The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode 1 · 4 months ago

178. Protecting Your Time by Gating Your Email Inbox w/ Andy Mowat

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the face of ever-increasing digital noise and pollution, we need solutions …

and today’s guest has been hard at work on one based on these three beliefs …

1. You should determine how people can reach you.

2. You should decide what your attention is worth - and who benefits.

3. Charging unknown senders a small cost leads to better connections.

To help us take back control of our attention, our guest, Andy Mowat, serves as founder and CEO (Chief Email Officer) at Gated.

What we discussed:

  • Defining customer service
  • The problem of digital pollution
  • Limiting access to and monetizing our attention for the benefit of nonprofits
  • The manifesto and shared belief
  • The value of higher education & alternatives 

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One bad experience at any point of journey can create just a bad overall feeling, or one amazing experience within a see of frustration can also change things around to the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. In the face of ever increasing digital noise and pollution, we need solutions, and today's guest has been hard at work on one based on these three beliefs. One, you should determine how people can reach you. To you should decide what your attention is worth and who benefits. And three, charging unknown senders a small cost leads to better connections. To help us take back control of our own attention. Our guest serves as founder and CEO, chief female officer at gated. He's an advisor to several companies, including mad could do and Sendoso, and he served as a revenue operations leader for companies like upwork box and culture amp Andy Moat. Welcome to the customer experience podcast. Thank you, Ethan. It's great to be here. Yeah, really excited for the conversation. We have been acquainted in a couple of my team members have gotten to know you because what you're doing is so aligned with our own ideas around digital pollution. We're pointing at the same thing, which has gone too long with too few solutions. We're going to get to that, but we're going to start Andy where we always start here, which is customer experience. When I say that, what does it mean to you? It means the feeling you have when you use the tool. It's not a Kinda you know, how do we get an MPs score out of it or all those different things. I think everywhere I've been at it's like, what is the emotion and the sentiment you have around that brand as you leave it right, because one bad experience at any point in a journey can create just a bad overall feeling, or one amazing experience within a see of frustration can also change things around too. So it's I think it box. We really got into this. It's not just the software, but it's the service, the product and and all of that entire encompassing thing. That means brand experience to me and customer experience. Has this been an internal conversation, like explicitly and consciously, in any of the organizations that you worked in? Because you've spoken. I've asked that question now to well over a hundred and fifty different leaders, primarily in marketing, sales and customer success, but, like you, a lot of founders and leaders, brand experts and other types of folks that I've hosted on the show, and you went straight to the heart, like what I've been doing with that question is looking at where the answers overlap and where do they you know, where do they diverge and what seems to be true through having asked that question to so many people. You spoke straight to where I arrived several months ago, you know, well over a year, and the podcast, which it really is about this feeling and the emotional resonance. How did you become so clear on that concept and did you ever speak about it it kind of explicitly or consciously with with other leaders in any of the organizations you've been in? I think people always talk about it and then they realize how hard it is to do and so they they kind of like great. Okay, so at culture amp our team had kind of when I ren revops initiation and added to mansion, but I'll talk about the REV ups. Like our mission was first, you know, and it was the amplified concept of amplified revenue, amplify efficiency and then amplify customer experience. And it evitably that that one was always at the bottom because it was so hard to be able to map it across all the different systems. Right. So most of them's I've been out of beater already started to put a lot of that foundation down. So when I got to culture amp, I think we really realized the opportunity to build that brand experience in from the beginning is so important. We saw the power of the brand. I'm sorry, when I got to gated we figured it out and when we saw the power of the brand at culture amp it was just so amazing. And so being able to...

