The Agency Perspective
Matt Sommer, Brolik CSO, leads a discussion with local tech agency experts about how established businesses can overcome the challenge of embracing new technologies.
Panel questions include:
- What can an organization do to prepare for the transition to a more technology focused business?
- When should a business seek an outside agency for a project versus trying to tackle it in house?
- With so many out of the box solutions available, how do you know when to build something custom?
Ryan Findley, Principal
Chris Cera, Chief Executive Officer
Drew Thomas, Chief Technology Officer
Chris Bye, Chief Instigator
- In order for an organization to transition to a more technology in innovation oriented business, you need to have the right mindset, and potentially hire consultants to help set up the proper infrastructure.
- All new business ideas are “ugly babies” when they start. The goal is to figure out how to get the idea to that next level as cheaply and as fast as possible.
- When onboarding a new client or project, first address goals, previous failures and budget.
- RFPs tend to be avoided - it’s time to approach project proposals in a more modern way.
Matthew: Thanks for coming out tonight, of course, again. My name Matthew Sommer, I'm with Brolik as well, I'm Chief Strategy Officer. We're so glad that you guys all joined us tonight.
What we've heard about so far, we've heard from CHOP and Jaguar Land Rover. We're really talking about how they've really brought technology and innovation into focus in their businesses and what they're doing to try and look to the future in that capacity.
What we thought would be interesting, is that now that we've seen it from the brands or businesses perspectives a little bit here, could we look at this same question or picture from the agency side? The guys and girls in businesses that really help them to...from an outside perspective, help them to implement these new technologies and to really focus on innovation.
To do so, we've brought these fine gentleman, sitting next to me here. All from digital agencies, all who have helped and led countless, hundreds of client projects, really helping other businesses implement this kind of technology and push forward in innovation with their own businesses.
Sitting next to me we have Chris Bye here, founder of Tonic Design, also now founder of ByeDesign as well. On the other couch here, we have Drew Thomas founder and Chief Technology Officer over at Brolik. And we have Ryan Findley founder and principal at Neomind Labs. And Chris Cera, CEO of Arcweb Technologies and co-founder of Philly Startup Leaders, who have an event tonight as well.
Chris Cera: Right now.
Matthew: Right now. Well we better hurry then, so you can get there. We just want to discuss from the agency perspective, how these guys and how these businesses are really helping other businesses to take the lead.
So my first question to open up to you guys, what can an organization do to set the stage and point themselves in the right direction to transition to a more technology in innovation oriented business?
Drew: I'll start. Is this on? Yeah.
I think the first thing is mindset, and it's really important, and sometimes companies who aren't focused on technology or who are a little older and maybe set in their ways, they don't really realize that it's all about mindset. And it's about understanding what it really takes to start an incubator or start an internal technical division, whatever the case.
Understanding what that really means is so important. And so a lot of times people may not understand what that really means or what it really takes. And they try or they throw some resources at it, but not enough to do what it takes and to really make it happen. I would actually say it's like an education component, something like that.
Ryan: I'm going to add to that. I heard a story, maybe it's an urban legend, but it sounded true. Sounded like a good idea. Maybe someone here can confirm or deny. But I heard that Comcast Interactive Media was started in a separate building away from Comcast on purpose so that they could have a new culture that was more about going fast and being agile. And then once they had established their culture and had their own identity, they were able to put it back with the rest of the company and let them defend themselves.
Chris Cera: I would add that, if you're trying to get the type of the culture of technology and innovation, one method is to just import it, so to bring in people that have done it in other companies and sometimes people will just decide to work with an agency, and it can be a challenge sometimes that the people on the other side don't have anyone behind them that has worked with a technology company or an innovation company.
And I've been in situations with $10 million dollar companies, so they're not huge companies, but they're not that small either, where we are essentially reporting to the CEO who has no time to talk to us and no time to really understand what we're trying to build.
A lot of times I think there needs to be some infrastructure, too, before an agency's brought in, and that can involve importing the right people first.
