style sheet language
Dave and Chris are on podcast and YouTube benders, talking CSS performance, CSS contain: Strict, what's new in CSS, how to build a great embed, one thing to make websites better in 2022, dealing with dogma in community, creating great slide decks, and #juicegate.
Liana Leahy tells Amal and KBall all about her journey from software engineer to product manager. Along the way we learn what a PM does, how to be great at it, how to know if it's for you, why the role is in such demand these days, and much more. - It's UNIX, I know this!
How good is web3 really? And is there money to be made without destroying the environment? Is HTML good enough for the future? And what are we excited about in new stuff for CSS?
In this special episode, CSS's Director of Retail Wealth Manager Services, Korrine Kohm and William R. Carrigan, Deputy Commissioner, Securities Division of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation discuss the latest news for registered investment advisers, including what will be required in 2022 surrounding continuing education requirements, the implementation of the new Marketing Rule and what's next for Form CRS.
This week we are joined by Sophie Alpert, Head of Engineering at Humu, and former lead of the React Core team, to discuss her experience on being a very early adopter, contributor, and eventually maintainer of React. In her 4+ years on the Core team, she went from supporting a new niche OSS UI library to supporting a project used by millions of developers around the world. Join us to hear about this epic journey, as well as Sophie's thought's on some common critiques and misconceptions of React.
Josh Comeau joins us to talk about all things CSS and why it doesn't suck (no matter what web dev Twitter says)! Links https://twitter.com/JoshWComeau https://css-for-js.dev https://www.framer.com/motion https://www.joshwcomeau.com https://wattenberger.com/blog https://wattenberger.com/blog/css-cascade Contact us https://podrocket.logrocket.com/contact-us (https://podrocket.logrocket.com/contact-us) @PodRocketpod (https://twitter.com/PodRocketpod) What does LogRocket do? LogRocket combines frontend monitoring, product analytics, and session replay to help software teams deliver the ideal product experience. Try LogRocket for free today. (https://logrocket.com/signup/?pdr) Special Guest: Josh W. Comeau.
Elizabeth is the CEO and Founder of Cypher Coders, the UK's leading coding school for children, as well as a highly experienced AI creator, author and entrepreneur. Her mission is to empower children to move freely and confidently through the changing world around us, fluent in the universal language of code in order to become future-ready. CONNECT WITH ELIZABETH Cypher Coders (www.cyphercoders.com) LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethtweedale) Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/nottinghillmummy) Twitter (https://twitter.com/nottinghillmmmy) ABOUT THE HOST My name is Sam Harris. I am a British entrepreneur, investor and explorer. From hitchhiking across Kazakstan to programming AI doctors I am always pushing myself in the spirit of curiosity and Growth. My background is in Biology and Psychology with a passion for improving the world and human behaviour. I have built and sold companies from an early age and love coming up with unique ways to make life more enjoyable and meaningful. Connect with Sam: Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/samjamharris/) Twitter (https://twitter.com/samjamharris) LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/sharris48/) Wiser than Yesterday (https://www.wiserpod.com) ReasonFM (https://reason.fm/podcast/growth-mindset-podcast) Sam's blog - SamWebsterHarris.com (https://samwebsterharris.com/) Support the Show - Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/growthmindset) Subscribe! If you enjoyed the podcast please subscribe and rate it. And of course, share with your friends! Special Guest: Elizabeth Tweedale.
In this episode, CSS's SVP of Business Development Ashley Smith joins Chief Product Officer Ronan Brennan to discuss the latest on the PRIIPs RTS, UK/EU divergence, data management complexities of the UCITS to PRIIPs transition and operational best practices to implement now.
In this week's show, Phil talks to Michelle Barker, a Lead Front End Developer for Atomic Smash and the author of front-end blog CSS In Real Life. She likes to build fun, creative websites and side projects that are also performant and accessible. She has written articles and regularly speaks about front end development at web conferences and meetups, covering topics such as CSS Grid Layout and CSS Custom Properties. Michelle talks about the value of community and how it can energise your career development. She also discusses why learning should always be fun, and the value of taking time out to realign with what lights you up. KEY TAKEAWAYS: TOP CAREER TIP Find a community – online or offline – and allow the people there to help and guide you. This can greatly accelerate your personal development and growth. WORST CAREER MOMENT When returning from maternity leave, Michelle an extra sense of pressure in terms of proving herself, along with being exhausted and overwhelmed by new parenthood. Since then, she has recognized the value of not adding pressure to oneself unnecessarily. CAREER HIGHLIGHT Working on a project for The Grand Appeal, a Bristol children's charity, a cause close to Michelle's heart due to her own experiences with her son. THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T The IT community itself and the many ways in which people are innovating and pushing the sector forward. Community is everything in IT, and finding the right one is a constant source of inspiration. THE REVEAL What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – The intersection between creativity and technical knowhow. What's the best career advice you received? – Write down your accomplishments. What's the worst career advice you received? – That we must always be coding, even in our spare time, and make work our life. What would you do if you started your career now? –Michelle would put less pressure upon herself. Your career is not a race. What are your current career objectives? – Michelle is spending far more time on writing, particularly on her blog, and now in partnership with other publications. What's your number one non-technical skill? – Working in customer services and in the events industry so as to get a better understanding of how to interact with others. How do you keep your own career energized? – Michelle enjoys creative coding as an outlet. What do you do away from technology? – Netflix and playing the drums. FINAL CAREER TIP Learning should always be fun. If you're struggling to get motivated, put down the tutorials and try to build something for fun! BEST MOMENTS (4:00) – Michelle - “A good way to learn is to pick things up and just keep building little side projects. Follow the paths that interest you” (5:52) – Michelle - “I made so many connections just through taking the time to learn from others” (13:24) – Michelle – “You need to push past things, keep going, keep learning, and know that there aren't any shortcuts. It's not a race” (20:41) – Michelle – “Every time I make something come to life on the screen I feel that sense of accomplishment” ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organizations to design, develop, and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey. CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: Twitter: https://twitter.com/_PhilBurgess LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess Instagram: https://instagram.com/_philburgess Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact Phil is also reachable by email at email@example.com and via the podcast's website, https://itcareerenergizer.com Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer ABOUT THE GUEST – MICHELLE BARKER Michelle Barker is a Lead Front End Developer for Atomic Smash and the author of front-end blog CSS In Real Life. She likes to build fun, creative websites and side projects that are also performant and accessible. She has written articles and regularly speaks about front end development at web conferences and meetups, covering topics such as CSS Grid Layout and CSS Custom Properties. CONTACT THE GUEST – MICHELLE BARKER Michelle Barker can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms: Twitter: https://twitter.com/MicheBarks LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-barker-02819230/ Website: https://michellebarker.co.uk/ Website: https://css-irl.info/
Rachel Nabors –beloved educator, animator, & documentation engineer at Meta– joins Amal and Amelia for a first look at the brand new React docs! This massive overhaul to the React website (which supports 2 million+ developers around the world) was no easy feat! We dive into all the behind the scenes coordination, as well of the goals, wins, and intended outcomes of this new way of approaching educational content and API reference material for open source projects.
DOWNLOAD SOLCIETY APP NOW! Speaker 1 (00:00:03):Welcome to the Solarpreneur podcast, where we teach you to take your solar business to the next level. My name is Taylor Armstrong and I went from $50 in my bank account and struggling for groceries to closing 150 deals in a year and cracking the code on why sales reps fail. I teach you to avoid the mistakes I made and bringing the top solar dogs, the industry to let you in on the secrets of generating more leads, falling up like a pro and closing more deals. What is a Solarpreneur you might ask a Solarpreneur is a new breed of solar pro that is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve mastery and you are about to become one.Speaker 2 (00:00:41):What's going on Solarpreneurs? We have another fantastic episode and we alive here in Las Vegas, Nevada here in, uh, a man of the hour, his mansion here, just hanging out. So we've got Mr. Jerry Fussell on the show, Jerry. Thanks for coming on with us today.Speaker 3 (00:00:57):Yeah. Thanks for driving up too. I appreciate it. It's how far from San Diego? It's like five hours. Five hours. Yeah. So thanks man, for coming up and hanging out. Glad to have you here at the house. And, uh, thanks for jumping on a podcast with me, man.Speaker 2 (00:01:09):Yeah. I love it. And know Jerry has been treating me to pop tarts and a sandwich. Isn't all, all the pizza I can handle here. So, Hey man,Speaker 3 (00:01:18):It's definitely a house that we house door knockers a lot because pizza and Pop-Tarts and sandwiches that'sSpeaker 2 (00:01:26):Okay. I had more, more food than the first door knocking the house I was in. That's true. All we had was eggs. Pretty much.Speaker 3 (00:01:32):We have a lot of those too. Okay.Speaker 2 (00:01:33):So they got it all, but I know it's been an awesome time here, so yeah, we'd been able to shoot some content and just kind of hang out here with Jerry and his guys. And, um, and the other big announcement we have before we kinda jump into things here is, um, Jerry, he, with his company Pi Syndicate, they are the first ever sponsors of the Solarpreneur podcasts. So, uh we're yeah, I'm happy about it. And we're going to let Jerry talk a little bit about that and then also is partnering on it, but, um, just like the summary of it, they are a, well, I guess you can say, well, it's just a summarized version. Do you want to tell our listeners what pipes in the syndicate is real quick?Speaker 3 (00:02:12):Yeah. Yeah. So Pi Syndicate is more of a supportive kind of mastermind. Um, we didn't start a truly make money. I already have some successful solar companies. My, one of my partners, Mikey, Lucas and Austin already have successful businesses. The reason why we started it is because we realized that about 85% of the guys in the industry that are top earners. So the guy's making, you know, over $150,000 a year, ended up leaving the industry and they have no money. They don't own any real estate. They don't have any money in savings. And about half of them owe money to the IRS. So when we talk about why we work, you know, it's a fun job going door to door, selling stuff. There's a ton of reasons why we all work, but when it comes down to it, if it didn't actually pay us any money, we would all stop.Speaker 3 (00:02:57):And that's eventually what happens is guys get burnt out because the money is not, not good enough to overcome the fact that they owe money on taxes or that they haven't really accumulated any wealth. And it's just, you know, just like you and I, we both probably hopped around to different houses. You know, door-knocking across the country, it's not indicative of saving money. It means that we go buy a BMW when we get enough money or we, we go out to fancy dinners or whatever, we're going to spend the money on. Or we buy our wife a $20,000 wedding ring when we propose because we're making money and guys, uh, leave the industry. Eventually majority of people end up not door knocking forever. Some of us love it. Some of us love it for five years and it's time to move on. And the sad thing for us is when they do move on, they put a lot of sweat and work into the job and they leave the industry with nothing to show for it.Speaker 3 (00:03:47):And these are guys making the top one, 2% of income earners in the entire country, and they're not having any money in savings and investments. And so that's, our mission is to change that we want to, within five years of working in the solar industry, have a plan for retirement in place where a guy can walk away from the door to door, industry, Copia, dentist, whatever he wants to do, and still have a substantial financial portfolio with investing and savings and emergency funds and all the things you need. Also a credit score, enough income to buy your first house. You know, all the things that companies don't really educate their, uh, door knockers on and their sales guys on is really the gap that we fill within the industry. We're kind of selective, but at the end of the day, we want to hang out with cool people that are knocking doors.Speaker 3 (00:04:32):It's just the coolest, single job to meet people that live differently, right. That wake up every day, excited to go to work. Cause if you don't, you quit within three months, probably. So if you're there a couple of years and you're a top earner, you're a guy want to hang out with and be around. And so that's what the mastermind is about is hanging out and being together. The reason I'm so excited to sponsor the podcast is because we feel like you're adding value. Whether it be a new guy that's 30 days in the industry, or maybe just thinking about going into solar, I've heard guys tell me that they've listened to your podcast to make a decision, even to accept a job in the solar industry, which is really cool. But then I would say your normal audience is one of two things, either kind of new to solar.Speaker 3 (00:05:16):And they're looking to see what podcasts are out there. And then the other one, which is strange is like the really seasoned guys like me that just want to hear good conversations with guys that are still in the field door knocking. Part of the reason why I respect you so much is because not only do you do a podcast, but you're still out door knocking virtually every day. So the content is fresh. It's, it's exactly what's going on to help you make money. And when you have guests on the conversations you have with them, um, definitely flow very well because you're doing the same job as them. So it's real life questions. It's real life answers about how to make more money, how to be more consistent in solar. And that's what we really preach is consistency and hard work. And that's the same thing.Speaker 3 (00:05:56):The podcast help brings people that listen to it. So we are super pumped to be a sponsor. And we look forward to being a sponsor for years to come and all the success in the world. We know you're going to hit 500 listeners, um, uh, 500,500,000 listeners. Uh, pretty soon as our goal has a sponsor. So we're going to be boosting some of the marketing and stuff to help you get there because literally everyone in solar right now, everyone in door to door needs to be listening to a mentor, tell them how to do their job better. And we feel like you're a great guy to do that for us.Speaker 2 (00:06:26):I love that. Appreciate that, Jerry. Absolutely man. And yeah, no, it goes without saying too, it's like you were saying so many guys just get out of this and reminds me of the NFL or something. We've all heard like guys in the NFL. I think I heard a stat that like, I don't know some crazy number of them are broke within a couple of years after they can't get out of the NFL. And I feel like door to door is very similar in that guy is making insane amounts of money knocking doors, but let's be honest. We're probably not all going to be doing this stower, you know, retirement age. No. So that's, what's so cool about what you're doing with Pi Syndicate is you're teaching guys how to really hang on to that money and turn that money into future investments in keep a hold of it. Because a lot of people that aren't, you know, super smart with itSpeaker 3 (00:07:08):And, you know, to be clear, um, I wasn't super smart with it either. I started out door to door when I was 19 selling, um, cable, internet door to door and it only paid $30 a sale or something like that. But you could go out and sell 10 of them a day. It's still really good money. And then I became a regional manager and started to make even better money. And, you know, a few hundred thousand dollars was flowing in and I was making all this money. And um, then 26 years old came around. I had my first child and, uh, talking with my wife, I decided to go out and get a real job. I had been in door-to-door for about six years was killing it, making hundreds of thousands dollars a year. I had literally had about a million dollar net worth. And I thought I was doing awesome.Speaker 3 (00:07:51):Right? And then I decided, well, I really want to do something. So I got a job at a children's home. I was working on a college degree and within a year I was completely broke. Um, just completely devastatingly broke, you know, eating ramen noodles again, I'm like, dude, I have a professional college level job. And now me and my wife, uh, are back to eating beans and rice. And we're like, is this what real life is supposed to be? But this is what everyone tells you to go. Do you know what I mean? But what happened is I was living a lifestyle based on being a door to door guy and not everyone stays at door to door guy forever. And so that transition for me was extremely difficult when I realized that I, I thought I want to do something out of it. I thought I wanted a real job, um, that everyone talks about.Speaker 3 (00:08:35):And I'm so glad that I found my way back. And so the first time I engaged with a publisher to write a book, I thought, for sure, my book's title was going to be millionaire by 25 and broke by 26. Um, to really explain why to manage your money better, how to take care of your money. Cause it was a hard life lesson, but it's almost identical to the majority of guys in the door to door industry. And we're not talking about the guy that makes it 30 days and quits. We're talking about guys that are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, selling solar pest control roofing. Um, they're not going to last forever. They always think that they want to go do something else. And at, at that point, I don't know of a single another occupation without like being a brain surgeon that you can go and make 300 K a year.Speaker 3 (00:09:20):Like it's just not going to happen. Maybe over 30 years of building it up, even being on wall street, building up, being with a trading company or something like that, you can get there, you know, over years of dedication and working hard with your clients, maybe insurance, you know, there's some things that you can build up this business and make hundreds of thousands dollars, but there's nothing I can think of that you can leave door to door, knowing nothing about anything besides sales and make 300 K year. So there's always going to be this turmoil in your life where you decide to get out of sales. And for me it was, you know, I didn't want to work after five o'clock. I wanted to go home at five, o'clock have dinner with my family. I thought that was the American dream, you know, to have, uh, a normal job.Speaker 3 (00:10:00):I'd get off, go home, eat dinner, have a dog, walk the dog. And uh, I learned very quickly over about a year eating beans that, uh, the American dream wasn't so fun. And I decided to go back to work. But I, at the same time realized there's guys that are not going to decide to go back to work. There's going to be guys that are super happy to make 50 to a hundred thousand dollars a year, but their lifestyle is going to have to change. And just like the NFL players, it was hard for me to adapt my lifestyle to the lower income. So when my wife wanted to go out for anniversary, we still spent $250 on dinner. You know, we still bought, you know, $200 shoes instead of $50 shoes. Like all the things that we had trained ourselves to budget for were all incorrect.Speaker 3 (00:10:43):And we had never had to live on a budget being 21 years old and making 200 grand a year. You don't really have to budget. You just spend your money on whatever you want. And then you're like, oh man, I ran out of money. I need to go knock more doors. And you just can't keep the money coming in. Um, it's not a very smart way longterm to live. So my goal is to get with people that are 18, 19 25, really, you could be 35 and this is the first time you're in door to door. And you're like, this is a lot of money. Those are the guys that we want to help. And they're the same audience that you're trying to help too. So I think there's a lot of alignment there just helping guys get to that next level. So we're excited to help them for that.Speaker 2 (00:11:19):I love that. And yeah, we've had a couple of finance guys and things like that. Come on. But yeah, this is kind of the first, um, you're the first people I've seen really put together kind of mastermind style and help people at this level, which is awesome. So that's why,Speaker 3 (00:11:34):You know, yeah. And the whole thing, the whole thing about Pi Syndicate is it's sharing a lot of the resources for my company, but, you know, we made last year was 151 million. And so the revenue is very large, but then that means I spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on legal, on CPAs and advisors. You know, I spent $400,000 last year on mastermind groups. Um, you guys don't have the resource to do that. You're doing really good Taylor, you're killing it. You're in the top of the industry. You're still not going to go out and drop a hundred thousand dollar retainer on an attorney cause you don't need it. Right. It just doesn't make any sense. Your wife would be like, are we getting a divorce? Why do you need the a hundred thousand dollars retainer? Um, so it's just something that you don't think you need until you need it.Speaker 3 (00:12:15):Right? And so it's much better to have my legal team on standby to have our CPAs answer really hard questions to have my tax strategies that you normally only invest in. If you make, you know, $10 million in profit a year or more, uh, be available to you guys. And we do it in a mastermind setting so that we can share the knowledge, um, pretty openly, but with only guys that we want to hang out with, right? There's some guys in masterminds, I'm sure you've been to events and things. You're like, I'd rather not go hang out with a guy afterwards. So we definitely want to make it a group of guys where we stay together for a really long time. And then we want to see your businesses grow, you know? And, um, I would love to see your podcast. I was saying 500,000 listeners earlier.Speaker 3 (00:12:56):I'm not joking about that. I'd love to see your podcast expand to grow. You know, when people talk about the solar guys are listening on podcasts, that should be at my let you know, Jordan Bell Ford and Taylor Armstrong like that. I mean, that's really, when it comes to selling, how many viewers do you need to have listening? And because it's a lot of valuable things, I literally think anyone not listening to your podcast is probably selling the wrong thing. Like they're, they're probably selling cars. They're probably selling watches at a jewelry store, probably selling cell phones. And they're all listening to the wrong podcasts. They think that ed, my let's going to make him rich or grant Cardone and they're not, solar's going to make him rich and they need to be listening to the right box.Speaker 2 (00:13:33):Okay. There's no doubt about that. I mean, I always say we're the Navy seals of the sells industry. No one's selling like we are so we can learn how to sell solar. Then it's like, I mean, that's why we got so much money in this and yeah, yeah. I can translate to anything else to,Speaker 3 (00:13:46):For sure. Yeah. And we definitely have to get good. We got to hone our skills because, um, it's not about how much money even make per job. It's about how much money you make at the end of the year. And we know that this is the gold rush right now. Um, but the guys that made the most money during the gold rush, you know, you've heard the saying that they sold the shovels and they were the support guys. They built the businesses around it. And so yes, we need to be Navy seals. But the reason to hone our skills that much is because it's not going to pay this much forever five years down the road, let's say the average commission is, you know, a thousand dollars a job then instead of 2,500 or more now, um, that's going to be devastating for someone that hasn't hone their skills.Speaker 3 (00:14:26):If they're used to a 5%, 10% close rate and they think they're killing it because they live in California and they're making serious money per sale, uh, that's not going to be around forever. And so the reason why you have to hone your skills is yes, it's nice to make a million dollars a year. This year, selling solar by having a 40% close rate would be awesome. Right? But the real reason is because, um, in five years you're going to have to close at a 40% rate to make the same amount of money you're making today. So if you, this is the training time, view it as a quick start bonus viewed. As you know, the companies are encouraging you to get out there and sell. It's not going to be like this forever. The whole, the law of supply and demand means that the more people that want to sell solar, the less money the companies will pay to sell for us to sell solar.Speaker 3 (00:15:08):Now they're always going to have all commission jobs. So you're always going to be able to make serious money selling solar, you know, look at the other industries, the pest control, the roofing a thousand dollars per sale is still super competitive. And I really believe that's probably where we're going over the next five years. And so we've got to hone those skills because a lot of us that are selling four jobs a month, five jobs a month, a thousand dollars a sell is not going to cut it. We need to be selling, you know, sitting in three appointments a day and selling, you know, one of those a day. Then we start still making good money. Even with the money being turned down, we're still turning out 200,000 a year or more. Um, even when the industry changes, we also need to prep our skills because there's a few times where your skills mean more than just, um, what you can do with them.Speaker 3 (00:15:53):Navy seals end up retiring from the Navy seals. They go into contracting work and there's companies that will pay them millions of dollars to train other people how to do those skills. So when we talk about honing our skills, it's not just about what you can do with the skills, it's about how you can leverage that to help others. And when we, when we talk about even the big guys in sales grant, Cardone never made as much money as he's making until he made a decision to help other people make money. And, uh, same thing with a lot of the other trainers, right? They could go out. There's only so many hours during the day. So, um, they're only gonna make so much money guys like ed, my left that are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, did it by having thousands of people underneath of him selling stuff.Speaker 3 (00:16:35):And that's really what we have to think is I have to get my skills to a level where I can leverage that to help others and in helping others solve the problem, they're going to give me a small amount of a percentage of the problem I solved. So if you help them make a thousand dollars, maybe they're willing to give you a hundred bucks, but while you can only run five appointments a day, guys that are on your teams, running stuff for you could be running hundreds of appointments a day. So it's just the economies to scale are where it's going to be at. So I encourage the guys, listen to this podcast and, um, and really being interested in solar to hone your skills, stop thinking about even your close rate today. Think about what it'll allow you to build in a year and two years and three years, because the economy is not always going to stay the same. So your skills have to up-level. Yeah,Speaker 2 (00:17:20):No, I agree. A hundred percent. And that's why I talk about on the podcast too. I, I encourage all the people listening. I'd go out and teach your teams to sell, develop that skill, to like present to others, to teach other people, you know, they've got all sorts of things. Like you can go to the Toastmasters, the speaking trainings, things like that. I think that's a huge skill to learn because yeah, we're not always going to be, like you said, making as much as we are in solar necessarily right now. So it's important for people that develop those other skills, which are money-making skills, presenting others, training other people, and then you have a whole different set of skill set you can do when maybe solar isn't as good. So, um, yeah, that's huge, Jerry. And, um, we're going to have your partner Austin in, he's going to also talk about pipes and they get to, so we'll leave, um, some, some stuff for him to talk about that too. Um, but yeah, with you, I wanted to hear, I know you talked about a little bit about your background, how you started in selling, but I wanted to hear, how did you transition, uh, specifically into solar sales? And can you talk about how you started your first company with that? And this is obviously super.Speaker 3 (00:18:22):Yeah, so it was a, it was a rough, um, transition. I had, um, gone home and I was selling ADT as a director level. So nice house, no debt. Um, I had everything we needed was making 200,000 a year, thought it was at the top of my game. Um, and then a solar company kept stealing my top reps. So I managed a three or four state region. Um, and they kept stealing reps and it was always my best ones, always the guys that were making 30 deals a month now, all of a sudden our solar reps. So I decided to go to this company because I'm pretty mad. So I'm just going to walk in, I'm a straight forward guy and say, Hey, stop selling my people. I train these people, you know, it's unfair. And the guy said, let me vent for a little while.Speaker 3 (00:19:06):Then he goes, well, don't you ask yourself why they are selling solar? Don't you want to know how much money you could make selling solar. And so I listened to the pitch and I was like, dang, it it's a good pitch. That's way more money than security. Right. And so I was like, okay, I need to take this seriously. So I go home and I talked to my wife and say, Hey, I think we have to make this transition. I had already noticed some of the writing on the wall. ADT had actually not brought on more customers than it canceled since the time that I've been there over the few years that I've been there. And so that was worrying, you know, if we couldn't outsell the cancels, that's a bad thing. And so how ADT dealt with it as they would acquire other companies and kind of fluff their numbers because they're publicly traded.Speaker 3 (00:19:47):So it never looked like they lost subscribers. Um, but it wasn't because of sales. We could not outsell the cancels. Yeah. And so that doesn't sound sustainable to me. So I had already had some fear that no matter how good we sold, it was just a matter of time, five years, 10 years, 20 years down the road that nobody's going to want to buy security door to door for $60 a month payment. Right. So I was just a little bit worried. So I went home and I talked to my wife and we decided to go ahead and me take an offer, you know, and, and go into that. I accepted the offer within the first 30 days. Um, I thought it was going to make all kinds of money and I made one sale. And some, my wife's like, you gotta tell me what's going on here.Speaker 3 (00:20:32):This is crazy. I would also