#54: The Power Of Peer Groups
Speaker 1: Put Amy on the spot.
Speaker 2: On this episode of Seeking Wisdom.
Speaker 1: What?
Speaker 2: You have no idea what I'm going to talk about.
Speaker 1: No idea.
Speaker 2: On this episode of seeking wisdom. We're going to talk about the power of peer groups.
Speaker 1: Hm.
Speaker 2: Oh, okay. So you had this, this idea came from about a month ago, you partook, partaken.
Speaker 1: I don't know.
Speaker 2: You, you did this CEO forum.
Speaker 1: Yep.
Speaker 2: And you said to me, you just got beat up for three days and then you came back and you said, man, we need to do a podcast episode on the power of peer groups.
Speaker 1: Yep.
Speaker 2: And so we talk a lot about role models, explain a little bit about like, what was like the revelation that you had while you were there? Maybe, you know, you already knew it obviously, what reinforced this for you while you were there? Why is this so important?
Speaker 1: So, so this was kind of a three day kind of CEO kind of peer group. And these were all people that I didn't know before. I actually knew one person, but I didn't know the rest of the folks that were there and lots of interesting things in the way that they structure it from, not having access to cell phones and email and having to go through from, 8: 00 AM to 11: 00 PM, dinners afterwards.
Speaker 3: It was nice. DC was nice and quiet for Two days it was glorious.
Speaker 1: No one is sending, no DC saying DG messages all day. We should have a message count. We should keep like a, Time Square has those tickers. We should have a ticker seeking wisdom, ticker that shows how many messages I sent it to you.
Speaker 3: I was like, I need Somebody to build me an app and it's just called inbox. And it just takes my Instagram DMS, my Snapchat DMS, my Twitter DMS, my slack messages from you and just aggregates them all into one place. That would be amazing.
Speaker 1: I hit him. I usually hit him up on like four at the same time with different messages.
Speaker 3: It's great. It pushes you to get better.
Speaker 1: Anyway, so we were offline and it just reinforced to me this kind of idea that we've talked about in the past, which is like the power of peer groups. So we were all in one room, just like being open and transparent about all the problems and worries, and opportunities and questions that we had across our companies. Not only our companies, people were sharing about their personal lives, about things that they're struggling with. And it just reminded me of the power because it gives you that context that you don't have. Right. You always feel like you're alone,
Speaker 2: Were you sitting there being like, was it a reminder of, man, everybody's going through the same shit.
Speaker 1: Yeah, everyone is suffering their own pain. It's like when you're growing up as a kid and you think everyone's family is normal, but yours, right? Like your family is crazy. And everyone else's family so normal. Every time I go over there to their house, it's so much cool and normal. And then the older you get the more you're like, man, everyone is crazy.
Speaker 2: I love this topic of peer groups, because I think it basically packages up a bunch of things that we talk about a lot, which is, number one, like the importance of role models and that it doesn't always have to be a mentor. It doesn't have to be a formal thing, but also this thing that you love, which is the power of benchmarking. And so I'm sure being around all these people was just like reinforcing for that.
Speaker 1: Well, yeah. On so many levels, right? One, we were at different stages. So a lot of them were a lot for older companies. Maybe they had a higher revenue, they had been around longer, they had different models. Maybe some of them were younger or lower revenue, but so they were all over the map. And so you have context on a whole bunch of things. Like one is like obviously the numbers and the financial performance, but the other is, well, what is your team look like? And how many people do you have here? And what problems have you had at this stage? And all of those kinds of like people problems. And then you have investor questions and personal questions and all of these kinds of things you're benchmarking on. Or we were benchmarking with peer groups, like on multiple dimensions at one.
Speaker 2: So, all right. So you've given me this advice, but I want you to give it on this podcast, is what advice would you give to me? I don't have a peer group. I'm listening to seeking wisdom. Do I need to like, go apply to this? How do you create a peer group? What's the actionable thing that people can actually do?
