Found In The Rockies

Mike Myer (Quiq) \\ The Godfather of Tech in Montana

May 18, 2022 Les Craig Season 2 Episode 19
Found In The Rockies
Mike Myer (Quiq) \\ The Godfather of Tech in Montana
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s episode, I speak with Mike Myer, who is the founder and CEO of Quiq, which is helping redefine the ways that customers are communicating with companies. Mike talks to us about the history of his involvement in the Bozeman tech community, the origin story of Quiq and what he thinks may be in store for the future of conversational AI. We also talk about the future of tech in the Rockies, and Mike gives some good advice to other founders.

Here’s a closer look at the episode:

  • Mike’s love for computer science and engineering
  • Right Now Technologies based in Bozeman, MT
  • Moving on to Dataminr
  • How Mike’s communication style created a “light-bulb moment”
  • Working with CradlePoint
  • Building Quiq
  • Quick adoption and growth
  • Why text messaging with customer service is more efficient
  • Acquiring Snaps! and the importance of conversational AI
  • What’s going to happen to the phone? Is it going away?
  • The future of Quiq
  • Mike’s advice to founders in the Rockies



Mike’s Linkedin:

Quiq LinkedIn:

Quiq Twitter:

Quiq Facebook:

Quiq Instagram:

Mike 00:00
And I intended to get to first product and then go out and raise a Series A and kind of go down the the typical fundraising path. And I got a little preempted in that, where one of the data miner investors reached out and said, Actually, I'm going to be in Bozeman. This was totally a ruse. I'm going to be in Bozeman, and I'd like to have dinner with you and talk about what you're doing. And that turned into a round. So I was lucky in that I didn't have to fundraise the first round.

Les 00:35
This is Found in the Rockies, a podcast about the startup ecosystem in the Rocky Mountain region, featuring the founders, funders and contributors, and most importantly, the stories of what they're building. I'm Les Craig from Next Frontier Capital. And on today's super fun episode, we have Mike Myer, who is the founder and CEO of Quiq, which is helping redefine the ways that customers are communicating with companies. Mike is going to talk to us about the history of his involvement in the Bozeman tech community, the origin story of Quiq and what he thinks may be in store for the future of conversational AI. Hi, Mike, thanks so much for joining us. Before we get into Quiq, why don't you tell me a little bit about you and what started your love for computer science and engineering?

Mike 01:25
Sure. So I'll try not to bore you with too many details. But in a nutshell, I am a technologist, masquerading as a CEO. And I started my career in computer science. I worked for a number of years way back in the day at Bell Labs, when that was a thing. And I was basically interested in cutting code and doing really technical work. And in those days, one of the projects that I worked on, had to do with some customer facing, like trouble ticketing system, we received alarms from PBX's that were in the basements of large buildings and handled like the the communications failures of those systems. And

Les 02:13
Bell, Bell Labs is really leaning forward with that, with that sort of an approach,

Mike 02:19
Not surprising. That's what Bell Labs did telecommunications equipment, and I worked on telecom. So that actually got me exposed a little bit to customer service and customer experience. And as my career progressed, and I started to think about doing other things. About that same time, the Internet was coming up. And you know, folks on the podcast today can't see that I have a little bit of gray hair. So I've been around this industry for a little while. But the internet was coming up and I decided that the next stage of my career, I should be part of an internet startup. And at that point in time, I moved from New Jersey, to Bozeman, Montana, and Bozeman was small compared to what it is today. That was 20 plus years ago, and joined this startup called Right Now Technologies. And that was a good run. We went public in 2004, eventually grew to 1200 people, we were $225 million dollars in run rate and revenue and 400 people based in Bozeman. And we eventually got acquired by Oracle after going public in 2004. And it was a $1.8 billion exit. So pretty good run, we built a really great company that had good employees, good culture, and some great customer relationships.

Les 03:40
And for our listeners who may be I mean, if you're if you live in Bozeman, you've heard of Right Now Technologies, but I mean, this was this was the company that really started at all in tech in this region. And for me, frankly, in Montana, right, Mike?

