043 - Cross-Pod Takeover! Ecosystem Aces & Favorite Lessons From 200 Pods On Partnerships

What is up PartnerUp & Ecosystem Aces!

Jared Fuller and Chip Rodgers join each other on a very special cross-pod takeover to bring you some of their favorite stories from doing over 200 episodes on partnerships combined.

Chip is the Chief Marketing Officer at Workspan and host of the Ecosystem Aces podcast.

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Jared Fuller  00:10
All right, what is up partner up and ecosystem aces chip. We're doing this. Alright, goodness,

Chip Rodgers  00:17
Jared. Jared. I'm psyched. This is gonna be fun.

Jared Fuller  00:21
Yeah. So this is the second time I've done a smash up episode. This one was Adam for partnered. Super excited to do so with Chip because chip is he was to the podcast partnerships game well, before me. You're in the 150 ish kind of range, almost, I think in ecosystem aces. Just about Yeah,

Chip Rodgers  00:38
one word. It's just, it's crazy. That's it. I started doing it about, like, I think three years ago, and I just can't believe that. It's, it's continued. And just, it's, it's been fun. It's been great. Yeah, 140 episodes, we just, we just recorded, I think the 140/5. So

Jared Fuller  00:57
amazing. Amazing. So I think, you know, today, what we're going to be diving into is kind of like some of our favorite stories and lessons from like, hundreds of podcast episodes, ships carrying a little bit more weight than me there in terms of the volume. But I think we were close enough to 200 in terms of being posting and being guests. So lots of cool stories to share with you all. And if you're just tuning into, I wanted to let the viewers on the partner up side know that partner hacker.com is live. So it's a daily newsletter, go check it out, subscribe, it's going to be lots of fun, just going to like your daily digest department partner stuff. So partner hacker.com. Throw in your email, and super excited about that. And Isaac, the new co host of partner up but for this one, it's just chipping me we're gonna have some fun on this one. Chip, you got anything to plug on the work spans slash ecosystem aces side?

Chip Rodgers  01:49
Cash, no, just ecosystem aces. You know, love to if you're if you're interested in being a guest, or if you just want to subscribe to the podcast. So we have both on. We do it on on, obviously on iTunes and Spotify and all those usual things for the audio. But then we also have video and we post a blog and all that, that in the community. If you Google ecosystem aces, it'll come up.

Jared Fuller  02:18
Awesome. Well, little known fact chip, the first company that I owned was a company called Market aces. How about that? So like there is I have to I have to ask aces. Is there any gambling or Vegas in your backstory?

Chip Rodgers  02:34
No, there is. No, okay.

Jared Fuller  02:38
That's I guess that's just beyond the one that's guilty of that.

Chip Rodgers  02:40
I do. Although, you know, we ran I ran tech ed for I was with SAP for 13 years and ran our tech at events and we did we ran them in the US we ran them in Vegas. And so I always have a have a soft spot for for Vegas, although my game is is is craps so, so nothing what cards? Yeah,

Jared Fuller  03:04
okay, okay. I grew up in a very degenerate household. My dad won the world championship blackjack tournament at the Riviera, in the 80s. Wow. So he taught me how to count cards since I could walk. So I've been kicked out of a couple casinos and I have some friends that could attest to that. But I'm not doing that as much anymore actually lived in Vegas. I was married in Vegas. We live though. So it wasn't a shotgun type wedding. Still married. So people get married in Vegas. You know, eight years later, you can still stick around. So anyways, I just had to because see if there happened to be because with me, there definitely was there definitely was the gambling part of it. Well, let's let's hop in ship. Hundreds of podcast episodes, we can kick off either direction. There's a handful of stories I'm sure we want to talk about. Because one wants to go first. What's the first one that sticks out?

Chip Rodgers  03:59
Gosh, I you know, one of the things I thought that I've just seen it that I I really wanted. We started we started the podcast as an audio podcast. And then we were going to a bunch of events. And I'm like, maybe we can turn this into audio as well. And it was back in the days when we used to actually go to events, right? physical, physical events and and so I was actually doing them live I carried my walk around events with a tripod, use my phone and we do it live on Facebook Live back before LinkedIn live came came around. And I did it like sapphire or Microsoft inspire, you know, Google Next VMworld IoT world like a bunch of events like that and we just arrange things ahead of time and I love the energy because you'd have, you know, I just do it right on the show floor. And where am I, you know, it's kind of like interviews like this, you have people walking back and forth and stuff. So that I missed that that was a lot of fun.

