You may not need to invest any marketing dollars in a new Tiktok channel. If you're like Nico Dato, the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Podium, you're thinking about the best ways to not only get the attention that those new well-known channels bring, but also gain the trust of SMBs in order to win them over as clients. But the reality is, there is no right or wrong answer to where you spend your ad budget. The truth is, the only thing that actually matters is what's performing. The channel mix is evolving every day and it's important to think about where your clients are and develop a relationship with them, and second, stay abreast of third-party apps that are emerging as new marketing platforms in the U.S. “We do a ton of trade shows, which is something that not a lot of people do. We do a lot of direct mail. We do radio; we do everything you can imagine. For us, it takes three or four touches on average to get someone's attention in the way that we want. A lot of times that comes from a combination of digital, traditional, radio, print… We're marketing and selling to plumbers, insurance agents, car dealers, and, and people who are out there physically working in the real world all day long. Like what a lot of people don't realize about Podium is, if I'm selling to an HVAC contractor, like most times they're like checking out Podium at like nine 30 at night, because they were fixing air conditioners all day, or unclogging toilets, Making sure we get that right channel mix is critical. [Conversions are] They're not always going to come via Google search.”In this episode of Marketing Trends, Nico and I unpack the best way to grow a team from seven to over 1,000 and peel back the curtain into how Nico has transformed himself from a marketer to a marketing leader. Staying on top of all marketing channels, new and old, is how he stays on the cutting edge. All this next on Marketing Trends. Main TakeawaysHire for People not just for Needs: When you grow and hire, sometimes there will be a temptation to hire quickly, and in your rush, you may be thinking more about hiring candidates who can help stop the bleeding, so to speak. Instead of hiring for the task you need to be done now, you should be hiring the individual who can best contribute to the company overall. Find someone who can grow with the company, that fits into the culture, and it just might take a couple of extra weeks to find them and train them up. Gaining Trust of SMBs: Small and Medium-Sized businesses are usually the subject matter experts in their communities. For example, the dentist is trusted, personally, by the people that he services. That dentist and his front office staff likely aren't marketing experts, and it takes an understanding of the trust that they themselves garner, in order to understand the level of trust you need to build with them. Their business is a passion and they need to know they can trust you to be on their team. Increased Utilization of Third-Party Apps in the US: Third-party communication apps like Whatsapp are being used with ever-increasing frequency in the U.S. which is arguably behind this trend in other countries like Brazil, and Japan. This is a whole new channel for marketers to tap into and add to their mix. Key Quotes“I've been super fortunate to learn on the fly. I didn't necessarily have all of this classical training in how to run a marketing team and how to build a comms function and a product marketing function. I've just been so fortunate that my career has just kind of snowballed. [Going from a marketer to a marketing leader] is a huge transition. When you're an individual contributor, you have control over the destiny of the thing that you own. And it's up to you to work as hard as you want, to strategize as much as you want, to learn from outside sources as much as you want. [Then] all of a sudden you're having to guide a team in doing that one thing that you think you can do really, really well. The secret is that oftentimes they know how to do it much better than you do.”“[The] transition [to leadership] was really hard. I'm not perfect at it by any means, but I think I've grown by way of leadership over the last couple of years. It's a transition that you don't need to make unless you really want to make that jump. t's not easier. There are great career paths in any of these disciplines that don't necessarily mean management.”“[Marketers] are worried about SLS. You're worried about contracts with your customers. You're worried about all of these things. The thing that our CEO has done a really good job of is that, he's tried to keep us focused on the things that matter most. As you're scaling quickly, [identify] the five priorities to align with and get all of the subsequent teams to also align to, in order to make sure that those things are perfect.”“My hiring mantra has always been to hire people, not for the role, but you need to find the right person. I would rather take a longer amount of time finding the right person than having to restart in three months or six months or, or whatever it is. My intent is to find the right person for the role and, and know that the longer-term impact of finding the right person is going to be much greater than filling the short-term need. That may just be a two or three-week difference.” “The one thing that I have found every year becomes more and more surprising -- and probably it shouldn't be a surprise because it continuously happens -- I think that the channel diversification that's happening here in the US and I should be inclusive of Canada, but largely the U.S. is changing. Historically the best way to reach them [was] via email, and then all of a sudden it started to become texts. We are a huge advocate of texting, but what's interesting is we've started to enter the world where consumers are using third-party apps as well to communicate. It's something that you see internationally; you go to Brazil, you might see it with WhatsApp; you go to Japan, you might see it with Line, and et cetera. The data shows in [our] report, 40% or something similar, are starting to use third-party apps on a daily basis to communicate with one another. It's a huge opportunity for brands. There's channel diversification that's happening, and you should take advantage of that.”“At the top of the funnel, we work to try and be everywhere and show that we are honed in, on local business for these businesses. It's why we do a ton of trade shows. We do a ton of trade publications. We do a lot of display advertisements or radio advertisements. A lot of times they just want to know you're legitimate. The hardest thing for local businesses is getting their trust; they've been burned so many times because they are so vulnerable. It's really important to us to make sure they know that we're going to be a partner to them. It's hard to do and there's not one answer that solves all.”BioNico Dato is the EVP of Marketing for Podium, the leading interaction management platform that enables companies with a local presence to conveniently connect at critical touchpoints and help them strengthen their business. Dato grew up in Bountiful, Utah, and attended the University of Utah, where he graduated in 2013 with a degree in economics. Prior to Podium, Dato helped run demand generation at Teleperformance and then managed Zane Benefits' marketing team.After joining Podium in 2015, he assisted in taking the company through Y Combinator in 2016 - becoming one of the highest revenue-generating companies ever to attend the accelerator. As a part of the executive team, he has also helped secure funding from IVP, Accel, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Summit Partners. In his free time, Dato enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife, Rachel, and daughter, Penelope.---Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world's number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at salesforce.com/marketing.
Joseph Heller, a true entrepreneur at heart, is the Founder and CEO of The/Studio, an on-demand manufacturing platform which is also now the parent company of Supplied, creating a network of empowered entrepreneurs through their wholesale platform for small businesses. While at UC Berkeley, Joseph raised a seed round for an e-commerce platform which sparked his early interest in technology. He believes life and entrepreneurship are a journey and that journey took him to China where he later founded a successful supply chain business. Joseph was absolutely obsessed with being part of the process of consumer products being produced, but agitated by the inefficiencies endemic in the manufacturing industry, which has changed very little in over a hundred years. As a result, Joseph founded The/Studio as a marriage between his passion for technology and manufacturing. They are creating an on-demand supply chain for the 21st Century which will democratize manufacturing, and allow their customers to manage the entire supply chain on the cloud. Topics Covered by Joseph Heller in this Episode Being a lifetime entrepreneur What Joseph's companies The/Studio and Supplied do and how they tailor to different clients How they're connecting small businesses with sourcing and manufacturing in China Bootstrapping to 100 employees Skipping angel and seed investing and going straight to raising a Series A Deciding to fundraise through VC and his advice on this method Initially trying to raise VC in China Why it took a challenging 18 months to raise an $11M Series A Why they decided not to participate in YCombinator after being accepted How Joseph would have fundraised differently in hindsight Early customer acquisition and growth and getting to 10M+ in revenue Joseph's view on paid marketing and how it has shifted in recent years Utilizing social media for community building The business models for The/Studio and Supplied How their two-sided marketplace is solving the pain point of customizing products Overcoming the logistical challenges of working with factories in China Getting to profitability with The/Studio Growing Supplied 10X in 10 months How they're prioritizing clients' needs and deeply solving customers' problems to create a successful B2B marketplace Listen to all episodes of the Just Go Grind Podcast: https://www.justgogrind.com Follow Justin Gordon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/justingordon212
In this bonus episode, I talk through the pros and cons of going through an accelerator. This episode will be most helpful for first time founders who are evaluating going through an accelerator.★ Support this podcast ★
In his own words, Daniel Bilbao is a friend to all latino entrepreneurs. He went from spreading papelitos in Comic Sans looking for engineers to shaping the future of fraud prevention in Latin America. Born and raised in Colombia, his mentality is one of giving back to our region first.Daniel first dipped his toes into the cybersecurity space with his previous company Paladin Cyber in 2017. Now CEO and co-founder of Truora and backed by the likes of Kaszek, Magma Partners and Y Combinator, he managed to take his business from 0 to $10M annual recurring revenue in two short years.In this episode, Daniel and I talk about:The role founders play in combating inequity in LatAmHow to sell your company's idea to investorsWhat the Latin America startup scene will look like 10 years from nowBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Does your team make your company an acquisition target? That's what Paul Singh (@paulsingh) and Edward Pizzarello (@pizzainmotion) start off the show with this week. Your team can be your greatest asset.We're talking about the super sizing of Y Combinator, one of the most well-known accelerators.We also talk about Paul's idea for a verified revenue API on Twitter. And, robots ordering burgers. Of course.
Episode 7, Season 2Anthony sits down with Kevin Hu, CEO and co-founder of Metaplane, a new data observability company. The two discuss whether bugs exist in data, what Kevin learned from Y Combinator, and what the kids are studying these days.
Jennifer Byrne studied Psychology at university and went on to become the Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft US. Listen to this episode to learn how this liberal arts graduate transitioned into tech and became one of the most senior people in the industry. Learning notes from this episode: "You have to understand the difference between acquiring digital context versus digital fluency. Context means seeing the bigger picture of how things connect together, but not necessarily understanding the detail," says Jennifer. Jennifer says that it is impossible to know everything about technology, even when you are at the top. Instead, she says understand the broad context of how tech products get made and do deep dives into areas that interest you. As a CTO you have to think strategically: what problem are we solving? How can technology be applied to this problem? Good CTOs must connect technology strategy to drive business decisions. Follow Jennifer Byrne on LinkedIn. Get the Black Friday offer: 6 months free Tech for Non-Techies membership when you sign up for an annual subscription. This is only available to the first 6 people who sign up. As a Tech for Non-Techies member, you'll get: Monthly coaching with Sophia Matveeva Live masterclasses with global experts Supportive Online Community Library of masterclasses from Harvard professors, Y Combinator alumni, tech investors and digital leaders to watch on demand Exclusive Resources & Perks There are only 6 Black Friday memberships available. Grab yours here. Say hi to Sophia on Twitter. Following us on Facebook and Instagram will make you smarter.
Today's episode is with one of the greatest business authors ever, Jim Collins. Jim is one of the most inspirational figures in James' career. Not only did he inspire James, but he also is one of James' fathers, favorite authors. This has formed a bond at a young age between the two and has helped form many ideas in James' head. James and Jim cover many topics today, in one of our longest podcasts ever recorded, they talk about a wide range of VERY useful topics for founders and creators. From, breaking down Jim's personal rubric on writing a book to how an idea turns into a book. Jim explains why it is important to keep turning the flywheel even when you feel like abandoning it. James and Jim, also speak about how great leadership, can take a company, far beyond what is projected on paper. Jim also explains the difference between Good and Great. To conclude the episode, Jim speaks about luck and how not only good luck is inevitable but so is bad luck, he explains how not all time in life is equal and how you should zoom in on the good luck and reevaluate the bad luck. Find out more about Jim Collins here: https://twitter.com/level5leaders https://www.jimcollins.com/ Buy Jim's new book, "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't" Here: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Some-Companies-Others/dp/0066620996 https://bit.ly/Go_BelowtheLine Hit the show hotline and leave a question or comment for the show at 424-272-6640, email James questions directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/gobelowtheline Support Our Sponsors Magic Mind https://magicmind.co (Use Code BTL at Checkout for 20% off) About your host, James: James Beshara is a founder, investor, advisor, author, podcaster, and encourager based in Los Angeles, California. James has created startups for the last 12 years, selling one (Tilt, acquired by Airbnb), and invested in a few multi-billion dollar startups to date. He has spoken at places such as Y-Combinator, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, TechCrunch Disrupt, and has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and Time Magazine. He's been featured in Forbes, Time, and Inc Magazine's “30 Under 30” lists and advises startups all around the world. All of this is his “above the line” version of his background. Hear the other 90% of the story in the intro episode of Below The Line. “Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Another Podcast Network.
Dornubari Vizor is the founder of GroupApp. GroupApp gives you the tools to build and launch your learning community, create online courses, host your content and monetize your knowledge.★ Support this podcast ★
Today's guest is James Beshara, founder of Magic Mind, a productivity drink designed to replace your morning cup of coffee for good. James' story is about so much more than Magic Mind though, as he's started a few other companies and invested in a few others as well. One of the companies he started was bought by AirBnB, which on the surface seems like a major win! Until you learn that he had to sell it in a fire sale. James is very open about both his successes and his failures, and it's this kind of honesty that led him to start his own podcast where he dives into all of the challenges facing business leaders all over the world. This episode is a truly fascinating conversation in which we take a high-level look at what it really means to be an entrepreneur in today's world. Listen in as we cover everything from the difference between the fear of missing out and the fear of being involved, why he's long on AirBnB, and why spiritually, everyone should be a freelancer.
Matt Mochary is an operator, investor and coach to top tech leaders at companies including Coinbase, Opendoor, Bolt and Clearbit. He is the best in the Valley at what he does, with a notable clientele spanning from Naval Ravikant to Sam Altman. After selling his startup in 1999 for millions, he surfed, made movies, worked with ex-cons then developed the Mochary Method to help tech CEOs excel. Matt was my CEO coach during my time at Atrium. My friend Steve Huffman, CEO at Reddit, said he helped Reddit “save millions”. When I was confronted with difficult feedback, Matt helped me navigate my emotions. He also coached me out of my pit, and showed me what an effective leader does in their “Zone of Genius”. In this conversation, we dive into the Mochary Method and his book “The Great CEO Within”. I ask him about tips that have transformed many into the world's best CEOs, and actionable advice for personal growth. I also share a personal story of facing the anxiety from my past and overcoming it with an old friend. Check out the Mochary Method at https://mocharymethod.org and "The Great CEO Within" on Amazon. If you liked this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible. THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |
On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Todd Embley, Senior Startup Advocate for Agora. Todd and I talk about the new technologies and trends from no-code tools to embedded audio and video platforms, that affect how we see, hear, and interact with each other. We also explore how companies are tapping into startups and startup ecosystems to enable founders to build and impact the world more effectively. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation as the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, founder of InsideOutside.IO. Each week. We'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started. Interview Transcript with Todd Embley, Senior Startup Advocate for AgoraBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today, we have Todd Embley. He is a Senior Startup Advocate for Agora and a formerly with China Accelerator. So welcome to the show, Todd, Todd Embley: Thank you, Brian. It's good to be here. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you because we've met a while back early in my startup days when I was running NMotion. You were in China. And we met at some global accelerator network conference. I think it was in San Diego, perhaps. So, you spent a lot of time in Asia, as I did. And recently moved back to the states, working for a interesting company called Agora. We had a chance to run into each other again in Lincoln. Todd Embley: Yeah. Thanks very much. I actually did come back from China and moved to the U.S. but now I'm back in Canada. I am Canadian and I'm living in Western Canada. Brian Ardinger: I wanted to start the conversation with the most recent company that you're with is a company called Agora. It's an interesting company for a couple different reasons. And it's a real-time engagement platform that a lot of popular companies are using to build on top of like Run the World, which is something that we've used for our IO Conferences and that. And some of our IO Live events. I think you guys provide like the SDKs and the building blocks to enable these types of startups to build off of. So, I I'd love to get your take, not on just Agora, but you've got an interesting role there as a Startup Advocate. So, what is a Startup Advocate? Todd Embley: It's a great role, for those of us who aren't necessarily adept at selling. And we fall under marketing. And the role is really, if I were to compartmentalize everything that we're about and our ethos and thesis. Is go out into startup land and be as helpful as possible. Try to integrate. You know, we sponsor. I run workshops. I meet with lots and lots of entrepreneurs all the time, and we're just out there trying to be as helpful as possible. And the great thing that the company and the founders and senior leadership have all gotten behind is just be out and be as helpful as possible. And wear the t-shirt while you're doing it. That's almost the be all and end of it. And for those that are really interested in what Agora is and what Agora does, then we can get into that. But essentially, we're not trying to put it in front of everybody and not trying to blast everybody with, with Agora specifically. The team is comprised of people who have been entrepreneurs, been in startups, been in VC, run accelerators. And who have just a lot of empathy for startups and that's kind of where it begins and ends. Brian Ardinger: We see a couple of different companies use this approach of startup advocate type of program to help build their business. Walk me through like, what are the benefits and the reasons why a corporation would want to put together some type of program around this.Todd Embley: You know, I think AWS and what they've been doing for as long as they've been doing it are kind of the benchmark. And they were, I would say the pioneers, at least the most famous pioneers of running programs like this. Our senior leadership had an opportunity in China to talk to the heads of AWS Activate in China.And they divulged some interesting statistics, which I think were the precipice of Agora wanting to build their own startup team as well. And that was that after 15 years of them having a program, they will now attribute up to 65% of AWS revenues today to the activities, you know, over the last 15 years, of their startup program.And what we're trying to do is invest in our future huge customers. Knowing that the world's next billionaire companies, trillion-dollar companies. The unicorns of the future are still just startups today. And if we want to align ourselves correctly with what it takes to build a startup and how hard it is, let's maybe try to get out of their way at the early stages while they're trying to cross the early chasms of, you know, and the difficulties of what it takes. So, from a revenue perspective or from a cost perspective, let's give our stuff for free. You know, until you, their revenue. You can't get blood from a stone. So, while they're still searching for product market fit and revenue, let's let them use our software for free until such time as they are then finding product market fit and then able to start generating revenue. And only at that time, should we then start to talk to them about actually paying for the service? Brian Ardinger: That makes sense. And obviously it seems to be working. I think I read on your website, you've got over 50 billion minutes of engagement on the platform. Probably going up as we speak. I don't know if you can speak to any specific use cases or specifically what you do when it comes to helping these companies get up and off the ground. Todd Embley: Sure. As you alluded to, there are some famous companies that have been using us, especially in the real-time audio space. There are a few NDAs in place. So, you could mention who those companies are. And by all means it's pretty widely known. I necessarily can't speak directly to who some of those more famous ones are. But the nuts and bolts of the program essentially boils down to free minutes. So, my Director, Tony Blank. He and another friend of ours, Paul Ford, used to do this at SendGrid. And that's where they were a big supporter of the Global Accelerator Network where you and I met in the beginning and then the Twilio acquisition of SendGrid. So, he was there. And they were doing