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Show Notes

Technology is not a panacea: This week Paul and Rich sit down with Noah Brier, who explains to us why technology cannot solve all of our problems. Noah has done countless interviews with enterprises about their tech needs, and has created content marketing software for large enterprises. He shares his insights on current enterprise software trends and gives us some tips on how to better market our business. Pro tip: traditional marketing like billboards and taxi top ads give the most bang for your buck! 

Transcript

Rich Ziade We’re idiots! We’re sitting here [Paul chuckles], chit chatting, thinking our personalities are gonna pull it off. 

Paul Ford No, no, really that was a mistake on about [laughter] five different levels. It was just like—trust me I’ve learned that from dating; trying to make friends; running businesses; being a writer. It’s never my personality! [Rich laughing throughout] [Music fades in, plays alone for 18 seconds, ramps down.] Hey, Rich. 

RZ Paul, have you ever seen the play Mamma Mia?

PF I haven’t! You know, surprisingly. 

RZ Have you ever been to a . . . nightclub establishment on the west side of New York City called Vixens? 

PF Thank [chuckles] God I haven’t been to that one cuz [music fades out] I try [Rich laughing] [ok] to be honest on this show. No, I’ve never been to Vixens. 

RZ Have you ever heard of a company called Percolate? 

PF Yes!


RZ Ok, do you know what those three things have in common? 

PF They all appear on the side of cabs. 

RZ Or on the tops of cabs. 

PF Yeah. 

RZ Yes. 

PF So if you’re not from New York City, there’s a—a space on top of the cab where you can put a big ad. And it’ll be like—

RZ Yes. 

PF Literally strippers frozen on Broadway and for like a period of three years Percolate. 

RZ Every once in a while, SAP gets into the mix [laughs]. 

PF Yeah, yeah, there’s a few but Percolate. And so as we would see this, we were starting Postlight, and I would come in and I would say, “Rich, I saw Percolate on the side of cab.” And you would say—

RZ “I don’t know what they do.” 

[1:25]

PF And I would say, “I think it’s a marketing CMS of record.” And you would say—

RZ “That’s a bunch of nonsense.” 

PF So, to resolve this issue, we brought in one of the cofounders of Percolate [Rich chuckles], who also happens to be a world class expert in enterprise software, something we talk about a lot. 

RZ Boy, do we! 

PF Here’s someone who knows it ground up. Noah Brier, welcome to Track Changes. 

RZ Welcome, Noah! 

Noah Brier Thank you. 

PF What is Percolate? 

NB Percolate is a content marketing platform. So it’s a—really, it’s a little like Jira for content. So, large marketing organizations use it to manage all their content; manage the workflows; manage it globally; figure out whose gotta do what; push it through the process; figure out what’s on tap, what’s not. It’s kinda like doing product development in Jira but having a system to manage all the content and campaigns that you’re pushing through your global organization. 

PF Oh! So it’s workflow for big content things. 

RZ Yeah, I mean, content obviously means a lot of different things to different people. When you say ‘content’, what do you mean in this context? 

NB Marketing campaigns. So—of any sort, right? So, you start with a big campaign, you figure out when it’s gonna be [ok], you figure out where it’s gonna go, what you’re gonna make: you’re gonna make billboards; you’re gonna make taxi top ads; you’re gonna make some blog posts; you’re gonna put some new stuff on your website [ok], and you manage that whole process through and then eventually it gets approved and pushed out. 

PF Oh so you have your marketing team, your agencies, all sorts of people are workin’ on this stuff at once. 

NB Yeah, it’s more focused on the B2B [business to business] now. 

PF Mm hmm. 

[2:51]

NB So, less agencies, more internal marketing teams, all these different people inside the system pushing all this marketing through; trying to figure out where it’s gonna go; when it’s gonna go; what’s on time, what’s late. 

PF Right. So, if I need to write—I’m writing some article for the corporate blog called like, “The Top Ten Reasons You Need Our Product.” I would wanna be doing that and organizing it in Percolate. Along with the 30,000 other things that are like that, that I’m doing this year. 

NB Yup. 

PF When did that start? 

NB We started in 2011. 

