#105: Public Speaking, Pricing, & Changing How You Learn, with Patrick Campbell

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This is a podcast episode titled, #105: Public Speaking, Pricing, & Changing How You Learn, with Patrick Campbell. 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. ----- This week on Seeking Wisdom we're joined by Price Intelligently CEO Patrick Campbell. He's a pricing expert, a hell of a debater, and he's challenging us to change the way we learn. Listen up. Tweet at Patrick @patticus and let him know you heard him on the show and mention @dcancel and @davegerhardt.

DG: We edit.

Patrick Campbell: I got to watch them now.

DG: Slice the ... No, you don't. I got the explicit tag on Apple Podcast.

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk.

DC: So, who's this talking, DG?

DG: Who's this talking?

DC: Did the podcast start?

DG: Oh, the podcast started.

DC: Are we going?

DG: The podcast started.

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk podcast.

DG: I was going to ask, who are you? But I like when you do the-

DC: The intro?

DG: I like when you do the intro.

DC: All right.

DG: This is somebody who well- known in the SaaS circles. Sneaky behind the scenes I think.

DC: Sneaky.

DG: Ever since we started this podcast two years ago, you've been telling me we got to have Patrick come on. We've got to have Patrick come on. So, why don't you do the intro and we'll explain who Patrick is.

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk.

DC: Sure. So, we have a guest today, who you've heard. His name is Patrick Campbell. He has a company called Price Intelligently.

DG: At Paddicus.

Patrick Campbell: At Paddicus.

DG: Okay.

DC: At Paddicus. I don't know how to spell that.

Patrick Campbell: That's okay. Don't worry about it.

DC: But you've got to find him on the internet. And I've known Patrick since back in the day. I met him when I was doing a company called Performous, in 2010.

DG: Whoa, is that when you guys connected?

DC: Yeah, 2010?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DC: Is that right?

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk,

DG: Pre- HubSpot?

Patrick Campbell: I didn't know enough-

DG: Pre-HubSpot.

Patrick Campbell: ... togive DC shit.

DG: Now you're in the vortex.

Patrick Campbell: Now, I'm elevated.

DG: Now you're sucked in.

Patrick Campbell: I'm in the Vortex.

DC: Now you're elevated.

DG: Now you can give him shit.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DC: So, I met him back then. He started this company, bootstrapped, his company called Price Intelligently. If you're in the SaaS world, I'm sure you've heard of it. They help companies optimize their monetization, and I'll let Patrick say more about that. But because of that, he's got all the datas, he's got all the stats. He's the guy we turn for help on pricing, and packaging, and all those types of questions. And we got him on here. He's young, but he's professor- like.

DG: Yeah, how old are you? How old are you?

DC: Yeah, yeah, let's crosstalk it up.

DG: DC told me a number that I didn't believe today.

Patrick Campbell: What do you think the number is?

DG: Talk into your mic.

Patrick Campbell: What do you think the number is?

DG: DC has a... His perception of time is off.

Patrick Campbell: It's off. Yeah, yeah.

DG: So, he said you were 25. I said you're not 25.

Patrick Campbell: I'm not 25 anymore.

DG: Okay. You were exactly-

DC: You're still 25 in my head.

Patrick Campbell: I think when we met.

DG: That's what I mean, you were probably like-

Patrick Campbell: You were probably 25 in crosstalk.

DC: You were only 23, right?

Patrick Campbell: No, no, no, no, no.

DC: When we met, how old were you?

Patrick Campbell: I was 24, 25.

DC: Okay. All right.

DG: I think you're 30.

DC: All right.

Patrick Campbell: Wait, wait, wait, crosstalk.

DG: I think you're 30.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, I just turned 30 in August.

DC: Wow, I had no idea.

DG: See. Yeah, come on.

DC: I had no idea.

Patrick Campbell: That's okay. I'm okay, but early days I wouldn't-

DC: He's got a baby face. He's got a baby face.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, when I shave, it's awful. When I first started out I wouldn't tell people my age.

DC: Yeah, I remember that.

Patrick Campbell: Because if you look at the world of pricing in the world of SaaS, because we've now expanded into helping-

DG: People would be like, " Well, you don't know shit, you're 23."

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, exactly, they're like, " Oh, all the people in your space are gray- haired and old." And I was like, " Oh, okay." I had someone in a meeting-

DC: You used to wear a blazer.

Patrick Campbell: I still do now. You got me in an off day. I look-

DG: crosstalk.

DC: crosstalk.

DG: Something's wrong today.

Patrick Campbell: I know, something's...

DC: Yeah, yeah. The two of us are hoodied out.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DG: Okay, so this is interesting. So, you would tell people that you were... How did you overcome that? Why is that not an issue? Because 30 is still young, right?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, but it wasn't that I would lie to them and be like, " Oh, I'm 50 years old." Or anything like that. But it just wouldn't be a thing. I would just avoid the conversations a lot of young people make, which is where did you go to school? When did you graduate? Those types of things that when you're out of college-

DG: Redirect. Redirect. Redirect.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, redirect. Like, " Hey, let's talk about this data." But I did have someone, it was the only time it really came up where she was the new CMO at a pretty aggressively growing SaaS company in San Francisco, and she-

DG: Called what?

Patrick Campbell: No. But she-

DG: Got to ask.

Patrick Campbell: She basically sits there and I'm going through the data, going deep, all this other stuff, and all of a sudden, she's just like, " How old are you?"

DC: Just like that. You should have seen the look on her face.

Patrick Campbell: No, like, "Hmm."

DG: Hmm.

Patrick Campbell: Like, who is this?

DG: Were you like, " Oh, shit"?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah. And I'm like, "We're in San Francisco. Like age ain't a thing, right?"

DC: Age ain't nothing but a thing, girl.

Patrick Campbell: And then all of a sudden, like-

DG: Unless you code.