a great job as well. And leading on some of the data from their experience there, or Tony's experience there, and then understanding our business and the data that we had over the years that Agora has been thriving. We positioned the amount of minutes at 1 million, we figured 1 million minutes of Agora should be enough for most companies to achieve product market fit and revenue.If you haven't achieved product market fit and revenue, after using a million minutes of Agora, you may have some underlying other issues that are getting in the way of that. But we really feel that upwards of 80%, even 90% of companies who do achieve and use up the million free minutes, should be at a position of having raised money and are revenue positive.At which time we feel comfortable to say, okay, though, now we do have to, for our business purposes, need to, to work on something and we'll hand them over to sales in a gentle way and work on getting them some discounts and start forecasting future usage and things like that. But those are the nuts and bolts.In our world of real-time video, real-time audio, just the real-time engagement aspect of it. There are certain verticals that are really taking off. I think health is obviously a big one where you have doctors and patients or therapists and their clients. We're seeing a lot in fitness, so for coaches training. Doing big group classes. Education is probably our biggest. I think that's a pretty obvious use case of doing real time lessons with teachers and things. But we're also seeing a lot of activity in the area of gaming where people want talk to each other. They want to be on video with each other while playing games together. Live performances and experiences around online virtual concerts or comedy shows or things like that as well. There's a lot of added context that you can get from engaging in real time, over video. That you couldn't get at an actual conference.You know, there are solutions coming around blending those where you might be at the concert, but you'll also have on your phone different camera angles that are available to a viewer. And you can get other contextual information that is happening plus chats with other people at the concert or something like that.And then, you know, a lot of multi-verse. A lot of VR stuff. I mean, I had a conversation with a startup out of New Zealand who was working in the overcoming therapy space, where if you had a phobia of dogs, you know, a psychologist would work with their client, and they would go to a kennel and slowly start to integrate and learn how to overcome. But now we can do that in a VR environment, but overlay a lot of very interesting artificial intelligence, facial recognition. Stuff like that to really be able to measure the things that are almost imperceptible to the human eye, to understand like the dilation of their pupils when faced with a small dog versus a big dog or different breeds or something, just giving a lot more contextual information to help a psychologist really work with their client to overcome a phobia. So, it's fascinating to work with the startups because they are thinking of use cases that we even within Agora can't think of. The Ewing Marion Kauffman FoundationSponsor Voice: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri, that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation uses its $3 billion in assets to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn. Brian Ardinger: Well, and that's an interesting thing because the platform itself is really robust. You can do video calls and voice calls and interactive live streaming and real-time messaging and white boarding. And like you said, the toolkits are there. And I think this fits into one of those trends that we've been talking about, where it's never been easier for a startup founder to find the tools they need. They don't necessarily have to build everything from scratch nowadays. They can find partners and no code, low code tools and things like that to get up and going and testing the marketplace a lot easier than ever before. And get to those use case scenarios that a platform tool provider may not have thought of originally. I'm curious to get your take on some of this accessibility to tools that founders didn't have maybe, you know, 10 years ago when we started in this business. Todd Embley: Yeah, it's amazing. I think back to, I used to be with SOSV was the fund, and we were doing kind of an internal conference for all of our portfolio, all of our mentor network. Everybody that had ever been involved with us, including investors in Agora or LPs. And we had a guy named Dave McClure come and speak. And somebody had asked him is your eight-year-old daughter learning how to code. And he said, let me rephrase that. I think what you're asking me is do I think that it is important for very young people to learn how to code and essentially that's what you're looking for. And he said, you know, coding is like learning any other language, you know, in the development of the brain and how that enables young people to really grow. But it is in his opinion, he said it is just kind of a commodity. He said coding is probably going to become a commodity. And we've seen that in the low-code no-code explosion.And then he thought, you know, design would probably not be that far behind. I mean, there probably will be a day in the future where our phones will know everything they need to know about us, where you won't have to necessarily code or design the UI UX CX, of how an app works and feels. Because it can just deploy to our phone and our phone can tell the app how to develop itself as it lands on our home screen, in the way that we prefer it to be from colors to where the settings are or where our profile lives.And we can navigate that so intuitively. It has been absolutely amazing. And I think, you know, as we go, we've launched our app builder where pretty much anybody, even without any coding experience can go on and within 20 minutes create a video conferencing tool that they can use for their family reunion. You know, that is super easy. So yeah, it's been amazing. Brian Ardinger: It is kind of crazy to think what are the uses. I'd imagine obviously COVID has changed the dynamic landscape for you guys, especially. And so maybe let's talk a little bit about that. Some of the trends you're seeing with the move to more remote and more virtual environments. Todd Embley: Anybody who just watches the stock price of Zoom over the last couple of years would understand exactly where this industry has gone, but then factors like the quote unquote Zoom fatigue. And now we're seeing people that want to have more control over the layout and the design and the backgrounds and the information and the chats and emojis and music and all these other things that you can build into it. Because you know, now for instance, all our conferences went virtual, right? So we are now having to figure out how did you run a web summit or you know, like an East Meets West, that Blue Start-ups does in Hawaii or something. How do we now do this online and create a really great experience where everybody can still try to achieve those same outcomes for why they attended in the first place. It's been a pretty amazing growth that has really kind of pushed the boundaries.The work from home, I think has been the biggest thing where everybody's now at home. So, there's working with colleagues. There is collection of data. There is monitoring output and outcomes. And, you know, as a department or as a salesperson or marketing has changed. How do we do now market to people who aren't leaving their homes anymore that has now all changed.It's been such a game changer just in the future of work. I wouldn't say it necessarily changed course, but COVID has absolutely accelerated what we were already starting to think it would be. You know, it's done some damage to the world of coworking spaces, right. Or in-person accelerators or incubators. It's changed how we, even as a startup team go out and find partners and find startups to introduce them to Agora. So, it's had a tremendous impact. Brian Ardinger: You spent a lot of time ecosystem building for lack of a better term. You know, you go to different communities and see what the landscape is in the startup world. And then again, try to help founders navigate that. So, what are you seeing when you travel around to different startup communities and that. What's maybe different than it was five or six years ago? Todd Embley: There's a lot of factors. Entrepreneurship and startup land, as we know it, just even in the last 20 years, let's say since the .com boom and bust. And then, you know, Paul Graham kind of the Godfather of the accelerator starts Y Combinator in 2005. And so, the way investors started investing, and then there was, you know, a lot of information and then Crunchbase and others started coming around. And then, then we had 10 years of data from Crunchbase, somewhere around 2013. That we're now measuring how well people were investing, how well-performing that whole venture financial class was doing.And we've seen things where investors are now looking more at timing of solutions versus not just team and problem, but they had so many investments that were either too early, too late. And they started to recognize that. A lot of funds are starting to look internally and seeing, trying to reinvest inside the value that they've created to capture more of the food on the table versus being so outwardly focused. For our jobs, even in doing ecosystem development, how to startups find us versus how do we find them? If there's no meetups. If we're not able to do in-person startup weekends, then how are we able to find them, to attract them, to support them and to help them. How are investors doing their due diligence? You know, things like DocSend. Right.Having that digital data room with a lot of analytics built into it. So that founders can now not only see who's entering and who's looking at their due diligence documents at, but where in the deck are they spending time? On what slides, what is important? Where are they stopping? Where are they looking at? There's a lot of data and information that they can measure from that as well. I'm not exactly sure if that answers the question, but it is so drastically different. And now we're going back into, you know, web summit is in-person. I'm going to be going to that next week after we record this. That is going to be a different experience as well. And then there's the hybrids that are kind of doing both. It's changed a lot. Brian Ardinger: It is definitely interesting. You know, it's always been hard to find startup founders. A lot of times they're heads down doing their thing. You know, over the last five or six years pre COVID, you started to have a different environment where things like coworking spaces and events like Startup Weekend and that, started to bring some of those folks out and started to get some energy. And then COVID kind of slap that in the face to a certain extent. But now what I'm seeing at least is more collaboration across different communities. So even though I'm based in Lincoln, Nebraska, the network and our reach to different communities for the startups in our backyard, has increased and been beneficial from the standpoint of they're no longer having to be in the middle of flyover country. They can access folks that wouldn't necessarily in the past look outside of their own Sandhill Road area. So, I guess there's pros and cons to this new environment, but I was curious to get your take on that as well. Todd Embley: Constraints, breed Innovation. And COVID has drastically brought a whole new set of constraints just by not being able to meet in person as much. So, I think it's the development and the investment in developing a different skill set. You know, you take one sense away, the other senses improve. And so, we've had to become better at being able to build relationships. And we have video. And we have voice. But suddenly we're tuning in to the video and tuning into the voice. We may not have the same social cues and we may not have the same physical cues to be picking up on things. We used to train entrepreneurs on how to pitch in person. You were on a stage facing an audience. You were standing in front of an investor at a meetup. Here's how you do it. Here's how you talk. Here's how you hold yourself. Be careful of your hands. Don't shift your feet around. You know, there is all these, you know, all this kind of training, which has had to change. Which has had to develop. And now we're reaching out, we're developing partnerships and I think I've seen a lot of ecosystems lean in on having silos or verticals that they're starting to own to be seen as a place.And accelerators are now going virtual, where they're pulling from anywhere. Right. We have a focus. We're vertically focused. And so even if you're in Brazil or you're in Russia or wherever, this is the accelerator that you want to join because the world has just been absolutely flattened. And now this is the best place. This is the best accelerator, and you don't have to fly in and live here. Right? So now you've seen costs of living. People are moving out of the main centers. It's just, it's been a tremendous change. Brian Ardinger: You've spent your life helping founders. And I'd love to get your input on for our founders that are listening to this show. Some of the biggest obstacles or barriers or things that you've seen or can help them overcome. Are there particular tips or tricks that founders should be paying attention to nowadays?Todd Embley: I still think it all starts with the problem. And I still find myself having to talk about deep diving into the problem discussion. And there has been a penchant for the snapshot. And of the landscape as it is today. But I think what we're starting to understand. And what I'm seeing from a lot of questions that come from investors, is it's not as much about what. It's about why. And when you're pitching or talking about what you're doing, you have to start layering in the why.This is our go to market strategy. Great. Doesn't really matter, but why did you choose that? They're being measured on the way they think. The way they process. The way they built. What data did you take in. Which did you keep? And which did you throw away and why? And then what decision and strategy did you make off of that data?And why did you decide to strategize that? Why are you deciding to build this next? Why is this the next iteration of what you're doing, this problem that you're trying to solve? Anybody can Google and get a lot of data on a problem that exists today. But do you have a deep understanding of how we got here? You know, we have this Canadian kind of saying of the Wayne Gretzky, don't go where the puck is, go, where the puck is going to be.And as investors, we're always trying to find the entrepreneurs who are good at figuring out where the puck is going to be. But the only way that they can figure that out, isn't understanding just where the puck is, but how the puck got to where it is. Because only then do we understand the speed and the trajectory and are able to extrapolate off of that to know where it's going with some reasonable degree of accuracy. But we'll never get it right. But that I think is always be factoring in your why. Nobody is going to be blown away by your what because you're still early stage. Unless you have a hundred thousand downloads or a million MRR, you know, it's just not that impressive. Because the only thing that matters is what people use and pay for.So, knowing that. Now, we're just trying to measure size you up as a founder. So lean in on all your why of everything that you're talking about so that they can understand how you develop, how you price, how you see the world. Be unique, be different. For More InformationBrian Ardinger: Solid advice. Well, Todd, I want to thank you for coming on Inside Outside Innovation and sharing your insights and your experiences from the many years of being in the trenches there. I want to encourage people to check out Agora and that. If people want to find out more about yourself or about the startup program at Agora, what's the best way to do that? Todd Embley: Yeah. I mean, if they want to connect with me, LinkedIn is great. Just Todd Embley. I will generally show up. That's a great way to do it. And I'd love to connect. And I love to meet with everybody. And then agora.io/startups is where the entrance to the startup program lives. But Agora.io is where most of the information about Agora lives. And we're happy to talk to anybody, especially partners. Anybody doing events. Anything out there. We'd love to be a part of it. We'd love to sponsor. And try to add value. Brian Ardinger: Well Todd, thanks again for coming on the show. It's great to see you again and look forward to continuing the conversation in the years to come. Todd Embley: Thanks, Brian. It's been great.Brian Ardinger: That's it for another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. If you want to learn more about our team, our content, our services, check out InsideOutside.io or follow us on Twitter @theIOpodcast or @Ardinger. Until next time, go out and innovate.FREE INNOVATION NEWSLETTER & TOOLSGet the latest episodes of the Inside Outside Innovation podcast, in addition to thought leadership in the form of blogs, innovation resources, videos, and invitations to exclusive events. SUBSCRIBE HEREYou can also search every Inside Outside Innovation Podcast by Topic and Company. For more innovations resources, check out IO's Innovation Article Database, Innovation Tools Database, Innovation Book Database, and Innovation Video Database.
Madi Rifkin is the founder of Mount. Mount provides tools for property owners to rent or list amenities, from scooters to golf clubs to e-bikes — and beyond.★ Support this podcast ★
Builder in the crypto industry since 2014. Co-founder at Request Network. YCombinator alumni. Links https://twitter.com/RequestNetwork (https://twitter.com/RequestNetwork) https://request.network/discord (https://request.network/discord) https://twitter.com/LassuytChristop (https://twitter.com/LassuytChristop) *Disclaimer. Richard Carthon is the Founder of Crypto Current. All opinions expressed by members of the Crypto Current Team, Richard or his guest on this podcast are solely their opinions and do not reflect the opinions of Crypto Current. You should not treat any opinion expressed by Richard as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy but only as an expression of his opinion. This podcast is for informational purposes only. ~ Put your Bitcoin and Ethereum to work. Earn up to 12% interest back with https://get.tantralabs.io/earn/?utm_source=cryptocurrent&utm_medium=display&utm_campaign=advertising-display-cryptocurrent&utm_content=lp (Tantra Labs). ~ New to crypto? Check out our https://bit.ly/394YKFw (Crypto for Beginners) Step-by-Step Guide to Crypto Investing! ~ Follow us on https://bit.ly/3CPwepn (Youtube), http://bit.ly/2TRIArp (Twitter), http://bit.ly/38yfrqo (Instagram), http://bit.ly/39DhpHi (Facebook), http://bit.ly/38wsXL5 (LinkedIn), & https://bit.ly/3yQ30Es (Tik Tok). ~ Want to make ~$25+ a month for FREE? Sign up to get a FREE https://www.emrit.io/?referral=cryptocurrent (emrit.io Coolspot today)! ~ Want to learn more about cryptocurrency? Check out our https://bit.ly/2CbaYzw (educational videos) today! ~ https://bit.ly/2TF3Gtb (Swan) is the easiest and most affordable way to accumulate Bitcoin with automatic recurring purchases. Start your plan today and get $10 of free Bitcoin dropped into your account. ~ Want access to cool crypto/blockchain projects that you can use immediately? Check out our https://bit.ly/3eZ8J1E (partnerships page)! ~ Looking to attend a cryptocurrency or blockchain event? Check out our https://bit.ly/2ZVCV8f (events page)! ~ Tune in on https://bit.ly/2CN9bl1 (Crypto Current TV) throughout the week for a 24/7 crypto stream on the latest action on crypto markets, news, and interviews with the industry's top experts! ~ Enjoying our podcast? Please leave us a 5 star review http://bit.ly/2Is3iJ9 (here)! ~ Stay up to date with the latest news in cryptocurrency by opting-in to our http://bit.ly/2xmkKfQ (newsletter)! You will receive daily emails (M-S) that are personalized and curated content specific to you and your interests, powered by artificial intelligence. ~ We were featured as one of the http://bit.ly/2vRAGGl (Top 25 Cryptocurrency Podcasts) and one of the http://bit.ly/33cnus9 (16 Best Cryptocurrency Podcasts in 2020). ~ Are you an accredited investor looking to invest in cryptocurrency? Check out http://bit.ly/2IrKABr (Crescent City Capital). ~ Earn Interest. Receive Loans. Trade Crypto. Start Today! Learn more about how you can https://bit.ly/38Ezc3s (sign up for Blockfi). ~ Want to be on our show or know someone who should? http://bit.ly/38ufSC8 (Contact us) today! ~ We hope you are enjoying our cryptocurrency and blockchain educational content! We greatly appreciate donations, which all go directly towards creating even better educational content. Thank you for your generosity! Buy us a coffee http://bit.ly/2VReXsS (here) :)
Matteo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eight Sleep, the sleep fitness company. Eight Sleep developed a proprietary technology which is redesigning sleep by developing cutting-edge AI and machine learning models to track bio signals during the night and optimizing body recovery and rest while asleep. The end goal of the Pod is to compress sleep and scan your body while asleep to monitor your health. Eight Sleep is currently used by pro athletes and top performers across multiple industries and was recognized as one of TIME's "Best Inventions" in 2018 and 2019, was named one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" in 2018, and has raised over $150M in funding from leading investors, including Founders Fund, Softbank, Khosla Ventures, YCombinator, Valor Equity Partners, General Catalyst, Naval Ravikant, and Patrick Collison. Special perks for our listeners below! ➢Vertical Diet Meals: https://verticaldiet.com/ Use code POWERPROJECT for free shipping and two free meals + a Kooler Sport when you order 16 meals or more! ➢Vuori Performance Apparel: Visit https://vuoriclothing.com/powerproject to automatically save 20% off your first order! ➢Magic Spoon Cereal: Visit https://www.magicspoon.com/powerproject to automatically save $5 off a variety pack! ➢8 Sleep: Visit https://www.eightsleep.com/powerproject to automatically save $150 off the Pod Pro! ➢Marek Health: https://marekhealth.com Use code POWERPROJECT15 for 15% off ALL LABS! Also check out the Power Project Panel: https://marekhealth.com/powerproject Use code POWERPROJECT for $101 off! ➢LMNT Electrolytes: http://drinklmnt.com/powerproject ➢Piedmontese Beef: https://www.piedmontese.com/ Use Code "POWERPROJECT" at checkout for 25% off your order plus FREE 2-Day Shipping on orders of $150 Subscribe to the Podcast on on Platforms! ➢ https://lnk.to/PowerProjectPodcast Subscribe to the Power Project Newsletter! ➢ https://bit.ly/2JvmXMb Follow Mark Bell's Power Project Podcast ➢ Insta: https://www.instagram.com/markbellspowerproject ➢ https://www.facebook.com/markbellspowerproject ➢ Twitter: https://twitter.com/mbpowerproject ➢ LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/powerproject/ ➢ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/markbellspowerproject ➢TikTok: http://bit.ly/pptiktok FOLLOW Mark Bell ➢ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marksmellybell ➢ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarkBellSuperTraining ➢ Twitter: https://twitter.com/marksmellybell ➢ Snapchat: marksmellybell ➢Mark Bell's Daily Workouts, Nutrition and More: https://www.markbell.com/ Follow Nsima Inyang ➢ https://www.breakthebar.com/learn-more ➢YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/NsimaInyang ➢Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nsimainyang/?hl=en ➢TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nsimayinyang?lang=en Follow Andrew Zaragoza on all platforms ➢ https://direct.me/iamandrewz #PowerProject #Podcast #MarkBell
Garry Tan, co-founder of Initialized Capital and one of the earliest investors in Coinbase, shares his outlook on crypto products, his concerns with crypto regulation, and how it will challenge America's democracy. Deeply rooted within the world's tech hub, Tan expresses that Silicon Valley will continue to be home to the internet. Tan explains what he learned in Y Combinator, his peers who have gone on to develop multi-billion dollar companies, and what it means to invest in early stage startups. What role does crypto play in all this? Tan outlines where that fits in as well. Interviewed by Ash Bennington on September 16, 2021.