PF 2011. Ok, wow. If you told me in 2011 what you were doing, I would’ve said, “That’s not how the web works.” It turns out that’s how the web works. What gave you psychic vision so that you could see that we were headed towards an all marketing, all the time SEO driven maybe hellscape, maybe progressive, exciting interactive experience but where were you when you—

RZ I mean, by the way, this podcast is an exception to that trend. 

PF Yeah! No [laughter]. We’re very authentic. 

RZ Yeah! [Laughs

NB So, for me, there were two big things: I spent most of my career in—in marketing. So, I actually started out as a journalist for—for about six months and then the magazine got sold and—

PF That was exactly the right amount of time. Let me just tell me you [Rich laughs]. 

NB We all lost our jobs. It was like, “Lemme go—lemme go find a different line of work.” So I ended up in the marketing world, I was a creative director, copywriter, strategist. 

PF So you’re a copywriter . . . and then you end up starting your own business with the cofounder. 

NB Yes. 

PF How—how does that happen? 

[4:13]

NB So somewhere in there I got tired of asking people to make things for me on the internet. So I cobbled together some PHP knowledge and I built a thing called Brand Tags which was just a funny experiment that I—literally was a two am idea. Woke up in the middle of the night, I was like, “Well, what would happen if you asked a bunch of people what they thought about brands and then they typed in the first thing that popped into their head and you made a tag cloud out of the results?” It would give you this pretty interesting snapshot of like brand perception which companies pay lots and lots of money for. So, I made it—I got up two, it was done by four or five. You know, it was pretty terrible. It broke in a lot of ways but, you know, you learn a lot of code when things break and you need to learn it immediately or it’s not gonna work. I ended up collecting like 10,000,000 tags on that site, and it kinda went wild [woah!]. People in the marketing world loved it. Agencies particularly loved it because every time they go to pitch clients they need to tell them that their baby’s ugly—

PF Mm hmm. 

NB And they’re really afraid of telling it themselves, so they’d be like, “Well, look: this is what all these people say. It’s not is!” 

PF “We did this third-party analysis.” 

NB Yup. 

PF Yeah. That’s the two things agencies love is taking no responsibility and pretending to be researcher of an organization [chuckles]. 

NB Yeah. 

PF So. 

RZ So, wait are you still wor—do you still have a day job while this going on? 

NB So I—I built that thing and I had a day job, and it was just like—

RZ You built it on the side. 

NB I just built it—I, you know, literally built it at two o’clock at night. That was the only time that I’ve ever had the sort of two AM lightbulb idea. But it was a lot of fun; I built it, it sorta took off, you know, in internet way, it wasn’t a real business, I wasn’t making any money off it. And then I ended up selling it, like a year and a half later. And, you know, not for a lot of money, but it was still cool and it was still an amazing and it one: gave me a taste of what it’s like to build and launch products and then [chuckles], you know, it gave me a tiny bit of money to not have a full-time job for a short period of time. 

[6:02]

RZ So you quit! 

NB So I quit. 

RZ Wow! Ok so that’s the big leap. 

PF Yeah but that’s the key, man, you get that little—that entrepreneurial itch gets scratched and somebody’s like, “Hey, lemme give you some money for that—” 

RZ He got a little taste of it. 

PF Yeah. 

RZ Yeah, yeah. You’re like, “You know what? I can have a go at this.” 

NB Yeah. 

PF You’re on the younger side when this is happening, you’re gonna wanna go back for more of that. That’s good. 

NB No kids yet. No—it’s a much more simple life. Yeah, I mean, there were a couple of other things. So, I was working in a big digital agency called The Barbarian Group [mm hmm] and we were working with all these really big clients and they were all trying to figure out how to do content on the internet. This was 2009, 2010. And basically they were coming to us and we were making all this stuff for them, and eventually I realized that we had this problem which was they kept wanting more but they didn’t want to spend proportionally more. Right? So they wanted three times more content for one point four times more money [laughter]. 

PF Hmm! 