Patrick Campbell: And I didn't answer the question. I was like, " Well, I've been doing this for a while."

DC: Whoa, wrong move. Wrong move.

Patrick Campbell: No, I know. Totally wrong move. And she's like, " Well, how long?" And I'm like-

DC: For a few years.

Patrick Campbell: ... "Like I've beenlike working in tech... No, but I've been working in tech for a little while, right?

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: And I worked in the intel community and doing economic stuff for a long time, but that was not fun.

DC: You got sliced. She sliced you up?

Patrick Campbell: Well, she didn't say anything. She just stopped and then like...

DC: Yeah, meeting over.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, and then it didn't go well after that. Yeah, it was kind of weird.

DC: So, how do you describe what Price Intelligently does?

Patrick Campbell: I don't anymore.

DC: You don't have to-

Patrick Campbell: Because we're going to be ProfitWell now.

DC: Oh, okay, you're changing the name?

Patrick Campbell: So, we're changing the name up.

DC: Okay.

Patrick Campbell: So, for those of you who don't know, we launched a product called ProfitWell about three years ago. It's free subscription, financial metrics, plugs right into Zuora, Braintree, Stripe, whatever you're using, gives you free access to your metrics. And so, we've expanded beyond just looking at pricing, and so we need something that's a little bit different than just pricing.

DG: So, the company was Price Intelligently?

Patrick Campbell: Yep.

DG: When you were Price Intelligently, you launched a new product-

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DG: ...a new business line that was ProfitWell by Price Intelligently.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DG: Why-

Patrick Campbell: Reverse it.

DG: Is it the traction-

Patrick Campbell: Now, it's reversed, yeah.

DG: ... with this one issomething clicked? Like why are you going to dump the Price Intelligently?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, so we're not dumping it, but it's going to be Price Intelligently by ProfitWell, and the reason we launched a separate brand was because we were like, we were bootstrapped. So, we're like, we can't mess up any brand cohesion here, and so it went well, and so now it's like people are confused like, " Oh, are you Profit Well? Are you Price Intelligently? What does it look like?"

DC: And Profit Well is the product, and Price Intelligently is a product plus service. Right, is that how you would describe it?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, exactly. So, now we have Profit Well. The way I look at it from a product perspective is that ProfitWell, like our whole business is we want to show you problems and opportunities for free, that's why ProfitWell's free. We have a pricing audit that sits on top of ProfitWell, retention audit, all these different things, and then, when we make you more money, that's when we're going to make money. So, the monetization stuff, I can look at your numbers if you give me permission and I can say, " Hey, you're ROP is not trending correctly, you need to do this on the Price Intelligently side." Or, " Your churn is awful. You need to use our retain product." So, we have three paid product lines right now. Rev rec, revenue recognition for all the accountants out there, this retain product that helps with retention, and the monetization, which is the pricing side. So, basically, ProfitWell's more of an inclusive brand in that firm.

DC: And all three of them are only for SaaS companies, right?

Patrick Campbell: All subscription.

DC: All subscription companies.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah. So, it's a little semantic, but all subscription, got a lot of media companies, a lot of box- of- the- month clubs like all that kind of stuff.

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

Patrick Campbell: We just crossed, I think it's just the 8, 000th company on there, on Profit Well.

DC: Wow, that's awesome.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, which depending on how you measure it, is about 25% of the market, which we're pretty excited about.

DC: That's amazing.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah.

DG: Where did they come from? How do you get customers?

Patrick Campbell: Which one? How do we get customers?

DG: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk.

DC: crosstalk are there?

DG: Like how many people are on your team?

Patrick Campbell: We have about 40.

DG: You have 40.

Patrick Campbell: On the entire team.

DG: Okay.

Patrick Campbell: On the marketing team we have me, and a couple of other folks. I just took over marketing a while ago, and-

DG: So, you've grown without doing marketing?

Patrick Campbell: We haven't had marketing full- time until a couple of months ago.

DC: Did you hear that, DG?

DG: I heard. I heard that.

Patrick Campbell: And I think the fact that we were bootstrapped really helped because it's all about leverage growth. We're not going to spend a ton of money. The most expensive thing that we spend is SaaS Fest, so we host a conference every year for the past couple of years, and that even is like break even. And that just happened last week.

Patrick Campbell: Just happened last week. Yeah.

DC: Yep.

Patrick Campbell: So, it's three days in Boston. We're going to scale it to some different cities next year, and 2018, which is probably when this is going to go live.

DG: Okay, so you have 8, 000 customers.

Patrick Campbell: Users.

DC: Users.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, company users. Yeah.

DG: 8, 000 people. 8, 000 businesses, users, whatever you call them. You haven't spent on any marketing, where did they come from?

Patrick Campbell: Content baby.

DG: Content.

DC: Content is their biggest thing.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, content. I was just explaining this to the team because we're going to start doing more top- of- the- funnel content, but it's all been bottom top- of- the- funnel content so like-

DC: So, what's that mean?

Patrick Campbell: Writing. So, when you look at your funnel, you're top of the funnel is where you're getting a lot of the visits, and for us, it was more high leverage to write a blog post about pricing, about discounts, about all of these different things that you have to seek out than to write stuff about. Like, let's do a foundry interview with DC, or let's do DC's top- 10 favorite books. Like that kind of stuff, which is more top, top of the funnel, and so that brought in high leverage. So, the traffic wasn't necessarily insane, but it started building that brand.

DC: Yeah, yeah, that's how they qualify it.

Patrick Campbell: And then the other thing that started happening was people would ask us advice all the time, and I normally, even if I knew they were going to give no money in the near future even in the long- term future, I was like, " Sure I'll get on the phone with them." And now, it's like, " Hook up to ProfitWell."

DG: Yeah, because I think just on that, from the outside perspective, I think I have no idea what your marketing has been, but I know that you've built up this resource where if you're thinking about subscription- based pricing, it seemed to be you, or Patrick is the pricing guy, and that seems to be the brand that you have built through content.

