Jeff Biesman is the Chief Growth Officer at Remoov – a San Francisco-based startup focused on helping people declutter their space and sell the goods that they no longer want. Jeff sits down with Chris Snyder to discuss why product-market fit can make or break your marketing strategy, the importance of leading with empathy, and why the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who never give up.
Today’s show is sponsored by banks.com – the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products & services. Banks.com is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands.
[00:00:44] Hello, everyone. Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder Showdown, President at Juhll Agency, and founder of FinTech Startup Banks.com. On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure told through the stories of the top executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful brands. Today's show is sponsored by Banks.Com, the world's most comprehensive and trusted branding and discovery platform for banks and banking related products and services. Banks.com is aligning consumer core values with trusted financial institutions, bringing attention and awareness to leading financial brands. If you'd like to learn more, please go to banks dot com forward slash partners, or you can send an email to info at banks dot com. OK, without further ado, today's guest is Jeff Biesman - he is the Chief Growth Officer at Remoov, a San Francisco based startup focused on helping people declare their space and sell the goods that they no longer want. This is an excellent idea. I'm super excited to talk to you today. Jeff, welcome to the show.
[00:01:58] Hey, that's Chris. Thank you very much. It's awesome to see you as always. I wish it were my idea. It's not. I'm just glad to kind of be affiliated with such a great company and a great concept.
[00:02:09] Oh, man. Excellent. The minute. So obviously, you're not knowing each other for a long time. You go way back. But when you when we got together and you started telling me about this, it immediately hit a vein and was like, wait a second. All of the stuff in our house winds up in what I would like to classify as my personal space, which is the garage. Yeah. Help me. Help you. Help me help each other. Help the world. Get rid of the shit out of my garage and make money doing it right. So I'm super excited to hear a little bit about this today. We have a lot to talk about in advance of probably. So before we kick this off, Jeff, why don't you give us a little bit of your origin story. Tell us a little bit about your upbringing, where you grew up in how you got to where you are today.
[00:03:01] Yeah. So I kind of had a bit of a dual upbringing. I was born in sort of suburban semirural rural Michigan. My. It's interesting. How did how did I get there? Well, my grandfather on my dad's side was a Ukrainian Jewish immigrant who came through Ellis Island and ended up in Detroit as a translator for General Motors. A Russian translator, of all things. And so the family kind of settled there. And that's what my dad was born. And I kind of grew up for the first like eleven years of my life in and, you know, outside of Flint, Michigan. And I didn't know anything different, but my dad was a civil attorney and he was just getting beat down by it, by that practice. And he got approached by the federal government to become a judge, a federal judge, an administrative law judge. And he had three choices. And I remember it was we could move to Sacramento, California, Charlotte, North Carolina, or Houston, Texas. And I thought we were going to Sacramento. I was like, yes, California bound baby. And last second he told me, what? No, we picked Houston. I cried my eyes out. I remember a little kid because I thought that, you know, this was the the BFE sallerson, you know, sagebrush and tumbleweeds and oil wells all over the place. And we packed up and moved. And, man, it was a culture shock and an eye opener, not because of what I thought it was going to be, but because it was the New South. It was completely industrial and brand new and everything was recently built in. The oil industry was booming and there was tons and tons of money. So I went from small rural Michigan to like this big boomtown. Houston was like the fourth largest city in the country. And that's where I spent the the kind of latter part of my formative years as kind of growing up there. I went to middle school and high school there and eventually matriculated at the University of Texas at Austin and kind of hung out there for for about as long as as I could before realizing, you know, back then the economy was not what it is today in Austin. It was hard to find work. There were, yeah, people with MBA and other degrees that were just kind of like taking library jobs, but ended up I ended up moving out. But that was kind of where I was born. I'm happy to tell you how I got to where I am today, but that's kind of the back story of my, I guess, where I grew up.
[00:05:41] No, I love that. I mean, Detroit. I think you said Detroit, but this was when the this was the car capital of the world and probably one of the most progressive, amazing cities. I mean, the Midwest was where everything was happening. Of course, you had Los Angeles, New York. But I don't know if I don't know if our listeners know there's a lot of executives and founders that listen to the show. But Detroit used to be the place, right?
[00:06:09] Yeah. Yeah. You know, it it was. And and we we left my family left as the basically the auto industry crashed largely as a result of two things. One is oil shot up. And I can't remember it was like the Hunt Brothers. If somebody like like spike the oil market and all of a sudden the American consumer that was driving around in a car that got 12 miles to the gallon was like getting hit in the pocketbook. And at the same time, the Japanese were completely innovative and creating more fuel efficient cars. So it was like the double whammy for, you know, the auto mecca of the United States, Detroit, Michigan, and all the kind of surrounding areas. So it's just like crash, right? It was like an ugly, ugly thing. And what was super fascinating about that journey for me is it was the flip side. And in Texas, like overnight, people that just happened to have mineral rights or whatever, they were sitting on top of oil became millionaires. Yeah, right. And so it was you. What it was like the biggest contrast you could ever see, you know, economically.
[00:07:14] Yeah, I lived you know, I came from a military family. We moved around a lot in the same thing happened in Wyoming with natural gas. This was more recent. But you would go to these little towns, you know, Star Valley or Gillette or Rock Springs. You hear about this these these places you would in the least densely populated state in America. Is Wyoming. And then, you know, you'd be on a road where no one was around and there'd be like three Humvees pimped out. Hundred thousand dollar Humvees. Right. There's a there's a population of this of five hundred in this town. They'd literally have a grocery store in eight bars. You're like, wow, this is. Mineral rights. I think water might be the next frontier on this because oil is just getting the shit kicked out of it right now, who knows what's gonna happen there? Especially with Tesla and the batteries, the ten thousand hour batteries or whatever Ilan's got cookin. But that's super interesting. It must have been exciting. And furthermore, you were University of Texas at Austin. Was this before? Austin was cool.