NB But that’s a tough equation to deal with and—and I looked around and I saw that in a lot of places and a friend of mine who I had known at the time was also working with a lot of big brands and we got to talking about how we might be able to solve this by building tools to help manage the front-end of the marketing process, that if you look around, you see all this stuff: it’s, you know, CMSs and ad tech and all this stuff for distributing marketing but if you talk to marketers about where their big challenges are it’s not like, “How do I put all this amazing content I have into the world?!?” It’s like, “Am I gonna actually make anything—” 

[7:23]

PF This is a real thing, right? We’ve had clients where they’ll go, “Ok, we’re publishing ten pieces a week.” And the con will go, “We wanna publish a thousand pieces of content a week.” And they go, “Ok.” And then they go, “We’re not gonna give you anymore team.” Right? So how can you actually do that? Well, I mean, you can take every image and start syndicating it to social and you can take paragraphs and turn them into pull quotes and put them on Twitter and get new Twitter accounts. Like, there are ways to start amplifying, even without creating something like truly new, you can start to create derivative works. So, for people who are listening, that request to go from, you know, from this to that, isn’t actually that whacky it’s just nobody knew how to do it. So you built the tool to make that sorta stuff easier. 

NB So, yeah, my cofounder and I, his name is James Gross. He was at a place called Federated Media and we were both working on the same kinds of things [sure!] and so James and I were talking about it and I had been building the initial pieces of this weird tool that surfaced interesting internet content for me based on what I was interested in and we thought maybe we could turn that into something that we could sell to brands and so we decided to quit our jobs, and [chuckles] actually the funniest thing I always think back to is there’s this weird like game theory moment where, you know, you’re working with somebody and you both decide you’re gonna quit on the same day but it’s really scary to think, “What if they get a counter offer?” 

PF Right! [Rich laughs] Right, right, right. Ok, so, Percolate ends up on the side—just tell us how it ends up on the side of cabs. This is what I’ve always wondered. 

NB Yeah, yeah. So, when you’re an enterprise software company, right? We were always selling to big companies. One of the biggest challenges you have is how do you get people to take you seriously? You know you can tell them lots of things and you can be really smart and you can have really cool software, but at the end of the day, they need to think that you’re sort of bigger than you are. And there’s this funny trick, especially for marketers, where seeing things that are traditional advertising—

RZ Mm hmm. Mm hmm. 

PF Hmm. 

NB They think can only come from big companies. 

PF Mmm! 

[9:18]

NB And so, you run the—

PF Billboards—

NB Totally. 

PF Little little TV ads. 

NB Yeah. 

PF Yeah, ok. 

NB It seems like it’s big. And so you run these taxi top ads and they’re relatively cheap, and the other real amazing trick about taxi top ads, and this is true of all outdoor, is that outdoor never gets replaced until they have something to replace it with. So nobody pulls down a billboard because you only bought for the month, they pull down the billboard cuz there’s another billboard that’s ready to go up. 

RZ It’s like the posters on subway platforms way after the movie came out. 

PF Yeah. 

NB Totally. 

PF Yeah, that’s right [Rich chuckles].

NB And so we had taxi top ads running for two years after—

RZ That’s insane. 

NB—we stopped paying for them. 

PF Oh we gotta do this. 

RZ That’s insane. 

PF I wanna look into that. Well because—

RZ I think we should! I’m not even joking. 

PF No, me neither because—

[10:00]

RZ Well, first off, we’re a quintessential New York based shop. Like—

PF But here’s the thing I’m noticing from our marketing, right? And it’s—you know you built a platform that made this happen but nobody comes in because of an ad or a pitch, they come in because they’ve seen you enough. And then one day you hit ‘em and they go, “Ok.” And so it just—it takes a while and if somebody—

RZ To seep into your brain and—

PF And the rule of thumb is like seven times, or five to seven times, right? So if—there’s a lot of cabs in New York City. 

RZ Yup, yup. 

PF If they see us three times in a cab, then I only have to hit ‘em four more times. 

RZ Right. So, I wanna get into enterprise. You decided to build enterprise software versus and I always put consumer software or the, you know, the proverbial app on the other side of that. Tell us about that experience and where it took you. 

NB Well, I have to admit that at the very beginning we thought maybe we could do both. And so we did have this funny consumer app at the very beginning where people could use a kind of version of what we had but about nine months in we were looking at like 10,000 users versus five Fortune 50 customers paying us a bunch of money. I was like, “Hmm, we’re gonna go with the—the Fortune 50s.” 

