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Episode 172  |  34:01 min

#Exceptions 6: Data, Ego, and the Search for Truth with ProfitWell

Episode 172  |  34:01 min  |  10.19.2018

#Exceptions 6: Data, Ego, and the Search for Truth with ProfitWell

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This is a podcast episode titled, #Exceptions 6: Data, Ego, and the Search for Truth with ProfitWell. The summary for this episode is: A brand based on truth? That's what ProfitWell co-founder & CEO Patrick Campbell has set out to achieve. But what is a brand based on truth exactly? Well, it's about going deeper to cut through assumptions and push past egotistical decision making to find...the truth. With so many metrics, it's all too easy to pay attention to what makes us feel good, rather than what's actually good for our business. So how do you actually face the truth? We dive deeper in today’s episode of #Exceptions to find out.  In this episode: 1:40 - Introduction to ProfitWell 2:25 - What makes ProfitWell different? (The idea of Truth) 3:58 - Andy Cook’s experience using ProfitWell 6:14 - If ProfitWell were a person, who would it be? 7:30 - The fear of not making money vs. how to maximize your business 9:30 - Face the truth-Brand, Product and Content 12:00 - How many businesses start with a faulty foundation 13:54 - Build the foundation of your understanding first. 14:28 - Hear from ProfitWell’s founder and CEO, Patrick Campbell. 15:12 - Explore how brand is truth 17:00 - Understanding what you stand for is brand 18:33 - ProfitWell’s dashboard is free because it highlights problems. 19:40 - Solving the cause of the problem 21:20 - ProfitWell’s content 25:55 - Patrick’s take on building an audience 27:06 - Are you building your brand around a unified concept? 28:11 - What is the one simple idea that customers are really after? 28:23 - Can you package it as one simple story? 29:46 - Does your content actively pursue the truth about your customers’ problems? 30:54 - Have you actually found the truth? - Set aside your ego. Before you go, leave a 6-star review and be sure and share this podcast with your friends! And connect with us on Twitter. Follow @jayacunzo, @seekingwisdomio and @drift.
A brand based on truth? That's what ProfitWell co-founder & CEO Patrick Campbell has set out to achieve. But what is a brand based on truth exactly? Well, it's about going deeper to cut through assumptions and push past egotistical decision making to find...the truth. With so many metrics, it's all too easy to pay attention to what makes us feel good, rather than what's actually good for our business. So how do you actually face the truth? We dive deeper in today’s episode of #Exceptions to find out.  In this episode: 1:40 - Introduction to ProfitWell 2:25 - What makes ProfitWell different? (The idea of Truth) 3:58 - Andy Cook’s experience using ProfitWell 6:14 - If ProfitWell were a person, who would it be? 7:30 - The fear of not making money vs. how to maximize your business 9:30 - Face the truth-Brand, Product and Content 12:00 - How many businesses start with a faulty foundation 13:54 - Build the foundation of your understanding first. 14:28 - Hear from ProfitWell’s founder and CEO, Patrick Campbell. 15:12 - Explore how brand is truth 17:00 - Understanding what you stand for is brand 18:33 - ProfitWell’s dashboard is free because it highlights problems. 19:40 - Solving the cause of the problem 21:20 - ProfitWell’s content 25:55 - Patrick’s take on building an audience 27:06 - Are you building your brand around a unified concept? 28:11 - What is the one simple idea that customers are really after? 28:23 - Can you package it as one simple story? 29:46 - Does your content actively pursue the truth about your customers’ problems? 30:54 - Have you actually found the truth? - Set aside your ego. Before you go, leave a 6-star review and be sure and share this podcast with your friends! And connect with us on Twitter. Follow @jayacunzo, @seekingwisdomio and @drift.

Patrick Campbell: For most people on this earth, you've been given the opportunity and quite literally the luxury of being able to choose what you want to do, being able to choose what you can do in your life. And it almost seems like you're wasting your life, if you're not pursuing truth in some manner.

