artificial intelligence

Welcome to 8 Days of AI: Embarking on a Fortnight of Innovation with Shopware

Through Shopware, the incorporation of AI in e-commerce is creating an elevated shopping experience. Together, they represent the future of online shopping – smarter, faster, and more efficient.

Talk-Commerce Arv Natarajan

Decoding the AI Revolution: Retail Transformation with Arv Natarajan

Brent Peterson is joined by a special guest, Arv Natarajan, Director of Product at GroupBy Inc. Together. They delve into the exciting world of AI and its transformative impact on the retail industry. Brent and Arv kick off the conversation by discussing how retailers utilize AI to drive their sales. Arv, leveraging his expertise at GroupBy – a company renowned for powering some of the most successful eCommerce websites – explains the AI-driven mechanisms that help businesses thrive in a competitive retail landscape.

The conversation then shifts to comparing next-generation product discovery technologies and legacy solutions. Arv shares insights on the cutting-edge enhancements that GroupBy has introduced to their Product Discovery Platform in March 2023 and how these developments are redefining eCommerce search. In the final segment, Brent and Arv explore the future of personalized search and recommendations in the eCommerce industry.

They discuss the potential of AI to tailor online shopping experiences and how this could revolutionize customer engagement and conversion rates. Listeners will better understand AI’s role in reshaping retail, product discovery technologies’ evolution, and the future for personalized eCommerce experiences.

Notable Quotes

‘Aave Natarajan’, ’00:08:43′, “Over $300 billion online is lost each year from a bad search experience. That’s a huge number and clearly it’s a problem that needs to be solved.”

‘Aave Natarajan’, ’00:09:32′, “If you could combine both of those experiences and make that online shopping experience more as if you are in a store, not only is it compelling and helpful to the user, I think it would also obviously help the retailer by providing better cross-sell opportunities or upsell opportunities as well.”

Brent W. Peterson 00:23:49, “And then I see a lot of e-commerce stores maybe saying we will keep this internal, we’re not going to share it with anybody, but this will help your buying experience right? Just like you get a personal shopper for you that’s going to go to your local store, your local department store and buy stuff for you. This is an opportunity for trusted brands to have trusted personal shoppers that are bots, right?”

Aave Natarajan, 00:28:59, “Don’t sleep on this technology. It is right here, right now. It’s available to use. It is cutting edge. It will provide more relevant results with less effort and less cost to run, and it will be optimized for your specific objectives. This technology you should be taking advantage of it.”

When to find it in the Podcast

Challenges in Product Discovery [00:08:09]
Aave Natarajan discusses the challenges retailers face with product discovery, including the problem of customers not being able to find the products they are looking for quickly.

AI-powered online shopping experience [00:09:32]
Discussion on how AI can enhance the online shopping experience to mimic the assistance provided by a store associate.

Tailored recommendations based on AI [00:10:29]
Exploring the potential of AI to provide tailored recommendations for specific needs, such as building a garden shed or planning a family dinner.

Advancements in AI technology for e-commerce [00:12:04]
Highlighting the advancements in AI technology for e-commerce, including the use of Google’s search platform and the potential for better product discovery and customer experiences.

The Impact of AI-generated Content on Search Results This topic discusses the potential impact of AI-generated content on search results and the concern of penalization by search engines like Google.

Differentiating Content and Results in Retail This topic explores the difference between content and product results in retail, emphasizing the importance of personalized and unique content to avoid being generic. T

The Future of Personalized E-commerce Experiences This topic delves into the future of personalized searching and shopping experiences, including the role of social media, data usage, and the potential for chatbots to provide tailored recommendations.

Democratizing AI Technology [00:26:02]
Discussion on how democratizing AI technology can level the playing field for smaller brands in providing compelling shopping experiences.

GroupBy’s Unique Offerings [00:26:18]
Exploration of GroupBy’s unique offerings in omnichannel e-commerce search and product discovery and its potential impact on the retail industry.

Advantages of GroupBy’s Platform [00:27:06]
Explanation of how GroupBy’s platform enables retailers to create extraordinary digital experiences, optimize revenue, and benefit from flexible and modular technology integrations.

Help with some tweets!

What challenges do you think retailers face when it comes to providing a seamless product discovery experience for customers? Share your insights!

Get in touch

Arv’s LinkedIn,

GroupBy’s LinkedIn,

Shopware AI Copilot-Unpacking the Power of 8 New AI Features-4

Shopware AI Copilot: Unpacking the Power of 8 New AI Features

Shopware brings to the table eight groundbreaking AI features, designed to empower merchants and provide an enhanced shopping experience. These features are all set to transform content management, export functions, customer classification, image metadata, product reviews, personalized messaging, and product properties, as well as translations.

How Expedia is Revolutionizing Travel Planning with ChatGPT Integration

How Expedia is Revolutionizing Travel Planning with ChatGPT Integration

Expedia, one of the largest online travel agencies, is using ChatGPT to offer personalized and efficient travel planning experience to its users. Read on to find out how this AI integration is transforming the way we plan our trips.

Talk-Commerce-James Bloomfield

Revolutionizing Retail: AI Breakthroughs, Virtual Fitting Rooms, and the Future of eCommerce with James Bloomfield

From addressing the persistent “rate of return” issue to enhancing conversions and customer satisfaction through cutting-edge advancements like immersive Virtual Fitting Rooms, we’re here to bring you to the forefront of AI-driven breakthroughs.

We explore how businesses can leverage game-changing technologies for outstanding results. So, relax, tune in, and join us on this journey to uncover the future of eCommerce. In today’s episode, we’re thrilled to have a conversation with James Bloomfield from Moda Match, a company revolutionizing the apparel industry. Stay tuned, and let’s dive right in!


 Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce Today have James Bloomfield. James is the c e o and Co-founder of Modem Match. James, go ahead. Introduce yourself. Tell us your day-to-day role and maybe one of your passions in life. . 

James: Thank you very much, Brent. It’s great to be on today and I’ve been looking forward to this for some time.

James: And yep. I am the founder and co-founder and c e O of Motor Match, which is a fashion technology company. We utilize highly advanced AI technologies in order to deliver cutting edge solutions to the fashion apparel space. In terms of my daily activities as a startup CEO and co-founder, the, you wear a lot of hats and you have a lot of responsibilities and it’s been quite the journey taking from a an unknown startup with my partners and getting us to the position we are today, which is very exciting, working with a number of large corporate retail partners as well as SM.

James: And just trying our best to bring a new element of technology, functionality, optimization, interactivity to the apparel space. In addition to trying to speak to some of the problems that we have seen that are inherent to the space that might not be as always, principally business related ideas like sustainability.

James: Increasing the diversity, inclusivity, and representation within the space. These kinds of values that we truly believe in as a company, but are really needed to be addressed within the space at large. 

Brent: That’s awesome. I know that in our green room, you agreed you agreed to participate in the free joke project.

Brent: So before we get into into the content we’re gonna, I’m just gonna tell you a joke and you can tell me if that joke should remain free or if we could charge for it. So here we go. What do you call a pair of shoes with uplifting quotes, written all over them, motivational sneakers.

James: I that definitely deserves to be free , right? I would say a strong definite 

Brent: deserves to be free . Excellent. Good. All right. Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for that. All right. So let’s tell us a little bit about mode to match and tell us the goal of why you started it and a little bit of background.

James: Sure. Mode Match was founded a bit over four years ago, and we were initially founded within Tel Aviv Israel, which is well known, as you may know. As it. Tech hub and a real startup hotspot. And we really were dedicated to the project. I personally came at it from a background in fashion apparel.

James: I used to work at a fashion startup here in Canada where I’m talking to you from and where I’m born and raised. And it was during my time at this fashion startup that I began to see. , the kinds of problems that are so widely felt throughout the space in terms of outdated technology, in terms of outmoded practices, in terms of highly established sense of conventional thinking amongst decision makers throughout the space.

James: And, everybody within apparel has made a significant. For a long time doing things in a very specific way. And why change and in addition to all of that is the idea that fashion as it stands, is a very fractured very. You could call it disorganized industry. And a great example of that is the idea that there’s no such thing as an international sizing guide, which is why a, a medium T-shirt is, can be so different from whether it’s in Canada, the United States, or in Asia, or in India or in Europe.

James: It’s vastly different and it causes an enormous number of problems. Not only in terms of business, but in terms of, returns and the ubiquity of free returns has made it enormously costy in terms of dollars and cents. But these ideas of returns are also, and again, going back to some of the values that we have extraordinarily damaging to the environment.

James: But in any case I’m getting a little bit off base. We the fashion startup I was working for in Montreal, Canada, was successfully we had a successful exit within about the first 18 months. And we were very pleased about that. And it was at that time that I got my feet wet, as they would say within the fashion space.

James: Learned. And was, became very aware of the pain points within the space. And and it was the idea of trying to introduce new technology to the fashion industry was in the back of my mind for some time really going about my regular business, but constantly thinking about the best way to go about it.

James: What would work best for people, what’s going to be impactful for a shopper, but also be seamless and convenient and functional for a retailer trying to marry those two ideas. And it really boiled down to a question of technology. The technology didn’t exist to take into account the variables at. And have them work cohesively to deliver a solution that would work for anybody in a scalable, seamless convention, a convenient manner.

James: And a number of years later, I found myself in Tel Aviv, Israel, which again, very well known for its tech, for its startup space with a big emphasis on ai. And long story short, I came into contact with my now two partners and we. we’re able to leverage some highly advanced AI technology worked on by our supremely talented engineering team in order to take into account those variables and really deliver a solution that would be functional and would be convenient and would be, hold value for both shoppers and for retail.

