052 - The Dynamic Duo is BACK! - Taking On Partnerships and Learning From The Past

The DYNAMIC DUO has returned!

In this special episode, Jared and Isaac leverage their shared love for philosophy, economics, first principles, and systems to figure out partnerships.

This is uncharted territory, and it takes exploration to understand.

We’d love to hear your connections and insights!

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Jared Fuller  00:11
All right, what is up partner up? We're back. Of course, if you're looking at us on YouTube, I'm looking at the wrong screen my cameras over here. What's up, Isaac? How you doing, man? Doing good. I heard I heard some some great feedback about you, Jared. Recently, feedback about grades and feedback about me those three things do not belong. That's not a triangle that's like.

Isaac Morehouse  00:33
Well, I'm hoping we get some of it in this episode. Somebody was was talking to me today and said, Man, I really love the way that Jared talks. I was in this for Neo workshop that he was doing. And I really loved the way that he talked. I said, What you mean the way that he talked, he said, the way that his face got all red, because he was so passionate, and I was I just cracked up I was like his, he's physically mentioned your face getting red with passion. So maybe we'll get some light

Jared Fuller  01:03
today talk and more about how I look and probably don't look that great doing so. My face is getting red. But I'll take it I'll take

Isaac Morehouse  01:13
if there's physical manifestations of the passion and excitement you have for something and that's it. That's a good thing. I always call that forward tilt when someone is literally leaning across the table towards you within you know, excitement. It's a good thing. So we'll call it the I don't know, maybe we get it. We're like a branded segment. Jarrods red faced rants or something.

Jared Fuller  01:33
No, you can see maybe the red face rants I'll do the plug at the beginning since the red face rants. SAS connect April 27 28th. Come see Isaac and I we got partner up booth. If you're not registered yet go register. Code is partner up. SAS connected the cloud software Association website. We're gonna be there in person. I'm excited. Come hop on the pod for a minute. We're actually having little studio like in the main row. So that'll be a blast. And also, Secret Super secret that now official, partner hacker.com launch party is happening. Whoo. By the 27th. Super excited about that. That just got dropped. So last minute, labor tickets if you can't afford it, I need this deeper discount anything. You're like, hey, I want to be there. This is where so much is gonna pop off. Shoot me a DM on LinkedIn. I'll get you hooked up, see what I can do. So meet us there. And then we almost unveiled it on this episode, Isaac, which is the partner hacker manifesto. And I won't give you the byline because it's so good. But I'll be given that speech at crossbeam hanging out with the at supernode in Philly. So really looking forward to being there and seeing a bunch of people in person and then probably do the the other one. The partnerships leaders one which was after a crash and blinking, blinking now.

Isaac Morehouse  02:56
Yeah, that one's down in Catalyst down in Miami. I think that's in like, that's like when Miami is really hot. Isn't it like August?

Jared Fuller  03:04
Yeah. And it's gonna be I mean, I live in St. Pete. So across the state. So it'll just be a quick drive for me. But um, yeah, it's hot. Definitely hot, humid. Bring your boardshort Well, we

Isaac Morehouse  03:13
also have, we also have a couple of fun upcoming things that are you can do from anywhere that are not traveling

Jared Fuller  03:21
required events. Let's let's go into that. Because I think I think it's going to be much more interesting. If we can kind of like set the stage for I don't know, letters to our former selves. It's kind of like Isaac, what you and I were going to talk about today there's a lot of okay, well,