Mike 03:54
I think that the time and maybe this is still the case. We were the first company to have her have an IPO that was based in in Montana. Yeah, yeah, we we definitely put tech on the map and and, you know, kudos to the founder of Right Now. Greg Gianforte, he had the kind of the the vision that the world was flat before the book got written. So in order to build a great company, you just needed internet connection, good source of talent and a good quality of life for people wanting to live. And that was the basis for me picking up and moving from New Jersey to Montana, all those years ago.

Les 04:32
Yeah, amazing. And you were you must have been like employee number three, four, seven. As the CTO, unbelievable. It's so great. And I gotta say, that's probably how you earned the reputation or I've heard people say, you know, you're Mike Meyer, the godfather of tech in Montana. That's what I've heard you've been folks have called you. Do you know that if you heard that before? 

Mike 04:56
I wondered if that was going to come out in this interview. 

Les 04:59
Sorry. It had to because we had to make it like go full on at that that nickname. So super fun.

Mike 05:06
I think that's Will Price that has coined that term. So I’m not laying any claim to being a godfather. That’s for sure

Les 05:14
I thought maybe like that meant that if you are tech founder, you're gonna wake up in the morning with like a horse head and your bed and Mike put it there. That's not that's not the case.

Mike 05:24
But my goal was not to torpedo any other tech startup.

Les 05:28
Awesome, great. Good to know. We just wanted to clear the air. So that's good. What about after after Right Now what what was what was next? I mean, to have that much of an impact on the ecosystem. Amazing what the outcome there. What do you do after that? What's what's next to top that,

Mike 05:44
you know, after we got acquired by Oracle, I worked at Oracle for a little while. And it really was really focused on kind of helping the business transform from an on premise software business to a cloud based subscription business. And I worked on that for a little while and then decided I really wanted to return to a smaller organization and get back to kind of the startup culture, and speed of innovation, etc. And so I joined a company called Dataminr that was based in New York City. Because I met my wife a number of years ago, and she was based in New York City. So I actually ended up spending a portion of my time between New York and Bozeman. And so worked at a Dataminr for a period of time and really helped to get Dataminr started, I was the first head of engineering and VP of product, and took a team of about 10 engineers to a team of 50 in about a year and a half. And that in time period of time raised a pretty big fundraising round. And Dataminr is is off to the races. They're talking about doing an IPO in the future. They've raised a monster round about a year and a half ago and there is an office in Bozeman now too. 

Les 07:02
Yeah, which is unbelievable. And I think a lot of people would be surprised to know that, but I mean, yeah, I mean, this is a company that raised I think raised like like 475 million, I think at a 4 billion plus valuation their last last round, I mean, unbelievable company. And you you were was that the only engineering team initially was in Bozeman.

Mike 07:27
So when I joined, there was a the the original co-founder and group engineers were based in New York. And as we grew the team, we added some people in Bozeman, and I think that that Dataminr’s continued to do that. So I had a little bit of influence in bringing some other business to Bozeman, but I left Dataminr, really, with the realization that my roots in customer service customer experience, the I didn't talk about it earlier, but the Right Now solution was used by many large brands, folks like Nike and Starbucks, and Sirius XM, and it ran their customer engagement. So if a customer contacted them on them on the web, or email or phone, those interactions were handled by hundreds of 1000s of agents working inside of the the Right Now platform. And so that kind of grew on the experience that I had at Bell Labs, of working on the customer experience customer service system there. And, you know, after spending that much time in the space, I had the observation that the way that people communicated in their personal lives. And this was 2015, the way I communicated in my personal life was a lot of text messaging. And based on my prior experience in the contact center, there was no reason why contact centers couldn't be driven on text messaging instead of the phone. And so I started this business, left Data Miner to start this business with that realization, and had a technical co founder, Bill O'Neil, who I previously worked with at at Oracle. And we basically set off to do the next generation of B2C communications, based on text messaging.