...tie the experience to the brand is something that we thinks really important to be able to build something that sustainable and lasting and changes the way people think about something really good. If for folks listening, if you missed, I forget what the episode number Dan Hill, who is an emotional intelligence expert with seven US patents in the analysis of facial coding data. He's been on the show twice and he gave me a short language that's just super powerful that I'm sure you'll identify with Andy, which is without emotion there is no action, the idea being that emotion shares a Latin root with motivation. So if you want to drive behavior and you want to be memorable, emotional connection and emotional resonances the way forward. And to your point, it is really hard to do, but it's impossible to do if you don't recognize that that's a key element in getting people to to come in, to come back into be memorable. And to your point, it can go either way. So obviously want to reinforce the positive. I would say, I think some brands and products it's easier to do than others, and so it's one thing I've learned in marketing just over the years, as you cannot apply the same playable every time. You you can use the same kind of like pattern recognition, but in the end, like if you're selling file sharing software versus employee engagement software versus a tool of defense, your email like they're all different experiences, and so I think you really have to think about what is your company doing to be able before you, before you figure out if that's the thing that you're going to steer into or not. Yeah, really good observation. Coming to mind. Are there any that are especially easier especially difficult? As you said that, I was thinking like okay, probably something like place where there's a lot of human to human interaction. Thank you. For example, a restaurant, especially a restaurant where you're seated and served, is probably an easier environment to create a remarkable power, positive emotional experience. Of course that can also go sideways, but like I was wondering if you had any in mind when you made that observation about easier difficult. I think collaboration tools, right, like every moment in time when two people are collaborating in something, there's an opportunity for a wow moment that really speaks to you. Right. I think there's the TACO, the cat at Trello or talk of the dog at Trello or all those different things where you can put a little bit of emotion on it, even in a business to business context. So yeah, I think you know it's harder's if you're doing my you know, crm software commissions or something like that, it's harder, although spiff, who I work closely, was like they've done a good job of bringing a brand and a feel to commission software. Right. So I think you can do it in almost anything if you do it right. Yeah, and I think it's a lot about personality. Is kind of what I hear when you're talking about some of these examples. I think like, does this experience have some personality to it, even if it doesn't have people in it per se? Yeah, really good. Okay, so we're going to get to gated, but before we do, let's start with a big problem that led to your founding it and leading it and building a team around this, this problem and its solution, you know bomb. We call it digital pollution. How do you think about that? Just the ever increasing noise and pollution in a digital environment? What language do you maybe have you used around it, and when did occur to you, like what were you seeing and hearing and feeling that eat that got you excited about taking this problem on? Yeah, I mean I love how you guys have described as digital pollution. I've done this is not. We hadn't started from there, but I think our missions definitely a line a lot of ways. I'd say, as a be to be buyer, I felt overwhelmed and I would say almost every beb buy or listen to this is probably not and that's not just an email that's on Linkedin, its phone calls, it's digital ads and particularly email. I think email is one where we I had kind of a unique insight and we figured out how to start there. But we see we are truly after the solve this digital pollution problem everywhere we go. I also like I spent twenty years causing this problem, like I have helped people send over a billion emails. I know every like hack in the book,...

...how to guess your email, how to how to do that, and so I I have lived it for a very long period of time. And then as you start to become a more senior executive, you start to just get bombarded by this stuff. And then with the whole motion around Plg and they talk about buyer centricity, but the reality is people are still selling this stuff and now they're not just selling it to the CEO or the CIO, but they're signed it to literally every like person in entire departments and so like. What used to be a problem of a couple senior executive is now a problem of like everybody in a company and everyone's overloaded by this stuff. The other one I didn't mention his slack right like. That's very interesting. I think the one unique thing about email is machine send the vast majority of it. I have been able to pin down the number, but it's somewhere above ninety five percent. I say would have like a all e mails are technically all email is sent by machine, but of the ones where the human writes out the words and push like Sam Button direct is a very low amount. And so when you have that, that's one where I think I've really focused on a lot. Why do you think companies keep producing pollution like it seems like a shallow game. It seems like an attention game. I know that it's easy to say that. You know it well, it works. Why do you think that we persist in creating so much? And I'll give you a reference point on it kind of where I'm coming from to maybe help guide it, because I don't know if that was a clearly stated question. You know, you hear stats like, you know, a few years ago it was you took seven touches in order to produce a response, and now it takes like eighteen touches in order to produce a response and like logically this is going to get to hey, you know, just a few years ago it took twenty two touches, but now it takes fifty four. Like that's obviously not a sustainable game. Like why do we keep going down this road? In your thought, because it's just so easy. Machines can do it. It's a classic you can a problem. It's the problem with the commas. Like, if you don't bear the externalities of this problem, you will pollute, whether it's the environment or digital pollution, until there is a marginal cost right. And for any other marketing channel, and I'll speak specifically email, because that's where focus, we can talk about anything, like if the for email. Actually, let me back up a bit. For any other marketing channel, when two marketers want to reach somebody, they compete, the price up and they decide who wins, and that person pays. In email everyone, because I everyone an email. There's no cost in sing you send more. I mean the economics are fundamentally broken. So when you ask a marker like what's your highest sorrow? Why Channel, like, if you're on the numbers, it's always email, because the denominator is zero, and when the denominator is zero, you're going to continue to send more. Right. So yeah, maybe people right now are getting two percent from fly right, but that's two percent right. So if you get two percent and you're competing with a lot of noise, the best thing to do is just keeps any more. And so we're trying to change those incentives so quality of content wins. And there's a hurdle, right. Like Mary Lou Tyler, who wrote, along with their and Ross, the book predictable revenue, she got her start in direct mail, right. And in direct mail there is a cost associated with sending a piece. And so you're not going to you're going to do a thought process and you're going to narrow your list, you're going to focus your list, you're going to target it and then if you don't get a response on those, you're going to stop sending those right. And so all you in Bill Gates in two thousand and four was quoted at the conference and said, and I'll paraphrase, but bill aren't you worried about spam? He said, no, I'm not. Somebody will figure out how to put a marginal cost on this at some point in time. A lot of people tried. I've studied every attempt at this problem and I think we figured something out, but it's the economic theory makes sense. Now it's about how do you make that in a way where it doesn't take too much effort, right. Yeah, it's so interesting. So we've been, you know, we've been addressing this problem, not not for a long time, but we've been addressing this problem primarily oriented toward the source. Right at. Any piece of pollution has a source and a recipient. Is Some of the language that that people use around environmental pollution in particular. So we've been talking about it from the source...

