Experience Design with Tony Daussat

Seek to Understand Before Being Understood (w/ Cariloop Chief Empathy Officer, Jason Osburn)

April 30, 2019 Episode 18
Experience Design with Tony Daussat
Seek to Understand Before Being Understood (w/ Cariloop Chief Empathy Officer, Jason Osburn)
Chapters
Experience Design with Tony Daussat
Seek to Understand Before Being Understood (w/ Cariloop Chief Empathy Officer, Jason Osburn)
Apr 30, 2019 Episode 18
XD Media
Chief Empathy Officer, Jason Osburn and I discuss the meaning of empathy and understanding
Show Notes Transcript

My guest this week is Jason Osburn, the Chief Empathy Officer of Cariloop--a caregiver support platform that relieves the stress and anxiety of caring for loved ones while balancing a full-time job.
If this is the first time you've read the words, "Chief Empathy Officer" you probably aren't alone. Typically we see CEO and we think Chief Executive Officer. However, for Cariloop, that little acronym has been flipped and focused on truly understanding the users. When a company puts an Empathy Officer in the C-Suite, you know that the adage of, "Seek to understand before being understood" is deep in their core.

Connect with Jason on LinkedIn here.
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As always thank you for listening, and if you enjoy what you're hearing, please share with your friends and co-workers :)
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If you are feeling EXTRA inspired, I would love for you to check out my Patreon page here: https://patreon.com/xdpodcast

#staycurious

Speaker 1:
0:07
How you friends. Welcome to the XD podcast, a show that explores have design shapes, the way we experience brands, products, surfaces, and our everyday lives. As usual, I'm your host Tony Dosette, whether you're joining me for the first time or have come back for more, I want to take a moment to thank you for tuning in and if you find value in this show, I would be honored if you took a moment to share this episode, hit that subscribe button wherever you're listening or left a review. It's always greatly appreciated. And with that, what do you say? We just jumped right into the interview.
Speaker 2:
0:49
Okay doke. Gay. It's always interesting starting cause we've been talking and we were like, Oh hey again, I was just thinking, what if I just decided to not let me. So thank you again for coming out here. Sure. This is Jason Osbourne and I was introduced to you from a former coworker. Um, and then you and I had coffee. We chatted and
Speaker 3:
1:23
I was like, this guy is the man. And, uh, what I thought would be like, oh, I sort of half hour a little chat over coffee were there for like an hour and a half, just like digging in. I little, it was cute. It was, I loved it. Um, I felt the same about you and it was, I think that's why it went an hour and a half cause there's just natural, it's a conversation flowed and what all sorts of places and it was incredibly interesting. Now let me, I'm just going to poke real quick at your linkedin. Okay, sure. This is a new segment and I'm calling stalker.
Speaker 2:
1:56
Yeah. You experiment. All right. Okay. So we did the TCU thing. We were BFA, graphic design and then you founded and you were creative director, digital producer for s and p l creative. I guess it was simple. Yes. What kind of stuff did you do with that
Speaker 3:
2:15
lot of graphic design? Um, a lot of animation. Um, you know, it was in flash to a lot of motion design started getting interactive. Um, so that sort of stuff. So work with clients I loved working with, um, I really loved working with small businesses, helping them improve their, um, branding so they could be more successful, but worked with a lot of other companies too. Um, did a lot of freelance, they'll take that next up.
Speaker 2:
2:37
It's something that we have in common. And that would be a strategist here at bottle rocket. Yes. Hey, we've talked a lot about bottlerocket. Yep. Um, you were strategist and also part of the or AWS,
Speaker 3:
2:53
the division. Yes. The anywhere watch experience. Yeah. I loved it. And I was, uh, racially appreciative of bottle rocket for supporting a and an idea like that. So it was really a, this is where I fell in love with the product, digital products. Um, so, uh, and got to do, but honestly a bit of the intrepreneur ship thing. Um, we'd building a product, you know, uh, in an organization, um, where we were largely, you know, helped brands extend themselves into the mobile space. But I'm all was a, a, it was in anywhere. Watch experience was a video everywhere platform. Um, so back when new stand kit came out way back in the day and, and, uh, you were able to subscribe to magazines. I was like, this is great, but I want this for my TV shows. Like I couldn't stand, I couldn't sync cable for a long, long time.
