In this week’s episode of The Breakout Growth Podcast, hosts Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr speak with Jon Chang who recently took on the Head of Growth role at Nate. Nate is a new service that allows consumers to buy products from any e-commerce site with just one click. You may remember Jon from his first appearance on the podcast when he was a growth lead at Klarna, a rocketship Fintech company now valued at more than $45 Billion.
- Moving from Klarna to Nate (03:35)
- Why startups need jack-of-all-trades personalities to be successful (06:20)
- Auditing the experience before you apply for a job (13:15)
- Challenges of measuring your impact in large organizations (20:30)
- Jon’s approach to building his new team (28:45)
- Why soft skills matter (31:26)
- Who Jon respects and learns from in his own growth journey (45:30)
And much, much, more . . .
Jon’s experience and approach offer valuable insights for leaders at fast-growing companies struggling to hire the right people to build on strong growth rates as well as individual growth and marketing professionals who are looking to find their next great opportunities.
This week’s episode is sponsored by Rise with SAP.
Why did Jon leave this nearly 6000 person rocketship for a fast-growing, but relatively small 70 person startup? Well, when we saw Jon had shared a LinkedIn Post, by another former guest, Mayur Gupta (formerly Marketing/Growth lead at of Freshly and Spotify and now at Gannett Publications), it gave us a great starting point to answer that and other questions:
Mayur encourages every marketer to get startup experience at some point in their journey, and suggests that the earlier the better. Jon agrees, and as a self-described builder, he explains not just why this matters, but also how it informs his approach for hiring and leading growth.
Jon is obsessed with building teams and driving organizational efficiencies, but his approach is anything but clinical. From his thoughts on mentoring to his focus on soft skills, this discussion is really about a people-driven mindset to powering growth.
Please remember to check out this week’s sponsor, RISE with SAP S/4Hana Cloud. If you have ambitious goals, SAP is the technology partner you need to scale and drive innovation. Instead of relying on stitched together solutions to manage business finances, operations, and customer relations, leverage the flexibility of SAP’s cloud-based ERP solution to gain the insights that will help drive your breakout growth success.
Welcome to the breakout growth podcast, where Sean Ellis and Ethan Garrinterview leaders from the world’s fastest growing companies to get to the heart of what’s really driving their growth. And now here are your hosts, Sean Ellis and Ethan Garr
Sean Ellis 00:00:26 On this week’s episode of the breakout growth podcast, Ethan Garr and I chat with Jon Chang, the new head of growth at Nate. So you may remember Jon from our earlier episode where he was driving us growth for Klarna, a rocket ship that is now valued at more than $45 billion. So on a high level, Nate, his new company is a service that allows you to buy a product from any e-commerce site with just one click. So Ethan, who do you think is going to benefit from listening to this conversation?
Ethan Garr 00:00:56 There are two groups who can benefit a lot from this discussion leaders of fast and companies who are struggling to find time to hire the right people, to fuel their growth and individual growth and marketing professionals. So you want to find that next great opportunity.
Sean Ellis 00:01:08 Yeah, absolutely. You know, the whole conversation was sparked by LinkedIn posts that Jon shared from one of our, one of our previous guests Meyer Ghouta. And if you recall Meyer at the time he was on the show was the COO at freshly, before that he, uh, ran growth and marketing. I believe that Spotify, and now he’s the COO at Gannett, the publisher of USA today. So Meyer has definitely experienced with startups, but also really big companies. And he recommended that every marketer or growth professional should have startup experience at some point in their career. So we’ll include a link in the show notes to the post that he made on LinkedIn, but it really sparked a great conversation,
Ethan Garr 00:01:52 Uh, rockstar. So when we asked Jon what resonated with him from that post, he shared a lot of insights, including how to tangibly bring skills from one organization to another, even offered a better process for approaching new roles. He’s just getting started now at Nate, but he’s got a very clear sense of what he needs to be successful and who he’s going to need on his team to help them get there. Those are insights that are super helpful for anyone who’s looking to turbocharge their career or building a team in a fast growing company.
Sean Ellis 00:02:16 Yeah, absolutely. Before we jump in with Jon, we invite our listeners to check out the sponsor for this week’s episode rise with SAP S four on a cloud hyper-growth companies get up and running quickly with this low cost, easy to implement cloud ERP solution. If you are working to power, breakout growth, success in your business, please check out sap.com/high growth.
Ethan Garr 00:02:40 Well, let’s get to it, but we also want to wish a happy new year to all of you in our audience and say, thanks again for all of your support. Don’t forget to subscribe and rate the breakout growth podcast wherever you listen.
Sean Ellis 00:02:49 All right, let’s do it. Okay. Hey Jon, welcome to the breakout breath podcast.
Jon Chang 00:03:03 Hey, thank you for having me. Uh, I listened to this podcast religiously. It’s seriously. My favorite. So I’m stoked to be here. Yeah,
Sean Ellis 00:03:13 No, we’re we’re, we’re excited to have you on and I’m joined by my cohost, Ethan. Hey Ethan.
Ethan Garr 00:03:18 Hey guys. Good to see you.
Sean Ellis 00:03:20 Yeah, so, so Jon, um, yeah, we were talking before we got started here that you are actually the first guest of the breakout growth podcast. Who’s come back as a repeat guest. So, um, I’d love to get an update on what you’ve been working on since the, you were last on the program.
Jon Chang 00:03:35 Oh yeah. Thank you for having me again, of all the people and all the world, having your back feels like such an honor. Okay. So no I’ve been working on a lot of stuff. I had closed out my, my role at Clarina, um, in November. And it was just a wild journey can like you, you guys know, but in case listeners don’t, um, two and a half years ago, or so I was the first us growth hire for Klarna whole global growth teams, like 20 people. And now it’s it’s, I mean, you know where it’s at now. Um, but that was a wild ride and great. Um, and, um, right now I’m now at this 70 person startup called Nate, uh, it’s an e-commerce mobile shopping app. And, uh, so like functionally, that’s essentially what it is, but like at heart, we, uh, at heart we make the shopping experience as simple as possible. We do a few key things that are really unique. One is when you purchase, if you’re an iPhone user, you never actually have to go through the checkout process. You purchase directly from the PDP with one link and you can also gift to people without knowing their address. It’s all done by SMS, which is wonderful and easy. And then finally, the way that our technology is built, we’re actually, uh, among if not the most, uh, safe, uh, among the most safe apps, uh, when it comes to shopping, we like really valued data privacy.
Ethan Garr 00:05:01 I actually, uh, I downloaded it this morning. It is pretty, it is pretty slick. It does, like you said, it’s that one-click experience. And it does, you know, it’s like, give us your address, then you won’t have to put it in ever again. It’s kind of neat.
Jon Chang 00:05:14 Yeah. It’s super cool technology. And I think that’s one of the things that draws me to companies. So this was, I’m really like, really stoked to like really build out the team, the growth function.