Ryan: Definitely hire consultants.
Chris Bye: I guess, I offer a unique or fresh perspective on this, because as I said, I used to run Tonic Design and I stepped away from that, to pursue more product and innovation projects and to build my own products and also work with startups.
What you've even heard earlier with Jaguar, and also with CHOP is they're outsourcing innovation. There's these walls of bureaucracy that they can't get these things built. If you were to ask me if I'm in the agency business or technology business, I would say I'm not in either one of those things, I'm in the human business.
So I'm very much into human-centered design. For me, it's all about you don't build a product from the product down, you build it from the user up. And if you don't understand the motivations and actually what makes your users tick, you can't build product for them.
You could make the most beautiful product with the best technology behind it, but if it doesn't drive business, if it doesn't add value to the end user, it's useless.
That's what drives me and I love to consult and work with strategic partners and find the right clients that are not only the type of projects that I want to work on, but also a good fit from a values perspective as well.
Because when you're looking for clients, you don't always just want to just drive revenue per se. It's really critical that you interview them as much as they interview you. Because again, it's about bringing value and utility to the product and drive their business forward.
Matthew: So in all of these projects that you've launched into with various clients, businesses of all sizes, what do you find is the biggest hurdle that they face or maybe more simply, what is most likely to bring the whole initiative crashing down?
Drew: Red tape. Corporate red tape, the classic corporate red tape. It's always there, no matter what. Even in like a very forward-thinking organization, there's some form of, I guess, there's other interests, there's many interests to go into a business. So that always has a potential to bring something down.
Chris Bye: I would say the biggest thing that drives them down is not knowing what problem they're solving. A lot of people go right into solutions mode. And if you get into design thinking and human centered movement, you need to start there.
If you start with the solution you're...in human centered design, you're really looking for that unmet need in the marketplace. You need to know what you don't know and be okay with what you don't know. And a lot of companies are afraid to take that open terrain and go that route.
It's really understanding what problem you're solving, what are the holes in the market that you're looking into, competitive landscape, value prop, all that kind of stuff. Because at the end of the day, again, if you want to be a great strategic partner with the clients that you're working with, you're driving business value for them. And if you're not, then it's not a great partnership.
Ryan: I guess, I agree. Like Chris described a minute ago, when the people that have to sign off on what you're building, aren't really understanding the approach or the problem, what it is you're building. Because they're not invested or they don't have time or any other reason.
Chris Cera: A lot of times the organization as a whole isn't aligned with the initiative that we're being contracted or asked to solve. And so I've had situations where the customer, the end user that's ultimately contracting us, is telling us, "We need to start on for...let's say this Friday, and they haven't signed our paperwork yet. And so they're screaming, "Well who's showing up Friday? When are they going to be there? It's 11:00 o'clock, I need people in Virginia, blah, blah, blah." And it's like, "Well, you still haven't signed our paperwork yet."
We've actually kicked off projects with Fortune 100 companies and then never actually got our paperwork signed and ended up walking away like, "All right, well this was a huge fat failure."
Yeah, the organization as a whole need to be aligned. Sometimes I think it comes in the form of not understanding what the problem is, so the organization isn't aligned. So I totally agree with that.
But a lot of times like when you're trying to outsource work, your organization has to know how to outsource work intelligently.
I think a lot of the bigger companies that we work with that have a head of innovation, for instance, which a lot of times in some cases, as a chief innovation officer, is like a big title now in a lot of companies. And what they have a lot of times is actually autonomy to buy things, and they don't have to go through the typical procurement process of the whole organization. And so that allows them to get things done really quickly, make their own mistakes. And that allows things to move a lot quicker.
But that's also like an escape channel from the organization which gets back to what you were saying about, just being in a different building and having that be successful. It doesn't have to be that siloed though. But anyway, alignment was my point.
Matthew: Sure. When we discussed this question or topic on a call, we had a conference call few days ago to run through these questions, one thing that kept coming up was RFPs. And I think almost everybody up here said, "I generally stay away from that." Tell me about that. Why?