Jay Acunzo: This is Exceptions. The show about why building a brand matters more than ever in B2B. In this series, we go inside some of the world's best B2B companies to understand why they're proactively building their brands to stand out from all that commodity marketing in B2B. These are the Exceptions. I'm your host, Jay Acunzo, author of the brand new book, Break The Wheel. And I'm partnering with Drift to bring you this series. Many of you have come along for the journey so far, and if that's you, thank you. If you're new to this show, you can go back and check out all these episodes. There's going to be 10 total profiling all of these different brands like Gusto, Envision, Wistia, HelpScout you name it. In season one of Exceptions and I'm incredibly excited to tell you that season two is happening. So that means if you are a fan of this series and you have any suggestions for great B2B companies that you'd like us to profile, or maybe even outside the B2B community, stories about brand you think we can learn from inside our little B2B bubble, please let me know. We're looking for suggestions that you want to hear more about. Email me, jay @ unthinkablemedia. com or tweet me @ jayacunzo. Okay, today we go inside ProfitWell. ProfitWell is a main product, is a dashboard where subscription- based companies, SaaS software companies can see the truth about their profit and expenses every month. It's completely free and it's used by over 8, 000 subscription companies, including HubSpot, MeetEdgar and Canva among others. ProfitWell's team of around 50 members operates out of mostly Boston and remarkably ProfitWell operates with no outside funding. The company supports itself through its other high end offerings that generate revenue, that thing you're supposed to actually generate when you build a business, revenue. Those products include ProfitWell Retain, which helps subscription services reduce churn and Price Intelligently, which is actually the former name of ProfitWell as a business and Price Intelligently the product is a service that helps companies, well set their prices in a more good or more smarter way. Yeah, but the first thing I have to call out about this business is that it's very, very different from previous episodes of this series, because while many of the companies I've talked to you so far have brands you could describe as fun or fuzzy or warm. ProfitWell's brand is based on something a little bit different. The idea of truth. If you're wondering how a brand can be based on truth, I'll just say this for now. It's about going deeper to find what I call a first principle insights. You have to cut through a lot of assumptions, a lot of things that you assume you know, and also push past a lot of egotistical decision- making or massaging of the data to find the truth. This guiding principle, this first principle is why CEO Patrick Campbell chose to make a valuable SaaS platform completely free to use. It's also at the core of every piece of content that ProfitWell produces. And later on, you're going to hear from Patrick directly about why truth matters so damn much to him and the entire business. And you'll get a taste of how ProfitWell's quest for the truth has produced some truly exceptional content. But first let's begin our journey to uncover the truth about ProfitWell where we begin all of our episodes on Exceptions with the voice of an actual customer.

Andy Cook: Andy Cook, a co- founder and CEO of Tettra.

Jay Acunzo: The knowledge management tool that they offer, pulls together all of the company knowledge into one place and organizes it and making it easily accessible to all, which then makes things like employee onboarding and process documentation and decision- making much easier and much more aligned. Whereas, many software companies know about the term operating system. Tettra is more of a cooperating system and just like any CEO of any early stage startup, Andy Cook makes dozens of decisions every day. And the data he has access to or lacks, that makes a huge difference in those decisions.

Andy Cook: We try to be data oriented in our decisions as much as possible. So often people make decisions off of gut or historical lore where the answer is just," Well, we've always done it that way." And we live in a world now where you have infinite amount of data that you could use to make decisions. So we try to use data as much as possible because we don't want the loudest person in the room to be making the decision or the person with the highest title or as the person who has to make decisions all the time, the CEO, I like to not make decisions whenever possible. So data is a way to get to the source of truth on what is the right answer and which way we should move forward.

Jay Acunzo: There's an infinite amount of data that subscription companies can use to make decisions on a daily basis. But how do you sought through an overwhelming amount of information to figure out what actually matters? That's where ProfitWell comes in.

Andy Cook: Every single morning I wake up and I check ProfitWell, it's one of the first things that I do to see how much money did we make? Did we lose any accounts? Did anyone upgrade? Just what the pulse and the heartbeat is of the company, and then we're constantly looking at it for all of our SaaS metrics like churn, which new customers we added? Who upgraded? How much cashflow did we get? ProfitWell is our source of truth for everything that has to do with revenue in our business.

Jay Acunzo: I asked Andy, if ProfitWell was a person in his life, who would that person be? And the answer he gave me was one of the most interesting ones that I've heard in response to this question over the course of this series.

