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Big companies are a bit like tankers — sturdy, built to weather any storm, and can carry a lot of people. Startups are more like speedboats — fast and good at exploring new places. This week Chris and Gina talk about how you can bring speedboat startup energy to a tanker-sized company. From bringing in new voices to creating the space for change to considering your APIs, they share tips on shaking up entrenched systems and moving quicker in a big organization.  

Transcript

Gina Trapani: I like metaphors. I like analogies. 

Chris LoSacco: Yes, you do. 

Gina: It’s bad.

Chris: I feel like we—we almost—we—we do a lot of talking in metaphors. 

Gina: We do, but technology’s so abstract [crosstalk] …world terms. 

Chris: I’m—I’m with you.

[POSTLIGHT INTRO MUSIC]

Gina: Hello world. Welcome to the Postlight Podcast. I’m Gina Trapani, CEO of Postlight, and as always, I’m joined by my partner in this business and the president of Postlight, Chris LoSacco. Hey Chris. 

Chris: Hey, Gina. 

Gina: We got a—we got a fun topic today. 

Chris: Yeah.

Gina: And one that actually is, you know, affects our lives day to day. And it’s about thinking like a startup when you’re inside a big company. 

Chris: Mm-hmm. 

Gina: The prospects or the people who come to us who need help with the fancy-to-phrase is digital transformation, help with technology in their organization. They’re often very senior ranking people in very large corporations that have very well established cultures and processes. 

Chris: Mm-hmm.

Gina: They’re often not product driven cultures or organizations, and they come to us, who are complete outsiders, often not experts in their field and say, “I need help doing a thing and I don’t think I can do this inside.”

Chris: Exactly. 

Gina: “I don’t have the—the people, I don’t have the mindset. I don’t have the will, I don’t have the culture, like I need help getting this done. I need to build a product. And I look at the startup world, these tiny little teams that you know, in their garages, I get a little funding and have a great idea and just run. I need to do that inside my org.” And this is a sticky problem.

Chris: It’s a sticky problem. 

Gina: It really is. 

Chris: It’s a lot harder than it appears to be to try to change a well established and entrenched way of working, which a lot of big companies, you know, that’s normal and natural that it happens. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Chris: When you are. Growing and you’re thousands of people and you have to figure out how to organize. 

Gina: By necessity.

Chris: That’s right. 

Gina: It’s not a lack of imagination. 

Chris: No. 

Gina: It’s just thousands of people you have to, you gotta figure out how to operate. 

Chris: Right. And some of these companies that we work with, they have platforms that have existed for 15, 20..

Gina: Decades.

Chris: …30 years. Exactly. It’s decades of not just code, but of ways of working and of, you know, approaches and, well, you know, “we made a mistake eight years ago doing it this way, and so we’re not gonna do that again.” It’s like those kinds of things that get built up and then when you try to do something new, it’s very hard. It’s very hard to change how your approach to the work is going to allow you to do something different. 

Gina: Yep. 

Chris: We also, you know, we were recently acquired in June of this year, June of 2022, and so we are also figuring out how to navigate within a larger company ourselves. 

Gina: We are, we are. I’ve never felt like such a small minnow in a—such a—in a giant, I mean, our parent company, NTT Data, everyone is so smart. There are so many of them. 

Chris: There’s just a lot of people. 

Gina: There’s a lot of people and a very mature processes. Like a very, very impress—really good experience, but also like, “oh, we’re just like a little group of software nerds right here.”

Chris: Right. 

Gina: And we gotta like, we gotta figure this out. 

Chris: Yeah. 

Gina: How do we keep doing what we’re doing? 

Chris: Yeah. And hopefully there’s some things that you know that we can share that have helped us as Postlight navigate within a larger context. But just as importantly, maybe more importantly, have helped us with other companies because we’ve seen a lot, right? That’s the beauty of working for a consulting company is that you get to go inside all these different contexts, right, and see like, “oh, this is what was really hard for, you know, this company to work through.” And “oh, this made things. Much easier when we were working with X company.” And so maybe we can share some of those lessons, right? The things to, to do well and the things to maybe avoid. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: As people think about, “okay, how do I make change in my organization?” 

