Peter Ramsey is the Founder of Built for Mars – a leading UX design consultancy focused on the banking industry as well as a free community to learn UX design. Peter started Built from Mars in 2018 after his FinTech startup, Movem, was acquired and has since been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes, Financial Times, and many more. Peter sits down with Chris Snyder to discuss how critical UX design is to the growth of the fintech and banking industry.
Today’s show is sponsored by banks.com – the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products & services. Banks.com is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands.
"Making something simple is incredibly difficult. And I like that challenge." - Peter Ramsey
"What I found was that business was really difficult...there's a lot of things that are basically just like bull shit that you have to do." - Peter Ramsey
[00:00:44] Hello, everyone. Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder showdown president at Juhll Agency and founder of Financial Services Platform Banks.com. On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure, told through the stories of the top entrepreneurs and executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful entrepreneurs and successful brands. Today's show is sponsored by Banks.com, the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products and services. Banks.com is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions, bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands. To learn more, you can go to banks, dot com forward slash partners, or you can send an email to info at Banks.com. OK, without further ado, today's guest is Peter Ramsey. He is the founder of Built for Mars, a leading UX design consultancy focused on the banking industry as well as a free community to learn UX design. Peter started Built for Mars in 2018 after his fintech startup Move Them was acquired and has since been featured in TechCrunch, Forbes, Financial Times and many other publications. Peter is here with us today to discuss how critical U.S. design is to the growth of the fintech and banking industry. Peter, I know you work on a lot of other technology focused verticals as well, so thank you for being here today as firms get to me. Absolutely. Well, the money question, everybody wants to know where you grew up and how you got to where you are today.
[00:02:38] Yeah. So, I mean, I.
[00:02:41] So I'm twenty seven now. And yeah, I had a pretty, pretty standard upbringing, pretty standard kind of British upbringing. Right. And then went to uni and then I had the kind of cliche Silicon Valley story. Right. The university dropout start business, you know, run it out of the basement kind of kind of vibe. And I did that for six years until I sold it. Wow. The Internet's a hit. That's quite rare over here. Yeah. But still, it's like the Silicon Valley story is. I guess it resonates everywhere. Right.
[00:03:26] So were you living? Were you. So you went to university and you must have spent at least two or three years there. Were you working on and I'm assuming this was move them.
[00:03:34] Yeah. So I dropped out of uni I a four year course and I dropped out about nine months before the end. So I thought, oh yes. And I still haven't picked up my diploma or anything.
[00:03:47] I just really I'm just I can only imagine. And so did you live on campus or were you living at home and driving to school every day, or how did that work?
[00:03:57] The NSA lived on came up. I lived on campus. So I lived. So I grew up in Brighton, which is like the US lessness, southern London. So I go to London and directly down towards the say. I mean, I was the Union Bournemouth, which is, you know, a kind of irrelevant tie. So we wouldn't be on the map. But it's like a hundred miles away. Right. Yeah. Which is quite far. Yeah. But as far as you can go along the coast.
[00:04:29] That's crowded there. Right. It takes a long time to get. Plus the roads are small, piney. You drive on the opposite side. There's there's a whole bunch of stuff you have to get used to when you go there.
[00:04:40] Yeah, well, you do get used to the drive. If you if you grew up here, the driving feels normal. Right. Wherever else. Yeah. So when I had the classic kind of Silicon Valley, I sold it. Yeah. Over those. I'm sure it's about it later. But in those like six years. All the ups and downs, you know, to try to raise money fed into raise money. Company lately gone bust. You know, pull it back at the last minute. All of the cliches happened. Good and bad.
[00:05:13] No, I want to I actually want to dove into this. So you go to university and and you always knew that you wanted to go to university for, you know, business marketing, business studies, you know, maybe research analytics. I don't know what your intent was when you went, but when did you have the idea for moving?
[00:05:37] Do you remember? This is really neat. There's a website called like one million pixels.
[00:05:43] I do remember that, wasn't it? Didn't they have an ad, a one by one pixel for ads in that guy started? I believe it was. It was an Indian gentleman and I believe he also started Mir cat. Is that was that the same person?
[00:06:00] I didn't if I didn't have is the same guy, but I, I distinctly remember you're right, it was over a million pixels on a web page. Yeah. But a pixel for a dollar, right. Yep. And I remember looking at that when I was a kid. I must have been. Fourteen or something. But I won't be looking at it being like Jesus. Million dollars for the. Yeah. He made it right. And I was like, well, that's what I want to do. Like, I want to get rich quick somehow. Right. Anyway, that kind of changed. And then I was like, I actually think it's cool to run a company. And then I went to uni at the business studies, but I didn't have any ideas. So I was like, I think like a lot of people when they go to the US, just like this will fill some time. You know, this is something to do that isn't real life. You can kind of go and have a good time and not have the pressure of getting a job. Right. And then, yeah, I was into how I was. So I was how sharing. And we had a really rough landlord who basically was trying to charge us for a bunch of stuff. And at the time I was like, this is really unfair. Like, I'm just gonna go on and leave you a bad review. Like, I would, you know, a hotel or. Yeah, right. And there wasn't anything. So I was, you know, so. And, you know, the story I told the media at the time I made it was that I felt like I wanted to help everyone else in my God. Well, you're the first offered him. I was just, like, pissed off, right? I was like, I'm going to make this blog and you're going to regret charging me six hundred quid. Right? That was the reason. Anyway. Made the blog, put the House review on. And then other. I can't say if it was like a week or two later, but I was. It just blew up and I went like onto campus and, like, round the library. And people were like on it, like on the website leave in our interviews. Yeah. And I was like, this is incredible. This is like the new Facebook. Right. So that's when I like you know, I really focused on it. And obviously wasn't the new Facebook, but at the time I was like, this is this can be enormous.
[00:08:20] I'll say it. It was a site that allowed people to basically review their terrible landlords or their good ones.
