Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #150

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan joined as always by Wil Schroder, my friend, the Ceo and founder of startups dot com will as founders, there's this sense that we have to fake a lot of stuff as we are starting our startup and nothing feels very real. So at those early stages like what about our startup? Israel

Wil Schroter: nothing, it's all fake. I mean like by definition, we made this thing up five seconds ago, Why would anything be real? But you know, we're super hung up on this idea that, that we're not the real deal were not the real Ceo, the product isn't real yet. All these things aren't in our mind what real will be someday. And that's, that's exactly what we do. We create fake shit long enough for it to become real and that's the business we're in. So I think we were talking about like how much of what we do in the early stages is actually fake. Is it okay?

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, I'm just picturing now an auto type feature. Autocorrect feature in in power point. It takes out anything that's not true and how much would be left in any given pitch check would be a really, really short read write. Yeah man,

Wil Schroter: it was the jim Carrey liar liar movie. Right? Where were you when all of a sudden he could only say things that were going

Ryan Rutan: to say things that were true. It would be the shortest startup pitch ever. My name is and that's all I've got folks, that's it. That's all I can tell you. Oh man. So well, let's let's let's talk about it. I mean at the beginning stages, like, like you said, I mean jokingly, but also seriously sort of nothing is true, right? What we're doing is setting out conditions and things that we would like to be true in some, some future state. And so essentially everything is fake. And I think we're taking the stance that that's okay, right.

Wil Schroter: I think we'll give it one caveat and I think I'd like to hear your thoughts on this is, it's okay if it's fake, if what we deliver is real. If we have a sham website, we're collecting credit cards and not sending stuff to people that's not okay. That's clear.

Ryan Rutan: There's a difference between, you know, faking something to you make it and grand larceny.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, exactly. We're just, there were no salt together. Yeah, I'll keep an example. 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 dot startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there. When I first started my first company. My such a funny connection, my roommate's girlfriend's father's church parish had a guy in it. There's no way you're gonna follow this.

Ryan Rutan: That's straight out of Spaceballs man line, straight out of spaceballs. You had

Wil Schroter: a guy who was the CMO For triple a and this is like circa 1993, and I just started one of the first web design companies. So anyway, it turned out that he had just heard of the internet, which was a thing back then. And he had asked if anybody ever also heard of the internet. And it got back to me who I was at the time, the only person in the world that had heard of the internet. I

Ryan Rutan: know a guy who's heard of the internet, his name's, will let me introduce you. Well, I mean just to put it in context, guys at this point, the CMO of triple A's big win was probably naming the company Triple A. Like we're going to be on the first page of the yellow pages every time

Wil Schroter: job done. Right? I'm

Ryan Rutan: just call me, call me when we're rich. Yeah, yeah,

Wil Schroter: yeah. And so my roommate comes to me and says, hey, good news, I've got this one client that might be interested in whatever it is that you do because no one at

Ryan Rutan: the time knew what I did.

Wil Schroter: And uh, if you want, I can set up a meeting. So we get on the phone, This guy wants to set up a meeting and then he finishes the meeting or the phone conversation by saying, great, when can we stop by your office soon as I construct it from

Ryan Rutan: refrigerator boxes

Wil Schroter: and so I said to him, I just said, hey, next week would be great and I just assumed sometime between now and then we would just come up with some way to meet at his office. But he was adamant, I'm not really sure why at the time, never figured this out, but he was adamant,

Ryan Rutan: probably a hygiene factor thing, right? Wanted to see like this. I'm not sure this internet thing exists

Wil Schroter: is unbelievable.

Ryan Rutan: Let's go, let's go and get some validation that this company exists would be my guess at that point,

Wil Schroter: I hadn't thought that far ahead. So I had about seven days to create what needed to be an actual office with an actual staff with an actual company. Like we complain about how long it takes us to set up a squarespace site. Imagine having to set up an entire company physically in seven days

Ryan Rutan: and without an IkeA in range. At that point, right, there was no IKEA, we leveled up so

Wil Schroter: we end up going down the streets. I didn't own a car. So I hopped on my rollerblades, roller bladed down the street and high street in Ohio State campus and rented this old hippie clothing store that was completely demolished. That was over the Newport music hall, the concert venue smell the all hell. The guy that rented from, I rented it from was a total slumlord, quite literally went to jail for it later on. It was not a great setup. Let's put it that way. You know, the property next

Ryan Rutan: to my house on south campus.