Jared Fuller  05:16
Well, actually, what's interesting that you brought that up, I'm going to go do that. So this, I get this in every single time, I don't know how I do it, I forget. And then I, it just happens. So April 27, and 28th. SAS connect the world's largest partnership conference, cloud software associations putting it on, so go check it out, be there and then you can actually use the code partner up to get 50 bucks off registration, cuz partner UPS gonna have a booth there. And I'm going to be doing the same thing that you're talking about, Jim, I'm going to be going around and like talking to people and doing kind of quick format interviews and having some fun with that. So I'm sure that that'll be like a different kind of episode, or maybe even a series that'll be a lot of fun. So I'm looking forward to doing that, too, because I definitely miss some of that in person stuff. I think what would be what would be really cool is to and I have a handful of these is to talk about some of the things that like, just stick with you like, there's these these lessons and learnings that you I mean, why start a podcast? Why have this podcast? Why even listen to it? It's to learn. I mean, we've we've been historically disenfranchised in the ecosystem role in comparison to our brethren and sisters in sales, or marketing or product, and b2b and b2b SaaS. But there's these things that I've heard from guests that I just don't think I'm ever going to forget. And I hope, my hope for listeners of ecosystem aces and partner out that they're able to take some of these things away. So I thought, given how much you know, we've talked to people and listened and learned because I'm certainly the Socrates. I'll ask all the questions. And but I'm not saying I have the answers. Maybe talk about some of those, and like the first ones that stand out with me. So I'll start on my side and see if I can pick one out from one of your guests next. And I feel like the first one that really, that really hit me. Hard was one of the first episodes is my friend Bobby Napal. Tonia. So Bobby, was kind of the first major leader under Benioff for the launch of the Salesforce AppExchange. Episode, there's so much good that Bobbi throws out there. He's just a force of nature. But one of the first things that he said to me that really like kicked me in the gut was nothing changed until Benioff PUT IT company kickoff. Three company priorities partner ecosystem was one of those bullet points. He said, I was kicking in, I was screaming, and I was doing everything else. But he said until Benioff put partner ecosystem as one of those top three priorities. That's like that. That's always that's stuck with me since I've had it because I realized, wow, I don't see that being one of the CEOs top three priorities in a public setting often. And then you look at that, and you go, well, that's why they're fighting it. CEO just said, Hey, here's what everyone needs to do. Go do that. And then there's this other person over here saying, No, this is a priority. I promise the CEO likes it. And I identify with that with so many people. And I think a lot of people reached out to me and went, Hey, that's my goal for sales kickoff is to make sure that that's on the on the slide. So that's one of my first lessons is like, you're gonna have an ecosystem strategy. It better be on the annual kickoff slide.

Chip Rodgers  08:29
Yeah, absolutely true. It's got to be it kind of it's from the top down from the top down. I mean, that's, and that gets everyone's attention. And, you know, from then on, it's, it's like, oh, well, you know, like, then it's, it's important. And, you know, Accenture did a study, a survey, I don't know, a couple years ago, and, you know, it was, was I think 76% of CEOs that they surveyed, said, their business is going to completely transform in the next five years. And it's because of ecosystems. And so it's it is it is a CEO priority. And for companies that are forward thinking that are really looking to make an impact and create innovative solutions and be a force in the market.

Jared Fuller  09:21
100% 100% who was one of those first guests that stand out to you, Chip that you're like, wow, what they said to me that just kind of stuck with me.

Chip Rodgers  09:30
You know, I I had I mean, a lot of different different folks. I, I had a conversation with Chris Morgan, I think that he was he ran the partner ecosystem for UiPath. And now he's with Gong, he runs the partner, partner organization at Gong. And just unbelievable was, you know, the The stories that he told about their growth was they had tripled the number of employees and in 12 months, and a lot of it was I think he said 20 20% of the company was focused on partners. So he said we were hiring from a headcount perspective,

Jared Fuller  10:16
headcount? Yeah, that's a that's a heavy partner, Max.

Chip Rodgers  10:19
That's huge. Yeah. So was around different regions different, you know, Industry Focus geographies. And he said, across the company, we were hiring 15 people a day. So, you know, like, how do you? How do you infuse even just the culture and like, how do you get people enabled? You know, what's the process process? And so he talked through some of those things. I mean, just phenomenal, you know,