[00:08:30] You know, it's funny, is Austin was cool, but it was like the best kept secret in the United States for like any city. It's like nobody knew. And before I got there, I people was hyped it. And so it's it's like it's so different than the rest of the state of Texas. And I'm like, okay, whatever. And I got there and I'm like, wow, this place is just cool and different and had a vibe to it. It's kind of hard to put it. It's almost like Berkeley with a Texas twist. It's like it had a little bit of a hippie kind of quality. Obviously the tech scene was emerging, but very, very like liberal and kind of countercultural. Yeah, it was an amazing experience living there, but it was nothing like it is today. Right. Like a funny story. I went to Hebrew school with the Dell brothers. I was this close. I could have been probably an early employee at at Dell. But aside from Dell in its early days, there wasn't much in terms of a tech community there. And you look at it today, it's just exploded. Yeah. So what? I could go on and on about Boston and its growth, but it's still a really cool town.
[00:09:41] Well, you know, it's interesting. I did not know this. And we've been friends and colleagues for for many years. Political science. Me too. And then you just mentioned Dell. I worked at Gateway in South Dakota. So Michael Dell in Tedd Way Gateway had the consumer side of the market pretty much wrapped up and they were battling over the business side and Dell decided to pivot into business. The rest is history. I don't even know if gateway the cows, the old cow spotted box and if it still exists. But there's some very serious parallel path here. I don't think we've ever had this conversation.
[00:10:25] No, I don't think we have any. It's fascinating. Gateway, what a blast from the past. They were like at the top of the leaderboard for for a while. And you're right. You know, maybe maybe made the wrong choice. But, you know. And the political science piece. Yeah. I thought I was gonna follow in my dad's footsteps and become a lawyer. And I did a summer internship at a law firm. And I'm like, this is not law and order. You'd have to pay less. It's 12 hours of research a day. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me. And so I kick that habit pretty quick.
[00:10:59] You know what? I've I've. Whether anyone knows this or not. But I've talked to a lot of people that, you know, maybe you go into that because of the money or the procedures. I don't know why people do what they do. But you're not the only guest that has come on this show and said, I lasted about two months and I hated it. And then I left. Never. And then I went into marketing. Yeah, exactly.
[00:11:26] The next obvious choice. Yeah. I mean, I had always, you know, marketing. It's a fascinating passion for me. I always had an interest in consumer psychology or what makes people tick, what motivates them. And at the end of the day, you know, marketing is at the crux of that, of being able to connect and resonate with a consumer or a business owner, motivate them and get them to. You know, consider and purchase your product or your service or whatever it is. So I always found that that fascinating. And, you know, clearly the practices evolved and developed like almost nothing else we see inside of a company over the last even over the last five, 10 years. But to me, it started with that that passion and that fascination. And it's still at the core of what we do today. It's just far more complicated than it ever used to be.
[00:12:24] Yeah, well, you know, it's interesting. I mean, I don't know of anyone else more qualified to tell us a little bit about your experience in marketing over the last, you know, probably 30 years, I suspect. But, you know, I was talking with someone the other day and I think sales sales back in the the the 70s, 80s, 90s, that's kind of if you were in sales, you were like you were like the guy or you were the girl. Right. And then there was some weird switch in the late 90s and early 2000s that started, I think, over indexing towards the marketing side of the house. And it was probably the advent of digital. You know, if you think about old like the Ogilvy guys and you think about the that whole thing, I felt like you just kind of went away slowly or it's it's very, you know, diminished relative to the prestige and the power and the glamor and the glitz that it used to have. But maybe, you know, maybe you could share with us because you've worked at some major brands, you know, whether it be commerce or L.A. Gear or Walt Disney, Sony Pictures. These are you've got a good view of this timeline, kid. Can you maybe point out a few big, you know, consumer trends or industry trends that you've seen that say? Yeah. Crystal, the reason why is because, you know, Google fucked it all up for everybody. Now we got to. We just write copy. Right. Or I don't know. What do you have to say about this? This timeline of marketing the way you've seen it?
[00:14:06] Yeah. Like like I said earlier, it's the fastest evolving discipline in the C Suite. And it's also the most splintered in some functions. I mean, you know this as well as anybody. You've got ACOR people, you've got SDM people. You've got people that do e-mail. You got analytics, you've got brands. You go on and on and on. There aren't many other functions inside of an organization that are like splintered in some functions. But I'd say the biggest thing that changed in marketing in the last 20 plus years is, is analytics attribution tracking, coupled with, you know, digital and the Internet, because it used to be that. And this is why I kind of believe that inside of an organization, whatever you are, the head of marketing, CMO, head of growth, you're now the S.R.O., you're the chief revenue officer because just about everything you do. The expectation is it is tied to revenue. And back in the day, it was really, really difficult because, you know, like I grew up in consumer packaged goods and we did not have a direct to consumer business. In fact, we were afraid of it. Right. So we sold the Wal-Mart or Best Buy. The thing about Disney when I was there. Yeah, I was Shann was a channel marketing. So as a product marketer, I'd work on some packaging. I'd figure out my pricing strategy, I'd figure out my promotional materials, and then I keep my fingers crossed that everything worked at Best Buy. Right. And that they did the right things from a cooperative marketing perspective to sell through the product that we invested in. And so without these like. D2C models which have now become, you know, the way to do it, right. And analytics tracking, attribution and sort of like this advanced discipline. It was a very different practice then than it is today. So I'd say that's the biggest thing that's changed in marketing. And it just is continuing to change. It's also ratcheted up the pressure, I think, on on the CMO. There was a while where it was like the hottest seat in the C suite. And then I think it's settled for a while and now it might be back. But I don't look recently, but I think the average tenure was like a couple of years. It's almost like people that are my peers or folks that I talked to the minute they take a job. Somebody once said, you're on the clock. Yeah. You know, you probably got 24 months. Yeah. And so, yeah, the the expectations are higher than they've ever been. If you're leading a marketing organization that you are going to produce the results just like that.