James: And so at that point we wanted to continue raising money for our solution, which was what we had developed was a virtual fitting room, a plug-in white label solution that would allow shoppers to upload an image of themselves or choose from a range of models and dress them hyper accurately with their clothing selections by having a very strong emphasis on real.

James: On fit and on aesthetic. We were able to address with our virtual fitting room a number of the drivers of returns, which represent one of the biggest pain points within the industry. And we wanted to, we were so happy with the work that we had done, and we were so pleased with our solution. We wanted to continue fundraising and increasing the functionality and optimizing.

James: But unfortunately we found ourselves. Odd space of having an amazing piece of technology and an amazing solution, but trying to introduce it into a space that has tried to get this kind of thing done for some time. The introduction of new technology into fashion apparel is not a new concept.

James: It’s been actively attempted for the better part of 25 years but never successfully implemented or executed. And we were so pleased with the work we had done and the reactions we were getting were enormously. But they always ended. Every pitch would end with, this is really great, but we want you to work with X number of clients.

James: Be round for X amount of period of time, prove that you’re a company of substance. Prove that you can make this work. Bring in more data, more case studies, more everything really. And so at that point we, we realized that we had to come to market. We had to continue to get the kind of validation we needed from brands and from retailers.

James: And it was at that point that we decided to move the company from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Montreal, Canada, where we are currently based. And come to market here. We were had to deal with the pandemic, which was not convenient , although in reality it hyper accelerated the space because it precluded the ability to go shop for clothes in brick and mortar locations.

James: So apparently commerce was hyper accelerated. . But again, we dealt with a tremendous amount of skepticism, of trepidation. And I understood where it was coming from but you still, you need to look for that big break. And so we would, we were really hitting the pavement. We were talking to everybody, taking any meeting that they would speak with us and really doing everything that you need to as a startup really grinding for it.

James: And we’re able to find a. digital first retailer here in Montreal who had an absolutely fantastic founder. A young influencer who have, has an amazing fashion sense and she wanted to bring her sense of fashion to her community. And she was very Digitally minded and very digital first, and was thrilled about the opportunity to implement new technology.

James: And, we were able to launch, we had really strong response, not only from users but from retailers that we were showing it to. And, things that was our big break and things really began to pick up from there. And as we we continue to grow and work with larger and larger clients at this point we are now the solution is a plug-in white.

James: Application that’s available on a number of e-commerce platforms such as Shopify. And we really do facilitate a new experience for shoppers on a, in their e-commerce experience, allowing them to see how clothes will look, how they’ll fit, mix, and match, and really, Interact with their shopping experience in a new way that is accurate, that is fun, that is experiential, that is at interactive and the response has been enormously positive.

James: So positive in fact that we were approached by another company in our space with not a. Competing solution, but a complimentary one. And we decided to, in fact, join forces. And we are, we have merged together and have allowed us to position the company as it stands today, which is a fashion technology company with several solutions existing within our suite of services.

James: which allow us to be enormously flexible when we speak to brands and retailers, as well as be able to speak to much more of the wants and needs of shoppers. The second solution being one focused on the production of digital models who are photorealistic. The main thrust of it being the elimination of photo shoots, which, as long as there’s been.

James: Cameras, and as long as there’s been fashion, there have been fashion photo shoots. And so it’s considered to be a sunk cost. But the fact is photo shoots are enormously costly, enormously time consuming, enormously laborsome, especially for brands who potentially will do multiple photo shoots in a year or maybe even multiple photo shoots in a season.

James: And so by having. Digitally photorealistic models that we can completely customize, we can produce at a much faster and more cost effective rate. Really allows us to provide a tremendous amount of value to these brands as well as to users. We. in a time of growing personalization and the need for that by shoppers.

James: The only way as a fashion company you could really speak to all of your users would be to have essentially, a model of every single person in the world. That’s to really get that sense of personal, real personalization. But of course, that’s not reasonable. And so the only, the way that we can actually provide.

James: Is through the use of these kinds of digital models. And they also allow us to facilitate a much greater sense of inclusivity and representation and diversity within a fashion brand’s array of models that they make available. 

Brent: Yeah. I’d like to key in on the, on that diversity. I know that in, in your intro you div you mentioned diversity, sustainability you also mentioned optimization.

Brent: I’d like to get into that. But let’s talk specifically about diversity. I can share my experience that on this podcast itself, I did get a little lazy and I just depended on people sending. Sending me guests and all I got was white males at some point. So in this, in my space, in the, in, in the tech space in general, I think there’s not a lot of diversity and you really have to make, you have to make everybody aware of diversity.

Brent: So just speak to the diverse part of it and why that’s important in especially in the fashion. 

James: Let me just be I’m gonna ask you, are you asking about diversity within the tech space? Are you asking about diversity within the fashion space? Because they’re both things that need to be addressed.

James: But they’re very two different conversations. 

Brent: Yeah. I think for you, for the fashion space, and I think the answer’s probably obvious because everybody’s different and everybody wears clothes for the most part. , unless you’re in a, a clothing optional part of of the world or in a hippie commune.

Brent: But in the tech space, I think that’s, yeah, you’re right. That is a whole nother conversation That’s a challenge in and in itself. But let’s talk about, let’s talk about the fashion space and why diversity is why you feel diversity is important and what you’re doing. 

James: The lack fashion as it stands, has a problem with.

James: exclusivity. And by that really, they speak to, they have a certain idea of what’s beautiful and what size is beautiful, what look is beautiful and everybody who doesn’t fit that mold is on the outs, on the out, on the outside looking in. and whether that’s about your, your gender or your body type or your ethnicity or, speaking of plus size women or petites for men as well.

James: And it makes it so difficult to have fashion, feel like it speaks to you. And to make you feel included. And, I’ll tell a very brief anecdote, which really highlights a very important and impactful moment for me during my time at the company. A number of years ago when we were first coming to market and developing the platform, we were.

James: Fo doing numbers of focus groups, having people try the application. Just talking to as many people as we could, having as many people as possible to try it and just tell us their thoughts. And I was with a number of people doing a pilot’s test of the application. And when the test was over, I had a young plus size woman come up to me and tell me a story.

James: an experience that she had recently had going out and looking for clothes. A similar experience that anybody who’s listening to this is familiar with where you walk into a store and you browse and you find something that you like and maybe you try it on or maybe you look for something that’s more in your size.

James: And she went through all the normal paces. She found something she liked and called over a sales assistant to, to, and asked. It’s size range and whether or not, they could have it potentially in her size. And the response she received was not only did the brand not carry her size in store, the brand didn’t make that size period to which, there’s a moment of pause where it’s okay, where does this conversation go for, essentially come get out of here because we can’t sell to you.

James: And she went home and. essentially went straight to her bedroom, and started to cry and cry with these feelings of embarrassment and shame and, reinforcing these, this discomfort within herself of her personal confidence and her body and her, and how she looked.

James: And as she was telling me this story, she was close to tears. And at that point I found myself, Close to tears cuz it was an experience that I had never dealt with myself personally. And it was something that I just, it, I just, every once in a while when you see something, it seems like it’s so obvious, but your eyes really, but you’ve somehow have not of clocked it previously.

James: And this was a number of years ago and I don’t know who, what her name is, I never saw her again after. , but her story was enormously impactful on me to this day. And in fact I often think about her when I make decisions about the company. My and in the back of my mind do I say, how do I make.

James: life easier for her. How do I make sure that she never has to deal with this kind of problem ever again? Cuz she shouldn’t, not her, not anybody should ever be made to feel that way. And fashion is so personal and it’s it plays such a significant part in so many different people’s lives.

James: And the fact that. It’s so not inclusive. So my thinking, as I said, I often think of her and when I make decisions, cuz if I can make a, if we can make a difference for her, then I know we can make a difference for a lot of people. And this idea of, especially when it comes to measurements and body types is, the lack of diversity within this space is something that desperately needs to be addressed.

James: I think. Slowly is. But by no means is it moving fast enough for my taste? And we’re doing everything that we can to make sure that, that kind of thing is an experience of the past. 

Brent: Yeah can I share one more experience on measurements? I travel to India once a year, typically, and in my travels I always try to do a running race.

Brent: My first time I did the Mumbai marathon, I asked, is this size medium or size large? Is that a US size large or an Indian size larger? How does that work? And they said it’s a US company, so it’s probably a US size. . And so I got the large and sure enough it’s a small or a medium. , so I totally get it.

Brent: And. In that space, in, just simply in the, in that little vertical of runners you don’t wanna wear a small shirt cuz it’s never gonna fit you or it’s not gonna be comfortable. So I’d imagine like in general, when you’re wearing it and for comfort or just clothing as fashion, that sizing across the world is so important.

Brent: , you mentioned then also sustainability. Talk a little bit about how sustainability is important. 

James: It’s a topic that I think a lot of people finally are starting to take much more seriously and be much more aware of. And fashion space in particular has a problem with sustainability. They say that the industry at large contributes anywhere upwards of 10% of global carbon emissions, which is more than.

James: Maritime shipping and airfare combined, which is simply outrageous. And that’s just talking about carbon emissions. That doesn’t even take into account other damages like the production of waste water through the creation of denim, which is, it’s shocking really, the amount of environmental damage that is produced by those practices.

James: And not only that, A lot of the attempts by the space to address it in the recent years have amounted to what they call greenwashing, which is to make a. Relatively superficial attempt to become a more sustainable brand. But it’s really more of a marketing flow than anything. It’s surface level only.

James: And they’ll say, we source our, some of our fabrics from we’ll get our fabric from renewable sources. And when you do and that sounds great, but when you do a little bit of a deeper dive, you realize that yeah. Five or 10% of that fabric is coming from renewable source, but the rest of it is still being produced in a terribly damaging way.

