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Antoine Buteau

Business Operations at Replit

20 Insights · 7 Questions · 6min Read · 9min Listen · Connect with Antoine on LinkedIn

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Balancing scale and experimentation. The risk of becoming too data-driven and copying playbooks from other companies. Growth attribution. Why Product Market Fit isn't enough. The importance of integrity. Pricing is an underrated lever. The Bowling Alley Framework to make sure users activate. Productivity and knowledge managment. Hiring. International GTM.

Here’s what Patrick Coleman said about Antoine:

Antoine Buteau. I want to give a shout out to Antoine Buteau on my team who leads BizOps for us. Just super sharp. Started his career as an engineer and then was a strategy consultant for software businesses. Just a brilliant go-to-market operator. —Patrick Coleman, VP of Growth at Replit → Listen

What are 3 ways that your team converts your market into revenue?

Patrick covered our plans in a previous podcast so I won't repeat what he said. Our go-to-market motion is product-led which means 3 things in how we convert our market into revenue.

1) Our free plan is good enough to make our users successful and have them build cool projects. We don't do aggressive features gating, so we're able to acquire the right target users and users are able to experience the full value of the Replit product.

2) Because our free plan is powerful and we're targeting developers, in-product education is important. The limit people will hit with the free plan is around resources. When we included a resource utilization component within Replit, we saw an increase in conversion from the free to the paid plan. Users were able to understand their usage and the benefits of upgrading.

3) The importance of community. We give tools so that creators can share and show their projects. This means that our users push the limit of the product and help us market what you can do with Replit. In complement, we have a community team that harness that creative potential by organizing events like hackatons and jams.

What are 2 hard problems that you recently overcame?

Just to make sure I don't repeat what Patrick said I have two.

1) Growth attribution. We had a sense of what channels worked best for us. We dug in the data and found insights on what channels get the most pageviews, conversion and retention. It's very useful to have this data so we can double down on what generates the most result.

2) International GTM. We have a large user base outside the US, so we wanted to test what would happen if we do country specific go-to-market. Prioritizing the country to focus on required alignment across the company and we wanted to make sure that we don't slow the entire team by requiring product changes. We went out in the market, spoke to users to learn about the market dynamic and adjusted some of our go-to-market initiatives. We saw strong interest and users were receptive to our efforts.

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What are 3 roadblocks that you are working on now?

1) Hiring. We have ambitious growth plans, so we need to hire great people that will fit the culture. The market is competitive, and at our size, a bad hire is still very costly, so we need to balance that out, speed and quality.

2) Balancing scale and experimentation. We have acquisition channels that work. When you're transitioning from a startup to a growth stage company, you still need to run a lot of experiments, but you also need to scale what works and that require a different mindset.

3) Data Infrastructure. As you scale, there's always a risk of becoming too data-driven and copying playbooks from other companies. Data can only tell you what happened in the past. There's usefulness to that, but there's still a lot of value in the craft and thinking from first principles. It's important that we continue building that infrastructure while also aligning people on a set of common taxonomies, questions, tools and how to use those tools.

What are 3 questions that you love to ask and why?

Being a manager now, three questions I like to ask are:

1) How do people like working?

2) What are their career goals?

3) What are their current roadblocks?

Basically when I manage a team, the first thing that I always make sure is: is it clear? Are the expectations clear? Is the strategy clear? And then, are the work and the priorities clear? Being able to map that to their personal goals is very helpful for me as a manager.

What are 3 mental models that you use to do your best work?

1) For productivity, I use the Getting Things Done methodology. It's the best methodology I have found to instill focus and clarity on the work that needs to get done. I have confidence in my system which removes some of the anxiety around work.

2) For knowledge management, I use Roam Research. It's a note-taking tool that help you connect your thoughts and group them together in related bits of information. Being able to link information without friction and bringing notes in their context is super helpful when you have to do a lot of context switching.

3) The importance of integrity. I take it very seriously. Integrity means that you are trustworthy. Others can trust you to do what you said you would do. You can also trust yourself including living out your aspirations and visions for participating in the world.

What are 3 techniques that GTM teams need to try?

1) Brian Balfour at Reforge wrote a great piece on Why Product Market Fit Isn't enough. Brian adds three other components to the well known Product Market Fit model. These should all be linked together and have implications when trying to move up or down market.

