Get in touch

This isn’t remote, this is a pandemic: On this week’s episode of Track Changes, Paul and Rich chat with friend and client Tim Meaney about when things could return to normal and if they should return to normal. Some positive changes have come from this pandemic, like more time with family and getting rid of office inefficiencies. Also, our guest shares the importance of resilience and, of course, how he feels about the hit documentary series Tiger King.

Transcript

Rich Ziade I’m a very—as Paul says, oral person. 

Paul Ford I usually don’t say that. 

RZ Verbal? 

PF Verbal, yeah. 

Tim Meaney Verbal maybe? [Chuckling] Okay. [Music plays for 18 seconds, ramps down.

PF Richard. 

RZ Paul, do you know what I do every morning right now? 

PF Tell me, Rich, what do you do every morning right now? 

RZ Put socks on. 

PF Oh good! 

RZ I have a watch on. 

PF Yeah. 

RZ Look at my watch. 

PF I put a watch on too, I put on the watch you gave me. 

RZ Yup. 

PF Yup. 

RZ Yup, cuz I’m going to work! I’m commuting [music fades out]. 

PF It’s true. 

RZ And I gotta look decent. 

TM Alright, Rich, there’s been a long standing joke about working from home and not wearing pants. I just read an article that Walmart confirmed: they’re selling more tops. But no more pants. Since the pandemic. 

RZ That makes a lot of sense. And what a wonderful way to introduce Tim Meaney, our guest [laughing] for today’s podcast. Tim has been—

TM Large data sets are amazing. 

RZ Tim—Tim is a friend. 

[1:08]

PF A client. 

RZ A client! We’ve known him for years and years. One of our best podcasts, I think, actually, is what are the greatest pieces of software in the history of software. Look it up if you haven’t heard it. He’s been on before and it’s a lot of fun. 

PF It’s good to have Tim back on. Tim, this is comfort—this podcast. This isn’t gonna be like—I mean it might get existential, don’t worry. 

RZ You know when they do smashed potatoes? And [yeah] they put like little bacon bits in ‘em? That’s this podcast. 

PF Yeah, we’re all here to have a good time. You know—

RZ So what we’ve learned is that Tim’s not wearing pants as we record this podcast. 

PF You know what? Hold on. Pause. The real risk, frankly, isn’t not wearing pants, the real risk is you’re like, “Those pants are fine. I wore those yesterday. I’m gonna just continue to wear them.” 

RZ That is truly risky, isn’t it? 

PF Oh cuz you’re—there’s a comedian, Jim Gaffigan, and he just has this point like, “Men are so lazy, they’ll wear the same pair of pants because the belt’s already in it.” And it’s not wrong. Yeah. 

RZ Yeah but you know that’s the thing the chore of getting ready for work is very important for me, mentally. So even though I don’t have to do any of this stuff. I think the ritual and just the act of preparing myself and then beginning work is just health—it feels like for me, at least. Yeah. I’m in sweatpants. I feel confident enough in myself to say that but I’m wearing a watch and I have deodorant on because I love my family very much. But—

PF No, these are good things. I wake up every morning and I shower and I get ready for work. That’s sanity. 

[2:33]

RZ Yeah, exactly. So, here’s the question, let’s pose it to Tim. Tim, when do we go back to work? 

TM I’m gonna say mid-May. 

PF Oof! 

RZ Okay. 

PF I was thinkin’ sometime in April, or mid-April. Tax day. 

RZ Really?!? That’s worth noting: Tim is in New Jersey, northern New Jersey; Paul and I are in Brooklyn; our office is in Manhattan. Right now—

PF This has been week two. 

RZ As we’re recording this podcast. Yeah. It’s March 27th, recorded. I mean New York City is the epicenter right now of the spread but, again, that’s because of the number of results they’re showing off of the tests. We’re testing a lot right now. So there’s that. Who knows. But! I think we’re gonna be later than uh Daton, Ohio. I’ll tell ya that. 

PF Yeah, you’re probably right. 

RZ My thinking, but. 