...and when I think about the costs, I've been talking about it in terms of you know that the work itself becomes dehumanizing, that it's bad for your relationships and your reputation. It's not the best way to start a healthy relationship at some point. You know, we all see see people doing those kind of like public shaming posts of like I'm about dis mention exactly that. You know, like. So we've been taking it on at the source and around some of these other costs that are a little bit more difficult to measure. I really appreciate your language around specific marginal cost you're taking it on specifically in terms of the recipient, like that's when the source bears. The cost is when it reaches the recipient. What do you think, like high level, and then we'll get specifically into your solution. And too, I'm really curious to about some of the things that you've studied, that people have tried and failed on, that have informed your process. You know some of the shoulders that you're standing on with gated, but do you think the answer to this problem will be found at the intersection, like or will it really be this kind of recipient side, you know, woe kind of scenario, like where do you think the real answer, because we're both taking on pieces of it. I think it's going to take multiple people to shedding light on multiple aspects of the problem and taking on multiple symptoms and multiple parts of the cause. But you know, where do you think the ultimate solution will be found? Or is it like environmental pollution, where all we can do is kind of like maybe mitigate it a little bit, drive off a cliff a little bit slower. Yes, thank you that, as I truly do think there's a solution to this problem. I've spent twenty years creating the problem and now it's like we're spend the next number of years fixing it. I think it's mean. It's got to be recipient led and that's the fundamental problem, right, recipients or like, I'm not going to go there's all these tools to help manage the mess of e mail better, but that's putting the cost on the recipient, right. I think the beauty of what we're figured out is how to put that cost at the right point in the in the funnel, on to the center, and if you can do that, things change, right. So it is a it is just a both sides have to come together and solve it. But you know, the Vision we see is today there's a hundred emails sent and two replies. World under which ten emails are sent in five applies is better for literally everybody. And so there are all of these problems of the Commons, like, if you figure out how to price it correctly, they become better. Like I've spent all of time with like pricing fisheries, and you know that that's one of those hard problems where people are going to overfish it until you give them the equity of the ownership in that fishery and then they're able to solve the problem. So this is a solvable problem. Really good. So let's get straight. Indicated, lock us through gated, but primary principle is limiting access to and then monetizing our attention for the benefit of nonprofits. I love it so smart. I can tell that you've done your homework on it, starting where you want what let people know what exactly you're doing with gated and perhaps even the origin of the idea, which I know is a few years old now, and we kind of hack together with a venomo link, like take this on however you like, and then we'll just kind of peel it apart and share it with people. Yeah, I mean you said three years ago, I was just so overloaded with the email and we were serious, dry company and just getting pummeled with it. So I wrote an email that said, I don't know you, my inss isn't going to reach my inbox. Here's my Venomo Link and here's my nonprofit and I started out charging a nickel and people started paying and they would often pay orders of magnitude more than we did. So I had writ it on it for about a year and a half, just testing it out, trialing at having some really interesting Aha moments, some of which we share, some of which you know there are kind of deeper down in there, and you know, you'd start talking about it and people would talked up ours to ten people that I really respected and they were like wow, you fixed my email, and so then I spent more time on it. I real understood the implications all with it. A fellow and I already had lived it for a long period of time. But we've got a lot of people and to go to market world that really believe in what we're doing. Even some...