[00:16:59] Well, let me just let me let me just be blunt. Do you think that's fair? And forget and not forget like life isn't fair. I get that. But do you think it would be fair to hire a football coach and say you have two years to make this program what it needs to be? Or you're fired? Or is it. Is it fair to say if you're a CFO, you have two years or a CEO? I think that marketing is expected to do way more. I would put sales in that bucket, too, candidly. And they're both started to merge together so much. It might be hard to tell, but I'll just ask the question again. Do you think that's from a strategy standpoint if you're on the board? Do you think that's the right thing to do is give that person 18 months to make progress or or be gone?
[00:17:53] I think it really depends on the situation, because I think if you sign up as a as you know, if you're getting into marketing or growth, whatever you want to call it as a career, you need to accept that that pressure and those expectations. However. Marketers are not magicians. They can't fix fundamental problems in a business overnight. So as an example, if you don't have product market fit and you go out and you say, OK, let's throw let's layer on paid media programs and let's go do earned media, blah, blah, blah. All you do is amplifier issues and dump money down the drain. And that's not going to change anything. So I've always been an advocate for is the business models sound right? We have product markets that are the unit economics. Right. Let's fix those issues first and foremost, which some people may just say, no, it's all good. Just go go build stuff that generates revenue today. But at the end of the day, that's not an excuse. That's not a cop out. That's not kicking the can. That's just saying that your product and understanding your audience and getting all of that stuff right and being profitable down at that unit level is the most important thing you've got to get. Right. And that's that's that's a team sport inside of an organization. You know, that's not just a marketing fix.
[00:19:17] Yeah. And for those of you out there who are not super familiar with, you know, product market fit, it's it it means exactly what it says. And you candidly shouldn't be hiring a growth marketing team unless you have product market fit. My opinion. Like, if you look at the journey of a startup, let's call it a startup, because most of these startups and there's been a lot of money, fuel poured on that fire as investors have become more sophisticated and want to better allocate their portfolios, you know, family offices, giving seed funds money while they also give Wall Street money, while they also do other things. But so you've got this rush of startups getting two or three or four or 10 million bucks. And I think some of them and I've I've worked on some of those businesses. They did not have product market fit when we were hired. And I know God damn well when the you know, as it starts to hit the the conversion funnels. And then I start asking for, hey, what what's the lifetime value? No answer. What's your turn? No answer. Well, how do you know that this M.G. Allergist's MQ well or how do you know that this user registration. I don't care if it's 30 cents or thirty two dollars. It doesn't matter to me. Back to your point, Jeff. You don't have the unit economics down. Why are you hiring ahead of growth? You know, so that exact business.
[00:20:52] Yeah, it does, and it's it's unfortunate. It's why I think it's so important that, you know, if you're if you're starting a business, you keep that in mind. And if you're looking to join a business that, you know, forget about the glitz and the glamor, because we've seen a million of those startups crest that they shoot the moon. But at the end of the day, there's there's nothing behind it. And I always focus on, is there a fundamental business here? Right. Is their product market. That is their potential to create some white space. Is it could it be profitable? You know, over time with just a little bit of tweaking and adjustment. And I think that's how you evaluate a business now that's really sexy. And, you know, they did a hundred million dollars in top line last year. Well, yeah. But by how much you know, how how scalable was that with with profits. Yeah. Yeah. So that's I think we're kind of on the same page.
[00:21:52] Yeah. We are on the same page for sure. So the other thing that is important with this process too, and I know you've got a lot of experience with this because you build teams. Let's talk about maybe how fundamentally I don't think humans have changed, but I think consumer preferences have changed. I think technology has changed. I think that regulation has changed. But maybe describe for us how you think the human component of this has changed in, you know, how you lead teams nowadays relative to how you might elect a team 10 years ago or 20 years ago or or what it might have been. Are we focused on transport, more transparency now rather than command and control? Like, how does that work?
[00:22:41] Yeah. So I'm a big girl. I love the question because I'm a big believer in that. We live in the knowledge economy. We live in the economy or the that sort of talent marketplace where I believe you get the best out of people when they're empowered. And I kind of grew up in some of those command and control grew logs. A company that shall remain nameless as an example that we both know literally. I remember I got my offer letter and it had office hours on it. And I asked my boss and I'm like. What do you mean? I have to be here at a casino like you. Well, it's kind of a thing and in locked the doors and write your name down if you're not there at eight fifteen and then you've got to work till five fifteen. And if you leave early, then then you're in big trouble. And you go on and on and on. And I just think that that doesn't work. I always believed in being, you know, in leading teams with empathy and having a cue. And I think that's the most important set of qualities for a leader today, because I think you get more out of people and then being transparent and and like understanding within them the knowledge economy. Right. People are not dumb. You cannot obfuscate and hide stuff from them. So I think you build trust and engender sort of camaraderie and teamwork when you're really open with your your team, you know, whether it's good or it's bad. Right. Don't sugarcoat it. Don't lie. Don't hide stuff from folks. And I found that that works. And people seem to be super motivated by it. So that's generally, you know, how I like to to think about, you know, an employee employer relationship and kind of leading teams.