Isaac Morehouse  03:36
let me let me tell you one thing first because I know the other thing I was gonna tease that ties into this subject but but the first tease maybe doesn't so I'm gonna get that out of the way. Okay, fun. Okay, if your partner up listener, you want to join us may 5 1pm. Eastern, we're going to have we should have a landing page link for this is going to be a live episode. It's going to be a Royal Rumble. It's going to be a throwdown. We we are pitting some of the best minds in partnerships against each other, to debate to discuss the death of portals. The depth of PRs, the depth of Portal has been greatly exaggerated to paraphrase Mark Twain, J. McBain, Rick VandenBosch, Chip Rogers and Jimmy Hetzel are going to take the gloves off, and we're going to do a live episode. So we'll have a link here in the show. And will will be mentioned in the PhDs as well. If you want to tune in we'll be taking your questions. We had it all started from Rick had a LinkedIn post that kind of went viral. And just had a great discussion in the comments about you know, portals Cuz nobody uses them. It's a dying paradigm. No, it's not they just need to be fixed. Well, how do you fix them? It was it was great. It was great. So we decided to host to host a little throwdown throwdown showdown, so may 15. Keep your

Jared Fuller  04:54
third time he'll be the first it'll be the first to hit three. Triple Crown ask he'll be the first to hit three. So excited about that Jay, just, I guess everyone probably seen this that follows him closely is now out of forester too. So he's on to the next thing, which is crazy, maybe he's gonna be taking the gloves off a little bit more, he probably has a little little bit more freedom. Not that I would say anything bad about forester just big Coast Malko, right. So comme si je with, maybe he'll be a little bit less polished and more willing to, you know, take some stabs, that's actually gonna be a blast. Because the reason why I went viral. There is, I don't know, it's, if it's not number one, its top five ways to piss a partner person off is the first time you implement your partner portal. The first time you do it, you're like, This is going to be amazing. This is going to be great. Like, I'm so happy, like my partners need this. Everyone's asking for it. My partners are asking for it. My partners are asking for it. And then guess what happens? Nobody frickin uses it. And then everyone points the finger at everyone else. So it's going to be a fantastic debate where we actually have like four or five people here. It's just, we're just doing live episodes. So there's like no catch or anything. So y'all come on May 5. That actually is a great segue into this topic, though, is like, Gosh, I really wish I knew what kind of nightmarish heck I was getting into the first time I implemented the portal. Right, like the letters to ourselves. I think I think we wanted to unpack today a little bit about like, I don't know, I had a couple big events happened in the past week were a little retrospective really locked in the learnings into kind of like recount like, hey, what what can I take stock of portals is certainly one of them. No disrespect to the the partner portal companies out there. There's just something happening where I'm going to kick this back to you as if you said something to me, which I can't believe I hadn't heard it before. But I've probably repeated it 50 times sense is that stated preference is not the same as revealed preference. That is like the definition of partner portals. You ask partners what they want, they will tell you nine, do they need more CO marketing material, they need this, they need that and then they don't use it. And it's not even just like the 8020 rule, like the Pareto Principle, like even the good ones that are engaged. Just somehow skirt around slack DM, email, text phone call, like, Hey, I got this hot lead. Let me do this. So they don't want to register it. They try to get the materials directly from you. Like they just avoid it like the plague. So maybe that's when we'll kick off since it was relevant topic. What do you think's going on there? Like, I don't know how to solve this. Like, I know this is a lesson from the past. And I guess the lesson from the past for me is don't over don't over engineer, it doesn't matter. You got to do it somehow. Just don't overthink it. But what do you think's going on there with stated versus revealed preference?