[00:08:28] So both you know, it was mostly terrible of obviously, because people didn't bother leaving good reviews. Now, that was we started out I was like a trip advisor for housing. What what happened over the six years was that we we really pivoted. Into FinTech. And we pivoted into a product that was used, a technology called open banking. Yeah. And it used Latinate. This is before it. And banking was a thing. We were one of the companies who did screen scraping, which was a precursor type in banking, but was like a dodgy version. It wasn't really as secure as it should have been. Anyway, we looked at people's bank accounts with their permission. And then we we analyzed their income expenditure. And then we told landlords if they could afford to live in a property, basically. That's interesting. So we did kind of a 180. We started out helping the tenants and then we were kind of helping both. And in the end, we made this really specific fintech product that then became open banking. And then is now done by just by everybody. At the time, that was it was pretty, pretty novel at the time. No one had done it. We were the first people to kind of do that.
[00:09:48] So with this. So the first. So what? So I can understand. The first thing that happened is you basically just what, set up a WordPress blog and wrote a bunch of stuff about your crappy landlord. Right. So that must not have been too difficult, technically. Probably didn't require a lot of thinking around usability or whatever. Take a picture of the house. Say this guy sucks. Leave a comment section, WordPress plugin comments section at the bottom and you're off to the races. So was that about the extent of it?
[00:10:22] Yeah. I mean, so I. I didn't have any. I didn't care about you X when I started, really, you know, it was a WordPress blog for three years, I think, and and it was only when we got. We've raised like a that round that we hired like a really good team, then built the site ourself guy.
[00:10:44] So if it were technical founders, you guys were entrepreneurs and business idea folks and hustlers and you had no tech tech folks on your team.
[00:10:56] Well, so so just so as a sole founder and I believe Web sites. When I was like 14, I told myself to build dodgy Dreamweaver websites. And so I did that between 14 and like 21, got in and have paid my way to go through university. And that was always my plan, right. It was to like do that and then stop. Like, literally that was my plan, was to do that, stop a business, drop out of uni. It was like I thought exactly what I was gonna say. You're right. This is cliche. It's so cliche. C.A.T., the cliche story. You can't make this up. Like, I had so much belief myself and I look back now. It's sickening, right? I can't believe I believed in it that much like because now I don't believe in myself that much. Didn't mean I. Now I'm convinced I'm going to fail at everything I do. So.
[00:11:50] Well, it's interesting that you should say that because some people, some knuckleheads don't realize that until they're never until they're 60. I mean, some people really continue to believe their stuff for the rest of their life. And they haven't had one percent of the success that you've had and they haven't done, you know, one percent of the things that you've done. So in and by the way, being an entrepreneur and having success early. I think is is a little scary because you feel like maybe you get lucky and then doing that two or three or four more times over. So actually, why don't you tell us why you you you say that it's more difficult now for you to believe in yourself than it was back then.
[00:12:38] So when I started so.
[00:12:41] And. I guess I I guess I didn't know how tough like the business world was.
[00:12:50] A lot in a city again. Oh, I would say I came from a privileged background in terms of like I had a good education, like, you know, a lot of the pieces that make business life difficult for people. You know, race, gender, whatever. Like, I've kind of struck some luck on that, right? Yeah. Growing up, I hadn't really been held back by anything. And so I was just like, I've had to do it right. And. You know, what I found was the business was really difficult. You have to know people, you have to kind of know the dance of like, you know, when to really like Chase leads up, when to say no to people and say yes to people. There's a lot of things that are basically just like bull shit that you have to do.
[00:13:38] Yeah, I'm glad you said. Thank you for being on because it is it's a bit of a status game. It's a bit about who you know and relationships, and it leans in a lot more into that than it does the capabilities, the competency of the founders and the work that they actually do.
[00:13:57] Yeah. I mean, you know, don't get me wrong. Like, I put a huge amount of work in in those six years and, you know. Like, you know, I'm sure founders when they set out what it takes, right. But I was also incredibly lucky with the timing of what we stumbled across. And, you know, I just kind of kept us. I just kept the company alive long enough to get lucky, really was kind of what happened at the end. I wasn't held back by anything. More importantly, like I. I had no reason to be embarrassed by crap that I put out. Yeah, right. So, like, I was just I was just so like, yeah, we'll put that out, see if it works. And then some stuff. Didn't you know, some stuff did. Whereas now. So I sold that. And now, you know, some people kind of look at what I do and, you know, investors especially kind of waiting for me to do something again. Right. And because we had like eight hundred investors in the end, we crowdfunding a couple of times. Oh, my God. Yeah. I stay in touch with a lot of them. So. Now, when I put stuff out, unlike is this worthwhile, those people to see it had nothing to lose when you were right.
[00:15:15] And now you've got a reputation. You it's a mental thing more than anything. Right. Because. I think you know, as good as you are, what you do. You know, you still have to put stuff out and do test and learn and it can't you you over index towards speed rather than quality. No matter what. No matter who you are, I think.
[00:15:38] Yeah. I like. I always think about, you know, if. If Jack Dorsey went to do another company, right? And it sucks, like everyone would go, well, he got lucky with Twitter now, you know, and and it's like, well he might have tried a hundred ideas before Twitter alert. And, you know, you don't hear about that right now. Exactly right. But but you would hear about the next 99 after Twitter. I know yours. Yeah. And so, you know, it's repeated success is really difficult and it's a lot more pressure. And, you know, I'm older now, like, I was 18 when I started moving. So I was nine years ago. So I understand the world a bit more now on bit more pessimistic about some stuff, you know? So I definitely does get harder. And I try and, you know, with the belt for most things that I've got, I'm doing now. You know, they are working, fortunately. And, you know, I'm I'm really pleased with how that's going. But for the for the year and a half I was working on before, you know, it kind of became like an overnight success. It is. It kind of turned out to look, you know, for that for that year and a half. It it sucked for a lot. I like it. You know, it was kind of my mom and dad reading this stuff, and that was and then a few other people. Right. And and so I had a year and a half of kind of nothing working, you know, in the public perception that that's a great lesson.