Jared Fuller  10:47
incredible, there's hypergrowth definitely can teach us a lot, because that's when things break quickly. And you have to fix them quickly. So I definitely love hypergrowth stories. I think that the next one that comes to mind for me is another friend Jill rally. So Jill is I think she's, I think she's duly credited with being kind of the inventor of social selling. So Jill's spoke everywhere about it. She's amazing. If you know her, there's, you talk to her for like 30 seconds, and she's already connecting you to 10 other nodes. Like she's just so good at like being on the pulse of b2b. And I reached out to her cuz I'm like, Well, you Jill wasn't necessarily an ecosystem professional. Like she wasn't a partner person. But she was formative in the ecosystem development of Oracle and Eloqua, of Salesforce, of Marketo, of HubSpot. And I think she's one of the only people that actually saw every major Mar tech platform get developed. Right. And she was like one of the literally one of the first account executives in Salesforce, like the first account executive at aliqua. And in that episode, what was what stood out to me the most about Jill was, she's clearly one of the most successful sales people ever. What I mean by that is Jill didn't, she never wanted to be like a VP of sales. She wanted to be the most important evangelist for the company. And as a result, she could carry a big quota and crush everyone else. And how she talked about leveraging network and community and ecosystem was something that inspired me more than I think I've ever been inspired about this message and maybe a rising tide, like, you know, you call it the wave chip. Like partnerships. It's kind of having a moment right now. I think Jill is the one that pushed me to not stop doing the podcast is I was like, Wait a second. Jill is one of the most respected sales leader sales. She's like a company leader in general. But it comes at it from a sales perspective to where how she talked about ecosystem was just so natural and important, because every company that she had a success story at Guess what? Giant ecosystem strategy, Oracle, Salesforce Marketo, Adobe HubSpot, right. So as to her, it was just natural. And for those of us that haven't seen that story, especially four or five times, it's really easy for us to get jaded by that seller or that sales leader that, you know, channel conflict this or, you know, they're just not seeing it. And Jill, I think it was a really inspirational episode to like, share with, you know, your fellow sales leader or a sales professional, that's like, look, here's one of the best people ever in sales. Listen to how they talk about this, because it's actually pretty inspiring.

Chip Rodgers  13:31
You know, it's so true. And I think it got it got to be a little cliche, you know, the social social selling concept, like, it's it just, you know, it was like, it went too far to the, you know, like, what kind of, I had a ham sandwich for lunch, sort of, you know. But the reality is, I think the the essence of it is, that you're you're talking about with CIL Is that is that it's about connecting with people and, and sharing things that are that are relevant and important and valuable. You know, and, and may and making the human those human connections. And that's what selling is really about, right? I mean, if you're going to be an effective sales person, you have to build a network, you have to have that network and stay connected to people and be able to just, you know, text someone and say, hey, you know, did you check this out that kind of thing, like, have that kind of, you know, sort of relationship with people that you can really build on?

Jared Fuller  14:36
It's a it's a level of care that you can't bake. One of the one of my favorite quotes, and I'm not sure that necessarily a super famous person, but Paul Chen said, passion never fails. And with Jill, you can't fake her level of curiosity and care, right, like the degree to which she cared about her customers, and the degree to which she cared about her partners was generous. You win. Right? That's what I mentioned, like in the first 30 seconds, she's already connecting you to 10 other nodes, because there's so much value there that you're like that you just inherently more willing to trust. Right? Because the care level is at a 10. Right? Like I don't I interview people I learned from them. I don't know this stuff. I'm just, I'm geeking out on it, because I care. And I feel like that's why a lot of people end up being wildly successful is that, like a jille, is that level of care can't be faked. contrast to how I've seen a lot of sales people treat their ecosystem as simply a transactional lead source, or like, Hey, what are you going to give me? Why am I even talking to you? Where it's like you if you invert that, you actually get something much different out of the relationship? Yeah. Yeah. Really, you talk about that a lot. You've got a bunch of episodes on trust, Jeff. I mean, that's been a that's a topic that I feel like you've, you've brought up with multiple guests, and like, really dug in there, because it seems to be a pillar of everything that we do is underlyings trust.

Chip Rodgers  16:03
Well, the thing is funny is it got to be a little bit of a buzzword bingo sort of thing.

Jared Fuller  16:09
I never brought it up.

Chip Rodgers  16:11
I never brought it up. I like I you know, I would I would talk about just we'd have these conversations. And you know, it might just come up organically, or it might, you know, a lot of times what I would do with the or what I still do is at the end is just say, hey, you know, Jared, you've been really successful throughout your career, we have a lot of partner folks that are listening, you know, any advice that you would have? And, and, typically, anyway, the word Trust, like, I think I'd have to go back and and look at doing some analysis on the transcript, but I would write at least 80% of the episodes, the word trust comes up, because it is so, so important.

Jared Fuller  16:54
I bet if you did a word cloud, right, so like one of those things that he pulled out all the transcripts, for us is gonna be pretty big. And that word cloud for ecosystem?

