43: Slack, Microsoft, and Shoe Dog

Media Thumbnail
  • 0.5
  • 1
  • 1.25
  • 1.5
  • 1.75
  • 2
This is a podcast episode titled, 43: Slack, Microsoft, and Shoe Dog. The summary for this episode is: If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Last week Slack took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to "welcome" Microsoft to their market ahead of announcing Microsoft Teams. Most of the Twittersphere and press weren't fans of the ad, but we had a little bit of a different take: competition is good. So we talk about that -- plus we revisit a few lessons from Shoe Dog, a book by Nike founder Phil Knight. Here's a link to the Slack announcement if you missed it: http://bit.ly/2fCXSfx Here's a link to Shoe Dog on Amazon: amzn.to/2fmxeGB We appreciate all of the love and support for the podcast. Here's a link that David mentioned on the show about how to leave us a five-star review on iTunes: bit.ly/2fmvP31 Connect With Us! Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. Come hang out with us at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com.

Dave: Man.

DC: Dave is slipping, people.

Dave: We just had a little accident on our podcast.

DC: Tell them what you did.

Dave: We were bringing the heat and the recorder wasn't turned on. But, luckily, I noticed five minutes in.

DC: Uh-huh(affirmative). Five minutes into an episode.

Dave: And the worst part is, before we were doing this part, before we started recording, we talked about what we were going to talk about on this episode. We were going to do a book review of Shoe Dog.

DC: Yes.

Dave: DC told me we've already done that.

DC: Yeah.

Dave: So that's twice-

DC: That I told him, he's slipping today.

Dave: ...I got caught slipping today. It's okay. You're allowed to slip, every once in awhile. It happens to the best of us.

DC: Please troll him on the internets. Call him out. He's slipping.

Dave: All right. Here's the deal. So we've talked about Shoe Dog, but we haven't talked really, specifically, about a couple management lessons. So that's what we're going to talk about today. And because, we love the book and we want you to have it, we're going to give away a bunch of copies of the book too.

DC: Damn, boy.

Dave: Yeah. I appreciate you sticking with me right now.

DC: You're nice to those people. Our people.

Dave: So, before we get into Shoe Dog, I want to get your take on something that happened last week.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative). Give it to me.

Dave: Slack versus Microsoft.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave: So, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably saw it. But just in case you missed it, Slack basically came out ahead of Microsoft who was supposed to announce their Slack competitor, Microsoft for Teams. They took out a full- page ad in the New York Times and they wrote this whole dear Microsoft letter. The title was basically, Dear Microsoft. Wow. Big news! Congrats on today's announcement. We're so happy to have some competition in this space. And you pointed out, this goes all the way back.

DC: Yeah. This was based... Right. Nothing is new, as we say. This is based on a very famous full- page ad that was taken out by Apple back in the day, when you guys were still youngins, when you still had braces and Uncle DC had Benzes.

Dave: inaudible that's good. I was waiting crosstalk.

DC: Back then. And it was against IBM and it was calling out IBM for getting into Apple's market.

Dave: Yeah. So last week when you saw this, you sent me a message. And initially we were both like," Wow, this is..." We've been talking a lot about copywriting and old school ads and branding and positioning-

DC: And about doing our own?

Dave: Doing... Yeah. And thinking about doing our own. Yeah, for sure. And this is something that struck a chord, like emotionally with both of us. And Elias who saw it too, was like," This is awesome. Nobody does this anymore." But then looking at Twitter and looking at the press, the overall reaction was negative. So, The Verge had a headline," Slack shows it's worried about Microsoft with a full- page newspaper ad." The Next Web," Slack sounds scared as hell in it's open letter to Microsoft." But you didn't feel that way?

DC: No, I loved it. It was awesome. I loved that they called them out. I think, it was a little snarky, sure. But I think the message and the tone in there were good. I liked that. You know-

Dave: Do you think people were mad because like... Or they didn't know how to react to it because nobody does that anymore? Like, we're just in a different era of where everything is all good?

DC: I think we're in the PC era. I think we're in the era where everyone wears bubble wrap and is offended 24/7. And they're scared to say what's on their mind. And we're in the era of trolls and haters out there. But there's one common thing... Do you know the common thing that all haters have?

Dave: Tell me.

DC: You know the one thing?

Dave: They haven't done it?

DC: No results.

Dave: No results, man.

DC: Strange man. I'm always looking, I'm like inaudible.

Dave: That happens all the time. So, I'll get trolled on a thing that I wrote from the guy who has one follower.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative). He's like," You better work on your game. Step it up, Dave."

Dave: Has never written anything.