Andy Cook: My mother, when I first started getting into startups and starting my own company, which was another startup called Rentability that I started with my brother. As you can imagine, my mother was constantly getting updates and every time I would see her, she would ask. I had to tell her what was going on and like," Oh, we got all this usage and all these people using the product." And she'd always ask," Yeah, but are you making any money?" And I would say no. And then she'd say," Well, the point of being in business is that you actually make some money."

Jay Acunzo: Andy's mom was the person in his life who pushed aside all of the fluff, the less important data and went straight to the cold hard truth. And even though it wasn't always pleasant to talk about that truth, ultimately Andy needed to hear it. And just like Andy's mom was the voice of truth in his life back then. And arguably at home still today. ProfitWell is his truth teller at work. I asked Andy," How does that make you feel as a CEO?"

Andy Cook: My father ran a landscaping business for 30 years that he ultimately closed down in the recession just due to hard times and so growing up going through that as a kid, the fear of failing and not making any money is constantly informing my business decisions. The nice thing now though is that we got to Profitability at the beginning of this year and we're actually raising some money. We're growing again, adding team members. And so I've gone from thinking about not making revenue and that fear of failure to," Okay, now that we're alive and we're not going to go out of business, how can we actually maximize the business?" And so being able to look at ProfitWell and seeing that number go up every month, one keep me from being fearful about going out of business, but two it's just something I'm really proud of and joyful of, and thankful for that we have all these customers who pay us every month for the tools that we're building.

Jay Acunzo: ProfitWell's dashboard may seem like just a snapshot of cold hard facts but for Andy, it goes much deeper than that. For him looking at ProfitWell means staring at the truth. It means putting aside all the chaos and all the overwhelming amount of data or information to actually see what matters and that truth brings up powerful emotions. More importantly, that data gives Andy the tools he needs to make decisions that positively impact his business, so he can finally tell his mother the answer to what she wants to hear.

Andy Cook: So now I'm proud to tell my mom, oh yeah, we're making plenty of money every month and ProfitWell is the source of that number that I tell my mother.

Jay Acunzo: In today's world with so many different metrics to look at, it's all too easy to pay attention to what makes us feel good rather than what actually makes a difference for our business. And it seems like there's always somebody else around, somebody who claims to be an expert or a guide or a mentor, offering a quick solution or an easy fix. It can be so simple to avoid the main thing we need to do when we make decisions at work, which is also our big idea for the day, face the truth. Let's talk about what it means to actually face the truth. First, let's define the truth as it applies to three things, brand, product and content. When it comes to brand, truth means finding what you actually stand for, what the people you employ really believe in and what you as a leader want to espouse in the world. And then it means applying that to every facet of your business. There's that old adage that principles and beliefs aren't true, unless you're willing to say no to something that could yield results, but doesn't align with your beliefs. So for brand truth means aligning around one core concept or belief. On the product side truth comes in many forms, but you can distill it down to this. Are you really solving the customer's problem? Not are you putting a bandaid on something. Not are you treating the symptoms, but are you diagnosing the illness and treating that? A really simple example is the idea of MailChimp. MailChimp's brand is always about helping you sell more, helping you build your brand as a small business, because that's what you really want to do. You don't want to be a master of email marketing. You want to just send more email and sell more stuff and so they focus their product on that, simplicity, design, great copy, little moments of delight like when you're about to send an email and that little monkey's hand hovers over the send button with sweat drops dripping down, and then a congratulatory high five after you send the email. So from a little moments like that, to the actual feature set that they build, they have found the truth, the thing that customers actually want to buy. Nobody buys a better pillow, they're buying a better night's sleep. So when you're building your product, what are people actually trying to buy? Lastly, you can see that content and product work hand in hand at digging into the cause of a problem, at finding the truth. Because as your product works at solving an actual problem, your content can investigate that problem from multiple angles, working over time to help your audience understand it and," Oh, by the way, if you're ready to go deeper, we have another piece of content for you, click here. We have a product you can buy, take a demo, talk to sales, buy it." A foundation of truth is strong, solid, and makes your business actually work across those three fronts, your content, your product and your brand. But unfortunately, lots of businesses don't prioritize the actual truth. Instead, we start with a cracked foundation or a faulty equation. We make brands based on what's trendy rather than finding out what we really stand for and building around that. We create products that make people feel good that maybe solve a near- term problem, but it just leads to yet another problem or pushes the real problem down the road a bit, we haven't diagnosed the illness or we make content that offers how to's and quick solutions. We try to be experts without doing the actual work to develop expertise. In all three of these, we aren't facing the truth. You can take this internally too, internally at our companies. We often make business decisions by defaulting to precedent, trends or the person with the most power in the room or worse, we massage the data to tell the story that we want, whether proactively because we actually want to massage the data or simply because of our own internal biases that we don't even notice, even if we seek the actual truth. So often we're just looking at vanity metrics, the superficial layer of what we can measure or what we believe signals success. For instance, in B2B we love talking about leads in marketing, but often the number of leads a business generates isn't a meaningful data point because it says nothing about the actual revenue. If you wanted to face the truth, you would go and talk to sales or the sales leaders, or just look at your data and understand well, are these leads generating revenue? And not just revenue, not just customers, but loyal customers who don't churn, who stick around and even maybe bring you new customers through word of mouth, they're that loyal. Then and only then could you make decisions that would bring you more of those customers and focus on not just the number of leads but the right ones. Pursuing and facing the truth allows you to build the foundation of your understanding first and then engage the creativity or conviction of yourself, your team and your leaders to build a truly exceptional brand. This applies on every level. From your brand to your product, to your pricing, to your content. So set aside your ego, push deeper than vanity metrics and ignore all the hype around buzzy new trends and start by facing the truth. Now let's hear from ProfitWell's founder and CEO, and the biggest damn champion of truth I've ever met. Patrick Campbell.