Ethan Garr 00:05:22 Yeah. It was really smart use of the share sheet and on iPhone. So I thought it was cool.
Jon Chang 00:05:27 Uh, thank you. I don’t build the product, but then
Ethan Garr 00:05:32 Just take credit for it. We won’t know. But, uh, actually, uh, one of the things that got us excited is we noticed that you recently shared, uh, reshare to post by America. Uh, we knew him, uh, he was a guest on, on the, uh, on the podcast when he was CMO at freshly. Um, now he’s a CMO at CANet and, um, it was interesting that you, you reshared this post. Can you tell us what, what about it that resonated
Jon Chang 00:05:58 With you? Well, he’s a great guy, first of all. And, and we’ve gone back and forth on messages and it’s just like, it’s wonderful. The way he just thinks about growth as a whole. Um, like you said, I mean, it’s like, especially now, and it’s just enormous company, so it is perspectives about startups and people is always super interesting cause he’s bringing things from so many different places and this post is no exception at all. I think that as some of the things that really stood out to me since I’m obsessed with like building teams and operational efficiency, it’s that he, he really talked through the way that people wear multiple hats. I know it seems so simple, but when you’re at a larger organization, um, there’s, there’s people who are specialists and you need that at startups as well, but to, but you also have to be this kind of Jack of all trades.
Jon Chang 00:06:51 And it’s really exciting to see, but it’s a really hard thing to do. Uh, another thing that I thought was really great was the connection between different functions. I, I see this everywhere and you know, I keep, I like mentor people. I keep talking to, um, other professionals, but you need to understand product engineering, data creative. And that’s something where when you join a startup and you have startup experience, you get that and you can bring that into all these other roles that you’re in, in the future. It’s, it’s, it’s invaluable. Um, and then he doesn’t use these words exactly. But you also have to have a better understanding of the customer. Um, you’re not just using cookie cutter kinds of marketing. You have to adapt really quickly and constantly beyond your customer, what they want, how they behave, looking at the analytics, actually talking to them like I’m subscribed right now at, to the alias, to which people respond to our emails. And if you ever want to go into a really depressing dark hole, do that only when people are really upset message, message back to your newsletters, but that’s something you have to do here. And when you bring that into like an organization, like, I mean, I’ve been at IBM and you’re customer obsessed. It makes the world of difference.
Sean Ellis 00:08:10 Yeah. It’s for anyone who didn’t happen to see my, our group does post I’ll include it in the show notes, but, uh, it’s definitely, uh, jumped out at me, you know, when you shared it, that was the first I’d seen of it. Um, even though I follow Meyer. Um, and, uh, and, and I agree it was, it was, I mean, I think the gist of the post was that basically everyone needs some, uh, or he’s recommending that everyone have some experience who are in marketing and growth roles in earlier stage companies, because it’s just a, it’s a whole different beast. And then if you go back to larger companies, it’s going to make you a lot better marketer. And so I think, you know, I gave a number of bullet points and you touched on a couple of the key bullet points there, but, um, it’s a really, it’s a really, uh, you know, about, uh, about a 32nd read, but it, it, uh, it, it packed a punch.
Sean Ellis 00:08:58 So that was, that was great. So, um, you obviously, as you said, you’ve been at IBM, you’ve been, um, yeah, not, not necessarily. I don’t know if you’ve been at like ground zero startups, but you’ve, you’ve been at much smaller startup or much smaller companies than IBM Klarna obviously was, was pretty big by the time you left. Now, I believe you’re at a series. Your, your company now is about a series AA. You said 70 ish employees, very different beast than, uh, than IBM. But if you, if you could kind of narrow it down to just one biggest key difference between large companies and, uh, and a startup, um, particularly from kind of the growth or growth leadership perspective, what, what would you, what would you say is the biggest difference?
Jon Chang 00:09:39 Oh, because there’s a lot of different ways to slice it, but I mean, going back to kind of the mentality and the people that are there, um, the, I guess the biggest difference in like how I operated there is the, the OKR is in the treatment of that are different and everything, everything centers around that. So your tactics and relationship, the OKR is like the objectives and key results. Um, in, in one way, um, you can take more risks because there’s less of, there’s less of a consequence per dollar spent, but in other
Sean Ellis 00:10:09 Ways, in a startup,
Jon Chang 00:10:10 You’re saying, oh, yeah, sorry, sorry, more risks than a startup when you’re, when you’re like, you’re in an IBM. I mean, it’s, it’s like every dollar matters, but, um, you’re, if you miss spend a dollar, like the company doesn’t die. Okay.
Sean Ellis 00:10:22 Gotcha.
Jon Chang 00:10:23 But on the other ways, it’s also, it’s also harder because the KPIs become a little more complex. It’s it’s like, I mean, it’s like a boxing ring. The, these companies have made their way to the center of the boxing ring. They they’ve won a title or something, then everyone else is trying to knock them out. So you’re not only trying to get traction, like you’re a startup and get into there. You’re also again, like hit from all sides and trying to stay in the ring too. So that from a growth leadership perspective also means that you’re, you’re thinking more 360 and holistically than you would at a startup. And that doesn’t make either situation worse or better. There’s just different. Interesting.
Sean Ellis 00:11:02 I’ve never really worked at a big company. So, um, I’m asking as a curious bystander there, but, um, you know, it would seem like you, you know, what I do know is as I’ve been in startups, as it grows, people get more and more specialized and, and, uh, more and more kind of narrow view of the business. And so when you talk about, you know, big company having almost more 360, uh, perspective on the company, if I understood right. Um, that, that is kind of surprising to me as a, as it feels like you become more of a specialist as a company grows, but maybe in the, in the leadership role, you need that 360.
Jon Chang 00:11:39 Yeah. I was thinking more so in the leadership role, because like these big companies are divided into individual business unit and like these business units are the size of a startup. And that’s why it’s more of a 360 view because you’re looking at the inner relationship between different kinds of business models within this one, like master one
Sean Ellis 00:11:55 And you, and you kind of don’t have the luxury of maybe getting in the weeds as much.
Jon Chang 00:11:59 Totally. Exactly. Um, but yeah, I mean, it was like 360,000 people.
Sean Ellis 00:12:06 That’s a, that, that is a beast. I have never experienced anything like that, nor do I think I will. Not, not because I don’t respect people who, uh, who go through that. Cause it’s, I think there’s a, there’s a, you know, amazing big high-impact companies that are, that are big companies, but I, I just personally don’t know that I am cut out to survive in an organization like that because my, um, I need to feel like, uh, every everything I’m doing has a direct impact on the business. So we’ll dig into that as we go on a bit more.
Ethan Garr 00:12:39 Yeah. Jon, I wanted to ask you, you know, now it’s an interesting place that you’re in the same industry as Barna, but now moving from a big established, bigger established company, I think it was 2,800 employees or something or more to the, you know, as much smaller company as a leader. Like are, do you think there are pitfalls that you could fall into that you have to be concerned about things you have to make sure you don’t do because you’re bringing that big company experience into, um, into the, start back into the startup world. Like, are there, are there things our audience can learn from this that you’re like, don’t do that.