Speaker 1: I say this to Dave all the time. I'm always on him to get more peer. One, to make sure you have a peer group that you're always benchmarking against and learning from, to make sure that you're, as you're trying to progress that you keep upgrading your peer group, I'd say like, that's probably a mistake that most people have like that most people do is just like, they stay with the same group over time and you need to be, if you're trying to progress, you need to be changing those over time.
Speaker 2: I want to unpack that for a second because this is, here's a real example of that is like a thing that you push that you've been pushing me to do is right now we have 25 people, right? You said, it's great. Go find people who are doing things at this stage, but also you need to go find the people who are at 100 person, 200 person, 300 person companies, and learn from them now. So you're ahead of the game when you actually get there.
Speaker 1: Nothing to apply. So how do we do that? We say like, here's a list of people that I may know, or that you may know at these different companies and different locations. What have you, start talking to them? Right. And it's not going to be always as formal as what I did, which is like this three- day thing. It could just be you make up an email list of these people. You send them notes, you send them messages, you go to their website, you talk to them on drift and you message them and just have conversations with them. And then you kind of correlate that together. And then you keep doing what I suggest to you, which is like, that's great. And you learn from those and you keep iterating. And then as time goes on, have you put together that next peer group, which is like, you were talking to people with 25 and 50 employees, like now it's time for 50 to a hundred. And in six months, you're going to be talking to about a 100 and 150.
Speaker 2: I can't actually, I can't stress how easy it is. It's easy to make an excuse to do it. One of the things that I was trying to do the last couple of months is as we head into 2017, we're basically taking a little bit of a, we're adding on a new path from a sales perspective. And so we're going to have a free version of drift like we do today and continue up through business and enterprise plans. And so I've been going, just finding people who have similar, like literally looking at our pricing page and going, finding SAS businesses with a similar pricing model and just hitting up their heads and marketing and being like, Hey, I'm going through the same things. Would you up for a chat? I think it's a hundred percent hit rate across the board because what I didn't realize is it's not traditional. Like, Hey, can I pick your brain over coffee? Where the two sides don't have anything to offer each other. Most of these people are like, yes, I've been wanting to talk to somebody too. Like, this is going to be so helpful.
Speaker 1: They have, everyone has their own insecurity, right. In no matter what stage they're at. And so they're looking for peer information as well, and they're looking to learn from each other. And so you keep doing that and keep progressing and keep creating new peer groups. Now we're going to work on peer groups for Amy, who runs all our video stuff here. She's in the background. She's there, she's listening. And that's why I mentioned her.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So then that is the plugin that we got, the seeking wisdom video. Now the video we got to show the people and soon we might even be in a different studio, we're going to see where this whole thing goes.
Speaker 1: We can only have a new studio. If we get five star ratings and more people subscribe. Right. How are we going to build a new studio with not upgrading.
Speaker 2: Somebody left in a review? They said, if I could give you six stars, I would do it.
Speaker 1: I love that person.
Speaker 2: People are logging into, seeking wisdom is making people that haven't logged into iTunes in years. They're logging in and they're leaving reviews.
Speaker 1: Yeah. We got a note from someone who hadn't logged into an apple product in a decade, and they logged in and left a review on their girlfriend's phone. That's a fan. What's your excuse. Let's go click on that iTunes link, leave a review, hit subscribe so that we can build a new studio and we can have new gear for Amy to blow up this video game.
Speaker 2: I like how that sounds.
Speaker 1: Yeah. She said subscribe
Speaker 2: After you go to iTunes, do me a favor. We have a whole new channel. We have a whole new channel. Show them. This will be Meta. You got to let them know. Hold on, hold on. Yeah. Tell the people, tell the people, Amy, this is thousands of subscribers on the seeking wisdom podcast. Tell them what you want them to do. Tell them what you want. What do you want them to do?
Speaker 4: Guys, I really want you to subscribe today. It would mean the world to me.
Speaker 2: What are the benefits of subscribing on YouTube?
Speaker 4: My affections.
Speaker 2: Seeking wisdom? Amy's in the house. We're out.