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Keynote: Your Money & Your Life - Carl Smith40:33 with Carl Smith
Most businesses are built on a broken operating system. One that believes in old concepts of carrots and sticks. For decades we've ignored research that shows the path to a better culture, product and bottom line involves abandoning the notions of the past. It's time to embrace the reality that the needs and ambitions of the human beings we surround ourselves with can fuel a brighter tomorrow. Carl will share examples of sustainable change that improves every aspect of a company through adopting a management philosophy of doing less.
[SOUND] These people, what's happening? >> How about for Berman, huh? 0:00 This guy, I don't. 0:06 [SOUND] I don't think a lot of people know. 0:07 He's done most of this by himself. 0:09 As much as we've tried to help, he was just like no, no. 0:11 I got it. 0:14 This is Garrett Oliver. 0:18 Garrett had his first beer, when he was about 10 years old. 0:20 He was at a party, his parents were there, a lot of adults 0:25 were there and there was this magic elixir flowing out of these gold cans. 0:28 He didn't know what it was but it was magical 'cuz everybody was so happy. 0:31 So he had a sip. 0:36 And he spit it out, it was the most foul tasting thing he'd ever had. 0:38 I apologize to everybody that likes Miller [UNKNOWN] 0:40 draft. 0:45 He ended up going to film school in London, and 0:46 over the years he'd acquired a taste for wine, right? 0:50 And he ended up in a local, and he asked for a 0:54 glass of wine and they said I'm sorry, we don't have wine here. 0:57 Right? Where he said I'm sorry, 1:00 we don't have wine here. And he, and he said well, that's fine. 1:01 I'll just have a water and he said well what is is that you don't like about beer? 1:06 And he said well it just it, it tastes disgusting. 1:09 And the guy goes, what do you like about wine? 1:11 He goes well it's, it's wonderful. The aroma, the bouquet, it's flowery. 1:13 And, and the guy said well try this beer. 1:17 Right? 1:19 And so Garret tried one, and he couldn't decide if he liked 1:20 it or not, so he tried another one, and before long he flunked 1:23 out of film school. Right? 1:26 [LAUGH] But he comes back to the States, and his friends get so sick of hearing 1:28 Garret talk about how crappy American beer is, that they bought him a brewing kit. 1:35 And today he's the brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery, right? 1:40 He found that one thing. 1:43 That has nothing to do with what I'm going to talk about today. 1:46 I was lucky enough to 1:50 have dinner in the presence of Garrett, and he said something 1:52 that really changed my life. Changed my perspective. 1:56 He said we could all be millionaires, but there's that one thing that we won't do. 2:00 When I was ten years old, my grandmother came to live with us. 2:10 I'm not going to pass judgement on my grandmother. 2:16 That wouldn't be cool. 2:19 I will tell you she asked my parents to wait four years until she 2:21 was dead before they got married, so she wouldn't have to know about it. 2:23 I've seen the pictures, she wore black at the wedding. 2:28 Right? She was from deep woods Mississippi. 2:30 And 2:33 I remember one of the first days she was there, 2:35 she asked me if I'd sit down, and talk with her. 2:37 And she offered me 20 dollars. 2:41 And so I did it. 2:44 Cause I was 10. 2:45 That's a lot of comic books, that's a lot of candy, right? 2:46 I'm like yes, I will sit here and listen to you. 2:49 And she started telling me, I kid you not, about the war of Northern Aggression. 2:50 >> [LAUGH] >> She starts explaining to me 2:57 that the country is losing site of the fact that certain people Are better 3:00 than other people by the nature of where they come from, right? 3:06 Even at ten years old, I knew that was a crock, right? 3:11 So I stopped listening to her, after about three weeks. 3:17 Because 20 bucks is a lot of money, right? But the thing I learned that day 3:20 was what I would not do for money, right? I was not going to judge people for money. 3:26 I was not going to treat people differently for money. 3:33 I was not going to condescend. 3:37 I was not going to do those things. It taught me a lot. 3:39 She kept offering that money boy, and I just, I just told her one day, 3:43 I was just like, I don't, I don't wanna hear what you have to say. 3:45 Its like, I know you're going to [INAUDIBLE] my grandmother, 3:49 but its just like just stop it. Its just so painful. 3:52 After I graduated college I couldn't get a job. 3:56 I probably didn't try really hard. 4:01 But I had had this internship at this place Huss Jennings, and they had 4:03 layoffs right before I graduated they got stiffed for a lot of money, and so 4:07 they had a lot of empty desks and so I didn't want to stay at 4:11 home and I didn't have a job and so I just went in there one 4:15 day to one of the desks I knew the people that were there right. 4:17 And so I just started hanging out. 4:21 And before long people would ask me if I can help with something. 4:22 So I helped with this, I helped with that. 4:24 And after a number of weeks, the the chairman of the company came 4:26 up to me and he said, hey, we've got a huge pitch this weekend. 4:30 Can you come in? 4:34 And I looked at him and I went. 4:35 I don't work here. [LAUGH] And he was like what? 4:39 Your here everyday. 