artificial intelligence

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.

Talk-Commerce Kate-Bradley

Looking for the patterns in your marketing with Kate Bradley

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. 

Talk-Commerce Taren Gesell

A Better App for Coaching with Taren Gesell

Business owners and entrepreneurs are known for their energy. They focus on their ideas but frequently, that energy is sedentary. Brent interviewed Taren Gesell or better known as Triathlon Taren. Taren went from an Ironman and Youtube sensation to a tech startup with an exciting and disruptive app called MoTTIV. This virtual coaching app helps athletes focus on what they need to focus on while still giving them the flexibility to live their busy lives. Taren is through the beta version and is into his first round of funding. There is a lot to learn and much to unpack in their episode.

Brent: Welcome to this episode of Talk Commerce. This is the activity edition, and I have Taren Gesell Taren go ahead. Introduce yourself. Tell us what you do in your day-to-day life and maybe one of your passions. 

Taren: Thanks for having me here, Brent. Thing that people would best know me for. If they look me up online would be this YouTube channel that I started about seven years ago called triathlon Taren.

Taren: And I started a YouTube channel while I was an investment advisor as my day job, because I just wanted something on the side that was fulfilling and creative. And I thought that if I really knocked it out of the park, maybe I could get some free energy bars at some point in my life. It ended up growing to being now the second largest triathlon YouTube channel in the world, the largest triathlon podcast in the world, we’ve published four books.

Taren: We have expanded into the main thing that we focus on now where I’m the CEO of a. Called the motive training app that helps regular people get to their endurance races. So whether they want to train for triathlons or running races or cycling events, or do Athlons, we have an app that now is hopefully as good as a one-on-one coach, but as cheap as doing it yourself, which has never existed in this world.

Taren: And we want to make getting to those exciting finish lines that endurance sports really are. A little bit more accessible in the world. 

Brent: That’s great. Thank you. And I will admit that I found you because I’m a triathlete. I’m a a very poor triathlete I’m free, very poor swimmer. I’m an avid runner.

Brent: And I’m an okay. Biker. I think I saw one of your videos. we did our first to half Ironman last year as a family, my daughter, my wife and I. It was one of the best experiences I had absolutely so much fun and I’ve run a lot of marathons. It took me longer, believe it, or not than a marathon.

Brent: But I had so much fun in the race and even the swim part, I had such a great time. That’s how we found each other. One of the things that, that really stuck out was the fact that you’ve pivoted from. This role of being a coach or what you were doing with your YouTube channel into this app that you’ve built.

Brent: Maybe tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. So 

Taren: I recognized that life on YouTube is a little fleeting. You get about 15 minutes of fame and there comes a point where your channel maybe just starts to feel a little stale. Maybe in my case, I’ve said a lot of the same things for seven years. I’m also getting older and a lot of YouTubers find that.

Taren: Their channel lifespan is finite. So I recognize that was happening about four years ago, just in general in the YouTube space. And I didn’t want to go back to having a real job. I wanted to still stay in this industry and think about what could I do that would be lasting as a career, as a business and what was needed in the world.

Taren: And I saw one of the things that people need the most help with is coaching and advice to get to their finish lines. But what I saw was the two options that are out there for people that want to get advice on how to train for an endurance event is either a $200 a month one-on-one coach or a free template training plan.

Taren: Both options suck for most people because the average person doesn’t want to spend two to $3,000 a year or more on a hobby just for coaching, let alone all the biking equipment and the wetsuit, and it just gets to be too expensive. So most people don’t use one-on-one coaching and then template training plans are not motivating.

Taren: They’re not relevant to the user. They’re not customizable. And what happens if you have two races in a row and you’ve got a marathon and a triathlon and the training overlaps, what do you do with those template training plans? And nobody’s ever looked at solving this problem. So we launched a Kickstarter, but three and a half years ago to see if people were interested in something like this app.

Taren: And I sold the Kickstarter campaign, literally just off of a Google spreadsheet that I mocked up to prototype my way into showing what an app could possibly do. And now three and a half years later, we’re finally scaling up. We’re raising our first significant round of investment. And I think that we can build something that

Taren: is comparable to what Duolingo did for language learning. That’s what we want to do for endurance training. We want to make it something that isn’t a real niche sport. We want to make it something that everyone can access because it’s easier to get solid training and more cost-effective to get solid training, which it hasn’t ever been.