driving three and a half hours to get to the field. So I was at the time because we were trying to save money. I was like, I'm going to do this as cheap as physically possible. I'm going to drive back and forth, you know, as much as I can. And if I have to, I'll just sleep in the car, get up, knock turf in the morning and, and go at it. I had a, a nice SUV. So I lay a whole air mattress. One of those that you see on Amazon where you pump them up, you know, they cover the seats. I was like, this is going to be cool. Yeah. Just hit the doors. It's parked right there. So I was grinding, right. I was not going like 12 hours a day. And uh, my only break for air conditioning was like, maybe go watch a movie or something like that.Speaker 3 (00:21:10):Well, I was like, if you watch a movie, why can't you just go get a hotel? I'm like, well, maybe it's 12 bucks. Like I don't want to stay in a $12 hotel. That's disgusting. And, uh, but it was a grind right. For a whole month and I made one deal and I thought, this is, this has gotta be over. I think our average commission back then was $1,500. So I traded somewhere around $20,000 a month. In that first month I went down to about 1500. And of course you don't get it until they install it. So they gave me like a little bit and they were like, oh, and you'll get the rest just whenever we don't know. And I'm like, oh, I'm in trouble. ADT was like, next day, you know, somebody would be out there installing it. So I misunderstood that coming into solar.Speaker 3 (00:21:48):Where was, where were you selling that? Kansas city. Okay. Yeah, not a great market. It was only about six years ago. Okay. So, and, um, they had a huge rebate in Kansas city and the rebate had gone away the month I started. So we went from having, I think the state level was up to a $2, a watt rebate then had gone down to a dollar watt and then it kind of went away. Well, $2 watt rebate is huge. So our average sell price was like $3 a watt. And, um, between the rebate and the ITC at the time was 30%. We literally were giving away solar for free. So when I accepted the job, I thought I was going to go door to door and just give it away for free. And then like the week I started, they're like, Hey, the rebate's gone away.Speaker 3 (00:22:28):You really guys, it's not free anymore. You need like 25 to $30,000 on every deal. And I'm like, what? I thought we gave stuff away for free. Well, what's going on with this. And so it kind of changed the game really quickly on me. Uh, I adjusted though. So then, um, once I figured out how to sell, I realized that it was a lot about understanding the benefits, understanding the tax taxes, really understanding how much money they would save because I was so new. It allowed me to adjust faster than the guys that have been doing it two years with this huge rebate and everything. And so the next, uh, three months I had made about a hundred sales, I think 102 sales in the next three months. So it really kicked in and I did really, really well. What's strange is you have these self limiting beliefs though.Speaker 3 (00:23:15):I always believed in ADT that I had to sell 30 deals a month and I really peaked out around the same thing. So it's almost like this mindset that I was a 30 deal a month, a rep I carried over into solar as well. And it's just recently that I realized that mindset's completely wrong listening to some of your podcasts with guys. I think you said recently you had someone on that sold 68 deals in a month. So more than double, more than double what I was selling. So I looked back saying, man, I wonder if I totally just carried over a self-belief from selling security that had nothing to do with solar, but I consistently would put up 30 deals a month. The cool thing about solar is there's commercial too. So my last month I killed it. Um, commission wise, I probably would've made somewhere around 280 5k in 30 days.Speaker 3 (00:24:00):So it was incredible. I went home, talked to my wife, we're super excited. We're like, man, this is it. We're making, we love this company. The company's like, Hey, by the way, we can actually afford to pay you that much. And we're nine months behind on install. And I'm like, oh wow, that's crazy. Some of you listening have probably heard words similar to that before, um, from a solar company. So I decided really quickly to go out on my own. Cause I was like, how much worse can it be if they can't pay me? And it takes nine months to install, I'm sure I can do better than that. So, um, the trouble was, I had to walk away from all of that commission and then, um, didn't have a lot of money in the bank. And so cause you know how far behind commissions are.Speaker 3 (00:24:41):So really I walked away from even more than that. And um, but I had no debt on my house and everything. So we had to sell our house. We had to cash out, 401k, invest, everything we had into starting a solar company. And when you tell your wife that it's time to sell the dream house, to go door to door again and sell more solar, it was a hard conversation. I'm so thankful that she supported me through that though and made that leap. Um, it took about three more years of making really minimal amount of money. I think I pulled maybe $30,000 a year out of my company. Okay. The first six months I, uh, you couldn't hire an EPC like you can now they just really didn't exist. Right? And so I had to hire a, uh, NAVSUP trainer to come in and train me to install.Speaker 3 (00:25:25):So the next six months I installed all my own jobs, uh, realized really, really quickly that I was bad at paperwork. So I had to hire administrative shin assistance and people do net metering. And then I realized I didn't like talking on the phone. So I had to hire, uh, an admin person to answer the phone. Then I had to hire, um, um, a phone sales person to answer all the incoming calls. And I'm like, man, this is crazy. Now I have like 14 people that work for me. I gotta, I gotta start making a lot more sales. So, uh, it was kind of the, you know, they say the, the mother of invention is necessity and that was it. I had to learn how to sell a lot more just to support the company, but selling 30 jobs a month, you know, a lot of solar companies don't even do that much.Speaker 3 (00:26:06):So me myself could go out and support my whole company, but then I just kept growing it. You know, when I brought on other sales guys and, but I stay very conservative. So a lot of owners, you know, brag about their, their fancy watches or the drive fancy cars right away. I always knew this was a long-term play for me. And if I was going to expand faster than my competitors, I had to do it, um, through really being wise with my resources. And so I reinvested almost all the money for three years. We lived on about $30,000 a year. Now I had retired from the military. So I lived in California, man. No, no. I lived in Missouri. Yeah. And started the company headquarters. I also had my military retirement. So the medical and I had some pinching coming. So I had more money that, but out of the company, I only pulled the very minimum that my CPA told me.Speaker 3 (00:26:52):I had to pay myself to be legitimate where I wouldn't have probably pay myself anything. And that allowed me to reinvest in marketing and tools and a better management. And you know, it's kind of crazy there for a while that everyone at my company was making more money than me. But at the same time, I knew that long-term, I was gonna make a lot more money than everyone else. So, you know, that's the old saying that you've all heard, but do things that others aren't willing to do. So that later on you can do a lot. And so that's what was able to happen in my life is that there's three years of really investment allowed us to build out a fully integrated solar company. And we were able to get into things that other companies weren't, you know, we go as far as doing the customer's taxes for up to five years after they buy solar, we do internal financing.Speaker 3 (00:27:35):Um, 2020, we did $50 million in internal solar, solar loans, ourselves without paying finance fees. So you just can't do that without a significant amount of resources, but you only have a significant amount of resources when you don't spend resources. And so it was, um, one of those things that we just chose to stay in Missouri, live frugally, know all of our installers. We have a very different, uh, formula to install. They all live out of Missouri and making 2020 $5 an hour in Missouri is incredible. You know, that they can live really well by their home buy nice cars. They live really well. And so they're willing to travel out of Missouri, take the solar panels and go to Minnesota or go to Florida or go to Texas or go to they'll drive all the way here to Vegas to, to install solar panels. Now we try to rack up several jobs in the same week and our teams are really well-trained.Speaker 3 (00:28:25):So a team of three guys can install a job in one day and so they can stack up, um, you know, two teams can travel out here to Vegas knockout, you know, quite a few jobs in 10 jobs in a week and then travel back, you know? And so it's just a different way to look at business. So we try to solve problems, not necessarily spending more money on it, but how do we actually solve the problem? You know, and the most people would say, well, let's just hire a big EPC in Vegas or California or Florida, because that's easier. Cause that also costs a lot of money. And so we make a lot more money in a lot more profit margin because of that. We're also what I would call a white glove service with doing the customer's taxes. So make sure your benefits to the client.Speaker 3 (00:29:07):We are probably one of the more expensive solar companies in the country, um, which is a hard thing, right? Like it's, it's means that some sales reps don't want to work for us because they want to sell for a more competitively priced company. What we do is a process called value stacking, where we believe that once your value stack exceeds the price, that it doesn't matter what the price is, the client will buy it. So we just try to deliver such a tremendous amount of value that we're still able to sell at a higher price. And then we have a very good margin and then we reinvest that margin. And so last year we were able to break $101 million in revenue. I'm extremely profitable. And uh, we owe no money. We have no debt. We have three years of operating capital on hand at all times now.Speaker 3 (00:29:51):So we're the only, debt-free um, three years worth of capital company. I know of specifically in solar, it's nearly unheard of, um, through COVID we had, um, 24 dealerships that were sub-dealers basically under our brand and we were able to support all of them and their reps through COVID. We're able to support all of our staff, even though we shut down operations for install, all the installers cup paid, all the office workers got paid. Wow. And so it's something we're pretty proud of, but it's also means that while other companies buy Ferrari's, I'm still going to be here in 10 years so they can enjoy their Ferrari's and I'll enjoy my, my safety net, uh, money in the bank. It also allows me to have money to help other companies. So I'm an investor in over 50 companies at this point and, um, own equity in those.Speaker 3 (00:30:36):And so, um, those create passive income streams for me, which help, but it's also just a way that I can help other companies because they need the money. And they, unfortunately, most of them weren't good at saving money. They were the guys buying the Bentleys or Ferrari's. And so they come to me and, uh, ended up needing to, to borrow some funds. And I'm happy to do it as long as it's going to help the company and help them longterm. And obviously it helps me if I can own a chunk of their company as well. For sure.Speaker 2 (00:31:01):And now that's one thing I've noticed about you. Jerry is you're very giving gay. I mean, I'm not part of your company or anything, but I come in here, Jerry treats me like family and he's like, dude, all I'll get you a hotel. First thing he says, when I come into their house here, it's like, Hey, I'll get you a hotel room. We don't have like the best beds and stuff here. I'm like down, like, dude, I'll sleep on my couch, no longerSpeaker 3 (00:31:22):Talking about it. And this is a house for doorknockers I ever real bad, but everyone else has twin size bunk beds. And there's a bunch of, bunch of them upstairs, but we were thinking, Hey man, this guy just drove five hours and now he's going to sleep in a bunk bed. We all kind of had this moment where we're like, we probably should have thought this thing through. So we were like, do you want to hotel? Are you cool? And he's like, no, I'm cool. And then right after he said, he's cool. I see one of our guys carrying in a queen size, like Peloton matches. I'm like, thank goodness that somebody went out and bought a bed for this guy. So, um, but yeah. So thanks for saying that, man. I, I believe in this, this theory about investing where, um, if you're investing in the right people, um, there's no bad investment.Speaker 3 (00:32:04):And so even though it may not make monetary sense today or tomorrow, I invest my time, energy and resources and money into people that I want long-term relationships with. Because even though you don't work for me and you may never work with me, or we may never do anything specifically together, maybe you, um, send me a referral and you're like, Hey, am I coming? He doesn't cover Maine because it's the polar opposite side of the country from San Diego. Could you, do you want this referral in Maine? And absolutely I would. And I'll figure out a way to get in and installed a main, even though my install crews, if they're listening right now, we're like, what's Jerry talking about, I don't want to go to Maine. We would figure it out and make money on it. So I just believe in being very giving.Speaker 3 (00:32:44):And I think people will reciprocate that now I'm not stupid about it. I don't give to everybody. I, I give of my time. Um, most sparingly my time is the resource that I can't get back money. I can make more of time. I can't. And so I invest my time into things like the mastermind into my company and to the people I mentioned or indefinitely into things like this podcast, which I think is going to bear fruit for both your podcast and my companies. So by being a sponsor. And so I look forward to, uh, developing our relationship and um, giving him next week, he's going to email me and be like, Hey man, I really need a new Tesla. I was just wondering if he could spot me 120 K cause it's a plan.Speaker 2 (00:33:23):Yeah. I'm not, that'd be the sponsor. Find me a TeslaSpeaker 3 (00:33:28):It's company is going to be like, why is the side of your Tesla say Pi Syndicate on it? That's really weird.Speaker 2 (00:33:35):Yeah. But no, I, I definitely agree with that cause um, I worked with, you know, several different companies at this point too. And um, we were having conversations before this out. You know, some people are more giving stuff than others. And uh, so I think it pays dividends as long as you're smart about it. Like you're saying is just be that guy. That's not like the cheap guy. That's like, oh, this guy is going to nickel and dime me. But if you're investing into relationships, especially, you know, on business level, um, I think it pays dividends. Like I just, matter of fact, last week I did my, a church mission in Columbia down there and that's one of the things and you know, these south American countries, a lot of them are super poor. And so I get hit up all the time about people, ask them for money and stuff like that. So yeah, you gotta get ready, selects selective. But I just sent, you know, 500 bucks last week for a family's funeral that I knew down there and yeah, like, they're like, oh, um, we'll pay you back. We promise, I know 99% chance. They're not going to be, they're not going to pay me back because you know, yeah.Speaker 3 (00:34:31):I've decided, I've decided that, um, I do sometimes give loans, but if, if it's, if you like that, and I think that you're right, you know, there's a good chance. They won't be able to pay you back. I'm very upfront with it and say, it's a gift. And then say, if you're ever at a time in your life where you can give something to somebody else, go ahead and do that because they're going to feel guilty if it's dead, right. They're good people. I'm sure they are. And eventually that's going to wear on them and it's going to impact their life negatively because they're not going to pay you back. Chances are, um, cause they may not have the resources and stuff like that to do that. And so, so think about doing stuff like that as gifts I give my time, lot, I gift things, not connected to any type of repayment.Speaker 3 (00:35:12):Um, and gifting seems to reward me a lot better than loans. So now in businesses, if you want, um, a hundred thousand dollar loan, I'll do that too, but that's a lot, normally stuff like that as somebody in need it, you know, give it as a gift and um, you'll see dividends of that. It also helps you feel a lot better right away. Like it felt good giving them a loan if you had made the decision to just give it to them as a gift, which is basically, it sounds like what you did. But if you had said that in your head, I'm going to give it as a gift and tell them I'm giving it as a gift. It would have had a little bit more positive impact even in your inside yourself. Um, you know, the gratitude that you felt, being able to help someone.Speaker 3 (00:35:48):And so it's a cool way to, to manage your money like that. That the thing that I, uh, one of the things I talk about when I talk about gifting though, is my time. And so I don't know if you've ever heard a term called time vampires, but I, I definitely believe in the concept that there's some people that just siphon away your time. And so while I'm very free to help people and to mentor them and stuff like that, be selective on who you help. Just like you said, you get hit quite a bit for money, the same thing with time. And you're an influential person. You have a lot of value to add to other people's lives, but you have to start being selective. And one of the rules that I've set for myself is that I only interact daily on a day to day basis with 10 people.Speaker 3 (00:36:29):So if I ever get to a point where I'm talking to someone every single day, I either need to figure out if there's somebody I'm mentoring or if they're somebody that needs to be communicating with one of my 10 people. Um, and I have a wife and four kids. So that means I only have five people outside of that to communicate with on a day-to-day basis. So my, my intimate little work circles about five and it makes for some hard decision-making. I talked to the general manager of solar solutions. Um, she's in training for all intensive purposes. She's the CEO. And, uh, I've talked to her one hour in the last week and she's running a multimillion dollar company for me. And I trust that she's doing a great job. Um, but I don't have time. Day-to-day, she's not by any means a time vampire she's listening, but, um, I don't have time.Speaker 3 (00:37:17):So, but making those decisions, even when they're hard decisions like not to talk to your GM every single day, um, mean that it makes it much easier to make a decision about talking to a friend from high school that just wants to chat about video games or fantasy football. Yeah, I cut. I cut them out pretty quickly because if I don't have time for, you know, my GM, I really don't have time for them either. And so setting up some type of structure in your life to make decisions based on time and who you're going to invest time in is very, very important to go a lot further in life if you invest your time correctly.Speaker 2 (00:37:50):Yeah. I agree. That's a good point. So yeah, for all our listeners, I think it's a good thing to do. If another thing I've talked about is just, you know, a time audit, just really tracking what you actually did with your hours, how you spent your time. It's a lot of times we think we're being super productive, smart with our time, and then we actually check it. We just spent two hours talking about fantasy football to someone or, you know, playing a game on the phone, whatever, things like that.Speaker 3 (00:38:15):Yeah. With strangers now that I, uh, last year I had done the math on, you know, how much money I was making per hour that I worked. And the number was much, much larger than what I had previously thought about it being. And, um, in the last few years, it's led me to really, really feel guilty about wasting my time. So like, I, I love video games. I love world of Warcraft back in the day and things like that. There's zero chance that I could open up a computer, get on world of Warcraft tonight and play for four hours without having this tremendous amount of guilt. You know, just because my time is, I know what my time's worth right now. And if someone would ask me, Hey, would you give me $25,000 to play world of Warcraft? I would say, no, I'm not going to give you 25 grand to play a video game. But that's exactly what we do in investing our time and activities that don't actually generate income or generate a better relationship with those around us is it's time that we're really, really stealing from ourselves. Yeah.Speaker 2 (00:39:12):A hundred percent. So now that's a good, a good point with that. And so going back a little bit at Jerry, um, something I wanted to ask you about, we were talking before we started recording here is just like you're saying, um, so many people just sell their prices low. Um, you said you're like one of the higher price companies that sell solar. And I think that's awesome. I started out with the company that was kind of similar to that. They tried to bundle in like some solar cleaning in some like a, I dunno, yearly checkup type things dated. It kind of found some loopholes around it. And I think it made a few customers mad cause they put in the fine print that they would only do that if the customer like contacted them. And It was kind of a, maybe not.Speaker 3 (00:39:54):Yeah. The whole thing about being the most expensive company is you also have to do the best job. And so you can get away with that. What's crazy is it's easier if you're a good salesperson to sell being the most expensive than it is being the cheapest. The only person that thinks it's easier to sell being the cheapest are bad salespeople. That's what it comes down to. You're probably not listening to this podcast. If you think the only way to sell is by lowering the price. That's probably not your target audience. People are trying to learn. They're trying to get better. We grade sales reps, um, AB and C sales reps, um, see sales reps are sell by being cheap. And that's how we remember it. If the only way that they can sell is by being the cheapest in the room and they're not selling based on anything else.Speaker 3 (00:40:39):Then they're a C sells rep. There is definitely room in the solar industry for C sales reps. So if you sell based on price, don't feel bad about it. Just either educate yourself to get better or find a company that really is the cheapest. And that's where you need to, to be out, to make money. Um, be sales reps are those that, um, really are good at one or two things. They either technical experts or they are expert closers. And it's one of two things they're either the best closer in the whole world. I would refer to like, um, Mike O'Donnell or, uh, Taylor McCartney, you know, incredible closers, but I know more about solar than either one of them. So the other, the other B sales rep is, um, someone that, um, is very, very technical. I would look at, um, you know, um, quite a few people in the marketplace that I would look at Jake Hess would be the one that comes to mind, very, very technical, closer, you know, through, um, his academy.Speaker 3 (00:41:34):He trains people how to be very technical. And then the AA sales rep is those that combine both. So yes, Taylor and Mike can definitely answer those technical questions or they know how to pivot really well. And so they're a sales reps because at the end of the day, phenomenal closers and they know everything they need to know about solar to get the sell closed. Now Taylor's kind of bizarre because he does know it just a little bit, but he's that good of a sales rep that he's still in a sales role. And I was talking about something one day. He's like, I don't even know what you're talking about. It's like, okay, I guess I'm more of a technical sales rep instead of as good of a closer isSpeaker 2 (00:42:11):PESI oh, you asked him one time. Like, I don't even know what an inverter is.Speaker 3 (00:42:15):That's what he told me. That's what we were talking about us. I went different numbers, to be honest, I don't know what you're talking about. He's like, but I sold the last 14 doors I knocked on and I was like, wow, that's a that's okay. There's definitely some benefit. I noticed that they and Jake has been hanging out and I'm like, well, uh, hopefully those guys learn a lot from each other because of your powerhouse. Um, but yeah, and so the sales reps are like that. We specifically hire the sales reps because they have to be good closers and they have to know a lot about the technical side. Cause we have to justify our higher price. And um, explain why we're higher. One of the things is we give her a warranties instead of just fake claims. We also give free maintenance, but we give a 25 year true labor warranty.Speaker 3 (00:42:56):Um, anything that goes wrong. A lot of guys in the solar industry don't realize, but they're selling, what's called a workmanship warranty. And under a workmanship warranty, you would assume that if say a panel stops working, that the company would come out and fix it for free without charging the customer a fee, the truth is a workmanship warranty covers bad workmanship. So if they installed it incorrectly, which caused the panel to stop working a good company would come out and fix it. But a good company would do that for free. Even without a warranty in writing, they would say, yeah, you're right. That's our fault. Let us fix that. So it's pretty much just acknowledging that, Hey, we're a good company, which is, which is nice of them to say there's a 20 five-year workmanship warranty, but, uh, under the warranty and most of the terms of that panel stops working.Speaker 3 (00:43:39):It's the manufacturer's fault. You would have to pay that solar company labor to come out and replace that solar panel. And there's almost zero sales reps that understand that concept. And I guarantee you no homeowner understands that concept. So when they get into these 25 year loans, when you talk about company evaluations and how to evaluate the value of a solar company, those that give away a workmanship warranty are basically locking in that customer on a service plan for the next 25 years, that increases the company evaluation because they know they're going to make X amount of money servicing that system over the next 25 years at a company like mine. It actually decreases our company value because we know that the relationship with that client will just cause, um, cost over the next 25 years. So, um, was very few companies like ours that are giving free labor away, true free labor for the whole time, but we definitely do.Speaker 3 (00:44:32):And so we align ourselves up with even our battery manufacturers are full 25 year warranties. So everything we do as a 25 year warranty or more included with labor too. So even the solar panels and the batteries, if we were to go out of business, uh, they'll hire an electrician to come out and service it. So it's just a different pitch, but a good sales rep always feels more comfortable being the guy saying, I'm the best buy for me, then I'm the cheapest, you know, let's, it's a good deal. Let's do this, you know? So you'll kind of weed, weed out those people that aren't quite as.Speaker 2 (00:45:03):Yeah, I know. Yeah. It's interesting. If you go to these like marketing conferences and stuff, and then the online marketing and they say, there's no competitive advantage to being like, you know, unless I made all of the pack pricing, you're either like the cheapest or you're in the most expensive and you add more value, but there's no like advantage at all as being kind of like middle soSpeaker 3 (00:45:23):No, and you kind of disregard all the middle companies too. Um, and so I, I definitely think one of our strategies is we know we're going to be the most expensive. So we get that out of the way right away. We tell them we are, we actually tell them to shop around. And if they choose to go with a cheaper company, we'll even pay $50 per quote, that they give us from the other companies that they've shopped around with. So we encourage them to give us, go shop around with four quotes and then we'll come back and be the final one in the door, propose our price a hundred percent of the time. They're expecting us to undercut the cheapest bid. Um, cause they think it's a gimmick, right? You're giving me these quotes, you're going to undercut their price and then try to close me a hundred percent of the time.Speaker 3 (00:46:01):We make sure we're more expensive. In fact, if we're not the most expensive person, we raise our price by a thousand dollars and make sure because it's easier to sell in the most expensive. Now, not everyone buys though. And so just like a car lot, you you're the most expensive your Lamborghini dealership or whatever. That's how we treat it. But at the end of the day, if you say it's too expensive and you're getting ready to walk out, we say, hold on, wait a minute. Let's see if we can throw something else in. So we try to do value, add. So we may replace their air conditioner or we may help replace the roof or whatever it is. But very rarely will we do just a straightforward discount. We're never going to be like, okay, you're right. Let us let us price it out for $10,000 cheaper. There's probably not going to be us, but we'll win.Speaker 2 (00:46:42):Yeah. I think that's awesome. Because especially in California, there's no excuse for people to be selling like rock bottom prices. I mean, San Diego, you can sell a system, you know, $6 a watt, super expensive, and you're still saving them. You're still cutting their bill by 30%. Yeah. So it's like these companies that try to sell rock bottom line, what are you guys doing? We're still saving the customers.Speaker 3 (00:47:03):I think we all need to be on the same team, right? Like, um, I think there's places out there for the cheapest guys. The problem is, um, those guys need to go move to Missouri or Kansas or somewhere with 10 cent per watt, kilowatt hours of they want to sell cheap California. You're not competing against each other. You're competing against a utility company. So $6 a watt is completely fair price to charge. If you're versing the utility company, what that allows you to do as a company is make more profit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with profit. If you're helping the client, because that means you can take that profit and go make more clients. You can spend more money on marketing. You can spend more money on paying your people. You can spend more money on office space. You can do everything you can to grow.Speaker 3 (00:47:47):And at the end of the day, we all want to have more solar customers. We all believe the solar is good for the environment. And so at the end of the day, our mission is to sell as many people as we can. And people get twisted. People that are new to business think selling cheaper will help them sell more. It absolutely will. Not their resources you gain from selling a fairly priced product. That's beating out your competitor, which is the utility company is the correct price. And so I would never charge somebody. One of my ethical roles is I never charge more than what they're paying on the utility company. So solar solutions is a little different. They have to be able to pay the system off within 10 years through savings. And they have to be able to have a payment that's cheaper than their utility bill from day one, or we won't quote them.Speaker 3 (00:48:30):The system will tell them that they w we don't advise them to go solar in California. That wouldn't happen very often though. It's so good of a deal for everybody. Even as $6 a watt, you should be doing that, just make sure you're not going out and buying Ferrari's. You need to be reinvesting that money in yourself. And for you specifically in your podcast and your recruiting budget to help others come on board, because you're not going to be able to sell a prices like that forever. And we know that. So you use those resources to expand, to grow, to really make a dent in the industry. And it's so cool. I, I learned something from you earlier. We were talking to our guys about how saturated Las Vegas is. I don't think anyone would argue that San Diego's, if not the most saturated