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Digital Transformation? In This Economy?: Join Postlight on 10/20 for a panel discussion on Digital Strategy. RSVP.

Gina Trapani, Chris LoSacco, and Michael Shane got together on Twitter Space to chat about how people with big ideas — but less authority — can get buy-in and budget for future tech projects. What kind of storytelling will be the most persuasive to get your project going? What will motivate your boss to support the change? In the live event, Chris, Gina, and Michael answer these questions and share strategies to talk to execs to get them to recognize the value of your idea.

Transcript

Chris LoSacco If you have a question or you want to chime in with an idea or something, please tap “request to speak”. We’d love to talk to you and answer any questions you have. Not about tax evasion, though. Anything else. [Laughs, Gina laughing along.]

[Intro music fades in, plays alone for 14 seconds, ramps down.]

Gina Trapani Hi, I’mGina Trapani and you’re listening to The Postlight Podcast. A few weeks ago, we hosted our very first Twitter Space. Postlight’s president Chris LoSacco, Postlight’s head of digital strategy Michael Shane and I tackled the topic: how to get C-level buy-in for large technology investments. In our work with clients, we have a lot of experience in this area and we want to share a replay of that conversation with you here today. Enjoy!

[0:49]

GT Hi! I guess we’re doing this thing.

CLIt’s a pretty cool interface, I have to say. As just a sort of product enthusiast, to look at how this is implemented, it’s really nice.

GT It is very nice. 

CL And like very well done.

Michael Shane: Yeah, absolutely.

GT It’s exciting to see faces show up. Hi everybody. So we all work for a digital product firm based in New York City—Union Square area. Michael and Chris and I are all based here in New York City. We talk to one another all day long about really exciting topics like how to get C-level buy-in and budget for large tech investments. [Laughs.] Because that’s what we do! 

CL It is what we do. [Laughs.]

GT It truly is. I’m actually very excited about this topic because it’s the human side of the work, which I enjoy as much as I do the software side.

MS So Chris, who are you?

CL Thank you, Michael. I’m Chris. I’m the president of the firm. I work very closely with Gina to chart the path of growth for this exploding, young agency. We’re not young anymore, we’re six years old. But this agency has grown. We’re passing 120 people. Postlight is a full-service strategy, design and development shop. We partner with companies large and small to build big, cool things on the internet. And just like Gina was saying, we talk to each other constantly about how do we both position ourselves really well with the people who can write the cheques, but also, and maybe just as importantly or more importantly, help stakeholders within these large orgs figure out how to make their case and how to get their buy-in across a group of what is very often a wide variety of stakeholders. And that’s no easy feat. I mean it’s probably harder than the software part to be honest. So we have a bunch of thoughts that we always go back and forth on and I’m excited to share them. But Michael, tell the people who you are and how you fit into this puzzle.

[2:39]

MS I’m Michael Shane. Hi everybody. I’m part of the senior leadership team at Postlight because I lead the digital strategy team. And among other things, digital strategy at Postlight works with all of our new clients and all of our potential clients. Often in many cases, trying to help them get the money or the permission or the buy-in or the support that they need to go and do the thing that they know, in their heart-of-hearts, that they need to do in order for their team, their business, to succeed. We are often meeting clients who have really big responsibilities, really big goals, and big dreams—personal and professional. But they don’t have authority. They have responsibility, but they don’t have authority. Certainly that can be true when it comes to budgets. And that’s something that we understand because the biggest thing that we in our world have in common with our clients is that we all have to get permission from someone else in order to succeed. The merits of the work, the merits of the idea, are not enough by themselves in order to get the permission that you need to go and do the work. And we understand that in our relationships with our clients, and so we understand how to help them navigate those waters in their own organizations. Any technology project above a certain size is going to be transformational or disruptive. It’s going to change things that have probably been the way they are for a really long time. And change is hard at every organization that has more than six people working there. So navigating that with our clients is a huge part of what we do because none of us can do anything until we get permission.