Speaker 3:
3:39
So it was a cord cutter early on. And I remember talking to Calvin and say, hey, wouldn't this be cool if you can actually do this with TV shows? She's kind of like, yeah, what? And, and he's, you know, is it possible? He's like, I dunno. And so it Kinda gave me the idea that, um, oh, let's go see if it's possible. And, uh, we kept kind of pushing this idea along and kind of branded it. And on the side of all the other projects that I was working on as a strategist was kind of pushing, um, all along and got it to a point where we ended up selling it into NBC universal and became like a real thing. And, and, um, we have this platform that, um, it was, it was just an awesome exercise and, and kind of playing in the middle where you had the end users, you had an approach from both sides and Kinda meet in the middle.
Speaker 3:
4:22
So you have the end users. But you also had the producers at, we knew that there were producers at, um, these different, um, uh, networks that wanted to, um, present their content in a very specific way. They want it to be unique, excuse me, to their shows or their, their brands, the content and the layout, not just, um, you know, not just the photography, but even how they presented. We knew that that things would change seasonally, right? So, um, we knew advertising needs to be a part of it. There are all these factors that had a play in terms of how they wanted to manage the content to present to their audience. So not only didn't to be a good experience for the end user, um, it had, uh, had to be good experience for the producer that had to manage all the content to get it out to the end user.
Speaker 3:
5:05
And so we had this whole backend that it needed to support as well. And, uh, I've just amazing team of talented people that there's just a lot of thought that went into, um, went into the product and went into, um, how it was going to be used by the multiple, you know, people that were involved in creating and then delivering this product to an audience that was going to then get to be consuming it and then pin Yada cofounder, Pin Yada. Yeah. So, uh, fell in love with digital product through aw. And then, um, had an opportunity, a really wanted kind of a sort of experience. You could, you would, might get it and you know, on the west coast and silicon valley or something, but the startup, um, and at the time there weren't a ton of opportunities here to learn that other side. Right.
Speaker 3:
5:46
So had the opportunity to lead a consumer mobile product, which was essentially an app that was based on, um, it was, um, messaging that was time and place based. And so the idea that, um, we kind of made, I don't like to be manufacturing started deputy, right? So this idea that you send somebody a message, you let them know that they get it, but they can't open it just yet. They have to wait till the right time with the right place. Let's call where the message actually has context in that moment. Well, um, knowing that as humans, our attention span is very short. So we see that. We're like, okay, cool. We, we forget about, we move onto the next thing very quickly. It creates a great opportunity for having the APP too. When you do hit that time or that, that place notify you that that thing that you got before that you couldn't open, you can now open it and you're actually at the time and location where the content of that message is incredibly relevant, kind of bringing you and the regional center together again.
Speaker 3:
6:38
In that moment, it's like, oh my God, this is great. And then you can respond, you know, back to the individual. So many possibilities or something like that. Right. So we were, you know, taking pictures of Starbucks gift cards and leaving them at Starbucks and people would get there that had the APP, they would like walk in thinking they were going to buy themselves a coffee, but hey, somebody bought them coffee. Right. It was really, really cool. And it was a fun learned a ton. It was, it was a, it was a short lived project for me. I think about, it was about a year, you know, worked on it. Um, and um, learned an absolute ton in that, in that Short, short period of time. Um, so was there a B to B play also? No, honestly, I'll be quite honest. This was a solution in search of a problem.
Speaker 3:
7:18
That's probably one of the biggest things I learned. Yeah. This was, this is a, we have this really cool thing. And at the time it was, you know, if you had a, I think the window for investing in teams, uh, of, of really talented people with a compelling product, the window was closing, which rightfully so. Like, I think it's smart that investors invest in businesses that have proven, you know, like, Hey, you've got a business model. This is revenue first. You figured out how to sustain on your own for when this doesn't happen. This was I think an idea that that was a, it was very cool. It's very, very compelling. But, um, you know, we didn't have a sales team that was going out and pitching this idea to brands and you know, all that sort of stuff. It was, um, you know, built a product, also learned the importance of building a, an audience even before actually you start building a product, right?