Wil Schroter: Oh my God. And so, so anyway, so I've got this shell of an office and we decide that we're going to basically build out desks because we couldn't afford them and we have ones of hundreds of dollars to put toward this initiative. So we had to let it stretch. And so we end up going to this place at O. S. U. Os, You surplus. We're all like the furniture in the university system goes to die

Ryan Rutan: again, put it into context, this is no longer good enough for whatever the department on the outs is in a state funded school,

Wil Schroter: 50,000 students, right? I

Ryan Rutan: mean, this is super nice stuff. You

Wil Schroter: roll

Ryan Rutan: into this

Wil Schroter: place. And uh, and I talked to the like intern kid who's sitting there and I said, you know, what do you have for salaries based like anything if you know, it's it's it's yours if you want it. And again, this stuff was beyond this prime. So we found a pile of computers. These were like terminals, they weren't even computers. We found a pile of terminals. We found a pile of fax machines because back then people had fax machines and we found a pile of desks, but these were desks that generally had three or less legs. And so I go to the uh,

Ryan Rutan: with enough gum stuck to the underside to construct a new leg though, you know exactly, go to the internet

Wil Schroter: and I'm like, listen, I need all of that. His question was why? And I just said don't worry about it. And I wrote, this is the best part. I wrote what would become our first company check For $14, 14 bucks, right? He actually run it up. Yeah. You know, he rung it up that that was the market price of all this junk that we're bringing with us

Ryan Rutan: even at what I have to presume was minimum wage or maybe even something less than that for some sort of work study program that this kid was on. It costs them more to sell you that stuff than they made off of it. And if I'm

Wil Schroter: being honest, there was a split second where I ran the math and I said, well can we still afford, can we afford

Ryan Rutan: This? This is 14% of our budget going to office furnishings. This is not what we specified in the business plan,

Wil Schroter: We load everything up into this really raggedy pick up that my friend had and uh and we drive it back to the office and we just basically prop all this stuff up around music, clothing store, but that was our office and had a loft and everything, it kind of looked cool, but it was completely disaster. But we made it look like an office, this is the equivalent of building a landing page website, but actually doing it in the reel. And so the one day when the client's gonna show up, I ask all of my friends to bring the one tie that they own their one clip on and just walk around looking busy. And so when the client shows up it looked like a Hollywood movie set, everyone

Ryan Rutan: was busy

Wil Schroter: right? Like it was hilarious because like when you watch a tv show that has uh you know uh some office scene, you ever notice people are all walking around because the reality of everybody just sitting at their desks like typing messages are looking for it. So when they walked in they saw the Hollywood equivalent of what an office would be like and it was humming with people, everyone was busy. None of my friends had ever had real jobs, so they didn't know what to say or do exactly, but I just walked in the triple A team like around like the different stations and people were typing at computers that didn't even work, it was like a blinking screen so they assumed they were coding or something. The

Ryan Rutan: internet is so mysterious

Wil Schroter: and so we end up bringing the client back to the only computer that worked, which was this laptop that I bought two days prior with all the money we had left. And I showed them like the very, very early stages of what the internet could be and what we could do now, all that was legit. But like when my roommate would run up to me and I'm like, well what do you think of this? And I was like this term paper? And I looked at, it was like run with it, you know, it's like literally run away

Ryan Rutan: with it before they get a look at it.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. And it worked. And when we got the client now I say all that it's a long story to point out that we had to create that cover just to simply get a company to understand that we could do the work. We also looked like we were 12, right? Like we look at the Keebler elves in there, right? We did not look like a button up organization. So we needed that cover to kind of overlook the fact that we actually know what we were doing or at least I did. My friends had no idea what they were doing. But the reality is we are going to deliver the product. But we had to fake our existence to do it now, that's an extreme case, right? That's actually something out of a movie. But it happened and it worked and I wasn't proud of it at the time. But now when I look back, I realized that's what you gotta do. You know what I mean?