[4:14]

GT I want to paint a picture of the kind of person and I feel like these are the folks that are probably listening to this Twitter Space. That’s somebody who works at a big organization that is not-digital focused but it has a digital component and they feel frustrated by the old legacy system that’s already in-house or by the possibility of a new line of business that could be sowell-served by a great software platform, a great app. And that person, they’re typically a digital native, a product leader, somebody who knows what great UX is like and how great UX can really just bring customers closer and bring constituents closer to a brand or to a product. And that person is like, I see so clearly and know in my gut what needs to be done here. We just have to get the right team to make the right investment into a great user experience. A great digital user experience. And they see it and they’re like: I’m here, I’m going to change the world, I’m going to make this happen. And they go to their boss and they’re like, I just see this vision. I know that we can do so much more with technology. And their boss says alright fine, alright you know, go out. We don’t have the resources here. Everybody’s tied up. I’ve got all this going on. Go out and go rustle up a few agencies. Talk to people. 

Then they go out shopping and this is typically where we come into the picture. They come to us and say: I’ve got this big vision. I’m in this org. I’m going to try to change this thing. I really want to build something that really matters. And then they essentially collect a set of proposals and ours is usually one of them. We sit down with them, we listen. What’s going on?Who are the players? What are you trying to do? What are your resources like? What’s your culture like? How excited is anyone beyond you about this project inside your org? And we talk them through it, we walk them through it. But then there comes that moment where they have to get that permission that you mentioned, Michael. To be able to do this thing. What happens then? [Laughs.]

[6:09]

MS Yeah, it’s a great question. And it really depends on how experienced of a buyer—for lack of a better term—our partner is. 

GT Mhm.

MS If someone is maybe new to their role or they’re working at a place that doesn’t often hire outside help. They may not have the experience with the kind of storytelling that you need in order to get an executive or a boss or whoever or a collaborator on board with bringing in a bunch of strangers, giving them a bunch of money, and then going on an adventure with them. 

GT Yeah. [Laughs.]

MS Increasingly, as Postlight has grown and evolved we’ve found that more and more of our clients need this help because we are running into businesses that are in the midst of really exciting and demanding environments and extended moments of transformation. And so we are often working with them to do the storytelling that’s necessary to get that permission. And that takes many forms. Sometimes it’s live and completely extemporaneous and just talking to people and building relationships. Other times it’s helping our partner actually generate the storytelling artifacts that they need to make these arguments.

GT Mhm. Yeah.

MS But it has to be tailored for the audience. I mean this is probably the biggest thing that I talk to our teams about and we also spend a lot of time talking to clients about this. Trying to understand: okay, who do we need to persuade to support you? What motivates them? And that’s really important. Because yes the success of the business on paper is certainly, you would hope, at least there as a minimum. But it’s usually not the whole story and that’s totally okay. And we need to understand what kind of storytelling is going to be persuasive for the audience on the other side of the phone, or the Zoom call, or the slide deck or whatever it might be. So we need to think about what is going to motivate executives or bosses to support an effort and then tailor the message for that. And that may mean that other activities are required to generate the proof that we need, whether it’s landscape or competitive analysis, or financial analysis. Things of that nature. And we can go into detail on what those activities sometimes look like but the important thing is to tailor the message and to understand who you’re talking to and how to navigate those conversations. And also what your timeline is. Is this one conversation? Is this three conversations? And clients don’t always know what they need to ask and determine as part of the planning phase of an effort like this, for lack of a better term. And so we also have to be a guide there.

HT Yeah.

[8:44]

CL Michael, I’d add to your point about orienting around…what are the decision points that the stakeholders are going to think about and how do you orient whatever your…it’s not even a pitch, whatever your presentation or your argument or your angle is around those decision points, I think is absolutely right. Something else that we’ve done historically though that works really well is when you go to that meeting, have the buy-in already from around the rest of the org, before you even get to the decision-makers. So then it’s not like you’re putting a pitch in front of them and you’re saying, Trust me, you need to go in this direction because of these external reasons—market analysis or whatever. Often the reasons can be internal, right? I’ve already talked to the editorial team, for example. And they agree that this would streamline their flow and they would be able to get a 2x return on publishing if we were able to invest in the CMS in this way. Or I’ve already spoken with sales and they think this change will take their deals, their Q2 goal, up 25% based on some of these changes that we’ve been discussing. If you can quantify a real material impact to the team that’s already here and then figure out how to translate that impact up to the executives who may not be as connected to the on-the-ground, day-to-day work that’s happening, but will be connected to the ultimate returns or the ultimate payoff that you could potentially get,it makes that investment a thousand times easier. Because now they’re connected to the business outcome as opposed to being connected to a story.