market, one of the most saturated markets in the United States, very cool market.Speaker 3 (00:49:17):And you still go out and door knock every day, and you still run into people that need solar and once solar. So it's incredible. We, we need to stop thinking of the scarcity mindset, where we're competing against other solar companies. We're still not even in San Diego. We're not. Um, and the truth is you mentioned it too, but those companies may knock the door once and you're going to knock the door five or more times. And so, um, I'm okay with competition as long as I'm better than them. And it sounds like you're, you're beating them so that that's healthy competition. Um, and so I think that that's a really cool thing to think about. We all need to keep our prices higher because in San Diego, if you can sell $6 a watt in the most competitive thing in the whole United States, that everybody should be pricing their structure out right below the utility company, let's do better than the utility company. But that means I operate in mainly the Midwest states. That means we don't sell as high in Kansas. We don't sell high in Texas. We don't sell as high at all in Tennessee. So it, it just all depends on where you're at, what their pricing is because the utility is the competitor, not, not the other solar companies. Yeah.Speaker 2 (00:50:21):I think that's a good rule to go by though, cause you don't want to charge them way more than they're paying forSpeaker 3 (00:50:26):Electricity. Heard some interesting guys pitch it. And if they knocked on my door, their ride, I probably would've bought it cause they're good enough to pitch, pitch it as an investment. Um, my individual role with investing is I want my money back within 10 years. I want it to completely be liquid. And, and that's really comes into about a 7% compounded interest rate or above. And so, um, I wouldn't personally make an investment that, that wasn't going to happen. I put all my money into investments like that. So why would solar be anything different if I'm going to put it on my house? I still want that kind of ROI. And so, um, I think I just ethically on a personal side, uh, that's translated to the ethics of my company to say, look, we're not going to sell it unless, unless they meet the standard for Jerry thinking, it's a good thing.Speaker 3 (00:51:13):Right? And that's my standard. There's, there's been some guys though that I talked to that view it as a financial investment in states that have very low prices and I don't think they're wrong. And there's also a lot of speculation about the price of utilities, really jumping up over the next three years. A good friend of mine, Mike [inaudible] talks about it. He's extremely convincing, right? Like he's the guy that I've listened to enough where I'm like, you know what, even if they are spending $20 more a month, Mike's probably right. It's, it's going to be okay. It's just not a company thing that we do. So that's our litmus test is we try to price it right below. Um, but definitelySpeaker 2 (00:51:48):Don't price it a dollar 85 watt. I think we can all agree that if you're the guy out there selling at a dollar 85, a watt, you need to listen to the podcast more often and learn how to sell more because there's no reason to do that. And at the end of the day, what I tell customers that are getting an incredible deal as I run the numbers and I say, Hey, your sales reps making $500 on this deal. Uh, who is it? Oh, it a power I've never heard of power. That's interesting. It must be a power app. Um, the sold out for a $500 commission. And I say, think about this, it's a 25 year agreement. Uh, you, you need customer service for the next 25 years. If something goes wrong, right. They're like, yeah, nice. Well, how much do you think the $21 a year is going to buy you in time for that guy to pick up the phone and answer your questions?Speaker 2 (00:52:33):The truth is, think of his commission, like prepaying to have an advocate for you for the next 25 years. And in my opinion, $500 is not enough money for a 25 year relationship. So we need to pay our reps well enough that they're do very good customer service or the company needs to make enough profit that they take that role on themselves. That the rep isn't the one responsible for customer service and taking care of. Cause if we sell somebody a $25,000 system, it is definitely our responsibility to take care of them for the next 25 years. Like that's, that's just the way it is. That's our job. Yeah. So yeah, I just got a call actually like a couple hours ago from Gaia sold four years ago. Call me just barely ins. Yeah. Luckily I made more than 500 bucks, but yeah, that's a good point though. Like I'm only making 500 bucks and it's a guy that's taken up all this time. That's time suck then. Uh, yeah. It's um, like you want to be making, you know, your time worth some money for sure. Yeah. Um, and yeah, the other thing that's, uh, I forget, I forget the question. I was going to ask you where I was going with.Speaker 3 (00:53:41):Well, we were talking a little bit, uh, before we started and you were, you were basically saying, um, you know, why did I step away from solar solutions? And, um, you know, I thought that was a really interesting question that I wanted to say for the podcast. Yeah. So the reason why is because I, I believe that the solar industry is at its peak right now. I think it's incredible. It's the new gold rush. Everyone we know in sales should be going into solar right now. It is the biggest opportunity. If you're not telling your friends and family members and neighbors, neighbors, that they should be selling solar, and they're working at a library or they're working at Starbucks, you're doing them a disservice. You should be so convicted that it's time to get into solar, that I needed to transition what I'm doing to align with that.Speaker 3 (00:54:26):So if I believe everybody should get into solar, that I need to build a company that isn't one of the most difficult sales processes that requires a rep like you with all your knowledge, to go out and sell for $6 a watt, I would need to do something more moderate. So energy co is meant to recruit anybody. You know, we're here at a recruiting class. I'm glad that you're able to say Hey to them while you were here. And there's some kids are now in this class that are 18 years old. There's not a lot of solar companies. I'd be excited about hiring a 18 year old. Right. And I had to go back to a training model that allowed me to recruit literally anybody off the street. Like I worked in a Starbucks that teacher, the person that's struggling. Cause they got a degree in psychology and they haven't worked since they graduated.Speaker 3 (00:55:12):They're like, what just happened? I paid all this money for a degree and I don't have a job. I wanted to go back to the days, like when we worked at security or pest control that literally anybody could do it. Right? Like you just had to knock doors. Solar gets more complicated than that sometimes. And so our whole concept here at energy co is a division of labor. So we split it into the, the setter, the educator and the closer they work together as a team, you know, there's a whole bunch of people that can set cause anybody can set just like in pest control security. He just got to say, even if they're terrible and they're like, Hey, do you want solar? Eventually somebody's going to say yes. Whereas the educator's a little bit harder. You've got to explain the one-on-ones and how solar works.Speaker 3 (00:55:51):But there are a whole bunch of second grade teachers out there that would absolutely love to make money per job. Um, in 30 minutes of work, right? And then our closers are definitely the rarest people. It takes a very specific skillset. And so w
Sondra Eby Eisenstat is a Certified OOUX Strategist and UX Designer at web development agency Oddbird. Miriam Suzanne is a self-described software engineer and artist. She is co-founder at Oddbird, as well as an Invited Expert with the W3C (The World Wide Web Consortium) CSS Working Group where she works with other experts in the field to develop open standards that ensure the long-term growth of the Web. In this episode of the podcast, Sophia, Sondra, and Miriam discuss the adaptability of the ORCA process for teams, the coming innovations of container queries in CSS, and how OOUX facilitates a fruitful, continuous conversation between designers and developers. LINKS: Follow Miriam on Twitter: @TerribleMia Check out Miriam on Github: mirisuzanne And on Stack Overflow: Miriam Suzanne Also check out her Codepen Showcase: MiriamSuzanne Follow Sondra on Twitter: @sondraeby Also follow Sondra on Dribbble: Sondraeby If you haven't already, join the waitlist for Cohort 6 of the Certified OOUX Strategist Program, kicking off January 2022! --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/ooux/support
In this episode, we have an update about Facebook's Facial Recognition system, and then we get into You.com, which calls itself “the world's first open search engine.” Then we speak with Stephanie Eckles, software engineer at Microsoft and author of ModernCSS.dev about exciting new CSS updates that were just announced at Chrome Dev Summit 2021. Show Notes DevDiscuss (sponsor) CodeNewbie (sponsor) HackAtom (DevNews) (sponsor) Microsoft 30 Days to Learn It (DevNews) (sponsor) Facebook is backing away from facial recognition. Meta isn't. AI-driven search engine You.com takes on Google with $20M You Everything announced at Chrome Dev Summit 2021 Modern CSS Solutions
Lindsay and Steve talk with Máximo Mussini, avid Vite user and plugin creator, about his recent work on Îles, a new static site generation framework built on Vite and Vue. They discuss Máximo's journey into web development, and his work on the plugin ecosystem in Vite (such as Vite Ruby). They then dive into Îles: what it is, what problems it solves, and what it compares with. They also discuss the concept of “Islands Architecture” that was popularized by tools like Astro. Panel Lindsay WardellSteve Edwards Guest Máximo Mussini Sponsors Dev Influencers AcceleratorLevel Up | Devchat.tv Links îlesIslands ArchitectureMáximo MussiniTwitter: Máximo Mussini ( @MaximoMussini ) Picks Lindsay- The Expanse (9 book series)Lindsay- Babylon's Ashes, by James S.A. Corey | The StoryGraphLindsay- elm-css 17.0.1Máximo- GitHub - antfu/unocss: The instant on-demand atomic CSS engine Contact Lindsay: Twitter: Lindsay Wardell ( @lindsaykwardell ) Contact Steve: Twitter: Steve Edwards ( @wonder95 )GitHub: Steve Edwards ( wonder95 )LinkedIn: Steve Edwards Special Guest: Máximo Mussini.
About AmyAmy (she/her) has spent the better part of the last 15 years in the tech start-up world, starting off as a front-end software engineer before transitioning into leadership. She has built and led teams across the software and product development spectrum, including web and mobile development, QA, operations and infrastructure, customer support, and IT.These days, Amy is building the software engineering team at EdTech startup, Unicycle, and challenging the archetype of what a tech leader should be. She strives to be a real-life success story for other leaders who believe that safe, welcoming, and equitable environments can exist in tech. Links: Unicycle: https://www.unicycle.co AmyChanta: https://twitter.com/AmyChanta TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking databases, observability, management, and security.And - let me be clear here - it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. This means you can provision a virtual machine instance or spin up an autonomous database that manages itself all while gaining the networking load, balancing and storage resources that somehow never quite make it into most free tiers needed to support the application that you want to build. With Always Free you can do things like run small scale applications, or do proof of concept testing without spending a dime. You know that I always like to put asterisks next to the word free. This is actually free. No asterisk. Start now. Visit https://snark.cloud/oci-free that's https://snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: Writing ad copy to fit into a 30 second slot is hard, but if anyone can do it the folks at Quali can. Just like their Torque infrastructure automation platform can deliver complex application environments anytime, anywhere, in just seconds instead of hours, days or weeks. Visit Qtorque.io today and learn how you can spin up application environments in about the same amount of time it took you to listen to this ad.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. A famous quote was once uttered by Irena Dunn who said, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.” Now, apparently at some point, people just, you know, looked at the fish without a bicycle thing, thought, “That was overwrought. We can do a startup and MVP it. Why do two wheels? We're going to go with one.”And I assume that's the origin story of Unicycle. My guest today is Amy Chantasirivisal who is the Director of Engineering at Unicycle. Amy, thank you for putting up with that incredibly tortured opening. But that's okay; we torture metaphors to death here.Amy: [laugh]. Thank you for having me. That was a great intro.Corey: So, you are, at the time of this recording at least, a relatively new hire to Unicycle, which to my understanding is a relatively new company. What do you folks do over there?Amy: Yes, so Unicycle is not even a year old, so a company born out of the pandemic. But we are building a product to reimagine what the digital classroom looks like. The product itself was thought up right during a time during the pandemic when it became very clear how much students and teachers are struggling with converting their experience into online platforms. And so we are trying to just bring better workflows, more efficiency into that. And right now we're starting with email, but we'll be expanding to other things in the future.Corey: I am absolutely the wrong person to ask about a lot of this stuff, just because my academic background, tortured doesn't really begin to cover it. I handle academia about as well as I handled working for other people. My academic and professional careers before I started this place were basically a patchwork of nonsense and trying to pretend I was something other than I was. You, on the other hand, have very much been someone who's legitimate as far as what you do and how you do it. Before Unicycle, you were the Director of Engineering at Wildbit, which is a name I keep hearing about and a bunch of odd places. What did you do there?Amy: [laugh]. I will have to follow up and ask what the odd places are but—so I was leading a team there of engineers that were fully distributed across the US and also in Europe. And we were building an email product called Postmark, which some of your listeners might use, and then also a couple of other smaller things like People-First Jobs and Beanstalk—not AWS's Beanstalk, but a developer repository and workflow tool.Corey: Forget my listeners for a minute; I use Postmark. That's where I keep seeing you on the invoices because it's different branding. As someone who has The Duckbill Group, but also the Last Week in AWS things, it's the brand confusion problem is very real. That does it. Sorry. Thank you for collapsing the waveform on that one. And of course, before that you were at PagerDuty, which is a company that most folks in the ops space are aware of, founded to combat the engineer's true enemy: sleep.Amy: Absolutely. It's the product that engineers love to hate, but also can't live without, to some degree. Or maybe they want to live without it, but uh… [laugh] are not able to.Corey: So, I have a standing policy on this show of not talking to folks who are not wildly over-represented—as I am—and effectively disregarding the awesome stuff that they've done professionally in favor of instead talking about, “Wow, what's it like not to be a white guy in the room? I can't even imagine such a thing. It sounds hard.” However, in your case, an awful lot of the work you have done and are most proud of centers around DEI, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Tell me about that.Amy: Absolutely. I would say that it's the work that I've spent my time focusing on in recent years, but also that I'm still learning, right, and as someone who is Asian American, and also from a middle-class socioeconomic background, I have a bunch of privileges that I still have to unpack and that show up in the way that I work every day, as well. And so just acknowledging that, you know, while I spend a lot of time on DEI, still have just barely scratched the surface on it, really, in the grand scheme of things. But what I will say is that, you know, I've been really fortunate in my career in that I started in tech 15 or so years ago, and I started at a time when it wasn't super hard for someone who has no CS degree to actually get into some sort of coding job. And so I fell into my first role; I was building HTML and CSS landing pages for a marketing team, for an ISP that was based in San Francisco.So, I was cobbling together a bunch of technical skills, and I got better and better. And then I reached this point in my career where I didn't really have a lot of mentors, and so I was like, “I don't know what's next for me.” But then I am also frustrated that it is so hard for our team to get things done. And so I took it upon myself to figure out Scrum and project management type of stuff for my team, and then made the jump into people management from there. So, people management and leadership through project management.But when I look back on my career, I think about, “Oh, if I had a mentor, would that still have been my fate? Would I have continued down this track of becoming a very senior technical person and just doing that for my whole career?” Because letting go of the code was definitely a hard, hard thing. And I was lucky enough that I really did enjoy the people and the process side of all of this. And so [laugh] this relates to DEI in the fact that there's research and everything that backs this up, but that women and women of color generally tend to get less mentorship overall and get less actionable feedback about their job performance.And you think about how that potentially compounds over time, over the course of someone's career and that may be one of the reasons why women and people of color get pushed out of tech because they're not getting the support that they need, potentially. They're not getting feedback, they're not being advocated for in meetings, and then there's also all the stuff that you can add on around microaggressions, or just aggressions period, potentially, depending on the culture of the team that you're working on. And so all of those things compounded are the types of things that I think about now when I reflect on my own career and the types of teams that I want to be building in the future.Corey: Back when I was stumbling my way through piecing my career together. I mean, as mentioned, I don't have a degree; I don't have a high school diploma, as it turns out, and—that was a surprise when I discovered midway through my 20s that the school I had graduated from wasn't accredited—but I would tell stories, and I found ways to weasel my way through and I gave a talk right around 2015 or 2016, about, “Weasel Your Way to the Top: How to Handle a Job Interview,” and looking back, I would never give that talk again. I canceled it as soon as someone pointed out something that was only obvious in hindsight, that the talk was built out of things that had worked for me. And it's easy to sit here and say that, well, I had to work for what I have; none of this was handed to me. And there's an element of truth to that, except for the part where there was nothing fighting against me as I went.There was not this headwind of a presumed need for me to have to prove myself; I am presumed competent. I sometimes say that as a white guy in tech, my failure mode is a board seat and a book deal, and it's not that far from wrong. It takes, I guess, a lot of listening and a lot of interaction with folks from wildly different backgrounds before you start to see some of these things. It takes time. So, if you're listening to this, and you aren't necessarily convinced that this might be real or whatnot, talk less, listen more. There are a lot of stories out there in the world that I think that it's not my place to tell but listen. That's how I approach it.What's interesting about your pathway into management is it's almost the exact opposite of mine, where I was craving novelty, and okay, I wanted to try and managing a team of people. Years later, in hindsight—I'm not a good manager and I know that about myself, and I explicitly go out of my way these days to avoid managing people wherever possible, for a variety of reasons, but at the time, I didn't know. I didn't know that. I wanted to see how it went.First, I had to disabuse myself of this notion that, oh, management is a promotion. It's not. It's an orthogonal skill.Amy: Yes.Corey: The thing I really learning—management or not—now, is that the higher in the hierarchy you rise, if you want to view it that way, the less hands-on work you do, which means everything that you are responsible for that—and oh, you are responsible—isn't something you can jump in and do yourself. You can only impact the outcome via influence. And that was a hard lesson to learn.Amy: Right. And there are some schools of thought, though, where you can affect the outcome by control. And that's not what I'm about. I think I'm more aligned with what you're saying in terms of, it's really the influence and the ability to clear the way for people who are smarter than you to do the things that they need to do. Just get out of their way, and remove the roadblocks, and just help give them what they need. That's really, sort of like, my overall approach. But I know that there are some folks out there who lead the opposite way of, “It's my way, and I'm going to dictate how things should be done, and really you're here to take and follow orders.”Corey: It's always fun interviewing people to manage teams. “So, why do you want to be a manager?” It's, “Oh, I want to tell people what to do.” And I have to say that as an interviewer, there is nothing that takes the pressure off nearly as well as a perfectly wrong answer. And, yes, that at least to my world, is a perfectly wrong answer to this. There aren't that many pass-fail questions, but you can fail any question if you try hard enough.Amy: [laugh]. Oh, gosh, yeah, it's true. But also, at the same time, I would say that there are organizations that are built that way. Because—all it takes is the one person who wants to tell people what to do, and then they start a company, and then they hire other people who want to tell people what to do. And so there are ways where organizations like that exist and come into being even today, I would say.Corey: The question that I have for you about engineering leadership is, back when I was an engineer, and thinking, all right, it's time for me to go ahead and try being a manager—let's be clear, I joke about it, but the actual reason I wanted to try my hand at management was that I found people problems more interesting than computer problems at that point. I still do, but these days, especially when it comes to, you know, cloud services marketing and such, yeah, generally, the technical problems are, in fact, people problems at their core. But talking to my manager friends of how do I go and transition from being an engineer into being a manager, the universal response I got at the time was, “Ehh, I don't know.” Every person I knew who'd had made that transition was in the right place at the right time, and quote-unquote, “Got lucky.”Amy: Absolutely.Corey: And then once they had management on their resume, then they could go and transition back to being an IC and then to management again. But it's that initial breakthrough that becomes a challenge.Amy: Absolutely. And I fell into it as well. I mean, I got into it, partially for selfish reasons because I was, an IC, I was doing development work, and I was frustrated, and I had teammates who were coming to me and they were frustrated about how hard it was for us to get our work done, or the friction involved in shipping code. And so I took it upon myself to say, “I think I see a pattern about why this is happening, and so I will try to solve this problem for the team.” And so that's where the Agile and Scrum thing come in, and the project management side.And then, when I was at this company—this was One Kings Lane; this was, like, the heyday of flash sales websites and stuff like that, so it was kind of a rocket ship at that time—and because we were also growing so fast and I was interviewing folks as well, I just fell into this management role of, “Well, if I'm interviewing these people, then I guess I should be [laugh] managing them, too.” And that happens for so many people, similar stories of getting into management. And I think that's where it starts to go wrong for a lot of organizations because, like you said, it's not an up-leveling; it's a changing of your role, and it requires training and learning and figuring out how to be effective as a manager. And a lot of people just stumble their way through it and make a lot of mistakes—myself included—through that process.And that becomes really troubling knowing that you can make these really big mistakes, but these mistakes that you make don't affect just yourself. It's the careers of the people that you manage as well and sort of where they're headed in their lives. And so it's troubling to think that most leaders that are out there today have not received any sort of training on how to be a good manager and how to be effective as a manager.Corey: I would agree with that wholeheartedly. It seems that in many cases, companies take the best engineer that they have on their team and promote them to manager. It's brilliant in some respects in just how short-sighted it is. You are taking a great engineer and trading them for a junior and unproven manager, and hoping for the best. And there is no training on any of these things, at least—Amy: Right.Corey: —not the companies that I ever worked at. Of course, there are ways you can learn to be a better manager; there are people who specialize in exactly this. There are companies that do exactly this. But tech has this weird thing where it just tries to solve itself from first principles rather than believing for a minute that someone might possibly have prior experience that could be useful for these things. And—Amy: Absolutely.Corey: —that was a challenge. I had a lot of terrible managers before I entered management myself, and I figured, ah, I'll do the naive thing and I'm just going to manage based upon doing the exact opposite of what those terrible managers all did. And I got surprisingly far with it, on some level. But you don't see the whole picture when you're an individual contributor who's writing code—crappy in my case—most of the time, and then only seeing the aspects of your manager that they allow you to see. They don't share—if they're any good—the constraints that they have to deal with, that they're managing expectations around the team, conflicting priorities, strategic objectives, et cetera because it's not something that gets shown to folks. So—Amy: Absolutely.Corey: —if you bias for that, in my experience you become an empathetic manager to the people on your team, but completely ineffective at managing laterally or upwards.Amy: Mm-hm, absolutely. And you know, I'm exploring this idea of further. Being at a very small company, I think allows me to do that. And exploring this idea of, does it have to be that way? Can you be transparent about what the constraints are as a leader while still caring for your team and supporting them in the ways that they need and helping them grow their careers and just being open about one of the challenges that you have in building the company?And I don't know, I feel like I have some things to prove there, but I think it's possible to achieve some sort of balance there, something better or more beyond just what exists now of having that entire leadership layer typically be very opaque and just very unclear why certain decisions are made.Corey: The hard part that extends that these to me beyond that is it's difficult to get meaningful feedback, on some level, when you're suddenly thrust into that position. I also, in hindsight, realize that an awful lot of those terrible managers that I had weren't nearly as terrible as I thought they were. I will say that being on the other side of that divide definitely breeds empathy. Now that I'm the co-owner of The Duckbill Group, and we're building out a leadership team and the rest, hiring managers of managers is starting to be the sort of thing that I have to think about.It's effectively, how do I avoid inadvertently doing end-runs around people? And oh, I'm just going to completely undermine a manager by reaching out to one of their team and retasking them on something because obviously whatever I have in mind is much more important. What could they possibly be working on that's better than the Twitter shitpost I'm borrowing them to help out with? Yeah, you learn a lot by getting it wrong, and there becomes a power imbalance that even if you try your best to ignore it—which you should not—I assure you, the person who has less power in that relationship cannot set that aside. Even when I have worked with people I consider close friends, that friendship gained some distance during the duration of their employment because there has to be that professional level of separation. It's a hard thing to learn.Amy: It's a very hard line to walk in terms of recognizing the power that you have over someone's career and the power over, you know, making decisions for them and for the team and for the company, and still being empathetic towards their personal needs. And if they're going through a tough time, but then you also know from a business perspective that X, Y, or Z needs to happen, and how do you push but not push too hard, and try to balance needs of people who are humans and have things that happen and go on sometimes, and the fact that we work in a capitalist society and we still need to make money to make the business run. And that's definitely one of the hardest things to learn, and I am still learning. I definitely don't have that figured out, but I err on the side of, let's listen to what people are saying because ultimately, I'm not going to be the one to write the code. I haven't done that in years, and also I would probably suck at it now. And so it behooves leaders to listen to the people who were doing the work and to try, to the best of their abilities in whatever role whether that's exec-level leadership or mid-level… sort of like, middle management type of stuff to do what is in your power to help set them up to succeed.Corey: I want to get back a little bit to the idea of building diverse teams. It's something that you spend an inordinate amount of time and effort on. I do too. It's one of those areas where it's almost fraught to talk about it because I don't want to sound like I'm breaking my arm by patting myself on the back here. I certainly have a hell of a lot to learn, and mostly—and I'm ashamed to admit this—I very often learn only by really putting my foot in it sometimes. And it's painful, but that is, I think, a necessary prerequisite for growth. From your perspective, what is the most challenging part of building diverse teams?Amy: I think it's that piece that you said of making the mistakes or just putting yourself in a position where you are going to be uncomfortable. And I think that a lot of organizations that I've been in talk about DEI on a very surface level in terms of, “Oh, well, you know, we want to have more candidates from diverse backgrounds in our pipelines for hiring,” and things like that. But then not really just thinking about, but how do we work as a team in a way that potentially makes retention of those folks a lot harder? And for myself, I would say that when I was earlier on in all of this in my learning, I would say that I was able to kickstart my learning by thinking about my own identity, the fact that I was often the only Asian person on my team, the only woman on my team, and then more recently, the only mom on my team. And that has happened to me so many times in my career. More often than not.And so being able to draw on those experiences and those feelings of oh, okay, no one wants to hear about my kid because everyone else is, you know, busy going out to drink or something on the weekends. And like that feeling of, you know, that not belonging, and feeling of feeling excluded from things, and then thinking about how then this might manifest for folks with different identities for myself. And then going there and learning about it, listening, doing more listening than talking, and yeah, and that's, that's really just