  • Product Channel Fit - the concept that products are built to fit with acquisition channels.
  • Channel Model Fit - that channels are determined by your business model
  • Model Market Fit - your business model influences the target market and vice versa.

2) Pricing is one of the most important levers and I still think it's underrated. I like the Van West model, which is a multi-question model that indirectly measures willingness to pay instead of directly posing the question to potential buyers. Rather than asking potential buyers to identify a single price point, the Van West model helps assess a range of prices instead of just one. The simplest version of the model is to ask what the buyer considers an “acceptable” price (good value for the money) and at what point the price would start to get “expensive” (they’d have to think twice about buying it).

3) The Bowling Alley Framework, an onboarding model. The goal of the framework is to get the user to the desired outcome. You can use product or conversational bumpers to do that. Product bumpers might be product tours or progress bars and conversational bumpers might be in-app messages or direct outreach. You don't want to have a leaky bucket so the Bowling Alley Framework is useful to make sure users activate and retain.

Who are 3 operators that should be our next guests and why?

1) Eric Tran. Co-founder at Hookdeck. They are building webhook infrastructure that makes it easier to develop, monitor and test from one place. I managed Eric in the past and I'm super proud of his progress. He's a hustler, has the right customer-first mindset and he's really good at experimenting with go-to-market motion.

2) Makoto. Head of User Acquisition at Hopper. I know Makoto since college and he's one of the sharpest mind on growing consumer apps. He's currently leading a team of marketers, engineers, creatives and data-scientist focused on deploying multi-million dollar monthly budgets to scale Hopper user growth.

3) Wes Bush. CEO at ProductLed. Wes wrote one of the bible of product-led growth before it was cool and he's sharing a ton of great content on how the motion is maturing.

Work with Antoine → Replit is hiring!

Follow Antoine on Twitter → @anbuteau

April 2022 · Interview by Chris Morgan, Host of Market-to-Revenue

Market-to-Revenue Podcast ⚡️ Lightning-fast interviews with GTM operators in sales, success, product, and marketing.

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🔊 You need to meet:

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Shea Cole
VP Marketing at Fullscript
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Anita Toth
Chief Churn Crusher
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Darren Sharpe
Chief Revenue Officer at SuiteSpot
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Anthony Murphy
Founder of Product Pathways
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Craig Handy
Head of Revenue Automation, Tooling & Enablement at Shopify + Founder of Jameson Strategies
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Mo McKibbin
Head of Customer Support and Success at Moxion
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Vladimir Blagojević
Co-Founder of fullfunnel.io
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Jason Bay
Chief Prospecting Officer at Blissful Prospecting
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Katy McFee
Founder and Principal of Insights to Action
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George Valdes
Head of Marketing at Monograph
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Matt Baxter
Director of Product Management at Bestow
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Kristi Faltorusso
Chief Customer Officer at ClientSuccess
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Daniel Cmejla
Director of Partnerships, Community & Social Media at Chili Piper
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Shri Apte
VP Revenue at Triplebyte
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Dani Woolf
Director of Demand Generation at Cybersixgill
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Antoine Buteau
Business Operations at Replit
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Brandon Fluharty
Founder of Be Focused. Live Great.
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Meghann Misiak
Founder of The Path to President’s Club
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Ryan Paul Gibson
Founder of Content Lift
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Jacob Gebrewold
Commercial Account Executive at Klue
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Sidney Waterfall
VP of Demand Generation at Refine Labs
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Sam Kuehnle
VP of Demand Generation at Refine Labs
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Andrew Miller
Senior Growth Product Manager at Monograph
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Darren McKee
Director of Growth at Wellthy
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Sean MacPherson
VP of Customer Success & Experience at Alyce
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MJ Peters
VP of Marketing at CoLab Software
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Patrick Coleman
VP of Growth at Replit
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Arthur Castillo
Senior Manager of Field Marketing & Community at Chili Piper
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Leslie Venetz
Founder of Sales Team Builder
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Stuart Balcombe
Product Marketer at Arrows
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Jen Allen
Chief Evangelist at Challenger
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Carl Ferreira
Director of Sales at Refine Labs
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Mark Znutas
Vice President of GTM Strategy and Operations at Hubspot

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