The Wicked Podcast

Ton Dobbe: The Remarkable Effect

February 23, 2021 [email protected] Episode 34
The Wicked Podcast
Ton Dobbe: The Remarkable Effect
Show Notes Transcript

We talk to Ton Dobbe, product specialist and startup consultant about how to make your product or service relevant to your customers.

00:35 Insights & Takeaways
09:00 Interview
 
Links:
Book on Amazon: here
Author website: here

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Music:
'Inspired' by Kevin MacLeod
Song: here
Creative Commons License

Marcus Kirsch:

Welcome to the wicked podcast where we read business books you don't have time for. I'm Marcus Kirsch.

Troy Norcross:

And I'm Troy Norcross,

Marcus Kirsch:

and we are your co hosts for the wicked podcast.

Troy Norcross:

We take from the 1000s of business books out there and test the author's ideas by comparing them to real world challenges. With over 40 years or projects between us, we've got quite a bit to compare against. We give you the condensed takeaways followed by an interview with the author's

Marcus Kirsch:

we know you want actions, not theories and his actions that we want to help shape because that's what the wicked podcast is all about helping you to become a wicked company.

Troy Norcross:

Marcus, Marcus Marcus, we made it, we made it into the new year, it's 20. Everything will be

Marcus Kirsch:

different, apart from the fact that we are I think, five minutes away from the next lockdown here in the UK. That's exciting yet again.

Troy Norcross:

Yeah. Okay. All right. All right, now that I started up on a positive, and then you brought it down to a negative, let's talk about the book that will go up again, right.

Marcus Kirsch:

Yeah, please. Well, yeah. So today, we have Tom over here, who wrote the book, The remarkable, remarkable effect. And it's a great book around, you know, your ideas and what you have as a business and what he actually doing and better finding who your customers really aren't be authentic and detailed about it before. pampelonne.

Troy Norcross:

No, no, no. Before you ramble on, come on. Tell us why keep rambling

Marcus Kirsch:

on. And my questions are all the way too lengthy.

Troy Norcross:

No, no, tell us why you really like the book, tell us their real reason why we read this book.

Marcus Kirsch:

And what are you talking about?

Troy Norcross:

Deep down? You're a surfer? Dude. I know you're a skater by Yeah,

Marcus Kirsch:

there's a wave on the cover. Yeah, well, when I talk to Tom, and also when I read it, obviously, he's into big wave surfing, I love big wave surfing, never done it probably will never do it. Because I'm too old for this now, I might easily die trying. So I won't do there. But yeah, he's got some great stories in there, where he talks about that. And he compares, and I think there's just some great analogies there about, you know, risk taking, trying learning, you know, and being very precise about what you do. Because the big wave surfing community is very specific community different from all the other surfers. And so and I think it's a nice analogy. And just just for that, it's probably worth reading and reminding yourself of why you're in the business as you are.

Troy Norcross:

Yeah. And he does a good job. It's not gonna have a dry educational book, he tells it in the form of a story around big wave searching, serving, which, of course is interesting to me, because it's in Portugal. And that's, that's where I'm going. Yeah, fine. So I'll get to my insights, I've got two particular insights, what would I tell my clients after reading this book, The first one is not everyone is a risk taker, not every job requires risk taking. And it was really interesting that he said, Look, if you're just a publicly traded company, and your focus is on quarterly results, then that's the way you're going to be. If you're an entrepreneur, and you're just wanting to kind of be a lifestyle kind of job, you may not be doing that. But if you're a tech entrepreneur on a mission, then you're going to want to take some risks, and be real with yourself, and talk to your customers. And I think that's the other thing is, when you're talking to customers, and you asked me one of your classic, three questions, and one kind of questions about getting to Why, what's the underlying reason? And why don't people do that? And they kind of float around the surface. If you're going to talk to your customers, talk to your customers and get all the way down to the Why don't ask them what colour they want the button, ask them why they want to do this? How will it make their job better? What will their life be like if this actually works? And that's my two takeaways. But what about yours?