Chris Cera: So my favorite experience is when someone comes and like, "Hey, we have two RFPs," someone tells me in my buying department that I need to get three before I can buy anything, and I just need you guys to bid on this.
And then it's funny because a lot of times we look at it, and we're like, "You're totally building the wrong thing, you don't understand the problem that you're trying to solve. And I don't even want to bid on this." But anyway, that happens all the time.
But in general, a lot of times RFPs, in my experience, the buyer's already kind of been identified, for that person that's like "I just need one more because my purchasing department says that that I need three." That's sort of like being used and abused to some extent.
So, lot of times I feel like, we win most competitive processes that we run. However, when we're in an RFP, we actually usually lose for some reason. I feel like there's a lot more to that process than just sort of like the competitive nature of it. There's all sorts of politics in it.
Another example I'll give is, a lot of the public companies or civic organizations, government organizations have bids that they post, and literally, sometimes I've responded to those, like the Chamber of Commerce has. Like, "Hey, you just posted this project," or whatever. And then they'll be like, "Oh, we already closed the period," and it's like "Wait a minute, this was open five days, how do you close anything?" But anyway, I have not had a good experience with RFP, so I will stop there.
Ryan: Yeah, I agree. Every time we've looked at RFP, it almost always looks like they've already identified the solution. The budget that they're...if they give a budget, it's usually fit to some off the shelf solution that they want to buy.
And we've also heard stories and seen the other side of that, where the buyer is sharing proposals with their favorite vendor, so that it can be the best proposal. I think Chris, you might have mentioned a book called...
Chris Bye: There's a book called, The Win Without Pitching Manifesto, I don't know if anybody has read that book. If you're in this space, I highly suggest it.
But in a couple of sentences, it basically talks about when you have deep expertise in a particular arena, people will seek you of for that expertise. If you're an everything agency, let's say, and you take everything under the sun, you now compete against everybody under the sun, right?
So if your expertise is big data or it might be something or patient engagement or something around that, in that regards, you want people coming to you because you're providing the best in class solutions for that.
That has been something I've lived by for a long time. And I found that to be true.
The other thing, to piggyback off the question a little bit, I don't do RFPs. One of the reasons is, I actually read a good quote from David Ogilvy yesterday. And he said, "I look at new business like I'm on the hunt." And I think when you're in the RFP business, you're reacting to what comes your way. You become the company that just happens to fall into your lap.
When you're proactive and you go after the type of work that you want and the type of value alignment that you're about and your team's about. A, you're going to make your employees happier, you're going to find the right type of clients. And you're going to be able to walk in the door and consult with clients on a level where, it opens up opportunities that there isn't any other competition left.
And if you come in and consult the client, start providing value, that minute, that's...I've had multiple conversations with people who recently too...what does an RFP response even look like? Does somebody want to read through a 20-page response? Or did they just skip all the way through it and go, "What's it cost and what does it do? And that's what they do to start with.
So if you can get things down to a one-page response or if you're providing guidance immediately, you want to walk away from that meeting saying, "Okay, let's work together, let's find new ways..." there's new ways to build and set expectations for clients. Instead of trying to go after the big giant, million dollar engagements, finding the smaller engagements where you're able to sell teams and turn things on and off as they go.
But again, it's about providing that value and that consistent exchange. So yeah, RFPs, no go. If you didn't read Win Without Pitching Manifesto, very good book if you're in agency space.
Ryan: They talk a lot about establishing a relationship, understanding the problem and they call it 'getting the inside track.' To close my point... I think when you submit an RFP, a lot of times, Chris's point, he loses more RFP jobs than others. It's because usually there's an expert to help them write the RFP, and that's the person that has the inside track and that's the person who's going to get the job.
Matthew: Yeah. To that point, I think until recently, the only RFPs that we ever won were ones that we helped write. I think that's pretty true, right?
Chris Bye: Yeah.
Matthew: Until very recently to that point.
Man: How'd you pull that off?