Isaac Morehouse  07:52
Yeah, that's such a tough thing when I think about some some relevant analogies. So I've been on a lot of podcasts as a guest. And something that will often happen or I've also, like, like written a blurb for people's books before. And in both of those cases, those creators what they want from the guests on their podcast, the people that are writing blurbs or reviews on Amazon, they want them to go and promote it as well, right? And the person who's coming out, they're usually like, Yeah, cool. I'm down with that. This will be for me, too. Yes, I will be happy to promote your book that I have been featured on the back cover of arm to promote your podcast that I was on. And if the host says to you, hey, what would be helpful for you to promote? I'm going to I'm going to be like, A, and the first thing that's going to come to my mind, I'm just probably gonna email back. I don't know, like, send me an image I can share on social. Send me some collateral, right? It's like saying, Send me a one pager, if you're a partner person, right? Give me just give me a give me something I can show. Right? Give me a link. I don't, it doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to use it. Right? They're going to take that they're gonna say, okay, great. Then they're going to come back and say, Okay, here's, here's a bunch of stuff you can share. And I've had some people that do it like massive overkill. Thanks for coming on the podcast. Here's a two paragraph description. Here's a one a one sentence tweet, you can copy and paste. Here's a link, here's an image. Here's, and then I'm like, overwhelmed. And I'm like, I guess they already have an audience. I guess it'll just find its way there. Right. And, and then I contrast that to, there are times where I've been on a podcast, and they don't send me anything other than a thank you afterwards. Hey, thanks. That's great. And then I'm on Twitter. And I see I'm tagged in something and I'm tagged in a really nice, well made 32nd preview video that shows me saying something that sounds brilliant. And they're tagging it and saying this was a fire episode. I'm gonna retweet the you know, one out of that thing. Right. Now, I'm not saying that I know some really specific lesson and way to apply this. I'm simply sharing from from being on that side where if someone were to ask I would tell them them, give me some links, give me some collateral. But then I probably won't do anything with and I've been on the other side of that too, right? I've done book launches where I've tried to get all these people to go promote it for me and stuff. And it's like, what can I give you to make it easier for you to sell this thing? And whatever they tell you, it doesn't matter. They don't do it. Right. So like, figuring out what will it take? So I think that the closest that I've come to being able to pull away a lesson from those experiences, which again, don't map perfectly onto the partnership experience, but I think there's something there is, rather than asking someone, okay, I'm gonna make a bit of a stretched analogy here, too. But this is this is similar to if, if you've ever known somebody who's going through something hard, maybe they had a pet that just died, maybe they just got surgery, and you say, if you go to them and say, let me know if there's anything I can do for you. What can I push that person and I miss meal. It's not helpful, right? If you just if you just go out on a limb, and go buy them some chicken noodle soup and show up at their house and say I brought you dinner. That's the helpful person. Right? So there's something about just doing it, just figuring out Okay, is there something I can do that I can insert myself in a way that makes them go, oh, my gosh, and they're flattered, and they're honored. And there's something useful that you've done? You've given them a leg up somehow. So like, I don't know what that I don't know how to apply that into the partnership? Well, I don't know what the relevance,

Jared Fuller  11:25
so much Brilliant stuff, Isaac. I think I was like, I had to take notes because it was just coming so fast. Trust is all or nothing, like half assed trust doesn't exist. That's where you get lies, like half assed trust is like, you get the fake smile. You get that like, oh, yeah, we do this, whatever. But then do they show up when it matters? No, like, when you need that need them for the deal, you need the help the assist with the customer, the that key referral at the last minute, you're not going to get it, they're just going to like, be silent. half assed trust is not a real thing, you have to actually be helpful, you have to provide value. And I think about this from a partner marketing perspective. You know, this podcast or other things that I've done every single time that I've given a formula, or a script for someone to do something as it relates to sharing, marketing, co marketing, partner marketing, whatever, it's never worked. Like that script is like my script. It's about me. It's about what I want them to do. If I invert that, and I go, what is exactly what they would write, that would make them look good, that's all about them. And I send them that. I mean, I bet almost 100%, I have gotten people to say things that I never thought I would get them to say, because I wrote it in from their voice. And I'm talking, you know, CEOs of Fortune 50 companies, right, like on main stages of big events, where it's like, oh, my gosh, they took the press release and run. And this goes back to Isaac, where you and I met up, I won't the name, the name of where I got trained on this, but the the years of direct mail, right. And that's where you had to do actual PR, when PR was a thing. Now this is PR This podcast is PR, new world. PR is not that old world. But if you've got formal training on how to write press releases, the entire objective of the press release was what? To make the editor just republish it, like literally read their stuff and be like, it was exactly what they would publish, you just write that. And then they would just publish it. And I just had this happened with a big launch. And one of the companies I'm advising, they got a Business Insider article written about them, they sent me the press release, I was like, Dude, don't send that. They're gonna rip it apart, they're gonna throw in the trash. And they're gonna write what they want to do not send them that you have to write it from her voice for BI, which you're not going to like, but at least you control it. I don't think they used a word. They spelled the company name wrong. They spelled the founders name wrong. They even use the title, right? They put the wrong URL like it was just such a garbage piece. And I'm like, it's because you wrote it for you. The BI reader didn't care about all the stats about your company. Right that the editor didn't care about that either. The editor cared about, like, what's my angle? What do I want to do? That's partnerships. So like, I think that's that's the thing with partner portals, is it? It's a scapegoat right? It's like we we we absolve ourselves of the responsibility of what it means to build that trust. So I think over time like you help someone you help someone you help someone you go, Hey, you got this. Get it? Can I rely on you to pick this up from your your team got this now? Yeah, yeah, thanks so much for all that work. You did. You gotta know when to pull, pull back. I've shout out Justin Martel's. If you saw those 10 episodes where he was my co host. That was just Justin was so good. He would he would do everything for everyone and everyone loved him. But he probably went to like number three, four. were five, where he created some dependency. But everybody still loved him. He could get anything you wanted out of anyone, he was so good. So I think, yeah, you got to drive value. That's that's the takeaway of portals, how do we imbue our partner managers, our front line to build those relationships and have that empathy? Do the work for the partner, right? Like, like, Hey, I know we had that. You wanted this event thing? Or you wanted that? Here you go. I did it for you. This is how I thought you'd do it, what feedback do you have, you're gonna stand