been the hardest part of just removing myself from that equation and just listening to the experiences of other people. And it's uncomfortable. And I think a lot of people are—you have to be in the right mindset, I guess, to be uncomfortable; you have to be willing to accept that you will be uncomfortable. And I think a lot of folks maybe are not ready to do that on a personal level.Corey: The thing that galls me the most is I do try on these things, and I get it wrong a fair bit. And my mistakes I find personally embarrassing, and I strive not to repeat them. But then I look around the industry—and let's be clear, a lot of this is filtered through the unhealthy amount of time I spend on Twitter—but it seems that I'm trying and I'm failing and attempting to do better as I go, and then I see people who are just, “Nope. Not at all. In fact, we're not just going to lean into bias, we're going to build a startup around it.”And I look at this and it's at some level hard to reconcile the fact that… at first, that I'm doing badly at all, which is the easy cop-out of, “Oh, well, if that is considered acceptable on some level, then I certainly don't even have to try,” which I think is a fallacy. But further it's—I have to step beyond myself on that and just, I cannot fathom how discouraging that must be, particularly to people who are early in their careers because it looks like it's just a normal thing that everyone thinks and does that just someone got a little too loud with it. And it's abhorrent. And if people are listening to this and thinking that is somehow just entrenched, and normalized, and everyone secretly thinks that… no. I assure you it is not something that is acceptable, even in the quote-unquote, “Private white dude who started companies” gathering holes. Yeah, people articulating sentiments like that suddenly find themselves not welcome there anymore, at least in every one of those types of environments I've ever found myself in.Amy: Yeah, the landscape is shifting. It's slow, but it is shifting. And, myself on Twitter, like, I do a lot of rant-y stuff too sometimes, but despite all of that, I feel like I am ultimately an optimist because I have to be. Otherwise, I would have left tech already because every time I am faced with a job search for myself, I'm like, “Should I—is this it? Am I done in tech? Do I want to go do something else? Am I going to finally go open that bakery that I've always wanted to open?” [laugh].And so… I have to be an optimist. And I see that—even in the most recent job search I've done—have seen so many new founders and new CEOs, really, with this mindset of, “We want to build a diverse team, but we're also doing it—and we're using diversity as a foundation for what we want to build; it's part of our decision-making process and this is how we're going to hold ourselves accountable to it.” And so it is shifting, and while there are those bad actors out there still, I'm seeing a lot of good in the industry now. And so that's why I stick around; that's why I'm still here.Corey: I want to actually call something out as concrete here because it's easy for me to fall into the trope of just saying vague things. I'll be specific about something, give us a good example. We've done a decent job, I think, of hiring a diverse team, but—and this is a problem that I see spread across an awful lot of companies—as you look at the leadership team, it gets a lot wider and a lot more male. And that is an inherent challenge. In our particular case, my business partner is someone who I've been close friends with for a decade.I would not be able to start a business with someone I didn't have that kind of relationship with just because your values have to be aligned or there's trouble down the road. And beyond that, it winds up rapidly, on some level, turning into what appears to be a selection bias. When you're trying to hire senior leaders, for example, there's a prerequisite to being a senior leader, which is embodied in the word senior, which implies tenure of having spent a fair bit of time in an industry that is remarkably unfriendly in a lot of different ways to a lot of different people. So, there's a prerequisite of being willing to tolerate the shit for as long as it takes to get to that level of seniority, rather than realizing at any point as any of us can, there are easier jobs that don't have this toxicity inherent to them and I'll go do that instead. So, there's a tenure question; there's a survivorship bias question.And I don't have the answers to any of this, but it's something that I'm seeing, and it's one of those once you see it, you can't unsee it any more moments. At least for me.Amy: Yeah, absolutely.Corey: Please tell me I'm not the only person who see [laugh]—who is encountering these problems. Like, “Wow, you just sound terrible.” Which might very well be a fair rejoinder here. I'm just trying to wrap my head around how to think about this properly.Amy: Yeah. I mean, this is why I was saying that I am very optimistic about [laugh] new companies that are coming—like, up-and-coming these days, new startups, primarily, because you're right that a lot of people just end up quitting tech before they get to that point of experience and seniority, to get into leadership. I mean, obviously, there's a lot of bias and discrimination that happens at those leadership levels, too, but I will say that, you know, it's both of those things. There are also more things on top of that. But this is why I'm like, so excited to see people from diverse backgrounds as founders of new companies and why I think that being able to be in a position to potentially either help fund, or advocate, or sponsor, or amplify those types of orgs, I think is where the future is that because ultimately, I think a lot of the established companies that are out there these days, it's going to be really hard for them to walk back on what their leadership team looks like now, especially if it is a sizable leadership team and they're all white men.Corey: Yeah. I'm going to choose to believe we say sizable leadership team that it's also not—we're talking about the horizontal scaling that happens to some of us, especially during a pandemic as we continue to grow into our seats. You're right, it's a problem as well, where you can cut a bit of slack in some cases to small teams. It's, “Okay, we don't have any Black employees, but we're three people,” is a lot more understandable-slash-relatable than, “We haven't hired any Black people yet and we're 3000 people.” One of those is acceptable—or at least understandable, if not acceptable—the other is just completely egregious.Amy: Yes. And I think then the question that you have to ask if you're looking at, you know, a three-person company, or [laugh] I guess, like in my case, I was looking at the seven-person company, is that, “Okay. There are currently no Black people on your team. And why is that?” And then, “What are you doing to change that? And how are you going to make sure that you're holding ourselves accountable to it?”Because I think it's easy to say, “Oh, you know, the first couple of hires were people we just worked with in the past, and they just happened to, you know, look like us and whatnot.” And then you blink becau—and you do that a handful of times, and you blink, and then suddenly you have a team of 25 and there are no people of color on your team. And maybe you have, like, one woman on the team or something. And you're like, “Huh. That's strange. I guess we should think about this and figure out what we can do.”And then I think what ends up happening at that point is that there are so many already established behaviors, and cultural norms, and things like that, that have organically grown within a team that are potentially not welcoming towards people from different backgrounds who have different backgrounds. So, you go and attempt to hire someone who is different, and they come in, and they're just sort of like, “This is how you work? I don't feel like I belong here.” And then they don't stay, and then they leave. And then people sit there and scratch their heads like, “Oh, what did we do wrong?” And, “I don't get it.”And so there's this conversation, I think, in the industry of like, “Oh, it's a pipeline problem, and if we were just able to hire a lot of people from diverse backgrounds, the problem is solved.” Which really isn't the case because once people are there and at your company, are they getting promoted at the same rate as white men? Are they staying with the company for as long? And who's in leadership? And how are you working to break down the biases that you may have?All those sorts of things, I think, generally are not considered as part of all of this DEI work. Especially when, in my experience in startups, the operational side of all that is so immature a lot of the times, just not well developed that deeper thought process and reflection doesn't really happen.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. Cloud Academy invites you to showcase just how good your AWS skills are. For the next four weeks you'll have a chance to prove yourself. Compete in four unique lab challenges, where they'll be awarding more than $2000 in cash and prizes. I'm not kidding, first place is a thousand bucks. Pre-register for the first challenge now, one that I picked out myself on Amazon SNS image resizing, by visiting cloudacademy.com/corey. C-O-R-E-Y. That's cloudacademy.com/corey. We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: I do my best to have these conversations in public as frequently as is practical for me to do, just because I admit, I get things wrong. I say things that are wrong and I'm doing a fair bit of learning in public around an awful lot of that. Because frankly, I can withstand the heat, if it comes down to someone on Twitter gets incredibly incensed by something I've said on this podcast, for example. Because it isn't coming from a place of ill intent when someone accuses me of being ableist or expressing bias. My response is generally to suppress the initial instinctive flash of defensiveness and listen and ask.And that is, even if I don't necessarily agree with what they're saying after reflection, I have to appreciate on some level the risk-taking inherent in calling someone out who is in my position where, if I were a trash fire, I could use the platform to turn it into, “All right. Now, let's go hound the person that called me out.” No. I don't do that, full stop. If I'm going to harass people, it's going to be—not people, despite what the Supreme Court might tell us—but it's going to be a $2 trillion company—one in particular—because that's who I am and that's how I roll.Whenever I get a DM—which I leave open because I have the privilege to do that—from folks who are early career who are not wildly over-represented, I just have to stop and marvel for a minute at the level of risk-taking inherent to that because there is risk to that. For me, when I DM people, the only risk I feel like I'm running at any given point is, “Are they going to think that I'm bothering them? Oh, the hell with it. I'm adorable. They'll love me.” And the fact that I'm usually right is completely irrelevant to that. There's just that sense of I don't really risk a damn thing in the grand scheme of things compared to the risk that many people are taking just living who they are.Amy: Yeah. And someone DMs you and you suppress that initial sort of defensiveness: I would say that that is an underrated skill. [laugh].Corey: Well, a DM is a privilege, too. A call in—Amy: Yes.Corey: —is deeply appreciated; no one owes it to me. I often will get people calling me out on Twitter and I generally stop and think about that; I have a very close circle of friends who I trust to be objective on these things, and I'll ask them, “Did I get this wrong?” And very often the answer is yes. And, “Well, I thought the joke was funny and I spent time building it.” “Yeah, but if people hear a joke I'm making and feel bad about it, then is it really that good of a joke or should I try harder?” It's a process, and I look back at who I was ten years ago and I feel a sense of shame. And I believe that if anyone these days doesn't, either they were effectively a saint, or they haven't grown.Amy: Yes.Corey: And that's my personal philosophy on this stuff, anyway.Amy: Yeah, absolutely. And that growth is so important. And part of that growth really is being able to suppress your desire to make it about you, [laugh] right? That initial, “Oh, I did something bad,” or, “I'm a horrible person because I said this thing,” right? It's not about you, there's, like, the impact that you had on someone else.And I've been giving this some thought recently, and I—you know, I also similarly have a group of trusted friends who I often talk about these things with, and you know, we always kind of check ourselves in terms of, did we mess something up? Did we, you know, put our foot in our mouths? Stuff like that. And think what it really comes down to is being able to say, “Maybe I did something wrong and I need to suppress that desire to become defensive and put up walls and guard and protect myself from feeling vulnerable, in order to actually learn and grow from this experience.”Corey: It's hard to do, but it's required because I—Amy: Extremely, yes.Corey: —used to worry about, “Ohh, what if I get quote-unquote, ‘canceled?'” well, I've done a little digging into this and every notable instance of this I can find is when someone is called out for something crappy, they get defensive, and they double-down and triple-down and quadruple-down, and they keep digging a hole nice and deep to the point where no one with a soul can really be on their side of this issue, and now they have a problem. I have never gotten to that point because let's be honest with you, there are remarkably few things I care that passionately about that I'm going to pick those fights publicly. The ones that I do, I am very much on the other side [laugh] of those issues. That has not been a realistic concern.I used to warn every person here before I hired them—to get this back to engineering management—that there was a risk that I could have a bad tweet and we don't have a company anymore. I don't give that warning anymore because I no longer believe that it's true.Amy: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. I also wonder about, in general, because of the world that we live in, and our history with white supremacy and oppression and all those things, I also wonder if this skill of being able to self-reflect and be uncomfortable and manage your own reaction and your emotions, I wonder if that's just a thing that white people generally haven't had a lot of practice for because of the inherent privileges that are afforded to white people. I wonder if a lot of this just stems from the fact that white people get to navigate this world and not get called out, and thus don't have this opportunity to exercise this skill of holding on to that and listening more than talking.Corey: Absolutely agree. And it gets piled on by a lot of folks, for example—I'll continue to use myself as an example in this case—I live in San Francisco. I would argue that I'm probably not, “In tech,” quote-unquote, the way that I once was, but I'm close enough that there's no discernible difference. And my social circle is as well. Back before I entered tech, I did a bunch of interesting jobs, telemarketing to pay the bills, I was a recruiter for a while, I worked construction a couple of summers.These days, everyone that I engage with for meaningful periods of time is more or less fairly tech adjacent. It really turns into a one-sided perspective. And I can sit here and talk about what folks who are not living in the tech bubble should be doing or how they should think about this, but it's incredibly condescending, it's incredibly short-sighted, and fails to appreciate a very different lived experience. And I can remind myself of this now, but that lack of diversity and experience is absolutely something where it feels like the tech bubble, especially for those folks in this bubble who look a lot like me, it is easy to fall into a pattern of viewing ourselves as the modern aristocracy where we deserve the nice things that we have, and the rest. And that's a toxic pattern. It takes vigilance to avoid it. I'm not saying I get it right all the time, by a landslide, but ugh, the perils of not doing that are awful.Amy: Agreed. And it shows up, you know, getting back to the engineering manager and leadership and org building piece of things, that shows up even in the way that we talk about career development and career ladders, for those of us in tech, and software engineering specifically for me, where we've kind of like come up with all these matrices of job levels, and competencies, all that, and humans just are so vastly different. Every person is an individual, and yet we talked about career ladders and how to advance your career in this two-dimensional matrix. And, like, how does that actually work, right?And I've seen some good career ladders that account for a larger variety of competencies than just, “Can you code?” And, “What are your system design skills?” And, “Do you understand distributed systems?” And so on and so forth, but I think a lot gets left behind and gets left on the table when it comes to thinking about the fact that when you get a group of people together working on some sort of common cause or a product, that there's so much more to the dynamic than just the writing of the code. It's how do you work with each other? How do you support each other? How do you communicate with each other? And then all my glue work—that is what I call it—like, the glue work that goes into a successful team and building products, a lot of that is just not captured in the way that we talk about career development for folks. And it's just incredibly two-dimensional, I think.Corey: One last question that I have for you before we wrap the episode here is, you spend a lot of time focusing on this, and I have some answers, but I'm very interested to hear yours instead because I assure you, the world hears enough from me and people who look like me, what is the biggest mistake that you see companies making in their attempts to build diverse teams?Amy: I would say that there's two major things. One is that there have been a lot of orgs in my own past that think about diversity, equity, inclusion as a program and not a mindset that everyone should be embracing. And that manifests itself into, sort of like, this secondary problem of stopping at the D part of D, E, and I. That's the whole, “We're going to hire a bunch of people from different backgrounds and then just we're going to stop with that because we've solved the problem.” But by not adopting that mindset of the equity, the inclusion, and also the welcoming and the belonging piece of things internally, then anyone that you hire who comes in from those marginalized or minority backgrounds is not going to want to stay long-term because they don't feel like they fit in, they don't feel like they belong.And so, it becomes this revolving door of you hire in people and then those people leave after some amount of time because they're not getting what they need out of either the role or for themselves personally in terms of just emotional support, even. And so I would say that's the problem that I see is not a numbers game—although the metrics and the numbers help hold you accountable—but the metrics and the numbers are not the end goal. The end goal is really around the mindset that you have in building the org and the way that people behave. And the way that you work together is really core to that.Corey: What I tend to see on the other side is the early intake funnels. People will reach out to me sometimes, “Hey, do you know any diverse speakers we can hire to do a speaking engagement here?” It doesn't… work that way. There's a lot more to it than that. It is not about finding people who check boxes, it is not about quote-unquote, “Diversity hires.”It's about—at least in my experience—structuring job ads, for example, in ways that are not coded—unconsciously in most cases, but ehh—that are going to resonate towards folks who are in certain cultures and not in others. It's about being more equitable. It's about understanding that not everyone is going to come across in a job interview as the most confident person in the room. Part of the talk that I gave on how to handle job interviews, there was a strong section in it on salary negotiation. Well, turns out when I do it, I'm an aggressive hard-charger and they like that, whereas if someone who is not male does that, well, in that case, they look like they're being difficult and argumentative and pushy and rising above their station. It was awful.One of the topics I'm most proud of was the redone version of that talk that I gave with a friend, Sonia Gupta, who has since left tech because of how shitty it is, and that was a much better talk. She was a former attorney who had spent time negotiating in much higher-stakes situations.Amy: Yeah.Corey: And it was terrific to see during the deconstruction and rebuilding of that talk, just how much of my own unconscious bias had crept in. It's, again, I look back at the early version of those talks and I'm honestly ashamed. It wasn't from ill will, but it's always impact over intent as far as how this has potentially made things worse. It's, if nothing else, if I don't say the right things when I should speak up, that's not great, but I always prefer that to saying things that are actively harmful. So—Amy: Absolutely.Corey: —it's hard. I deserve no sympathy for this, to be clear. It is incumbent upon all of us because again, as mentioned, my failure mode is a non-issue in the world compared to the failure mode for folks for against whom the deck has been stacked unfairly for a very long time. At least, that's how I see it.Amy: Right. And that's why I think that it's important for folks who are in positions of power to really reflect on—even operationally, right, you were mentioning your job ads, and how to structure that to include more inclusive language, and just doing that for everything, really, in the way that you work. How do decisions get made? And by whom? And why? How do you structure things like compensation? Even, like, how do you do project planning, right?Even in my own reflections, now when I think back towards Scrum and Agile and all of that, I think that the base foundation of all of that was like was good, but then ultimately the implementation of how that works at most companies is problematic in a lot of ways as well. And then to just be able to reflect and really think about all of your processes or policies—all of that—and bring that lens of equity, really, equity and inclusion to those things, and to really dig deep and think about how those things might manifest and affect people from different backgrounds in different ways.Corey: So, before we wrap, something that I think you… are something of an empathetic party on is when I see companies in the space who are doing significant DE&I initiatives, it seems like it's all flash; it feels like it's all sizzle, no steak to appropriate a phrase from the country of Texas. Is that something that you see, too?Amy: I do think that it is pretty common, and I think it's because that's… that's the easy route. That's the easy way to do it because the vanity metrics, and the photo of the team that is so diverse, and all these things that show up on a marketing website. I mean, there—it's, like, a signal for someone, potentially, who might be considering a job at your company, but ultimately the hard work that I feel like is not happening is really in that whole reflecting on the way you do business, reflecting on the way that you work. That is the hard work and it requires a leadership team to prioritize it, and to make time for it, and to make it really a core principle of the way that you build an org., and it doesn't happen enough, by far, in my opinion.Corey: It feels like it's an old trope of the company that makes a $100,000 donation and then spends $10 million dollars telling the world about it, on some level. It's about, “Oh, look at us, we're doing good things,” as opposed to buckling down and doing the work. Then the actual work falls to folks who are themselves not overrepresented as unpaid emotional labor, and then when the company still struggles with diversity issues, those people catch the blame. It's frustrating.Amy: Yeah. And as an organization, if you have the money to donate somewhere, that's great, but it can't just stop at that. And a lot of companies will just stop at that because it's the optics of, “Oh, well, we spent x millions of dollars and we've helped out this nonprofit or this charity or whatnot.” Which is great that you're able to do that, but that can't be it because then ultimately, what you have internally and within your own company doesn't improve for people from those backgrounds.Corey: I want to thank you for taking so much time to chat with me about these things. Some of these topics are challenging to talk about and finding the right forum can be difficult, and I'm just deeply appreciative that you were able to clear enough time to have that chat with me today.Amy: Yeah, thank you for having me. I mean, I think it's important for us to recognize, even between the two of us that, I mean, obviously, you as a white man have benefited a lot in this space, and then even myself as, you know, that model minority whole thing, but growing up very adjacent to white people and just being ingrained in that culture and raised in that culture, you know, that we have those privileges and there's still parts of the conversation, I think, that are not captured by [laugh] by the two of us are the nuances as well, and so just recognizing that. And it's just a learning process. And I think that everyone could benefit from just realizing that you'll never know everything. And there's always going to be something to learn in all of this. And yes, it is hard, but it's something that is worthwhile to strive for.Corey: Most things worthwhile are. If people want to learn more about who you are, how you think about these things, potentially consider working with you, et cetera. Where can they find you?Amy: So, I am on Twitter. I am the queen of very, very long threads, I should just start a blog or something, but I have not. But in any case, I'm on Twitter. I am AmyChanta, so @A-M-Y-C-H-A-N-T-A.Our website is unicycle.co, if you're thinking about applying for a role, and working with me, that would be awesome. Or just, you know, reach out. I'd also just love to network with anyone, even if there's not an open position now. I just, you know, build that relationship and maybe there will be in the future. Or if not at Unicycle, then somewhere else.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:48:13]. Thank you so much, once again. I appreciate your time.Amy: Thanks for having me.Corey: Amy Chantasirivisal, Director of Engineering at Unicycle. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a comment pointing out that it's not about making an MVP of a bicycle that turns into a unicycle so much as it is work-life balance.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
JS Party listeners and panelists celebrate our favorite moments from the past 100 episodes! You'll hear from over 20 of your favorite voices across 14 episodes. We also share some behind-the-scenes and read/hear from listeners! Here's to the last 200 episodes, and the next 200 as well.
On this episode of The Marketer's Journey, I interview Chris Koehler, the CMO of Box, a cloud content management company that helps companies securely connect their people, information and applications. During the episode, we discuss how Box has evolved over the years, Chris's career trajectory so far, and how to scale the customer relationship by taking a holistic marketing approach.Check out this and other episodes of The Marketer's Journey on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play!Key takeaways from this episode:Don't be afraid to raise your hand. During our chat, Chris explained how he ended up in his current role as CMO at Box simply by recognizing the opportunity and advocating for himself. Given his past experiences and the expertise he had acquired during his career, he was confident he'd be the perfect fit for the role, and he didn't hesitate to speak up and put himself forward to the leadership team as the ideal candidate.Alignment is key. Chris mentioned that in his role as CMO, he takes a cross-functional approach to ensure that all marketing tactics are aligned with the customer experience journey. By viewing the customer journey from a holistic perspective, Chris champions a comprehensive digital strategy team combining sales, CSS product and marketing to create an aligned customer experience.Focus on customer engagement. One challenge the team at Box has encountered is ensuring that their latest and greatest innovations are communicated effectively to their customers. Chris noted that as a result, one of the team's main objectives today is ensuring their customers are aware of the product's full capabilities so they remain engaged and up-to-date when it comes to recent upgrades and improvements.Learn more about Box here: https://www.box.com/homeLearn more about Chris here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ckoehler/
Illinois loses a tough game vs Rutgers in Champaign. We go over how Rutgers got the win. Where did Illinois improve? Where did they take a step back? What do they have to do moving forward? Please like, subscribe, review, and share out! https://linktr.ee/thecoachsteveshowCheck out belly up sports podcast network! https://bellyupsports.com/Check out mybookie! go to: https://www.mybookie.ag/ and use the code: BELLUPFANTASY to double your first deposit!Get back to the basics with Coach Stone: https://www.coachstonefootball.com/Get the best sunglasses in the game today! Use for any activity! Go to https://www.yeetzofficial.com/ use the code CSS for 10% offLooking for the cleanest nutrition drink? Looking for the cleanest drink to give you energy without the crash? Head to https://www.swiftlifestyles.com/ and use the code: coachsteveshow to get 15% off!Go to launchpadkickofftee.com/css and use the Code: css to get 10% when you guy the best kickoff tee in the business!Get The Coach Steve Show Gear at https://www.bonfire.com/coach-steve-show/
Подкаст 248: супер сверх новинка CSS — @layers (слои), еще больше вариантов кастомизации. Еще новости: у Let's encrypt истек корневой сертификат, у Facebook случился сбой, Наталья Касперская советует не сдавать биометрические данные. И многое другое. ПАГНААААЛЕЕ!!!11 Прешоу к этому выпуску: Прешоу #248. Спасибо всем за поддержку! Пробуйте супер хостинг SmartApe. Теперь и с NVMe SSD!↓ Темы подкаста Срок действия корневого сертификата Let's Encrypt истек. Миллионы устройств останутся без интернета. Произошёл глобальный сбой в работе Facebook. В Telegram добавилось 70 миллионов новых пользователей из-за сбоя Facebook. «Их украдут, продадут, сольют»: Наталья Касперская посоветовала не сдавать биометрические данные. SmartApe — лучший российский хостинг по ссылке. Будущее CSS: каскадные слои @layers. 19 этикеток вина, которые намного больше, чем просто этикетка. Поддержи uwebdesign на Patreon. Про мошенничество и шантаж через отзывы на маркетплейсах. Джонни Айв: чего ему больше всего не хватает после смерти Стива Джобса. Учёные из Франции объяснили феномен «байкальского дзена», когда камни оказываются на тонкой подставке изо льда. Обойка. Спасибо всем за внимание, дай вам Бог на эти коротенькие семь дней!
Подкаст 247: Суровый веб is back. Обсуждаем новый переводчик видео от Яндекса, рассуждаем как делать шершавые (зернистые) градиенты и правильные (многослойные) тени в CSS, а также осветили ситуацию с Onlyfans. ПАГНААААЛЕЕ!!!11 Прешоу к этому выпуску: Прешоу #247. Спасибо всем за поддержку! Пробуйте супер хостинг SmartApe. Теперь и с NVMe SSD!↓ Темы подкаста Как Яндекс помогает преодолеть языковой барьер: нейросетевой перевод видео, картинок и текста. Nintendo проведёт следующий Direct в ночь на 24 сентября. Компания Genius, скорее всего, уйдёт с российского рынк. Пользователи RuTracker собрали более двух миллионов рублей на жёсткие диски для хранения редких раздач. SmartApe — лучший российский хостинг по ссылке. Правильные теньки в CSS. Шершавые градиенты. Создатели OnlyFans передумали запрещать порно на площадке. Тим Кук заявил, что авторам утечек не место в Apple. Это выяснилось благодаря утечке из Apple. ЕС представит законопроект об едином разъёме для зарядного устройства смартфонов и планшетов. Шо нас ждет на новом эпл ивенте (уже прошел). Спасибо всем за внимание, дай вам Бог на эти коротенькие семь дней!
In this episode, Founder and CEO at CyberVista, Simone Petrella and CSS's Director of Cyber IT Services, E.J. Yerzak discuss the importance of cybersecurity training, education, how to recruit talent and diversity in cyber and why compliance and cybersecurity are synonymous.
