Flip The Switch Episode 66: Best of 2018 Entrepreneurs

John Saunders
By John Saunders

00:48 AUSTIN: Welcome to Flip the Switch, presented by Power Digital Marketing. This is episode number 66.

00:54 JOE: This is our best of 2018, part 1 episode.

00:58 AUSTIN: Yessir.

00:59 JOE: No, I don’t think we could find any athletes number 66.

01:02 AUSTIN: No, it doesn’t even matter because this is the best of. So, all the people on this show equate to an athlete, they would be number 66. I think there’s six interviewees too.

01:12 JOE: Yeah so, it’s kind of a good episode so, it’s… We’ll call it the Kobe episode.

01:15 AUSTIN: Who the go-to episode. The Kobe episode. Yep, they’re both gonna be Kobe episodes, but this first one is entrepreneurs. So, we split it into two categories, one is marketers, one is entrepreneurs. This is the entrepreneurs show. So, we put in six interviews of our favorite of entrepreneurs over the past year. They are actually all over the place so, we managed to get some individuals from… Let’s see here… We have David Walker, Alex Sismanis, Matt Garrett, Derek Shebby, Nick Barshick and Alex Bates. We’re covering finance, accounting, AI, cryptocurrency, beer and wine, sales… You name it we’ve covered pretty much every category this year with entrepreneurship. Without further ado, please enjoy our best of entrepreneurship.

[Music]

02:05 DAVID: The concept of starting a… What people called microbrewery in those days was just sort of…

02:10 PAT: Great radio voice, by the way.

02:13 AUSTIN: He’s going to take our jobs after this. That was fantastic.

02:17 DAVID: It was just silly. I mean people didn’t ah… So, why would you do that? And it’s like we say we, and I’m talking about the collective we, the Brewers that started at that point. We changed the world of beer. When we started the concept of just changing the world of our local tavern was daunting enough. But American craft brewers and I’ll go out on a limb here, West Coast craft brewers changed the world of beer. They changed the palates of Californians and Pacific Northwest and that spread across the nation. And I know there’s breweries all over the nation, but I really felt that California did a great job and that in turn changed the way the world looked at beer. And today Brewers look at beer in a very different way.

03:08 AUSTIN: I have a couple of questions just curious about maybe the process or influence of making wine and having a vineyard in your life prior to becoming a brewer? Was that… Did you adapt or take a lot of the ideas that you’re maybe used to with the Firestone vineyard or maybe the process is to turn that into beer? Are there any similarities between making wine and making beer?

03:29 DAVID: Yeah, it’s a great question. Right out of the gates we started to ferment the beer in 60-gallon American oak barrels. You talk about craft beer, comes from the term hand crafted. And we hand filled those barrels, we hand emptied them, we hand clean them, we took lab samples to check they weren’t infected. I mean we really… It was incredibly… And it still is… Time-consuming process. And we integrated wood into our process very early on. Wood has become a big part now of American craft beer. I mean there’s a lot of barrel aging going on. There’s a lot of secondary wild fermentation going on in barrels. And so, yeah, from that standpoint. But also, from the standpoint of a… The way that a Winery is set up, sort of you have the estate. You sort of have the fruit. You have the seasons. And there was a real sense to try and make a beer that we were proud of. We weren’t… It wasn’t a gimmick. We never… I mean to a certain extent in the early days what was happening when we started there was a lot of weird beers out there. I mean there were big Brewers. I mean there was a beer called bulldog or Red Dog or something and it was… And it was sort of pitched as this sort of gimmick beer made by some crazy Red Dog dudes and it wasn’t. It was made by one of the big Brewers.

04:55 PAT: Right. It was there’s more of a marketing ploy.

04:55 DAVID: Yeah, I mean there was Pete’s wicked ale at the time. That was formulated in a bath by Pete Slossburg, which I think it was, but ultimately it was brewed by Miller. It was always brewed by Miller, and it really was just sort of a little bit of a trick.

05:17 PAT: Right and even just talking about that process, right, using oak barrels. How did that differ from these big Brewers, and how they were preparing and fermenting their beers through their process at the time?

05:29 DAVID: It’s so, different. I mean… Brewing at the levels that they’re brewing at is incredibly different. Very difficult. I mean whether one likes the beer that the big Brewers made, I’m talking about probably Anheuser-Busch is the best example, you can’t question their attention to detail and quality. I mean it’s extraordinary. And that we were truly in an artisanal level. I mean we were… Like I said, we were hand filling kegs, we were hand filling barrels, we were hand filling tanks. And every point there’s a potential for infection. So, when you get things down to a manual level, it’s a little bit more… It’s just very difficult. So, that the big Brewers are just operating at a totally different level to us.

06:20 PAT: Right. Yeah, their goal is probably more along lines of efficiency, reducing overhead. It’s a process at that point.

06:27 AUSTIN: And that really does tie in kind of the follow up question here and scaling, and I’m very curious about… Coming out of the 80s and 90s, you obviously knew you had something here and you guys were gonna grow. What did it look like and maybe a three to five-year plan or something on that kind, where you thought we need to scale this business and this is kind of what it looks like? How are you going to sustain growth?

06:48 DAVID: Well, it’s extraordinary. We never really thought in terms of scaling the business. It was… And I keep going back to this. I mean, we sort of started it with great intention but not with great ambition. And we never visualized who we became. So, the business was… Well the brewery was a little bit of a hockey stick. I mean we spent… Breweries measure their scale in barrels. Barrel is 31 gallons of beer. So, for the first five years we got to about 5,000 barrels. The next five years, which makes us ten years old, we got to about 50,000 barrels. 15 years we got to a hundred thousand barrels. And then 20 years we got to four hundred. So, you have this huge hockey stick and scaling that was incredibly difficult because it’s not digital media. Its barrels. There’s barrels of beer and we had to build a brewery. Willy Wonka factories are let’s call it, to sustain that. And that journey has been amazing. I mean it’s a life’s work and something that I’ll always be proud of and the hundreds of people who were shoulder-to-shoulder with us and it should be proud of too. I mean building a brewery is a wonderful thing.

08:15 AUSTIN: Was there any moment in that, because it sounds just incredibly difficult where you’re like, there’s no way we can get any bigger. We don’t have enough land, we don’t have enough… I don’t know barrels, or there’s any moment where you’re like I don’t know if we can get bigger.