4:43 And I'm like, yeah I just got no where to be man. 4:43 I got no where to be. So I'm just hanging out here. 4:46 By the end of that day I made 16,700 dollars. 4:48 I do, I could not tell you how much I made when I left. 4:52 But I remember that day $16,700 man. 4:54 And you know what, it seemed like more money than I, I have now. 4:56 It was amazing. 5:00 And over the years, I learned to play the game. 5:02 If I came 5:03 in on the weekend, they really liked that and they would give me more money. 5:04 If if I went out and found work, they would give me more money. 5:08 After about four years, I was probably making about $60,000. 5:10 Right after about eight years, I'm probably 5:13 making about $100,000, but what I don't realize 5:15 is the lesson my grandmother taught me, is that money is just stored life energy. 5:17 Right? We give people our time. 5:24 We give them a piece of our life. And we can never 5:27 get it back. 5:29 And we do that in exchange for something for money, right? 5:30 In 10 years when I'm making like 100 grand 5:36 here, I'm working like 60 or 70 hour weeks. 5:37 The exchange rate sucks. 5:40 But I don't get it because I'm young and I think this is the way it's supposed to be. 5:42 So we just keep going and just keep going. 5:46 And right about 12 years in, I'm like responsible for all this stuff. 5:48 It's like 80 hour weeks. 5:54 I'm married now, I have a kid, I have another kid on the way. 5:56 And and I'm just so frustrated with life. 6:01 It's like I, I've sold out and I don't know how 6:04 to unplug from this money machine because I have a family. 6:06 And I came home one day And I was so frustrated. 6:09 I mean, my little one year old Kaleigh is 6:12 like, running around, and my wife is like, what's wrong? 6:14 And, I said out loud, I don't 6:17 know what the fuck they're thinking! Right? 6:19 And that little one year old went, hmm? [LAUGH] 6:23 And the first thing I could think of because it was 6:28 really raining hard outside, is I said look, there's a duck! 6:30 There's a duck in the yard. 6:33 And she walked over to the window and for, I 6:36 kid you not, like an hour is looking for that duck. 6:38 [LAUGH] And all I could think is I am the biggest jerk in the world. 6:41 What am I doing? 6:46 And later that night we're having dinner, and my wife 6:47 told me, she said I don't, I don't like you anymore. 6:49 I said alright, that, that sucks. 6:55 My job sucks, my wife doesn't like me, my kids gonna start cussing. 6:58 >> [LAUGH] 7:02 >> It's all falling apart. 7:03 And she goes no I love you, I totally love you but your just so miserable. 7:04 Your so miserable. You need to quit your job. 7:08 And I was like are you, are you fucking insane? 7:11 We're making, like, $120,000 in Jacksonville Florida, which 7:14 is like a half million anywhere else, right? 7:17 How, how can I quit? 7:20 And she told me, you have five years until the kids know we're poor. 7:22 I was like, what? 7:27 And she goes, yeah, after five years they'll notice other kid's shoes. 7:29 I just realized I'm barefoot right now. 7:31 You think I'm totally homeless. 7:33 But she said they'll notice that their shoes 7:37 have blinkys and flashys and their shoes have holes. 7:39 And they'll wonder what happened. And, so it took seven years. 7:42 But, but I quit. I quit the job, right? 7:45 And my boss is still one of the most amazing people, Melanie. 7:50 I'm madly in love with her still. And and I told her I'd figured it out. 7:53 Like the problem and that I was gonna work from home. 7:57 And she was like oh, we'll figure that out, how that's going to work and. 7:59 I was like no I don't work for you anymore. 8:01 When I get a check your name won't be on it. 8:04 It's like, and she gave me this, this amazing hug. 8:05 And she said 8:09 I'm so happy for you. 8:10 You've got like 5 minutes to get out of here before I lost my shit. 8:13 I was like, okay. 8:16 And so I left, and I started a company called nGen Works. 8:18 I started it with friends. 8:25 One of those friends is [UNKNOWN] Rosetti, who's 8:26 sitting there smiling at me like I'm an idiot. 8:28 When we were at Husk Verik, 8:31 he made like $35,000 year. I was making over $120. 8:35 Without Verik i was nothing. Right? 8:38 I was a server, he was a chef. Right? 8:40 And I realized that this was horrible so we decided to 8:44 start a company where it would be equal and everybody would share. 8:46 Equally, right? I was the only one who had any money. 8:50 [LAUGH] Because I had made that money. 8:52 I still spent a lot of money, but I had some and I put it in. 8:54 And we all decided we'd be equal. 8:58 Equal is 9:00 tough, right? 9:01 We're all created equal but then we spend our whole lives screwing it up. 9:02 Right? 9:06 [UNKNOWN] could create five amazing things in one day. 9:07 Somebody else needed five days to create one 9:11 amazing thing, and over time it started to unravel. 9:13 But we kept working and we kept working and I 9:17 would get the work and we would do all that. 9:19 And you know what? 9:21 The time that I had had before, that I had had 9:22 before I was thinking that I'd lost, I got it back. 9:26 Right? 9:29 But something else happened. We just started partying like crazy. 9:30 Right? We spend money on these huge parties. 9:35 [LAUGH] It was just so much fun and everybody had this concept that we were 9:37 just the company, like we could do no wrong but something else was going on too. 9:42 I got to take a drink when I see this number. 9:49 I was $130,000 in debt. I didn't realize it at first, I 9:52 was a theater major, I didn't know anything about running a company. 