Patrick Campbell: Hey, I'm Patrick Campbell. I'm CEO, founder of ProfitWell.

Jay Acunzo: In our conversation. Patrick mentions the truth a ton. In fact, we actually counted. He mentioned it no less than 40 times, don't believe me? Okay. Cue the music.

Patrick Campbell: Truth is truth. You're finding The people who care about in our case truth. There is nothing else but truth. Brand is... and I know we've talked about this a lot, like brand is truth. Truth, truth, truth, truth.

Jay Acunzo: All right. All right. I'm not going to make you hear every single instance that he said truth, but clearly this is the right guy to dig deeper into this idea of actually facing the truth. Let's dig deeper into this idea that brand is truth, this is after all an exploration of that exact topic. In past episodes of Exceptions, we got to know a series of companies who you could describe as warm or friendly. In fact, when I asked a lot of the customers we interviewed to describe the brand, if it was a person in their life, we got a lot of trusted mentors or teachers. We got a lot of friends and family members, but that is not at all how you describe ProfitWell. However, that doesn't mean that Patrick doesn't care about brand.

Patrick Campbell: Brand to me, isn't warm and fuzzy. I think there are elements of brand that can be warm and fuzzy. But I think that most people misconstrue that because they think brand is a logo and maybe a commercial and a tagline. I think brand is... and I know we've talked about this a lot, brand is truth and it's that consistency of that truth. And if you're not having something in your business, whether it's a thesis of how you're going to build your product, a thesis of how you're going to build your content and ultimately something that unifies everything in your business together to be that outward facing, but even internal facing part of your business, then you're going to end up failing or you're going to end up not getting to the goal that you actually want to get to because brand is that tying thread. It's that film throughout the entire company, both internally and externally. And it's neither warm nor fuzzy in the traditional sense. It's really is that truth.

Jay Acunzo: In other words, brand is the core concept around which everything in your business should revolve, from the way you conduct your meetings to the type of content you create publicly. Brand is after all, how people feel about you, the people internally and externally to your business. It's a roll- up or combination of your company's collective behavior. So understanding what you stand for is brand. It's not about a warm or fuzzy voice at all, don't confuse the two. For ProfitWell this gets meta, their truth is the pursuit of truth, get that? Their truth is the pursuit of truth. Your truth might be something different, but ProfitWell's is the pursuit of that word that we keep using. ProfitWell's products helps subscription businesses understand the truth. They want you to know exactly what's happening in your business every day, and when it comes to things like revenue and customer churn, that is crucial. So ProfitWell's truth, their pursuit of truth. Again, meta informs everything they do.