08:28 DAVID: Yeah, there was a… I think like with anything, you push and you push and you push and it just seems like everything you do is push, and then all of a sudden, it’s almost like the wind changes. And all of a sudden, you’re getting pulled. And the dynamic changes and first of all you don’t believe it and all of a sudden, you’re sort of getting pulled and then actually what happens is you get used to it. And you’re sort of living in this environment where you never… You’re chasing customers all the time, rather customers are chasing you. And that switch flip for us sort of roundabout 2000, 2007, 2008.

09:06 PAT: Was there like a particular moment that you remember kind of realizing that? Or was it a gradual process where you just learned to adapt?

09:13 DAVID: In our case, I mean, I’ve thought about this many times. But in 2006-2007, I think 2006 was when the first tweets sort of started to hit the airways. When Facebook got out of children’s bedrooms and into adults’ hands and for once we had a platform as small Brewers to tell our story. So, I think social media was a real force multiplier. I can’t quantify it but I just know that something happened then. There was also, and this is really boring, there was some massive strategic shifts going on in the beer business. Anheuser-Busch got acquired by a giant banking outfit out of Brazil called 3G. Anheuser-Busch and bev. And Anheuser-Busch up until that point had just maniacal control of the American beer business. And they were very, very strong. They had won over 50 percent of the market. And they controlled their wholesalers, the retailers. I mean not controlled them but there was just sort of a tension that made it very difficult to break into the market.

10:16 PAT: Yeah, huge amount of influence there, I’m sure.

10:18 DAVID: Absolutely. And any small… Any small brush fire they saw out there that looked promising they just put it out immediately. And it was a… They were a force. And so, what happened when they were acquired by the Brazilians… The Brazilians… I’ve got no intelligence or knowledge on this, but they backed off on the volume so, they went from 50% market share to mid-40s. They became a hell of a lot more profitable because they weren’t squeezing out that last 2%. But by doing that, they let enough oxygen I think into the American beer industry to enable brewers like us to propagate, and then cultivate our businesses. And I think that happened at the same time. So, those two things I think really made a difference.

[Music]

11:11 PAT: What really went into making this dream of you guys is a reality? And to take off to the degree that it has?

11:17 ALEX: Yeah, so, for Miguel and I… It’s my third company and actually Miguel’s third company as well. So, we’ve kind of been through the steps and the process…

11:30 PAT: Third times the charm type thing?

11:31 ALEX: Third time’s the charm, exactly. So, it’s a real learning experience… Like starting your first company is like… It’s hard knocks. You learn a lot, but it’s a great experience. And I think being able to pull from that and also our network… Like so, we went through an incubator together in Vancouver that was started by the CEO of Hootsuite, Ryan Holmes. And so, we met like a network of really cool people there who are doing awesome stuff.

12:00 AUSTIN: It’s called Y Combinator, correct?

12:02 ALEX: No, so, this was called the next big thing. This was the one I did in college, still. And then now we just graduated from YC and that is like the Harvard of… Well, they were the first accelerator actually, in the world. And they’re unreal. The things they have… They’re so, well-connected in the valley. They have so, many companies in their portfolio that if… They’re just billion-dollar companies. They just had their first company IPO, Dropbox.

12:37 AUSTIN: That’s pretty big!

12:38 PAT: We covered that too.

12:38 AUSTIN: We did actually. There’s a little couple kickbacks, I think, in terms of equity, right?

12:45 PAT: I have a kind of a question about that. Why do you think that it was so, beneficial to be involved with YC? Was it the resources they provided or was it more the insight into success versus failing on things and kind of giving you that…? Like the results of other people’s tests essentially ahead of time so, you knew what to do?

13:01 ALEX: Yeah, I think it was definitely a bit of both. The network is like invaluable, just being able to be instantly connected with all the other founders that have gone through YC, not to mention all the partners who are there, who are former founders themselves. And just being able to talk over your problems with them. It’s awesome and going there every week and having these dinners where they have ex founders come in. We had like Airbnb, Dropbox, Steve Houston, and Steve Huffman of Reddit came in. So, it’s like a lot of cool people giving really interesting talks that you wouldn’t be able to see elsewhere. They kind of speak off the cuff and it’s one of those things where they say you’re not allowed to talk about what happens in YC outside of it.

13:52 AUSTIN: Is there…that’s incredible that you get to talk to these individuals and I’m just curious about them as people. Is there a characteristic that you see common between these people that have been able to take tech companies to be billion-dollar companies or what is it about these individuals that make them who they are?

14:09 ALEX: Yeah, I think the commonalities are probably like, they’re all very driven. They… I wouldn’t say being like super smart is necessarily a commonality. It’s being able to also… Because you can always surround yourself with really smart people. But being able to pick out the right people, being able to make the right decisions kind of off-the-cuff…

14:39 PAT: Good judgment.

14:40 ALEX: Yeah, good judgment, exactly. And yeah, there’s all these different types of leaders out there, I find. And we actually just had a talk about this last night in our last YC dinner. He was talking about… He was working at Pixar and all the different CEOs and leaders there and how they all had different personality traits but that was basically some of the commonalities they shared was being able to interact with people and pick the right people and stay really driven.

15:11 AUSTIN: Right.

15:12 PAT: That’s awesome. So, just so, we get a little bit more of a sense of that… How long were you guys working through YC before you graduated? Like in terms of time line, where does that fall?

15:23 ALEX: It’s three months. So, we started in January and then they have like weekly dinners and office hours every week as well. And then you can also just set up office hours whenever you want with your partners. So, it’s a pretty intense… And then it all culminates in this demo day basically where you go… So, this batch was a hundred and forty companies. It was like their biggest one yet. It was yeah, a lot of people there. And so, we had this demo day where you go and pitch on the stage. It’s a two-minute pitch and there are 800 investors in the audience and like even more watching online. And so, you go. Every single company pitches just for the full day. And then they have a system where they’ll like you on the online system and then you get connected with them. And most people try to raise around out of that.

16:16 PAT: That’s awesome. It sounds like it’s modeled a little bit kind of like the TechCrunch Disrupt too. Is that the same type of model?

16:22 ALEX: Yeah, I think so.

16:23 PAT: That’s awesome. What a cool experience. So, in terms of your guys’ trajectory as a company… Would you say that the YC that you did, was that the pivotal moment for you guys where you really felt like we have this under control. It almost validated it at all, or what was that experience like in terms of how you perceive your company progressing?