[00:24:28] Yeah, I think this is the. This is on management, 100 percent on management. If you as a manager, don't have the ability to understand what what the organization's goals are and then match those with the capabilities of that team and understand what the best, most productive environment for those folks to be in. That's on you. Right. Like, if if if you're selling shoes and you're the product manager for shoes or you're the growth maniac for shoes, like, here's the units, here's the cycle. Here's what we have to do. Check in with me once a week and like, look, you can't run a marathon without going to every checkpoint grabbing the water. People, you know, they check you in. It's just, you know, just start the marathon and then show up at the end. That's how it works. So, you know, one of the things I'd like to get your opinion on this, because I think you and I both have had experience working remote and running, managing remote teams that are accountable for their activity outside of time of day. 815 557 through Friday with an hour lunch. Make sure your ass is back in your seat. But, Paul, what do you think this whole. Pandemic Kova thing has done to bring us forward maybe maybe closer to a more optimized working situation.
[00:26:01] Yeah, I think I think employers and bosses have learned a lot through this this situation, like they were already running like a Purley virtual team. And what I think they're learning or I hope they are, is that. You know, it takes some work, but you can have a highly productive workforce that's working in remote and in fact, my own conclusion throughout all of this is that most people put in more time. You get more out of them when they're working remote, they're working virtual. I'm not saying I'm 100 percent an advocate for it, but I do think it can work for a few reasons. One is now we've got the technology right. We didn't have this fifteen years ago. I remember again, I was at I was at Bank of America and we were super excited because we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on these Cisco high definition video conferencing systems that we put into all the building so we can now talk to Charlotte and see them in real time. And now it's like literally a camera, right, sitting on top of your monitor or whatever, and you're using zoom or whatever you choose so that that economy has been super collapsed. Right. We've got all these productivity tools. The earth is absolutely flat. And so it can be done. And then I think the office dynamic is super interesting. I remember, you know, because I've worked in them for years. I remember reading a stat and I went, wow, this really is true that the average employee in an office environment, a physical office environment, maybe does about five hours a day of work rather than.
[00:27:45] It's just. It is true. Yeah, that's true. Yeah.
[00:27:49] Right. So so like, you know, it is a lonely island. If you're virtual and there's nobody else around, you see, you can't just be virtual all the time. I've got to get people to gather. You've got to work harder. But man, I do think that you get more productivity out of folks instead of making them commute an hour a day and then having, you know, whoever it is, come to their desk and like break their their their workflow because they had some inane question that could've been answered by somebody else or saved till tomorrow. Right.
[00:28:20] Yeah. Well, it brings me it brings me to a couple items. And I think, you know, since we both seen a lot of companies, you can if if you're super passionate about what you're do, not only the kind of work that you're doing, but potentially the mission and the vision and the leadership and the product that you represent, I think it makes it a lot easier to do six hours for seven hours or. Right. But if you're coming in, you're basically like, well, I have to be here and I have to do things this way. And by the way, there's a there's a balance. I don't believe that, you know you know, the employee is like, OK, we have to do exactly what everybody wants us to do as managers or executives. And I also don't believe that the employees have to do everything that the executives want them. There's got to be some balance and some relationship and partnership there. But at the end of the day, if they're not passionate about the company and they're not passionate about the mission, what like why are we like what? Why are you here? Let's figure that out. Because you've been here at eight or nine or 12 or one or me not caring if you have to drive an hour and a half. It doesn't seem it seems like we have deeper issues if we're not if not a tackling that issue. Right.
[00:29:43] I totally agree with you, and it's why, like you. You as a potential employee or going to work at a business or going to work for yourself. You've got to be passionate about it. Right. Otherwise, it's just it's just a job. And then it really does feel like work and that as an employer. I mean, there is, I think, a tremendous onus on being able to make sure that people are really good cultural fit. Right. So it's not just they like the company, but they they're going to get along because they embody the same values that the company stands for. That starts from the top to your point earlier and then kind of permeates what permeates it's way down. And then, like, then then it's a magical thing when that happens. But but it's super important that that start in the hiring process, right? Yeah. Yeah.
[00:30:37] Well, you know, it's interesting going back a couple of questions ago as we start to think about. I don't think this is just a marketing thing. I think this is more of an overarching trend. Traditionally, companies would hire for, I think, core expertize, right? Like an athlete, you wouldn't you wouldn't bring an athlete onto an NFL football team if he was a wide receiver and he was super slow. But. He was really great guy. The great guy part or the great gal part, the great human being part, that's we're gonna look at that first because presumably we know you can run fast enough and you can catch well enough to do the job. But I think before we understand exactly how fast you can run and exactly how well you can catch. Let's talk about you. Do you see that trend creeping in not only in marketing, but in business overall?
[00:31:45] Yeah, I think I think, again, like embodying or the cultural values and having empathy and E q is becoming increasingly important when hiring. You know, I happened to study companies that had done a pretty good job of filtering that out or finding people that kind of sit there. And it's really interesting because there's one company that that I was doing some work for and in a previous life that actually would absolutely not take anybody if they didn't, like, score high on their cultural scorecard, even if they were a technical rockstar. And yet, if they were a, let's say, on a scale of one to three with three being a technical rockstar and one really sucking, if they were a two and they were scored high on the cultural side, they took them. Right.
[00:32:39] Because, you know, that said is super important. You know, it raises another issue, Chris. I kind of had a beef with this this hiring approach. I think that you have to think you have to hire people that have a core set of functional skills. But I've often taken chances on hiring people that have never done that job before. But I know that they're superstars and they they they score high on things like intellectual curiosity and passion and adaptability. And I'm like, I'm going to take a chance on this person. They're going to go learn that craft. But you know, what they're sealing is probably a lot higher. And so maybe I don't get there as quick. But the long term return is way better than just saying they didn't check that box because they had never done that one thing before. And it's amazing to me that I still see companies that that's all they go on right. Is do we need somebody that's been in this kind of digitally native brand at this inflection point of the company and is done, you know, 40 million dollars a year in paid search and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, or we're not going to hire them. And I'm like, we've limited your pool to like, I don't know, a couple of people and they may not even be very good. So. So anyway, I kind of believe in that hire based on potential as long as some of those other things exist.