Patrick Campbell: When work internally and when we think about our products, and we think about our content and we think about just everything in the business, it really comes down to truth and to pursuit of truth. So I don't care about building a product that is going to be pure vanity. I'm not going to charge for a product, there's a reason. We don't charge for ProfitWell, that's only going to give you reporting. We really, really care about understanding that insight and then building products that we're going to charge for that actually gets you to the truth of how you can build your business and ultimately are really, really helping those customers. And when we produce content, it's all about trying to find that truth of understanding of," Hey, this is why this is the way it is, and this is why we want to help you with it because it's a problem within your business. And we've found the truth and we found the answer." Unfortunately, I think most businesses and most people, they just don't live their lives that way.

Jay Acunzo: ProfitWell dashboard is used by thousands of teams who all want to know you guessed it, the truth. But ProfitWell, doesn't make a dime from that product alone because says Patrick, the product is built to highlight problems, that's what the dashboard is for. It shows you what's happening, but it doesn't actually provide any solutions. So in Patrick's mind, his company should charge for products that help you solve problems, not just identify them. You now have this truth and armed with that knowledge, you're ready to start doing something about it. For Patrick and his team, that is the part worth charging for. And ProfitWell's marketing aligns with this quite nicely. They produce a ton of content, but it all feels purposeful. You can draw a direct line back to that core tenant of... what's the word again? Oh yeah, truth.

Patrick Campbell: The realization that happened for me, and fortunately I had some good teachers and some good mentors that taught me this, even back in college and high school, was that you can't solve a problem. You have to solve the cause of a problem, because we can point to something that's wrong, right? If we look at our businesses we can say," Oh, churn is high." Or we can say," Oh, growth is down." Or, Hey, we want this metric to do this thing, right? We can identify a problem, but I think what we're doing through our content and just with our veracious nature of how we want to build products in the company that we want to build, we're so focused on, what is that cause, right? And that's really helped us for our content because I think people really respond to that, because all of the marketing that you see and all the content you see most of the time it's all about," Hey, you have this problem. Hey, you have this problem. Hey, you have this problem." I have this thing that's a solution, where I think it's a solution. And I think the issue is that when you start connecting those dots of like," Hey, here's the cause of that problem." And because of that cause, here's what the solution can be. You have that unified analysis and when we look at our content it's sad to say that, yes, we want to build an audience. We want to acquire customers, but really we're doing it for ourselves. Really we're sitting here and we're in this pursuit of truth and we're in this pursuit of, what is the cause of those problems so that we can solve them and that's where everything falls in line because fortunately, a lot of people are also interested in learning that cause. So they want to be with us along this journey.

Jay Acunzo: ProfitWell creates a meaningful and perhaps most refreshing, but powerfully of all serialized content, otherwise known as shows. And these shows look at the fundamental question that they and their customers share through many different lenses. That fundamental question, by the way," How do subscription- based businesses succeed?" They then break down that fundamental question into lots of smaller questions and begin to create content.

Patrick Campbell: Each week, we essentially have someone ask us a question and that question can be around," Hey, what are some good churn benchmarks?" Or," How does customer success impact retention?" Or," How do case studies affect willingness to pay?" And things like that and we basically go out, we do the research, we find the answers to those questions using data. And we basically present that data in a somewhat editorial fashion, but we present that data in a way that," Hey, here's the data, here's our opinion and here's what you can take away from that opinion, or you can form your own."

Jay Acunzo: This type of deep, meaningful and customer driven analysis fits perfectly with ProfitWell's brand. They didn't find some gimmick on some popular YouTube show like posing in front of sports cars and mansions, bragging about knowing the secret or asking guests to eat spicy foods while interviewing them. Those may be entertaining. They may inspire you to make better work. They may quote unquote just work, but none of those gimmicks actually has anything to do with the truth behind the brand.

Patrick Campbell: For us the series or an episodic piece of content that's the only way to really get to truth, because you learn every single week and you can build off of things every single week. Whereas if we were just to write one big blog post, it's like, well, that's it, right? And it's more like academic research where you're basically standing on the shoulders of the giants to the week before or the season before, and you're just continuing to go deeper and deeper and deeper and chipping away at a problem.