16:45 ALEX: Yeah, I think it was definitely a pretty surreal experience getting into YC. I had always when I started my first company, I remember like the first podcast I listened to it was like a Y Combinator Startup series teaching you how to start a Startup. And so, it was like always a dream of mine to get into Y Combinator. So, I remember getting the phone call and we were at a dinner with an Entries and Horowitz partner and also the second podcast I listened to was A16z which is put on by Entries and Horowitz partners. So, I was like, got the call and the partner was like filming us say yes to get accepted and it was like holy shit. This is this is the peak of my life right here, I’m pretty sure. At least my career. And so, that… Yeah it was definitely like a lot of validation there. I still think we have a long way to go. It’s a tough road. A lot of hours to put in. We still need to grow and kind of prove the model out and…

17:51 AUSTIN: But the important part is that you’re here and you’re already up and running. So, there’s the fact that you’ve graduated in a year from Y Combinator to having a viable product. It’s got of just excite your investors as well, right yeah?

18:01 ALEX: Yeah, definitely. It’s good to have a product in the market. We’ve been in development for about eight months previous to this.

18:08 AUSTIN: And that’s actually a really big difference than what we see with a lot of ICOS, which is a different route that you went of course as they’re attempting to get funding to potentially build their blockchain network, so, … Or whatever exchange they want to do or everyone has a great big idea, but they haven’t built it yet. So, that’s what’s very instrumental about being a viable company in blockchain technology or in cryptos is that you can actually put out a product. And I think that that is what will be long-term and actually be able to withstand the ups and downs out of the industry.

18:36 ALEX: Yeah you definitely see a lot of ICOS that are launching with just a white paper and raising billions of dollars. Especially last summer at like the peak of the craze. And I mean to me it’s ridiculous.

18:48 PAT: We saw a bunch of pump and dump schemes with that too. It’d just be like a company would release a white paper, get a ton, and then never really… It’s like into thin air.

18:59 ALEX: Yeah, I mean you have no accountability at that point. And these companies don’t… They don’t need that much money. Like it’s ridiculous to think that you’d need a billion dollars just to build another blockchain that’s like slightly different. Or some new protocol

[Music]

19:17 MATT: I ended up getting in a fight with my partners. We raised five million dollars. I was 24 years old and trying to figure out what to do with this business. We had 79 catalogs, we had 35 employees. We’re just jamming and I thought this was amazing. And then the money that came in said we want you to turn left and stop trying to make money and instead just gain traffic. And I thought we already have a lot of traffic. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of and so, I railed against that, and they said no you’re the dumbest thing we’ve ever heard of, you’re out. And conveniently said, we would like to buy you out. And by the way we have the option to do that. And so, they negotiated with me and that’s how I ended up selling. So, it was just dumb luck that I sold in January of 99, right before the dot-com crash. Just dumb luck.

20:02 PAT: Blessing in disguise, really.

20:03 MATT: It was actually. It was a really… I got some money out of it, but I was also kind of pissed off because I came back to San Diego and talked to some people who really understood the internet space and found out that I really left a lot of money on the table. Probably an extra zero off of my purchase price.

20:17 PAT: Oh geez. That’s tough.

20:17 AUSTIN: I mean, you were really on to something with that business model too. That business model has not gone away. It’s only gotten larger. More people are doing it so, when the.com boom happened and the bust of course it was not necessarily this business model that is still there today. So, I think you were onto something. But I imagine that’s gotta light a fire under you, right? You seem like a very competitive person, so, at this point you’re thinking, well I got to do something else. Clearly, you have the ability to start and make a successful business. So, what did that look like when you came back to San Diego and you’re kind of deciding what’s the next steps?

20:48 MATT: Yeah, so, that’s what led to night school. I was pissed.

20:51 PAT: Yeah, I’m sure.

20:52 MATT: I was not happy. And I wasn’t unhappy with them. I was unhappy with myself. I didn’t feel like I was equipped or had the knowledge to be successful in business yet. Which is why I went to night school. And when I did it was phenomenal. Accounting made sense. It was like, oh so, that’s why that goes there, and that’s how this works together and that’s how these pieces fit together. And accounting is this beautiful thing that’s black and white. So, there’s a right and a wrong answer and for me, being in business, that was a very comforting thing. So, the night school classes… I only took four or five, didn’t get a degree or anything, but it just really set me on the right footing for the next sort of… This stage of my life.

21:28 PAT: Okay, cool. And then like going into that next stage of your life, you now have this foundational knowledge in accounting and finance. What is the next move? What do you do to try to apply that somewhere?

21:37 MATT: Yeah, so, interestingly I thought that maybe I would go get my CPA, because I had enough credits now to do tha.t so, I was actually volunteering my time at my own CPAs tax firm. I was like, I’m gonna learn this stuff. I’m gonna come and prep tax returns. So, for two seasons, I just prepped tax returns for free.

21:53 PAT: How was that experience?

21:56 MATT: Ridiculous. So, what I learned is that the tax law is really complex, but that 99% of the people, it’s really easy. And so, I was getting so, like, so, fast at doing tax returns that I was timing myself to see if I could beat my last record, and just keep going, right? And so, I learned the tax law through doing that and then I learned accounting and so, I designed… I decided what I was going to do is go try to help the 1% business owner folks with their taxes, and design tax strategies that were meant for fortune 500 companies and bring them down to small businesses. So, that’s what I did in 2001.

22:32 AUSTIN: Yeah, and then so, where does that philosophy or strategy come from? Are you creating this based off of something you’re learning in your night classes, or maybe just by experience with the doing tax returns? How do you formulate this plan?

22:44 MATT: A little bit of both. A little bit of both. I had gotten some experience… My father happened to be a tax lawyer too, so, we used to bug the snot out of my mom. Every family dinner we were talking tax law. I was really into it.

22:57 AUSTIN: Wow, imagine those family dinners!

23:01 MATT: It’s super exciting. Everybody else is like, can you guys leave? We’re having a nice dinner here. And so, yeah that’s how it kind of came up and my dad… All the credit in the world goes to him because he fast forwarded my knowledge on that by at least 10-15 years. And so, I started my own company, but truly was calling him every other day going so, how does this work? And I was able to build it up because the concept was interesting. I’m a very sort of egalitarian in the way that I think about things and if the fortune 500 has it, why doesn’t small business have it? That doesn’t make any sense. And so, that’s… That was my whole motivation was, we’re gonna go deliver this to these folks and not… That resonated and seemed to work.