GT This is the thing, right? About the story, about the message. There has to be a clear throughline to the business outcome, right? What is the return on this investment going to be? I could complain about execs now because I am one and actually Chris when we’re noodling over a decision, you will often turn to me and say, what is the outcome for the business? Let’s focus around that.

CL Yes.

GT This is what execs are trained for. I’m responsible for this revenue line. I’m responsible for this particular outcome for this business. And so the story has to lead there. I think there are two ways to go about this storytelling piece. I think there’s pain and suffering. There’s the pain relief, like look how inefficient our current process is because our tool or platform is so bad. And look at this missed opportunity.

[11:04]

CL Yeah.

GT And then there’s the vision of the future. I think execs really connect to this. Painting them a picture of the future of the business, the two-three year, right? Because good execs are living in that space, they’re looking ahead two-three years.  Where are we driving for? They’re looking up at the horizon, right? Painting a picture of a place that’s more effective and better, and this particular project being clearly along that road is critical and hard to do. Really hard to do, especially when you’re closer to the ground.

MS If I could pick one word to kind of sum up what you just said Gina, it would be value. Like what is the value of the work? And the value is not only the deliverables, the value is not only the thing that’s going to launch. The value is also not only the thing that’s Oh, the thing is going to generate this much revenue or save this much money. Value to the business is a much more holistic story about how the future is going to be different. And one of the ways to think about this is that if you can say a sentence with the following construction, you are probably talking about value. The sentence would be something like: we believe we need to do X because Y, so that. The so that is so important. It takes you that one level deeper. If you don’t have a so that or in some cases a so what, but in the context of one continuous idea, if you can’t drive towards a so that at the end of your pitch or your proposal or your recommendation then you haven’t thought it through enough. And you probably haven’t explained as comprehensively as you could what the real value of the effort is going to be. 

One of the situations that we often run into in our role is that usually if a client’s coming to us, they or their bosses don’t need to be convinced to work with an agency partner at a basic level, right? Because they’re out there. But when it comes to building software what often happens is someone comes in and says: here’s everything going on with our business, here’s what we think we need, let’s talk about how we might build a solution. Then they will learn that the solution they need is either going to take longer or cost more. They didn’t fully know what they were getting themselves into, which is common. I mean that’s the whole point of the experience. I mean sometimes it’s like a bullseye maybe if it’s a highly technical project and the CTO is coming in the door or something. But if it’s more of a cross-functional team or it’s more across discipline, it’s often about making the case for: well we know we wanted to do this, but actually, boss, it’s going to cost 30% more than we were hoping. Here’s why we should do it. Because X, so that Y. So often we’re joining the story in the middle. We have to get up to speed very quickly and drive towards the so that. You have to help people imagine how the future is going to be completely different.

[14:03]

GT Yeah I mean, software is expensive. People get sticker-shocked by these big projects a lot. There’s another interesting thing that happens which is like: well why can’t we do this in-house? To save money, or is this a vote of non-confidence? I mean going outside to an agency is like what about our people? Our people aren’t able to do this? I think sometimes even internal engineering teams feel a little insulted. Like why would you go out? Why couldn’t we prioritize this work? That’s also a challenging question to answer. It requires some real talk and honesty about the fact that freeing up resources to focus on a particular project on an already over-allocated team is just sometimes unrealistic. Sometimes in-house teams don’t have the distance that an outside partner has. Or it just needs to be in a little separate culture and work cadence to ship, right? Because shipping is the whole point.

CL As you’re talking, I’m picturing in my head the kind of organization you’re talking about. Is there a reference point you’re thinking about when you’re talking about the distance or space between an internal engineering team and an external one?

