Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #135

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to the episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan joined as always by my friend and the founder of startups dot com, Wil Schroder

Wil Schroter: will

Ryan Rutan: we know each other through a startup, don't we? Um, and oftentimes startups have this really bad reputation of destroying everything. That's not the startup, our social lives, our families, our bank accounts. And while you know, some of that narrative is true, you and I both have a pretty different point of view on this and it may not hold true for everybody, but a lot of our social fabric and our social networks actually is a result of who we know in the startup space and the other founders that we interact within our teams and investors and all the peripheral folks around what we do in the startup space. So fair to say that startups have gotten a bit of an unfair rap in that regard.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, I think they have, I think that, you know, uh what we, what we cease to realize is how much of a magnet a center of gravity our startup becomes to developing our social network if you will, and because we only think of it at this kind of business level, like I need to talk to investors or hire employees and we think about it kind of like this title of everything that I need to acquire here, we forget that there's real people behind this and then I started again, creates this magnet that attracts all these really interesting people into our lives and over time starts to often become exponentially greater than any kind of, you know, network, we could have built at a friend level ourselves. And so I think we should talk about that today. I think we should talk about how instead of thinking about our startup as the great destroyer of our social life and plenty of times it feels that way. When you get all those text messages you can't respond to. Um, let's, let's open it the other way, let's talk about how startups actually might be one of the greatest social engines for most founders. Alright, so before we get into this next topic, I just want to let you know what we talk about here is like 1% of the conversation, you know, really this conversation is going on all day long online at groups dot startups dot com. Where Ryan and I pretty much talk endlessly with founders about every one of these topics. So if by the end of this discussion, you like the topic and you want to dig into it a little bit more with Ryan and I just had two groups start startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there. Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: I think that's really important. I think the, the, the contrast that you just drew between what else are social life might have looked like sand startups. He's a really interesting one, right? Because yes, there can be periods where it's difficult to maintain anything outside the startup, right? Everything is sort of happening within it, but on the other hand, if you had just been out in the gen pop and you were just working a job or doing whatever else that wasn't your startup, would it have eventually got to the same place that, that it's gotten to through startup? I think both you and I would, would shake our heads. Emphatically, no, uh, to that one, I know that my network is certainly largely predicated on startups and founders and and the people that, that live in that ecosystem. So yeah, let's dig in, man.