10:00 And, it just wasn't working. 10:03 Right? 10:05 We just, we weren't good at this. We weren't doing well. 10:06 On our six year anniversary, Travis and Varick, two of 10:12 my partners at the time, said let's go out and celebrate. 10:15 It's been six years. 10:19 I said that's great. 10:21 Let's do that. Let's go out. 10:21 We're gonna have a good time. 10:22 So we go out, we have a few beers, we're talking about the time, the six years. 10:24 It feels like things are turning around right? 10:28 We're starting to knock the debt out a little bit. 10:30 And then Travis says I'm moving to New York. 10:32 I was like oh, that's cool, yeah I 10:35 lived in New York man, we'll figure it out. 10:38 And the verick said, I don't want to work on web stuff anymore, I want to do video. 10:40 And in the back of my mind I went, you bastard, you're quitting. 10:44 And they did. 10:52 And at the time I thought Everybody's abandoned me. 10:53 I'm standing here. 10:58 What I didn't realize is that these guys were giving me a gift. 10:58 We were splitting everything three ways, right? 11:01 And it wasn't until my wife told me. [LAUGH]. 11:03 She used to always tell me when I'd come home and be frustrated. 11:07 She'd give me this hug and she'd go You know, it, it's gonna be okay. 11:09 And I go, you know what, we're about to turn the corner. 11:13 I would tell her every time. 11:14 We're about to turn the corner. 11:15 That was my go to phrase when, we were eating salad and beans. 11:16 We're about to turn the corner, it's gonna be okay! 11:19 So I come home and I tell her that Varick and Travis are 11:22 leaving, and I'm really frustrated, and I'm like, I guess we'll just close up. 11:24 I don't know what to do. 11:27 And she 11:27 tells me, you know, all those times You told me we're about to turn 11:28 the corner, and I'd give you a little kiss and I'd say yeah, I know. 11:32 She goes, I never meant that. 11:37 [LAUGH] She goes, I never 11:37 felt we were gonna turn the corner. 11:40 I always thought this was not going to work because you guys 11:42 just split up the money and not everybody was working as hard. 11:45 She goes, but I need you to hear me right now. 11:48 We're about to turn the corner. 11:51 It's like now the money's not being split three ways, right? 11:53 But on top of that 130,000, I now had another 100,000 to pay 11:58 these guys so I got to about a quarter million dollars in debt. 12:02 I was at the worst part of the exchange rate because 12:06 all I did was work and I was constantly losing money. 12:09 And as a result, I did what a lot of us do. 12:12 I only worked at one company before. I had worked at Husk. 12:16 And it was definitely a hierarchy. 12:20 And when engines started falling apart, I rebuilt the hierarchy. 12:23 As much as I hated. The place that 12:28 I left for the way that it was structured, I fell into the only thing I knew. 12:31 Right? 12:35 And the problem with the hierarchy is you have all these people on the 12:36 bottom who know exactly what's going on, 12:39 they're reading the blogs, they're writing the blogs. 12:41 Right? They're speaking at conferences. 12:43 You have all these people on the top who are so disconnected. 12:45 At one point, they were in the flow and they knew. 12:48 But now they're trying to run the company, 12:51 and find the money and do all these things. 12:52 And you have these people in the middle, that are just trying 12:53 to protect their position. Right? 12:56 They were at the bottom, now they've come up a little bit. 12:59 They don't know what's going on. So we do this, and it works, right? 13:01 Except that I'm back to 80 hours a week. 13:06 But we're making the money, we're knocking out the debt, we pay off Eric and Travis. 13:08 Everything's going great. 13:11 Except that I'm back to 80 hours a week. 13:13 And I was just so frustrated. And so one day I quit. 13:14 I quit my own company. 13:21 The lawyer told me I couldn't. 13:25 [LAUGH] And I said okay, well then I'm just not going back. 13:27 And for several weeks I didn't, I didn't look at anything, I didn't do anything. 13:34 Right? And the weirdest thing happened, the 13:39 company kept going, nature hates a void. The people in the middle 13:43 were the people who loved the company and they became this core team. 13:51 And they said we know what we're doing. 13:55 We know how to do this, right? 13:57 And then they had a ring outside that was 13:59 just people they were gonna lean on that they knew. 14:01 Who were going to come in and help. 14:03 And then an external ring, a third ring, that was 14:05 just gonna be, you know, people they wanted to work with. 14:07 And they were figuring this out on their own, and when I came back. 14:09 The weeks I was gone became 14:14 the most successful weeks in the history of the company. 14:16 Do you know how bad that feels? 14:20 >> [LAUGH] 14:22 >> When you realized it would have been great if you just slept in. 14:23 So, everybody was starting to do their own thing. 14:31 Right? 14:35 And I was wondering what this was, and I started reading different books, and 14:35 I read Daniel Pink's Drive and I started understanding about money and how money is 14:39 actually a negative incentive, if, if you're 14:44 trying to do something that, that requires thought 14:46 or creativity, once you know that you're 14:49 treated fairly, Money is actually a negative incentive. 14:52 We are primates and 14:55 we are stupid. 