Speaker 3:
8:01
You go get, you start reaching out and building that audience. So it's, this is a big marketing side of things and building of awareness that I think is important. And then while you're building your product, you're continuing to build that audience and kind of, you know, take them on the journey with you. And I do believe that that is a, we didn't do that. It was a totally didn't know to do that. Right? Like I came from building product, you know, uh, having the experience with awe, which was purely focused on the product itself, not necessarily on, well how do we create a buzz, how are we going to sell this? How are we gonna turn this into a business, the whole nine yards. So you said it was, um,
Speaker 2:
8:33
solution in search of a problem, which I think, uh, you know, often can be the case with this things and especially with creatives cause I'm thinking of my own life and you'll have like a great idea for something, but it didn't stem from the recognition of this is a problem. This is why it's a great idea at least for like I had a lip balm subscription service company that I started, right? And I just had this great idea cause I love lip balm. It wasn't, it wasn't solving any problem. So how do we get around that? Like I'm sure some great ideas spawn amazing products that are very successful. I mean, I would say that you identify the problem first and then you start attacking it, but sometimes it's not
Speaker 3:
9:23
solely right and it doesn't have to be right. So I think it depends on what, uh, what the purpose is. So I like to break things down, I guess in this, this category, like does utility and entertainment, right? And so utility is a, for me, like I love building utility products of solutions because utilities solves a problem really. But on the other side, there's this entertainment. I think Piñata was much more of a entertainment type thing. And I think those are harder. So if the utility, like if we're, you know, and I'm using hand signs right now, which are totally not relatable on the podcast, but if you're, if you're, um, if it's a utility, there's pain, which means that if you have a, a level, say we'll, we'll kind of in the middle and you're fine. Right? And you're experiencing pain, you're below that fine line.
Speaker 3:
10:03
Right? And if you're building utility, you've got to at least bring somebody at least back up to the fine line, hopefully pass the fine line, right? And so you're starting where there's pain, you know, to relieve the pain. But for me, entertainment type things, nobody's expecting anything. Everybody's fine. Right? And so to elevate them without necessarily a need, that's, that's a challenge. And I think it's totally worth of doing. It just, it takes time, right? So the first step is really seeking to understand, right? Like if you have the idea of doing the bump because you love it, awesome. She totally do it, jump in, you're going to learn. Um, but give yourself two years to figure out how to make that successful. Which means if you have to make money from it, right? This is the business side of things. You have to factor if it's something you're doing because you want to make money from it.
Speaker 3:
10:50
And it may not be the thing that you're going to naturally do immediately. Or you might have figured out a way to do that. But if it's more of a, a kind of a passion project, you just love it. So you want to, you want to share that love to the world and curate amazing, you know, lip balm and, and, and create a brand that people really love that going to take time. And so it's understanding in that moment, what do you want from the thing that you're about to do? So you could totally start the other other way, but it comes back to understanding, you know, asking why, right? Why are you doing this? Um, what do you expect from it? What do you want? And I tell our kids who are entrepreneurial minded, um, hey, if you're going to anything you're going to get in, do awesome.
Speaker 3:
11:26
Go and do it. Learn from it. You're going to take those things and apply to the next thing you do. Um, but mentally prepare for doing it for a couple of years to figure out how to make it profitable. Right? Right. And that's okay. Like making, you know, chase, chase progress, not perfection, but give yourself the time. So with that in mind, if you need to go get a job to just put a roof over your head and food on the table, go do that and have your side hustle where you're this thing, you know, until it can become the real thing that you know that you can do. And so totally possible to approach it as, I just love this. I want to do this. Just know that that's, it's going to take time. Both take time. But when there's not a pain point to alleviate, you know, um, you create that thing, you still go out and you put your thing out there, you go get feedback and you take that feedback, you iterate, you adjust on the next thing and you just keep going. But it just, it takes a time that it takes to do. And if you decide after a while, this isn't fun anymore, totally fine too, but at least you're not, you know, you're not relying on it to put food on the table or, you know, and we sold six months in, we were like, we're done. Damn, we've got these babies, we gotta take care of concern herself with lips. But every exam, yeah, you've got other lifts at home, you got to worry about it, that they want food in them.