GT I mean I’m thinking about…names of clients are definitely flashing through my head.

CL Me too!

GT They shall remain unnamed. I think this is a really common pattern. I think sometimes internal engineering teams, particularly in an org that isn’t digital-first or isn’t technology-first can fall into bad habits or slow cultures. They just aren’t able to rally around an effort on a short timeline. When you work with a partner, you say this is the deliverable and this is the date. And if they don’t deliver…we know this because this is our entire business. But internal it’s like, well this other thing got prioritized and so and so went on leave. There’s always sort of a reason or excuse for something to get deprioritized and it just doesn’t have that energy. It’s easy for it not to have that energy, right?

[16:03]

MS Yeah. One of the ways that I think about this and I apologize in advance because this will perhaps be a strained metaphor but hiring a partner like Postlight is kind of a form of tax evasion, by which I mean with internal teams…

CL Where are you going with this? [Laughs.]

GT [Laughs.]Yeah, that was an amazing statement.

MS Don’t worry, don’t worry. With internal teams, especially technical teams, there are a lot of taxes that add up over time. You’ve got technical debt, you have people who are overallocated, you have people who have lots of responsibilities, cross-functional teams. And when you go and you work with an agency like ours, what you’re saying is: our team is paying so much tax right now internally that there’s nothing left in order to go and build this huge core initiative. So let’s go to a different part of the world where there are no taxes for us. Because we can bring this team in, we can give them a no-fail mission and everything is much more straightforward. I think it’s valuable to be able to tell your bosses or your stakeholders, to your point Gina: here’s why our internal team is not a good fit for this. And maybe it’s not about capability or qualifications at all. Because often, we have clients come to us with extremely high-performing technical or design teams of their own. They just can’t take on the work right now and they’re honest about that, right? And that’s an amazing situation because at the end of the day, we want to work with clients for a long time, but nobody works with Postlight forever. 

GL Right.

MS And eventually as we build these Ferraris and these aircraft carriers and spaceships for people we have to hand them off to a team that can handle the care and feeding of these platforms in the future. That relationship and that dynamic of preparing for the handoff is really important and that’s why rarely is it about the actual qualifications of an internal team. It’s more about: they’re overtaxed, they’re paying too many taxes and so coming to work with an outside partner is a release valve or a form of tax avoidance temporarily. And then when the platform is ready we can do a handoff and help them sail off into the future.

[18:05]

CL: I think that’s beautifully said. Again, we’ve had this conversation amongst us as we’re talking with people. You know I don’t know if we’ve said the phrase tax evasion before, Michael, on a recorded Twitter space.

MS:[Laughs.] Sorry about that.

CL: But organizations, especially the longer you’re around and the bigger you get, bad habits can kind of calcify within a team and you just sort of learn well, this is the speed we go at. Or we’re never going to be great at design and so we’re just going to kind of do the best we can and make incremental change. And one of the ways that if you’re let’s say a VP of product or an SVP of technology who’s out there and you’re sitting in this environment where you’re like, man I just can’t go as fast as I want to go. Or to Gina’s point earlier, I see the vision but I don’t know how to get there. One of the ways you can do it and get buy-in from the execs at the top level is to say, We need to shake things up. And we do need to bring in a group who is going to be held to different standards and also not have to be beholden to the things that are slowing us down right now. Whether that be the day-to-day or whether it be something as fundamental as a technology choice. What language are we writing or for design, what design system are we using? Those things can get questioned when you bring in an outside shop and you give them the flexibility to say let’s think about what we’re doing from first principles.

MS Yeah, I mean you said something really important which is holding the outside group—for example, Postlight—to different standards so we can gradually change or evolve or increase the standards within our own organization. I mean, this goes back to this idea of value. So yes we’re going to deliver the platform but if you working in your company believe that a culture change is needed, or a shock to the system is required to really reach the next level of achievement, that can be part of the value of bringing in a neutral expert outside partner.