Wil Schroter: Well, so, you know, a part of it, it was a discussion that I had with, with my wife, uh, you know, not too long ago, and I was saying, look at which point we sold startups dot com now, mind you, this is this is my ninth startup company. So I've, you know, done this this before, I said in the past, whenever we sold stuff, I was doing like three others at the same time, so they didn't really change my life. But now, as I watch other friends who are far enough in their career that they'll sell something and they may not start something else. Here's what happens. And I think this is really important. They sell something and they look around and I don't want to necessarily start something again, but they look around like, well, now I'm bored out of my mind, right? Not just because I don't have anything to work on and we've done episodes on that, but because I didn't appreciate at the time how ingrained my social life was in a good way, not necessarily a bad, in a good way with all of these people in my life, or how much time I got to spend with them, or you know, how developed these relationships have gotten and and you know, you and I were talking before the show and I said, look man, if if we sold the company today, I would see so much less of you and that sucks, right? And so I I just I think we should start with really how important these bonds are, that we build working shoulder to shoulder with all these people day to day and how well we get to know them, kind of differently from working from big corp, you know what I mean? Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: it's a very different crucible, right? Not that there aren't pressures and strife within the corporate environment, but I think there's a different sense of fighting to accomplish something within a startup that you don't typically see in, in the corporate environment, and it's a it's a great former of bonds, right? It's it's the trench warfare analogy, right, By the time you've been in a foxhole with somebody, you know them pretty well, um and you know, I think we can all agree that startups can often feel like jumping from one fox hole to the next uh well trying to remain intact. So it's, it is the case that a lot of the, you know, just by proximity, uh, you know, a shared mission. All of these things can, can really drive relationships that would be hard to achieve outside this. I often talk about this, you know, prior to start up land, uh, and, and you know, really having these bonds with, with other founders and with members of the team. The last time that I really had created that were, you know, in like high school and college sports where, you know, you're, you're going through some of the same kind of things, uncertainty, a lot of strife, a lot of stress. Um, and, and working towards that, that common goal, right? And, and repeatedly over and over and over and over again with that real deep team concept behind it. And that was really the last time that I experienced this prior to building this amazing network of friends and, and founders and all the, all the people that support what we do and, and the people that we support as well. Um, just had this conversation two weeks ago, one of the founders from our founders group pinned me outside of the group and we, we had a quick call talking about the fact that he's exited the company kind of similar what you're saying before all of a sudden finds himself in this vacuum socially, he sold the company in order to fulfill a lifetime dream, which was to go back to where he was from, which is a relatively small town and a relatively out of the way state. And now he's, he's struggling a little bit because he didn't realize what the impact of that was actually gonna be. He's got the time and the money now. Um, but he has nothing to do with any of it, right? And, and his, his, his social circle kind of evaporated and he's in a position now where he doesn't have those people in the trench with him. He's, he's kind of digging his own right now and it's, it's his words, not mine feels a bit more like a grave than a trench at this point. Um, and so we talked about that and he asked me like, do you think it's healthy that we get so tied up in our startups and that a lot of our, our social fabric is woven from that. And my response to him was, you know, the the short answer was yes. And then of course, but right. And it depends and there's a lot to that's a pretty loaded question, but my experience has been that it's, it's largely positive, right? And of course when things happen, there are liquid events or whatever, you know, we exit a startup or we, we shut one down that can certainly change people's sentiments about us. And I think we'll dig into that a little bit later, But well in your experience, mostly positive or neutral negative. It's, it's funny

Wil Schroter: and it's actually going both directions. So I've brought friends into a company and things didn't work out so well, right, not like atomic, you know, that kind of thing, but it just didn't work out right for any number of reasons. And I realized I actually didn't know them that well as friends.

Ryan Rutan: Right?

Wil Schroter: So like this whole time I was like, oh, we've always been cool, etcetera. Here's what it is. It's kind of like if you're dating right, you've been on a couple of casual dates. You haven't lived together yet, but you haven't had that moment where the person's, you know, leaving the toilet seat up or you know, using your toothbrush or whatever your issues are. Um, and so, you know, we brought some folks in actually, you're familiar with some of them, um, brought some folks in, had a long friendship history with them and then we got to working together and I was like, oh, you know what, I, there's a lot of things I didn't know about you until we started to work together because I never got any deeper

Ryan Rutan: right? And that's the thing, right? You, you have all these other contextual endpoints now and there's, there's something to be said to for just forced proximity, right? When, when you can just get together when both of you want to get together and be friends. That's very different. Then we're going to be forced to be together every day and slog through a bunch of ship together, turns out, you know, not everybody acts the same all the time, Right? When it's just, you know, beers with friends very different than we're not going to make payroll two weeks from now. What do we do about this

Wil Schroter: here? Here's a way to put it within the context of a startup. Our relationships often for the first time have consequences, right? If ship goes sideways, if people act like an a hole, there are consequences, right? Whereas if I'm just hanging on the barbecue or just having a beer, right? No consequences, right?

Ryan Rutan: Very, very low consequence. There a little bit of barbecue sauce on that new linen shirt. Not awesome, but not life changing.

Wil Schroter: That's about it. Uh Sarah My wife actually blew up a founder I think a month ago where she turned all the gas on at the barbecue and asked him to go light it and he showed up and the whole thing blew up. And like,

Ryan Rutan: I mean, that literally, I was like, what do you mean? She blew up? That's right. No, I mean quite literally, almost blew him up. He's a

Wil Schroter: moderator of another founder group and

Ryan Rutan: eyebrows are a fad.