23:41 PAT: Definitely. And looking at your next, I guess, entrepreneurial endeavors after that point… Were those always kind of in that same small to mid-size business tax consultation arena or what… Kind of what did that look like?

23:54 MATT: Yeah, no. So, I sold that to a public company out of New York in 2005. My whole goal in life was to try to retire by 30. I thought that was the epitome of winning. That if I could do that then I would have won. And I did and then I looked around and was like this sucks.

24:09 PAT: Bored.

24:10 MATT: None of my friends are retired. I keep calling them to go surfing and they’re like what’s wrong with you, idiot. We can’t go.

24:15 PAT: It’s Wednesday at 10 a.m.

24:17 MATT: I’m like but low tide’s at 11:30. Doesn’t matter! So, yeah, I was only unemployed… I’ve been unemployed I guess since I graduated college, but I was only shortly out of starting to do something. So, then after I sold that… But I really learned a lot out of that experience. I learned a lot about accounting. I learned a lot about making sure that my numbers were right. And how to sell my business correctly, and sell it to the right people. And so, the next venture was, yes, in that same vein, but not in tax.

24:49 AUSTIN: Can I… Just want to go back to something you said right there… Selling it correctly. That is a really interesting idea that I don’t feel like you could really ever know about until you experience it. What are some maybe mistakes you might have made the first time around or I know we talked about it a little bit but… Or maybe something you picked up on that, hey, I need to tell if someone’s going through evaluation of potential sale, they need to know this, for sure.

25:11 MATT: Yeah. So, the first time around, I really didn’t understand my numbers. And I know that seems silly, but I didn’t understand my numbers. I also didn’t have a personal goal. I didn’t know what I wanted to get out of it. The second time around, I knew the companies that were buying companies like mine in that space. And I teed it up. I mean, I tell the story. It’s like when you go to the eighth-grade dance and you have that little girl you have that crush on, and you put… Like you stand in the mirror and you comb your hair for like thirty minutes, all right? Cause you want it to be perfect. You pick out the shirt. It’s the right shirt, it’s the wrong shirt, and finally you get the right shirt. When you’re gonna go sell your business, you want to make sure that you comb your hair and you put your right shirt on. You’ve gotta look the way that that person, that buyer is going to expect you to look. You’ve got to start engendering trust from the first, literally the very first impression that they get of you. And so, that was a really big learning experience. From the first one where I screwed that up to the second one where I really targeted the buyer and knew they were buying in my space, and I knew what they were looking for. And so, I put the financials together to look exactly like what they wanted.

26:12 PAT: There you go.

26:13 AUSTIN: Yeah, that’s quite the idea there. And imagine was very difficult to do. And the attention to detail, I think it’s what I’m picking up on, which seems really impressive. What are some skills that help you get better at attention to detail? Is this something that you grew up on with your parents or how did you develop that attention to detail?

26:31 MATT: Motivation. I’m actually not that detailed of a person naturally. I never picked up my room when I was in high school.

26:39 PAT: Yeah, I think we’re all right there on that one.

26:41 AUSTIN: I was just about to say that.

26:44 MATT: I didn’t fold my shirts. But what you find is that if you’re not detail-oriented and if you’re not paying attention to the small things then the big things don’t work. And I had enough failures to be frustrated with enough failures to say that I’m gonna pay attention to the details. A long time ago somebody gave me some great advice. A guy that I’d done some business with and he… I was asking him… He was able to spend three months in Maui, three months in Alaska, and six months in San Diego every year. And didn’t work very much. And I was like, that looks awesome. How do I do that? And I think I was in my mid-20s and he said, well here’s the thing, MATT: It’s super simple. Prepare for the day the day before and prepare for the week the week before, and just pay attention and live your calendar. I was like, all right. And so, I do that and I’ve done it ever since and it keeps me kind of organized and keeps me focused on my priorities. And then I keep a streaming to-do list and I make sure that that to-do list is prioritized by… I use Stephen Covey’s stuff so, the most urgent and important.

27:45 PAT: The urgency importance matrix?

27:46 MATT: Right, yeah. Try to stay out of the tyranny of the urgent and doing these things that don’t really matter but are in your face. And I’m not always successful at it. But I think being aware and trying, you get better at it as you go.

28:00 PAT: It’s interesting because it’s definitely a commonality that I hear. I listen to a lot of podcasts where they interview business leaders and CEOs and founders. And that seems like a detail or the detail-oriented nature of a lot of those entrepreneurs is what makes them successful. But it’s funny, because kind of like you, a lot of times it’s very specific within their niche which tells me that they’re very viciously passionate about what they are doing to the point that they don’t want to skip a beat. It’s a big deal to them if they miss something or let something slip through the cracks. At TGG accounting where you’re currently executive chairman, you guys help the small to mid-size business ensure that they have correct financials. Is that truly… Is that like I guess… Where does that passion come from? Does it come from that first experience, where you didn’t necessarily know what you were doing? Or kind of what was that?

28:49 MATT: Yeah it came from both. It was sort of a collective part of my experience which was… I saw again, if you can imagine I was talking to my friends. Most of my friends from Vanderbilt who were non-football players, the smart kids, went to New York and worked in finance. And they were doing high finance stuff. And I told them in 2006, I said I’m gonna go start a business where we’re gonna give accurate financials to small business owners. And my buddy goes, so, how do they make decisions now? I’ll never forget that conversation.

29:22 AUSTIN: You’re like, wait that’s a business model?

29:26 MATT: Yep, okay, now I know I’m on to something because I knew that all these business owners had bad financials. And so, I knew that if I could get them the numbers, that they would have a much different failure rate. Look, according to Brookings Institute, eleven percent of businesses under a hundred million fail every single year. One in nine. And those businesses are failing primarily because they think it’s because of a lack of cash. It’s not. It’s because they don’t see the cash cliff coming. And so, I wanted to change that. I think that’s an abysmal problem in this country. We have roughly thirty million people that are totally displaced because a small business went out of business.

[Music]

30:02 DEREK: So, back to the time management thing. So, I guess the way I’d sum that up is that cold calling is the best way of setting appointments. It’s just how it is. It’s just flat out. So, people that are trying to find other ways around it, you got rocked. You got rocked by Mike Tyson and then the fact is this: you don’t know how to do it right. That’s it.

30:23 AUSTIN: That’s really interesting because with LinkedIn it’s become… I think… A lot of people in sales say that this is like their best tool, right? For either getting lists or new people… Is that typically not true, you would say? Cold calls are still better than LinkedIn? Or is there a way that LinkedIn can work and maybe it’s just someone’s not good at it? What does that look like?