Matthew: This guy over here. He's tricky.
So if you don't suggest approaching a project with an RFP, to all of this CMOs and CTOs in our audience, how would you suggest that they go out and find an agency that they want to work with, to find the solution for the projects or ideas that they in mind?
Chris Bye: Are you saying how would you suggest to them?
Matthew: To them, yeah. How would you guys suggest...
Chris Bye: When you're looking for...? Okay.
One of the interesting things about the innovation space right now that I think is fascinating. People think about startups and everything that's happening right now. All the dollars that are out there, 10% of that money is really being funneled by VC, 90% is being actually funneled in by the big corporations.
So, Jaguar, like I said, you can see that happening, I've been working with some clients in the Midwest who are doing the exact same thing. Because bureaucracy and that close doors are hard to get through. To find the right people in that right talent, that's tricky. I think the best people you'll find will be coming to you. And they'll be consulting on that level. They will open doors, they might have innovate products, that spark your interest, those kind of things.
And creating those incubators, that you guys are doing, I think is brilliant. Because that's how you're really going to attract the people that want to work for you. Like Jeff was talking about, how he has a hard time finding the right people. But in his case, I say the same thing, people want a purpose, they don't want a job.
When you have a purpose that's around something that really aligns to what those people want to do, you'll be a homing beacon for them and I think that's really what attracts them.
So finding ways to incentivize and place them, to really come your way because again, talent is a big part of your intellectual property at the end of the day.
Chris Cera: I'll add a couple things. In general, I don't think there's anything wrong with a company saying, "This is what we want to see in a proposal." I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And I would like people to tell me what should be in a proposal. I just think there's a lot of RFPs where literally the RFP itself is like five or ten pages. And it's 'how many employees do you have? Where are most of them located?' It's a lot of paperwork. And so you have to appreciate that.
If it takes my salesperson 40 hours to just respond to your one RFP and our chances of winning it are like 10%. And this is only like a $50,000 project. How is that sustainable at all for anyone?
So it has to be something that minimizes the amount of time because then you're going to eliminate a lot of the really good proactive firms because they're just not going to essentially spend a lot of time on something that doesn't look like they have a good chance of winning.
Ryan: I was just going to add, it seems to be a good option to just reach out to your network. Even if you don't have somebody in your network that is the expert, they might know the expert.
So, I had someone once call me that I went to highschool with and say, "Are you still into computers? I think we have something that might need a computer type solution." And I've sent them to the right person.
Last week someone who I...a longtime friend and a business colleague called me with this problem that I'm not sure if I can help with but it seemed like it was more in Jason's space, so I send it over to him.
I think consulting is...any kind of consulting, whether it's with a lawyer or with an agency, for digital design stuff, you're necessarily dealing with something that you're not an expert in and they are. So a little bit of trust goes a long way in a better outcome.
Drew: I think it also kind of related to that. There so much of a focus on content marketing and personal brands and people getting out there, that actually you can even go beyond your personal network and just read some articles about what you're trying to do, learn some things and people pop out and companies pop out.
Even if they're not the right company, you talk to them, they recommend someone else, that kind of thing. And all of it, what it boils down to is a more kind of modern process than in RFP, which is...sort of what we're getting out this whole thing is that things are changing, times are changing and it's moving from that RFP into something more modern.
Matthew: Okay. So, as I'm approaching a project with you guys, I'm the client, tell me how those first couple of conversations would go? Tell me what the first most important topics that you would discuss when on-boarding or approaching a new project? What would you ask me? How would that conversation go?
Ryan: What led you to me and what problem are you trying to solve? Who is it for? Why? What else have you considered? What else has failed? What's come before? Things like that. And then listen, let them talk.
Chris Bye: I think you want to get to like, "How valuable is this to your organization?" That's really something you really need to find out because if it's just something they're going to throw out to a bunch of random agencies and they're just trying to find the cheapest bidder, that's probably not a really valuable thing for them to solve.