Isaac Morehouse  15:34
out. And almost, I almost wonder. And again, I would love to get your take on this, because I don't have the on the ground experience in that partner or to know the mechanics of this. But I wonder if you think of the portal, more as a concept, and less as a piece of technology. And it is a piece of technology, obviously. But if you think of it more as a concept, okay, it has a function, it has a job to be done, right, it has to do something, it's got information that is necessary for these partners to have in order to, you know, go out and make deals with our product, etc. If I thought of it less as a destination, but as a job, can I bring the portal to you, okay, so I'm going to make an analogy to something we're doing with crash, which was like, we have all these content on our website, come to our website, and we're going to train you on how to find a job the right way. And it was all about us trying to get you to our website knows about us getting you the content, ultimately, but we got so focused on our website, and the traffic and the whatever, and competing for SEO and all this stuff. Finally, we were like, what if we just made a simple change and said, forget our website? Who cares if nobody ever visits it? Can we get the same ideas into your inbox? And can we do it in really small pieces? And then we brought it to you? And it turns out for our audience that it was way infinitely more effective? And so like, is there some way you know, like you said, doing the work for them? Instead of hey, go log into the portal, all the stuff you need is there. Here? I'm giving you this stuff right now. I'm delivering it to you right now. Maybe I I know. Because we've been in touch that you know, it's gonna be relevant to you now, like soon. I know this is something that people in the enablement world are big on is trying to figure out how to do that just in time type of type of stuff. But Can Can I like, Can I do the work of pulling it out of the portal, especially if you're a partner, and you're logging into 20 different portals and you galleys passwords. And is there a way I can like, just deliver the same stuff to you with a different medium, maybe it's just an email or slack connect or something like that. I don't know if there's something there. But that can be a surprisingly, just changing the media of communication for the same content can be a surprisingly powerful

Jared Fuller  17:47
Well, this is where this is where I love Isaac and Jared episodes, because we get to talk about things like mental models and first principles and geek out. So that's where the secrets are. Every great CEO entrepreneur I've ever met, whether they were marketing focused, sales focused product, focus, tech, focus, partner focused, you name it, they go down to first principles, and that's what makes them great at their specific function. So the one that you just talked about Isaac is one that costs I think it goes all the way back to Carl Gustaf I can never pronounce. Gosh, it's like mon must Emer whom Karen, which loosely translate means invert, always invert. So that's, that's, I think, more moderately popularized by probably Charlie Munger. Right. So the principle of inversion is like, you know, how do I solve this problem? Have my partner portal invert? How does my How does my partner solve the problem of my partner portal? It's like, well, wait a second, that's actually not their problem. That's my problem. I'm forcing on them. So taking the portal to them, right, inverting the problem is typically going to lead you to, I mean, a new way of thinking I mean, that's why that's why I've always taken offense to the phrase go to market or at least the past several years, where I'm like, I want to invert go to market, I want to look at it from the market, and then back to me. And then by doing so, it like opens me everything up for better partnership opportunities, and kind of a competitive advantage.