[00:34:04] Yeah, you really when we were in our in our pre game, we're having another discussion. You'd mentioned the ceiling, the ceiling concept. And I never really thought of it that way because as a manager, you know, there's three layers. There's the you know, there's leadership, which is that vision in that mission, in that strategy, you're doing all that stuff as a manager. And then the third one is execution and it's just raw execution. And as a manager, you're trying to make sure that you fill that gap and you want to do the best you can to fill that gap of efficiently and effectively. But you get you get so myopic on filling that gap and you want to do the best you can. You lose sight of what you should be doing, which is developing your team for the future. And yeah, and I never thought about the ceiling thing, but if you go find that, quote unquote, rock star and they've made their threes, as you put it, across the board, if they are already at their ceiling, you kind of screwed yourself. A year from now, which is what you're supposed to be thinking about. I've never really thought of it that way. It's a superimportant point.
[00:35:15] You know, it is and it's funny. I know some of these folks and they're they're they're fine folks, but you can kind of follow their careers and every year or two, they've landed somewhere else with the exact same job title. And I'm telling you what that is, is like. It's the feeling people realize it. And they went shoot. We hired for technical expertize with great specificity instead of saying let's hire for potential. And this is what we got. And we're not going to get any further than here with that person. And it takes about two years to get there. But then they're out and they move on to their next thing where they do exactly the same thing. Yeah. So, you know, if you're looking to hire, I'd encourage you to think a little bit more broadly than than that.
[00:36:01] Yeah. A love. That's a great piece of advice, Jeff. Let's let's flip back or actually let's stay on the overarching company. Thoughts? Big company versus startup. You've done both on a number of occasions. And it almost feels like we're we might still be on this hiring, recruiting, developing track. But what are the differences between, you know, like you're coming into your you're the Chief Growth Officer at Remoov, which is clearly a startup. They're not pre revenue. These guys have revenue. They probably have product market fit. But there's a big difference between I think you'd mentioned Bank of America before. Right. What's the difference? What should we be thinking about?
[00:36:52] Yeah, you know, if you took huge golf and it's really interesting, I'll tell you a quick story. I was at Bank of America eight years post mortgage and credit market meltdown. You know, banks got progressively risk adverse and things slowed to a grinding halt. And, you know, it was sort of it was not what it was before the meltdown. So your ability to learn and grow was just Steini there. And I jumped off into the world of, you know, Silicon Beach here in L.A. and in the Internet startup community. And I thought it was prepared for it and I just wasn't. And it took a few years to really learn new skills and adapt. But I sat down with my former boss many years later. I was probably seven or six, seven years into my my time in startups and out of big companies. And we were talking about our roles. And I said, so what do you think your role is kind of running marketing for this particular division?
[00:38:00] And he said it is to remove barriers that are blocking my people from getting their work done. And I just went, wow, that is fascinating to me, because most of the time and this isn't a Bank of America thing, I think it's just a big company thing. You were you're not encouraged at the same sort of like clip is maybe a smaller, more hungry startup to think outside and grow every all of your focus and sort of internal. Right. You're you're you're you're politically battling with counterparts around, you know, your fight or unblocking your people so they can actually get the work done. And so Majaw or you're literally managing up in storytelling. Right. Like, here's what we're gonna do. But you're not focused necessarily externally on on developing new marketing programs with the same sort of like weight that I think you are in a startup environment. So I thought that was fascinating, like. You know, his response was it's really it was political in nature. I'm here to kind of get my people you don't get roadblocks out of the way or get people to leave me alone so they can do their job. And I'm like, wow, that that's that's what this was what that's what the job's like in alerting you.
[00:39:19] Unlike. You're like, wait a second. Do you need someone to do that? That's that's you need three people above three other people to do that. So I can sell something so we can grow eight percent year over year. Right. But by the way, nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with it. But there is a difference. And I think that's what we're talking about, to help people maybe draw the contrast, don't suck and leave a job at a 10 billion dollar company and expect to come into a startup and say, my job is to remove barriers. Dude.
[00:39:51] Yeah. Yep. You don't have a team, probably. Right. Right. If your job is to do the damn work, I remember going.
[00:40:00] Yeah. I joined an even smaller earlier stage startup right after a shoot out. So Shoot Asshole was my first entree into, you know, into e-commerce and startups. But we were seriously right. We were andriessen funded. It felt like it was a, you know, flush with cash. Profitable company, even though it really wasn't profitable at that time. But it just had a different feel. Right. So you had people that could support you had teams. But then I joined a a just recently funded series, a startup called Little Black Bag, and I walked in as the first marketing hire the firm. You know, the head of marketing was a key. I think there were fifteen people there. And, you know, so I show up on day one and I said, where's my desk? And my boss, the CEO, lovely guy.
[00:40:49] He points in a corner and there's like a table, you know, a desktop on the floor in four legs. And he said, go set it up. Right. And I'm like, well, how do I get. You know, I had some kind of technical question.
[00:41:02] You basically said, go figure it out. Right. And that's the difference. Like when you're in a large company like Bank India, you call campus support. Somebody set your desk up, somebody cleans your desk, whatever it is, you're kind of on your own. Right. In these smaller startups. And it teaches you a whole new set of skills. Right. And frankly, you know, it was an adjustment, but you weren't. Nothing's beneath you. You're gonna do whatever it takes, everything it takes to win, because that's what it takes.