Jon Chang 00:13:15 Yeah. I mean, there, there’s a laundry list on both sides things to do things not to do, but I, I think the, I mean, okay, so like, so like starting a little more high level, it’s, it’s the, it’s just making sure that you, uh, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water when you go into new place. And that’s actually something that, um, like mentor and my manager at Kickstarter told me, cause I was like bringing in all of my startup experience and I’m like, all right, well, you know, my audit of how you’re doing things right now is like, this is backwards. That’s backwards in my opinion. And she was just like, no, no, it’s just, there’s a lot of good things here. So make sure that in your audit, you really identify that. And then you build your experiences around it. So, um, you can’t go in and it’s not a cookie cutter. And it’s like, like Klarna is not Nate. Nate is not Klarna. And, um, I can’t take the operating model. I can’t take the ad targeting model or like really anything and just directly apply it. But, um, I can take a look at like how I tested things, some initial learnings, and then it validate and invalidate those instead. So everything that you, that was concrete before take that and reevaluate validate it. I think you’ll be really surprised and what happens. Um, so testing and analytics are super important there.
Sean Ellis 00:14:33 So maybe your, your hypothesis or, or a little bit more informed than if you were going, just blink into it because it’s, it’s somewhat related being in the eCommerce space, but you, you can’t come in with, uh, beliefs that everything that worked before is going to work again.
Jon Chang 00:14:47 Yeah, exactly.
Ethan Garr 00:14:49 But I think that’s really good advice to really like before you come in with what you should be doing, or shouldn’t be doing start with a good audit and look at what is working. What’s not working, what could be improve. I think if I look back at my experience, uh, at Deltec, when we hired people who came from big companies into, into our startup world, the ones who succeeded really were the ones who took a step that deep breath before they started thinking like, this is what it should look like or what it should be and said, let me think about what this is today and where at what point a is today and what point these should be tomorrow. So it’s, it’s an interesting point.
Jon Chang 00:15:27 Well, yeah. And I’ve been at startups that have had interim CMOs. It really seems like, I mean, if you’re, if you’re an interim CMO, that’s your thing, like, God bless you. I mean, it seems like a horrible thing to me, but there’s a lot of people who just, uh, have just like have popped in and out of the startups that I was at. And they, they kind of went in just trying to do what they did before at the existing startup. And it’s, let’s, let’s say that operationally and like tactic wise and by the strategy, it’s the right decision. It you’re never going to succeed because, um, it’s not the right culture. That’s also something hugely important. Um, like don’t join a startup. You don’t care about like the company culture and, um, and adapting to it. But that’s kind of another thing I’ve been thinking about is I’m building a team out here, but, um, I’m not ha like the company is not adapting to my culture. I’m adapting to the company’s culture and we’re both enriching each other,
Sean Ellis 00:16:23 But you’re still, you’re still able to mold the culture probably much more at a sub 100 company than you are at a 350,000 person company.
Jon Chang 00:16:32 Yeah, exactly. I mean, I joined it cause like I want my DNA in it and those are the people that like are right for these sub a hundred companies.
Sean Ellis 00:16:39 Yeah. So it’s interesting. When you say you, you can’t see yourself in the interim CMO role. That was definitely what I did for a long time. So where I said, I couldn’t imagine myself at a, at a large established company, I loved the interim CMO, interim head of growth role. And, and it was, you know, I’ve definitely made the mistake of thinking, oh, this worked here, I’m going to go in and that’s going to work at this next place. And, uh, you, you get that quick a wake-up call that, oh boy, no, it doesn’t, here’s, here’s why here are the differences. But I think I eventually turned it into a, you know, the, this, these are the things I need to figure out. And it was, it was essentially a checklist of the things I needed to figure out in a condensed period of time.
Sean Ellis 00:17:24 And you kind of need to just figure those things out once. And so, yeah, I mean, maybe they evolve a bit, but you have like a big figure out and then a tweak for the rest of time. And so, um, having like a systematic process for figuring things out, I got better and better at that over time. And so, um, I think there is a place for kind of the interim upfront CMO, just because you’re in the, particularly in a very early stage, just going to market getting those initial customers on there. It’s just a bunch of hypotheses that are unproven and you need to take a really flexible approach of validating and, and assembling a, an engine that, you know, all those interdependent parts need to be validated and working together. And then after that, it’s a lot more about kind of tweak and scale, but, um, I love that stage for what it’s worth.
Jon Chang 00:18:13 I mean, it’s like it takes a special, tough person and you are both a special and tough person. I am.
Sean Ellis 00:18:19 I appreciate that. And again, like for me, I think the biggest thing that I, that I’m afraid of is that having to invest my effort and energy into perception rather than into trying to create a reality. And that’s always my impression of, of later stage companies, big companies is, is, you know, and another, you know, the more typical word of that is just the politics of things that, you know, if you don’t have belief and buy-in from what about what you’re doing from the rest of the organization, you can fight all kinds of battles and that, and that to me, I even have seen it in relatively small companies. Yeah. I, I tend to, I’ve, I’ve taken them up to about a thousand people or probably even a little bit less than that. And, um, and, and it just gets more and more of that as time goes on.
Sean Ellis 00:19:10 And, and that, that just drove me crazy. Versus when I can just put all of my effort into driving a result that, uh, you know, it’s kind of interesting and like looking back at what, um, at what Meyer put together, the only capitalized three words together on the whole thing, he’s got it. He’s got a few all caps of just one word, but it’s move the needle. And, um, and it’s where you talked about multiple hats. One of the things that you really focused on, but he ended that he basically says you wear multiple hats, roll up your sleeves, live in Excel, run queries, thrive in data and chaos to somehow move the needle. And, and that, that obsession to moving the needle in the, you know, where, where you’re, you’re fighting against a runway of we’re going to die as an organization. If we can’t move the needle enough to raise the next round of funding to, to persist. And I find that really exciting versus the, I’m not sure if I even moving the needle in this business, because there’s just so much going on, scares the crap out of me. So I’m curious, like in your bigger company experiences, how did, how did you really know you were moving the needle versus just filling a seat of a, you know, there’s a bunch of momentum in this business and it’s kind of hard to screw it up and it’s kinda hard to fix it if the momentum is not in the right direction.
