Finanzas al Día se trata de dos Coaches Financieros con estilos distintos que hablan de temas que giran en torno al dinero. Creemos que si tú sabes tomar decisiones financieras podrás triunfar en tu vida. Vamos a tener un episodio nuevo todos los jueves. Si te agrada el contenido te pido nos des un comentario de apoyo. Estás buscando asistencia personal en el tema de las finanzas…
We are thrilled to announce the third session of our new Incubator Program. If you have a business idea that involves a web or mobile app, we encourage you to apply to our eight-week program. We'll help you validate your market opportunity, experiment with messaging and product ideas, and move forward with confidence toward an MVP. Learn more and apply at tbot.io/incubator. We look forward to seeing your application in our inbox! Peter Voss is the CEO and Chief Scientist of Aigo.ai, a groundbreaking alternative to conventional chatbots and generative models like ChatGPT. Aigo's chatbot is powered by Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), enabling it to think, learn, and reason much like a human being. It boasts short-term and long-term memory, setting it apart in terms of personalized service and context-awareness. Along with host Chad Pytel, Peter talks about how most chatbots and AI systems today are basic. They can answer questions but can't understand or remember the context. Aigo.ai is different because it's built to think and learn more like humans. It can adapt and get better the more you use it. He also highlights the challenges Aigo.ai faces in securing venture capital, given that its innovative approach doesn't align with current investment models heavily focused on generative or deep learning AI. Peter and Chad agree that while generative AI serves certain functions well, the quest for a system that can think, learn, and reason like a human demands a fundamentally different approach. Aigo.ai (https://aigo.ai/) Follow Aigo.ai on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/aigo-ai/) or YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCl3XKNOL5rEit0txjVA07Ew). Follow Peter Voss on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/vosspeter/). Visit his website: optimal.org/voss.html (http://optimal.org/voss.html) Follow thoughtbot on X (https://twitter.com/thoughtbot) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/150727/). Become a Sponsor (https://thoughtbot.com/sponsorship) of Giant Robots! Transcript: CHAD: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Chad Pytel. And with me today is Peter Voss, CEO and Chief Scientist at Aigo.ai. Peter, thanks so much for joining me. PETER: Yes, thank you. CHAD: So, tell us a little bit about what Aigo.ai does. You've been working in AI for a long time. And it seems like Aigo is sort of the current culmination of a lot of your 15 years of work, so... PETER: Yes, exactly. So, the quick way to describe our current product is a chatbot with a brain, and the important part is the brain. That basically, for the last 15-plus years, I've been working on the core technology for what's called AGI, Artificial General Intelligence, a system that can think, learn, reason similar to the way humans do. Now, we're not yet at human level with this technology. But it's a lot smarter and a lot more usable than traditional chatbots that don't have a brain. CHAD: I want to dig into this idea a little bit. I think, like a lot of people, I've used just traditional chatbots, particularly like ChatGPT is the latest. I've built some things on top of it. What is the brain that makes it different? Especially if you've used one, what is using Aigo going to be different? PETER: Right. I can give a concrete example of one of our customers then I can talk about the technology. So, one of our big customers is the 1-800-Flowers group of companies, which is Harry & David Popcorn Factory and several others. And wanted to provide a hyper-personalized concierge service for their customers where, you know, the system learns who you buy gifts for, for what occasions, you know, what your relationship is to them, and to basically remember who you are and what you want for each of their 20 million customers. And they tried different technologies out there, you know, all the top brands and so on, and they just couldn't get it off the ground. And the reason is because they really don't learn. And we now have 89% self-service on the things that we've implemented, which is pretty much unheard of for complex conversations. So, why can we do that? The reason is that our system has deep understanding. So, we have deep pausing, deep understanding, but more importantly, that the system remembers. It has short-term memory. It has long-term memory. And it uses that as context. So, you know, when you call back a second time, it'll remember what your previous call was, you know, what your preferences are, and so on. And it can basically use that information, the short and long-term memory, and reason about it. And that is really a step forward. Now, until ChatGPT, which is really very different technology from chatbot technology, I mean, chatbot technology, you're assuming...the kind of thing we're talking about is really augmenting call center, you know, automatic call center calls. There, you need deep integration into the customers' back-end system. You obviously need to know what the latest product availability is, what the customers' outstanding orders are, you know, all sorts of things like, you know, delivery schedules. And we probably have, like, two dozen APIs that connect our system to their various corporate databases and so on. Now, traditional chatbots obviously can do that. You hook up the APIs and do things, and it's, you know, it's a lot of work. But traditional chatbot technology really hasn't really changed much in 30 years. You basically have a categorizer; how can I help you? Basically, try to...what is the intent, intent categorizer? And then once your intent has been identified, you basically have a flowchart-type program that, you know, forces you down a flowchart. And that's what makes them so horrible because it doesn't use context. It doesn't have short-term memory. CHAD: And I just wanted to clarify the product and where you mentioned call center. So, this isn't just...or only text-based chat. This is voice. PETER: Yes. We started off with chat, and we now also have voice, so omnichannel. And the beauty of the system having the brain as well is you can jump from text messaging to a chat on the website to Apple ABC to voice, you know. So, you can basically move from one channel to another seamlessly. You know, so that's against traditional chatbot technology, which is really what everybody is still using. Now, ChatGPT, of course, the fact that it's called ChatGPT sort of makes it a bit confusing. And, I mean, it's phenomenal. The technology is absolutely phenomenal in terms of what it can do, you know, write poems and give you ideas. And the amount of information it's amazing. However, it's really not suited for commercial-grade applications because it hallucinates and it doesn't have memory. CHAD: You can give it some context, but it's basically faking it. You're providing it information every time you start to use it. PETER: Correct. The next time you connect, that memory is gone, you know [crosstalk 05:58] CHAD: Unless you build an application that saves it and then feeds it in again. PETER: Right. Then you basically run out of context we know very quickly. In fact, I just published a white paper about how we can get to human-level AI. And one of the things we did and go over in the paper is we did a benchmark our technology where we fed the system about 300 or 400 facts, simple facts. You know, it might be my sister likes chocolate or, you know, it could be other things like I don't park my car in the garage or [chuckles], you know. It could be just simple facts, a few hundred of those. And then we asked questions about that. Now, ChatGPT scored less than 1% on that because, you know, with an 8K window, it basically just couldn't remember any of this stuff. So, we use -- CHAD: It also doesn't, in my experience...it's basically answering the way it thinks the answer should sound or look. And so, it doesn't actually understand the facts that you give it. PETER: Exactly. CHAD: And so, if you feed it a bunch of things which are similar, it gets really confused because it doesn't actually understand the things. It might answer correctly, but it will, in my experience, just as likely answer incorrectly. PETER: Yeah. So, it's extremely powerful technology for helping search as well if a company has all the documents and they...but the human always has to be in the loop. It just makes way too many mistakes. But it's very useful if it gives you information 8 out of 10 times and saves you a lot of time. And it's relatively easy to detect the other two times where it gives you wrong information. Now, I know in programming, sometimes, it's given me wrong information and ended up taking longer to debug the misinformation it gave me than it would have taken me. But overall, it's still a very, very powerful tool. But it really isn't suitable for, you know, serious chatbot applications that are integrated into back-end system because these need to be signed off by...legal department needs to be happy that it's not going to get the company into trouble. Marketing department needs to sign off on it and customer experience, you know. And a generative system like that, you really can't rely on what it's going to say, and that's apart from security concerns and, you know, the lack of memory and deep understanding. CHAD: Yeah. So, you mentioned generative AI, which is sort of one of the underlying pieces of ChatGPT. In your solutions, are you using any generative solutions? PETER: No, not at all. Well, I can give one example. You know, what 1-800-Flowers do is they have an option to write a poem for your mother's birthday or Mother's Day or something like it. And for that, we will use ChatGPT, or they use ChatGPT for that because that's what it's good at. But, you know, that's really just any other app that you might call up to do something for you, you know, like calling up FedEx to find out where your goods are. Apart from that, our technology...it's a good question you ask because, you know, statistical systems and generative AI now have really dominated the AI scene for the last about 12 years, really sort of since DeepMind started. Because it's been incredibly successful to take masses amounts of data and masses amounts of computing power and, you know, number crunch them and then be able to categorize and identify images and, you know, do all sorts of magical things. But, the approach we use is cognitive AI as opposed to generative. It's a relatively unknown approach, but that's what we've been working on for 15 years. And it starts with the question of what does intelligence require to build a system so that it doesn't use masses amounts of data? It's not the quantity of data that counts. It's the quality of data. And it's important that it can learn incrementally as you go along like humans do and that it can validate what it learns. It can reason about, you know, new information. Does this make sense? Do I need to ask a follow-up question? You know, that kind of thing. So, it's cognitive AI. That's the approach we're using. CHAD: And, obviously, you have a product, and you've productized it. But you said, you know, we've been working on this, or you've been working on this model for a long time. How has it progressed? PETER: Yes, we are now on, depending on how you count, but on the third major version of it that we've started. And really, the progress has been determined by resources really than any technology. You know, it's not that we sort of have a big R&D requirement. It's really more development. But we are a relatively small company. And because we're using such different technology, it's actually been pretty hard to raise VC money. You know, they look at it and, you know, ask you, "What's your training data? How big is your model?" You know, and that kind of thing. CHAD: Oh, so the questions investors or people know to ask aren't relevant. PETER: Correct. And, you know, they bring in the AI experts, and then they say, "Well, what kind of deep learning, machine learning, or generative, or what transformer model are using?" And we say, "Well, we don't." And typically, that's kind of, "Oh okay, well, then it can't possibly work, you know, we don't understand it." So, we just recently launched. You know, with all the excitement of generative AI now recently, with so much money flowing into it, we actually launched a major development effort. Now we want to hire an additional a hundred people to basically crank up the IQ. So, over the years, you know, we're working on two aspects of it: one is to continually crank up the IQ of the system, that it can understand more and more complex situations; it can reason better and be able to handle bigger amounts of data. So, that's sort of the technical part that we've been working on. But then the other side, of course, running a business, a lot of our effort over the last 15 years has gone into making it industrial strength, you know, security, scalability, robustness of the system. Our current technology, our first version, was actually a SaaS model that we deployed behind a customer's firewall. CHAD: Yeah, I noticed that you're targeting more enterprise deployments. PETER: Yeah, that's at the moment because, financially, it makes more sense for us to kind of get off the ground to work with, you know, larger companies where we supply the technology, and it's deployed usually in the cloud but in their own cloud behind their firewall. So, they're very happy with that. You know, they have complete control over their data and reliability, and so on. But we provide the technology and then just licensing it. CHAD: Now, a lot of people are familiar with generative AI, you know, it runs on GPUs and that kind of thing. Does the hardware profile for where you're hosting it look the same as that, or is it different? PETER: No, no, no, it requires much less horsepower. So, I mean, we can run an agent on a five-year-old laptop, you know, and it doesn't...instead of it costing $100 million to train the model, it's like pennies [laughter] to train the model. I mean, we train it during our regression testing, and that we train it several times a day. Mid-Roll Ad: When starting a new project, we understand that you want to make the right choices in technology, features, and investment but that you don't have all year to do extended research. In just a few weeks, thoughtbot's Discovery Sprints deliver a user-centered product journey, a clickable prototype or Proof of Concept, and key market insights from focused user research. We'll help you to identify the primary user flow, decide which framework should be used to bring it to life, and set a firm estimate on future development efforts. Maximize impact and minimize risk with a validated roadmap for your new product. Get started at: tbot.io/sprint. CHAD: So, you mentioned ramping up the IQ is a goal of yours. With a cognitive model, does that mean just teaching it more things? What does it entail? PETER: Yes, there's a little bit of tension between commercial requirements and what you ultimately want for intelligence because a truly intelligent system, you want it to be very autonomous and adaptive and have a wide range of knowledge. Now, for current commercial applications we're doing, you actually don't want the system to learn things by itself or to make up stuff, you know, you want it to be predictable. So, they develop and to ultimately get to full human-level or AGI capability requires a system to be more adaptive–be able to learn things more. So, the one big change we are making to the system right now is natural language understanding or English understanding. And our current commercial version was actually developed through our—we call them AI psychologists, our linguists, and cognitive psychologists—by basically teaching it the rules of English grammar. And we've always known that that's suboptimal. So, with the current version, we are now actually teaching it English from the ground up the way a child might learn a language, so the language itself. So, it can learn any language. So, for commercial applications, that wasn't really a need. But to ultimately get to human level, it needs to be more adaptive, more autonomous, and have a wider range of knowledge than the commercial version. That's basically where our focus is. And, you know, we know what needs to be done, but, you know, it's quite a bit of work. That's why we need to hire about 100 people to deal with all of the different training things. It's largely training the system, you know, but there are also some architectural improvements we need to make on performance and the way the system reasons. CHAD: Well, you used the term Artificial General Intelligence. I understand you're one of the people who coined that term [chuckles] or the person. PETER: Yes. In 2002, I got together with two other people who felt that the time was ripe to get back to the original dream of AI, you know, from 60 years ago, to build thinking machines basically. So, we decided to write a book on the topic to put our ideas out there. And we were looking for a title for the book, and three of us—myself, Ben Goertzel, and Shane Legg, who's actually one of the founders of DeepMind; he was working for me at the time. And we were brainstorming it, and that's what we came up with was AGI, Artificial General Intelligence. CHAD: So, for people who aren't familiar, it's what you were sort of alluding to. You're basically trying to replicate the human brain, the way humans learn, right? That's the basic idea is -- PETER: Yeah, the human cognition really, yeah, human mind, human cognition. That's exactly right. I mean, we want an AI that can think, learn, and reason the way humans do, you know, that it can hit the box and learn a new topic, you know, you can have any kind of conversation. And we really believe we have the technology to do that. We've built quite a number of different prototypes that already show this kind of capability where it can, you know, read Wikipedia, integrate that with existing knowledge, and then have a conversation about it. And if it's not sure about something, it'll ask for clarification and things like that. We really just need to scale it up. And, of course, it's a huge deal for us to eventually get to human-level AI. CHAD: Yeah. How much sort of studying of the brain or cognition do you do in your work, where, you know, sort of going back and saying, "Okay, we want to tackle this thing"? Do you do research into cognition? PETER: Yeah, that's a very interesting question. It really gets to the heart of why I think we haven't made more progress in developing AGI. In fact, another white paper I published recently is "Why Don't We Have AGI Yet?" And, you know, one of the big problems is that statistical AI has been so incredibly successful over the last decade or so that it sucked all of the oxygen out of the air. But to your question, before I started on this project, I actually took off five years to study intelligence because, to me, that's really what cognitive AI approach is all about is you start off by saying, what is intelligence? What does it require? And I studied it from the perspective of philosophy, epistemology, theory of knowledge. You know, what's reality? How do we know anything? CHAD: [laughs] PETER: How can we be sure? You know, really those most fundamental questions. Then how do children learn? What do IQ tests measure? How does our intelligence differ to animal intelligence? What is that magic difference between, you know, evolution? Suddenly, we have this high-level cognition. And the short answer of that is being able to form abstract concepts or concept formation is sort of key, and to have metacognition, to be able to think about your own thinking. So, those are kind of the things I discovered during the five years of study. Obviously, I also looked at what had already been done in the field of AI, as in good old-fashioned AI, and neural networks, and so on. So, this is what brought me together. So, absolutely, as a starting point to say, what is intelligence? Or what are the aspects of intelligence that are really important and core? Now, as far as studying the brain is concerned, I certainly looked at that, but I pretty quickly decided that that wasn't that relevant. It's, you know, you certainly get some ideas. I mean, neural networks, ours is kind of a neural network or knowledge graph, so there's some similarity with that. But the analogy one often gives, which I think is not bad, is, you know, we've had flying machines for 100 years. We are still nowhere near reverse engineering a bird. CHAD: Right. PETER: So, you know, evolution and biology are just very different from designing things and using the materials that we need to use in computers. So, definitely, understanding intelligence, I think, is key to being able to build it. CHAD: Well, in some ways, that is part of the reason why statistical AI has gotten so much attention with that sort of airplane analogy because it's like, maybe we need to not try to replicate human cognition [chuckles]. Maybe we need to just embrace what computers are good at and try to find a different way. PETER: Right, right. But that argument really falls down when you say you are ignoring intelligence, you know, or you're ignoring the kind of intelligence. And we can see how ridiculous the sort of the current...well, I mean, first of all, let me say Sam Altman, and everybody says...well, they say two things: one, we have no idea how these things work, which is not a good thing if you're [chuckles] trying to build something and improve it. And the second thing they say...Demis Hassabis and, you know, everybody says it, "This is not going to get us to human-level AI, to human-level intelligence." They realize that this is the wrong approach. But they also haven't come up with what the right approach is because they are stuck within the statistical big data approach, you know, we need another 100 billion dollars to build even bigger computers with bigger models, you know, but that's really -- CHAD: Right. It might be creating a tool, which has some uses, but it is not actual; I mean, it's not really even actual artificial intelligence -- PETER: Correct. And, I mean, you can sort of see this very easily if...imagine you hired a personal assistant for yourself, a human. And, you know, they come to you, and they know how to use Excel and do QuickBooks or whatever, and a lot of things, so great. They start working with you. But, you know, every now and again, they say something that's completely wrong with full confidence, so that's a problem. Then the second thing is you tell them, "Well, we've just introduced a new product. We shut down this branch here. And, you know, I've got a new partner in the business and a new board member." And the next day, they come in, and they remember nothing of that, you know, [chuckles] that's not very intelligent. CHAD: Right. No, no, it's not. It's possible that there's a way for these two things to use each other, like generating intelligent-sounding, understanding what someone is saying and finding like things to it, and being able to generate meaningful, intelligent language might be useful in a cognitive model. PETER: We obviously thought long and hard about this, especially when, you know, generative AI became so powerful. I mean, it does some amazing things. So, can we combine the technology? And the answer is quite simply no. As I mentioned earlier, we can use generative AI kind of as an API or as a tool or something. You know, so if our system needs to write a poem or something, then yes, you know, these systems can do a good job of it. But the reason you can't really just combine them and kind of build a Frankensteinian kind of [laughs] thing is you really need to have context that you currently have fully integrated. So you can't have two brains, you know, the one brain, which is a read-only brain, and then our brain, our cognitive brain, which basically constantly adapts and uses the context of what it's heard using short-term memory, long-term memory, reasoning, and so on. So, all of those mental mechanisms of deep understanding of context, short-term and long-term memory, reasoning, language generation–they all have to be tightly integrated and work together. And that's basically the approach that we have. Now, like a human to...if you write, you know, "Generate an essay," and you want to have it come up with maybe some ideas, changing the style, for example, you know, it would make sense for our system to use a generative AI system like a tool because humans are good tool users. You know, I wouldn't expect our system to be the world chess champion or Go champion. It can use a chess-playing AI or a Go-playing AI to do that job. CHAD: That's really cool. You mentioned the short-term, long-term memory. If I am using or working on a deployment for Aigo, is that something that I specify, like, oh, this thing where we've collected goes in short term versus long term, or does the system actually do that automatically? PETER: That's the beauty of the system that: it automatically has short and long-term memory. So, really, the only thing that needs to be sort of externally specified is things you don't want to keep in long-term memory, you know, that for some reason, security reasons, or a company gives you a password or whatever. So, then, they need to be tagged. So, we have, like, an ontology that describes all of the different kinds of knowledge that you have. And in the ontology, you can tag certain branches of the ontology or certain nodes in the ontology to say, this should not be remembered, or this should be encrypted or, you know, whatever. But by default, everything that comes into short-term memory is remembered. So, you know, a computer can have photographic memory. CHAD: You know, that is part of why...someone critical of what they've heard might say, "Well, you're just replicating a human brain. How is this going to be better?" And I think that that's where you're just...what you said, like, when we do artificial general intelligence with computers, they all have photographic memory. PETER: Right. Well, in my presentations, when I give talks on this, I have the one slide that actually talks about how AI is superior to humans in as far as getting work done in cognition, and there's actually quite a number of things. So, let me first kind of give one example here. So, imagine you train up one AI to be a PhD-level cancer researcher, you know, it goes through whatever training, and reading, and coaching, and so on. So, you now have this PhD-level cancer researcher. You now make a million copies of that, and you have a million PhD-level cancer researchers chipping away at the problem. Now, I'm sure we would make a lot more progress, and you can now replicate that idea, that same thinking, you know, in energy, pollution, poverty, whatever, I mean, any disease, that kind of approach. So, I mean, that already is one major difference that you make copies of an AI, which you can't of humans. But there are other things. First of all, they are significantly less expensive than humans. Humans are very expensive. So much lower cost. They work 24/7 without breaks, without getting tired. I don't know the best human on how many hours they can concentrate without needing a break, maybe a few hours a day, or six, maybe four hours a day. So, 24/7. Then, they can communicate with each other much better than humans do because they could share information sort of by transferring blocks of data across from one to the other without the ego getting in the way. I mean, you take humans, not very good at sharing information and discoveries. Then they don't have certain distractions that we have like romantic things and kids in schools and, you know. CHAD: Although if you actually do get a full [laughs] AGI, then it might start to have those things [laughs]. PETER: Well, yeah, that's a whole nother topic. But our AIs, we basically build them not to want to have children [laughs] so, you know. And then, of course, things we spoke about, photographic memory. It has instantaneous access to all the information in the world, all the databases, you know, much better than we have, like, if we had a direct connection to the internet and brain, you know, but at a much higher bandwidth than we could ever achieve with our wetware. And then, lastly, they are much better at reasoning than humans are. I mean, our ability to reason is what I call an evolutionary afterthought. We are not actually that good at logical thinking, and AIs can be, you know. CHAD: We like to think we are, though. PETER: [chuckles] Well, you know, compared to animals, yes, definitely. We are significantly better. But realistically, humans are not that good at rational, logical thinking. CHAD: You know, I read something that a lot of decisions are made at a different level than the logical part. And then, the logical part justifies the decision. PETER: Yeah, absolutely. And, in fact, this is why smart people are actually worse at that because they're really good at rationalizations. You know, they can rationalize their weird beliefs and/or their weird behavior or something. That's true. CHAD: You mentioned that your primary customers are enterprises. Who makes up your ideal customer? And if someone was listening who matched that profile and wanted to get in touch with you, what would they look like? PETER: The simplest and most obvious way is if they have call centers of 100 people or more—hundreds, or thousands, tens of thousands even. But the economics from about 100 people in the call center, where we might be able to save them 50% of that, you know, depending on the kind of business. CHAD: And are your solutions typically employed before the actual people, and then they fall back to people in certain circumstances? PETER: Correct. That's exactly right. And, you know, the advantage there is, whatever Aigo already gathers, we then summarize it and pop that to the human operator so that, you know, that the customer -- CHAD: That's great because that's super annoying. PETER: It is. CHAD: [laughs] PETER: It is super annoying and -- CHAD: When you finally get to a person, and it's like, I just spent five minutes providing all this information that you apparently don't have. PETER: Right. Yeah, no, absolutely, that's kind of one of the key things that the AI has that information. It can summarize it and provide it to the live operator. So that would be, you know, the sort of the most obvious use case. But we also have use cases on the go with student assistant, for example, where it's sort of more on an individual basis. You know, imagine your kid just starts at university. It's just overwhelming. It can have a personal personal assistant, you know, that knows all about you in particular. But then also knows about the university, knows its way around, where you get your books, your meals, and, you know, different societies and curriculum and so on. Or diabetes coach, you know, where it can help people with diabetes manage their meals and activities, where it can learn whether you love broccoli, or you're vegetarian, or whatever, and help guide you through that. Internal help desks are another application, of course. CHAD: Yeah. I was going to say even the same thing as at a university when people join a big company, you know, there's an onboarding process. PETER: Exactly. Yeah. CHAD: And there could be things that you're not aware of or don't know where to find. PETER: Internal HR and IT, absolutely, as you say, on onboarding. Those are other applications where our technology is well-suited. And one other category is what we call a co-pilot. So, think of it as Clippy on steroids, you know, where basically you have complex software like, you know, SAP, or Salesforce, or something like that. And you can basically just have Aigo as a front end to it, and you can just talk to it. And it will know where to navigate, what to get, and basically do things, complex things in the software. And software vendors like that idea because people utilize more features of the software than they would otherwise, you know. It can accelerate your learning curve and make it much easier to use the product. So, you know, really, the technology that we have is industry and application-agnostic to a large extent. We're just currently not yet at human level. CHAD: Right. I hope you get there eventually. It'll be certainly exciting when you do. PETER: Yes. Well, we do expect to get there. We just, you know, as I said, we've just launched a project now to raise the additional money we need to hire the people that we need. And we actually believe we are only a few years away from full human-level intelligence or AGI. CHAD: Wow, that's exciting. So, if the solution that you currently have and people want to go along for the journey with you, how can they get in touch with Aigo? PETER: They could contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm also active on Twitter, LinkedIn. CHAD: Cool. We'll include all of those links in the show notes, which people can find at giantrobots.fm. If you have questions for me, email me at email@example.com. Find me on Mastodon @firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find a complete transcript for this episode as well at giantrobots.fm. Peter, thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate it and all of the wisdom that you've shared with us today. PETER: Well, thank you. They were good questions. Thank you. CHAD: This podcast is brought to you by thoughtbot and produced and edited by Mandy Moore. Thanks for listening, and see you next time. ANNOUNCER: This podcast is brought to you by thoughtbot, your expert strategy, design, development, and product management partner. We bring digital products from idea to success and teach you how because we care. Learn more at thoughtbot.com. Special Guest: Peter Voss.
