Apocalypse Then…

Written at Jul 31, 2023 2:26:44 PM by Dave Connors

ITI US feels like a long time ago already… it seems bizarre to think that we were under that smoky haze, worrying about our return flight… sending pictures back home on WhatsApp or posting Instagram stories of apocalyptic skies… and then going to talk about Insurance! Did it really happen? Was it really only a couple of weeks ago? 

Almost no sooner than I had returned, I was back on another plane, over to Milan for client meetings as we continue to roll our product out to more users and countries – exciting times! With such a packed schedule, it can be hard to make time to reflect on things… and that’s why writing a blog – even a late one, sorry Kathryn & Julie – is so helpful, since it forces you to pause and think about what went on.  

One thing that struck me about ITI US was the contrast with the London event – the vibe was much more strictly business… nobody giving out beer or wine at 12pm, that had to wait for 5! A shame, because I found water quite hard to come by and was so parched from all the talking I could have done with the lubrication! (We’re putting a water cooler on our stand next year, drop by if you’re thirsty!) 

The other thing that stuck out to me was the validation of our message – “Curing the insurance industry of its spreadsheet addiction” resonated in the US just as much as the UK – we were delighted with the footfall at our stand, and every conversation started with “that sounds great, how do you it?” but not with a cynical bent, genuine interest. A few people were dragged over to our stand by their colleagues who were staging an intervention! 

Between the footfall at the stand and the number of meetings booked, I didn’t attend many of the sessions but one I did see was the discussion with Unqork and Rhino.ai and what stood out was the story Gary Hoberman, CEO of Unqork, told of telling his wife about his plan to leave his job and found a start-up and the next day she filed for divorce and got their assets froze… this was a clear (if extreme) illustration of the sacrifices a founder makes.  

I was really pleased with the positivity we received from all of our booked meetings as well. 

There’s another factor here too, in relation to company building. As we’ve grown rapidly as a remote-first company, it’s important to keep everyone connected. ITI US was a great chance for Kathryn and Ksenia, the two most senior women in the company, to spend a lot of time together – both in the conference hall and outside – and get to know each other better. Over the course of our time in New York, we all got to spend some 1-1 time with 1 of the other 2, as well as all 3 of us together: invaluable team building! 

Conferences are intense and tiring, so you need to take the opportunity to have fun where you can. As such, we were really delighted to cadge a ticket to the hottest “off-conference” event, Cars and Cocktails hosted by the Ventures Teams at QBE, Munich Re and of course our friends at Liberty Mutual and we had a great time there.  

And after an all-too short weekend, Ksenia and I were off to Milan where we were joined by Anastasia for training the Liberty Italy users – though not a conference, it was again great to show the product to new users and feel the positivity and receive great feedback. We also had a fantastic night out with the Liberty project team that helped bring into focus the “one team” approach of our delivery that has brought us great success as the roll-out gathers pace. And for me the highlight of the evening was hearing that in the Netherlands the time taken for coverholder audits is down to 2 hours thanks to distriBind! (For everyone else the highlight was my nails…). With that stat in the bag, I felt we had definitely earned our Aperol by the Duomo the next evening! As with New York it was a “work hard play hard” trip, and again it was great to spend time together outside the office as well. 

So… here’s a few takeaways to distil my rambling re-cap of the last few weeks: 

  1. We really are curing the insurance industry of its spreadsheet addiction, and if you want to know how, get in touch. 

  2. Conferences are great for team-building as well as lead-gen. 

  3. We get a really positive response when we talk about what we do, and an even more positive one when we show it. 

  4.  I am so lucky to have a great team, and great, supportive clients. 

  5. If you promise Kathryn a blog, you better deliver one. 

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Dave Connors

CEO & Founder