Marcus Kirsch:

Yeah, so I'll probably have a one and a half and the half is essentially, that it's a really nice spread of getting. This is one one point he made that is maybe a smaller thing, but maybe it's a big thing. I don't know, I let the listeners decide, which is about automation. Um, you know, automation is needed. And we're all looking for that. But think one step ahead. Because you're not just automating to, you know, have less people in your team and save that money. Actually, what you want to do is you want to enable the people who already have to be able to do the things that actually should be doing. So don't think of automation as saving money. Think of automation as being able to make up time for the stuff you should really be doing, which is digging down more into the problem you're actually solving for your customers. The other parts also that the second one is to, you know, more often or realise, and I know a lot of organisations eventually end or change leadership. Do you really know what the essence of your business actually is? And you need to check back in on that occasionally. And I think definitely over the last 10 years, a lot of organisations did not do that. And despite all the change, they did not go and say, hey, are we still in the, in the business of giving people mortgages, like nationwide, they're not, I think, to have something more essential and bigger to have, it's about helping people save money in order to eventually afford a house, which is different to a mortgage is much bigger picture, it's a more wicked problem, but it's the bigger value. It's what makes people happier. That's a real life goal, right there. And I literally just talk to a CIO today about this. And he said, I need people to step out about fixing problem fixing small stuff, and building features into having an idea of the bigger picture what they're actually doing with and for the customer. At everyday basis, they don't have it. So if we have a new process that helps them step back, and get closer to the problem they're solving and that happiness and value they're creating for the customer, the better job we're doing, because otherwise, we're not delivering the right stuff. We're making everyone unhappy. So that that for me was was the bigger one of the two takeaways.

Troy Norcross:

Great. Well, I want to finish on something that we didn't do in the last episode. And it's the time for us to do it right now. I'm going to talk about what we did in 2020. We did 31 episodes in 2020. We read 32 books, we just did our 32nd kind of recording just with this one about to come up. We also started off audio only and we went to audio and video, we actually have made such a great impression in diversity by adding a lot of women authors into our list of books that we've been reading, which I think is a great thing for us to do. And we've reaped great benefits from that. And we've had really amazing traction on LinkedIn, from social media and engaging and grown our audience. So, you know, it's really important that companies take time to look back. What did they achieve in the last year, and the wicked podcast did a really great job. So well done to you for kicking my ass and getting you to come on this journey with you.

Marcus Kirsch:

Thank you. And thank you, Troy for and we're just patting ourselves on the back, aren't we? But yeah, it's good to do that occasionally to step back and look, because I know that COVID felt quite lonely. And I felt underachieving because I thought I was like, What am I doing, and it was good when we met for essentially Christmas drinks. And you're like, look away down, we've done hours of stuff. You talk to a really diverse bunch of people about problem solving and what to do, and figure maybe helping figuring out, you know, why people read books and not read books and what they get out of it, and why they're not getting things out of it, and what the major themes are. And I think we had an amazing broad spectrum of that. Which is now our backlog. And it's brilliant, you know, our back catalogue, so to speak. Yeah. Yeah, we should be happy. And we will. Now in the second year.

Troy Norcross:

That's right. Yeah, we go on. Off we go. So shall we go to the interview?

Marcus Kirsch:

Yes, please. Hello, everyone. Today, we have tandava here with us. Hello, tone. And thank you for joining us.

Tom Dobbe:

It's a pleasure. It's a be looking forward to this goal.

Marcus Kirsch:

Yeah. So this might be a very fun conversation, not just because it's a great book. But I think also, because you might end up talking a little bit about big wave surfing here. So we'll see how this goes. But we started to talk as usual. The question to our listener, for our listeners in particular is, please tell us a little bit, who you are, and why you wrote this book.

