DG: crosstalk All right. We're back and we're rocking. crosstalk Yeah, we're good. This is real.
Uncle DC: You know who it is. It's your boy. crosstalk I'm here. We're ready to go. 2017, let's go.
DG: Man, so we crosstalk.
Uncle DC: What are we talking about?
DG: We're going to talk about goals today. But, I want to start... I haven't seen you in a minute, because last week you were at this CEO forum.
Uncle DC: Ooh, getting a beating.
DG: I want to ask you about that.
Uncle DC: Beat down.
DG: What happened?
Uncle DC: So I joined the CEO forum. It's about seven other CEOs, local companies here in Boston. All sorts of scale, much bigger than where we are as a company and much further along, older. And it's just kind of a closed room, no holds barred. Now you imagine me. DG knows me. Some could say I'm motivated. Some would say. Now imagine seven, or eight of those kind of individuals in one room, closed doors, with the sole task of critical feedback.
DG: Didn't you have to bring all of our numbers crosstalk You had to plan.
Uncle DC: Yeah. Everyone did.
DG: So it wasn't like," I'm going to show up and just talk about stuff." You dug into the metrics.
Uncle DC: Each person has a member challenge and we go over... I was a new member so I had to go over where we are as a business, all that kind of stuff, and just unleash, ready for that feedback. But, it was a perfect time to set apart two days. Had to spend overnight, morning, 8: 00 AM to 11: 00 PM.
DG: That's late for you.
Uncle DC: Late. I go to bed at nine o'clock. I tried to warn them. And perfect time to spend offline, no email allowed, no laptops, or phones allowed the entire time.
DG: I know. Crosstalk.
Uncle DC: So much crap down at Drift.
DG: We were all here like," Whoa!"
Uncle DC: Yeah. And a perfect time to be offline and spend thinking about 2017 goals.
DG: Yeah. So that's what kind of prompted this, is you sent... And actually, just before this you published a post to share with the whole team. But you kind of sent over... You sent your goals on the fly. You had to sit down and come up with goals on the fly. And that reminded me, this is the time of year we're planning internally here at Drift for 2017. Let's talk about goals, personal and professional. So, this is an obvious question, but I want to hear you say it. How important is setting goals?
Uncle DC: So important, man. You cannot... I'm trying to think of a good quote, but I can't think of one off the top of my head. But you cannot... Oh, actually, I've been listening to Zig Ziglar.
DG: There you go.
Uncle DC: Get yourself some Zig Ziglar in your life. And he said," You cannot hit what you do not know." And so, basically, you cannot aim and hit a target that you cannot see. And so we need to set those goals, so critical. Most of us skip over the part of actually setting those goals. One, to making sure you're accountable, and that's part of the CEO group that I joined. I had to tell them my goals for 2017 and they're going to hold me accountable for them, month over month. So, I'm scared. Both business and personal goals. And so it's super important for us to set that goal so that we know what direction we're aiming in.
DG: I wanted to ask you, because I know that you... I knew that you love goals, but the thing that you really love-
Uncle DC: I love doubling goals.
DG: You love benchmarks though.
Uncle DC: Yes.
DG: And I feel like there's a connection between benchmarks and goals. You always push us and say like," There's got to be a metric on this. There's got to be a benchmark." Why is that so important to go find a benchmark?
Uncle DC: Great topic. We should do a whole crosstalk on benchmarks. Goals... The thing that I've always struggled with goals, and most engineering types and OCD people struggle with this, is that goals are mostly... especially in business context, but also personal, are largely arbitrary. It's hard to know if your goals are you stretching, or not, because you usually don't have a baseline from which you're setting a goal.
DG: I'm shaking my head because I'm feeling this. So, I'm having a set goal, like marketing goals, and talking to Will, and he's helping us out. And we're figuring goals and I'm sitting there and I'm like," We got to set a goal, but I can't possibly sit here and try to back our way week by week into these numbers." And so I sent an email to a good friend, friend of the podcast, Mike Volpi, one of our-
Uncle DC: Friend of the family.
DG: Friend of the family. And I said," How do you come up with marketing goals?" I know we have a lead goal and a traffic goal. And he's like," You're thinking about it wrong. The point is not to have day by day, week by week math." He used a golf example to teach it to me.
Uncle DC: Is that how you understand it, golf?
DG: He got to dumb it down. His example was, if I set a goal to shoot 95, even though I can shoot 90, then you're going to sandbag and you're not going to promote the right behavior. But, if you've never broken 90 in your life and you set a goal to shoot 89, then throughout the whole year, that's going to promote all the right behavior. You're going to practice a lot. You're going to take lessons. You're going to lean on other people. And so when he said that, that opened it up to me, that it's exactly what you said. It is arbitrary. It's not a line by line," Here's how we're going to get there." It's more of a like," Here's the direction that we're going in, are we on track to get there?"
Uncle DC: Exactly. And this is where benchmarks come in. Usually you're setting an arbitrary goal based on some history, some experience, or what have you. You don't know if that is high, low, medium, what have you, because you don't have anything to compare it to. So, I'm a big fan in the business context and also in the personal context, with benchmarking. So if you're into golf let's say, or you're into basketball, you're into weightlifting, or you're setting business goals, you can look at other people who are like you. So, like you and ahead of where you want to be. So they're like," Oh, that guy looks just a little bit bigger than me from a weightlifting standpoint." I think we're about the same size, same height, same age, same athletic ability. But he can bench, let's say, 30% more.