Gina: That’s right. So if you’re a leader inside a big organization, you know you want to build something new, something cool, something innovative, something different. How do you approach this? What’s the first piece of advice you would give to—to that leader who’s thinking about how to even set up their world to make this possible? 

Chris: Yeah. Here’s the first thing I’d say. You have to wall it off. You have to make it a separate group. Sometimes that means physically separate, right? Give them a different, Floor in the office, or give them a conference room to take over, give them a different space. Nowadays, so much of our work is happening virtually. Sometimes that means a different virtual space, right? 

Gina: Mm-hmm. 

Chris: Give them a private channel to work in, or a separate virtual context. Make them a different team on the org chart. You know, sometimes this is called, like, the innovation team or the Innovation Group. But you need to make sure that they are given a mandate to think differently and that that’s okay. That’s supported by the way that they are structured. They are allowed to think outside the box and think differently than the way things are typically done and walling it off or giving it clear boundaries is a signal to the rest of the organization that they have a different, a different mandate, a different target in mind that’s gonna require them to shake things up and do things differently. You need to explicitly tell this team to shed the weight that has built up over X number of years. 

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Does that make sense?

Gina: It does. It does. Politically, it’s a little difficult, right?

Chris: It’s very difficult. 

Gina: People start looking over their shoulders and go, “why? How come those special people get, you know, Macs and iPhone?” Maybe they’re making an I—you know, an iPhone app. Need a Mac to develop an iPhone app. Well, you know, why do they..

Chris: “What’s going on over there?” 

Gina: “What’s going on over there? Why do they have like that spec—special, separate space with toys? And they don’t—wait, so they don’t have to, you know, file their—the—the paperwork or get, you know, IT, you know, approval the way everyone else can?” I mean, first of all, it’s really difficult to pull that off , like from a leader perspective, like a leader has to really..

Chris: You have to commit to it. 

Gina: You have to commit to it, and you have to, you have to say “this is necessary for this to be successful.” But it—actually, it is. To shed kind of the—the sense of like, I’m weighed down by all these, you know, pre-requirements and processes before I can actually do something. You have, sometimes you have to say, we’re gonna spin up a whole different website with a whole different CMS, on a whole different system, and that will freak people out. IT would be like, “no, no.” 

Chris: Right.

Gina: “We own the website and we own the system and you have to work within our system.” And then that leader and that group has to say, ” actually, we need to kind of break off and work out a band..”

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: “…for a little bit to experiment and to iterate and to do things very quickly and make mistakes and learn.” And it ruffles feathers. 

Chris: It ruffles feathers.

Gina: Politically, it’s risky. 

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: It’s hard. It ruffles feathers, but it’s—it’s the most effective way.

Chris: Right. 

Gina: To get people to move fast.

Chris: And do things with a new view on the world. Right? And I think one of the reasons it’s hard is because these processes don’t come from nowhere. Right? That’s‚—they’re built up for reasons. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: There’s a—there’s a certain—a mistake that someone made. Seven or eight years ago mm-hmm. that led to that step in the checklist. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: Or there is a, you know, a very real risk to the business that surfaced a problem or a potential issue that we need to mitigate by doing this thing differently. And so when you accumulate all of these things and they’re all valid, they don’t come from no—or.. 

Gina: Right. 

Chris: ..You know, someone said six years ago, “why are we using all these different project management tools? Like we need to use Jira. Everybody used Jira and everybody does it this way.”

Gina: Mm-hmm. 

Chris: And so there are probably efficiencies that were gained from that decision, you know? Right. But if a team says, “I think we can work a lot faster if we do it this different way.” 

Gina: Right. Zero or, yeah. Or..

Chris: Right. 

Gina: You know, whatever it is.

Chris: And if you don’t have the flexibility to change all of it, your process, your tool set, your checklist, the example you just gave is a great one, right? “I want to stand up a brand new public facing site on a brand new CMS, and, and I may choose a different technology stack because I want to be able to iterate..” 