Chicago Bears and 49ers limp their way into Soldier field both dealing with injuries. Matt Nagy is out with covid, big defensive players are out with injuries. 49ers are still playing tough with 2nd and 3rd stringers. Chicago's offensive can't seem to find a rhythm. Joining me in discuss keys to the game for Chicago is speical guest Zach Keilman from Gridiron Gallery podcast, and from the Unhinge and Bellyup sports podcast networks. He is also a fellow Bears fan!Zach Keilman social: https://linktr.ee/Gridiron_GalleryPlease like, subscribe, review, and share out! https://linktr.ee/thecoachsteveshowCheck out belly up sports podcast network! https://bellyupsports.com/Check out mybookie! go to: https://www.mybookie.ag/ and use the code: BELLUPFANTASY to double your first deposit!Get back to the basics with Coach Stone: https://www.coachstonefootball.com/Get the best sunglasses in the game today! Use for any activity! Go to https://www.yeetzofficial.com/ use the code CSS for 10% offGo to launchpadkickofftee.com/css and use the Code: css to get 10% when you guy the best kickoff tee in the business!Get The Coach Steve Show Gear at https://www.bonfire.com/coach-steve-show/
We are entering week 9 of the college football season. Big question, is the Clemson dynasty over? Kentucky vs Mississippi state will be better than last year and will score more. Ole Miss is the underdog vs Auburn. Dan Mullen should start to feel his seat warming up as he plays the best defense in college football. Please like, subscribe, review, and share out! https://linktr.ee/thecoachsteveshowCheck out belly up sports podcast network! https://bellyupsports.com/Check out BetUS to go make your bets! Use the link: https://bit.ly/BetUS-BellyUpSports and the code JOIN125 on your first depot (minimum of $100) to get 125% sign up bonus for 100% sports betting and 25% Casino! Get back to the basics with Coach Stone: https://www.coachstonefootball.com/Get the best sunglasses in the game today! Use for any activity! Go to https://www.yeetzofficial.com/ use the code CSS for 10% off Go to launchpadkickofftee.com/css and use the Code: css to get 10% when you guy the best kickoff tee in the business!Get The Coach Steve Show Gear at https://www.bonfire.com/coach-steve-show/
The Fighting Illini are coming off a historic win in 9 OT over Penn State, now have to turn their focus to a tough Rutgers team. What are the keys for the Illini to get the win? There was big games in the Big ten in Week 8, and much bigger games in week 9! We go over each game and what games to watch and week 9 big ten picks!Please like, subscribe, review, and share out! https://linktr.ee/thecoachsteveshowCheck out belly up sports podcast network! https://bellyupsports.com/Check out BetUS to go make your bets! Use the link: https://bit.ly/BetUS-BellyUpSports and the code JOIN125 on your first depot (minimum of $100) to get 125% sign up bonus for 100% sports betting and 25% Casino! Get back to the basics with Coach Stone: https://www.coachstonefootball.com/Get the best sunglasses in the game today! Use for any activity! Go to https://www.yeetzofficial.com/ use the code CSS for 10% off Go to launchpadkickofftee.com/css and use the Code: css to get 10% when you guy the best kickoff tee in the business!Get The Coach Steve Show Gear at https://www.bonfire.com/coach-steve-show/
We're putting together a special highlight reel for our 200th episode! Share your favorite moments, guests, topics, and/or episodes from the past 100 shows. Every listener who gets their voice or text message included in the episode gets a free JS Party t-shirt! The details for submission are at jsparty.fm/200
We're putting together a special highlight reel for our 200th episode! Share your favorite moments, guests, topics, and/or episodes from the past 100 shows. Every listener who gets their voice or text message included in the episode gets a free JS Party t-shirt! The details for submission are at jsparty.fm/200
The old rivalry between Alabama and Tennessee continues in a hard fought Bama win. Lane Kiffin coaches against is possibly new team, but should he be taking the job? Oklahoma struggled against Kansas, are they overrated? Please like, subscribe, review, and share out! https://linktr.ee/thecoachsteveshowCheck out belly up sports podcast network! https://bellyupsports.com/Check out BetUS to go make your bets! Use the link: https://bit.ly/BetUS-BellyUpSports and the code JOIN125 on your first depot (minimum of $100) to get 125% sign up bonus for 100% sports betting and 25% Casino! Get back to the basics with Coach Stone: https://www.coachstonefootball.com/Get the best sunglasses in the game today! Use for any activity! Go to https://www.yeetzofficial.com/ use the code CSS for 10% off Go to launchpadkickofftee.com/css and use the Code: css to get 10% when you guy the best kickoff tee in the business!Get The Coach Steve Show Gear at https://www.bonfire.com/coach-steve-show/
The Chicago Bears are who we thought they were. And the Bucs are who we thought they were. The Bears are banged up, couldn't stop the run, and struggled on offense. Justin Fields looked like a rookie, and the offensive line struggled in pass protection. Is Justin Fields getting better? Did Nagy put his nose back in the offense? Please like, subscribe, review, and share out! https://linktr.ee/thecoachsteveshowCheck out belly up sports podcast network! https://bellyupsports.com/Check out BetUS to go make your bets! Use the link: https://bit.ly/BetUS-BellyUpSports and the code JOIN125 on your first depot (minimum of $100) to get 125% sign up bonus for 100% sports betting and 25% Casino! Get back to the basics with Coach Stone: https://www.coachstonefootball.com/Get the best sunglasses in the game today! Use for any activity! Go to https://www.yeetzofficial.com/ use the code CSS for 10% off Go to launchpadkickofftee.com/css and use the Code: css to get 10% when you guy the best kickoff tee in the business!Get The Coach Steve Show Gear at https://www.bonfire.com/coach-steve-show/
Our guest today is Eric Crowley, a tech investment banker with GP Bullhound. With investments in companies ranging from Spotify to Whoop, and clients such as AllTrails, Pinkbike, and Lingoda, GP Bullhound provides transaction advice and capital to many of the leaders in the Consumer Subscription Software space.On the podcast we talk with Eric about his 2021 report on Consumer Subscription Software, the truth about LTV calculations, and the new era of organic user acquisition.In this episode, you'll learn: Was 2020 just a “COVID Bump,” or a shift in consumer behavior? Are the Bumble & Duolingo IPO multiples justified? How savvy developers are adapting to Apple's App Tracking Transparency The truth about LTV The new era of customer acquisition Links & Resources Spotify Whoop AllTrails Pinkbike Lingoda Bumble Duolingo Instacart Match Group Netflix Noom Weight Watchers Tinder The Dyrt Day One Journal Automattic Tech Crunch Scribd Pandora Eric Crowley's Links Follow Eric on Twitter GP Bullhound GP Bullhound insights Eric's LinkedIn GP Bullhound 2021 CSS survey Follow us on Twitter: David Barnard Jacob Eiting RevenueCat Sub Club Episode Transcript00:00:00 David:Hello, I'm your host. David Bernard. And with me, as always, RevenueCat CEO, Jacob Eiting. Our guest today is Eric Crowley, a tech investment banker with GP Bullhound. With investments in companies ranging from Spotify to Whoop, and clients such as AllTrails Pinkbike, and Lingoda, GP Bullhound provides transaction advice and capital to many of the leaders in consumer subscription software.On the podcast, we talk with Eric about his 2021 report on consumer subscription software, the truth about LTV calculations, and the new era of organic user acquisition.Hey, Eric, welcome to the podcast.00:00:56 Eric:Hey, David, Jacob. Thanks for having me back. It's always a pleasure. 00:00:59 David:Yeah. Every year you release this report, so we had to get you back. This is the third annual Consumer Subscription Software Report, and I wanted to kick off just asking you a little bit about the motivation, and where your headspace is in thinking about creating this. Who the target is, and what kind of questions you're asking yourself as you prepare this report.00:01:24 Eric:Yeah. The report is the GP Bullhound Consumer Subscription Software Report. I call it CSS, which is kind of a playoff SaaS. This is the third year I've been writing it, and it started back in 2018. I worked with a company called AllTrails that was starting to monetize really well by selling subscriptions.It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I was like, this is a phenomenal way to provide a consistently improving product to consumers, where the margins are pretty good. It's easy to access a ton of different people globally through the app stores or through the web, and I just got really excited about it.I started putting some notes down on my own, and then GP Bullhound really supported me in saying like, “Hey, this is actually a pretty big trend. There's gonna be some amazing companies built around this space,” and companies like RevenueCat, that are supporting CSS companies, are just as exciting.So, we've been slowly educating ourselves. The goal behind the report is really just to force me to do some thinking about the space. What it looks like. What it will be. As a banker, you can quickly focus on transaction, transaction, transaction, and not really do any long-term thinking about where the world's going.It's putting myself in your guys's shoes. You guys are building RevenueCat not for what the world looks like today, but for what the world looks like in three to five years. I try to take the same approach with CSS, and think about where's the world going to go. So I talked to a lot of smart people as I put the report together. Entrepreneurs, investors, get their opinions.You guys can see their interviews in the report, and then ultimately we publish it. The audience I like to think about is entrepreneurs, people that are thinking about starting a CSS company, or already launched one, and they're looking to improve their metrics, or think about their target audience as entrepreneur-rich.By partnering with them, investing in their businesses, it takes them to the next level. The other way I like to think about it, it's my own personal scoreboard. I love to flip back two years ago and see, was I right about this company? You're publishing in public, so people can always come back to you and say, “Man, you were way off.” So, I look forward to that.00:03:26 Jacob:I remember the F finding the first one, the 2018, I guess, reporter 2019, whenever the first one you put out,00:03:33 Eric:2019, I think that's how we met actually.00:03:36 Jacob:Did you reach out to me or? I think I found it, or I don't remember what it was, but00:03:39 Eric:We've had a mutual friend, Nico introduced us and said, Hey, you guys should talk about this. and then I think we just went off on a two hour tangent.00:03:47 Jacob:But yeah, I remember being, it's still, there's still not a ton of like really focused research or writing on this space. and I think that, that, you know, this will probably won't be true for very long, right. As long as it continues to grow, but like going back to like who it's for. I mean, I imagine it as some, you know, end of the day, if you're employing.Pushing into some kind of lead gen. Right. But it does provide a lot of value for, you know, even if you're not interested in a transaction or whatever, just. Some like holistic data on a space. Cause like, I, the same, I mean, Eric, you said we're, we're thinking three and five years in the future. It's like, I wish like a lot of times I'm thinking like three to six weeks in the future.Right. and so it's even useful, I think, you know, even if you're, you know, I, you know, we're, we're in a bit of an interesting place as a infrastructure provider to be at kind of a bird's eye view, but it. Founder on one of these CSS apps, you know, like it is useful for you to know, like what's the meta environment, how's it evolving, you know?And if nothing else to like connect you with other people who have experimented with things and stuff like that. So, yeah, I think it provides beyond, beyond the, the, the lead gen aspect of it. It provides a lot of value for people. So I'm glad, I'm glad you're, you're still doing it. 00:05:04 Eric:Yeah. And just for any of the listeners, it is free. So you just go to the GP, bullhorn.com website. It's all easy to download and then you can see all our past reports as well. So 00:05:12 David:Yeah, and we'll drop it in the show notes. but, yeah. And, and, and speaking of all that, you know, it, it's something we as RevenueCat want to get more into as well. I mean, just seeing how much value you've created in producing these reports, and we're kind of sitting on a, you know, Processing over a billion dollars a year in, subscription revenue.We've got a lot of interesting data that, that we, that I'm very personally excited to share that we haven't, kind of had the infrastructure to, to do yet, but are, are getting there. And, so hopefully we'll, we'll have our own kind of, state of subscriptions that dives into the data and some of the trends and stuff in a different way than, than your kind of, strategy and higher level look at things.But when one thing that has happened, in the actually. It was announced before your last report, but actually implemented since your last report. And that's the app tracking transparency and iOS 14, which didn't actually ship till iOS. What was it? 14.4 or five or something. So, so we're kind of just now starting to see the impacts of it.And, and, you know, you took a couple of slides in your report to start discussing it. And it really is kind of one of the biggest topics and top of mind for subscription app developers, because it really is a huge shift in the landscape. So I want it to. Start with talking about that. And one of the things you shared in the, in the presentation is that you feel like it's a short-term pain, that's ultimately going to lead to a long-term gain.So I'd love to hear your thinking around what that pain is, but then also what you see the long-term game being.00:07:01 Eric:Yeah, it's a, it's a, great point. And, you know, anytime apple or Google make changes to their, their, their app stores, right. It's a seismic shift throughout the industry because it's something that impacts everyone. And so everyone has to be aware of these changes and then ultimately have a plan for them.And so I think that the change you're talking about David is really the. The implementation of, removing tracking for a lot of, a lot of these businesses specifically, like. And so what the change did with IDFA, is it, it really deprecated the ability for, for marketers within some of these CSS businesses to really accurately target people, specifically using Facebook or some of these other social networks.And so what it's doing is it. It's impacting the conversion rates on, CSS, CSS, businesses, marketing to consumers. And so if you just can't find that person that just is in love with, for example, biking, if you're a Strava marketer, it just takes you a lot longer to find that specific subscribers you might have to market to 10 people now to find two subscribers versus before you can market to five people and find two subscribers.And so it just means marketing efficiencies going down. And that can mean. Growth rates. It can impact conversion rates and ultimately impact just financials of these businesses. And so it's a pretty important consideration for any, CEO marketing team on how they go out and get their, their business in front of consumers.If Facebook's no longer as efficient, they have to find other ways. And so. So my, my thought is like, this is a short-term problem, right? It's something that's going to take people two to three months to adapt and find a new way to reach consumers. But ultimately my hope is for the space is you see the long-term game, which is what I was referencing.People really focus on organic ways of acquiring customers. Right? So instead of just pumping ads through Facebook and trying to find someone who fits a profile, you spend a lot more time really narrowly targeting your demographic, your niche, and then finding ways for them to find your product organically either.You know? So like a company that I work with, we sold a company called Pinkbike and so what they do is they partner with, the trade associations for mountain. And those trails associations now act almost as the marketing partner of pink bike to let consumers know about the fact that all the trail details.Is on, is on the pink bike app or it's called trail forks. And so that's, that's a really powerful, organic customer acquisition tool that they don't have to pay for. And so you're seeing, seeing the same thing happen with, like Strava is doing this, pre.com recently partnered with the NFL. So if your team's got a last fourth quarter fuel goal and you need to get something kicked, you can go to pray.com and submit a prayer for your kicker. I wish I was joking. It's a pretty brilliant idea. So I think this is really good for the sector overall, but yeah. Happy to dive into it. It's it's a fascinating00:09:37 Jacob:We it's a callback to a sub club podcast content, but, Greg, this, the plant app, this is something that they were doing, which is like, we're partnering with, plant nurseries. Yeah. To like, get their app into people's hands. And, yeah, I don't know if it's an earned media or. Bought media, but this is more like this is earned, right?This is like building an audience. You've seen it in the maker community, actually a lot, like in the indie SaaS community, more it's a different game when it has to be consumer scale. Right? Like there's a little bit different. You have to build maybe a bit more than you would in like, oh, just blog about.Built this thing and that's enough to get Indies, but you can apply the same thing, right? It's like produce content, produce something like low investment for users to get engaged with your brand because you're not building an app unless you have some, I mean, maybe you are, but you're not going to build something with very high, like multiples.Like if you're, if you don't have something unique to offer in the first place, but put that into like a more like lightly consumable format, start to build that audience and then make that an on-ramp and yeah, I agree. Like that's, that's something you own, right? Like your brand is. your brand doesn't exist on the app store, right?Like your brand can exist outside of these, like shifting sands and regulations and whatnot, and ultimately is like, you know, going to get reflected in your asset value if that's something you care about. Right. So, 00:10:53 Eric:Yeah, that's a key thing we talk about, right. If any business that we look at that's potentially selling or, or thinking about raising capital, right? It's like, how are you finding your. And if you're, if you're one channel is Facebook, and then consequently, like doing Facebook ads or apple ads on the, on the app store, that becomes pretty challenging.And so you want it to be such a good product, right? So it involves more work upfront. And just as you're talking about Jacob, the product's gotta be better. It's gotta be more efficient. It's got to reach consumers where they are with the problem they have. it becomes a lot more viral and a lot more sticky.So I think, I think it's going to be good for the sector.00:11:26 David:You wouldn't want to name names of course, but I am curious if. Had any clients, or just talks about anybody in the space where they were very reliant on Facebook specifically, and then, and have really struggled as things have changed. You know, I've been seeing some tweets around the, the consumer packaged goods space where some of these CPG companies are really struggling.And so I'm just curious. You know, without naming names, if, if there's any kind of high level things you could share around, apps that have struggled in this new paradigm. 00:12:02 Eric:Yeah. I mean, I definitely can't name names, you know, obviously I keep everything confidential with my clients, but even non-clients, you've seen CACs go up 20, 30%. you see, like, if you think about like conversion rates from installs to subs, That's a big metric of actual intent. Did you find the right user, right?Did someone just click on it and download it? Great. But if they're not actually subscribing that wasn't a successful transaction for you. And so the way I think about this, David is it's the app stores made tracking a lot harder, so it's harder to find your right consumer. So imagine if you're a CPG company, you walk into a grocery.And instead of stuff, being laid out perfectly across the shelves at the right height for you, they just tossed everything in the middle of the store and said, find what you want. Just go pick it out. Right. You're going to have much lower conversion. You're going to have much lower purchase rates because people aren't being targeted with the stuff they want to see.And so I think now you have to find, you know, it becomes more of a specialty situation where you're walking into a store that has stuff for just outdoor gear or very healthy granola. Right. And you're going specifically to that store for that. That's probably better in the long term, for a lot of these companies, 00:13:01 Jacob:Yeah, but there's, there's a lot of, there's a lot of folks that have benefited from this ease relative ease, right. And any sort of market disruption is going to be painful. I was like, anecdotally, I mean, David, we've heard on this podcast and elsewhere people who have just like straight up pause acquisition, who are like all re scrambling because yeah.You get it tuned to this very fine knife edge. And I imagine for like consumer physical goods, like DDC stuff, it's even worse because their margins are thinner than software. Right. 00:13:28 Eric:And you've got inventory and everything. Yeah. It's a totally different. 00:13:31 Jacob:But, you know, as you do like you, the market reshuffles and the people, I can figure it out, the fastest are gonna are going to come out the best.So. 00:13:39 Eric:There's going to be a shift though. So people under this is like that seismic shift that just shows how much of your reliance is on maybe one or two channels. Right? Two, two major tech companies sitting here in San Francisco. If you're super, truly relying on those and you're doing great, fine.But if a bump happens, right, how exposed are you? And so like, this will be a benefit. Right. I think it's going to be a huge benefit for Tik TOK. Right? I think people are finding really good ways to acquire customers through tic-tac. And so that's a very interesting channel. I think it'd be really good for influencers, right?If you have people that are very passionate about a certain space and then they go out and, you know, have a very core customer base that loves what they do specifically. It's going to be pretty powerful for them to.00:14:18 David:Yeah, and I was just gonna say, anecdotally, you know, we haven't done a super deep dive in our data, but at a, at a high level, I was. Bracing for our numbers to take a big dip. Like I, I mean, Jacob and I had talked about it in the spring about, you know, how, what is going to look like for RevenueCat, you know, are some of these subscription apps just going to completely unwind and people are apparently figuring it out because you know, it keeps going up until the right. 00:14:49 Jacob:I mean the consumer, the consumer need hasn't disappeared. Right. So maybe if they just weren't driven, you know, it's not going to, it can't just disappear overnight. Right? Like if you never, if you, if you are a Coke fan who never saw Coke out again, and it's like, you're still gonna buy it. Right. Like there's, there's, there's a certain amount of demand.That's just going to find the supply. But, but yeah, no, I mean, it's hard for us to, to definitively say looking at our data and aggregators. Cause there's so much, but they're definitely. Like this summer was definitely slower than we've had in the past. Like on my, as I'm writing my investor updates of the year and each month and stuff looking at it.But yeah, it wasn't like this catastrophic, you know, macro thing. And they were talking about a lot of like, you know, probably outliers that we hear about people who were affected, you know, more than others, but overall. I, I don't think our, I don't think our prediction last year of, of a potential recession was necessarily false.Like it doesn't, it definitely doesn't feel like it's sped up the ecosystem. Right. But it doesn't necessarily feel like a depression, right. Maybe, maybe a slight recession or just the normalization. 00:15:49 David:Looking at our data in aggregate that, some folks use this to their advantage and actually, and, and accelerated because they knew it was coming and they did focus more on product and organic and other things. And so for whatever, you know, losses, there were. Other folks more than made up for that.And that's it kind of the interesting thing about working with so many, I mean, we're closing in on 10,000 apps on revenue cat. And so, you know, you kind of have a pretty broad basket where you, you know, there are going to be winners and losers, but in aggregate subscription apps are just continuing to tick along and do really well. 00:16:26 Eric:David it's like you read directly from bullets on my report. I, I, I completely agree with you.00:16:34 David:Another thing I wanted to dive into was the, the COVID bump. Cause that's, that's another thing that's kind of been on everybody's mind is simultaneous to this. I was 14 and, and this is something we've talked about again internally, with revenue cat, is it. This summer was the, everybody who was vaccinated and, and Delta hadn't kind of bumped yet.And so, you know, may, June and July, there was a big shift socially. kind of it felt like it, especially in the U S that we were coming out of the pandemic. and, and so simultaneous to the app, tracking transparency, going into effect, we had these like societal shift. And then now we're kind of back into it a little bit with the Delta surge, but just curious what your thoughts are on how much of the boosts we saw in 2020 really was dependent DEMEC and then how much of that will actually linger as kind of shifting consumer preferences and shifting consumer spend.00:17:36 Eric:Yeah. I mean, there's, there's absolutely a companies that benefited from us is called the removal of inf in in-person conversations. Right? So like Bumble and DuoLingo, two companies that both went public, right. They both benefited because their, their business model is designed around, not meeting in person for the first couple of conversations.Right. And so. There's no way to say that they didn't benefit. the way I think about it, though, in this, in the CSS space, it's very similar to like the overall e-commerce space, right? Is consumers looked around to find a solution for a problem they're having right. Instacart you couldn't, you couldn't go to the grocery store or maybe you felt less comfortable going to the grocery store.So you tried an Instacart for the first time. Maybe you were, you know, thinking about meeting someone, you know, long-term but you never, you never wanted to try online dating or you couldn't go to the bar. So you tried online dating for the first time and sorry. What the pandemic did was it really opened up people's eyes to other options from what they'd been doing for the last 20 years, 50 years, whatever it was.And so they had to find other solutions to, you know, their demands, their needs. And so I don't, I think it's absolutely a COVID bump, but I still look at it as really as an accelerant of people adopting new products and services that they would have tried in three to four years. but the pandemic kind of pushed them to try something, to move out of their comfort zone and try something new.So, you know, I absolutely think you'll see a little bit of a downshift in, in some of these companies that had a really big boom, right? Like language learning. People had nothing to do for four to five months, especially over some of the winter times. So people tried new hobby, tried language learning, you know, that'll probably go down a little bit, but overall, if you look at it from like a five-year trend, It's going to be up substantially from where it was in 20 17, 20 18, 20 19, and 2020, you know, made it look like a little bit of bump, but eventually I think those companies will continue to grow and surpass what anything they did in 2020. 00:19:21 David:Yeah, that's really interesting.00:19:22 Jacob:I'll back that up as well with the, the unreleased, Jacob looks at graphs and then gives a, gives a hand wavy descriptions of them. But we, yeah, we, we were, I was kind of bracing for it as well. And then I would say this summer was slow and like, David was. We're not sure why. I think it was, I think it was a number of factors things have since picked up again.But I think generally summers are slow for software a and then B. Yeah, I think we were seeing kind of like a little bit of the payback for, for COVID perhaps it's a, it's a vial. I think it's a plausible theory. We don't, it's really hard to prove. but we have not seen, you know, we, we saw our COVID experience was really drastic.And we have not seen. Similar, like back off from that, like, it has been like, it has been like we just compressed six months and I'm saying partially, this is just revenue casts, individual story because of where we were last year. But then I think also it's, it's indicative of the system in general.It's like, I think, yeah, we just compressed a whole bunch of, like consumer behavior change into like a very short period of time. And yeah, we're not gonna be able to keep that up. Right. We're not gonna be able to continue. To, to crunch that in, or we'll run out of consumers eventually. But, but it doesn't look like everybody's, you know, because, you know, I think the story for CSS in general, it's like we've delivered value for people, right?Like it's, it's a good, it's a good product, right? The whole line, not every product is good, but in general it's like a it's, it's a decent deal. And so I, I think more people discovering that. Yeah, it can only get bigger, right.00:20:55 Eric:Yeah, I think we talked about it in our first year, our first time together, right on the last podcast, which is if these businesses are truly making consumers' lives better, this is going to be a very long-term.00:21:04 Jacob:Yeah. 00:21:05 David:And speaking of that, and the two companies you just mentioned, in the, Time since we last spoke, but Bumble and DuoLingo went public and some other consumer subscription, apps went public. so tell me a little bit about your, your perspective on the, the public investor. Excitement for CSS.I mean, we're seeing pretty high multiples in the both of those IPS did, did very well. so what are you seeing in the, in the public investor space?00:21:33 Eric:Yeah, I think, I think the public market has really woken up to this business model, the power of it and understanding, you know, it's public markets. They do a lot of pattern matching, right? If they've seen something be super successful, they look for something that looks similar to that. And so I think a lot of people are waking up to, how powerful Salesforce is not waking up.They're well awake, very aware of SAS businesses. But I think they're seeing that same pattern starts to take, hold on, CSS. It just has different metrics. Right? And so, you know, Bumble's now public, the match group's been public for quite some time. Once I spun out of IAC, you've got Netflix and Spotify, which are fantastic examples of the international global reach of Content, and how consumers are very sticky for something they love.And so. These businesses who can get to scale really quickly, like you nuMe, right, is a competitor to weight Watchers. Weight Watchers has been around for decades, but Newman built a better mouse trap and they acquired customers at a really quick rate. And, you know, they're well over 400 million in revenue and ready for the public market.So I expect them to go public. Pretty soon. And so I think there's going to be a lot of businesses that follow them that are using this, this metric. So, and then that'll cascade all the way through, from public market investors as, as exit opportunities all the way down to, you know, series a series B investors, seeing this business model work and scale.00:22:47 Jacob:Yeah. I mean, I guess my, like, what's your, like, I, I, when, when we started seeing these go public in the last, like couple of years, so, well, I mean, honestly, it's like, Since we started RevenueCat, like was actually the, kind of the first unicorns, even like, I guess Bumble might've been passing unicorn when we got started, but like there weren't a ton and now it's like every, every month there's a funding announcement for a CSS company.That's a, that's a university. I mean, partially that's just like valuations going up and stuff like this, but like, how do you see. The evolution of this market. Long-term, you know, so DuoLingo pops becomes the first, you know, are they going to be like Salesforce and just be dominant in that space forever?Or do you see it being maybe more dynamic than sasses?00:23:31 Eric:I think it's a little more dynamic than SAS for, for a couple of reasons. One, new consumers like to try stuff, right. And so if it's with like a Salesforce or something, right. That integrates into your day to day operations from a business model perspective, right. So if something breaks there, right.Your business. 00:23:47 Jacob:Is very high. 00:23:48 Eric:Yeah, it's a little higher, right. And it's not just you using it. It's your entire business. Right? So you've got 10 people using this product or 20 people or 5,000, depending on the size of your company. Right. In CSS. It's it's you, maybe you and your family. Right? So it's a little bit of a different switching cost.So that's, that's one. However, these companies can scale a lot of. and they can, they don't have like the heavy, heavy cost and, you know, on the sales and marketing side. So I think they have an ability to actually get to profitability a lot faster, especially if they have an organic customer acquisition engine.And so I think that's going to be a big difference between that, between CSS and SAS. 00:24:23 Jacob:So, yeah, you mentioned the metrics are different. What are, what are the metrics that folks are, public investors are looking at for these companies that it might be different from a SAS company?00:24:33 Eric:Yeah. I mean, a lot of them are the same metrics, but the numbers that are like good are different, right? So like on a SAS business model, right. Revenue growth is just as attractive as a CSS business model revenue growth. Right. Everyone wants to see high double digits, triple digit numbers on revenue growth.But like an interesting thing is net revenue retention. Now that's very different, right? In CSS, you typically don't upcharge people or have additional seats be filled because it's just one person. Right. So, you know, maybe you get an. 00:24:59 Jacob:It's not much expansion opportunity. 