[00:41:30] And this is a certain kind of person, by the way, don't you know what I don't like right now about. Well, maybe not exactly right now, but over the last 10 years, this startup mentality and in in everyone, you know, effectively all the the brightest minds on the planet, instead of being a lawyer or a doctor or an investment banker. Now, all of a sudden, they're like a fucking v.c or an entrepreneur. It's like you need a second. I hope you guys understand, like a couple things. The reason why I'm an entrepreneur in you know, why I do what I do is because JP Morgan Chase wouldn't have me here. So I ran. Probably would have done it. Right. I mean, just not it's not within how I was made or built or grew up in the status and the symbols and the circuits that I ran on. So this is a this is a this is a in my opinion, a very difficult thing to do. So. It's not right or wrong to be an entrepreneur or want to be an entrepreneur or not or work for a big company, because taking that path at a big company, candidly, you can have an illustrious career and not wake up at two, 30 in the morning every single morning for the rest of your life. It'll be awesome for you. Yes. But one of the things that's that's a little bit unnerving is I feel like it may be covered is going to wake some people up. And I'm not saying this because I hope that people are unsuccessful. I'm saying this because you you will now figure out what being a real entrepreneur is exactly right now. Not over the last 10 years. The last 10 years have been super simple and all of us potentially have been fake entrepreneurs over the last 10 years. Think about that. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Super fuckin easy. Really easy even for me. And I mean, I work pretty hard, but it's been pretty easy now. It's really fucking hard. So we'll see how this thing plays out. But what I am hoping is that the real champions and the people that really have a lot of grit and that might've been something you interviewed for and look for as you built strategic teams. The grit component right now in that culture, in that drive and that desire to do this should be really high right now.
[00:43:46] I agree. By the way, I'm not going I'm going to let you get away with this one thing you said, it's been super easy on the president of this Chris Snyder fan club. And I am here to tell you, I said this to you. I'm on day one. I'm like, this guy is the biggest grinder you're ever going to find. He doesn't give up. He's got a chip on his shoulder. He always wants to show everybody that he's really, really good. In the fact of the matter is, your super talented. So you can say it's been easy. But not everybody. Most people couldn't do what you've done. So I'm not going to let you get away with saying you had been a cinch. Having said that, you're absolutely right. Cauvin Hayes. I mean, it's a black swan, man. You know, it's made things unbelievably difficult for many businesses. And I think it remains to be seen what's going to happen because we're not out of this mess yet. We're not even close. Yeah. And, you know, further questions like, you know, you go out, you look all around. People are spending money like they're not unemployed. And the unemployment rate's so pretty damn high. And, you know, people have been furloughed or their pay has been cut. And I think it's because of the stimulus. But when that goes, that's going to be a really interesting thing to see what what that does to the economy and businesses, because we've kind of been propped up a little bit already.
[00:45:07] I think there's in the range of one hundred and eighty million. Don't quote me on this. All you trolls out there who want to say he's got his numbers wrong. Probably somewhere in the range of, you know, over 100 million people that can work in the workforce. And we have 40 million people unemployed. There's a million new filings for unemployment every week. We don't seem to care. Meaning we're numb to the fact that, you know, we're we're, you know, bleeding out to be dramatic. In to your point, people are spending money like it's like it's back 1995. Right. And 40 million. I read a stat the other day. Maybe it was yesterday. Yelp put out a put out a stat that said that, you know, 50 percent of the businesses that were asked to stop business during the shutdown, 50 percent are not coming back. Fifty percent. I was watching the CEO of Union Pacific on CNBC, Mudbone this morning or yesterday. Their overall transport of goods across the country is down 25 percent. Right. You like. Let's kind of think about this stuff for a second. So I think the message here, because we can go on a lot about this. The message here is you better figure out what you are going to do for you and your family, because this is not going away. It's not going away anytime soon. You better fucking figure it out. Money, jobs, safety, health, food, planet sustainability. This is all things you should be thinking about right now. Not hanging out at the beach. Right.
[00:46:57] Yeah. I think you're I think you're right, Chris. And, you know, it's going to have a lasting impact. But I do know you mentioned something earlier about changing consumer behavior and maybe even waking companies up. Right. Like this is nobody wants to say a pandemic is is a good thing. It's an awful thing. It's it's had it's had lasting impacts and consequences. But if there is any kind of silver lining, the sidewalk will not focus on the humanity part and focus on the business part is there are a lot of companies that went, oh, my God, we were we are pants down around digital transformation now. And and taking e-commerce. I've got a friend of mine who he couldn't be paid. He could not have been taken seriously before this pandemic. And he was running digital and e-commerce at a large, publicly traded company in the L.A. area. And it was like a sliver of their overall business. And they woke up one day and they lost all their other revenue channels. And they went, whew, this is important to us. Why weren't we thinking about this before? So I'm hopeful that we become a little bit more pandemic proof because there is going to be another one. It's inevitable. You know, everything you read and maybe businesses will kind of catch up.
[00:48:21] So, yeah, yeah, I'm with you on. Look, I know I went on a little tirade there, but I'm actually on the positive side of this. I'm thankful as much as you can possibly be that someone's kicking my ass right now to see around more corners. Because when you wake up every single day and you go, how how do we do it? How do we do it? How do we do it? How do we do it? Like, how do we do it before you don't wake up every day and say, how do we do it? You just do whatever it is you're doing and you just do it and you stamp out whatever assembly line bullshit you've been stamping out for 10 years. Put the thing in the thing and then it turns. And then it comes out on the line. And then you get your thing. And then you go to the bar, you have a beer, and then you get right and that's it. And that's your life. And so, you know, I needed a kick in the ass maybe. I don't know. But I think a lot of us needed a kick in the ass. And so I'm thankful that we've been forced into this situation. It's helping me do different things and newer things that I didn't think I would have wanted to do or even thought about doing. It's got the creative juices flowing, right? There's a lot of you'll find the opportunity here, but you do have to look. You do have to look. There's a lot of it.