[00:17:09] You know, there's a couple lessons here. I mean, one of them for sure is you'd mentioned that you were just there long enough to see it through and have the exit. But you have to be able to sit at the table if you can't sit at the table long enough. You will not have the exit. I mean, it may feel like people around you are having exits. This is seven to 10 years. You did it in six and a half. So kudos to you. You're ahead of schedule. Just stuff's not easy. Right. And then was it a good exit? I mean, you obviously are working. So either you love it. I know you're passionate about this stuff, but no, not all exits make everyone 100 million bucks and people don't drive around for hours. Right.
[00:17:49] Was it? It was an up. Like, I'm not allowed to say the figure. If you Google it, I'm afraid show. Come up. But it was in the millions, not hundreds of millions. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I work because I enjoy it. I to be honest, after after I sold everything, I was like, I can retire now and do nothing. And then we didn't like literally a day. I was like nothing more. Right. Weird. Yeah. Like I, I didn't, I didn't, I never did move in for the money. Really. I did it because I enjoyed it and I did it because that struggle of solving problems was fun. And I guess this is a good way to like say the stuff I do now with the book from us. You know, when I when I quit quit when I when I kind of exited, MoveOn didn't turn out and then left. I look back to what I enjoyed and I was, as I can, trying to think of new companies and think of what to do myself and. The I enjoyed the most was solving problems with product in a how do you turn like this kind of cranky app? That's a bit broken into something like, you know, name a company you love from Silicon Valley. Right. Yeah. And that to me was like it's like magic getting something that's as sticky as Facebook or getting something that, you know, makes. That just blows up and people love and people say it's easy. No, that's not easy to do. Making something simple is incredibly difficult. Correct. And I really like that challenge and say, yeah, with the with both from us, I basically was helping. I just start helping friends with their products because you were bored pretty much with was basically.
[00:19:35] That's a good problem to have people. The creativity was actually higher when there was a bit of safety there. Right. You don't have to scramble and make poor decisions. One of your mates comes to you with a great idea. You're like Leo's work on it. Let's have fun. I'm bored. I'm sitting here. You guys are all working. I'm digging a pond. Right. Like, I don't I'm having a Guinness digging a pond, like. But if someone comes to you with a great idea, you're really interested in it. You know, having that financial freedom does give you some latitude to really put a good effort into it.
[00:20:12] All right. The audience I understand the reference you just made, which is I am currently taking a pond.
[00:20:18] Right. I explain that you've now just got a weird catch phrase, right? Yeah.
[00:20:24] I was gonna I was gonna leave that for the substract subscription version, which I do not have. Content should be free. Wait. Not at all. Everyone's got to make money. But yeah, Peter is digging a pond because he loves manual labor. You just need a clear tool and manual labor.
[00:20:44] That and my girlfriend bought me a pond for my birthday. And that's the most, you know. You've left childhood present. I could have ever imagined. You know, I mean, that's the absolute pinnacle of. From here on out is it's it's rubbish gifts that, you know, you've just you bought everything you want to yourself. You know, I don't have a lot of stuff. So we're just gonna get you a pond or, you know, an alderman or.
[00:21:13] The gift that keeps on giving, the gift that keeps on digging. And then also in the pre game, we have to bring this up. I did not know this because it's late in England or United Kingdom, whichever however you call it. But I asked Peter is like, hey, you should grab a Guinness. And we first of all, Peter's been working all day. So we thank him for staying up late to have this conversation. But he we we got into a conversation about the different varieties of Guinness, which I am shocked by and appalled because I love Guinness and apparently Peter. Has alluded to me that there's different. Versions of Guinness super disappointed. What did you tell us that real quick?
[00:21:59] Yeah. Well, this say this is on. Throw up. I'm throwing myself under the bus here, though. The. So. This is this is definitely what it used to be. And this is what Irish people tell me. So. This is from Ireland, right?
[00:22:15] So this is qualitative qualitative data, not quantitative data.
[00:22:20] This is I don't know. Well, I've read it somewhere as well, so I'm sure it's true. I'll Google afterwards. And if it's not, then I'll send you an email and we'll edit that. Basically, Guinness made an Ireland. Is that the original recipe? And then they have like franchised out those ingredients. That recipe that like brand to other breweries. So the Guinness that you get in the US will be very similar to the Guinness you get in Ireland or the U.K., but it's not the same. And through and through my own, like, you know, anecdotal experience as I've traveled around, you know, limited the travel around the world. Like I've I've had a Guinness in America. It's not the same. It's not the same. It doesn't taste the same. But then I have Guinness in England, which isn't the Irish Guinness. And when my Irish friends come here, they won't drink it because they're like, it tastes horrible.
[00:23:12] Wow. Well, these are these are great problems I have. I got to tell you, super, you know, it's probably has some do a temperature, too, because I think the Irish like their Guinness room temperature, don't they? Today. I think so. You know what, I'll have to I'll have to Google that and send to you about that. So, Built for Mars, why? Where did you come up with that name?
[00:23:40] Yeah. Yeah. So that's for us. Yes, what we're talking about. So. Basically, us helping friends. Through word of mouth, help friends of friends eventually start just charging people to like talk about products, helping people with the ax, because that's the bit I enjoyed. Like the product was to be enjoyed. You X is kind of to do with products. It's like the entry into the product. And I basically farmers have done that for a year before I start charging people. And then I've worked some really cool companies afterwards. Then bear in mind I didn't have luck in a business for that. That was just me, like, you know, me just agreeing to do stuff for people. I was like. I'm working for some companies here that I don't if I should name them. If you go on the website, you'll see like testimonials tonight back some pretty big brands that you'll have heard of. And I was like, these companies are making really dumb mistakes, you know, and they're all making the same mistakes as well. And, you know, the fact they're all making them some of the best people, you know, working on these products, that they're not idiots. Right. These are these are great designers, great coders, great engineers. And these are these are people who are making these mistakes. I was like, I need to put this information somewhere. And then other designers, you know, may learn. And also, I can start sharing some of this content around because for for the first year, I was literally making these presentations, sending them to the company, and then they would just disappear in the inbox. Of course, I can't say I can't show anyone because they've been paid for and that super confidential and whatever. Right. So it's like I need a name and then I'll publish this stuff online. And the name was I don't know why. I don't really know how it came up with it. But the idea of the name is that people should build products that are so. So usable. And, you know, so easy that if you take them out of the context of where they are today, I take the app out of the office environment and you put it somewhere. Alien? No. They will still work. And, you know, a Martian or an alien could use your app. Right. It's that simple. And that was kind of the idea. It's like a silly little play on words.