...people that you might not think would believe in it like actually come to me and say, Hey, I can't talk about it publicly, but like what you're doing is really it is is heading in a good direction. One CEO of one of the sales software company said to me like this is good for the world. Let me know how I can help them. So we've engaged. Per Simple. If somebody that doesn't know you emails you, we will take that email out of the inbox and send them a challenge email. There's a lot of complexity to it. It's not that simple. And then they can done it and the user picks their own price and the user picks their own nonprofit. We believe in unlike Linkedin, which is everybody cost the same and all the money goes to Linkedin, we believe that the vast majority of that money should go to a better cause, and so we're sending about seventy percent of the money to nonprofits. That's a big part of our mission. This is we will still make money, but this is about helping the world as well too. And you know, fun stat is forty percent of people that donate actually donate more than the minimum that they need to. So they will the charity will resonate or just the cause in some way nice. So how did you pick the initial set of nonprofits and why did you arrive like what in your research process? When did you decide to go nonprofit with it? I was sitting at a table for lunch with a CEO who I really trust and is invested in US lets you see, I'm a Goin a corn company or just talking and he's like, I love this, but I don't really want the money. And so we done a little bit deeper into that. And and you know, I think I had up work. We built a bank and there was a lot of Plux fease with the bank, right, people could money, loaner, people could do different things, and so we have this epiphany, whereas like well, what about nonproperties? Like, Oh my God, yes, please, and so we tested it iterated. I think my first one was wounded warrior project. After that the election happened and I did a little bit of the Lincoln Project as well too, and then we branched out beyond projects and found a bunch of other ones them. It's amazing, right, like, you know, we had one CEO's like cozy coats for kids, which is, you know, helps kids in New York with coats. So had another person in Texas that really cared about it. was like trapeze artists that helped underprivileged kids, and so we love helping people find something that that's meaningful to them. Yeah, I really appreciate the appreciate that unique layer of it too. So just a recap and then feel free to add color or wherever you like. Someone who you don't know, from a domain that you don't have a relationship with, let's say, sends you an email. They're going to get a gated reply. Gate it's going to kind of hold it in a quarantine. They're going to get a reply that says hey, before you access this inbox, because we don't know each other, I'd love for you to make a donation of x, you know, a dollar or something like that, to my chosen nonprofit, which is this, and then they can click. They can do that. It delivers the email and then from there you can decide whether or not they'll stay gated or they'll get ungated. And so we're saving people time by saying if someone isn't willing to pay to deliver this message, then the messages are going to get delivered because they as obviously, doesn't mean enough to them. So you have that filtering layer there, which is helpful to the recipient. The recipient gets to choose the nonprofit, the nonprofit gets a new kind of friend or benefactor so that there's that new relationship. And there's also this idea that, because I've made a commitment, this shared commitment, this co creation of a donation to something that you said you've cared about, I might have a different relationship with this person who is a stranger before, who's trying to send me email. Yeah, absolutely, you nail the perfectly. I think I'd do things. One is we know workflow change is hard, and so we built this to just sit in your existing workflow, which I think is one of the big, big innovations we've done. And then the other one is we're not in this was really important and a senior person that want to sales software come we said to Mary, said like this has to work for both sides. And so we are not in the business of walking down in boxes.