Les 09:12
Amazing. I mean, and just to remind people, you just said it, but I want to emphasize I mean, this was 2015. Still very visionary in terms of like, like, nowadays, people say like, of course, of course, people are using text messaging for business, like, why wouldn't they? That's what we all use to communicate. But I would say back then, I mean, this was pretty, pretty visionary, pretty cutting edge was anybody else taking that approach at the time?

Mike 09:34
So, at the time, the only channels available were SMS and iMessage. And iMessage wasn't open at that point to us like it was those were what people used. There was a little bit of Facebook messenger that wasn't open to us. The year following, Facebook Messenger open for business. Apple business chat became a thing which is a business communication on top of the the iMessage app on your phone. And at this point in time, we said supported about a dozen different channels. So the world has moved very much in the direction that we originally set out to do. I, you know, it's, I feel lucky to have kind of like seen where this was going. And it, there's still, I think if you ask someone on the street and about their consumer interactions, there's still lots of consumer interactions that don't occur on text, especially with large brands. Everybody's probably texted with their dentist or their doctor to confirm an appointment. Or maybe they got a text message, it's in their car’s ready at the car dealer. But when it comes to, like, I have a problem with my order with a large retailer, you probably haven't texted with that large retailer. And that's the problem that we're focused on on changing at Quiq. Because the fact of the matter is, nobody wants to spend time on a phone wait for wait on hold. Phone calls are disruptive. There's a whole generation of people that don't use the phone. And email is not immediate. It's not doesn't it's not urgent enough. Like I want an answer right now, I want to talk to somebody but I don't want to make a phone call.

Les 11:08
Right? It's an expectation that we have as a result of this new world we live in like I want the answer now.

Mike 11:14
Yeah. Like if you want to get something done with family and friends, you sent a text message. Why isn't it as easy to deal with a brand as it is your family and friends?

Les 11:23
Yeah, I mean, certainly with the right tech and the right tools, it should be just as easy. And there's also this I feel like culturally, especially younger people, they they love the asynchronous nature of it, right? Like they don't want to get on the phone. They don't want to call somebody because you could get the same answer on a call. Right. But it's, it's not the same comfort as like the asynchronous.

Mike 11:43
And let me actually like expand on that definition for those folks who are not kind of familiar with the the asynchronous term. So asynchronous, in the most technical sense, is basically a communication that's not ongoing, it has breaks in the middle of it, and it, it kind of ebbs and flows. And so when we talk about asynchronous from a text messaging standpoint, it's basically what you do all the time with your friends. So you send somebody a text, you might not get a response back right away, because that person is busy. And they'll pick up their phone later, and they'll see the text message. But then when they respond, if you're not busy, you can respond right away, or you can wait a little bit of time. And that's completely different than interactions today with business, especially on the phone, because you're like, I want contact with this brand. Let me schedule 20 minutes of my time. So I make sure that there's enough time because like, if we don't get this done in the time I have allotted, I'm going to have to start completely over. And I've just wasted all the time that I just invested in this. So it's a completely different mindset. We we see comments from satisfied customers who are like, I have three kids, I just put the meal on the table. There's no way I could have gotten this done. But I took care of it during dinner. Because the text messaging

Les 12:59
Interesting. I'm sure there's like 1000 of those kinds of very unique sort of use cases. But yeah, very cool. Before we I'd love it, I'd love to talk more about Quiq in a second and kind of get get get that whole origin story and the development of the company. But first, so just to rehash so you know, you had your fingerprints over a billion dollar company in in Montana, number one, fingerprints over a second company that, you know, it has now reached that sort of ceiling, not based in Montana. But I mean, super, super exciting. But there's actually another one, too in Idaho that you've worked with a company called CradlePoint, can you tell us about that, or how that evolved that opportunity for you?