Gina: Iterate very quickly. 

Chris: Right. Whereas many large companies, they—they don’t prioritize iteration. They prioritize..

Gina: Security.

Chris: Security and stability and predictability.

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: Which are not the things that you have the luxury of doing when you’re at a startup. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: And this is why, again, taking the group and making them a separate group with their own constraints and their own evaluation metrics makes it a lot easier for people to rationalize, even though it is tricky politically and makes it easier for people to rationalize. “Oh, the reason why they are able to make these different choices is because they sit in a different group.” By the way, sometimes the groups are actually a different brand. Like it’s different, right? 

Gina: Yes.

Chris: It is “something by something”, right, or something “a blank company.” Right? Because they actually sit a little off center from the rest of the company.

Gina: Mm-hmm. Right. They want them to have a little bit different identity. That’s right. 

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: So wall it off. That’s step one. Tough step. But also, you know, this idea that like we’re gonna, you know, bring it back to the, to the mothership at some point too, you know, that can alleviate some concerns. 

Chris: Yes. Hopefully the things that are working, and not everything is gonna work. 

Gina: Not everything’s gonna work. 

Chris: That’s right. But hopefully things that do work can make it back up. And maybe there are even more efficiencies or more gains to be had, you know, in the mothership, so to speak. 

Gina: That’s right. What’s your next piece of advice? If someone wanna operate like a startup inside a big company? 

Chris: Bring in new voices. So you have to bring people with a fresh perspective onto the team. And I would take a wide definition of that. That can mean new leadership, it can mean new product managers or designers who are on the team and who are bringing a different approach. It can mean new engineers. To the point about technologies, you may decide I’m going to choose a very different technology stack.

Gina: Mm-hmm. 

Chris: And that’s gonna mean a new set of engineering criteria that you are thinking about when you are building your team. 

Gina: And I mean, we need a new leader to help that happen. 

Chris: Exactly. And that’s okay. In fact, it can be really helpful to look within your org and say, “where are the up and comers?” 

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: “Who are the people who are not established yet, but they’ve had maybe a, a win or they’ve shown really bright potential and they want to explore and we want to give them a context to do that?” This can be a perfect way to say, let’s try some things. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Chris: And those people are gonna feel really validated.

Gina: Yeah.

Chris: By getting a shot like that. And so you’re—it’s a double win if done right, because you are rewarding the up and coming talent. And you’re getting the. Innovative thinking from them by putting them in a context like this. 

Gina: That’s right. It’s advantageous to have both people from who are already inside the org who are conversant in how the org works, but not sort of fully entrenched yet.

Chris: Exactly. 

Gina: And also valuable to have a couple of out or—or new people, new hires or outside part, someone who’s, you know, completely fr—you kind of need both, right? 

Chris: You kinda need both. 

Gina: You want that person who’s conversant in the org and understands how it fits in, fits into the larger picture, but is also committed to kind of, you know, a little bit more autonomy, setting up kind of a different culture. You know, a culture of shipping, you know, multiple times a week, if not multiple times a day of iteration of this understanding that there’s gonna be failure, maybe not everything’s gonna work. 

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: And, you know, we’re gonna work with the most modern, you know, stack because we, you know, wanna hire that kind of talent and have that kind of mindset. I mean, so, so much of this is about culture and mindset and skillset and this sort of product oriented thinking, right? Which is hard to foster..

Chris: Which is hard to foster.

Gina: …in a—in a larger org. 

Chris: That’s right. I mean, we have used this to our advantage in the past. I remember there was a client that we had maybe four years ago, and when we first came in, you know, they were used to every three or six months getting a release.

Gina: Yeah. 

Chris: And we said, we’re gonna ship every week. And it was like..

Gina: “What?” 

Chris: “..What?” Like, you know, you could—you can, so..

Gina: “What about the six weeks on UAT? Like we need, we need 17 people to sign off whether or not this can make it to staging or whatever.” 

Chris: And we said, no, no, no. We’re gonna change. And you know, it’s like you could picture the exploding head emoji..