Chris Long is the VP of Marketing for the Go Fish Digital team. He works with unique problems and advanced search situations to help clients improve organic traffic through a deep understanding of Google's algorithm and web technology. In This Conversation We Discuss: (50 Characters)[00:45] Intro[01:07] ChatGPT for SEO[02:28] ChatGPT for more technical things[03:07] Utilizing ChatGPT for auditing[04:26] Setting up a Shopify site with the help of ChatGPT[06:00] Figuring out your category page strategy[07:16] Generating feedback from ChatGPT for page setup[08:08] ChatGPT for product reviews[08:55] Using ChatGPT to import third-party data[09:36] Prompting ChatGPT to create a visualization[10:47] Using ChatGPT for CRO and SEO[11:29] Embracing AI as marketers [12:51] ChatGPT as a baseline for every marketer's output[13:12] Marketers on ChatGPT as part of SEO workflow[13:56] ChatGPT vs a strong technical SEO[14:55] Weak mathematical functionality of ChatGPT[15:26] Verifying ChatGPT's content accuracy & sensitivity[16:00] Checking information quality for health & finance [16:34] Drawbacks of taking ChatGPT at face value[17:46] Technical skills made accessible by ChatGPT[19:01] AI tools help create new custom solutions[19:32] How to reach out to Go Fish Digital Resources:Subscribe to Honest Ecommerce on YoutubeMost-awarded, data-first digital agency in the United States by the Global Search Awards gofishdigital.com/Follow Chris Long on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/chris-long-marketing/Follow Chris Long on Twitter twitter.com/gofishchrisIf you're enjoying the show, we'd love it if you left Honest Ecommerce a review on Apple Podcasts. It makes a huge impact on the success of the podcast, and we love reading every one of your reviews!
Blake and David discuss the potential for AI to replace CEOs of CPA firms. They also dive into the increasing trend of remote work in accounting firms, contrasting the reservations expressed by some CEOs with the benefits of remote work for employees and the environment. Then, on to cryptocurrency scams and criticisms of the 150-hour rule for becoming a CPA, with listener emails sharing personal experiences and concerns about the rule.Sponsors LiveFlow - http://accountingpodcast.promo/liveflowRelay - https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/relay FreshBooks - http://accountingpodcast.promo/freshbooksChapters (00:34) - Blake is back from San Diego (03:18) - Accountant rejects partnership offer to open daycare franchise (04:57) - ChatGPT makes a YouTube video (09:58) - IRS walks back promise to stay open during government shutdown (14:19) - AICPA says IRS source thinks 95% of new ERC claims are ineligible (15:44) - AICPA Town Hall spends 4x on M&A vs pipeline issues (20:53) - IRS posts 3,700 new jobs (22:28) - Check out the Unofficial QuickBooks Accountants Podcast (23:47) - Will AI replace managing partners? (27:13) - The real reason Jamie Dimon is so against remote work (33:07) - Deloitte study demonstrates the benefits of remote work for employees (37:56) - Study reveals remote workers cut greenhouse gas emissions by 54% (39:53) - Mark Cuban lost $870k in a crypto scam (43:12) - Tether is once again lending out their stablecoins - reversing earlier promise not to (48:19) - The wild courses CPAs take to get their 150 hours (51:23) - The accounting backgrounds of Republican presidential candidates (53:57) - The IRS plans to use AI to audit large partnerships (59:01) - Paulita is inspired by the podcast to get back into accounting (01:02:57) - Final listener email and wrap-up Need CPE? Subscribe to the Earmark Accounting Podcast: https://podcast.earmarkcpe.comGet CPE for listening to podcasts with Earmark CPE: https://earmarkcpeShow NotesPeople who work from home all the time ‘cut emissions by 54%' against those in office | Greenhouse gas emissions https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/sep/18/people-who-work-from-home-all-the-time-cut-emissions-by-54-against-those-in-office IRS to hire 3,700 agents to pursue wealthy tax dodgers https://www.accountingtoday.com/articles/irs-seeks-to-hire-3-700-agents-to-pursue-wealthy-tax-dodgers California Companies Defer Billions in Taxes, Interest-Free, as Borrowing Costs Rise https://www.wsj.com/articles/california-companies-defer-billions-in-taxes-interest-free-as-borrowing-costs-rise-8aea409f Experienced Accountants Sought by IRS for New Large Corp ... https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/news/experienced-accountants-sought-by-irs-for-new-large-corp-partnership-auditor-positions/ US government shutdown: What is it and who would be affected? https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-government-shutdown-what-closes-what-stays-open-2023-09-21/ IRS to remain ‘fully operational' if Congress triggers government shutdown https://federalnewsnetwork.com/government-shutdown/2023/09/irs-to-remain-fully-operational-if-congress-triggers-government-shutdown/ IRS to ‘partially close' if government shutdown happens, reversing earlier plans, union says https://federalnewsnetwork.com/government-shutdown/2023/09/irs-to-partially-close-if-government-shutdown-happens-reversing-earlier-plans-union-says/ IRS Activities Following the Shutdown https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-activities-following-the-shutdown America's tax collectors may escape a possible government shutdown https://finance.yahoo.com/news/americas-tax-collectors-may-escape-a-possible-government-shutdown-111211477.html Representative Introduced Bill Halting Legislator Pay During Shutdownhttps://www.businessinsider.com/bill-for-halting-legislator-pay-mccarthy-shutdown-act-2023-9 JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon delivers a stern warning to remote workers - TheStreet https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/jpmorgans-jamie-dimon-delivers-a-stern-warning-to-remote-workersGet in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram! You can now call us and leave a voicemail, maybe we'll play it on the show. DIAL (202) 695-1040Need Accounting Conference Info? Check out our new website - accountingconferences.comLimited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merchSubscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Podchaser: http://cloudacctpod.link/podchaser Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CloudAccountingPodcast ClassifiedsFinDaily - https://findaily.io/ Forwardly - https://www.forwardly.com/Royalwise - https://royalwise.com/FutureFirm - https://www.futurefirmaccelerate.com/capWant to get the word out about your newsletter, webinar, party, Facebook group, podcast, e-book, job posting, or that fancy Excel macro you just created? Why not let the listeners of The Cloud Accounting Podcast know by running a classified ad? 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If you've ever felt lost in numbers or struggled to showcase the value of your marketing strategies, this episode is your lifeline.Inside this episode, you'll discover:The Visual Power of Data: Join the top 25% of marketers who can confidently say they measure their impact. I'll show you how to harness the magic of clear, compelling data visualization.Metrics That Matter: Diving deep into the AEC-specific metrics that should be on your radar. From brand awareness signals to content resonance indicators, let's get laser-focused.Unlocking the Campaign Attribution Model: Unravel the mystery of which touchpoints deserve your attention (and credit) in your client's journey.Setting the Stage with Benchmarks & Targets: I'll walk you through setting your unique benchmarks and crafting actionable targets that move the needle.Tools of the Trade: From trusty Excel to specialized software, let's get clear on the best tools to visualize and amplify your AEC marketing metrics.Plus, if you're anything like me and love a hands-on, actionable challenge, I've got one waiting for you that promises to bring clarity to your marketing strategy!Ready to dive in? Tune in now and let's elevate your AEC marketing game!
This is Zack Fuss, an investor at Irenic Capital, and today we're breaking down Boeing. Founded in Seattle in 1916 by William Boeing, the company has produced thousands of commercial and military aircraft over the past century. It is an important national and global asset and one-half of arguably the most famous duopoly in business, alongside Airbus. To break down Boeing, I'm joined by Jon Ostrower, founder and editor-in-chief of The Air Current. You can split Boeing's business into three segments: commercial, defense, and services. For this discussion, we focus mostly on Boeing's commercial business, which accounted for nearly 40% of its revenues last year. We talk about the cost and complexity of building new airplanes, how the 737 MAX disaster changed the business, and why the future of commercial planes may look radically different. Please enjoy this business breakdown of Boeing. For the full show notes, transcript, and links to the best content to learn more, check out the episode page here. ----- This episode is brought to you by Tegus. Tegus is the modern research platform for leading investors, and provider of Canalyst. Tired of calculating fully-diluted shares outstanding? Access every publicly-reported datapoint and industry-specific KPI through their database of over 4,000 driveable global models handbuilt by a team of sector-focused analysts, 35+ industry comp sheets, and Excel add-ins that let you use their industry-leading data in your own spreadsheets. Tegus' models automatically update each quarter, including hard to calculate KPIs like stock-based compensation and organic growth rates, empowering investors to bypass the friction of sourcing, building and updating models. Make efficiency your competitive advantage and take back your time today. As a listener, you can trial Canalyst by Tegus for free by visiting tegus.co/patrick. ----- Business Breakdowns is a property of Colossus, LLC. For more episodes of Business Breakdowns, visit joincolossus.com/episodes. Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week. Sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @JoinColossus | @patrick_oshag | @jspujji | @zbfuss | @ReustleMatt | @domcooke Show Notes (00:02:38) - (First question) - An introduction to the aerospace industry and Boeing's role in it (00:05:41) - Boeing's business model today (00:09:52) - How the aerospace industry settled into a duopoly (00:12:30) - Costs associated with airplane manufacturing (00:14:02) - The life expectancy of an aircraft (00:14:46) - Dealing with the supply coordination problem (00:17:39) - The Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merger (00:20:51) - Problems Boeing has faced over the past five years (00:25:44) - How leadership turnover has permeated through Boeing (00:28:03) - Competitive headwinds Boeing can face (00:33:10) - How Boeing will grow in the aerospace industry (00:37:39) - Boeing's eVTOL strategy (00:41:42) - What is impacting the profitability of the business (00:43:38) - The biggest challenge facing the aerospace industry (00:44:57) - Lessons learned from studying Boeing Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
What happened when two highly-skilled Excel leaders took on the "best of the best" in the sport? Paul Barnhurst reveals the inside story when he pitted his FP&A-based Excel wits in the The Financial Modeling World Cup (FMWC). Taking the ultimate test alongside him is fellow-first timer “Excel Ninja” Ajay Patel, who teaches thousands of subscribers advanced Excel. Giving his opnion on the two Excel jousters is Andrew Grigolyunovich, FMWC Founder and CEO of AG Capital. The trio talk Excel-at-speed, improving skills, and the functions they can't live without. Getting to know Andrew Grigolyunovich: From being a CFO at 21 to founding the Financial Modeling World Cup Ajay Patel (aka the Excel Ninja) a fifth degree black belt in Tang Soo Do talks his favorite Excel functions and his FMWC ultimate test Optimization planning and Analysis vs FP&A The inside story of Paul and Ajay's grueling FMWC experience Secrets to creating classic Excel use cases Advice for getting started in competitive Excel Best advice to improve your Excel skills Guests: Andrew Grigolyunovich, Financial Modeling World Cup: Founder & CEO of AG Capital https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewgrig/ Ajay Patel, The Excel Ninja, Founder of the Excel Dojo https://www.linkedin.com/in/theexceldojo/ FP&A Today is brought to you by Datarails,the AI-powered financial planning and analysis platform. Keep your own Excel financial models and spreadsheets and benefit from AI for data consolidation, reporting and planning.
This episode continues a discussion on how to get the most out of Microsoft 365 tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Whether you use a Mac or a PC, these tools help streamline the most common workflows in your law practice. I invited Ben Schorr to explain the ins and outs of 365 software. Ben works at Microsoft as a senior-level product manager for content, so he has major insight into how to get the most out of your Microsoft Office software. In this episode, Ben discusses the following: Exploring Microsoft 365's Mobile App Leveraging Office.com Quick Access Toolbar Email Management and Learning Resources Windows Speech Recognition and Dictation Options Show Notes If you want to level up your law practice, check out my Law Practice Assessment. (after you answer a few questions, you'll get specific recommendations for improvement in 5 key areas of your practice). Follow and Review: We'd love for you to follow us if you haven't yet. Click that purple '+' in the top right corner of your Apple Podcasts app. We'd love it even more if you could drop a review or 5-star rating over on Apple Podcasts. Simply select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” then a quick line with your favorite part of the episode. It only takes a second and it helps spread the word about the podcast. Thanks to Our Sponsors Smith.ai Smith.ai is an amazing virtual receptionist service that specializes in working with solo and small law firms. When you hire Smith.ai, you're hiring well-trained, friendly receptionists who can respond to callers in English or Spanish. If there's one great outsourcing opportunity for your practice, this is it. Let Smith.ai have your back while you stay focused on your work, knowing that your clients and prospects are being taken care of. Plans start at $210/month for 30 calls, and pricing starts at $140 for 20 chats, with overage at $7 per chat. They offer a risk-free start with a 14-day money-back guarantee on all receptionist and live chat plans, including add-ons (up to $1000). And they have a special offer for podcast listeners where you can get an extra $100 discount with promo code ERNIE100. Sign up for a risk-free start with a 14-day money-back guarantee now (and learn more) at smith.ai. Overture Law Overture Law is the first private attorney network enabling them to refer matters to one another and ethically share in referral fees. Membership is free if you're accepted. Apply for membership at Overture.law Once you're accepted, you'll start getting valuable referrals and earn fees for matters you refer out. A powerful win-win for U.S.-based solo and small firm attorneys. Episode Credits If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Emerald City Productions. They helped me grow and produce the podcast you are listening to right now. Find out more at https://emeraldcitypro.comLet them know we sent you.
Mike, Seth, & Tommy dive into an awesome mailbag question: When Microsoft added PBI desktop to O365 (Dynamic 365? Something 365) it was seen as something that will really increase adoption as more business analysts are exposed to it. But I wonder if Fabric (which as an IT professional, I'm really excited about) will have the opposite effect. Will business analysts and leaders find it too intimidating once they start to hear about data engineering, data science, pipelines, Datalakes, etc? And will IT departments pull back on it out of fear that these new tools will be used inappropriately? You've talked about it from the IT department side some, but I'm really curious what you think about overwhelming the business side. I can see a lot of "No thanks, I'll stick to Excel" thinking for those newly introduced to PBI/Fabric. Legacy business users, maybe not so much? Get in touch: Send in your questions or topics you want us to discuss by tweeting to @PowerBITips with the hashtag #empMailbag or submit on the PowerBI.tips Podcast Page. Visit PowerBI.tips: https://powerbi.tips/ Watch the episodes live every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 730am CST on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/powerbitips Subscribe on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/230fp78XmHHRXTiYICRLVv Subscribe on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/explicit-measures-podcast/id1568944083 Check Out Community Jam: https://jam.powerbi.tips Follow Mike: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelcarlo/ Follow Seth: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seth-bauer/ Follow Tommy: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tommypuglia/
Arbeit ist das halbe Leben. Was machen wir mit dieser Hälfte? Karriere oder Glück; Excel oder Emotions; deutsche Vita oder dolce Vita – geht das vielleicht alles zusammen? Sara Weber findet es heraus. Sie spricht mit inspirierenden Menschen über deren ungewöhnliche Karrieren, Geschichten und Lektionen für Arbeit und Leben. Es geht um Erfolge, Abschiede, Neuanfänge, Karriere-Knicks und echte Work-Life-Balance. Was bringt uns weiter? Und wie können wir zufrieden sein im Leben auf der Arbeit?Neue Folgen von "Work Work Work" erscheinen immer montags, überall wo es Podcasts gibt. Folge "Work Work Work" in deiner Podcast-App: Wondery.fm/KdU-Work Unsere allgemeinen Datenschutzrichtlinien finden Sie unter https://art19.com/privacy. Die Datenschutzrichtlinien für Kalifornien sind unter https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info abrufbar.