Wil Schroter: He's a good, he's a good guy boy to get well, but look uh in the, in the context you're asking about, you know, different ends of the spectrum in the context of a startup. What ends up happening is our relationship is tested, right? I think that's really, really interesting because when it's not tested again, you don't know that, that, that person that well, you don't know them that deeply you think you do until you get back to back on some of the stuff you're like, oh, sh it. And so, Ryan, you and I have known each other for a decade, right? And unlike all of my other relationships, we've had consequences the entire time,

Ryan Rutan: we've had things to

Wil Schroter: disagree on, to resolve, to win together, to lose together. And that is a very unique history, right? Um, same goes with Elliot, right? You know, Ellie and I were on a previous mission together, you know, at our, at our last startup, it didn't work, right, man, you want to test a relationship, you know? And and the reason our relationship works now is because it didn't work right? Like, we've seen the full spectrum and we came out together in other relationships, you know, co founder relationships and employee relationships, whatever things didn't work, Things blew up. In many cases, we never were quite the same friends again, right? And they both got to see the other side of things and you're like, huh, okay, alright, and you can kind of sometimes never get over that. Some case, we did some case we did, but the whole point is, I think this crucible that we're talking about is so critically important to understanding how these relationships really play out, you know what I mean?

Ryan Rutan: I do understand it completely. And it's as you said, you see it on both both ends of the spectrum. Right? And so I've I've certainly had that and I want to touch on some things we talked about like, you know, when you you sell a startup or something and it goes away, then then everybody goes away with it. Not entirely true either, right? Because that would also imply that like when employees move on, um we no longer have relationships with them or you know, you know, we're still maintained contact with investors from previous startups and so forth like that, that absolutely is the case. I think what it allows you to do when you know, if you're you're spending the appropriate amount of energy and time in these relationships is to understand which ones are worth maintaining, right? Whereas that very superficial friendship, easy to keep going right? Very little to it other than buying the bratwurst to keep bob coming over. Right, Cool, that's great. Um but there's also very little value in the maintenance of that relationship, Right? So, these these relationships that have cost and consequence quickly prove out whether they're worth maintaining or not, you know, some of my best friends to this day are people that we've worked with, that we no longer work with, Right? Right? You know, found people that I work with 20 years ago. People I work with starting 10 years ago and are no longer part of the immediate circle, but they're they're going to be lifelong rider dies because we've been through some ship together and we still liked each other, which is really important. You know

Wil Schroter: what we said, consequences. But I think the other thing that's interesting, I think you're touching on this is it gives us context to have a relationship, Right? And so when we're in college, were all freshmen, that's our context, right? We graduate, we go to some shitty company and work, that's our context, right? You know, we're all single, we're running out running around, you know, uh, and and meeting people, that's our context, right? But those context also do burn off, right?

Ryan Rutan: They evaporate at some

Wil Schroter: point, correct. And sometimes if we haven't formed enough relationship right within the context, when the time was right, it doesn't, it doesn't, you know, keep going. But think about some of the folks Ryan that, that you've met over our years at startups dot com that have become like a genuine part of your life that started just because you had that context.

Ryan Rutan: Oh, it's it's dozens. I mean, it's and it's been, you know, it's been a calling card and I know we both do the same thing, but, you know, when we go to a new city, uh, or, you know new whatever, like it's an easy way to to drop in and immediately start to build out that circle. Um and a lot of my my current life circumstances and circumstances, they were pretty intentional are based on those relationships, right? A lot of my social network here is predicated on introductions that were made in the context of of startups dot com and what we've done um ending up here at all was actually the result of of one of our former employees and one of my still very close and dear friends uh and you know, that's not to be overlooked, right? And again, a big part of that, because I was invited to a part of the world I had never really considered needing to go to, but because I had that context and I trusted that person implicitly and I knew that if they were going there, that there would be a reason for me to want to go there, and I had that context, whereas if bob was like, hey man, let's go to some third world, and I'm like, let's just trust me, it's gonna be cool, like, yeah, bob, you got barbecue sauce right here, But um so and then summarily ignored the suggestion of going anywhere. These things are really important, right? That context gives me the ability to understand a far more from that communication than than not having it, right? So