00:25:00 Eric:Yeah, you can, you can do maybe some, some packages, upgrades, and people are starting to experiment that you can pack it and you can experiment with bump, bundling 00:25:07 Jacob:But it's certainly never going to be greater. It's never going to be net positive, right? 00:25:11 Eric:No, you're never going to see a net positive number where a lot of the SAS businesses, right.People are looking for net revenue, retention, numbers of north of one, 20, 120% net revenue retention 00:25:18 Jacob:I mean the opposite of churn, right. Which if you have a CSS business with opposite, Congratulations. like 00:25:25 Eric:Yeah. You're doing something well, and I haven't found it yet, but yeah, 00:25:28 Jacob:You might be the only one 00:25:29 Eric:Yes, I think that's right. 00:25:31 David:Quick, point though, to counterpoint to what y'all were both just saying, of all the apps, dating app, it's totally slipping my mind. 00:25:40 Jacob:Tinder. partnership. David, look at us. We're like on a wavelength. 00:25:46 David:They, they have in-app purchase. They have consumable in-app purchases to boost your, profile. They're one of the few that I've seen that could potentially actually have a. A a positive, net revenue retention. whereas most subscription apps are just a subscription. it's going to be interesting to see if other subscription apps can pull off that sort of model that you could actually generate a, a net net revenue retention. 00:26:19 Eric:I think you nailed it, David. So that's coming from. Right. I think people first experimented with, Hey, how do I get someone to buy my product every year or every month? Right. And now is how do you make it even better? So they're starting to listen to their core users. And we talk about this a little bit on the LTVs.And what do these people want and what makes this experience even better for them. And I think you nailed it with Tinder, right? It's the most, it's the easiest thing to convince people to, to encourage more is more, you know, more relationships, right? People love more relationships and people are willing to pay for that.And so, you know, then what else, what else could this go down the path of, right. What other options could people pay for additional services? Or what we've seen is like marketplaces or transactions spinning on. Right. So if you have a really passionate user base and they're going out there doing, camping, for example, like on, on the dirt, it's a camping site, right?What about doing a marketplace to buy and sell use tents right now is not a subscription, but now if someone's paying, like, okay, now they bought something through your marketplace and you get 10% of that purchase price. So there's going to be a lot of stuff. I think that happens there, to encourage that, to encourage that LTV numbers start rising, I just haven't seen a ton yet, make it happen above 00:27:26 Jacob:It's a scale problem. I need to do that either be at such scale for that to make sense. So I was going to say for anybody, listening to this, that hasn't reached 20 million in ARR, probably north of that do not add a marketplace to your 00:27:37 Eric:I totally agree with that. Very, very much focused focus, focus. And so I would even say like closer to 50 00:27:43 Jacob:Yeah. I mean, until you're like, how do we get this thing public? Or how do we show, like, how do we show like N plus one revenue streams, right? Like it's kinda more what it's about than it is necessarily the revenue generated. 00:27:53 Eric:I'm just a dreamer though. You're just a realist. I'm here, I'm here. And you're just telling me all that stuff that could go wrong. 00:27:58 David:One of the things you just kinda touched on that I wanted to dive deeper into was, was a truth about LTVs. And I love this slide on the, on your presentation, kind of defining these two cohorts, which I've never heard, defined this way. And I really loved the analogy and I'm going to start sort of stealing it from you and use.And crediting you of course. but in the presentation you define, tourists and locals, and then talk about kind of the importance of identifying these different cohorts. So tell me about Who the locals are and why that matters and who the tourists are and how companies can start, analyzing their data to understand this and better target marketing, better, craft the experience in the app and, and those sorts of things. 00:28:46 Eric:Yeah. So we're going to geek out here guys, and, really go deep into STSS. Right? So this is where, this is where my brain goes sometimes on a Saturday night, which is just exciting. but so the way I've been thinking about CSS a lot, and so the LTV component of CSS, which is lifetime value, Which I'm sure all your listeners are very, very well aware of is kind of like how much money can you make from this consumer over time.Right. And it's a function of your pricing and it's an, a function of your turn rate. And so, a lot of people are very focused on this metric as investors or buyers, right? Because it's effectively, how valuable is your customer? So it's an extremely important metric. The problem with this metric and lots of other metrics is it's, it's derived from an app.Right. It's looking at all your users that come into your, in your ecosystem is paying customers. And then how do they perform over time? and it's, it's driven, it's driven off an average of all your users. And so when I've gone through some of my client's data and you look at their user base, right, we, we quickly discovered there's a, there's kind of two different profiles.And I won't use any names here, but let's just, let's just say it's, a walking company, right? So you're, you've got people that go out and they, they sign up, you have a hundred people that. And 20 of them start walking every day and they're, and they, this is what they love and they're tracking, they're walking and you've got another 40 that do it for like a month or two.And then they kind of drop off and then just like, I'm going to go do biking or skateboarding or something. And I switch and you've got another people that sign up. They subscribed to it because their friend pressured him into it and they hate walking and they're never going to walk again and they turn off immediately.Right. So you kind of have those three different groups, some that are just going to do whatever. Some that do it for two to three months and then leave. And then some that do it the first month. And then say, forget this. I'm never going to use this again. And so the problem is your LTV of each one of those three groups are very, very different.And so what, we've, what we've been guiding investors and entrepreneurs, as they think about their growing their businesses, really find out who those locals are, who those people that are going to come and use your app every day, every week, every summer, whatever, whatever the metric is that you're looking.And find ways to measure that, right? Because ultimately that's who you need to bring to your community. And one, those people make the community run more robust, right? Cause they're constantly contributing feedback into the. To, they're much more likely to stay around with you guys. And so you need to find those tools that they're looking for.Right? Like seeing around the corner and saying like, okay, this person loves walking. What else can I provide them? What about a weather forecast? So now that they are about to go out and walking, you know, what does the weather look like? And, oh my God, this is now, this is my one-stop stop for, for walking.And so I think w we've been guidinGP Bullhound's like if you use the averages as a broad metric and that's great, and you should, because investors are going to want to know that, but, but really dig deep into your, your cohort and understand like who's using this every day, all day and what do they need. And so if you can really identify that and show that LTV to, to invest in.I think you can get people a lot more excited than just like that average LTV, right? Cause this shows them potential of what it can be over three to five years, which is really important if you're two or three year old company. Right. And try to convince someone to invest in you showing them that lifetime value of the tour or the locals is going to be a lot more valuable than that average.00:31:46 Jacob:I mean, if you think about just as the, you know, I think it's one of the, you highlighted one of the hard parts of assessing these businesses early on, is that yeah. Your cohort, your total subscriber base is very heavily biased on like your most recent cohort, because often you're also growing, right?Like that's often, like your most recent cohort might be the size of your first five, you know? just because, and for that reason you can really have scurry looking data. but you know, if you think five years from now, mostly. Those other two groups you mentioned there they'll have turned out from most cohorts.Right? And then the only ones remaining for four years of cohorts will be these locals and these long-term retention. And then your total subscriber base is gonna look very different than it does today. Right. And yeah, I'll admit revenue. I've tried to solve this problem in the product. And we still are trying to solve this problem in the product.It's how do we like show people? Cause you're, you're dealing with a mixed population, right? And like you, you can also also run into a problem with begging the COO or like doing very, like, look, you got to invest in and say like, look, look how great my retention is. If I just ignore them. Bad users. Right?Like, let me just look at the good ones. Right. But there is something there in that. What you're talking about, Eric, that long, that very long-term view is that if these users really do retain for a long time, eventually they will be the lion's share of. Subscriber base. And that churn that we talk about, like, you know, if you're adding 1% of your total user base, the most you can experience off of that as like 1% of churn, right.Versus when you're adding half, you know, if you have 110,000 subscribers and you add 10,000 in a month, that's going to be a huge effect to your overall subscription subscription base. Right. so yeah, I think, I think, you know, we certainly have a lot to build on the tooling side. Right. And I think it goes to what you're talking about.Air. We're very early. Like, I think we've just kind of solved infrastructure, like infrastructure. I mean, I would even say kind of, cause there's a lot for us that we need to do yet. but as far as like data science and actually yeah. Being able to outside of a spreadsheet, understand this stuff. It's it's, it's not trivial.It's not trivial. All 00:33:51 Eric:It's extremely hard. And I think like, cause there's so much more you could do once you've broken those two cohorts into tourists and locals, right? Like how do you acquire the locals versus how do you acquire the tourists? Are tourists coming through like Facebook, apple store and the locals are coming from referrals.Okay. So maybe your Facebook spend, is that even worth doing the spending on right. If they're, if they're turning off after a month or two, you know, subscribers is a vanity metric, right. If they don't. All right. You can grow. We talked about this in our 2020 report. We have like this cheetah versus thoroughbred.Right. And it's really easy to show a ton of growth. And you've got all these subscribers and everything is fantastic. Right. But if those subscribers get tired and they turn off right away, you kind of probably wasted money on them. Right. Maybe you got paid back in a month, right. So you didn't lose like on the CAC spend right in here, but you're not building your business.Right. You're just gonna you're pinching pennies. 00:34:36 Jacob:But not a lot of work. Right? Like it's not actually getting translated into business 00:34:39 Eric:Exactly. So is it better to kind of focus on the product, right? Figure out what those, those, tourists are using and spend less time on the marketing side and really nailed the products like, Hey, you'll probably grow slower, right? And That's an issue. That's a risk you have to take, but maybe you can grow more efficiently, more capital efficiency.00:34:55 Jacob:Capital's free now, so that's not a 00:34:58 Eric:That's a fair point of half my fault, I'll take full responsibility for some of that. Right. 00:35:03 Jacob:I think it's interesting how this like feeds into, you know, kind of going back to targeting and ad targeting how often. Optimized Facebook campaigns on like trial conversion. And that doesn't even that doesn't, that's all your tourists and your locals. I mean, maybe some of those that never even start a trial would be cause, but there's a lot of tourists in that group that started trial right.Or convert a trial. And a lot of people are targeting off of that. Right. And so as these methods become less. Good. it will force it'll force developers to yeah. Maybe do one of these scary things actually talk to users, right? Like actually like find those locals, like go in your analytics. And I think just the thing as you were talking about, I just want to point out that, like, I don't think you necessarily need to define this off of monetization retention either could just be retention, like pure usage retention, but it could also be engagement.Yeah. I think about the way Facebook, Oriented their growth teams very early on, which was like findinGP Bullhound that connected, like that was a really key step for them in their product, was to get people to make like three or four. I forget there's some number of friends and they oriented all of their growth efforts around that.Find the thing that people do in your. Shows that they're engaged and give them opportunities to show that. And then, you know, you can use that as an indicator. Okay. Talk to those folks and actually talk to them, right? Like find out, always put something in your app that lets you reach out to them in some way.And like, have you can get on a zoom call. I've done. It's easier now in SaaS land because like, I, I, I, people I'm an app. People like I know how to talk to them, but when we were, when I was working in consumer. Phone calls were more awkward, right? It was different. You're not going to books like outside of computer land, but still like just incredibly valuable.And, and, and, and I think like, you know, if we want to talk about the way to build the way to fully realize how CSS is going to, I'm just going to go all in on your turmeric, by the way, I said, I'm going to, 00:36:57 Eric:That.00:36:57 Jacob:I'm going to push it. We're going to standardize. But 00:36:59 Eric:It's not trademark, but knock it out. 00:37:01 Jacob:All right. So to fully like, to fully realize the potential to like help problems for people.Like, I think we need to lean into this more of this model. Right. Rather than I've always kind of like had an uncomfortable relationship with how our RevenueCat fits into the like hyper fast monetization stuff. Right. I'm like, get users, check your CAC, put more money into Facebook. Right. And so, the more the industry gets away from that. The happier I am. I don't know. Like you said, maybe it doesn't go quite as fast, but I think the overall Tam will be larger. Right? If we take that approach,00:37:33 Eric:Think that's right. And, you know, I mean, I've talked to a bunch of founders that haven't raised capital. Right. And they build something that like their users love. Right. Like, so I don't know if you guys saw the deal with day one that got bought by automatic braised almost as your outside capital.Right. He built. 00:37:46 Jacob:Big fans that they won. 00:37:47 Eric:Yeah. Yeah. I was a big,I got it's an awesome business and he did that exact same thing. Right. He just listened to his users. He didn't care about vanity metrics grew really nicely. Right. And it wasn't like, you know, he's not getting tech crunch publishing, but that's fine. Right. You know, on an amazing business.And then, you know, I've got a fantastic exit out of it. So I think, I think people are really waking up to that's a very much a possibility here in the.00:38:08 David:Yeah, one thing I wanted to highlight too, in that graph that you made, and for people that are listening to this, you can go to the show notes. We'll have links to the, Eric's presentation and you can find this chart, but to visualize it00:38:25 Jacob:Page 18. it open right here. 00:38:27 David:Following along at home, the, line for the locals drops.So, you know, even, even for locals, you're going to have some turn early on, but then it essentially flat lines. and I'm sure you did that very purposely to kind of illustrate how. How long term some of these, these, this retention can end up being, and it's something we've actually been talking on the podcast about recently is that we're so early in the space.We don't even really know what, how to measure LTV. Cause you're going to have people who ended up subscribing for decades. and years and years and years, if not decades. And so, and, and then, you know, to your point about the cheetah versus thoroughbred, another great chart in the patient number, Jacob Page number00:39:16 Jacob:I 00:39:17 David:Cheetah versus thoroughbred but in that tuna versus thoroughbred, The other aspect to locals, and we're kind of touched on it earlier is that those cohorts start to stack. So when you identify this cohort, that is going to be a very long-term cohort. That's going to stay subscribed and have very low churn. You, you acquire a hundred thousand this year, and then they're still there next year.And you put a hundred thousand on top of that. And those are still there next year. And by year three, you know, you just continue to grow this pie of people who are very, very sticky in the product. And I think that's part of what. you know, what you're talking about with delinquent and Bumble and other companies is like, we're still just starting to understand even as different as this is from SaaS.We're starting to see similar dynamics as far as. Early on the churn is so high, but then you do have this really strong stickiness over the long-term that, that, that can build a really healthy business of people who really love your, your product and really are invested in it and are going to stay for a really long time.So yeah, I just wanted to point that out that, that I, I love that aspect of the chart of how flat that line is for the locals. 00:40:35 Eric:I mean, you, you can see it in your own spending patterns, right? Like how many of you guys have subscribed to Netflix or Spotify for more than five years? I bet it's a good chunk of your listeners. Right? So, I mean, if I look at my phone, right, I'm going to subscribe to all trails for the next decade, 00:40:47 Jacob:Yeah, I've got CSS. I I've started subscribing to in 20 13, 14, like as 00:40:52 Eric:Yeah. 00:40:52 Jacob:It was a thing, 00:40:53 Eric:I've, been a script user for four years and I still download audio books or download other books from like the San Francisco library. Cause I'm probably the cheapest banker of all time. but you know, I still use script 00:41:04 Jacob:It's finding margin, Eric you're finding margin. That's what that is. 00:41:07 Eric:Exactly. I've pinched counties all day.But yeah, so I mean, I, I think those tails David to your point are still being written. And so that's the whole point, right? If you use average LTV and you say, all right, well, we have 30% churn that math means you lose every user in three years, and that's just not how it works. And if with really good businesses that are delivering value, right?And so then once you convince people of that, right, the investment case becomes a very different company.00:41:30 David:And speaking of that, you, you had a great, slide on investor benchmarks. And so I wanted to get to that real quick, tell me about how you, how you thought. These different metrics. And what, and how investors think about these metrics? Because you know, we're talking about LTV and in there you have LTV to CAC of you, you know, for a really strong app, that investor would be super excited about.You're closest to. Six X versus less than three X, you start to cool off. So, yeah. Walk us through each of these metrics and kind of how you think about it, how you think investors think about it, And even how that's kind of maturing as we understand the space better. 00:42:10 Eric:Yeah. And just to note like these metrics are all different for different types of businesses, right? If you've been around for a year, these metrics are very different versus if you've been around for 10 years, right. If you're in high growth, you know, venture back, spending a lot of money, these metrics look very different than if you're a bootstrap business, you know, just trying to inch out.You know, 10% growth a year. Right. So they can be very different. And the important thing is how does the story of your business and what you're trying to accomplish tie to these metrics? Right. So that's what we spent a lot of time talking to founders about is, is what's good based on what you're trying to do.Right. So it's just how you, how do you tell your story through the metrics? but yeah, so a couple of your points on the S on the slide, we talk about like user growth rates, gross margins, LTV to CAC, churn rates, free to paid conversion rate, and then sales efficiency. and then, you know, just to talk about something different, we, we talked about LTV a little bit earlier, but maybe talking about, churn, right.And so like how quickly do people churn off? Right. And so that's, there's a couple different ways to interpret churn, right? It's one, they didn't find your product. Too. They thought it was really expensive. or if they're not turning, they really love something you've put together. Right. And they decided to pay you multiple times for that either monthly or annual.And so what we just try to do is try to tell the story of where the business is at and where it's going by looking at these metrics. And so, you know, that's why it's so important to truly understand these metrics, because if you don't understand the metrics, it's hard to tie that to the story. so we spent a lot of time with any client or even non-clients just talking about this stuff to truly understand, you know, what investors care about.And it's, you know, if someone's buying the business, they may care a very good. They may care about very different metrics for someone who's investing your business for growth, right? So someone's going to put 40%, $40 million on your balance sheet to go grow. They may be focused less on LTV to CAC now because your LTV is not formally formed, right.They don't know how good it is, but they will focus very heavily on churn, which is a reflection of how good your product is and how good you're finding consumers that love your product. Right. So those, those are metrics that they may focus. They made me more comfortable spending a lot of money in the next two years.Right. So your CACs going to look a lot worse because they watched, you acquire a lot of users to make the platform a lot better. Right. And a lot of CSS businesses, right. UGC is a, is a, is a spinoff of user activity on the post. Beautiful uploading photos reviews. They're adding new new items on, on the platform for other users to use.And so it's worth spending more money to get those people in the first two to three years because your platform becomes that much better and that much more valuable, right? So you may be willing to burn down to a, an LTV to CAC of three X or something like that in the near term, or sometimes even two extra one X, because it's a land grab for those.Once you're on their platform right now. You want to see that LTV to CAC, start to move up a little bit, right? So you start to put it to four or five, six X, LTV to CAC. So it's all about where your business is. It's each different stage, but it's important to have a story and a message around why your numbers are, what they are.00:45:03 Jacob:Of the, I have the slides up in third slide, 37 for anybody who's following along at home. all of these as a veteran SAS CSS person, every annual user growth rate, gross margin to be cash I'll clear me, sales efficiency ratio. Can you talk about that one? Cause that one's, that one's, not as a little foreign to me. 00:45:22 Eric:Yeah. It's, it's a, it's more of a metric that's come out of SAS just to be honest. So it's thinking about like, it involves like how, how many users are you gaining? It's how much revenue you're gaining versus how much money are you putting out there? So it's a little bit of a different metric. and most CSS businesses don't get to that yet because they typically don't have heavy sales team.And so we've included it because you're starting to see some of these CSS businesses really start to grow. And so how much revenue gaining versus how much revenue you're losing and how much is it costing you to do that? And so that's when you're starting to get into like the tens to $20 million of, of, marketing spend a year, it's, it's, important to understand like how efficient is that spend being, and this is the best metric 00:46:00 Jacob:We, it says called sales, but you actually throw in marketing, spend in there as well. So it's like all go to market spend 00:46:07 Eric:Yeah. Are using head count, not just like the ad dollars. right. 00:46:10 Jacob:Right. 00:46:11 Eric:It's like a fully loaded CAC number, like 00:46:13 Jacob:Your, all of your people telling Facebook what to do, 00:46:17 Eric:Yep, exactly. Exactly. 00:46:18 Jacob:Content graders, like all that stuff, right? Yeah. 00:46:20 Eric:If you've got a hundred people running around campus, right. Promoting your app. Right. Okay. How much those people cost. Right. So it's an important way to think about how much you grow. And it's a way to think about like how well can you grow a capitally efficient capital with limited amounts of capital.So it's an important one. We look at it, it's typically a later stage, right? So you've gotta be like north of 20 million of 00:46:40 Jacob:So he's going to be super high when you're small, right? Because you're, you're your. 00:46:43 Eric:Sir. Request important. 00:46:44 Jacob:People are discreet. Right. And that you can't, you're not continuous. So, and also your, your, your revenue just grows less because of like, you know, you're smaller, you're less, well-known like, you're less is momentum is things like this. 00:46:56 David:Well, we're starting to run low on time, but there's so much more I want to talk to you about, but just to hit one last thing. I also love this chart you did, of Pandora versus Spotify. It's such a. And encapsulation, really everything that we've been talking about on this podcast is to see how well Spotify revenue has compounded over the past few years versus a Pandora, which, which look was the juggernaut.You know, when, when, when Spotify started. so, so walk us through this chart. And in how and why you think, you know, Spotify was able to, to grow the way they did while Pandora really struggled. And obviously there's a ton of, you know, other business factors and execution and other things. But, but I think overall, this does speak to the power of CSS.00:47:54 Eric:Yeah. And this is, this is something we did back in 2020 when we were just trying to decide like, Hey, what's is this CSS thing real? And, and a big question you get from, from investors. And listen, I think a lot of them have stopped asking this question because the case studies are out there is why would someone pay monthly or annually for something they can get for free?And by get for free, it means listening to, or watch. Right. And so I wanted to see like, alright, graphically or like actually numbers to will people, more companies make more money by making that really hard decision and say, pay me for what I'm giving you first. I'll give you something for free and exchange every half hour, you watch two minutes of ads, right?That's a really hard question to say, because it involves you putting a lot of value in your product. And so entrepreneurs, you know, product developers have to. Is this worth money or am I giving something out to people that, Hey, they'll kind of use it if they get it for free. Right? So it's a, it's a gut check for people to say, like, did I build something that someone will buy?That's hard. That's really challenging. Ask yourself, especially if you've started with advertising. and Spotify, you know, listen, they were a small company based in the Nordics, right. Versus Pandora US-based juggernaut and, and raised a lot of money. Right. That's a tough challenge. And so they took a really tough thing and said like, Hey, we're going to get.And make people pay for our product and we're going to make it better. But the crazy thing that happens though, right, is you make so much more on a user from subscriptions than you do from average. Right on advertising. You're trying to pick up pennies per subscription on some or pennies per user on the subscriber.You're making 10, 20 bucks a month, depending maybe maybe $60 a year for a subscriber. So the amount of users you have compounds so quickly, and then if you have that heavy retention, all of a sudden, you've got these really thick layers of cashflow that come in every year, use that cashflow. You invest it back in.He invested back in product and you do it again and again and again, and all of a sudden you've got a better product. And if you have a better product, people will come to it. And if it's something that they're using daily, right. Why would you not be comfortable like paying five bucks? Right. If I think about like how much my Netflix subscription is, right.It's $11 a month or something like that. Right. Well, I probably watch 10 hours of Netflix a month, right? So I'm paying a dollar an hour to be entertained. Pretty good deal. And so, like, I think if people, people start doing that math and you start to see like how powerful that that subscription is for user versus an ad driven, it becomes pretty interesting.And so I think you've seen this case study play out over and over and over across CSS, where if you build a good enough product, you know, a 10 X product versus the free option, people will pay for it. 00:50:24 David:And Spotify does double dip as well, which is interesting is that they have a good enough free tier and people can listen for free. But they choose to spend, even though they can. And so, so Spotify is a great example of, of double-dipping with a great freemium tier, but then a good enough product in a compelling enough reason that people will pay.00:50:47 Jacob:Yeah, another dimension. I don't know the specifics of Pandora and Spotify. It's like fundraising history, but if you have like the subscriber. Subscription revenue momentum makes capital more easy to access. And you look at some of this. I think of some of the strategic stuff that Spotify has done. Like they got the Beatles on Spotify pretty early on and lets up, they spent big on partnerships and Content and stuff.And if you have momentum, if you have hard dollars, it's a lot easier to go to an investor and be like, Hey, like I want to raise X million dollar. Revenue growth. I have, like, this is very clearly a business. I can remember raising money in the pre revenue is everything era or like trying to raise money.And it was like a lot harder. Right. Cause it was just like hand waves and we're going to grow and like, and now it's like, yeah, for better or worse, you go over the curtain and you show something. Right. But the big benefit too, I think for founders, it's not just for investor, for founders. It's like, yeah, you build a great business.You're building a safety net, right? Like if you can't fundraise, it's not the end of the world. Like you have options. And I think that's part of the reason why also, I mean, now we're getting into fundraising like macro, but that's part of the reason the funding environment is crazy because businesses are sturdier than they've ever been.Like they need capital less than they've ever needed it. Right. And so like, that's why it's gotten cheaper. or, you know, evaluation's gotten higher same thing. Right. So, Anyway. Yeah. And this is a fascinating to put this. I already was not on here, which was my horse. And I was like really pulling for them.And then it gets to a whole different story of why that's not on there. But, but yeah, it's fascinating.00:52:11 David:Well, I think that's a really fun place to end the story of Spotify, one of the biggest juggernauts in the space. We're going to include in the show notes a link to the report, a link to your LinkedIn and Twitter to follow along.Anything else you want to share as we wrap up? 00:52:27 Eric:No guys. Always a pleasure to join you. One thing for your audience users, we are trying to make the GP Bullhound CSS report a resource for founders. This year, for the first time ever, we did include a link to a survey.So, if you want to contribute your data, what we'll do is aggregate everything, anonymize it, and then we'll provide back a summary to users to say, “Hey, here's your LTV to CAC. How does this compare to other founders at this stage?” We are trying to be a resource. I'll probably give you guys that link, if you don't mind. We'd love to have as many people as possible. No pressure.Of course, all of it would be anonymized. This isn't a marketing tactic for us. It's us giving back to the community. We'd love people to take a second to do the survey, but if not, don't hesitate to email me, tweet at me, hit me on LinkedIn with questions, comments, and specifically stuff We got wrong. Absolutely love to hear where we can learn.00:53:22 Jacob:Yeah. 00:53:23 Eric:Because we're not building, we're just talking about what you guys are doing.00:53:26 Jacob:By the time you print this thing, it's like, stuff's changed, right? Like it's changing so fast.00:53:32 Eric:The whole Apple thing when we were publishing was happening everyday. And I was like, this is unbelievable.00:53:36 Jacob:And wait to...00:53:36 Eric:Since July, and I have to change every minute. Yeah. I had to change a PowerPoint. You guys had to change code. So I think one was a lot harder.00:53:44 David:Well, it was great having you on, Eric, and we'll have to make this an annual thing.00:53:49 Eric:Sounds good.You're welcome.00:53:51 Jacob:Yeah, we'll see you next year. 00:53:52 David:See you in 2022.00:53:54 Eric:All right. Thanks David. Thanks Jacob.
