Crystal Knows: How To Win Clients & Influence People with Revolutionary New Tool


Transcript Continued

Kenny: Yeah. And how many profiles do you have on there now?

Drew: Technically it’s limited for anybody that has an online presence because it populates automatically. So you can look up hundreds and millions of people. We probably have in the range of a few tens of millions of people that have actually been looked up and populated profiles.

Kenny: Yeah. Have you found any kind of backlash from people saying that they don’t want to be on Crystal as a profile?

Drew: We have an opt-out policy and we do get people that opt out. In the amount of users that we have, it is tiny. I mentioned, we usually have 500 to 1,000 users a day and usually I have about 2 or 3 opt-out requests a day.

Kenny: Yeah. That’s just completely minimal, isn’t it?

Drew: Yeah.

Kenny: I think one reason for that would just be because there is a certain amount of people who don’t actually know about it. So there will be millions that know about it now, but there will be a lot of people on there who don’t know that they’re on there.

Drew: Yeah, that’s true.

Kenny: Yeah. It seems kind of, as I’ve mentioned before, eerily accurate. Apart from kind of these DISC personality type profiling that you’ve added to this, what has been the biggest innovation to make this so accurate so far and is the algorithm getting better the more people you add?

Drew: So to answer both of those questions, I think the first question was on accuracy as well, right?

Kenny: Yeah.

Drew: Yeah. We didn’t launch the product until we were just going on qualitative customer surveys. So they’re basically saying how accurate is this profile for you and people you know. We had a couple hundred data users early on this year, and we didn’t want to release the product until we have a 75% results people saying that the profile is very accurate. That was the confidence at which we thought the algorithm was good enough to launch to the public.

So once we hit that, we’re about at 80% just from those qualitative customer surveys. Some people are saying that this was an accurate representation, or at least decently accurate, enough to correlate with that accuracy confidence that you see. And once we had that, that has pretty much been the reason why people trust it and it’s validated.

To answer your question about it getting smarter, it is. We’re not doing crazy artificial intelligence type of stuff. A lot of people assume we do. We’re not really doing that. The improvements mostly come from continuous user feedback. So we get lots of reports from people in a few different ways from the site, like personal self-assessment questions, peer assessment questions and then customer surveys, things like that, which gives us insight specifically into how people are perceiving their profiles. And then we can tweak our algorithms to accommodate that so that’s constantly getting better.

Kenny: Yeah. And in just a few seconds, I want to kind of come on to the future of Crystal Knows. But just before that, last thing I read and it may be inaccurate right now, it said that you have over 100,000 users. Is that right or is it more than that?

Drew: We have almost 100,000 users, not quite 100,000 yet.

Kenny: Okay. What success stories have you had so far?

Drew: I just get a lot of emails from people, people that are using it and telling me that it helps them understand. I can dig through my inbox, try to find this stuff. But there was one person, he was from Vietnam and he had to move to San Francisco for a job and was struggling because his English is good. He knew it academically but to perceive subtlety in conversation is really difficult for him.

So Crystal really helped him a lot to understand the subtleties or make it more obvious how somebody can be meaning something as opposed to just what the raw text said. He said it was like a godsend for him because now he can understand a lot more about the people and what they’re saying, rather than spend so much time just focusing on direct translation of things.

Kenny: That’s great.

Drew: So it seems like Crystal is really useful. And this wasn’t intended, but it seems like it’s really useful for people that English is their second language.

Then I have just a bunch of people who told me either in person or online that, so this is why my boss does that. I understand my boss now. I have been agitated over this for four years and now Crystal just revealed to me what I should do in a minute. So that’s always really good to hear.

Kenny: It’s given people compassion as well, isn’t it?

Drew: Compassion, empathy, whatever you want to call it, but I think it is helping people understand each other better, which is the goal.

Kenny: Yeah, absolutely. It seems like the growth has been pretty fast for you. Obviously, it’s just catching fire from the sands. I mentioned to you before the call that we’re getting it in the UK press over here. A lot of people are talking about it. Have you had any setbacks or bad press yet, or any kind of haters?

Drew: I mean I think every bit of press we get, there are always two sides to it. It was very important to me that the story was told right from the start, and that’s messaging, is that our goal is to improve people’s relationships. And manipulation is the opposite of what we’re trying to do.

When people hear about on the surface what Crystal is, sometimes their mind immediately goes, they bring out their manipulation thing. And there are definitely a couple of articles out there. There’s one form Christian Science Monitor that wrote a pretty scathing review of it.

In reality, a lot of these people either haven’t really used the product and don’t fully understand what we’re doing on the technical side or just feel that it’s some sort of violation of privacy.

There are definitely people out there and they tend to be really vocal about it. But what it does do is it gets the conversation going about this whole subject because this kind of thing is inevitable. Crystal happens to be in the middle of it, but there are large companies that are definitely doing this kind of thing, not opening it up like we are to the public. That conversation is really good for us in general.

Kenny: And it sounds to me like your game is to be really transparent with everything. The person who told me about this is a guy called Mark Williams, who’s a LinkedIn expert. He said it’s just eerily accurate. He loves it and he uses it all the time. And then him and I, we’re both into gadgets, we’re both into apps and stuff and we started talking about it.

Imagine if Google Glass had taken off and does take off and you kind of walk into a meeting and see someone and it does face recognition. And then you can tell their personality type and how to deal with them. Where do you see it going in the future?