PF It’s hard to convince thousands of people [yes] to be excited about—you can give ‘em something for free they don’t even care. 

RZ So lessons learned from the Percolate experience in enterprise software has kinda taken you to where you are today which is [leading Noah]—

NB A new company called Variance. 

RZ Variance. Now this is another piece of enterprise software? 

NB It is. So, eight years after we started Percolate [ok], my cofounder and I decided to start a new company. We hired a CEO at Percolate about a year ago, so we’ve both been sort of exiting our way out. And Variance is brand new, so we’re still in the initial stages of building but essentially the sort of core idea is that what we saw over eight years of building Percolate was all of these companies, especially within marketing organizations, buying tons of software and struggling to figure out how to get value out of all of it. 

[11:50]

PF Boy is that true. 

RZ By ‘tons’ run down the list. Gimme some of the things you kept seeing again and again. 

NB You can start with the big guys, right? You’ve got lots of Adobe in there and, you know, it starts with Adobe Experience Manager, their CMS, and then when they sell you Experience Manager, they try to sell you every other little bit and piece, so you’ve got Adobe Campaign, you’ve got the Test and Target. You know, now they have a CDP, Customer Data Platform. 

RZ Adobe loves their product. They love chopping one damn product into 28 products. 

PF You know how in a movie like there’s a shipwreck and somebody comes onto the shore and they’re just barely alive? 

RZ Yeah. 

PF That’s what it’s like when someone’s using Adobe Enterprise Manager and they come to us. They’re just like—

RZ [Laughing] Oh boy! 

PF “Oh God! Oh boy!” 

RZ There’s the jab! 

PF “Oh Postlight!” 

RZ Boom. 

PF No they’re just like, “Do you have anything that can make this stop?” 

RZ Yeah. Yeah, yeah. 

PF Right? I’m sure there are happy users, we don’t hear from them. 

[12:41]

NB Right. Yeah, I mean they—I wills say over the time at Percolate, especially as we got closer and closer to now, I hardly walked into a company that wasn’t running Adobe for their Content Management System. 

PF I think like they locked like the big branding efforts, right? They were just like, “Hey, you already know us from our Photoshop and every other thing you use—” 

RZ “We’re in the house.” 

PF “We manage your images and your metadata and, by the way, we’re manage all of your content as well.” 

NB Yeah, they’ve just done an unbelievable job. So they have an analytics product and then they just bought Marketo for however many billions of dollars which was the leading B2B marketing automation system. So, you know, you’ve got all of those pieces in there, right? And then there’s a whole Salesforce stack, right? 

RZ Sure. 

NB So outside the core Salesforce CRM offering, you get into ExactTarget and Pardot and all of those different bits and pieces and roughly a sort of competitive offering with Adobe minus the CMS. And then, you know, Oracle’s got bits and pieces too. Then, after that, there’s just sort of a million different players so, you know, guys talked about the LUMAscape or the, you know—

PF Mm hmm. 

NB—the marketing technology landscape, it’s got like 16 hundred different tools on it now or something like that. 

PF It’s really something else, yeah. 

NB And, you know, so there—it’s cut into lots of bits and pieces. I don’t know anything about the ad tech side of it. So, you know, I’m much more focused on the part where you’re not passing revenue through. It’s just core workflow tools. And then you’ve got tons of, you know, regular enterprise software. Stuff like Jira. Or Asana. Where, you know, those guys are moving in and touching marketing as well. So, the stat I’ve heard and—is that marketing organizations have 90 Sass apps on average. 

PF Look: that doesn’t shock me at all. We’re probably using 30 or 40 apps to run the company, none of them talk to each other. There’s probably one app per person when you factor it all in. Like I’m thinking like—

[14:30]

RZ Hopefully that doesn’t scale that way but yeah. 

PF I think [chuckles]  it’s real. 

RZ Yeah, once we’re 500, we’ve got 500 licenses. 

PF Well then if you start to unlock all the little apps in our HR and benefits management that they’ve bought [oh yeah] and never bothered to integrate. 