The Sunday Times' tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Oliver Cameron, founder of Voyage and VP of product at Cruise, to talk about the arrival of self-driving cars (3:40), dropping out of uni to develop apps (14:40), getting a spot at Y Combinator (17:20), the difference between America and Britain (18:20), becoming an executive at Udacity (20:25), his disastrous first fundraising pitch (23:55), launching his self-driving car startup Voyage (28:10), selling it to Cruise (30:40), what does “self-driving” mean (33:30), launching commercial services in San Francisco (38:30), his worst day (42:20), and his best (43:20). See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
An interview with Gabriele Musella. Gabriele is the CEO of Coinrule, a YCombinator backed startup that aims to democratise crypto trading and enable people to set up their own automations to manage their investments for them. He's also created the DDDT framework to drive product decision-making and bring design thinking to the crypto space. We speak about a lot, including: The idea behind Coinrule, the rise of automated crypto trading and whether automated trading is as high pressure as it looks in the movies Why being unregulated was a great way to build a trading startup and what the future might look like for crypto regulation Whether Coinrule is actually using blockchain technology itself, and whether this would have any benefit for them as a company How much of a crypto-fundamentalist he is, how he sees the space developing, and how blockchain energy usage chimes with his eco awareness His experience with YCombinator, what he got out of the process apart from money, and how he learned to "prioritise like hell" How Coinrule build products, the DDDT process he created and how it allows the company to Discover, Define, Design and Test products How they talk to at least 100 users a month and built a culture of user research, and what it's like doing user research with such a passionate community His mentorship work with Google Launchpad and how he's aiming to help early stage startups understand how to do UX better And much more! Contact Gabriele You can contact Gabriele on Twitter or coinrule.com.
Today's episode is with the brilliant, Kevin Gibbon. Kevin is the Founder and CEO of Airhouse. He was previously the Founder and CEO of Shyp. Kevin opens up candidly about his experience in Silicon Valley and explains what it was like moving to the USA to pursue his dream of owning his own company. James and Kevin, speak about the Silicon Valley Network and why it is the hub for startups. They also dive deep into why investors are more likely to invest in a second time failed founder rather than a brand new founder just starting their company. Kevin also explains the lows, mentally, he endured during the end of his first company and how it impacts him still to this day. To conclude the episode, James and Kevin talk about the legitimacy behind CryptoCurrency and if it is here to stay! https://bit.ly/Go_BelowtheLine Find out more about Kevin Gibbon: https://twitter.com/kevingibbon https://www.airhouse.io/ Hit the show hotline and leave a question or comment for the show at 424-272-6640, email James questions directly at email@example.com or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/gobelowtheline Support Our Sponsors Magic Mind https://magicmind.co (Use Code BTL at Checkout for 20% off) AppSumo http://appsumo.com/bff About your host, James: James Beshara is a founder, investor, advisor, author, podcaster, and encourager based in Los Angeles, California. James has created startups for the last 12 years, selling one (Tilt, acquired by Airbnb), and invested in a few multi-billion dollar startups to date. He has spoken at places such as Y-Combinator, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, TechCrunch Disrupt, and has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and Time Magazine. He's been featured in Forbes, Time, and Inc Magazine's “30 Under 30” lists and advises startups all around the world. All of this is his “above the line” version of his background. Hear the other 90% of the story in the intro episode of Below The Line. “Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Another Podcast Network.
Welcome to my new show OnlyFriends, where my Silicon Valley group chat comes to life. On this episode, we discuss my new companies, our new advice segment, Dear OnlyFriends, the COVID vaccine, Coinbase's mission-focused statement, and crypto gaming. Starring: Justin Kan: Twitch co-founder and investor at Goat Capital (https://twitter.com/justinkan)Emmett Shear: Twitch co-founder and current Twitch CEO (https://twitter.com/eshear)Michael Seibel: Twitch co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator (https://twitter.com/mwseibel)Nicole Farb: Darby Smart co-founder and investor at Headline (https://twitter.com/nicolefarb)Submit your story to Dear OnlyFriends here! If you liked this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible. THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |
Anirudh Singh sits down with Sherwin Gandhi, co-founder and President of Jeeves. In this episode, they discuss: - Sherwin's early career in financial services - Launching Jeeves to provide borderless business banking for startups and SMEs - Expanding Jeeves internationally and the search for global talent And much more! Sherwin Gandhi: In 2019 Sherwin Gandhi founded Jeeves, which offers a suite of cross-border B2B financial services including payments, loans, and expense management software. In the past 14 months, Sherwin has raised $88mm of equity and $100mm of debt from Y Combinator, Andreessen Horowitz, CRV, Tencent, Silicon Valley Bank, and other investors, while launching in over 20 countries and reaching a valuation of $500mm. Jeeves has thousands of customers globally and is nearing $10mm of revenue - and was recently named one of The Information's 50 Most Promising Startups to watch. At Jeeves, Sherwin is unlocking globalization by architecting the future of global business banking so that entrepreneurs can focus on growing their businesses by having access to non-dilutive capital and true cross-border banking solutions. Prior to Jeeves, Sherwin founded two companies and led go-to-market, finance, engineering, regulatory, and product at two unicorns - AppNexus and Viagogo. Before becoming a Silicon Valley founder, he was a trader and investment banker on Wall Street, where he issued $17bn of multicurrency fixed income and equity derivatives at JPMorgan and was a hedge fund manager of a $200mm global fund. For more FinTech insights, follow us below: Medium: medium.com/wharton-fintech LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/wharton-fintech-club/ WFT Twitter: twitter.com/whartonfintech Anirudh's Twitter: twitter.com/avsingh_24
Brian Armstrong wanted to be a tech entrepreneur since he was in high school, but his first serious venture—a tutoring website—never quite took off. Around 2010, while looking to get a job in Silicon Valley, he stumbled across an intriguing idea for a peer-to-peer digital currency called Bitcoin, which quickly turned into his obsession. Brian's initial prototype for a hosted Bitcoin wallet got him accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator program, and he launched Coinbase soon thereafter. Many experts warned that cryptocurrency was no more reliable than Monopoly money, but the startup prevailed, surviving wild swings in the crypto market and steadily building a user base. Today, Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, with 7.4 million monthly users, 2,700 employees and over 80 cryptocurrencies traded on its platform.
It's a mafia that rules through intimidation. That's not the only way to impose some order on a confusing situation. If you want to learn more about who I am, listen to my music. https://soundcloud.com/the_prion I'd love to see your music. You can post messages on Software Daily or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org The post Is Y Combinator run by Facebook? Is Facebook run by Mark Zuckerberg? appeared first on Software Engineering Daily.
In today's episode, James gets a voicemail from a caller asking "What is Vedanta?" James, has talked a lot about Vedanta in pervious episodes and today explains what it means to him in his own words. He has credited some of his success and peace in life to this philosophy. Vedanta is a philosophy taught by the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of India. Its basic teaching is that our real nature is divine. https://bit.ly/Go_BelowtheLine Hit the show hotline and leave a question or comment for the show at 424-272-6640, email James questions directly at email@example.com or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/gobelowtheline Support Our Sponsors Magic Mind https://magicmind.co About your host, James: James Beshara is a founder, investor, advisor, author, podcaster, and encourager based in Los Angeles, California. James has created startups for the last 12 years, selling one (Tilt, acquired by Airbnb), and invested in a few multi-billion dollar startups to date. He has spoken at places such as Y-Combinator, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, TechCrunch Disrupt, and has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and Time Magazine. He's been featured in Forbes, Time, and Inc Magazine's “30 Under 30” lists and advises startups all around the world. All of this is his “above the line” version of his background. Hear the other 90% of the story in the intro episode of Below The Line. “Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Another Podcast Network.
Adi Diner is the founder of iFocus Health. iFocus is using eye-tracking technology combined with a proprietary AI algorithm to provide data-based treatment efficacy measures.★ Support this podcast ★
Josh Kline is the founder of HaveNeed. HaveNeed is a free mobile app that enables you to trade for goods and services like never before! HaveNeed also makes it easy to donate items directly to members of your community.★ Support this podcast ★
Sponsors: Purdue University entrepreneurship Peter Fasse, patent attorney at Fish & Richardson Mostly diagnosed in late stages, ovarian cancer is a silent killer of women. Oriana Papin-Zoghbi of AOA Dx aims to defeat this threat. Fresh out of Y Combinator, the team is making impressive headway in commercializing a promising technology from McGill University. Highlights: Sal Introduces Sponsors, Purdue University Entrepreneurship & Peter Fasse, Patent Attorney Sal Daher, CFA Welcomes Oriana Papin-Zoghbi of AOA Dx to the Podcast Ovarian Cancer Is a Silent Killer of Women “None of us on the founding team were originally scientists... We needed to really create a partnership.” Partnered with Professor Uri Saragovi of McGill University “...80% of cases being diagnosed when they're already Stage III and IV.” Professor Saragovi's Approach Is Using Certain Glycolipids in the Patient's Blood as a Marker of the Presence of Ovarian Cancer AOA Dx Supported by a Retrospective Study – Reached 95% Accuracy Sal Daher, CFA Makes the Case for Re-Skilling Angels Used to Investing in Software into Life Science Investors “We expect to be on the market in the US by 2025. Another four years out from here.” AOA Dx Is Developing a Platform for Early Detection of Other Diseases as Well Is AOA Dx Considering a Strategic Collaboration? A Good Attitude Towards Strategic Collaboration “...I can make the case for life sciences and that is where we are today is at the cusp of innovation, or medical innovation in the life sciences, this is truly just the beginning.” “...our ability to beat cancer or Alzheimer's or other types of diseases. It's that impact investment that is going to make a difference 30 years to come from now...” “I fully attest to the value Y Combinator gave us...” “...TBD Angels I worked specifically with, or closest I should say, with Yael and with Vicky was, how quick and transparent all of our communication was.” “...for anybody that is interested in the art of persuasion, I very much recommend reading about Robert Cialdini and his books...” Topics: biotech, co-founders, founding story, fundraising
I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you're listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We've brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening! Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it! —— Sharon Pope is the co-founder and CEO of shelpful, the instant accountability service that pairs you with a real-human buddy to help you build good habits (they nudge you and hold you to big habits like getting exercise, or small tasks like taking out the trash on time). Prior to starting shelpful, Sharon was a startup executive for 15 years, running marketing and product. She advised startups at the famous startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and was Chief Marketing Officer at ZeroDown, Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), GoBank and Loopt. Prior to that she managed PR and content for a range of tech companies at leading San Francisco-based PR agencies. Today we learned how she started her super helpful company Shelpful, how she learned that for her, exercise is medicine, and how she was using her ADHD as a superpower, even before she was diagnosed. Enjoy! In this episode Peter and Sharon Pope discuss: 2:17 - Intro and welcome Sharon, founder of Shelpful 2:50 - What prompted you to come up with this kind of idea? 4:12 - It seems like it's one of those things that truly requires getting to numbers of scale, right? 5:20 - Tell us about what kind of tasks people are using this for? 7:15 - What's the difference between what you do versus someone just saying, Hey Alexa, tell me to drink some water in 30 minutes? 8:17 - Is there an accountability/human trust balance happening here? 10:10 - Why do you think that we don't allow ourselves give ourselves the same respect that we give to other people? 11:35 - As this grows do think that you can find a category for pretty much anything? 13:07 - Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work? 13:48 - So if you are a shelper you're basically on call like full-time? 14:50 - What is the one thing that you know about yourself now, that you didn't know before you got diagnosed with ADHD, that has helped change your life? [How can people find you?] @shelpful on TikTok INSTA and Facebook and of course via www.shelpful.com 16:25 - Thank you Sharon! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love the responses and the notes that we get from you; so please continue to do that! Tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all; we'd love to know. Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you ever need our help I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via firstname.lastname@example.org or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 16:57 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits — TRANSCRIPT: — I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you're listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We've brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening! Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it! — My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to Faster Than Normal. We are going to be talking about ADHD in all forms of neurodiverse today on this episode. And I am thrilled. That you are here. I have recorded an episode of in about two weeks. It has been a while. So it's great to be back. It is a, I don't know what day it is. It's Thursday. I believe it was a gorgeous day, outside, a little cold here in New York city, but still beautiful. And, uh, it is lovely to be with you today, wherever in the world you happen to be including Portland, Oregon, where our current guest is from. Let's just say hi to Sharon Pope. Sharon Pope is the co-founder and CEO of a company called. Shelpful It's an instant accountability service that pairs you with a real human buddy to help you build good habits. They nudge you. They hold you to big habits to get you exercise, and small tasks like taking out the trash on time. 5 years, running marketing and product. She advised startups at the famous startup accelerator, Y Combinator, and was Chief Marketing Officer at ZeroDown, Green Dot (NYSE: GDOT), GoBank and Loopt. Prior to that she managed PR and content for a range of tech companies at leading San Francisco-based PR agencies. I love the idea because it's well, well needed and way overdue. Sharon, welcome to Faster Than Normal and first off, tell us what prompted you to come up with this kind of idea other than just finding another thing to do during COVID. Yeah. Thank you. It's really great to be here Peter. Um, yeah, I started this to solve my own problem. So I was, I think for my whole adult life, um, I'm 38 now. Um, was 37 when I started Shelpful. I I've really struggled with this kind of 10:00 PM feeling of Looking down at my to-do list and realizing I did everything for everyone else, including work, and my two kids and all the “me” completely just fall off the list. So, you know, I to work out for like 20 minutes and that just got blown off because an email came in and that just drew me in. And so, I mean, after struggling with it forever, I tried to build a bot for it, like in 2018 and it sucked, I had kind of a fever dream one night and I was like, oh my gosh, we could do this with real people. So I put up a site overnight, convinced my friend to do it with me and that same week we launched the first version of Shelpful, um, to just try to answer that problem for everyone else, that people kind of needed more support and could use a real human accountability buddy, kind of sitting on your shoulder and saying, Hey, you said you were gonna work out at 8:00 AM. It's time to work out. I'm gonna ask you in 20 minutes, if you did it or not. And that kind of thing was what I needed desperately. And I felt like I wasn't alone. I love the concept. It seems like it's one of those things that truly requires, um, uh, getting to numbers of scale. Right. You know, if you don't have enough people willing to be the accountability buddy then you gotta problem. Right. And so we have our own, we're kind of structured more like an Uber. So we find the accountability buddies. We train them. I mean, we've found some amazing people who. Are way better than I was in the early days. Uh, just having strong empathy and note-taking, and following up with you and we have them, we staff them, um, you just have to sign up and we put you with them. And honestly, as I dug more into this and looked at what else is out there, everything else requires you to just go find a friend. So you either find a friend in your real life, or you ask your mom to tell you to do something, or you go to Reddit and say, or Twitter or Google and say like somebody, please be my accountability buddy! And the answer is silence. And so that's kind of why we feel like this is working because the people who really need it, get it fast and you're instantly within a day you feel support like you've really never known. Tell me about, um, what kind of tasks people are using this for? Cause for someone with ADHD, I mean, this seems like an easy and easy way to, to, to kill a lot of birds with one stone. What are people primarily using it for? Right. So the thing that I was solving mostly was the health stuff, right? Like getting movement in and like planning my lunch instead of freestyling my lunch. For instance, when we saw people signing up, the first things were those things, for sure. But also things like. Help me remember to pay my bill. Um, can you remind me to take my trash out on Tuesday nights? Um, like the small, like kind of any range of things that falls off your list you could ask for help with; also just the habit of making it to do list in the first place. Right. So make sure I do my to do list every night before the next day, so that I can go into the day with, with fresh eyes and a clear idea of what I'm gonna do. Um, when we saw people starting up, we left, we left it really open-ended and now we have a bit more structure because we've seen what people ask for, but the open-ended thing we still get to this day. If people writing in saying I have ADHD and I could use a help with this because I forget to drink water. And I forget to do really simple things that may seem easy to other people, but aren't easy to me. Um, and I think as I, as I told you, that was really eye opening to me because I thought this was a problem that I kind of uniquely had. Cause I was quirky. And when people started saying that, it was this big ton of bricks that hit me, that I realized I actually had ADHD or I, you know, at that point I kind of had all this flashback of me asking doctors throughout my life, why I have to wait to the last minute to do things. And, and they just said, oh, well, you're good at your job, or, oh, you get good grades and you just don't have, you don't have this. Um, and so it was really eye opening to me because my mentors actually ended up kind of telling me that this was working for them. And it was because of the same reasons it worked for me. Tell me why, and I'm just playing devil's advocate here. Um, why couldn't someone just, What's the difference between what you do versus someone just saying, Hey Alexa, tell me to drink some water in 30 minutes? It's a really good question. I have had a notification on my calendar to meditate since 2017 and I've done it once. Um, I think that we, I mean, especially, I mean, people have ADHD. We have a million notifications and snoozing them gives us zero guilt and makes us think zero seconds about it. It's gone. I snooze the notification and it's out of my life and I'm going back to whatever else I was doing. It's really different when you have a real person on the other end. So if you have a shopper, you know, Chanel, we call them shelpers our accountability buddies, you know, she knows asking you, Hey, did you know, have you drank water? Like how many ounces are you? If you ignore her, you feel kind of guilty, but the guilt kind of works in your favor because it's fueling your own habit, right? Is there a, well, that was my next question. Is there sort of a, I don't wanna say, I don't wanna call it guilt cause I don't want to put it down. Cause having to kinda build it out is not sensitive to be embarrassed, but is there a word I'm looking for a, a…. I don't want to disappoint my accountability. Like, you know, I. Have a trainer at the gym at five 30 in the morning, because I'll probably go to the gym if I didn't have one, but I might not work out as hard. Right. Right. And so he makes sure I do so is it? And if I don't, he calls me on it and I don't want to, you know, I don't want him to think that I'm a loser and not doing it. So is there, is there that level of, have you seen that at all? Have you seen people like, oh yeah, I love this. Because again, for lack of better word, it shames me into making sure that I'm doing. Right. I mean, there, I shame, shame, disappointment. All those I think are, are mixed in with even just the word accountability, right? Somebody is waiting for you and asking you, and they're just there on the other end. Just kind of like hanging in the balance until you answer them, or you show up at the gym or you show the evidence that you did your to do list. So the fact that it's a real human, I mean, This is something we can all relate with, right, If somebody, if you're doing something for somebody else or in, in community with somebody else, you're much more likely to do it. And I can relate with you, Peter. Like I, the best and healthiest times in my life were admittedly. Pre-kids when I had like a, every single morning workout group that I went to and if I was late, everyone would be delayed in getting like the run around the block that we started out with. I, that, that fear of letting someone else down. Was yes. Maybe shame isn't the greatest word, but it works and it, and I felt good at the end of it. And it wasn't something that stuck with me and made me feel sad. It made me feel good. Cause I got the energy I needed from a workout. In this case and not in a negative way, but why don't you think we place other people's feelings and not wanting to hurt their feelings or, or, or not show up and disappoint them above our own. I know that if I wake up every day and do an hour of hard workout for 10 minutes on the treadmill or Peleton, whatever, you know, it's going to be beneficial to me. Right. But I don't give myself the same. I don't offer myself that same ability, uh, to, to not disappoint myself that I might offer it to someone I'd have to meet someone else. Why do you think that we don't allow ourselves give ourselves that same respect that we give to other people? Right. If only I had had the answer for that!! I feel like that's what, I've the question I've been asking myself for a decade, right? Like, and I, that's what I think that. That's that's why shelpful. That's why we created Shelpful, because it's the fact that there's somebody else invested in your personal health and habits on a daily, hourly minute level basis. It, it, it triggers that part of your brain wants to do something for others or that, that get stuff down because somebody else's depending on you. And I mean, that's, that's, you know, for me, a thousand percent why I would get something done over just the fact that it's good for me. Um, I know it's good for me. I could tell you the calories and pretty much any food. I know, I know workouts to do, like I know how to work out, ..but the question is, do I do them just because they're good for me. And that's what I've always struggled with. Do you think that, um, as this grows, I mean, the categories you have right now are pretty much anything, you know, you can find me accountability, buddy, for virtually anything. Are you breaking it into certain sections or certain, how does it work? Yeah. So we started out thinking, okay, let's start with health. Right. Cause that was my personal thing. And um, it felt like from my marketing background, like start with a niche and expand and we found really, really early people were clamoring and kind of yelling at us like, well, the reason I don't get my workout done is because this happens that I also need help with. Right. So we're not just the reason we don't get things done. Isn't because we are bad or just go sit in front of the TV. It's because the life happens and makes the other things not work. So we ended up just kind of blowing it up and within like a week of launching and making it just be like, well, you tell us what you need help with. Um, any habits that you want to form our buddies, our shelpers can hold you to they're really. Uh, limit and it's almost, self-limiting like, so Peter, if you came in and said, I want help on 20 things. Well, the shop would probably say, well, let's start with a few so that you don't just snooze me and just put me away or turn off your phone. Like let's kind of start working through it. But once you get a few things established. You could always add on, like while I watched, after I washed my face, I want to like, some people have skincare as, as a goal, right? So after I care for my face, I want to do 20 squats. So you can kind of just keep layering on habits to the ones you've already established a few, and it really is limitless. Is it a monthly subscription; how does it work? Yeah, it's monthly. We have a weekly option too, um, like as, as low as $13.75 a week. And then for month it's a little over $50. Um, and it, yeah, I mean, it feels, people are feeling like it's a really good value cause you get, um, Monday through Friday, basically unlimited access to your shelper so you're kind of just text them and anytime you have an update, they usually respond pretty quickly. And then they nudge you along based on kind of habits that you've established. So you want to work out Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 8:00 AM you're going to get a ping from them saying hey, time to work out, um, and a follow up to make sure you did it. Um, so you.. and then weekends are a bit quieter because shelpers are human, um, so they kind of recharge their batteries on the weekends and then hit it full force again on Monday. So if you are a shelper you're basically on call, it's like a full-time. It is, it's a really, it's a flexible gig, right? So they, um, they end up working. I mean, depending on how many have just a couple hours a day. Um, but they are able to, we have technology, we're a technology company, as well as the service. So we have helpful technology that helps them plan and, um, take notes and get things organized. So they're not having to be glued to their, their phone, but they have. The ability to work from their mobile phone. Um, so people who are shoppers are people who really appreciate flexibility. So, um, you know, imagine caregivers stay at home moms, um, hairstylists, we have a few, so people who are- it's a gig, but they're just these naturally empathetic people who are, who care a lot and have great memories and are skilled note takers and they, they really make it happen for their members. It sounds fascinating. A shelters.xom? www.SHELPFUL.COM Sorry. My bad. I meant shelpful, shelpers the people who work at ShelpFul. Awesome. What is the one thing that you know about yourself now, that you didn't know before you got diagnosed with ADHD that has helped change your life? Wow. Um, I think so.. starting, I started this company in March, kind of had the lights go on in my head that this is something I had in, I don't know, April and by May I had a diagnosis in my hand. Um, I now know that for me, exercise is medicine. Um, it's not something that's optional for me. It actually changes the whole way my day goes. Um, and so now that I'm able to look at it as that I've actually been able to be successful in making it happen. Um, and I, I've joined a shelpful group, which is, we also have a group product. Um, and that allows me and I have group and they hold me accountable to it too. So I have what, you know, I'm trying to put a focus on making sure that I have that fuel that I need. Um, and that awareness of ADHD actually helped me just reframe how I looked at that. What an awesome answer, thank you Sharon. Very cool. Guys. You've been listening to Faster Than Normal, our guest today is Sharon Pope. She runs a phenomenal company that I'm falling in love with more & more called Shelpful, and I am definitely check it out. You can find it a www.Shelpful.com you can find me @petershankman and @fasternormal and on www.FasterThanNormal.com anywhere you grab your podcasts, the book. On Amazon. It's actually, I think it's fourth printing, which blows my mind. I get emails every day that people really liked what they were reading and I helped them and it just makes me so happy. I love, I love that. So I will keep doing that for as long as I possibly can. Guys, that feel free to reach out, say hi, tell us any guests that you'd like to see on the show. We'd love to hear you. Anyone who sends me any info tells us of the guests, whether we use them or not. I will send you a shank point, uh, for those who don't know. Uh, it's a long story. I'll tell you another time, but I say anyone who sends guest info to me, I will send you a brand new shank point is currently trading around 10 bucks a coin. It is a cryptocurrency, and it's a lot of fun for some of the ADHD. It's fun because you have to stop yourself from watching everything. Oh, it's up? It's down. Okay. Anyway, squirrel!! Sharon. Thank you again, guys. Thank you for listening. We will see you next week. Have a wonderful week. Stay safe, stay happy. — Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week.