14:56 Okay, if people give us more money, we do worse work. 14:57 It's ridiculous, I've seen it happen. 15:00 There's studies, it's science, people. It's science. 15:02 And so I asked myself, why are they going to leave? 15:06 Because, we've always had a, a, a small amount. 15:12 Of turnover it was never a lot and it was always a big celebration. 15:15 But over that year, we had five 15:19 people leave and we had never had that happen before. 15:21 We went from like 16 to 11. 15:24 Right? We had somebody go to Apple. 15:25 That's great! 15:28 I want to be that great college team where people go to the pros. 15:29 Right? 15:33 We had somebody that ended up at Microsoft. 15:34 We had somebody that eman, ended up with Yahoo. 15:36 We had, we knew people were leaving, but they were leaving fast. 15:38 And I couldn't figure it out. 15:41 So, I, I did a whole lot of salary research. 15:43 I knew I was treating people fairly. 15:45 I was compensating 15:46 them at a level. 15:47 But then I started looking at our ecosystem, our industry, right. 15:48 We have this group in the middle that I call the Bigs. 15:54 The bigs are Apple, and Twitter. And Facebook and Google. 15:57 And Yahoo and Amazon. We know them right? 15:59 They kind of set market price a lot of the time, for what it is that happens. 16:02 And its perfectly normal, if you look at, include our huge engine works. 16:07 These are the companies I know, there are a lot 16:11 of companies like us. 16:12 That are kind of out there, circling around the bigs, right. 16:13 We're not quite like them but people from our shop go there. 16:16 People from there come back. It's totally natural. 16:19 This is the way it's supposed to be. 16:22 People are supposed to leave nGen works and start their own companies. 16:23 You've got this area of freelancers and small groups too, who join other groups. 16:26 And all this stuff comes together. 16:30 And I was like this is normal, so what's, what's going different. 16:31 And then I started talking to friends, and I realized it was going supernova. 16:34 Right? 16:39 The bigs are in this talent acquisition war, and they will give away anything. 16:40 I have a friend who want to Google and they gave him a house. 16:46 In San Francisco they said you know, you don't want to worry about that. 16:50 I don't know if he gets to keep it if he leaves. 16:52 I don't know. I think he should check that, you know. 16:54 [LAUGH] You have, you have people like Include gets bought by Twitter. 16:57 And they cut them down the middle. 17:02 And they, they leave the developers out and they keep the designers in. 17:04 Right? 17:07 Or, or you look at AD20 who is now square. 17:08 Like they just, they're just pulling everything in. 17:11 And so then you have companies in San Francisco that are having to 17:13 leave their offices because they can't afford 17:17 the real estate to pay their people. 17:19 Or they're firing the top level people because all, they hear about this. 17:22 They know that this money is being thrown around, right? 17:25 And they've had 17:28 to fire the top level people and bring in junior people, right? 17:29 Which is fine except now, what's going on is people are 17:32 realizing that these jobs suck, some of the ones they're getting. 17:36 A good friend of mine left Twitter after a year and left half 17:39 of the money he should have gotten because he said it's not worth it. 17:42 Because the exchange rate isn't worth it. 17:45 And then Mary McDonald, the person who had been most instrumental 17:50 at, at my company, told me one day, that she was leaving. 17:53 And I was convinced, probably the whole time, that 18:01 all of this You know, flat model, and distributed, and 18:03 everybody's working on their own stuff, and all these 18:07 other little horrible terms that none of us really understand. 18:09 I was convinced it was just cuz she 18:11 was behind the scenes, like making everything work. 18:12 She drove in from the beach. 18:17 And in Jacksonville, if, if people from the beach 18:19 cross the intercoastal, they call it the ditch, right? 18:21 If they cross the ditch, something important is going on. 18:24 As we were having dinner, we were having lunch downtown and Mary goes 18:27 I'll come up for lunch and I was like oh, this isn't good. 18:30 And so she tells me afterwards that her husband, who had 18:32 started an SEO firm, right, eight months earlier, had just landed. 18:35 [SOUND] 18:39 A million dollar client. 18:42 It was somebody that he had known, it was somebody that 18:43 wanted to invest, it was somebody that wanted to do these things. 18:45 And she told me you know, we got so many years left of 18:48 working I gotta go work on my husband and, and you know what? 18:52 I, I gave her a hug [LAUGH], I said I love you, I know you 18:56 have to go You got give minutes to leave, because I'm about to lose my shit. 19:00 Be nice to people, 19:06 because what goes around comes around, man. 19:07 And she was wonderful but, but it left me in that same place. 19:08 So this time, I had a choice to make. 19:13 And when, what I started to do was rebuild the heirarchy, right? 19:17 I sat at my dining room table and I just started looking at papers and 19:21 all this kind of stuff and acted like I knew what the hell was going on. 19:24 But I had the autobiography of, of Nelson Mandela, by my table, 19:28 by my bedside table, for weeks. 19:32 And instead of instead of trying to rebuild 19:35 the hierarchy, I just decided read about Nelson Mandela. 