Speaker 2:
12:43
I think you're so right about either scenario. And I've never heard of broken down between utility and entertainment quite like that before. And I think that's dead on because each scenario has their why. But it's different for us with this lip balm thing. It was a week. Why? But so how do you find your why?
Speaker 3:
12:59
Well I don't, I was just going to say I don't think that's a weak why, if that's what's important to you in that moment, that's totally fine. Like leaning into it. Everybody's why is unique, right? And so, but asking the why it might not, that's always the most important thing because it uncovers like it helps you understand better and when you understand better, you can solve better. And so by asking your why can be totally in, it's yours. So that's what you want it to do. That's fine. And your why for stopping was just as valid. And that's life. Right? And so I was watching this movie with Simon Pegg one time and there was this line that said, I always butcher this so hopefully they get it right. Right now. It's not about the pursuit of happiness, it's about the happiness of pursuit half on going on the journey.
Speaker 3:
13:38
It's an experiment. And even if it doesn't result in what you are hoping, it results in, the things you learned from doing it, you apply to the next thing. Like if you're of the mind to go and create a lip balm comes a good chance, you're gonna have other ideas that you're interested in enough, like this podcast that you're going to lean into and put the time in to create and make and do and do, right? It's just an experiment. You might get tired of this at some point. It'd be like 500 episodes, I'm good. I'm going to go do something else. Right? And so everything you learned about doing this, you can apply to the next thing that stacks, that stuff. Stacks that experience stacks and you know, and makes you, you know, it's almost like an RPG game, right? Like, you know, you get more dexterity, you get more, you know, that everything you do, you, you, you stack those skills and then before you know it, you know, you're, you're doing something that's just you just love and there was amazing are the things that you go in and tackle scene to go smooth it, right.
Speaker 3:
14:26
They seem to find success earlier than, you know, than when you were completely kind of stumbling through, you know, early on and um, leveled up. You've leveled up. Exactly. And when you approach it as an experiment as opposed to pass fail, right. Which is, I know how we're raised and how we're taught is pass fail. But the reality is it should be an experiment. It should be going to go do something. Let's see what works. Right. And then if it didn't work, why? And then try it again and do it again. Right. And, and just, just to me, the experiment thing, just like images of a kid with a chemistry set lake, let's see what happens, right? Yeah. When you change that mindset to be like that, it's less, for me at least, it became less frustrating. And for teams that I work with that were reintroduced, that sort of thing, the pressure is taken off to have to get a perfect, we don't want perfect, we won't progress, won't be able to learn from it.
Speaker 3:
15:13
So we can move to the next thing and just repeat. And then people tend to have more fun with the process that way, which means you're getting happier than getting more creative. They're the few more comfortable, um, problem solving, putting some ideas out there that might, you know, I mean, not, not every idea is great, right? That's just the reality. And so, but when you're putting them out there like that, it's like, interesting. What if we did this right? You know, sometimes they're great, sometimes they're, they're, they're awful. And that's everybody. Everybody has same. Same for me. I have a lot of great ideas, a lot of awful ideas as well. We just get, let's just keep having ideas, right?
Speaker 3:
15:47
So let's jump back into the stocker segment real quick. All right. We did do, oh, that was another thing that you started, right? Yes. And went back into consulting and there were a couple of clients that, that I got early on after the pen Yat experience. I said, okay, focusing on revenue generating businesses, like start at like still like working with founders because I'm just really like working with founders and that passion and what they were willing to do. And they were, they were willing to like to listen, you know, and take the advice and, and you know, really lean in. And so when you, when you get together with them, they just did that power there to, you know, once you take the time to understand them on what they're looking for, there's a lot of power there to generate some, some real value quickly.
Speaker 3:
16:29
And so found a couple of companies that were, um, uh, revenue first. Um, my, uh, friend and CTO that actually worked with here at bottle rocket named Peter [inaudible], he introduced me to a company called Cara loop. And then I hadn't met, uh, the founder of a company called Dash did election showdown, um, uh, an an elevator heading to a 1 million cups, um, meeting and downtown Dallas. And, um, those two are first couple of founders that started working with, um, as duo and really all the things that I had learned, um, started applying all that, uh, to these two companies. And, and this, they're both still going, um, both doing really well. And it was a, it's just been a blast. Cariloop was a client first. Yes. They were client first. Yeah. And now you're the CEO, but it's not the chief executive officer. You're the cheese empathy.