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Andrew Warner has been part of the internet startup scene since 1997. Andrew and his brother built a $30 million per year online business, which they later sold. After taking an extended vacation and doing some traveling, Andrew started Mixergy. Mixergy helps ambitious upstarts learn from some of the most successful people in business.Andrew and I talk about his new book, Stop Asking Questions. It's a great read on leading dynamic interviews, and learning anything from anyone. We also talk about longevity and burnout as an entrepreneur. Andrew gives me feedback about my interviewing style, the direction I should take the podcast, and much more.In this episode, you'll learn: Why you need to understand and communicate your mission How to get your guest excited about being interviewed What to do instead of asking questions How to hook your audience and keep them engaged Links & Resources ConvertKit Gregg Spiridellis JibJab Ali Abdaal The Web App Challenge: From Zero to $5,000/month In 6 Months Groove Zendesk Help Scout Jordan Harbinger Noah Kagan Bob Hiler Seth Godin Morning Brew Alex Lieberman Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) Notion Sahil Bloom Ryan Holiday Brent Underwood Ghost Town Living Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator Damn Gravity Paul Graham Y Combinator Nathan Barry: Authority Ira Glass NPR This American Life Barbara Walters Richard Nixon interview Oprah interview with Lance Armstrong Matt Mullenweg Chris Pearson Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue Peter Thiel Gawker Nick Denton The Wall Street Journal Rohit Sharma SanDisk Jason Calacanis Dickie Bush Sean McCabe Daily Content Machine Jordan Peterson Tribes Warren Buffet Sam Walton Ted Turner GothamChess LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) Inc.com: Selling Your Company When You're Running on Fumes Chess.com Mark Cuban James Altucher Rod Drury Andrew Warner's Links Andrew Warner Stop Asking Questions Mixergy Episode Transcript[00:00:00] Andrew:The top 10 interviews of all time are news-based interviews. We, as podcasters, keep thinking, “How do I get enough in the can, so if I die tomorrow, there's enough interviews to last for a month, so I can be consistent, and the audience loves me.”That's great, but I think we should also be open to what's going on in the world today. Let's go talk to that person today. If there's an artist who's suddenly done something, we should go ask to do an interview with them.[00:00:32] Nathan:In this episode, I talk to my friend, Andrew Warner, who I've known for a long time. He actually played a really crucial role in the ConvertKit story in the early days, and provided some great encouragement along the way to help me continue the company, and get through some tough spots.We actually don't get into that in this episode, but it takes an interesting turn because we just dive right in.Andrew's got a book on interviewing. He runs Mixergy. He's been, running Mixergy for a long time. We talk about longevity and burnout, and a bunch of other things. He dives in and challenges me, and gives me feedback on my interviewing style. Where I should take the Podcast, and a bunch of other stuff. It's more of a casual conversation than the back-and-forth interview of how he grew his business. But I think you'll like it. It's a lot of what I'm going for on the show.So anyway, enjoy the episode.Andrew, welcome to the show.[00:01:25] Andrew:Thanks for having me on.[00:01:26] Nathan:There's all kinds of things we can talk about today, but I want to start with the new book that you got coming out.This is actually slightly intimidating; I am interviewing someone who has a book coming out about how to be good at interviewing. Where do we even go from here? You were saying that you have thoughts?[00:01:47] Andrew:I have feedback for you. I have a thoughts on your program.[00:01:51] Nathan:I'm now even more nervous.[00:01:52] Andrew:I've been listening, and I've been following, and I've been looking for questioning styles. Is there feedback I could give him? I mean, I've wrote a whole book on it. I should have tons of ideas on that.I don't. Here's the thing that stood out for me watching you. There's an ease and a comfort with these guests, but I'm trying to figure out what you're trying to do with the Podcast. What is connecting them? Are you trying to bring me, the listener, in and teach me how to become a better creator who's going to grow an audience and make a career out of it? Or are you trying to learn for yourself what to do?How to become closer to what Ali Abdaal doing, for example, or Sahil Bloom? Are you trying to do what they did, and grow your audience? Or is it a combination of the two?I think the lack of that focus makes me feel a little untethered, and I know that being untethered and going raw, and letting it go anywhere is fine, but I think it would be helpful if you gave me a mission.What's the mission that Nathan Barry's on with the Podcast. Why is he doing these interviews?[00:02:56] Nathan:Oh, that's interesting. Because it's probably different: my mission, versus the audience members' mission.[00:03:05] Andrew:I think you should have a boat together and, but go ahead.[00:03:08] Nathan:I was going to say mine is to meet interesting people. Like that's the thing I found that, podcasts are the pressure from two sides, one as a creator, as an individual online, like I'm not going to set aside the time to be like, you know what, I'm going to meet one interesting person a week and we're just going to have a conversation riff on something like that.Doesn't happen the times that, you know, the years that I didn't do this show, I didn't set aside like deliberate time to do that. And then the other thing is if I were to set aside that time and send out that email, I think a lot of people would be like, I kind of had to have a busy week. I don't know that I've, you know, like yeah, sure.Nathan, whoever you are. I did a Google search. You seem moderately interesting. I'm not sure that I want to get on that.Like a, get to know[00:03:58] Andrew:They wouldn't and it would be awkward. And you're right. The Podcast gives you an excuse. I think you should go higher level with it though. I think you should go deep to the point where you feel vulnerable. I think what you should do is say something like this, isn't it. You have to go into your own into your own mission and say, this is what it is.And just, so let me set the context for why this matters. I think it helps the audience know, but it also helps you get better guests to give better of themselves. I talk in the book about how I was interviewing Greg spirit, Dallas, the guy who created jib, jab, you know, those old viral video, it was a fire video factory that also created apps that allowed you to turn your yourself into like a viral meme that you could then send to your friends.Anyway, he didn't know me. He was incredibly successful. He was, I think, person of the year, a company of the year named by time. He was on the tonight show because he created these videos that had gone viral. And yes. He said yes, because a friend of a friend invited him, but I could see that he was just kind of slouching.He was wearing a baseball cap. It wasn't a good position. And then he said, why are we doing this? And I said, I want to do a story. That's so important. That tells the story of how you built your business. Yes. For my audience. So they see how new businesses are being built online, but let's make it so clear about what you did, that your great grandkids can listen to this.And then they will know how to great grandfather do this and put us in this situation. And that's what I wanted. I wanted for him to create that. And he told me that afterwards, if he had known that that was a mission, he wouldn't have put his hat on. He said that after that, he started thinking about the business in a more in depth way, visualizing his great grandchild.And then later on, he asked me for that recording so that he could have it in his family collection. So the reason I say that is I want us to have a mission. That's that important that yes. You could get somebody to sit in front of the camera because you're telling me you're doing a podcast, frankly.Right. You're with ConvertKit they're going to say yes, but how do you bring the best out of them? And that's it. And so that's why I'm doing this. And so one suggestion for you is to say something like.I'm Nathan, I've been a creator my whole life, but I'm starting from scratch right now with YouTube.I've got 435 people watching YouTube. It's not terrible, but it's clearly not where I want to end up. And so what I've decided to do is instead of saying, I've created the book authority, I wrote it. I'm the one who created software that all these creators are using a ConvertKit. Instead of, instead of allowing myself to have the comfort of all my past successes, I'm going to have the discomfort of saying, I don't know what it's like.And so I'm going to bring on all these people who, because maybe I've got credibility from ConvertKit are going to do interviews with me. And they're going to teach me like Alia doll and others are going to teach me how they became better creators, better business people. I'm going to use it to inform my, my, growth on YouTube.And by the way, You'll all get to follow along. And if you want to follow along and build along with me, this is going to come from an earnest place. Now I've obviously gone. Long-winded cause I'm kind of riffing here, but that's a mission. And now we're watching as you go from four to 500, now we care about your growth.Now there's someone giving you feedback and more importantly, there's someone who then can go back years later and see the breadcrumbs. Even if the whole thing fails and say, you know what?Nathan made it in virtual reality videos. And he's amazing. But look at what he did when YouTube was there. He clearly didn't do it, but he aspired right. I could aspire to, if I don't do it, I'll do it in the next level. That's that's what I'm going for with it. I talk too much sometimes and give people too much, too much feedback. How does that sit with you?[00:07:14] Nathan:I like the idea. I particularly love anytime a creator's going on a journey and inviting people along for it, right. When you're sitting there and giving advice or whatever else, it's just not that compelling to follow it unless there's a destination in mind. So I did that with ConvertKit in the early days of, I said, like I called it the web app challenge said, I'm trying to grow it from zero to 5,000 a month in recurring revenue.Within six months, I'm going to like live blog, the whole thing. people love that another example would be also in the SAS space, but, the company grew, they did a customer support software and they, I think. They were going from 25,000 a month to 500,000 a month was their goal. and they even have like, in their opt-in form, as they blogged and shared all the lessons, it had like a progress bar.You'd see, like MRR was at 40,000,[00:08:08] Andrew:Every time you read a blog post, you see the MRR and the reason that you don't remember what the number was is I believe that they changed it, you know, as they achieve the goal, they, they changed it to show the next goal on their list. And yeah, and you've got to follow along now. Why do I care? The groove, HQ or groove is, is growing a competitor to Zendesk and help scout.But now that I'm following along, I'm kind of invested now that I see how they're writing about their progress. I really do care. And by the way, what is this groove and why is it better than help scout and the others? Yeah. I agree with you. I think that makes a lot of sense. I think in conversations also, it makes a lot of sense.I think a lot of people will come to me and say, Andrew, can I just ask you for some feedback? I'm a student. Can I ask you for support? It's helpful for them to ask, but if they could ground me in the purpose, if you could say to somebody I'm coming to you with these questions, because this is where I'm trying to go, it changes the way that they react.It makes them also feel more on onboard with the mission. I have a sense that there is one, I'm just saying nail it, you know, who does it really good? who does a great job with it is a Jordan harbinger. He starts out his each episode is almost if you're a fan of his, it's almost like enough already. I get that.You're going to do an opt-in in the beginning of the Podcast. I get that. What you're trying to do is show us how to whatever network now and become better people. But it's fine. I'd much rather people say, I know too much about what this mission is. Then I don't.[00:09:26] Nathan:Do you who's afraid anyone else tuning in? What, what is Jordan's mission? What would he say is the mission that[00:09:32] Andrew:It's about, see, that's the other thing I can't actually, even though I've heard it a billion times, he's adjusted it. It's about, self-improvement making me a better person better, man. And so the earnestness of that makes me accept when he brings somebody on who's a little bit too academic who's, Jordan's interested in it or a little bit too practical to the point where it feels like I'm just getting too many tips on how to network and I don't need it, but I've got his sensibility.He's trying to make me a better person. And so I think with interviews, if you, if you give people the, the mission, they'll forgive more, they'll accommodate the largest and it does allow you to have a broader, a broader set of topics.[00:10:14] Nathan:Yeah. I'm thinking about the mission side of it. Like all of that resonates. and I love when an interview is questions are Like are the questions that they specifically want to know? It's not like I went through my list and this seems like a good question to ask instead. It's like, no, no, no, Andrew specifically, I want to know what should I do about, this?And I'll even call that out in a show and be like, look, I don't even care if there's an audience right now. Like this is my list, you know?[00:10:41] Andrew:Yes.[00:10:41] Nathan:But the, like if we dive into the mission, the one that you outlined doesn't quite resonate. And I think the reason. I think about, creators who have already made it in some way.And it starts to lose that earnestness. Like, honestly, I'm not that interested in, in growing a YouTube[00:11:00] Andrew:I don't think that that's I don't think that that's it for you. It's true. That's a little bit too. I don't know. It's it's a little, it's a little too early in the career. There is something there. I don't know what it is and it can't be enough. It can't be enough to say I need to meet interesting people because that's very youth centric and I'm not on a mission to watch you, unless you're really going to go for like the super right.And we're constantly aspiring, inspiring. the other thing it could be as you're running a company, you're trying to understand what's going on. No Kagan did that really well. I actually have the reason that I know this stuff is in order to write the book. I said, I have all my transcripts. I can study all the ways that I've questioned, but I also want to see what other people have done.And so Noah Kagan did this interview with an NPR producer. I had that transcribed to understand what he did and what he learned. One of the things that he did in that, that made that such a compelling interview is. He was a podcaster who wanted to improve his podcasting. And he, I think he even paid the producer to do an interview with him on his podcast so that he could learn from him.Right. And in the process, he's asking serious questions that he's really wondering. He's trying to figure out how to make a show more interesting for himself. Now. Clearly someone like me, who wants to make my Podcast more interesting. I'm like mentally scribbling notes as I'm running, listening to the podcasting.Oh yeah. The rule of three, like what are the three things you're going to show me?Well, yeah, at the end he did summarize it and he did edit. I don't like the edits at all because the edits take away some of the rawness of it and the discomfort which I personally enjoy, but I see now how he's editing it out.And it's, it's interesting to watch that progress.[00:12:32] Nathan:Yeah, I'm thinking through. The different angles that I could take with this. cause I like it and I feel like there's a, a thread that's not quite there. And I felt that on the show. Right. Cause people ask, oh, why are you having this guest on versus that guest? and it is that like, I, I find them interesting.There's also another angle of like probably half the guests maybe are on ConvertKit already. And so I want to highlight that. And then the other half of the guests aren't and I want them on ConvertKit and so that's an, you know, an incredibly easy, I can send you a cold email and be like, Andrew switched to ConvertKit.Right. Or I could be like, Hey, you know, have you on the show, we could talk. and we've gotten great people like in the music space and other areas from just having them on the show and then[00:13:18] Andrew:Can I give you, by the way, I know it's a sidetrack and I give you a great story of someone who did that. Okay. it's not someone that, you know, it's a guy who for years had helped me out. His name is Bob Highler every week he would get on a call with me and give me advice on how to improve the business.And then at one point he said, you know what? I need new clients. I want to start going after people who are, I want to start going after lawyers, helping them with their online ads, because lawyers aren't, aren't doing well enough.He started doing all these marketing campaigns because he's a marketer. And so one of the things he did was he got these cards printed up.He said, they look just like wedding invitations, beautiful. He, he mailed them out to lawyers. He got one, two responses. Like nobody would pay attention to a stranger, even if they were earnest and sending those out. And he goes, you know, and then he gets on a call. He doesn't even know what to say to people.If he just cold calling goes, I'm going to try to do that. And Andrew, I'm going to do an interview show for lawyers. He picked bankruptcy lawyers. He started asking them for interviews. They were all flattered because they also want another good Google hit. Right. And so they said yes to him and he asked them questions.Then I started learning the language. I forget all the different terms that he learned about how, about how they operate. But he said, inevitably at the end, they'll go after it was done. And say, by the way, what are you. And then he'd have a chance to tell them. And because he's built up this rapport and they trust him, they were much more likely to sign them.He signed up his customers, just like that, just like that. It's a, I think it's an, it's an unexplored way of doing it, of, of growing a business, taking an interest in someone, shining a light on them, helping them get that Google hit and helping them tell their story. And then by the way, will you pay attention to the fact that I've got a thing that if you like me, you might like also,[00:14:50] Nathan:So a few years ago, I was in New York and Seth Goden had come out to speak at our conference and he'd ever said, Hey, if you're in New York and want to make the pilgrimage up to Hastings on Hudson, you know, of outside the city, like come up and visit. And so I did that and it's so funny, cause it is like this pilgrimage to you, you like take the train up along the river. You know, I don't know what it is an hour and a half outside of the city. and I was asking Seth advice at his office, about like how to reach more authors. I think that was the question I asked him specifically and he just, he was like, well, what do authors want? And I was like, ah, I, some more books I guess.And he's like, yeah know. And so like we went through a series of questions, but he's basically what he came to was, find a way to get them attention so that they can grow their audience to sell more books. And he was suggesting a podcast is the way to do that. What's interesting is that's the side, like that's the other half of it, right.I want to meet interesting people. I want to, Like get more of those people that I find really interesting on ConvertKit pushed the limits of like, our customer base in, in those areas. And then the third thing is I want to do it in a way that's high leverage in my time. Write of, I want to do it.That creates something, for people watching and listening along so they can follow the journey. But I still don't see,I would say two thirds of that is about me, right?[00:16:18] Andrew:It's not only that, but all these things are byproducts more than they are the clear goal. You're going to get that. No matter what, if you just talk all day about what? No, not talk all day. If you do, what was it? I'm the founder of morning brew does nothing, but like a 15 minute, if that sometimes five minutes.[00:16:37] Nathan:Alex Lieberman.[00:16:38] Andrew:Yeah, just what, what goes on in his life now it's changed over the years or so that he's done it, but it's just, here's what we were thinking about today. Here's how I'm deciding to hire somebody BA done. He's just doing that. That's enough to get attention enough to also broaden his audience enough to bring us in and then so on.So I think if you just did nothing, but get on camera and talk for a bit, you'll get that. But I think a higher leverage thing is to tap into that personal mission and let all the others come through along the way and all the other benefits, meaning that you will get to meet people and change the way you think you will get to get people to switch to convert kit.And so on, by the way, that's such a, like an impressive thing for you to admit, to say, I want to have these guests on because I want to assign them up. I think a lot of people would have those ulterior motives and[00:17:23] Nathan:Oh, no, you got to just talk about, I mean, that's something you and I, for as long as we've known each other have been very, very transparent in both of our separate businesses and our conversations and it's just, everyone wants that. Right? Cause they're like, I think I know why Nathan is doing this, but he wants.And that would be weird, but if we go to the mission side of it, there's mission of like this, I'm going to improve the world side of mission, which definitely exists that can protect you. And I got my little plaque behind me. It says we exist to help creators are living. And so we can take that angle of it, thinking of like the, the goal journey side of things, since we're just riffing on ideas.One way that might be interesting is to make like a top 100 list of the top 100 creators we want on ConvertKit. And the whole podcast is about interviewing those people and reaching them. And, and so it could be like, this is what I'm trying to accomplish. And you're going to learn a whole bunch along the way as a listener, but you, you know, we check in on that.And then another angle that we could take that would be different is the, like we're going together. We're going to help the creator make the best version of their business. And so you make it more of a.We're both peers diving in on your business, riffing on it, you know, how would we improve it? that kind of thing.