Patrick Campbell: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.

DC: Totally. And you have this unique view, because of the products you have, on the subscription economy, and what are the good and bad things that you see in the current going into 2018- market?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, I don't think it's unique, to be frank.

DC: Give us crosstalk. Give it to us, Oracle. Yep.

Patrick Campbell: But I do think it's just what the data is saying.

DC: Sure. What does it say?

Patrick Campbell: And so, I think we're living in this like funny world, where on the venture side, it's like, oh bubble, not bubble. Like there's this huge... Honestly, I don't think the debate really matters. It matters obviously for companies that are raising heavy, but I think for the most part-

DC: He pointed at me when you said that.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, I indicated your way. But I think what typically happens is it's CACs are going up. CAC is up 50% over the past five years.

DC: So, that's cost of inaudible-

Patrick Campbell: Cost of acquisition is up. So, that customer that cost you $100-

DG: Do you have any idea why? Is it just because there's more-

Patrick Campbell: Density, man.

Patrick Campbell: There's

Patrick Campbell: so much density, right?

DG: Yeah, I have 58 ways you can talk to me on my phone, and yeah.

Patrick Campbell: Totally.

DC: Or no competitors.

Patrick Campbell: Well, and here's the problem-

DG: Competitors.

Patrick Campbell: Cash competitors too.

DG: I just met Mindshare, I think the thing that I think about a lot is there's a million channels, right?

Patrick Campbell: Totally.

DG: Like, the example is like if this was the late'90s, early 2000s, and you were doing email marketing, you're probably the first person in the world to do email marketing. You probably got 90% opener rates, 70% click rates. Now there's a hundred different channels that I'm on every single day, how do you know where to reach me as a buyer?

Patrick Campbell: Here's the problem. You're totally right, but it's a conflation of a couple of things. One, there's density from just the amount... Like, think of content, it used to be you put out a good blog post and you were like God. Right?

DG: Right. Or there is maybe two new companies on TechCrunch every week-

Patrick Campbell: Totally, right.

DG: And now there's a whole site, crosstalk where there's 100 a day.

Patrick Campbell: Now it's everything. And now that's happening while you have competition happening. So, there's 8, 000 companies now dedicated to growing. If you look at their H1s on their websites, it's all something about growth, like 8, 000 of those. In addition to that, channels have leveled off. So, it used to be back in the early email marketing days, we are getting a brand- new big channel every quarter. Like every single quarter we were getting a Google, and AdWords, like we're all coming online. Now for the past five years, the average number of channels that are being utilized in the business is about 13, and it's stayed consistent over the past five years, and so that's happening. And then all of a sudden, the other thing that's happening because of all that competition is willingness to pay as the client. And so we've seen this in the data, we've got a million data points on this, where all of a sudden, all this cost is going up, willingness to pay for features because they're relatively easy to build, we're all building quicker, that's gone down, and then, to top it all off, consumers aren't happy.

DC: Yeah, and I'd add one more thing which is more money has moved in to take the arbitrage out of those 13 channels or so.

Patrick Campbell: Totally.

DC: Right?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DG: You talk about this, so this is inaudible. I didn't see the connection, but all the stuff he said, is basically what you've been saying which is-

DC: Just from a different view.

DG: ...the whole SaaS is a commodity, right?

DC: It's a commodity and more money has moved in, and then more money is competing for the same number channels and the same people-

DG: Totally.

DC: And so then the arbitrage aka the opportunity in those channels goes away, it flattens.

Patrick Campbell: Well, and what's interesting too is engineer productivity is leveling off as well. And so all of a sudden, you're not able to build as much, we're not doing our customer development like all the luminaries tell us to do, and consumers are noticing. We've noticed the NPS scores, average NPS score, I believe it was 10 years ago was like 34. Like overall. Average NPS score today, it's dropped to about 10 in SaaS.

DC: It's crazy. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: In subscriptions. And so it's like consumers aren't happy, they're harder to acquire, and then all of a sudden it's like we're all running the old playbook. We're all running the old playbook of five, 10 years ago and-

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative). We're not, but everyone else is.

Patrick Campbell: Well, I was just going to say-

DC: Everyone else is.

Patrick Campbell: I mean and that's part of the revolution on like a shameful plug, I'm not Drift, but we're happy customers, it's like that's the new world order that's coming in is things are focused on brand, no forms, all that kind of fun stuff to kind of bring folks in.

DC: And what do you think is going well in all of this? What's the silver lining? Is there a silver lining or is it just crosstalk-

Patrick Campbell: I think it's-

DG: That face I don't know.

DC: crosstalk look like you're crosstalk.

Patrick Campbell: I think it's-

DG: That face says doom.

Patrick Campbell: Well, I think what's going really well is that folks similar to what's happened in 2003, 2011, out of these two crashes essentially, I think what people are starting to understand is they're like, " Okay, the old playbook isn't working." And so folks who realize retention, monetization has, I think it's like the numbers, it's like two to six acts more high- impact than acquisition. Those folks are outgrowing. Those folks who are focused in customer development, they're growing at 30% year- over- year growth rates than those who aren't. So, all of a sudden, it's like you're getting bigger, bigger differences between the companies who are doing well and not so well, and the companies that are realizing that acquisition is basically table stakes at this point, are doing well.

DC: Totally. And so that kind of dovetails a lot with the stuff that we say at Drift which is the race is towards the customer now. Surrounding the customer. That, and having that speed, and iteration around customer development around that customer, and if you can lock them up right there, that's just where the arbitrage is now, that'll go away too at some point, I think, but the arbitrage is no longer in the acquisition side, right? Like that's-

Patrick Campbell: Totally. It's dollar in, dollar out.

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: Which is crosstalk.