19:38 whatever. 19:41 You know, we'll see what happens. 19:42 A lot of us forget that Nelson Mandela blew up buildings, right? 19:45 He was born in a country that was his country, but it was occupied, and he 19:49 grew up in such a way that he was told this occupation is a good thing. 19:53 And as he got older and older, he realized it's not. 19:57 Until he took a course of violence, right? 20:00 Or destruction, let's not say violence because he was very on purpose about it. 20:03 He made sure there was nobody in 20:06 these buildings before they were exploded, right? 20:07 He ends up in jail for 26 years. 20:13 While he's in jail, he changes his tactic but not his goal. 20:17 Instead of attacking people and attacking ideas, 20:22 he starts to love people and share ideas. 20:25 [LAUGH] And then after 26 years, he's released from prison and 20:29 goes on to become president of the country that imprisoned him. 20:34 Are you kidding me? 20:37 Hollywood would reject the script. Right? 20:38 But it happens, and goes on to split a Nobel 20:43 Peace Prize with the president, who helped get him out. 20:45 As I'm reading this, the most amazing thing happens. 20:52 I realize, I don't have any problems whatsoever. 20:55 I have never had a country that I was born in, 21:00 that I was native to, that hated me for the color of 21:02 my skin, throw me in jail for 26 years, where I just 21:04 had to keep my faith that I was on the right path. 21:08 So this time, 21:13 I decided to quit again, but to do it on purpose. 21:16 Instead of quitting, I was gonna do nothing. 21:21 And doing nothing takes a lot of time. I read a book, How to Do Nothing. 21:25 [LAUGH] It's not a very long book. >> [LAUGH] 21:30 >> But one of the first things you learn is you have to break the pattern. 21:33 And I struggle with this 21:40 to this day. We are a bundle of preconceived responses. 21:41 When things happen to us, we react and we respond like that. 21:47 If somebody cuts you off in traffic, you 21:51 don't, some people might give them the finger. 21:54 Right? 21:56 What if somebody cuts you off in traffic and go, oh, I hope that person's okay. 21:57 You're a choice to how you respond to things. 22:00 And one of the things that I've done is when I'm faced 22:04 with one of the dilemmas or one of these things 22:06 I'm not sure about anymore, I give myself five minutes. 22:08 And I just sit down and like a total hippie. 22:12 I just try to feel, what is the right thing to do, and if you 22:15 can sit in the sun when you do it, I'm telling you it's a beautiful thing. 22:18 And you will feel what is the right choice. 22:21 You will think through the different choices and one of them 22:24 you're just like, yes, and the other ones you're like eh. 22:26 And then you have to think, is this 22:30 good for the people around me. Right? 22:31 And if it is good for the people around you 22:34 and it feels right then that's what you're supposed to do. 22:36 We can break this pattern, of somebody gives 22:39 you an opportunity and you just grab it. 22:42 You have to think is this where what I'm supposed to do? 22:45 Is this where I'm supposed to be? 22:48 Is this where I'm supposed to go? So slow down. 22:49 The toughest thing for me was trying to stop controlling things. 22:55 Especially if you're in a place in your life that's really chaotic. 23:00 Because you want something to change. 23:05 You want this sense, that it's going to be okay, because you understand it. 23:08 If you try to control things, you're just gonna break other things. 23:15 Life is life, truth is truth, and you can't change it. 23:20 Right, you can embrace it, you can choose 23:24 which path you take, but you can't control it. 23:26 Right? I can't control it. 23:30 And every time I tried to control something, I just broke something else. 23:32 That's part of why people leave, they 23:36 don't understand why everything's changing all the time. 23:38 Acceptance, 23:42 everything about my life everything about the way it is right 23:45 now is because of choices I have made to this point. 23:48 I am responsible for where I am nobody else right. 23:51 Nobody chose for me what to do. 23:56 Nobody made me get up on this stage. Nobody made me tell you about this stuff. 23:57 These are choices that I made. 24:01 You are sitting out there because of choices you made. 24:03 We have to make great choices. 24:06 And then we have to accept that this is where we are because 24:07 of the choices we have made. 24:11 The word defenseless is an amazingly powerful word to me. 24:15 It may feel like a weak word, to some people. 24:19 But to me it means without a need to defend. 24:22 Right? 24:27 I'm going to make my choices and I'm going to pursue them relentlessly. 24:28 And I don't care what other people 24:34 think because they're not choosing what I'm choosing. 24:35 They're not pursuing my goals. And if what I do is 24:37 spend my time worrying about them I will lose 90% of my time. 24:40 How often does somebody ask you what you do, 24:46 and you're trying to figure out how to frame it? 24:49 Or how to say it, right? 24:52 Doesn't matter, say, say whatever, whatever is the truth for you. 24:54 Let go of this need to defend it. 24:59 I'm not acting like I'm good at it, I'm just trying. 25:00 I still get caught all the time saying, 25:04 well, you don't understand. You shouldn't say that, it doesn't matter. 25:05 Just say, well, it's what we're doing. You know? 25:08 Don't judge. Social media is a great thing. 