[00:18:43] Andrew:I think helping creators create a business, seems like something others have done, but not quite your approach, your style, the way that you will go and carve something is this is the thing that's over your head that says create. Is that something you carved in your wood shop? Then I saw on Instagram.Yeah, right. The sensibility of I've got to create it my way. Instead of that's a pain in the ass, I got a business to run who like, right. You're not going to see, for example, infusion soft, go, we need a plaque. Let's go to the wood shop. No, you're not. It's just not their sensibility. Right. Coming from a sensibility of someone who cares about the details, who every button matters in the software, everything behind your shoulder matters to you for yourself, even the stuff I imagine.If you look forward would have a meaning there, it wouldn't be random chaos. Is it random chaos in front of, on the[00:19:32] Nathan:The desk is random chaos, but there's a sign that says the future belongs to creators up there. And[00:19:38] Andrew:Okay. I think I might've even seen that online somewhere. So I think that coming, coming from the business point of view, With a sense of creator's taste, I think is something that would appeal to a lot of people. For whom seeing, for example, my take on business would be completely abhorring. All I care about is where the numbers are and what it's like.Right. Well, even allium doll's take on, it would not be, would not be right, because he's much more about every movement needs to matter. He can't just have a checkbox in notion it Ellis has to fire off five different other things that notion because otherwise you're wasting time. Why type five things when you could type one, right.It's a different sensibility. And I think you've always done really well drawing in that audience. I remember talking to a competitor of yours who started around the same time, also done really well about why you were, you were really growing tremendously faster. and they said he nailed it. He nailed who his audience is.It's the bloggers. It's these early creators who, who didn't have. Who didn't have anyone speaking for them. And you did that. And I think maybe that's an approach to saying, look, we are creators. And the business of creation is, or the business of being a creator is evolving and we want to learn about every part of it.And then it's interesting to hear how somebody growing their audience in an interesting way. How is somebody thinking about writing? I love that you asked Sahil bloom about how long it took him to write. I know he talks about it a bunch, but it's, it's interesting to hear him go with you about how it is like a five hour, seven hour writing job for him, right.To write fricking tweets. He's writing tweets, right? You've got people just firing off the tweet. He's spending five, seven hours on it. And, and he's also not a guy who's just like, right. It would be something if he was still in school playing baseball, and this is his intellectual, whatever. No, he's now running in investments.He's making decisions. He's helping promote his, his portfolio companies and he's spending five hours writing and he's doing it like one a week instead of one an hour. Right. It's all very interesting. And that approach, I think, ties completely well with ConvertKit.[00:21:41] Nathan:Okay. So where does that take us on like the mission or the hook for the show? Cause we're.[00:21:48] Andrew:Okay. Here's what I would do. I would, I would just keep riffing go. My name is Nathan Barry. You probably know me from convert kit. I'm doing this podcast because I like to meet interesting people. And here's the thing I'm trying to do or I'm I I'm doing it because I'm compelled to talk to these people who I admire.And I also want to learn from them about how they create and just riff on it. Like every week, even have every interview have a different one, until you feel like, oh, that's the one that feels just right. But if we just here, I want to have this person on, because I'm trying to learn this thing. I want to have this on because secretly I'm trying to see if I can get him to be at, see if I can get Ryan holiday to actually be on convert kit.Right. Boom. Now, now we're kind of following along as you're figuring it out. And that's also[00:22:29] Nathan:Yeah.[00:22:29] Andrew:The way, is Ryan holiday going to be on here or what?[00:22:31] Nathan:On the show,[00:22:33] Andrew:Yeah.[00:22:34] Nathan:Probably we were just talking the other day. We have a shared investment in a ghost town, So we, we often talk about that,[00:22:40] Andrew:Oh yeah. I've[00:22:42] Nathan:Other thing[00:22:43] Andrew:That ghost town. Oh, that's a whole other thing I've been watching that[00:22:45] Nathan:I need to have speaking of the ghost town, I didn't have Brent Underwood on because that Is an insane story of everything going on with town, but it's just been building this massive audience.[00:22:58] Andrew:Who's doing YouTube videos from there? He[00:23:00] Nathan:Yeah. And he's now got 1.2[00:23:01] Andrew:Yeah,[00:23:02] Nathan:Subscribers on YouTube, like 2 million on[00:23:04] Andrew:I had no idea. I watched him in the early days of the pandemic go into this place by himself. Almost get trapped, driving his car to get there. Right. I go, this is fun content. And usually when you watch someone like that and good morning, America go, and I'm going to jump out of this thing.And I've never jumped before, maybe whatever. I don't know.Yo, the producer's not going to let you die. It's fine. Here you go, dude. Who's just trying to get attention for this thing. Cause he has some investors who he wants to make sure get what they want. Yeah, you could die. What the hell is you doing?What? Like I'm going to, I'm going to go down this hole and see if there's anything over you yet. Dude, you could[00:23:41] Nathan:Yeah. It's, it's pretty wild. I actually, some of the weeks that he don't, he, that he didn't post the videos. I'd like, texted him, be like, Brett, you're still alive because you know, the video was the way that we knew every Friday, like, okay, Good Brent. Still alive, everything. Everything's good. Anyway, I got to have him[00:23:58] Andrew:All right. If you do talk to, if you talk to Ryan holiday, I feel like you totally nailed his writing style, where you, you said in one of your past episodes that he can take a whole historical story, sum it up in two sentences to help clarify the moment that he's writing about. And it's like a toss away thing, right? Just toss it away and then move on and go, dude. That's a whole freaking book. In fact, just turning the whole thing into just two sentences to fit in there would take silo, bloom five hours. You put it in a book with other, like there a bunch of other sentences. So that's good. But here's what I think you should talk to him about.Or here's my, my one suggestion. He has not talked about Marketing since he created, trust me. I'm a lot. Trust me. I'm lying, which was a phenomenal book that then I feel like he distanced himself from when he became more stoic and more intellectual. Fine. He is still a great, great marketer along your style, your tasty.And in fact, he's becoming the people who I can think of that are very, ConvertKit like philosophy in their creation plus promotion. He nails it, right? Art that takes so much pain that you've mentioned, and we've all seen it. He has boxes of index cards to create these sentences that most people would just throw away, not pay attention to, but are super meaningful.And at the same time, he knows how to promote. He knows how to get his ideas out there. He knows how to sell a coin that says you're going to die in Latin, that people put in their pockets that are more than just selling a coin. It's selling this transferable viral, real life thing. Right. So anyway. And is he should be on a ConvertKit too.[00:25:29] Nathan:He is, he is[00:25:30] Andrew:Okay. Good.[00:25:31] Nathan:Half of his list started in Berkeley. The other half are in the process of switching over. So, you know,[00:25:36] Andrew:Okay. Yeah, that's the hard part, dude. I I'm with infusion soft. I can't stand them. If you understand how much I do not like them. I do I ever talk negatively about anyone. No. Bring up politics, Joe Biden, Donald Trump. I got no strong opinion about anything you talked to me about, about infusions. Ah, but the problem is it's so hard to wean yourself off of these things because once you're in a system, that's it[00:25:56] Nathan:Well we'll make it happen. W w we'll figure out a way, but the new book landing page for it, I went on there and inspected element. It's definitely a ConvertKit for them. I was pretty happy about it.[00:26:06] Andrew:Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So truthfully it was, I said, I'm not going to school around here. It would have probably been easier for me to go with, with infusion soft because then we all we'd have to do with tag people who were interested. And then I could, I don't want that. I don't want that nonsense because it comes with overhead.That becomes an obstacle to me, communicating with my audience by, by overhead. I mean, they've got historic legacy. Requirement's that mean I can't do anything right. You I'm on my iPad. I could just go in and send a message out. Or actually I haven't sent a message out. Someone else has sent a message out.Our publisher sent a message then from damn, ah, damn gravity. But I, but if someone says there's a problem, I can go in and see it.[00:26:44] Nathan:Right.[00:26:44] Andrew:And make adjustments. The whole thing just fricking works. Right?[00:26:47] Nathan:So I want to talk about the book more. Let's talk[00:26:49] Andrew:Sure.[00:26:50] Nathan:And now I have you here.[00:26:52] Andrew:Ben needs, us to talk about the book. He's the publisher.[00:26:54] Nathan:We'll get to that, then don't worry. Ben, we've got it covered. so you were giving unsolicited feedback, which by the way is my favorite kind of feedback. Okay.So as you've been listening to the show, what are some other things that maybe you recommended the book, maybe like as you set people up for interview questions, any of that advice that you would give beyond?We started with the men.[00:27:15] Andrew:I'm going to suggest that people who listen to you do pay attention to this. One thing that they should, I I'm interrupting you in a roadway now there's some good interruption that I write about in the book and I can tell you how to do it. Right. And I also have to say that there's some new Yorker that's built in, even though I've left New York a long time ago, that I, I always interrupt when we need to get into the bottom line.Okay. Here's one thing that I think people should pay attention with you. You don't just ask questions. You will, at times interject your own story, your own, take your own experience. And I find that a lot of times people either do it in a heavy handed way. It's like, look at me, I'm equal to you. I deserve to be in this conversation too.And that doesn't just happen on Mike. It happens at dinner parties or it's more like I have to be reverential. So I'm asking questions and it's me asking about them. And one of the things that I learned over the years, Getting to know someone interviewing someone, whether it's like you and I are doing in our podcasts and shows or doing it, in a, in a dinner conversation, it's not asking questions.It's not about saying here's my next thing. Here's my next question. It's overwhelming and draining to do that. You do need to say, well, here's me. You do need to sometimes just guide the person to say, now tell me how you wrote the book. Now tell me how long it takes to, to write a tweet, right? Whatever it is, you need to sometimes direct the person.And so I call the book, stop asking questions because that counter intuitive piece of knowledge is something that took me a fricking interview coach to help me accept that. It's true, but it helps. And you do it really well. And here's why you do it. Well, you interject something personal. Somehow you do it succinctly.You don't get rambling off. Maybe you edit that.No, no, because the videos are there. Yeah. It's, it's not edited. It's just you saying here's, here's my experience with this. And then when you come back and you ask something. It informs the guest about where you are and what they could contribute to that. It lets them also feel like this is a dialogue instead of them being pounded with demands of, in the forms of question.[00:29:15] Nathan:Yeah. Yeah. I think that for anyone listening and thinking about starting a podcast, it's really like, what's the kind of thing that you want to listen to. And I like it where the host is like a character in the, in the Podcast, in the episode where they're contributing content and it's not just like, oh, if I listened to Andrew on these 10 shows, I'm just going to get Andrew.Like, I want it where it's like, no, I'm getting the blend between these two people. And the unique things that come from that intersection rather than, you know, I've heard this[00:29:46] Andrew:Yes.[00:29:47] Nathan:I've heard about it.[00:29:48] Andrew:I think also it took me a long time years of, so I started doing this in 2007, give or take a year and I think. No one needs to talk about, I don't need to talk about myself. They don't care about me. They care about, you know, Paul Graham, who I'm interviewing about how he found a Y Combinator, someone.And I would get tons of emails from people saying, tell us who you are. Tell us a little bit about yourself. And I would argue with them and say, no, but I understand now on the outside, when I listen, I don't know who you are. And it feels very awkward to hear it. It feels very much like, I don't know why, where you're coming from.And so I don't know why I should listen. It's kinda, it's it's counterintuitive.[00:30:29] Nathan:Yeah. I think it just comes with comfort over time. Like, I, I don't know this for sure. If I bet if I listen back to my first podcast episodes, the ones that I did in like 2015. I have a different style because I bet I'm less comfortable or more worried about like, make sure that I shut up quickly so that the guests can talk more because people came here for the guest and then over time you just get more comfortable.[00:30:53] Andrew:So you wrote authority and I remember you, I remember buying it and I remember you bundled it with a bunch of stuff, right. And oh, by the way, it's so cool. I was listening to it on a run and I heard you mention my name in the, in the book I go, this is great and I'm running. but I remember you did interviews there.I don't remember whether the style matches up to today or what, but you did interviews in it. Right.[00:31:15] Nathan:I did.[00:31:16] Andrew:And what you had there that I think is always important to have with all, all interviews is you had a sense of like, well, the sense of mission, I knew what you were going for, because you were trying to say, here is this book that I've written on this topic.I'm want to bring these people in to bring their, their take on it. We were all kind of working together. And I feel like, when I look at my earlier interviews, I listened to them. The Mike sucks so badly. I was too ponderous. Cause I wanted to be like, IRA glass from, from NPR, from this American life.And you could hear the same rhythm, the same cadence, like I'm copying him. Like I'm his little brother trying to learn how to be like a real boy. but I had this real need. I was trying to figure out how these people were building companies that work to understand what holes I had in my understanding to see what was working for them that I didn't know before.And you could see that and it, it helps. It helped me continue. Even when I was nervous with the guest, it helped the guests know where to go. Even when I wasn't doing good job, guiding them and help the audience keep listening in, even when the audio stopped, because there's this thing that Andrew is trying to understand.And you almost feel like you're the sense of vulnerability. If it doesn't scare you away, then it makes you want to root.[00:32:40] Nathan:Yeah. And I personally love that style because I want to follow someone going on a journey and, and trying to accomplish something specific. But let's talk about the not just the book, but asking questions or in this case, stopping it, stop asking questions. What are the things that not even just specific to this job, what are the things that you listened to interview shows?And you're like, okay, here are the three things that I want to change or that I want to coach you on in the same way that I was coached on.[00:33:10] Andrew:Okay. So what I started to do is I go through my own transcripts. I mean, I had years of transcripts to see what worked and what didn't I already done that. So I said, I need to now add to it. And so I went back and looked at historical interviews, like when Barbara Walters interviewed Richard Nixon and got him so frustrated that he didn't want to ever talk to her again.Or when Oprah finally got to sit with Lance Armstrong, how did she do that? I think. You know, you know, let me pause on, on Oprah and Lance Armstrong. She got to interview him after he, he was basically caught cheating and he was about to come out and do it. Great. Get, I think the fact that she interviewed him, there's a lesson there for, for all of us who are interviewing, interviewing the top 10 interviews, I think of all time.And you go back to Wikipedia and look it up. You see art or interview podcast or interview, sorry, our news-based interviews. We as podcasters, keep thinking, how do I get enough in the can so that if I die tomorrow, there's enough interviews to last for a month or whatever, so that I can be consistent in the audience loved me.That's great. But I think we should also be open to what's going on in the world today. Let's go talk to that person today. If there's an artist who suddenly done something, we should go and ask to do an interview with them. If there's a creator, if there's someone. So for me, one of the top interviews that people still it's been years, people still come back and talk to me about is when Matt Mullenweg decided that he was gonna pull out Chris[00:34:35] Nathan:Pearson.[00:34:35] Andrew:Per Pearson.Pearson's, themes from WordPress. And I got to talk to both of them at the same time and I published it and it went all over the internet with all over the WordPress internet. So hundreds of different blog posts about it, eventually all the people in the WordPress world write a lot of blogs, but also it became news.And so we don't do enough of that.[00:34:57] Nathan:I remember that interview because I was in the WordPress community at that time. And I remember you saying like, wait, I'm in Skype and I have both of you in two different things and you pull it together and not to pull Ryan holiday into this too much, but that's where he ended up writing the book.Was it, he realized he was one of the only people who was talking to like both Peter teal and, who's the Gawker guy.Yeah. Anyway, people know, but, but being in the intersection of that, so you're saying find something that's relevant on the news[00:35:33] Andrew:Yeah. Nick Denton was the founder of Gawker. Yes. Find the things that are relevant right now. And when people are hot right now, and they know you and you have credibility in this space, they trust you more than they trust. Say the wall street journal, even right, where they don't know where's this going.I think that's, that's one thing. The other thing is I think we don't have enough of a story within interviews. If we're doing S if we're doing at Mixergy, my podcast and interview where we're telling someone's story, we want them to be somewhere where the audience is at the beginning and then to have done something or had something happen to them that sets them on their own little journey.And then we make this whole interview into this. Into this a hero's journey approach. So I think better when I have an actual company in mind, so, or a person in mind. So last week I was interviewing this guy, Rohit Rowan was a person who was working at SanDisk, had everything going right for him. His boss comes to him and says it, you're now a director, continue your work.But now more responsibilities he's elated. He goes back, home, comes back into the office. Things are good, does work. And then a couple of days later he's told, you know, we mean temporarily, right? And he goes, what do you mean? I thought I got, I got a promotion. No, this is temporary. While our director's out you're director of this department.And then you go back, he says, the very next day, he couldn't go back into the office. He sat in his car, just, he couldn't do it anymore. And so he decided at that point, he'd heard enough about entrepreneurship heard enough ideas. He had to go off on and do it himself. And so we did. And then through the successes and failures, we now have a story about someone who's doing something that we can relate to, that we aspire to be more.[00:37:13] Nathan:So, how do you, you, your researchers, how do you find that moment before you have someone on? Because so many people will be like, yes, let me tell you about my business today. And oh, you want to know about that? How'd, you know, you know, like, as you,[00:37:27] Andrew:Yeah,[00:37:28] Nathan:That hook in that moment? That actually is a catalyst in their own dream.