[00:26:04] Well, but in context, context is always important, as you think about experiences. But I think you kind of flipped that on its head and said, well, wait a second, what if I was able to build something? Simple or what it would appear to be simple. It's hard to do this if I take it completely out of context, right?
[00:26:27] Yeah. I mean. So take Tesla. You know, they their automation have got a huge problem. It like, you know, the tail end of that automation. Right. Like, Tesla works a lot better in the US than does in the UK. So I have a model three and round my roads. The auto part, it's really not very good at all. And that's because it's really weird, right? Like cars, park and weird areas of London. Jumps in the road. Whatever. So it's like to solve and get like full autonomy in these areas will be incredibly difficult. That will take a very long time. I say. Who am I? Anyway, that's my opinion. But to get like an auto pilot to Mars would be incredibly difficult. But when it does get to the point where it can work in any environment, it was suddenly be so easy that you won't even think about it. And when people use these easy products, they forget how much like how many variable variable contexts have been considered. You know, how many devices have they built this for? How many browsers, you know, if they're on 3G versus Wi-Fi? Do they see a different Web page? Do they see different content? All this sort of stuff plays into what eventually turns out to be like a form with three fields on it.
[00:27:45] And you have to plan for the lowest common denominator to then you have to give these people the experiences that they deserve. You just mentioned the difference in 3G, 4G. I mean, 5G now. Right. Cell phone sizes. There's all kinds of weird cell phones. I mean, there's so many possible. Variations of the same product. Which brings me to the next question, like, OK, do you have a mental framework that is simple, that when you look at something, you can basically within a couple of minutes take that mental model or that framework can kind of go, OK? I'm looking at this, this and this. Here are the considerations. You start to mind map it out. And then finally, you come up with, you know, after one hour consulting session with someone. Yeah. You need help. Here are the ways you need help. You have mental models and frameworks for this stuff.
[00:28:43] Do you mean like.
[00:28:46] Building something from the ground up?
[00:28:49] No, I mean, criticizing other people's stuff.
[00:28:53] Yeah. I mean, so I. So I don't build. So I was gonna say, I don't ever design stuff. I'm a terrible designer. Right. Like, you give me an app to build. It'll be terrible. Right. A piece of paper for a very. It would be awful thought. Yeah. Criticizing other people's works a lot easier. I mean, everyone. I'd recommend it for everybody. Yes.
[00:29:14] You know, basically when you spend.
[00:29:19] I must have spent tens of thousands of hours criticizing my own work at MoveOn. And then, you know, two years of really concentrated criticizing and finding problems in, you know, mostly like onboarding and corps experience work. We don't use a thousand onboarding experiences and a thousand Sinem pages. Like, I can look at it and I can go. Right. I almost guarantee on the next page that Progress Bar doesn't match with what they had on the last one. And nine out of 10 times I'll be right. And you just get this like six cents for you can kind of tell the quality of the work when you see it vs. the mistakes that commonly made. So I have like a really lame. Super deep understanding of liden onboarding.
[00:30:14] No, that makes sense in you know, it's interesting. You know, we've been thinking about, you know, it's funny, user experience, user interaction, experience, UI, you acts like everybody calls design. These are all more in vogue now. But 10 years ago, they weren't. And, you know, really understanding multivariate testing, a B split testing, understanding if images look at a button or away from a button. You know, there's there's a ton of design features. And in functional things you can do inside of a forum or a funnel or an onboarding experience that can fundamentally change maybe startup success or failure, or if you're at an enterprise like a bank that could change and onboarding startup success or failure, B, potentially billions of dollars to the bank. Right.
[00:31:10] Yeah. Yeah. And I say it's one of the you know, one of the things I get asked a law is like, what's the conversion that you that you'll bring. Yeah, of course. And I and I purposely never like because it's like, it's like well I've worked on some companies where they've genuinely doubled that convention or whatever. And then I've worked with some. And they've seen a one percent increase to that increase. And it's like for a company that there's a there's a whole load of things at play. For example, like Chen can be over a longer period of time. So a one percent increase in conversion now, but then 90 percent of them don't leave. It's awesome. Yeah. So there's different ways to measure it, but also. For a bank or for somebody like a name, someone I haven't put up with, like Salesforce. Right. The thing with them that's a sales force improved that sign up rate by one percent. You know, that is so notable like that, it would raise the stock price did not make worse. And so for them to spend some money on that or work out, but that is a be hugely beneficial. And I can almost guarantee that they can improve it. I will said that if they if they went through everything. I bet they have 30 different journeys for different things. And I bet, you know, one of them was made two years ago and no one's gone back to it on dodgy Android phone. It doesn't load properly. Yeah. Like, instead of pouring money into marketing and Super Bowl adverts, if they just solve these problems, they would possibly see a better return.
[00:32:48] Yeah. I agree. And what do you think? Yeah, that's a great that's a great comment because obviously we have an agency. You're a consultant. And the minute you walk in the door, they want to croi. Right. So they're gonna say, all right, we're gonna give you this money to redesign our pages, but it better work and you better improve our conversion rate by 50 percent, which should lower our CPA by 70 percent, which should lower our cost per acquired customer by X percent. And they do all the they try to go through all the iterations, which I'm glad that they do. But in the meantime, you're kind of looking at it go, well, wait a second. The people come into these pages, are they coming from banner ads or are they coming from high intent Google ads or are they coming from Facebook ads every single. Visitor that is coming to this Web site is coming from a different purchase intent standpoint in that can have a massive impact on conversion as well. This stuff gets really complicated really fast.