DG: This is what we've been talking about weeks now is the days of open rates, clicks, leads, those days are over. The people that are going to get paid today are the marketing and sales teams, marketing teams, in particular, who are focused on revenue because what you're saying is anybody can go get leads, right?

DC: inaudible leads. Sure.

Patrick Campbell: But I think that the thing is that this is having an ironic correction and that's the stuff that you guys are like, G, we just had him at our conference last week-

DC: That's Giom. VP at Growth here.

DG: Yes.

Patrick Campbell: I'm on the G move.

DC: Yeah, yeah, we call him on the G line.

DG: Oh, yeah, we're just clarifying. We're just clarifying.

DC: For the peoples.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah. Oh, got it. Got it. Got it.

DG: We have some landing pages set up when you google Giom the full word, it's a different funnel.

Patrick Campbell: If it's just G. Oh, got it, got it, got it.

DC: Yeah, yeah, it's different funnel.

Patrick Campbell: Got it, yeah.

DC: That's the amateur funnel.

Patrick Campbell: It's a localization funnel.

DG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, but in all seriousness, it's a great overcorrection because what's happening is, okay, open rates are going down, I'm not going to go after a 15% open rate, I'm going to flip my funnel in some way that I'm going to go after 80% open rates, and I'm not going to care about that funnel unless I have that 80% because that means I'm going after the right users. And that's Gs whole shtick with the tech side of things.

DC: Yeah, focus on intent, right?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DC: Intent before. So, I know something about you that most people don't know which is-

Patrick Campbell: Uh-oh.

DG: Ooh.

DC: ... yeah, you want to know thereare lots of things that people don't know.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DC: But one of them is that you were... I've had to go on stage after this guy which is not good because he's an amazing public speaker.

DG: Yeah, I heard.

DC: But what people don't know is that he was captain of the debate team, right?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, I wasn't captain.

DC: Oh, really? Okay.

Patrick Campbell: I am a national champion though, so I'll throw that out there. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DC: Excuse me, national champion debater.

DG: Oh, it gets better.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

DC: And that's why he can come so heavy at me.

DG: No, I love that topic because I think there is some nuggets in there about how do you use what you learned from debating to be a good public speaker? You told this to us a while ago, but I would love to re- hash some of your-

DC: Your storytelling.

DG: ... your storytellingframework because I know that's a topic people love.

DC: I think and we were talking about this before we were recording, it actually backs up into how you learn the things you learn to talk about. Because, I mean everything is external structure. Like the classic five- paragraph essay you learned in middle school, and then what really separates good speakers or good writers from great writers and great speakers is internal structure. And so, when I talk about someone speaking, it's kind of like, " Yeah, what are your three points? What's your main thesis?" It's the same stuff you learn, but then, what are you filling into the insight of it? And typically, what's really compelling is that first- principle thinking, and then the defense with some sort of data. So, my style's very different than even Cancel's style a little bit, but it's one of those things where it's finding that style and maintaining that structure. And there's a lot, like we could go into a lot on this kind of stuff, but I think that it really comes down to making sure that you have structure. Too many people are like, " I'm going to talk about conversational marketing." And it's like a half hour, and you're like, " What did they say?"

DG: Yeah, go into that structure because I think you have... I can't remember you explained it to me in the past, but it's something about like you're basically instead of making five different arguments throughout an hour- long talk, you always kind of go deep on one-

Patrick Campbell: One thing, yeah.

DG: ...and so I have a 30- minute speaking slot at whatever, your job is like I'm going to spend this 30 minutes, so first two minutes is you're setting up what you're going to say, and then you're going to spend the last 28 minutes convincing you of that way, right?

Patrick Campbell: Totally. And that's what it is because any talk that you give, should be able to be given in 90 seconds. Like I should be able to come up to you and be like, " Hey, the world is changing because of this, and here's why, here's why, blah." You might not be convinced, but that's what the 10 minute's for, that's what the 20 minutes is for, but you should be able to break that down. And so that's the biggest thing is like, first what's the one thing you're going to talk about. What's the one thing you're going to improve, the thesis that you're going to unpack, and then, write out literally point one support, point two support, point three support, and then start filling it in. And then I go into each of those points and I think all right, if I'm objective about this and I'm looking at this particular point, here's what I think would be a good counter- argument. I'm going to add a sub- point that addresses that. Here's another interesting counter for argument, I'm going to add a sub- point. And you basically fill your time, but you're constantly going back to that thesis because I mean, no offense to myself, I don't have the reputation of a DC. Like, DC can walk in for the most part and be like-

DG: And babble.

Patrick Campbell: ...Oh. I remember your first SaaS Fest presentation.

DC: Look at him.

Patrick Campbell: You had like poop emojis all over it. And it was like-

DC: Yeah, they loved it.

Patrick Campbell: ... and it was good, and everyone was like, "Oh, that was amazing. Great talk. Great talk." And I'm sitting there and I'm like-

DC: You're like, " What?"

Patrick Campbell: ...you know what? He's there to sell-

DC: He's got poop crosstalk.

Patrick Campbell: He's there to sell tickets. He's there to sell tickets, right?

DC: That's it. Poop emojis.

Patrick Campbell: No, but then like-

DC: You're like, "What did he just say? What did he say, he didn't have any data?"

Patrick Campbell: Yeah. I don't know and you talked about-

DC: Data free.

Patrick Campbell: ...your daughter, doing the neigh, neigh and all this-

DC: Yeah, yeah.

Patrick Campbell: It was very entertaining, don't get me wrong, but it was like it's one of those things-

DC: This is true.

Patrick Campbell: ...where I was like, " I don't have that." Right?

DG: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: And what I'm going to do is I'm going to come in and very methodically walk through this thesis and defend it, so that when you leave you're like, " Oh, we have to talk to more customers." Or, " Oh, shit, the world is changing." Like that kind of stuff, and just kind of unpack from there.