PF The thing about May 15—so this was the first week for me. So we’re two weeks in. And like yesterday I started to go, “Wow, this feels normal now. This is what we’re doing.” You know, human beings take about two weeks to adapt in a very basic way to a new behavior. And then after that there’s this kind of iterative like, “Oh! This is—this is how we do”. And so if you’re talking May, that’s normal. By May 15th—

TM Yeah. 

PF This is what is normal and going back to the office is what’s strange. 

RZ Yeah. It’s gonna be weird. I just imagine—I have a seven-year-old and a five-year-old. I just imagine my seven-year-old, he’s a boy, he’s got a lot of energy. I imagine them going back to school that first day—if they go back to school this school year—and just destroying the place. There’s just gonna be so much pent up energy. Kid energy is contagious and kids kind of feed off each other. I think they’re just gonna destroy the place. [Laughing] I just think they’re gonna take desks and tip ‘em over and—it’s just they’re gonna be so excited to be in that element again. It’s gonna take a minute to adjust back. There’s no way around it. 

[4:26]

TM You just said something interesting. You think they’re going back to school this year. 

RZ Well I don’t. I actually don’t think they are. 

PF Well and that’s worth pointing out: like that’s—by mid-May you’re really only talking a few weeks left in the school year. 

RZ Yeah. 

TM Right. 

RZ Which is crazy. New York City has, you know, it’s one of the largest school systems in the country. It is the largest in the country. One of the largest in the world. And they are struggling with online learning and all that. And there are a lot of kids who don’t even have computers to even do it. So it’s hard right now. It’s hard on parents right now. Really hard on parents right now. 

PF It’s a tricky one, right? Cuz I’m seeing with the distance learning, only about half the kids are showing up. And [mm hmm] you know they’re getting more devices in and people are figuring it out but like they’re gonna have to start over and sort of like maybe do summer school or something. There’s no way to keep everybody on track after this. 

RZ I will say I think positive things will come out of this. I’m—

TM Alright, I love this! Love that—

PF So this is what humans do, right? 

RZ I’ll share an example. You know, I call this the ask-for-forgiveness moment. Like we just have to do stuff right now. So a lot of the analysis and risk assessment of things you’re gonna do kind of get put away. The risk calculator’s in the drawer for now. But I’ll give you an example. We have a large financial . . . institution that is a client of Postlight’s and they got on Zoom in like five days. And—

PF This is after probably 12 years of video conferencing conversations. 

RZ [Laughs] Without a doubt have spent tens of millions of dollars just assessing how they’re gonna do video conferencing. 

[6:03]

PF Inside of their office. Not remote. 

RZ [Laughing] It’s staggering. And then in five days they did it. Another example: I had an appointment with my opthamologist a few days ago over Facetime. And it was fine. She asked me to do a few things. She tracked my eye while I followed an object. It was doable. And, you know, I also went to neurologists for years and neurologists—

PF Yeah, Rich, this is great. It’s literally called Facetime but there are like 800 other kinds of doctors where this is like—what are proctologists doing? Or podiatrists? Lemme take it up a notch. Like how—how awkward is this? “Hey, can you pl—” 

TM Dentist. It’s gonna be hard to do that. Dentistry. 

PF Just lighting! 

RZ Not everything but a lot of visits to the doctor’s office are conversations. “How are you doing?” 

TM No doubt. 

RZ “How are you doing?” And for a neurologist like—a conversation—You know, I had a condition that didn’t—there was nothing to check on me physically. You just talk to me. And I never understood why he wouldn’t have a phone call with me and the reason he wouldn’t have a phone call is because he needed to file away the visit as a formal appointment for insurance purposes. 

PF Right. 

RZ And that’s ridiculous, right? Because it could all be done; we’re getting in cars; we’re getting on trains for something that doesn’t need to be the case and—

PF But it could be done with telemedicine, sure.

RZ It could be done with telemedicine! And yeah, I mean, will there be a way to look at my foot on—I don’t wanna put my foot on my iPad. I’ll be frank. 

PF I know this whole thing is bad. Like when we get to OBGYN, this is not—there’s a lot more—

TM What about non-essential business travel? When does that get back to the level? 

PF That can’t be—

[7:35]

TM Probably never. Never. 