Wil Schroter: yeah, so, so I also think that being a founder being in a startup, creates kind of this centrifugal force, right, this tractor beam, if you will a magnet that brings all these interesting people into our world that we would have never met, right, which is so interesting to me because In my first startup I started to notice this, I was like 22 years old and we're hiring like crazy and all of these adults were showing up in my office, right? Like gray hairs, which is essentially you and I now, yeah, I was gonna say it sounds like us, but at the time I remember distinctly sitting there and there was this gentleman across me that was interviewing and as he's talking, I'm totally tuned out, I'm embarrassed to say that, but it was and I started doing this whole daydream sequence right? And in this daydream sequence I was thinking how did I get here? Right? Like how is this guy trying to sell me on having a relationship with me? Like this guy has got so much more experience than I do, right? Like what am I doing in the room, not him. And and I thought to myself, holy ship, this is so cool, like just by being a founder and ceo I get to have these reps with people that I would have never had before, right? I remember doing my first media interview and the reporters asked me all these questions and she's asking all the questions and again, I too, now I should probably stop doing this, but I do. And, and I tune out and I'm like, holy cow, like someone cares like, you know what I'm doing. And so in a short period of time, I remember I had, um, my flip phone, my Startech flip phone, right? This is back in the day. I ran out of context. Like I couldn't add any more contacts into my phone. And this is just such, such a bygone era.

Ryan Rutan: It wasn't hard to max up that 2 56 KB. It

Wil Schroter: was, it was not in. But my point was, I was like, holy cow, how would I have ever met all of these interesting people? Right? And so like, and we have all these pockets, Right. Right. We've got employees that we're gonna work with. We've got partners, we've got customers, we've got investors, we've got the media, we've got all of these and other founders, right? All of these people that would have never met in a million years. And I just think it's just fascinating. You know, by the way, I just want to mention if what we're talking about today sounds like the kind of discussion you wish you were having more often you actually can, you know, we're online all day everyday, working through exactly these types of topics with founders, just like you. So any question you would have, or maybe some problem you just want to work through. We're here and we love this stuff and we're easy to find, you know, head over to groups dot startups dot com and let's just start talking.

Ryan Rutan: It is, it's fascinating. It's not to be taken for granted either because this doesn't exist everywhere. I mean you can say that well, like I could be in any industry or any business and there's going to be a community based on that. Yes, I would argue that they tend to be a little less awesome than founders now. Of course I do have a penchant for them, um, and spent a lot of time with them. So I may be slightly biased, but I remember going on five years ago now, uh, sitting down with my father and very rarely were dad's, you know, dad's stories and, and these, these tales that he gives me all these lessons, um, based on something negative. This is one of the few cases where it was, but he said, you know, I hope, you know how lucky you are that just by, by, you know, proximity just by osmosis, you get to hang out with all these awesome people through the course of what you do. And I said, well, yeah, but you know, you, you've really, you know, always loved your patients and, and he's like, yes, I do, I love my patients like, but I don't really get to have, you know, a big relationship them outside that. And he's like, I'm looking at it more from, you know, like going to networking events, you know, going to conferences, all these things like I never wanted to hang out with other surgeons. There were a bunch of a type, egotistical assholes and I said, you said it dad, not me. Um, you know, he didn't have that and he was looking at what, you know, I had been able to create based on what we've created

Wil Schroter: and had

Ryan Rutan: this really high level appreciation for, for what a wonderful experience it had been and all these amazing people that were in my life, all because of this, right? All because of that tractor being that magnet that you described. And, and he was contrasting it with his own experience and he had been in a position of power and you know, it was, it was a teacher and a surgeon and a coach and it had, you know, opportunities to be in front of people in positions of power and, and all that. But I didn't ever translate in the same way to truly enjoying the people that have attracted. And I think that is not to be taken for granted here.