Chip Rodgers  17:02
Absolutely, absolutely. Well, and you think about it, you know, it's like, what is partnering is, you know, these days with the concept of ecos, sort of shifting away from the resell model, right. Used to be reselling. Now, it's really about two or three or four organizations. So you have these, these company, which are artificial organization, right, artificial constructs, coming together to go sell something, or to go build some value for the for the customer. Well, if you have an organization, you have things like NDAs, and employee onboarding, and you know, stuff, like you're feel like you're part of something. Now, you're talking about extending that out of the organ out of your each individual organization. How do you create that? That's what it's all about, right? It's creating that, that that trust, you have the organizational trust inside the organization, but now you're breaking down the walls. So anyway, getting a little philosophical. That's,

Jared Fuller  18:11
no, no, no, no, no, I love it. What other what's another good story that stands out, I mean, you can take this in any direction. Say, it's the say, beyond trust, where you had a guest that just captivated you, like, you know, that I'm gonna remember that one for the next, you know, ecosystem challenge that I encounter.

Chip Rodgers  18:28
You know, another one that I'm just blown away blown away with is Tom Roberts, Tom as at SAP, and runs the, the, it's called the Select program, salt solution extensions and endorsed apps is what they're what they're called with, basically, it's, you know, what's cool about what Tom did at SAP is think about the sort of the traditional SAP world it was very monolithic, and everything was built, you know, by SAP and there really was not going going way back it was all about you know, SAP creating this whole end to end set of technology. What Tom did first of all, also the proof is in the results, he's built a over a billion dollar business for SAP. billion dollars unbelievable. And it's all about working with partners and finding its solution extension. So it's pieces of technology, whether it's DocuSign or its other, you know, its solutions, open text and things like that, that fit into places within sort of the the, the overall SAP, you know, structure but at bring more value to the to the customer. And it's about working those companies working to get creating a joint solution together and then working together to go to market together and close business together. And just Write up.

Jared Fuller  20:01
It's like the, you know, one plus one equals three. I think that was, that was episode 197. And I think it's talking about title, like how quality, why quality beats quantity in software ecosystems, right? Like, the ability to bring two things together that produces more quality product, versus trying to build, you know, a number of solutions by yourself, right? Hey, we offer everything and it all kind of sucks. But if you can really, you know, increase the value of that, right, where you actually have not just a marginal benefit from an, you know, a CO CO partner in development, but a almost, you don't even see an order of magnitude, but there is some exponent, right? Like, oh, yeah, we can double how we how we otherwise would have won independently, not to mention the fact like, I feel like this is never mentioned in those calculations, whenever you, you're trying to boil the ocean, do it all at once, from a go to market, or even a product development perspective is the cost, right? Like, and not only the cost, it's the opportunity cost. So let's say you build it by yourself, there's a, there's no one ever talks about the opportunity cost of what those developers or those marketers or those salespeople could have been doing in place of a really solid partnership that's actually better than what you could have produced yourself. So there's, there's multiple costs to this. And I think, you know, Tom has the proof in terms of the output, and the ability to show that, hey, there's, the other side can look great. And I think the the thing that stands out to me is that like, there are opportunity costs for doing it, you know, all yourself, which is, I think, something that not a lot of people talk about,

Chip Rodgers  21:42
absolutely, and, and part of that also is is the time speed to market. I mean, you can't, you know, you're gonna stand up and go, you know, I don't know, 50 100 500 developers to go go build something, spend the next 18 months to three years to try and build it and then try and bring it to market. It's crazy. Plus, you got if there's a solution out there that already has a market, they have those relationships already, and you can activate that whole organization and get them working together. to, to, you know, to, if you have a better solution together, then that's, that's goodness, right? Never would have happened in the days of on prem, it just couldn't, you know, now it's all it really is in the cloud. Easy. API's can connect together and just stitch it together and go off and, you know, often, often running

Jared Fuller  22:39
definitely 100% What's another one that sticks out? To me? I think it's the here's a phrase, Chip, I'd love. I don't know if you've heard it before, because I've only heard one man say it, but it stuck with me now I can never get it out of my head. I probably said it 100 times. So basically, that's how I know if I if something's like messing with me. Do I repeat it? Is I'll give you the phrase, the market always wins. Have you heard that phrase before? Yeah. Yeah. I'm not sure if that's Do you know if that's attributed me? I don't know. I've heard Sunil Shah of the cloud software association. So he said that to me on one of our episodes, but I'm not sure that that's a phrase that is like, attributed to someone in general like to you what does that mean? The market always wins.

Chip Rodgers  23:24
It's always keep proving out in the market. You know? It's, it's, you know, until you test it, it's capitalism as finest right until you test it in the market. You never know if you've actually got a product that's that's worthwhile. So I'm not sure if that's what you're meant. Or not.