James: And the fact of the matter is when it comes to returns, especially the fact that there’s no such thing as standardized sizing means that there’s very little consumer confidence in what they purchase, which is given rise to its own kind of phenomenon that. Been born on the back of the ubiquity of free returns, which is called Bracket Shopping or bracketing, which anybody who’s listening to this probably has personal experience with, which is the act of going online and ordering multiple items, sometimes the same item in different.

James: Colors and different sizes and ordering 10, 20, 30, 40 items. And when they receive them, they go to, their bedroom and they try them on and they see what looks good and they see what fits and they’ll return everything else. Most, if not all of the items get returned. And and why shouldn’t they?

James: If they don’t fit? If they don’t look right and you have a free return then why wouldn’t she return it? So the process. sending that to and fro on the part of a brand or a retailer, is a huge contributor to those carbon emissions. When you talk about, shipping and handling, by the time it gets back to the brand, oftentimes it’s not cost effective to reshelve, and so it gets pushed downstream whether it be into a, Potentially a discount barrel in a Walmart.

James: But by and large, those items will end up either in the incinerator or in the landfill. And, with the rise of synthetic fibers, that item in that landfill, it might be out of sight, out of mind, but the fact is it’s there and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Sustainability is something that.

James: should be personal to all of us. We’ve only got one planet and so it’s up to all of us to be cognizant of what we’re doing with it. And so if we can address some of these problems through new technology, then that will allow us to not only deliver value to businesses and to shoppers, but help make what is a very damaging environment, environmentally damaging.

James: Better cleaner, more sustainable, more environmentally conscious. And that’s something that really needs to happen sooner rather than later. And it’s something that is very close to us at Modem Match. 

Brent: I want to just I want to put a statistic by you or a workflow and a shipping workflow by you and just comment on it.

Brent: We had a, we have a had a client in Mexico who’s a fashion brand, and they told us that most of the cotton is actually produced in the us. and then it’s shipped to Vietnam or or Asia to get made into string. . And then that string is shipped to say or it’s processed, then it goes to Malaysia to do something else.

Brent: Maybe made making into some fabric. . And then it’s shipped back to Mexico to get made into clothing and then it’s shipped. Mm-hmm. Back to min to the US to actually get sold on the racks. , which seems like a crazy amount of movement of. Of a commodity . , especially when it starts here and then it goes around the world and comes back to the North America.

Brent: And I should even, yeah. That’s 

James: one, that’s one full lap around the planet. Yeah. 

Brent: So number one, is that, is that a pre, is that a pretty common case? Especially as you get into big retailers or big manufacturers of clothing? It, 

James: It’s not uncommon. It’s definitely not uncommon. But they’re again, this boils back to the fractured nature of global fashion industry.

James: In terms of their practices more and more are we seeing small to medium sized brands try to nearshore their. Production to avoid some of these exact problems that you’ve outlined, which were really starkly highlighted during the pandemic when shipping and handling was so uncertain and items were coming from the far east.

James: And with, for instance, through China with their zero covid policies. It became very difficult to do business in a clear and profitable manner. And they’re, I think that’s readily apparent now to, to a lot of the industry. And there has been a greater push to nearshore a lot of these practices.

James: But it’s still, for bigger brands, they and they’re producing tens of thousands of SKUs. They look at their bottom line and they see where they can get it done in the most cost effective manner. And that’s, the way the cookie crumbles essentially. 

Brent: I wanna draw parallel then to your solution and sustainability and say sizing.

Brent: And then I want to point, I wanna point out a outlier, not an outlier, but a business model, like the box model, stitch Fix or whatever they’re called, where they’re actually putting you, giving you a whole bunch of stuff and then they’re encouraging you to return it. If you don’t like it.

Brent: A can you just maybe quickly address that, that boxed model that what is it? Subscription based fashion model and then, , maybe go right into how your solution helps that helps with the sustainability. . 

James: Sure. Stitch Fix is a fantastic company, and I’ve always been very taken with them and I think it’s a great idea and I think that the idea of helping people find their fashion sense, find items that they know fit their sense of style, fit the kind of look that they’re going for, I think that all that is fantastic, especially for those of us who are maybe not the most active shoppers.

James: It’s almost like you’re having a personal stylist do it for yourself. So I think that’s a fantastic. Saying all of that. There are any number of companies that are doing really good work in terms of trying to make this space more sustainable. But a tremendous amount of that effort is focused on, shipping materials, for instance.

James: So I was speaking with an associate recently, and they’re using, cardboard, but it’s all recycled and it comes from, it’s all renewable and it’s a fantastic idea. And it was great work that they were doing and I was so impressed with it. . But if the fact of the matter is that is trying to address a problem that is, that has already happened.

James: The horses have left the barn and we’re trying to corral them. What we are trying to do at Motor Match is really address the problem at its source. If we can stop that return from happen. right from the get-go, by delivering an item that is targeted, that looks the way it’s supposed to look, that fits the way it’s supposed to fit and you know you’re happy with it right from the get-go, then we can stop this whole chain of events from happening right to begin with.

James: And although a company like Stitch Fix, I think it’s a great idea. It does not do a lot in terms of helping the sustainability of the space because of that shipping to and fro of these box. 

Brent: Let’s move into technology a little bit. My experience with a lot of with a lot of fashion owners or fashion brands is the larger ones anyways, are own owned by, let’s just call ’em older.

Brent: People that are more mature and they don’t, or maybe they’re nervous about the technology or they don’t have a lot of that need to think about what is happening, and so they prefer to make it just stay the course instead of moving into new places. , maybe you could just talk about.

Brent: How Moda is changing some of that. And how are you getting, like you mentioned earlier the younger brand that you worked with. How do you break through into the older ownership and into people that aren’t necessarily in tune with what’s happening? . 

James: It’s a great question and it’s something that we and many other companies, whether they be in startups in the fashion space or in any other space, have to contend with.

James: It’s part of the nature of doing startup work, which is proving yourself, proving the viability of your solution, proving the viability of the space trying to determine and marry these ideas of wants and needs and so sometimes solutions and ideas speak for themselves and sometimes you have to work a little harder.

James: It’s something that we can tend with very. Often, which is this, and I spoke about it briefly previously about this kind of skepticism. People have been trying to introduce new technology for a long time now. Nothing successfully worked. And so there is a natural sense of, why you, why now, why this tech, why this approach?

James: And in fact, the rest of the space that I work in is, I often call it a little bit like the wild west because nobody’s certain what that final answer looks like in terms of. Technology, what backend, what ux ui, what front end, what’s going to work with all of the relevant players? And so really me and my counterpoints at other technologies companies, we’re all trying to, get that formula right and really find something that is going to work for everybody and provide that kind of value.

James: But coming back to your question, the way to break through to these older companies, these more established companies, don’t feel the same kind of potentially, financially driven. Need to try new things. Why try new things when you could? Making a lot of money doing things in a certain way and let somebody else try it first.

James: And so that’s basically what we’ve been forced to do, which is work with smaller brands, SMEs, digital digital first or digital exclusive companies who, who don’t even have a brick and mortar storefront and for whom these kinds of things are enormously. . And so it’s really a process for us of just working with as many clients as we can, making sure that edge, each one of our clients is very happy with the work that we’re doing and really gain that validation from the space in order to prove to them that we’re not, just a, a.

James: Fancy presentation or a fancy new piece of tech that looks impressive, but might not actually deliver value in the long term. And it’s, and funnily enough, as a Canadian, I feel it, it comes very naturally to us to want to move very deliberately. Fairly cautiously, very thoughtfully as opposed to a, maybe a more of a Silicon Valley type of thinking, which is, move fast and break things.

James: This particular space really does reward those who are willing to move thoughtfully, deliberately and really build a foundation for the work that we do. And that’s how we’ve gained, success with these larger brands. It’s been a struggle. Definitely been a struggle, but, we’ve always been very big believers in not only our technology, but in the value that we can offer.

James: And once we were able to have the data to, to back that up, then our the job became a little bit easier. . 

Brent: Yeah. I would imagine that changing the habits of the user is ultimately the thing that is gonna change the thought patterns of the owners, because as people start going to places that are more advantageous to the buying experience, then the somebody’s gonna have to take notice.

Brent: . So you talk a little bit about just how you help you, you did talk about measuring. How do you help to optimize that? Then what do you, what is it that you help with in terms of optimization and helping the the merchant and then also the consumer have a better experience in terms of on that PDP pager, wherever the, wherever you’re presenting the.

James: It’s an expansive question. I, if you wanna maybe, and I don’t, I know we have a limited time, so I don’t want to go off on maybe a little bit more of a tangent, which I’m very passionate about the space that I work in. I’m very enthusiastic, so I have a slight tendency to to expand readily on the talking point.

James: If you wanna maybe ask that in a little bit more specific way, I think I can give you more of a targeted 

Brent: answer. Yeah, let’s, talk, let’s talk specifically about just optimizing a product page with your solution. 

James: Sure. Both of our solutions offer a tremendous amount of value.

James: Of our Premier Premium solutions offer tremendous amount of value depending on the needs of the. Brand or the retailer, or the shopper. Just as an example if a page is looking for a reduction rate of return, greater interactivity the ability to target bigger customer bases and different demo, different demographics.

James: The virtual fitting room is something that is shown to have a lot of value because of its ability to, show, provide, really give the tools for that. To engage in their e-commerce experience in a way that is completely different, that is much more accurate. You can really see how the items will look and how they’ll fit.

James: You can choose from a range of models on a variety of body types going for petite all the way to plus size so that nobody really feels excluded. That you can, and not only feel excluded, but be able to buy for a particular kind of body type. People have different. Relationships with their bodies in terms of their self-perception.