How do I live a life where the things that matter get done, I can stop at that, and the day is over so that I can allow myself the chance to breathe, the chance to slow down, and the chance to just be present for a few hours at the end of the day? That is a difficult transition if you're just used to pushing all the time. It's a different way of thinking about how your time is spent and who you are at your identity if you're a high achiever but it is worth it for your health. - Jeff Sanders Are You Stressed Out Lately? Take a deep breath with the M21™ wellness guide: a simple yet powerful 21 minute morning system that melts stress and gives you more energy through 6 science-backed practices and breathwork. Click HERE to download for free. Is Your Energy Low? Get more superfoods to improve your energy, digestion, gut health plus also reduce inflammation and blood sugar. Click HERE to try Paleovalley's Apple Cider Vinegar Complex + Save 15% with the code 'JOSH' *Review The WF Podcast & WIN $150 in wellness prizes! *Join The Facebook Group Wellness Force Radio Episode 419 Keynote Speaker, Productivity Coach, and Author of both The 5 AM Miracle and The Free-Time Formula, Jeff Sanders, returns for the fourth time to share the price we pay for working nonstop, how he had to hit the brakes and slow down for the sake of his own health, and how to revamp your productivity skills when you want a break from the grind. What do we do in this modern world that is obsessed with this incessant day-after-day all work and no play, gotta hustle attitude? Discover what happens when we try to white-knuckle our productivity, why trauma shapes motivation, and how to build habits for a better life. CURED NUTRITION Save 15% off your CURED Nutrition order with the code WELLNESSFORCE at wellnessforce.com/cured It's taken me over a year to find the right hemp and CBD company to introduce to the Wellness Force Community and I could not be more thrilled that it's CURED Nutrition! CURED Nutrition is a movement inspired by nature and grounded in a shared desire to leave a lasting impression on you, our community, and this world. Together, they're a collective of heart-centered human beings who are inviting you – the conscious creatives, dreamers, and healers – to join their family. Learn how CURED hemp and CBD products can enhance your daily wellness routine. Try Cured's Full Spectrum Raw Hemp Oil Today They're Colorado-based organically grown hemp products that have been engineered to transform your approach toward an elevated life. Tap into your inherent potential – your greatest mind-body alignment – and nourish it with the supplements you were designed to thrive on. A greater existence is waiting. Listen To Episode 419 As Jeff Sanders Uncovers: [1:30] Time & The Human Dilemma Jeff Sanders 052 Jeff Sanders: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast 115 Jeff Sanders: The Power of Saying No 169 Jeff Sanders: The Free-Time Formula The 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders The Free-Time Formula by Jeff Sanders The 5 AM Miracle Podcast Powerful Stress-Reducing Breathwork with Josh Trent Join The 5 AM Club! Both Josh and Jeff's health problems before with sinus infections. Exploring the different barometers we all have when it comes to stress and its impact on our productivity. Jeff's mission to help people build healthy habits and strengthen their productivity skills. What opened Jeff's eyes to improve his own productivity skills and how that intertwined with his career path. Cal Newport Why we're designed to love checking off boxes and be productive because they give us a sense of self-worth. How we can be productive without becoming addicted to work. Steven Pressfield Why we get Clean House Syndrome where we will focus 100% on cleaning the house over anything else. Stephen Covey How to schedule the big, important tasks so that you are guaranteed to get them done. Exploring what can help with daily distractions at home and anything that can interrupt your schedule. Defining boundaries at home to give yourself and others a distraction-free environment. Freedom app Tools you can set up on your computer and phone to help you create an environment for focused work. [22:00] The Toxic Pressure of Hustle & Bustle How to revamp your productivity skills when you switch careers. Exploring why we all have this accumulated sense so that we are in a hurry 24/7 especially with all of this evolving technology. Why he believes we're experiencing an incorrect version of living especially if we're considered lazy for taking some downtime. The health struggles he faced from IBS and sinus infections to back pain when his first child was born. Stress he and his wife went through with IVF treatments to conceive both of their children and why Jeff wasn't prepared for the stress. The wake-up call in the form of a panic attack let him know he needed to focus on his health as he was working too hard, scheduling too much, and pushing his boundaries to the limit. How it can be difficult to navigate pain when we're in the middle of experiencing it regularly. Jeff's personal mission to find out what was really going on with his health and how he could change his life for greater wellness. Why Jeff's poor health symptoms are a common thing for men in their early thirties. [31:30] Less Productivity, More Spaciousness What psychoneuroimmunology is and how our thoughts and emotions can hinder our physical health. Breaking down Jeff's biggest challenge during his wellness journey. What Jeff had to let go of to help him heal and live life well. Why a go-go-go busy lifestyle fueled by caffeine is just bound to fail. Making the lifestyle change to not push yourself and work hours on end plus why that can be so hard for people to do. The bad habits we make going down rabbit holes and striving to understand something like coding HTML and CSS when it's not even necessary for our lives. His own personal definition of wellness and why he believes we should live by it. Tidying Up with Marie Kondo | Official Trailer| Netflix How to balance what physical things you need and don't need in your life. What you can do to step away from work you don't love and follow what actually pulls you in. Why motivation comes after an action such as with the example of exercise and the endorphins kicking in later. How to follow through with the future you're being called to create. What you can do the create a lifestyle that generates energy and motivation for anything from wellness to your career. The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto [42:00] Building Habits for a Better Life The power of breathwork to move the fluid in our spinal column to move the energy within. Why Jeff loves doing breathwork in a sauna so much after a workout at the gym. How breathwork has led Jeff to be more intentional with every single thing he is doing every day. The choice Jeff made to give up alcohol this summer and how it has helped him focus and be more intentional. Atomic Habits by James Clear The 5 AM Podcast - Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results with James Clear How Jeff is building better systems for himself for his health, business, relationships, and finances. Why people who allow others to run their life do not have enough respect for themselves. The power of taking care of yourself first and foremost so that you're able to look after all the other parts of your life. [48:00] How Trauma Shapes Our Motivation Why many CEOs aren't driven from a place of self-love but from the need to prove themselves to others. How to distinguish whether or not you're being pushed to do a goal for all the wrong reasons. Why our motivation shifts when we are pulled to do something that is aligned with who we are compared to being pushed to do something that is not in alignment. How to create space for yourself to begin asking the right questions about what you're doing with your life. Why our partners can fortify the old version of ourselves, making it hard to change. How it helps to have a partner who is on board with the future that you want to create. [54:30] More Is Never The Answer Why Josh believes that the ultimate life is one that has more peace in it. 407 Josh Trent | The Art of Masculinity The power of leadership when we do it from a place of peace. Words of wisdom Jeff has for the person that is trying to execute from a place of power and from the need to prove themselves rather than from a place of love and peace. How to take a look at your life and figure out what you can drop to have less struggle every day. Why 'more' is never the answer and we need space and time to be able to think, breathe, and restrategize who we are and what we really want. How to be a student of life and acknowledge what you need to change in order to have a breakthrough. [59:30] The Hidden Cost of Modern World Productivity Exploring the prices we pay because of the demand of modern world productivity. The harm it causes us to say "yes" to too many things and not put up healthy boundaries. Why having clarity on what you want will help you shape new habits. How to improve your time management skills with something as simple as switching a News app for a Meditating app. Calm app Why we have the power to change our lives but we have to start with this awareness of what is actually happening and where we are at. The fact that we won't automatically fix our lives by taking a vacation to the Peruvian jungle; we have to work on our lives for better wellness. How we can make the most of our lives to make these healthy shifts today. Why email doesn't have to be this horrible thing if you practice good inbox hygiene. Power Quotes From The Show We Cannot Do Everything "We can do anything but we cannot do everything. As a Type A, highly caffeinated, go-go-go kind of guy - my tendency every day is to check all of the boxes. That's what I wanted to do. My version of success for so many years was just focusing on how many boxes I checked every day but that is a lifestyle that is designed to fail. It is a lifestyle that is designed for panic attacks because you simply cannot live that way. That's not a life; that's just annoying because you exhaust yourself trying to do so much." - Jeff Sanders You Have The Power To Change Your Life "It feels like we are victims to the world but we don't have to be. We have a lot of power. You have the power to change your life but you have to start with this awareness of where you are and acknowledge what is actually happening before you can ever make real change stick long term."- Jeff Sanders The Health Price Paid For Exhaustion "We sacrifice so much. We give up our autonomy and our freedom of choice when we're saying 'yes,' to too many things. We're trying to be productive for the sake of productivity. We sacrifice our health, our time, our relationships - we are giving up our lives for ultimately a price that we don't want. Once we have clarity on what we want because we know it gives us the value we're striving for, our time is going to be spent differently because we're not trying for that same stuff that feels so fleeting." - Jeff Sanders Links From Today's Show 052 Jeff Sanders: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast 115 Jeff Sanders: The Power of Saying No 169 Jeff Sanders: The Free-Time Formula The 5 AM Miracle by Jeff Sanders The Free-Time Formula by Jeff Sanders The 5 AM Miracle Podcast Powerful Stress-Reducing Breathwork with Josh Trent Join The 5 AM Club! Cal Newport Steven Pressfield Stephen CoveyFreedom app Tidying Up with Marie Kondo | Official Trailer| Netflix The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto Atomic Habits by James Clear The 5 AM Podcast - Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results with James Clear 407 Josh Trent | The Art of Masculinity Calm app Leave Wellness Force a review on iTunes Cured Nutrition – Get 15% off of your order when you visit wellnessforce.com/cured + use the code ‘WELLNESSFORCE' Organifi – Special 20% off to our listeners with the code ‘WELLNESSFORCE' Paleovalley – Save 15% on your ACV Complex with the code ‘JOSH' Drink LMNT – Zero Sugar Hydration: Get your free LMNT Sample Pack, you only cover the cost of shipping Botanic Tonics – Save 20% when you use the code ‘WELLNESS20' Seeking Health - Save 10% with the code 'JOSH' breathwork.io M21 Wellness Guide Wellness Force Community Jeff Sanders YouTube Instagram Facebook Twitter LinkedIn About Jeff Sanders Jeff Sanders is a keynote speaker, productivity coach, author of The 5 AM Miracle, The Free-Time Formula, and founder of The Rockin' Productivity Academy. Jeff is also the host of The 5 AM Miracle Podcast, which has ranked #1 in Apple Podcasts in the Self-Improvement and Business categories, been nominated for 6 Podcast Awards, and exceeded 10 million downloads. He is a plant-based marathon runner and personal development junkie. Every week you can find Jeff writing and speaking at JeffSanders.com. Jeff has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Psychology from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. He and his wife, Tessa, live in Nashville, Tennessee with their daughter, Maisie, and pug, Benny.
Chris regains several of his developer merit badges and embarks on a perilous CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) adventure. Steph shares highlights from Plucky, a management training course, including ways we can "click" and "break apart" from our current role, and how to have hard conversations. They also discuss how software development processes change at different team sizes, processes that break down as teams grow, and processes that are resilient at any team size. This episode is brought to you by ScoutAPM (https://scoutapm.com/bikeshed). Give Scout a try for free today and Scout will donate $5 to the open source project of your choice when you deploy The Nightmare Before Christmas - What's This (https://youtu.be/QLvvkTbHjHI) Giant Robots Smashing into other Giant Robots - Plucky with Jen Dary (https://www.giantrobots.fm/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&term=plucky) Plucky (https://www.beplucky.com/) Services are Not a Silver Bullet (https://thoughtbot.com/blog/services-are-not-a-silver-bullet) Become a Sponsor (https://thoughtbot.com/sponsorship) of The Bike Shed! Transcript: STEPH: Boom. I'm recording. Magic is happening. [singing] What's this? What's this? It's a Bike Shed episode. What's this? What's this? CHRIS: You did that on the mic. [laughter] So you just started recording too, so it's not like you're like, "Oh, I forgot I was recording." STEPH: Oh, I didn't have a finishing line that rhymes with shed. CHRIS: Head, dead, bread, spread. STEPH: [singing] Is TDD dead? I don't know. [laughs] CHRIS: Cool. I liked it. STEPH: Hello and welcome to another episode of The Bike Shed, a weekly podcast from your friends at thoughtbot about developing great software. I'm Steph Viccari. CHRIS: And I'm Chris Toomey. STEPH: And together, we're here to share a bit of what we've learned along the way. Hey, Chris, what's new in your world? CHRIS: What's new? I had a fun experience over the past week or two of regaining some of my developer merit badges, which is always enjoyable. So one was I had to configure AWS, specifically S3 and IAM such that I could upload files to an S3 bucket, which seems like one of those things that a developer should be able to do, and it's just not that hard. And, man, I failed so many times, and I stared at the screen. And the ARNs I think that's another acronym that I had to try and figure out what it means and fight against. Anyway, I got there. So that's one merit badge earned. I really hope [laughs] I correctly and securely configured access to an S3 bucket such that we could upload files in our Rails app. Cool, neat. Moving on, the next merit badge that I went for was restoring the sea of green dots. Our RSpec output had gathered some noise. There was a whole bunch of noise across a variety of things. There were some dev tools that were dumping some stuff in there. And there was something related to apparition, which is the...I want to say it's the Capybara feature spec driver that we're using now, which sits on top of ChromeDriver or something like that. I don't really understand the details, but it was complaining about something. And I found a fix, and then I fixed it and whatnot. But it was one of those. I did this on a Saturday because I was just like, you know what? This will be cathartic and healing. And then I got to the sea of green dots, and I was so happy to get to it. STEPH: This is me...I'm giving you a round of applause. CHRIS: Well, thank you. Arguable whether it delivered any real value to users, but again, this was Saturday effort, so I was allowed to indulge my fastidious caretaker of the code role. STEPH: Sorry, before we move on to more serious, can we pause to talk about developer merit badges? I really, really want cute felt badges that we can...I mean, I can't design them. I don't have the talent. But I think between us and other folks, we could design amazing merit badges, and then people could collect those. I'm very much in love with that idea. CHRIS: I love the idea. I am now certain that if we were to really pursue this, that we would fall into the deepest of bike sheds as we try and define well; what are all the merit badges? And what are the different levels? STEPH: [laughs] CHRIS: And how many do you need to collect before you can get to what are the different...There are just so many different taxonomies that we could introduce, and, oh man, I could spend a couple of weeks on that. STEPH: [laughs] It has a very strong Pokémon vibe too of you got to catch them all. CHRIS: Absolutely. STEPH: Okay. All right. We won't digress into bikeshedding merit badges, but I'm still very, very interested in that idea. CHRIS: Indeed. If anyone out there in the listener space wants to just make these, that would be great. This is the way that I avoid bikeshedding now is I just say I'm not allowed to make these decisions or even think about it. But if these happened into the world, I would be happy about that. STEPH: Oh, I just remembered we do have something similar at thoughtbot. They're not physical where you can hold them, but I think we've talked about turning them into physical badges. But we have our internal tool hub that we used to track our schedules. And one of the fun Ralphapalooza events that we had, a team came up with the idea of introducing badges in the tool hub, so then you could award people badges. You could give people badges. And it's very cute. So they could probably help us with the taxonomy. They've probably already figured out a number of badges we could get started with. CHRIS: And of course, this is where my brain went initially to like, oh, what would the taxonomy be? But I think that's how this goes bad. And if we just keep it in the this is cute and fun, and what are all the possible merit badges, but they're all equal, and the points are made up anyway, and then it's just a fun thing, then I'm like, I'm super into this. Let's do that. Have you used a regular expression to parse HTML? Congratulations, you get a merit badge. Have you not used regular expressions to parse HTML? You get a different merit badge. [chuckles] STEPH: [laughs] I feel very positive that I could be chief of cute and fun. I could manage that department. CHRIS: Yes, that feels like definitely a role that you could really excel at. But shifting around ever so slightly, I did run into a fun bug this week. And it was a mystery tour of, I'm going to say, sadness and then eventual learning and understanding, and I think we've come to a better place. But I want to tell a story, take us on a quick tour of the adventure that I went through. So we recently saw a handful of exceptions come through in our exception monitoring service and then piped into Slack, where we see those around CSRF token expiry. So this occasionally happens in a Rails app. The CSRF token that was on the page gets rotated. And therefore, when someone...if they have an older version of the page open and they try and submit a form or something like that, then CSRF protection is going to kick in. And you do get some false negatives there or some cases where like, nope, this is actually a fine user, this is not hacking, this is nothing bad. It's just that that user had a tab open or something like that. I'll be honest; I want to understand better the timeline of expiry and how Rails expires those and whatnot. But it's one of those things; it's deep enough in Rails that I trust that they are doing a very reasonable thing. And I think the failures that we're seeing that's part of the game. And so, mostly, we wanted to add a nicer handling around that. So thankfully, Inertia actually has a really wonderful page in their docs about handling Cross-Site Request Forgery expiration token, this whole thing. This is a particular failure mode that your app might have. And so it's nice to be able to provide a nicer user experience. And so what we ended up doing is if we catch that exception, we have a rescue_from in our application controller that will instead of having this be a 500 and just a full, like, something went wrong error page, we instead respond in an Inertia-like way to basically show a flash message that says, "This page has expired. Please refresh the page to continue." And if the user just refreshes the page, then they will get a new CSRF token. And from there, everything is going to be fine. So it's not ideal. But it is, I think, both secure and now a nicer user experience. STEPH: Yeah, that sounds really nice. When they refresh the page, do they lose all that form data? I'm curious how painful of a flow that is for the user. CHRIS: Currently, yes. Inertia actually has a really nice feature for remembering form data. If you've ever been on GitHub and you're filling in a box, and then you go away to a different tab, and you come back, and it's still there, and you're happy about that, it's that sort of thing. So we could configure that. At this point, we don't have...most of our forms are pretty small. So this is not something that we opted to do proactive management around. But that is definitely something that we could add but not something that's default or anything like that. STEPH: Cool. Yeah, that makes sense. I was just curious because yeah, either small form doesn't really matter, or also, this may be just a small enough error that only a handful of people are experiencing it that it's also just not that big of a deal. CHRIS: Yes, this definitely should be an edge case. And we've also recently been working on functionality to log folks out after a period of inactivity, which would also, I think, obviate this in a different way. So all total, this shouldn't be a big deal. And this was basically a quick, little snippet of code that we thought we could just drop in, and everything would be great because it shouldn't happen much. But then I was testing out a different feature on staging, and everything I tried to do was popping up this little alert flash message that was like, "Hey, your page is expired." And I was like, that seems bad. And then I realized literally every action, any non-GET request, was getting this response that the CSRF token didn't match. And I was like, well, this seems bad. Luckily, it was only on staging and hadn't made it to production. But it had made it to staging, which meant it had gotten through CI, which was very concerning because we have a pretty robust set of feature specs at this point. We built up a bunch of fakes for all of the external data systems that we're interacting with. And we're really putting the app through its paces and trying to do so in a very production-like way. And so I was like, this is such a deep fundamental breakage. I don't know what's going on here. And so I started to investigate. And it turns out that in a recent commit, I had started using Axios, which is a little wrapper around the Fetch API. They may not actually use the Fetch API under the hood, but it allows you to have a nicer interface to make XHRs. And we implicitly had that in our package already by virtue of Inertia. Inertia uses it under the hood, but I wanted to make it explicit because now I was using it directly. So I figured that's cool. I will yarn add Axios, and then I will continue on with my day. And I worked on my feature and everything was great. And then I pushed it up into a pull request, and everything was great, and CI passed. And I got it onto staging, and everything was very sad. So then I started on the adventure of like, what is going on here? It turns out that somewhere between version 0.21.1 of Axios and 0.23.0, which there's a bunch of things about those version numbers that make me uncomfortable but here we are, somehow the behavior where you can configure the XSRF header name, which is what they're calling it on their side, the configuration stopped working. And so our override that says this is what our CSRF or XSRF token should be called when it's sent back up to the server in a header that was getting lost. And so they were falling back to their default name, Axios was. And, therefore, Rails was like, "There's no CSRF token here. So this is going to be a no for me. I'm going to reject all of the requests." So the fix was relatively easy to roll back and to pin the version of Axios to the previous version that we had been using. I didn't actually intend to upgrade it. I just intended to make it an explicit dependency. But by doing that, I accidentally upgraded it. I don't love that there was this pretty deep breakage in that. I haven't done the good work of trying to open an issue. I still want to scan through and see if there is an open issue or a conversation around this before I start making any noise. But I think if I don't find anything, this is the sort of thing that should be reported because I can't imagine I'm the only one running into this. Likewise, I was very sad that my test suite did not find this. Turns out in Rails, CSRF protection is just turned off in test mode, which may be overall makes sense. But for feature specs, in particular, I definitely want to have it. And so, it was nice that I was able to find the relevant configuration. And we introduced an RSpec configuration that says, "If it's a feature spec, save off the existing configuration and enable CSRF. And then after the spec, go back to whatever the previous was." So now all feature specs run with CSRF. And I did make sure to push up that as a singular change to CI, and CI was very unhappy with me. Many, many features-specs failed, which was good. That was what we were going for. They failed for the right reason because things were fundamentally broken. And then, I was able to update the package-lock or the package.json on the yarn lock, pin the version, fix everything. But man, there was this period of like, oh man, the app is broken in such a fundamental way. Users just can't do stuff anymore. They can view anything, but they couldn't change any data. And it just snuck through CI. And that feeling is the worst feeling. We had, at this point, built up a lot of trust in our test suite. It was really telling us when stuff was wrong, and if it was green, I felt very good merging. And suddenly, this just really shook me to my core on that front. STEPH: I love these journeys that you take us on. I mean, they're painful for you, and I am sorry to hear that. But I love these journeys that you take us on. [chuckles] CHRIS: I usually only take us on them when I've figured out the answer. And I'm like, all right, here's where we're at. It was rough for a little while, but now we are happy. And thankfully, the one configuration of saying, hey, Rails, also, please include this as part of our production like, configuration for test mode. So I feel better that moving forward, this breakage won't happen again. STEPH: We should add that as another merit badge for telling a bug story. All right, I'm taking off my hat of chief of fun and cuteness. So this may not be terribly relevant to all the things that you just shared. But I am curious where you mentioned that with Axios because you'd specified the name of the token, and then that overriding behavior is what then broke. And so then that's what led to this whole adventure that you went on. I'm curious, why did y'all customize the name of that token? CHRIS: A, this is a great question. B, I'm not super sure. C, I think the reason is because we were trying to align to Rails. So we have a little middleware on the Rails side that will serialize the CSRF token into a cookie. And then that cookie value gets read by Axios and sent back up as a header on the request. So this is the way that with Inertia CSRF just kind of works and is good. And it's different than Rails' normal. We put a hidden input into any form. And so Rails holistically knows about both sides of that, and everything works fine. But now I have to manually round trip the CSRF token. And Axio's default configuration is a header name X-XSRF-TOKEN, and we needed X-CSRF-TOKEN because that's what Rails is looking for. I probably could have configured it the other way on the Rails side. But one way or another, I had to get Rails and Axios to come to an agreement, to meet at a table, and to agree to collectively protect the app. And so I had to mediate that discussion, and that's what ended us here. STEPH: A meeting of the minds. [chuckles] Cool, cool, cool. Yeah, that makes sense. I was just curious because then that would have changed the whole journey. But yeah, that is super interesting. And I definitely resonate with the idea of when you've really invested in your test suite, and you trust it that then when it doesn't catch something that obviously breaks the application, then that feels like something worth prioritizing and digging into and then figuring out how to bring back that parity. I don't know that I've turned on enable CSRF for feature spec. So I'm also very interested in looking at that configuration and considering if I need that for any of my future client projects if that's something that I need to remember for the future because that's very niche but good to know about. CHRIS: I feel like this only really comes up if you're working in the...it's called the odd middle ground that Inertia ends up occupying. If you're in a traditional Rails app that is generating HTML server-side, forms are generated. They got the CSRF token inlined there in a hidden input. And then when you post that form, it's coming back up. The names automatically are going to match. You don't need to worry about it. And it's probably fine to not have it included in test mode. And if you're at the other end of the spectrum and you've got API interaction, and that's the way you're doing everything, then you have a different auth mechanism and cookies, and whatnot just don't apply in the same way. And so it won't really matter on that side but for a different reason. And it's only because we're in this interesting middle ground, which, again, I really love. And it's the thing that I love about Inertia. But this is a rare case where it's like, oh, we do have to bring the two sides to meet in the middle. And this is a case where, unfortunately, due to a very subtle breakage on a minor release of...a package that we're using silently broke so, yeah. But yeah, thankfully, everything is back to working. And again, we've been able to enhance the test suite in that little way that I feel confident again because this won't sneak in another time. We have coverage around this. We're good to go. So while I was very scared when this initially happened, I feel better now. I'm happy to go into the weekend feeling better about this. But that's my story. What's new in your world? STEPH: So I feel like I've been having one of those weeks where I have less code adventures. In fact, it's one of those days where I went to thoughtbot's daily sync...because we often have our client daily syncs, but then we still have a thoughtbot sync as well. And I went to the group, and I was like, I get to write code today. It's going to be a great day. All the other things I'm doing are also interesting, but I get particularly excited when I get some maker's time and get to write some code. So I feel like I've had less coding adventures recently and more hiring and process-related adventures. And specifically, I just completed the Plucky Manager Training, which is a program that's founded and led by Jen Dary, who was recently on thoughbot's podcast, The Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots. I'll be sure to include a link in the show notes for anyone that's interested. CHRIS: I believe this was the third time she was on. It's at least the second, possibly the third. And all of them are great listens, just as an aside, so we should include links to all of them. STEPH: Yes, I think she's one of the rare guests that has been on the show three times. And I think I've only listened to the first couple minutes of that episode. But I think they talk about the fact that this is her third episode, which is really, really cool. And I'm still frankly synthesizing all the information and the ideas that I've collected from the course. But I do have a few quick takes that I'm interested in sharing with you. So the first one is my cohort...we were the Panda Cohort, so go, Pandas. And some of the things that we talked about were…, and I think that this may have been the first day. So it was three days, and it was three hours for those three days. And they're spread out over a couple of weeks, which is really nice because then you show up for those three hours of the class, but then you leave with some ideas and some things to experiment with. You get a week to then try out an experiment and then come back to class next time and talk about this is how it went; it went to wonderful, or it went terrible. And you get to share that with others and work through it. And in the first class, we talked about coaching versus managing, which I found just a helpful definition to review. So managing is more direct, and telling someone what to do while coaching is encouraging someone to determine their own path and find their own solution. And I find that as a team lead at