Another way that we do that, something I’m a huge fan of, is not just competitive analysis as part of your pitch to your bosses but out-of-category analysis to show stakeholders and leaders where the opportunity space in your world is and how it aligns with what you want to do. I really believe firmly, and I think our teams believe this too, that expectations for digital platforms—in terms of user expectations—are shaped by common experiences that we all have, regardless of category. So regardless of whether you’re in insurance, or you’re a D-to-C company, or you’re working in retail or e-commerce, you can use businesses that are doing amazing things that are analogous to what you want to achieve in totally different business environments, as part of that shock to the system to make your case. And I have found that that can be an incredibly powerful storytelling technique that can really drive a lot of persuasion.

[20:56)

GT I love the shock-to-the-system phrase. I was talking to a friend of mine that worked at a big org with a huge software platform, tons of partners, all this data. She was in the product org and we were talking and she casually mentioned that they did a release every six months. And I said, excuse me? 

CL Oh boy. Oh no.

GT I said, six weeks? She said, no no, we do a release every six months. So for six months they’re prepping and doing a release. That release cadence is very, very slow. I’m not going to pass blanket judgment. It depends on the org, depends on the needs. But that is a very, very slow release cadence. And in our world, our engagements are typically six, nine, twelve months. We would necessarily have to say, that does not work for us. We’re going to set up this new lane over here. We’re going to be doing weekly but maybe probably daily releases, because that’s how software gets made and part of what we do is show you software coming to life as we work, and getting feedback and iterating it. And that would be a huge shock to that system and hopefully a healthy one. But it’s really hard when your internal…for her, she’d be like I really think we should speed up the release cycle. And it would be like: well this is how we do it, and here are the reasons why and these are all of the layers of testing and QA and user acceptance that we have to go through over the course of months in order to get this done. That is a very difficult tide to change internally. It’s almost impossible to do it internally unless you have the entire engineering group band together and say we’re not going to do releases every 6 months.

MS Yeah, it’s important to calibrate around what is possible within an organization and then come with a plan that can push them 10% beyond that. Because certainly at organizations that have that much taxes, that much bureaucracy, matrixed—whatever your term of choice is—the truth it’s all proportional. So a 10% improvement in velocity can pay massive, massive returns inside of a massive, massive organization.

GT Yes.

MS So it’s also important to sort of scale the vision that you’re sharing with your boss, executive, stakeholder, or leader proportionally with the reality of your situation. And then turn the dial just a little bit further. You don’t want to bring science fiction into the room. You want to be able to say this is real, this is straightforward, we should do this because of this, so that X. All proportional to the reality that you’re in. And working with a partner like Postlight, a good partner, will be able to help you calibrate that message appropriately.

[23:36]

CL I want to share a somewhat related but distinct thought, which is more tactical. We’re talking a lot about where you go, how you structure these vision statements. But there’s another thing that I think we found really effective that is helpful to share, which is literally painting the picture. Like sometimes you’ve got to design it even before you get buy-in for the full picture.

GT Yes.

CL Execs love seeing the thing, even if its not high-fidelity, visual, pixel-perfect designs. If you can show a wire frame or a design direction, even sometimes just a mood board that says here’s where you can go. The holy grail is if you can get a designer to spend a couple of weeks in Figma and make a clickable prototype that really shows a user journey or a particular set of user journeys. It just makes it ten thousand times easier for someone who is looking across all of these various tracks to sit with you for 45 minutes or an hour and get a very clear sense of exactly what you want to go do and why green-lighting a budget, what it will get them. And this has been huge for us. Obviously we’re a group of product strategists, product managers, designers and engineers. So this is part of the work when we sign on a new client. But even before we come to an agreement with a prospect, we will sometimes put together these design prototypes and say: here’s how we’re thinking this takes shape. It’s not a production-ready design, it’s not ready to be handed over to engineers to start building, but it really clearly shows you where you’re going to and it just makes it that much easier.

[25:16]

GT Is it risky to show execs the wire frames or mood boards or even a high fidelity? We always get a little bit of pushback like woah woah, we don’t want to make any promises, and does an exec know how to fill in what a wireframe is? I think this is always a concern.

