San Diego Disruptors: Lytx & Mindtouch

By Aarthi Rayapura April 15, 2015

Here in Silicon Valley we’ve long prided ourselves on being the innovators of the world. We own the word “disrupt.” But our neighbors down south seem to be on to something.  Last week Zuora hosted a fascinating panel discussion with San Diego-based  partners Lytx and MindTouch, both global companies who are truly disrupting the traditional ways of doing business.

Lytx (formerly DriveCam) is a global driver risk management company that specializes in designing, manufacturing and selling video driver safety programs to commercial fleets. The company identifies and addresses the causes of risky driving behavior by collecting vehicle and driver data and combining it with real-time driver feedback and coaching to help clients be safer on the road.

By urging companies to be proactive rather than reactive, Lytx has been a game-changer in the space. It helps companies save significantly on corporate insurances, reduce fuel consumption costs, increase driver’s productivity and hold them to higher safety standards.

Today Lytx serves more than 1,300 clients globally and achieved record growth in 2014 with 200,000 subscriptions-in-service.

MindTouch is a cloud-based SaaS solution for customer support. It allows for  knowledge collaboration and multi-channel delivery of customer support documentation.

Shifting the spotlight from the product to the customer, MindTouch underlines the importance of RBM (Relationship Business Management) and seeks to change the way businesses view customers and vice-versa. Businesses use it to capture and analyze customer behavior and respond accordingly. Customers have better support experiences, are able to access it through multiple channels and even opt for self-service when waiting for an agent is a drag.

In 2013, the company itself moved from a features-based to a value-based pricing model and saw a jump in earnings.

“We anticipate value-based pricing to become a standard in SaaS because it directly tracks to transactions where true value is exchanged between a company and its customers. By correlating pricing directly with the value derived from software, everybody wins” explained Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of MindTouch.

Becoming accountable to their customers and keeping them satisfied to reduce churn seems to be at the core of MindTouch’s mission.

Apart from sunny San Diego, a key commonality between the two is the need to anticipate and actively address customer requirements as quickly as possible. With alternatives available in most sectors and the ease at which an unhappy customer can spread the word (thanks to social media!), customers are taking charge and influencing business roadmaps.

Of course, this also applies to Silicon Valley too. We’ll need to keenly listen to our customers to stay ahead!