Jake Goldman and Zach Brown of 10up. How to manage remote employees and serve major brands like ESPN, Microsoft, TechCrunch & Google

Jake Goldman and Zach Brown of 10up. How to manage remote employees and serve major brands like ESPN, Microsoft, TechCrunch & Google

Host: Sean Tierney | Published: August 23, 2019

This episode features Jake Goldman and Zach Brown of 10up. Jake is President, owner, and founder of 10up. Zach is their Director of Systems Engineering. 10up is a company that makes the Internet better with consultative creative & engineering services, innovative tools, and dependable products that take the pain out of content creation and management. Founded in February 2011, 10up has grown to more than 180 full-time employees, with an impressive roster of clients such as ESPN, Microsoft, TechCrunch, Google, New York Times, Walmart, Time inc, and Conde Nast.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The origin story of 10up
  • How they’ve attracted the upper echelon of brands as clients
  • The process of launching their first products
  • The role of AI & machine learning in the WordPress space
  • Their vision of where WordPress is headed.
  • And much more…


Show Notes

0:00:00 Welcome and context
0:01:30 What is 10up? What do you do and who do you serve?
0:03:36 How do you operate as a company of 180 entirely remote workers?
0:06:10 What are some of the communication tools you use to make this work?
0:10:05 How have you landed the caliber of clientele that you currently have?
0:13:13 Any specific client projects you can share that showcase some of your industry-defining work?
0:15:15 Can you explain what Google Sitekit is?
0:16:16 Can you talk about your Pushup Notifications and ElasitcPress products?
0:19:09 How did those products emerge exactly?
0:23:10 Do these products create leads for the services business?
0:24:00 Have we reached “Peak WordPress?”
0:28:16 Can you talk about ClassifAI and the role you say AI playing within the WP space?
0:33:13 How do you see the usecase of AI delivering a more personalized experience for the end user?
0:34:55 What is 10up’s stance on walking the line with privacy issues in advertising?
0:38:10 Your thoughts on video: where do you see video on the web heading?
0:40:44 “a lot of major shifts in media and the economy come from who controls distribution”
0:42:08 Out of the million things you could be doing at any moment how do you determine what you stay focused on?
0:48:04 What are your thoughts on pushing authority and autonomy of decision making to the edges of the organization?
0:49:27 What is one book that has profoundly affected you?
0:50:00 What is one tool or hack you use daily to save time, money or headaches?
0:51:17 What is one piece of music or artist that speaks to you lately?
0:52:37 What important truth do very few people agree with you on?

Show Transcript

Sean: 00:02:13 All right. Welcome everybody to the podcast. I’m your host, Sean Tierney and I am here today with Jake Goldman and Zach Brown of 10 up 10 up is a company that makes the Internet better with consultative, creative and engineering services, innovative tools and dependable products that take the pain out of content creation and management. Founded in February, 2011 at 10 up has grown to more than 115 full time employees with an impressive roster of clients such as ESPN, Microsoft tech crunch, Google and New York Times, Walmart Time Inc and Conde Nast. Jacob is the president, founder and owner and Zack is director of systems engineering. Welcome Jake and Zach. Glad to be here. Cool. All right, so just some quick context, uh, for the people listening so they know. So you guys have been a long time partner of Paisley’s. Um, we started, uh, I think around the same time you guys are around nine or 10 years old, I believe,

Jake: 00:03:08 where a about eight and a half years old. So yeah, I think you’re, you’ve got, you’ve got a couple of years on us, but pretty close.

Sean: 00:03:15 Cool. Well, I look back through the support history and I was just noticing a march of 2000 to 2013 there was a support inquiry for polio Diablo, which was like our enterprise version of the product at that time. So you’re one of the longest running Pagely partners out there. Um, and we’re super stoked to be able to talk to you guys today on the new podcast. So the first question I wanted to ask you, um, maybe Jake, you wanna answer. So what is 10 up? What do you guys do? Who Do you serve? Can you just give kind of the high level spiel there?

Jake: 00:03:44 Yeah, I think you captured some of it. So fundamentally our core business model is being an agency, which means that we are hired by other companies to make great experiences for them using digital services. Most of those digital services involve websites or web applications, sometimes apps, sometimes, uh, sometimes sort of a design direction or design vision that is, you know, maybe more universal than even a website and an app. Um, and we tend to work with customers that are, uh, w w I think might be classically called sort of larger businesses or you know, or enterprises, which is really our sort of way of saying we’re looking to work with customers that want to invest, but we think it takes to make a premium caliber of product, which speaks to I think, you know, identity wise, our core disciplines, which are all about a superior white glove customer service experience, what we call craftsmanship, which is really a hipsterish way of saying very high quality, uh, products that follow a set of engineering standards that we have well outlined, um, that follow a set of best practices for their specific products and applications that we work with.

Jake: 00:04:49 Um, as well as a series of other values that include creativity, what it means to be consultated, what it means to be a problem solver and not just a programmer or a pair of hands on a keyboard and other values like, uh, like innovation, like openness and contributing back to a community. And in Commons, um, uh, we are about 180 full time people. We are a totally remote and distributed. That sounds less cool here in 2019 than it did back when we were both starting out. Um, but we are completely dispersed around the globe. Um, we have a large group and division of the company that’s in Europe and serving that market and then a very large part of the company in North America and, and a great amount of talents scattered, scattered everywhere else.

Sean: 00:05:34 Yeah, it’s impressive with a team that large that you guys are able to make the remote work thing. It just, it sounds like you’ve mastered the art of working remotely and so I’m hoping, I’m glad you brought that up. I mean, what are some of the, why does it work so well for you guys and how and how have you done that?

Jake: 00:05:51 Yeah, it’s funny the, the, when somebody asks me that question you have to say now, the first thing that I always think of is like, can tell me what it’s like working in a [inaudible] drive into an office and work with people sitting next to you every day. You also natural and organic that we don’t even think of it as an atypical or an unusual thing that we do anymore. I’m just part of how we work. I think fundamentally the principle that we have is that like the work that we’re doing does not require you to be in the same space. We’re not building physical goods. We’re not delivering something physical where you have to literally have put it in someone’s hands. The truth is most agencies, most services businesses, most even like SAS businesses, you’re probably working remotely with all of your customers, all the people that are doing the work for, even if you’re not working remotely with your teammates.