Ryan Rutan: What you had to do to, to bear the burden of proof that you know, you didn't have a better way of showing them that right. That was how they decided to evaluate the reality was, there were a lot of other ways they could have evaluated whether you could do the work, but they weren't prepared for any of those. They had no idea this was something so new and so different and hey, that's most startups, right? We're trying to do something that hasn't been done before or at least something that's been done before in a way that hasn't been done. And so we don't have a good way to demonstrate that we don't have a way for them to query us and say we believe you can do this right. They want some reassurance. And in this case it was, you know, a bunch of college kids running around as extras on your, your movie set for your office

Wil Schroter: nanny

Ryan Rutan: brings back. It brings back a memory of building, not our very first sight for the agency, but one of the early sites where we decided we needed to have pictures of, of some of the team on the website and we decided we needed to go full pro, we were going after mostly corporate clients. And so when, when you looked at like their materials, they were all

Wil Schroter: like people

Ryan Rutan: in business dress business suits and I was the only one that owned a business suit. The first realization that we came to was, well we could all just wear the same one. So we started to do that.

Wil Schroter: You look like a boy band.

Ryan Rutan: We, we would have right. So we shoot, we shot me first and it fit fine. We go to the second one. Well the pants were like ridiculously oversized and too long. Right? And then for the third guy was way taller than I was. They were. So we just, we had to go to like just wasting up shots. Then as we constructed the page, we realized we had to write more copy for each of the bios to make the pages longer so that you couldn't see all three of us on the page at the same time because we were all wearing the same damn clothes. So it's like, you know, these things that we go through to make ourselves look legit early as a startup company can often feel ridiculous because they are, but again, like nothing wrong with that, right? We were just trying to show what they needed to see to feel comfortable so that we could go and provide the value that we knew we could provide right? We knew we couldn't look like a buttoned up corporate company because we weren't, that's what they needed to see, but we knew we could build outstanding products for them and that was all we cared about. So I think to your early, early point in this discussion, as long as the intent to do good is there right? We're not, you know, we're not trying to commit larceny, we're not trying to take people's money or convince them of something that we can't do. But optically sometimes we have to look a bit different than what we are able to get to that point where we can actually provide that value.

Wil Schroter: I also think this is the hard part. We have to feel comfortable being that version of the company, which is hard because first off, no one talks about this stuff, you know, sure, my my story might be funny now, I wasn't talking about it in meetings, you know, when I was pitching the company six months after that, that was that was on the dl and again, you hear one off stories like this and it sounds great because it works or worked, but I think by and large there's no apparatus to be able to say, wait a minute. This company isn't what they say, it is, it's this, this and this. So, but here, here's an example, the modern day example, I would say of my fake office, it's my fake website, right? I mean, it's kind of everybody's first step into being their fake identity fake company, is there a fake website,

Ryan Rutan: Still just as harrowing, still just as potentially embarrassing and still costs about 14

Wil Schroter: bucks on my end. And so I think what happens is, you know, you and I are starting a business, It's our first time at it. The first mistake we make is comparing everything that we're doing the stage that we're in to a mature company. It's just not the same. I don't think we have the confidence again being the first timers to understand that it's okay. That actually this is the first version. So here's what, what we end up getting into and what holds us up first is we say we're not going to launch it because we don't have the product in a certain way or we don't have the collateral certain way or whatever. So we ended up doing nothing. Which I think is the biggest mistake.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, I mean, we have to start somewhere, right? We have to be reasonable about you know, where we are and what that's going to allow us to do. So I think just to compound that mistake, you know, the story that you told early was was great and it illustrates sometimes there's this need for optics that don't necessarily match the situation such that we can pass that boss. I think the problem becomes when we start to believe in the need for those optics. I think it was fine that you did that. So that the client would say these

Wil Schroter: guys look buttoned up, we can move

Ryan Rutan: forward, sign the check, johnson, right. Hell happens in in the case where all of a sudden we start to believe in those optics and that we actually need to live up to those before we can move forward and be legit. This is a huge issue, right? Because this is this is why we stay in the lab bench forever. This is why we we never pushed the marketing out. This is why we never tell anybody other than our close circle of friends in the basement of her parents home. What we're building, right? These are all super, super problematic to the extent that this gets in your way and keeps you from starting really bad. Right? Again, don't go commit crimes, don't lie about what you can do. But sometimes you need to, you need to take a little bit of a leap of faith again with full faith that you're actually gonna be able to accomplish what you set out to do, then you're totally fine.

Wil Schroter: 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, we get hung up on things again. We're using the website is kind of a proxy to talk about our corporate identity to talk about the readiness of our product.

Ryan Rutan: Yesteryear's business card, Yesteryear's business card. But I remember when like that was the first thing is like, alright, new business concept and they're like, you want to see the business card, We've already got it done. I'm like, what's the business too? Do you want to see the business card? Right, right.

Wil Schroter: I only buy from companies that have refined logos.