James: They might be going on a diet they might have recently on weight, it’s, it fluctuates between each of us. And in some cases very rapidly. And so you need to be able to speak to that in a way that is targeted and a way that is, is valuable and functional. And so the virtual fitting room is enormously beneficial in that respect, in terms of optimizing that experie.

James: And again, by being able to show people how items look and fit correctly and accurately, which are the two principle drivers of returns do we really optimize that process? Whereas our digital modeling solution, the focus is much more about eliminating what is a very. Costly and laborsome step in the process and make this kind of imagery a much more readily available, much more customizable.

James: If you think about something like the availability of models. People often will look at a, It’s one of those areas that people don’t always delve more deeply into. And so it’s, if you’re a, say an SME and you wanna have a model at a photo shoot, you think about the costs that go into that, whether it’s, when you.

James: Take into account a location and equipment and professionals, whether they be stylists or photographers or lighters, or people who work in post-production, editing those images so that they, to be able to produce these kinds of prototypical airbrush, Photoshop perfect hand model that you’ll see on a billboard, which, Is great, but that person shares a body type with, one other person on the planet.

James: So it might do a lot for making a brand look cool and fashionable, but it does nothing for the, the regular shopper. And so by being able to utilize these digital models, which, allow us to produce this imagery photo realistically very quickly, very cost effectively, very customizable.

James: We really can be helpful not only to bigger brands, but we’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest from these small to medium size enterprises who would not be able to typically afford the costs associated with a photo shoot. Be able to use the kinds of models that they want to use be able to, have the kinds of images that they want to use, whether they’re studio or lifestyle shots.

James: And so it’s again, providing a tremendous amount of value to them. one of my. . One of the things that I enjoy the most about my work is working with, up and coming brands or designers who are so fantastically talented and, are held back by, limited budgets and by limited opportunity.

James: And so if we can help facilitate, this very important element of fashion, which is to be able to see, modeling is an important part of fashion. And if we can help. Do that in a way that speaks to them and their vision then that’s something that is, it’s really great for me and a very satisfying element of my work.

Brent: I’d like to finish out our conversation today around AI and machine learning. I think the, there has been a perception of machine learning where people that don’t understand it are afraid of. How do you help to introduce that idea and and make people comfortable with what it is?

James: It’s a good question. And I think we’re helped in part by the growing. Introduction of ai, machine learning driven technologies and solutions into the, the economy at large. More and more companies are coming to market with these kinds of solutions. So I think that in general, we’re starting to become more comfortable with it.

James: It’s a. It’s an unknown, it’s a definite unknown. And so I often try to think about the different ways that this is going to play out and where it’s going to be helpful and where it might be less than helpful, maybe even potentially harmful when you talk about job losses and things of that nature.

James: To make people feel comfortable. I think it’s more of a question of just delivering value consistently and, really having that evidence in front of you. A picture the, while they would say a picture’s worth a thousand words, I would argue that, a data spreadsheet, if a picture’s worth a thousand and that spreadsheet’s worth 10,000 words the, we’re, it’s a, it can be a very cutthroat business, and they want, they’re focusing on their bottom.

James: And if we can just show that value in a consistent, reliable way then, that does a lot of the talking for us. 

Brent: I can share a little bit of my experience around it and I’m super fascinated with machine learning and I’ve been using a lot of Dolly and I’ve started , I’ve started making portraits of famous artists holding Jack Russell Terriers.

Brent: And recently, I know, crazy, right? Recently I did a portrait of by Leonardo Leo, Leonardo da Vinci, holding a Jack Russell. And I posted it on Instagram and somebody commented that that they didn’t. Jack the breed hadn’t been invented or discovered or whatever developed when Da Vinci was around and I pointed out this is a joke, and it’s a representation of a portrait, , so i, I, but the, the idea there is that. it is good enough to I don’t wanna say fake it cuz it’s easier to make a representation of a famous artist, especially when it’s digital. You can’t touch it and see it, , you can’t, you’re looking at it on your computer screen.

Brent: But the flip side is that it, it looks convincing enough that it looks like an artist’s portrait of a Madonna holding a Jack Russell terrier from, whatever the 15 hundreds. I feel like it’s super exciting and it’s going in places that it’s only gonna get more exciting as we grow with it.

Brent: And I think what we’ve talked about today and especially a solution helps us to the diversity part I think is one of the, one of the most important. And I, we didn’t really get into that enough, that, that there isn’t enough reference and representation of other peop types of people in the industry.

Brent: And we in our green room, I, we talked about we talked about technology versus the fashion industry that There’s even less diversity in the technology industry and how important that is. If you have, if you have some bit of nugget that you could tell an Etailer and what they should be looking at as they move into 20 20 23, what is it that you think that would, one thing they could be looking at, especially a fashion retailer?

James: Well, a fashion eTail, I think the real. , the real thing that should be considered right now is being hyper aware of what’s going on in the space. The, one of the most interesting aspects to AI and machine learning is how quickly the technology develops. I, in many cases, what could be deemed as exponential growth in terms of its functionality and its capabilities.

James: And so for us at Modem Match, the our technology is heavily based on AI and. , just, I’m often taken aback by how quickly our technology is able to advance, due to my previous experience working in tech where it’s, slow progress and often all these kinds of hindrances and problems.

James: But with ai it’s moving so quickly that, it’s. To the benefit of everyone that retailers make a dedicated effort to have an open mind, to be very aware of what’s going on because there’s so much value to be had out there in terms of optimization, in terms of increased sustainability and in terms of diversity, in terms of everything really.

James: There, there is the ability for brands right now to onboard new digital tools such as those who are offering at Modem match and really allow them to. A, not a small step forward, but almost a quantum leap forward in terms of what they’re able to provide to their shoppers, what they’re able to do with their own bottom lines their backend processes.

James: It’s important that we, everybody takes a moment, looks around, takes a, gets a sense of the landscape and is willing to try new things. Those who are willing to adopt new technologies, who are willing to grow, who are willing to evolve are going to be well positioned to continue to grow and be successful in the future.

James: And those who are, business as usual and are unwilling to make those considerations and unwilling to make those attempts to try new things are, at one point. Probably sooner rather than later, going to be left behind. And so it’s, it’s, again, it’s a fantastic, there’s so much amazing stuff happening and so it’s important as a retailer to really take a look around, know what’s going on, and connect with as many kinds of technologies as, and solutions as they can.

James: Not everything is gonna work and fit with everyone’s vision. And some companies unfortunately do not have the kind of stain power that, that you could call maybe a flash in the. And over my four years of doing, of leaving modem match, I’ve seen many come and go. As I previously mentioned, it’s a little bit like the wild west.

James: And so there’s these ideas of what’s going to work. Is it going to be hardware, is it going to be software? Where in the supply line and the production chain, and should it be implemented? And so by for us, we want to be. Say that we wanna be able to service a whole range of needs and that’s why we have been working and offering multiple solutions so that we can really address a range of problems.

James: But I would encourage brands and retailers to, again, be very aware of what’s going on in the space. Connect and talk with as many of these entrepreneurs as they can. And find a company, find a solution that works well for you, works well for your company, and that you are able to see long-term.

James: and not some, kitche niche solution that might be cool for one season, but then, is a thing of the past just as quickly as as quickly gone, as quickly as it. 

Brent: James, it’s been such a good conversation and you’re so articulate. I thank you so much for being here today.

Brent: As I close out the podcast, I give everybody an opportunity to do a shameless plug about anything you’d like. What would you like to plug today? 

James: I would typically, my first instinct would be to plug my business. But I, there’s the chance that I might have done that already to its fullest extent in this conversation.

James: I think my only plug would be, Take in, in this current, holiday season is to, it’s a tough time that we’ve all been going through with the pandemic and with the changes that have come to our society. So it’s important to look around at at our loved ones, hold each other close, but also to look around and see the world through new eyes and realize that the world has changed, is changing rapidly and not, and that can be for the.

James: If only we focus on it, if only we make a really dedicated and deliberate effort to take these new technologies, to take these changes and use them as a force for good, not only just in terms of business and bottom lines, but these other ideas that are so important, that, that we touched on in this conversation, like greater inclusivity, not just in fashion, but in, in every space.

James: Greater representation, greater and diversity. And these, this need to really take a hard look at the world and how we operate and how damage, how much damage we’ve done to the world around us and say, enough is enough and we can’t continue as, And we have to change. There’s, it’s not going to, we don’t have as the chances don’t, won’t exist forever.

James: So now is the time. There’s no better time than the present as my mother would say. And it’s again, just to know, take a breath, look around and realize that, that things are changing and we have to change. Times are changing and we’ve gotta change. 

Brent: James it’s, thank you so much for being here.

Brent: James Bloomfield, the c e o and co-founder of Motor Match. It’s been a pleasure talking to you today, 

James: Brent. Thank you so much for having me. Great. Pleasure talking with you as well. And I’m you let me know next time I, and I look forward to the next free or charge joke, . 

Brent: Yeah. And I should mention too, I’ll put all your contact information in the show notes so people know how to get ahold of you and how to find mode match.

James: Great. Please do so and I would encourage anybody to reach out to me. I’m a little bit of a workaholic, so you reach out to me and I will get back to you. Guaranted. And at the very least, I’m always happy to have a conversation and, connect with people. There’s so many amazing, fantastic people who work, not only in the tech space that I’m in, but the, the fashion industry and the apparel industry.

James: These new up and comers who have, who are so driven, who are so talented, who’re so incredibly intelligent and charming and everything that you could want. And please reach out and I’d love to chat. Thank you. All right. Thank you.

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In this week’s episode, we talk about everything from entrepreneurship to employee happiness. (@LatelyAIKately) Kate talks about the pressure on a start-up CEO and how it is compounded by trying to run a successful business and raise money at the same time. Kate reveals one really cool new feature on (You must listen to the end to hear the big reveal!)