Gina: Yes.

Chris: …in front of how these people were reacting. And, and it’s not, not to fault them, like it’s totally normal. They’re just not used to it. 

Gina: Yeah. And particularly in like, highly regulated industries like healthcare or finance. 

Chris: Right. 

Gina: This is the thing. I don’t want it to make it sound like we’re putting down like you said, those processes and those tools and those cadences that exist for a reason. Right? Like real reasons. 

Chris: Absolutely. 

Gina: Security and, you know, people’s, you know, health data and finance data, like these are important. Those things all get established, not because people are lazy and weak and unimaginative, but because you’re, you know, it demands, the job demands it.

Chris: The job demands it. 

Gina: And the bigger you get, especially.

Chris: But let me—I want to “Yes, and” what you’re saying, like that can be true, but also you can have—and call it what you want, an innovation team, an incubator, a whatever, that’s sitting inside your company and working on a much faster cycle before you get to the three week UAT process.

Gina: Right.

Chris: Or the two month tech risk approval, which can be very real constraints. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Chris: But you can work earlier, like upstream earlier in the process. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: And try a bunch of stuff and realize, because you’ve gotta, especially when you’re creating something new, you’ve gotta be able to fail fast and then change. 

Gina: Yes. 

Chris: Right? 

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: This is the—the whole thing about agile software development.

Gina: Yes. 

Chris: Right. Which is you’re not gonna know exactly the thing is.

Gina: The end state is. You don’t know. You set off on the journey. You’re not totally sure..

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: …what the, what the specific end state’s gonna be. Mm-hmm. 

Chris: Right. And you can certainly do that in design, but especially when you are working, again, I, I come back to the healthcare example. When you’re working with like, A large set of provider data or patient data and you need to anonymize it and then be able to pull it in and say, does this break the interface or not? It’s very hard to do that when you’re working in Figma. 

Gina: Yeah. 

Chris: Like you just have to be able to prototype it and see right and there—and that doesn’t mean that it has to go out to and users necessarily.

Gina: Right. 

Chris: It just has to be looked at by people. And the way to do that is to say, I’m gonna bring a fresh perspective to things. I’m gonna bring a different process and we’re gonna work faster. And it could be, Oh man, so refreshing for people who have gotten used to the plotting cycle. “Oh, I didn’t get..” 

Gina: Six month release . 

Chris: Yeah. I didn’t get my request in. So I’m—I’m hoping that I’m gonna see that feature next year. 

Gina: Next year. 2024. 

Chris: [crosstalk] That’s normal…. 

Gina: That’s gonna be it. That’s gonna, it’s gonna be amazing. 

Chris: And it just, it doesn’t have to be that way. Right? Like you can still work within the constraints that you have. You can still work in the same company that you’re at, but you can, you can change the method of working the way of working so that you get a much faster feedback loop. 

Gina: Right. 

Chris: And the interfaces are better because of it. 

Gina: Right. What else? What else do you think about when you’re trying to think like a startup inside a big company.

Chris: Yeah. I have another, another suggestion. You know, it sounds technical, but it’s not technical. Consider your APIs. 

Gina: What’s an API?

Chris: It’s a—it’s a programmatic interface. It’s a way for just like a user interface as something that humans are gonna sit down and interact with on screen. A programmatic interface is something developers are gonna use to get at the actions or the data that are exposed by your systems. 

Gina: Right. How? Right. How the machines talk to one another. 

Chris: How the machine—exactly. 

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: If we rewind a little bit, it was very common to build big monolithic applications that did not have readily available programmatic interfaces for other programs to interact with the machine.

Gina: It was like one big code base and there were functions and there were little pieces of it that talked to one another, but there was no way for, you know, front end to talk to a backend or for, you know, a phone app to exist, right? Like it was all just one. 

Chris: It was all one big thing.

Gina: One big thing. One big monolith.

Chris: If you wanted to interact or change the System, capital S, then you would have to go..

Gina: You dig right in there, dig right in there in the, in the big monolith. 