DC: I think that's important. I think it's important to know what is the role you're playing in an event, right?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DC: Like, if you're a speaker, what is their event? I by now know what my character's supposed to be, so I kind of play into that, all right. My character's supposed to be-

Patrick Campbell: You're the heel.

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: You're always the heel.

DC: I'm the heel.

Patrick Campbell: No, I'm just kidding.

DC: I'm supposed to be-

Patrick Campbell: That's Heaton. Heaton's the heel.

DC: Heaton's the heel.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DC: So, I'm more like the sage, here comes the old man from the hill.

Patrick Campbell: I love it.

DC: Like he can be unstructured. He can just say-

DG: Yeah, like people have read or listened to things you've said, and they want that. They don't want...

DC: Yeah, so I can reduce it down to a bunch of quick quips.

Patrick Campbell: But that goes back to your learning, right?

DC: Totally.

Patrick Campbell: You've had multiple decades, five exits, everything can look into your LinkedIn and see your world.

DG: I want to go to the learning topic. I have that in my notes.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DG: But I want to talk about this thing for a little bit more for a second.

DC: What's that?

Patrick Campbell: Sure.

DG: The one thing I didn't know about you, I know well now because of how much time we worked together, but how much you can, and you do too, how much you care about story telling.

Patrick Campbell: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

DC: That's crosstalk.

DG: That's not that this is a little tip from Patrick to help you do a better presentation. I think once you have a framework for this, this is every headline, every email, every article, every investor pitch, everything, you care so much about storytelling.

DC: Yeah. Someone was asking me, actually it was a friend, Brent, from Evertrue who we all know.

DG: What's up, Brent?

Patrick Campbell: We all know. I know.

DC: What's up, Brent? I actually had drinks with him last night, and he runs a company called Evertrue of which he founded, and he was asking me how did you get into... We were talking about marketing and storytelling and got into this crazy obsession, and he was saying like, " Where did this come from? You're not a natural whatever?" And I said, " I actually don't know. I think maybe a lot of it has to do with I have an obsession with language because I'm ESL, English as a second language.

Patrick Campbell: Love it.

DG: Shout out to Coondo.

DC: Yeah.


DC: That's right, he's ESL as well, and so is Elias here. And so because of that, I've always kind of been obsessed with this power of language because I don't have it at my grasp, so I have to think about it. And so I'm trying to diagnose it. And so, that got me, at some point, really obsessed around storytelling, good copywriting. When I saw messages that will connect, I would often try to understand them from an engineering standpoint of what did they do? Because when I said something, people are not able to connect, so there was something different. And that thing that they just wrote was five words, and I wrote five words, but my five words are not working, so it was kind of like this engineering mindset, plus ESL of how do I make this work? And then once you start to study it you're like, " Oh, this is amazing. Everything is language." Like design and all this stuff's interesting, but at the end of the day, it's this communication that is whether it's written or it's like this audio, whatever it is, it's the communication style and connection that's amazing, and so since then, I've been down this rabbit hole. And I think, Patrick has a totally different approach at it that comes from a different angle, but we're all obsessed around the same thing which is like how do you tell a story because telling a story is the most important thing.

Patrick Campbell: I think it's-

DC: It might be the only thing left.

Patrick Campbell: No, I think it's alignment though.

DC: Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: Because my whole thing is, and you've seen us building companies, and you've seen us being here from early days as well, and past companies it's like, how do you align a company, right?

DC: Yep.

Patrick Campbell: We've had CEOs, we've talked to CEOs and founders where every week it's a different concept, and people are like, "I don't know what I'm supposed to focus on. I don't know what's important." But I want alignment from a visit all the way through that entire sales process onto the part that we're a customer, and the only way I can get that alignment is by telling the same story different ways.

DC: Yep.

Patrick Campbell: I have been giving in some form the same thesis for the past like three years, different data, different points, different pieces, but it's the same thesis over and over again, told in a different way with different objections, with different data because I believed that that's where all the data suggests the world's going and so that helps, and eventually, the story changes as you evolve and as the market evolves, but I think that's where you get alignment-

DC: Oh, totally.

Patrick Campbell: ...not only internally, but also, externally.

DC: Totally. I think I kind of stumbled upon that myself, just analyzing good CEOs that I knew, that I watched for years, and then also, good public speakers, so when I did start doing a little bit of public speaking a long time ago, I was just looking, I was fascinated by some people who were just amazing speakers, but once I diagnosed both of them, I was like, oh, the common trait that I see in the best ones is that they repeat the same story over and over.

Patrick Campbell: Over and over. Different anecdotes.

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: Different stuff.

DC: They just have so many different reps and sets in it that I was like, how are they so natural at it?" It's like, " Oh, they probably said that 300 times.

Patrick Campbell: One thing you can do if you're really interested in this-

DC: What's that?

Patrick Campbell: I would go out and I would pick, particularly in politics aside, Ronald Regan was known for giving the same speech over and over again, just felt a million different ways. Teddy Roosevelt was known for that. Obama was a little bit like that, but I would find maybe pick someone who's got your politics just so you can-

DC: Stomach it.

Patrick Campbell: ...you can stomach it, right. But basically, go read through all of their speeches for two years, and what you'll notice is you'll be like, Oh, this is that inaudible, this is that motif they use, these are all these different things. And also, there's a couple of books that you can get that are just like they're great speeches, and those books, yeah, I mean a little bit of a nerd and those are the things I read, but it's one of those things where you pick up on what's going on, what context they brought in, what metaphors they're using.

DC: That's amazing. I'm going to go buy some books now.

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk.