Wil Schroter: I think, uh, you appreciate that when someone turns the magnet off startups, cells start to pull whatever and you realize no one gives a ship what you had to say right now now you could look at that and go, well, those people didn't really matter anyway, maybe they did, maybe they did. The point is, you never got a chance to find out because as soon as they turn the magnet off, you never got to meet him to begin with.

Ryan Rutan: Exactly.

Wil Schroter: And so I think, you know, as a founder, not only do we need to appreciate this obviously while it's happening, you know, while we're in the moment would have you, but we also need to be able to say, damn, I've kind of got this cool Jedi power now that maybe I didn't have a year ago, how do I, how do I take advantage of it? Right? If it sounds to me like I can meet a ton of other founders and I'm not meeting a ton of other founders, I gotta go take advantage of that, right. If somebody comes to my office, um, as a contractor employee and does an interview, I have to recognize what a gift that is that I'm allowed to sit across from them and get to know somebody that not in a million years when I've had the opportunity to know. Yeah, 100%. And and if this is your first go around and you haven't done this before, you'll sort of get it. But over time we start to look back and again, once it's taken away from you deliberately or not, that's when you feel it definitely appreciate like how important that part is.

Ryan Rutan: 100%. Yeah. And so you, you've said this before will, but there's this concept that, you know, our, our voice becomes a different voice at some point, right? I think you're kind of saying this a minute ago where, you know, you're in this room all of a sudden and you've got these, these gray hairs around you and they're listening to you, right? And for the first time you've got a voice and and you're attracting an audience and and I think that's that's something that cannot be overlooked or taken for granted because to your point like that doesn't necessarily exist in, in in other realms, right? You know, if you go into the corporate world, there are pretty, pretty hard structures around how far your voice and influence can carry and definition intentionally, Right? So, you know, you don't have these opportunities everywhere. And so I think as founders, we need to recognize that. And and really to your point, appreciate the fact that we have these things because I think that, you know, if you're not appreciating them and you're just looking at as all of the negative things that my startup may have done to me without recognizing any of these positives. Um, you can easily take the stance that, you know, this has a deleterious effect and that negative on the life of a founder. Um, and sure there are drains on us as founders, but I think that the more we open ourselves up to appreciation for these other things that do exist, the easier the rest of that stuff is to tolerate and go, you know what, life's not that bad inside this little microcosm of my startup.

Wil Schroter: It's also cool to be heard right? Like who doesn't want to be heard right? Like, I remember specifically remember, uh again, early my career, um I was, I started on the speaking circuit and I was doing, you know, speaking gigs and places and I did this really, really, really in retrospect, obnoxious pitch called something to the effect of how to retire by the time you're 30. And I was like 23 at the time. So it was a gimmick, right? And my first, you know, opening slide said, I have no idea right now, just kinda make fun of it. But it was in an era where that was, that was novel, that was new. And it's a whole bunch of people would attend because they all wanted to know whatever my Tony Robbins secret was and so, but will you? And so, uh but during this speech, once again, I'm tuning out of my own speech in this case, you know, my cut scene and I started thinking to myself, holy cow, all these people care what I have to say. Like they took their time out of their data, their workday hopped in, their car, drove here to listen to what I had to say. And they're gonna ask me a whole bunch of questions, They're taking notes and all this really cool stuff. And I'm like, dude, a year ago I was making websites for food, oh how far we've come. And, and, and now all of a sudden people care about, like, you know what, what I think that the next big thing will be or whatever it was, that dumb stuff that I was talking about, and I thought, how cool is that, right for the first time in my life that I can be heard right in a way that people want to engage and, and, and, and, and build upon it, it's just, it's really powerful to me.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, and and let's be honest about that, that requires being outside of some of the other social norms, like that's what creates that desire, right? If you're just sitting in a corporate environment as a middle manager, nobody cares for good reason, right? Not that you're not important, not that you're not a good person, don't have interesting perspective cause these things can change really fast. It's the environment in which you're doing it right the minute you go outside of that kind of inertia stream and you're doing things that nobody else is doing, trying to accomplish something that nobody else has done before and under certain, completely uncertain circumstances, You now have a platform, right? You're up on a bit of a pedestal there and and you can use that to to do a lot of good uh for both yourself and the business and in the community are trying to survive. And it's really incredible how quickly that can happen. And you talked about that, you went from, you know, being, you know, at 23, you know, two years before that, how many people were asking you to get up on stage and speak? Well

Wil Schroter: two years before that I was a receptionist,

Ryan Rutan: people were actively asking you not to get up and talk like we'll sit back down,

Wil Schroter: please be quiet. Yes.