Taren: So that’s what we’re working on right now. That’s the future of the business of my YouTube channel. And I’m really just trying to make sure that I prove my mother wrong and continue to play for a living. And the app was the way that, that I could continue to do that while having a good effect in the endurance community.

Brent: I love that story. I know myself personally, I do have a running coach who helps me and holds me accountable. And I do see though that where you can get stuck in a rut, even with a coach. What are some of the pain points that your app has been able to overcome in bridging the gap between a training peaks, 80/20 plan and a one-on-one coach.

Brent: And I’ll say to, mine’s just a running coach and I know that there’s a lot more involved than a triathlon coach. 

Taren: That is actually a perfect example of one of the biggest problems. Most users of our app. And frankly, most endurance athletes are like you, they want to bounce between marathons or half marathons and triathlons.

Taren: And the fact of the matter is that most one-on-one coaches are single sport coaches they’re run coaches or triathlon coaches or cycling coaches, and they don’t go across all disciplines. So that’s an issue that we have to solve with our. We partnered with some of the best run cycling, triathlon duathlon, swim, run coaches in the world and created algorithms to make the plans that each of those great coaches put together coordinate with each other.

Taren: So that was one problem that we had to solve a second one is that there are a lot of really great one-on-one coaches out there, but there’s also a lot of really terrible one-on-one coaches out there who charge $200 a month and essentially make a template training plan. And the story that a lot of people resonate with is they might go to their one-on-one coach, wake up in the morning and go, Hey, Carl, I feel really bad.

Taren: What should I do today? And Carl, the coach goes this is part of training, continue on. And he’d go I really feel bad. There are going to be low moments in training, continue on, and really what’s happening is the coach doesn’t know what’s going on in your body. And the coach doesn’t want to go through readjusting your plan every single time you have a ache or a nigle or feel a little bit tired, what we can do with technology.

Taren: And now the data that is being collected by things like the Whoop band and the Aura Ring. We can adjust training every single day. If users drink a bottle of wine, we can make their workout the very next morning, easier for them. If they’re trending down and not keeping up with the train and feeling sore, we can detect that and actually get training that is better than a lot of one-on-one coaches and doing the things that really good one-on-one coaches do.

Taren: The ones that will charge three, five, $1,500, but we’re doing it in a way that we can charge 14 to 20 bucks a month. So there were a couple of major problems that we had to solve. And those two are the primary ones that weren’t really being serviced, even by most one-on-one coaches with the current service model.

Brent: I just I’m pretty sure my wife now is signed up for your app because she does drink a bottle of wine with me every night. And that’s probably why she’s getting up in the morning, thinking that she can take it easy and I’m joking. Cause she’s probably going to listen to this. I think from experience, I can say I did go through the coaching training last year with RRCA, the Roadrunners club of America.

Brent: And that was one of the warnings that they give coaches. I know also that coaches either haven’t been through that training can fall into that rut of not listening and especially right now with online and not even actually seeing anybody in person, you end up with somebody that’s in a different city that doesn’t connect with you or never has connected with you.

Brent: From what I’m hearing is that there’s some technology behind that says listening to your body and is there a certain amount of technology that the user has to have to be able to. W like you’d have to have I have a stride pod and I have a power pedals. I’ve all the dumb things that somebody with enough money can buy that doesn’t ever use all that data.

Brent: But what I’m hearing you saying is that some of those things are of value and they add that value and then you can get back and like my Garmin account is a great example. I can go and see what my power was or my FTP was in my bike ride. I have no idea how to use any of that stuff I should because I’m a coach.

Brent: But I don’t know how to use that for myself. So not to get into a bunch of technical details on an e-commerce podcast, but it’s very interesting on how it’s almost like in AI, like in artificial intelligence, helping the users to know, and then the system is learning as it goes for each one.

Taren: That’s a big issue that you’re talking about with the entire industry that we’re collecting heart rate data, we’re collecting power data. We’re collecting HRV data now, resting heart rate data, all of these things and the Garmins, the Whoop, the auras of the world. They all basically just collect the data and then tell you all here’s what it is, but nobody really is interpreting it and saying, here’s what you should be doing. Whoop is a great example. I liked the whoop band, but they say here’s your readiness score. And if your readiness score is in the tank. Great. Okay. What are you doing? Does that mean that you change your workout?