DG: This is what I was just typing so I remember to say it. I think people don't give that enough credit is knowing it cold. To get up and be great at public speaking, you have to really know what you're talking about, and so right now, you could put me in a room of 10,000 people and I could talk about this podcast and how we launched it, because I know that and you lived it every day. And I think what most people that I've seen get caught up on public speaking is you get up on stage with a bunch of slides that you don't know. You don't really know the story. You don't really feel passionate about it, and then it's hard because then you're trying to memorize stuff. But if you get up there and you really know it and you've put in reps and sets and you've done this presentation, five, 10, 100s of times, then it starts to be easier. And I think the other thing that comes from reping on a speech like that, is then when I give a presentation and you send me a message after like, " Ah, you're poking holes in some argument." Then, boom, I can go update that, add two more slides, all what you said into my next version, so each version then gets tighter, and tighter, and tighter.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DC: Yeah, I think the other-

Patrick Campbell: One thing I will say though is never memorize ever.

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: There's certain things, you should memorize your main thesis, your opening two lines, and then maybe your main points, so basically that 90- second version of the talk because too many people are like, "Oh, I have to memorize." And they have a script and stuff, and inevitably something's always going to go wrong-

DC: It never works when you're up there.

Patrick Campbell: ... in your throat, you'regoing to feel too nervous, and then you're going to be trying to go through this memorized speech and everyone recognizes that-

DG: You're like, " What's my line here? What do I say?"

DC: Yeah.

DG: Yeah, exactly. But that's one thing based off that that I would say.

DC: I think the important thing I learned today, one of these things that we learned from Patrick was beyond just reps and sets, and knowing your material cold, have a framework.

DG: Yes.

DC: Likes, what the framework. The pattern that you're using and follow that framework always.

DG: I love it.

DC: That's where we deviate the most is not following the framework.

DG: We always know what it is.

DC: I'm looking at DG. We know.

DG: We always know. He always knows.

DC: All right.

DG: Ah, wait.

DC: Let's talk about this learning thing.

DG: Yeah, let's do the learning thing and then we'll wrap.

Patrick Campbell: But that's a good segue too because I think that-

DC: Because he's going to come at me.

Patrick Campbell: ...not to be, I mean I'll be more polite than when we text, right? When DC and I text it's like, "Dude, what are you doing with this blog post?" It's stuff like that.

DC: This is stupid, yeah.

Patrick Campbell: No, no, no, no. But it's always constructive, right?

DG: I know.

DC: Yeah, yeah, it's good constructive.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. But I think that the way that we're seeking wisdom if you will to use the name is I think it can be better, I think it can evolve, and here's like the basis of that thesis. I think right now, if you look at this podcast and you look at a lot of business podcasts, this is definitely better than a lot of different business podcasts-

DC: Don't compare this to business podcasts.

Patrick Campbell: Excuse me. What's your genre?

DC: Genre, this stands alone. This is its own.

Patrick Campbell: Okay, this stands alone. When you compare it to other podcasts, let's say-

DC: Okay.

Patrick Campbell: ...I think what we're relying on in the ecosystem is a lot of world tradition and books which are in a lot of sense, and I'm going to get flack for this, glorified oral tradition.

DC: Yep, no, you're right. That's true.

Patrick Campbell: Because if you think about it, there's only three reasons someone writes a book, first one, make money in some fashion, and so they're deluding things down, they're changing the way the people... They're trying to get booking gigs or they're trying to actually sell the book. Second reason is because it's like a summary of their life's work, which is great, but the problem is, is that-

DC: It's a summary.

Patrick Campbell: ...inevitably, it's a summary, and they're teaching you the tactics, they're not teaching you the first principles and the frameworks. And the third reason, it really comes down to they're so passionate about something that they write the densest textbook you've ever had that you can't get access to because it's $ 150, and inevitably, it's one of those things where it's so dense you don't want to read it. Now, there are exceptions, there's really good books out there, like Drucker, there is like stuff from Andy Grove, there's all these books that are really, really good, but-

DG: Did you just say, Drucker?

Patrick Campbell: Sorry, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry.

DG: Drucker.

Patrick Campbell: You're from Worcester, I'm from the Mid- West, like let it go.

DG: Just say it, you don't have to over-pronounce it.

DC: Drucker.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But, what I will say-

DC: Peter.

Patrick Campbell: ... is that ...Yeah, Peter, first- name basis we'll say, yeah.

DC: It's much easier, he's dead. He calls him Pete.

Patrick Campbell: I know, but we still should respect, right?

DC: Yeah, show respect, let's do it.

DG: Mr Drucker, respect.

Patrick Campbell: Mr Drucker.

DG: Sorry.

Patrick Campbell: But here's the thing, so all of that combined, means that when we're writing books and you have your whole book reading framework that you publish, it's great for you because you got all these frameworks, you've been through hiring, firing, working with A- holes, working with wonderful people, all of the things, all of the above, and you have a really, really wonderful filter, but for me and DG, the young bloods here-

DC: Young guns.

Patrick Campbell: ... the young gunskind of coming up, it's we have to take this oral tradition and build a filter, which then requires us guessing and checking, so basically, it becomes about speed, and it becomes about okay, how many things can I test? And this is like the Tasmanian devil over here who's really, really good at speed, but what I think that we should be seeking and I'll give a little bit of a take on-

DC: The Tasmanian devil is DG, not me.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, it's DG here.

DG: That's me?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

DC: I'm the turtle.

Patrick Campbell: That's you.

DG: What's that for?

Patrick Campbell: What was that?

DG: What does that mean?

Patrick Campbell: Tasmanian devil?

DC: Super fast.

Patrick Campbell: You're really good. You're fast, you're moving, you have no time for BS, you're just going, going, going, going, going. Right?

DG: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: And that's how I was running like learning, I was what's the quickest path to learning something and going back and forth? But we can't leap ahead, you and I, to a DC status unless there's a lot of time, and I just don't think that's the case, and so, what I've started doing-

DC: I totally agree with you, time is the missing component.

Patrick Campbell: Totally, and I don't want to-

DG: Yeah, I think you're right. You're definitely right. I think maybe this is just because of my situation, working closely with him, I have a filter, so I basically if he-

Patrick Campbell: Your filter is you or your filter's DC?