Jon Chang 00:20:30 Well, I guess it depends on the business model then. Cause like, you know, I I’m, I’m not trying to speak for like everyone’s big company experience either. So it’s cause you know, one big, another big difference from, from a big company is, you know, they have a brand and that’s, there’s a lot of intangibles there that makes it harder to know if you’re moving the needle, but for like what I was doing, I mean, we, I was really helping out with lead generation as well as the sales conversion funnel. And I guess like the, the resubscription funnel as well. And those are really measurable. They’re highly measurable. Yeah. And so we knew that like when I, when I created content or I did sales enablement, like we would actually know like which people opened, it clicked through and converted and we’d have a dollar amount there too. So it’s
Sean Ellis 00:21:17 The more you move toward performance. Like I think in my mind, it’s always like, I think about FMCG and you know, like someone walks into a seven 11 and then, and reaches for the cores light and then looks at the bud light and like changes their mind and what caused them to, to make that decision attribution seems like it would be just a total guessing game and in that kind of case, but when it’s, when you’re focused more on digital and, and funnels and you can, you can kind of tie results to, to effort and, and investments then maybe, maybe you can, you could feel a little more impact when you’re in a larger company.
Jon Chang 00:21:54 Definitely like the digital performance side. I mean, that’s one of the reasons why I like it. I do think wherever I go, I mean the needle, the size of the needle changes, but there is a needle that’s measurable.
Ethan Garr 00:22:06 Yeah. I think you bring up a good point, Sean, the, um, or, you know, both of you related in that, uh, in a small company in a startup, there’s just no place to hide. I mean, bullshit walks in a, in a startup. Right. But at a, but in a big company, your role, obviously not so much, you had very tangible KPIs that, you know, I think if you weren’t, if you weren’t hitting those okay, ours, like it’d be pretty obvious. But I think, uh, you know, there, there are lots of roles where it’s a lot, a lot less, uh, you know, specific. I mean, we actually just interviewed, um, uh, someone in and I was talking to him about a friend of mine. Who’s in a role that’s really about, uh, employee happiness. That’s a very hard thing to measure. I think what she’s doing is fantastic and it’s real, but in a big company like that role, like I could see someone just filling a seat in that role. Um, either to be fair, she’s not, but, um, but, but yeah, there is no role like that in the startup. I mean, you know, that just, there’s no room for it.
Jon Chang 00:23:05 Oh yeah. I mean, screw ups are, I can screw up in a bigger company and it’s like get away with, and not that like, that’s my jam, but that’s where
Sean Ellis 00:23:16 Yeah. You know, the funny thing is like I know myself too well. I, I, if I, if I thought that my, the, the impact of my effort was, was essentially the same as me not putting the effort, I’m the guy who would just be like, screw it. I’m going to the beach. So like, that would be the end of me. So like, I think that accountability of, of putting myself into situations where that business really relies on me, I fried on that because I, I enjoy it. And, and I think, again, you, you saw years ago that the transition to where analytics began to shine a lot more light on the effectiveness of marketers. And there were, it was sort of a sink or swim moment for a lot of people who maybe, maybe just didn’t like that accountability as much. And they, that, that turnover of heads of marketing, what went down to like an average tenure of like a year at one point.
Sean Ellis 00:24:10 And I think it’s probably expanded from there, but, um, it’s definitely, it’s definitely a different, because I’m actually, I know since you’re the first guest who’s back, I’m going to change the mold a little bit. And, uh, and Ethan kinda hit you with a similar question as someone who, you know, for me, when I was with companies, I always tended to get out, um, before they were acquired. And, uh, and you know, before they got too big, but Ethan, you went from like conceptualizing a product and being in that very early stage team of a product to building it up to being acquired by a large public company and actually spending some time in, in the large public company. W what did you find that, uh, you miss the most, when you, when, when you kind of looked back at the, at the early days versus the later stage,
Ethan Garr 00:25:01 You know, I think it’s going back to what Jon said. It’s really, uh, I think I’m a Jack of all trades sort of thinker. Um, I love the, you know, the idea of like, today I have to work on this and tomorrow I have to work on that. Yeah. At Caltech, it was, it was incredible. I mean, one day I was doing a TV interview and the next day I was, you know, drawing, you know, drawing a picture of what a screen should look like on our app. And it was just so diverse. But, uh, when you go in, once we were acquired, I think there was a real need to go from more of these generalized, uh, kind of roles to very much more, much more specific roles. And then for me, it became, it became less fun because I was, you know, I was like still doing some of those things, but it was like, that’s what you do not, Hey, go, go over there and see if you can help with that. I mean, I love the idea of just being able to lean into whatever problem came up at every day. I mean, and Jon, you were talking about, you know, being on that alias to me, like one of the great joys of being in a, in a startup role was that our customer support department was on the other side of the room and I could hear them talking to customers. And, um, and like you said, not too many customers call to say, Hey, something is awesome here. They call it, tell you something
Sean Ellis 00:26:13 And get some time out of my day to tell you how awesome you are, everyone who’s listening. Go do that right now. You’re going to make sense.
Ethan Garr 00:26:21 Yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:26:22 So I’m curious, Jon, like, to kind of play that back to of what Ethan was talking about now, you’ve just moved from a relatively large company you help to get there, which was good, um, to, to a sub 100 person company. What, what was it that you missed about early stage that attracted you to come back to, to, um, an early stage company? Yeah. I
Jon Chang 00:26:43 Had a big aha moment, um, talking with someone who like, who like mentors me. And she was really, I mean, she was asking me, um, are you a builder, a scaler or an optimizer? Or like, what’s your mix? Like, where do you think that you fall? And I just I’d really thought about it because what I was doing at Klarna later on, cause like, what you do is you narrow the scope, you dive deeper, you narrow the scope, dive deeper. That’s what happens. And when you do that, you become an optimizer more than a builder. Um, so reminiscing on like the early days when I was at clarinet, I just realized, I think I’m really a builder and I want to go somewhere that I can do that. Sometimes that’s like a new business unit at like an Amazon or something. Sometimes that’s a sub 100. Um, so that’s one thing. And the second thing is I like having a relationship with a founders and I just didn’t really realize that. I mean, it’s not like I had that a client up, but it’s something where with like the side work that I do and like talking, mentoring people and so forth, um, I realized that I also want to have more of a DNA in it and work with the founder and like have that kind of fun. And you’re in the,
Sean Ellis 00:27:50 The trenches where the founder, as opposed to like, yeah, have a relationship with them. But so to 3000 other people,
Jon Chang 00:27:57 Yeah. I’m more than just like waving in the hallway.
Sean Ellis 00:28:01 Right. You’re like, you’re, you’re solving hard problems together and there’s, there’s something to, uh, something that, that makes, that kind of, uh, brings a closeness on a, on a different level than you can ever imagine when you’re solving those hard problems versus versus just, you know, optimizing the big business as you, as you talked about.
Jon Chang 00:28:20 Well, exactly.
Sean Ellis 00:28:22 So, um, I’m curious, like obviously one of the biggest things is you’re, you’re, you’re sort of building a team from scratch in the, in the early days at a business. How, how far along are you with, with team building at this point? Do you feel like you kind of have all the people you need where you are, or are you, uh, are you, are you kind of at the, at the point where you’re trying to add a lot, a lot more people to the team?