30:42 DEREK: I think in the b2b world, and this is in my opinion, I don’t think LinkedIn is a good sales tool. And I know that there’s sales navigator and there’s things like that that you can use, you can pay for. But it’s just, in my opinion, LinkedIn is somewhere you go after you’ve been rocked and you’re afraid to prospect. That’s what happens. Because you can go and search and try to find the right contact on LinkedIn for as much time as it takes. Or you can pick up the phone and call the place and ask for that contact and who that person is, and get it right there, right? Or you can go in person, do the same thing. And you can get it pretty fast there, as opposed to spending your time on LinkedIn looking around and then…

31:21 AUSTIN: Yep and they got to accept you, and then they got to reply to your message and…

31:24 DEREK: Yeah and then you might think about if you’re on LinkedIn doing that, next thing you know you get an email and the next thing you know you’re on Facebook, and then you’re on… Doing this and you’re doing that. It’s a black hole of lost productivity.

31:34 PAT: And probably trying to schedule a call with all those contacts, too.

31:37 DEREK: It’s insane. LinkedIn for me is more of a recruiter’s playground. It’s where people go to pick people up, as opposed to a sales tool. I think they’re really trying hard to be a sales tool, but it’s not. It’s like think about your own emails that you get from people… I mean most of them probably recruiters and so, anyway… So, back to the time management because it’s a great question. In business-to-business, the business-to-business sales world, there’s really only a few things that you should be doing between 8:00 to 5:00, okay? So, that’s the golden hour. So, when we say 8:00 to 5:00, I think that’s in… At least in the United States and people listen that from here on this podcast, that’s when business hours are open. So, it would be acceptable to call someone or prospect or meet with someone during that time frame, right? So, we call those the golden hours and that’s not a term I made up. It’s a common thing. So, there’s four things you can do during that time. The first thing you can do is prospect, okay? Second thing you can do is you can have client meetings, where you actually having appointments, where you’re trying to actively sell something or move something forward or whatever it is, right? Or have a great powerful first meeting. Then you have where you’re presenting proposals, because that’s different than a first meeting. First meeting you’re trying to gain… Find opportunity and see what… Where people are at. Presenting proposals, you’ve already gone through the entire process and you’re at the end. That’s like when you’re selling your product, your main offer at the end, right? So, that doesn’t come up front. That happens after you… Some time, right? So, there’s presenting proposals, not putting them together, presenting them. And then the last thing is your implementations, because you’re gonna have to implement your solutions during the day. So, what does that mean? That means that the rest of time, whether it’s before 8:00 or after 5:00, that’s where you’ve got to do your emails. That’s where you got to do your administrative work, right? That’s where you got to create a proposal. That’s where you got to respond to certain things. All the extra stuff because the sales person needs to get that stuff during 8:00 to 5:00. So, let’s look at this. So, if your day… So, here we’re on a Friday here. But let’s say you’re walking into… You’re a salesperson, you’re walking into a Friday. You look at your calendar and you say, do I have any appointments today? Let’s just say the answer is no. And then you look at it and say okay will do. And inside of those appointments it could be, am I presenting any proposals today? And if the answer is no and then you go okay, well am I implementing any sales that I’ve just did. If the answer is no, the last thing which is really is the first thing, is prospecting. Which means that 8:00 to 5:00, you have got to remove the distractions, remove your fear. Make sure you got a list of places to call on. Places to go and get after it. And the thing is if you’re not ready for that, then that’s what you’re supposed to be doing from 7:00 to 8:00, or the day before from 5:00 to 6:00, right? That’s what you should be ready for because you go, I’m looking at my Friday. I don’t have those things going on, so, I know that I need prospects. And I don’t have those other things going, so, I better make sure I maximize the golden hours. And so, for your time management standpoint, I mean what happens and it’s really a result of people not knowing how to do prospecting right. That they are afraid of it and fear comes from just a lack of knowledge. Like I’ll give you another… An example from fear. I don’t know if anyone’s skydived here before anyone?

34:52 PAT: When I was 18.

34:53 DEREK: Okay, I’ve never sky dived before. Well, let’s just say for everyone else, let’s say for everyone else speaking of sky diving like let’s just say, hey guess what, we’re going skydiving. We’re going skydiving today and we’re not going with anybody that’s done it before, okay? And we’re all jumping out by ourselves.

35:09 PAT: No shot.

35:10 DEREK: Yeah, well no shot. We might be a little nervous because there’s a lot of things that we’re thinking about. Okay, do we have the parachute on right? Is this one that has a parachute inside of it? Can I test it out? Which lever do I pull? Is this on correctly? Is it gonna come off when I jump out of the plane? Am I jumping out of the plane too early? Am I jumping out the wrong way? How… When do I pull it? There’s all of this stuff where you’re going like I’m a goner!

35:33 PAT: And there’s no feedback until it’s too late.

35:35 DEREK: Yeah. And so, what happens is you’re not gonna want to do that. But now let’s say you go with someone and you do it a few times, and now you know this is where I pull and this is how it’s on, and this is how I know it’s on correctly, and this is how I know this is the right parachute, and this is how I know when it’s time to jump out, and this is how I know how to jump out. You’re gonna still do it, and sure it’s still gonna be a little thrilling, right? Which is why you want to do it. But you’re not gonna go there thinking I might… Terrified that I might not come back out of this, right? Prospect is just like that.

36:06 AUSTIN: Did you… When you first got into it, was there someone that brought you along on potential prospecting meetings or anything like that? Or did you have to kind of experience that jumping out of the plane so, to speak?

36:18 DEREK: Well, I think for me in the beginning, I experienced a lot of it just by jumping out of the plane. But as a salesperson… And I think what’s challenging to salespeople in general is everyone thinks that they’re the best, right? Everyone thinks that they’re the best and then until you get a letter. And you get a letter from your boss saying you’re not performing so, it’s time for you to perform this month or you’re gone, right? And so, I got that and so, when I got that I basically was saying you just need to get over yourself and you’ve got to get prospects because if you got nothing to bring in then you need to get prospects. And that doesn’t mean go on LinkedIn… And of course, it wasn’t around back then but that doesn’t mean, let’s spend eight hours on LinkedIn looking for people, right? It was going out, going door-to-door, calling people on the phone. And I think what happens is when you have good coaches just like that person that’s behind you on the skydiving, right? Showing you how to do it right the first time, or whatever. Then you start seeing things that work and things that don’t work and you start getting confident enough that you develop your own way. Just like if you know how to box and you walk in the ring, you’re trained how to do it but then you might eventually adopt your own things as you do it. But you know that if you go a little… Stray a little bit from the training, there’s a chance that you might leave yourself open and get knocked out. But at the same time, you’re confident enough to push those envelopes, right? And so, for me, I’m on my 16th year now doing business to business sales successfully. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good way of doing it and I’ve organized it in a fashion where I think anybody in the world can adopt it. But yeah fear of cold-calling, cold calling is not dead by any means. And I think it just comes from anything. I’m never gonna go skydiving unless someone’s showing me how to do it, never.