RZ No, yeah, I mean we do this exercise actually every few months where we’re like, “Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the recurring costs.” Cuz there’s stuff buried in there that maybe we haven’t touched in nine months but it’s just sittin’ there, hitting us every month, or every quarter or whatever. 

PF Vacation Management. 360 Degree Review Tool. 

RZ [Laughs] There’s a lot. So this is your opportunity. You’re seeing this mountain of licensing that’s sitting in front of marketing groups that they just accept as reality today. 

PF Oh there’s no lock-in like enterprise lock-in, right? 

NB Yeah, not only do they accept it as reality, they think they’re gonna have more of it and they are. I mean like cuz the reality is even if you have low usage on a lot of these things, if you get a bit and piece of value it can easily pay out against its cost. 

PF Ah! True. 

NB And so you end up with this sort of like massive, massive stack of systems where, you know, there’s one person who knows what’s actually in there and, you know—

PF I feel like you can justify every—every individual piece’s cost and then it can add up to far more than your revenue. Like it’s just [laughs and Rich laughs]—like, “Wow! I gotta have that.” 

RZ And as the executive you wanna be the person who’s like, “Do we really need that?” And then everybody looks at you like you told them their baby was ugly. “Why would you ruin our day to day? We’re trying to get things done. You just show up, and you’re complaining about 80 bucks a month.” And it’s never about the 80 bucks a month, it’s like—

PF Everyone’s like—“I mean look at all the money it saves.” But then there’s one immediately to the left that’s like 800 dollars a month and they’re like, “No, you can’t take that away.” And eventually [Rich chuckles], you’ve lost all benefit. You might as well just have people with index cards running around [Rich laughs]. 

[16:18]

NB Well I’ve been—I’ve been deep in research for the new company and talking to a lot of folks and certainly inside really large organizations that particular thing you just described is super magnified, right? Where, you know, Salesforce and Adobe, they’re paying those guys 80 percent of their total Sass costs are wrapped up in those two. So anything after that, you’re like, “It doesn’t really matter—” 

RZ Yeah, I mean, it’s little fringe things—

NB “We’ve got these big costs at the center.” 

RZ Yeah, well how long has Variance been around? 

NB Oh a month. 

RZ Oh! Ok. Brand new. 

PF You’re figuring it out. 

RZ Yeah. 

NB Oh yeah we’re figuring it out. I’m interviewing lots of marketing ops people and marketing technology people. I spent the last month basically talking to 60 different marketing technology people about what they’re trying to do, what their stack looks like. So we’re just—I’m in the middle of it. 

PF What are they like as humans? 

NB They’re very nice people [Rich laughs]. They are [stammers]—

RZ A strange question. 

NB So, marketing operations is this new role which maybe you’ve sort of run into a little bit, maybe you haven’t, I really only started to see it sort of come into any seriousness over the last three or four years at Percolate. And it seems to be a set of kind of three different types of people: you’ve got analytics folks who got moved into this marketing ops and technology role because basically they owned the most tech inside the marketing organization and so at some point somebody was like, “Hey, instead of just owning the analytics tech, why don’t you own all the tech? And make sure that we can sort of use it altogether, right?” So you’ve got that profile; And then you’ve got a set of folks from IT basically who got moved into marketing and were like, “Hey, marketing keeps buying all this stuff, can you help them figure out how to use it all?”; And then you’ve got the demand gen people which is a very similar profile to the analytics folks where they were doing demand generation therefore they owned a lot of tech in marketing and so now they’re sort of like overseeing the whole stack. And for those people, yeah they’re super cool. They just want to figure how their company can use technology in a better way. 

[18:11]

PF 33 percent of our listeners are standing up from their desk where they are an adjunct professor and going, “You’ve ruined the web. What have you done?” I’m just warning you, just in case [music fades in] you get that email cuz we’re gonna get it [music plays alone for six seconds, ramps down]. Hey, Rich. 

RZ Yes, Paul [music fades out]. 

PF Let’s interrupt this podcast about enterprise software to let people know that they can get in touch with Postlight to build on top of enterprise software. 

RZ Or build enterprise software! 

PF That is true. 

RZ Or build consumer software. 

PF We are a platform and products studio at 101 5th Avenue in New York City. We build websites, apps, mobile everything, React Native, React web assembly, design! 