What you will learn from this episode and about Kate

• Passion for floating in a pool and listening to 80s music

• CEO of Lately, an AI that repurposes long-form content

• Focus on making fans, not sales

• Educated on Black American perspectives •

White Elephant in the Room: lack of diversity in podcast

• Advice to never assume what any side wants

• Value of lifting others up

• Making a fan creates a machine

• Marketing is about getting a fresh perspective

• Overuse of words leads to dull communication

• Creative use of language to engage people and make them react

I absolutely think that people who are focused on clock punching rather than performance and outcomes are missing out. Clock punchers are focused on the wrong thing and don’t understand the bigger picture. They don’t see how their work fits into the bigger picture and how it contributes to the success of the company. Performance and outcomes are much more important than just showing up and doing the minimum. If an entrepreneur is focused on performance and outcomes, they will be able to make better decisions and find more success.

Kate Bradley

Kate is the Founder & CEO of Lately. The A.I. that learns which words will get you the most engagement and re-purposes video, audio, and text into dozens of social posts containing those words.

Kate is a former rock ‘n’ roll DJ and served 20 million listeners as Music Director and on-air host at Sirius/XM. She’s also an award-winning radio producer, engineer, and voice talent with 25 years of national broadcast communications, brand-building, sales, and marketing expertise. What she learned in radio about the neuroscience of music helps fuel Lately’s artificial intelligence.


Brent: Welcome to this wonderful episode of lately on Talk Commerce. I have Kaitlyn from lately today. Kate. Please introduce yourself. Tell us your day to day role in one of your passions in life. 

Kate: I formally was a rock and roll DJ broadcasting to 20 million listeners a day for XM. So I have a soft spot in my heart for podcasting, of course. I love the theater of the mind so much. I love radio. I love that you Brent have this I don’t even know if you know that you have it, you have this beautiful power to create what I call a two-way street, even though it’s one way.

Kate: I You wield the microphone here, but people listen and trust you and they lean in because you have this ability to create that magical kind of feeling as though they’re part of the conversation. And so that’s what attracts me to radio and podcasting specifically. And I don’t miss it.

Kate: Cuz can I swear in your show? I don’t know. Yeah. Go for it. I had a shit time. there, there’s great things about radio. I met my husband there and his record was our favorite record of the year. And of course, total job hazard. Cause I dated musicians do not recommend, found the one good one, who’ve cut his hair and wears chinos and now he’s. Sales bless his heart, but radio is a boy’s club, of course. And me too, and all that stuff didn’t even exist. And the rewards you got for participating in sexual harassment were large. It was applauded. And so we all did it, and I, not only, and I was a recipient of course, because, I don’t have a phase for radio.

Kate: Yay. And there’s no women either. So of course, like every day my boss would ask. Bradley or your hands queen, meaning could I hold this Dick while he peed? just, it was just the locker room bullshit. So that. Bizarre because what started happening? I don’t know why I’m going down this thread with you, but Hey ladies, listen up the the sexual harassment turned into a hostile work environment because of course I was great at what I did and I arranged.

Kate: The first ever marketing newsletter for any of the channels, it was ours. And it got all of this. This is before MailChimp. Okay. So I was like in outlook having to send multiple copies because you could only send it to 250 people at a time. Remember that there was like no formatting. And I got us. Just a huge amount of press.

Kate: Just because I’m a bulldog, and I was like I think we should do this. And I’m gonna ask all these people to republish it and forward it, et cetera. And they did. And and then I got shit on for my success. So that was confusing because you’re like, I’m killing it. Why aren’t people excited about this?

Kate: It’s because they’re threatened. And I dunno if that’s why I have my own company and I don’t have to deal with. Ego, except for my own. now , the mountain. What were the other two questions you asked? 

Brent: What is your day to day role and one of your passions in life?

Kate: Oh we might have covered the passion but I think at the moment, my biggest passion is floating. I love the weightlessness of floating in a pool and we have a kitty pool and in text one, thank God for those people democratizing this thing, and we’ve had one for a while. It’s 12 feet by four feet, maybe three.

Kate: And there’s just enough room for two people to float. We built a solar heater out of black hose and a black piece of wood and a there’s a pump. And it does when there’s not a heat wave. It’s usually 88 degrees, which is what I like Brent, and me and my noodles are out there just floating away every day.

Kate: I’m allowed three songs, so I bring the Bose out there and I listen to three songs on the radio. Actually, I can still tolerate live radio and by tolerate, I really mean that cause it’s. Fucking terrible. Really terrible, but there’s this one station here that they mostly play 80 songs with and I’m a child at the eighties.

Kate: So I’m like, Hooters, Eddie grant, Steve Miller. Yes. And sometimes I’m lucky and I get three great songs. Sometimes they throw in some, another seventies, crap like BGS, or I don’t really like Harry Nelson, stuff like that. And I’m just like, I’m just waiting for the next good one. But that’s my passion at the moment.

Kate: And then. Who am I? What am I doing? I’m the CEO of lately lately uses artificial intelligence to repurpose long form content like text and video and audio into bite size social posts that it knows very specifically, which parts will get you the highest engagement. . 

Brent: Yeah, that’s great. And I am a, I’m a user of lately for longly.

Brent: It’s been a great tool for us. I do want to just dip back into podcast guests, because it’s not always a two street. And when people come on as a guest that are, that have an agenda that are trying to. They are not a good guest. And I sometimes just look at the clock and think, oh my God, can this 30 minutes be over?

Brent: And now the 110 guests that I’ve had are thinking, are you one of them? Kate, you are not because this is the second time you’ve been on and I really appreciate you coming on. But it is sometimes difficult and it’s, my, my job is made much easier. when the guest holds the conversation, but it’s not a sales pitch.

Brent: And I, there’s nothing more than I hate in a sales pitch from a guest. But anyways, this is my pitch for lately because it is, it’s such a great product. And I’m falling in love with AI. I just signed up with open AI. I would I want want to get into the Dolly thing and there’s so many fun things happening in.

Brent: That I’m very interested in. But I do wanna talk a little bit about some of the entrepreneur journeys you’ve been going through and also, in our green room, I do wanna just bring up the white elephant in the room, which is me. And we did talk a little bit about, and you brought it up too.

Brent: The fact that there isn’t I don’t have a lot of diversity in my podcast and I would like to work on that. I’m part of the entrepreneurial community here in Minneapolis and Kate. I was just educating Kate, when we, before as well, Minneapolis is a city in the middle of the country.

Brent: And I know people on the coast don’t realize that there’s a part. World that between New York and California, but we don’t have to go into that. So I’m on I do sit on the diversity and inclusion committee. and I always ask myself, why should I be on this? And actually if I had some good guess, and they’ve given me some good answers on why me as a white male should be on this.

Brent: And part of it is just awareness and talking about it, because if everybody doesn’t talk about it, then it becomes something that’s back room. And I think it’s always better if we do talk about it. So not to belabor the point, but I know that there’s challenges in that. There wasn’t even a question 

Kate: in there.

Kate: I have a comment though, if you don’t mind. My friend, please, Jen. God, what’s her last name? Vander something, sorry, Jen. Vander. Awesome. I’m just gonna call her that. So she, we were on a panel once and she. express this in a way that was the first time I got it, which is this, when you are the underdog, you can only be lifted up by those who are on top.

Kate: And the mistake many people make is not including the people who are on top in the conversation and we rely on them to lift us up. So in your case, it has to be white men in the conversation because they hold the power in the world. They. For the most part. And not excluding them is just a stopper right away.

Kate: So I get that on the, just a flip side and we should go into politics cuz that’s dangerous. But I did, I was a marketing consultant for a company called the perception Institute for about a year and their mission in the world or a nonprofit is to change the way that black men are portrayed in the media, black men.

Kate: And. . And so I learned a lot about people, about black Americans specifically and how they feel about white people of intervening in their business. And it was mostly not nice, which was interesting, and the overall reaction was like, stay out of it with your woke perceptions. Because what you think is right is not what we believe at.

Kate: And I’m generalizing. So forgive me there, but just a perspective, like it’s the S U right? You have to never assume what the other, what any side wants. Everybody has to be at the table for the magic to happen for the two-way street to happen. Let’s get back to that. And the second comment I had related to that was.

Kate: You touched on what makes for a good guest, so I believe it or not, I was a terrible interviewer on radio for a long time. I would get very nervous and I was young. And so I didn’t have a lot of experience, doing that. I was, it was the me show. I was great at the me show , I didn’t know how to make people shine or ask the right questions, cuz I was so nervous about pushing all the buttons and getting things right at the same time. Cuz you’re in my day you were managing like the whole show, just like you are with your podcast. So there’s a lot to do behind this in the green room, as you’re saying.

Kate: So to tie in what makes a good guess is when you are able to lift others up. Number one a and that’s I think that goes both ways, but as an entrepreneur. what we say is make a fan. Don’t make a sale right now. The value there might sound corny, but I believe in the long tail, this is the radio that I grew up in is all about the long tail.

Kate: The album cuts, not the hits, right? Get people to buy the records, make fans who are loyal to the death. And I saw the power of those people because when you make a fan, they work for you for free and they can’t help the. And so you get multiple banks for your buck because you make the sale and you make a machine, 

Brent: right?

Brent: Yeah. No. And I really apologize for what I’m gonna say now. because I do feel like now I want to change the name of my podcast to ceiling. Because I would love to get ceiling fans but keep going. I know. I’m sorry, Brent. that was so bad. Hold your nose, 

Kate: everybody. 

Brent: Yeah. So I, my wife and I had this conversation about ceiling, the Mar Marcia Beski talked has a song about a hundred tampon.