PF That can’t be soon enough. Sales is weird. I will say like sales is a very like handshake driven—

RZ Go see them. 

TM When do handshakes get back? They’re gone. 

PF That’s gonna be like six months. We’re not doin’ handshakes. 

RZ Maybe we could just adopt like Japanese culture where we just sort of bow at each other and just call it a day. It’s fine. 

PF I think there’s more to Japanese culture than that but for the purposes of argument [others laugh].

RZ No, but! I have a rule with sales which is if you can go see ‘em, go see ‘em—

PF Always, right? That’s—

RZ If you need to get on a plane, get on a plane. That’s what you do. 

PF And it’s actually, really important people visit our office and see how—is this thing real? Our office does a lot of the sell for us . . . selling services. 

RZ So, look, I’m saying this as if the future is here and we’re not gonna ever see each—People need to see each other. Humans need to interact with one another and see each other and pat each other on the back. I do think there’s a lot of inefficiency and honestly a lot of waste. You know? We have a client right now who’s—their goal is to raise awareness around climate change and if we can bring down doctor’s visits by ten percent or meetings that are remote and have them happen in—

PF Look, pointless business travel—we work with a lot of big consulting firms and their instinct is just to get on a transnational flight at any moment. 

RZ Always. 

[8:53]

PF And the clients expect it and it’s kinda baked into the pricing. I think that’s what’s tricky. Like, we have a business and Tim, you work in insurance, right? Like you’re a Product Lead for a big insurance firm. But we all basically work in businesses where travel isn’t the first instinct—like we don’t bake travel into the cost of working with us. If we’re gonna need to fly to work with clients that’s gonna cost more. It’s not a given. And so we’re able to kind of have a profile that way but a lot of businesses it’s just a given which is why you have an airline industry. And I think that that should be on the block. Like it’s been time for a while and everyone’s been kinda goin’ like, “Oh yeah we know. We have to figure this out. Let’s buy some carbon offsets down in—you know, the Amazon.” And now it’s like—it’s kinda got shoved into our face and now everybody’s gonna go, “Well, we have to deal with this.” 

RZ What else, Tim—Anything else that comes to mind that I think could be more positive—like a positive change that came out of this? 

TM Well I don’t wanna get too sappy about it but—and I’m not the first person to point this out but the forced time with family—and I mean forced meaning just being together for this amount of time. 


RZ Yeah. 


TM Has been amazing. I have a daughter who’s a senior in high school, so who’s very literally leaving us soon [yeah] and this period of time together has just been amazing. With all of everything going on around us and the hardship, putting that aside for one moment, it’s been something—I’m sure you’re experiencing the same. 

RZ Yeah, exactly and my kids are a lot younger but, let’s face it, I mean we tend to fill our day with whatever we think we need to get done and there’s just not a lot left. You get the scraps, right? Family usually—I mean we’re—the three of us are ambitious, busy people and we’re not ones to say, “Ah! I’m goin’ home at 11am on a Thursday and I’m just gonna go hang with my family.” I just don’t think that way. I feel like—

TM I’ve had a baseball catch—a baseball catch with my son every day during this time. We haven’t had a baseball catch in 12 years. 

PF No, I mean [Rich laughs]—Look, let’s be clear: we’re actually—Like Rich and I as co-founders of a small business are pretty good. Like we go home, we have dinner with children, we spend the weekends, we take vacations. But it’s not like this. I think that what’s been different for me cuz I have eight year old twins, right? So they’re up and down. This is a lot for them and what I’m finding is that I just am more deeply involved. Like just—you know, my wife has taken on the burden of the childcare cuz I’m working and right now she doesn’t have a job which is actually working out beautifully but like I need to get in there. I need to listen to what’s going on. I need to peace make. I need to let the kids literally ride me around in the room. My son was like, “I need to wrestle and play.” Like he just was like, “I need to—” 

RZ Yeah. 

[11:37]

PF—“fight and hit because that’s what an eight-year-old needs to do.” And I’m like, “Alright well dammit we’re gonna actually—” And I just started throwin’ him around the room and he was happy, right? Given this moment and the fact that like you have to make the best of it you can. If you’re healthy and you’re home, this is your chance to see if you can connect with the people around you. 