[00:33:53] Right. Yeah. So there's there's way more variables than than people like the people understand. So, like, you know, the five G one you throughout. Like if if phones can load data considerably faster and web pages get heavier, like suddenly they won't work on old phones or they won't work on 3G. And so you have to have multiple versions of your own Web site. And you know what what kind of content you should do? You load a video that's more enticing when the person is on 5G or versus an image when they're on 3G. If so, you know what's in that video content? Does that convert? You know, there's there's way more variables and you can track that. But I just know you're from you know, from my experience doing this, which is only a couple of years, you have lots of consultants and advisory's and, you know, agencies go for like 50 years. But I know that if if I'm speaking to a company and within the first kind of meeting, they talk about like, ah, why? I know that they're not going to work me, cause if one of the big problems with your X is it, it it handles things that are unmeasurable like customer enjoyment or frustration or, you know, anxiety. But if somebody signs up with your form, it doesn't mean they weren't anxious about it. It doesn't mean they weren't, you know, distrusting of your service. But, you know, so they sign up. But guess what, people, if they don't trust your service, they're not going to recommend it to their friends. And so if you're just tracking something on our ally and something like if you're tracking on our I already know that you can't track that accurately. So I already know you're not going to enjoy what we do.
[00:35:37] That's so true. It's so true. Most companies that I've worked with in especially in this capacity, can not track this stuff properly. And they don't look at it. Right. And. They read a blog and then they overengineer the number of experiences when those experiences relative to the audiences that will bring revenue are completely irrelevant. Right. Or Dunstall a B split test software that makes the screen go work or load slow. So you're absolutely right. I would. It is it is a huge r a y benefit for those practitioners who know what they're doing. You certainly do. I've been doing this for a while as well. But I think the positioning around this is. I mean, look, guys. That's like saying go back to your Tesla example. That's like saying that if we just optimized the wheels like we're going to win, we we don't need design on the outside of the car. The paint job can suck. The steering wheel doesn't even really have to be there, but fix these wheels. And this is gonna be like fucking amazing car that that's very similar to telling a consultant who's focused on, you know, user interface usability design. Like, if you just do this, our whole company is gonna be successful.
[00:37:06] So, yeah, I mean, one of the examples I love. You know, sometimes people ask me, what's the difference between you and your ex? Right. And and the example that the best example I've come up with is you I. Is the analogy of a car. Right. So you. I would be. This is the concept car. This is what the dials that like, you know, whatever. You X would be as you're going through a tunnel at night. Can you fumble around and find the volume button without looking like. Can you find that on a Tesla? You almost definitely can't see the touch screen. Right. Yes. That is a not very good at. So that the tactile feedback of a button is quite useful. But that's the experience. Right. But you try sitting in, you know. Jaguar or something? Right. And in that board meeting and you say, hey, guys, we should use this different kind of leather on the button. It cost 10 times as much. And they say, what's the hour are you going to buy? We don't know. Right. Yeah, not today. What difference that will make to the sales. But it feels nice. Yeah, I like those small things over time. Then you look at products, they're like, well, that products way better. They're going to sell loads more. And it's like, yeah, but every single thing they did, they didn't have an ar y for, you know, having that nice image or having nice material. You just gonna have to trust the process that if you obsess over product and making product better when you have a better product, you will sell more products.
[00:38:44] When you have a better product, it's a better goddamn product. Yeah. If you know that agit, you've made some better. Right. Yeah. Imagine that.
[00:38:54] Well, that is, you know, you hit the nail on the head. You have to get someone in there like yourself that you have to trust the process. Right. And if everybody wants to run around and assign different KPI eyes in the finance office to this process, go for it. But in the meantime, our job, your job, anyone who's an expert in this field, our job is to make it better. You want it better. You want to measure that. That's great. I think we should measure it. But that's not contingent on, like, whether this project should be deemed successful. My opinion. Thanks for bringing up that point. So let's talk about banks and in banking. Why did you decide to do this? This, by the way, the sounds painful. I would never have done this like that. Oh, that's right. You were bored. You you retired and you bought a Tesla. You were bored. So you're like, how do I punish myself? Give me the worst industry on the planet for evolution. Customer journey. Customer service support. And I'm going to go tackle that. That's the reason.
[00:40:09] Right. Well, well.
[00:40:11] So I've been you know, I've been publishing case studies on both for us to the blog.
[00:40:21] And these are just like. Try to explain them delicate presentation. Have you ever seen the YouTube channel? Everything wrong with. And they go through movies and they're like, you know, there's this guy not in the right clothing or whatever.
[00:40:38] That's interesting. I have not seen that. But now I'm gonna go everything wrong with on YouTube.
[00:40:44] Oh, my God. They've been going on for years and it's like I don't know who does it. They're incredible. And it's like everything wrong with The Hobbit. And it's like 20 minutes of just, like, bloopers that made it into the film. Anyway, got to mess up movies for honest. They honestly it it's ruined films me, because now I see the problems in films as I'm watching them anyway.
[00:41:06] I probably ripped the idea of them, I probably item some money somewhere, so it's basically that for software.
[00:41:14] So it's like it's a it's a case study showing issues and problems software. And so I've been doing that on just like companies like IBM. That kind of thing. Right. And move in. I had already opened every bank account in the U.K., so I'd already done it once I got it. And then I closed them all. But so I knew they were bad. And then I was like, I was talking to a friend. And we're just talking about like, you know, I should just do the challenge of banks and that I'd make an interesting case study in a maybe some people would would view it. And, you know, people people who would say that the cliched I don't care how many people watch my stuff, I just enjoy making it. Well, I want people to read my stuff. Right. Like, I was like, I want to make something that people enjoy. I don't want to make something that gets one view right now, like, obviously. And so, anyway, we're talking about this. And we were like, get this or this would do really well. Like, if you reviewed, you know, a couple of the banks and compared them. And then I was like, well, why do a few. What? I'm just do all of them. Right. And and that I did just like, you know, it stuck in my head for about three months and then I one day just did it. It took me six months to finish. Oh my God. That was the six months of continuous work that it did take me six months to finish. And then, you know, even on the day before it released, you know, I couldn't get any press to write about it, like, you know, I thought I was going actually bomb, but it didn't. But yeah. Basically opened every bank account in the UK.