Drew: That would be an interesting path. I think there are a lot of steps between where we are now and where we are then. But I guess in that gap, I think there’s a lot of really cool stuff that can happen. I think particularly in professional settings, I want to imagine Crystal as more of this assistant, if you will, that can kind of sit between you and whoever you’re speaking with – not physically obviously, but provide this…I guess for a lack of a better term, translator for people that have different communication styles.

Some people are just going to click naturally because they have the same personality. But most people have different personalities, so I think sometimes that can be the equivalent of one person speaking in English and one person speaking in Swahili. Not to that extreme, but you know what I’m talking about.

Kenny: Yeah.

Drew: So I think if Crystal can play that role of translator in more and more mediums, that can really move the needle on professional communication.

Kenny: Yeah. What about dating?

Drew: So we’ve got actually a couple of requests to be partnered or purchased by a few large dating sites. I don’t know how I feel about it yet, to be honest with you.

Kenny: It’s just got so much potential in so many different areas. Another area I thought, what about if you can communicate with people en masse, like in email marketing?

I was going to ask you, there are 64 different types there but if you were to focus on a certain community, so for me say I was just to focus on coaches, do you think I would find that a lot of them fit into four or five different personality types? And if so, would that be a possibility long term I could email those different personality types when I’m doing any kind of marketing emails, to connect with them better?

Drew: That’s definitely on our radar. Group communication is a tough problem for a lot of different reasons. But it’s kind of the next step technically for us.

Kenny: Yeah, because I can see you integrating with companies like Hubspot or InfusionSoft, getting some sort of integration so that you can communicate a lot better with the audience and your prospects.

I know that you’re in a rush to get off. Have you got any final inside tips for service professionals like coaches, consultants and trainers to use Crystal?

Drew: I mean there’s only so much I can sell on the product itself. If I can sell anything, it’s this whole practice, basically to take the time, it’s going to take a little bit more time before you communicate with somebody.

But if you sit there and think, who are they and what are they like, and how would they prefer to communicate, even if it’s not using Crystal, based on the emails that they’ve sent me already. And you’ll see a lot of times it’s very different than the way you would, and sometimes you don’t really notice that.

So if I was to say anything, maybe even just today, take that 10 seconds before you send an email to somebody to just look over the emails you’ve gotten in the past from them and don’t mimic them, but write with an understanding of that. So if somebody has been sending you one-sentence emails, try not to send them that five-paragraph email that you feel naturally inclined to write. Try sending them that short response and see how the relationship goes.

I think once you’re sold on the idea – see we have this kind of two-step sale with Crystal. First you have to be sold on the whole practice of communicating with empathy. And then we can get you into the product. It can’t go the opposite way.

Kenny: Great. Also, you have a feature on there don’t you, where it suggests how you can coach people. So that would be really good for coaches and managers.

Drew: Yeah. There’s a relationships component to this where it tells you how two people are likely to work together. So that can be very helpful when you’re hiring or when you’re just managing people.

Kenny: Yeah. Now just to finish off here, I’ve seen pretty interesting videos of you on YouTube singing in your college days.

Drew: Oh no.

Kenny: Does music feature pretty highly in your life?

Drew: It does, yeah. Now it’s more for fun. I mean I guess it was always kind of for fun, but yeah, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee and I’m enjoying the music down here.

Kenny: I love that. We watch the program, me and my wife, Nashville. It’s a great program.

Drew: It’s a good city.

Kenny: Yeah, looks great. So where can listeners go find out more about Crystal?

Drew: You can just go right to the website, or just actually a few weeks ago, we became the number 1 search result for the word ‘crystal’, like above the Wikipedia article, so you can go look there too.

Kenny: Yeah. That’s great. So just tap into Google, type in ‘crystal’ where you’ll find a website and you can get a free trial, free 14-day trial. So go and check it out. Have fun with it. It’s brilliant.

And two more questions, very quick ones because I know you’re probably off to get your lunch. Who would you refer to come onto Find the Edge Podcast next? Who do you think we should get on?

Drew: I’ve read a couple of really good – I mean now, I read a lot of books on this stuff, communication, psychology. There’s a really good one I read recently by Daniel Pink called To Sell is Human.

Kenny: Great book.

Drew: That one’s kind of fresh in my mind. I’m not sure if this is lined up with it, but there are a couple of really good podcasts that I listen to that are kind of related but not related.

Here’s where I’m going with this. There are a few interesting people like Dan Carlin, The Hardcore History Podcast. I’ve heard a couple of interviews with him and his ideas on perfecting his craft and putting up content and things like that are really, really good.

So that’s another person. I don’t know him or anything. I just listen to his podcast, but he’d probably be a really cool person to talk to.

Kenny: Fantastic. I’ve heard his podcast before as well, so two great recommendations there. Final question, and then you can go and grab your lunch, how do you feel about getting hundreds and thousands of people addicted to Crystal?

Drew: Somebody called me the Walter White of software.

Kenny: That’s exactly where I was going with that.

Drew: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. If you notice, our logo is blue too.

Kenny: You really are Breaking Bad, aren’t you?

Drew: Yeah.

Kenny: Thanks so much for joining us Drew. It’s been great to have you with us.

Drew: Yeah, Kenny, thank you very much.

Kenny: Another great show, thanks for listening and remember to give us feedback or post any questions at Also remember to subscribe to us on iTunes.

You’ve been listening to me, Kenny Goodman, with a special guest Drew D'Agostino, the founder of Crystal Knows. And remember, Crystal does know. I’ll see you again, same place, next show.

Check out these 5 Free Tools to help you win clients and influence people

What are your thoughts on Crystal Knows? Creepy or inspiring? Let me know in the comments below.

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