Taren: When does it mean? Like how in the tank does it need to be to change your workout? So that’s what we’re able to do is pair a lot of that data with what you actually should be doing as an endurance athlete on the day. And that’s a big piece that’s been. 

Brent: I want to pivot a little bit of just, the, maybe our listeners our business owners who are sitting in there at their desk.

Brent: Maybe talk about you. If you’re not already really into doing some fitness things. The importance of doing something other than just typing on your computer. Do you ever ever get stuck in not going and doing some exercise? Are you a type of person who has to get out and do something in addition to doing your day to day business work?

Brent: No. 

Taren: I came from a very unfit upbringing and a very, even add a few more varies, unfit early twenties in my life. Lot of drinking, I was quite overweight, about 215 pounds. And I got rid of a little bit of weight in my mid twenties by going into the gym and throwing some weights around and eating chicken breast and bland rice, the things that young kids do when they think that they’re bodybuilders.

Taren: But there were a couple of things about it that were never quite right. And I think are very meaningful to the average person, whether they’re a business owner or really just anyone who wants a little bit more from life, that feeling that you talked about when you stepped up to a start line of a triathlon being different than stepping up to the start of a race, I think

Taren: running races, really fulfilling that feeling of little bit of fear of not knowing if you’re going to be able to accomplish the task ahead of you being a triathlon or a long running race or a marathon swim or something like that. (A), it gives you a lot of structure and motivation to be healthy. And (B) it gives you a lot of fulfillment.

Taren: When you complete that task, it’s like selling a business or achieving a huge milestone in the business. It’s going through a process of seeing what you are capable of doing. And being able to do it and astounding yourself. And in my case, it made me more confident. It allowed me to start this business.

Taren: It allowed me to have the confidence to put myself out there on YouTube and put my thoughts out there in the world. So it’s less to me about, alright. Do you age? Because so many people talk about that, but I think the unsung hero in endurance sports. Is the confidence and fulfillment and structure that you get from that little bit of fear of knowing that you have to step up to the start line of a race and not know if you’re going to be able to finish it.

Taren: And frankly, the things that are going on inside your head at the start of the race, are am I going to come out of this alive? Yes, the answer is for sure, you will but it’s exciting. And we don’t really get that excitement in this day and age anywhere we can get it in endurance sports. 

Brent: Yeah. And maybe not so much excitement from a marathon.

Brent: Although if you’re in a the excitement going into a triathlon because you, even if like I’m from Minnesota, so Northern Minnesota, there’s some races and in the summer, those lakes. Dark sometimes and it’s gets, it gets imposing when you’re going across a white cap to lake and you’d have to go out a mile and come back or something.

Brent: So the structure that you said is what I really want to key in on, because I think most entrepreneurs or business owners have to have some kind of structure or they just wing it. And the ones that wing it are unbelievably lucky to make it. And when they do make it, they have to put some structure into it.

Brent: So I think that by doing some of these things to get fit, and let’s just say, all you want to do as a couch to 5k. That structure you’re putting into place. And that goal you’re setting to get there is going to be (a) fulfilling and then the fulfilling the next piece of that fulfillment is that most likely you’re going to be a little bit more fit at the end of that goal.

Taren: And you’re going to change how you feel about yourself. I use the example that I’ve just recently come across, while we’re doing fundraising as opposed to going the traditional venture capital route. We are going to individuals. And we could talk about another time about why we’re doing that, but I’m looking for individuals who are endurance athletes and could write a decent sized check. And I started thinking, how do I actually go about finding these people? I say, can I just search for them? So in quotes, I have triathlete in quotes and then LinkedIn, and then president in quotes. And sure enough, the amount of people that have triathlete or ultra runner or ultra marathoner in their LinkedIn bio is enormous.

Taren: That doesn’t happen with golf. Maybe with CrossFit, but there are very few things in this world that become a part of who you are and that people want to celebrate and display to the world in the same way that endurance sports gets displayed an advertised. And I think that’s because it is such an impactful thing in people’s lives.