DC: Mm-hmm(affirmative). Okay. So I think people are trolling, people were offended. People are looking to be offended. This is the era of looking to be offended, right? And I think it was good. I think it's good to call out some healthy competition. I think people are afraid today to say they have competition. Everyone wants to paint a picture of," We have no competition. We're first to market. We're the only one, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." If that's true, there isn't a market. You have competition.

Dave: This is one of my favorite things that we talk about, you know what I always notice now, any new product that you see on Product Hunt.

DC: Yep.

Dave: Go look today. Like after you listen to this podcast, go to Product Hunt and look. The second or third comment on every single new product is," Well, how is this different than X?"

DC: Troll alert.

Dave: Because there's just like, we're not five, six years ago, 10 years ago, where there was one new app or new product released a week, right?

DC: Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Dave: This is like, it's so easy to make things today that everybody can do it.

DC: Yeah. And what's great about lots of things being made is that each one of those is trying to find a niche. And so, you'll always have the troll who comes out and says," How's this different than whatever? How's it different than X? How's this different?"" Tell me why it's better than B. Tell me right now, why I should use this?"" What? I'm not going to tell you why you should use this." Right. Use it or don't use it. That's the era that we're in, right? Like, you can use software and you can choose the software and the brand that you want to be associated with and that you like. And a world of choice is only a good thing in my book.

Dave: Yeah. And like this... I mean, this goes back to two of the most classic ads of all time, the Apple and IBM one.

DC: Yep.

Dave: The other one, which I like even more, is-

DC: Tell me?

Dave: ...Avis versus Enterprise.

DC: Tell him, tell him, tell the people.

Dave: So this is-

DC: They don't know about this.

Dave: Google Avis, We Try Harder. So Avis came out at the time and they were not the number one car-

DC: This is so old, I didn't even have Benzes back then.

Dave: So, yeah. So, Avis was not the number one car renting service. It was Enterprise. And all the features were the same. You could make a feature checklist, whatever you want to compare it to, all the same.

DC: It's a rental car.

Dave: So Avis came out and they said," Here's why you should go with us. You should go with us because we're number two. Because we're number two, we have to try harder to earn your business."

DC: I love that.

Dave: That was the whole campaign.

DC: Honest, yeah.

Dave: And just like that, they were able to eat into the Enterprise market.

DC: And you know what happened after that?

Dave: What happened?

DC: Some smart dude, some genius came in and said," We can't say we're number two, man. Let's change this ad campaign." Guess what? They're not number two anymore.

Dave: Yeah. This is like... I mean, go back and look at all this stuff. The number one way to address competition is to get out ahead of it.

DC: Head on.

Dave: And that's why, I think, we liked the Slack thing so much.

DC: Yeah. And people, we love... Something about it, that we all love competition, right. We love rivalry. We love sports. We love that battle. But for some reason in this new era that we're in, we're all offended. We can't ever say that someone's our rival. We can't say someone's our rival and shake their hand. Right. It has to be, one or the other. It has to be binary. And that's not true. Everyone has a different choice. And so people can make choices and we need to accept people and accept the choices that they make.

Dave: It's funny. We... Like, the general population doesn't. But if you look at like... This feels like something Benioff would do, Steve Jobs would do, Bezos, Larry Ellison. Like-

DC: Big time.

Dave: But then, if you say that to somebody, they're like," Yeah, but how many people are those guys?" It's like, that's exactly the point.

DC: That's the point. But in the era that Bezos and Benioff and Jobs, and some of those people would have done it, it was pre... Pre everyone being offended, pre troll maximization-

Dave: Everyone didn't have the megaphone. Like, yeah.

DC: Exactly. Exactly. So lots of people may have felt it, but there's a reason that it was iconic. They stood up and they stood up for themselves and for what they were going after. And they differentiated in the eyes of their customer about why they should choose them.

Dave: Yeah. All right. So that's it. I'll put the link in the show notes, but go read it. Tweet at us, tell us what you thought. I know that the overwhelming majority of people didn't like it, but if you did like it, tell us. I want to hear from you.

DC: I want to hear you.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: It's all right if you're a hater. We'll still like you.

Dave: Yeah. You can choose to unsubscribe.

DC: Please hate on me.

Dave: Yeah. Please hate. He needs more, DC is fueled by haters.

DC: Damn, I'm low on haters.

Dave: It's been running low. Too much love.

DC: Yeah, crosstalk.

Dave: Too much love, lately.

DC: More hate. Send me some hate mail.

Dave: All right. So we're going to talk for a minute about Shoe Dog. Now-

DC: Talk to me.

Dave: We've talked about it.

DC: Epic book.

Dave: Epic book.

DC: Go buy you a copy.