But if you can get to the core of the conversation and find out that like, yeah, there really is a tremendous amount of value to this for us, then again, obviously, the problem that you're looking to solve and how do you go from there from it. Those are the big things.
Budgetary restraints and all that is part of trying to figure out with what you're working with. When you're working in an innovation space, one of my goals is to...I want to know what clients' budget is. It's not because I'm trying to maximize how many dollars I can make, it's because I want to maximize how much value I can get for those dollars.
And if you're going to work in a lean iterative fashion because it's all business assumptions, and how do I validate and test that hypothesis or just prove that hypothesis in the quickest way possible.
If I know I have a million dollars in a two-year runway, well, I'm going to have a different sort of tact and approach to that project.
If I know they have $50,000 and I know it's incredibly critical to them to the success of that business, here's what I would recommend that you do with those dollars so we can actually get you traction track so you can get the next either round of funding or if you're inside a bigger organization, how do we get it, so you can get it up the food chain so that you can get more budget released.
So it's that nonstop give and take of that communication, that strategic alignment and that partnership.
One of the things I learned in the agency space, working with some pretty large companies, when you come through the door as sort of a commodity, you're always seen as a commodity. And if you come through the door and you start having conversations with the C-level guys right off the bat and they can see that you're aligned within their core mission and their values and they can see the value that you add, then you can get access to a much larger whole of the project itself.
So you’ve got to be careful about how you come through the door and how you're seen. Because once you come through in a particular light, it's hard to get out of that.
Chris Cera: In a first meeting, there's a few roles and objectives that I play. And on one hand, it's a strategist role and a team member and just try to be helpful, "How can I help these folks get to the next level?"
And then on the other hand is trying to help business development for our own company. We have some of our own objectives too.
I'm definitely trying to assess what is the pain being experienced by the company which is what Chris was getting at to, or said differently but similar. Such that we can realize, "How big of a priority is it for this organization?" If there's a lot of pain and it's really critical, lot of things that are compliance oriented, it is often times an immense amount of pain that has to be solved, because it's a regulatory thing and it has to be solved immediately.
Versus something that's like "Yeah, I think it can be more efficient for our workers, but we're not really sure how efficiency impacts the bottom line, and I'm not even sure that I care about bottom line personally," that's a different set of priorities. And I feel like a lot of times people want us to revamp the design but it's like they feel like they need to redo their design. But they actually don't really know what or why or anything else.
To me it says, all right, not a lot of pain, so that means, it's not going to be a priority for them. And so I'm not going to prioritize this really high on my list most likely because it's not a priority for them either.
So there's the pain and then budget, timeline is important. The timeline sometimes can be gotten from the pain, but not always. And then budget for all the reasons Chris said, is important. And if I can get all of that in a first call, then I feel like I've gotten a lot.
And then I was a software developer or software architect for many years, I'll try in my mind to make sure like, "All right, is this person telling me something that sounds like it's going to be three million dollars of work? Or is this actually something that's going to be $300,000 which they told me?"
And so in the first call, I'm trying to be helpful in that regard to, to say look, I think you're totally hacking in the wrong forest with, the problem you're trying to solve and the budget that you have, because this is a much bigger problem or a much smaller problem.
So in that first hour I'm hopeful that I'm helpful strategist and everything else, but also get what our agency needs to move our business development forward as well.
Matthew: Okay. Following this panel, we're going to hear from Chris Hunter from Urban. And he's going to speak about the process of them moving so much of this technological backbone and infrastructure and marketing and all this kind of stuff in house.
So acknowledging that there might be some bias up here on stage, when do you think that it makes sense for a business to try and tackle this type of project themselves in-house, build a team to do it themselves? And when does it make more sense for them to seek outside help, a consultant or an agency such as yourselves?
Drew: I really love the idea of the collaboration, so kind of like a mix because you go either extreme, you could hire an agency and they aren't as involved in the business. You could go all in-house and they might have certain outside experiences.