We are in the business of encouraging higher quality communication, actually creating connections. So one of our internal stats it's like how many connections did we create? And those are and so, like, I mean the stories are just amazing. If you go are law of like one woman donated a dollar to Dan, one of our users, and Dan's like, you know, it's and it was. His was the American Right Cross. He's like now it's you know, this isn't for me, but once you try this person over here and she ended up like finding that person, connecting with them, getting a whole new business relationship and she came back and don't in another twenty five bucks to Dan, right. So and in Sentim a beautiful picture of the cute kid and all of that stuff. So like there's real like it's giving us more reasons in the world to get to know somebody, right, like when you pick a nonprofit, you share something else in the world about that with people. Yeah, it is. It that that layer of shared moments. This and the other thing that's really interesting about the dynamic is that there's this kind of stop and pause. Right, attention is key. We're going to get into the manifesto in a moment and attention, of course, plays a really important role in that, the word and the concept. You know, we have limited time and attention. So even just this moment of pause where I'm going to redirect my attention and even my resources to something that you said you've cared about so that we can arrive at a point of potential conversation, even just that pause of like Oh, they like that brief awareness. So you received any feedback about that dynamic? Just that just the immediately. As soon as you get the challenge reply, you're brought into a moment of clarity. I think that, yeah, I'm shooting stuff out to strangers and now I'm need to like pause and engage in this. Yeah, we have, and you know the power is. It's already seeing amazing results. But there is a good chunk of people that have never seen one before. Right. So there's like there's first the awkward pause of what is this? And so that's a lot of why we invest in the brand because the next time you see you like, Oh, I know what this is, I ought to do. But yes, I think a lot of one feedback we've gotten a we haven't yet done is some people like I would actually like to rewrite my email before I pay for it, and that's something that we're thinking through deeply and working on. But yeah, like the ability, like, if I'm living in a paradigm of content, of volume wins and it's about sending them out and sending as fast as possible, I'll send your graphy email, but if I if I'm if you force fee to pause and think about it for a second, that may not be the email I said. Yeah, it's interesting and of course, just you know, basic concept of email. You know, we can ab test the heck out of it. Be Interesting to know, you know, two three years from now, as you are permitting people to perhaps edit their challenge emails, you know what are some of the key characteristics that produce the highest there's I'm just super interested to know two years from now, when you have a lot more users and a mountain more data, like you know what's working what isn't working, not just the email copy, but what types of recipients are generally getting the best response with types of senders tend to kind of participate in and move through and donate and engage in all those types of things. Anything anything else that you're seeing early on characterized to like how early are you in this in terms of users and challenge emails and responses? And then what are a few maybe stats that you're really excited or encouraged by beyond the couple that you've already shared in this conversation? Yeah, we don't share size yet. Yeah, no problem. We were loaded with demand. If people want to sign up, they can go to go and sign up on the white list and we're focus more on the user economics and the experience. Then we are on the growth right now, because we know that. Could you know, I'd say, the biggest, most powerful status the reply right, which is something that maybe a lot of companies would look up, because I come from the GTM world. I understand all right, and so the fact that forty to sixty percent of donated emails are getting replied to proves that. And if you don't have that, whole thing falls apart. That's probably like the number ones that but there are. There's so many insights. Were learning and we're we're seeing it at volume already and these things continue and we're learning and we're learning which persona's work, which personas down, what features we need to be able to support new personas, and so we've gotten through a lot of that stuff already. Love it. I really...

...appreciate the discipline of the weight list, and this is, by the way, for folks listening. This is not one of those fake hype, you know, weight list scenarios. There are things that are like. I know that there's no good reason for this weight list except to create some like you know, false scarcity. In this case, I really appreciate you and your team's attention to getting a lot of stuff I earned out squared away, understand it well, collecting feedback in anticipation of continuing to kind of open it up. Open it up, open it up. It really is smart. Talk about the manifesto. The manifesto was another way, in addition to signing on to the weight list, people can sign on to a manifesto. Talk about a the origin of it. You know who wrote it? Was it a team effort? Was this like, Oh, you wake up in the middle of the night, you shoot up straight up in bed and you're like, oh my gosh, I got to capture these ideas, like what was the origin of them, of the manifesto, and then we'll maybe get a little bit into the importance of kind of demonstrating and engaging and shared beliefs, because it's just a really interesting and powerful idea that I think goes back to your definition of customer experience around a emotional residence. I think there's a lot there, but start with just the kind of the nuts and bolts of the manifesto itself. How did it come together? Yeah, I so. My data marketing and I were talking about it. I think I probably said something like the number of people that we talked to that are like, oh my God, like what you're doing is amazing and needs to get done, versus the number of people that were ready to take on the platform now is very different, right. And so we're creating a movement and we wanted people to be able to I think there's been few, a couple times that you know, like no software for sales force was a great example, right, where you can create something bigger than yourself. And so that was the original challenge that, like she and I started with. We probably spent three months writing it and rewriting it and tweaking it, and then we had an amazing designer who's helping us out, kind of one on behind the scenes. That built out the experience of that, which we thought was really important. And then, yeah, it's I think it's helped us really understand what is important and what's not, what do we stand for, and I think it's really important that people could connect with you at that bigger level. Couple questions. One, do you also internally have your own kind of mission and values, types of statements separate from the manifesto, or does the manifesto kind of capture it all for you? All know. We definitely have internal mission and values. Some of that's on our careers actually the current version of it's on the careers page. I learned a lot at culture right around how to create values. One of the best statements I ever heard there was if there's not a con of the value that somebody else would pick, like it's not it's not a real value. Right, like so, like work really hard or do mom proud, or like their terrible values, because, like no one's ever going to pick the other side. So you've not really made any like conscious statements. And so we are thoughtful about it or always changing it. We're always aerating on it and it's always part of discussion. You know, we have a lot of discussions right now around the nonprofit side. Right, like what happens, I don't want to wait too far, too politics on a podcast, but like what happens if somebody shoot somebody up and there's a go funding campaign to raise money for him, like, like how do you deal with those things? And so there's a lot of interesting or like you know, we've had somebody wanted to support plan parenthood and somebody who wanted to support like anti abortion right like we've literally had people on both sides of that fence and so we've got to be I think we view ourselves as facilitating social good in whatever means. That's within some guard rails as there. But there's a lot of these discussions that are on going all the time. We try to balance grow in the business today with these statements, and so to me it values are a constantly evolving thing versus something's that's, that's locked in stone. Gosh, so interesting. I mean, you know my initial thoughts. I've seen the list of nonprofits. I selected the Nature Conservancy for a variety of reasons and you know, it's easy to think of that as a well, that's just a win, win win. But you know, you just introduced a very unique challenge that I hadn't considered before. Of like, which ones do you...