25:12 Social media can help raise awareness for a lot of needs. 25:15 It can help you feel loved. 25:18 It can, it can really do a lot, but it can also be very damaging. 25:19 There are times on Twitter where I'll see 25:23 somebody do something great and I'm like, damn it! 25:24 Why didn't I do something great. You know? 25:26 How selfish is that? 25:29 How egotistical is that? How real is that? 25:30 Right? 25:33 You can't base what your doing on what other people do. 25:35 And if you stop that you get so much time back! 25:37 Oh my god, you will get so much time back. Focus. 25:40 This is probably the toughest one. 25:47 But when you focus on something you will have more of it. 25:50 When you take your attention away from something else, 25:55 it will cease to matter as much as it did. 25:57 How many people have kids? 26:01 How many people remember when you started pushing that 26:03 baby stroller, that suddenly everybody had a baby stroller? 26:06 They came out of the wood work, right? 26:10 What did everybody do nine months ago? We're all pushing these baby carriages. 26:13 I, I bought a new car recently, [COUGH] I bought a Nissan Altima. 26:17 And on the very day I bought a Nissan 26:21 Altima, 1000's of people around Jacksonville bought Nissan Altimas. 26:24 It was amazing. 26:27 No, I just started paying attention, right? 26:28 So if you focus on what your goal is. If you figure it out and focus on it. 26:32 It's going to happen. It's going to grow. 26:36 But you can't care about the outcome. 26:40 And I've been struggling with this one this week. 26:42 Really big right? 26:44 You have to care less about the outcome. 26:47 You have to know that you're focused and you're moving forward that you're 26:49 doing what you're supposed to do but if it doesn't work that doesn't matter. 26:52 Right? 26:57 Because you're closer to what your goal was. 26:58 You're closer to what you were trying to do. 27:00 You put the effort in that you felt was right. 27:02 And then you just have to readjust and say, okay. 27:04 Well, guess what? 27:07 That didn't work. Where am I gonna go now? 27:08 You have to give. Yeah, I, [LAUGH], I say this all the time. 27:12 I didn't read the Bible. I think there's some good stuff in there. 27:17 You reap what you sow. That one seems to be a good one. 27:20 If you want something you have to give it. 27:23 [COUGH] If you want love you have to give love. 27:25 If you want trust you have to give trust. 27:28 If you want money you have to give money. Right? 27:29 It all comes back. I don't understand it. 27:33 I don't want to talk about 27:36 the universe. I don't want to get all hippie on ya. 27:37 I do kinda, but, but you just have to give. 27:40 If you want respect you have to give respect, right. 27:45 If you want loyalty, you have to give loyalty. 27:48 We all have our dreams, 27:54 my dream is to create this self sustaining organization That doesn't need management. 27:57 Management on any level. 28:03 I am trying so hard to make this a reality. 28:07 And the one thing that I realize every time I sit down 28:12 with my team, is that nobody cares about my dream but me. 28:14 [LAUGH] And when you start to realize that, things get a lot easier. 28:18 Right because we all have different dreams we all have different roles 28:22 we all have different backgrounds we all have different contexts and situations. 28:26 So instead I ask myself instead of why would they 28:30 leave I started asking why would they stay its not my job to to be upset with the big 28:32 players there doing what they have to do Zuckerberg just said we need more bodies. 28:39 My job is to create a place that's so wonderful and 28:44 open and self sustaining that they want to be there, right. 28:46 So, the beginning of this year, I asked everybody 28:53 a question. I said if time and money Don't matter. 28:57 What would you do today? 29:05 Right? And 29:07 we all talked about it. Some people left the company. 29:10 And you know what? 29:13 It was really painful, but I think it was the right thing for 29:14 them when they realized they were not where they were supposed to be. 29:16 Other people got so excited. 29:19 And started talking about what they wanted to do. 29:22 Right? 29:24 And then I said, "Well, is there a way 29:24 we can do this where it's good for everyone here? 29:26 Because we still have to be a company." Right? 29:28 And we got this amazing understanding and it gets 29:32 back to Daniel Pink that I thought everybody had autonomy. 29:35 Because they were aloud to choose how they were gonna give me money. 29:40 [LAUGH] But that doesn't work. 29:42 They need autonomy in the sense that they're truly self directed, 29:45 they know where they're heading, they know how they're gonna get there. 29:47 They need this concept of mastery, right? 29:51 They need to know that what they're doing, they're getting better at, and better at. 29:53 Musicians, they're, 29:56 they're, they're are thousands of people, 29:57 probably tens of thousands of people, hundreds 29:59 of thousands of people in Charlotte that play guitar, and are no good. 30:01 But they keep picking it up, and they keep playing. 30:05 You know why? 30:07 Cuz they feel like they're getting better, and they need that in their life. 30:07 They need to feel like I am doing something. 30:10 I am working on something and I am getting better at it. 30:12 And then purpose. 30:16 How does this make the people around you better? 