Taren: So yes, again, all of the good health is great, but the confidence, the fulfillment, the structure of having a reason to be healthy it’s all so powerful. And I want more people to be able to experience that sort of power of changing and improving one’s life. 

Brent: I think that fear part is another one that’s always a fear in a good way. The fear of trying something new and the fear of failing and even the acceptance of, Hey I’m going to go out and do this swim, let’s just say, you’re going to sign up for a 5k swim. And if I don’t make it, there’s going to be a boat there to pick me up.

Brent: If the weather gets big and I know there’s a swim, like the Point to LaPoint is one I want to do it’s from Madeleine island to to wherever across Lake Superior, two miles, and last year they had three foot waves. So a lot of people had to dropout, but just the idea of doing it and stepping in and making that extra effort to put yourself out of what your comfort zone is.

Brent: I think makes you a better entrepreneur because in your entrepreneurial life, in order to grow, you can’t be stagnant and always doing the same thing. And I believe there’s such a tie-in from being active in your physical life to being active in your mental life, to being active in your business life.

Brent: They all tie together and I think you’re right. And I’m going to say something that would probably get a lot of people upset. I don’t like CrossFit. I don’t see the big point in CrossFit. You’re standing in a place. And then you might do a hundred yard run. I run past a CrossFit gym and I see them sprint out and they come back and they sprint back and maybe I’ll run five miles down the trail and come back and they’re still sprinting out and whatever.

Brent: But the the idea of that identity and then the idea of of being able to put yourself into somewhere that you’re uncomfortable. And maybe the, one of the differences too, from the gym to an ultra race is that you’re putting yourself into somewhere uncomfortable for a really long time.

Brent: So your half Ironman is more like three hours. Mine is more like six, but that’s, you’re still out on the course a long time. 

Taren: But 

Brent: close, you could be. Who’s the guy that just got the world record. He did his full Ironman in less than seven hours. Yeah. 

Taren: Yeah. Blumenfeld they’re in 7:21 crazy.

Brent: Only the Norwegian can do such things. Exactly so I can see the tie in, I’m a big proponent of keeping people active and my business life has been around having some balance between that. So maybe if you could bring us back to your app, then you’ve transitioned from your YouTube into this app, and now you’re trying to raise capital, that’s where you’re at in your business. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about, are you in a beta? where are you on your app now? 

Taren: So we launched three years ago, a little bit over three years ago and it was in beta for about a year and a half. The beta was public, and because I was still doing the YouTube channel and have this nice big audience.

Taren: We were always able to drive a certain amount of users to it, enough users that we could start getting data and collecting user feedback on where we needed to go with the app. And then a year and a half ago, we rebrand. We rebuilt the entire app, a completely new architecture, completely new programming language so that we could scale the app because we had grabbed enough, got enough data from our users to have an actual business thesis of what would scale up, what are users looking for? Things as simple as like you mentioned AI, we started doing a lot of market testing of what do athletes think when they hear that their plans are generated by machine learning or artificial intelligence.

Taren: It’s actually a detriment. So learning things like that is important that isn’t to say that we won’t use AI. It just means that we don’t lead with it and our marketing. So learning all the things like that, about what increases engagement, what is a good price to come in at? What is a way to make people feel that the app is working and that they actually develop confidence so that by the time they get to the race,

Taren: they’re confident that they’re going to be able to get across that finish line. So we’ve been gathering all of that for three years and we bootstrapped all, but us small little friends and family round that we raised at the beginning of last year, but now it’s time to start unrolling some of the features that we think are fairly groundbreaking in the industry, and we don’t want to do those

Taren: slowly, we don’t want to do those in a bootstrap fashion and basically announced to the world what the playbook is. We want to be able to come out, grab market share, because we’ve probably got about a 24 to 36 month window before competitors catch onto what we’re doing. And we want to use that to aggressively launch the feature set that we want to create and capture market share quickly.

Taren: So that’s where we’re at right now. 

Brent: Are you seeing a community as an important part of the experience from the user? And I say it from, I used to use an app called the daily mile. It was something that was super popular 10 years ago. They just really put no money into their app and it just ended up fizzling out.