Brent: And in, there was there, there was the first lady in space. They gave, she was gonna be in space for a week. So they gave her a hundred tampons and and she has a she’s on Ted. She has a Ted talk anyways. So they, she talked about the fact that she has this song. And then all of a sudden, all these men started berating her about, you shouldn’t make fun of these engineers at NASA.

Brent: Like who knows, like you, you need a hundred tampons right. For a week. And it was, we had a very good convers, my wife and I had a very nice conversation about it. And I, for me, I thought it through and I’m like, yeah, that doesn’t really make sense. I don’t, I don’t know any better, but her point was, there was a lot of men that came out and were.

Brent: Hit Eric making her feel bad that she’d come up with this song or not making her, I don’t know the right words, but sounds funny. They were ham whatever social media, what social media does, that’s what they were doing. 

Kate: I have a segue 

Brent: for this.

Brent: Okay. Yes, we need a segue. Yes, go. 

Kate: So one of my favorite lines is Catherine Hahn in. the, we are the Millers when she calls it a Tanin and she’s from the Midwest. She is in this movie anyways, and so around my house, it’s called a Tanin and we laugh every time cuz it’s so funny to us, but that’s that ability by the way to take so.

Kate: and spin it in a new way, which is really what our jobs are about. This is marketing. How do you get fresh perspective? Whether it’s a hundred tampons in space or throwing a hot dog down a hallway, as she says, right? There’s I love that. I love. we, I just did a post on LinkedIn. I don’t know why I was inspired by somebody on Twitter.

Kate: And I said, words that make you like wanna bar. And I said, I’ll start. And the word was trousers. And so everybody piled on with not only just words that they don’t like the way they sound moist, got a lot of votes. For example, salacious got some. But then also biz lab was all over the place. So people were like partners and utilize at the end of the day, like all that kind of 

Brent: stuff.

Brent: I’ll reach out to you later. Yeah. 

Kate: Yeah. So I was just thinking about the, how we. how we can overuse words to death. So they don’t mean anything like awesome, which I am guilty of as well. All of America overuses. Awesome. But the whole point of communicating well is to don’t only communicate well, but to communicate with meaning.

Kate: and to hear some biz bla drive engagement, to make people lean in is to take something very familiar and just turn it just enough so that somebody is you catch the ear and you make them react. It’s the reaction that we all want. And I love thinking about that. I love so my husband is great at this he’ll he has all these isms one.

Kate: The hammer lane and the granny lane. That’s what he calls the fast lane and the slow lane on the highway. Or dirt nap. That’s like obviously dying 

Brent: dirt nap. Okay. 

Kate: Or booger sugar is cocaine , which we were just watching that Tom cruise movie American made, which is a great movie, by the way.

Kate: Even if you don’t like Tom cruise, it’s a 

Brent: great movie. I agree. I’ve seen it. Very good. Okay. Alright, so let’s move into little, let’s talk a little bit about entrepreneur entrepreneurship. My daughter just got a job with a CRM company called endear and they’re based outta New York, a very young entrepreneur lady who started it with a partner and te.

Brent: Did you have any struggles as an entrepreneur? 

Kate: oh, so many. I think the one that’s ever present for me is it’s, I don’t know if it’s confidence I, I don’t have an imposter syndrome per se, but I take things personally, that, that whole. Bullshit about it being work and business and not personal it’s it is bullshit, to me it is of course it’s personal, it affects people’s lives, right?

Kate: I That’s, it has to be right. And I’ve had to make decisions. I’ve had to let people go. I know how all that, how hard that stuff is. But I,

Kate: the pressure that I put on myself is pretty sprint. I perceive that there’s pressure being put on me by others as well. That may or may not be true, but there’s certainly that there’s that perception whether it’s my customers, like I wanna succeed for you. Whether it’s other women entrepreneurs, my investors, my fam, my family my team, obviously Lauren and Brian and Kristen, Jason and everybody, Kristen and Katie, Greg, I think that’s all.

Kate: Did I forget anyone, Emma Alex , and I, the problem is I don’t know what failure looks like. So let me just put this in the ground for everybody. We’re bringing it down. Brian, my CTO is very good at being positive and PR and practical. He’s an engineer. So he, he, he shoots pretty straight and I’m always.

Kate: wallowing in the negative. And he’s dude, like you have to really understand this, the odds of what lately is. So the chances of startups succeeding at all is already ne it’s negative. The fact that lately still exists. The fact that we have revenue, that we have hundreds of customers, we’ve had thousands before, we’re figuring out how to do it all here.

Kate: He’s like lately should have died a million. So you really need to acknowledge this, but it’s not that I don’t acknowledge it. It’s that the road to getting to the next level, like the levels, the goal post move a lot, which is very frustrating to me. Like I’m trying to figure out Brent constantly not how to win the game, how to beat the machine.

Kate: Okay. That’s all I think about how do I beat the fucking machine? Beat it into the ground. That’s what I. That’s all I see. And it’s not enough for me just to have a nice little business here. That’s not the game I’m playing, right? That’s not this game. And when you do everything that’s prescribed and you do it like to the fucking awesomeness of awesome platinum level superstar, galactic awesomeness, which is what we do.

Kate: And you still can’t hit the milestones. That’s defeating debilitating to me personally. I take it personally, cuz then I think, what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I fucking do this? And I hang my head in shame, honestly. The buck stops with me. It has to be me. It’s not I can, there’s all, there’s the great resignation.

Kate: There’s, COVID, there’s the market. There’s all these things to blame, of course. But I don’t think of any of them. It’s always hard. There’s always some shit out there. So it’s me. I’m the one where that can control. What’s happening or figure it out. And, I think just generally that’s the biggest hurdle is my, is myself in a way.

Kate: I don’t have an off button, cuz I want this. It’s not that I want this so bad, but I know it’s I know it’s not even possible. I know it’s probable. I.

Kate: And so I also, that means, I know all the pieces are in front of me here already. I know that they are, this is a matter of assembling the pieces. I have the right. Is which is a blessing and a curse. It’s right here. But the fact that I can’t figure it out makes me feel like an idiot , and none of that’s true.

Kate: I rely on you. I rely on our customers. We’re always asking for feedback. I’m terrible at taking criticism, but my team is great at it, which is why I had them, and we’re always looking for ways sorry for rambling but entrepreneurs, here’s a great tip. Someone told me, and you get a lot of tips that are garbage, cuz everybody wants to give you some advice.

Kate: But a friend of mine said, look for the patterns. So if you can look for the patterns in everything, whether it’s the way the funnel works or how much MRI you’re making or what customers click first, right? All these little patterns are macro and micro patterns. You can double down or then fix them.

Kate: and my, I joke all the time. My, my great skill is seeing the glass half empty. That’s what I do. I look for problems, patterns of problems, so can you imagine being my husband? He’s a nice guy. 

Brent: yeah I am. I am the glass half full and my wife is the glass half empty. So we actually balance each other out.

Brent: We’re either full or empty at the same time empty we’re empty. So I definitely can empathize with your struggle. And I do of want to talk about as a leader that empathy part that you have to have for your employees do you see a difference in differe? Styles of leadership that work or don’t work, or I don’t know.

Brent: I I see sometimes that some entrepreneurs want to like they assume that your employee feels some way and if you feel differently, it doesn’t matter to what it’s not it, the feelings of your employees don’t matter. And I feel like that I’m I believe they matter, but that some of that empathy isn’t there in a lot of entrepreneurs.

Kate: I had a shitty job, so I know what it feels like to have that kind of panic attack and go to work and dread every day. And I don’t want to any make anyone feel that way. I am very lucky because all of those people on my team are very kind and they’re very loyal and they’re also very smart. I forget sometimes.

Kate: That they can’t read my mind. I try to apologize for that. Luckily they have a high tolerance for my bitch. That’s ano very lucky thing, because I can be an asshole. I can be, of course, and I’m so grateful. I have to surround myself with people who have that tolerance because I.

Kate: Always apologize for it. There’s too much to go on, but I have to also obviously reward and acknowledge. And so I need also the kinds of people who either don’t need that all the time can get it from each other. My re I feel my perception is the reward is to provide a workplace that is fun, which it really is.

Kate: It’s we have like unlimited vacation, no one ever takes a vacation. I don’t know why they don’t, but they don’t. You can, you don’t have to ask to go to the doctor or anything. You just, nobody cares. Get the work done. We don’t really care what you’re doing during the day. If there’s. And everyone is very autonomous.

Kate: There’s, some things I’m a micromanager about. I know this, but my aim is to not be that way and to, to a fault, honestly, like sometimes I’m trying to figure out why these people, these two people, maybe aren’t getting along or hearing each other. And then I realize , I don’t bring them together enough.

Kate: cuz we’re all just out doing our own thing. We’re running and running. And one thing sometimes I forget that. Because we’re, know, we are dispersed and we always have been dispersed and I like that because I feel it’s so much more productive. I hate being in office when people are coming in and talking to me all the time.

Kate: I hate that. I can’t get anything done, and. , I will forget how smart they are. I’m like, shit, Chris has really good ideas. I need to ask him these questions more often and then utilize them, or Lauren is, I think she’s 15 years younger than me. I forget, but she’s younger than me.

Kate: And I forget that she is because she’s so 

Brent: she’s 10

Brent: And I talked to Lauren. Lauren is fantastic by the way. Isn’t she great. Keep going. Sorry. Yeah. She’s didn’t mean interrupt to you. 

Kate: No, I’m sorry for she’s so smart. And my, for all of them, my expectation is I, these people are on a scale of one to 10. They’re twelves. They’re all twelves. And so when they’re only tens, I get on their asses about.

Kate: Shame on me. Because I believe in them I respect them and I’m so impressed with them. And Lauren is certainly one of those people, and but she can tolerate my shit, which I, that this is also what I appreciate. So the way I try to reward, money is not the thing that motivates my team because.