[00:37:33] Andrew:It's tough. It's it takes hours of talking to the guest of, of looking online of hunting for that moment. And it takes a lot of acceptance when it doesn't happen. One of my interview coaches said, Andrew, be careful of not looking for the Batman moment. And I said, what do you mean? He goes, you're always looking for the one moment that changed everything in people's lives.Like when Batman's parents got shot. And from there, he went from being a regular boy to being a superhero. Who's going to cry, fight crime everywhere. His life doesn't really work that way. There aren't these one moments, usually the change, everything. So I try not to. Put too much pressure on any one moment, but there are these little moments that indicate a bigger thing that happened to us.And I look for those and I allow people to tell that without having it be the one and only thing that happened. So if Pharaoh, it, it wasn't that moment. It could've just been, you know what, every day I go into the office and things are boring. And I think I have to stop. What I look for is give me an example of a boring.Now he can tell me about a day, a day, where he's sitting at his desk and all he's doing is looking at his watch, looking at his watch and he has to take his watch, put it in his drawer so that he doesn't get too distracted by looking at his watch all day. Cause he hates it. Now was that the one moment that changed everything?It was one of many moments. It might've happened a year before he quit, but it's an indication. So when we're telling stories, we don't have to shove too much pressure into one moment, but I do think it helps to find that one moment that encapsulates their, why, why did they go on this journey? Why does someone who's in SanDisk decide he's going to be an entrepreneur?Why did someone who was a baseball player decide that he had to go and write a blog post? Why is it? What's the thing that then sends them off on this journey? It helps. And I would even say, if you can get that moment, it just helps to get the thing that they were doing before that we can relate to. So what's the thing that they did before.So anyway, we have two different types of interviews. One is the story-based interview where we tell a story of how someone achieved something great. And so that hero's journey is and approach. The other one is someone just wants to teach them. All you want to do is just pound into them for an hour. Give me another tip another tip another tip of how to do this.Like pound, pound, pound, pound pound. If you want the audience to listen. I think for there, it helps to have what I call the cult hook because I said, how do I, how do cults get people to listen to, to these people who are clearly whack jobs sometimes. And so studying one called I saw that what they did was they'd have a person up on stage who talked about how, you know, I used to really be a Boozer.If you came into my house, you would see that there'd be these empty six packs. I was so proud of leaving the empty six packs everywhere to show myself how much alcohol I can drink. My wife left me. And when she left me, she just told me that I hadn't amounted to anything in my life. And I was going nowhere.And I just said, get I here. Instead of appreciating that this was just like terrible. And I ran out of toilet paper and don't even get me started with what, what I did for that. And so you see someone who's worry worse off than you are on this path of life. And then something has. They discover whoever it is.That's the cult leader. And they say, now I've got this real estate firm I encouraged by, oh, by the way, all of you to come over and take a look at that at this, I couldn't believe it. My whole life. I wanted to buy a Tesla. I now have the Tesla S it's amazing. It's just so great. And I did it all because I changed the way I thought once I came in and I found this one book and the book told me, I mean, anyways, so what we try to do is we say, if you're going to have somebody come on to teach how they became a better blogger, let's not have them start over elevated where everything they do is so great that we can't relate, have them start off either relatable or worse.I couldn't write here's my grammar, mistakes. My teacher told. Right. And now what's the thing that they did. They pick them from where they were to where they are today. it's this real set of realizations. Now I want to go into that.Let's pound into them and see how many of those tips we can get. Let's learn that I want to go from where he was to where he is.[00:41:28] Nathan:Yeah, I liked that a lot. Cause my inclination would be like, okay, we're we're doing the, educational, tactical conversation. I'm going to facilitate it. Let's dive right in and let's get to the actionable stuff right away. So I like what you're saying of like, no, no, no. We need to, even though this is going to be 90% packed, full of actionable material, we need to dive in and set the stage first with the story and making it relatable.And I like it.[00:41:55] Andrew:Yeah,[00:41:55] Nathan:Oh, yeah. I was just, just in my own head for a second. Cause I say, ah, that makes sense a lot, so much so that I've had three different guests or listeners email me and say like, just don't say that makes sense as much would, now that I'm saying it on the show, I'll probably get more emails every time that I say it.Cause that's like my processing, like, oh, oh, that makes sense. As I'm thinking of the next question and all that, so[00:42:22] Andrew:I do something like that too. For me. It's IC,[00:42:25] Nathan:Everyone has to have something.[00:42:26] Andrew:I can't get rid of that and yeah.[00:42:28] Nathan:So what systems have you put in place on the research side so that you're getting this, are you doing pre-interviews forever? Yes. Are you having your[00:42:38] Andrew:Almost every single one, some of the best people in some of the best entrepreneurs on the planet, I'm surprised that they will spend an hour or do a pre-interview. And sometimes I'm too sheepish to say, I need an hour of your time and I need you to do a pre-interview. So instead of saying, I need you to do a pre-interview.I say, here's why people have done it. And I've paid for somebody to help make my guests better storytellers of their own stories. And truthfully people will go through that. Pre-interview even if they don't want to do an interview, they just need to get better at telling their story for their teams, their employees, their everyone.Right. and so I say that, and then they will take me up on the pre-interview and say, yes, I do want to do the pre-interview. and so what I try to do is I try to outline the story. Ahead of time in a set of questions. And then what we do is we scramble them up a little bit based on what we think people will tell us first and what will make them feel a little more comfortable.And then throughout the interview, I'll adjust it. So for example, no, one's going to care about the guest unless they have a challenge. No guest wants to come on and say, I'm going to tell you about what's what I really suck at or where I've really been challenged. If they do, they're going to give you a fake made up thing that they've told a million times to make themselves seem humble.So we don't ask that in the beginning. We don't even ask it in the middle. We save it till the very end. Now they've gotten some time with us. They've gotten some rapport, they trust us. Then we go into tell me about the challenges, what hasn't worked out for you. And we really let them know why tell people the higher purpose you want the audience to relate.You want them to believe you. You want them to see themselves in you, and to learn from you. We need. They tell us, and then I have it in my notes as the last section, but I use it throughout the interview. I sprinkle it. So the goal is to get the pieces that we want and in whatever order makes the most sense and then reshape it for the interview Day.[00:44:33] Nathan:So on the interview itself, you would, you would flip that and you know, okay, this is what I want to start with and, and dive in right[00:44:41] Andrew:Yup. Yup.[00:44:43] Nathan:Lose. They already told you about that. And so now, you[00:44:46] Andrew:Right,[00:44:46] Nathan:In and start with.[00:44:47] Andrew:Right. That helps. Now, if there's something I want to ask someone about that they're not comfortable with. One thing that I do is I, I tip them off. So Jason Calacanis invited me to go do, interviews with, with investors at one of his conferences. It was just a bunch of, investors. And I looked at this one guy, Jonathan tryst, and he looked really great.But he, what am I supposed to do? Ask him about what startups should do to run their businesses. He's never run a startup. His, he hadn't at that time had a successful exit. As far as I knew, like mega successful exit. He's just a really nice guy. You can tell he was going places, but that's it. And the money that he was investing came from his parents.So what is this rich parents giving their kids some money. Now he's going to tell everyone in the VC, in the startup and VC audience, how to live their lives. So I said, I'm either not going to address it, which I think most people are, or I have to find a way to address it where I'm not going to piss them off and have them just clam up on me and then go to Jason and go.This guy just is a terrible interviewer, which is not true. So what I decided to do was tip him off. I said, look, Jonathan, before we do this, before we start talking to the audience, I have to tell you, I saw it, that you don't have much of a track record as an investor. Your money came from your parents and you're not like a tech startup, like people here.If we don't talk about it, people who know it are going to think, oh, this guy, Jonathan, look, who's trying to pass him soft self off. I don't have to force it in here, but if you allow me to, I'd like to bring it up and let's talk about, and it goes, yeah, absolutely. If it's out there, I want to make sure that we address it and sure enough, we talked about it and he had a great answer.He said, no, this came from my parents. It's not my own money. I don't have as much experience as other people, but I took my parents' money. I invested it, fat parents and family and so on. We've had a good track record with it. And now have raised the second Fallon fund from outsiders who saw what I was able to do with the first one.And by the way, I may not have this mega exit as a startup investor, as a startup entrepreneur. But I did have this company that did okay. Not great. Here's what it did Here's what I learned And that's all informing me. And that's where I come from now. You've got someone talking about the, the, the thing that matters without pissing them off so much that they don't say anything else.And you feel like you feel superior as an interviewer. I got them. But in reality, you got nothing[00:46:57] Nathan:Right.[00:46:57] Andrew:Cares.[00:46:58] Nathan:I think that's a really hard line of talking about the things that are difficult and like the actual, maybe things that someone did wrong or lessons that they learned without just like barely dipping into it for a second. And I liked the format of tipping them off in like full transparency.So on this show, I had someone on who I really, really respect his name's Dickie Bush. He's one of the earlier episodes in this series and in it, he, okay. Yeah. So in that interview, one thing that I knew is that his, the first version of his course plagiarized text from another friend, Sean McCabe, actually Shaun's company edits is Podcast and all that.And I've known both of them for, for quite a while. I've known Sean for like, I dunno, six, seven years or something. And I was like, struggling with how to bring that up. And I wanted from the like founder, transparent journey, that sort of thing I wanted it brought up because I, I actually like, I'm happy to talk about like some pretty major things that I've screwed up and what I've learned from it.And I just think it makes a better conversation. And then from the interview side, I don't feel good, like doing an interview and not touching on that, but I didn't tip Dickey off to it. And I, that was one of the things that I've regretted that he gave a great answer. He talked about the lessons that he learned from it.It was really, really good, but I felt bad that I didn't set him up for the most success in like in setting up. And part of that, part of it is because even at the start of the interview, I was still wrestling with now, I'm not going to bring that up that, ah, maybe I should, it wouldn't be an authentic interview if I didn't like wrestling with that, I hadn't figured out my own, like made my own decision until we were in the middle of it.And so I didn't, I didn't set anybody up for success. And so it's an interesting line.[00:48:52] Andrew:It happens. And it seems like I'm now in the point of your transcript, where you, where you ask him, it's a 31 minutes into the interview. I think his response is great. He came in and he took responsibility for it. He says, yeah, that, that, that was a dramatic mistake, or a drastic mistake on my side and caught up in it.He wasn't the most articulate here and he'd repeated words. Like I, I, a couple of times, so I could see that he probably was uncomfortable with it. but I think his answer was great. I think, I believe that we all are broadcasting out, whether we know it or not, our intentions and where we're coming from, as some people are really good at faking it.And so I'm not going to talk about the outliers and some people are so uncomfortable that they're messing up the transmission, but for the most part almost. broadcasting our intentions. If you walk into that, Nathan, with the, I got to get him because he, he got one of my friends and I need him to finally get his comeuppance.He's going to pick up on that. And truthfully, it's such a small thing for a person like you who's, who's already a likable person. You have a lot to offer people, right? As far as like promotion and everything else, it will be forgiven, but it'll be picked up on, it's also something that people could pick up on, which is Nathan really want to know this thing.It's been bothering him for a while. And if you could, just, before you asked the question, say, where am I coming from with this? And know that the audience will mostly pick up on it. And obviously people are gonna like read in whatever they feel like, but trust that the vast majority of us understand, I think it'll work[00:50:21] Nathan:Yeah,[00:50:22] Andrew:You don't have to even tip. You don't have to tip off, but it does help. It, it definitely helps.[00:50:26] Nathan:It's interesting. I was watching an interview with, Jordan Peterson who wrote 12 rules for life. He's like a very controversial figure. And I was just often these controversies pass by, on Twitter and other places. And I realized like, oh, I don't understand them. And rather than jumping on one side or the other, at least try to like dive in a little bit and understand it.So watching this interview, and I can't remember, I think it was some major Canadian TV show or something, and that you would tell the interview was just trying to nail him it every possible chance, like whatever he said, just like dive in. And, so I think you're right, that you see the intention, like in that case, you would see the, the interview, his intention was specifically to try to trip him up in his words.And then in other cases where it's like, This is something that, you know, if you take the other approach, this is something that's been bothering me, or I want to talk about it. Like I genuinely want, you know, to ask or learn from this. It's a very different thing.[00:51:20] Andrew:I think people pick up on it. I remember you, you mentioned Seth Godin. I remember interviewing him when he wrote the book tribes back before people had online communities. And I didn't just say, okay. All our heroes, all the best entrepreneurs just run their businesses. Then don't run a tribe. I brought out books.I said, here's a book about Warren buffet. Here's the book by Sam Walton. The Walmart here's a book by Ted Turner became a multi-billionaire to creating all these, these media empires didn't have communities. They don't have tribes. And now you're telling me that in addition to my job, I also have to go and build out a tribe.It feels like, you know, an extra job. That just seems right for the social first. This just sounds right on social media and you could actually see. He's watching me as I'm saying it, and he's smiling, he's watching it because he's trying to read me, is this like what I get wrapped up? Is this going to be some kind of thing where some guy's going to try to be in the next Gawker media?Or is, is this a safe place? We're all doing that constantly. And then he also saw, okay, this is someone who really wants to understand this. And he's challenging me. I like a challenge. And you could see him smile with like, this is what I'm here for. And so I think when you come at it from a good point of view, people can see it and then you can go there and you can go there and you can go there and it will be shocking to you and them and the audience, how far you go. But when you're coming from that genuine place, they get, they get it.They want it.[00:52:44] Nathan:Yeah, that's good.I want to talk about longevity in like the online world. I think that so many people that I started following in say 2007, 2008, nine, and then I didn't start creating myself until 2011. most of them aren't around anymore. Like a lot of the big blogs, Yeah, just so many that I can think of.They're not around anymore. They're not doing this. You're at a point where like you started messaging in some form in what? 20, sorry, 2004 to somewhere in there and then interviews.[00:53:17] Andrew:Yeah, I keep saying 16. It's like, yeah. 2004 is when I started the interview started 2007 ish somewhere there. Give or take a year. yeah, long. I, I will say that there are parts of my work that I am burned out on right now. This year has been that, but I'm not on the interview. And the reason I'm not is because I do enjoy conversations.I hated them for a long time in my life because I just didn't know how to have them, how to have it make sense. I also didn't give myself permission to take the conversation where I wanted it to go. And it helps now to say, I can talk to anyone about anything. That's an opportunity that, that feels fun because I know how to do it.It's an opportunity to, it feels like, like, you know how everyone's so happy. You can go to YouTube and you could get the answer to anything. Well, I could go to anybody and I could get the answer to anything and talk about how they didn't have a customized to me, YouTube, not customized thing to me, I'm watching Gotham chess on YouTube.He's teaching me how to play chess, but he will not customize to the fact that every time I get into a car con defense, all the pieces like bunched over to my side. But if he and I did an interview, or if I do an interview with an tomorrow's entrepreneur, it's going to be about, here's the thing I'm trying to deal with.How did you get past that? Talk to me about what you're up to there.[00:54:31] Nathan:Yeah, that's definitely energizing. Okay. But what are the things that you're burnt out on? Because I think a lot of people are seeing that burnout. And so I guess first, what are you burned out on? And then second, we can go from there into like, what are you changing and how are you managing.[00:54:46] Andrew:I'm burned out on parts of the business behind, behind Mixergy I'm burned out on. I was aspiring to like unbelievable greatness with the, with the course part of it, with the courses, it didn't get there and I'm tired of trying to make it into this thing. That's going to be super big. I'm tired of that.[00:55:10] Nathan:His greatness there, like linda.com? Like what, what was that?[00:55:15] Andrew:Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. Yeah. She was one of my first interviewees and, and so yeah, I saw the model there and I am frustrated that I didn't get to that and I, I don't have a beat myself up type a perso
Nick Bergson-Shilcock is the CEO and co-founder of the Recurse Center (recurse.com), a self-directed and community-driven educational retreat for computer programmers. Nick describes his background as a lifelong unschooler (he's the son of Peter Bergson, a recent podcast guest), as well as his early interest in gaming and programming and his transition into college, career, and Y Combinator (the startup incubator). We discuss how RC differs from “coding bootcamps,” who applies, who gets in, how the whole thing is funded, RC's unique social rules (no well-actually's, no feigning surprise, no back-seat driving, and no subtle -isms), and Nick's evolving views on unschooling. Visit Nick's personal website at https://nick.is/ Recorded on July 20, 2021.
Sam interviews Charityvest CEO/Co-Founder Stephen Kump about their new modern donor-advised fund platform. Charityvest's goal is to make charitable giving easier for the masses and also cut down on tax paperwork. Sam and Derek then go over their thoughts on Charityvest and it's simplicity of giving. They also talk about what to look out for when giving to charities and why you should always vet them first. Stephen Kump aims to shape the world to be more generous. He leads Charityvest, a technology company to catalyze generosity through putting a donor-advised fund in the hands of every American. He worked for over ten years as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, philanthropists, corporate leaders, and private equity investors, most recently with Bain & Company. He is a former US Army cavalry officer, holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, and earned bachelor degrees in Economics and Management from Georgia Tech. Listen to ILAB 202 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app. Where we are: Johnny FD – Ukraine / IG @johnnyfdj Sam Marks – Barcelona/ IG @imsammarks Derek Spartz - Venice Beach / IG @DerekRadio Sponsor: RAD DiversifiedRAD Diversified REIT allows investment partners to invest in cash-flowing properties with substantial value-add opportunities. RAD offers monthly distributions, a 5% bottom-line guarantee, and achieved a 36.7% return in 2020. Support Invest Like a Boss: Join our Patreon Discussed: CharityvestLock in 0% fees for all of 2022 when you join at Charityvest Like these investments? Try them with these special ILAB links: ArtofFX – Start with just a $10,000 account (reduced from $25,000) Fundrise – Start with only $1,000 into their REIT funds (non-accredited investors OK) *Johnny and Sam use all of the above services personally. Time Stamps: 08:43 – How did you get started in the industry? 11:48 – Is the donor advised fund like setting up your own charitable organisation? 13:50 – Do you notice a pattern with people's donations? 19:27 – Is this a special designation by the IRS? 20:21 – Can you discuss the relationship with Y Combinator? 23:14 – Can you tell us about the two portfolios? 25:45 – Can you explain the tax benefits? 31:50 – Can you explain the concept of donating the asset rather than the capital gain? 36:40 – Can you summarize the giving component? 42:26 – What kind of fees are associated with the investment? 49:02 – Sam and Derek review If you enjoyed this episode, do us a favor and share it! Also if you haven't already, please take a minute to leave us a 5-star review on iTunes and claim your bonus here! Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. Read our disclaimer here.