FULL SHOW NOTES https://podcast.nz365guy.com/485 Ever reflected on how video games can affect our productivity in the digital workspace? That's a thought-provoking question we tackle with our accomplished guest, Joris de Gruyter, a seasoned program manager at Microsoft. As we journey through his intriguing career path from Belgium to the US, we find out how his hobbies like gaming, skiing, and sailing, have shaped his perspective on making business applications more engaging.You'll surely get hooked as we move into the heart of our conversation – PowerApps and PowerFX. Learn first-hand from Joe about the creative alliance between the Excel and PowerApps teams that have helped in shaping Microsoft's robust Power Platform. As he breaks down the ins and outs of PowerFX, especially how its strongly typed nature offers a unique advantage when sending data to databases, you'll gain valuable insights into the realm of coding.Brace yourself for a refreshing discussion on the complexities of UX design in PowerApps, the need for a universal formula bar, and the mammoth task of balancing the needs of ProDevs and new makers. As we venture into the challenges of code reuse in PowerFX, and the importance of user-defined functions, you'll start to see the art behind the science of coding. Finally, get a glimpse into the minds of MVPs in our vibrant discussion on customer requests, recognizing low-hanging fruit, and much more. This episode is your golden ticket to dive deep into the world of PowerApps, PowerFX, and the magic of Microsoft's Power platform.AgileXRM AgileXRm - The integrated BPM for Microsoft Power PlatformSupport the showIf you want to get in touch with me, you can message me here on Linkedin.Thanks for listening
Mike NuÑez - NuÑez Vineyard Management This episode features Mike Nuñez, who owns and operates Nuñez Vineyard Management, a farm labor contractor and vineyard development specialist based in Napa Valley. Mike and I discuss the barn we made wine together in back in 2004, Mike's career path, the services that his company manages, and then an in-depth outline of how Mike plans every critical step in planning, designing, planting training, and managing a new vineyard. There's no way we could have covered every vineyard-specific detail in one podcast, but this episode could be a resource for anyone serious about the most important aspects of vineyard development. Nuñez Vineyard Management Nuñez Vineyard Management's YouTube Channel This podcast is sponsored by Innovint. Has your winery turned into a complete Excel sheet show? Say hello to InnoVint, it's winemaking software to get you off of spreadsheets and into the modern era. InnoVint was founded and built by winemakers, so they know where your pain points are. No matter the size of your winery, InnoVint provides you with instant access to your production records in the format you need to make quick, informed decisions. Basically, they take the tedious data management stuff off your plate. With a desktop and mobile platform, the insights you need are just a few clicks away (even if you're offline!). Make the right calls at the right time. InnoVint is an approachable solution focused on exactly what winemaking teams need. Automate your TTB compliance. Know the true cost of each wine. Improve your cellar workflow, and be more effective than ever before! Join the 4,500 winery professionals saving up to 30 hours per week. Schedule a call today on InnoVint.us and don't forget to mention the Inside Winemaking Podcast. Innovint has a special deal for Inside Winemaking listeners and they are offering to provide lunch when you complete a demo of their software with a team member and mention the podcast. Check out the Fundamentals of Winemaking Made Easy video course The Inside Winemaking Podcast on iTunes Now on Spotify And Amazon Music
Did you know that using AI is easier than using Excel? That's just one of the fascinating and useful insights revealed by our expert guest in this broadcast. Without a doubt, the accounts payable function will look very different in just a few short years. AI is going to make an impact. Is that good or bad? And more importantly, what does that mean for our viewers, the professionals who work in, manage and/or have responsibility for the accounts payable function. There will definitely be some challenges. Make sure you stick around until the end when my guest, Nathanael L'Heureux is going to share some of the unexpected opportunities for our community – some of which, I'm willing to bet your never really considered. #AI #AIopportunities #accountspayable Some of the topics discussed in this talk include: • What are the different types of AI? • Using AI to identify duplicates • How AI can help prevent paying the wrong vendor • How AI can help prevent using wrong measure when ordering • How AI can add another layer of protection against fraud • Different types of AI challenges • AI and change management • What are the challenges ap and accounting are likely to encounter with AI • What are the opportunities for AP and accounting with AI • Some funny AI stories • How to get the most out AI Learn more about Oversight at www.oversight.com Link to Will AP Be Obsolete in Three Years https://youtu.be/MVvD3S7Fqww Looking for more of the most current business intelligence about + Best practices around your payment and accounts payable function + Current and new fraud protection protocols + The newest technology impacting your accounting, accounts payable, and payment functions + Career advancement +And much more!! Subscribe for more tips and insights like this: https://www.youtube.com/APNow?sub_confirmation=1 +++++++++++++++++++++++ See most recent videos at: https://www.youtube.com/@APNow/videos See all short tips at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtL6rWSXZ-He5ELp9TP3wqQdHIbfIcFAB Learn more about AP Best Practices; Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtL6rWSXZ-HcvMSJTdNs0BCQJ0Ivb4l9V Learn more about Internal Controls in AP; Playlist https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtL6rWSXZ-HdV9JIterJ-bf6TwMset_z_ Looking for Automation insights: Playlist at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtL6rWSXZ-Hf_cZwQOcDZrYV4dA0oDVby Other ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Website: https://www.ap-now.com/ Linkedin AP Now: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ap-now/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Accountspayable More about Mary Schaeffer: https://www.linkedin.com/in/accountspayable Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AccPayNow
Episode: 00178 Released on September 25, 2023 Description: Akiko McClain started her career out as a victim advocate, helping crime survivors with the necessary paperwork, support during court appearances, and overall a guide and friend navigating the criminal justice and court system. Akiko then transitioned into intelligence work where she had a more hands-on approach to investigating cases and prosecuting offenders. Akiko works collaboratively with law enforcement entities, such as fusion centers, and prosecution teams, and has worked her way up to a supervisory role. Akiko is currently the Criminal Intelligence Analyst Supervisor for the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. This episode contains the segment Favorite First Jobs. Lori Velarde (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-lorie-velarde-the-geographic-profiler/) TJ Sweet (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-tj-sweet-the-data-specialist/) Dana Boss (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-dana-boss-the-go-to-analyst/) Rachel Carson (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-rachel-carson-the-math-nerd/) Mary Craige (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-mary-craige-the-marketing-expert/) CHALLENGE: There are Easter eggs in one of the tables of the Excel chapter that Jason wrote for the IACA textbook. First-person to email us at email@example.com about what the Easter eggs are will receive a $50 gift card from us. Happy hunting! Name Drops: Carola Jersonsky (00:44:14), Brittany Winslow/Sean Ramaran (00:45:08), Steve Gottlieb (00:53:21) Public Service Announcements: Shawna Gibson (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-shawna-gibson-the-what-now-analyst/) Brian Napolitano (https://www.leapodcasts.com/e/atwje-brain-napolitano-the-legend-of-tomorrow/) Related Links: https://phillyda.org/about/divisions-units-and-supervisors/ Association(s) Mentioned: IACA, MARACA Vendor(s) Mentioned: Contact: https://www.linkedin.com/in/akiko-mcclain/ Transcript: https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/web/sna3a6/AkikoMcClain_transcript.pdf Podcast Writer: Mindy Duong Podcast Researcher: Theme Song: Written and Recorded by The Rough & Tumble. Find more of their music at www.theroughandtumble.com. Logo: Designed by Kyle McMullen. Please visit www.moderntype.com for any printable business forms and planners. Podcast Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Podcast Webpage: www.leapodcasts.com Podcast Twitter: @leapodcasts 00:00:17 – Introducing Akiko 00:03:15 – Victim Advocate 00:08:34 – Master's Degree 00:17:39 – Becoming an Analyst 00:28:00 – Break: Shawna Gibson & TJ Sweet 00:33:54 – Setting Up the Unit 00:40:17 – IACA & MARACA 00:53:05 – Favorite First Jobs 01:00:09 – Personal Interest: Dance Instructor & Bartender 01:04:42 – Words to the World
Exactly fifty years ago Israel's General Moshe Dayan tried to call a press conference to announce the defeat of Israel and the end of its 25-year existence. Hear what happened. The four steps to finding your financial feet. Job. Excel. Save. Fitness. It's as simple as that, but as always, the details matter. Follow the program laid out for you in this show and your financial future will be meteoric. Susan Lapin and I are exuberantly thrilled with our new book, The Holistic You. We've been working on it for over three years. It's now finally available. Find out more about our new book, The Holistic You here https://a.co/d/af1PtkN Happy Warriors are not tennis balls floating down the gutter of life. No! Happy Warriors are captains of their fates. Happy Warriors are not passive and are never victims. The Happy Warriors plans his life and then lives his plan. Become a Happy Warrior today. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Accounting has long been viewed as a stable career, but in recent years, droves of accountants have been leaving the profession. Blake Oliver dives into a recent Wall Street Journal article highlighting the factors driving experienced accountants away, from burnout and boredom to the threat of automation.Show NotesJob Security Isn't Enough to Keep Many Accountants From Quittinghttps://www.wsj.com/articles/accounting-quit-job-security-675fc28f Need CPE? Subscribe to the Earmark Accounting Podcast: https://podcast.earmarkcpe.comGet CPE for listening to podcasts with Earmark CPE: https://earmarkcpe Get in TouchThanks for listening and the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram! You can now call us and leave a voicemail; maybe we'll play it on the show. DIAL (202) 695-1040Need Accounting Conference Info? Check out our new website - accountingconferences.comLimited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merch Subscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Podchaser: http://cloudacctpod.link/podchaser Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CloudAccountingPodcast Want to get the word out about your newsletter, webinar, party, Facebook group, podcast, e-book, job posting, or that fancy Excel macro you just created? Why not let The Accounting Podcast listeners know by running a classified ad? Hit the link below to get more info.Go here to create your classified ad: https://cloudacctpod.link/RunClassifiedAdThe full transcript for this episode is available by clicking on the Transcript tab at the top of this page
In a rapidly evolving accounting landscape, how can professionals demonstrate their skills and experience to stand out? Certifications! In this episode, veteran accounting educator and President of HOCK International, Brian Hock outlines the immense value of professional certifications for career-long growth and development. Learn how certifications like the CMA provide a standardized body of knowledge to showcase specialized expertise. Discover how the right certifications position you for success as technology and demands transform. Gain perspective on certifications as a strategic investment in your future, increasing opportunities and earning potential over the length of your career. Brian draws on extensive experience preparing accounting students and professionals for certifications to offer advice on overcoming barriers like cost or study time. He provides encouragement that passing rigorous exams like the CMA, while requiring dedication, is very achievable with the right preparation and planning.If you're looking to get strategic and maximize your career potential in accounting, this episode is a must-listen! You'll come away motivated to pursue professional certifications and equipped with insights to choose the right certifications for your goals.Full Episode Transcript: Adam: Today on Count Me In, we have a great episode in store. Our guest is Brian Hock, president of Hock International and an experienced accounting educator. Who has been teaching finance and accounting certifications for over two decades. Brian provides keen insights into the value of professional certifications like the CMA, and how they can benefit accounting professionals throughout their career. He discusses the importance of certifications in demonstrating specialized knowledge and skills, as well as how certifications, like the CMA, help professionals stay current in a rapidly changing business landscape. Brian offers advice for overcoming barriers to obtaining certifications. Emphasizing the long term career rewards, that make certifications a smart investment. With technologies and an evolving talent gap impacting the accounting field, Brian's perspective is extremely timely. Now, let's welcome Brian Hock. Adam: Well, Brian, we're really excited to have you on the Count Me In podcast today. And, just to jump right in, can you share with us, with our listeners, why are certifications so critical, especially in the field of accounting? Brian: Well, first, Adam, thanks for having me. It's great to be with you. The question of certifications is one that is very important for somebody's career. And the way I explain it is that there are however many thousands and thousands of universities around the world, and they all have different quality of an accounting program, accounting professors, the classes that they teach. And, so, just because somebody has an accounting degree, we aren't really in a position to know what that person knows. What they studied, how they studied, how well they did. But a certification is a specific body of knowledge. A specific syllabus that is the same for everybody who takes it anywhere in the world. And, so, the term certificate, it's a certification because it's that standardized test that everybody who's passed it has passed the same content. And, so, it's a person's way of showing what they know separate from their university. Because a lot of universities may be very good universities, but they're not known outside the city, the region that they're in. And nobody outside that city or region is aware that the person has such a strong accounting education or finance education. But a certification shows that. Adam: It does, and, I think, we're hearing that a lot more. Especially, in the world of accounting, with so many different things happening. So many new technologies coming out there. One of the biggest things we're hearing about is things like the talent gap. So how are certifications helping bridge that talent gap, especially in the finance and accounting sector? Brian: Well, a good certification helps bridge that by staying current, and this is something that I know CMA does. I've been teaching CMA for almost 25 years, and it's a number of syllabuses that I've taught. Because what accounting and finance professionals need to know, what they're using on their job, has changed over time. And, so, with IMA doing such a good job of keeping the CMA syllabus up to date and relevant. That is part of that talent gap being addressed, by making certain that the people that come out through CMA have those skills. And the obvious example is AI wasn't in the syllabus 20 years ago, but it was put into the syllabus in 2020. And, so, technology is a big one, as technology changes. As the skill set that people need to use that technology changes, data analytics, visualization, are in the syllabus now, but they weren't ten years ago. And, so, a certification that keeps its syllabus current addresses that gap by making certain that the people who come out of that certification have those current, and practical, and relevant skills that are needed in the market today. Adam: Yes, that makes a lot of sense. Now, you have been in this accounting space, in the certification space, teaching people certifications for a while. How have you seen that demand change over the years, and what trends you see us going towards in the future? Brian: I think one of the things that's happened, and continues to happen, is more and more what I would call a specialty certification. You take something like CMA, and it's accounting and finance, at a fairly broad scope. It's not specific to receivables, or payables, or bookkeeping, or a specific type of banking. But now you have certifications that are specifically about fraud examining. You have certifications that are about a controller position or a specific element of a business. And those are wonderful certifications for people that are a little further along in their career. That have some experience and know what it is that they're going into. But when we talk about young people just starting their career. The certification that they need is one that's going to keep as many doors as possible open for them, as long as possible. And when I talk to a university student, I say, "Well, if you know that you want to go into investment banking, then that's the certification you need to pursue." "If you know that you want to go into some particularly niche area, then, find that specific niche certification." But most people, until they've been five or 10 years in their career, don't know what they want to do for the next 20 years. And, so, there are niche certifications that are developing, which are for later in somebody's career after they know where they're going. But we still have the same certifications around the world that were there 25 years ago. ACCA, SEMA, CPA, CMA, that are those very strong foundational certifications, that keep a lot of doors open for the people who have them. Adam: So do you think there's a benefit of getting into certifications when you're still in school or just about to graduate? Is there a benefit there? Brian: The benefit starts whenever you start studying. And, so, if you're going to get the benefit from the certification, you want to start as soon as possible. And that's really while you're still at university, if you can. Even just studying for one of the certifications, one of the parts, is important.And, also, if we look at all of the different learning outside of certifications that IMA has available, students at university can do some of those classes. Do some of the classes about data analytics and visualization and get those, even if it's not a certification, get that process of learning and demonstrating to your potential employer. That you are serious about your career, and you know that these are the issues that employers need, that employees need to be able to do. And, so, starting the earlier you can, as early as you can, is the best. Adam: Yes, and it's great when you can start that early because then you, kind of, know the trajectory of where you're going. And one of the things we're hearing about and people are writing about, especially, in the finance and accounting industry, is that there is a talent shortage in accounting. There's not a lot of people going into this. How do you think that's impacting the industry, and what are some things that we can do to help address it? Brian: Well, it's interesting; one of the things that a shortage like that should do is it should drive up salaries, simply because of supply and demand. It seems like that hasn't happened quite yet. I have a son in college, who's making these decisions about majors, and it's a question of what are the salaries that you can get from the different business majors that's coming out of university. I think one of the things, from an accounting standpoint, is we talk about people, young people, should do what they love and follow their passions. Well, for a lot of people, their passion is something they may not be very good at. Whether it's sports or music or something. But we need to remember that any business that's involved in that industry has accountants. And, so, I say, you may love basketball, but you may not be very good at it. But a basketball team, a basketball league, has an accountant. You may love music, but you can't sing, you can't play an instrument, but every record label, every music company has accountants. And, so, it's a matter of helping people recognize that an accountant is really working within an industry. And whatever industry you like, whatever your passions are in the world. If it's in automotive, you like cars, you don't want to be a race car driver. You can't be a race car driver. But all the car companies, the race teams, have accountants. And, so, it's a matter of helping people see that it's more than just tax. It's more than just making debits and credits all day. But you can connect to what it is that you love to do with accounting or finance. Adam: I've never heard anybody say it from that perspective, and that opens up a huge world because every industry has a business aspect. So even if you're not good at that specific thing, that all the people making the millions of dollars, making records, or whatever, but there's people behind the scenes who are making the business run. And there's so many assets of that business that are available to you. Whether it is accounting or some other field that you're like, "Hey, I'm interested in that part aspect of it." Brian: Well, and even if you take into account nonprofits, and somebody wants to do something that's giving back, specifically, to a specific cause or area. Well, there are nonprofits that operate in those areas.And, so, volunteer within that nonprofit, I mean, maybe, they have a job in the accounting or finance, and that depending on their size. But whatever it is that you enjoy doing, there is a job in