William Tincup: No. No, it can’t be the last. Come on, man. These are the things you have to say to your spouse, but really?
Gadi: Now it’s on the record so I’m obliged.
William Tincup: I’m going to check in with you in a couple years and see about this. But all right, I get it. That’s fair. That’s fair. I’ve been married for almost 30 years. I understand.
Gadi: Yeah. And this is my most encouraging and also challenging project I’ve been involved at. And we have very high end and promising ambitions about what we are trying to achieve here. So I’m going to dive into it in a second. I’m just going to say that I’m based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Lived in the States for a few years when I was working for Google. And the I’m glad to be here
William Tincup: And so much innovation, especially coming out of the HR and recruiting work tech space coming out of Tel Aviv. It’s just amazing. It’s like there’s a manufacturing plant coming out of Tel Aviv of great… Not good, just great plays in the space, so congratulations.
Gadi: Well, thank you. It’s been like a very dense swamp here in Israel, and specifically in Tel Aviv. You probably know the numbers. There are more startup companies based in Tel Aviv than in Europe, Far East, Canada combined.
William Tincup: Wow. No, I didn’t know that but it makes sense. It may sense from the user’s perspective. And what I love about it is practitioners don’t care where software is headquartered or where it’s made, and rightfully so. It’s software. It doesn’t matter. Things that maybe 20 years ago would’ve been like, “Oh, you’re based in New Zealand?” Nah, it doesn’t matter. That stuff doesn’t matter more, and thankfully so.
Gadi: Yeah, I think one of the good things that happened since the pandemic hit is that we can appreciate some stuff related to productivity, and miss the old work life balance that we had. But out of this lemon, we can definitely make some lemonades and come up with new plans about how to work better and to leverage the fact that we have this new availability where we can work from anywhere anytime, and to create some sort of a new equilibrium point between work and home, between life and career. And I think this is like some sort of a call of duty to come up with new standards and new even protocols to manage with this very intense period we’re living at.
William Tincup: I love it. Well, tell us all about Anywell.
Gadi: So together with three friends, which we worked together in the past whether in Google or in my former companies. We started Anywell. Initially we were named Nwell, but as a part of the launch we actually took our own brand and we are Anywell. And essentially what we’re trying to do is to… It sounds very, I would say, bold. We’re trying to shape the future of work by offering a new, flexible way to practically work from anywhere but not from your home and not from, whether you have an office or not, not from your office. We are aiming for the third place. And originally the third place is the place between work and home. Whether it’s the church or the bar or even the barber shop, this is originally the third place. And there’s no reason why the third place couldn’t host you to work from that place locally in a very local ambience, very friendly environment on a recurring basis.
So what we found out is that third places not only matches the new environment with decent coffee and strong wifi, they’ll be happy to host you and your peers. They’re already doing that. All the places I’ve mentioned, maybe except the church, are very welcoming to the knowledge workers, which, it’s the academic name for people with laptops. So for that segment, what we are offering is a new way to take care of the friction point which is essentially around prices. And the fact that you can enjoy a very lovely, accommodating environment by sitting in this luxurious place for four hours over one cup of espresso. So you can enjoy this amazing place, but the host might not like the fact that, for the most expensive real estate in the neighborhood, you are paying $3 for those four hours. So we are taking care of this friction point. And what we are bringing to the table is actually a new business model where we are charging people by the hour and creating a new way to predict the revenue for those hosts.
William Tincup: So what category, and I’m sure you get asked this question a gillion times a day, what category do we fall into? Because it’s a bit logistics, it’s a bit employee engagement and satisfaction on some level because you’re giving them a different option. You’re giving them a different way to work if they don’t want to work from home or if they don’t want to work from the headquarters, or if they’re traveling. Whatever. Then you’ve got a map of different places that are open and that they can easily book time as they need to. I can see obviously the benefit to the venue, whether it’s a restaurant or a school or a church or whatever. There’s unused inventory there that obviously there’s a benefit to them.
But there’s a benefit for everybody involved. You don’t have to of pull down the lease, the 10 year lease and have this space that no one’s using. It’s burstable. I love that. But where do you typically… When you’re talking with practitioners, how do you position it to them and their minds? Because it is new, to think of it like this. It is new. So how do you position it?