About DannDann Berg is a Senior CloudOps Analyst at Datadog, and has nearly a decade of experience working in the cloud and optimizing multi-million dollar budgets. He is also an active member of the larger technical community, hosting the monthly New York City FinOps Meetup, and has been published multiple times in places such as MSNBC, Fox News, NPR, and others. When he's not saving companies millions of dollars, he's writing plays, and has had two full-lengh plays produced in New York City and China.Links: Datadog: https://www.datadoghq.com Personal Website: https://dannb.org LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dannberg/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/dannberg Monthly newsletter: https://dannb.org/newsletter/ Previous SITC episode with Dann Berg, Episode 51: https://www.lastweekinaws.com/podcast/screaming-in-the-cloud/episode-51-size-of-cloud-bill-not-about-number-of-customers-but-number-of-engineers-you-ve-hired/ TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by our friends at Vultr. Spelled V-U-L-T-R because they're all about helping save money, including on things like, you know, vowels. So, what they do is they are a cloud provider that provides surprisingly high performance cloud compute at a price that—while sure they claim its better than AWS pricing—and when they say that they mean it is less money. Sure, I don't dispute that but what I find interesting is that it's predictable. They tell you in advance on a monthly basis what it's going to going to cost. They have a bunch of advanced networking features. They have nineteen global locations and scale things elastically. Not to be confused with openly, because apparently elastic and open can mean the same thing sometimes. They have had over a million users. Deployments take less that sixty seconds across twelve pre-selected operating systems. Or, if you're one of those nutters like me, you can bring your own ISO and install basically any operating system you want. Starting with pricing as low as $2.50 a month for Vultr cloud compute they have plans for developers and businesses of all sizes, except maybe Amazon, who stubbornly insists on having something to scale all on their own. Try Vultr today for free by visiting: vultr.com/screaming, and you'll receive a $100 in credit. Thats v-u-l-t-r.com slash screaming.Corey: This episode is sponsored by our friends at Oracle Cloud. Counting the pennies, but still dreaming of deploying apps instead of "Hello, World" demos? Allow me to introduce you to Oracle's Always Free tier. It provides over 20 free services and infrastructure, networking databases, observability, management, and security.And - let me be clear here - it's actually free. There's no surprise billing until you intentionally and proactively upgrade your account. This means you can provision a virtual machine instance or spin up an autonomous database that manages itself all while gaining the networking load, balancing and storage resources that somehow never quite make it into most free tiers needed to support the application that you want to build.With Always Free you can do things like run small scale applications, or do proof of concept testing without spending a dime. You know that I always like to put asterisks next to the word free. This is actually free. No asterisk. Start now. Visit https://snark.cloud/oci-free that's https://snark.cloud/oci-free.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. If there's one thing that I love, it is certainly not AWS billing, but for better or worse, that's where my career has led me. Way back in Episode 51, I had Dann Berg, the CloudOps analyst at Datadog. And now he's back for more. Things have changed. He's now a senior CloudOps analyst, and I'm hoping my jokes have gotten better. Dann, thanks for being bold enough to come out and find out.Dann: Yeah. I'm excited to see if these jokes have gotten better. That's the main reason for coming back.Corey: Exactly. Because it turns out that death, taxes, and AWS bills are the things that are inevitable and never seem to change.Dann: Yeah. They just keep coming. They never stop, and they're always slightly different than you expect. I guess, just like death and taxes.Corey: So, when we spoke back in, I want to say 2019 is when it aired, so probably that—ish—is when we had the conversation, if not a little bit before that, you were effectively a team of one, and as mentioned, had the CloudOps analyst title. Now, you're a senior CloudOps analyst, which I assume just means you're older. Is the team larger as well? What does that process look like? How has it evolved in the last couple years?Dann: Yeah, it's been interesting, especially being a single organization and that organization being Datadog, that to be able to grow the team a little bit. So, as you said, it was just me. Now, it's a total of four people, including myself, so three others. And, yeah, it's been interesting just in terms of my own professional development, being able to identify what needs to be done, how much capacity I have, and being able to grow it over time, especially in this fairly new space of being specifically focused on cloud cost billing. So, kind of that bridge between engineering and finance, which itself is kind of a fairly new space, still.Corey: It is. And my favorite part of having these conversations with folks who have no idea what this space is, is learning—when I was starting—out how to talk about this in a way that didn't lead down weird paths. It's, “Oh, you save money on Amazon bills? Can you help me save money on socks?” It's like, “No. Well, yes. Get the Prime card, it gives you 5% off. But no.” And yeah, I talk about camelcamelcamel and other ways of working around the retail side, but that's not really what I do.It's similar to back when I was doing SRE-style work. I made it a point never to talk about being someone involved in working in tech, or suddenly you're the neighborhood printer repair person. Similarly, you have, I guess, gone in a strange direction because you weren't, to my recollection, someone who had a strong SRE background. That's not where you came from in the traditional sense, is it?Dann: No, not an SRE background at all. Yeah, I mean, it's really interesting. So, talking about this space, I mean, people are calling it a lot of different things, cloud economics, the term FinOps—financial operations—is being used a lot, now—Corey: Cloud financial management is another popular one. Oh, swing a dead cat, you'll hit 15 different words, and I give—my advice on that, even though I hate some of the terms is, cool. If people are going to pay you to have a title, even if you think it's ridiculous, you can take the money or you can die on a petty naming hill and here we are.Dann: Yeah. And it's interesting because the role that I was hired for at Datadog was very much this niche, very specific role that I didn't realize was a niche, very specific role at the time. So previously, I was at a company and I was building out their data centers, so I was working with vendors, buying servers, sometimes going on-site, installing, racking those, dealing with RMAs. And I was getting more involved as their cloud usage was growing and bringing some of those hardware capitalization cost procedures to the cloud. And so I found myself in this kind of niche role in my previous company.And a Datadog, they basically had the exact same role that was dealing with all of the billing stuff around the cloud—kind of from an engineering perspective because it was on the engineering team—but working closely with finance, and I was like, “Oh, these are the skills that I have.” And it kind of fit perfectly. And it wasn't until after I got to Datadog and was doing more research about this specific space that I discovered just how wide open it was. And I mean, meeting you was one of the earliest things that I did in the industry. Discovering the FinOps Foundation and a few other things has kind of like opened my eyes to this as an actual career path.Corey: It's an expensive problem that isn't going away anytime soon, and it is foundational and core to the entire rest of how companies are building things these days. My argument has been for a while that when it comes to cloud, cost and architecture are the exact same thing. You don't have the deep SRE architect background, but you're also now a member of a four-person team. Does everyone in the team have the same skill set as you, or do you wind up effectively tagging in subject matter experts from different areas? How is the team composed? People love to ask me this question, and I strongly believe there's no one way to do it. But what's your answer?Dann: Yeah, I mean, the team works very much in terms of everybody kind of taking on tasks that they need to do, but we did hire for specific skill sets when we tried to find people. So, the first person that we hired, we wanted them to have more of a developer engineer type background, writing code, stuff like that. The third hire, we were looking for somebody that was more of a generalist. I've seen myself more as a generalist in the space; anything that's going on, I can pick it up and make some progress on it and build something out. And then the fourth person, we were lacking some of the deeper FP&A or FinOps experience, and so we found somebody with more of that kind of background and less of the engineering experience, but they were eager to, kind of, move from finance into more of an engineering role. And I feel like this is the perfect role for that because I feel like there are a lot of non-engineers that want to break into engineering and don't really know how to do it. And if you are in finance, in FP&A, finding one of these more cloud-cost-optimization-specific roles is the great way to bridge that gap, I feel.Corey: The last time we spoke, I was independent, doing this all myself, and it turns out that taking all of the things that make me and trying to find those in other people is a relatively heavy lift, even if you discount the things like ‘obnoxious on Twitter.' So, how do you start decomposing that? Well, now we're a dozen people and we've found ways to do it. But by and large in our experience, for the way that we interact—and I want to get to that in a second—is that it's easier for us to teach engineers how finance works than it is the opposite direction. And there are exceptions to that, and as we scale, I can easily see a day in the near future where that is no longer the case.However, we also have two very specific styles of engagement. We do our cost optimization projects, where we go into an environment and, “Oh, fix this. Turn that thing off. Do you really need eight copies of those four petabytes of data? Oh, you didn't realize they were there. Great, maybe delete it.” And we look like wizards from the future and things are great.The other project that we do is contract negotiation with AWS, especially at large scale. It's never as simple as people would have you believe because, “Oh, you're doing co-marketing efforts, and you have a very specific use case, and there are business partnerships on 15 different levels, and that all factors into how this works.” It's nuanced and challenging, and of course, because it's a series of anecdata, I can't really tell too many stories in public about that. But those are the two things that we wind up focusing on. You are focusing on a very different problem.You're not moving from company to company, basically reimplementing the same global problem, solving it locally for them. You are embedded in an account for the duration, almost four years now by my count. And, “Okay, I guess I could just do a whole bunch of cost optimization projects on a quarterly basis in an environment like that,” doesn't seem like it solves the problem in any meaningful way. What does your team do?Dann: Yeah. Well, I mean, that's such an interesting question. Just in terms of—yeah, if you're doing consulting, you're starting from square one every time you get a new contract, a new engagement, and being at the same company for, like you said, about four years, going on four years now, you really have a chance to dive in and think about, “Okay, what does it mean to work cloud cost optimization into just the regular business cycle of how it works?” Because I mean, you have the triangle that everybody's familiar with: things can either be cheaper, faster, efficient and at different stages in the product lifecycle, you want to be focusing on these areas, more or less. And so, on our team, the different things that I'm thinking about is, first is visibility, is you want to provide engineers visibility into their cost. And not just numbers, right? Actionable visibility where if something needs to change, they need to do something, they know what that is.And a lot of the times, that means not just costs, but also efficiency. So, these are the metrics that this particular application should be scaling against. As this application grows, as usage grows, are we remaining as cost-efficient? Then there's also the piece—as you're saying—like discovering things within the infrastructure that, “Hey, if we make this change, or if you turn this off, if we do things this way, we'll save a bunch of money. Let's do those.”There's things like reservations, committed use discounts for GCP, all of those kinds of things we manage. And then dealing closely with verifying our bill, working with finance—FP&A—on cost modeling forecasting, both short-term—like, within a month; like, what are we going to be at the end of this month and it's the 10th right now?—and also, what does our next quarter look like? What are our next two years look like? And that bleeds into the contract negotiations, those kind of things as well.So, I mean, it's setting up the cycles of how do you prioritize this work? What is the company focusing on at the time? And what can you do when the company is not focusing explicitly on deciding to save money?Corey: One of the more interesting aspects of my work that I didn't expect is, whenever I wind up starting an engagement, or even in the prospect stage, I love asking the dumbest possible questions I can think of because it turns out they're not. And the most common one that I always love to start with is, “Oh, okay. Your AWS bill is too high. Why do you care?” And that often takes people aback, but once you dig down underneath the surface just a little bit, it becomes pretty clear that the actual goal is not that it's too much money—because spoiler, payroll always cost more than infrastructure—instead, it's, “How do I think about this? How do I rationalize what the additional costs are going to be per thousand monthly active users or whatever metric it is you're choosing to use?”And how do you wind up forecasting that because the old days of data centers where you—“Well, we're going to spend a boatload of money, and then we'll have capacity for the next, ehh, two years, maybe down to eighteen months, depending on growth,” that's easier for companies to rationalize around, rather than this idea of incremental cost on a per-unit basis, but not exactly because it also turns out that architecture changes, problems of scale, AWS pricing changes from time to time, all tend to impact that. What I think is not well understood in this space is that yeah, if you have a 20% overage this month, people are going to have some serious questions, but they're also going to have those same questions if you're 20% low.Dann: Yeah. I mean, understanding why people care about the cost is definitely the first step because with a single company, so it's just constantly looking at the numbers rather than understanding exactly what motivations a company has to contact somebody like you, like a consultant, right? Because usually, I imagine that it's going to be a bill, maybe two bills, three bills come in, and they keep going up and up and up, and they need to go down. And they're going to have an explicit reason why it needs to go down; finance is going to say, “Margins are x, y, and z,” or, “Revenue has done this; our costs can't do this.” There's going to be explicit reasons because if there aren't reasons, then they shouldn't necessarily be focusing on costs at that moment in time.What you want to do is have—I mean, this is way more complicated than just saying it out loud, but have a culture of cloud cost mindfulness, where people aren't just spinning up resources willy nilly. But also, my goal is for people not to have to really think about cost that much other than just in a way that helps them do their work. Because I mean, I want engineers to be able to build stuff and build stuff fast—that's what the cloud is all about—but I also want to be able to do it in a way that isn't inappropriately high in cost.Corey: I have my thoughts on this, and I've shared them before and I'll dive into them again, but how do you approach that? If Datadog makes a grievous error and hires me to write code somewhere as an engineer, what is the, I guess, cost approach training for me as I wind up going through my onboarding as part of an SRE team or an application team?Dann: I mean, this feels so basic as to not even be the right answer, but honestly, visibility is the easiest and best thing that you can give people, and so we've built out some visibility reports that engineers get on a regular basis. We also meet with our top—what is it—ten or fifteen spending internal engineering teams on a monthly basis to go over those costs so that they understand what they're looking at so that we understand the context behind it, so that we can understand what's on the roadmap going forward so that when things in the cost happen, we're aware. And then we're just staying on top of things. And if we have questions, we have an open dialogue with engineers and things like that.In an ideal space, it would be great to have cost, I guess, more fit into the product development lifecycle in a more deeply ingrained way, but at the same time, I really don't want to serve as a gatekeeper. Our goal is not to stop any sort of engineering process. And we haven't needed to do anything like that although I guess every company is going to be different in terms of what their needs are. But yeah, I'm totally happy to being a little bit more reactionary in terms of looking at the numbers and responding, and then proactive just in terms of the regular communication with people.Corey: I tend to take the perspective that engineers need to know enough about cost to maybe fill an index card at most because you don't want them, I guess, over-fixating on it. Left to my own devices in my personal account, I'll see a $7 a month bill and, “Oh, I'm going to spend two weeks knocking that down to $4.” And of course, I can do it, but is that the best use of my time? Absolutely not.Very often what is a lot of money to an engineer is absolutely not to the business. And vice versa when you bring in a data science team; it's, “Oh, yeah, we need at least four more exabytes of data because we never learned to do a join properly.” Yeah, maybe don't do that. Understanding the difference between those two approaches is key. But I've always been of the mindset that I would rather bias for letting developers build and experiment and have things that catch outsized things quickly, then trying to wind up putting a culture of fear around cost because I'd much rather see whether the thing they're trying to build is possible to build, then go back and optimize it later, once that's proven out. But again, this is a nuanced thing.Everyone seems to think I have this back pocket answer that will apply to all companies. And you've been doing this at Datadog for almost four years with a team of people. I am an outsider; I see the global trend, I see what works in different ways in different companies, but the idea that I can sit down and say, “Oh. Well, clearly the thing you're doing is completely wrong because that's not how I think about it,” is the hallmark of a terrible consultant. There are reasons that things are the way that they are and it's generally not that people are expecting to do a terrible job today. You know, unless they work in the Facebook ethics department, which is neither here nor there.Dann: Yeah, I mean, like I said, the product lifecycle, when you're building something new, you want to go as fast as possible. When you're launching it, you want it to be as reliable as possible. Once you're launched, once you're reliable, then you can start focusing on costs is, kind of like, not the universal rule, but kind of the flow that I tend to see. So, as you're at a company that is regularly innovating, creating new products, going through that cycle, you're going to have these kind of periods.As well as you have the products that have been around. There's a lot of legacy code, there's a lot of stuff going on, that maybe isn't the best, or some efficiency work that has been deprioritized for whatever reason, that maybe it's time to start considering doing this. So, keeping track of all of that. And like I said, if for whatever reason the business wants to focus on cloud cost efficiency, or a team has decided that in a particular quarter or for a particular reason they want to focus on that, being able to assist as much as you can, being able to save all that work so that there's kind of like a queue that you can go to when it is time to focus on cost efficiency stuff.Corey: So, here's a fun one for you. As of the time of this recording, it's a couple weeks old, but if you're anything like what we do here for some of our more sophisticated clients, we do occasionally build out prediction models, models of economics that wind up defining how some architectural patterns should be addressed, et cetera, et cetera. What's always fun is the large clients who have this significant level of spend on an outlier service. Every once in a while—it was great that we got to do a deep dive into the Washington Post's use of Lambda because normally, Lambda is a rounding error on the bill; they had a specific challenge and they did a whole blog post on this for the AWS blog. I believe the Monitoring Tools blog, but don't take that at face value; I never remember which AWS blog is which because AWS doesn't speak with a single voice on anything.But yeah, most of the time is block, tackle, baseline stuff that is the big driver of spend, but a few weeks ago, they change the pricing dimensions for S3 intelligent tiering, where there's no longer a monitoring charge for objects that are smaller than 128 kilobytes, and there's no 30-day minimum. So, the fact that those two things went away removed almost every caveat that I can picture for using S3 intelligent tiering, which means that for most use cases, that should now be the default. I imagine you caught that change as well, since that's one of those wake up and take notice, no matter what time of the world [laugh] it is where you are when that gets dropped. How did that change your modeling? Or did that not significantly shift how you view any of this?Dann: No, I mean, I think part of our role within the organization is to pay attention to stuff like that, and then you just have those conversations with the teams that I know were either exploring intelligent tiering. We do some pricing modeling for different products, S3 storage for different types, so updating those and being like, “Hey, this might be something we want to actually use and explore now.” Similar and I guess, more of something that I actively worked on that I consider in the same category is when Amazon announced savings plans as replacing convertible reservations. Because at first they announced, and being like, “Okay, well, it's going to automatically rebalance between… different instance families across regions, too”—which convertible RIs could never do it—“And it's going to be the exact same price for a compute savings plan as a convertible RI.” And we were kind of like, what's the catch? And we spent a few weeks doing a deep dive working with our data science team, kind of like being, “Where is the catch here?”Corey: Yeah, the real catch is that you can't sell it on the secondary market if it—Dann: Yeah.Corey: —turns out you bought the wrong thing, which if that's your Plan A, then good luck.Dann: Yeah. We definitely don't use that secondary market. I don't have as much experience there, although I'm sure some people can use it to their advantage.Corey: Almost no one does. In fact, the reason that it exists—my pet theory—is that once upon a time, companies would try and classify some of the reserved instance purchases as capital expenditures, which there has since been guidance from regulatory authorities not to do that. But at the time, the fact that you could sell it to a third-party on the secondary market would help shore up that argument. If you're listening to this, and you're classifying some of your RIs as CapEx, please don't do that. Feel free to reach out to me, I can dig out the actual regulation and send it to you. There are two of them. It's a nuanced topic. If you're listening to this and have no idea what I'm talking about, God, do I envy you.Dann: [laugh]. Yeah, definitely don't do that. [laugh].Corey: There was a lot that was interesting about savings plans. When I was read in the month or so in advance of them being announced, it was, “Great. I want to see this and this and these other things, too.” And some of those things came to pass. It was extended to