Jake: 00:06:35 Um, and so that, so if you get past the idea that you have to be in the same room, especially with modern technologies for video conferencing on your phone, on your deck, on your, you know, desktop computer, then you get to this place where you say, like, the insanity is putting a pin down in the map and saying, I’m going to draw a 30 mile radius roughly around this pen and everybody that I want to be at my company is going to live here, are going to want to move here. So we sort of being a little glib say that that’s sort of the insanity. Um, we have the right tools for high density communication to look, be able to virtually look somebody in the eyes in the video chat. So y we, you know, we don’t work with our customers in their offices. So why limit ourselves to finding people at one geography and that has freed us to scale to 180 some people in a way that I think if I had placed myself down in an office, I don’t think we could have achieved in a years. I think we would’ve been stymied by finding that amount of talent that lives up to our standards and vision in one single geography or it would have been stymied in the kind of clients you can work with because we have plumped down in New York City or San Francisco or some other major city you where talent is extremely competitive and our prices would be sky high.

Sean: 00:07:41 Right? Yeah. And we fundamentally agree with you. Pagely is an all remote company as well. Um, albeit we’re about a quarter of your size. Um, but we for sure agree on that. Just it’s crazy to think that you’d have to be limited by geography and like that’s all the people that you could ever have working for you. So we tend to agree with you. But, uh, it’s impressive that you are at the scale you are though as a fully virtual company. I know like Zapier’s another company that’s very committed to the remote, you know, all remote lifestyle. Um, but you guys are right up there I think in terms of making it work well, are there certain tools, like you said that you’ve got some, you know, the, the tools necessary to do high density communication. What are some of those tools that you guys use?

Jake: 00:08:25 I mean, I think w certainly video chat is one of the most, I think critical tools. The emergence of video chat being a pretty easy thing to do. Around the time we started it was probably a key key to being comfortable with that model. We use zoom but you know, pick your poison, Google hangouts or Bluejeans or whatever it is that you use, video chats and key tool. Certainly, uh, sort of we think of our office place as these modern, uh, you know, team chat rooms. I mean, the standard and companies like us, uh, slack we use, it’s not the only option that’s out there anymore. Before slack was a thing or a twinkle in someone’s eye, we used hip chat before hipchat. We had really geeky IRC channels that people would join. But we think of those chat rooms is really the company office.

Jake: 00:09:09 We think of the, the project name and hobby named rooms as the metaphor for physical spaces in our company. Um, and then we also, you know, shockingly use wordpress as a tool for internal documentation. We have an internal blog, very active internal blog where you posted announcements about New People joining the company, project launches, uh, milestones for the company, uh, all get placed there. There’s a lot of comment discussion there and people have profiles on that site. Um, you know, off the top of my head, I think unique to remote, I would listen to those as the most essential tools that we use to facilitate the experience. And what is the, what is the org structure? Like is it a hierarchical or more of a flat structure where anyone can talk to anyone or how does that work? So a little bit of both. Um, I think anybody can talk to anybody in the sense that we have an open, uh, open the slack channel or open slack DM, uh, policy of the equivalent of an open door policy.

Jake: 00:10:10 Um, we try to have team members all the way up to the very top of our company, including, you know, myself and our CEO, John Edmund, be very engaged with the team. We do have a hierarchy at 180 people. There is a, we are fundamentally most of the companies broken out into what we call pods, which are just a fancy way of saying project teams, um, is typically six to nine people. They’re led by a senior project manager because we think of our, you know, we think of ourselves as organizing around delivery of work. Those pods, uh, typically, uh, uh, coalesce, uh, around two or three other pods to form what we considered to be a group. Those groups are led by a series of discipline leads for client delivery slash project management for Engineering, um, and uh, provided sort of day to day check in and direction.

Jake: 00:11:01 Um, and that then folds up into an executive team. We also have a series of directors like Zach here for disciplines that don’t quite merit the scale of having a lead in every single group, but kind of go across groups and provide discipline direction on user experience and systems and uh, and things like audience and revenue, which encompasses like SEO and ad strategy. Um, you know, there are some, uh, you know, some exceptions to that our business development and wet and account management teams sort of live in their own team and sort of work across all of the different project teams and groups. We have an operations team that encompasses things like finance and marketing communications. That civil group sits outside of the group structure. Um, so I guess the, that’s the long answer about how we’re structured. The short answer is yes, there’s a hierarchy. We’re broken down into teams, but we certainly think of ourselves as facilitating open communication across the org. Cool. Can we talk about Anzac? I’ll

Sean: 00:11:54 pitch this question to you so we get you involved in the conversation here. So you guys have a very impressive client roster. I’m just looking at your website right now and these names just read like the WHO’s who of companies here. Um, how, I guess, how did you get the first big clients to then, uh, like how, how, how have you gotten to this caliber of clientele is my question.

Zach: 00:12:18 Well that’s the one you should ask Jake about. Uh, cause I think Jake really laid the foundation for that. Um, bringing the relationships to 10 up in him, the early days. I think what has really helped us maintain this, uh, client roster is our d termination to, uh, deliver high quality work. Uh, I think Jay can tell you most of our clients come in through referrals from other clients. It’s not a lot of people just finding us on Google and reaching out and that speaks to the quality of work we’ve delivered, uh, for these clients.

Sean: 00:12:54 Jake, do you want to clarify anything on that?

Jake: 00:12:56 Yeah, I think, I mean I think Zach’s fundamentally right that our core organizing principle in terms of how we grow as an organization is that great work begets great work that comes, I should probably say that that comes through referral, not just from other customers but from technology partners like Pagely who know that we do excellent work and are comfortable endorsing us to people that are considering their services because we know that we can make their platforms look great in partnership. Um, so the, that relationship graph where we do good work and itself reinforces and we get both partner technology partners, industry partners and the clients to be our main funnel for business development is, uh, is very authentic. Um, in terms of the early customers, in many ways it was an extension of that, which is to say, um, like I feel like the thing I always have to say when I talk about 10 up and sometimes people have that like, well, how the heck did you get those customers so quickly?

Jake: 00:13:49 Like I was not an entrepreneur that like jumped out of college and was like, I immediately told him my own business and I have no connections and I’m just going to start from scratch and figure it out. I had a 10 year journey being in business, being in business development roles, being in senior positions and organizations helping grow companies before I started 10 up, which is to say I wasn’t learning the ropes from scratch. I had a very broad network of contacts, connections, people that wanted to work with me. Um, people that I, you know, did some consult, smaller consulting with on the side. People that always sort of had followed me from, uh, from job to job and really saw me as the, the, the organizing variable. Um, so the early customers came from the beginning, from that existing relationship graph that I brought to 10 up when I started the company. Um, that included just reputation in particular. I think early in those early days with key technology partners. Again, companies like Pagely that felt very comfortable endorsing our services.