Gadi: Yeah. From the demand side we’ve been talking with a bunch of tech companies essentially. And what we’ve found out is that the wellbeing is dramatically damaged among workers. Since the pandemic people have been working around the clock from their shelters. And everybody assumed it’s going to be like a temporary thing and we’re going to see one wave and we’re done and we’re back to the office. And since, we’ve been all, for the past two years, in the same state of mind. And frankly and practically speaking, we can’t really say that in the horizon we are going to be after the pandemic and it’s going to be behind us. Sadly or not, that’s not the case.
So we are talking about this new steady state where the office is less inviting and less safe for us. And home has its own challenges, whether it’s procrastinations. Or it can be even toxic for some people yeah, spending half of their time or more from their bedroom. Or even their office room, it’s not a great place to spend half of your career from. So what we found out is that there’s a new motivation for organizations to get people out of their homes but not necessarily or entirely in order to come to the office. The commute is not that great, to say the least.
William Tincup: Right. Not value additive especially. Yeah.
Gadi: Yeah. In Israel I can say, and also we’re working in New York right now, it’s horrible. It’s a living hell to commute. Whether you live in Brooklyn or in Jersey, commuting to the city is a nightmare. It’s it has always been, but we didn’t have the alternatives. And now since we have the alternative, which is staying at home and working from home, it makes more sense to stay around where you live and work within 10, 15 minutes of walking distance, so work from there. So organizations are willing to actually sponsor that and offer this list of amazing places where they actually work from in a very predictive environment. And when I’m saying predictive, and this is very important, we’re talking about having a reserved seat, having hot and cold drinks, industrial wifi, where your Zoom won’t get stuck up. And food as well.
So as long as we can maintain this level of predictability for the supply side, which means they know exactly how much they’re going to get since they’re working by the hour with us, and for the demand side, for the employees, for the organizations, because we can create a new environment for them to work from nearby their homes and get them out of their shelters for the past two years. So this new kind of a marketplace where we have locations, very inviting, very accommodating, professional hosts on the supply side. And on demand side, people who would like to work nearby the homes, avoid the commute, and enjoy working nicely and with this high level of accommodation,
William Tincup: You know what I love about it? Is it solves a bunch of different problems simultaneously. One is this return to work or this return to commute, it’s kind of an old model and an old mindset. And hybrid as a concept, it works for some. If you do have 10,000 square feet in downtown Manhattan, fantastic. And people want to commute? Okay, fine. Again, that’s all fantastic. But what I love about is, on the supply side and demand side, is you’re giving people a choice. You’re really saying, “Hey, remote can be thought of differently.”
We’ve been forced in to think of remote as one dimensional, work from home, but we can think of, actually, remote in a different way. And that’s for employees, that’s for fractional, all the different types of ways we look at talent, so subcontractors and people that are flex and all these different models of talent. And also what I love about it is it’s this unused inventory, this unleveraged inventory for all of these folks. Hotels, churches, like I said. There’s just so many places that already have these places, just they go wasted. They go unoccupied. Yeah.
Gadi: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more, William. I think that we’re in the optimization business. The fact that we can unlock a new business model for hosts who are paying this very expensive rent in the most expensive places in the city. And to drive traffic that would pay… Just like when you’re taking an airplane. There are different classes where people are paying, depends on how deep their pocket is, whether it’s through the organization or they can offer it for themselves. So we are doing pretty much the same thing without the curtains between the classes. We are driving this new business traffic into places without really interfering with the very delicate fabric of those places to keep those places very warm and inviting. And yeah, someone can pay $4 for hours while someone next sitting next to him with a business account would pay 10 times more, which is fine.
William Tincup: Right. So when you’re explaining this model to folks, maybe it’s their first time of understanding remote can be done differently and officing can be done differently, what are the buying questions that you love to hear? What’s the tell where they get it? The light switch has turned on and they understand that, “Okay, work can be done differently. Workplace, workforce, remote can be done differently.” And this is just a better model. It’s a better optimization of that talent and also those logistics. What are some of the buying questions that you love hearing?