Kate: We often can’t pay each other or the salary isn’t very high, but I try to create a workplace where there’s like a ton of flexibility and a ton of autonomy, because these are the things that I need personally. And I know there’s people out there like me, and I think to providing a safe place, like I call it where people can be themselves.

Kate: Like we don’t, we don’t really have a lot of rules, the golden rule, our biggest rule. And. a lot. We have two meetings a week, one for sales and one for the whole team, cuz we’re small enough. We can do these things still. And at those meetings we have what’s called the rolling agenda. And so the rolling agenda is a Google doc that goes on and on for years and everyone’s name is on it and you’re supposed to write what you’re doing, what you’ve done and what you’re doing there.

Kate: And everyone reads it an hour before the meeting and at the top of the meeting is the actual agenda discussion items. And the discussion items are the things that we all actually need to talk about together. Cuz I don’t need to have a report of what you’re doing and plus I can see it all in slack. Our slack channel is I don’t I poo threads because I want everybody, I want it to bleed over for everybody.

Kate: It saves me the time from repeating myself from silo to silo and it makes everybody sympathetic or empathetic. And so the rolling agenda what’s so funny is there’s almost never dis any discussion items cuz we’ve already had the discussion. So it’s a hang we get on the phone and we find out that.

Kate: Chris’s son, Zach just performed at a comedy club and killed it with amazing jokes. A couple of Dick jokes, in front of his grandparents, but I guess they were killer. Awesome. Katie’s daughter, Ruby just scored some major role in a play. I think it was beauty. The beast she’s the lead, which is pretty great.

Kate: Kristen’s getting ready to go to Paris with her two children. For the, and her husband. So the first family vacation and maybe the last one, cuz everybody’s going to college, this is what we talk about, I love that about them, Brent, how lucky am I? 

Brent: Yeah. That’s building a team like that is, is like the dream of any entrepreneur.

Brent: It I think you’ve talked to a lot about, about that team building and how you’ve been successful in it. What would you. If you were gonna say something to an entrepreneur who was hung up with instead of that mentality that you have for performance I don’t care what you do all day, just so you deliver what we’re expecting.

Brent: The opposite of that is I, all I care about is that you come in and punch the clock. right there. There’s a dichotomy there and there’s a big swing, right? If you’re just assembling something and you’re punching the clock, you know what you get because you’re assembling something.

Brent: But the same thing is you could come in and assemble something very poorly. Or, if you’re not checking, there’s gotta be a balance between performance. I’m a firm believer in performance and the outcome of that. Do you think people that look at clock punching, miss the outcome part? 

Kate: Sure. I’ve been that I worked in retail in the mall.

Kate: I know what it’s like. it sucks. And I hated it. Sorry, dad. I worked for my dad for a while. I love my dad. I think, so like begets, like when you are around other people who are working at a superior level and you’re not, it’s obvious and you feel bad and you want to catch up. So that’s one thing, right?

Kate: And I’ve surrounded myself. I’m very lucky to have these people who are, these are amazing people. Please never leave me please. And I’m always concerned when, like one of them, if someone’s gonna get married, Girlfriend moves in or something like that. I’m like, is my productivity gonna go down?

Kate: It’s so mean, that’s my first thought. Then my second thought is I want joy for this person. Hello. What’s wrong with you, Bradley. But I think that I think we were saying earlier, like the work life balance is bullshit. Like work is life and life is work. And if you’re not having a great time during what you’re doing, you’re not feeling fulfilled and joyful.

Kate: and like you’re doing something to improve the world or yourself, then you really need a different job. I It’s so important. I think, for entrepreneurs, the objective, I always think, and I think about this, especially when I’m like arguing with my husband is what is money? What is the outcome that I want here?

Kate: What’s the outcome. So let’s back into it is the outcome to make someone feel wrong because they fucked up is that the. that you want, you wanna make them feel bad. So then they don’t sell shit for you all day long. Cause they feel bad and they’re done. I’ve done that before. I’ve done that. I like making PE people feel wrong.

Kate: Like I do. I like calling them out on their shit. I’m trying to go to therapy to improve this, but it’s there, it’s the thing. And I, but I’ve learned not to do that because what is the point now? Now sometimes you have to correct someone on what they’ve done in order for them to improve.

Kate: I’m not great at this, but I, that is my aim, Poor Lauren. She, I like people to write copy for me. So we’re always, we work together on sales. And so she is in charge of the follow up with the sale, right? So we have a call. We have to email them, she’ll draft an email and Google I’ll take 95% of it apart and rewrite it and then be like, okay, here you go.

Kate: Now her feeling can be defeat defeated, like thanks for wasting my time. I explained to her, I was like, you don’t know how much time you saved me just by starting this. And my point of taking a part isn’t to shit on you. My, my point is to give myself something to play, where I can move around.

Kate: And I said, this was a, like earlier last year or something. And I was like, I will do. I promise to do a better job of telling you why I’m rearranging these things and what, why I’m putting these things in here. If you wanna learn how to do it better, but at the same time, I have to remember.

Kate: Lauren came from she. So she has a she’s smarter than all of us. She has a master’s degree in psychology analytics. And she came from working at the cancer ward in a hospital, God. And took the first job at lately as head of customer service, which she killed it at. And then she ran our sales team and now she.

Kate: Chief operations officer. So she has some very deep legacy knowledge of the company, but she didn’t come from sales. That’s not her background. None of us actually have come from sales me the most. I have the most experience in sales and we have a 98% sales conversion. Brent, Kristen come from sales.

Kate: Chris comes from radio like me,

Kate: the reason, of course the product is awesome, but we. Fucked up that demo 50,000 ways sideways to Minneapolis. Okay. I’ve seen it. Me too. And the demo does sell itself, but it’s the people, it’s the people that sell it. And it’s because Lauren, her ability to read the room and by the room, any room in a room, an empty room on a camera, in a zoom call or a room full of 85 people at SAP.

Kate: Like she has those nuances. And that, and Chris has the same thing as well. These guys this is about being nice, right? It’s about being thoughtful. It’s about listening. It’s about they know both of them are, I’m talking about them cause they’re my chief salespeople specifically, but like they can stand on stage any kind of stage, whether it’s just a call or actually on a stage and lead a room, they have that capability to do.

Kate: But at the same time they know when to listen. I don’t have that capability. I just like to be on stage and hear the sound of my own voice. Sorry.

Brent: So what would you say to To an entrepreneur then that is that they’re building this team and they’re, they seem to be getting a lot of turnover. Is there a magic formula in that team building model or is there yeah. Something to create community or is there anything that somebody could start.

Kate: I think the first thing is just to really think about how you wanna be treated. That’s just the most important thing. And that’s very hard cuz like you’re trying to get shit done, so you have to be very reflective constantly and to not just how you wanna be treated, but when you’re at your best, when you’re in the zone, right?

Kate: What are people around you doing to facilitate that for you? And then try to replicate that? I think that’s the first thing I. the second thing is to know this is so important. You have to ask people about their fucking lives, right? There are so many times where I just wanna get the meeting on and get stuff done, but I don’t, I make sure, Hey Brian, how was your trip?

Kate: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Oh, Hey Jason, I saw that me is on Instagram and she’s like doing this whole abs routine. She looks amazing. What is that about? So he’ll tell me. You have to start that way. People want to talk about themselves. Obviously look at me. I’m someone who talks over people, Brent and I have no patience for people who are offended by that.

Kate: Honestly I believe in passion and I believe in the power to express your passion and that an interruptive culture should be celebrated because people are so excited to share their ideas.

Kate: and I don’t believe in democracy. Lately is not a democracy. I’m the leader. Although you have to make people feel as though they bring listened to right now, you can only do that with people you wanna listen to. So if you’re hiring people, you don’t wanna listen to, then you are an idiot, you’re, you have to really think about who you’re.

Kate: And we’ve made mistakes. Lauren will know, and she rolls her eyes and she tells me every time and I still make this mistake. I constantly think we need an experienced salesperson to come in here. And so I hire these fucking dudes. They’re always dudes. And. some dudes. I love they’re some of them are dudes.

Kate: I love some of them are dudes. I don’t love, and it never works out because they’re probably bold 

Brent: white dudes. They’re the worst 

Kate: is that where, how was, yeah. Or so one mistake we made by the way, which I didn’t know, this was, you cannot hire a salesperson to be both a manager and a salesperson.

Brent: Yeah. Very true. Absolutely. You can’t hire anybody to be either to do dual jobs. They’re gonna do two jobs poorly. 

Kate: Yes. And that is a mistake that I made. I didn’t. I do that. So I don’t understand why someone else can’t do that, to be honest with you. And Lauren does that. There are Brian does that.

Kate: I have superior people in the world who can do that. So it’s of like why, but it’s not everybody’s nature, so I think that’s the first thing a very easy tell for us is this is if your company, if the PE, if your employees aren’t saying. you’re doing something wrong. 

Brent: Yeah. If they’re saying you Kate, that then also you, and I’m, they don’t because I’ve talked to your employees.

Brent: If they are though, just always referring back to you, that’s also could be a problem. 

Kate: I do that by the way on purpose. So I rarely, I don’t like it when people call me the boss, I correct them and say, don’t say that I don’t like. I say we all the time, my team I rarely say my employees, I rarely do.

Kate: I need them and I don’t like the word need, this an needy team is needy, but I cannot live without them. And so they know that

Kate: I send them gifts often, like little surprises, even the. Some T all guys like pocket knives, you can give them endless pocket knives. Am I right there? 

Brent: send ’em a box of tampons. A hundred figure out what to do with these . I do, I want to just go back cuz I you talked about re you’re editing Lauren’s copy when she started it.