Jay Acunzo: Well, what I find so fascinating and I totally agree, like the first time I saw a business article out of college that was like," Follow these seven steps to generate more profits for your business." It was like, really, you're taking something that complex and ever- changing and nuance, and you're just bottling it up in this neatly packaged finite process and there's just no more learning here, that's it. That's all I need. And everything was proposed as a silver bullet. I get if it's a recipe to bake a cake, but if it's this big hairy problem which everything seemingly is in business, it's like it was overly prescriptive types of content that confused me at first. It wasn't like ranking the best players of all time and it's an opinion thing. It was like," No, here's truth. Here is the exact steps you need to take and this result will happen." And I was always calling BS in my mind and very much still do on that stuff. But what you just said it's an exploration. You're not handing someone this finite answer neatly packaged with a rapper or a bow on it. You're like," This is what we're exploring. We're going to learn a lot as we go, come with us to find the truth." So, whereas most people who publish content to promote their brand, I think each interaction they want it to be final almost. You're like," We're going to go deeper here. There's a lot more on this bone that we're going to chew into, come with us."

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, absolutely. And what's funny is people crave the cake recipe that you just alluded to. People crave the cake recipe of how to build something, how to do something, how to solve something, right? You crave that truth. The problem is that people can take advantage of that craving and they can say," Hey, here are the seven steps to solve this really complicated problem." And so the secret becomes having the discipline to try to find that cake recipe, and we're going to find it one day. We know we are because we've already gotten the first couple of instructions. We've already figured that out, but having the discipline to not go into a world where we're selling that snake oil or we're being huckstery about those findings, and instead being honest with folks and saying," Hey, we've solved this part of the cake recipe. We're still trying to figure out the rest of it and we're going to. You can come along for the journey, but we're not quite there yet. You can still use us for this part of the recipe and go from there." And that takes an incredible amount of discipline, especially in the high growth world, because it's easy to go to the huckster, it's easy to do that. And some folks do it much, much better than others but it's still really easy to do it and it's just not truth.

Jay Acunzo: This focus on exploring and getting closer and closer one episode at a time, one topic at a time. It goes against what many people want when they consume content in the business world, which is often a quick recipe or a quick fix, but simply rewarding that desire just publishing that content. Here's a secret, it's void of context but it'll work for everybody, here you go. That kind of content doesn't build an exceptional brand because an exceptional brand requires real commitment from others.

Patrick Campbell: I think it really just comes down to building an audience. You don't go and look into one particular episode of Scandal or one particular episode or whatever your favorite guilty pleasure show is. An just call it a day. You get commitment, you get loyalty, you get people who are just engaged and you find the right people who really care about the problem or the story or the narrative that you're talking about. And that really, really helps build that brand because you're finding the people who care about in our case truth and ultimately are the ones who are going to build our business or invest in us so that we can continue to build our business.