Isaac Morehouse  19:21
I was hoping you're gonna mention the go to market thing, because right before we hit record, you were like, hey, it'd be interesting to like, do some retrospective and look at some of the things that we would have done differently with some of our previous businesses. And, and one of those things, one of the first things that came to mind for me was, if I had been more if I had been partner pilled. At the time, I would have seen this doing away with the go to market language and mental model, because what that ended up doing was making me view our product as this thing that's like doesn't matter. Actually, I I could use either I could use practice, or I could use crash in both of these, if I would have flipped this mental model quicker, I kind of stumbled into it. And then in retrospect, realize what had happened and put the pieces together, like, Oh, I was looking at it wrong. But if I had sooner, instead of saying, Here I am up on this hill with this great product. And we got to do in the thick of the language that we use. We got to have moats, right competitive moats, we have to build this like defensive position, it's defensible. And then we go to market. It's like a war metaphor for like, lobbing artillery at your poor, hapless potential customers. And I don't know if this is gonna get a little wild. But I love this book by George Lakoff called metaphors we live by. And he very compellingly argues that the language we use actually like, very, very much limits our capacity to perceive or to think or have ideas. And there's an even more extreme version of this called the, the SAFFiR Whorf hypothesis, which the whole movie arrivals is kind of loosely based on but that, that you literally can't think of an idea if you don't have a word for it. And that's kind of extreme. Some people think that like, that, like, ancients didn't see the color blue because they didn't have the word blue, like whether or not that's true. The idea that if we use certain metaphors were automatically positioned, like if you use war metaphors, in you know, say, say, I'm talking with my wife, and I say, and I'm using the say, like, well, I'm going to stand my ground, right? We're automatically in a combative situation, because I'm like, subconsciously, um, so anyway, this idea of like, Go to Market, I'm leaving from my fortified defensible position, and I'm lobbing my message on everybody. And it's kind of like, boy, that poor customer, do they want to be bombarded with all these people that are like are solving

Jared Fuller  21:51
your problem?

Isaac Morehouse  21:53
Right, right. And, and so what, what helps so much more, if you take sort of this, you know, fuse, Allen Adler's go to ecosystem idea. It's like, Okay, where did these people live? What are they doing? What are they already engaging in? And instead of saying, I'm going to create some brand new thing, and I'm going to tell them all that they need to behave differently than they are, they need to make different choices and think differently. I'm going to say, what are you already doing? And how can I say, Hey, you're doing this, and that's great. And we want to make doing that even easier for you. So we're going to insert ourselves right into there, right? So, you know, with, with crash, for example, Hey, you know, you're part of a coding boot camp, and you're already trying to pitch yourself and get hired, and you've got somebody coaching you along the way. We want to actually go to that bootcamp and say, let's help your students stand out by giving them these customized video pitches that we can white label for you, right, classic Partnership deal. But it was like, I only saw that once we once we were having trouble with everything else. But my initial thought was like no word. We're gonna go we're gonna go straight to every individual job seeker and just throw our stuff on them, throw our content on them, and it's going to transform them, you know, and then they're going to come use our product looking