accounting or finance that is connected to it. Adam: Mh-hmm, oh, that's great. So coming back to the conversation about certifications. You said a lot of the good certifications are ones that, kind of, open the most doors for you. And they help accountants stay up to date with rapidly changing things, and they're making sure their syllabus stays there. In light of increased things, like increasing automation and technology advancements. How can you stay relevant? Because certifications are very large and it's hard to keep them up to date with the most rapidly changing things. Brian: Well, this is a big thing right now, AI and Chat GPT, whatever version they're up to. And a lot of people just at the various conferences with IMA that we were at, recently. The question is; are accountants going to have a job in five years, five days, five weeks, whatever the case may be? And, I think, the answer to that is absolutely yes. All of these changes in technology are just continuing the changes that have happened in technology, in the past, in that they are tools. It's not going to make a decision. It's not going to be able to interpret, for example, when we talk about ratios, anybody that has a definition or the formula for a ratio and the financial statements, can figure out what the ratio is. I mean, you find fixed assets, you can find the number. So calculating a ratio isn't that difficult, it isn't that challenging, and that's something a computer can do. But the question is, what does that ratio mean? And if that ratio means something negative for the company, what is the correction to it? What do we need to do to respond to that, to react to that, to fix that, to address that, whatever the case may be? And, so, AI and these new tools may be able to manipulate more data more quickly than we can. They may be able to see patterns in the data that we aren't able to see. But it still requires a person who understands the business, understands the industry, to take that information and make it into a useful decision for the company. And it's something, too, that when we talk about capital, budgeting, and various other things within the exams. We talk about there's a quantitative element, the number. You make the calculation, and the net present value is positive, the net present value is negative. But then there's also a qualitative element to that as well. "If we make this decision, what happens?" "If we open a factory…?" "If we close a factory…?" "If we expand…?" "If we contract…?" And, so, all of those qualitative factors, I'm not sure that AI is who we want making that decision. Yes, I'm happy to have the computer calculate the ratios for me.But I don't think I want the computer to make the decisions about what we do as a result of those ratios. Because there are so many things that go into that, other than the simple calculation that was made in that quantitative analysis. And, so, if somebody is starting their career and they want to make certain that they have a job five years, 10 years, from now, you need to know how to use those tools. If you can't use those tools, you're going to be at a tremendous disadvantage. A little bit like if we were to say that you didn't know how to use Excel at all. And you go to a job, and they ask, "So how are you at Excel?" And you say, "Well, I've heard of it, but I'm really good at math. I've got this great calculator; I don't need Excel." Well, no, that's not the case, an Excel is a tool that helps you take your great math to the next level. And that's what all these other tools coming out on a daily basis are. We need to know how to use them, and apply them, and make them relevant to the decisions that we need to make. But they may replace the calculations, the data entry, the routine work. But if we're studying CMA, that's not the work we want to do ourselves anyway. We want to be the ones that work with those numbers after it's been sifted through, and analyzed, and all of that. So you need to know how to use these tools because they will help you do your job better. Adam: Mh-hmm, yes, they do, they help you do your job better. And, like you said, they are tools. They're not replacing us; they're tools to help make some aspects of our jobs easier. So that we can enhance our strategic, and other aspects of our job that are things that we humans still do, at least, at this point. Brian: One of the things that we need to keep in mind, when we're talking about our job, or our career, or the future, is it all comes down to adding value. Are we able to add value to the organization we work for? And we can do that if we don't spend time calculating numbers that can be calculated by anybody. Calculating a ratio is not a high-level skill. But if we spend all of our time at work calculating ratios, we're not really adding value to the organization. If we have the tools that allow us to make those, calculate ratios, or whatever it is that we're calculating. Then we have more time to take that information and actually add value to the organization, by understanding what that information is, how to use that information, how to make decisions based on that information, to add value to the organization. And all of these are just tools that help us have more time and better information to add value, which is why we're going to continue to have a job. Adam: Yes, for sure. Now, certifications are quite an investment. And, maybe, we can discuss a little bit, what are some of the barriers that might prevent individuals from pursuing or attaining certifications, and how can those things be overcome? Because every aspect of the world, people live in different areas. There's many different barriers that can occur, at times. Brian: I think I'll break it down into two broad categories of barriers, and then how we address each one of them. One of them is, obviously, a financial barrier.And this comes to the fact that different countries, different economies, different scales. And, so, for some people, young people, an accounting student at university, a finance student at university, the cost of taking CMA may become a barrier. I'm a young professional that just got married, has a child, and doesn't have a lot of disposable income. IMA helps with that, student scholarships, I know, for university students. But even when we look at the amount of money that it costs, and even if we do without any discounts or anything like that, just we register and we pay. We need to keep in mind what the return is on that investment. And if you say you buy materials, you register, and you earn two and a half thousand dollars. Well, that return is going to be for the rest of your career. So if you make even $1,000 a year more, which is a low number, but $1,000 a year more over 25 years. You have a $25,000 return on a $2,500 investment. Okay, time value of money in the $1,000 is 25 years from now. But still $25,000 return on a $2,500 investment is very good. And, so, when we're talking about that financial investment, it's a question of perspective. Yes, in the short term, it's a large amount of money, and I don't want to discount that or minimalize that, in any way. But when we keep in mind what that potential return is when you pass, and have 25,000, 25,0000, whatever that number of a higher salary through certification is. It makes it a very good case for whatever you need to do to get that registration done. You don't buy your coffee at the coffee shop every day. You don't go on vacation one time. I mean, you make those sacrifices for the longer term benefits. The other barrier, I think, for a lot of people is it's a big syllabus. It's a difficult exam. There's a low pass rate and people are just afraid to do it. They're afraid to fail, or they don't want to fail. But this is something, I mean, I've been doing CMA for almost 25 years now, and it is a difficult exam. We want it to be a difficult exam, it should be a difficult exam. If it's not a difficult exam, it doesn't provide any value. So it is a difficult exam, but it is also a very passable exam. And, so, if you start and you're worried and you're intimidated, you make a plan, you make a schedule. You're trying to find 200 hours to study for part one and 200 hours to study for part two, and you do it step by step. This is not something you have to learn today, tomorrow, or this week, it's a marathon. And that marathon requires commitment, and dedication, and a plan, and a strategy, and your spouse's understanding, that you're not going to be as available for going out and having fun all the time. But this comes back to the return on investment. You spend two years studying, but the benefit is not only a salary benefit but it becomes also your career is better. You're in better positions, you're traveling, all of those benefits come. And, so, yes, it's an investment; it's a monetary investment, it's a time investment, it's a nerves and stress investment. But it's going to benefit you from the time you start until the time you retire. And, so, if you know you want a career in accounting or finance, start today, if you haven't already. Adam: Mh-hmm, that's huge. I like the marathon analogy. If you talk to any marathoners, the hardest part is those last six miles, that 20 to 26 miles, or 26 and a quarter miles, that's the hardest part for them. Because getting up to that 20 miles' point, you're good.But then you have to finish, and finishing is sometimes the hardest part. But once you finish, when they cross that finish line. You see pictures of marathoners, they look exhausted, but the elation on their face, and I'm sure it's the same for passing a certification, is like, "Hey, I've gotten to this point and now I can see the benefits from that." Brian: Yes, you spend two years, a year and a half studying. But you have to keep in mind why you're doing it, and it's the whole rest of your career you get the benefit. And we also talk, I think, too, often, we talk simply about CMA and certification, and that's obviously a big part of it. But if you then look at what you get for the rest of your career from continued membership in IMA. The opportunities, the networking, it's where you find your next job. It's where you find the person you're going to hire. And, so, when you add all of that in not only the certification, but that whole professional organization that you're a part of, that you're a member of, that you benefit from, it's something that you need to start. You're not alone, other people have done it before you. They've shown it's possible. You know it's a benefit. So you just keep in mind why it is that you're doing this and how it's not a one-time bonus that you get from your employer, if you pass the exams. But this is something that's going to be the rest of your career. And if you're just out of college, this could be 40 years that you're going to benefit from this two years of studying and the little bit of a financial sacrifice you had to make. Adam: Yes, it's that community that builds from either your local chapter, you go to local conferences, or the annual conference or whatever it is. You can build that community, and that community can become almost like a second family, as you grow in your career. Brian: Yes, well, and as you grow in your career, your employer, before they promote you, they want you to have experience in leadership, or in management, or decision making. And it's hard to get that in a company. But you volunteer with your IMA chapter, you volunteer with IMA, and you have that opportunity to meet people, to lead things, to organize things. To get that experience that every organization is looking for in their people. And you have the opportunity to do it in a way that really benefits you and your career as well. Adam: Yes, I think that's a huge benefit of professional accounting organizations. IMA, obviously, this is an IMA podcast, but whatever your specific field is within the accounting industry. Whether you're like, "Hey, I'm an internal auditor, so I'm going to join the CIA." Or whatever those things are. You want to be able to have those different elements. And those things can help motivate and incentivize individuals to gain certifications. Because you see your colleague, "Hey, my colleague got the CMA, got the CPA" got whatever the certification is. And they say, "Hey, I want to join that; I want to participate in that." Brian: Positive peer pressure. Adam: Yes. So, Brian, this has been a great conversation. And as we wrap things up, what are some takeaways that you want our audience to remember, as we wrap up the conversation here?Brian: Well, when we're talking about certifications, and I've said it enough already, I may as well repeat it one more time. Is the time frame that you benefit from the knowledge and the skills that you learn. I mean, it's not only the certification, it's the skills that you learn while you're preparing for the certification. That this is something that's from now until the end of your career. And if something is able to benefit you that long, why wait to get it? Why wait to start that process? And, so, it's a matter of keeping in mind the perspective of this is a short-term investment of time. It's a significant investment of money, in the short term, as well, but the payback for it is ongoing. The increase in salary, the increase in your performance, the opportunities in your country, outside of your country, it's almost immeasurable. And it's hard to calculate the return on investment because the return is so high and the investment is so small. If you're in the field of accounting or finance, certification is absolutely the best investment that you can make. Adam: And, as we've already said, it significantly starts to close that talent gap that we've seen, and also will help with the talent shortage. As people can, as you mentioned before, be able to get into different industries because every industry needs an accountant to run the books. Brian: Right. And as technology changes, it's still somebody who knows what that information means, knows how to use all of this data. Think how much data companies collect now from their customers, their suppliers, their employees, the production process. So this is massive amount of data. But somebody has to be able to sort through it and understand what's relevant, what's not relevant, and how to act on it, to add value to the company. And, so, learning the skills in your certification, staying current through continuing professional education, and staying current in the profession. AI is going to come, AI is going to develop, all these tools are going to develop. But the person who knows how to use them and knows what to do with all that information, is going to be the one leading the organizations. The one certainly that's going to have a job, for as long as they want to work. Adam: Definitely. Well, Brian, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. Really appreciate your insights, and we look forward to having you back in the future. Brian: It was my pleasure, thanks for having me. Announcer: This has been Count Me In, IMA's podcast, providing you with the latest perspectives of thought leaders from the accounting and finance profession. If you like what you heard, and you'd like to be counted in for more relevant accounting and finance education, visit IMA's website at www.imanet.org.
Are you on the nonprofit cash flow rollercoaster? Managing cash flow is one of the trickiest things for nonprofit leaders because so much of it is out of our control. And while it can feel dizzying to be on the constant up and down of cash coming in and going out, there are ways to manage. In this episode, we dive into different strategies your organization can use to help better manage your cash flow like leveraging your strategic plan, keeping up to date with your bookkeeping, and putting better financial controls into place. We also discuss how you can diversify your revenue streams to help fill in the gaps during your cash flow “off seasons.” While managing cash flow is a common struggle for organizations, there are resources out there to help. We explore different tools nonprofits can use to help them better plan and manage their finances, including a free cash flow forecast template. Read the podcast transcript here. Episode Summary In today's episode, you'll learn practical tips and strategies for managing your nonprofit's cash flow, including: Cash flow challenges (1:05) Why you should include cash flow management in your strategic plan (6:30) How to manage when your nonprofit is on a revenue rollercoaster (7:50) Why good bookkeeping is vital to your organization (12:10) Resources to help forecast cash flow (14:45) Strategies for diversifying your revenue (16:40) Strengthening financial controls (18:20) Teasers “Our revenue is solid, so why in the world does it feel so, so hard to make payroll?” “There's a lot that's within our control, a lot beyond our control, but it all impacts our cash flow.” “Often expenses just get out of control really quickly and so it takes some intention and some planning to make sure we're reigning them in.” “You don't have to stare at a blank Excel sheet and freak out.” Huge thank you to our sponsor, Grants Works! With billions of dollars in federal grant funding available, now is the time to learn about how to apply for and manage federal grants from Patrice Davis, an expert who simplifies federal grants. Her Federal Grants Simplified Bootcamp is a six-week hybrid training that gives you the freedom to access on-demand training on your schedule and to attend live weekly Q&A sessions with Patrice. Plus, GrantsWorks is an ACFRE approved continuing education provider. Use code DEGREES for 10% off your registration. Resources Cash Flow Forecast Template: 100degreesconsulting.com/cash Grantsworks: www.grantsworksacademy.com/federal-grants-simplified Keep up to date with the podcast: @100degreesconsulting Follow Stephanie on Instagram: @stephanie.skry/ Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieskryzowski/ Visit the podcast page: 100degreesconsulting.com/nonprofit-cash-flow Want more of the podcast? New episodes are released weekly! Find them all plus show notes and exclusive bonus content at 100degreesconsulting.com/podcast. Leave us a review! Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Let me know what you loved most about this episode! Subscribe to the show so you don't miss a thing!
Stephen Buchanan (He/Him) US Army Officer | Attorney | Founder & CEO TDY Rentals Go to www.thejasoncavnessexperience.com for the full episode and other episodes of The Jason Cavness Experience on your favorite platforms. Sponsor CavnessHR delivers HR companies with 49 or fewer people with our HR platform and by providing you access to your own HRBP. www.CavnessHR.com CavnessHR Crowdfunding Campaign We are doing an equity crowdfunding campaign for CavnessHR. You can become an owner in CavnessHR by taking part in our campaign. Learn more here. https://wefunder.com/cavnesshr Stephen's Bio Passionate about solving complex problems and improving the lives of our veterans, military members and civil servants. I'm a personable leader working to deliver a superior furniture rental experience for military, government, and corporate employees on temporary duty travel. In addition to running and growing TDY Rentals, I am a Battalion Commander for the US Army Reserve, and a pro-bono lawyer for unique family cases. We talked about the following and other items Being an outdoorsman Soccer Being an Excel guru TDY Rentals Working with interns Being an entrepreneur U.S. Army Reserves Stephen's Social Media Stephen's Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephenbuchanan2/ TDY Rentals Website: https://tdyrentals.com/ TDY Rentals Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tdyrental/ TDY Rentals: https://www.facebook.com/TDYRental Stephen's Advice I guess all the other entrepreneurs out there know what you're getting into. There's the red pill and the blue pill and take the right one.
The government shutdown threat looms as Congress scrambles to pass funding bills. The IRS previously said it could stay open during a shutdown by relying on Inflation Reduction Act funds. But now the agency says those funds can't sustain operations. According to its union, the IRS is preparing for furloughs and partial closures if a shutdown hits. This reversal surprised IRS employees and could spell delays for taxpayers and CPAs.Show NotesIRS plans possible furloughs in case of shutdownhttps://www.accountingtoday.com/news/irs-plans-possible-furloughs-in-case-of-a-government-shutdownIRS to ‘partially close' if government shutdown happens, reversing earlier plans, union sayshttps://federalnewsnetwork.com/government-shutdown/2023/09/irs-to-partially-close-if-government-shutdown-happens-reversing-earlier-plans-union-says/Need CPE? Subscribe to the Earmark Accounting Podcast: https://podcast.earmarkcpe.comGet CPE for listening to podcasts with Earmark CPE: https://earmarkcpe.comGet in TouchThanks for listening and the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook, and if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram! You can now call us and leave a voicemail, maybe we'll play it on the show. DIAL (202) 695-1040Need Accounting Conference Info? Check out our new website: accountingconferences.comLimited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merchSubscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Podchaser: http://cloudacctpod.link/podchaser Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CloudAccountingPodcast Want to get the word out about your newsletter, webinar, party, Facebook group, podcast, e-book, job posting, or that fancy Excel macro you just created? Why not let The Cloud Accounting Podcast listeners know by running a classified ad? Hit the link below to get more info.Go here to create your classified ad: https://cloudacctpod.link/RunClassifiedAd The full transcript for this episode is available by clicking on the Transcript tab at the top of this page
Exactly fifty years ago Israel's General Moshe Dayan tried to call a press conference to announce the defeat of Israel and the end of its 25-year existence. Hear what happened. The four steps to finding your financial feet. Job. Excel. Save. Fitness. It's as simple as that, but as always, the details matter. Follow the program laid out for you in this show and your financial future will be meteoric. Susan Lapin and I are exuberantly thrilled with our new book, The Holistic You. We've been working on it for over three years. It's now finally available. Find out more about our new book, The Holistic You here https://a.co/d/af1PtkN Happy Warriors are not tennis balls floating down the gutter of life. No! Happy Warriors are captains of their fates. Happy Warriors are not passive and are never victims. The Happy Warrior plans his life and then lives his plan. Become a Happy Warrior today.