Mike 13:41
Sure. You know, in the friend of a friend category, in the Right Now ecosystem, I knew someone who was getting involved in a startup in Boise, Idaho. And in the early days of that startup, the startup company name is CradlePoint, in the early days of that startup, they had the vision that you could use cellular data to provide internet services. In if you build a device that had multiple modem cards in it, you can actually have quite a bit of bandwidth across a cellular network. And so I made a series A investment in the business and was friendly and you know, as a somebody who worked in technology and has built some some pretty big software products, kind of gave them advice throughout the lifecycle. And eventually, I joined the company as a board member as the business started to grow. And that was a great run. CradlePoint, I'm not going to take that very much credit for this. The credit I'll take is probably I pushed them towards the cloud pretty hard a few times and I pushed them away from doing something on premise a few times. But besides that, the team was just amazing. And, you know, there's a lot of similar Hardee's between Boise and Bozeman in terms of the startup culture and the tech culture, and they built a great business. Erickson bought CradlePoint about a year and a half, I guess ago, at a $1.1 billion valuation. There's 800 people in the in the company now. Really great success story.

Les 15:21
It's an amazing success story for for Boise and for Idaho. Certainly, I mean, maybe, maybe we should actually call you the unicorn whisperer, not the Godfather of Tech. I'm teasing. Mike, I'm teasing. No, but it's exciting. You know, people don't know about some of these great success stories that have happened in our region. And you know, I like to say like, it's just the beginning for some of these ecosystems. I mean, even even our own here in Bozeman, I feel like it's, it's just the beginning even, you know, Right Now was about 10 years ago. But we're still it's, it's, it's exciting to see some of the some of the spinouts that have have happened as a result, for instance, Quiq,

Mike 15:58
I mean, you're right, Les than it's, there's been a lot of bad things about COVID. One of the positive things is kind of the the change in work dynamic, especially in tech, where everybody doesn't have to be physically at the same location. And that's made it a lot easier for people to live in places like Bozeman. You know, in the past, in the especially in the Right Now era, I spent a lot of time in my recruiting process, trying to convince people to move to Bozeman to join the team. And that was actually not as hard as you might think, if you connected with somebody who was just starting a family or it was an avid skier, I mean, back in the day, we had a Right Now, had a billboard on 191 on the way up to big sky that was like it was like it here, you could live here. You know, that type of thing. So convince people to move to Bozeman was was not terrible. But now there's anybody can live in Bozeman, and work remotely. And you can work for a tech startup, or you can found a tech startup and be in Bozeman and have the rest of your team. So there's just a ton more flexibility in work location and work environment in this kind of zoom infested post-COVID world? 

Les 17:13
Yeah. Well, in 2015, when you started Quiq, what what was sort of what was the sentiment back then? I mean, obviously, things were changing. It wasn't it wasn't the same environment, it is now but how did you you know, tell us a little bit about how you got started, how you raise money, all that all the fun origin stuff?

Mike 17:29
Sure. So as I mentioned, I had a co founder. And and because of the the team that I had built, Right Now, you know, that was a great team, we had in engineering, there were a couple hundred people. And there were a bunch of what I would call 10xers. And you know, the 10x are is somebody who is at such an extreme level as an engineer, that their individual output is actually like 10, regular engineers. And you know, we had a very strong engineering team. And when I started this business, I was able to pull over a number of really exceptional people. And not just people that were currently working at Oracle, but people who had left Oracle, and were working to other places as well. And I was able to convince them to join back. So I started the business. And, you know, we were a group as it was basically 10 engineers and me. And we were focused on building the next generation of B2C communications, essentially, like, based on text messaging, asynchronous like we talked about earlier. And I had intended to get the first product. Luckily, I was able to fund some of the business myself, and I intended to get to first product and then go out and raise a Series A and kind of go down the, the typical fundraising path. And I got a little preempted in that where one of the data miner investors reached out and said, Actually, I'm going to be in Bozeman, this was totally a ruse. I'm going to be in Bozeman, and I'd like to have dinner with you and talk about what you're doing. And that turned into a round so wow, I was lucky in that I didn't have to fundraise the first round.

Les 19:15
What a great way to write off that business trip, hey, I'm gonna be in Bozeman. Mike, let's have dinner. No, that's amazing. And, and it was a this was a prominent, I mean, you had a you had a really strong Series C you called it a Seed Syndicate?

