#83: Lunch With The CEO
Speaker 1: DC.
DC: What's up?
Speaker 1: Do you know what we're doing next week?
Speaker 1: Seeking Wisdom Live.
Speaker 1: WeWork.
DC: Ooh, here in Boston?
Speaker 1: Yes.
DC: All right. Let's get it.
Speaker 1: Yes. And it's free to be there, because it's free we do this for the people.
DC: How many tickets?
Speaker 1: We can fit 100.
Speaker 1: So it's going to be really tight, in a good way. And it's already going like crazy. To get your tickets drift. com/ seekingwisdomlive.
DC: Woo. Let's get it.
Speaker 1: Your boy set up a redirect. How nice is that?
DC: There's no way you did that.
Speaker 1: That's the truth. I figured it out. Redirect from that URL to Eventbrite.
DC: Wow! Somebody write this down. This is a day in history.
Speaker 1: Growth hack.
DC: I can't believe it, you're a growth hacker now?
Speaker 1: Growth hack. So we got a bunch of awesome stuff coming up on Seeking Wisdom. But today, one of my favorite things that we do about this podcast is sometimes you just post things internally at Drift and I'm like, all right, I got a episode ready, I'm prepared. And then I see you drop something. So, this week...
DC: I have no idea what we're going to talk about here. I have a panic in my eyes.
Speaker 1: No, you're good. You'll be all right. I'd let you know. This week here at Drift, you rolled out something new internally.
DC: What's that?
Speaker 1: It's called Random Lunch with DC. And I love that. I love that idea. So I want you to talk about that. What is a Random Lunch with DC? Why are we doing it?
DC: Parentheses, no agenda.
Speaker 1: Parentheses, no agenda?
DC: That's what the lunch is called.
Speaker 1: It's a meeting with you, there's no agenda. There's no prep. Like we said with the inaudible podcast, there's no prep. There's nothing.
DC: I've done this in the past and I've been waiting for us to get to a critical mass of people here at Drift so it's not the same five of us going out to have lunch. And the idea is to have these random lunches a couple of times a month, if not two to four times a month, and to select two to four people and you have to keep the odd number, right? So like a two to four plus myself.
Speaker 1: Why does it have to be random? Why is it the odd number?
DC: Because people don't pair up naturally, right? So like, if you go even numbers, people have a tendency to pair up.
Speaker 1: So if it was you and three people, it might be you and someone and then those two hang out different sides of the table.
DC: Exactly. So everyone pairs up. So you always have to have it odd so it's an odd number so that there's someone to break up the pairings. Anyway, the idea is select people at random, invite them to lunch, no agenda, and just pick people from different parts of the company to just get together and share a meal.
Speaker 1: I love it. I'm looking at, so I have your Wiki post up. I'm just looking at the first couple of groups of people. There's an engineer, two sales reps. There's a designer, a marketing person, a sales rep, CSPM. So it is all over the map.
DC: On purpose. It's all over the map. And then we have some way towards new people on the team. And so we want to evenly mix it with new people and veterans on the team so that we have this cross pollination that happens.
Speaker 1: And why do this?
DC: Why do it? So the reason that I started doing this years ago was, one, so I can get to know people right as the team gets larger. So my own self selfish reason. But two, really to start communication, keep communication walls from building up and have them happen in this natural format. And I found like even in the interview process or any other kind of process, like if you do it over meals, the defenses come down. People are a lot more natural than if you were just to gather, hey, let's have five people come into a room. We're going to sit in this room right now. No agenda. We're just going to sit here and talk.
Speaker 1: It's like something happens when that door shuts. And you're like, all right, so what are we here talking about?
DC: Yeah. So instead we go out for lunch, we sit down and we just talk and people get to know each other on a level that they usually don't.
Speaker 1: What have you got... have you gotten things out of it in the past, whether it's product ideas, culture ideas?
DC: Oh yeah, all the time. So, the main thing that I've gotten... so there's culture ideas, things that we should be doing from a cultural standpoint, I get out of it. There's product ideas. There's all sorts of ideas that pop out. But one of the most important things that you're able to find out during that is communication breakdown points and choke points in the company. So someone might bring up that they don't know what a certain team is doing or a certain initiative, or they can't get this done because they have a roadblock in their way, just as a natural course of conversation. And that's where you find that out and you zero in.
Speaker 1: I love this because there's a lot of seeking wisdom in everything that we do. But you said success for me is simple. If people get to know each other better than they will, better than they did before, there'll be more likely to communicate well with each other. And here's why this is important. Most problems that will come up at Drift will be due to people not communicating well with each other. Let's fight the tendency for those walls between teams to be erected, hashtag how we win.
DC: That's it. That's how we win.
Speaker 1: That's the realness of it though, right? Like every problem in business stems from people. Communication.
DC: Communication problems. And so this is a way to break this down. And so we'll have, I'll keep doing this series of Random Lunches with DC forever from now on now that we're at a good size. And then we'll introduce other versions of this, whether they're group dinners, random dinners or mystery events or stuff like that. But it's basically the whole agenda is to get people from different parts of the team and with different tenures to talk to each other.