Sean: 00:14:44 Yeah, no, we’ve been thrilled to work with you guys. I noticed on your homepage you’ve got the Wamu, uh, American University radio. So an example of one that we host for you guys. Uh, and there’s a lot of good back and forth there. We’re able to be your Dev ops partner, you know, help with the scaling challenges and work hand in hand with you guys on that. And that’s, that’s been a blast. Um, so are there any particular engagements that would showcase, you know, I know you guys are just bleeding edge in terms of being able to do some pretty sophisticated things. I’m not sure if we’re allowed to talk about the furniture, the big furniture name us. I’ll leave that on you if you want to talk about that one. But are there any examples of engagements you’re able to talk about where, you know, they’re a good example of the sophistication and your ability to deliver on some of these really complex requirements?

Jake: 00:15:31 Yeah, and I think, uh, certainly, you know, Zach talked about some of our clients. I can talk about some of those clients. A, I think a recent one that we feel very proud of that I think speaks to the way multiple 10 of disciplines can come together to deliver industries. You know, industry defining work would be our collaboration with Google along their recently released psychic project. Technically it’s released in developer preview at this point. What you can find at site [inaudible] dot google.com. Um, I think it speaks to the idea that 10 up not only can reach a very high level of standards and craftsmanship and, and just quality because certainly, especially as an open source project, which is like, it is as a, as a, you know, traditional wordpress PHP plugin. Um, it also speaks to the way that are, that are, uh, many disciplines come together to be able to create that kind of outstanding experience.

Jake: 00:16:19 So on that solution, we participated in everything from early concept thing around what a first version looks like in features and collaboration with our partners at Google. All certainly doing engineering, both front end and back end. There’s a lot of react and Javascript, uh, in that project. But we also did the, you know, user experience design, the layout for that project. We did the provide visual design direction for that project. We consulted on like what are the meaningful metrics from an audience and revenue development standpoint for adopters of the plugin that they care about. And they would want to see, um, a really fascinating challenges in the sense that like, uh, putting aside, even put, just putting aside engineering prowess, like how do you take a Google’s material design standards and vision and direction and, and put that experience inside of the wordpress admin without it feeling bolted on or clunky or like two wildly different experiences under the same roof. So certainly that project is one is a recent one that we’re proud of.

Sean: 00:17:19 Yeah. And, and just for the people listening that are familiar with site kit, can you just quickly explain what that is in, in wordpress?

Jake: 00:17:28 Yeah, absolutely. So it’s like, it is a plugin owned by Google that essentially brings core Google services, uh, friends conomical way to access core Google services and solutions through wordpress. So practically speaking, that means Google analytics in your wordpress, in your wordpress dashboard and experience, uh, Google adsense, um, uh, things

Sean: 00:17:50 like page speed insights and sort of all of the tools you want as a website owner to sort of measure your site performance and drive site engagement from Google and economical solution. Awesome. Yeah, no, it’s impressive work. And it’s, uh, I mean, in terms of like Google, you know, what is it like Facebook, Google, apple and Amazon are kind of like the four pillars if you think about those companies. And so that’s like Kudos to you guys for, for rolling that out. It’s amazing. Um, I want to transition, so you guys are a consulting company, but you’ve spun off products and so that’s an interesting it, can you talk about the, the push up notifications and the elastic press io products that you guys have spun off?

Sean: 00:18:30 Okay.

Zach: 00:18:33 Yeah. Uh, it’s interesting working in this space, being consultants, we get the same questions from our clients over and over again sometimes. And sometimes we reach a point in the marketplace where we’re seeing clients have a need over and over again. And there’s nobody filling really this niche, especially in the wordpress space and the publishing space. The, uh, we focus on, uh, so both with the push notifications, um, that we did many years ago and the elastic Prescott io service, uh, we saw something that many of our clients were asking for. The didn’t have a good targeted solution in the marketplace. So elastic press.io is a hosted wordpress search solution, leveraging the elastic search technology, uh, 10 outposts posts, all the infrastructure for running a elastic search and it integrates with our elastic press wordpress plugin. So you install the plugin, you sign up for an account, you look it all together, and now you have a, a, a nice, uh, improved experience on the wordpress search.

Zach: 00:19:45 And it also helped improve performance in the wordpress dashboard and with different queries on developers can extend it to do, uh, lots of interesting things. Uh, it’s definitely a challenge going from consulting to product. It is kind of a lot of fundamentally different, uh, kind of ways to, uh, to approach something. But, um, we try to keep the essence of 10 up with the craftsmanship. And quality, uh, and kind of the devotion to customer service, uh, in, in both parts of the business. Uh, so, and we’ve been pretty happy with elastic press that io it works well. Uh, when working with partners, uh, like you guys, uh, at Pagely it gives a nice way for, you know, we can handle the elastic press io service and the elastic search hosting. You guys can handle the uh, the wordpress hosting. Uh, the products all work well together. Um, and everyone can work, uh, kind of in there, the discipline and uh, the place where they focus their business, uh, the most. So, um, that’s kind of, we’re not, I don’t think we’re looking to pivot to be a product company or anything, but when there’s a need in the marketplace and we have, uh, the skills in engineering to be able to deliver the kind of experience with a clients, uh, at a level that we, we like, um, we are open to do jumping on that.

Sean: 00:21:13 Okay,

Sean: 00:21:14 cool. I’m just curious like what did, what did that look like? Is that emerge? Like you guys just had repeatedly the same conversation over and over again, and you finally just sat down one day and said, hey, look, we should turn this into a product because it’s asked for so many times.

Zach: 00:21:27 Yeah. And in some ways with the elastic press.io, we almost ended up doing it. Um, we all, we kind of ended up doing this, uh, on our own and it was like, we should turn this into a product. So many clients had asked for it and it was like, well, hey, we’re hosting hosted on page earlier. We’re hosted here or there and we don’t have a good way to install elastic search and, and, and run this, you know, we have a dedicated systems engineering team. So, uh, we do this for clients all the time on their, you know, their AWS infrastructure or their infrastructure on Azure or on digital ocean or wherever, right. That maybe they have an account there and they’re running a couple other technologies. Um, and they want us to help them install wordpress and manage it. Uh, that’s what our systems team does.

Zach: 00:22:13 Uh, along with working with partners like Pagely. So we have the expertise to help clients, uh, host things on their, um, their own year. And so we had a handful of clients that we had installed elastic search on an easy to instance on AWS or VM on Azure. Um, and now we have this challenge of how do we support this, how do we roll out up there and same thing you guys do, right? How do we now how do we make this an operational thing that they’re not just going to be stuck with, you know, well we installed it and see you later. Good luck.