[00:49:39] I agree 100 percent.
[00:49:42] Jeff, I know you are a big believer in mental health, in in physical health. I know, you know, you spend some time on that stuff. Let's talk about a morning routine or or how you take care of yourself and what kind of impact that has, what kind of impact that has on your professional life or your personal life.
[00:50:04] Yeah, Chris, so, like, I'm not going to say anything revolutionary or novel, but I've been a I've subscribed to kind of having a morning routine and getting up early for for a number of reasons.
[00:50:18] So it's been a big part of my my life. I try to. I try to be out of bed at 5:00. Sometimes that's a little hard, but usually right around that time. And the first couple hours are for me, they're magic because you're awake when nobody else's. There's no distractions. Your text isn't going off your slacks not going crazy. You don't have kids or animals or whatever running around. It's your solitude. And I've used that time for about like one to two hours of deep learning, studying, reading, listening to podcasts. I know you're obviously not want and you love podcasts and it just keeps me prepared for the day. You know, obviously, like most people, hopefully you, like, figure out what you're gonna do to win that day. But if you start your morning routine at 9:00, you're kind of done, right?
[00:51:12] It's like it's too it's too late. All right. You're done. Yeah, you're done. Yeah. And so you're behind. And then you walk away. You walk away at the end of the day before I figure it out. Get up early. Start your day. Start your day before other people do. And I go, oh, man, I didn't win today because, you know, I got so far behind. And it's just it's pretty simple, right? A lot of people try to make it magic or say there's a formula to get up early, get yourself started to meditate, meditate. If you do yoga, that's great. Whatever it is, workout clear your mind, read, learn, you know, set your day goals and then get going. And it's awesome.
[00:51:49] Yeah. And you know what? By the way, you don't you don't need. What's the what's the new bike. The that the test all time. Yeah. Oh look, I need a you know, it's awesome by the way. It's awesome. I'd love to have one but you don't need to pull it on. You don't need another thing. I think people get enamored with, oh, if I just if I just buy this thing, then I'll do it. No, you'll do it when you decide to do it. That's when you'll do it. That's right. So the first step is just getting up. And it doesn't have to be five a.m. on the first day. You can go from seven forty five, which in my view is just a crazy late wake up time. But I grew up a military kid and so, yo, you got water, a bucket of water dumped on you. Your ass was an out of bed before the sun was up. So I don't recommend that, by the way, although I have threat, my kids, I'm like, you watch you going to do it. This room is gonna be soaked. But you just you just have to do it. These are really simple things to do, right? I mean, you don't need a peloton do do air squats while you're making your coffee. You walk out your front door and walk around the block. Ten minutes, listen to a podcast. You listen to the daily stoic. That's a great one, by the way. It gives you some you know, Marcus Aurelius stoicism has been coming on strong recently. I love it. Brian Holiday is great. He wrote a book called The Obstacle is the Way. It's Helped Me a lot because you can't talk to people at this about this stuff a lot. You need someone to. Like, smack you around a little and say, hey, stop complaining about your fucking problems and get with the program. Take those obstacles. You figure out how to solve the problem. Get up in the morning. Start your routine. So, Jeff, how do you think now? We've we've talked a lot about a lot of our company stuff, health stuff. But let's flip back a little bit to maybe what you see, some of the challenges that we're going to face in modern marketing or how you've seen modern marketing evolve and how. I mean, look, you're you're walking into a relatively new company, not a new role. Obviously, you've been doing this stuff for a long time, but you're the Chief Growth Officer at Remoov. So what like how do you think you're going to handle that modern marketing and what do we what do you see around the corner for us?
[00:54:26] Yeah, you know, it's it's there's a lot to unpack there. We were talking about how bad marketing has evolved. And, you know, I studied it when I was working for a boutique marketing executive, recruiting and kind of consultancy firm called Bubble One. We we actually looked at how fast, you know, the marketing engine had kind of evolved in size of companies and there's just nothing like it. So what I think is going to continue to happen is to like go back in. There were functions that sort of stood inside of marketing that didn't really work that closely together, like your creative team and kind of like your go to market team because there wasn't as much reason to.
[00:55:19] But if you kind of look at a modern marketing organization, in fact, I've actually seen this my hiring perspective, people are hiring like growth oriented creative directors right now. And yet they're very left and right, brain oriented. Right. They get the art of storytelling, but they totally get digital marketing, analytics and that hyper fast loop of tasks. Learn, iterate. I think that's going to continue. Right. I think those those kinds of those parts of the organization are going to continue to collapse and get closer together. And your your head of creative is going to care like never before about things like data and performance. Yes. So I think that's an interesting evolution. I mean, probably the top thing that I see. And then. You know, I don't know this isn't that this is new or novel. But you told me this once and I went, wow, it hits home. Google and Facebook control the Internet. What are they? Eighty percent of the overall audience.
[00:56:21] Eighty five percent. And you throw Amazon in there. They're all the copy of everything that happens. You know, Amazon's got e-commerce wrapped up. But between Google and Facebook, I do not know what you're doing there. You're doing nothing else.
[00:56:38] Yeah, they basically they own all the eyeballs. They kind of control your brand. Right. Because somebody else said this to me and I was like, oh, that's so true. If you let Google and Facebook control your brand, you're letting them kind of like optimize for the thing that's gonna get the best response, not the thing that's best for the brand. Correct.