30:18 How does this help the people around you? 30:20 Right? We talked about this. 30:22 I talked about this with everybody in the company. 30:23 It took the better part of five weeks to have these conversations. 30:25 But it was unbelievable. 30:28 And luckily we didn't go out of business during 30:29 this five weeks while we were all drinking hippie juice. 30:31 And then Clay Shirky talks about collective action. 30:35 And I think this is a really important part of what we're trying to do. 30:38 Yes, nobody else has my dream. 30:41 And I don't have their dreams. 30:43 But if we can find ways for our dreams to kind of intersect, to work together, then 30:44 we can do something that's gonna be beneficial for 30:48 everyone and that just lifts us all up together. 30:51 So here's some of those stories that have come out of that this year. 30:56 This is Lori Averitt. 30:58 Lori loves the Florida Gators, she loves Crown Royal. 31:00 She's very happy in this photo. 31:03 I assume she's at a Gator game and has had a lot of Crown Royal, right? 31:05 I asked Lori, time and money don't matter, what do you want to do? 31:09 She told me she loves quality assurance, [LAUGH] she loves QA. 31:13 And I was like, no, no, no, you don't have to do that. 31:15 She goes no, I really love it! 31:17 She was like it was the one time I feel like part 31:20 of the team. So we launched a QA service. 31:21 It's a standalone QA service called Q cat. 31:26 And you know what? 31:28 It's in the black and it's working with some big companies, and people 31:29 are looking to outsource all of their QA, and I was like Lory! 31:32 I never would have done this, this is beautiful. 31:35 And she's really happy. 31:37 And she's now hiring people that we know that are out of work. 31:38 And bringing them in, to train them on how to do the QA. 31:42 So it's like this wonderful 31:45 story because we slow down to think about it. 31:46 Right? 31:49 This is Matthew Oliphant, Matto. 31:49 Matto's a great guy, Matto's a germaphobe, Matto doesn't like to be around people. 31:54 [LAUGH] I said Matto, what do you want to do? 31:58 And he goes, I'm lonely. And I'm like, I understand. 32:01 You're a germophobe, you don't like to be around people. 32:04 And he goes, yeah, but I'm in Portland, and I wanna, 32:06 I wanna do something, the community, there's no real community that's, 32:08 that's forming around UX, and design, and this and that. 32:12 And he said he wanted to bring 32:14 back Refresh Portland, because it had fallen over. 32:16 And so Engine helped find him a venue, and we helped give him 32:19 some money, and we helped line up 32:21 some speakers, and he relaunched Refresh Portland. 32:22 And there's actually some people in here who've spoken, at, right? 32:25 At Refresh Portland. 32:28 And one of the amazing things that happened about this, was 32:29 one of our guys in Saint Louis wanted to become a speaker. 32:33 And Matto wanted to start Refresh Portland. 32:35 And as a company, we needed to have a retreat. 32:38 So we all went to Portland. 32:40 And Kyle talked with Matto, and he's gonna speak at Refresh Portland, right? 32:42 These are dreams intersecting now. 32:45 People with missions that are suddenly coming together. 32:47 How awesome does that feel? Really good. 32:49 And this is Rachel Gertz. 32:52 Rachel is so awesome, she's a great content strategist. 32:56 She is a daydream believer, you can see it in her face. 33:00 I said Rachel what do you want to do? Time and money don't matter. 33:04 And she said I just want to talk to people. 33:06 I was like all right, just talk to people. 33:09 She goes yeah, you know, talk to people, 33:11 interview people put the interviews on the blog. 33:12 And I was like, okay. 33:15 Yeah, we'll do that, we'll see what happens. 33:15 So she interviews Steve Smith, from github, right? 33:18 We've been around for ten years, we know people, we can get these interviews. 33:21 And it goes really well. I was impressed. 33:25 And then the next day, I'm checking analytics And 33:26 if you take a look you'll see that we didn't 33:30 realize analytics were important until what, like 2006, just ignore that. 33:32 But right around 2007, late 2007 early 2000, we we launched 33:37 this thing called happy webbies so there's a little spike there. 33:42 2010 we launched a new engine website. 33:46 3,000 uniques in a day we broke it, it was a big thing. 33:47 That line on the end is Rachel's Freaking interview. 33:49 6,000 uniques in 24 hours. 33:52 I said, you talk to whoever you want to 33:56 talk to [LAUGH], you just go to talk to people. 33:57 Sadly, she did one more interview and that was it, so. 34:01 What about me, right? 34:05 Besides my illustrious modeling career (no period) What do I wanna do? 34:08 And I know I wanna do nothing [LAUGH]. But I got you something. 34:12 Right there. Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman. 34:16 She didn't go to school to be Mrs. Leslie Jensen. 34:21 Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman said this in an article. 34:24 It was an article around discrimination in the industry. 34:27 And she said, it's our responsibility to 34:31 leave the industry better than we found it. 34:33 That knocked me over, right? 34:35 I'd been friends with Leslie for a while, but that knocked me on my 34:37 ass, and I said, I am doing nothing here except thinking about us, right? 34:39 And just to say it, you know, we're building the 34:46 future So lets be nice to each other and be awesome. 