Dave: So a couple of things. The book is from Phil Knight, Nike's founder. They wrote the book from 1962, when they launched the company, up to the IPO in 1980. And this is what I know you love about the book.

DC: What's that?

Dave: This whole idea of, the 18 year overnight success.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative). Phil Knight is the master, billionaire uncle. That's my super uncle right there.

Dave: But what you always will say is," Nobody wants to hear that story."

DC: No. Nobody wants to hear that story. Just me and you crosstalk and the people listening to this show.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah, the Seeking Wisdom.

DC: Because it's painful. Nobody wants to hear that painful story. They want to hear, overnight success.

Dave: Right.

DC: And I love this Phil Knight book. I mean, this is real. This is... The way that I described it was, this is The Hard Thing About Hard Things, one of our other favorite books, by Ben Horowitz. That's about software. This is about the same exact idea, but when it comes to physical products. In this case, sneakers and clothing, and what have you. It's the same story and it's the same reason I love it, because it is to me and to everyone who goes through this journey, it is what it's actually like to be someone who goes through this thing. It's not the infomercial version. It's not the Kim Kardashian version. It's the real version of what it feels like to go through this.

Dave: Right.

DC: So it's good to know you're not in the struggle alone.

Dave: Yeah. So he has a section in the book where he's talking about doing sales and he was never comfortable as a sales guy-

DC: But what did he do?

Dave: So I pulled out this quote because I want you to speak to this as a founder, basically. Sales always made him uncomfortable, but he was able to do sales because he truly believed that his product was better. And he believed in running, like that's... You know, making shoes for runners, right?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Dave: And he said," So why was selling shoes so different? Because I realized it wasn't selling. I believed in running. I believe that if people got out and ran a few miles every day, the world would be a better place."

DC: So important. So overlooked here, right? First, this idea of finding the thing that you're passionate about and that you believe in, and that's when you start to sell. So people think about selling widgets and selling random stuff and selling whatever product that they've put in front of them. And they think about sales in a negative context. But when you're selling something that you truly believe in, I don't think it's selling anymore.

Dave: No. If you and I are walking to lunch and you have this jacket that's amazing and you love it, you're not thinking about selling me on this jacket. You're like," Yo, it's cold out. This jacket's unbelievable. You got to get this jacket."

DC: Exactly. I'm enthusiastic about it. So I love that. And then the other thought that I had when I was reading this. And Phil goes into how he went door to door and traveled across the country and used his savings from his day job. He had a day job, people. He didn't get any... He didn't have any fancy fundraising or anything like that, so he was doing this at night.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: How he was pounding the pavement year after year, after year, after year. And I read it and I thought to myself for a second," Damn. I'm weak. I'm weak, boy."

Dave: Right. Because you sit at a desk.

DC: I'm soft. I got to harden up.

Dave: But the point is, it's so... Like, you're signing up for the grind, you're not signing up for a year project. You know?

DC: Mm-hmm(affirmative). Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Dave: This is the whole, like... We did this episode where you talked about the story of walking into the water and being held under water.

DC: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm(affirmative).

Dave: And I think, I wanted to ask you that, because I thought you would react that way. Because it's true, you're signing up for this long- term thing and the only way that you can put that grind in day in day out, is if you actually really get fired up about what you're working on.

DC: Yeah. You're fired up to inaudible in it and you believe in what you're doing. But I think the second reason, which Phil talks about in his book. Kind of, not directly, but you have to read between the lines, is like, he had gotten to a point where he had spent so much time and he had borrowed money from his father. He had spent so much energy. He had employees and he still was an employee of his own company. He started to work a day job. That he had reached that point that we've talked about in the past, where he had burned the boats. Where he had no way-

Dave: There's no way back.

DC: No way back. I got to make this work. And I think that's what, out of sheer desperation and terror, right. And wanting the best for the people and the team that you've put together. That's when I see business owners, entrepreneurs and creators really win because their back is against the wall and they're like," There's no way out. I've got no escape hatch. I can't go get a job at Facebook and escape my way out of this."

Dave: And he said, the hardest part for him was that... The hardest part was hiring the early team. Because he said," I wanted everyone else to feel that same gut punch way that I feel about this business."

DC: Yeah.

Dave: And so, it's hard to find those people and to set that expectation and realize that maybe not everyone is going to think that same way.

DC: Yeah. Man, tremendous book.

Dave: Yeah.

DC: How come you haven't read it yet? What's wrong with you?

Dave: crosstalk One last lesson, one last... Because we're going to give them the book first.

DC: Okay. Okay. Okay.

Dave: One last thing, before we end this note. He had this line on management." Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with the results." And I mentioned this to you, and you said, this is something you've thought about a lot over the years.