Tom Dobbe:

Long story, but I'll keep it short. So my name is told about you, as you highlight it, I'm Dutch son of a farmer, a chilli farmer. But for somehow some reason I ended up in the in the IT sector, I've always been in business software. I've worked my whole life for a company in the Netherlands called unit four as that progressed internationally, being a jobs, Product Marketing, Product Management in the last the last one and a half year or so in the role of a chief evangelist. So for me, it's always been about like, what's next? And I'm particularly fascinated by like, like, how do you stand out from the crowd? And how can you create a business that people really value and create momentum with it? So when I left unit for this was my premise, to help business software companies around the world do that? And my message was, I'll help you reimagine what can be to become a remarkable software business and in order to To live up to debt, I decided I had to do research and started a podcast myself. So that was beginning of 2018. And long story short of that, that's where I started to see a number of patterns of companies that start started on a great idea. But for some, for some reason struggle to, to create momentum or to to break through that momentum that they have, that they have created. And I decided, Okay. It is fascinates me in the first place, why not write a book about it, I was pushed a little bit by some of my podcast guests. That's what I did in 2019. And I wanted to reveal a framework of what I've experienced in my own life, but also bringing all the experiences from the people that I've interviewed on my podcast. So it became a framework of the 10 traits that define older software companies that we just keep talking about. That's how that came about.

Unknown:

Yeah, lovely.

Troy Norcross:

It's interesting, you start off the book with kind of three basic questions. Is it valuable, what you're doing isn't urgent? And are you exceeding and how you deliver that particular experience? And the really, really great questions. But I've worked with enough people, both kind of startup entrepreneurs, as well as enterprise professionals that live kind of, as we say, in the land of denial, they're they're just really not kind of grounded in reality. How do you deal with people when they kind of fail to grasp the reality of the answers that kind of they're fooling themselves?

Tom Dobbe:

Yeah, great question. It's, there's a reason of course, why why the triangle is there, because it's insofar as not only each question itself, it's there, you have to, you have to answer all of them with a Yes, yes, that provides you with a framework to stop you from, from doing the wrong things. Because if something is not valuable to your customer, they won't be interested, if it's valuable, if it's not urgent, they won't be interested either. Because it's like maybe someday, someday, if you are offering or solving a valuable problem that is urgent, but you do it in a way that is where you don't exceed expectations. You just like all the others, and you end up in a in that game of Yeah, or you call it the fight for discount. And nobody, of course wants that. But I agree with you. A lot of companies, first of all, don't ask themselves those questions, they think they know it better. They are obsessed with technology. So they create a solution that's actually looking for a problem. And also, what you've often see is that sometimes they get it right in the beginning, they get this momentum, then they reach their success, and they think they're there, and then they become complacent. And that's a very dangerous place to be. And this can happen to actually early startups as well. Or particularly, you see it with companies that have been around for a longer time. It's, yeah, it's when, for example, when the complacency kicks in for a number of reasons, but it's actually just the whole thing of the story that you started, tell yourself a story about actually doing great. And somehow, that then starts to lead out all of what you're doing and the decisions you make. Sometimes it also has to do with the fact that that there's ownership changes, for example, I saw a big change for for example, the company I used to work for went to this IPO in 98, where it was all about long term focus at the beginning. And then the IPO came and everything became quarterly driven. And then you start to take short take shortcuts. So it's this, there's so many factors. And your question was, like they're living in denial, how can you How can you understand and in the end, give them a framework that they stay grounded, I think it's very hard to do on your own. So my advice would always be surround yourself with people that that tell you what you need to hear rather than what you want to hear. Typically look for those people outside of your company. For example, customers, you know, there's nothing better than actually talking to customers that tell you the truth. But it can also be peers. You know, that's that's also why I started my, my tribe beginning of last year when I when I launched the book, because I also realised that reading a book is just not going to cut it. Yes, you get a lot of ideas from it. But implementing it is a completely different thing. And then you get all the bias. So, yeah, there's so many different things you could bring up to avoid complacency. But it's something that that you really should plan for.

Troy Norcross:

Good answer.

Marcus Kirsch:

I think I think, you know, obviously, you know, the reason why we're running the podcast is not just my book, but also because you know, we want to help people get a little bit more into books. And as you rightly said, there's a lot in books that often only, just Feels theoretical, or it feels a bit too far removed, and is therefore really hard to implement. But in particular, I think, um, you know, and I'm talking from my own background in service design and, and design thinking here is, especially the customer centricity which which, which always, always strikes me as when you are saying, you know, just go and ask your customer, just go go on to the street, going to the shop, go wherever they are, and just talk about and ask them questions, in theory, that should keep every business alive and fresh, if they just keep doing that. So why why do you think it is done that? That even companies to say, their customer centric of not doing it, you know, why, why why do they not quite recognise that as a value? Because I've heard anything from and I literally heard this from people saying, oh, for just doing what the customer one demo and upgrading any business value, which is totally upside down, right? Yeah. Um, and it's really hard to say anything at that moment, because it's so far out and down. And it seems that it's very easy for companies, not just because of quarterly results chasing to to get separated from the customer. So again, why is it that that particular arm is is one that seems to be, you know, going down so easily even. So it's the easiest one, it's easier than ever to get in contact with your customers to get more and more companies seemingly are struggling with it.