Brent: But the best part of that is that it created a community. And it was more about how your posts look. And I do remember my wife complaining like, oh, you’re going to go do your post about your run, because it was a social thing. And because you had people actually cared about what you’re doing, it turned into less 

Brent: Facebook, Hey, look at the marathon I did to here’s the marathon I did, or here’s my run and here’s the struggles I had, or here’s the exciting part about what I had. And it was a commonality in that community that you don’t get on Strava. Strava, you can give somebody a kudos or you say, Hey, great run but for whatever reason, there’s a piece that you miss in the social part of it. That’s between coaching and between support and it’s about your own people or your group of people that are supporting you in your activity.

Taren: So it’s interesting that you say that we launched on day one with a social media feed. And my core belief was that training for yourself and solely for yourself, wasn’t as fulfilling as training for yourself but with other people, that human element is something that is so hardwired into us, whether it is seeing success in other people and being motivated by it,

Taren: or achieving success in yourself and getting those kudos or the accolades from achieving something that you never achieved before, is really important. And I look at an app like Zwift, so people don’t know Zwift is a training app where you hook your bike up to a smart trainer. And the smart trainer communicates with the app and you cycle inside this virtual world alongside other people now had Zwift launched and you biked around this virtual world by yourself.

Taren: It would be marginally better than staring at a wall or watching Netflix while you’re on your bike. But not immensely better, but the experience that Zwift launched with was you cycle inside this virtual world. And so is everyone else. So when people pass you, you have an encouragement to go a little bit faster and you can enter a race and there’s people all around you.

Taren: You get ride ons from everyone that is riding around you. There are achievements and badges that you can go and collect. The other people get to see how far along you’ve come. And then all of a sudden it’s immensely better than just training by yourself, staring at a wall. So our competitors and where the industry of online endurance training has gone is really just creating that virtual world where people are training by themselves.

Taren: The problem that they’re all trying to solve is how do we automate training? I can tell you we’ve already solved, automated training. And it isn’t enough to change people’s habits. So our entire scale up thesis is we’ve already automated training. We’ve figured out all of that logic and that programming language to be able to make that happen.

Taren: But how do we actually make it such that all of the users have this community experience? They get some of those good things from CrossFit or from a in-person training club. That sense of community is really what keeps people around and keeps people very motivated to continue to come back. So it is the entire thesis of our business, that community aspect of it, without that we’ve just got empty training that people are doing solo and suffering by themselves.

Brent: How. So just I apologize. I should have used the app before I came to the interview. I apologize for that. How I’m not if you’ve sparked my interest. I’ll give you an example, right? So I’ve been injured and I haven’t been running for about a week. And so I’ve switched to biking.

Brent: And so my coach has a running coach. So now she’s given me some biking workouts that I actually, I find quite fun. But because I’m on and I’m on Rouvi, which is just like Zwift, but you get to play. Can I get the bike in Hawaii all the time now? So w what happens to me is. I see that person, then I’m like, I can bike as hard as that person.

Brent: And then I, my easy days, I find myself biking way harder than I should. So if I get I’ve told I bike between a hundred and 150 Watts or whatever, I’m at 200 or 250 or some stupid number that, and I’m no that, I know these are very small numbers for you, but That I’m overdoing myself. And then, I don’t get a lot of feedback after that.

Brent: So would the, would like your app would give you an opportunity to say, Hey, ease back or 

Taren: yeah, our app will give people not any sort of strict guidance where people will be. Say penalized for not following the app to the letter. I think that people need enjoyment. They need to be able to have some free play time, essentially where they can go.

Taren: And if a workout says 60 minutes, but they’re feeling great and want to go for 90 cool where we will start giving people guidance is when they start going off the training plan too many times, be it in the intensity or in the duration or in what they’re actually doing in the workout. We will have indications of you might be less likely to reach your goal. So we will give that guidance of being able to do that. And it will not necessarily motivate people to only follow the plan, which I don’t really believe is reasonable. It’ll give people motivation and guidance to maybe not just fall too far outside the rails.