work with Lambda.Now, I don't believe that is financially useful in almost every case, but it doesn't need to be because so much of cloud economics from where I sit is psychological in nature, where, “Oh, we have this workload that lives on EC2 instances and we want to move it to Lambda, but we already bought the reserved instances so we're not going to do it because of sunk cost fallacy.” Which is not much of a fallacy when it's that kind of money, in some cases. Okay, great. Now, if it can migrate to Lambda and still wind up getting the discounts you've paid for it, you have removed an architectural barrier. And that's significant.Now, I want to see that same thing apply to oh if you move from EC2 to RDS, or DynamoDB or anything else, that should be helpful, too. But whatever you do, don't do what SageMaker did and launch their own separate savings plan that is not compatible with the compute savings plans, so effectively, it's great; you're locked-in architecturally to one or the other because machine learning is, once again, a marvelously executed scam to sell pickaxes into a digital gold rush.Dann: I mean, I like savings plans a lot and we've been slowly, as convertible RIs have expired, replacing them with savings plans. And I think that it is pushing the other cloud providers forward—because we're definitely multi-cloud—and so that's really useful and I hope more people will take on the compute savings plan type model, just because it makes our lives so much easier. Or it makes my life so much easier in terms of planning it, selling the commitment internally, just everything about it has made my life easier. So, I mean, how many years later are we? I definitely haven't found any big gotchas, I guess, from the secondary market. But that doesn't really impact me.Corey: Yeah, I spent a lot of time looking forward, too, doing deep analyses of okay, for which instance classes in which regions is there a price discrepancy? And I finally got someone to go semi on record and say, “Yeah. There should not be any please ping us if you find one.” “Oh, okay, great. That is enough for me to work with.”Dann: Exactly, we got that, too. I didn't believe it so we were downloading price sheets and doing comparisons, doing all that stuff.Corey: Oh, trust but verify. And when we're talking this kind of money, I don't trust very far. They make mistakes on billing issues from time to time. And I get it; it's hard, but there are challenges here and there. I am glad you mentioned a minute ago that you are multi-cloud because my position on that has often been misconstrued.I think that designing something from day one to work on multiple cloud providers is generally foolish. I think that unless you have a compelling reason not to go all-in on one cloud provider, that's what you should do. Pick a cloud—I don't care which—and go all-in. Conversely, you have a product like Datadog where your customers are in multiple clouds, and first, no one wants to pay egress to send all the telemetry from where they are into AWS, and secondly, they're not going to put up, in many cases, with their data going to a cloud provider they have explicitly chosen not to work with, so you have to meet your customers where they are. In your case, it is absolutely the right thing to do. And Twitter often gets upset and calls me hypocrite on stuff like this because Twitter believes that two things that take opposite visions cannot possibly both be true, but the world is messy.Dann: Yeah. And I mean, the nice thing about us being in multiple clouds is we are our own biggest user. And that's actually one of the reasons why I love working at Datadog is because I get to use Datadog all the time. And not only that, Datadog is on everything and we have all of our products. I'm very spoiled [laugh] with all of this. But I mean, we are running in these different cloud providers; we are using Datadog in those different cloud providers, and that is just helping everything overall, too. In addition to supporting customers that are in each cloud because that is a huge reason as well.Corey: This episode is sponsored in part by something new. Cloud Academy is a training platform built on two primary goals. Having the highest quality content in tech and cloud skills, and building a good community the is rich and full of IT and engineering professionals. You wouldn't think those things go together, but sometimes they do. Its both useful for individuals and large enterprises, but here's what makes it new. I don't use that term lightly. 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We're gonna have some fun with this one!Corey: One of the problems that I keep running into across the board is that with things like Datadog—and again, not to single you out; every monitoring vendor to some extent has aspects of this problem—it's that when I'm a customer and I'm hooking my accounts up to Datadog, I want you to tell me about things that are going on, but the CloudWatch charges can be so egregious on the customer side, where it is bizarre and, frankly, abhorrent to me when I wind up paying more for the CloudWatch charges than I am for Datadog. And let's be clear here; I am, in fact, a Datadog customer. I pay you folks money. Not a lot of money, but I pay you money because I have certain things that I need to know are working for a variety of excellent reasons.And the problem that I keep smacking into on this is—it's not your fault; there's not anything you can do. In fact, you are one of the better providers as far as not only not being egregious with the way that you slam the CloudWatch endpoints, but also in giving guidance to customers on how to tune it further. And I really wish that more folks in your space would do things like that. It always bugs me when I wind up using a tool that tries to save money that in turn winds up costing me more than it saves.Dann: Yeah. Yeah, it's tricky there. I have less experienced myself setting up Datadog and running it in my own infrastructure as I'm more digging deep into the cost stuff and us using the cloud, so I can't speak to that specifically. But yeah, you're not the first person that I've heard have that experience. [laugh].Corey: And again, it's not your fault at all. I've been beating up the CloudWatch team for years on this, and I will continue to do so until I'm safely dead, which—depending on Amazon's level of patience—might be in mere minutes.Dann: In the larger-picture-wise, we have to remember that we're super early in the cloud adoption, even looking at the cloud economics FinOps cloud cost optimization world. I feel like most businesses at this stage in their journey are still in data centers and they're dealing with the problem of how do we move to the cloud and do it cost-efficiently? How do we set everything up? And that's where the world is right now.And I think that dealing with, “Okay, we are one hundred percent running in the cloud. What are the processes that we have in place? How do we think of finance and the finance organization not through the lens of ‘we once had data centers and now we don't,' but how do we look through that in the lens of ‘okay, we are cloud-native from day one? What does the finance department look like?'” And dealing with those problems is really interesting because Datadog has never been in a data center. We are cloud-native from the very beginning, and so it was interesting for me to join the company and build up a lot of these processes because it is different than what a lot of other people were dealing with and doing. And it presents some really interesting problems and questions that I think are going to be the foundation for the next decade of building companies and operating in the cloud.Corey: I always love having conversations with folks who are building out teams to handle these things because usually the folks I keep talking to, or who want to have conversations like this are building tools themselves to solve this problem through the miracle of SaaS, where they will bend over backwards to avoid ever talking to a customer. And we're all dealing with the same AWS APIs; there's not that much of a new spin you can put on most of these things. But understanding what customers are actually trying to do instead of falling down the rabbit hole trap of, “Hey, turn off those idle instances that are all labeled ‘drsite' because you probably don't need them,” is foolish. And after a few foolish recommendations, tooling doesn't get there. I am a big believer that tools can assist the process and narrow down what to look at.I believe they shouldn't have to exist; I think that the billing dashboard should be a hell of a lot better natively than having to pay a third party to make sense of it for me. But by and large, I do believe this is a problem that is best solved from a consultative approach. When I started this place, I was planning to build out some software, tried doing it—called DuckTools—and wound up mothballing the whole thing because what we were building was not what the industry claimed to want and, frankly, educating people into a position where then they see the value and only then will they buy is never been a game that I wanted to play.Dann: Yeah, I really liked that article that you guys published about exploring that product and the reason why you decided not to pursue it. But it's super interesting in terms of where the industry is going and building out those tools because I found that there isn't really any new thing that you can do with the tools. All the tools that exist for looking at your costs are largely the same. The main differences that I've seen is that the UI is slightly different and they have different sales teams. And if the sales teams are better, they're going to get more of the market share. And if the sales teams are not as good, it's going to be a smaller market share. And it's weird, too, be in this industry for as long as we have been, and seeing okay, well, Andreessen Horowitz just funded this new company, and this other company got invited into Y Combinator, or all of these things that are happening, and I'm kind of like, okay, but what is this tool really doing differently? And there are a few of them that are; that are doing something innovative and different, but there's also a few that are just like, this is a space where people are in, there's money here, we're doing the same thing, but we got our sales team, and we'll carve out our little corner, and then we'll get acquired, and that'll be that. Although I guess we're just at that stage of innovation in this space, I guess.Corey: Yeah, I have no earthly idea what the story is around how these companies plan to differentiate because it seems to me that they're directly attempting to compete with Cost Explorer, which—Dann: Yeah.Corey: —it's taken some time for that thing to improve to the point where it is now and it'll take further time for it to improve beyond it, but long-term, I don't think you're going to outrun AWS on a straight line like that.Dann: Yeah, I mean, when you work for one of these third-party cost tooling things, and you're working with one of your customers, and they're like, “How do I view this?” And it's kind of like, that is the easiest thing to find in Cost Explorer as well, it's—I can't imagine being like, “Well, you should pay me thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars a month to view it here,” when Cost Explorer is free. And I think Cost Explorer, it doesn't do everything, but it's gotten a lot better at what it does, and it could probably solve 90% of people's problems without using a third-party tool.Corey: You are at significant scale in multiple clouds, so the answer that these companies always give is, “Ah, but we provide a single dashboard so that you can look at costs across multiple providers in one place.” Is that even slightly useful to you?Dann: Man, if you need dashboards, get a dashboard tool. Don't get this crazy cost analysis tool. I mean, there are some great dashboard solutions that you can get where you can connect your detailed billing, cost and usage report—whatever cloud provider is calling it, but, like, that really detailed gigabytes per hour report—and then visualize it, build reports, do all that kind of stuff because that's not something that the tooling does well right now, in terms of building out cost dashboards and stuff. But that's also right now. It could in the future.Corey: Yeah. If you're a BI tool, wind up passing out templates that normalize these things? I am so tired of building it all from scratch in Tableau myself. If you're Tableau, sell me a whole bunch of things that I can use to view this stuff through, so I don't have to wind up continually reinventing that particular wheel.Dann: Yeah.Corey: Oh, I like your approach. I didn't know the answer when I was asking the question. I was about to learn something if you'd gone the other direction, but nope, but it's good to know that my impressions remain intact.Dann: Yeah, I mean, I've used different tools in the past. Again, I hesitate to name any of them, but there's a few in this space that I feel like everybody—if they're in this space, they know which tools I'm talking about—Corey: Yes, we do.Dann: —and… yeah, I've used them. They're okay—a few of them are okay, a few of them are better than others, but I mean, I was trying to evaluate the value-add over me manually setting some things up and having some sort of visualization, and just the value-add in terms of what they were charging, even if it was like a significantly smaller percent of the bill because that alone, like, percent of bill is such a difficult cost model—Corey: Oh—Dann: —to do.Corey: I hate that. Pricing is hard. Let's start there.Dann: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.Corey: I hate the percent of bill because then it's, “Let me get this straight. I'm paying you a percentage of things like data transfer charges that I know are fixed, that I can't optimize? I'm paying you a percentage of my AWS enterprise support subscription? I'm paying you a percentage of the marketplace?” And so on and so forth. And it doesn't work. At some point of scale as well it's, I could hire a team of 20 people and save money versus what you're charging me. The other side of it though, “Ah, we'll charge you percentage of savings.” Well, then you wind up with people doing a whole bunch of things like before they bring you in, they'll make a bunch of ill-advised reserved instance purchases or savings plan purchases you have to then unwind after the fact. When I was setting this place up, I looked long and hard at different billing models and the only thing I found that worked is fixed fee. The end. Because at that point, suddenly everyone's on board with, “Hey, let's solve the problem and then get out as soon as possible.” We're not trying to build ourselves a forever job nestled in the heart of your company. And it's the only model I found that removes a whole swath of conflicts of interest. And that's the hard part. We have no partners with anyone in this space—including AWS themselves—just because as soon as we do, it becomes extremely disingenuous when we suggest doing something for your sake that happens to benefit them, such as, “Maybe back that S3 bucket up somewhere.” Well, okay, if we're partnered with them, does that mean we're trying to influence spend in the other direction? And it just becomes a morass that I never found it worth the time to deal with.Dann: Yeah, I—Corey: But that doesn't work for SaaS.Dann: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I haven't actually thought about pricing model for consulting in this space that closely, but I mean, when you're charging a percent of bill or percent of savings, you have the opportunity to screw the customer, right, through all the things that you were saying. If you charge a fixed fee, you have the possibility of undervaluing yourself, which the only one that's screwed in that case is you, potentially, and if you're okay with that risk and you're okay with those dollars, that's great. Because yeah, if you're able to be like, “Okay, here's the services that I do, here's the fixed costs.” “Done.” “Done.” That just sets everybody's expectations for the relationship in a much better way that you're not constantly worried about, like, upsells and other things that might happen along the way that screws the customer.Corey: And that's the hardest part, I think, is that people lose sight of the entire customer obsession piece of it. That's one of the things Amazon gets super right. I wish more companies embrace that. Dann, I want to thank you for taking so much time out of your day to suffer my slings, and arrows, and half-formed opinions. If people want to learn more about who you are and what you're up to, where can they find you?Dann: Yeah, I have a website you guys can go to that links everywhere else. It is dannb.org. And I spell my name with two ns, so D-A-N-N-B dot org. And I have LinkedIn, I have Twitter, I have a monthly newsletter that is not really about FinOps or anything, but I really enjoy it; I've been doing it for a year, now, that you should sign up for.Corey: And links to that will, of course, be in the [show notes 00:36:26]. Dann, thanks again for your time. I really appreciate it.Dann: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me again. It's been a blast.Corey: It really has. Dann Berg, senior CloudOps analyst at Datadog. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn, and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this podcast, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice along with a comment featuring a picture of several corkboards full of post-it notes and string, and a deranged comment telling me that you have in fact finally found the catch in savings plans.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
Maddie Hall is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and the co-founder & CEO of Living Carbon, a biotech startup building genetically engineered trees to fight climate change. Andrew and Maddie discuss what motivated Maddie to start the company, her process for researching new ideas, and lessons learned from building a fast-growing startup. Show highlights:1:04 - What Living Carbon does2:34 - Maddie's idea to start Living Carbon3:34 - Research process, exploring new topics, and networking5:16 - Responding to doubt and people who don't believe in you7:31 - Y Combinator experience7:44 - Experience as a startup founder8:29 - Entrepreneurship runs in Maddie's family8:45 - Believing in yourself and ambitions9:33 - Parents modeling behaviors that drove Maddie's ambitions10:42 - Life as a startup founder and navigating company growth11:53 - Maintaining company core values and making smart hiring decisions13:44 - Finding what motivates you14:32 - Power of self-awareness as a proxy for growth14:46 - Tips for interviewing and identifying strong talent17:45 - Overcoming doubt and unknowns19:18 - Goalsetting process and OKRsBe sure to subscribe & leave a review for the show in your favorite podcast app.Please tell your friends about Everybody Pulls The Tarp on social media and be sure to tag Andrew in your posts @andrewmoses123 (Instagram) and @andrewHmoses (Twitter).Follow Andrew on IG: @AndrewMoses123 and Twitter:@andrewhmosesSign up for e-mails to keep up with the podcast at everybodypullsthetarp.com/newsletter!
Alyson Watson is CEO and co-founder of Modern Health, a mental health unicorn! Modern Health is a global mental health benefits solution for employers that covers the spectrum of mental wellbeing needs from tech enabled solutions to professional support solutions on one platform. You can connect with Alyson here: LinkedIn What If Fellowship: https://whatif.vc/fellowship HERE ARE SOME OF THE THINGS WE TALKED ABOUT: Alyson shares her background with mental health, her education, and how it led her to the mental health space. She also shares about Modern Health and what their mission is. Alyson talks about Y Combinator, what the process looks like as a startup who applies, the benefits from it and the difference it made for her when starting up Modern Health. We discuss the stigma and lack of access that used to surround mental health support from employers and how Modern Health is helping to solve these issues. We talk about how mental health problems limit productivity and how this is a societal problem, not only in the workplace but in personal lives as well. Alyson shares what more she thinks companies can do to promote mental wellness with their employees. We discuss the vision for Modern Health and where she sees the company going in the future. Alyson shares her advice for those who are wishing to start up their own company and what she wishes she knew when she started. Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: What If Fellowship, Website, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Email Connect with host Stephen Hays here: Stephen Hays Personal Website, Twitter, LinkedIn, What If Ventures (Mental Health Venture Fund)
On today's episode, James takes voicemails from listeners. He invites his good friend Ajay Mehta on to discuss the topics from the callers. Ajay previously worked with him at Tilt and has founded two companies since, Birthdate Co. and Therapy Notebooks. The callers asks wide range of questions all centered around the lifestyle of being a founder and an entrepreneur. From Health and Diet for productivity to how to start fundraising as a first time founder. James explains why 90% of the interaction with investors should be based on asking for advice before asking for a check. To conclude the episode, James and Ajay discuss what company or one project they would invest in if somebody theoretically gave them a million dollars. https://bit.ly/Go_BelowtheLine Find out more about Ajay Mehta: https://twitter.com/ajaymehta Hit the show hotline and leave a question or comment for the show at 424-272-6640, email James questions directly at email@example.com or follow us on Twitter @ twitter.com/gobelowtheline Support Our Sponsors Magic Mind https://magicmind.co (Use Code BTL at Checkout for 20% off) AppSumo http://appsumo.com/bff About your host, James: James Beshara is a founder, investor, advisor, author, podcaster, and encourager based in Los Angeles, California. James has created startups for the last 12 years, selling one (Tilt, acquired by Airbnb), and invested in a few multi-billion dollar startups to date. He has spoken at places such as Y-Combinator, Harvard Business School, Stanford University, TechCrunch Disrupt, and has been featured in outlets like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, and Time Magazine. He's been featured in Forbes, Time, and Inc Magazine's “30 Under 30” lists and advises startups all around the world. All of this is his “above the line” version of his background. Hear the other 90% of the story in the intro episode of Below The Line. “Below the Line with James Beshara" is brought to you by Another Podcast Network.
Welcome to my new show OnlyFriends, where my Silicon Valley group chat comes to life. On this episode, we discuss my new companies, our new advice segment, Dear OnlyFriends, the COVID vaccine, Coinbase's mission-focused statement, and crypto gaming. Starring: Justin Kan: Twitch co-founder and investor at Goat Capital (https://twitter.com/justinkan)Emmett Shear: Twitch co-founder and current Twitch CEO (https://twitter.com/eshear)Michael Seibel: Twitch co-founder and CEO of Y Combinator (https://twitter.com/mwseibel)Nicole Farb: Darby Smart co-founder and investor at Headline (https://twitter.com/nicolefarb)Submit your story to Dear OnlyFriends here! If you liked this episode, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter! A thank to our sponsors Universe and CashApp for making this podcast possible. THE QUEST MEDIA | CONTENT MEETS SILICON VALLEY |
Nicholas Hinrichsen is the cofounder of Clutch. We had him on the podcast almost a year ago and since then, his company has refocused, raised from a16z, and is not in full scale mode. Listen to his learnings in this episode. ★ Support this podcast ★
Sean Mitchell is Co-founder & CEO of REZI, a software company that empowers property owners to lease vacant apartments on-demand, and tenants to find, tour, apply for, and ultimately lease their next home within 5 minutes — entirely online. The company was part of the 2017 Winter Batch at Y Combinator.
Sean Mitchell is Co-founder & CEO of REZI, a software company that empowers property owners to lease vacant apartments on-demand, and tenants to find, tour, apply for, and ultimately lease their next home within 5 minutes — entirely online. The company was part of the 2017 Winter Batch at Y Combinator.
James Traf is a designer & entrepreneur, building simple digital products. Previously he co-founded Spoil (YC-backed startup, raised $500k) and is now building small, profitable internet products like Super a simple way to turn your Notion pages into fast, functional websites. He is forever distracted with side projects. TURN YOUR NOTION PAGES INTO WEBSITES WITHOUT CODINGUse Super to transform your Notion page into a kick ass landing page or website with slick templates!CONNECT WITH JAMES TRAFFollow James Traf on TwitterFollow James Traf on InstagramFollow James Traf on DribbbleRead about James Traf's thoughts LEVEL UP YOUR DESIGN CAREER (FREE EMAIL COURSE)Learn 7 proven strategies in 7 days to grow in your design career -https://levelup.designmba.show/