Tom Dobbe:

Yeah, there's a difference difference between saying it and doing it. Just ask, for example, a team of product managers or product managers that you just talked to, when was the last time they actually saw a customer and actually talked to them in depth. And we're not only talking about listening, that's likely months ago, for for the majority, the ones that are really doing it, that's that's that that's, of course, a good sign. The other thing is that we too often walk away with specifications, rather than, you know, what's, what's really going on? We are asking the wrong questions. I mean, of course, you ask the customer what they want. Yeah, I mean, there, they will come up with a number of things. Typically, what they are going to say is, okay, I am using your products, I would like to have this button go there. And if you just settle with that, and you just place that button over there. But what's going to happen, nothing is going to happen. You need to keep asking questions. That's the whole thing around being curious and keep asking and digging, like, why do you need to do what's behind this, and really try to understand the problem. And that's also what I see is a big one, that too many people were the product management and product marketing, don't really understand what the real problem is the thing they understand, but they haven't gone deep enough. I mean, I recently went through a work stream with one of my customers and it keeps coming back kept coming back. That's what the customers are struggling with was efficiency, lack of efficiency. At the end, you know, the lack of efficiency is maybe that they are struggling with debt. But it's not really the problem. The problem is at the end, what is the consequence of not being efficient. That's what's at the end, where you will start to identify things that wake people up at night, or what could be could get them fired, and start solving for the wrong thing, just making your product more efficient. You thinking you're doing the right job, but you just end up doing the wrong things. And you're just doing what everybody else is doing. And at the end, you're creating a mediocre product.

Marcus Kirsch:

So what do you done? Usually, when when when, when you realise that that's what the client is doing? Or that's what the company is doing? What What do you normally then recommend? I mean, is it is do you think it's a flaw that sits more with the teams on the ground? Or the leadership or both? Or, you know, do you tell CEOs, for example, just go into their own shops and have a look or what what's normally, because it all feels easy. I remember when I worked in advertising, and creatives, creative teams had to come up with ideas around a campaign for a product. They would sit on the laptop often. And Google things on YouTube that sort of went along that theme and whatnot and tried to directly solution is essentially on looking at what kind of great ad can we produce, rather than actually going into the shop, having a look around observing customers and I could have done so literally, a lot of them are here in London in a city. So there's shops around all over the place, you know, takes five minutes. Yeah, I had to drag him out there by the hair. It's impressive. So So what do you normally say to people, especially I can imagine you're probably dealing with CEOs or something. Like, like you said in your book when you talk to the guy who's, who's on the train? Yeah. So how do you how do you? How do you get people to

Tom Dobbe:

him? Well, first of all, under really understanding what is the problem you're solving, sometimes translate it in a different, like, what is the business you really in. And that is nine out of 10, something completely different than what you think it is. When I used to work for units for I was responsible for the International product suite, I thought that we were in the business of MRP. And more specifically, MRP for service companies wasn't the case, we will not know we were creating a product that did something in that category. But we were not in the business of PRP. When customers couldn't care less, we were in the business of solving a problem. And when we started to dig into that, and really understand what problem it solves, and what desperation we could solve faster than any competition, that's why we started realise Wait a minute, we're actually enabling our customers to change faster than if they would go for any other product in the space. So we were selling a can do attitude behaviour, we were selling confidence that whatever would happen, they will deal with it. That is something that's radically different from your selling an assistant that does accounts payable and accounts receivable and maybe believe with pretty good accounting. So the route to do to that was the products. That's what what we were doing, but why our customers were buying it wasn't because of that. They could buy 10 other systems. So it's getting back to like really understanding what problem you're solving. Then understanding like, Who in the world is actually gets value from this. And who knows very important as well, because then people go really broad. You have to understand those like who you're not for. And people also get that wrong very, very often, we thought we were for everybody in the in the delivering a service through people. So government education, not for profit, professional services, just name all those industries, and appear to be that we were right for just just a flavour as a slice of that. And the others, you know, they were like they could work with functionality, but but not a good fit, because they didn't have to pay. So too often, we get that wrong as well. And it's the art of actually getting to the real problem that you're solving and understanding the real you gets to benefit from it. That's where you get very specific. And that's where you can start to talk in a language that hit people, not only factually, but also here with the heart. And that's where people say, wait a minute, you're, it feels like you really get me, you're in my head, I need to talk to you that builds trust. And once you get that right, on the marketing side, you'll have better conversations. Once you get it right on the product side, you'll have a product that resonates more. And additionally, people start talking about the foundation.

Troy Norcross:

I always talk about the language of value. And I say the language of value has to be expressed as one or more of five things. How do you make money, save money, save time, add joy, or remove pain. Because if you're not talking about what you're doing, in one of those five things, one or more of those five things, you're just talking about features and features are not value through the thing that I I'm an old time customer service guy and all time IT guy. And I used to work tech support. And one time a person had problems that I can't print. And that was what they described as their problem. And that actually wasn't their problem. You went down through it. Okay. Are you out of ink? Are you? Is the printer plugged in? Are you out of paper? Is the printer connected? Or was not connected? Ah, well, your problem is the printer isn't connected. So oftentimes what people present as a problem I can't print is a symptom. And you got to dig down and ask questions and you find out what's the actual underlying problem? That's true. Yeah. I really liked that, that approach that you're talking about if identifying question why, why why and get to the real business that you're in? Not way you're solving the problem, because that's just features. That's you also talked about kind of selling the idea you know, getting the marketing language right and speaking to the heart, and I think it's a really good thing but you know, being an American, sometimes I can kind of really be overdoing on on the marketing language side. And sometimes especially in Britain, I get kind of a raised eyebrow from time to time that I'm, I'm overdoing it because in British language is much more kind of reserved and much more kind of quiet, but how do you balance of selling the vision of being able to change your business, grow your customers against authenticity and pragmatism, because there's got to be a balance in there to get that right. And sometimes I missed the mark. So what's what's your secret?

Tom Dobbe:

Yeah, it's, I mean, the last one to say that issues, writer communicate marketing bullshit you should forget far, far away from that. But what I mean is selling the idea not the product is that you, it's you, you sell the outcome, give people an idea about what life will look like, once they are working with your product. And that is again, about the pain is solved, the the the aspiration is being achieved, they start to look better for their peers, for their boss. And you can be very concrete on that you can be highly credible on that. So selling the idea is not about being vague, by all means is by actually picturing creating a picture in someone's head, like what can be and how you protect them when they say, okay, that's what I want, then the next thing is, how do you get there, and that's where the functionality comes in. And you say, okay, in order to, to, to get to this situation, you have to solve these three things. And this is how we solve them, we can be super concrete on that. Again, it goes really back to understanding who is your ideal customer and understanding the problem? What is valuable? What is high on their agenda? And how can you solve it in a way that, that yeah, that you exceed expectations, which is also something very subjective, you have to understand like who you're competing with in their mind. And that can be something as simple as that they're there, how they are understanding how to correctly solve it, that can even though be without any of your competitors, doing something completely different thing, I

Marcus Kirsch:

think, yeah, that's one of those things where I think when you look at marketing often, or when you talk to people who run in, particularly in your company, you're still trying to figure out what they're actually doing it often where you can tell the difference between someone who actually has talked to a customer understands the customer or not. And I think then the way you propose yourself can be anything it can be, as he said, you know, look at what you're doing right now, look at the current state, and then tell the story of what you do instead, that's better. Or you tell the story of that aspirational thing that this will make you do things like that. And you will feel like that. And I think we will talk about that. What, what what what quickly comes as well. And again, it gets into often this kind of area that some people like to talk about as fluffy. But we know it's quite impactful, but really hard to measure, which is, you know, customer emotions first logic second, for a long time, we've been thinking that customers are very logical, or people in general, I think a lot of societies and nomic models are built around the fact that the math of of it all very logical, and we're always after our best interest. And it's all we do. So just flawed kind of cold war principle. But actually, we found that Yeah, people make a lot of decisions based on emotions. That's it, because we're emotional animals. So So when we say customer emotions, first logic second, why do most organisation struggle with recognising that because you know, they're made of people? And people know that they're emotional? Yeah. How do you get them to recognise it as a value?