Taren: And have a bad race day. As long as they’re keeping a hard ride, hard, an easy ride, relatively easy most of the time, strength days are still strength. Days. Rest days are still rest days. People are going to still reach their goals. And we want to give that latitude while we’re giving the a hundred percent guidance, but give them the ability to

Taren: make smart choices make adult choices. If you want to go and turn a 60 minute easy ride into a 60 minute easy ride with 15 minutes, really hard at the end, we’ll tell you if that is becoming detrimental. 

Brent: Yeah. So at the macro level, rather than trying to micromanage the individual workouts, it sounds like what you’re saying, which is, I think that’s a great approach to how you’re doing that.

Brent: And as we tied this back to business, Often entrepreneurs tend to get stuck in the details of a thing and they can’t see the bigger picture. So as we bring this full circle, tying it back into a business standpoint, or even in your app standpoint, if you were to focus on some small bits of code and you’re missing that picture of community or something like that, you’re missing the big picture.

Brent: You’re going to miss out on what your goal is going to be. 

Taren: Yeah, exactly. Whether it is training or what we’re building say with our analytics dashboard. I like what you’re talking about, that we’re looking at large, big indicators of the health of an individual or the health of your business, as opposed to fussing about all of the very, very small minute details.

Taren: I think the small minute details are things that you do need to work on. We’re obsessing right now about the time that it takes people to get through our signup flow. But the reason that we started looking at that was because we started looking at larger numbers, is our churn too large for our.

Taren: For the amount of people that we’re bringing in. And if the answer is yes. Okay. Where are the leaky buckets? Yeah, as opposed to getting stuck in the weeds of every single detail, just focusing on the big picture numbers, which then led us and me in fitness and in business to starting to narrow down what weeds we look at after looking at the big picture.

Brent: Not to keep harping on it, but that idea of having those metrics in place and measuring it and remeasuring it and testing it. It’s exactly the same across both business and exercising and training for an event. If you don’t measure something you’ve done, you’re not going to know if you’ve achieved that goal.

Brent: That’s obvious in a running race, but in business sometimes. And I’ll take marketing as an example. A lot of times people just think marketing is marketing and I going to put some social media posts up and I’m going to do a post on LinkedIn and that’s my marketing and whatever happens there.

Brent: I’ll spend $5,000 on Google ads and we’ll see what happens. I don’t know. And then they don’t look and see how well they performed. So I think to tile this back even the idea of looking back at your your workouts to see how well you performed, it’s always good to to have a measurement or a commonality in that measurement.

Brent: The motivation is like the Google analytics. Could I say of of the running triathlete world and that those analytics are telling you certain things about your fitness and your training. That’s bold step. 

Taren: Maybe I thought about it that way, but as you were saying, that one thing that came to mind was a big thing that we believe in with our method of endurance training is taking care of the entire body, looking at

Taren: every system, as important as all of other, the other systems that isn’t the case with most sports that people do, whether it’s CrossFit and focusing basically entirely on strength and explosive power or yoga focusing exclusively on nothing but being flexible or running and cycling, focusing on being aerobically fit, most sports tend to leave out the rest of every other system.

Taren: What we like to do is look at the digestive system, the musculoskeletal system with strength, training, the heart and the lungs, the cardiovascular system with the aerobic training. And how do we get a training app and a training philosophy to address all of those together because they all do need to work together.

Taren: If you don’t have a healthy heart and lungs, but you’re super strong. Hey, you might be able to run really fast to the end of the block, but you’re not going to be able to run any further than that. Vice versa for people who are really aerobically fit, but not very strong. I look at marketing as exactly the same thing that it’s not enough just to buy some Google ads.

Taren: You have to buy Google ads and then retarget people on Facebook. You have to not just have Google ads, but then you also have to have content. So content marketing, when people come to your website, if they don’t sign up. If people end up maybe signing up for the app, then you have to start thinking about how good is the onboarding flow that the entire system of marketing and of business has to be looked at as a whole, in the same way

Taren: that the body has to be looked at as an entire system. And if you’re just focusing on one thing, I don’t think you’re really going to get great results in fitness or business. It’s got to be looked at as this entire cohesive system. 

Brent: That’s great. Yeah. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Brent: So we have a couple minutes left. At the end of the podcast, I give everybody an opportunity to do a shameless plug, but anything you’d like to plug today and go ahead and plug whatever you like. 