Jared Fuller  23:49
Yeah, I think yeah, I think that's 100% Fair. The thing that like really messed with me was and I think this is where I buy my curiosity for partnerships really started to I think that was like a doubling event where like, I doubled my interest after that episode because a he he referenced crossing the chasm and Geoffrey Moore so like, one of the books that was on my bookshelf that I was a fan of, but the way he talked about it, I'm like, I'm missing something. And I'm not using this as a seminal enough read like, it's not as much of a pillar to how I think about things is it shouldn't be too severe. It clearly was I mean, he said, crossing the chasm is the best marketing book of all time. There's not even a close second and I'm like, so since then, I've like gotten back at back and back and I actually now pretty much agree with him. But the way that he was talking about it the market always wins made me think that go to market is backwards. And it really like messed with me because I geek out on go to market partnerships is a big component of it. But at that time, I've every company I've been a part of I've raised venture capital from VCs, small tier angels to public Companies Microsoft HubSpot that did the first ever public you know, investment with HubSpot, for example, Panda doc. And every single time we've been putting together business plans or models, at least in hyper growth SAS, it started with us going to the market, meaning like okay, productivity per rep, headcount planning, budgeting, finance operations, like how do we make things fit within a model, that we can then go be predictable on, it never started with the market, working backwards to us. And when he said, the market always wins, I went, I have been doing this wrong forever. Like I have been starting with my company, and then thinking about, so like my marketing team, they start with themselves. And then they build to the audience, right. So like, their content, their narrative, their goals, their leads, like name, anything, it's all about the company, and they figure out how to go to the market. And I'm like, isn't the thing about partnerships, it's opposite. We start in market, and we work backwards to the company. And that, to me, that episode just was so near like, my mind was blown, because I'm like, I think we might be doing this wrong. And it's not like we had bad companies with good companies. But then if you look at the great ones that really nail the ecosystem, way outsize return hundreds of billions of dollars, not a billion. So like, that's, that's one that's always stood out. So I probably said, the market always wins 1000 times now.

Chip Rodgers  26:32
Well, if you think about it, it's like, it's like your partners can be the proxy for the market. Right, because they know their individual market, whether it's whether it's a geography a region, or whether it's a certain solution capability, or an industry or a persona, you know, your partner's are a lot smarter about and they're, you know, they're, they're trying to win as well, right. So that you can, you can learn a lot. And really, if you can activate that, those you know, influencers or, you know, use them as a as a resource, and understanding the market. So that when you when you're done creating your, your, your plans, that you're a lot smarter,

Jared Fuller  27:20
it's not, it's not as myopic. I now have the perspective, like anytime I'm talking to someone and go to market, if they're starting from the perspective of the company, I'm like, that's a myopic view. Like you're not thinking about what's happening in market, you're thinking about what do you need, and then you're trying to reverse engineer your goal. And it's just, it's also a bit conceited to think like, another stat I've rattled off way too many times, is, you know, the average American is receiving 400 to 10,000 ad impressions per day. And how, how egotistical do we have to be to think that we're going to break through that noise, and be one of those things that continually repeats and repeats, because that's only getting worse. And all of our go to market planning from a marketing and sales perspective typically involves around trying to interrupt that pattern that's already so noisy, versus recognizing that exists, how do we work backwards from that? Right? So it's just like an inversion that has stuck with me for years. I'm assuming your convert, so that's why I'm going to his conference, SAS connected and we'd be having drinks, you know, April 27 28th. So there's the other plug for CSA. She is a force of nature. I think he called me a special person. So I feel happy. Who else stands out from your side chip? In the hundreds of you know, partner stories? What else stands out is like a seminal lesson.

Chip Rodgers  28:50
You know, I had a conversation with podcast with Laura kamy. Laura is Chief, actually she's chief customer and partner officer at at ServiceNow. And ServiceNow, has just done an amazing job of, of, you know, I mean, her personal story is interesting as well, she started she you know, she was she was actually she was the Chief Strategy Officer for ServiceNow created this strategy that was built around partnering and ecosystems and and then, you know, was like, Okay, well now you have a great strategy, go do it. And, you know, her what's what I like about that? What's interesting about you know, her sort of combined role, customer and partner officer is that it keeps her it keeps that whole organization like totally customer focused. You know, she's like kind customer is always the tiebreaker or customer is our Northstar. And, and our whole purpose in life is not to like we don't declare success when something's implemented, we declare success when the customer is getting business results that they expect. So I just I love that, that that whole sort of message and mantra around both customers and how, how partners, like how do you infuse that beyond your own company? But then have your partner's understand it pick up on it? And, and, and have that drive them as well?