And it's actually hard to find, but I love the idea of mixing the two or maybe consulting or maybe having... Some people do some tests in-house and getting some consultants. Some hybrid model to figure out what each business needs. Because each business is going to be different, every business has different in-house people already and the ability to hire different in-house people. So that could look very different depending on the business.
And the only way to really know is to take that step a little bit. And it just makes sense that if you get everyone involved, you get a little bit outside, a little bit inside. It's much better for the long run.
Chris Cera: It's so hard to know as an outsider what's going to work necessarily inside. As an outsider, you don't have any idea what the operating history of the company is from an innovation and technology cultural perspective.
And a lot of times the culture that is that they currently have wouldn't support the type of work that they want to do and it's hard to assess that as an outsider, although there are certainly signals that you can pick up but you can't be 100% certain.
In the first question that you had asked, sort of mentioning the people, I definitely want to make sure that I'm working with someone on the other side that really understands what we do, the value that we provide and is a good team player.
The situation where we literally are [inaudible 00:27:50] with the CEO of the company is often times not the best scenario because that that person is the Product Manager for us for launching a new product in a market, etc., is oftentimes one of the best people for us to work with because they're on the business side, they're inside.
We don't have to question their motives, their executives don't question their motives and so one. I certainly prefer not to do everything entirely outsourced. But anyway it's hard to assess it as an outsider, and I think many companies can be successful doing this internally.
But I've seen it go really wrong where literally entire teams were fired abruptly because things failed. And a lot of times it all happened with pure engineering culture that's that someone is trying to build in a pure sales and marketing culture. Bunch of engineers aren't going to want to work in a boiler room. I've been there, it's not cool.
Ryan: I think it can depend on what they're building. Is it a new division of a company that's going to be around for a while? Or is it a product that's really a onetime project that's going end?
I've heard developers complain that their last three jobs have been a series of projects really where the employer wanted to own the talent but really the project was done after six months or a year, and the job was to babysit this thing that was done.
I think in that case, it might be a mistake to build a team. But in the other type of situation, where it's a new division or a new product it's going to be long lived, we've been a part of seeding a new in-house team, and it's worked both ways for us, where we can want us consultants and help them hire their first employee full time and that usually works out great because they have someone in-house who is echoing all the things we're saying, and that increases the trust in the relationship.
We've also had to go the other way, where someone hires their first tech person as the CTO or the tech lead or something like that. And then we're brought on to help them go faster and interview and hire and sort of build the team that way.
I've seen both work and I think it really just depends on, like Chris said, everyone's comfort levels... type of the organization and everything like that.
Chris Bye: And your question was when corporations should go the in-sourcing route, right?
Matthew: Either way or the pros and cons.
Chris Bye: Well, I mean if I was Urban Outfitters, I would think it's a great idea. First off, incredible compound. So you have the ability to recruit some of the best talent in the area. If you have the ability to build the product at that level and you can have that level of innovation, I would say, yeah, I think that's a great way to do it. You're going to save a lot of money.
The question I would have, is there a stagnation that happens. In that environment...? I'm not too familiar with how you...you'll talk about in minute, so I'll be curious to hear more about it.
But for companies that have the ability to recruit, I think it's awesome. And I'm sure there's opportunities where they can find the right moments to outsource and find those specialties that they don't have as you guys were talking about too.
If you're a culture that isn't the type of place that somebody wouldn't necessarily want to come, work at immediately, then I don't think in-sourcing is the way to go. It really depends on the project.
If you also have a mission or values like a CHOP, and you can align to and you can attract those type of people, that's great.
I think there is a mixture depending on the project. But I would say, a lot of agencies have been worried about it for a long time coming. And you see a lot of bigger companies buy up agencies and just bring them in-house and create their own, sort of augment a team overnight, which can erode a culture...if an agency has a really great culture and all of a sudden, they're bought by a really corporate environment, you can also make a really bad investment because those people are going to flip.
So it really depends on the situation. But overall I think it makes sense for companies like Urban. And with Comcast right now is an interesting one too, because they're building an entire tower and they're going to try to compete with the Googles of the world.