thoughtbot, I'm very often more in that coaching space than I am in that managing space. I think it's frankly pretty rare that I actually need to put on a manager's hat. And I often feel like I'm wearing my coaching hat instead. And some of the other things we talked about one of them is what is work? Which is a fun question to ask. And Jen had an analogy for this speaking about imagine that you have a plastic Easter egg. So it's got two sides, and side one is all the skills and desires and things that you're fulfilled by. And side two is a company that needs those skills. And it's great when those line up and click together, like when you take a job or get a promotion. Have you ever played...do you know what I'm talking about? Those little plastic Easter eggs. Have you ever played with those as a kid? CHRIS: Yes, certainly. STEPH: [laughs] I realize I just launched into that analogy. [chuckles] And then Jen goes on to say that's totally normal for then those sides to unclick. And Jen continues to say that it's totally normal for them to unclick. So maybe the company changes direction, the company is acquired. You've fallen out of love with something that you do about your job, or you have kids, and that has changed the things that you are fulfilled by and what you're looking for. And that's not necessarily bad. So it can be like, hey, you are working on x now, and you're not fulfilled by that anymore. But then another company comes along and says, "Hey, we're working on this, and you are fulfilled by that." So then another click happens. And essentially, it's a nice analogy to represent someone's career path and the ways that we are going to shift and re-prioritize what we're interested in. But it's also a really nice way to help it feel less personal because both sides are allowed to change. The company can change. You, as an employee, can change. And then you can look for that next click that is going to match up with a company that meets your skills and things that help you feel fulfilled. One of the other topics that we talked about are hard conversations, which I love that we dug into this one because that's certainly one that I struggle with or...I mean, we all get that feeling if you have to confront someone if you have to have that uncomfortable discussion with someone. It is a very hard thing to do. And so we had some very honest conversations around what is a hard conversation? What does that represent? And essentially, they represent that there is stalled progress and something can be improved. So Jen likens a hard conversation to a tool. It's something that you can use to then help something move forward again if something feels stalled or if there's something that needs to change. And during those hard conversations, you may not get to the resolution that you're looking for. So you may be looking for a specific outcome. But you also have another person that needs time to respond and to take in everything that you have said and process that information. So when you have a hard conversation, you may actually only move forward an inch. So if you had a lofty goal of we're going to talk and then we're going to have this hard conversation, and we're going to get to this space...But instead, you actually just make incremental progress. Like, okay, at least this person is now aware of this concern. That might be your win for the hard conversation versus actually tackling; how are we going to address it? I just want them to be aware of this concern. And it's a very vulnerable conversation, and they often take time before you can get to that ideal resolution. But essentially, the idea is get in the game, start the conversation, and then have follow-up conversations for that hard conversation. And I really appreciated that framing because I often will think of hard conversations of oh, we have to have this hard conversation and get to this specific outcome. But if you shift the goal line to be like, no, I really just need to at least make this person aware of a concern, that makes it a lot more approachable. And then also probably yields more fruitful outcomes because that gives the other person time to think about what you've shared to also come to the table with their own ideas and then work together to then get to that ideal resolution. CHRIS: I like that framing a lot. I can definitely see the case where you, as someone who has recognized something that needs to change (perhaps you're a manager),lineup you've now thought about that a good bit; you've observed it, but the individual that you're bringing that to this may be novel. This may be a surprise for them. And so if you come into that interaction both about to share this information but then also trying to resolve it and trying to get to I need you to internalize it, and I need you to fundamentally change your behavior as a result of this conversation we're going to have, that's quite possibly not a realistic outcome. And if you're trying for that, it might inherently lead to just a bad outcome because that individual is not in a position to do that. But they are potentially ready to hear it. And so you can just achieve step one and then later have step two. So I like that a lot. STEPH: Yeah, in general, I found the course incredibly helpful, very insightful. It was also really nice to hear from other managers that are facing similar problems or perhaps novel problems and then getting to weigh in and help each other. So it's a wonderful course. I'll be sure to include a link in the show notes for anyone that is interested. And I'll probably come back with some more insights from the class because it's really...we just wrapped up. So I'm sure I still have some ideas that will percolate over time, and I want to come back and share those with the group. Mid-roll Ad And now a quick break to hear from today's sponsor, Scout APM. 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And as an added-on bonus for Bike Shed listeners, Scout will donate $5 to the open-source project of your choice when you deploy. Learn more at scoutapm.com/bikeshed. That's scoutapm.com/bikeshed. STEPH: Pivoting just a bit, we have a listener question that I'm excited to dive into. This question comes from the one and only, the Edward Loveall, fellow thoughtboter. And Edward wrote in, "How does the process of software development change at different team sizes? What's a process that breaks down soon after the team starts growing? What's a process that is resilient at all sizes? And by process, I mean anything that involves other people including organizing tasks, code review, deployment, or anything else that isn't you alone writing code in a vacuum." I'm really excited about this question because I think there's a lot here. And there's actually one part that I'm struggling with a bit, so I'm curious to see what you think, Chris, about it. But I'm going to start off with saying that I think there are a number of management processes that definitely break down as a team grows. But in the spirit of Edward's question, I'm going to focus more on the software development process and how those might need to change and what starts to break as your team grows. So starting off with processes that break after the team starts growing, this one, frankly, what really starts to break is not a process specifically, but it's the lack of process that really starts to become visible and painful. So, how do we track work? Before, maybe the product manager or someone would just send you a message and say, "Hey, can you work on this?" or "Hey, can you fix this thing?" And how does code need to be reviewed before being merged? Does it need to be reviewed? Are people just merging as they get stuff done? How are deploys performed? Oh, we have a super urgent production fix that needs to go out, and the only person that knows how to deploy is out sick today? Cool. That's the type of process that I think that really breaks down, or at least you start to notice when the team starts to grow. What are your thoughts? CHRIS: I definitely feel that first one very strongly. We're feeling it right now on the team, which is still very small. There are only three developers working on the project, and then we have a product manager. And each week, we're slowly iterating, and tweaking, and honing, and trying to introduce just enough process in terms of how we define the work to be done, communicate the status of it, all of that fun stuff. We started with Trello. And we just had a board with some columns, and then we had more columns, and then we got rid of a few of them. And then we recently added a Power-Up to the Trello board, which allows for epics. So there are cards which are epics which tie to sub cards. And I'm staring at it, and I'm like, how long until we're Jira? How long can I hold out here and not be Jira? But it does feel like we're slowly iterating towards a more useful process for this team rather than process for process' sake, which I feel like is a really useful distinction. There's also a question of like, what can be known or what can be adequately measured and whatnot versus what can't be? So we've talked many a time on the show about estimation and velocity and trying to track that and the pitfalls inherent with that. And so there's, in my mind, two different camps. There's the process we want to avoid. And again, to reference German Velasco's wonderful blog post, Say No To More Process. And I really feel like there is a tendency often when things go wrong to then try and paper over that with process. Oh, this team didn't use the design system. So we need to write ESLint rules to make sure you can't import from the directories that aren't the thing. And it's like, we can do that, and I've definitely done that. And I will do that again in the future. But I always have the lens of do we need this? Is it worth the trade-off, the cost, the overhead, the complexity that it's bringing in? But definitely, organizing and communicating tasks is one of the ones that becomes really difficult. The more people that are working on something, the more you need probably more than one person staying out in front of them and trying to define the next bit of work that needs to be done after that. Code review feels like it probably should stay similar, with the exception that I lose the ability to review all code at some point. Right now, I'm trying to review every single PR that goes through or close to it. At some point, I'm just going to have to give up on that. But for now, that's my goal. But fundamentally, code review, I think, will hopefully take the same shape. Deployment, similarly, like, I've talked about the merge queue thing. I want to get a little bit of process in there but not too much. There is definitely some necessity for change. But I definitely want to resist the urge to change everything and to just say, like, slowly over time; we're going to have to be a big Byzantine organization with lots of rules and standard operating procedures and all of that. I've heard anecdotally, and I don't know if this is true, so maybe someone out there on the internet can correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that at Google, they're pretty tight in terms of what languages and frameworks can be used and what processes, and workflows, and build tools and all of that whereas Facebook, as a counterpoint, is relatively lax. Obviously, React is used very heavily on the core web application. But there's some flexibility in terms of different languages and frameworks and things for sub-projects or small individual teams having a little bit more autonomy. And I think that's a really interesting thing of are you one large, cohesive, organized company or do you try to act like a bunch of small disparate but roughly connected teams that share good ideas but can work independently? And that changes how I would think about this question. STEPH: I really like how you're describing the addition of process. It sounds like a just-in-time process. So as you're learning that something needs to be added, then that's when you look for answers. And then you sprinkle on a bit of process that everyone agrees that feels very helpful within also the right to review and see if that still makes sense for the team. There's one additional area where I think the lack of process really shines through in addition to the number of ways that you've mentioned is also onboarding. So if you have a very small team and you are onboarding, it's likely that...Chris, you can let me know if I'm wrong, but when someone's joining the team, there's probably a good chance that they get to pair with you at some point, or they even get welcomed by you to the team. And then, they get an overview of the product and the codebase. And there's probably this really nice session where they get to ask you questions, and then they have that onboarding session. Does that sound about right? CHRIS: Yes. But I would go so far as to say it's not just a day or a session, but it's probably a couple of days. So yes, and. STEPH: That's even better. And with some of the smaller teams that I've seen, that onboarding process is where they are pairing with that lead person on the team. And that's going well until suddenly that lead person can't pair with everybody. And nobody has really thought about how to streamline that onboarding or how to coach or teach someone else to be a really good onboarding pair. And I have strong feelings about this area because we often focus so much on hiring, but then we drop the ball when it comes to onboarding that new, wonderful colleague that we've worked so hard to recruit. And at the end of that day, someone's going to reach out to them and say, "Hey, how was your first day?" And it makes a big difference for that person's retention as to how those first couple of days ago. So I think onboarding is another really important part that when you're a smaller team, you probably don't need much process because you have more of that personable onboarding experience. But as the team grows, there needs to be more of a process to help other teammates join the team. CHRIS: It's interesting. I think I totally agree with you that over time, there is a necessity to be more intentional and to have a little bit more structure in the process. And I don't think you're saying this, but I just want to make sure we are saying the thing that I think we believe, which is that shouldn't replace the human that helps you onboard. Like, I still like the idea that everybody gets a pair for some amount of time when they start at a new company. And you're working together on a feature, or you're working together on bug fixes. You're shipping to production as soon as possible. But you're not doing that based on some guides in a wiki. You're doing that with another human that's helping you. There should also be guides, and a wiki, and documentation, and formalization as the organization grows but not in place of having another person that you get to talk to. STEPH: We're just going to send you a little yellow rubber duck and then with a little Post-It note that says, "Good luck [laughs] with your onboarding process." Definitely. I agree with everything you said. It does not replace that human element where there's someone that's helping you onboard. I just see that onboarding is one of those things that gets forgotten, or we often point someone to a README which I do think is great because then it is battle-testing our README. But then there still needs to be someone that is readily there to say, "Hey, how's it going? What are you struggling with? Can I pair with you?" There still has to be that human element that is helping guide you through the process. And I think smaller teams may forget that they actually need to assign somebody to you to make sure that you have someone that you know. Like, hey, this is who I can reach out to with all my questions. Because they're probably not going to be comfortable posting in the company channel at that point or a larger communication to say, "Hey, I'm stuck on something." CHRIS: There's one other area that comes to mind, or I guess it's more of an anecdote that I have heard, but it speaks back to GitHub's early, early days. And they were somewhat famous for being very flat in terms of the organization and very self-organized, and everybody's figuring it out, and you're working on the thing that's most important in your mind. And for a long time, this was a celebrated facet of the company and a thing that they talked about rather publicly. And then I think there was this collective recognition, and maybe they reached a tipping point where that just didn't work anymore. Or maybe it actually hadn't been working for a bit, and there was just the collective realization of that. But it was interesting to watch from the outside as GitHub added more formalization, more structure, more managers, and hierarchy, and career ladders, and things of that nature. And I think there's a way to do all of those things in a complicated, overloaded, heavy way. But I think a different version of it is...like, you were using the word coaching earlier. Having formal structures within your organization to encourage people on their career path, to help them grow, to have structure around that, I think is a really difficult thing to get right. But I think it is critical, and I think just not having it can't be the answer past a certain probably pretty small size. So that is an interesting one where I think you do need to introduce some process and formalization around how you think about the group of people and how they work together within your organization. STEPH: I agree. I think where some folks may see a lack of hierarchy; others feel a lack of support. And adding levels of management should really be focused on the outcome is that we're helping people feel supported. So even getting feedback as you're adding those different levels of management, like, hey, did we make your life better? Did we make your life worse? I think that's a great question for management to ask as they're exploring a less flat structure. CHRIS: So, Steph, I have a question for you now on a variant of this topic. In general, we seem to be fans of having a codebase. Probably a Rails app that's got a database behind it, and that's where you put the data. Everybody commits to that same repository. It's all kind of one collected thing. And often, organizations grow to a certain size, and they're like, this is untenable. We cannot have this many people working on this same codebase. So we shall do the logical thing, which is we will break it up into small pieces. And those pieces will communicate over HTTP, and it will be great because then our teams can be separate from each other and can manage their little piece of the world. What do you think about that? Is there truth there? Is it not true at all? What do you think? STEPH: All right, so your team is getting too big, and to the point that you feel like you need to split it out so then you can have small teams, and they can all work independently on different parts and services of the codebase. I don't love the idea. I'm trying to think through because I feel like there's a lot of nuance here. But I don't love the idea that that's the driving force as to why are we making the change? And that is often a question that comes to mind whenever we are making a big change, either architecture or process-related is like, what's driving this? And then how are we going to measure it? And if we are driving it just because we have a large team, let's talk more. Why are people blocked? Why can't people work together? What's preventing people from being able to contribute to the same codebase? Are people blocked for a long time because they're having to wait on someone else to complete that work? I have a lot of questions that I don't know if I can fully answer your question. But my instinct is to say let's not break up the architecture just because our team grew in size. CHRIS: Yeah, I think I definitely agree with that. There's probably a breaking point where it's just too many individuals, and there'll be too much contention. But I think resisting that or at least naming that as like, okay, that's what we're saying but is that really what's true? Or are we actually feeling that this system is so deeply coupled that there's no way to change some small piece of the code without impacting other parts of it? Like, is the CSS completely untenable because we're just using global class names, and it's leaking everywhere? Okay, do we need a different solution there? And then it's actually fine. We don't need to have different services that have their own different style sheets. We just need a different approach to CSS. That's a particularly easy one to go for because there's inherently a global namespace there. But the same thing is true in a lot of different contexts. So services are a way to break things apart and enforce those boundaries. But if inherently coupling is your problem, then you're just going to be coupled over HTTP, and I think it's going to be difficult. There's a wonderful blog post by Josh Clayton, which I think does a better job than I'm doing in this moment of highlighting some of the questions I would want to ask. The blog post is titled Services are Not a Silver Bullet. And so Josh goes through and enumerates a bunch of the different versions of the story that he's heard throughout the years of well, we need to go to services because x, because our test suite is slow because pull requests are constantly having merge conflicts and whatnot, because the code is very deeply coupled and any change here affects everything else. And a fix over here broke something over there. This is no good. And so he does a really good job of presenting alternatives or at least questions that you can ask to say, like, is this the problem, or is this a symptom? And we need to address the more underlying cause. And so I think there is a point where you just can't have 1,000 people trying to commit to the same Rails codebase. That feels like it's maybe too big. But it takes a while to get to 1,000 people. And there will be times where extracting a service makes sense or integrating with an external service that exists. Like, I've talked about Stripe before as my canonical like, yeah, it's actually deeply intertwined with the data model, but they're just dealing with such a distinct complexity set over there. And they have such expertise on that that I'm happy to accept the overhead of the fact that that service lives outside of my core application, and I need to deal with synchronizing state and all of that. I will take on that complexity, but it's not worth it for everything, and it's not a silver bullet. Again, to reference the name of Josh's blog post there, Services are Not a Silver Bullet. And so, coming back to Edward's original question, I would say that having a monolithic codebase works for a really long time, but there is probably a breaking point somewhere well along, but fight it for as long as you can. I think. STEPH: I really like how you touched on coupling because it really helps ask those questions to get to the heart of what are the pain points that you are feeling? And it is less of a decision that is based on people and process but more if you're going to split out a portion of your architecture. It is in response to an actual business need and a business value versus some other pain points that you're trying to fix. A particular example might be like maybe you have a portion of your application that really just needs to spend a lot of time crunching data. And it's really not as specific to your application; it's something that can happen on its own. And then it's beneficial to move that outside so it can scale and relate it to the work that it needs to perform versus keeping it in-house with the application. I do want to circle back to another question that Edward included which is what's a process that is resilient at all sizes? And the ones that really come to mind for me...and these are a bit amorphous intentionally because it will look different for each company. But three areas that are very resilient at all sizes, whether you are 1 to 2 employees versus you've got hundreds or thousands it's communication, testing, and accountability. So communication, where are we headed, and how do we know what we're working on? For testing, it's how do we test our changes? Do we write tests? Do we use QA? Do we have a staging environment? What does that look like? What's our parity between staging and production? And then how do we know what's in progress, and how do we know when it's done? Those are three core areas that, regardless of your team size,,I think are very crucial to the team success. What do you think? What are some of the processes that are resilient at all sizes? CHRIS: I actually really like the list that you just provided. That is a wonderful trifecta, and I think it will take you very far, so probably not much to add from me. But I guess on that note, should we wrap up? STEPH: Let's wrap up. CHRIS: The show notes for this episode can be found at bikeshed.fm. STEPH: This show is produced and edited by Mandy Moore. CHRIS: If you enjoyed listening, one really easy way to support the show is to leave us a quick rating or even a review in iTunes, as it really helps other folks find the show. STEPH: If you have any feedback for this or any of our other episodes, you can reach us at @_bikeshed or reach me on Twitter @SViccari. CHRIS: And I'm @christoomey STEPH: Or you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org via email. CHRIS: Thanks so much for listening to The Bike Shed, and we'll see you next week. All: Byeeeeeeeeeee! Announcer: This podcast was brought to you by thoughtbot. thoughtbot is your expert design and development partner. Let's make your product and team a success.
Last week a journalist in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on a vulnerability they discovered in the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website that exposed the social security numbers of individual educators. The social security numbers were being exposed in the public facing HTML of the site, making them easily accessible to anyone with a web browser. The journalist disclosed the vulnerability to the state government before publishing the story so it could be fixed. However, the Missouri governor claimed that the journalist had hacked the government and announced that the journalist would be investigated by state police. In this episode we discuss the incident, explain why it was far from hacking, and talk about how it's another example of technologically illiterate leadership. We then broaden the case to include leaders at all levels of government and propose a solution. Show Notes Missouri teachers' Social Security numbers at risk on state agency's website via St. Louis Post-Dispatch Episode 6: How does the Web work? Episode 44: Google v. Oracle Episode 59: What is HTML and CSS? Episode 17: What is Encryption? Follow us on Twitter @KopecExplains. Theme “Place on Fire” Copyright 2019 Creo, CC BY 4.0 Find out more at http://kopec.live
In this episode, Vice Chair of Financial Services at KPMG UK, and former parliamentarian, Dr. Kay Swinburne and CSS's Chief Product Officer Ronan Brennan discuss the latest on ESG, Level 2 SFDR and what investment managers need to be thinking about to prepare for 2022 implementation.
On this week's episode, Jeremy and Dominic discuss the latest news and topics in the world of Minnesota Soccer! St. Croix SC joins USL2 Big week for the Loons Struggle Bus of the Week: Bally Sports North Gophers fighting for B1G Tournament seeding Spotlights: SCSU Men and Women's Soccer UWS and CSS begin non-conference rivalry Ike Opara returns to Twitter Top 4 memorable sports wins as a fan Also, the guys chat with 2021 NPSL Golden Boot Winner for Duluth FC, and current in-form striker for MercyHurst University, Sidney Warden recapping his memorable summer campaign and discussing what's next. ___________________________ SPONSORS Check out StimulusAthletic.com to see how you can outfit your club with quality game gear and apparel at affordable prices with Stimulus Athletic!
This week, we talk about our processes for reviewing UI and making sure that things are shipping as close to spec as possible. In The Sidebar, we recap Apple's Unleashed event, sharing our favorite moments and spicy takes.Golden Ratio Supporters:Sympli builds design version control and developer handoff tools to help teams collaborate on screen designs. Check out their design-to-development plugins for all major design tools, including a version control app for Sketch, Sympli.io.Play is the first native iOS design tool made for teams creating mobile products. Design, prototype, and collaborate, directly from your phone. With Play you can experience your design as you create it while taking full advantage of native iOS features not found in other design and prototyping tools. Play is currently looking for talented iOS Engineers to join their team — apply here!Plume empowers a billion smart devices in homes and small businesses through a suite of adaptive WiFi, AI security, and parental control. They're hiring product designers to build the future of smart home services. They're hiring product designers with 2-5 years of experience shipping products — learn more at designdetails.fm/plume. Oh, and they just raised a $270m series E, so now's the time!Latest VIP Patrons:Daniel Di GiandomenicoKlaus ChoAbhisek MishraKarina KassimanovaMackenzie NasonRaphael Essoo-SnowdonNikol ChenThe Sidebar:The Sidebar is an exclusive weekly segment for our Patreon supporters. You can subscribe starting at $1 per month for access to bonus content going forward! Sign up at patreon.com/designdetails.Main Topic:This week, we talk about our processes for reviewing UI and making sure that things are shipping as close to spec as possible.Priscilla Then asks on GitHub:For the last year, my work has gotten the QA people to do UI reviews, which has been difficult, because they don't have the visual and technical training. They also don't know CSS to be able to make specifications, nor are they able to update the design system.They very often miss things that I have to create a ticket to be fixed later, and spend so much time in communication when asking me to check their work, that I might as well have reviewed it myself, and the time they spent trying to figure out an issue, could've been better used at doing what they're good at.Unfortunately, I'm the only designer (out of a team of 20+ devs and several QA people), so they want me to focus on designing at a higher level (wireframes, mocks, etc.), not checking for minor details. I also haven't worked at a bigger company that has more than 1 designer, so am wondering how does it work at other companies? Any shared processes / experiences would be greatly appreciated.Cool Things:Brian shared Succession, a well-made show about terrible people.Marshall shared Twelve Minutes, an interactive thriller-puzzle game about a man trapped in a time loop.Design Details on the Web:
Lynn Fisher is my guest this week! You might know her as @lynnandtonic on CodePen and most other platforms. We get to talk about her A Single Div project and all the CSS magic that goes into those, other creative projects and why those are so satisfying, a recent transition over to Netlify, and the […]
In this Hasty Treat, Scott and Wes talk about all things color in CSS, both current and coming soon! Sentry - Sponsor If you want to know what's happening with your code, track errors and monitor performance with Sentry. Sentry's Application Monitoring platform helps developers see performance issues, fix errors faster, and optimize their code health. Cut your time on error resolution from hours to minutes. It works with any language and integrates with dozens of other services. Syntax listeners new to Sentry can get two months for free by visiting Sentry.io and using the coupon code TASTYTREAT during sign up. Sanity - Sponsor Sanity.io is a real-time headless CMS with a fully customizable Content Studio built in React. Get a Sanity powered site up and running in minutes at sanity.io/create. Get an awesome supercharged free developer plan on sanity.io/syntax. Show Notes 04:39 - color-contrast() Part of CSS5! Maybe. The color-contrast() functional notation takes a color value and compares it to a list of other color values, selecting the one with the highest contrast from the list. 06:01 - Accent color https://davidwalsh.name/css-accent-color 07:34 - currentcolor https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/color_value#currentcolor_keyword 08:54 - Profiled color values - color() https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/color_value/color() 11:00 - color-mix() https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/color_value/color-mix() The color-mix() functional notation takes two color values and returns the result of mixing them in a given colorspace by a given amount. Would be handy for programmatically generating colors - 10% more blue for a border? Sure! 14:18 - Space-separated functional color notations rgba(255 255 255 0) instead of rgba(255,255,255,0.5) 15:28 - RGB and HSL with Alpha rgb() and hsl() can take alpha and percent values - rgb(0 0 0 / 50%) or rgb(0 0 0 / 0.5) 18:22 - Hex + Alpha values RRGGBBAA How do you remember?!?! Transparent 21:49 - lch(), lab(), hwb() notation CIELAB color space aka Lab is a color space. A color space is an organization of colors in coordination color profiling supported by various physical devices, it supports reproducible representations of color Lab is intended as perceptually uniform Perceptually uniform - a perceptual uniform color space ensures that the difference between two colors (as perceived by the human eye) is proportional to the Euclidian distance within the given color space. https://lea.verou.me/2020/04/lch-colors-in-css-what-why-and-how/ Links https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/CSS/color_value https://twitter.com/argyleink Tweet us your tasty treats! Scott's Instagram LevelUpTutorials Instagram Wes' Instagram Wes' Twitter Wes' Facebook Scott's Twitter Make sure to include @SyntaxFM in your tweets