Chris: Yes. Yep. And you know, I remember. 15, 20 years ago when service oriented architectures were becoming popular, it was a big deal to say, actually we should think about, you know, really open systems where the API was the endpoint and then you could build a any number of front ends, and there were a bunch of open APIs on the web that you could use to just pull in functionality from all these different apps, these different companies which was great. And then it went one step further a few years later where it was like, let’s do micro services. Let’s make these things as small and as purpose-built as possible so that if there’s a change or an upgrade that has to happen. You can do it just in one place and then everything that’s using that microservice gets the benefit. And there are, you know, there’s real value to a microservices approach to things, although I think there the pendulum is starting to swing a little bit back or maybe has swung a little bit back, right? Where it’s very difficult to manage an ever-growing set of dozens or hundreds of micro microservices. 

Gina: I think—I think Elon Musk was complaining about this recently. 

Chris: Let’s not talk about that. 

Gina: Oh my god. 

Chris: But here’s what I wanna say about API. If you come into a system where you have a giant mountain of functionality that is completely encapsulated in one system, one of the ways you can start improving it is by just making them, making things available programmatically.

Gina: Yep. That’s right. That’s right. 

Chris: Start with the data. Figure out how to expose access to the data in a safe, secure way. And you can take little slivers, little slices of something and make it available. And then allow your incubation team, right, your innovation team, your new team, to use those newly exposed APIs to provide new functionality. And it’s an incredibly effective way to build a bridge to something, even when you don’t know..

Gina: Where it’s gonna go. 

Chris: Bingo. 

Gina: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, if you think about APIs, I mean like Lego, the company decided these bricks were gonna have a nub that was exactly the size, and at the bottom there was gonna be a hole where the nub fits. You know, we don’t know what people are gonna build with these bricks. Right. But we decided on, we know that they’re all gonna fit together. Right? 

Chris: Yeah. 

Gina: And then, you know, we’re just gonna make a—a lot of bricks and see what people build. Right. And it’s kind of a sim, I mean, it’s a very reductive metaphor, but it’s kind of the way that I try to—and then if one brick is, you know, gets scratched or broken or melted down, you just swap it out and with a—with another brick.

Chris: That’s right. 

Gina: You know, that’s the value of micros of microservices, and that’s the value of having a well-defined API that it’s like easy to understand and things can fit together. So your team that’s thinking like a startup, they should be thinking about their APIs because they don’t know what’s gonna fail and what’s gonna succeed. But they do know that they’re gonna wanna keep building on this thing. So they’ve gotta have bricks that they know will fit together. 

Chris: Yes. And in doing this, you can also uncover some of the areas of improvement in the monolith, right, in the big system that you wouldn’t have otherwise uncovered. A common one that I feel like we see regularly is search. Search is slow or the results are not great.

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Or, you know, you just don’t know what’s going on. But because it’s like all tied together with everything else.

Gina: Right.

Chris: It’s hard to figure it out. But if you invest some time in separating your Search infrastructure and making it a really good standalone set of functionality with a great API, in doing that process, you are going to realize ways to improve everything, right? Make search faster, make the results better, make them more accessible in all of these other places, and, even if there’s no interface to display it yet, it’s still valuable. 

Gina: Yes. The title of this article should rank way higher than the third paragraph. You know, if you have a good API if you’re, if you have a good search infrastructure set up, you can, you can make those tweaks.

Chris: Yes.

Gina: And improve the results easily. 

Chris: Easily. Yeah. Out of the box search instance, like ElasticSearch, is great. And the defaults are really good. And so it can be a very common trap to say, Well, we’re gonna pump everything in and then it’s gonna give us the right thing. 

Gina: It’s not always true.

Chris: It’s not always true. And if you invest a little time in it, you can—you can see these huge gains. 

Gina: Yep. 

Chris: Especially in performance that you wouldn’t necessarily see if you were just thinking about this as one blob of stuff that’s all working together. 

Gina: I mean, honestly, if you’re using, I’m, I’m a huge fan of Elastic Search, and even if you are pumping your data into elastic search separately to—to index, and I mean, you’re in a good spot.