DG: No, my filter is him.

DC: Yeah, that's what he's saying, though. I think that's Patrick's saying.

Patrick Campbell: But I don't want you to have that filter, DG.

DG: No, no, I'm flipping on you and saying that that's a positive thing. Look, I still do find things that I want to learn and read, but in the universe of let's say business books, for example, right?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

DG: If he says that this is a good one you should go read it, then I go get it and I read it verse the alternative is I can look at everything in the world and just be paralyzed by oh, my God, all these books, they all say the same thing.

Patrick Campbell: No, no, no, totally.

DG: Like, where do I start.

Patrick Campbell: That's great.

DC: But this is where we always say... Sorry to interrupt.

Patrick Campbell: No, no, go ahead.

DC: My thing is always revisit the best ones because I think you're right, you have to be in the right context, and time, and space

Patrick Campbell: Sure, sure, sure.

DG: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

DC: ...to get something because there are books that I pick up now that I originally picked up-

Patrick Campbell: You wouldn't have thought of.

DC: ...15 years ago. I read them 15 years ago, but they've meant nothing to me, but now I have the right context, time has passed, so the right experience, as you're saying, where it'll be like, okay, now I get this book.

Patrick Campbell: I think there's a better hack though.

DC: Okay, give it to me.

Patrick Campbell: Because this is what I want.

DC: Give it to the people.

Patrick Campbell: I want, so for example, DG, like up- and- coming, phenomenal marketer, right?

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: Like I don't-

DC: Don't gas him.

Patrick Campbell: No, no, no, it's fine. No, I-

DG: No, in my head I was like, say that again.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DC: Up-and-coming.

Patrick Campbell: But legit, legit.

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: The hustle this kid has is amazing, right?

DC: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: It's the same type of hustle that I've got to run PI with, right?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: Problem is, I don't have a DC, and I don't want you to rely on a DC.

DG: Totally.

DC: Okay.

Patrick Campbell: And the reason is because as Drift grows, like Drift is going to grow really fast, it's going to go really quickly, theoretically.

DG: Going to?

Patrick Campbell: It is. No, it is, but you know what I mean? But it's going to grow to like escape velocity and all those different things, $ 100 million company plus, like all that kind of stuff.

DC: That's what I'm talking about.

Patrick Campbell: But I would rather you become the CMO because you're learning so damn quickly, or the VP of marketing, and the VP of this, or the VP of that, or chief event, or whatever you want to be, rather than like that growth passing you by, and I think what happens is a lot of us, the young guns of the world-

DG: It's true.

Patrick Campbell: ...we're sitting there and we're trying to find a DC, we're trying to find that because we don't have a filter. A lot of us can't find it or we don't have the capabilities to work for that person, and I think what ends up happening is that we have to wait so much time or we have to kill ourselves in order to get there. And so, the hack that I found is it's actually thinking about where a lot of this knowledge comes from within books and it's literally using Google Scholar.

DC: Mm- hmm( affirmative). So, tell us how you do it?

Patrick Campbell: So, to use an example, like right now, you guys are all about brand, right?

DC: Mm- hmm(affirmative).

Patrick Campbell: Like, I see the re- Tweets about Ogilvy, I see the re- Tweets about like yeah, we want the relationship inaudible had with Apple, we want to go with Apple, we see all these Tweets and all this kind of stuff. Problem is is like what you're trying to do is you're trying to replicate from the resultants-

DC: Yes, sure.

Patrick Campbell: ...of Apple's experience, right.

DC: Yep.

Patrick Campbell: So, if you try to find the inaudible, and you very well can, you guys have got the cash to do it, it's all great and everything like that. You might find it, but it's a high- risk of failure and you're still going to guess and check. Like, if you try and follow what Ogilvy did, you try to follow what these folks did, you're following the tactics, or like again, that resultant, rather than looking at the product of their success. Now, to find the product of their success, you essentially need to go back and find the first principles in the framework what they did, and I don't think books is the best place to do that-

DC: Where do we find it?

Patrick Campbell: So when I think about brand, I go to Google Scholar and I start searching for loyalty, brand, like creating these things, and you occasionally will find a really, really good business article that was written by some MBA, or economist, or those types of things, but what will end up happening is like there's people who their life's work has been understanding loyalty, sociology papers. I'm finding papers on like the loyalty of LA gangs. I'm finding like the rhetoric of ISIS. I'm finding all of these things where people have studied these extremely high- impact effective groups who have made people do crazy things, and so what I do is I go there, and I find their frameworks because they've been paid or they have been so like-

DC: To reduce it down to the framework.

Patrick Campbell: ...fascinated by this world, that you're going to the first principles because you're finding a framework of how LA gangs recruit. You're finding, okay, unified enemy, like shared iconography, you're finding these types of things, and then it's going to give you the language to start searching for it, when you're looking into things like the actual brand- building of these different companies. And so, what I've don there with that particular example, is now all of a sudden, I've gone to what actually made Apple great, what actually made these things, that framework that I can build and then, all of a sudden, I can start applying that and mix the velocity of my tests just that much better.

DC: DG cut this part of the podcast out. We've got to use this at Drift first before we release it to the peoples.

DG: I'm over here on Google Scholar right now-

DC: Damn, he's busy. Look at him.

DG: What is this?

Patrick Campbell: But this is the thing, though because I didn't go to grad school, but I have a lot of friends who went to grad school the types of stuff that they're studying-

DC: Don't look at DG when you-

DG: I don't have either of those.

Patrick Campbell: No, it's fine. Yeah.

DC: You had no friends?

DG: I didn't go to grad school. I didn't go to grad school, or have any friends.

Patrick Campbell: No, I got a lot of friends who like they didn't know what to do and so they're like, " Oh, I'll be a grad assistant and get high, and hang out, and study shit that I'm interested in." So, I have a friend of mine, he's now a 10- year track professor and he's studying conservative rhetoric between 1950 and 1975. That's the kind of guy, like you don't become that role unless you're real passionate about it, right?