Ryan Rutan: Right, so it's amazing how quickly it can turn uh and that's just about, you know, again, being outside of of those norms. Um and yes, that does come at cost. Sometimes we both talked about this, how much, you know, time we sacrifice, you know, being away from friends, being away from family, saying no to going out and doing things um in order to say yes to our startups. Now, we've also developed significantly different perspectives on how we would do that if we had it to do over again. Um but you know, hindsight being what it is. However, those costs came with some gains if we were able to recognize them right, and appreciate those moments that were created from the sacrifices that absolutely would not have been created. Had you not sacrificed and you put in two more years as a receptionist, I don't think he would have ended up on that stage.

Wil Schroter: I'll give you a great example, another good contrast moment. This is later in my career, later in my career I moved to Los Angeles and uh, and I've been running a bunch of startup companies at this point. And whenever I would get in a room of their founders, etcetera, there was weight to the fact that I was a founder, right? You know, and as it was for them as well. And so we would get in a room, we would immediately start talking, would be at dinner, would immediately start talking about like there was context and there was a bit of gravity, right? Uh, a good friend of mine who was actually a co founder of one of the business businesses, but was in a totally different business. He was a talent agent. He said, listen, every year, about 30 of us from L. A. We get together. These are mostly producers, actors, etc. Um, and we go to Costa Rica and go there for a week. Um, and we rent this huge place and it's amazing, right? So I decided to go and I'm like the plus one of 30, right? I make no sense in this group and I'll never forget. We get there like we arrive on the plane, we're all tired, we get there the next day, we wake up and no one knows who I am. I don't even know how I got there for all they know him to help, Right? No one asks my opinion. No one cares what I have to say. And I kid you not. Ryan for three days. I think no one spoke to me, right? Like it was really awkward, right? And how much alcohol was consumed, right? And I remember thinking like this is really weird, right? And something happened. I can't remember what, but something happened where someone was like, hey, didn't you do this or that or something like that and gave context after that. I was like the most popular guy in the place. Right? It was this really amazing thing where like without that gravity, right? It's not the same relationship. Should it be? Who knows? Right? But I don't think we can overlook that. I don't think we can overlook that what we do creates a gravity that that is a social lubricant. Right up so many doors for so many years.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. I mean I was telling you before when we were we were just kind of discussing this before before the show um that I can link back about 25% of my network here in Antigua to a single founder introduction that was made three months before I moved here. Right. And so we have developed an email rapport and then I think back then we were using Skype, a couple of Skype calls. And then I met when I got here. And then this this gentleman introduced me to a ton of people in his network who in turn introduced me to a ton of people network network. But it was all predicated on that founder to founder relationship and context. And you know, we, we had that common ground, right? That's very different than if you and I are both like, hey, we have the same color badge from nationwide.

Wil Schroter: Right? Sorry,

Ryan Rutan: nationwide. But it doesn't carry the same, the same context or gravity. Yes. We probably have some shared suffering, but it's not the same thing. Right? I think that there is a really interesting implied, um, context around founders and what we go through and even just by stepping up and saying, I'm a founder. I'm trying to do this. It tells you a lot about that individual, right? Particularly, you know, a lot of other founders, you don't know any other founders probably doesn't mean much right to the, to the context of, of you showing up in Costa rica as the tour guide. Um, according to everybody else. They didn't have that same context understanding for what it means to be a founder. But the minute you surround yourself by their founders, there's an implicit understanding around what you've been through or what you're about to go through. Um, and that gives you a lot of common ground to work from.