Jon Chang 00:28:45 Well, I’m on my six week at the job, so we’ll start. No, I have, I have a bunch of roles open right now. And, uh, uh, I, you know, and there’s a, just me on the team right now. So if anyone is interested in joining, let me know, um, and really building out two functions to start with, um, uh, acquisition, everything there. Um, there’s paid social, there’s SCM, there’s the app store optimization and the SEO side. And then the conversion rate optimization, which I guess is more formerly called life cycle and CRM. Um, there’s a, there’s a, I really need a product marketer to help me think through all of the ways that we can have, um, conversion rate optimization. So referrals, promotions, um, in app engagements, things like that. So I’m looking for an automation specialist, product marketer, as well as a couple like CRM, who can really enrich our brand experience with our users through the CRM channels. But so, yeah, it’s, it’s me right now. I just have been setting up our UAC ads for the first time in a while. And it’s been, I mean, it’s, it’s really fun to do. Um,
Sean Ellis 00:30:00 I got to imagine, I mean, there, there’s, there’s so much on your plate, which is part of the reason that you, that you need to hire people, hiring people and investing enough time is, is really time-consuming. And so kind of balancing between executing and hiring. I that got me in the past for what it’s worth. Like, I think at log me in, I eventually got to like 15 open heads and it was just like, I just don’t have the capacity to hire because I’m too busy. But if I hired, I wouldn’t be so busy and it’s a, it’s a craziness. So how
Jon Chang 00:30:36 Well I got a story for you guys then. I mean, when I first started at Klarna, it’s like, no one had heard of it in the us and it was painful to get people to even like submit applications. And so, and so, like, I was coding our emails. I even coded our like email templates, setting up our ads with the agency and stuff. I mean, it was like really in the trenches, but I had ended up pulling one all-nighter every single week because of the deficit of time, like hiring is a part-time job. So yeah, I know it’s feeling a lot like that.
Sean Ellis 00:31:07 Wow. Yeah.
Ethan Garr 00:31:09 You know, as you hire, uh, into these rules with your experience at Klarna, and now going back into the startup world, what do you think is going to make these hire successful? Like who will be successful in these roles? And, um, you know, do you have an ideal profile in mind as you, as you approach this?
Jon Chang 00:31:26 Yeah. I mean, it’s the builder. I mean, if we’re just going to do the, a very strict profile, I need builders. Um, and cause you can always hire optimizers later, of course, but in it’s like if you’re familiar with startups, we, you there’s growth curves and this is the curve that we’re at in the foundational team. Um, but in addition to that, it’s just like an overall hiring philosophy is I, and maybe it’s because like I I’m in education. I teach undergrad at NYU and I was teaching at general assembly for five years, but I look for soft skills. Um, part of doing growth marketing in particular is these organizations. It’s kind of like, you know, you know, that, that quote where it’s like, um, everyone says they’re having sex, but no one like teenagers, like saying that they’re having sex, but no one’s actually doing it or understands it. And it reminds me a lot of like when startups are hiring growth, um, they, they might have like a pretty good sense of it, but when they bring someone in, um, there’s a lot of like education and relationship setting that needs to happen. Another reason why I’m like my post, like really resonated with me. So I need people who like are really good communicators. I know. And, and these soft skills sound fuzzy cause they’re soft skills.
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Jon Chang 00:33:38 So like the interviews are, I’m hoping fun for the right candidate with me, but they’re very fast paced. Like you need to have, I test people on quick, critical thinking, repeating things back, um, and a really structured way being succinct with it. And um, like I love making presentations and I love writing documents. It’s just something that’s like in my DNA, but we like, I need people to do that as well because when you’re in a new organization, people communicate in different ways. It’s not just one structure like at a bigger company. So as growth, since we’re working with every discipline, I need someone who can communicate in all those different ways, um, and show that organization. And then finally, of course we all love hustle. So looking for aptitude and hustle, it’s, it’s always unpopular when I first joined an organization and I’m like, I don’t really care about user experience or like which college they went to. I also don’t really care what company they came from. And these hiring recruiters are like, oh my God, because you end up interviewing like 10 times as many candidates, but that’s what you need. I like
Sean Ellis 00:34:41 When I see it kind of thing, it
Jon Chang 00:34:43 Really is. And I, I really feel like I kicked ass at that at clarinet with our team, we found all the diamonds in the rough and they in like, we, we did what we needed to do and, and you know, the results kind of show like show for themselves.
Sean Ellis 00:34:58 Yeah. So you want to be careful not to, uh, not to share too many of your, uh, ways that you hired or you meet with all the other people out there hiring, you might be listening. But I think, uh, I think that that gives a good, a good general outline. D do you, do you have certain things that are, that are more red flag? Like, would you, would you actually hire someone who only had big company experience?
Jon Chang 00:35:21 No, I think that’s fine. It totally depends. I mean, so it depends on the role there, there is for like the product marketing role, for example, I, um, I think someone with big company experience would be super helpful because I need someone who knows what it should look like. Whereas with min acquisition role, it’s helpful for sure, but it’s not, it’s not a requirement.
Sean Ellis 00:35:41 Um, and what about like agency background on the, on the acquisition role? For example?
Jon Chang 00:35:46 Yeah, totally depends too. Well, that’s an, I think you might jive with this because it’s, when you’re trying to find out the best, like a growth hack, for example. Um, I, I, it always reminds me of, of, um, taking all the, the smallest puzzle pieces that are available to you and creating the beautiful picture that no one else is seeing. So like at agencies, people have consulted and things like that. They have experience with all these different business models and, um, and those are the people I usually see on the acquisition side are putting it together into the, I guess, like the picture that makes us most competitive.
Sean Ellis 00:36:23 And they may also have just the depth of knowledge on different platforms. So it’s, it’s figuring out how your product maps into that, but, you know, to not have to relearn the platform, like, I, I look at myself in one company where, uh, all of our growth was really off the back of Google ad words, for example. And I turned it over to someone else and he managed it for a long time. And then, uh, and then when he left the, he didn’t actually leave the company just left the role. We suddenly had this like big void of, of, uh, knowledge there. And just, just getting, getting people up to the level where they understand a platform on a deep enough level to kind of really compete in there because everything is, uh, everything’s just like massively competitive in, in existing things, whether it’s Facebook ads or, or, um, you know, paid search or any, anything else. Um, unless it’s a totally emerging channel, um, you’re, you’re competing against a lot of other experts, so you better be pretty good at it.
Jon Chang 00:37:20 Well, and that’s actually, so I’ve been struggling with this and, and why struggled within I’ve made decision obviously now, but there’s, there’s like a couple of different, uh, at least a couple of different models. The two that I have in my head are you, you hire someone very senior to manage strategy, then you shop out all the production, um, to an agency. Um, the other side is you have a strategic agency, and then you have a bunch of people who internally will continue executing. Maybe that’s where like the more junior people from the agency or the agency world coming in, in house work well, but like this stuff, like you’re saying is so competitive, it changes all the time that the amount that Nate is spending and even we’ll spend, we’re not going to have the relationships with the direct account reps at Facebook. Um, like an agency will with acumen with amount of spend. So it’s not only like the depth of it too, but they’re going to people who work at agencies also know the latest and greatest, like for all the platforms. Yeah.