Speaker 1: And it's interesting point in the company scaling. A year ago at this time there was 12, 15 people at Drift. And not only did you know everyone, but you probably knew strengths, weaknesses, pet peeves, mood, right? You know all those things and now... but you do interview everybody that comes in?
DC: Pretty much.
Speaker 1: Okay.
DC: Yeah. Yeah. I haven't been 100% but I try to.
Speaker 1: But this is a way to be involved with a new crop of people.
DC: And welcome them and introduce them to other people on the team. Figure out what DHD likes, what she's into. I have no idea. It's a mystery.
Speaker 1: Where are you going?
Speaker 1: Where are you going?
DC: For the first lunch? I have no idea.
Speaker 1: You have no idea. crosstalk I think you should mix it up and be like sometimes it's a nice restaurant. Sometimes it's a burrito. For mine make sure that we go to Mother Juice.
DC: Mother Juice.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
Speaker 1: We'll sit outside.
DC: Yeah. Cool. So why do you think you should mix it up the venue?
Speaker 1: Just to do something different. I think put everybody in a different position. One thing that in the past at a company I worked at every new hire lunch you'd go to The Cheesecake Factory with your manager. Right? And you'd sit right there. You know it because you're laughing because you've gone there. You took people there too.
DC: No I didn't eat at Cheesecake Factory.
Speaker 1: That was the only place to go.
DC: I had a different spot.
Speaker 1: Oh, no, you went to Bambara.
DC: Bambara. I had a spot in the back.
Speaker 1: You had the guy-
DC: I had a guy.
Speaker 1: ...with the warm cookie.
DC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, the warm cookie.
Speaker 1: No one is better than the warm cookie.
DC: Yeah. So we'd go to Bambara, this restaurant in Cambridge before Drift and we would have this group kind of lunch there all the time. Right? So every week I was there.
Speaker 1: Actually, so my... another thing related to this that I like that we did in the past was a month after I started, I had lunch with Volpi. He wasn't my direct boss. It was like the skip- level thing. And he was like, as CMO, I'm going to take everybody, every new hire out to lunch. And I was like-
DC: That was one on one?
Speaker 1: That was one-on-one. Yeah. And I was kind of nervous. Not that I was intimidated by him, but I was like, what the hell are we going to talk about for an hour? Is it just going to be about marketing? And it was really interesting. It wasn't about work at all. It was all about, that was his way of drilling in on culture. And so as a debrief to see how the interview process went. So his number one question was, are we the company you thought we were? Is the team as good as you thought they were? What's different from the outside now that you've been in here for a month? And I thought those are really interesting-
DC: That's awesome. I'm going to inaudible that.
Speaker 1: ....interesting questions to dig into. Yeah. I mean, what did you think? What was your perception of Drift coming in and what is it now 30 days, 60 days in?
DC: That's funny. I was just going to say that what I've noticed on these random lunches is that I try to keep them non- work topic, but they always... at the end of the day everyone's going to regress back and talk about something at work so that comes up, even though I'm trying to steer it outside of work.
Speaker 1: Yeah. But it's all going to come up in a good way. All right. So that's Random Lunch With DC. I think one day we're going to have to do a random lunch with DC with seeking wisdom listeners.
DC: Imagine that? Let's do it.
Speaker 1: Yeah.
DC: Let's do that. Let's figure it out.
Speaker 1: So, instead of Random Lunch With DC, you can come to WeWork for those people in Boston. When we email this thing out, by the way, the amount of people that emailed us and said, when's Seeking Wisdom Live In San Francisco, it was like-
DC: It's coming.
Speaker 1: ...crazy. We are going to be out there. Two weeks.
DC: Two weeks-
Speaker 1: The week of the 14th.
DC: We'll be in San Francisco.
Speaker 1: We're going to be in San Francisco. The lineup of people that we got coming on this podcast...
Speaker 1: Redunculous.
DC: All right, let's do it. Don't forget to leave your six star rating for Seeking Wisdom.
Speaker 1: Break it.
DC: Break it. If it breaks, if it's broke, then put in five stars and leave that rating. Ask why Amy is so damn tan write in there and then ask GHD what's going on.
Speaker 1: Wait, question for you. Right before this podcast, I showed you where we're at for the attendee count for Hypergrowth.
Speaker 1: Would it make you a little nervous if you didn't have your ticket yet?
DC: I'd be nervous if I didn't have a ticket. It's getting down to the edge right now.
Speaker 1: It's getting tight.
DC: It's getting tight.
Speaker 1: Maybe you might be on the outside or you might be way up in the back in the balcony.
DC: Yeah, those tickets are almost gone. So go to get a ticket. Have the promo code seeking wisdom. We've got your back. We're almost out of tickets. Be there. Hang with us. Meet the legends that are Amy and DHD in person.
Speaker 1: With autographs.
DC: And autographs will be had. Cool. All right.