Wil Schroter: You know, you mentioned other founders, things that's really interesting. A lot of founders don't realize because they're so busy being a founder, that they're now part of this like massive connected family and millions of other founders, right? That would love to meet them. that would love to engage with them, that would love to share war stories or you name it, right? It's the coolest thing in the world.

Ryan Rutan: It's just

Wil Schroter: like kind of a little known fact where it's like anywhere in the world you go, if you meet another founder, you will instantly have common ground, but more importantly respect, and it reminds me of um whenever like, like to service people meet in an airport, right? And they both realized they both served in whatever, you know, military force, they have immediate respect, immediate camaraderie, right? You know, they immediately want to like each other, um, because they've all been through the same stuff, I think, you know, for the folks listening, if you lift your head up long enough that you can, and you say, yeah, I would love to meet interesting founders, right? And we'll do it all the time, They seem to think it's awesome by the way it is. Um, you know, get out there, talk to some other founders going anywhere, right? You know, Georgia founder groups or whatever you do, right. Um, you have maybe for a lot of folks who are either introverted or didn't have like connectivity in their lives before you now have one of the most built in networks of all time, both professional and personal, that's it absolutely amazing to build from, you know, and I think that's uh, that's something we don't talk about very much, but it's, it's pretty evident

Ryan Rutan: it is, and I think the other, the other side of that is that we have this really interesting common ground and and sort of respect right, right out of the gate. Like you said, there's just this understanding and initial respect. Now, we occasionally meet a founder who absolutely strips all that respect away after we spend some time with him. But I would say they're the exceptions that prove the rule. The other thing that is absolutely outstanding in the founder space, and we're seeing this more and more and more as the years go on. And and we're, you know, everybody's working together to create more of this is diversity in the space, right? You're not it's not this sort of, there's not a single archetype, I mean, there was and and we're doing everything we can to knock those walls down, but there's so much diversity in terms of cultural backgrounds, ethnic backgrounds, gender, but beyond that, just the interests and the things that people are working on, right, We may both be founders, but our interests and the businesses were building can be wildly divergent and that's a lot of fun, right? So, getting to hear what other people are working on and have it be something so different than what I'm doing, but still have that common ground, it's kind of like if you've ever seen a conversation between two professional athletes who play very different sports, right? It's it's interesting because they have that shared ground of being at the top of their field and and being an absolute expert in what they do, but on a very different playing fields, right? How hard it was. You know, all the benefits that come with it. All of the sacrifices they made, all of these things. There's this wonderful common context, but on too literal, different playing fields and it's amazing to see these things and it's the same thing with founders. That's why I never get tired of it, right? It's not like just talking to, you know, like my dad's case, I don't want to talk to another surgeon, like I that's all I do all day long. I don't want to talk about it anymore. In our case we get to talk to people with that common context. But do we get to hear things that are completely different than how we're spending our days? And to me, there's so much joy and value in that it just keeps things fresh, keeps things interesting. But built on that common connective fabric of of struggle of of desire of of trying to create outcomes and trying to build something great.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Look, here's what I would say. We're at a point in our lives, you know, when we're building our startups where we're already used to all the things, all the soccer games. We don't get to go to all the, all the nights that we don't get to go to. But just once it would be valuable to stop to look around at all of the great connections, we get to make that, all the, all the connections, maybe we haven't made all the common ground we now have with so many interesting people and finally take advantage of it and finally get behind it and finally use it as something to drive our social networks instead of killing our social time. Alright, so that was fun. Well, let's actually keep this conversation going. You've heard what we think about this, but you know, Ryan and I would really like to hear what you think and we're online, like all day long, pretty much talking about every startup topic you could think of from fundraising, the customer acquisition to just really have to get all of this crazy startup stuff out of your head. And there's tons of other founders, just like you, they're weighing in on these topics so you'll get a chance to just hang out and meet some really smart founders were also super, super easy to find you head over to groups dot startups dot com and let Ryan and I hear what's on your mind, let's get to know each other a little bit. And let's just start

Ryan Rutan: having more of these conversations

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