Mergulhamos no emocionante mundo da análise de dados na maior cervejaria do Brasil. Prepare-se para uma jornada fascinante, onde a paixão pela cerveja encontra a ciência dos dados. Em um papo, muito divertido, exploramos como a análise de dados desempenha um papel crucial desde o plantio, até a distribuição e qualidade consistente dos produtos icônicos da Ambev. Neste episódio do Data Hackers — a maior comunidade de AI e Data Science do Brasil-, conheçam esse time de especialistas da Ambev Tech — núcleo de tecnologia da Ambev : o Daniel Cassiano — Diretor de Data & Analytics na América do Sul; a Gabriela Madia — Gerente de Governança de Dados & Analytics; o Daniel Henrique - Gerente de Engenharia de Plataforma de Dados, e o Felipe Contratres — Líder do Centro de Excelência de Analytics. Lembrando que você pode encontrar todos os podcasts da comunidade Data Hackers no Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcast, Castbox e muitas outras plataformas. Caso queira, você também pode ouvir o episódio aqui no post mesmo! Link do Medium: Falamos no episódio Conheça nosso convidado: Daniel Cassiano — Diretor de Data & Analytics para América do Sul Gabriela Madia — Gerente de Governança de Dados & Analytics Daniel Henrique — Gerente de Engenharia de Plataforma de Dados Felipe Contratres — Líder do Centro de Excelência de Analytics Bancada Data Hackers: Paulo Vasconcellos Monique Femme Gabriel Lages Links de referências: Projeto que monitora o lado da rua que o caminhão estaciona, (post explicativo): https://www.instagram.com/reel/CxatwlqrGuV/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA== Projeto Diesel Analytics ( Projeto no Meetup Tech & Cheers em São Paulo): https://www.instagram.com/reel/CuHfmL8rQGI/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA== Link de Vagas (Ambev Tech) — https://ambevtech.gupy.io/ Ambev Tech (@ambevtech) — Fotos e vídeos do Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/ambevtech/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ambevtech/ Ambev Tech Talk (Podcast com episódio mensal sobre Dados — Papo de Dados) : https://open.spotify.com/show/07cPNODgBHWh2JMkHbZxXG?si=2432135d6daa4a18 --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/datahackers/message
This week, we discuss why everyone is envious of Google's Internal Dev Tools, examine the state of Git, speculate about how 37 Signals plans to reinvent software licensing with ONCE, and share a few thoughts on the Salesforce CEO's recent comments about work from home. Watch the YouTube Live Recording of Episode (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaX-PgF86bY) 433 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaX-PgF86bY) Runner-up Titles Lost in an acquisition hole. Headless Robot Dog. It's not better enough. GoogHub Why are you on the sad path Once version 2 is a paid upgrade You win interesting bingo Rundown The Full Circle on Developer Productivity with Steve Yegge (https://newsletter.pragmaticengineer.com/p/steve-yegge) Git is awful. GitHub isn't good enough. It's killing us! (Steve Yegge) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EReooAZoMO0) Introducing ONCE (https://once.com/) Salesforce CEO takes a bold stand on remote work (https://www.thestreet.com/investing/salesforce-ceo-bold-stand-on-remote-work) Salesforce to Hire 3,300 People After Layoffs Earlier This Year (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-09-14/salesforce-to-hire-3-300-in-sales-engineering-data-after-earlier-job-cuts#xj4y7vzkg) Relevant to your Interests David Sacks has a new SaaS startup for other SaaS startups (https://www.axios.com/2023/09/06/david-sacks-has-a-new-saas-startup-for-other-saas-startups) Results of Major Technical Investigations for Storm-0558 Key Acquisition (https://msrc.microsoft.com/blog/2023/09/results-of-major-technical-investigations-for-storm-0558-key-acquisition/) Now it's PostgreSQL's turn to have a bogus CVE (https://opensourcewatch.beehiiv.com/p/now-postgresqls-turn-bogus-cve) HashiCorp Retools Licenses And Software To Grow Its Business - The Next Platform (https://www.nextplatform.com/2023/09/05/hashicorp-retools-licenses-and-software-to-grow-its-business/) Clouded Judgement 9.8.23 (https://cloudedjudgement.substack.com/p/clouded-judgement-9823?utm_source=post-email-title&publication_id=56878&post_id=136822157&isFreemail=true&r=2l9&utm_medium=email) Inside Hollywood's SBF Mad Scramble (https://theankler.com/p/inside-hollywoods-sbf-mad-scramble-c04?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter_axiosprorata&stream=top) Tubi The Free Streaming Service, Hits 74 Million Monthly Active Users & Almost 250 Free Live Channels As Cord Cutting Grows | Cord Cutters News (https://cordcuttersnews.com/tubi-the-free-streaming-service-hits-74-million-monthly-active-users-almost-250-free-live-channels-as-cord-cutting-grows/) IBM Software mandates return to office for those within 80km (https://www.theregister.com/2023/09/11/ibm_software_tells_workers_to/) Cloud is here to stay, but at what cost, ask customers (https://www.theregister.com/2023/09/11/cloud_costs_feature/) Disney and Charter reach deal to end cable blackout in time for 'Monday Night Football' (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/11/disney-charter-near-carriage-deal-that-would-end-cable-blackout-sources-say.html) Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows (https://www.theregister.com/2023/09/11/go_native_or_go_home/) Oracle revenue misses estimates as tough economy hurts cloud spending (https://www.reuters.com/technology/oracle-reports-quarterly-revenue-narrowly-below-estimates-2023-09-11/) No privacy in cars (https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/articles/its-official-cars-are-the-worst-product-category-we-have-ever-reviewed-for-privacy/) Former CEO of China's Alibaba quits cloud business in surprise move during its leadership reshuffle (https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/former-ceo-chinas-alibaba-quits-cloud-business-surprise-103078368) A Look Back at Q2 '23 Public Cloud Software Earnings (https://cloudedjudgement.substack.com/p/a-look-back-at-q2-23-public-cloud?utm_source=post-email-title&publication_id=56878&post_id=136950716&utm_campaign=email-post-title&isFreemail=true&r=2l9&utm_medium=email) 1 big thing: A long-term plan to secure open-source software (https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-codebook-8200e5c5-aed7-4f42-a40e-117a390b57e3.html?chunk=0&utm_term=emshare#story0) MGM takes systems offline after cyberattack (https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-codebook-8200e5c5-aed7-4f42-a40e-117a390b57e3.html?chunk=1&utm_term=emshare#story1) Disney-Charter deal represents new era for TV bundles (https://www.axios.com/newsletters/axios-media-trends-fe1295c8-9b83-4403-bae2-06de14fede11.html?chunk=2&utm_term=emshare#story2) Salesforce introduces Einstein Copilot Studio to help customers customize their AI | TechCrunch (https://techcrunch.com/2023/09/12/salesforce-introduces-einstein-copilot-studio-to-customers-customize-their-ai/) Arm prices IPO at $51 per share, valuing company at over $54 billion (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/13/arm-prices-ipo-at-51-per-share.html) Tim Gurner's spray about ‘arrogant' workers lays bare the economic sadism of our time (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/sep/14/tim-gurner-ceo-comments-more-unemployment-millionaire-property-developer-workers-neoliberals) Cisco discontinues Hyperflex hyperconverged infrastructure (https://www.theregister.com/2023/09/14/cisco_discontinues_hyperflex_hci/) CloudBees Announces New Cloud Native DevSecOps Platform (https://www.cloudbees.com/newsroom/cloudbees-announces-new-cloud-native-devsecops-platform) Jet: Prepare For Liftoff (https://www.jetporch.com/) Artifact's new Links feature makes it much more than a news app (https://www.theverge.com/2023/9/13/23871561/artifact-links-news-reading-app-tiktok) TriggerMesh, RIP (https://triggermesh-community.slack.com/archives/C02GHUAQDCH/p1695048539668859) Clorox says last month's cyberattack is still disrupting production (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/18/clorox-says-last-months-cyberattack-is-still-disrupting-production.html) Excel clone built for Uber China exposed Microsoft mistake (https://www.theregister.com/2023/09/19/matt_uber_china_excel_clone/) Seattle startup MotherDuck raises $52.5M at a $400M valuation to fuel DuckDB analytics platform (https://www.geekwire.com/2023/seattle-startup-motherduck-raises-52-5m-at-a-400m-valuation-to-fuel-duckdb-analytics-platform/) Google's Bard chatbot can now find answers in your Gmail, Docs, Drive (https://www.theverge.com/2023/9/19/23878999/google-bard-ai-chatbot-gmail-docs-drive-extensions) Elon Musk says X may go behind a paywall for everyone so he can 'combat vast armies of bots' (https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-x-twitter-paywall-for-everyone-2023-9) Restricted Source Licensing Is Here (https://www.forrester.com/blogs/restricted-source-licensing-is-here/) OpenTofu (https://opentofu.org/) RoboFab is ready to build 10,000 humanoid robots per year | TechCrunch (https://techcrunch.com/2023/09/18/the-robots-are-coming/) Unified Acceleration Foundation Forms to Drive Open Accelerated Compute and Cross-Platform Performance (https://www.linuxfoundation.org/press/announcing-unified-acceleration-foundation-uxl) Google gets its way, bakes a user-tracking ad platform directly into Chrome (https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2023/09/googles-widely-opposed-ad-platform-the-privacy-sandbox-launches-in-chrome/) What is a service mesh? Why do you need a service mesh? And which is the best service mesh? (https://newsletter.cote.io/p/what-is-a-service-mesh-why-do-you) Did I Make a Mistake Selling My Social-Media Darling to Yahoo? (https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2018/10/did-i-make-a-mistake-selling-del-icio-us-to-yahoo.html?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email) A new way of thinking about open source sustainability (https://www.infoworld.com/article/3706508/a-new-way-of-thinking-about-open-source-sustainability.html) Elon Musk moving servers himself shows his 'maniacal sense of urgency' at X, formerly Twitter (https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/11/elon-musk-moved-twitter-servers-himself-in-the-night-new-biography-details-his-maniacal-sense-of-urgency.html) Cable TV Is on Life Support, but a New Bundle Is Coming Alive (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/14/business/media/cable-tv-bundle-streaming.html) Nonsense McDonald's is getting rid of self-serve soda machines | CNN Business (https://www.cnn.com/2023/09/12/business/mcdonalds-self-serve-soda-machines/index.html) Delta SkyMiles changes: Delta overhauls how you earn Medallion status in biggest change yet (https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-skymiles-changes/) Australian baby named Methamphetamine Rules (https://www.1news.co.nz/2023/09/20/australian-baby-named-methamphetamine-rules/) ‘Take the Money and Run' Artist Must Repay Danish Museum (https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/19/arts/design/jens-haaning-take-the-money-and-run.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare) Listener Feedback Jan recommends this Rich Roll interview: Mindset SECRETS From The World's Best Ultrarunner: Courtney Dauwalter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOtSvYSnzNk) Conferences October 6, 2023, KCD Texas 2023 (https://community.cncf.io/events/details/cncf-kcd-texas-presents-kcd-texas-2023/), CFP Closes: August 30, 2023 November 6-9, 2023, KubeCon NA (https://events.linuxfoundation.org/kubecon-cloudnativecon-north-america/), SDT's a sponsor, Matt's there November 6-9, 2023 VMware Explore Barcelona (https://www.vmware.com/explore/eu.html), Coté's attending Jan 29, 2024 to Feb 1, 2024 That Conference Texas (https://that.us/events/tx/2024/schedule/) If you want your conference mentioned, let's talk media sponsorships. SDT news & hype Join us in Slack (http://www.softwaredefinedtalk.com/slack). Get a SDT Sticker! Send your postal address to email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will send you free laptop stickers! Follow us: Twitch (https://www.twitch.tv/sdtpodcast), Twitter (https://twitter.com/softwaredeftalk), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/softwaredefinedtalk/), Mastodon (https://hachyderm.io/@softwaredefinedtalk), BlueSky (https://bsky.app/profile/softwaredefinedtalk.com), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/software-defined-talk/), TikTok (https://www.tiktok.com/@softwaredefinedtalk), Threads (https://www.threads.net/@softwaredefinedtalk) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi3OJPV6h9tp-hbsGBLGsDQ/featured). Use the code SDT to get $20 off Coté's book, Digital WTF (https://leanpub.com/digitalwtf/c/sdt), so $5 total. Become a sponsor of Software Defined Talk (https://www.softwaredefinedtalk.com/ads)! Recommendations Brandon: YouTube TV (https://tv.youtube.com/welcome/) and NFL Sunday Ticket (https://tv.youtube.com/learn/nflsundayticket/) An Endgame for YouTube TV, Big Disney Decisions (And Whether Bob Iger Should Make Them), The Era Beyond Peak TV (https://sharptech.fm/member/episode/an-endgame-for-you-tube-tv-big-disney-decisions-and-whether-bob-iger-should-make-them-the-era-beyond-peak-tv) Matt: Airline wifi chat with Support Coté: Do Interesting (https://thedobook.co/products/do-interesting-notice-collect-share) book by Russel Davis. Photo Credits Header (https://unsplash.com/photos/m-Yot4dUd6s) Artwork (https://unsplash.com/photos/I7iJOE4fsYo)
Watch the video version of this 200th episode on our Patreon page from 1$ Buy our New Katrina Kaif/Barbie T-shirt at our Red Bubble Store. Sign up to our new Khandaan Podcast Newsletter! Next issue is about to drop... Welcome to Khandaan: A Bollywood Podcast where we're joined by our friend Get_Filmy to discuss a variety of things but most importantly JAWAN. We begin by discussing SCAM 2003: THE TELGI STORY on Sony Liv. A well-received follow up to SCAM 1992 on the same service, this follows the intricacies of a small man who dreams big in an India where all kinds of things are possible. That is also the main theme of BAMBAI MERI JAAN on Amazon Prime, which chronicles the rise of Dawood Ibrahim in a crime-ridden Bombay of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Featuring bravura performances by the main cast and a stylish, slick directing style, this Excel production really reels you in. We also discuss the trailer for THE GREAT INDIAN FAMILY, starring Vicky Kaushal and Manushi Chillar with an interesting premise. Will this work at the Indian box office? And last, of course, we discuss Jawan, which shows no signs of stopping its rampage. Get_Filmy tells us off for our lack of appreciation and we discuss the fallout over the past few weeks. Show notes: Follow us on Socials: Amrita, Sujoy, Asim YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok Sujoy's Instagram Amrita's YouTube Book Channel- Amrita By The Book You can listen to Khandaan- A Bollywood Podcast episodes on the following apps: Apple Podcast Spotify Jio Saavn Deezer Audible Amazon Music Omny iHeart TuneIn
Buckle up for a wild ride covering everything from brazen ERC scams to cutting-edge AI. Join Blake and David as they expose the rampant fraud sucking billions from the federal coffers. You'll hear an unbelievable voicemail scam promising gangbusters refunds—could it really be Snoop Dogg or is your mind playing tricks?Fast forward to the bleeding edge of technology with jaw-dropping examples of AI voice and face swapping. Think real-time translation opening global markets. But not so fast—can emerging tech replace human accountants offshore? We tackle the automation debate head-on.Strap on your justice caps as the crew champions entrepreneurial accountants breaking free from the shackles of the timesheet. But will AI be the death knell of the billable hour? Tune in to find out!Sponsors LiveFlow - http://accountingpodcast.promo/liveflow Forwardly - https://cloudaccountingpodcast.promo/forwardly Aero Workflow - http://accountingpodcast.promo/aeroChapters (00:45) - David got a voicemail from Snoop Dogg! (08:01) - Mark Cuban and Warren Buffett talk about why accounting is important (12:09) - Couple gets married in the accounting classroom where they met (14:10) - Purdue accounting professors invite accounting students and alumni to tailgate together at football games (15:10) - AICPA drops the ball on member survey (18:30) - Vegas gets hit by cyber attacks (22:49) - Square outage causes problems for small businesses (24:51) - The Doberman dog breed is named after a German tax collector (25:52) - JP Morgan partners with Gusto to offer online payroll (27:55) - American Express & Walmart expand small business offerings (31:06) - AI real-time language translation for video and audio is not far away (38:20) - The future of voice assists and integration with LLM's (43:17) - 29-year-old accountant quits firm to open her own (48:53) - Offshoring vs. automation (54:45) - Blake's new lawyer charges by the hour...sometimes (56:58) - Thanks for listening and how to earn free CPE Need CPE? Subscribe to the Earmark Accounting Podcast: https://podcast.earmarkcpe.comGet CPE for listening to podcasts with Earmark CPE: https://earmarkcpeShow NotesJPMorgan to offer online payroll services https://www-cnbc-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.cnbc.com/amp/2023/09/14/jpmorgan-to-offer-online-payroll-services.html I.R.S. Freezes Pandemic-Era Tax Credit Amid Fraud Fears https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/14/us/politics/irs-pandemic-employee-credit-fraud.html The Cyberattack That Sent Las Vegas Back in Time https://www.wsj.com/lifestyle/travel/las-vegas-mgm-cyberattack-casinos-6ca43dcf Caesars Paid Ransom After Suffering Cyberattack – WSJhttps://www.wsj.com/business/hospitality/caesars-paid-ransom-after-suffering-cyberattack-7792c7f0 Meet a 29-year-old accountant whose ‘resentment' only climbed after her firm raised her salary from $60k to $90k as she made millions for them. She has her own firm nowhttps://finance.yahoo.com/news/meet-29-old-accountant-whose-110000532.html Mark Cuban on Accounting via Hector Garciahttps://youtube.com/watch?v=VT_SCYbkmd8&si=3fLUqsQbqIlCzkgAGet in TouchThanks for listening and for the great reviews! We appreciate you! Follow and tweet @BlakeTOliver and @DavidLeary. Find us on Facebook and, if you like what you hear, please do us a favor and write a review on iTunes, or Podchaser. Interested in sponsoring the Cloud Accounting Podcast? For details, read the prospectus, and NOW, you can see our smiling faces on Instagram! You can now call us and leave a voicemail, maybe we'll play it on the show. DIAL (202) 695-1040Need Accounting Conference Info? Check out our new website - accountingconferences.comLimited edition shirts, stickers, and other necessitiesTeePublic Store: http://cloudacctpod.link/merchSubscribe Apple Podcasts: http://cloudacctpod.link/ApplePodcasts Podchaser: http://cloudacctpod.link/podchaser Spotify: http://cloudacctpod.link/Spotify Stitcher: http://cloudacctpod.link/Stitcher Overcast: http://cloudacctpod.link/Overcast YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/CloudAccountingPodcast ClassifiedsFinDaily - https://findaily.io/ Forwardly - https://www.forwardly.com/Royalwise - https://royalwise.com/FutureFirm - https://www.futurefirmaccelerate.com/capWant to get the word out about your newsletter, webinar, party, Facebook group, podcast, e-book, job posting, or that fancy Excel macro you just created? Why not let the listeners of The Cloud Accounting Podcast know by running a classified ad? Hit the link below to get more info.Go here to create your classified ad: https://cloudacctpod.link/RunClassifiedAd The full transcript for this episode is available by clicking on the Transcript tab at the top of this page
Chris Newbold: Hello friends. Welcome to the Path to Well-Being In Law podcast, an initiative of the Institute for Well-Being In Law. I'm your co-host Chris Newbold. I'm always thrilled and to be with my co-host, Bree Buchanan. Bree, how are you doing? Bree Buchanan: Doing great, Chris. How are you? Chris Newbold: Good, good. As our listeners know, I just want to reset this. Every time we do a podcast, I think we're welcoming new listeners in to the wellbeing movement. And Bree, one of our passions is to continue to introduce thought leaders doing meaningful work in the wellbeing space within the legal profession and in the process build and nurture a national network of wellbeing advocates intent on creating a culture shift in the profession. And I think we are super excited about our guests today because the ability for us, I've always thought that the secret sauce of creating a culture shift in this profession is the ability to engage in storytelling and the realities of what people's lives have been like in law and to give people platforms to tell their story. And we are really thrilled to be welcoming Julian Sarafian to the podcast, a noted social media influencer who is really a champion for mental health based upon his own personal story and what appeared to be just a straight direct success track in law. And so Bree, why don't I hand it off to you to introduce Julian, and we're really excited about where the conversation's going to take us today. Bree Buchanan: Absolutely. And I think Julian and his ability to do the storytelling and pull people in, and another thing I'm excited about, Julian, having you today is somebody that is of a younger generation than us because that's critical. One of the things I often say is that the legal profession will change. It will, because as the younger generations come up to positions of power, I truly believe they're not going to tolerate basically the working conditions that predominate through the legal profession right now. So it's inevitable. But I would say Julian is somebody who is accelerating that change to his work. So I'm going to give you a quick introduction of him and then we'll get to meeting Julian really quickly here. And I also will say, Julian, that you have such a humble bio. I am really impressed with that. So I try to refrain from pumping it up, but there's a lot of humility here and I see that as a great sign for somebody. So Julian Sarafian is a lawyer and content creator, but owe so much more. That was my editorial. His law firm For Creators by Creators PC is the premier law firm focused on representing content creators and social media influencers. As a content creator himself, Julian produces videos and blog posts related to the legal profession, law and mental health on TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram where, drum roll here, his cumulative following is nearly 350,000. He's given multiple TEDx talks, the cost of success that he did dove into what originally made him viral, his mental health story as a high achiever who faced mental health challenges along the way, culminating in him quitting his job in Big Law during the COVID pandemic. And there's a story there. He has written and published op-ed pieces in the American Lawyer, Law360, Business Insider, Bloomberg Law, and CNBC. And his advocacy for mental health has been covered by the New York Times and Bloomberg Law. So Julian, welcome. We are so delighted that you're here with us today. Julian Sarafian: Thank you Bree and Chris for the very warm introduction, and I'm very happy to be here, excited to talk about these really important issues with you guys. Bree Buchanan: One of the things I really appreciate so much and looking at, thank you for giving me this excuse to spend a lot of time on TikTok, by the way. Julian Sarafian: Oh man. I don't know if I'll say you're welcome to that one. Bree Buchanan: But it's been, you really are such clearly a spokesperson for what I find is so important, which is humanizing the practice of law, realizing that we are human beings with basic needs and honoring that. And so tell us a little bit about why you're so passionate for this work, because it really does come through. You've been doing this work for a good number of years and are so consistent, never let up the throttle on this. So tell us your story. Julian Sarafian: Yeah, yeah, very happy to. And I'll give the shortened rundown version of the mental health story that you alluded to earlier, and this is the thing that brought me into social media. I've always been the stereotype and archetype of "success in academic world." Valedictorian in high school, UC, Berkeley in three years, worked at the White House when I was there, onto law school at Harvard, and now I'm in Big Law at 24 years old, making the $225,000 salary, including bonus at the time. But it wasn't all starry-eyed and fun and games on the inside. When I was studying for the LSAT, I had panic attacks. There were periods of extreme loneliness and isolation in college. I had a nausea and breathing disorder for most of my twenties. That was stress and anxiety induced, but I didn't know that at the time. And throughout this entire period, the world is telling me, you're doing fricking awesome. You are getting the best grades, you're going to the best schools. You're getting the best job opportunities. You're a winner, Julian. This is exactly what you should be doing. Everything you're doing is right. Even though on the inside there was a lot of turmoil and my life in many ways could have been a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling. This culminated in the pandemic when I think I'm not alone as a lawyer or even as a professional when I say that it was a very tumultuous and rough period on the mental health front. Personally, I was stuck in the same room week after week after week after week. And Big Law at the time was only getting busier ironically, I think clients wanted a way to feel powerful and in control, and an easy way to do that was to boss around their Big Law associates and their attorneys that they have on staff. So work accelerated. My mental health and the habits that I had built to this point in my mid-twenties were not sustainable, to put it mildly. That resulted in burnout. It resulted in anxiety developing and taking over more and more of my life, basically making me feel like I couldn't enjoy or even sit and relax something as simple as a TV show or a movie. And that eventually led to mild depression and feeling like everything was turning gray. I didn't feel like I had purpose anymore, and I felt completely helpless, no matter what I did to try to fix this it wasn't working, working out wasn't going to work, watching TV wasn't going to help, playing video games that didn't cure this. So I took the step of accepting, you know what? I have no idea what I'm doing here. I'm going to go and check myself with