MS Right. That goes back to tailoring your message. There are some clients I’ve worked with who should never be shown wire frames. And I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. It’s fine. Our job is to communicate effectively, not just to communicate. For the right audience, nothing is going to communicate faster than visuals.

GT Yes.

MS But it has to be calibrated correctly and you have to make the right judgment calls about how much effort or time to invest to get to what fidelity to achieve the outcome that you want.

GT Not always, but often there’s that one stakeholder that looks at wireframes and says: but where are all the colors? Can’t we add colors? 

MS Are we changing our brand to just be black and white and gray?

CL This has happened more than once in my career. It’s totally okay. You just smile.

GT [Laughs.] Yeah, yeah. We can do colors. It’s true. This is the thing: if you frame it correctly…

CL It’s how you frame it.

GT It’s about framing. This is a concept. It’s off-the-top, there’s a lot more work to do but here’s a look at what’s potentially possible. And I agree that looking at screens where someone is pressing a button or getting a thing done is so much more powerful than any amount of text. 

CL I mean it sounds silly to say it this way, but it paints a picture in a way that a document can’t. The detail almost works against you. I think what you want to do if you don’t have designs and you’re doing it in words: keep it brief, keep it high-level, orient around business outcomes. Here’s what you’re going to get if we go down this path and that’s it. Super simple and succinct is the way to go here. It’s sort of counterintuitive because I think people earlier in their careers are like, I’ve got to really make the case here so I’m going to show a lot of my work to make it clear why we have to go do this. But actually, if it’s concise but compelling, that’s what’s going to get it to unlock. 

GT Yep. I have a question for the two of you. There’s a certain kind of project that can’t have the splashy prototype. It’s actually maybe not even new software. It’s just replatforming, modernizing and speeding up and making a platform easier to maintain. It’s expressing the advantages of having a design system, or the advantages of decoupling the backend from the front end. It’s selling maintainability. It’s essentially future-proofing a platform so that you can build on it and do more with it. But it feels, I think, from a CFO’s perspective or even a CEO’s perspective like: wait we’re spending all of this money and we’re not actually getting anything new? It’s just the same thing rewritten and maybe a little faster? Do we need to spend that money? So how do you express paying back tech debt, or making a platform stable and maintainable and future-ready?

[28:23]

MS It’s a really important question and I think that it comes down to explaining cost and the different kinds of cost. There is a marginal cost to doing this invisible backend work and there’s an opportunity cost to not doing it. And it’s on a long enough timeline and if your leaders have vision, they’ll be thinking on pretty long timelines. Amortizing the cost of doing this work now and showing that it’s going to pay for itself versus the opportunity cost of not doing it is a laborious but straightforward exercise. Sometimes it really should just come down to the numbers. But there are lots of things to consider in numbers. It’s not just vendor costs, or the cost of maintenance. It’s also: what are the costs of employee morale? Retention? If people are working on broken systems for 40+ hours per week is it harder to retain them? How much does it cost to replace an employee? What is our standing in the marketplace? Did the current platform result in downtime that cost the company money or had a reputational cost? Quantifying the opportunity cost of not doing the thing, especially when it’s an invisible platform that doesn’t get a lot of glory is essential to showing that it is worth the investment.

GT Yup. 

CL Yeah there’s one other thing that isn’t high on people’s list of oh I can’t wait to do this in my org, but it’s one of the things that turns the wheel: turning off other systems. If you can show how your maintenance work allows five other platforms to be decommissioned, there’s real value there.

MS Bosses love to consolidate—they love to turn things off.

GT Oh yeah.

MS And so do I, it’s so gratifying, right? That’s huge. 

[30:09]

CL Again, there needs to be a rationale behind it. But often you can think about it and there can be a win-win here if you say: we want to take our Flash-based platform to a React-based platform (which by the way is something we’ve actually work on over the past few years for one of our clients) and alongside this work we can modernize your backend so you can turn off this antiquated admin interface that no one enjoys using, it becomes that much more of a stronger case. So look at the whole landscape and how you can improve it for your team, as you were saying Michael, which is great, but maybe also for other things that are related.