RZ Does everyone just go back . . . to the old way? 

PF No. 

RZ Like, “This is nice and we got to play catch.” This passes. I tend to think that humans have a short attention span. I mean I remember I was in New York for 9/11. The first—I don’t know year, year and a half were weird and then we just kept going. 

PF Here’s what’s up, right? People—once we get out of a zone of panic and fear, we like to pretend that the panic and fear was never there. We tend to remember like, “Well that was a time when we were home with our family and boy that was weird.” But the skills and tools that humans learn we will apply to any new situation. So like I think denial—everybody will run back into the office and be like, “God, it’s just good like a Kind bar and have somebody else pay for my Diet Coke again.” Like that part will be real. 

RZ Yeah. 

PF And it’s like, “Let’s have a meeting.” And you know, we’ll all get used to that. And then this style of interaction that we’ve all had to learn through May and, you know, who the hell knows, maybe it’s June. Like, that’s not goin’ away. Like, speaking into the microphone and letting things be virtual as well as physical and collaborating on documents in a really ad hoc way and probably a lot more—Like I see this with you and me, Rich, like just lettin’ go cuz we don’t have control. Tim, you manage a team. Like what’s your experience been like? 

TM So my team is entirely remote. So from that angle on it, nothing has changed. The big change for everybody on my team has been, this is obvious, but like the change in their work environment. Like you just said, they have kids home. So having like—as a leadership team just had to have a lot of empathy for people. Like, “I can’t make that meeting. You know, I’m cooking breakfast,” or whatever. So, people are dealing with change even if they’ve been remote for two years. 

[13:41]

RZ Yeah. You do need that separation. That wall of separation, even if it’s virtual. Like when that kid climbs into the frame of that meeting, it is a moment, right? You’re just sorta talking and you’re making your point and all of a sudden a five-year-old just sort of—drifts into [chuckles] the frame. 

PF We did a kid’s Zoom. It was pretty good. 

RZ Yeah, it was great. It was great. 

PF We had all the kids come onto a Zoom at the end of Wednesday—

TM That’s pretty great. 

PF It was absolute chaos. Just complete, total nonsense. It was great. Alright, so you guys were all remote already but yeah this isn’t remote. This is something different. This is pandemic. So what’s gonna happen? We’re all gonna come in and we’re all gonna pretend that we’re back at the office in June. 

RZ I think everyone’s gonna come in and just—I think it’s gonna take everyone a minute to feel comfortable to be in each other’s presence actually. I think—a switch isn’t gonna flip right. It’s—it’s—

TM Well actually what is that switch? Because—

RZ Yeah, there is no switch. Right. 

TM If the government, whoever, the mayor, the governor, whoever you wanna say says it’s safe, like what is the moment where you as a human actually feels safe? We don’t know yet. 

PF It’s literally in New York state when Andrew Cuomo puts up a Powerpoint slide and says, “This is who can go back to work.” 

TM I mean he has a lot of trust and his voice has been very clear. 

RZ Yeah, that’s not enough. 

TM But it’s not enough. 

[15:00]

RZ You can already tell that there is such a fog of war right now and there’s such a lack—it’s just shards of information that are making it out and people are trying to piece together what is right and what isn’t. And what is true and what is trending and which way is it trending. And I think that’s what where a lot of the anxiety lies. Like this is something that we haven’t gotten our arms around yet. Everybody wants to know if they can order food in. Everybody wants to know, you know, how they should clean their phones, or should they—do they even have to bother cleaning their phones? 

PF Right. 

RZ Everybody wants to—and no one knows. That is where we are today. Nobody really knows the right answers and the thing I think that is really messing with people’s heads is that you could have no symptoms and just go buckwild and infect 20 people, right? And that is a lot for someone to process. I’m not even talking about the actual pandemic. I’m just talking about psychologically the idea of my seven-year-old doing this to people a lot. It’s a lot to process and until we actually have visibility into things where we can feel confident about where we are. Like, “Am I immune now? Can I go work in a grocery store because I got it a month and a half ago and I’m fine and I can take the burden off someone else?” We don’t have the tools yet. Like we don’t have them. So what you’re gonna see is a lot of eyeballing. A lot of what I call visual flight, essentially good pilots, they don’t bother the instruments on a clear day. They just sort of feel their way and land the plane. Like that’s a lot! I mean, Cuomo is doing a lovely job and he’s very inspirational but that’s a lot to put faith in. 