Taren: The app would be the biggest thing. And I’m not saying that endurance sports is the key to everyone’s happiness, but if people feel a bit of a sense of unfulfillment and want to challenge themselves physically, I can’t think of a better place to do it,

Taren: but in endurance sports, because it is so fulfilling. It’s so rewarding. When you have a well-designed endurance sports training plan it does address your heart health, your lung health, your strength health, your mental health, your emotional health your digestive health. All of those things should be addressed in a really well designed training plan.

Taren: And when you cross that finish line, you’re going to be really happy that you challenged yourself. So I think we have one of the best offerings of any endurance sports app in the world right now. And it’s only getting better. This is the year that we’ve been building up towards over the last three years.

Taren: So I’m really excited for everyone that’s on the app. And if people sign up over the next couple of months, they’re going to see a lot of things that start getting rolled out with all of our features over this year. 

Brent: Yeah. And I would just add on that. Now as races start opening up and the world starts getting back to normal, this is a great time to train for a race, to sign up for a race, to do a race and apps like yours, help people to track and build those habits that then turn into

Brent: something that is part of your lifestyle. And I think there’s always a joke about, how do you know if somebody is a marathon runner? They’ll tell you. How many marathons, how do you know how many they’ll tell you? So you just, like you said, in the LinkedIn example, it’s part of their persona.

Brent: I’ll have to look at my LinkedIn. I don’t know if I say I definitely my Twitter. I tell you how many marathons I’ve run. I’ve run five majors. I only have one left, which is Tokyo 2023. They’ll tell you what those are. This is a great way to get into those habits and build healthy habits.

Brent: My dad is 83. He ran until he was 75. She still tracks his miles walking. He’s his goal is 700 miles a year walking this still. It. It is well documented that being active is better than being sedative and as much as much fun at it as is sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, drinking beer, and eating Cheetos it is equally as fun and free in some people’s minds, either, biking for 56 miles or 112 miles, and then running a marathon.

Brent: And by the way, before, I’m starting that I’m going to swim for a two miles. Yeah. A little warmup. So you know that there’s an equal amount of like in both of those, for the type of people. Some of those behaviors are learned behaviors and you don’t have to do a marathon. You can do 5ks. And there’s an incredibly amount of fulfillment in doing a sprint triathlon.

Brent: And my whole family is into sprint triathlons and it’s now turned into a family thing that we do together. I’m just going to go back to having that place to track those habits is so important because you know how well you’ve done.

Taren: Then having a community of other people who are also going towards similar goals, the community is very important that without a community around you, to support you, things are going to be really hard without a community around you to celebrate your wins. Things are also going to be really hard, the community aspect of things, sharing in other people’s successes and other people sharing in yours, it makes it so much more fulfilling that’s when you start getting the people that have triathlete in their LinkedIn bio, because it becomes part of their identity.

Taren: And it’s not to say they can’t ever have beers or pizza or Cheetos or whatever it is, but you can offset that a little bit by doing something for 60 minutes in the morning, challenge yourself and feel really good for the rest of the day and really proud of what you did every single day and string a few days like that together

Taren: and you’re going to be able to step up to a start line that you never expected you to be able to do. 

Brent: Terran Gesell. I thank you so much for being here today. I will put the links to your app in the show notes so people can go there and sign up. And I look forward to someday participating in a race with you, maybe the half Ironman in Kona.

Brent: Yeah, what’s ed life is 

Taren: getting back to normal. We gotta start thinking about that again. This is awesome. 

Brent: Absolutely. 

Taren: Thank you Brent. 

Brent: You’re welcome.

Ivonne Rohner

CoachTech Summit | Augmented Reality and Virtual Coaching with Ivonne Rohner

This week we interview Ivonne Rohner with CoachTech Summit. We talk about all things Augmented Reality and how AR can help entrepreneurs in their growth through Virtual Coaching. Learn how you can blend Virtual Reality and coaching and we talk about the XR BootCamp which is one of the well-known virtual boot camps for Virtual Reality.

Using Augmented Reality and Virtual Coaching, Ivonne helps leaders get the most out of the available technology and shape an empathetic virtual atmosphere where people can deliver their best because they feel seen. She works with corporate incubator teams/rocket labs and startups or to create structure and employee engagement in corporations and mid-size companies.