MS The other piece of sort of tactical advice I would offer is that (at least before the pandemic  when there were lots of conferences and things happening and now we’re pretty well adapted to this, but before then) your peers—other product leaders, design leaders, business owners, would go to conferences and they would talk about how successful they’ve been and the decisions and projects that led to that success. Often those talks get published and they write great slides and they share metrics and data about what moves the needle in their business. And so if you need to make a case to a boss, one of the best things you can do is fire up your search engine of choice—I like DuckDuckGo myself—and go and find some of these talks. Because the proof, both within your industry and outside of it, the empirical proof is out there. We undertook a massive audit of our checkout flow and we found hands-down that when we removed the number of steps from twelve to four, revenue increased by 20-something %. 

[31:55] 

MS I remember early in my career, HotelTonight, the app for booking a last-minute hotel, they put a lot of effort into this. This was years ago now, so I don’t use it as an example anymore, because it’s out of date, but there was a leader at HotelTonight who gave a fantastic talk about how they optimized the user experience in the app and they shared some great data. And that was a very powerful tool for me—I’ll be honest—to help people tell stories effectively when their challenges and opportunities were analogous to what HotelTonight had accomplished. So go and look for real case studies because they are out there. You have to do some searching but they are 100% out there because people love to talk about and explain their own success. That can be really valuable to sort of place an aspiration or a request for funding in real economic context. It’ll make it feel real and believable.

GT This is really great advice because the truth is you want to make this decision as easy as possible on the decision maker. And you have to assume that the decision-maker is in meeting number 11 of 18 that day. The decision-maker once they say, yes I’m signing off on this large budget to go ahead and do this thing, they’re putting their neck on the line. So it has to be super clear to them that this is the right thing to do. If they’re like, hmm I don’t know, it’s a lot of money…it’s not going to work well for you and it’s not going to put them in the best position. Michael, you always emphasize the power of storytelling and the statement so that we can do this is so powerful and I think especially in…I come from the engineering world where making decks or telling stories are not really a part of my daily responsibilities. But it really is so powerful and it’s such a big part of floating this idea and getting sign-off and getting buy-in and being able to move forward with a big important effort.

CL Yeah, totally.

[33:54]

MS Yeah, that’s totally true. If you’re not a storyteller, you will always be at the mercy of someone else’s decisions.

GT Mhm. And someone else’s narrative. Yes, it’s true.

CL If any of this is interesting and you have a project that you’re thinking about getting buy-in for, or might want to talk to an agency to help, we’re the perfect partner. Reach out at hello@postlight.com. We are again a team of 120 strong product managers, designers and engineers who like to build big, complex internet platforms. We are design-driven, we lead with design and we have amazing engineering chops to back it up. And we ship. We love to promise a date when we sign an agreement with somebody and hit that date or ideally, come in a little ahead of time. We are super excited to have a number of clients across industries, all company shapes and sizes. If you think you have a project that you might need help with, reach out and we’d love to talk to you. Gina, what else? What did I miss?

[Outro music fades in.]

GT It’s true. Honestly, if you’re working on something interesting and ambitious and big and complex and you want to just talk it through, come talk to us. Even if you’re not sure if you’re going to go outside or do it inside, we love talking through complicated problems that involve technology. We are in a particular position where we get to look across industries and across businesses of different sizes and we see different patterns emerging. Look, we’ll give you our take, we’ll give you our best advice and we’ll help you get that sign-off that you’re looking to get, because this is what we do—this is what we love to do. So you can always reach out to us: hello@postlight.com. We’re also obviously on Twitter. You know where to find us there. And reach out. We love talking through this stuff because there’s a lot of really bad software out there. [Laughs.]And a lot of really great platforms that have yet to be built and we love being part of that conversation

CL [Laughs.]Yes.

GT Thanks everybody for coming to listen to our very first Twitter Space. It was weird, it was super fun. Really great to see faces pop up. We may have to do this again sometime. And thank you Michael and Chris, that was really fun.

MS Thanks everybody.

CL Thanks for coming y’all. Bye everybody.

GT Bye.

MS Bye.