Gadi: Well, the one thing we’re asking those organizations is, what are your challenges? Whether it’s distant talents, are people willing to actually come back to the office at all? Are there feel depressed? Do you see any retention issues or challenges? Now with the great resignation, and I’m sure you’ve covered that on your podcast, this is a huge, huge unprecedented phenomena where we’re seeing millions and millions of employees resigning every month. And one of the reasons is they’re damaged, injured, I would say, wellbeing. And initially what we’re asking those organizations, are they willing to try us out? No commitment. They’re actually not paying for the pilot. And let’s try to measure how people who are using Anywell or members through our service feel better, feel more relaxed, feel more obliged to the company.
Do they want to meet with their peers more, et cetera? And an interesting fact is that 1/3 of the sessions we are seeing on our systems for two people or more, which means that people are actually… Us as social creatures, people do want to meet, even on their home days, as long as they meet nearby their homes. So they actually get together without coming to the office, which is very refreshing and surprising to the HR teams that people want to meet even on their day on home days. And this is one signal that we are doing something good. Without commuting, without spending those hours and polluting the environment with increased carbon footprint, we can do better working from a local cafe or from a local hotel lounge. This is unlocked now for them. And another fun fact is that Anywell actually helps retaining employees. Over 48% of the employees we’ve been working with, we ran this questionnaire among them and they said they are more likely to stay at their companies when Anywell is offered. So effectively we are some sort of a retention tool for knowledge organizations, which is pretty awesome.
William Tincup: Oh, I love that. So when you show people Anywell for the first time, the demo or your folks demo Anywell for the first time, what do you fall in love with? What’s your favorite bit? And what do your prospects and customers, what do they fall in love with?
Gadi: Yeah. My favorite part is definitely the ESG part, the fact that we can bring to the table a new way for organizations to increase their environmental, social, and governance factors. And we’ve been creating those monthly report where they actually, if it’s a pop company, they can actually report to the stockholders that, “We reduced this and that amount of hours commuting. And we reduced this and that amount of tons of carbon using distributed workspaces,” which is the way they are looking at us. So this is a really big thing for us, to see how not only we’re helping the environment but also all this money goes for local businesses and local communities, which is pretty awesome. That’s what kicks me as the most exciting part of what we are doing. For companies, I think that having a new tool for facing the new challenges for those organizations now that their gravity has changed. The fact that the office is no longer the glue between employees. The water cooler chat is not longer available, so they are more open and more receptive to distributed solutions out there.
I think that what we have seen in the servers business like 20 years ago, where we moved from a central server, very costly. I remember those days where we paid tens of thousands of dollars for having a server online, where now you’re paying 1% or a few percentage out of the old budget just to get better service from the cloud, whether it’s AWS or other solutions out there. So we are, I think, bringing the real estate to the cloud and offering something very local, very fresh, and by far less expensive than having those skyscrapers and offices as we used to have two years ago.
William Tincup: I love that. And I love real estate to the cloud. That’s just a beautiful phrase. Last question: If you and I are having this call in a year from now, just this time next year, Q1, at the end of Q1, beginning Q2 next year, what’s similar or different for Anywell?
Gadi: Well William, first of all, I would love to be here a year from now so I’ll take that as an invite-
William Tincup: As you should.
Gadi: And to answer your question, hopefully we’ll be a very legit real estate option for companies to adopt for remote workers, and a way to support the environment, support local communities and society, and to offer a better, more flexible way for employees and people to work together nearby their homes. So right now we are live in New York and all across Israel. Hopefully we’ll be more available across US within a year. That’s our ambitions, and hopefully we’ll be there.
William Tincup: I love it. There’s a couple things in there that… Just for the audience, the ESG and the importance of ESGs. The real estate to the cloud. And then just a more efficient model of working with talent, and also working with those venues. So I love it. Gadi, I love what you’ve built. Thank you so much for carving out time for us, for our audience. And thanks for being on the Recruiting Daily Podcast.
Gadi: Thank you very much, William. And it was great being here, and thank you so much.
William Tincup: Absolutely. And thanks for everyone listening to the Recruiting Daily Podcast. Until next time.
The Use Case Podcast
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
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