Jared Fuller  23:15
back because I remember talking to you, Isaac. Think it was before before you were raising for crash. And yeah, I think it was right after panda doc, actually, I'd left panda is before I even went to drift. And you were like, hey, practice this, that the other. And then I was like, Well, hey, have you really like dissected how you're thinking about going to market? And I was like, you know, talking about Brian Balfour's for fits models and stuff. You're like, Dude, I've tried, it doesn't work. It doesn't work doesn't work. And like, there's a great book. That's why I stood up in the middle of it. That I think is fantastic. Is that the Amazon book working backwards. I literally have dog years throughout this book of different initiatives that I've run through just as a model, starting with, like the PR FAQ. So like the press release, and the frequently asked questions. So like, hey, if I'm the customer, how am I reading this? From like, their point of view? And then what questions do I need answered? In order for me to feel like oh, yeah, that's amazing. That's inversion, right? That is putting yourself in the customers shoes. That's why Bezos was insane. I mean, what what's Amazon's mission? I believe it's to be the most customer centric company in the world. Like, that's the mission of Amazon, you know, SpaceX being, you know, make humans an interplanetary species, whatever. And Amazon's like, no most customer centric company in the world. How partner centric are we if we're thinking about our ecosystem centric like the customer centric if we're always thinking about as go to market leaders, marketing, sales, partnerships, oftentimes, thinking about us first, and not what matters to the people that we're supposedly serving, I think Gum inversion is something that I wish I had in my tool belt much earlier. I actually, I'm okay doing that. But like I literally had to like pick this up and dog hear some things and like really go through that book. fantastic read. I think it just came out about a year and a half ago. Two of the people from Amazon, I guess they finally got their noncompetes out of them. And we're able

Isaac Morehouse  25:20
to Well, let me ask you, your, you know, retrospective. Let's go way back to turn the clock way back to when you were running a marketing agency. Oh, gosh, the DC days. Now given everything that you know, what would you tell your you were like, What 21 or something we were running that. Thanks, 2122. What would you tell yourself about how you ran the marketing agency? What do you wish you would have known then that you know now?

Jared Fuller  25:44
Well, what's interesting is that some of the stuff today, like whenever we were talking before the show, I was like, yeah, the marketing agency, I'd screwed all that up. The only stuff that worked is the stuff that still works today. And here's what I mean, what I mean by that. So we were I was highly politically involved. And I built marketing campaigns, like I had a little crappy product called I grassroots that was inside of the marketing agency. And I grassroots was basically me branding political website, a nonprofit website with online donation functionality, aka PayPal, right, which was innovative in 2011 2012. Because their API's, they would just change and break everything. So like, you actually didn't have to maintain it. It was actually a product because PayPal is API sucks. So bad. Back then, notorious issue. Anyways, we'll leave the PayPal Mafia out of this. The thing that the thing that worked was that network, right? Those people like those were my customers, because they saw me right, the direct mail, they saw me knock on the doors, they saw me call and do the hard work, the phone banking, the organizing the community stuff. I mean, I organized 20 events for these causes, and launched industry first conferences at like, 21 years old, and I did all this stuff. And then I went and I sold them. I was like, hey, like this marketing thing? I can help you with that. Why don't you you know, I can run that for you. So like that worked. That was the only stuff that worked the community kind of like the partnerships. Being in market, right, like I have that core business of really owning a niche for nonprofits and helping them raise money online. I nailed it. And then I had a client asked me if I could build a Bitcoin plugin for WordPress. And I was like, What the hell is Bitcoin? And I think we spent a year on it, Isaac, a year. Because back then there was no like, there was no, I mean, get to the Mt. Gox story in like two seconds. But there was no like, we had to like spin up servers. We were like running fake transactions. We have all these wallets. We had no idea what we were doing VPNs and all sorts of crazy stuff happening. And then mount Gox came along, we're spending a bunch of money. We migrated there long story short, made this guy, probably half a billion dollars, maybe a billion. And we lost probably in today's value, I don't know $80 million on it with Mount Gox. But I got so bitter from that event. And back then it was millions, not like hundreds of millions. By the way. That's I think my wife see me cry twice. When mount Gox went down. She saw me cry that day. She knew I went crazy. I started being like, I got to build software. I have to build applications. And I went out and you know, I started doing. I started pitching. I was like, we'll build that. And I started going all over like trying to build everyone. I tried to build a web app. For like federal agencies, I was trying to build custom software applications inside of 20, a bunch of 20 year old kids building web apps for government agencies. And I lost the way there was no network, there was no no, there was no value. I went outside the realm of what I was great at. And I didn't know I wasn't intentional about the market. I started building stuff, which led me building my personal cell