the mental health services with my then medical provider, Kaiser, and see what they say. I get handed the diagnosis of severe anxiety and mild depression at the time, and it was definitely a wake-up call. Okay, this is a lot more serious than I realized. This is going to take a lot more effort, energy, and time to heal from and learn to manage than I originally thought. And so that led ultimately to me investing time in therapy, in journaling and meditation and all of these fundamentals that I encourage everybody out there to practice regardless of how they feel their mental health is, because I think it's just a good balance, especially in our day and age of being constantly overstimulated, speaking of TikTok, Bree, that's what that app is. And eventually it came to a point where I felt like I was gaining a lot more out of my time spent advocating and working on my mental health than I was doing the Big Law associate corporate job at my old firm, Wilson Sonsini, which was frankly earning me a big paycheck and looking good on a resume, but I didn't find the work intrinsically gratifying or fulfilling. And certainly the culture was not one, in my opinion, that was steeped in innovation, pushing the envelope or prioritizing wellbeing. And that's not to say that Wilson specifically was bad, if anything, I think my old firm is excellent in that regard, but it's an industry-wide phenomenon, which I'm sure we're going to talk about in this conversation. So I ended up quitting that job outright, not knowing what I was going to do next, posted my mental health story, which I just described to you on LinkedIn, out of the blue and on a whim, no real impetus or motivation behind it other than if this helps one person, then great. Because I went through this and I think it's important for people to know that, and ended up going viral. I get thousands of messages supporting me, telling me that it made a huge impact on people's lives, and I see that there's clearly value here. And I ran with that momentum. I went onto every social media platform that I could think of. I wrote articles about mental health, and I continued telling my story everywhere that I could, which led me ultimately to TikTok of all places, which at the time in 2021 for a millennial like me was, isn't that the dancing app for people in Gen Z? But it's very much more than that. And it's been the engine of growth for thousands of creators. And now being a creator, myself and attorney for creators, we can talk about that angle of its importance and relevance. But to make the answer short, Bree, I think the thing that led me to social media was the importance of advocating for mental health because I thought that it was important for other people out there who may be going through similar things that I went through to know that they're not alone, number one. And to know number two, that there is a path out of it and that there is a sense of community out there for them that welcomes them. Now, that said, when it comes to humanizing the legal profession, it's been an unfortunate reality in my own platform building that talking about mental health for 60 seconds versus talking about a Big Law firm for 30 seconds, the first video is going to get 5,000 views, the second one's going to get 50,000 views. And this was something that I realized and faced very early on in my creation career, a constant tension between what people actually want to hear and in my opinion, what is more relevant and pertinent and important and purposeful. And so I don't mind, and I have no issue unpacking the legal profession for folks outside of it who don't have easy access to a lawyer that they know. Our profession is very buttoned up, it's very guarded. And I think because of its extreme importance in how we function as a society, it's really important that people understand the basics of how it works and what it means. So anyway, long-winded answer, but happy to continue. Go from there. Chris Newbold: Yeah. When we think about going to law school, when we think about what practicing law is going to be like, when we think about success, when we think about all those things, I think I continue to remain convinced, and we've talked about it on this podcast before, that there's this notion of an expectations gap as to what you think it's going to be versus what it is. And then the natural realities that once that sets in, you made a very bold move to depart and to leave. I think a lot of folks in your situation stay cross their fingers, turn to self coping mechanisms and other things that just then start to couch them. When we think about wellbeing, when Bree and I do, we try to think about it in a holistic, how do we set people up for professional success? And then just that reality that oftentimes more often than not, there's just a lot of people in our profession that when you ask them whether they're professionally satisfied, the answer is no. Yet they stay and endure. And I don't want to say they suffer, but they suffer and oftentimes they suffer in silence. Is that fair based upon your followers and what you're seeing from your community? Julian Sarafian: Yes, it's exactly correct. And it's what I saw in the industry in Big Law when I was there. And I think again, at my old firm, I was at one of the better places that was more human. It was a West Coast based law firm. I worked with the most relaxed, relatively speaking, and most humane partners. And yet I could still see in so many of these partners' eyes and the way that they carry themselves, the inherent unhappiness and not being able to spend more time with their family, or in my associate colleagues feeling like they were trapped and not knowing what to do or feeling powerless to make a change. And it's no surprise if I say I think that lawyers tend to be risk averse people. And I think that combination of being so risk averse with the system that we're going to discuss but has a lot of things pushing against folks' wellbeing, especially in Big Law, it creates a perpetual cycle of folks feeling trapped, feeling powerless, feeling hopeless, and like you said, turning to self coping mechanisms a lot of the time looking like substance abuse disorder, which is rampant in the profession, certainly binge-drinking and these days, I think increasingly marijuana use and even opioids. Chris Newbold: Yeah. Julian, your story again, it feels like your first viral video was your three minute, This Is Me, This Is Who I Am, This Is My Story, launched or struck a nerve with a community that has built into a following, and I'm just very interested in how that occurred, and how you embraced that and how your followers have reacted to not just your story, but now your position as the champion for mental health. Julian Sarafian: Yeah, I think social media to some degree is a formula. So when I first started it was experimenting with having fun while trying to advocate for mental health. Let me do a skit that roasts Harvard kids for avoiding saying Harvard when they're asked, because it's fun. Why not? It's so different than what I was doing in my old job. It was refreshing. But then let me do a trend and talk about three signs that you might have anxiety, see how that goes. But I saw over time that something that really sticks on the app is raw authenticity and being vulnerable and showing up in front of the camera as a human being as you are and just saying your piece, whatever that is. Clearly I knew what that was for me at the time, and I still do. It's not like it's changed a whole lot. It's showing people that outside the sheen of everything that they look at and think is the greatest and the perfection and what they aspire to be, that it could be much darker on the other side. And it's something that many people refuse or don't ever talk to because their pride gets in the way or they're afraid that people will judge them or things of that nature. So you're right. When I initially posted my mental health story, that was the first thing that went viral. It got me up to, I think 12,000 followers let's say, but I didn't stop there. I continued that narrative and that discussion of tearing down what you think success is people and what it actually can look like on the other side. And I continued telling my mental health story in different ways, wearing a suit in one video, embellishing certain parts and focusing on other elements of grief, for example, or the pressure of going to law school and the videos continue to go viral time after time after time again. Obviously it was a lot to adjust to at first suddenly having hundreds of thousands of followers, none of whom I know. These are people that chose to hit the button on the internet. I couldn't tell you the first thing about them for the most part, other than that they're an incredibly supportive group of folks, and many of them relate to what I was talking about in one way or the other, be it because they're a high achiever or they've struggled with schizophrenia or they have a family member that they've lost to suicide. I think all of them felt connected to what I said in some capacity, and that drew them to me initially. And in the long run, they've been only supportive and kind both to each other and to me as the leader and creator of the community. Bree Buchanan: That's really so impressive. And I'm not surprised, I guess I'm a believer in the goodness of people. And when you create a community around that, we do see that. And I'm just wondering what kinds of strategies you've used around your mental health and just in life and being your very best that you've shared with them that seemed to resonate. Julian Sarafian: Yeah. Honestly, this part of the discussion I think is a lot more boring than some people would prefer because a lot of it is the basics. It's 10 minutes of meditating every day. It's going to therapy and accepting that you don't have the answers, and that's okay. It's reading books about mental health to educate yourself and gain perspective. It's journaling when you feel overwhelmed. And probably the most important, especially for high achievers who struggle with chronic overwork is learning how to set adequate boundaries. Because certainly for myself, being a chronic workaholic my whole life, you build habits of consistently and continually multitasking for one. And on top of that, when you're always working, you don't really need to set boundaries because you're always working. That's the default. When you're not working, okay, you're not working for those X number of hours per day. But the problem with building those habits and lack of boundaries is that it bleeds into everything else in your life, your personal relationships, the way that you manage things outside of work, even basic things like exercise and dieting and eating well. And if you don't set those boundaries in the long run, that's how things become really dangerous when you don't feel inspired or fulfilled by your work, which a lot of lawyers, as we've discussed don't, and that makes these mental health conditions and the misery exponentially worse. So I think if I had to summarize it in one sentence, what's resonated the most with my community is remembering to take things slower and that that's okay. Bree Buchanan: Great. Wonderful. Chris Newbold: Julian, is there anything that you've learned from your audience, from your followers that you've found either interesting or insightful as you continue to see their stories come back to you? Julian Sarafian: Yeah. For me, the biggest thing is that there are always more people than you realize out there that are struggling that you'll never know. So many people message and comment about being in similar situations where they feel isolated and alone, that no one understands what they're going through, that everybody thinks that they're one thing, but on the inside they feel a certain way. And for me, that's just a constant reminder of the trope that you hear when you're young, that you should never judge a book by its cover because you have doctors and high power lawyers, partners in law firms that reach out to me, Am Law 50 firms who tell me in a similar vein that everybody thinks one thing of them, but they don't think the same way and they don't feel the same way to a point that it's very concerning for them. Bree Buchanan: Imposter syndrome at the highest levels. Julian Sarafian: Some of that certainly yes, definitely. And also a mismatch of I think their internal sense of worth and what they want versus the external validators that they're receiving, which are very easy to define themselves by. What I mean is being a partner of a Am Law 50 firm as an example, it's going to be hard for somebody not to be impressed by that. And they're going to get respect from everybody around them. They're going to get praise, they're going to get a ton of money, they're going to get power and influence. All of those things are external validators telling them, this is good. This is what you want. This is positive. We like this. But on the inside, that's probably not what they really want in some cases. And no number of external validators can change that and will alter that feeling. They have to take action to find something else that better resonates with them. Bree Buchanan: Yeah, big disconnect. Chris Newbold: Julian, one of the interesting things, I think, a couple weeks ago I spoke in front of the National Conference of Bar Presidents on the future of wellbeing, and one of my observations was that one of the things that has me optimistic about where things are going is a couple things. One, that society's talking about mental health more, just more engagingly everywhere in all facets of life. That's good that more people are telling their stories, more people are hitting the pause button saying, I have an issue. I need a space to be able to talk and clear that before I reengage. That's healthy. And then the other part that I think is, Bree mentioned earlier is there's a generational shift that's clearly in play right now in society and in particular the legal profession. You got the baby boomer generation that's reaching that retirement age, although retirement sometimes doesn't come traditionally for most lawyers. And I'm curious about just some of your perceptions on the incoming generation of lawyers that we're going to entrust the legal system too, and as it relates to wellbeing, some different opinions frankly about what they're hoping to have as an experience as a lawyer or in law or sitting on the bench or whatever they ultimately pursue. I just think that there's some things that are in play that are very different than historically have been the norm. Julian Sarafian: Yeah, I think that's exactly right. Our generation and certainly the younger generation realizes that the world moves really fast. And in our day and age, especially with social media, you can become an entrepreneur from your bedroom with a camera in a month making six figures a year just like that if you know what you're doing and if you create valuable content. And that's just one example of the way that innovation in our current day and age leads to economic opportunity and prosperity. All of this means when they work really hard, when we work tremendously hard to get into the best law schools, to get the best grades, to get the best Big Law summer associateships and full-time jobs, when we get there, there is some expectation, some, that the firms are going to be high caliber, are going to be innovative, are going to be pushing the envelope, are going to represent that level of thinking, analytical mindset and hustle that got us to that associate position. That's certainly what I expected, and it was something that I was disappointed to find when I got there that as you mentioned earlier in our conversation, our profession is very slow to change and it's very resistant to change. And because of that, there is, I think, a shock factor that hits people in their twenties. We're talking about the younger generation of attorneys when they get there as a first year associate and they realize we're doing things operationally that we could have improved on 20 years ago, the culture seems to be stuck in the mid 2000s. Why are we still using email when we could use project management software like Asana, for example, that's more efficient? And I think the folks that get impatient and try to change it from within, myself as one of them, eventually self-select themselves out of that industry because of this frustration, because we're devoting the vast majority of our living waking hours to this employer. And clearly it's a transaction, we get money in return, but when we put in all of our energy and purpose and time into this institution, we want it to match similar values to the ones that we have. And when they're too slow or they're too dismissive of what the younger generation thinks, because that's just not the way we did things last year, that's just not the way we do things, period. It doesn't encourage buy-in or build morale amongst the younger associates and the younger generations of lawyers. And what will probably result in the longterm is an increase in folks flocking to the areas of the legal profession that are more open to innovation and more open to new ways and lines of thinking and more focused on wellbeing. For one example, being a solo practitioner like myself, I never expected to be a solo practitioner when I quit my job in Big Law. And yet here I am in large part because I enjoy legal work, just not on the terms that Big Law was offering. And being a solo practitioner, obviously you can run your own schedule, but it's not just being a solo practitioner, it's going in-house at progressive companies. It's starting a smaller firm with multiple associates at the same time. And I think that self-selection is important, but it's also important to note that when we're talking about Big Law specifically, I don't see it changing much in the long-term or even the midterm because I think the people that stay in it, even from my generation and the younger generations, I think are ones that are more or less okay with what the culture offers and what that lifestyle is like. And so though there will be movement on the edges, more benefits for folks to get therapists, maybe a mental health day here and there, maybe a reduction in the billable hour requirements, I think it's going to be really, really slow and too little, too late for a lot of people who value the things that I've been discussing earlier, innovation and open-mindedness, et cetera, et cetera. Chris Newbold: So the sense there is that they would look to make sure that people knew what they were getting into and find that group of folks that are willing to do that. Julian Sarafian: Yes, that's right. And the people who are not willing to do it will self-select themselves out, like myself and many colleagues at my level, good friends of mine who were like-minded all left the industry too. Bree Buchanan: And many women, for example, are leaving or self-selecting out too, because it's just not, what they get in return is not worth what they're asked to give up basically. Julian Sarafian: Yes. A 100%. Bree Buchanan: It's a huge issue right now. I'll just say we having a high level discussion and about these things and the image that's popping into my mind, Julian, is one of your TikToks where talking about the inefficiencies and old school style of law firms where you're going on about having to go through and insert Oxford commas- Chris Newbold: Oh, yes. Bree Buchanan: ... a thousand pages or something. That was just such a great little demonstrative piece there. I love that. Julian Sarafian: Oh yeah. And among many other stories, one of the moments I had before quitting that made me really realize I had other things I wanted to do was spending 45 minutes copy and pasting entries from an Excel document into a Word document and billing a client, whatever it was, 750 an hour for it. And that was the task. That was what I was expected to be doing. That was good job, Julian. And in the same period of time I realized I could write an article about getting into law school and probably help some underprivileged kid out there reframe their expectations. What am I doing? Copy and pasting for a big paycheck. Yeah. Chris Newbold: Well, Bree, should we take a quick break? And I think this is a good time, obviously so this podcast is being sponsored by ALPS Malpractice Insurance. Obviously that's my employer, so I'll be a little favorable to that. And it's interesting that one of the things that we see at ALPS is, again, a large number of folks coming into the solo space and the small firm space looking for something different, looking for something that has the type of balance that they're seeking. So it reflects, Julian, a little bit of your own personal journey of just that reality of maybe there's a different pathway for me and maybe it is in an area that has a little bit more flexibility and balance. And so I think that's interesting. So let's take a quick break and we'll be right back. Okay. We're back with Julian Sarafian and who's just got a really compelling personal story and has leveraged that story into becoming a champion for mental health, particularly through social media channels. Julian, I think it's fair to say that one of the things that's resonated in your ability to attract a following has been, one, your authenticity, and two, your willingness to be a truth teller when it comes to the realities of the legal profession. Tell us again, just your perspective on both where the profession is today, what some of your inclinations are about where it's heading. And I know you probably to be more likely an optimist than a pessimist, but just tell us what you see on the horizon as you think about this particular issue and the intersection of our ability as lawyers to deliver in a high functioning legal system. Julian Sarafian: Yeah. Well, I think you're right, Chris, that I am an optimist and just since I quit my role in Big Law and started speaking out, I can't count the number of stories of similar folks that have come forward on and off social media talking about similar issues, the lack of purpose, feeling like there was other things in life calling them, realizing that being locked into this bubble of working as a mid-size law firm or Big Law attorney or even solo practitioner just wasn't for them, and they wanted to explore other things. On top of that, social media has accelerated the ability for culture to be built and normalized in not just the legal profession, but everywhere. And what that does has, and what it will continue to do is shed a light on, first of all toxicity. And one example I think that's prominent as of late is the Barbara Rainin scandal where folks had sent racist and sexist emails around and the internet went wild over it. And I don't know what these folks are doing now, but certainly I can promise you they're not well-liked in the public sphere. Things like that for me speak to the power that every individual has in our system to use their voice to both inspire other people and call out toxic or unreasonable expectations or habits that folks in the profession put on them, which in the long term I think will lead to mental health and wellbeing and being more reasonable with our expectations on ourselves, being cool and being normal and being the default setting. And those are the things that we need to make happen if we want these old ideologies to fall by the wayside. And I think it will happen and it already is happening. It's just going to take time for that culture shift to actually impact institutional policy and the structural incentives, for example, the billable hour that I think are holding the profession back irrespective of the culture, but I am optimistic and I think it's only going to get better from where we are now, and it's already gotten a lot better in my perspective in the last few years since the pandemic and coming out of it. Bree Buchanan: Yeah, I'm glad you said those two words, billable hour and the third rail of the legal profession here, and since you invoked it, I was going to ask you about it anyway, but what about that and any other barriers you see that are just endemic to life in Big Law, but the billable hours, something that people say, if we could just change that- Julian Sarafian: Yeah. Well, I think the problem is in the American culture of work, the goal is to be number one at all times and make infinite money, period. Legitimately that's the goal. There's never a target, okay, for any business or firm, certainly the most competitive amongst us. It's make as much as possible. And when you tie your revenue to the number of hours that you work, which is what the billable hour is, this is the result that we get. When you mix that with the American culture of work, it's chronic overwork, it's continually billing all the time because you want to make more money for your boss, or the partner wants to make more money for themselves, or you want to look really good for your senior associate because you want to go up for partner eventually, and you know that that will help. All of it comes down to money, and the reason that it comes down to money is because it's being tied to the hours that we work. On top of that, there are psychological damages that come with the billable hour structure. When I was in Big Law, I remember thinking every day, okay, I could either get lunch with a friend for 30 minutes or bill half an hour. I'm going to probably bill half an hour most of those times because every moment that you weren't working felt like an opportunity cost to be getting more work done and hitting that target for your bonus, or again, looking better for your bosses. You mentioned things that firms or the industry can do to push back or help restructure itself to avoid some of these problems. For the life of me, I can't tell you why firms don't do this, but this is partially why I left the industry. It would be the easiest thing in the world to just create different segments of salary and bonus structure based on how many hours you bill. This is basic math. I'm talking fourth grade math. Okay. If you bill 1500 hours, you get paid a 150. If you get 1700, you get paid a 170. You hit 1950, you get paid 200. And magically suddenly, I think firms will find, okay, if we make less money from this person, that's fine because we also pay them less. The try hards are going to continue to try hard because that's what they want to do and they want to make more money, but there won't be an inherent pressure on every single associate to fall in line and work their tail off. There also won't be an intra competitive mindset amongst associates to out bill each other or a stigma, oh, you didn't hit the bonus, you're screwed. That's a big no-no, you're