Chris: Right.

Gina: But—but yeah, but then you get the options to like, oh, Elasticsearch search can power not just, you know, the search box, but like related articles and you may also like.

Chris: Exactly. 

Gina: And I mean, there’s so many possibilities, right? Because it’s super fast. And also you can, I mean, ElasticSearch is built so that you can tweak, you know, the indexes and—and change, you know, change the kind of results that you get, depend..

Chris: Hundred percent.

Gina: …on what, what’s most important.

Chris: Yeah. There, I mean, there’s a whole other discussion to be had about how investing in your backend technologies, right? 

Gina: Mm-hmm. 

Chris: In the servers that are exposing data and functionality in a programmatic way, can have these huge benefits and huge experience gains 

Gina: Yes. 

Chris: On the front end that you wouldn’t otherwise see. I mean, there’s..

Gina: Spoiler alert. We’re gonna do an episode—we’re gonna do a whole episode about that. I.. 

Chris: Yeah.

Gina: I wrote an article about that. We’re gonna talk about that.

Chris: Right. Your whole article was about how devastating it is to hear “well we can’t do that.”

Gina: “In the back end.” 

Chris: Cause of the back end. 

Gina: Yes, that’s right. That’s right. 

Chris: Which is completely backwards. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: But I would, I would sum this up by saying if you are working on one of these big monolithic systems, like start to think about how it could be..

Gina: Broken up.

Chris: Can be broken up. And it doesn’t have to be 300 microservices that you..

Gina: That’s right.

Chris: Right.

Gina: It probably shouldn’t be. 

Chris: It probably shouldn’t be. You can start with smaller, more targeted slivers of things, but it’s gonna help you get, or maybe they’re not smalls, slivers, maybe it’s a big chunk that you, that you’re gonna break off. 

Gina: Chunk it out. Two chunks, three chunks. 

Chris: That’s right. 

Gina: Mm-hmm. So consider your APIs. So we wanna wall it off, we wanna bring in new voices, you wanna consider our APIs. What’s our last bit of advice for someone who wants to think like a startup? 

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: Inside a big org. 

Chris: Okay, so it’s an analogy to a fleet of ships. 

Gina: Mm-hmm. I like it. 

Chris: Build a speedboat. So the idea here is if a big company is like a giant tanker ship, how do you build a group that has the freedom and autonomy and mandate, in fact, to be more like a speedboat and move fast? Right. Still part of the same fleet. 

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: Still moving in the same..

Gina: Same direction. 

Chris: …direction. 

Gina: Mm-hmm. 

Chris: But there’s explicit, there’s an explicit expectation that is going to move a lot faster and it’s going to go ahead of where the other ships are in their..

Gina: That’s right.

Chris: …naval journey. 

Gina: Right. 

Chris: And that’s okay. 

Gina: Right. 

Chris: And that’s, and, and not only is it okay, it’s expected. 

Gina: It’s expected, they might go ahead and explore, oh, I’m really gonna stretch that..

Chris: Lean into it.

Gina: …you know, go ahead and explore and see what’s over there and maybe what’s over there. Isn’t that interesting? And they can turn around real fast and come back.

Chris: Exactly.

Gina: And try something else. But, but it’s kind of to, to sprint ahead and see, you know, where we’re going.

Chris: Right. 

Gina: Scout things out, and to be able to turn quickly and change course and oh, there’s the storm coming. Okay, let’s go back to the fleet. You know, I mean, all of those decisions, right? A speedboat can make.

Chris: Right.

Gina: And, and move very fast. 

Chris: Right. A speedboat can’t support a huge crew on it. 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: Right. 

Gina: You cannot.

Chris: A speedboat can’t—is not meant for the long term. Right? 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: You can’t, it’s not a cruise ship. You can’t spend weeks on it. 

Gina: Weeks on it .

Chris: …without—agility is the whole point. 

Gina: Yes. 

Chris: And you’re absolutely right that you need to be able to explore something and realize, well, that wasn’t right.