Jared Fuller  30:44
Yeah, I mean, that's, you know, there's a reason why you read, you know, these big biographies like The Everything Store by Bezos, and half that book is about a insane commitment to customers over everything else. I mean, the amount that that gets beat into your head, if you read everything store is insane. And you don't recognize like, oh, yeah, we're customer centric. It's one of our values. That's what we do. But then you talk to someone that's actually done that and inculcated that amongst their team, their company and in their ecosystem. It's quite the, quite the feat easier said than done. It's not just a principle on a on a, you know, placard on a wall, or in some culture deck, it's actually something that has to be lived. And it's always refreshing to hear to people that like it actually had the resiliency to drive that, you know, year over year across me imagine that 1000s and 1000s and 10s of 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of interactions that, that becomes less and less true, the more you deviate away from it, or more and more true, the more you lean into it. So I couldn't agree more. Let's see. Let's see what else what else I have so many. I'm trying to pick the good ones. Okay, here's one. Here's one. That's good. I'm also cheating a little bit too. So I have some notes. But I'm like trying to work the right ones in is I'm going to give a tactical one. So this one will be quick. So Chris Jenkins, he was head of partnerships at work from they sold to Adobe. Chris said something on the podcast that just it's like what I've always done, but I've never been able to tell it to other people. He said, Look, all of partnerships are about one thing. Right person, right conversation, right person? And I was like, what? I think I know exactly what you mean, when you said that. Right? He's, he's like you have to have, you have to make sure that you're talking to the right person. Right? So you can't, you need to know where to go in the organization. You need to make sure that you're having the right conversation. And then the the you end that conversation with getting to the next right person. It is that that is how you get anything done in terms of developing a partnership. Right. So it's a new company, it's a target Alliance account, or target new SI whatever it is, you never just try to go to that. It's like it doesn't end there. It's just right. It's a feedback loop. That never ends right person, right conversation right person. And it just it's stuck with me since he said it. I'm like, that's just such a simple way to explain what a solid business development person that actually has to develop new partnerships has to do. Right person, right conversation, right person.

Chip Rodgers  33:25
You know, it's funny, the we, the partner organization at SAP and so many organizations, I think it's like a, it's like, almost a mirror image. Like there's a revolving door. You know, like the people that were running the Partnership for Deloitte. All of a sudden, they were sad SAP, say for five years or seven years. They'd flip sides, all of a sudden they were over at Deloitte. Yep.

Jared Fuller  33:52
Because we're managing the account. Exactly. It's

Chip Rodgers  33:55
like we want all those relationships, all those people exactly what you're talking about. Right? It's it is about it's about understanding the organization, figuring out how to navigate and how to get things done.

Jared Fuller  34:07
And get the referral, right. Like that's the thing is like, I never end a call like, even when it comes to hiring, this is how applicable this is. Right? So like, I'm trying to hire a rockstar for any role. Like, this is how I do every hire. Who's the best person that I know? That knows where the best people are? Right? So I go right person, start there, right conversation. Hey, I'm trying to understand your current status. I'm a little bit behind on this. What should I be looking for? When I'm looking for that right person? Get some details, etc. Alright, thank you so much for your time. I know you're not on the market. If you are, let me know. But who else do I need to be talking to? And it's just like, oh, you need to talk to legislation. You talk to such subject you talk to such and such. I mean, I've made so many hires that way, where it's just since Chris since that episode, like a year. I think I've hired like a dozen people using that method, which is what I naturally do. But now I can explain it to anyone in there like this. It's simple, not easy, like you have to do it, but not that simple, not complex. What about from your side chip?

Chip Rodgers  35:14
Or who else? You know, I hit it again, this is a really interesting conversation with Priyanka Sharma. And she's, she's a GitLab. And in partnerships at GitLab, and just, it was interesting, because it was just a whole different sort of perspective, because they, you know, they do a lot of a lot of their sort of, you know, culture is around open source. And she said, it's just, it's, it's really just a very sort of open source, you know, dynamic, and it's a focus on that, on that technology. And, and that everything is, you know, it's very, it's sort of, it's very, it's a very sort of altruistic kind of perspective on on partnering, which was, which was really, really interesting. Kind of a different, a little bit of a different flavor to it. But

Jared Fuller  36:15
right, I think what's what's, what's interesting is the, all the different directions that you can go with that, and I'd actually love your, because I think you've seen a little bit different, just kind of, for context for the listeners who aren't on you know, either one of our aisles, so people that tuned in to partner up versus, you know, ecosystem aces, hopefully, there'll be some more cross pollination here, which is why it's fun to do these is like, Chip, I've come from the, like startup SAS kind of world. So like, hypergrowth, b2b SaaS, and then I think, on your side, you're looking your, my lens is probably a narrow one from looking up at the big players. And you've, you've also been at the big players, kind of looking down at the development seeing both because you know, work span is a, you know, growing startup, as well. Some of the differences between, you know, like, what, what we'd consider platform and what we'd consider, you know, applications, like, that seems to be something that is inherent in a company like SAP, right, or some of the guests that you've talked to where is in my world, in the SAS startup world, it's not there. There's, people don't know how to think about platform. I'd love I'd be curious, because there's, I have a topic or a guest that I kind of define this, that's really awesome. But I'm curious how you've thought about that maybe application feature versus platform feature? And because I think that that ties together very, in an interesting way,