34:50 There's nobody in this room that doesn't 34:53 have amazing opportunities, so don't treat people differently. 34:55 Just be, be nice. 34:58 Okay back to the talk. So this really impacted me, right? 35:01 [NOISE] And I started thinking, you know why, why am I 35:05 trying to work with individuals, we need to find a way 35:09 where the whole industry can work together and we're 35:11 working on this thing called the jelly fish alliance. 35:13 We have a lot of companies we're talking to 35:14 and we're trying to get through worrying about people 35:16 taking people's clients or this or that, and just 35:19 saying, hey, why don't we work together on this? 35:21 The movie industry did it in the 20's. Right? 35:23 If Jim was slammed, Universal would send people over. 35:26 How awesome is that? 35:28 And collectively we can help slow down the supernova that the bigs are causing. 35:30 [LAUGH] 35:35 Right? 35:36 If we all get together and kind of work and we're enjoying it 35:36 we can decide that we don't care so much about the big pay day. 35:39 Some people that's what they want. 35:42 That's totally cool. It's not what I want. 35:43 I don't want to have a boss anymore. 35:44 We decided to put our process out for free. 35:49 We just, we made it a Wiki. 35:52 If you go to process.engineworks.com. 35:53 We just updated it last week with, new 35:55 dev processes, new UX processes, all these things. 35:57 We check it about every two months and say, oops that's out. 36:00 We gotta go in there and change that. 36:03 And this was part of just saying, okay if we're 36:05 going to make the industry better, let's share what we're doing. 36:06 We're not saying it's right. We're just saying it works for us. 36:09 And then we're working on a product called Jellyfish Jobs. 36:14 And this basically allows people that know each other to start talking 36:18 about how much time they have and somebody can just Type up. 36:21 Basically make some selections, and what they need for a team. 36:25 And it serves everybody up. 36:27 It allows people to replace themselves if there's somebody else they think is good. 36:29 It's, it's like this amazing thing. We're testing it right now. 36:32 It's not the best. 36:35 I'm not gonna lie to ya, but it's gonna be awesome, 36:36 right? It's gonna get to this amazing place. 36:39 This came out of Portland. 36:45 And this is the, the newest initiative right 36:47 now, to to try to make the industry better. 36:48 And again this sharing about things that matter to us. 36:52 We spent time defining what our goals were. 36:56 What the DNA of our team was and our group. 36:59 And we're going to do. 37:04 [LAUGH] It's actually inspired by 37:05 Cameron.We're going to do letterpress posters. 37:06 So we've got a group in Canada that's going to do these letterpress posters. 37:09 This is just one of the drafts that we're doing. 37:12 And you can see the company has embraced you know the foundation of what we do now. 37:15 Is leave the industry better than you found it. 37:20 Which was put on a board. 37:23 Nobody will fess up to who did it, which I think is kind of awesome. 37:24 It just mysteriously showed up on our notes and 37:27 became this, this cornerstone. And the top is happy. 37:30 It's, It's tough. 37:32 When you're trying to be fair, it can be tough to be happy sometimes. 37:35 But now, I wanna talk about this week. I got some good friends in the audience. 37:41 I got people I don't even know. 37:46 This week has been tough for me. 37:47 I have created a self-sustaining organization and it 37:51 doesn't always agree with what I think is right. 37:54 [LAUGH] And we had to make some corrections this week. 37:55 The team hires the team. 38:00 There is nobody on the team that is not selected by the team. 38:02 The team also fires the team, right? 38:05 If you look at that poster, one of those words was accountability. 38:08 And that happened, and it was really tough for me. 38:13 Because I think some things happened that may not have been fair. 38:14 But, you know what? 38:17 It was what the group wanted, and that was my goal. 38:17 This week, I've really been struggling. 38:23 And last night I was at a point where I was 38:26 like, I don't know if I want to do this anymore. 38:29 You know? And a good friend, sent me a note, and 38:32 in that note she said, fair, is hard. Where are ya? 38:39 I saw ya earlier. 38:48 Fair is hard, but you've been doing this for a long time. 38:49 Are you committed to it? Are you in? 38:54 Yeah I'm in. I'm in. 38:57 When Nelson Mandela Was in prison for 9,000 days. 39:02 There was one poem that kept him going, 39:06 and I want to dedicate that poem to Summer, who's sitting right there: 39:11 Out of the night that covers me Black is the pit from pole to pole. 39:20 I think whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul. 39:26 In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. 39:33 Under the bludgeonings of chance. My head is bloodied but still unbowed. 39:41 Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade. 39:48 And yet the menis of the years finds and shall find me unafraid. 39:54 It matters not how straight the gate. How charged with punishments the scroll. 40:00 I am the master of my 40:05 fate and I am the captain of my soul. 40:06 You are the masters of your fate, and you are the captains of your soul. 40:13 And your life is a gift. 40:19 Go do something amazing with it. Thank you. 40:23 [SOUND] 40:29
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