...permitten? which ones perhaps might you not in how do you let you know, the users decide versus you know what, there's a lot to wander in there. So let's go back, though, to the to the mission and values. I love, by the way, I love what you observed about if no one else can challenge it or take an alternative position, it's not a very strong value. Per Se. I mean it's just like that strikes me more as a truism, I guess, than anything else. But I really like this manifesto concept because, and the reason I ask that question about mission and values is that this is something that you share with the broader community, not even just the customer base, but it's this rallying point for anyone else that sees or thinks similarly. I have to imagine that there's a benefit to having made a statement that anyone can participate in, and I'm sure it's been a benefit, obviously to the movement at large, but also specifically to team members that you may be trying to attract as well as customers. Talk about that dynamic of it being sharing some characteristics of mission and values but being public facing and shared within a broader group of people than just, you know, your team members and your potential hires. I guess two points on that. One one is I'd say people want to work for a company that's really driven by a mission. It's better than making one, and think that helps. Second I think there's this big thing of when you sign up for gated, and you went through this right like, you tie your brand a little bit to us, because we're sending emails on your behalf, and so that's a pretty big step right. And so, like who you tie yourself with is a very important thing. Like what does that brand stand for? Is it an elitist brand? Is it an inclusive brand? Is it trying to do good in the world, or is it trying to make money and a lot of and so, you know, we think that there's as we go from early adopters to later on people. I think the first time somebody gets one of these things it feels a little bit weird right now, and so like, if they're going to look you up, they're going to want to understand what you're all about. Now our vision is like when somebody's getting the forty five and these things, like yeah, of course I get it, like Ethan uses it to protect his email and it's just a normal course of business. And so there's you know, we think a lot about that, early adopter phases and different things, and I think having a clear vision for what the world should look like that I'd be surprised. How there's probably some folks that don't subscribe to it. Maybe the people that are sending blast emails of Eight hundred thousand out at one time like I used to. There's probably those types of people, but beyond that, I think the world should probably believe what we're trying to do and the how we're trying to create a create a better world. Yeah, it's really good talk to me a little bit about what you've observed throughout your career around kind of this rise of purpose. These think I feel like it's just so much more a part of the ongoing conversation at when I'm picking up on as when you said, you know, people want to be part of something bigger. People want to be I think that's always been true. I think that's been inherently true of the vast majority of human beings. But I don't know that we've been talking about it very long in a business context. So just, you know, thinking back over your career, how is that dynamic changed or how have you experienced it differently over time? I don't know, I don't you know, it's funny like generations and look back. I don't think it's changed. I think maybe people a little bit more vocal about it. Yeah, I don't think the fundamental concept of do you need more purposes changed right Domando my food. That old fable of the two guys building a church. One guys putting together the bricks I'm playing some bricks, right, like, and the other guys like on building the Temple to God, right, and so like. You can look at the same task in different ways and there's different motivations. So I don't think. I mean throughout history that probably is not the fundamental human need for is not changed. I mean, and maybe we have some more societal dialogs about it right now. Yeah, it's interesting. I just think, like I don't know that brands have been willing to go out and take positions on things until, I don't know, maybe the past decade in clear and strong ways. Feels like it's more present. I definitely think it's a stronger conversation and I think more people are joining and quitting companies based on these things...