[00:42:55] Yeah. Slow. And so there's a couple there might be a couple lessons here. One. I think one of the lessons is. If if you have a hypothesis and you really believe in something, honestly, you got to go put in the work. You spent six months on this. This is a lot of work. You had no guarantee of pay. You had no guarantee of anything other than the fact that you knew that this was something you wanted to do. And you went and did it right. You took a chance. You took the risk. It worked out for you. And then I guess the second lesson in this would be, you know, I would ask you, what is this done for your for your business development as it relates to your client, like your client acquisition? This is probably kept you busy for two years now, I'm assuming.
[00:43:41] Yes. So I was to be to be honest, I was like, busy before.
[00:43:49] Like, I actually didn't have time to do this. This was like distraction. So I basically was like turning down work to do this free stuff. And the whole time was like, why am I doing this? This is saying, right? Like, I'm not making money from the blog. No adverts on there, whatever. So. Yeah, I, I just kind of I thought would be interesting, and when I started, I was like. I know this is going to be good because some of the banks are awful. And I was like. People don't realize how bad these banks are. So as an example, sending money abroad, I send. I sent money from a British account to look at transfer wise USDollar account. And I basically saw how much money that the middlemen to cow in fees. It's like 30 percent. Right. Well, one of the banks was like 30 percent insane. You know, it cost 30 pounds to send 100 pounds to us on our account. Right. That's criminy. Let's do with some banks. It was free. So it's like and transfer wise exists. And that was like 30 pale a pound or something like, you know, the fact that these banks get away with charging. 30 percent to me is just, you know, a lack of transparency. And so I knew it very well. But yeah, it's definitely done. It's definitely done very well for me. It's it's introduced me to new companies that, you know, I am happily doing stuff with. I want to do more. I want to do more about. I'm going to do more. You know, I enjoy the free content. I enjoy putting stuff out that the people seem to genuinely like. You know, maybe it's an ego boost. Maybe it's just feels nice. But like there's something about putting stuff on the Internet that other people enjoy. It's quite refreshing. It's not massively money driven. I know. I'm not getting paid for it. I'm fine with that.
[00:45:49] Yeah, but but you know what I mean. Honestly, someone's got to do it. No one's ever done this before. Or maybe they have. They didn't publish it because it was probably an internal study from one of the massive Big Five consulting firms that, you know, someone like a Wells Fargo or a Bank of America called. They were like, hey, why don't you run some customer satisfaction surveys behind the scenes here? Why don't you do some product discovery? And then when they get the results, do you really think they're gonna publish that stuff?
[00:46:21] You know, it's funny. I've done exactly that. You have no idea. So I've opened bank accounts in a bunch different countries for exactly that reason. And the reason why did the U.K. one was because, like, I'm going to do this and I'm going to publish it. And people want to sponsor it. And I was like, I'm not gonna take any money for this because I cannot read the whole thing. Right. So unlike this one is making it out there. I don't want anyone to. Period. But exactly that. Like, you know, these big companies will pay money for research that you're like. You know, at the end of it, I'm like, I wish you'd just let me publish this right, because it's a general like the public would love tonight.
[00:47:04] I can. I mean, I can tell you for sure and you probably know you know, maybe better than I do, because you probably work with the research departments at very large firms. But research companies charge two hundred fifty thousand dollars for stuff like this. This is super expensive. Amazing. The problem with some of the research firms, though. Ah, is that they have bias and they have bias because they have paying customers. So you think about forcer, you think about Gartner, you think about all these guys. And obviously some of it is not that way. But I just don't think that when you look at a magic quadrant or you look at, you know, whatever research they publish that, you know, use the salesforce. Analogy earlier, why in the hell would a billion dollar research firm? Go like Pisin sales forces, Cheerios that make any sense at all?
[00:48:07] Yeah. So. You know, I saw a sign that I. That's something that a lot of companies get me to do is.
[00:48:17] Like, look at their own product. And then also look at their direct competitors. And they'll be like, we don't just want an audit of our product. We want an audit of their products. Of course, then we can see the difference. Right.
[00:48:31] And it's like. You know, it's it's one of those things where it's like feels kind of wasteful a little bit, you know.
[00:48:41] And I, I sometimes tell that to them. You know, I say let this feels kind of wasteful because you'll be basically paying to get research done that nobody will ever benefit from. Correct. And it does feel like, you know, pushing that way around for no reason.
[00:48:58] And then there's politics. Right. And then there's an internal team there. And then there's a director and then there's a V.P. and then there's a senior V.P. and then there's an EVP and then there's the outside firm or agency. And then there's the board. And then there's the council. And then there's the council of the board in the council. And then before you know it. Yeah. Is it. Well, let me ask you a question. I'm making that assumption because. Because I've seen this stuff get buried before. Do you find that companies genuinely allow your your thoughts and ideas around user experience and user interface design to be actually implemented? This is a very risky and tricky thing to do, depending on the size of the organization.
[00:49:51] Yeah. So I it's probably quite self-selecting.
[00:49:57] So I work with. I tend to work with quite like forward thinking, mostly U.S. companies, to be honest, weirdly. And they're pretty good. Like like the companies that, you know, let's say one hundred people contact me. Right. I my my only work with one of them. Yeah. And that one is self selected. They've gone through the process where they've like done the arrow. And I'm like, OK, well you can get in touch me any time, whatever. And and then there's like, you know, they go through it and then we have various conversations. And by the time I end up working with someone actually booking time and because it's only me, I don't run an agency, so I can't take on endless work. That company that I work with tends to be pretty good. And so I do follow ups with them. And most of the time they implement stuff. They don't implement all of it because they might not agree with all of it. Or it might be more technically difficult than I realized because I haven't seen that code. But. You know, the sales force want it. If I ever worked with someone like Salesforce, I don't know where you begin unless you to find the right people.