Sean Ellis 00:38:14 And then, but then what have you, you pay this big premium for that skillset only to find out that channel doesn’t work for you that’s like balance, but yeah, I don’t think there’s an easy answer, eat that it looks like
Jon Chang 00:38:26 I do like shopping out a lot to agencies specifically on the performance side and for that expertise and just like, they’re the ones who are going to know what’s up. Yeah. Do you have a
Sean Ellis 00:38:35 Favorite agency just for the listeners? I’m sure. They’d love to hear that
Jon Chang 00:38:40 You could come
Sean Ellis 00:38:40 Back. I think on that one for a minute.
Jon Chang 00:38:42 Well, I liked well agencies or whatever, um, in terms of just like people managing performance marketing, it’s not an agency is more of a consultancy. I like chief detective. Um, I worked with them at Kickstarter and I’ve referred them to everyone. Um, and they’ve taken on awesome clients. Who’ve done outdoor voices, Kickstarter. Um, there’s others. I can’t remember. I’m so sorry. I’m supposed to be
Sean Ellis 00:39:05 No, that’s good. That’s good. I’m sure that others are gonna say, why did you plug me? But a, the chief detective will be stoked.
Jon Chang 00:39:12 They’re good people too. I mean, that means a lot.
Ethan Garr 00:39:15 Jon, I had a question for you. I, you know, looking at you, you mentioned that you teach at NYU and generalists attendance, uh, worked at general assembly. Um, it sounds like mentoring is really a big part of, of what you’re passionate about. I’m curious, like if someone gets a role with it, you know, gets hired into a role with you now, what, what, what will, what do you hope a year from now? They’ll think about when they think about their relationship with you and what you have, hopefully either pardon to them or taught them?
Jon Chang 00:39:46 Yeah, definitely. I it’s. Oh my God. I do this every day. No. Okay. So I, I think it really boils down cause like with all the stuff, I feel like I’m giving fluffy answers and trying to like, make sense of them. But I mean, the fluffy answer is like that this person really is in my corner. Like this person gives a shit about me. Like, it’s, I, it, it sounds like that’s something that every managed to do, but that’s just, um, not common, unfortunately.
Ethan Garr 00:40:15 Yeah. That’s a fluffy answer. I want to work for you. I mean, to be honest, like I, I think that’s what people want. They want someone that they know will go to bat for them.
Sean Ellis 00:40:24 Yeah. And, and it’s a balance between like micromanaging. Like I, I think about roles, uh, particularly like earlier in my career, I would wither in a role of being micromanaged, but at the same time, I hated being on an island with no mentorship myself and I, and I think there’s, there’s something to be, you know, in, in emphasizing, as you’re looking to fill these roles, being able to highlight with all the experience that you have, what makes it really unique and great to work with?
Jon Chang 00:40:53 Well, so my management style overall, like everyone says, uh, servant leadership and that’s a big portion of it, but like what, especially for like mid-level and junior employees, like I define the north star and where we’re trying to go per quarter. And then, um, they are responsible for coming up with tactics and ideas, and then we workshop those together. And over time they’re just making awesome tactics and ideas and can run with it. So I do a lot of handholding, which you would probably call micromanagement in the first 14 to 90 days, depending on the person. And then afterwards, my job is purely providing direction and unblocking obstacles and just letting them run, seen so many people, um, take that in like, um, in like from my teams and, um, just develop so
Sean Ellis 00:41:40 Quickly that, I mean, to me, that sounds ideal. And again, um, I wouldn’t say that managing people as a strong suit for me, I, uh, Ethan actually worked for me 25 years ago and he’s probably a test that’s probably the worst boss he’s ever had, but, um, but I, yeah, he made me say that
Ethan Garr 00:41:58 If the cl went to 11, but now I’m going to say Sean was one of the, the best I ever worked for and he doesn’t give himself enough credit. He also, the other lie he told us about today about working at uproar. He said, he said that, you know, if, if he was in a position where he didn’t, you know, you could just hide. If you’d go off to the beach. We had a, we had a department where we were just on our own island and I forget what we called it, but like, we literally could have done whatever we want. We sat in an office, we did play this game called tax everyday, which was very fun,
Sean Ellis 00:42:37 But it was a, it was a brainstorming game,
Ethan Garr 00:42:39 But I will tell you this, we worked incredibly hard. And, uh, Sean came to me one night when he was like, Hey, we have this spec we have to write. And there was no time limit. Cause it was our own thing. And he’s, and he’s like, what do you think about just staying all night and just pulling an all nighter and just getting it done. And that was like, okay, let’s do it. You know, we slept, of course he took the conference table. I had to sleep on the floor, but anyway, that’s, uh, but now you’re showing you’re great to work, work with back then and a great mentor all this time.
Sean Ellis 00:43:09 But I would say that my, my weakness is in, um, in really doing what I think the, I think the, uh, part that you talk about upfront that, that bit of micromanagement, I think a lot of times a new hire sort of lacks direction in the early days and they, they’re kind of, they need to figure things out. And, um, and that’s when I think there is some level of micromanagement that that is important, particularly if you’re communicating that my goal is to get you to a point where you are able to execute independently really well. And here’s, here’s what this looks like. And then through that communication. But, um, but again, I I’m, I’m still figuring out a lot of that. And so as you describe it, I think it sounds awesome. And hopefully that’s something that, um, people who are looking for their next great thing to do, that they, they recognize that that’s a big asset of the opportunity that, that you’re talking about. And I’m not sure if you’ve, uh, if you’ve, uh, how public, anything on the funding side is, do you have public information on the funding side or from the,
Jon Chang 00:44:12 And the seed? Yes. Um, so the a was like about 38 mil and, okay,
Sean Ellis 00:44:18 Well, I’m just thinking the other thing that people that people are just curious, is it a well-funded business? Like, I think for me personally, the early stage well-funded is a, is an ideal combination because you’re not, you’re not executing in the panic of we’re going out of business tomorrow, but there’s so much headroom and upside that you can really build something great from that early foundation.
Jon Chang 00:44:37 Yeah. And for, like, from, from like my kind of growth marketing, they like to do, I just don’t want to be staying up all night on like Twitter and DM and people cause like that’s all we have resources to do. Sweat equity is necessary at all, um, companies, especially startups. Um, but I, you know, the funding round the amount of cash to do ads and different kinds of tactics is important. Like, cause that affects like MarTech stack as well.
Sean Ellis 00:45:02 Yup. Yup. Absolutely. So, uh, another question that I’m just curious about, you know, we’ve talked a lot about kind of early stage people and developmental roles, but when you look at, um, of all the people that you’ve come across over time, is there anyone that stands out as like, ah, I just, you know, we, we talked about Meyer goop, does I, this might be the person or someone else, whoever she or he is that, that really stands out as like, um, really impressive in how they approach growth.