...then perhaps, you know, when our parents were, you know it at the height of their professional careers, let's say. I think is I feel like it is more, but I don't know if I had I don't even I don't know if I even have that right. It feels like it was more transactional. Wasn't something that people talked about. You got to remember the weird building is to see the interesting thing here is you and I are living in Bob Settings, but we're building a beat of cups are we're living in BB worlds. We are building a B Toc brand within BTB. I was talking to a guy literally this morning and he's like, I told him about some of the stuff we're doing, the brand building inside. He said, here's my mug. Every sticker on this Mug is a b TOC brand. I'm not putting bb brands on there like it almost last time you put a beat, you know, like associated and aligned yourself with the BB brands. I think we've got this unique advantage which is, you know, we're not building the TENZERO and first software to help people pummel, to help set give to senders, which truly believe. The foundation is giving this away free two millions of individual users to solve their problem and off of that there's a nice business to build on top of it. And so it's very different. Right, like maybe linkedin might have come the closest. Right, like Linkedin is they give away a tool to be Toc, to to individuals and then they figured out how to allow the other side to come, and so that's I think people had a lot of love for the Linkedin brand and I think there it's hard to build a BTB brand. Very few people have done that. Well, yeah, especially one more people want to hang out with it or stick it on their back back or on their map book or something like that. Yeah, totally, that's that's absolutely true. It's really interesting. You know, I think about laptop stickers and it's a see, it's similar to a water bottle scenario because slightly personal question, although not invasive in it all. You did an Internet international economics degree from Princeton. You earned an MBA from Stanford. Talk about the value of higher education. I feel like in general it's been under threat the past several years. Obviously there are some business model problems around it, but talk about the value of formal education and higher education as you see it. I'm maybe cynical. I got great, good education, but I think it was more the environment that I was in and the actual education itself. I think these Ivy League and schools, it's there needs to be a better way. I still do think like you can't do it virtually you got to bring people together. But you know, our population is increased but the the size of these institutions hasn't. I don't know. I had a good education, but I think it's unfortunately not available to the broad masses and that's that's some that's unfortunate. Right. There's you know people and they're definitely I like punch laid and all that stuff, but it's hard and you know we have little kids, but I don't even want to think what it'll be like going through college again and doing that's you know. I also think maybe there are plenty of jobs that you don't need a four year degree for, but unfortunately our societies become such that, like, if you don't have that for year degree, you're at a fundamental disadvantage. And so I mean some of the smartest people in business. I know I said Digo state or Chico or whatever it is it does, it doesn't matter. I think it definitely created some interesting opportunities for me early in my career that I that other people wouldn't have had. But yeah, so it's I don't think too deeply about education, except for the fact that I think the fundamentals of like how fast the cost of education has risen versus inflation is just wrong. Yeah, absolutely, and then that's kind of the crux of it too. I agree. It really is a lot about the socialization and I think there's a lot to be gained and learned there. But it is certainly is is not. You know, I think most of the criticisms come like around as if your experience at Princeton, for example, is equivalent to a trade school and you should have learned very specific skills to apply in a very specific way, and I think that's kind of like a mischaracterization of what cannon should be going on there. It's interesting I tend to ask that question now and then from people who, you know, obviously look at everyone's linkedin profiles kind of understand where you're coming from your career arc and I like to ask that question...