Chip Rodgers  37:43
I think one of the challenges is that, you know, if you have these big platform, you know, players, it's, it's hard to, it can be hard to sort of get their get their attention. Right, like how do you as a, as a startup, you know, get the attention of the of a big of a big player, and I think it's, it goes back to a lot of the same, you know, kinds of things, which is demonstrating value, and having something that's, that's really valuable, you know, I talked to recently, actually Parul citta, who's the VP of, you know, partnering for course, tech. And, you know, they, this is exactly the conversation that we have, like, how do you they, they do a lot of work for AWS and Microsoft for the, for the big, hyper scalars. And, you know, they've figured out a solution, they have a solution that helps both helps the hyper scalar but also helps the customer like they're able to, they're able to drive more revenue and more you know, workloads for for the hyper scalars but they're also able to do at a lower cost for their customers. So they found this sort of niche in between that that way, and so they've got everybody's attention, right? Oh, this is really cool. You know, it's good for us like they can work with all the the Field Sales field sellers for you know, the hyper scalars and they love it. And, and yet the customers customers love it as well. Chris Cochran, I talked to Chris Cochran recently, data dynamics, similar kind of thing. They're doing some really interesting they and again, it's the it's sort of having some a little bit of a secret sauce and then and then spending time with the, the, you know, the partner teams and the product teams to get to find that niche. And, and, and help communicate it to the, to the, to the to the field teams.

Jared Fuller  39:58
Definitely, I think Another way of looking at that, that, that is one of the lessons that I hear you just talk through that reminded reminded me cuz I was trying to think like, Okay, I had Bob Moore on. So he's the CEO of crossbeam, which is a hypergrowth, you know, darling child of the partner tech landscape right now, their contents great. So there's doing a good job because our contents good, they're, I think they're productive member of our growing ecosystem of partnerships. Um, the way that he talked about applications versus platform, like, it kind of kicked me in the gut, because from a startup perspective, like looking at, you know, Microsoft SAP or Oracle or kind of down, it's very different than when you're trying to disrupt up. And the way that he said, it was like the best definition I've ever heard. He said something to the effect of an application feature is something that any one of our competitors can build, and our customers would realize the same value. He said, that's an application feature. And I was like, interesting. He said, a platform feature is a feature is by virtue of being in first place, our customers get more value out of that feature. And I was like, Whoa, that is probably, that's why it's so hard for startups to actually build platforms and succeed and win, right? So for example, like, let's, let's take a look at stripe, who's, you know, more recent entrant, but obviously, 100 billion dollar plus company these days, most of what they develop, there's more value for their users, by virtue of them being in first place in payments, right for their category, inherently, so everything they build as a platform feature, because there's more value for their customers. Like you can copy stripes code all day long. But you don't have the network effects of you know, Stripe connected, being able to connect to, you know, 10s of 1000s of stores instantly, right? They go that's a platform feature. Yeah. Or with Azure.

Chip Rodgers  41:52
Well, that's exactly I used. You said, you said the exact the right word, which is the network. Right, exactly. It's about that. It's about the network. It's about having the network. There's a terrific book, recent book by Andrew Chen, who was with Uber, and is now with Andreessen Horowitz. tucky it's called the cold start problem. We just

Jared Fuller  42:12
we just read that at the same time. It's a fantastic

Chip Rodgers  42:14
book. Great book. Yeah. But it talks, it talks, it talks Exactly. But what's that stoning?

Jared Fuller  42:20
One of the analogies in the book of like, using?

Chip Rodgers  42:26
Yeah, I love you know, he talks about, you know, atomic networks, and sort of the, you know, some of the stories with Uber, you know, for example, where it was like, Hey, we didn't try and conquer the whole world, it was, you know, there's a train arriving on the Fourth Street Station, it's in downtown San Francisco, let's tell all the drivers to go there. Like, it was very micro, you know, to sort of get get things get things going. And absolutely, it's about building the network with the network, the value of the network becomes, you know, the value

Jared Fuller  43:02
100%. I want to, I want to wrap with something that is, say, inspirational, like, I think the thing that we geeked out on when we connected chip, like, Hey, we should do something together, was recognizing the moment that we're in. So you've would you say that the partner landscape was the same, you know, today as it was 510 15 years ago, like to you you feel like there's an inflection point where this is, this is different than it was? Absolutely, what do you think in the past are like a guest or episode or something that you've seen that is really indicative of, like, Hey, this is a moment in time, and this is not business as usual, as it relates to partnerships and ecosystems.