Jon Chang 00:45:30 Yeah, I definitely do. And it’s also because as I’ve been making lists of people to contact, um, I know, I mean, it’s like if they’ve worked for these people, I, um, they’re on the list, uh, for me to contact and reach out to, so I hope they’re not like really listening cause I’m not trying to poach them. Okay. So, uh, Rob Schutz, who do you know him? He’s I think was he on this podcast? I can’t remember. I don’t think
Sean Ellis 00:45:57 So. If he was my memory really sucks. Well
Jon Chang 00:46:01 He’s, co-founder of RO the health, uh, the health wellness brand. Okay. Yeah. And so they’ve grown incredibly quickly. Uh, he, and he was leading growth at bark and that’s when I met him, but he, he, he’s really smart. He’s a very nice human being and also, um, has a track record to show that he’s really good at growth. I mean, bark was, I mean, when you, when you market dogs, everything’s a little easier, but like, well, they made their own, I mean, they made a mobile app that made it easier to take pictures of your dogs. Like it uses like the flash and it also had like fun sounds. They made a publication and then made their own banner ads on it. I mean, and th this guy just really thinks outside of the box and yeah, take a look at row R O um, they’re, they’re doing a really good job and he’s good at pushing the boundaries, another person, uh, Rob Schutz, S C H U T Z.
Jon Chang 00:46:57 Cool. Sounds like it can make an intro. You guys should have a, the other one is, um, Gabe Marciel. Uh, I’m probably butchering that. I’m so sorry, Gabe. Uh, we, we taught a general assembly at the same time, but he was at, he was VP of growth at a way. Um, and he like grew into that role, but he was at a way from 2016 to 2020. And you know, what happened during that time? Uh, but no. Yeah, so he’s, he’s a good growth mind as well. And like how I was describing people who take puzzle pieces on the Mike most micro level, then assemble a picture. He’s really good at that. I mean, if you’re going to teach at general assembly and stuff, you have to, but he’s really exceptional.
Sean Ellis 00:47:36 Awesome. Well, that sounds great. It sounds like it’s your way
Jon Chang 00:47:39 Of getting a guest list,
Sean Ellis 00:47:41 You know, it is, but it’s also, it’s also what, um, being, being a habit, how have you described what makes them impressive? I think, um, you know, ultimately for this podcast, I, I want people to, I want people to think of, you know, from their own personal development perspective, what can they do to develop themselves and, and to do that, you need to have people to aspire to be like, so I think that’s probably the most important angle of that question, but a really good side benefit is, uh, identify some potential guests, Ethan. Yeah. You, how are you doing the questions? Anything else jumping out at you?
Ethan Garr 00:48:15 Well, yeah, we’re getting short on time. I just, um, just in general, you know, you’re, you’re back in this e-commerce world. Do you feel like that’s a sweet spot for you personally or, uh, it’s just, you know, is there a different reason why you’re passionate about
Jon Chang 00:48:30 Well e-comm and mobile, I think are my sweet spot. Um, right now I, I really liked the space. I mean, um, I mean, mobile is just so interesting because it’s the way that when, when it hockey sticks for overall use of it, um, if it does, but like, I think it will eventually all technology does that. Um, it’ll be fast when you see where it is, but like, we’re not even, we’re not even close to that. Um, I mean, there’s like tic talks developing their, um, like live shopping platform. That’s a whole other way to use mobile. So I’m really fascinated with that kind of technology, especially when it’s applied to shopping and like social interactions. But I think so, so yeah, but zooming out a little bit, I really do just love consumer marketing that and, um, using tech, um, though that’s really interesting for me.
Jon Chang 00:49:20 Like I have a, I have an analytical mind, like I teach marketing analytics at NYU as like one proof point. So I love playing around with micro details, um, specifically behavioral analytics that can totally be the key to a growth strategy. And just like that boxing metaphor, like boxing your way into the middle of the ring with you when you have fewer resources, um, what you gotta do is like your, your punches aren’t as hard, you gotta just like hit a bunch of jabs and then figure out where like, where to land those. So this behavioral stuff for consumers, like it gives you a lot more room to play.
Ethan Garr 00:49:54 Do you have like your biggest fear going into nature, going into your job at Nate? Like, is there something that, you know, keeps you up at night that you worry about?
Jon Chang 00:50:04 I have time. I mean, I think it keeps me up because I’m not, I’m just doing things all night. Um,
Sean Ellis 00:50:11 But like just doing well,
Jon Chang 00:50:14 I think it’s, I think it’s w what, what P people worry about for every startup, especially if you’re a founder it’s, um, and it’s exactly what you guys were saying, it’s we, this is not guaranteed to be successful. And also with like, perhaps not the most stable economy, like for the U S if not the world, um, uh, there, like we can do our best job, but there is also there’s, uh, external factors that like, we absolutely cannot impact ourselves. So I’m not like scared of it. It doesn’t keep me up at night, but those are definitely the things like, I, that’s definitely the things I think about when making a career move. Um, the state of the economy is really important, especially for the type of business.
Sean Ellis 00:50:58 Yeah. I want to dig it back into one thing before we wrap up here. Um, you, you started talking about at Klarna, you were, you were in a situation where you were, uh, kind of stuck. It sounded like you were, you were overwhelmed with, uh, with, you know, you had a lot of work to do, you’re expanding into the U S it was just you trying to balance that time. W how did you get through that? What were, what were kind of some of the two or three key things that you did to get to the point where you were, you were, uh, you had freed up enough time to hire the right people around you, to where you could do well in the job.
Jon Chang 00:51:31 I think this goes back to what you guys are saying about moving the needle. I guess what Maya was saying about moving the needle as well, but, uh, it’s I mean, I was just so excited. Hit the ground running the, the brand was exciting. All the brand is exciting, but definitely was before to the, um, uh, the, all the people like are great and work great. There’s, there’s just like an energy and that’s a big part of what I look for is like, that’s personally what motivates me. So I, and I think everyone feels this way. Like I can work all night, happily not feel exhausted for something I care about, or I can work for part of a day and feel totally exhausted with things I don’t really care about. And so that, that’s where it was in that point in time. Like, and especially like at that point in my life, it was just so exciting. I knew it was building something was moving the needle, got that dopamine and just push through.
Sean Ellis 00:52:26 It was just pushing through the challenge and, and eventually getting the right people around you to where it could, it could be.
Jon Chang 00:52:32 And knowing the resources would grow like that. It’s like not knowing that this isn’t purgatory, this, this is like, we’re, we’re, we’re working our way out of this.
Sean Ellis 00:52:41 Perfect. No, that sounds great. Ethan, you wanna, you wanna hit them with the last question?