[00:56:59] And so I'm not saying companies were marketing perspective are going gonna disintermediation from from any of them that you can't. It's crazy. There's just no way. But I think there's going to be so much more emphasis on trying to do things that don't require you to spend all of your marketing investment, you know, with a with a Google or a Facebook. Right. Trying to innovate your product, to create the reality and use peer to peer as much as possible and try to find other channels that are maybe a little bit less saturated. That's really hard to do. By the way. But that's the other thing that I think is happening. I've actually talked to a few CEOs that are like, I want to disagree, mediate as much as possible from these large paid channels because I have zero control and they can move the cheese. And then, you know, all of a sudden my so-called healthy business is no longer healthy. Right. You've seen that before. Probably front row seat. Right. When Google changes something with a panda update or Facebook changes something, post Cambridge Analytica man. It's a it's a massive struggle. Right. You're done. Yeah. So that's the other evolution I see is it's harder to do than it is to say. But I think you're going to see more of that.
[00:58:17] Yeah. It depends on the face of the company or into. Right. I feel like if you're big enough, like a lot of the spans we've worked with over the years. And when I say we, I mean our firm, obviously Bank of America's huge work there. They had, you know, hundreds of millions of dollars in spend. But, you know, we're in the 10 million to 15 to 20 million dollar a year range. You know, we've got accounts that'll do five hundred thousand dollars a month or two hundred thousand dollars a month or a million a month. But what I can tell you is, unless you have enough powder and enough bullets to go out and hammer those gigantic Google Facebook platforms, you might not you might be wasting your marketing money by even trying. Because if you're not putting 30, 40, 50 G's a month into that, plus the team component, which costs money, you're looking at, you know, fifty six, six, seven hundred. I'd like to tell people a million dollar investment if you're going after those channels. Those two, specifically, if you're an e-commerce player, you can do it with much less with Amazon. Amazon's amazing as it relates to, you know, average cost of sale and getting acquisitions. But they don't give you access to your customer. They took that ability away. So now they hide all that. And now you're on the crack. Big time. You're addicted. Based jig time, dude. It's not look good for them. I think they've done a great job. But I think we all need to think this through a little bit more. And Beulah is same with social media. And the trolls on social social media that Eco-System, the nasty Eco-System that some of those platforms have created. I think you just need to think strategically about this stuff and not think that you're just going to put a dollar in Google and get five out every time. This is not going to work. Yeah. Go away.
[01:00:13] It's it's just not that simple. It used to be. Right. But it's just not that simple anymore. And it's it's absolutely become become a struggle. And you're right. It's it's gotta force people to think a little bit more strategically and not just say, my formula is always the same. I'm going to do this channel on that channel. We're going to spend this much money. We're going to toss one scale and move magic. It just works. It's not that easy anymore.
[01:00:41] Yeah. And on top of that, the noisiness in the marketplace. So let's go back to the shoe dazzle example or, you know, just fab or any of these subscription businesses. When those businesses started, it was actually hard to stand up a Web site. I don't even know if Shutterfly existed. Maybe it did. I'm not clear on that. Anybody today, anyone can buy anything off of eBay, set up a Shopify Web site and hammer it. And beyond subscription, you have Stripe, you have Shopify, you have a garage, you have a computer, you have a phone. You have a fucking business, you're done. So the clutter in the noisiness people are Krien substract newsletters now where you have to pay. You don't have to. I mean, if they're quality, you pay 10 bucks a month, you get a newsletter and you get someone who knows what the hell they're talking about. You you learn. But it is a really noisy environment out there. From an advertising CMO, growth, attention and awareness, sales, marketing person's standpoint. So, Jeff, we're running short on time, and it's it's mostly my fault because I've yammered a little bit. But last last question. We've talked about a lot of stuff. You've got a lot of great experience. Last question is, if you had to leave us with a thought or a nugget or some words of advice, what would it be?
[01:02:09] Yeah. So so I assume you're talking about, you know, fellow business colleagues and yeah, yeah.
[01:02:16] I mean, there's there's two things we talked earlier about leading with empathy in queue. But, you know, I kind of have a no assholes policy. And I firmly believe, like, you can be tough and hard in business minded and radically honest with with your your team. You owe it to them, by the way, to do that. But but you don't need to be a jerk. Right. And you can still win. Right. By not being a jerk, by not climbing on somebodies back, by not demeaning them. So my advice is, is that and then the one other thing I would say, Chris, is, you know, for anybody that is getting into a business or starting a business or whatever it is, I had this remarkable opportunity when I was consulting to kind of work with a successful startup, founders and CEOs and the one like they had a lot of common qualities. But one of them that I walked away from and said easier to like. You can read in a textbook and then you go see it and you're like, yeah, that's it is. It's not rocket science. They don't give up when everybody else would. Right. They they literally refused to like stock when everybody around them says stop or if they don't know how to do something and there's something that needs to be done, they go learn how to do it themselves. And I just see these people that like, that's the DNA. So if you're going to do that. Grit and determination and the ability to, like, take on new things and not just like give up is probably the most sound advice I can give. Just keep going.
[01:04:00] That is excellent. Excellent advice. And, you know, I like the part where you say you read it in the textbook. But the important part about that is the application, which obviously requires experience and it requires sitting in that room. There's a book out called The No Asshole Rule, by the way. I think it's about 10 years old. They may have they may have updated it, given the state that our desire is in. My God. Yeah. I really appreciate those words of advice. Everyone, Jeff Biesman, Chief Growth Officer at Remoov - a San Francisco based startup focused on helping people declare their space and sell the goods that they no longer want. Jeff, you should probably come back on the show and let's talk about remove so we could learn a little bit more about that. But that's another hour.
[01:04:50] So I would I would be honored. My friend. This has been a blast. I've had so much fun with you and I'm an admirer of what you're doing. And we'd be happy to support in any way and come back on.
[01:05:03] Excellent. Have a great day.
[01:05:06] Thanks. All right, Chris. Thank you. Bye.