RZ We design too, we have a lot of great designers. It’s a wonderful place. Come talk to us. 

PF It really is good. [email protected] that’s the email you need to send. 

RZ I still love that you give [music fades in] the address as if we’re a coffee shop. 

PF I’m very proud of it. 

RZ You are very proud of it [music plays alone for six seconds, ramps down]. So without [music fades out] giving away the secret sauce, what—what are you envisioning for Variance? 

NB We’re still right in the middle of it. So I don’t know that there is any secret sauce yet but, you know, coming out of these conversations with all these folks over the last couple of months, I’ve heard kind of three big themes. One of which I know we’ll have nothing to do with which is that all of these folks are trying to figure out how they’re gonna connect their marketing data and their customer data together better. So they’re all in the middle of this CDP project and none of them—

RZ CDP. 

[19:41]

NB CDP. Customer Data Platform. Salesforce—

RZ Hold on! Hold on! 

PF Enterprise—

RZ No! This is a billion dollars right here. He just spit it out. This [CDP] is gonna be the next five years of conferences. 

PF Not the marijuana replacement as well? [Noah laughs]

RZ [Laughs] This is your, “My CRM is a CMS, they’re holding hands and loving each other.” 

PF Customer Data Platform. What kind of data goes [CDP] into—

NB So, customer data. And then—

PF Like my name and the fact that I like sneakers. 

NB So, Salesforce just announced this last week, they announced their entrant to the market, they’re late to the market. Adobe announced it about six months ago. It’s a little hard to tell from the outside exactly what they are, it seems like a souped up database only CRM system, right? So what would it look like if you built a CRM with the idea that it was fundamentally the database and you were gonna enrich that data from a whole bunch of different places, rather than thinking about it as being a place where you’re actually gonna be sort of inputting records. So it’s very API first. 

PF Right, so like Salesforce knows everybody’s name and now with this they can tell you everybody’s shoe size. 

NB Right. 

PF Ok. That makes sense to me. We need to—we need to just give people like a tiny 101 here, right? Like how the hell do you even begin to learn and understand these platforms? Because they’re opaque, they’re huge, and there’s a million of them. 

[21:00]

NB I don’t know that I know the answer to that question. I have learned about them by, you know, having thousands of conversations with people at big companies and sometimes getting to see them. But there’s still a lot that I’ve spent very little to no time in, right? Because there’s no demoware for Adobe Experience Manager, right? 

PF No, you can’t download that and play with it. That’s right. 

NB And so it is very opaque. It’s a super opaque market. You know, it’s starting to change, right? You see the Slack and Zooms of the world have, a lot of people believe, started a revolution in enterprise software where we’re gonna see more and more move from the bottom up, but there’s certain kinds of systems where, you know, nobody’s doing a CMS build from the bottom up, hopefully [laughs]. You know, that’s how you run into a lot of trouble. That’s how you get 70 markets with 70 different content management systems that have no idea that they exist and people making all sorts of random things. So there’s a certain amount of stuff that’s always going to have to come from the top down but yeah, you just try to piece it together. You talk to a lot of people. You know, I mean, the biggest sources of information are still the big analysts. Right? So the Forresters and [Gartner] Gartners of the world. People pay them a lot of money, the companies pay them a lot of money, and then the vendors pay them a lot of money to tell them about what the companies want, and there’s a whole thing there there’s—

PF It’s just so ripe for corruption! I just can never get my head around it. 

RZ No, it’s better than that. The Forrester and the Gartners of the world I feel like the vendors are waiting to hear from them about what the companies want. The companies wanna hear from them about what they should want and so they’re in this wonderful place where they’re actually spinning up market need, almost like codifying paranoia in a weird way, it’s like, “Wait, you know, what is that tool that everybody else is gonna have on the block and I’m not gonna have in three years? Tell me what it is and I’ll need to buy it.” 

PF “What are my competitors using?” 

RZ “What will my competitors be using in the three year, five year chart?” 

PF That’s right. 

RZ Right? And then you go back out to the vendors and like, “Hey, guess what, guys? I’ve got ‘em frothin’ at the mouth here, I just laid it all out. It’s CDP—” And once you earn acronym status. 