PF Right, right. 

RZ I don’t think anyone’s gonna do it. 

TM I think I wanna change my date off of May 15th after thinking about what you’re saying. 

PF Oh no, it’s gonna be worse. 

TM Yes. 

RZ I think, you know, this calculation—like this algorithm gets run all day. I’ll share a personal example. I rented a car a week ago, figuring I could bring my who’s in her 60s, who lives alone, over to our house. If we just keep it between her house, my house, and the car, all’s good, right? So I rented this car for a month. It’s parked outside my house. Three days later, we’re just sort of watching how things unfold and I’m sittin’ there trying to do this calculation in my head, and we haven’t picked her up. We just said, “The hell with it.” Why even risk it? Even though it feels pretty low risk to even do it—

PF No! I mean she’s in her 60s, she’s not in perfect health. Like why risk it? 

[17:28]

RZ Why risk it? I wish I could tell you that’s because, you know, I had some really excellent inputs to put in this algorithm. I [laughing] didn’t! My inputs are like a headline I read and a statistic I saw and just me being rational. It’s just bullshit. It’s all a hodgepodge of nonsense. That, to me, is where much of the anxiety lies, it’s in that ambiguity. Not in the actual thing. Obviously the actual thing is terrible. That’s the other bit of it: we are watching this through the media from our houses which we can’t leave. And that’s a very weird thing. The hospital three miles away from me feels 300,000 miles away from me. 

PF Right, right. 

RZ It’s a really weird feeling. Right? The crisis is right here but it feels so far away. And so I think a lot of this is psychological and sociological in terms of how to cope with it. I mean I’m thinking about New York City. I think New York City is in heat of it right now. So, Tim, have you gone to town? Have you gone to like Main Street and Ridgewood, New Jersey, where you live? 

TM Bergen County’s dealing with a lot as well. There’s a few areas that are definitely out of control but I live in the suburbs, you know the downtown is just completely shut down. But the suburbs has this weird coming-to-life moment that happens in all of these events. Like post-hurricane; power’s out; anything like that, weirdly, everybody goes outside, talks to each other, is kind, rides bikes, throws baseballs. It’s such a weird phenomenon, relative to the norm which is everybody’s inside staring at their phones or at like dance practice. So the suburbs [chuckling] come alive. 

RZ So wait are the suburbs you mean are coming alive now? 

TM A hundred—If I were to look out my window on a normal day, I’d see zero human beings. If I look out—I’m in my basement but if I were to look out, I would see 20 people. They’re not near each other. 

PF No, I know what you’re talking about which is like that’s the network. Everything else is fake. 

TM That’s the network. 

PF They went, “Hey, did you see that? Are you ok? How’s your house?” 

TM “Hey neighbor, are you ok?” 

PF “What’s goin’ on?” 

[19:27] 

RZ See the thing for us here is there’s a lot of stoops where I live. I’m in Brooklyn, right? And sitting on your stoop on a warm day is a thing but the density is creating more anxiety than where you are—Like you’ve just got—

TM The math is very different. 

RZ The math is very different. 

PF This podcast is accomplishing something important . . . which is it’s saying, “This is gonna be a while. It doesn’t matter if it’s good for business. It doesn’t matter if it’s great for you individually, there’s kinda no negotiating with it. It’s gonna be a while. And then it’s gonna be different and nobody really knows exactly how.” Like we’re gonna come in and everything’s gonna be tilted about three degrees to the left and it’s gonna take a little while to find balance. 

RZ Yeah I think that’s right. It’s interesting, I thought we would skew towards talking about business and technology and we didn’t, we ended up talking about human beings and how we’re gonna deal with this stuff. I do think positive things will come out of it. I think it’s gonna take time. I think it’s sort of like—you ever get off, you know, not to use the flu as an analogy, you know when you’re done with it? Your energy level is just not there. It takes like another few days after it’s all behind you . . . to just get going again. 