38:04 AUSTIN: Yeah, I don’t think you’re wrong at all. I think we have a couple people… Friends of ours that work at Howe’s down the street, if you know them or are familiar with them, but they’re an online company that sells pretty much to businesses that are in maybe like the home improvement industry. So, you’re like a small shop that does like contracting, maybe. Or like refurbishing of furniture. You can make a profile on Howe’s and then consumers can go on there and just type it in, right? Like I need new paint for my walls or like ideas to paint my house. And then that business will pop up at the top. So, it’s kind of like a search engine. But anyways the point is their sales team, they call, right? And it’s an Internet company. Literally the point of their business is to get businesses on their website. But they’re cold calling. They’re not doing LinkedIn, maybe just for a little bit of prospecting, but they’re not doing that to make that acquisition, right? It’s still the phones. You’ve got to talk on the phone and this is what my friend says all the time, right? It doesn’t matter that it’s an internet business. It matters who you’re talking to, right? And that person, you need to get them to make a decision. So, you’ve got to get them on the line.

38:59 DEREK: Right. And of course, there’s other strategies too. There’s like cold email and things like that like I know you guys know about with digital marketing. There’re things like that you can do too. But you got to remember that the biggest upside has the biggest risk, and it’s the scariest, right? And so, it’s pretty… It’s not really that scary when you send out a bunch of emails and automate that, right? You just put it out there and whatever you get back. But if you want a big upside, it’s getting face to face with someone. It’s getting that person to pick up the phone, right? And so, just like anything, the better you are trained, the better results you’ll get.

[Music]

39:34 NICK: Yeah, I mean we definitely in the behavioral assessment we look very, very closely at extraversion. Imagine how hard it is to change a behavior in yourself, versus getting a sea of people or employees at your company to all be extroverted if they’re not that way naturally. Better to find that skill set built into who they are as a person, and then you can sort of just allow them to shine. Allow them to just be themselves when they’re at work and have fun. But it’s a… There’s a lot of volume. There’s a lot of people coming in. No one is immune to getting worn down and being conditioned, losing their personal touch to try to connect with people on a personal and genuine level. It doesn’t take more than just a few moments of sincerity and presence, I think, to make someone feel welcome. But it can be mentally exhausting, and so, we try to monitor that very closely and we mix up the duties that every single person in the store does. We kind of take an everyone does everything approach in the gyms. I’m still happy to clean bathrooms to this very day. You know what I mean? And I think if our managers are doing that, if our leadership is doing that and everyone is taking ownership, very much like we were talking about before the show, I think that the problems get solved and people are happy to be at work. And the members are gonna really notice it, and it’s gonna be a differentiator.

41:06 AUSTIN: It’s funny. I was just thinking about another company. This reminds me of Trader Joe’s… I don’t know if you’re super familiar with their business model and the way that their organization functions, but they take on that aspect too, of everyone that’s working, is going to be doing the same things. So, the rotations are constantly occurring and they have very similar personalities right in store is that extraversion, and it really works. And it does make the customer feel welcomed and that they come back, right? The product is great but how are you interacting with the service being provided is… Are two different things. So, I think that’s been very commendable.

41:40 JOE: Yeah, and I think too even on that front apart from the people, the kind of the values you instill in the business in terms of the cleanliness of the gym, making that whole aspect of it welcoming, cause like you’re saying, you might think of a gym, a bunch of meatheads sweating all over the place. But at Choose that’s definitely not the case. It’s one of the cleanest gyms I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s pretty crazy. And so, that was definitely one thing that stood out to us, a lot of us that now are members of Choose Fitness, that was a big part of it too. And like you’re saying. You’re not even afraid to go back in or have no problem going to clean the bathrooms. I mean that definitely shows in a lot of locations that you go to, and I know that’s a big kind of standard that you guys hold for yourselves.

42:20 NICK: Absolutely. I mean, I’m hosting a culture training for our teams tomorrow, up in the Inland Empire. And one of the things that I really try to convey at that point is that the most mundane of tasks like mopping in the bathroom or something like that. It’s easy for an employee or anyone for that matter to think like, what I’m doing isn’t making a difference. And we really try to create that line-of-sight that creating a clean environment, it’s a game changer. It can allow someone maybe that might happen to be a germaphobe like me a safe space and a sanctuary to come in and actually be able to work on their mind. Body and soul. Like we were talking about earlier with just how we treat people, since your greeting a smile and hello might be a key difference in someone’s day, in making them feel welcomed into the facility. And so, kind of marrying those two concepts together, the cleanliness and the treatment of each other, meaning the people on the team, as well as the way that we treat the members and the guests that come in… Just trying to always strive to execute that as… At the highest standard possible is something that we try to get people fired up about. The customer service is a life skill that transcends just being at work or the relationships that they have their co-workers. It transcends industries and goes beyond just the fitness industry. We know that a lot of our employees might be viewing their time at Choose as a stepping stone. Maybe they’re interested in working for a marketing company at some point after their time at Choose, and the customer service skills that we teach and try to embody ourselves, I think can benefit people in their life, in their career, their relationships, their friendships, and in their families. And so, we really believe that.

44:16 JOE: Yeah, I mean, I agree. I think that’s definitely something where you like you’re saying it might be seen as a stepping stone where a lot of jobs for younger people or even if when you’re in school might be seen as a stepping stone to get to that, that bigger place but it’s… If you can’t have the focus or determination to do even more of a simple job as well as you can or as best you can, like how can you expect someone to depend on you to do a bigger, more important job at that same level. And it kind of compounds on itself. It’s like whether or not you know it, you are learning skills about yourself and you are developing as a person, even if it is, you’re a waiter in a restaurant or you are cleaning the bathrooms at the gym. I mean that stuff all still will compound and come back one day to be a very important part of your development.