Jake: 00:22:47 I think. Yeah, I think your, your basic synopsis of how when isn’t far off, I think the, maybe the ingredient to add to that is like the fundamental way to again, kind of thinks about its business is creating great white glove clients’ experiences and that is fundamentally built on good expectations. And at a certain point it feels like there’s a better experience we can create for a customer when we’re, as you said, sort of doing the same thing over and over again, backing ourselves into doing the same thing over and over again to stop treating it like a customized service and something we do every time and give the clients a better experience by saying like if you just pay this predictable fee, you don’t have to worry about one month. Suddenly there’s a lot of costs to do a bunch of upgrades to elastic search for elastic press.

Jake: 00:23:33 Just give them that consistency, that dependability. You take advantage of the scale that we can have by servicing multiple customers that need those same upgrades that need those same feature enhancements and ultimately what it comes down to for us making our customers happier with the experiences and the solutions and we can build up the poor plan and package around that when it’s a standardized thing as a product and it made a lot more sense to do that than keep installing it on these one off kind of situations. If, if we can make something cost less for our customers without sacrificing like on a like an hourly basis, our ability to have a premium team and do premium work, that’s easy. It’s an easy choice and easy win for us

Sean: 00:24:16 for sure. Yeah, and I can see the advantages of something, like you said, if there’s sprawl and then it’s in the wild in a number of different places by centralizing that on servers that you control and treating it as a service for four of those websites that’s consumed, you know, uh, I can see a lot of advantages, uh, experience wise being able to control that and update it in one place and not have to support, you know, 50 different instances or whatever. Right.

Jake: 00:24:41 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as a second, I mean, the product side of the business is still, I mean it’s not tiny, but it’s still a real, it’s still small compared to our core agency services. Let’s say it’s roughly around six or 7% of our business at this point. And that includes like some productized services. Like we have a product called SiteWatch, which is really sort of just like the proactive maintenance and update of your plugins insight and having a 24, seven emergency option if you need coordination or if you’re having an issue with your site. So it’s not just like elastic press and those kinds of products. Um, but those products like the last press can also be a great funnel for opportunities for our agency.

Sean: 00:25:16 Yeah, I was just gonna ask you, does that create leads for them? The services business?

Jake: 00:25:21 Yeah, absolutely. So I mean like, you know, the case in point would be like elastic elastic search is a popular technology and wordpress is a very popular technology. There are many, there are many customers, buyers, CTO, site owners that are sophisticated, that know about those intersections. Um, might want something more custom, might have a very specific vision for how they take advantage of that technology. It might explicitly come in, sometimes they’re not even interested in actually using the service. Um, but they all want our expertise for how to integrate a solution. Like the elastic press plug in, which is totally open source and free. Sometimes they start wanting our service and they realize when they used to get a taste of the 10 of white glove quality and experience that like, hey, why aren’t I talking to these guys about my project or some other need that I have.

Sean: 00:26:05 Let me ask you about wordpress. Where do you see, how have we reached peak wordpress and the industry? Do you see it starting to diminish or what is your experience being such a big services business and talking to people every day? What is your interpretation of where things are and where they’re headed?

Jake: 00:26:21 Yeah, it’s all tumbler going forward. Getting you here. I want to, I want to be careful how I answer the question because I think one of then the like nuances and talking about WordPress’s, it’s such a broad, it is such a broad platform now though, whether you’re talking about like when you talk about market size, market space, market direction, you almost can’t have a single singular conversation about it, so four practically speaking, what do I mean by that? It’s like we are focused on the enterprise large buyer side in the market. I can speak with some confidence too, whether how I feel about the overall size and shape and trajectory of that market. That could be a totally different answer. If the question is like, is wordpress plateauing as the blogging platform of choice for a consumer that wants a free, you know, wants, wants a free chance?

Jake: 00:27:07 Well let, so let’s constrain it to the enterprise. Let’s just focus on that and what you’re seeing there. Yeah, so I think the, I’m in knowing I’m, I’ve never been particularly great at the crystal wallings. Um, I think my general take right now is that wordpress is not, it’s not like on the down side of the growth curve by any means. But I do think if there was a period of hyper acceleration in growth, probably not an coincidentally time, sort of like our early days as companies, both of us that I would, I would describe as roughly between 2010 and 2014 2015. I do think if you sort of like look at the upside down hockey stick or something like that, like I do think, I do think if I’m being earnest that enterprise market has plateaued mostly as a function, partly as a function of just saturation.

Jake: 00:27:56 We’ve achieved incredibly high market share as an organization partly as a function of uh, you know, what’s the sexy new technology that people want to look at. That’s not to say that I don’t think there is continued growth if there aren’t people that will move up market continuously on wordpress, that total spend on the platform can continue to go up. But I don’t think we’re in, I think we are past a stage of rapid dramatic growth. Um, I think it’s important to characterize that 10 up as an agency sees wordpress as it CMS of choice. It does not define itself as a wordpress business even though a lot of our referral and a lot of our, despite virtue of, you know, us being well known for doing that well, I’m from our funnel comes from that part of the market. I think WordPress’s next generation of growth and growth for companies that serve the enterprise like 10 up in particular is or frankly even Pagely is less about going after quote unquote, the wordpress market had more about just going after the market that is not going anywhere.

Jake: 00:28:57 People trying to solve a problem by having a digital presence, by having a digital property, by having a digital experience and then simply making the choice to use the underpinnings of that experience as wordpress, which is, hey, if you think of the space that we’re both in is solving for like I need a website, I need a app with a web backend. You know, I need a digital platform. That market continues to grow and I think, I think there was a growing set of buyers that at the end of the day are looking for the right team, are looking for the right partners and are probably in some cases relatively ambivalent to ultimately what is the technology stack that sits on top. I was just going to say, I do see a lot of companies looking to plumb

Zach: 00:29:42 a lot of different technologies together that a furniture related example you gave earlier, uh, is a good one where it was putting together, um, some cloud technologies like ah, AI image recognition along with using a lot of serverless, uh, workers in Javascript, um, to do most of the work and with a small headless wordpress, uh, part of it to do the, uh, publishing and kind of the traffic control management of it. Uh, so I do see a lot of that happening and wordpress as a part of it, but people looking deployment together with a lot of other technologies. [inaudible]

Sean: 00:30:22 yeah. Well speaking of AI, I noticed from your blog that you guys released that classif AI Plugin that integrates with Watson and Azure AI. Can you talk a little bit about what you see the role of AI being in terms of how it fits in with the wordpress website or, or with just in this space, how it’s being used?