Brent: And I think that and it sounds like you explained to her. Why you’re doing it, I’m trying. Cause I think a lot of times a lot of times leaders will jump on they’ll just take it and they’ll do it, but they don’t give any feedback on why that happened. And that just leads to narratives in people’s heads.

Brent: And I think 

Kate: I made that mistake actually, because I assumed that she would understand and know right. And I assume that she would take the time to read it and think about it. But of course, Lauren is busy and she’s just trying to check shit off her list and get, cuz she’s the queen of productivity.

Kate: She knows that. I respect that. And so either one of us weren’t both of us, didn’t want to take the time to do what you just said, which is a very important thing to do cuz who can learn if you don’t do that. And. , know, like I said, why can’t someone read my mind? What the fuck when it’s so obvious to me, but I’m sure at the same time, she’s thinking why can’t Kate read my mind. 

Brent: So yeah, I, I have definitely got, I’ve gotten into the habit of explaining I’m always now trying to play chess with Anticipating the way somebody’s thinking. And I realize that people that are happy are more motivated and that they’re gonna be more productive when they’re motivated and that when they’re happy and productive, they’re gonna get a lot of work done.

Brent: So if I’m gonna be critical of somebody, I would like to explain all those reasons why that’s gonna. and I maybe now do it to, is the word in nauseam or something like that where you do it too much. Yes. Ad nauseum, whatever in nauseum I’m nauseous. Just that, that verbal feedback, because I think we do I also suffer from that same thing.

Brent: Of course, everybody should know what I’m thinking and yes, everybody can do this. Everybody can be a great salesperson. They can also be a developer. I fall onto that trap because I used to be a developer and I would. Of course, you can do that in AWS. I can do it in 20 minutes. Let’s watch me do it.

Brent: And everybody’s oh God, this is the worst time of my life. You can see everybody’s eyes are glazing over and pretty soon, like they’re, anyways, so to read the room, right? Yeah. Read the, yeah. And then it makes it worse on zoom, all everybody’s camera goes off and then you get done with your demo.

Brent: And then, so what did everybody think? And nobody’s there, it’s silence. Everybody’s gone to the bathroom. Oh, I’m sorry. And then one person leaves the mic on and the flush sound comes out and your zoom call was ruined or saved yeah. Or saved exactly. 

Kate: yeah, I think I oftentimes I wish people would ask me why I do.

Kate: and they don’t. And so that, that is frustrating to me because I want the initiative to, to be there and that’s, my problem is that’s why I’m the entrepreneur and these other people are not right. That’s a different skill, so I have to constantly readjust my perspective to reality and think about.

Kate: What’s gonna, what’s gonna get the job done. Like you said, like, how do we get people to be happy and motivated and successful all at the same time? I think that

Kate: it’s important to ask people. Do you like working here? Sometimes you, I brace myself for the answer. You still like working here? Are you leaving? I just wanna know. I think that. knowing what your weaknesses are really important. Like I said I’m not a great cheerleader, but Katie Jordan is, she’s amazing.

Kate: She does it for me. And Chris is great at that. Everybody is there everybody piles on, but you need a cheerleader on the team if it’s not you that bubbly. When, when Lauren’s on vacation, slack is quiet. And you feel that energy gone like that. It’s so important. She she doesn’t even real.

Kate: I don’t know. She realizes that she probably does that. How. Much that energy. Slack is our workplace, right? That’s our work environment. And so it’s the, you can see the thermometer of how things going now. When I like last week, an investor who had hard, committed first to a smaller amount, and then to three times an amount hard commit pulled out for no reason.

Kate: I just was like, mother, fuck. I said every swear word of the thing like that could be. And no, I don’t do it in the general channel. I just did it with Lauren, Jason and Brian because I don’t wanna upset everyone else, but I need them to know cuz they’re my they’re. We are running the business together.

Kate: We’re running the numbers, we’re looking at all these things, but Brian and Jason are co-founders like, they do need to know what happened with this investor. And I need the ability in a place to express. Frustration. I also need them to have sympathy for me because like, when I have to ask them to not have a paycheck, they need to know exactly why, and I’m not doing it on purpose and it’s not cuz I’m selfish or I’m money grubber, there’s a real reason and it’s very painful for me.

Kate: So that sympathy, empathy thing here I think is so important. Like I’m just a person, Brent, I’m trying to do this thing. and they are these people’s lives are in my hands a little bit. Cuz a paycheck is a paycheck. I 

Brent: Yeah I want to just jump on that happiness thing. I had a post on LinkedIn recently that I just put out there.

Brent: I meet with every person on my team every quarter. one on one, just for 15 minutes to get to know them. And we have team members in India and Mexico . I do that and I’ve always had this. I’ve always had a question that I’ve asked and I think I’m asking, are you happy in your job or something like that?

Brent: And I been thinking about it and like I was thinking like does anybody ever ask, are you happy? And period, because yeah. Are you happy period? Because there is. And maybe happy in your job or happy, whatever it’s different. And knowing if you’re happy, if you’re not happy.

Brent: Again, people probably aren’t gonna tell me in that short time, hopefully, maybe over time. In fact I recently did have an interview that I did where he said that I’m very intimidating and it’s hard. Like you had said, you want people to tell you the things that like if they don’t understand something and I think people don’t tell people things because leaders can be intimidating.

Brent: I can get very impatient and then become very I can be an asshole. And and especially when something going the way it should go and. I’m gonna assume you can relate with this. This is something that’s so obvious. Why aren’t we all doing this? Whatever that thing is oh my God, this is obvious. We should know this. You always get French fries at McDonald’s what thing? Yeah. Which I don’t, it’s the thing I don’t, I’m just making the insane, but it’s come on, everybody knows that in. As you’re driving on the freeway and you stop and you get a burger, you get fries, right? You get a Coke and a fries. Everybody does that. What the heck is going on with our team?

Brent: You guys are only getting chicken sandwiches. This is ridiculous. Everybody knows it.

Brent: It’s true. So I don’t know, is there, I think it’s a hard that’s, it’s gotta be one of the hardest things as a leader to give that space to somebody to allow to to open up and tell you, cuz it is a little bit of vulnerability from that person. And and maybe that’s I’m dealing.

Brent: Three different cultures. It used to be four. We used to have an office in Bolivia. But we have three cultures now. So I think culture’s a little different, right? 

Kate: Yeah. I think, one thing is I always, and I’ve said this before, like I expect them to go to to complain about me, to each other.

Kate: I expect that happens to all managers and bosses. That’s part of the role that you’re accepting. And so good. Do it complain to each other, get it out of your system, certainly. The same way how many times you be, are you like fucking Brent? I say that of course, about myself, about, oh, whoever it is that’s just your, and it’s not you mean like you, you have to know that, like to and express a frustration.

Kate: because someone isn’t perfect in this second moment. It’s meaningless it’s just this thing, evaporating the world. And when you have people around me sometimes I’ll complain to Lauren about other people and the company and just cause I need that outlet with somebody and the validation that I’m not alone in this thought, and I’m sure they all, I know they all do this to each other, which is fine.

Kate: And I think they’re, that’s part of the culture that you wanna encourage, right? People are gonna vent it’s. This is human nature. And I think of it as if lately if everything about lately was. Just smooth sailing. Boy, we have no fun whatsoever. This is part of the adventure.

Kate: Are we gonna make it, are we not? So it, that ups and downs, it keeps it interesting. Like I, I think that’s why they come to work every day is cuz they’re wondering what’s gonna happen. I don’t know. 

Brent: That’s it’s often said that without stress, without contention, without arguments, that you don’t move anything forward.

Brent: If everyone is always on the same page you could be going in the right direction, but you may not. And having a dissenter, there is always a, it was always, it’s always a having a dissenter there to ask those questions is important. And I think that essential. Yeah, it’s essential, right? We, as a leader we need to make that space.

Brent: I know that we’ve sent people we’ve sent Indian developers to Germany in onsite to work. And one of their, one of their things that they’ve said was that they were surprised that other team members on the German team would. Hard pushback to the boss in the room. And for them, that was an eye opening thing.

Brent: Cause their culture more is more around. And I’m sure I’m gonna get a whole bunch of Indian developers not telling you. No, it’s not like that here. But their culture is more about doing what you’re told. And you don’t often. It’s not a strong cultural trait to question the boss and to say this I’m a white guy anyways.

Brent: I don’t know, concern that because that’s my perception of the culture. I’m gonna I’m making a disclaimer. I’m gonna put a little asterisks in my transcript. Don’t get back to me on this, but I digress. 

Kate: Yeah, I gotta go do shit, Brent.

Kate: I’ll say this one thing, we just released a new feature where the AI is rearranging what it finds to pull out into wholly new content. Okay. it, we just launched it like the other day. We haven’t told anybody. We haven’t even told our customers like so you’ll just start to see it suddenly the surprise you’ll be like, who wrote this?

Kate: Oh my God. The AI. and it’s pretty good. All 

Brent: right, I’m gonna go try it. 

Kate: Yeah. Keep an eye out. Yeah. 

Brent: Kate, I always give everybody a chance to do a shameless plug at the end of the podcast. So what would you like?

Kate: Oh Jesus, I’m gonna plug forgiveness today. Forgiveness. 

Brent: all right. Thank you. 

Kate: Yeah, I think we all 

Brent: need a little mark. Kate Laly Kate . 

Kate: This is why just so you know, I’m on the air. I stopped saying my name because I mispronounced my own name once in an interview with the guys from we. And so I never said it again.

Brent: Yeah. Did you wean yourself off that? 

Kate: About a thing on me. Oh my God. I love you. 

Brent: Yes, you’re so funny. Kate Bradley co founder of lately, CEO of lately. Thank you so much for being here today. 

Kate: Thank you, Brent.