Chip Rodgers  43:43
You know, I think this this, the whole concept of of ecosystems and, and partnering and sort of the transition from the traditional partnering, you know, where you have you're doing reselling is the setup a PRM. And you're, you know, trying to get your resellers to log into your system. You know, the differences now, it's, it's there a lot. First of all, it's a lot more complex there, the the partner types of the way we used to think of partner types completely broken down, right, it's like, you've got essays that are creating products, you got product people that are you get product companies that are doing services, or, you know, you know, there's, there's this very, sort of, it's more about the functions that people are doing, versus now that I'm this type of partner. And then the, the, the kinds of activities that you know, it's not it's, it's not the I've got a product and I'm going to have a bunch of people sell my product. It's just like, now it's about how do we put our products together? How do you and I work together to create a product and and maybe it's multiple companies, right, you got a, you got a one or two or three ISVs, you know, putting some solution together, you've got some services partners, you know, that are involved, you got a cloud, you got cloud partners, you got maybe there's some hardware involved, you got think of the IoT ecosystem, it's, it's crazy, like every deal, as, you know, seven partners all putting something together, because they're all these different component pieces. So it's just much more complex than it ever used to be. And the motions are completely different. So you got, it's no longer just hit the log into my portal, it's, let's find a place where we can all work together. So it's

Jared Fuller  45:45
right, it's a bit of, you know, maybe more timeless economic principle that's finally rearing its head. So let's take some Shoom Pater, and creative destruction, right. Like the old model finally started to crash, which has created a wave of innovation, right, that creativity had to like, it just finally stopped working the old way. It's just it's not working. And I think we experienced maybe a lag for a little bit where it was like, Well, what's happening to where finally the creative thing has started to explode?

Chip Rodgers  46:17
I think what's happened with you know, the, the partner teams never had budgets to, to buy stuff. So they were just like they were doing with what they could. So they were doing using emails and spreadsheets and PowerPoints and things like that, like sending stuff all over the place. But it's, it's it only it doesn't scale. And it's hard to measure, and it's hard to track across, you know, all your regions and everything that's going on, and track across all partners and, you know, all solutions. So it's, yeah, if I think you're right, exactly right, it finally broken down and just people are like, you know, this is not scaling and it's becoming bigger and bigger part of my business.

Jared Fuller  46:59
I think it's like, after the forest fire, you know, the seeds start to bloom, the flowers start to come out. I'll end with exactly, I'll end with something that was really inspiring to me. So Braden young and episode with him. Braden is the chief partnerships officer at Sentosa when so dosa is a unicorn company backed by SoftBank. But you know, they're hyper growth startup. But he changed his title to Chief partnerships officer, and he was a co founder. And I've never seen that before. So I've heard of partnership chiefs, and you know, global companies, of course, but never in a startup. And that baffled me. I'm like, I've known Braden for like a decade plus, too. So I was like, did you just changed your title to Chief part, I didn't even know you cared about partnerships. And I talked to him. And it was, it was incredibly motivating. And just, I think inspirational story because he's like, Yeah, this is go to market isn't the same. And all the things that we talked about in partner land and ecosystem, just to have that recognition from someone that recognize that and adopted it at that level, we need more and more of that. And I'm seeing more and more of that. And that's why I'm excited to have the podcasts. And I'm excited chip that you have your podcast, ecosystem aces, partner up. We'll do we'll do some more of these. We'll continue to see each other around. But if you're listening to either one of our shows, feel free to check them out. Partner up, partner podcast.com ecosystem aces chip you have it you're in a bunch of different places. You're like on sounder you got your own work span Do you have the can be basically Google it how do people in from partner find you?

Chip Rodgers  48:36
Yeah, just Google ecosystem aces. It'll it'll, it'll come up you can also go to work span.com Or you can go to community that works man calm. And we have all the episodes blogs of every episode up there on with with video and audio and synopsis,

Jared Fuller  48:53
I was searching trust and some of the transcripts and like it was scrolling infinitely. So it's been in a handful of the episodes, I couldn't actually tally because it never stopped. But chip, it was a pleasure. So for those of you out there, reminder, partner hacker.com is live daily partner email in your inbox. It's fun, it's a blast. And then

Chip Rodgers  49:16
excited excited Jared Do you know this is you know, best of luck with the love this you know, partner, partner hacker right partner hacker.com

Jared Fuller  49:25
daily newsletter and then it's going to be a full fledge site. So just starting with the newsletter, we're gonna be launching in q2 with some big, big, big things that I think everyone's gonna love. So start with the newsletter, obviously, the podcast will be plugged in right there as well. And there's gonna be a lot more innovation happening which

Chip Rodgers  49:44
you're right time, right place right time. So

Jared Fuller  49:47
really, all right, well, we'll see everybody next time. Partner up, peace out. Appreciate it.

Chip Rodgers  49:52
Awesome. Great, great conversation and Jared, thank you and thanks, everybody for listening as well.

Jared Fuller  49:57
We'll see y'all next time.

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