Tom Dobbe:

Yeah, first of all, I think they understand they have a different interpretation of what emotion means. Emotion doesn't mean that you make your customers cry.

Marcus Kirsch:

Hopefully now.

Tom Dobbe:

Well, but that's right. That's where it starts. Right? Some people think that we are in a business that serious in our business, there is no room for emotion For example, we were selling finance systems, selling it to CFOs number people's people that want to have control that want to have governance. At the end, these people are people as well, and they are they're going through motions with their company that wake them up at night. So addressing that, bring you closer you understand you show the empathy you don't they have frustrations as well. I mean at the end that are we I came to about 21 different emotions that people can have fear joy, hope as well me 21 different different styles and that's that's what it's all about at the end. So you need to be concrete in terms of the facts you need to backfill your your statements up. But you also need to have a good understanding about what these guys are going through what they They want, how they what they care about. For example, if I was selling to, if we were selling to a CFO, in a company that was more in the early majority face, they were much more interested in more being risk averse. And that's what the whole message was guiding towards Sue. And we were addressing that with the right emotional elements as well. A lot of people, for example, they, they were just had an investment from venture capital. And they were up to start scaling faster and innovate faster, selling the same product. But with a completely different set of arguments, because these people were attracting a different type of CFO that was less risk averse, that understood that if they wanted to kind of achieve those, those credibly heavy targets, they needed to take risk. And they were just living it like this. So we've every company, there are a certain level of certain number of people that are being attracted that care about different things and believe different things, that's what you need to address. And at the end, the numbers need to add up,

Troy Norcross:

you bring up the topic of risk. And we've interviewed a number of great authors and read a lot of great books and an aversion to risk is a real common theme. And learning how to experiment by starting small. And reframing what failure is, where it's not success, but it's learning and other opportunities. Yeah, and obviously, you've got a good relationship with Seth Godin, or you could have quoted a number of his works, which I think is great. And really, again, promote, you know, in surfing, it's the people who took the big risks, who actually got the big rewards. And I think the question that I've got for you is, in surfing, it's mano a mano, with one person, you're your solo. And if it all goes horribly wrong, it's just you. But in risks in business, it can be your team, it can be your shareholders, it can be even your customers. And the level of impact of one wrong decision is is much greater. How do you kind of reframe the taking of risks in such a way that people can say, yeah, it's it's absolutely worth doing, even though the impact is bigger than just me?

Tom Dobbe:

Yeah, I think the whole aspect of risk is, first of all, it's a mindset. And I mean, I speak to people, and that's the sublime of my book, like, it's the essential book for tech entrepreneurs on the mission. That's all that's already saying something about how these people are wired. There are many people that are maybe tech entrepreneurs, but they're not so much on a mission, or at least not something that is bigger than themselves, there may be more and more towards. Yeah, making sure that the company hits their 40% EBITDA growth this year. That's a completely different set of, of beliefs that they have and things they care about. So I'm not going to judge whether people should take risk or not. But I do I do see that in order to move forward. And in order to stay relevant in the market, you need to dial it back some level of risk. Because if you don't, you go for, everything gets granted, that works that has been proven before you end up in a market that is like everybody else, mediocre products. And that is challenging in so many different ways. You know, links is the sales cycle, because that's clear enough, what you how you're helping a customer make a difference versus the rest. It ends up in, in winning less deals, more discounts. The question at the end is what is the bigger risk? Just by saying, okay, we have to have a 3x pipeline, because we know we are going to lose, we can then we can lose so many different deals, right? Well, we know we are going to do to to have them. And that's of course it calculation. But the failure of course, that's what you didn't work with, where if you would take a little bit of a risk and try to be different from the from the back, which of course is risk taking could well be that is turning out far better for you. So yeah, for everybody risk is a different words. And the meaning of it means it means something different. But in typically with innovation and the companies that are out there that are transformative in one way or another, nobody has written that book yet. And yeah, you know, it's about understanding like, what is the real big problem, what is broken in a particular market? And how can we get there step by step. So it's not building a big thing and then say, Okay, here is it, do you want to have it? No, of course, it's trial and error, and it's, it's understanding where your North Star is. And going on that journey, and you fell, you follow up a couple of times. But if you see that as learning, like he just said, That's fantastic.