Isaac Morehouse  29:11
to sell stuff and build stuff and just write like, without without strategy. You just like whatever I can, whatever I can do, I think I can do that. I think I can do that. I

Jared Fuller  29:19
mean, I had a partnership. Like where my office was was in the one of the number one political training centers in all of DC like we're talking dozens, not like five dozens and dozens of sitting or previous Congress, women and men had gone through the center. I got office space on that second floor. And everyone knew like there are nonprofit, so they couldn't technically do business with me. But they wanted all of their candidates to be able to raise money online. I got so much business from that partnership where it's like, hey, I'll do the web dev, but I'll build your website. So like I built their website and they sent me so many clients. Like I didn't spend any money on that. I was helping them, they were helping me. That was a partnership, like the stuff that worked for us was actually the stuff that mattered where I had trust. And then I had no idea what I was doing in crypto at 2122. And that there was no trust, there was no network. Then by the time I started to get into software Dev, I was already bitter about it. Right? I didn't have the same passion didn't have that red face that you said I had. So it took a long time to kind of come back until job hive where I where I really recognized like, Oh, that was the competitive thing was partnering with people as a seriously competitive advantage. And I don't know that people were talking about it back then. But yeah, that marketing agency. If I hadn't lost my way, we probably could have owned the inbound like agency world for nonprofits, and probably had a 25 $30 million agency.

Isaac Morehouse  30:51
How did you at the time did you think about so you were trying to build some stuff yourself? Were you thinking at all about, hey, what if I just go out and figure out whatever the coolest tools are? I don't know how to build them. I just implement them for people. Right. So going and setting up there. I mean, like HubSpot was new. Oh, my gosh.

Jared Fuller  31:13
Yeah. No, I think I told someone from HubSpot to eff off. I was sure right about that. I don't think I remember his name. But I don't want to I don't want to misstate it, I'll have to go back and find out which one, which one was because it wasn't Pete It would have someone almost as early as

Isaac Morehouse  31:34
it. So he came to you as a marketing agent. And you know, and said like, Hey, you should you should try to get your clients using HubSpot. You know, here's this, this whole setup and you were like,

Jared Fuller  31:43
no, no, I said like, eff off this tool is garbage. My exact words. And just not even being open to that, because I was trying to build my own custom software. I'm like, this is like, I can build this, you know, the ego of me about me, I can build this. And it's up at HubSpot when people

Isaac Morehouse  32:02
are in fairness, in fairness, and defensive you people don't realize at that time, how fuel how few tools there were, and like, no code and stuff. And so and how how many people would like people would just build if you needed something, you would just build it like, I mean, I worked in an organization where like the to it guys that work there, they were like, We need a way for everybody to know, if it's okay to walk into somebody else's office to chat with them for a few minutes. So they just created like a little board that had, you could set your status, right, which like now you would have on Slack, whether you're active or whatever else do not disturb, they just custom coded and made this and it was very common, like people just make tools for their owners. So like, it wasn't insane to be making rounds out. Whereas today, it's like the the odds that you can't just find something that somebody that's already doing it better who built a tool to solve it, or very low, and if you're gonna make something, you better really go all in and make something but at the time, that wasn't that wasn't a crazy proposition.