DG: What did he do to get there?
Uncle DC: Yeah. So you know, at least if he shares all these common characteristics with you and where you want to go, you know that it's possible. We know for sure that looking at him, he's probably not superhuman, and so you can probably get there. Same thing with business and why it's so important on the business side. For us, I'm a fan of benchmarking, or modeling, as I like to think about it. If we're a SAS business of a certain size and a certain type of market, let's look at all of the SAS information that we have for companies of when they started. So, the same age that we're at, how they ramped from a sales marketing product kind of cost standpoint and revenue standpoint, and let's see how they looked in year two, year three, year four, year five. Let's look at the best in class, let's look at the worst in class, let's look at the median and understand like, where are we? And kind of use that to help set our goals and trajectory.
DG: Okay. So this this might be specific to us, but I'm going to ask anyway. How formal does goal setting need to be? Because you look at some people that have like spreadsheets for days and you look at somebody like... I feel like what you sent was just... if you're listening you don't see it, but you just basically sent over like three bullets.
Uncle DC: Yep.
DG: And to me that was so clean and simple and had good framework for this.
Uncle DC: I sent over three areas and then three sub- bullets within each area. So, the power of threes. And so it's very simple. I think that's as deep, as detailed as you want to get, and I think some people over- spreadsheet this, and over- analyze this. And then it's just going to be hard. More than three goals like I listed there, are going to be hard to achieve.
DG: Rule of three, power of three.
Uncle DC: The power of threes, man.
DG: I don't know if we... We can't elaborate on that.
Uncle DC: We can't get into that. That's a different podcast. That's top secret. We can't share all our secrets here. We share some secrets with crosstalk But some of them we got to hold back.
DG: We need some advantage here. Okay. So you've been... This is your fifth company. Everybody has all these different processes for goals. You have Google and you have OKRs, you have Benioff and Salesforce V2MOM.
Uncle DC: inaudible we had MSpot. crosstalk
DG: Is that stuff important? Or is it to each company you kind of figure out what-
Uncle DC: I think each company creates their own environment that works for them. I think it is important to at some point, once you have teams of teams and you start to get into that post startup phase as we talked about in the last episode, and you start to go into that initial scale phase, it becomes important to start to set goals like that transparently within the organization. Because now, you have managers and you have people who are working teams that need clarity on where to go. And I think that's one area where we can improve a lot in 2017.
DG: All right. So what's our takeaway from this? Is it go out and set goals, just sit down and actually write them out?
Uncle DC: Sit down, write those goals. Try not to go more than three goals. You can have some sub- bullets. Next move, three under each goal. Then qualify that goal. Find an accountability partner, either in your company, or personally and publish those. Better yet, one of you publish them on medium, or on your blog posts, or on Twitter and hit us up. We'll hold you accountable. I'm good at holding people accountable.
DG: That's true.
Uncle DC: CCD cancel.
DG: I like that.
Uncle DC: I'll make sure you're accountable. So, I'll be your accountability partner free of charge, 2017.
DG: That's a great idea.
Uncle DC: And then once you have those two things, if you can, look at benchmarks when you're setting those goals so that you know that it is possible.
DG: So your personal goals or business goals... Is this like a little Evernote thing, or are you going to go look at this every now and then as a reminder?
Uncle DC: Usually I don't.
DG: You just know what they are?
Uncle DC: Yeah. I'm usually... But now that I've set these publicly and I set these with my peer group, I'm going to be looking at them each quarter and making sure that I'm on track for those goals.
DG: Cool. All right. So go out there. Before you set those goals, we need something though in exchange.
Uncle DC: Yep. Just one small thing.
DG: There's a meme floating around, I've actually seen about this.
Uncle DC: There is?
Uncle DC: Oh, that's cool.
DG: You asking for something.
Uncle DC: Five stars, baby. Let's go. We're getting there. We're making a dent, but we need you to come in, stop holding back. It's the season of giving now, stop holding back. Stop being stingy. Get out there. Guess what?
Uncle DC: My man DG here, he created blog posts. You go over to our seeking wisdom dot IO.
DG: That's true.
Uncle DC: You'll see one of the top blog posts he just created there is, how to leave a five star only review on iTunes.
DG: Actually, it was so easy. I did it eating a sandwich at lunch.
Uncle DC: Did you?
DG: Yeah. I made a video while I was eating a sandwich of how to leave a review. I'm going to put it in the show notes of this and every episode so you don't even have to go find it. You don't have to go find it, it's there.
Uncle DC: Yeah. In case you do, seeking wisdom dot IO. Five stars only you can rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud...
Uncle DC: Overcast, Twitter, Instagram. Whatever you want to do, five stars only. We have a movement starting. Come on, this is it, 2017s the year.
DG: Yeah, we need a headstart, because in 2017, we're going to be one of the top business podcasts on iTunes.
Uncle DC: Now there's a goal.
DG: So help us. All right, we'll talk to you next week crosstalk.
Uncle DC: On iTunes. Let's go five stars, Uncle DC. Come on. Let's do it. Out.