PF Data lakes too. 

NB Data lakes. Yeah. 

PF Love a good data lake. 

[23:05]

NB They do the acronyms. That’s their, you know, that’s a big part of their business is they—the—the other big piece in this whole world, if we’re talking about enterprise software—is, you know, the Accentures and the Deloittes of the world, right? So they’re a huge piece of the puzzle. So, you know, whether it’s your CRM implementation or your Adobe implementation, you know, it’s being run by Accenture. They’re managing the whole thing; they’re doing the implementation; they’re getting paid an insane amount of money to do it. You know? Because it’s a gigantic two year project. 

PF This is very real for us, right? Is we’re—we’re more and more going into rooms where people go, “How do you do with Salesforce implementation? How do you do this and that?” 

RZ Sure. 

PF And we’re very custom. And we’re, you know, we’re—we’re not Accenture. And so it’s a strange conversation, it’s one we have increasingly cuz we’ve accepted Salesforce into our hearts [Noah giggles]. 

RZ I wanna close with a question, Paul. You’ve talked to a lot of people. You’re hearing a lot of different perspectives, a lot of people—what’s the like number one piece of advice or slash warning you would give to people who are decision-makers around this stuff? 

NB Technology is not a panacea. I think that a lot of people buy this stuff with the hope that it’s going to solve these deep-seated organizational problems that they have magically, and then they get it in the door and they realize that actually like if you don’t pair that with a whole bunch of thinking about how you’re gonna get an organization to change and use that thing, it’s never gonna work. You can spend two years doing the biggest waterfall implementation of whatever and if you don’t spend that time figuring out how you’re gonna get people to use that new thing instead of the way they used to do it in Excel then none of it’s gonna matter. I think that’s the big piece that I’ve seen over and over again. 

RZ Noah just pissed off a lot of sales people. 

PF Good! 

RZ [Laughing] Who have that exact pitch! “I’ve got the panacea!” 

PF Deloitte just started to—caught fire [laughter]. Accenture is like sending a missile to the podcast right now. Well this has been—

[25:03]

RZ Illuminating. 

PF It’s another step in our journey to truly understanding enterprise software. 

RZ Yeah. 

NB You’re gonna have to distribute this with an acronym chart. 

PF That’s right! [Laughs

RZ CDP. Is my big takeaway. 

PF That’s right. It’s what I use to relax in the evenings [laughter]. Alright well, Noah, thank you very much for coming in. 

RZ Thank you, Noah. This was great. 

NB Thanks guys. 

PF Alright, well, you know my secret trick for understanding this world? 

RZ CYA? 

PF That is [laughing] Actually, that’s good. That is real. People can look up that initialism on their own. 

RZ Yes. What is your trick? 

PF YouTube. 

RZ YouTube is great! 

PF If you go on YouTube and you search for these various enterprise products you can see demos of them and people with [music fades in] accents from all around the world—

RZ Will show you this stuff. 

PF—will explain to you how they work. 

RZ Because, you know, it’s just a funny little thing, dude. You visit the SAP website and it’s vast. 

PF They won’t tell you a damn thing about what—You’ll never know what SAP is. 

RZ No, it’s amazing. 

PF And even when something has a name and it’s not a name like you understand, it’s like SAP Enterprise Adapter which could be just a website. 

RZ Yeah. 

PF It could be—

RZ YouTube is fascinating to go in and actually see this stuff get used. That’s actually a good suggestion. 

PF So that’s—you can see—cuz people are using YouTube to market their ability to train you on these products. 

RZ Mm hmm. 

PF So you can get in there and actually understand what the hell’s going on. The reality—and this is a truism that has guided me pretty well my whole career—no matter how confusing and vague it is and no matter how little you can understand, I swear to God, it’s still just software. Like you can—

RZ It is. 

PF It’s like got a database and it makes websites and you click buttons and things happen and—[laughter] SAP will never tell you that. 

RZ No. 

PF But it’s just software. You can go see it on YouTube. Anyway, if you wanna see some software that you’ve never seen before, get in touch with Postlight, we’ll make you some. 

RZ [email protected]

PF Alright, let’s get back to work [music ramps up, plays alone for five seconds, fades out to end].