Speaker 3:
17:21
Yes. Chief empathy officer. Yeah. So what does that mean? What does chief everything officer, we went, yeah. Yeah. So, um, empathy is one of our, one of Carol was values and it was one of their values before we got there. So service, empathy, integrity and innovation for core values of care loop. And, and when I arrived, um, uh, the founder, Michael Walsh, had kind of come up with this really unique, um, um, model organization, this org model, which we call the value centric org model. And it's not your typical, your standard like top down, it's more of a bit of a matrix. It's like literally this, this, we have this great of circles that are kind of all collect connected by night, uh, lines with a, you know, a circle in the center. And so you've got this, the founder in the center, Michael is seat you in the center and then you've got the circles on around the outside.
Speaker 3:
18:08
So four circles on the outside. And that's, you know, chief service officer, chief revenue officer, you know, chief innovation officer and chief integrity officer. And so for us, the, that, that's where that started. It just so happened that empathy is the first step and most important part of, of design thinking and honestly designing anything for humans. Uh, and so it just worked out beautifully in that sense. And, and, um, just adopted the, uh, you know, the title for, for both of those reasons. But I mean, chief experience officer, uh, you know, have design, you know, CDO like that, that sort of thing. It's designed related. But in my head, I'm responsible for the, the cariloop experience, right. Um, not just the brand, right. Not just the experience that, that, um, that people have utilizing the service, but also the experience the employees have internally. It's, it's holistic, right?
Speaker 3:
18:55
So, um, for me, experience design has, has, I've always thought of it more holistically. And then we talk, we talk a lot about customers and users and, and the end result and as it relates to software, but the reality is that the design thinking framework, I mean, it's the creative problem solving, you know, for humans. Um, it works for anything. I think just humans that either end of it always, always, right? Yeah. Like, you know, um, I'm here because there's a human that has a podcast that asks me to be here. Right. And I'm a human that would love to talk to the human with the podcasts, you know, create the content that other humans hopefully consume and enjoy and find value. And it's just this, anything you look at, I mean there's, there was humans on either end of it. So this idea of, of empathy being the thing that gets you to understand them, um, before you design things for them is huge. And it's, it's the key. You have to start there. Seek to understand before being understood is seek to understand before being understood.
Speaker 3:
19:56
But I think oftentimes we get into, um, that's the way it's always been done, right? Like you, we get into a Rut, we get complacency, right? Conventional. That's why I say there's a fine line between conventional wisdom and complacency and it's, but it's human nature. So we know that that's gonna happen. It happens to all of us. It happens to me. I've got several routes that, you know, and you know, whether it's working out or healthy eating or whatever, right? Like things get to a point, you get into a rhythm, it becomes easy and you stop questioning. You stop thinking you know, about it or whatever, or being aware. And so I think for us it's been great. The ability at frees people up. Um, I know our, our team has voiced a freedom with the idea of this is all an experiment. Let's all come to the table with some asking why and seek to understand and let's do this and, and it's great and we roll with everything as a comments. But we were rolling with it as a team and um, you know, people have buy in, we're aligned and if we feel like we're not, we kind of come back and I feel it's part of my role as well.
Speaker 3:
20:52
My son's about to turn three and he has started doing the why that all three year olds do. And it's why, why, why, why, why? I can't tell, half of me gets annoyed, but the other half is so proud. I'm right there with you. That's how I was raised. My mother would say never stop learning. Never stop being curious that of that. But the second that I asked why? Because I said so and Ah, I that irks me to no end because a lot of times I wanted to do better. I want it to really understand and know. So, cause I knew understanding and knowing essentially impacts my time. Right. And, um, I do believe that time is most valuable commodity that we have, right? So we gotta be very respectful of each other's time and, you know, and you know, being late, I don't like being late.