DC: Oh, all the time, right? So this is... You start out as a young grasshopper and Phil was young when he did this, so I don't know how you had the foresight to do it. But where you want to tell people how to do something, then you grow into what Phil did. Which was, tell them what you want done, why you want it done and let them surprise you and see what they can do. And this is like, if you read something like The E- Myth, right. Great book. So if you're thinking about starting a business, or you already have, read The E- Myth, because it basically tells you how to think, just like Phil did, about empowering people on your team. And that's what separates you from building a business, from having a hobby and being a one- person company. You need to release and you need to be able to do that.

Dave: Did you have to see that firsthand. Like, did you have to understand that there are multiple ways that people can solve the problem?

DC: Yeah. I think, you have to... For me, I had to do it the wrong way, right. Which is just like, crosstalk be to involved in managing and then you get burnt out. And this is where people get out, right? I'm not a super believer in burning out, but this is where I think people burn out and waste a lot of energy, really trying to control every piece of the process instead of empowering the team and letting them rise. And then all of a sudden, it becomes their solution and they're working hard and they're passionate about it because it's something that they want to do versus something that they've been told to do.

Dave: Mm-hmm(affirmative). Yeah. All right. So let's wrap it up. We got to give away some books.

DC: All right. How...

Dave: Set the the number. I'm going to ask you.

DC: How many? Oh, damn. You put me on the spot.

Dave: What are you feeling like?

DC: Let's go. I'm going to go with lucky seven. Damn!

Dave: Oh, I like this. I like that.

DC: We're going big today.

Dave: Okay. So here's what you got to do. The first seven people, take a screenshot of Seeking Wisdom playing, this episode playing. Tweet at us @ Drift.

DC: Oh wait, hold up. I got something.

Dave: Oh, oh.

DC: I got to jump in here.

Dave: Hit me.

DC: If you've already gotten a book from us-

Dave: Yeah, don't do that.

DC: Don't do that, man. Don't be that guy.

Dave: We're all about learning.

DC: We're all about learning. Let some other people get the book. This isn't a library.

Dave: Yeah. Yeah.

DC: Well, we love you. But this ain't a library.

Dave: Seven new people?

DC: Seven new people, hit us up. We'll get you a copy of the book.

Dave: Yeah, paperback, Kindle. However you read it.

DC: Kindle, whatever you want.

Dave: We have a nice little system.

DC: Dave will hand write it for you. Whatever you want.

Dave: I will hand write you a note that... Maybe, I don't know. We'll see.

DC: Maybe. I don't know.

Dave: All right. So, anyway, tweet at us. Take a screenshot. Tweet @ Drift. First seven people who haven't gotten the book yet, we're going to hook you up.

DC: Five star reviews. Only-

Dave: Oh, only.

DC: Only, minimum crosstalk.

Dave: It's my favorite part of the week when crosstalk we have the app that feeds those reviews into Slack.

DC: Oh, yeah. You know, one interesting thing which we need to put in the show notes here is-

Dave: What?

DC: ...We're going to put up a big, giant link," Here's how you leave a five star review," with a link to the right place. Because we got a lot of emails last week and appreciate you people. Got my boy out in Italy-

Dave: Wow.

DC: ...emailing me, saying," I don't know where to leave a link. I'm going to leave a five star review. Where do I go?" So we're going to put a link in the show notes.

Dave: Sure.

DC: Click on this, five star review. Leave two, leave three, leave five of those suckers if you want.

Dave: Yeah, you sign in under a different name. crosstalk Like, use your kids' iTunes account.

DC: Or whatever. Get your wife, get your husband, get your boyfriend, get your neighbor. Tell them we need five star reviews.

Dave: All right. We're out.

DC: Boom.


If you liked this episode, we bet that you’ll love our blog content. blog.drift.com/#subscribe Subscribe to never miss a post & join the 20,000+ other pros committed to getting better every day. --- Last week Slack took out a full-page ad in the New York Times to "welcome" Microsoft to their market ahead of announcing Microsoft Teams. Most of the Twittersphere and press weren't fans of the ad, but we had a little bit of a different take: competition is good. So we talk about that -- plus we revisit a few lessons from Shoe Dog, a book by Nike founder Phil Knight. Here's a link to the Slack announcement if you missed it: http://bit.ly/2fCXSfx Here's a link to Shoe Dog on Amazon: amzn.to/2fmxeGB We appreciate all of the love and support for the podcast. Here's a link that David mentioned on the show about how to leave us a five-star review on iTunes: bit.ly/2fmvP31 Connect With Us! Follow David (twitter.com/dcancel) and Dave (twitter.com/davegerhardt) on Twitter. Come hang out with us at seekingwisdom.io and on Twitter @seekingwisdomio. Learn more about Drift at Drift.com.