...because I think it's a really important one, and different companies are making different statements around those. You know, for example, some of the most forwardlooking companies aren't demanding those four year degrees anymore. It really is kind of more of this, a bit more of a proper meritocracy. That said, I think you and I would have already agreed that there's some value in our experiences, but then you know, the cost structure around is changing. I'd say one thing is I in the last couple of years I had a really interesting argument with somebody where they're like their resume doesn't have this on it, and I said I don't care, like I I need you to interview this person. And they interview the person and like my Gosh, like you were right, I was wrong, like this person's amazing, and so you know that that was one of my better highers I've made. And so, like I very much. I'm against, you know, a couple of my owners older companies, like they were like, we only hire people from these education institutions. I hate that stuff, and so that is I think maybe some people get a little bit of, you know, a great education, but we shouldn't hold that against them for their entire careers, right, gosh, yeah, it's so true. I mean there is so much filtering that goes on and there's so much to be learned by spending even a little bit of time with somebody, not just for the stories, but like the kind of how and why to to color in against the what I mean that what is the piece of paper, the what is, the words on the linkedin profile, kind of the how and why that come to life when you can actually be in conversation with somebody and understand the way they think, the way they approach things though, the stories that they're willing and able to tell, the things that they've been through, etc. Really characterize the opportunity for both parties much better than a piece of paper, down and Peter. Theo approach was an interesting one. I've been following pretty closely as well. To characterize that a little bit, I'm not familiar that. It was just theel scholars, I think, if I if I know correctly, but it was like he was paying people not to go to college but instead to go and bill a company and do it within a collaborative format. So I do think life experience can sometimes be better than education. Yeah, very good. We've talked on that one quite well. For folks who are listening and if enjoyed this conversation with Andy so far, I've got two more than I know you'll enjoy. One is episode one hundred and sixty two with Steve Passinelli. A Steve is my longtime friend and team member. Are Chief Marketing Officer here at Bom bomb, we CO authored the book humans cent our communication, a business case against digital pollution, and Steve and I actually talk about it there, but we titled it the Shared Belief Behind Human Center communication. We get into some of the themes that Andy and I were talking about here around their manifesto, their mission, their values and how important it is to be able to lay out principles that drive you in order to attract and engage people that should be part of your broader community. says. One hundred and sixty two is Steve Passinelli, and then one hundred and thirty seven with Gabrielle Dolan. She is kind of a business storytelling master, kind of around the same theme of like sharing your ideas, sharing stories, sharing examples as a means of connecting with an engaging with potential employees and existing employees, with potential customers and customers. We called that one enhancing ex and cx through brand storytelling and she has a number of amazing stories that she tells them. That is who it expects. That's one hundred and thirty seven with Gabrielle Dol and Andy. Before we call it a conversation here, I would love for you because relationships are our number one core value here at bomb and now I'm wondering who could possibly oppose relationships as a key principle to success in life. But setting that aside, I'd love to give you the chance to the thinker mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life, for your career. Oh Gosh, so many people. I'd say in particular last couple of years, Sam Levan, CEO of Mad Kudu. I met Sam in a coffee shop. We talked about his business, we talked about gated. He's like, oh my gosh, I love I built my own email hat sam and up guiding me through, you know, building it out near table and the next version, and I end up hiring Sam son to be our first engineer as a summer internship project in high school and in Sam's has been the best CEO Whisper and advisor and guide through the whole process. Has Really challenged my thinking and a lot of areas. So...

I don't think I'd be here without him. Awesome and I love that you characterized it as, you know, challenging your thinking, because that's where so much growth comes from. Is like, you know, we carry these beliefs around and if we don't test them now and again and we don't have trusted people around us to help us question them, then I don't think that we're proceeding without an appropriate amount of challenge for our assumptions. How about can you name for me company or a brand that you personally appreciate for the experience they deliver for you as a customer? Bonus points? If it's a babe, bridge has geared what you should share before, I'd say you know, and a Gat. I have some friends at one of their competitor's, Chili Piper, but I'd say colindly is just been a it's a good inspiration ways. You know both of those ones, but in particular, like it is a BC brand that gives it away for free. But they figured out how to build a nice ubsell path and the first time you got to county it was weird, like why is somebody sending me this thing? And they change the thinking a little bit and they've created a really powerful business off of that. Yeah, really, really good example there, and I see the parallels with what you're doing this to like you, because you're talking earlier in the conversation about like you get your first gated challenging me like what is this? This is interesting, and then the more familiar, to get them, more normalized it gets. And you know, aside from the cold emails where someone's like, Thursday at one pm, you know where they're presuming to get on to my calendar. Besides that, use case. I think I love calendly and not having to go back and forth and say, you know, hey to any of these eighteen times that I just typed up for you work, so we could just go and pick what works. So really good call about what can become normal in not a long period of time, because it's better for both people. All right, this has been awesome. I've really enjoyed it. People should check out gated. They should check out the manifesto and sign on to that, for sure. What else would you people that have listened to this duration have some level of interest in what we're talking about. Where would you send them Andy, to connect with you, to connect with gated, to check out the manifesto, etcetera. Where should people go? Dodcom? It's gatedcom. We bought the domain a couple months ago. Fasting story there we'll tell sometime soon. And Yeah, there you can sign up the weight list. We are hoping to re remove that constraint pretty soon. Tons of amazing content and you can find the manifesto there as well. Awesome and, by the way, for folks listening, and he is very present on Linkedin. He is a great follow he he's very thoughtful and he's got really good things to share and really, actually really good questions to ask to which I appreciate about your approach to social and so it's Andy. Last name is spelled M O wat. You can find them on Linkedin. To appreciate you, Andy. Thanks so much and I hope you have a great afternoon. Thanks you great shot. The digital, virtual and online spaces where we work every day are noisier and more polluted than ever, and the problem is only getting worse. At risk or relationships and revenue, join bombombs, Steve Passanelli and ethanviewed, along with eleven other experts in sales, marketing, customer experience, emotional intelligence, leadership and other disciplines, to learn a new way to break through the noise and pollution human centered communication. A new book out now on Fast Company press. Learn more by visiting Bombombcom book or search human centered communication wherever you buy books. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player, or visit Bombombcom podcasts.

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