PF Well you feel—you’re like, “Hey, I’m back at work. I’m fine, I’m fine,” and then usually like six days later you’re like, “God, I was still a little bit sick.” 

RZ Yeah, it’s fatigue, right? It’s just the energy level isn’t back to where it was and I think there’s gonna be that lag. I think that is real and I think if you’re running a company or working at a company, I think people are gonna see that in each other and recognize it. 

PF You know, I think too just like—we’re talkin’ to somebody who works in insurance but like resilience and probability are gonna get factored in. I think there’ll be this initial burst of like, “Oh, we need to plan so that if that ever happ—If that ever happens again, we’ve got a clear strategy and we’ll start evaluating this as we do our planning sessions.” 

RZ I mean this is a great point, I mean, there’s a term in your world, Tim: the one in one hundred year event. 

TM Absolutely. 

RZ And that’s a calculation that you guys make, right? I mean that’s—

TM There’s a thing about one in one hundred year events if you ever read The Black Swan which is over a long enough time period, low probability things happen. 

PF Right. 

RZ Right. 

[21:30]

TM They actually happen a lot over a long enough period of time so people think one in one hundred means zero. It means one in a hundred. 

PF Right. 

TM Which is very different than zero. We’re all what? 45-ish? We’ve been through a few one in a hundred events, I would say.  

PF We definitely have. New York City has. Here’s what—

RZ It’s true. 

PF Here’s what I’m thinking: it’s not the specific event, and I think that that would be the initial reaction for a lot of people is like, “Are we in a world of pandemics?” The reaction here—or at least the way that I’m seeing this and in the back of my head I’m like, “What can I learn from this? Like what is the thing that I can take to the business, I can take to my kids, I can internalize?” And I’ve been thinking about this as I’ve been getting older and thinking about my health and so on. It’s like there is no greater quality than resilience. Like there’s nothing that matters more than resilience, and that’s not really what we talk about mostly when we’re talking about planning and structuring the business. We talk about risk in a certain way; we think about growth, but that word doesn’t come to us as much as other words do and I think in the future that’s gotta be part of the conversation which is like, “What happens if you push it this way or that way? Like how do we get back on track?”

TM Well let’s keep it light for a minute: the most relevant thing everybody in the world is talking about right now, besides the big thing, is Tiger King. So Rich, which Tiger King character are you? 

RZ I don’t know all their names. I’m not Jonny [Joe] Exotic. Is Jonny Exotic or Joe Exotic? 

TM Joe. Joe. 

RZ I don’t think I’m that guy. I think I’m the guy who’s kind of like the upgrade version [laughing] of Joe Exotic Zoo. I don’t—

TM The Myrtle Beach version. 

RZ The Myrtle Beach version. It’s just nice. It’s sort of more of a compou—I think that woman’s full of shit, by the way. Like, I can’t fully piece together what’s going—I’m only on episode two. 

[23:13]

PF Alright, alright. Should I watch this thing? 

RZ Oh, you need to watch it, Paul. You have to watch this. There is an alternate universe that is—exists on this earth that you need to peer into. It is—

PF Alright. 

TM To understand culture in 2020, Paul, which you’re a [sic] astute observer of, you have to watch this. 

PF Alright, I will watch Tiger King on Netflix. 

RZ It’s a wonderful distraction! It’s great that you brought this up, Tim. It is a wonderful distraction right now cuz it’s so ridiculous. Yeah. What—I mean as someone that has managed remotely—and we’ve asked this of other people, we actually had our Head of Engineering . . . gave a great podcast where he gave tips on working remotely but I wanna ask you, since your team is virtual, about managing remotely. Come out of the moment for a second, you’ve been doing this for a while. What works? Like what’s something—what are a couple of things that you find or really make it effective? Cuz for a lot of people this is weird right? I like to—I like to talk to you . I like to go back and forth and it’s been an adjustment for me in dealing with that. So I guess give me—give everyone, actually, some things you’ve learned that just made it more effective for you to work with a team and manage a team that’s entirely remote. 