not going to rise up the partner now, and you're probably not even well liked. You'd get rid of all of that. Instead, you'd have a more healthy system of people who, okay, they want to work a little bit less hard, they'll make less money for it, and that's okay. Before I quit my job in Big Law, I actually went part-time at Wilson, and part-time in Big Law is literally that, it's a pro rata percentage of hours that you take on is the percentage of the salary full-time that you receive. I don't see any reason why that sort of structure cannot be institutionalized broadly, not just in Big Law, but in Midlaw and small-law too. And I think that that would just give people a lot more autonomy and feel a lot more in control of their own destiny, which can help alleviate a lot of these pressures. Bree Buchanan: Yeah. And the consulting that I do with Big Law, I see a real issue around the billable hour, and it's not just it in and of itself, it's the lack of transparency around what the law firms really want. And so like you said, the default is that you just keep working. When you're not really clear what's expected of you, then you always, always just work. Julian Sarafian: Pretty much. Bree Buchanan: Yeah. Julian Sarafian: Well, and honestly, I don't know if the firms even know what they want to be blunt. The partners are moving around half the time to other firms because they're getting offered more money, and the partners themselves are overworked. Bree Buchanan: Absolutely. Julian Sarafian: If the leadership team is overworked and can't spend inadequate amount of time thinking and processing what the community, broadly speaking, needs, we shouldn't be surprised that things are getting lost in the shuffle. Chris Newbold: And Julian, is that a business model reality or is it just a lack of an awareness to one, talk about what the employee's objectives are versus what the firm's objectives are and to make sure that those are in part aligned? Julian Sarafian: Yeah, go on. Chris Newbold: Well, I was just going to say is it... Because it still seems like we're lacking the conversation as to what the collective ambitions are, and again, there's an employer and an employee, and so there is a power dynamic there, but that doesn't necessarily mean that both objectives can't be met if there's transparency and communication on the front end. Julian Sarafian: That's exactly right. Big Law and many law firms, not just Big Law, will tout themselves on annual growth rates of 10%. Okay, let's go to the other side of the economic spectrum of technology companies or startups where 10% means that your stock is going to nose dive because that's a joke, 10% for some of the smartest, you're telling me the smartest, most ambitious, hardworking lawyers all in the same bucket and under the same umbrella, you can only grow 10% a year? What are you guys doing? But they tout themselves and they're proud of that because as a collective that is, let's just do what we did last year. That's the norm. It's a short-term model of thinking, in part because I think partners are looking at their own paychecks, they're compensated based on the performance of the firm that year. They're not going to see the value in generating long-term revenue 10 years from now because they're looking one year ahead. So to your point, I think the cost of training a new associate is something to the tune of $200,000. By the time an associate is a mid-level in Big Law as an example, that is the most profitable time for the law firm, when nearly 80 to 90% of their worked hours and billed hours is pure profit. When these firms don't curate themselves or open themselves up to what the younger generation, junior associates have been asking for basic things, more strict boundaries on weekends, maybe a more flexible dinner reimbursement policy, all of these collective things that lead them out the door before they reach that mid-level stage, the firm loses hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential revenue. I'm just one example of the type of person that I didn't dislike the practice of law. I do a very similar practice now on my own. I would've stayed if certain conditions were being met, if I felt that the culture were more cohesive, that associates were taken care of, that there was a long-term vision that included me in it, rather than what felt like a very short-term model in between distractions meant to, Bree, to your point, shield leadership from being truly transparent with the younger ranks. So I think in the long run, it's something that technology companies figured out a long time ago, that happier employees are more productive employees, more productive employees generate more value for the business, but the legal profession hasn't really cared to adopt that, and so I think it's pretty obvious that it would be financially beneficial to them in the long run. But that requires long-term thinking. And I question if these firms- Bree Buchanan: That's right. That's right. Julian Sarafian: ... I question if these firms really have that or care about it, because truthfully, the people leading them are folks that are looking at their annual paycheck every year, and some of them, dare I say, have no real loyalty to the institution of the firm because when another firm comes along next year and offers them three million more for their book of business, they jump. Bree Buchanan: Yeah. Yeah, I was about to just comment on that. Absolutely. Chris Newbold: Well, good. Julian, I guess the last thing that I just wanted to explore is, again, thinking about creating a culture shift in our profession. It could take decades, it could take, there needs to be education awareness. We know that that's probably at its peak right now relative to historical norms, a lot more folks doing, it's hard to not go to a state bar annual meeting in your jurisdiction and not hear something or see something about wellness. That's good. That doesn't necessarily amount to a culture shift, but it's definitely a precursor to most social movements that there needs to be an education awareness, understanding and appreciation that there's a problem and that we can all be part of the solution. So there's that element of it. I have to think that some of the work that you do on social media has the potential to be an accelerator of that culture shift, because again, you're providing platforms for people to come forward, tell stories, share experiences, and the more that we normalize those experiences, the more that we can appreciate that it's okay to come forward and share those experiences because that will serve as a catalyst to change. As you think about the future, how do you think about that and how do we try to do this more quickly than await decades if we're really serious about achieving a mission of putting wellbeing as a core centerpiece of professional success? Julian Sarafian: Well, first of all, I think what you guys are doing with your work in providing a platform like this podcast and opening up a space for these conversations, that's incredibly important. Working directly in the space, creating content about it, starting the conversations with employers or colleagues or friends, all of that is crucial. But in the longterm, I think the power of the internet and what social media provides is, and this is changing, but right now I still believe this is true. If you post a piece of content, you're entering the 1% of the folks on social media who are creators, whereas 99% of people on the internet are consumers. And so my platform and what I've built with advocating for mental health, breaking down barriers in the legal profession, in some ways, I hate to say it, but it's not that special. When I talk about Big Law firms and what people talk about and what Cravath feels like on the inside, these are things that everybody in my law school talked about openly and knew about, but they just never cared to put that on social media or talk about it openly. And I understand that there's a lot of apprehension with putting yourself out there on the internet and with social media. The Internet's written in ink. You can't take back what you say, and it will potentiall chase you around forever, and you have haters who are going to potentially disagree with you and attack your character or how you look, et cetera, et cetera. But at the same time, you can be part of that process and inspire who knows how many people with a simple post, even reminding your own network about the importance of mental health and wellbeing. It doesn't need to be a tell all mental health, raw vulnerability story like I did. It could just be an insight that somebody learned talking to a colleague about how Big Law wasn't always cracked up to be, or I'm a lawyer and I thought I'd love the work, but it turns out it's really draining. The more conversations and the more courage that we can have to bring these things to light, I think the more encouraged and inspired other people will be to do the same and to actually accept where they are at, which in the long run will lead to the important thing, which is action, putting pressure on employers, signing onto petitions, attending wellbeing conferences, supporting creators who talk about these issues, writing and creating content about wellness in the legal profession and its importance, or just crafting and being part of leadership initiatives in state bar associations, for example, to help the process move forward. So I think something that everybody can do at a baseline is talk about the issues. And if they're feeling courageous enough post about it digitally, even if it's something they've never done before. Bree Buchanan: Lots of tales of courage here. It takes a lot of... Yeah. Especially- Julian Sarafian: The internet right now is not a fun place. Bree Buchanan: Yeah. Yeah. Julian Sarafian: Let's be clear, in 10, 15 years, I think it will be, and I think LinkedIn is the safest platform right now, but when you normalize anonymity and the ability of people to say things behind masks, which is what TikTok and Twitter and Reddit are all pretty much normalized, have normalized, it could be ruthless on top of the harass of effects. If you talk about something controversial and have people harass your home and send police to your door and all that, it's not a great system we have right now, and our 9,000 year old Congress folk have yet to regulate it adequately. So I'm not holding my breath on that one, at least right now. Bree Buchanan: Absolutely. Chris Newbold: Well, awesome. Julian, thank you for joining us on the podcast. Bree Buchanan: Thank you so much. Chris Newbold: We certainly want to continue to build bridges with you and between I Will and other influencers like you. Again, I think it's a critical component to what we're working to do, to be inclusive of the strategies and the techniques that have really proven to be so successful for you and your aspirations to do your part, and sharing your own personal story and sharing that authentically with your followers. And again, so many of them are coming forward with reciprocally and sharing their stories back. That's the type of, I think, interaction that does lend itself toward culture shift. And we're very thankful for the work that you're doing. Bree Buchanan: Absolutely. Thank you, Julian, for your work and your courage. Julian Sarafian: You're very welcome guys, and the feeling is very mutual. Chris Newbold: All right, so we'll be back in a couple of weeks. Bree and I are exploring some variations in doing some different things with the podcast, introducing some different segments and so forth. Again, storytelling a big part of what we want to be able to aspire to do. Start making some predictions, start focusing on some of the research that's coming out in the wellbeing and law space. There's just a lot of opportunity for us to be able to, as Julian said, get more content out there into the public domain and be initiators of dialogue in this important area. So we hope that you'll tune in for that. So signing off, be well out there, friends. Thank you. Bree Buchanan: Take care.
In the episode, we deep-dived into saving the old forests with Rimante Paulaskaite-Digaitiene from the Sengire Fondas (The Ancient Woods Foundation), which aims to acquire the first 100 hectares of old forests in Lithuania by the end of this year and leave them for nature. "So the organisation was founded in 2020 aiming to protect the last remaining forest plots of old-growth forests, the last remaining biologically very valuable forest plots, like fragments, and don't do anything with that, meaning leaving it to nature to develop naturally. So it really becomes the real old-growth forest," she said. "It may seem that it's not much, especially when you sit near the computer and look at the data, look at the Excel, but when you get to those forests, you understand what you're doing, understand why you're doing that. And it seems a lot easier to understand when you get there," she said. The foundation was launched after "Sengire", a nature documentary Mindaugas Survila shot over many years, became an unexpected hit in Lithuania and abroad. The movie is available through Vimeo's on-demand service. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
WATCH ▶️ Watch this episode on YouTube *** EPISODE DESCRIPTION Kat Norton energetically teaches Microsoft Excel to individuals, businesses, and educational institutions. Since launching Miss Excel in June 2020, she has grown a community of over 1,000,000 people on TikTok & Instagram (@miss.excel) through viral Excel trick videos infused with creativity, music, and dance. Kat was recently awarded the Microsoft MVP Award and has been featured in Business Insider, CNBC, and Entrepreneur Magazine as a pioneer in the "Excel Influencer" space. Kat was also named one of the Top Influencers of 2021 by Forbes. In this episode, we talk about how Kat overcome her fear and began posting on TikTok, how she thinks about energy management, how she earned $100,000 in a single day, and why all of her progress can be attributed to taking what she calls “Messy Action.” Full transcript and show notes Learn more about Miss Excel Kat Norton Follow Kat Norton on TikTok / Instagram *** TIMESTAMPS 00:16 - Weird and Wonderful World of TikTok 00:45 - Kat Norton 01:14 - The pandemic changed everything 02:55 - Kat got a $1 million idea 03:00 - 1st viral TikTok 03:28 - What we learn today 04:12 - Beginnings of Miss Excel 06:44 - Miss Excel becomes a business 07:30 - Did Kat even use TikTok? 08:10 - Overcoming limiting beliefs and anxiety 12:45 - Embracing messy action 14:35 - Kat's self-imposed bounds on action 18:37 - How to exude positive energy 19:25 - How Kat handled blowing up so quickly 21:50 - Kat NEVER reached out for press 22:50 - How does your energy affect your content? 24:30 - Does Jay smile? 25:45 - How do you reach a higher version of yourself? 26:55 - Energy Management is better than Time Management 30:25 - Jay wants to buy Tony Robbins mini trampoline 30:37 - Kat on her spiritual journal and seeing Tony Robbins 33:23 - Kat's journey to earn $100,000 in a single day 40:30 - Kat's tips on going viral 43:20 - What is a good TikTok posting frequency? 45:10 - Miss Excel business model 46:02 - How to make a successful webinar 48:20 - How to structure time to be more productive 50:45 - What has Kat struggled with? 52:31 - What is next for Miss Excel? *** CONNECT
Wes Miller, Research VP at Directions on Microsoft, joins Corey on Screaming in the Cloud to discuss the various intricacies and pitfalls of Microsoft licensing. Wes and Corey discuss what it's like to work closely with a company like Microsoft in your day-to-day career, while also looking out for the best interest of your mutual customers. Wes explains his history of working both at and with Microsoft, and the changes he's seen to their business models and the impact that has on their customers. About WesWes Miller analyzes and writes about Microsoft security, identity, and systems management technologies, as well as Microsoft product licensing.Before joining Directions on Microsoft in 2010, Wes was a product manager and development manager for several Austin, TX, start-ups, including Winternals Software, acquired by Microsoft in 2006. Prior to that, Wes spent seven years at Microsoft working as a program manager in the Windows Core Operating System and MSN divisions.Wes received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.Links Referenced: Directions on Microsoft Website: https://www.directionsonmicrosoft.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/getwired LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wmiller/ Directions on Microsoft Training: https://www.directionsonmicrosoft.com/training 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: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud, I'm Corey Quinn. So, I write a newsletter called Last Week in AWS, which has always felt like it's flying a little bit too close to the sun just because having AWSes name in the title of what I do feels like it's playing with copyright fire. It's nice periodically to talk to someone—again—who is in a similar boat. Wes Miller is a Research VP at Directions on Microsoft. To be clear, Directions on Microsoft is an analyst firm that talks primarily about Microsoft licensing and is not, in fact, part of Microsoft itself. Have I disclaimed that appropriately, Wes?Wes: You have. You have. And in fact, the company, when it was first born, was actually called Microsoft Directions. And they had a reasonably good relationship with Microsoft at the time and Microsoft cordially asked them, “Hey, could you at least reverse that so it corrects it in terms of trademark.” So yes, we're blessed in that regard. Something you probably would never get away with now, but that was 30 years ago.Corey: [laugh]. And now it sounds like it might as well be a product. So, I have to ask, just because the way I think of you is, you are the folks to talk to, full stop, when you have a question about anything that touches on Microsoft licensing. Is that an accurate depiction of what it is you folks do or is that just my particular corner of the world and strange equivalence that gets me there?Wes: That is our parts of the Venn diagram intersecting because that's what I spend a lot of time talking about and thinking about because I teach that with our company founder, Rob Horwitz. But we also spend an inordinate amount of time taking what Microsoft is talking about shipping, maybe servicing, and help customers understand really, as we say, the ‘So, what?' What does this mean to me as a customer? Should I be using this? Should I be waiting? Should I upgrade? Should I stay? Those sorts of things.So, there's a whole roadmapping side. And then we have a [laugh]—because licensing doesn't end with a license, we have a whole side of negotiation that we spend a lot of time, we have a dedicated team that focuses on helping enterprise agreement customers get the most successful deal for their organization, basically, every three years.Corey: We do exactly that with AWS ourselves. I have to ask before we dive into this. In the early days, I felt like I had a much better relationship with Microsoft. Scott Guthrie, the head of Azure, was on this show. A number of very highly placed Microsoft folks were here. And over the years, they more or less have stopped talking to me.And that leaves me in a position where all I can see is their actions and their broad public statements without getting any nuance or context around any of it. And I don't know if this is just a commentary on human nature or me in particular, but I tend to always assume the worst when things like that happen. So, my approach to Microsoft has grown increasingly cynical over the years as a result. That said, I don't actually have an axe to grind with them from any other perspective than as a customer, and occasionally that feels like ‘victim' for a variety of different things. What's your take on Microsoft as far as, I guess, your feelings toward the company?Wes: So, a lot of people—in fact, it used to be more so, but not as much anymore, people would assume I hate Microsoft or I want to demonize Microsoft. But the irony actually is, you know, I want people to remember I worked there for seven-and-a-half years, I shipped—I was on the team that shipped Windows XP, Server 2003, and a bunch of other products that people don't remember. And I still care about the company, but the company and I are obviously in different trajectories now. And also, my company's customers today are also Microsoft's customers today, and we actually have—our customers—our mutual customers—best interest in mind with basically everything we do. Are we helping them be informed? Are we helping them color within the financial lines?And sometimes, we may say things that help a customer that aren't helping the bottom line or helping a marketing direction and I don't think that resonates well within Microsoft. So sure, sometimes we even hear from them, “Hey, it'd be great if you guys might want to, you know, say something nice once in a while.” But it's not necessarily our job to say nice things. I do it once in a while. I want to note that I said something nice about AAD last week, but the reality is that we are there to help our mutual customers.And what I found is, I have found the same thing to be true that you're finding true that, unfortunately, outbound communications from them, in particular from the whole company, have slowed. I think everybody's busier, they've got a very specific set of directions they're going on things, and as a result, we hear very little. And even getting, trying to get clarification on things sometimes, “Did we read that right?” It takes a while, and it has to go through several different rungs of people to get the answer.Corey: I have somewhat similar relationships over the years with AWS, where they—in many cases, a lot of their executives prefer not to talk to me at all. Which again, is fair. I'm not—I don't require any of them to do it. But there's something in the Amazonian ethos that requires them to talk to customers, especially when customers are having a rough time. And I'm, for better or worse, the voice of the customer.I am usually not the dumbest person in the universe when it comes to trying to understand a service or make it do something that, to me, it seems that it should be able to do. And when I actually start having in-depth conversations, people are surprised. “Wow, you were super pleasant and fun to work with. We thought you were just going to be a jerk.” It's, yeah, it turns out I don't go through every meeting like it's Twitter. What a concept.Wes: Yeah, a lot of people, I've had this happen for myself when you meet people in person, when they meet your Twitter persona, especially for someone who I think you and I both come across as rather boisterous, gregarious, and sometimes people take that as our personas. And I remember meeting a friend in the UK for the first time years ago, he's like, “You're very different in person.” I'm like, “I know. I know.”Corey: I usually get the, “You're just like Twitter.” In many respects, I am. Because people don't always see what I'm putting down. I make it a point to be humorous and I have a quick quip for a lot of things, but it's never trying to make the person I'm engaging with feel worse for it. And that's how I work.People are somewhat surprised when I'm working in client meetings that I'm fun and I have a similar sense of humor and personality, as you would see on Twitter. Believe it or not, I haven't spent all this time just doing a bit. But they're also surprised that it tends to drive toward an actual business discussion.Wes: Sure.Corey: Everything fun is contextual.Wes: Absolutely. That's the same sort of thing we get on our side when we talk to customers. I think I've learned so much from talking with them that sometimes I do get to share those things with Microsoft when they're willing to listen.Corey: So, what I'm curious about in the context of Microsoft licensing is something that, once again, it has intruded upon my notice lately with a bunch of security disclosures in which Microsoft has said remarkably little, and that is one of the most concerning things out there. They casually tried to slide past, “Oh, yeah, we had a signing key compromised.” Which is one of those, “Oh, [laugh] and by the way, the building's on fire. But let's talk about our rent [unintelligible 00:07:44] for the next year.” Like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on. What?”That was one of those horrifying moments. And it came out—I believe I learned about this from you—that you needed something called E3 licensing—sorry, E5 licensing—in order to look at those audit logs, where versus E3, which sounded like the more common case. And after a couple of days of, “Explain this,” Microsoft very quickly wound up changing that. What do all these things mean? This is sort of a foreign concept to me because AWS, for better or worse, does not play games with licensing in the same way that Microsoft does.Wes: Sure. Microsoft has, over the years, you know, they are a master of building suites. This is what they've done for over 30 years. And they will build a suite, they'll sell you that suite, they'll come back around in three to six years and sell you a new version of that suite. Sometimes they'll sell you a higher price version of that suite, et cetera.And so, you'll see products evolve. And did a great podcast with my colleagues Rob and Mary Jo Foley the other day where we talked about what we've seen over the last, now for me, 11 years of teaching boot camps. And I think in particular, one of the changes we have seen is exactly what you're being exposed to on the outside and what a lot of people have been complaining about, which is, products don't sit still anymore. So, Microsoft actually makes very few products today. Almost everything they sell you is a service. There are a handful of products still.These services all evolve, and about every triennium or two—so every three to six years—you'll see a price increase and something will be added, and a price increase and something will be added. And so, all this began with the BPOS, the first version of Office 365, which became Office 365 E3, then Microsoft 365 E3 then Microsoft 365 E5. And for people who aren't in the know, basically, that means they went from Office as a subscription to Office, Windows, and a bunch of management tools as a subscription, to E5, basically, it took all of the security and compliance tools that many of us feel should have been baked into the fundamentals, into E3, the thing that everybody buys, what I refer to still today as the hero SKU and those security and compliance fundamentals should have been baked in. But no, in fact, a