Speaker 3:
21:37
I hate when people show up late, you know, to, to appointments, things like that. But not telling somebody, because I said so is a potential waste of time for that individual. Right? Like helping them understand it's, if they're asking why they had enough energy and interest to ask the question, right. To put forth the effort to ask the question. And so they might not like the answer, but I'd rather give them an answer or the answer and then help them understand. So when they go off to do whatever it is they're going to do, or you know, however that might impact them, it can inform whatever time they brought to spend, you know, in their life, doing whatever it is they're going to do. However they're going to take that information. You know? Um, and sometimes the answer is I don't know, which is totally fine. Um, sometimes the answer is if the answer is why it's like, I dunno, and then you, let's go find somebody who does. Right now you're both on the journey. Now it's the wizard of Oz or we're collecting people to go on a journey. Right. I don't know. Hey Google. Exactly. Yeah.
Speaker 3:
22:32
The final question is what object or thing that is nondigital that you own means the most to you or is added most value to your life and why? So, um, I know that you asked this question so I could not help but think about it. So there's, there's actually three things that I, that came to mind immediately. Okay. Why did you do three? Okay, thank you. One is fairly new, but, um, I have, um, I have, uh, a Boston had that. Um, I'm from Massachusetts, grew up in Massachusetts, and so I just have this hat that I've got a couple of them and I don't, um, I'm a bigger fan of hats that are worn that are like, you know, ripping and, you know, um, there's just to me this, I'm fast, I just want to know what the stories are behind that hat. Like what were you doing when that hat was worn sort of thing as opposed to half that are crazy clean.
Speaker 3:
23:19
Like I get it as a fashion statement, right? I'm going to clean hats and all nine yards to get that, but I'm just much more interested in that. So it's, I feel genuinely I have a much, I have the fields, if I lose that hat or something happens, I have strong fields and so it's, you know, it's just a hat, right? It's what I wear when I go work out, you know, it's, you know, in the morning, cause I don't want to, you know, get up and comb my hair and the whole nine yards, my hair's kind of longer. So it's, you know, it's a pain in the bud. So it keeps it out of the face and everything. It's just so I have to know where to go to yard work. We want to go do stuff. Right. Um, the second thing is a pocket knife actually.
Speaker 3:
23:49
So, um, I've kind of gotten into everyday care EDC. Everybody carries stuff like the idea of being prepared. I know you get talked before about that on the podcast, a little bit, a multi tools and stuff. And a, uh, a buddy of mine recently gave me one that I've been kind of like holding off going for awhile. It's a add James brand pocket knife called the county. Oh, it's beautiful. Like in term of being a designer and everything, it just, uh, I just, you know, fell in love with it. When I saw and heard this, he was just kind of, you know, holding off on getting it, but he just knew it and got it. And it was a amazing, it was just this awesome moment. So that thing is near and dear to me and always keeping its little, you know, felt sheets. I don't scratch up the walnut on it.
Speaker 3:
24:29
But um, and then the third thing is from my, my daughter, um, she, when she was around six, she would write little notes and just leave them six or seven I guess write little notes and leave them average, real sweet, right. So little notes and leave them everywhere or whatever, be on the pillow beyond my desk or whatever. And then one day I came and there was this little no written in red sharpie, thick sharpie on a fluorescent Green Line like note card and it says, Dear Comma Dad to totally not putting the common directory, which I love deer comments, add, believe what you say and do love Ava. And just, I dunno where the six year, I haven't never said that phrase before at homer and then know she got it from it. This is just on the partner and head. She fell, it was important to communicate and then write down a thing and left it on my keyboard and my office and I just loved it. And it was, she's like, I'm like, you know, Tier. And then the laces on like right in front, you know, my little shelf right above my monitor, it sits there always. But in my head I always say, dear common dad, that's just how it flows. So, oh, I love that. What a sage little girl. That why. No, I know. Well thank you again. Time flew by here. Thank you. This is always a blast getting to talk to you and spend a bit of time. So often stories. We've got to do this again. Yes.
Speaker 1:
26:03
And with that we will call it a week. I hope you enjoyed this episode and if you did, be sure to share it with your friends, family, or coworkers. As always, you can find the show notes and full transcript at [inaudible] podcast.com or stockmen, Instagram at XD podcast. I can't wait to have you back next week, but until then, friends stay curious. The XD podcasts as part of XD media LLC and is produced and edited by me. Tony, go set. Hosting and publication of the podcast is through Buzzsprout.