Ryan Rutan: Yes, absolutely.

Wil Schroter: This company changed its logo. Now, I buy it from them all the time. That changes all my buying behavior.

Ryan Rutan: That's what killed service merchandise was the logo.

Wil Schroter: Yeah, as soon as you killed logo, the whole whole businesses over forget about the product. And so I think that from a, from a customer standpoint, you look at a website and yes, if it is horrible and I just mean dogshit horrible. You're probably gonna think twice about buying. But I would argue that should still launch the website because sure some people are going to see it and they're gonna say, hey, that's horrible, Some percentage. But you know how many people are not gonna buy for me if you don't want it at all. 100% of people will not buy for you. We've got this idea to that when we launch into the market, every single person that matters and define that however you will, we'll have seen it instantly will have really thought about it heavily and have made a lasting forever impression. And so we can't possibly launch this, this website unless it's as credible as possible and as refined as possible. Right now, we're working off of Google version 20,000. Every product goes through an insane amount of iterations until it becomes a product that's better known in the early days, it's all ships

Ryan Rutan: and that's okay. That's okay. Yes, that's okay. Let's say it again. That's okay.

Wil Schroter: That's okay. You

Ryan Rutan: gotta start somewhere.

Wil Schroter: I also think that, that we've got this complex that in the early days I'm taking care of everything. I guess. I'm the Ceo, Ceo, I'm the CFO and I'm the director of customer service and I'm, you know, you know, blah, blah, blah and I'm like awesome if you can, you should be doing all that stuff. I also think that's where you learn everything and I just want to build on that for a second. The greatest experience that I got as a founder was taking genuine pride and interest in doing every job. So in the early days and Ryan, I knew you were in the same boat In the early days. I learned how to do design and Photoshop 2.0 and I learned how that worked. I learned Development. You know, early days of HTML one point I was like 40 commands.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah, I was using all kinds of adobe suite when it was still the Macromedia. Sweet. Right?

Wil Schroter: Yeah, exactly. Right. And I learned sales process. I learned, I learned finance way too late. So I, but that wind up being one of the most important things I learned. But my point is instead of folks going, well, you know, we should have this full staff and it can't be me doing everything. Yes, from a band with standpoint that that is true. But I think that we shouldn't be be concerned that we're doing all these jobs. We should take pride in all these jobs. In fact, I would argue there's never a better time to be engaged in all those disciplines then when you're first starting out. So as the organization grows, you know what the hell? Everybody does

Ryan Rutan: have some some baseline for what does it take? How does it work now? Does that mean that you will always and forever be the one who knows how to do it best. Not at all. Right. You, you may be mediocre or even horrible at some of these things, but it takes doing them to come to that understanding and understand whether the person that you bring in after that is an improvement or not. This comes up most often in discussions with founders around the sales process. Everybody seems to be looking for a way to start selling without actually selling themselves

Wil Schroter: and not everybody

Ryan Rutan: but the folks I'm talking to and they're, they're just like they're trying to build a sales organization. Okay. Well, what does it take to sell now? I don't know. We haven't tried yet. Alright, well then we, that that would be step one, right? Like we just, well, I'm thinking maybe just to go, you know, hire a director of sales to direct what you just told me you don't have any sales. Well, they'll, they'll they'll make the sales like probably not. Uh, maybe. Uh and what would you compare that to how, you know, if they're doing well? Yeah. So to your point like early stage, it's great to do everything right now. You want to work yourselves out of those jobs as quickly as you can, but not sooner. Right. And I think it is very, very valuable to have those experiences again, such that you have a baseline, you know what this takes and you just get a sense for all those moving parts. Because the other thing, I think this goes, goes by the wayside. Sometimes when you don't understand those roles and you do have like good practitioners, even in those roles, you can still end up with this very siloed organization because salespersons worried about sales. Marketing guys were about marketing. Ops is worried about ops finances, worried about finance. But if you did all those things originally, then you understand how they play together as an organization and you become that connective tissue as the founder who makes these things work well together. Not just work well in a vacuum. And I think that if you haven't done them, that's extremely hard to pull off.