Jake: 00:30:42 Yeah, I’m glad you brought it up cause I think that’s something we’re pretty passionate about. At the moment. I think machine, so so classifies spelled as you said with AI at the end it’s C, c l h a s s I f a AI plugin.com classified plugin.com is our sort of, I think of it as sort of like our plugin center for innovation with wordpress and content and content centric sites and machine learning, artificial intelligence technology. We believe that AI and more probably more specifically as the AI, such a broad brush at this point, more specifically machine learning technologies are going to play a vital role in both feet. The consumer experience of websites as well as where we spend a lot of our time thinking, which is the editorial and the content creation and the backend experience of the site. There are a lot of us focusing on that site for moments where the editorial content creation side of the site, there are a lot of routine behaviors that you go through in that process that feel like they’re right.

Jake: 00:31:43 They’re right patterns for machine learning. So the most classic example of that that classifies supports today if you plug into Watson or Azure, is content tagging and categorization. Anybody who has managed a site with multiple authors or even frankly just themselves, but certainly large editorial teams knows that category management has its benefits in the sense of clear verticals for people to get into your site can help with SEO in terms of you know, grouping similar content together on landing pages and understanding what content is about with large editorial teams. Management of like categories and tags can be a mess, misspelled versions, alternative or spelled versions, the, you know, the writer that classically always forgets to put in categories or tags at all or these the default one. So the notion of a machine learning technology using what’s called NLU or natural language, I’m sorry, NLP or natural language processing that can do that classification can pull out the tags and categories in terms for you and all your to us feels like it is just one example.

Jake: 00:32:42 Another really cool example is that vision services that providers like usher offer where if you plug in classifying, gets it up yourself, set up with a free Azure account, it will automatically send the image to their services servers and provide you a response which can be again but the organization and tagging of those images to navigate your media library. But the real cool stuff is it will send you back a description and it kind of works shockingly well when you try it. So this helps with like again speeding up your editorial workflow helps prevent mistakes and accessibility, which is an increasingly important area for like all texts entitled descriptions. Two examples supported by the by classify today, which we think of as low hanging fruit. There’s a lot of other opportunity in terms of like assessing tone of the piece. Does this feel like a negative piece insight into what the, you know, insight into what the major topic areas are in your piece.

Jake: 00:33:32 There’s stuff that I think we’re far away from. There’s been experimentation by companies that’s even like taking bullet form or outline list content and automatically converting it to you into more of a sentence format structure that’s far away in terms of, I think we’re classifying those services are today, but we see a road, we see a roadmap and a vision where what if you could just plug in your outline in click, you know, paragraph defy this article if I have it. And it gives you a first draft of that converted into a fleshed out article that you can then edit and then on the eye. And then on the other side of it, on the consumer side of it, there’s maybe even more opportunity in terms of how it helps publishers. So things like personalized recommendations for what somebody should read next based on understand based on an understanding of like what articles they’ve been most likely to click on on a site so far.

Jake: 00:34:21 Um, based on a more sophisticated understanding of what’s in the content and what other stories are like that content. Um, you know, you can even picture things where like ad spaces or like CTA on the site can automatically adjust their positioning as the site gets more intelligent about, you know, what, where our visitors, what patterns are we seeing that machine learning can recognize? What patterns are we seeing around where the visitor is most likely to engage on the site? How many paragraphs does the average visitors here site read through the average visitor to all the sites on the web read through before you should display your CTA?

Sean: 00:34:57 Yeah, I mean it seems like it’s still, there’s almost two different use cases in the one. The classic AI really sounds like it solves that consistency. You know, almost just the grunt labor, uh, things with, you know, little minutia not getting done or getting done inconsistently across workers on the production side of it. That’s one use of it. And that’s awesome that you’re, you’re there, you’re plugging solves that. And then now what you’re talking about is more just the realtime interaction, delivering a more personalized experience for the end user. Uh, and the way that they, not

Jake: 00:35:30 when you thinking about the way we think about personalization, but they think of as very most limited, some people pushing the envelope here, but it’s mostly barrier. Truth is very early days in our industry. It’s mostly fairly tedious workflows of setting up like your assumptions about if they do this, then send them there or here’s the flow we want to push them through and it’s, it’s still very rote command driven logic driven by act, by a human being. I think you think about personalization as a key destination on the web and you think longer term, it’s hard not to think r and D in machine learning and AI is the real future of personalization and that’s just because even with the smartest human in the world, you couldn’t at scale deliver what we’re talking about here like correct. Like understanding on a much broader scale and having a computer analyze what are the consistent patterns within your site, within a broader web that then inform choices, like when to show the CTA, when to show the next step, what content is most likely to engage, visit her based on their current patterns on the site. You scale that in the like the idealized version of that. You can’t really scale with just human capital. Yeah. The ideal average version of that scales with a constant analysis performed by machines of what is somebody doing on this site? What are most people doing on this site? What do people like you do on sites across the web? That is, you know, that that is what machine learning is therefore,

Sean: 00:36:54 and pattern recognition. So this is kind of a good segue into something else I wanted to talk about. I know your CEO, John Eckmann gave a talk last week at the word camp in Ohio regarding privacy issues and specifically around, uh, with advertisers striking a balance. You know, we have access to so much user data at this point, but it’s, you know, we can deliver this crazy personalized experience, but it’s also we have to kind of walk that line of respecting privacy and uh, really, you know, not invading and not just overstepping the boundaries there. What are your thoughts or what was the gist of his talk around that issue?

Jake: 00:37:28 So I’ll have to start by confessing. I have not watched the exact talk he gave me. I know that just a bit from the description and just chatting with John, which I think you summarized well. It is just a conversation about, it’s sort of an acknowledgement of the trade offs between, uh, between, uh, push for privacy, a push for not being invasive and the push for greater personalization, understanding of people’s patterns. Um, in terms of my personal view on it, I think, uh, the web through policy is clearly going to push in a direction where I think it’s more about transparency for those interactions. It’s more about acknowledging where those interactions are taking place. It’s going to force us to make sure that we’re being thorough in thinking about how we can do our best to protect or I mean really anonymize the identity as we personalize.

Jake: 00:38:18 Like maybe I’m wrong, but speaking for myself, like I don’t think it’s not like anybody attend up. When we think about personalization has an interest in wanting to go in and look at every individual visitor’s email address destination and figuring out exactly what they’re clicking through. We’re looking more for patterns that can be anonymized if you do it in a safe way. Um, but I, I at the same time, uh, to be a little bit opinionated here and let me say this is more Jake Goldman’s personal opinion than any sort of like policy. We have formulated a turnout. I do think we ha, I do think I am in the camp that we have for the most part accepted as a society that there are worthwhile tradeoffs. There are some worthwhile trade-offs of privacy for convenience that we have accepted, we’re willing to make. And I don’t really see us putting that genie back in the bottle. I do think we can be sophisticated as an industry, again about a non amenity in the process of personalization. I do think we can be more sophisticated about drawing the lines of acceptibility. Obviously some people are, some organizations go beyond pushing the boundaries of accessibility. Um,

Jake: 00:39:24 but I also think we have accepted, like I use many services where I am willing to trade. Like I’m, I’m the guy that always clicks. Yes, sure. Take my anonymized data to improve your service.