So it's interesting to see, are they too big to innovate? I'm really curious to see what happens with Comcast when they bring those people in. It's either, when people think about this area, Philadelphia in general and I've talk to people all around the country, when they're looking to move here, possibly getting the technology space, they think Urban and they think Comcast.
There's a bunch of other agencies and things that are spawning up around the area, but those are the two big ones.
So I think it's good for the area, honestly, from recruitment perspective because I think Philly in general is really an up and coming... I tend to lean again, I'm less agency and more into the startup space. There's a lot happening right now as far as how many startups and things are starting to spawn off.
There's talk of a startup supercenter happening in Philadelphia that's going to have about 200 startups in it. There's incubators and accelerators and things, like the accelerator models shifting up it as well.
One thing I didn't touch on earlier too, even like Target just partnered with Techstars. So they're basically creating accelerated programs for companies to come in and innovate for them, which I thought was a smart way. It's not necessarily in-sourcing but it's a way to get a level of innovation, seeing problems from that perspective.
Matthew: Great. So one of my favorite CEO's of all time at Ed Catmull over at Pixar, he coined the idea of the Hungry Beast and the Ugly Baby. To explain the difficulty and the necessity of supporting and protecting these fragile ugly new ideas in the face of the corporate machine, the bottom line.
It's really difficult to put a lot of resources into something that you're unsure of yet, that ugly duckling. How do you guys support and protect the ugly baby in your own businesses?
Chris Cera: Is that a way of just saying like, make sure you don't over-invest in the wrong thing?
Matthew: So the idea is that when a new idea or technology or something comes to light, it's usually not the prettiest thing, it's not perfectly optimized, you can't immediately see how you're going to make millions of dollars off of it.
So the bottom line makes you want to crush that and move on to something else. But if we did that all great new ideas, we would never have any innovation. So it's keeping those new ideas protected and alive for long enough to figure out how they fit in the face of payroll coming up and all of these things.
Ryan: I'm going to use the metaphor of being on fire with something. There was a great blog post by a guy, he had a funny name, it's something Grimlock, his gimmick was to like, write Grimlock spoke from Transformers, so everything was really terrible English.
And it was "Beyond Fire" I think was the name of the blog post. And I think our experience has been that if someone really likes an idea, the first time there's an actual fire with something else, you drop that, put the fire out, sometimes forget about it.
It seems to me like someone has to be on fire with the idea so that when the other fire comes up, they're still on fire with the idea at the end of the day and they keep moving with it. That's been my experience, is that internal things that we're trying to innovate with, whether it's a product or something for us or even just a new technology to experiment with, that we might try to sell someday. Somebody has to really be on fire with the goodness of the idea. So that they keep pushing it forward till it gets to a point where it's not just an ugly baby.
Drew: Everyone else also in the organization has to respect that fire or understand that at times it's going to seem like it's not smart, but you have that long term goal in mind.
And it honestly really is just a huge challenge. And I'm looking at it from a perspective of like an internal tool or something we might make where as soon as client projects come in, they're much more important just because they have money. And it's really like, it's never going to work unless someone or maybe even someone at the top, I don't know exactly the formula, but someone has to force a through, someone has to champion it, even when it's really hard to champion.
Chris Bye: Aren't all new business ideas ugly babies when they start ultimately? The goal is to figure out how to get it to that next level as cheaply and as fast as you possibly can.
So that to me would be...obviously, that the people that I want to champion the idea, but if you can't validate or invalidate it that hypothesis, that business idea, you pivot or persevere kind of a moment.
And, "Are we going to keep following through with this or do we...you don't want to ditch your baby. I guess, in some ways you have to do that and move on to the next one. And not sort of claim too much to it. But if you start to get the traction with it, and you can move forward and validate that business idea then [inaudible 00:37:28] doubling down on those things, that we might take them.
Matthew: Great. I think I should probably wrap this up here. Thank you guys so much.
Ryan: Thank you.