DC: Yeah, yeah.

Patrick Campbell: And most of the stuff we're researching, most of the books we're reading, they're just so deluded that it doesn't give us that framework that we need to be successful, and you do need a filter still, but at least you're dealing with the original products of that reaction, if that makes sense.

DC: I love it. So I'm going to segue now, if you were to start ProfitWell today, what would be different? How would you start it differently?

Patrick Campbell: Ooh.

DC: Let's go. crosstalk.

Patrick Campbell: Hmm.

DC: Would you start it? Or is it too late?

Patrick Campbell: That's a good question. I would've pivoted earlier and I don't know if I would've known about this. I would've started ProfitWell right out of the gate.

DC: Got it, start there.

Patrick Campbell: Before PI. Because I think there's a lot of value in free that we don't realize and I didn't know that for three years in. I think the other thing I'd do, and we were talking about this a little bit, is I would move teams to more outcome rather than product- focus.

DC: Got it.

Patrick Campbell: And this is something that we're just learning and we're learning a lot of this from Heaton, and it's basically just changing the nature of how teams work in order to one, be on this path of learning, so starting to use this Google Scholar stuff because there's everything. Like, I'm telling you. And you might not find the exact thing, like, oh, how did so and so do this? But you're going to find the concepts. And it all breaks down to sociology, psychology, all that stuff in business.

DC: Of course, yeah, because it's people.

Patrick Campbell: Especially with marketing, right?

DC: Yeah, it's just people at the end of the day.

Patrick Campbell: Especially the stuff in there about HR and people ops, holy cow. Like the stuff MIT's doing like in people ops, it's insanely dense.

DC: I'm going to go read it.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, it's insane.

DC: I'll translate it for you, DG, okay, I got you.

DG: Thank you. Send me some text about it.

DC: I got you, yeah.

Patrick Campbell: No, no, no, I mean and it's digestible. You got to go through a lot of crap, but it's kind of like reading those stupid anecdotes you read in a business book, you're like, I'm going to skip that, that's the same thing, I'm going to skip this part of the methodology section and stuff. But I think it's the outcome- based thing. I'm on board of everyone going after one metric, which I know is something that we've talked about, but it's a little bit more, like you've talked about it on the podcast, like getting to the point where teams don't need managers, they don't need meetings, like they're all the mitosis level of building a team.

DC: Maybe we'll have Heaton back for that second one. We'll see.

DG: We'll see.

DC: With Patrick on.

DG: Okay.

DC: We'll have a four- way.

DG: About outcome?

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: crosstalk.

DG: Outcomes.

DC: Outcome- based teams.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DC: How to build outcome- based teams?

Patrick Campbell: It's the new, new in product, man, totally new.

DC: It's new. All right, I'm psyched that Patrick has been here finally.

DG: Yes.

DC: Now, if you love Patrick like I do.

DG: Yeah, uh- huh( affirmative).

DC: Platonic, platonic love.

DG: Yeah.

DC: Go to Apple Podcasts.

DG: Please.

DC: Leave a six- star review. Actually, sign up for ProfitWell, it's free, right? You have a free version?

Patrick Campbell: Free baby.

DC: Free version.

Patrick Campbell: All free.

DC: If you have a subscription business, go sign up profitWell. com?

Patrick Campbell: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: Use

Patrick Campbell: the affiliate link, seeking wisdom slash seeking wisdom.

DC: OG. Put in the OG.

Patrick Campbell: OG

DC: That will give credit. No affiliates here. No, we're not selling anything. And hit up my man on Twitter if you can figure out how to spell @ Patticus.

Patrick Campbell: It's like atticus with a P. Pretty much.

DC: Yeah.

DG: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: There you go.

DG: And tell you heard him here on Seeking Wisdom.

DC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

DG: That would be nice.

DC: Exactly.

DG: That would be nice.

DC: Leave those six- star reviews.

DG: Yeah.

DC: DG's feeling lonely for the holidays. He's feeling sad. He's depressed. He's wearing a gray shirt.

Patrick Campbell: He's got a kid, how is he lonely?

DG: I got a DC and a kid, I'm never lonely. I could never be lonely, that's the formula.

DC: There's not one second.

Patrick Campbell: All DC all the time.

DC: Do you think Patrick, wants to get on my daily messaging list?

DG: I think he could handle it.

DC: He can handle it.

DG: I think he can handle it.

DC: He's pretty hard-

Patrick Campbell: I could handle it. Yeah.

DG: Most people I wouldn't say that to.

Patrick Campbell: You have a daily messaging list now?

DC: I send by 6: 30 AM I have sent several people lots of messages, video messages, text messages, all sorts of messages.

Patrick Campbell: Like, just the team?

DG: Yeah

DC: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: I mean, occasionally we're up at 4: 00 AM talking shop-

DC: Yeah, exactly, when you're like in Poland.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah, I'm just like hanging out, like, "Hey, DC, Drift, what are you doing?"

DC: Yeah, that's it.

DG: Although I can think if I rewind to a bunch of the big things we've done, they've all originated in some form of-

DC: 6: 00 AM texts?

DG: Yeah.

Patrick Campbell: I mean that's when you're clear, right, you're not working on the density there, right?

DG: That's right.

DC: Exactly. Awesome. Thanks for joining us.

DG: Thanks for doing it, man.

Patrick Campbell: Yeah. Cheers.

DC: All right, go leave that review. Six stars only. See yeah.

DG: Awesome.


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. ----- This week on Seeking Wisdom we're joined by Price Intelligently CEO Patrick Campbell. He's a pricing expert, a hell of a debater, and he's challenging us to change the way we learn. Listen up. Tweet at Patrick @patticus and let him know you heard him on the show and mention @dcancel and @davegerhardt.