Sean: 00:39:33 Yeah. I guess we Pagely stance on this. We have kind of one of these maxims that’s core to our thinking on things and we call it options and not mandates. And so as long as you give the user the choice they can, they can be informed and know what the trade off is and then willingly accepted and yes, they’re going to get a personalized experience and now we’re using, you know, data that other people might consider to private and not want that personalized experience. But as long as you give them that choice, I think that’s really at the heart of it. That you need to not force, you know, you need to not do something that some people are going to deem nefarious and then not give them the choice out of it

Jake: 00:40:11 basically. Right.

Sean: 00:40:14 Cool. Well, what about, um, just some other topics I kind of wanted to touch on, uh, your, your thoughts on video. I see you guys like use video on your homepage and I know that, uh, you’ve made creative use of it on other projects. Like where do you see video on the web heading?

Speaker 6: 00:40:28 Okay.

Jake: 00:40:30 It’s a good question. Um, I think like video, if we’re talking today clearly is a area of growth. It’s clearly something that it’s, you know, it’s not going anywhere in terms of it’s, it’s still a very compelling medium compared to reading a flat page. It can be more engaging in terms of explaining, explaining things in a digestible way for snackable way to visitors. Uh, it’s worth acknowledging that some of the rise in video when you talk about media and content sites be have to be honest and, and how to say this in uh, in disambiguating, how much of the rise in video for content in media sites is about ads simply being more difficult to suppress in the content. Um, the reality is we have fairly sophisticated blockers and patterns and machine learning driven technologies for recognizing how to block those monetization vehicles when it’s on a page or on the sites. It’s, we have not yet crap, we always tie you up in cracked how to do that very well when it comes to video and video. A lot of the, because of the bandwidth required because of how difficult it is to deliver good streaming video, there’s a fairly small number of players that you will well that can put more control over even your ability to try to skip ads to say nothing of like ad reads that are just part of the content. Yeah.

Sean: 00:41:48 Yeah. Product placement becomes a, an unlockable thing at some point if it’s in the video that you’re watching and stuff.

Jake: 00:41:55 So I do think like short term video will continue to grow because it is a more monetized bubble platform at the moment because of the super players that are needed to be able to deliver it at scale like youtube. Um, and uh, and because I just think video in general is always going to be around is a very uh, you know, an easy, digestible medium to explain concepts. I think if we reached some hypothetical future in five or 10 years where you’re machine learning base blocker can know when to skip ahead in a video or know how to override server blocks on ads. You could see in the media space you could see it decline. You can see it decline at some point when it stops being as lucrative.

Sean: 00:42:35 Right? Yeah. It’s this arms race that we’re seeing now almost with ads that will inevitably come at some point once people figure out how to do the same thing in video.

Jake: 00:42:45 Right. We kind of have like with video, so like you can kind of look at the space and say like there were, you know, when there was newspapers, a lot of the, a lot of the major shifts in the economy and in media come from who controls distribution to get really philosophical view for a second. So you can look at like the newspaper space, the collapse of the newspaper industry has a lot to do with them losing their monopoly in terms of difficulty of distributing things like ads, you know, job listings, um, where the, you know, uh, you know, losing control because you had to physically deliver a good every day is a very high cost of entry. Losing that to what is now an extremely low cost of entry to be able to throw up the site using wordpress on page lily or something, um, uh, and start displaying ads and start rendering your ads.

Jake: 00:43:32 Like if right now huge channels like youtube have a monopoly on video distribution because that is still a very hard thing for somebody to scale. There are very high barriers to entry for high volume. Uh, you know, high volume delivery of video. If that nut were to break at some point and it became very easy to spin up any website and host your own videos and distribute your own videos and get an audience for that, for eyeballs, for those videos. You know, you could see I think a similar, you know, deconstruction, deconstruction of a monopoly. That again, could I think radically changed the game in terms of how video is used right now. Yeah,

Sean: 00:44:10 absolutely. So here’s a question for you, just more on your role. Like how do you decide what to focus on as a business or w w you know, there’s a million things you could be doing at any given moment and yet you, you laser in and you do a couple of them. Like what is your framework or philosophy and in terms of what you guys stay focused on?

Speaker 7: 00:44:32 Yeah,

Jake: 00:44:34 that’s a good question. Um, ultimately I think there, you know, it’s a partly a function of like what’s our growth there is, I think, you know, we’re large enough as an organization like we can, we can do more than one thing. At a time. So some of it comes down to at the individual, you know, discipline, lead level, how they prioritize their team’s time, sort of a distribution of decision making about what projects that speak directly to our, you know, next six to 12 months goals and opportunities for improvement, opportunities for efficiency lie. Um, and then we do set on an annual basis and revise it every six months. Some top level organizational goals which can inform and influence what we prioritize.

Jake: 00:45:16 At some level there was no getting around that. At some level it bubbles up to the top of the company and the EXEC team and you know, John is our CEO and me as the president of the company to make a decision about a larger investment or shift an initiative. But I think a lot of the innovation, a lot of the like what do we say yes and what do we say no to really happens? A cheer below that, which is to say like practically speaking exactly. But you can speak to this even a little bit like Zach as a director of systems engineering, working with our VP and systems of platforms has an amount of time that is consistently carved out for that team to work on improving tooling. Uh, you know, and that helps our entire team and we don’t particularly micromanage knowing that Zach is the expert. I’m not the expert. You’re not the expert. What on a six month year out cadence they, they are seeing as the patterns patterns we can lean into. So not maybe exactly wanna speak to like some of the, some of the ways like, you know, some of the ways you think about how you prioritize, how you spend your time and Jason’s time and what bubbles up to yet

Zach: 00:46:15 question. Uh, you’re trying to be looking forward as much as you can, uh, without ignoring what’s, uh, what’s going on right in front of you. I was just trying to s thinking about this as you were talking Jake. I think the things that come, uh, that, that I try to focus on are the things that when I’m laying in bed at night and give me anxiety, right? What kind of security issues are, are we seeing that we don’t have good visibility into or right now we don’t have a good solution for what kind of technologies do I hear our clients talking about that maybe we don’t have a, I feel like we don’t have enough in house, uh, experience with, right? Do you use years ago it was always, it would be like Kubernetes and docker orchestration, right? How can we take on some projects, uh, and improve our team’s understanding?

