Why You Can’t Sign Up for an Account on TrainedUp

[Update: You can sign up for an account now, but I still want to talk to my customers. Give me a call any time! My mobile number is (904) 994-2919.]

Right now, the only option that’s available to try TrainedUp is to request a free trial, which requires a phone conversation with me before your account will be created. It’s much slower than your typical SaaS experience, but there’s a very important reason for the increased friction in the signup process.

I want to talk to my customers, but not for a hard sell. I want to learn from my customers. I want to know what their expectations are, what they’re trying to accomplish, what problem they’re trying to solve, and who they anticipate will be using the platform from their team.

Jason Fried, CEO of Basecamp, once said “premature automation can lead to blindness.”

I don’t want to automate the sign up process yet. I want it to be manual because it gives me the chance to serve my customers personally instead of them interacting only with my product. I want my customers to know they’re signing up for more than a software tool; they’re signing up to work with me personally.

To take that one step further, I’m giving the first 100 churches on the platform my personal cell phone number and an open invitation to call whenever they need help. They should feel like I’m an adjunct part of their church staff, someone they can call whenever they have a question they think I can help them answer, whether it’s about TrainedUp or anything else.

There are plenty of areas where automation makes sense and TrainedUp is highly automated in other ways. Heck, TrainedUp even provides the most dead simple automation tools for on-boarding new users that you’ll see in any tool. But sometimes you have to see that just because you can automate a process, it doesn’t mean you should automate it.

Private beta began last week

I’ve decided to bring churches into the system slowly, one at a time. I want to be able to work directly with each of the first 100 or so churches to make sure the app is meeting their needs in a way that scales and doesn’t compromise the broadness of the ways that different churches will use TrainedUp.

I’m starting with pastor-friends who have expressed a need to do online training as a supplement to, and at times a replacement of, their in-person training. I’ll bring them on, help them get their first few training courses produced and published, and learn from how they use the app.

The initial three churches will range from a church plant with a couple hundred people, an established neighborhood church, and a large multisite church.