TM Okay. And thank you for this question cuz I didn’t wanna go out on Tiger King, so at least I get to say something maybe [Rich laughs] potentially, slight—[chuckles] slightly meaningful. So I guess what I would say: it was an adjustment for me to have a remote team, for sure, cuz I’m very much a relationship person. But all I would say would be, for me, extend that idea to just being remote. What I mean by that is look, I’m a product leader, always driving people to ship. Yesterday we were in a war room from 10am literally til midnite because we had a huge release. Everybody’s home, everybody’s stressed but the way that people motivate to [sic] do that is because they’re working with a network of people who care about that and that has to be real and meaningful. So if you’re just gonna tell people to work til midnite, you’re a monster. If you’re gonna motivate people to wanna work with you that has to be based on something more meaningful and deeper which I would call an actual human relationship not a false one. And just cuz you’re remote, there’s nothing about being remote that precludes having a normal, human relationship with somebody where you like, for example, care about them. Ask them about their kids. Be sensitive to them and say, “Why don’t you take Monday off cuz you worked till midnite?” All of those things are the same whether you’re in the same room or remote. 

[25:36]

RZ Interesting. Do you cultivate that between team members? I mean I know you and I know how you work and approach things and I know you would do that. So you build those bonds but [yeah] how does the team—like I find that if a team is connected it’s just a whole other level of effectiveness and quality comes out of them. How do people—how are people gonna connect if they’re all remote? 

TM So, you are pointing out one thing that I think is interesting and obvious which is the relationships that I’ve been able to build in my organization are also based on getting together and having a beer and going for dinner. So if you’re like—in this moment where you don’t yet have that, perhaps it’s harder to build and maintain a relationship. So I’m leveraging something that existed before this. 

RZ Right. 


TM But! I think it’s still—it’s still valid which is empathy, listening, talking, giving people time off, giving people space, cancelling. In this moment, for example, we’ve decided to cancel non-essential meetings. 


RZ Mm hmm. 

TM Just to give people space. So, have all of the work layer on top of a relationship. That would be my advice. So you said, “How do I do it?” Sure I’d try to focus on it and model that behavior for everyone around me but I also recruit for it. I like to find people who can build those kinds of networks and relationships [right] and not just think about getting work done. 

RZ Great advice! Tim Meaney, it’s always a pleasure to have you on the podcast. We were supposed to talk about the worst software in the history of software—

PF Ohh! This is a moment of—

RZ—as a follow-up to the best. Are we gonna do that another time? 

PF Why pretend? [Others laugh

RZ The title of the podcast: “Why pretend?” 

PF I have some great news. You ready? Breaking news. 

RZ Go. 

[27:12]

PF Google has cancelled its April 1st prank. 

TM Yes! 

PF [Rich laughing while exhaling sharply, in disbelief] So at least something—

TM Yes! 

PF—we don’t have to deal with this year. 

RZ I coulda used the prank. 

PF Uuuugh. 

RZ To be frank. [Tim laughs] But whatever. I’m hearing you. I’m hearing you [music fades in]. We’ve said prior, if you’ve got anything that you wanna talk to us about, we’ve been giving advice to companies that are dealing with a lot of change and sort of having to accelerate on the technology side of things. Reach out! It’s hello@postlight.com. We’re always open to talking, even if it’s not a classic enquiry about Postlight. We’re a digital products studio based in New York City. hello@postlight.com. 

TM Your people have been great. The people at Postlight who I work with have been just tremendous during this time. They’re all pros. And I mentioned this big, big day yesterday we had, there was [sic] Postlight people right there with us yesterday. 

RZ That’s awesome. 

PF Good to hear. 

RZ That’s great to hear. Thank you, Tim. 

PF Tim Meaney. Alright, well, you know, Tim Meaney with a little bit of frank facts about it maybe taking a little while for us to get back to work but I still feel better. 

RZ Yeah. Me too. Alright everyone, stay safe and have a good week. We’ll talk to you soon. 

PF Alright, stay healthy, talk to everybody soon. Bye. 
RZ Bye [music ramps up, plays alone for three seconds, fades out to end].