Wil Schroter: You know, one of the things that happens too is I think we we want to project this idea that there were a big company with an organ chart for some reason were also enamored with this idea of creating an organ chart and hierarchy and everything else like that

Ryan Rutan: business card or a chart. Those are the, you know, the first two things we have to build out, right? Because you gotta know you gotta know everybody's title so you can put them

Wil Schroter: on their business cards. Right? I don't know. And so we get this thing where I need to label everybody with a C. Level title. Everybody needs to be the VP of this again. We need to have hierarchies and and that's what a real company does. You know what that's happened? A real company does that as they start to fast forward their dysfunction. All those layers create more dysfunction. And so the last thing on our minds should be. How many layers? And how deep can the order chart get hell to this day. We've got 200 people. And what is our or chart two? Maybe three layers deep. Mm

Ryan Rutan: hmm. Yeah max. I mean, yeah. I was trying to imagine what the third one looked like. Yeah. Yeah. I think, I think on one particular part of the business we can go to three layers.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. And and that's and that's out of necessity. Right? And so I guess my point is instead of feeling like, oh, we can't project ourselves as this big company with all these layers etcetera. We should look at it a bit different saying we actually don't want to do that if I'm answering customer support. Sure. At some point I don't have the bandwidth to do that. But I need to know how this works. I need to know frontlines every single email that's coming across when I was talking to Andrew Gwozdecky of micro require. Uh he at one point, not too long ago actually, he was answering all the customer support emails. It had an interesting take on it. He said, look, you know, we're about to raise around and I won't be doing this anymore. But I'm concerned about that. I'm concerned about becoming disconnected from that part of the business as he should be as we all should be. So, again, instead of us trying to like fake it to look big, we should also say, OK, sure. We might have to like look a little bit bigger for this account or for this type of marketing image, but we shouldn't translate that into let's also try to run around to create as much hierarchy and dysfunction as possible to try to kind of like present that image. It just it doesn't work again. I

Ryan Rutan: think it goes back to are you doing this for for the look, are you doing this for the optics externally? Are you doing this out of some misguided? Need to do it internally. And do you believe in it? It said differently? Do the people that you have bestowed these titles on believe this now because that can have a lasting impact on the organization most recently talking to a founder who's in a situation now and not an uncommon one where they couldn't afford development. And so they decided to go the technical co founder route. And they were like, well I can't afford to pay developer, I'll find someone who's willing to work for free and

Wil Schroter: make that person R

Ryan Rutan: C T O. Right? Well there are two years into this business now and they're struggling because the optics of this where this person is a co founder and CTO and now they need to hire some people who are actually significantly more qualified than this individual who will have to report to this individual. Right. Right. It's always a joke. This is where the optics become, you know, a reality and a very very bad one. And it's causing all kinds of trouble within the company now. So I think that in addition to the fact that you don't really need this for all the reasons that you just defined, you might need to not do this for some of these other down the road scenarios whereby we've now monitored people in ways that lead to very specific expectations and create massive roadblocks and growing the company.

Wil Schroter: Right? I agree. And I think another thing we try to do with again, this is kind of like a fake entitlement if you will is create the sense of fake credibility. You know, we want everyone to believe that we're this credible company look incredible is directly tied to our ability to deliver. That's what makes us a credible company. Now while we believe and understand that our challenge is we need the rest of the world to see that were credible. So once again, what we do is we say to ourselves, well Ryan, you and I are incredible. We just started this company. We've never been ceo of a company before. Like how could we possibly be credible? Guess what dude, No one's ever been a ceo of a company before until they start one and they do the job. There's, there's no ceo boot camp that we all go through before starting a company and those that actually went the corporate ladder and made it to a Ceo probably aren't starting companies right? You really got to consider the fact that we're all starting from zero, right? Like none of us gets automatic conferred credibility. We gotta buy it from scratch, build it from scratch rather.

Ryan Rutan: That's right. Yeah. And again, I think we have to be careful how much of that we buy into as, as the founder, right? So there is a point at which we, we have to do some of these things right? We need to be able to be credible enough. But to your point like credibility comes to delivery, right? I think, and we probably have a slightly different view of this as startup founders who have done this a number of times and work with thousands and thousands of the founders who do this over and over and over again. So we may be a little more flexible than the than the average human walking around there in terms of how we would assess credibility, right? Can you, can you, you know, Give off zero credibility, right? Like we don't have a website, but we promise we can do this we don't have backgrounds that indicate that we've ever had any experience in this, but we can do this right? Like yeah, there are some hygiene factors that need to be checked off there. But do you need to have the, you know, the fully polished and fully functioning website, product sales team. Do you need to have the, you know, the mild deported chart and all that stuff? No. Right. You are absolutely to pull a meme out of a decade ago jumping the shark at that point, you've gone way too far in terms of trying to build credibility, fake credibility. And I think that becomes a real problem, you know? Well, I'm curious to hear your thoughts, I definitely encountered companies who seem to be spending more time on the optics of their credibility than actually becoming a credible company and I don't think it's out of it, but I don't think it's out of like, it's not out of malfeasance, right? They're not saying like, hey, let's just put up this, this, this front and, and, and you know, run this farcical company, they're not doing that intentionally. They just get so caught up in the credibility and optics game that they start to find ways to feed that specifically instead of looking for ways to make some of that ship true, right? I think that becomes a real, real toxic situation within the company.