45:01 AUSTIN: Yeah. A lot of this… The positivity and the installment of it is fantastic. What are some difficulties you’ve had with maybe getting this point across, or making sure that this stays in place?

45:14 NICK: Yeah, it’s–that’s– if you figure that out you let me know. I mean that’s something that I think all companies face. I mean, I personally believe that customer service, excellent customer service, almost wanting to call it like enlightened hospitality, is rare. Where someone that’s behind the counter in uniform that’s there to serve or assist you is driven to do it at a high level. I think it’s within all of our power to wow a customer. I think anybody can do it once. I just think the challenge is actually a discipline, and it takes relentless effort. You can’t take your foot off that gas pedal I think there’s a lot of companies out there that want to greet the customers. They want their employees to greet the customers. And so, they just say, say welcome to Subway when you come… When you come in. And they… That box is checked off and then they move on to the next task, the next priority, the next action item. We don’t do that. We actually stick with the basics. We aren’t very sophisticated and maybe that’s to a detriment. But we just focus on basic things. And that’s our mission. That’s our passion and I don’t think that that’s something that will ever change about our organization. We’re not going to pretend that we’re perfect at service and so, now we can focus on other things.

46:38 AUSTIN: Yeah, so, let’s talk a little bit about your customer moving on and you have all these differentiators that make you who you are, and you found your niche in the market. Who are you trying to reach? What is your ideal client look like?

46:50 NICK: Yeah, we’re actually fairly wide-ranging. We’re definitely a non-intimidating gym, as we referenced, and so, we particularly do appeal to people that have never been to a gym before. We provide an environment that’s clean, that’s friendly. It’s certainly not rocket science. It’s very simple, but it allows people to come in and feel comfortable where they can start working on their goals. Everyone that comes to Choose certainly has an intention. We want to try to help them reach their goal, whatever that is. And we don’t do it with sales or pressure. We actually do very little personal training in our organization. None of us can sell anything to save our lives. So, we’ve kind of departed from that in large part. We do have personal training in some of our locations but by and large we’re just trying to appeal to someone that wants to come to a clean and friendly place. It doesn’t really matter what age they are, what their background is, what their fitness experience is. Our clients and customers range anywhere from competitive athletes and bodybuilders, all the way to someone that maybe has never been to a gym or has maybe not worked out in 30 years, since they were in high school. And they want to get back into spending time on their health and wellness so, they can live longer, healthier lives and be with family and do things maybe they didn’t think we’re possible.

48:14 JOE: Yeah, and that $10 a month kind of aspect is a huge selling point too. Whereas someone that might be unsure about it, like I don’t know if I want to spend all this money, if I’m being wasteful of my money… At the end of the day if you take $10 a month and you break that down between 30 days and that daily cost of what it would cost you to go workout or exercise or whatever it is, that’s definitely I feel like the biggest selling point on that side. Because that’s what will turn a lot of people away from going to the gym.

48:41 NICK: Absolutely. A low entry cost is huge. Like we definitely want our members to know that just because it is a low cost, that they still deserve an amazing experience in a clean facility where the equipment’s working, and they don’t see out of order signs for weeks on end. And that they’re going to be treated like they would want to be treated, even though the cost is very affordable.

[Music]

49:08 AUSTIN: The idea that we could potentially streamline a lot of that and spend less time trying to maybe put together the pieces and spend more time optimizing for the business is something that I think is really exciting and that idea is easy to sell, I think, to people in tech. But it might be a little bit more difficult to someone that’s just not in tech or maybe that’s not necessarily super familiar with data. How would you sell it maybe, if you had a chance, to sell it to America, to get in front of people and say that this is our future? What would you say?

49:38 ALEX: Yeah, well starting with the concrete example we saw at MTEL where we had these AI systems of agents that could detect these patterns that people just weren’t able to see. But where they kind of needed help was understanding the context and the people were these incredible intuition machines. They worked in a facility for 20 years. They knew these environmental factors that we didn’t even have data for. And when we merged the two together, we got these amazing moments where the people would have these insights and combine it with a pattern recognition and we’d get these breakthroughs and they’d have their hero moments. And looking at things like marketing, we are these incredible intuition machines. And I even got a chance to go into a little bit of the neuroscience behind these Eureka moments where these interactions between our conscious Central Executive network and this sort of subconscious network. And sometimes when we have an epiphany it seems like it comes from beyond, and it really is that interplay. And that’s this mysterious thing that we’re so, far from having in these synthetic AI systems. And in fact, I think a lot of our education system isn’t oriented towards embracing those kinds of gifts. And looking at this next chapter whether you’re in digital marketing or whatever, if we were able to hone that and augment it with AI systems that complement it, kind of skies the limit.

50:54 AUSTIN: Yeah and we got to get to live and breathe a little bit of that by working with Google. They have of course their machine learning algorithm that is constantly updating itself, and I think I’ve gained a lot of respect for kind of what that machine is that that constantly powers our world, whether you know of it or not. You’re probably using Google. Everybody is. And you don’t know it but their algorithm is what gives you the most relevant answer at all times. Every single moment, it’s constantly learning and teaching itself and that is what makes me excited for what can be applicable to the entire world, right? Is that concept of the constantly learning, relearning, and optimizing in real time to make a better product so, that we can focus on other things? And that alone I think is what is easy to sell and repackage and maybe repurpose for whatever. The point is that’s what I love about that and what I think will make all of our lives a lot easier moving forward. That wasn’t really a question, but definitely agree with you.

51:44 ALEX: Yeah, and I think Google can look at data that no human could, but again it could then deliver things that a human could augment, so, it’s still a very synergistic thing.

51:54 PAT: I think it’s pretty interesting too… Just you said something that really kind of struck my attention. You talked about… And you kind of breezed over it, but you said in the education system as it is now, you don’t really learn to embrace those types of intuitive gifts that human beings have. What do you mean when you say that? What do you mean by that?

52:09 ALEX: Yeah, I think a lot of our learning… We go through these rote learning and memorization and even in math, we’ll learn if you go as a math major you learn to do proofs, but it’s not really oriented towards discovery and it’s more oriented towards learning things that have already been discovered. And I feel like maybe in the next chapter, when learning and memorizing a massive field of knowledge maybe becomes a little bit less important, and harnessing your intuitive gifts becomes more important. There’s probably things to work out in terms of how that would evolve. But I think it probably would end up being different than this current system.