Mike 19:29
So we actually called it a series A, it was Venrock. Was the investor and they've been a fantastic partner. And, you know, I got to thank them for the vision that they had for what we were building.

Les 19:45
So off to the races. I mean, that may have been the first I'm trying to think back, one of the first kind of tier one VC investments probably in our state in terms of leading a round, right? Because this was before Summit led the big OnyX round like, I mean, this was like one of the first

Mike 20:02
In Right Now’s history. Right Now is probably the the first Summit Partners was an investor. And actually the first investor at Right Now was Greylock. 

Les 20:15
Oh, that's right. That's right. But that was pretty far along in the business. Wasn't it like a Series C equivalent?

Mike 20:21
We were the Right Now, journey was bootstrap for a significant period of time. So that was a couple years into the business, if I remember correctly.

Les 20:32
Cool. So you got this Series A closed, you got Venrock on your team? What what take us through what happened next? How did how did they How did things evolve?

Mike 20:41
So you know, again, because of the the Right Now experience, we had relationships with a bunch of large brands. And so as soon as we got first product done, we started to market and sell product. And I think if I remember correctly, we went from, it's been a little while now. So this is 2016. We went from zero to a million dollars in ARR, in about 11 months. And, you know, that was leveraging some of the the network we had like Office Depot as an earlier, early client, you know, a fortune 100 business, it so it's taken off very well, the business continues to grow to this point in time, we've got a couple 100 clients, large brands folks like Overstock, Men's Wearhouse, Spirit Airlines. And what we do for these businesses is basically, we make their customer interactions more enjoyable for the customers because they want to be using text messaging. And at the same time, we help the business reduce their costs, because the most inefficient form of customer service is having an agent be on the phone, talking to a human. And our platform makes those interactions more efficient, because one agent can handle multiple text messages, just like you text with multiple friends. So that that's an area of efficiency. But we also have some deep capabilities and conversational AI, which allows us to automate the routine interactions. And those capabilities came through an acquisition that we did in April of last year, about a year ago. And we acquired a partner that was called Snaps!. They're based in New York City. And they really had one of the best, best in class solutions for conversational AI. And so you know, take the the next generation platform for asynchronous messaging and the next generation contact center that the agent environment, couple that with a really great conversational AI automation. And the two things together are something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the market.

Les 22:52
That's so cool. And I gotta say, though, conversational AI, that sounds like kind of a polite way of saying bots is that…

Mike 22:59
So that's like, bots, the way they should work, not the way that you might associate with like, I'm talking to a chatbot. Well a chatbot is just, like chatter, it's not very useful. Conversational AI is the interaction should be at the same level as if you were speaking speaking with a human agent. Now, you know, to be realistic, conversational AI is also very well applied at specific problems. And it, there's no way that a conversational AI bot can replace a human customer service agent, like the the human’s level of knowledge and experience is like it's not even comparable. But if it comes to a particular domain, like I'm a retailer, and I want to answer questions about where's my order, because everybody's having shipping delays these days, that totally could be handled by conversational AI and very efficiently by conversational AI.

Les 23:53
Very cool. And I mean, you obviously are, you know, a technologist at your core in, five years ago, did you anticipate that what you were building was going to go in this direction? Or is this the direction you wanted to pursue? Or has it evolved in this direction,

Mike 24:12
We're pretty much straight down the middle of the fairway from where we started our North Star, I am going to mix metaphors here. Our North Star hasn't changed much at all. And so, you know, I think that when we started the business, the the theory was that phone can be replaced by text messaging. And that's still the theory today. We've added a lot more focus on conversational AI than we've augmented our vision than when we started. But that initial premise that in the future, the majority of inquiries into a large business, it's no longer going to be the phone. It's going to be asynchronous messaging that's been 100% consistent from the very beginning. 

Les 24:54
So what what happens to the phone then, in the future? 