Jay Acunzo: Most people want the how- to guide, the ultimate blueprint. They want that because they think they need that. They couldn't possibly benefit from a slow grind towards real insight. But luckily ProfitWell, isn't trying to appeal to most people, just the people who care about that one thing above all else, the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Let's end, as we always do with three questions we can ask ourselves to build exceptional brands. Number one, are you building your brand around a unified concept or idea? This seems so obvious, but let's break it down into two different pieces. The one simple thing, and the one simple story. In branding, there's this idea of a one simple thing or OST. So for example, Coax for many years was happiness or Zipcars is freedom. Shout out to the OJ branding master, Mike Troiano for teaching me that years ago. But a brand should have one core concept underneath it. We talked to Help Scout, for example and Help Scout believes in simplicity. They might serve customer support agents and their managers just like some of their bigger competitors, but the bigger competitors are stuffing their products full of lots and lots of features and lots of reporting mechanisms for those managers. Help Scout instead prefers to keep it simple. And that desire to be simple applies across their brand, not just in their product. So for you, ask yourself, what is the one simple idea, the real insight behind what you're selling that customers are actually after? Again, nobody buys a better pillow. They're buying a better night's sleep. So what does that one simple thing, that one feeling you want people to have? And then can you package it as one simple story? A story really breaks down into three pieces, a status quo, some conflict and a resolution. So if you're doing the one simple story exercise for this podcast, this series Exceptions, it might sound something like this, status quo for years B2B marketers did not care about brand. They pushed it aside, or it was an outright dirty word preferring instead to compete on competency where the number one player in the market look at our features and benefits. That's not a story, that's just a statement of fact, status quo. But then you introduce some conflict, thanks to the internet. Thanks to today's infinite choice and infinite supply, even in B2B niches, the customer has all the power and they choose to spend both time and money with great experiences that add actual value to their lives. And so, as a result now here's the resolution, brand matters more than ever. And oh, by the way, we happen to have a show about that brand would you like to listen to it? Status quo, conflict resolution. And oh, by the way, now you can talk about yourself once people agree to that resolution. So are you building your brand around a unified concept or idea? What is your one simple thing and your one simple story? Next, does your content actively pursue the truth about your customer's problems? Rather than trying to say in their shows," We got all the answers, so subscribe." ProfitWell does something different, something that great shows tend to do," We're going on a journey together. We're exploring this concept. We're trying to see how deep we can go or how close we can get to the truth or how many people are like this, or where this story leads us, shows our journeys." But I think all of your content should be a journey too. You should be willing to say," We are exploring this idea and here is an insight we've pulled out, here is our answer right now. By the way, we continue to explore these concepts that you the customer cares about on our blog, in our podcast, on our newsletter, on our social. Follow, subscribe, like, buy." Does your content actively pursue the truth about your customer's problems? In other words, are you taking them on a journey or just handing them an answer and they have no more need for you at all? Take them on a journey. Lastly, are you diagnosing the illness or treating the symptom? In other words, have you actually found the truth? This could be internally when you talk about what the data shows or what you should do moving forward, and it could be externally, addressing the problem that you actually solve for customers, instead of the one that most competitors try to address. Have you diagnosed the actual illness, the true problem behind what you're doing? To do that you need to set aside things like vanity metrics and ego. You have to be willing to be wrong. I'm going to do drifts CEO, DC. David Cancel proud right now. When I quote his favorite quote from Charlie Munger, I'd rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong. When you think you have the answer and get complacent and just run the same old playbook accordingly, you have a precise answer but it's a false sense of precision because the world changes, there is no final truth. There's just the constant pursuit of it. You'd rather be vaguely right instead. And when you're vaguely, right, you constantly admit, you know what? I'm always going to find moments where I'm a little bit wrong to the left, a little bit wrong to the right. I have to constantly course correct to come back to center. And that's an ongoing never- ending process. I'd rather be vaguely right than precisely wrong, said another way, I don't want to be right. I want to get it right. Do you actually diagnose the illness or are you just treating the symptom? Look, it's a simple question that we all need to ask today in this world of infinite choice, do you want to be a commodity or do you want your brand to be an exception? This episode was written and produced by Daniella Uslan and hosted by me, Jay Acunzo. The guys over at Drift, want me to tell you that you should give us six stars for this show in whatever app you're using. So if you're using like Apple Podcasts, I guess, head on over there, give me five stars. Then write a letter to Apple Podcast asking them to add a six star, then remember that nobody actually reads letters anymore and try to send them an email. Then remember that Apple is a huge company and they probably don't respond to emails. So head over to the Twitter feed, but they don't actually respond to tweets either. And so maybe just like book a ticket down to California, go to Cupertino, knock on their door, ask for Steve Jobs. Remember that it's actually Tim Cook who is CEO and, oh, by the way, Tim Cook is probably too busy to answer your questions, try to ask for somebody who works in the podcast division, which good luck it's a really small team and then get them to actually put into the product roadmap the ability to rate you six stars or give us five and I'll be super happy about that. Five stars is fine. We apparently like six better I don't know. Thank you so, so much for listening to this episode of Exceptions, we will be back with another episode in just a couple of weeks as we get to the back half now of our 10 episode season one. But remember, season two is coming to start off next year. So take heart if you're a fan of Exceptions, there's a lot more goodness to come and let me know who you'd like us to profile for season two. I'll talk to you soon on the next episode of Exceptions. See you.

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