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Michael LaVista is the Founder of Caxy Interactive, a Chicago-based custom software and technology company. Since 1999, they’ve been helping organizations create user-centered designs, content management systems, e-commerce, mobile application development, and much more. Over the past several decades, they have worked with clients like Motorola, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the American Dental Association.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Michael LaVista talks about how Caxy Interactive has evolved since 1999
  • How Caxy helped a flooring company scale through digital transformation
  • Caxy’s ideal digital transformation client
  • The subtle red flags Michael looks for in clients
  • What is the agile approach to digital experience design and software development?
  • Michael talks about his book, Superpowered
  • Big customer onboarding mistakes companies make
  • Tips for attracting great talents
  • Lessons Michael learned from his music career before pivoting to tech

In this episode…

Digital transformation has become a buzzword, and people struggle to figure out what it means beyond deploying tech tools and frameworks. It is more about scaling processes, systems, and eventually revenue. Unfortunately, many companies complicate their digital transformation attempts, turning innovation into a burden.

For example, when some companies try to improve the digital experience for customers, they often run into the common mistake of making customers jump through hurdles. They ask too much of the customer too early. But all the customer needs is what’s necessary to get them up and running. How can you avoid these pitfalls of digital experience design?

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz featuring the Founder of Caxy Interactive, Michael LaVista. They discuss Michael’s digital experience design and custom software development consulting work, the mistakes companies are making with their digital transformation efforts, how they can implement change using the agile approach, and more.

Resources mentioned in this episode

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz 0:19

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here Founder of Inspired where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Michael Michael LaVista of Caxy. And before I formally introduce Michael, Mike, I always like to mention other episodes because check out and your friend Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios, that was a great episode and he introduced us. So thanks, Andy, check out that episode, he is just a treasure trove of knowledge in the space. Also Todd Taskey. He basically helps and specializes in selling agencies. He has a Second Bite Podcast, which is in till talking to him, I didn’t realize okay, well, some of the his clients, they will sell at a certain amount, and then they’ll roll a certain percentage into the new company that was bought by private equity, that private equity to sell for in a couple of years. And they’ll make even more on the second bite than they did in the first so that’s cool. So check out Todd Taskey a Second Bite Podcast and much more. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25 at Rise25 We all businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we help them run their podcast. You know, Michael, for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. I found no better way to do that over the past decade to profile the people in companies I most admire or shout from the rooftops what they’re working on what they’re doing, and have them share their advice and expertise with the audience. So if you thought about podcasting, you should. If you have questions, you can go to Email us we’re happy to answer anything that you could ask. And today’s guest I’m excited Michael LaVista is Founder of Caxy, which is a Chicago based custom software and technology company. They’ve been helping organizations. Michael, can you believe us? Like since 1999? You know, the internet in 1999. Was who knows what it was that I mean? It was it was like the Wild West, it was the beginning of you know, most people didn’t even know it existed at that time. So they have expertise in user centered design, content management systems, e commerce, mobile application development, and much more. Their past client list is pretty remarkable. Over the past several decades, Motorola, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, American Dental Association, so many more. And Michael, thanks for joining

Michael LaVista 2:51

Thanks for the great intro. They’ll try to live up to it. Yeah, you don’t.

Jeremy Weisz 2:55

So what is life? You know, the company look like 9099 today?

Michael LaVista 3:02

Um, you know, it’s funny, you mentioned like, what was the internet like back then? I mean, it was really like tin cans trying together with wire and everything else on the the reason we founded the company was just ridiculous. It was there was this thing called Boom happening. And what it meant was, at least the way we read the newspapers, which were a printed thing that you could read back then that is you just had to have an idea, put on it, make a million bucks, and you’re done. So we had, that’s right. We had this ridiculous idea that worked for about two years, which was we made sort of animated, semi interactive, digital pieces that would go on primarily, like CD ROMs, or kiosks that were sold kind of a digital business card. It just like imagine everything was spinning logos, and you know, over the top ridiculous, silly animations. And then, you know, for people that don’t know what a CD ROM is, those kind of went out of favor. And really, the story of the company is having a reload on what we focused on probably five or six times since then. So you know, our travels took us through ecommerce through, you know, content managers on the stuff you mentioned, and in fact, really, a lot of listings that we kind of stopped doing, if I’m honest, like all great web companies, our website is out of date and doesn’t really nail it. Something we’re working on right now. But the story of the company has been something that we do gets commoditized and sort of productize. So, you know, when we started, we were doing websites by hand and notepad. And, you know, and Tofino projects today that you know, you could do in an afternoon and Wix kind of thing. And so same thing with E commerce. Okay, now there’s Shopify and these other things, we can move on to some other stuff. And what we’ve really landed is just develop from a consulting point of view, solving business problems, but what we’re looking for, we’re looking for companies that want to grow typically, we’re looking for a mid market, so let’s call it 100 million companies want to go for Have 100 million to a billion. And as part of that, Pam, probably developing kind of enterprise value, maybe selling, maybe exiting, but kind of, we want to be part of the the business growth. And then what we’ll do is we’ll add, well, here’s a technology roadmap that’ll help you get there. And so most of the work we end up doing now is in just sort of custom software, generally speaking, but we’ve done everything from Back Office applications to mobile to customer experience type things, really, whatever serves that growth is what we’re looking to do. We’re very business outcomes focused technology company, which is least a little bit unusual, we find I think most companies like ours, think of themselves as something something sharp, and you know, you want something done, okay, here’s what it cost to build it, and we build it, we’re just not in that business.