Zach: 00:47:05 So when our client comes to us and says, yeah, we want to, uh, integrate wordpress on our Kubernetes cluster and we want to integrate it with our CEI CD system to automatically spin up new environments, we can say, Yep, we know how to do that. We, you know, we have someone who’s certified in that. Uh, I don’t want to be behind the curve where, you know, we’re in these meetings and we’re frantically to see, okay, what is Coobernetti’s and how would I use that? Uh, so you try to, we try, I try to keep abreast of those kinds of things and a lot of it is just things that worry me that we don’t, we don’t have a good way to support where we don’t have good visibility into, um, especially around security. And my part of the, uh, my part of this space, but the other engineering managers, I think a lot of it is new technologies like react. Uh, how are we going to best build on Gutenberg to make that a good experience for our clients? Um, at our scale we, like Jake said, we have the ability to focus on a couple of different things in different parts of our company, work on smaller projects that are contributing to the whole,

Jake: 00:48:14 I think the expert have been on that. So I think as I’ve tried to think about your answer a little bit more than from a little more than two seconds before speaking. I think Zac spot on the day day ideas I think bubble up from the grassroots of our company and we create a culture of like share your ideas, bring up your challenge surface those patterns in the sprint, those pain points. Part of that creativity value at the individual director level where they have time and bandwidth consistently allocated across their team. There are um, there are, I mean not a million but there are dozens of decisions across the year about like let’s spend a little bit of time on this. Let’s spend a little time on that where it bubbles up to a larger and different initiative or project. I think there are two variables. One is it does get bubbled up to a larger executive conversation if we’re choosing to make a larger investment in a project and that is just ultimately informed my decision follow up research and all the normal processes that go into making an executive level decision. And I think knowing which projects to bumble was up just comes from good cross team communication, good leadership meetings, good executive team meetings, good collaboration. So there is sort of a persistent sense across the org of where are we feeling Penn pain points. So everybody sort of has this hum of like, Huh, I’m hearing from pm that we take longer to do react projects consistently. You may be as engineering, I can be thinking in the back of my mind for our next project about how we conquer that challenge. One of the things,

Zach: 00:49:32 and uh, recently the tilt that a lot is we are, I feel like we’re doing a lot better with data and tracking of how long does a project take. It has, uh, react and just having a little more data now than maybe we did five years ago to be able to see those trends of, um, you know, where we’re doing well and where we’re struggling.

Jake: 00:49:52 Okay.

Sean: 00:49:53 Got It. And it sounds like you share some of our, the same philosophy that we have in terms of pushing decision making out to the edges to the extent that you can. Uh, you know, I think something that is, you know, especially felt in all remote teams is that those Erg seconds between making a decision if you have to bubble it up to get approval from a higher source to do anything that sorts out up really quickly in a remote environment. And so like inherently you have to really kind of put authority and autonomy at the edge nodes of that structure to get things done efficiently. What would you guys agree with that or what’s,

Jake: 00:50:28 what’s your thinking on that? Yeah, I mean I agree. I think it’s just a question of scale, right? Like you want to, you know, Zack in the systems team has a good amount of time carved out to proactively know, do we want to continue to work on that as a place where we can gain efficiencies and do r and d and improve the way that we work across the board. I’m sure that’s Zach kind of given month has without ever speaking to me or or any, you know, anybody more senior than Zach as a director are making a lot of decisions about like, yeah, let’s prioritize that one. Let’s work on this one. Let’s knock this thing out. You know, in the next couple of weeks when you talk about the scale of like this is a 506 hour initiative and it’s going to suck most of the oxygen out of our engineering team, our open source practice over the next couple of months.

Jake: 00:51:10 It does tend to be a conversation that I think deserves to bubble all the way up to the top of the organization to make sure there’ll be feel good about that opportunity costs in way competing ways we can spend that investment so broadly. Yes, nuanced. It’s just really a question of scaling volume. Got It. Cool. What fellows, I think that’s probably a good place to wrap up. I’ve got one last little round of really rapid fire kind of tactical questions and Jake, I’ll direct these to you. What is one book that has profoundly affected you book this profoundly effected me? I’m trying to think about recency bias here for a second. Um, I’d say [inaudible] it’s a cheesy answer, but uh, going back to tech aid now the, you know, the seven habits, I think it’s hard to ignore that the way that that sort of reshaped my, some of my thinking even if I don’t always live up to its aspirations every day about, uh, about empathy, about, uh, genuine listening, uh, and attention. Nice. What about, what is one tool or hack that you use daily to save time, headaches, money, whatever it is?

Jake: 00:52:16 Another good question. Uh, I don’t know if this is an exciting one, but uh, I do the dual screen thing instead of like a one huge monitor and I in Mac os I use the full screen split view. So I always have in my second monitor and like a full screen, no other distractions on that window split view, my daily calendar open as well as the other window being my, and being slack. So I always have sort of like an undistracted view into my schedule into what’s coming up next and what’s sort of the buzz in the company that is not quite my direct line of vision. So it’s not distracting me if I’m in a video chat. Uh, but it’s always there if I need to quickly look over and make sure I’m not running late for something or I think, I think that I, I keep everything as simple as I can on my actual workstation so I don’t have to fix stuff on my local environment. Uh, very much people are always aiming to tweak it and mess with it. I just leave it very, very simple and I think that’s served me well. I love it. It’s the Antioch, it’s just like, let’s not, let’s not make it more complicated than don’t hack God. Great answer. What about, what is

Sean: 00:53:26 one piece of music that speaks to you lately or a musical artist? Oh Gosh. Um,

Jake: 00:53:32 I wish I had more time to listen to modern pop music. What am I listening to lately? Um, I’m sort of in a a,

Speaker 8: 00:53:40 yeah.

Jake: 00:53:40 Yeah. This is somewhat peculiar. I’m sort of in an in a John Elton swing cause I really enjoyed the film rocket man, which I saw a month ago.

Sean: 00:53:48 Nice.

Jake: 00:53:48 I don’t know that there’s a single song, but I’ve just, uh, if I have sort of a songs sort of on repeat in the little bit of time I spent with a commute in my car or something or, or at the gym, I find myself listening to listening to his music as inspired by that movie.

Zach: 00:54:00 Yeah. I realized, I realized I’m doing the same thing as everybody else when they get near 40. I’m listening to music I listened to in like high school and college all the time now. Like that’s where my musical taste is somehow stop trying really hard to listen to more modern stuff. But I keep going back to the familiar.

Sean: 00:54:16 I 100% agree with you. I just went down a rabbit hole the other day and made a playlist of nineties music, ended up being a few hundred 56 songs on Spotify set out to just like pull the pull a couple together. It just went down a serious rabbit hole. So I 100% agree.