Mike 24:58
It never completely goes away, there's always going to be the the, the type of interaction that that people want to do on the phone and like troubleshooting or complex interactions. But you know that the interactions that we facilitate in text messaging, they can also turn into phone calls. So like, at some point in time, you can say, well, this particular issue would be better served, if we could just talk through it. Can I give you a call? So there's, there's the escalation to a phone call. Something else we do is to we call it the multimedia phone call. But if you're on the phone, and you're interacting, and it's like, it's the red wire on the left hand side, no, it's on the bottom, not the top. There's like 20 questions to try to diagnose something complicated. The agent on the phone can just say, I'm gonna send you a text message, respond to that text with a picture of what you're seeing, and we'll stay on the phone and continue to talk about it. So I we can also make the phone calls better than they are today.

Les 26:01
Yeah, it's it's sort of the the multimedia style approach to like, whatever's the most efficient path right to an answer. That's cool.

Mike 26:10
Yep. These days, everybody, even your grandmother knows how to send a text message with an image.

Les 26:17
That's right. Although I will say my grandmother, who was such an amazing woman in my life, she passed away a few years ago, she still had a rotary phone. And so if she was still alive, she would have had to learn how to text text by now. 

Mike 26:32
Yeah, if she was still alive. She'd have an iPhone, and send and type, you know, pictures of sunsets.

Les 26:35
I think you're right. All right, what? So where take us to present where where have you? Where have you gotten? You've raised a couple subsequent rounds post Venrock? And where's the company now? And what's getting what are you excited about in the future?

Mike 26:49
So what am I excited about? We are focused on taking the product and the platform, the combination of the next generation contact center, plus conversational AI. And, you know, on that bell shaped curve of adoption, I'm going to draw this in the end, nobody can see it. But we're still very much on the left side of the bell shaped curve, we're on the the apex going up the curve. And so where we're focused is building our go to market, building awareness, contacting large enterprises, and deploying our solution as many places as possible. And one of the things we've seen in the business is, once we land in an organization, we don't always land in the the most prevalent use case, we might land in a corner of the organization, we've seen very successful expansions within the organization. So for instance, like if we land inside of a large brand, and they want to experiment with text messaging, that particular landing in a year or two, could expand by hundreds of thousands of dollars, I mean, we've seen contracts that from the initial contract value have gone from three times to 50 times the initial contract value. And so our, our value equation is based upon the number of interactions that occur between a business and their consumers. And so this contract scales based upon us taking over volume in especially, you know, a large contact center that has thousands of agents serving millions of consumers. So that's, that's what we're focused on. You know, from a overall business standpoint, from a growth standpoint, in a funding standpoint, I am happy to announce that we we recently closed a Series C round, we raised $25 million. We're going to spend the round doing what I just said, expanding our go to market efforts. And we're also going to continue to invest in the product because we have a leading position now that technology doesn't stand still, and we're going to invest to maintain that leading position. 

Les 29:07
Congratulations, Mike. That is very exciting news. Really excited to see where that takes you. You given that you are somebody that has been in the Rockies for a while has touched a lot of you know, amazing companies that have reached kind of billion dollar you know, plus and enterprise value. What What advice would you give to founders because, you know, obviously like this, the Quiq story is is an amazing one already. And it's being written every day, but like there's been some bumps along the road, there's been challenges. There's always challenges, like what challenges have you experience that you think are typical for founders in region and what advice would you sort of give founders that may be going through those same times?

Mike 29:42
I think the number one thing that makes a startup business turned into something valuable and go beyond you know, achieve the the exit trajectory to be a sustainable entity is persistence. And so my advice to everyone is be unbelievably persistent. You know, there, there's two things that that you need to to be successful. And my team, when they listen to this, they're gonna like roll their eyes, because I'm always saying this…

Les 30:17
He goes again.

Mike 30:19
Exactly. Smart plus persistence equals success. And smart is probably like, 2% of that persistence is probably like, 98% of that. And I think there's, you know, as a founder, you're at the “Buck Stops Here”. Here, you're at the end of the decision making process. So all day long, it feels like you're getting just like, no win situation decisions, like it's, you know, the, the difficulty of decision only gets to you, when the rest of the team decides that, like, they need to escalate it. And so it's, there's just going to be lots of adversity, lots of hard decisions. And persistence is the only thing that gets you through it.