lot of customers when this AAD issue came out—and I think a lot discovered this ad hoc for the same reason, “Hey, we've been owned, how far back in the logs can we look?” And the answer is, you know, no farther than 90 days, a lot of customers hit that reality of, what do you mean we didn't pay for the premium thing that has all the logging that we need?Corey: Since you sat on this for eight months before mentioning it to us? Yeah.Wes: Exactly, exactly. And it's buried. And it's one of those things that, like, when we teach the licensing boot camp, I specifically call out because of my security background, it's an area of focus and interest to me. I call out to customers that a lot of the stuff we've been showing you has not questionable valuable, but kind of squishy value.This piece right here, this is both about security and compliance. Don't cheap out. If you're going to buy anything, buy this because you're going to need it later. And I've been saying that for, like, three years, but obviously only the people who were in the boot camp would hear that and then shake their head;, “Why does it have to be this difficult?” But yeah. Everything becomes a revenue opportunity if it's a potential to upsell somebody for the next tier.Corey: The couple of times I've been asked to look at Azure bills, I backed away slowly as soon as I do, just because so much of it is tied to licensing and areas that are very much outside of my wheelhouse. Because I view, in the cloud context, that cost and architecture tend to be one of the same. But when you bolt an entire layer of seat licensing and what this means for your desktop operating systems on as well as the actual cloud architecture, it gets incredibly confusing incredibly quickly. And architectural advice of the type that I give to AWS customers and would give to GCP customers is absolutely going to be harmful in many respects.I just don't know what I don't know and it's not an area that interests me, as far as learning that competency, just to jump through hoops. I mean, I frankly used to be a small business Windows admin, with the products that you talked about, back when XP and Server 2003 and a few others, I sort of ruled the roost. But I got so tired of surprise audit-style work. It felt like busy work that wasn't advancing what I was trying to get done in any meaningful way that, in a fit of rage, one day, I wound up exploring the whole Unix side of the world in 2006 and never went back.Wes: [whispering] That's how it happened.Corey: Yep.Wes: It's unfortunate that it's become so commonplace, but when Vista kind of stalled out and they started exploring other revenue opportunities, you have Vista Ultimate Enterprise, all the crazy SKUing that Vista had, I think it sort of created a mindset within the company that this is what we have to do in order to keep growing revenue up and to the right, and you know, shareholder value be the most important thing, that's what you've got to do. I agree entirely, though, the biggest challenge I could see for someone coming into our space is the fact that yes, you've got to understand Azure, Azure architecture, development architecture, and then as soon as you feel like you understand that, somebody comes along and says, “Well, yeah, but because we have an EA, we have to do it this way or we only get a discount on this thing.” And yeah, it just makes things more cumbersome. And I think that's why we still see a lot of customers who come to our boot camps who are still very dedicated AWS customers because that's where they were, and it's easier in many regards, and they just want to go with what they know.Corey: And I think that that's probably fair. I think that there is an evolution that grows here that I think catches folks by surprise. I'm fortunate in that my Microsoft involvement, if we set things like GitHub aside because I like them quite a bit and my Azure stuff as well—which is still small enough to fit in the free tier, given that I use it for one very specific, very useful thing—but the rest of it is simply seat licenses for Office 365 for my team. And I just tend to buy the retail-priced one on the internet that's licensed for business use, and I don't really think about it again. Because I don't need, as you say, in-depth audit logs for Microsoft Word. I really don't. I'm sorry, but I have a hard time believing that that's true. But something that immediately crops up when you say this is when you talk about E3 versus E5 licensing, is that organization-wide or is that on a per-seat basis?Wes: It's even worse than that. It usually comes down to per-user licensing. The whole world used to be per device licensing in Microsoft and it switched to per user when they subscript-ified everything—that's a word I made up a while ago—so when they subscript-ified everything, they changed it over to per user. And for better or worse, today, you could—there's actually four different tiers of Microsoft 365. You could go for any one of those four for any distinct user.You could have one of them on F1, F3, E3, and E5. Now, if you do that, you create some other license non-compliance issues that we spend way too much time having to talk about during the boot camp, but the point is, you can buy to fit; it's not one-size-fits-all necessarily. But you run into, very rapidly, if you deploy E5 for some number of users because the products that are there, the security services and compliance services ironically don't do license compliance in most cases, customers can actually wind up creating new license compliance problems, thereby basically having to buy E5 for everybody. So, it's a bit of a trapdoor that customers are not often aware of when they initially step into dabbling in Microsoft 365 E5.Corey: When you take a look at this across the entire board, what is your guidance to customers? Because honestly, this feels like it is a full-time job. At scale, a full-time job for a department simply keeping up with all of the various Microsoft licensing requirements, and changes because, as you say, it's not static. And it just feels like an overwhelming amount of work that to my understanding, virtually no other vendor makes customers jump through. Sure there's Oracle, but that tends to be either in a database story or a per developer, or on rare occasions, per user when you build internal Java apps. But it's not as pervasive and as tricky as this unless I'm missing something.Wes: No, you're not. You're not missing anything. It's very true. It's interesting to think back over the years at the boot camp. There's names I've heard that I don't hear anymore in terms of companies that were as bad. But the reality is, you hear the names of the same software companies but, exactly to your point, they're all departmental. The people who make [Roxio 00:16:26] still, they're very departmentalized. Oracle, IBM, yeah, we hear about them still, but they are all absolutely very departmentalized.And Microsoft, I think one of the reason why we do get so many—for better or worse, for them—return visitors to our licensing boot camps that we do every two months, is for that exact reason, that some people have found they like outsourcing that part of at least trying to keep up with what's going on, what's the record? And so, they'll come back every two, three, or four years and get an update. And we try to keep them updated on, you know, how do I color within the lines? Should it be like this? No. But it is this way.In fact, it's funny, I think back, it was probably one of the first few boot camps I did with Rob. We were in New York and we had a very large customer who had gotten a personalized message from Microsoft talking about how they were going to simplify licensing. And we went to a cocktail hour afterwards, as we often do on the first day of the boot camp, to help people, you know, with the pain after a boot camp, and this gentleman asks us well, “So, what are you guys going to do once Microsoft simplifies licensing?” And Rob and I just, like, looked at each other, smiled, looked back at the guy, and laughed. We're like, “We will cross that bridge when we get to it.”Corey: Yeah, people ask us that question about AWS billing. What if they fix the billing system? Like, we should be so lucky to live that long.Wes: I have so many things I'd rather be doing. Yes.Corey: Mm-hm. Exactly. It's one of those areas where, “Well, what happens in a post-scarcity world?” Like, “I couldn't tell you. I can't even imagine what such a thing would look like.”Wes: Exactly [laugh]. Exactly.Corey: So, the last time we spoke way back, I think in 2019, Microsoft had wound up doing some unfortunate and fairly underhanded-appearing licensed changes, where it was more expensive to run a bunch of Microsoft things, such as server software, most notably SQL Server, on clouds that were not Azure. And then, because you know, you look up the word chutzpah in the dictionary, you'll find the Microsoft logo there in response, as part of the definition, they ran an advertising campaign saying that, oh, running many cloud workloads on Azure was five times cheaper than on AWS. As if they cracked some magic secret to cloud economics. Rather than no, we just decided to play dumb games that win worse prizes with cloud licensing. How did that play out?Wes: Well, so they made those changes in October of 2019, and I kind of wish they'd become a bigger deal. And I wish they'd become a bigger deal earlier so that things could have been, maybe, reversed when it was easier. But you're absolutely right. So, it—for those who don't know, it basically made licensing changes on only AWS, GCP, and Alibaba—who I never had anybody ask me about—but those three. It also added them for Azure, but then they created loopholes for themselves to make Azure actually get beneficial licensing, even better than you could get with any other cloud provider [sigh].So, the net takeaway is that every Microsoft product that matters—so traditionally, SQL Server, Windows Server, Windows client, and Office—is not impossible to use on AWS, but it is markedly more expensive. That's the first note. To your point, then they did do that marketing campaign that I know you and I probably had exchanges about at the time, and it drove me nuts as well because what they will classically do is when they tout the savings of running something on Azure, not only are they flouting the rules that they created, you know, they're basically gloating, “Look, we got a toy that they didn't,” but they're also often removing costs from the equation. So, for example, in order for you to get those discounts on Azure, you have to maintain what's called Software Assurance. You basically have to have a subscription by another name.If you don't have Software Assurance, those opportunities are not available to you. Fine. That's not my point. My point is this, that Software Assurance is basically 75% of the cost of the next version. So, it's not free, but if you look at those 5x claims that they made during that time frame, they actually were hand-waving and waving away the [assay 00:20:45] costs.So, if you actually sat down and did the math, the 5x number was a lie. It was not just very nice, but it was wrong, literally mathematically wrong. And from a—as my colleague likes to say, a ‘colors person,' not a numbers person like me, from a colors person like me, that's pretty bad. If I can see the error and your math, that's bad math.Corey: It just feels like it's one of those taxes on not knowing some of the intricacies of what the heck is going on in the world of Microsoft licensing. And I think every sufficiently complex vendor with, shall we say, non-trivial pricing dimensions, could be accused of the same thing. But it always felt particularly worrisome from the Microsoft perspective. Back in the days of BSA audits—which I don't know at all if they're still a thing or not because I got out of that space—every executive that I ever spoke to, in any company lived in fear of them, not because they were pirating software or had decided, “You know what? We have a corporate policy of now acting unethically when it comes to licensing software,” but because of the belief that no matter what they came up with or whatever good faith effort they made to remain compliant, of course, something was not going to work the way they thought it would and they were going to be smacked with a fine. Is that still the case?Wes: Absolutely. In fact, I think it's worse now than it ever was before. I will often say to customers that you are wildly uncompliant while also being wildly overcompliant because per your point about how broad and deep Microsoft is, there's so many products. Like, every company today, every company that has Project and Visio still in place today, that still pays for it, you are over-licensed. You have more of it than you need.That's just one example, but on the other side, SQL Server, odds are, every organization is subtly under-licensed because they think the rule is to do this, but the rules are actually more restrictive than they expect. So, and that's why Microsoft is, you know, the first place they look, the first rug they look under when they do walk in and do an audit, which they're entitled to do as a part of an organization's enterprise agreement. So BSA, I think they do still have those audits, but Microsoft now they have their own business that does that, or at least they have partners that do that for them. And places like SQL Server are the first places that they look.Why? Because it's big, found money, and because it's extremely hard to get right. So, there's a reason why, when we focus on our boot camps, we'll often tell people, you know, “Our goal is to save you enough money to pay for the class,” because there's so much money to be found in little mistakes that if you do a big thing wrong with Microsoft software, you could be wildly out of compliance and not know about it until Microsoft-or more likely, a Microsoft partner—points it out to you.Corey: It feels like it's an inevitability. And, on some level, it's the cost of doing business. But man, does that leave a sour taste in someone's mouth.Wes: Mm-hm. It absolutely does. It absolutely does. And I think—you know, I remember, gosh, was it Munich that was talking about, “We're going to switch to Linux,” and then they came back into the fold. I think the reality is, it absolutely does put a bad taste.And it doesn't leave customers with good hope for where they go from here. I mean, okay, fine. So, we got burned on that thing in the Microsoft 365 stack. Now, they want us to pay 30 bucks for Copilot for Microsoft 365. What? And we'd have no idea what they're even buying, so it's hard to give any kind of guidance. So, it's a weird time.Corey: I'm curious to see what the ultimate effect of this is going to be. Well, one thing I've noticed over the past decade and change—and I think everyone has as well—increasingly, the local operating system on people's laptops or desktops—or even phones, to some extent—is not what it once was. Increasingly, most of the tools that I find myself using on a daily basis are just web use or in a browser entirely. And that feels like it's an ongoing problem for a company like Microsoft when you look at it through the lens of OS. Which at some level, makes perfect sense why they would switch towards everything as a service. But it's depressing, too.Wes: Yeah. I think that's one of the reasons why, particularly after Steve left, they changed focus a lot and really begin focusing on Microsoft 365 as the platform, for better or worse. How do we make Microsoft 365 sticky? How do we make Office 365 sticky? And the thing about, like, the Microsoft 365 E5 security stuff we were talking about, it often doesn't matter what the user is accessing it through. The user could be accessing it only through a phone, they could be a frontline worker, they could be standing at a sales kiosk all day, they could be using Office every single day, or they could be an exec who's only got an iPad.The point is, you're in for a penny, in for a pound at that point that you'll still have to license the user. And so, Microsoft will recoup it either way. In some ways, they've learned to stop caring as much about, is everyone actively using our technology? And on the other side, with things like Teams, and as we're seeing very, very slowly, with the long-delayed Outlook here, you know, they're also trying to switch things to have that less Win32 surface that we're used to and focus more on the web as well. But I think that's a pretty fundamental change for Microsoft to try and take broadly and I don't anticipate, for example, Office will ever be fully replaced with a fat client like it has on Windows and the Mac OS.Corey: Yeah, part of me wonders what the future that all looks like because increasingly, it feels more than a little silly that I'm spending, like, all of this ever-increasing dollar figure on a per-seat basis every year for all of Microsoft 365. Because we don't use their email system. We don't use so much of what they offer. We need basically Word and Excel and once in a blue moon PowerPoint, I guess. But that's it. Our fundamental needs have not materially shifted since Office 2003. Other than the fact that everything uses different extensions now and there's, of course, the security story on top of it, too. We just need some fairly basic stuff.Wes: And I think that's the case for a lot of—I mean, we're the exact same way at Directions. And I think that's the case for a lot of small and even into mid-size companies. Microsoft has traditionally with the, like, Small Business Premium, they have an offering that they intentionally only scale up to 300 people. And sometimes they'll actually give you perks there that they wouldn't give away in the enterprise suite, so you arguably get more—if they let you have it, you get more than you would if you've got E5. On the other side, they've also begun, for enterprises, honing in on opportunities that they may have historically ignored.And when I was at Microsoft, you'd have an idea, like, “Hey, Bob. I got an idea. Can we try to make a new product?” He's like, “Okay, is it a billion-dollar business?” And you get waved away if it wasn't all a billion-dollar business. And I don't think that's the case anymore today, particularly if you can make the case, this thing I'm building makes Microsoft 365 sticky or makes Azure sticky. So, things like the Power Platform, which is subtly and slowly replacing Access at a minimum, but a lot of other tools.Power BI, which has come from behind. You know, people would look at it and say, “Oh, it's no Excel.” And now it, I think, far exceeds Excel for that type of user. And Copilot, as I talked about, you know, Microsoft is definitely trying to throw things in that are beyond Office, beyond what we think of as Microsoft. And why are they doing that? Because they're trying to make their platform more sticky. They're trying to put enough value in there so you need to subscribe for every user in your organization.And even things, as we call them, ‘Batteries not Included' like Copilot, that you're going to buy E5 and that you're still going to have to buy something else beyond that for some number of users. So, you may even have a picture in your head of how much it's going to cost, but it's like buying a BMW 5 Series; it's going to cost more than you think.Corey: I wish that there were a better path forward on this. Honestly, I wish that they would stop playing these games, let you know Azure compete head-to-head against AWS and let it win on some of its merits. To be clear, there are several that are great. You know, if they could get out of their own way from a security perspective, lately. But there seems to be a little appetite for that. Increasingly, it seems like even customers asking them questions tends to hit a wall until, you know, a sitting US senator screams at them on Twitter.Wes: Mm-hm. No, and then if you look carefully at—Microsoft is very good at pulling just enough off of the sweater without destroying the sweater. And for example, what they did, they gave enough away to potentially appease, but they didn't actually resolve the problem. They didn't say, “All right, everybody gets logging if they have Microsoft 365 E3,” or, “Everybody gets logging, period.” They basically said, “Here's the kind of logging you can get, and we're going to probably tweak it a little bit more in the future,” and they will not tweak it more in the future. If anything, they'll tighten it back up.This is very similar to the 2019 problem we talked about earlier, too, that you know, they began with one set of rules and they've had to revisit it a couple of times. And most of the time, when they've had an outcry, primarily from the EU, from smaller cloud providers in the EU who felt—justifiably—that Microsoft was being not—uncompetitive with Azure vis-à-vis every other cloud provider. Well, Microsoft turned around and last year changed the rules such that most of these smaller cloud providers get rules that are, ehh, similar to what Azure can provide. There are still exclusives that only Azure gets. So, what you have now is basically, if you're a customer, the best set and cheapest set is with Azure, then these smaller cloud providers give you a secondary—it's close to Azure, but still not quite as good. Then AWS, GCP, and Alibaba.So, the rules have been switched such that you have to know who you're going to in order to even know what the rules are and to know whether you can comply with those rules with the thing you want to build. And I find it most peculiar that, I believe it was the first of last month that Microsoft made the change that said, “You'll be able to run Office on AWS,” which was Amazon WorkSpaces, in particular. Which I think is huge and it's very important and I'm glad they made this change, but it's weird because it creates almost a fifth category because you can't run it anywhere else in Amazon, like if you were spinning something up in VMware on Amazon, but within Amazon WorkSpaces, you can. This is great because customers now can run Office for a fee. And it's a fee that's more than you'd pay if you were running the same thing on Microsoft's cloud.But it also was weird because let's say Google had something competitive in VDI, but they don't really, but if they had something competitive in VDI, now this is the benefit that Amazon has that's not quite as good as what Microsoft has, that Google doesn't get it at all. So, it's just weird. And it's all an attempt to hold… to both hold a market strategy and an attempt to grow market share where they're still behind. They are markedly behind in several areas. And I think the reality is, Amazon WorkSpaces is a really fine offering and a lot of customers use it.And we had a customer at our last in-person boot camp in Atlanta, and I was really impressed—she had been to one boot camp before, but I was really impressed at how much work she'd put into making sure we know, “We want to keep using Amazon WorkSpaces. We're very happy with it. We don't want to move anywhere else. Am I correct in understanding that this, this, this, and this? If we do these things will be aboveboard?” And so, she knew how much more she'd have to pay to stay on Amazon WorkSpaces, but it was that important to the company that they'd already bet the farm on the technology, and they didn't want to shift to somebody else that they didn't know.Corey: I'm wondering how many people have installed Office just through a standard Microsoft 365 subscription on a one-off Amazon WorkSpace, just because they had no idea that that was against license terms. I recall spinning up an Amazon WorkSpace back when they first launched, or when they wound up then expanding to Amazon Linux; I forget the exact timeline on this. I have no idea if I did something like that or not. Because it seems like it'd be a logical thing. “Oh, I want to travel with just an iPad. Let me go ahead and run a full desktop somewhere in the cloud. Awesome.”That feels like exactly the sort of thing an audit comes in and then people are on the hook for massive fines as a result. It just feels weird, as opposed to, there are a number of ways to detect you're running on a virtual machine that isn't approved for this. Stop the install. But of course, that doesn't happen, does it?Wes: No. When we teach at the boot camp, Rob will often point out that, you know, licensing is one of the—and it's true—licensing is one of the last things that comes in when Microsoft is releasing a product. It was that way when he was at the company before I was—he shipped Word 1.0 for the Mac, to give you an idea of his epoch—and I was there for XP, like I said, which was the first version that used activation—which was a nightmare—there was a whole dedicated team on. And that team was running down to the wire to get everything installed.And that is still the case today because marketing and legal make decisions about how a product gets sold. Licensing is usually tacked on at the very end if it gets tacked on at all. And in fact, in a lot of the security, compliance, and identity space within Microsoft 365, there is no license compliance. Microsoft will show you a document that, “Hey, we do this,” but it's very performative. You can't actually rely on it, and if you do rely on it, you'll get in trouble during an audit because you've got non-compliance problems. So yeah, it's—you would hope that it keeps you from coloring outside the lines, but it very much does not.Corey: It's just a tax on going about your business, in some ways [sigh].Wes: Exactly. “Don't worry, we'll be back to fix it for you later.”Corey: [laugh]. I really appreciate your taking the time to go through this with me. If people want to learn more, where's the best place for them to keep up with what you're up to?Wes: Well, obviously, I'm on Twitter, and—oh, sorry, X, whatever.Corey: No, we're calling it Twitter.Wes: Okay, I'm on—I'm on—[laugh] thank you. I'm on Twitter at @getwired. Same alias over on [BlueSky 00:35:27]. And they can also find me on LinkedIn, if they're looking for a professional question beyond that and want to send a quiet message.The other thing is, of course, go to directionsonmicrosoft.com. And directionsonmicrosoft.com/training if they're interested in one of our licensing boot camps. And like I said, Rob, and I do those every other month. We're increasingly doing them in person. We got one in Bellevue coming up in just a few weeks. So, there's opportunities to learn more.Corey: Excellent. And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:35:59]. Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me again, Wes. It's appreciated.Wes: Thank you for having me.Corey: Wes Miller, Research VP at Directions on Microsoft. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. 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