Ethan Garr 00:52:44 Yeah. Well, we’ve asked you this before, so it’ll be interesting to get a new take on it, but, uh, what do you feel like you understand about growth now that maybe you didn’t understand as well? A couple of years ago?
Jon Chang 00:52:54 I think a lot more on the technical setup. I feel like I’ve been pretty technical throughout my whole career, but there’s, um, it’s yeah. You know what it’s like technical setup and, uh, I’m framing it around like iOS 14, iOS 15, where you can’t measure like email opens and all that kind of stuff. So, um, I like when I was earlier in my career, um, I know I look super young, but I’ve been doing this for like 11 years or something now, but the
Sean Ellis 00:53:24 Pre
Jon Chang 00:53:25 Yeah, exactly. No, but earlier on, I mean, it’s, it’s, this stuff is that we changed, but I was 14 really like blew me out of the water there. So thinking through, um, the, like how granular of a technical setup you need the MarTech and ad tech stack, that stuff that I wasn’t thinking as I wasn’t as much of an expert on two years ago.
Sean Ellis 00:53:46 Um, yeah, I’d love to have a round table discussion at some point with some mobile experts on some of those challenges specifically to dig into. And, and, uh, I don’t, I still don’t know how people have navigated some of the attribution challenges that have happened, but that’s, that’s probably a much longer conversation
Ethan Garr 00:54:04 Actually. Uh, we’re going to force out here, uh, but, uh, we’re gonna have, uh, I guess from AppsFlyer on, in a few weeks, so that would be interesting to, you know, that was, uh, you know, uh, know there, I think that’s a key theme to discuss with them, but, uh, yeah, I think especially with iOS 14, it’s interesting. Cause I thought the companies that are, are best positioned to survive are the big ones. So, uh, you know, um, the smaller, you know, smaller companies are going to have some challenges. Apple did some things, you know, they lowered the, uh, there from 30% to 15% for a smaller company. So I think th th there’s some balance there. Um, but I think the interesting thing with, with iOS 14 is just that like, well, for someone like you, uh, you know, you moved into private, maybe a slightly more risky role, uh, leaving Klarna to go into a startup. But I think the world sorts itself out. I think, you know, when you have the, uh, IDFA issues over time, the world has to adapt. Not everyone’s going to, it’s never as bad as you think it’s never as good as you think. So it’s someone that’s not somewhere in the middle, but interesting stuff.
Jon Chang 00:55:07 No, totally. It’s we always adapt. And, uh, you know, I, I, someone else who I really like in a growth side, he should have on to talk about this is dune Wong, she’s chief growth officer at calm. Yeah. I mean, they’ve done a great job taking like, alright, here’s a singular product that like does one thing and then really expanding it out. Um, in very interesting ways
Sean Ellis 00:55:32 As a, as a daily, uh, calm user, I would, I would love to have her on, because I’m not a huge believer in the, uh, meditation space.
Ethan Garr 00:55:40 If you can make that intro intro. I appreciate
Jon Chang 00:55:43 You guys. You guys
Sean Ellis 00:55:43 Got it. Awesome. Um, well, cool. So yeah, I mean my key takeaways, so just, you know, go back to the theme that we, that we talked about here, what, what Meyer group to post it? I’m not sure, I know you repost it, it just today and that, that really jumped out at me as we were kind of prepping for our conversation today, but, uh, I’m not sure when Meyer posted it, but just this, this idea that, um, yeah, really, really that, you know, almost on what you guys were just talking about with, uh, with, uh, the challenges with tracking and iOS is having that adaptability. And I think you learn so much adaptability in early stage startups in a growth role. And, uh, and that anyone in later stage businesses should at least really try to build those skillsets. But, um, if you have an opportunity as Meyer points out, try ideally earlier in your career to be in something that’s early stage and you’ll, you’ll develop, I think a lot of, uh, a lot of instincts and skills that will serve you at companies of any stage.
Ethan Garr 00:56:46 Yeah. I think it goes back to that idea of, you know, if you’re a builder, if that’s what, you know, it’s a great place to, to really hone your skills as a builder. And, you know, if you have the Jack of trades, Jack of all trades mentality, a startup can be a really great place to really just accelerate learning. So that incredible pace and the other key takeaway I got here, which probably my most important one is when you market dogs, everything is easier. I will not forget
Jon Chang 00:57:11 That people love dogs.
Ethan Garr 00:57:14 I love dogs.
Sean Ellis 00:57:15 Absolutely. And you know, just, uh, you know, you talked about different, uh, learning programs you’ve been involved with. I just, I think it’s a good opportunity to plug my learning program a little bit as well here that, um, that go practice. The whole idea is that you’re, you’re going through a simulation of an early stage startup where you’re assembling the pieces, starting from product market fit to ultimately building an interdependent growth engine and doing that, working with data in amplitude and, you know, just the idea of everything we’re talking about. It’s, uh, that you, you build the right instincts on a foundational growth level. And I think that’s what, what Myers talking about that if, if you understand growth on a foundational level, you can be much better at really any business. And you’re gonna understand growth on a foundational level, easier in an early stage startup. And then, but you’re also gonna develop some of those instincts where he talks about, you know, things that you might think of in months or years in a later in a bigger established company, your, your days and weeks that you just have this urgency of move the needle before, before the needle goes, does zero, I guess, um, to take the analogy even to a weirder place. But, um, yeah,
Jon Chang 00:58:25 If I could plug something, I know this entire episode is me plugging stuff, so let’s start there. But, uh, I I’m about to launch, uh, it’s, it’s already open for subscribers, but I I’m about to launch my sub stack. So it’s growth musings that subsect.com. What you can expect is a weekly five minute video where I whiteboard something out and I teach an individual growth constantly. This is what a bottleneck is.
Sean Ellis 00:58:50 Yeah. I love that five, five minute, little, little bite-size people definitely will have time for that. So it sounds like a great compliment to go practice, which is, which is hours and hours of, of just grind work. It’s actually really hard. And, and, uh, but, but I think the, you know, being able to get the bite size learning, um, and, and over time it sounds like you’ll probably be able to build a really good, um, uh, you know, uh, big, uh, directory of, of, of little five minute videos that will hopefully answer a lot of the questions that growth marketers have. So get in early and do I like growth.
Sean Ellis 00:59:30 Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you so much for coming back on. It’s awesome to have our first repeat guests back on and to have, I guess, so, um, that was great and happy new year. And, uh, this, this, uh, we probably won’t get this out till, um, early February, but I know you, uh, you’re, you’re, you’ve got some urgent hires there, so we’ll see if we can bump it up earlier in the, uh, in the, in the lineup there. But, um, thanks. Thanks again, Jon. We really appreciate it. This is great. Yeah, of course. Thank you guys. And we’ll be looking forward to seeing you develop this into the next big unicorn. Thank you. Yeah, that’s that’s the goal
Ethan Garr 01:00:11 Thanks for listening to the breakout growth podcast. Please take a moment to leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform and while you’re at it subscribe. So you never miss a show until next week.