Zach: 00:54:32 That’s exactly where I am at that like two hours listening to like our lady peace and sponge yesterday.

Sean: 00:54:36 All right. What am I saying? Got It. What about, uh, okay, so take your time with this one cause it’s, it’s a little bit uh, daunting of a question, but what, what important truth do very few people agree with you on?

Zach: 00:54:53 Well, that is a good,

Sean: 00:54:55 this is a Peter Teal question. The Guy who wrote zero to one

Jake: 00:54:59 actually answer that one for me.

Sean: 00:55:01 Um, what does everybody at the company disagree with me about sac that I keep saying what the question mean? What is it? What fundamental, what important truth. Do Very few people agree with you on? Oh Man. Uh,

Jake: 00:55:20 yeah. I don’t mean I felt like I would need like an hour to sit down, meditate content, contemplate that decision, contemplate that question. Um, if I was to try to give a quick off the cuff answer,

Sean: 00:55:31 um,

Jake: 00:55:32 I think I have certain philosophies around yeah.

Sean: 00:55:35 Uh, uh, around sort of people is in sort of how to say this, like, uh,

Jake: 00:55:44 people’s innate ability as opposed to how much people have a certain in a certain point in their career can be trained into better habits. I don’t wanna make that sound binary, but I think I’m probably more on the spectrum of like if by a certain point in your career or some things don’t come naturally to you that uh, there’s only so much we can do to help that problem.

Speaker 8: 00:56:07 Okay.

Sean: 00:56:08 Got It. So that, so that certain traits are just more ingrained, so you’re very important, truthfully,

Jake: 00:56:13 not like, you know, somebody junior in their career that’s being been torn. I think that’s less true. I think when you get further along someone’s career, I’m getting a little ageist here and you’d be like in their thirties or something. I don’t want to make it like there’s no opportunity to coach or grow someone or mentor someone. But I tend to think there are certain habits around like attention to detail, certain habits around a value of clarity and good communication that I think are very hard to just are very hard to just say. The problem is that this person just needs training and coaching as opposed to if you haven’t picked it up by now. Yup. Cool. And Zack, do you have an answer for this one?

Zach: 00:56:49 One thing I was thinking about because JP, you asked like, now what do you, what do you do that is a something every year, not everyone agrees with. And I don’t know if this is along those lines, but something I, I see you do a lot is you do like to play devil’s advocate when an idea comes up and ask all the difficult questions and probe at it. Uh, and that’s something that I’ve, I think I’ve taken on in my leadership role, uh, is to, to play that role as well. I really, I think conflict isn’t the right word, but I think having your ideas challenged is valuable, is really valuable for growth and valuable in an organization to get to the right answer or the best the answer and not just the first answer, even if the first answer might be a good answer. Um, and then some, it, it’s kind of difficult cause you know, a lot of times you have a lot of emotions kinda caught up in your ideas and you’re proud of it and this and that. Uh, but setting some of the, your emotions about it aside and really challenging yourself by putting yourself out there in front of colleagues to question, um, question you and challenge your ideas and approach, uh, I think can be really valuable.

Jake: 00:58:07 Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And I mean, I think like the mark of a brilliant thinker is if you can take the other side of an argument and hold that well and, and that will definitely at least expose all the blind side, the blind sides in your own argument if you’re able to do that. Well,

Zach: 00:58:27 yeah. Oftentimes it’s like, you know, I, I agree with you, like I believe we should do this, but I’m asking you all the hard questions that, you know, if we bring this idea to Jake or if we pitched this idea to the client, like we’re going to get asked and we need to have a good answer, uh, the answer to this and you know, you need to be able to convince me that this is a good idea. If he can do that. I, I totally agree with you. I don’t know if like thoroughly

Jake: 00:58:52 exactly. And look at all sides of an argument. Does any controversial statement cause people that disagree with that? I do think like, uh, there’s a pattern of conversation that’s, that a lot of people can, a lot of people can find to be argumentative rather than a philosophical and [inaudible]

Zach: 00:59:09 write it in critical thinking. Yeah. Yeah. I was putting a positive spin on it rather than saying, you know, you always argue with me and it’s a real pain in the neck.

Sean: 00:59:20 Yeah. I read Ray Daleo, his book principles recently, and they have a culture around punching holes in each other’s ideas, but it’s, you know, it’s all encouraged and healthy and they have like systems in ways that they do that. And it’s fascinating just to hear the, like, the entire company is built on that premise that we should strive to, you know, take apart all these things, find out where they could possibly fail and be wrong. Uh, but it’s all with, with love, you know, like they’re all in it for the right reasons, but they’re, you know, they’re constantly stress testing each other’s ideas. And that was fascinating how they do that.

Jake: 00:59:52 Yeah, I think it’s all about striking the right balance. And I have seen places, I tried to be mindful of this myself. I’ve gone off on a tangent here with that.

Sean: 01:00:00 You can let the wrong cultures can [inaudible]

Jake: 01:00:03 let that lead to decision paralysis, I think is the risk take. Um, if you’re always endlessly arguing the other side of an idea, you would just get into this mold of like,

Sean: 01:00:12 this is, you know, you get preoccupied with all the reasons you can’t do something. Right. Yeah. Cool. All right, well last question. What about, uh, if you had one piece of advice, like if you could go back in a time machine to your 20 year old self and give yourself any bit of advice, what would you say?

Jake: 01:00:30 No. Take out all those student loans. I would say grow my goto sooner, more seriously. I would say don’t underestimate the investment in personal, you know, personal relationships or, you know, don’t, you know, don’t take the people that work with you day to day for granted.

Sean: 01:00:52 Cool. Yeah. That’s cool. Zach, you endorsed that one. You’re or you have one of your own.

Jake: 01:00:59 Uh, yeah, and I endorsed that one. I think. Uh, I agree. I don’t think I took relationships at work and all that as seriously as I do now. And they’re very, they’re really valuable

Sean: 01:01:10 for sure. And Zach, we didn’t get your booking answer. Sorry, I didn’t let give you a chance to answer that one. Is there a button

Jake: 01:01:16 that to me on, on that? Cause I don’t have a good answer. I had, I had kids three years ago and I haven’t looked at a book and,

Sean: 01:01:23 and so it’s all good. It’s all good. Cool fellows. Thank you so much. Where can people like, where, where, where should we send people if they want to learn more about what you’re doing, we just send them to [inaudible] dot com or is there another place? Social media. That’s the place to go. Cool. All right, well thank you guys so much for your time. It’s been a good conversation and uh, yeah, best of luck.

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