[00:51:09] If you'd almost have to start in, like, one of their app rooms or their app stores or in a small corner of the business that they bought in, just kind of you could work on that for 20 years, I suspect.
[00:51:24] My gosh, you just beyond me. So I when I did the bank study in the U.K., one of the biggest. Global banks. I don't know. That gives away one of the biggest global banks, one of someone very high up in that in that company. They would like head of Europe or something. They go and touch me and they would. And they were like super into was doing. And they were like, you're exactly what we need to, like, take the company from here to where we can beat these Challenger banks. He's using common banks. They have, you know, all the financial products. They've got the scale. They've got everything right. Well, they don't have is they're not cool. Right. And young people don't like them. Correct. And that's like perception more than anything else. You know, these banks are one decent app away from people going to shit like this. Banks. Amazing. And so speaking to him and and they were like, you know, we would love to get you in. But honestly. I don't know where to ask you to go, because if I made you work with anybody, it would be like throwing a grenade into a series of like manages I don't a land. And the problem is, he was explained to me as like I could work with the designers, but then I would piss off their managers. Yeah. And at what level do you go in and make a change without, you know, ruining someone's bonus or. And well, they're explaining was was you know, what I think is basically political debt of companies that have got so vague with 70 promotions and so many layers that, you know, you can't implement stuff.
[00:53:12] No. Yeah. So your best your best bet would probably be like a mid-sized company that's, you know, private equity back. They've already thrown the grenade, right. They got rid of the CEO. They got rid of the management team because they weren't growing as quickly as they thought they should. And the private equity firms like, look, you guys better fix this. We're bringing in all new people to fix it. And then you fix it. Or a growth v.C backed company that obviously they've proven their product market fit. They've got a decent amount of revenue and they need to go into growth. You know, they raised growth, Capital Series A, Series B, Series C, and there are a few hundred million. Maybe they're worth a billion. I don't think anyone I think they would be begging to have this work done and they would happily change.
[00:54:04] Yeah, well, a lot of. So I have a subscriber like a newsletter. And most the people on there is like it's like a smoke. Actually is pretty on track. About 50 percent of the people like designers and various companies. And then the rest of them are pieces. And what happens is they will raise money for that, like Towfigh, their company. And then they'll be like, we'll raise money. But we want you to spend some of that money to sort your act out. Because we've used it, right. Exactly. That is like, you know, it's not because I am some UX genius. There are hundreds of people. A thousand people. A better you X than me. And have whatever in different areas. It's that, you know, having somebody that can come in from an external point of view and like critique your software is so important. You know, look, it's like. Go ahead. Teach yourself to hit a baseball on your right. Tell me. No, you can't. Yeah, you'd get some weird technique. You'd never know how good you play baseball. Sort of.
[00:55:15] I say cricket. You can't throw a cricket ball to yourself, Peter. You can. You can, however, dig your own pond and pour your own differentiated style of Guinness heading on the country that you're poor yet. Goodness. Well, you thought I was going to ask you, as I heard you talk about kind of your kind of your one man show here, which is awesome because you don't have any employees and problems with tech in this. And there's just you know, there's lots of overhead that comes with this. Not regular economic always, but other overhead. Yeah. So where is this? Where does this go? You want to create this killer small team of you x people that you distribute across all four corners of the globe and you'll only take projects that are meaningful and you just do your deal. Where does this go?
[00:56:10] Yeah. I mean, that's kind of where I'm at now. So I you know, I turned down more what I take on when I look at the projects I'm working on for the rest of the year, like it's all companies that. I would use Darlene Rain and a slab like hers. I mean, like a great place. I don't know how I can make it kind of 10x bigger. And that's something that bothers me. It's like a founda with that like mentality. I'm like, you know, is this it forever? Like, I have to have that drive of, like, how I can make it.
[00:56:45] You gotta start a product because your devices, services, businesses don't scale. I'm speaking from a services business seat and have been sitting here for 15 years and they just don't scale. And when they do, they scale linearly with cost because every single project you take, you've got to have that team. There's generally no recurring revenues. Right? There's just it's really. So maybe, you know, as you continue to dig into these guys, maybe you create a product, you know, an adjacent product line. From what you've learned, it's not services supported. Right.
[00:57:24] It's definitely a tradeoff. Oh, you know, when I have a good enough idea, I'll do that better. But I genuinely just enjoy what I do. Like, if I don't get paid up, still do it right now. So for me now, you know, I don't know how much longer I'll I'll do that. But I hopefuls continue paying, like, content out because I really enjoy that. And so even if I had something else going on, I'd do that. You know, I may strip back the paid work I do and instead spend my time on another company. But, you know, I work with a couple of other companies. I sell my boards on a founding team. So I kind of have my, like, fingers in a couple of things that, you know, none of them feel like. I'm sure you know, when you start a company, there's something about it that's like super yours and it's like almost like a baby, right?
[00:58:25] Super yours and super hard. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you're not getting any younger, Peter. You have like you have like six more of these to go. You're twenty seven. You've already done one. I figure you've got you can do one every six years. You'll be twenty. So you could do like another five.
[00:58:43] Yeah. Well I'm on the next one to. So the, the way I look, this is all part of the plan. Remember by genuinely I was like do one sell it for enough money that you can then not worry about money and instead spend the time not chasing cash because the problem you're running a company is like as soon as an investor or someone like Flash is a little bit cash. If you're desperate. So hot. Not down. So I wanted enough time and space that I can come up with a really good idea and just do it until it is ready. Unfortunately, I've got that and I've got no ideas.
[00:59:25] I'm way and that like a hit me and I.