Gina: That wasn’t good. I’m gonna turn around. 

Chris: We’re gonna turn around. 

Gina: Mm-hmm.

Chris: And that’s okay. When you’re thinking about building a tanker ship, it’s very different. 

Gina: Your concerns are very, very different. 

Chris: That’s right. 

Gina: Yep. And listen, the tanker brings security, stability can weather any storm. Will has power. 

Chris: Exactly. 

Gina: And yeah, I mean, you know, there’s, they’re just different modes. 

Chris: They’re different modes. And you want that, you want the different modes. You want to be able to weather the storm when there’s a storm, but you also want to be able to say, oh, I’m not gonna be thinking about the storm.

Gina: Right. Clear skies, let’s go explore .Yeah, that’s right. . 

Chris: Yeah. To come back to what we were saying at the beginning, it can be challenging and it can be tough politically because the people on the, on the tank, on the tanker..

Gina: Who are those people? What’s going on? Where do they get to go?

Chris: How—Right. How do I get drafted? Or how did they get drafted? onto the boat, onto the speed boat. 

Gina: Right, right, right. 

Chris: And that’s why you’ve gotta make some smart choices. You’ve gotta ideally choose the people who you think are best fit and who it’s gonna feel natural to other people to be like, oh yeah, it makes sense that they’re scouting and they’re looking at..

Gina: That’s right.

Chris: You know, the next forefront of where we’re gonna be going. And it’s no, there’s no less value in staying on the big ship and saying, I gotta make sure that this is battle tested, right? 

Gina: That’s right. 

Chris: Or I’m preparing it for the future by thinking about my APIs or whatever the case may be, . 

Gina: That’s right. That’s right. I really enjoyed this conversation. I think this is really good advice. This is advice that we give to leaders who come to us who are weary and yet hopeful. 

Chris: Yes. 

Gina: And optimistic and wanna do something new. And you know, this is challenging. A lot of this is people stuff, but this is all, this is all really good advice. Particularly if you’re just, you know, trying to do something new in a place that’s entrenched and, and big. 

Chris: Yes. And, and hopefully what we’ve gotten across is that the entrenched stuff is bad, right? 

Gina: That’s right. That’s right. It’s just different. 

Chris: It’s just different. 

Gina: Sometimes you have to carve out a different lane and—and work in a different way.

Chris: Right. And being able to recognize that it’s a different mode and that you might need to make some very conscious choices to enable that different mode, including potentially bringing in a third party to say, Hey, we’re gonna use new eyes to think about things differently. That can be a totally valid thing to do.

Gina: That’s right. And that’s right. I mean, look, we have leaders of very successful companies who’ve been around for a long time and they’re like, what are we missing? Right? Business is good, but, but I’m looking out there and I see that some people are doing some really interesting things and I wanna make sure that we don’t—that we don’t get comfortable and entrenched in our way of thinking.

Chris: Exactly.

Gina: What, what’s out there that we should be exploring, right? These—these are leaders who are like, not only do I have to, you know, kind of, you know, run my business and, and manage costs and make sure that that sales are steady. These are leaders that are looking ahead to the future and saying, what do we need to get ahead of, what is the innovation that we need to be looking—looking for? What are the skills that we need to be building for tomorrow? 

Chris: Right. 

Gina: Versus today. 

Chris: Where are we going? 

Gina: Like, where are we going? That’s right. That’s right. And they’re the ones that wanna start to build up that speedboat. We love, obviously love talking about this stuff and we wanna hear from you. If you’ve been thinking about your org and your business and your culture and technology and getting it done with a, you know, experimental or product oriented mindset, please send us a note. We love talking about this stuff. Hello@postlight.com. We read everyone that comes. We’d love to have a chat whether or not we work together. We just really love hearing stories. 

Chris: Yep. 

Gina: And we’ll give you, we’ll give you our, our best advice and..

Chris: Our honest opinion. 

Gina: Our honest opinion. That’s what we do. Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you next time. 

Chris: Yes, enjoy. Thank you all. 

Gina: Bye-Bye. 

Chris: Bye.

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