52:45 PAT: I think it’s really interesting that you say that because that’s something that I personally have some opinions about as well. I found that during my schooling, a lot of the times I was just like cram studying, trying to memorize things before a test, regurgitating it… An hour after the test I wouldn’t remember it anymore. And I kind of started to question especially towards the end like my college career, kind of what value does that bring to me? How much smarter am I for having done that endeavor. For studying those six hours. For making all those flashcards. And I think that’s an exciting piece that you bring to the table too and an application for AI isn’t just on the business side or in the private sector, but there could be a way to augment the current education system as well to teach kids to be more in tune with their intuition and to understand their kind of subconscious gifts so, to speak. To be able to tap into that a little bit more. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

53:30 ALEX: Yeah, yeah, I mean I think you look… I had a chance to look a little bit about the people that had these really breakthrough epiphanies in different fields. And there’s been these studies like Malcolm Gladwell’s outliers where they find the kind of the 10,000-hour rule of becoming an expert. So, sort of a decade, three hours a day, or maybe you can shorten it if you spend more time. But no one ever has a major breakthrough without putting in the hard work. But I think the type of work maybe we learn in school isn’t oriented towards that. So, you do need to have some degree of specialization but I don’t think a lot of people have the opportunity to specialize in what they would actually be best at because they’re kind of channelled into what maybe they think is going to be the best economic outcome. So, maybe changing that where we’re a little bit freed economically to pursue things would lead to more of that.

54:19 PAT: It’s pretty interesting you bring that up too because that’s a trend that we’ve heard and just talking to a lot of people that are successful. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of those individuals on the show, and a few of the things that they always discuss, they say I’m not good at a lot of things, but I’m really good at this one thing. And I think that this almost gives you the freedom to explore that more as opposed to okay I need to concentrate on getting better at maybe math, science, stem, right? Things that I don’t have a natural aptitude for, I need to work extra hard to spend a ton of time just to be where other people who are gifted there might be. Whereas maybe my aptitude is towards English and I would be a great writer or a great radio personality or something like that. But you know what I mean. It kind of gives you the ability to concentrate in the areas where you can capitalize the most and lean into your strengths, as opposed to compensating for some of your weaknesses. I think that’s a really interesting point that you bring up.

55:08 JOE: Yeah, totally and I mean the humanities have as a major have been on a decline, I think about 10% over the last decade at most universities. And I think a lot of it is there’s a perception that there’s not as much economic viability to go back and pay off your college loans. But so, that one example where maybe we could be free to pursue what our actual strengths are.

55:28 AUSTIN: And I imagine that you spend all day thinking about this type of stuff. And what pops into my head is kind of the fantasy side of it. And I know I saw the word superhuman, I think, or superhero part of your book. Can you kind of talk a little bit about that and what’s the application there? Kind of your dream that involves superhumans or superheroes?

55:47 ALEX: Yeah, that was really interesting because I think this sort of backdrop of discomfort with augmenting ourselves to maybe superhuman or even maybe godlike capability. We’re obviously very uncomfortable with that if you look at mythology and religion. And so, I decided to kind of approach it head-on about… This is an opportunity and really not just superhuman intelligence but what about superhuman emotional intelligence or superhuman creativity or superhuman fulfillment or relationships. And so, it’s not even just a pure kind of intelligence thing. It’s really exciting that a lot of us gets stuck kind of in these ruts and if we were augmented with a system that could actually find out what is most fulfilling for us and help us move towards that would be really exciting. So, the superhuman part was a way to explore that kind of exciting vision. I think a lot of times in technology the vision you cast is what we build towards. And so, important to cast a sort of uplifting thing that we’re gonna target, as opposed to something very dystopic.

56:50 AUSTIN: Yeah, and I think there is a lot of negativity with the future of our country and maybe where we’re going because of just… We’ve been wasteful with resources and it may not be a leader that we like and those type of things that kind of mar that. So, it is nice to hear that maybe this is something that could be adopted for us as a population to kind of work towards. I think that that’s really exciting. And also, you might have had your movie idea right there. I’m thinking you’ve already got it, right? Because you got to overcome adversity to become a superhuman. And you’re using AI to tie everything together, becoming emotionally intelligent. You could save humanity.

57:25 PAT: That’s true.

57:26 ALEX: That would need a lot of augmentation to get there.

57:30 PAT: All right. One question that I did have for you is switching gears a little bit there but kind of along the same vein… You’re also a lead inventor on three patents that are in the area of sensor networks and machine learning. What does that mean?

57:44 ALEX: Yeah, that… So, that some of that gets in a technical realm of what’s called the IOT or Internet of Things, which is this… Over the last couple decades, we’ve had this really huge expansion in sensing instrumentation, almost they call it ubiquitous sensing. And some of that has really fueled the growth in big data. And so, with that becomes this whole need for governance and metadata and keeping track of what sensors correspond to what entities in the real world. And we came up with some patents about how we can connect to these different business systems that all have subsets. The data… Kind of data silos and map things together, because with machine learning and analytics you need to make sure you’re looking at the right data from the right thing so, you don’t kind of confuse things. And so, the patents had to do with some of that. And then with some approaches to machine learning, what we called transfer learning across populations of similar machinery, so, we could learn signatures, not just on one pump but a whole fleet of similar pumps. And so, we got into some of those areas too.

58:48 AUSTIN: Thank you to our amazing guests this year. We all were really, really, really excited for what we were gonna do this year with the show, and then have been absolutely thankful for what we’ve got to learn. So, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the content that we had to put out this year.

59:02 JOE: Yeah, just even looking back on this we do this day-to-day, week-to-week, and it just kind of all flows together. But when we did a little bit of reflecting, going back through all these old interviews and things like that, it is pretty crazy to see it all kind of come together in the bigger picture. So, hopefully we continue to do this in 2019 and it’s a bigger, better show, bigger guests, more topics, things like that.

59:25 AUSTIN: We definitely have a lot in the works for 2019 to bring you more interviews on the categories of entrepreneurship and then marketing as well. So, speaking of marketing if you hadn’t had a chance yet, please head over to the best of marketing interviews we did. We’re showcasing five interviews we did from marketers across various sectors. So, please head over and as always please have a great safe holidays and New Year’s. Thank you so, much for listening to the show this has been Joe, John, Austin, and Pat signing off.

John is the Director of Web Development at Power Digital and thrives on the balance between creative and strategy. Using his experience in CRO, John approaches website builds with the user in mind, combining psychological and technical aspects of design.