Marcus Kirsch:

Yeah, I think I think, and I'm, I'm only looking at the time, because as usual, we have more questions than we have time. So I kind of tell what that is, I think, as much quite topical as it is quite interesting given that we now live in a COVID world, and a lot of organisations are trying to restructure and trying to be more lean and rethinking, you know, how, how they use people how to use tools, and so on. And there's one thing, I think I'm paraphrasing a little bit the ways that you know, how organisations can be held hostage by robots, versus enabling people power, right. So people are pushed to use the tool in a particular way and can bring themselves in and losing a lot of, of potential. And a lot of people trying to rather get rid of people that enabled them. So what's your what's your angle on that, because it's, it's such a typical way to seemingly save money. But we all know, it's also limiting how he can grow and what you can risk and what you can learn.

Tom Dobbe:

And, of course, I see that and it's, it's, I mean, I've been part of a world whereby automation was the thing, you know, and he RP system, enterprise resource planning system is all about automation and doing things that are repetitive, that can be done by machines in the better way. to phrase this automate, you can only meet can only cut so much costs. At some point, you need to also kind of increase growth. And I also see differences between whether it's product worlds manufacturers and so on. And the service worlds. And since more and more companies are becoming services oriented, which is actually essentially delivered through people. That's what you have to bet on. I mean, that's where the value is coming from. And at the end, if you look at what's going on in the world, like the company countries like Japan, where there's the people are ageing faster than, or the number of people that are aged and not in the work force anymore, is already far more than the people that are in the workforce, and the number of people that are getting into the workforce is smaller, so that the group will only get smaller. So I think we are almost, yeah, it's like, we have to kind of automate the heck out of things in order to free those people up in order to deliver the creativity, the problem solving, and so on. That is also where a lot of value comes in from new technology. I think it's too easy. There's too many companies are too easily focused on automating things rather than going one step further and saying, hey, how can this technology actually augment that user? And the creates something whereby one plus one equals three. So automating automating is good. And we need to do more of it. But we also have to start thinking about how what can we do extra to let people do things that they've never been able to do before. And that's where that's where you start creating competitive advantage or person position of advantage to put, maybe put it that?

Troy Norcross:

Well, Tom, we really appreciate the time that you spent with us. It was a great read. Marcus asked me an interesting question. We were talking about the book yesterday. And I said, you know, a lot of this stuff, actually is pretty straightforward. And it's pretty obvious. And yet there's not enough people doing it. And the question is, why aren't they doing it? And I wanted to come back to what you said a minute ago. This is for tech entrepreneurs on a mission. And you do you've got to be in the right mindset, to want to embrace the change, that this book gives you a strategy to be able to do. So thank you so much for your time today. It's been really great speaking with you, Marcus, any closing words?

Marcus Kirsch:

No, I did the question. You did the closing What? I think we're good.

Troy Norcross:

so much.

Marcus Kirsch:

Thank you.

Tom Dobbe:

It was a pleasure being here.

Marcus Kirsch:

Thank you.

Troy Norcross:

You've been listening to the wicked podcast with CO hosts Marcus Kirsch and me Troy Norcross,

Marcus Kirsch:

please subscribe on podomatic iTunes or Spotify. You can find all relevant links in the show notes. Please tell us your thoughts in the comment section and let us know about any books for future episodes.

Troy Norcross:

You can also get in touch with us directly on Twitter on at wicked and beyond or at Troy underscore Norcross also learn more about the wicked company book and the wicked company project at wicked company calm