[00:59:29] I know it will. I know it will. I have a technical question. Do you use what kind of tools do you use to do your work.
[00:59:39] Super bass. A keynote to do my presentations works really well. Well, what is it other than that? Pretty much Google Chrome, right? Like I did. This site is a is a kind of CNS Web site. Doesn't take any any steps. I don't do use any software fields then.
[01:00:04] No. I mean, I was I was thinking, you know, this whole no code movement is kind of I've come to get my head around that. I think we use web flow for a lot of our things. Right. But depending on how deep you go into sketch and you are you ex there are you know, you can use Adobe, you can use Invision app, which a lot of our you are you ex folks use. You use any of those tools in your data.
[01:00:33] Yeah. So. So because I don't design. I don't use sketch in that. But I used to sketch when I, when I did design stuff. But what happens is I end up using fake my sketch invision all of the above like people's. Sometimes I work on designs like y frames or sketches. So I use that stuff that I, I'll use whatever the client uses.
[01:00:55] Napkins in the bank if y. Yeah.
[01:01:00] So you know what, I've, I've seen it all. People have sent me just drawings on like a mirror. I mean there it and on your light you've gotta do something.
[01:01:11] That dude grab a piece of printer paper. If you have a printer I have one still. I'm not ashamed to say it. Just grab it and write it on a plane white piece. You don't have to scribble on napkins and stuff, guys. Just.
[01:01:26] I was one of these, you know, these people making, you know, one hundred million pound deals on a napkin.
[01:01:33] It's like it's telling me they don't have, you know, like a small piece of paper or phone or an eye or the leather, the leather binder that makes them look cool that they can carry with themselves, that they say that one piece of paper just in case they need to do this one thing, right?
[01:01:53] Yeah. In a sense, Peter. Well, as we bring this thing to a close.
[01:02:02] Give us one or two pieces of advice. You know, we've got founders, entrepreneurs, executives. You've done a lot in a very short amount of time. What kind of advice would you would you give our listeners to close this up?
[01:02:20] What from a U.S. perspective?
[01:02:22] Well, whatever you want, you can tell them, hey, don't drink Guinness in Ireland because you're everybody else on the planet.
[01:02:28] I don't care if I'm going to get beat up about that. I know I will. If someone someone will go, oh, actually, the recipe was originally from Kentucky or something. And, you know, I don't know. I've read a lot and I listen to other people's advice. Right. I reading from you is one of the things that I think leveled leveled me up in ways that I wouldn't have got to organically right there. There is something about a book is a lot better than an article, because if you get enough time to, like, digest the problem and then read the answer, I don't know. So I'd say I don't have any words of wisdom. I could regurgitate other people's right to read. Read more is probably useful to everybody. Yeah.
[01:03:22] Reading is is is super useful also. You know, something I got out of this call is you're obviously you're you're passionate about what you do. And so, you know something you mentioned a earlier as you just didn't want to be Kastrup, because then it I think it makes you do things you don't maybe want to do or you're not passionate about. And I think you kind of paid your dues to get yourself in a spot where you're like, oh, well, I'll read a book. There'll be the books I want to read. And then if I want to be a practitioner of the things that I've read, I'll just do that if I want to. Right. I mean, so yeah.
[01:03:59] I think, you know, a.
[01:04:01] You need to get in a breathing room to start a company, and if you're not fortunate enough to have a family who can put you through that or savings or something, you will have to bootstrap, right? You will have to have a job. In a shot, something you hate, right? Like you're dealing with all souls all day or asking us stuff is and, you know, treat me like shit. But then you go home in the evenings and then that's when you're working on the side there and you know the term bootstrap. I guess this is pretty well known. Like, that's just something a lot of people do. And, you know, so I boot straps for the first few years, we didn't have any money. I didn't pay myself, but I did Web sites like on the side. Yeah, but fairly easy because I still got sit my ass at computer. Right. Like, it's not hard work, but I think every company, every founder has to normally bootstrap some level. Right.
[01:04:57] Yeah. Well, and if you're passionate about it, you actually will do it. And I think if you spend the same amount of time and energy building stuff and doing stuff in attacking your market as opposed to begging one hundred theses for money before you have anything done, that's really the best way to do it. And candidly, a lot of these CEOs nowadays, they won't even give you money for an idea that you have to show traction, like you have to be making between three and ten thousand dollars a month. They will even talk to you.
[01:05:29] Well, let's say it was worse here, a lot worse. We we dream of the days that we can share a little bit of traction. UK investors are particularly frugal. There is it's actually often easier to go to the U.S. to try and get funding that is hit like you're expected to show a lot more traction.
[01:05:51] I mean.
[01:05:54] It's just that's just the way I think, you know, especially in Silicon Valley, where you say at least it used to be. I don't what it's like now. But, you know, they're definitely used to be. You could get a raise. Ten million off a brand name right now.
[01:06:10] Those days are over unless you're your brand is yourself. And you know the guy from Twitter that you'd mentioned earlier, if he quit Twitter and square, he's square to our stripe. I can't square. Yeah. So if he quits Twitter and Square and he says, hey, I'm going to start a new company, I don't know what it is yet, but I need one hundred million dollars because, you know, I'm going to figure it out. I think he's going to get a million dollar. I think he's doing just fine. I don't think Kivi fundraising. No, he doesn't need to go. He doesn't need a deck. He he doesn't even need a napkin. That guy.
[01:06:48] Your seat. Napkin. Yeah. I would just here my bank details. If you're in, you're in.
[01:06:53] Yeah. And if you're not, I'm going to take a couple billion bucks. I have. And go sit on a beach somewhere. Well Peter, this has been this has been amazing. Everyone, Peter Ramsey is the founder of Built for Mars, a leading U.S. design consultancy focused on the banking industry as well as a free community to learn UX design. He's got a lot of case studies on here. He's doing excellent work. I'm glad it's getting noticed and seen. Thank you very much, Peter, for for being on the show today.
[01:07:25] It's a pleasure. All right. You take care.