Les 31:04
I like it. It's simple. It's easy to remember, and it's very relevant. Yeah. What about on networking? What advice would you give to founders, you've built an amazing network of both technical people, business, mentors, investors, you name it, but what advice would you give to first time founders that are trying to do this right?

Mike 31:23
Good question. And, you know, I think, as with a lot of things, too much of a good thing can be actually detrimental. And so every now and then you run into people who are like spending all their time networking, especially when they're in the very early stages of the business where they're like trying to meet tons and tons of people. I think the way I look at networking is, and I enjoy networking, I like to meet people and talk about what they're doing. But the way I look at networking is the interaction that you're going to have in a network, like, don't invest your time in something that's not likely to pan out, like for instance, you know, if I'm a a startup, and I'm interested in, I don't know, health care, don't talk to don't spend time reading and networking in retail, like investment, you know, networking itself is not valuable networking with a purpose is valuable. So be strategic about your network, and build a network that that is mutually beneficial, because also, if you're not providing some some value, or some interest to somebody they're interest in maintaining the network with you is not great as well. So be very thoughtful about the time that you invest in networking, just don't go to coffee with a bunch of people for random reasons.

Les 32:44
It's great advice. It gets back to like, your your two things. Like if you're going to coffee with a bunch of random people, it's like being dumb and persistent, not smart.

Mike 32:55
Exactly, like you will meet lots of people and you know, you can probably, like, get a bunch of friends to go skiing, but it's not gonna help you professionally.

Les 33:00
Yeah, great, good advice. Any sort of final predictions about the future of tech in Bozeman or the Rockies at large, anything you think the future holds for our region and in the Rockies?

Mike 33:12
I almost hesitate to say this because I've been in Bozeman for 20 years now. And I'm not sure I want to advocate a whole bunch more tech in Bozeman, because Bozeman is growing like crazy. But you know, I still am encouraged by the tech ecosystem here. The the investment that the university is making in computer science and and just like that's going to be a continual source of talent. But then also, you know, that you can be anywhere these days. And I mean, I think that teams want to have a, maybe a geographic central base. But beyond that, you know, if you were interested in if you were listening to this as a potential founder, or even somebody who's working in tech currently, and you're like, I'm trying to learn about Rockies tech, because I want to move to the Rockies, just like move to the Rockies already. Like, I love it, there's no reason why in this day and age, like you can't

Les 34:17
I love it. I think that's a great ad. It's even better than a billboard on 191. It's like, because you so right. So many people are just afraid to do it. And it's like, if you just did it, it would all work out.

Mike 34:28
Right. Now that said, like, Bozeman’s got lots of traffic lights, and congestion and overgrowth and everything like that. But so maybe another city, but

Les 34:37
I hear Wyoming's nice, yeah. Anyway, Mike, it's been such a pleasure to have you on the show. I think I speak on behalf of, you know, kind of the whole tech ecosystem across the state. Like we're so thankful that you made that decision to leave Bell Labs in the late 90s and come out and try something out in Montana. So we're excited to continue to follow the future of you and Quiq. And on that note, could you please share tell our audience where they could find out a little bit about you and Quiq online?

Mike 35:08
Sure. And I probably should have thrown this in at the beginning. So for those of you who are still listening at the end, to find out more about our business, it's Quiq, Q-U-I-Q read it's so we move at the speed of Q-U-I-C-K. But that domain unfortunately was not available. So, like you

Les 35:29
Well, if it was available, but it was very expensive for sure. Yeah, great, Mike. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. And it's just really great to see you again and catch up on your on your story.

Mike 35:43
Thanks Les. It was a pleasure, good conversation.

Les 35:54
Thank you for listening to this week's episode of Found in the Rockies. You can find links in the show notes or go to our podcast page at next frontier to get links and contact information for today's guests. If you like what you heard and want more, please rate review and subscribe to get notified as our new episodes drop. We'll see you next time.