Wil Schroter: I think where we've seen people change what credibility used to be credibility used to be your, your name at the top of a tall skyscraper, right? That was credibility, right? I think credibility has been changed into authenticity. People want something to be authentic. So they're actually more interested in what you're saying in your blog or your, your twitter etcetera and and how they feel about you specifically your voice, right? More so than how big is your company. I think that's changed. It's changed for the better and it's certainly swayed heavily into startups favor. So if I were doing things again in my early start a web design company days, I would have been more authentic. I would have said, look, we have for people that are working here, we're working for next to nothing. But this, this is all we think about. We're thinking about this nonstop, this is our future. We're putting everything on the line for this and we're going to work nonstop for you back then it wouldn't have worked. I'll be honest. I was still back in the days of you had to have a sweet business card, right? I

Ryan Rutan: was going to say, man, you would have been too far ahead of the curve on that one. I think anybody was ready for that. Yet

Wil Schroter: people's buying behaviors have changed. People want to know who the company is. You know, a great example is this podcast. I would say more people buy our products like our founder group products or anything else like that based on the fact that they've gotten to know us than anything that we've done that's created any kind of credibility. Like we reference our company size from time to time. So people have some idea that, you know, we've been around a while and we're good sized company, but beyond that, you know, it's, it's really, I would say this podcast and really, you know, the writings, we get out there etcetera are authenticity has created 1000 times more credibility than really anything else we've done by orders of magnitude by

Ryan Rutan: orders of magnitude. Yes. Again, like it's it's it's the peek behind the curtain, right? People want to know who the actual Wizard behind the Wizard of Oz is, right? And they're not surprised by that anymore. They don't care about that. They care about knowing who that is right. They would rather understand the reality than feel like they've been fooled by the optics. I was just relieved when you said because of and instead of in spite of getting to know us by the podcast in terms of people engaging with this beyond this, because I think that that does take a little bit of a leap of faith in some cases. But yeah, you know, I think that, you know, you're you're spot on behaviors have certainly changed. You know, just none of this would have been possible without the internet by the way. Right? Like it's it's that access at scale to so many people to be able to kind of get that glimpse behind the curtain and understand who you are as an individual to give us these medium for sharing these these various aspects of who we are as a person, what we're trying to accomplish as a company. The experiences we've had, how we feel about certain things and letting people attached to companies or founders and products in totally different ways, which is is super exciting

Wil Schroter: and

Ryan Rutan: that is all about the truth, right? So while you're out there faking it until you make it remind yourself that this is just a little bit of padding around the truth that we're trying to create and that that needs to be the goal, right? So fake it till you make it. But make it as quick as you can write. Like get to that point where you're feeling good about some of these things for your own sake and I think would be far better off.

Wil Schroter: I think that credibility comes to Ryan from One tiny morsel at a time. 100%. You know, we keep thinking, well, we'll we'll land a huge funding around and that'll be our credibility or you know, well launch this big product that will be a credibility. That's actually just not how it works, how we've seen it time and time again is you've got this product, you deliver it to one person and it's like your uncle or somebody of it, right? What a couple of people hear about it and they say, hey, that's interesting, can I learn more? You get your newsletter out there and you have like 100 subscribers, not a ton, but a couple of people forward it and now you've got a couple more Credibility comes one person at a time. It's not something that you get in mass. It doesn't come overnight and it's something you truly earn. It's something that you have to earn person by person, all of the people over the years that we've built as followers as customers etcetera. We didn't earn all their trust at once. It took a long time and we've been at this for 10 years and we're still doing it. Everything that we've learned about the, the conversion of faking it till you make, it has been a long and steady process. That again is one person at a time and it's one delivery at a time. And that's really the difference where we go from faking it to finally making it alright. So that was fun. But 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 having more of these conversations

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