Jared Fuller  33:02
It wasn't I mean, there's a lot of value that came out of it, because I had to learn things like, you know, development frameworks, object oriented programming databases, like I got to learn a lot more than just marketing. I loved marketing. I mean, I had a marketing agency in the 20s while madmen was on in like the hot spot in DC. And we had Scotch Fridays, like, I was like, whoo, brand, baby agency. Let's do this. I love marketing. And then I got addicted to software development. But I didn't have any of the I had none of the competitive advantages. I had no trust, I was starting from zero, I had a cold start problem. To reference Andrew Chen's new book, I went into a new market, I didn't know I was going into a new market. And it took me many, many years to rebound from that. When is if I just would have leaned in with existing tech Google, I was a big Google partner and did a lot of ads. If I just would have leaned into nonprofits chose my niche, I probably would have had a 25 $30 million agency instead of completely destroying, you know, 30 person company that we had hundreds of clients.

Isaac Morehouse  34:01
You know, it's funny to return to that metaphor that I was making, you said your your competitive advantage that came back several times. Your competitive advantage is not your defensive moat that you're going to hide behind your competitive advantage is the way that it's the the communities, the networks that you're immersed in, right? Like that's where you have your competitive advantage. It's not it's not good point. What can what can I build? How can I build my product in a way that, you know, protects it from competitors coming in and trying to you know, whatever, steal some of our territory. It's more like, How can I be so embedded in my market, that no matter who comes along there an outsider compared to me, right, like that's the competitive advantage like whatever that is, and for you, it was like, the relationships the people that the place that you were in, and chasing down things that are not that competitive advantage, they just don't have any leverage. That's a one to one like one input gets one output, right where you can have, you can have massive leverage when you have that competitive advantage when you have something that that just somebody can't compete with, right? Somebody just can't they can't just come in and build something new and and take from you something that takes tries.

Jared Fuller  35:21
It's like, you know, smart again, smartest people in the world, Elon Musk first principles, the concept of leverage. So many people don't understand what leverage means. Like, from a physics perspective, what is leverage, right? You move the fulcrum, and it takes less effort to get the same result on the other side, right? It's this thing in the middle, not how hard you're pushing. So you might be like, I'm pushing harder, I'm pushing harder. The leads still aren't coming in acquisition costs going up. But it's like, no, it's the fulcrum. It's not about how hard you push. It's, it's about this other independent factor. And I think when your your point around competitive advantage, I'm like, actually, that's, you said that and I'm like, well, that's not how I think about it, how I think about it is my unique, competitive advantage. When I say unique, what that means is, it cannot be replicated. Yeah, I'm actually going to try to go on the fly here. Let's see how bad I screw this up. So Bob Moore's definition of platform versus application feature. platform feature is a feature that by virtue of you being in first place, the feature has more value than a competitor. Could so let's say two products, ones in first place, shipped the exact same feature. If, if you think your platform does it, send them feature technically have the same value you're not right, as much as I love drift. Drift was amazing. But intercom, same thing, chat, great product to like, I love I loved all those chat companies, let me actually frickin talk to customers in real time and not wait on forums, loved all of them. But intercom, like, we do something that intercom would copy us. And then another company would do it and we copy them. And it was kind of all the same. Like it didn't really move the needle. And I'm like this. We're all saying we're platforms, but we're not. I want to apply that to people. I'd like to apply that concept to us. Do you know what I mean? Like the difference between a partnerships professional, and let's say a sales professional might be akin, or an entrepreneur, right? An ecosystem entrepreneur versus a, you know, just go to market entrepreneur might be akin to a platform, and to an application where that ecosystem or partner leader, they're really defined by a relationship that can be taken by anyone else. Right? So whenever I'm going in, and I'm doing something for someone, like, Let's go head to head sales versus partnership, well, if I have the trust of let's say, I don't know all the people that surround that person, and a track record, versus someone that is trying to what use marketing tactics. It's like copying what I say I do. Like, it's the same kind of concept. If I own that network, around that person. And this other person is selling the exact same thing that I'm selling, who's going to win? It's kind of the same. It's like the value to me is because all my friends are using it and people I can call up, Isaac and be like, hey, Isaac, I honest to god, I can't figure out what the heck's happening with ghosts right now. Can you help me out here? Right. It's because I know you. Or I could call up someone at HubSpot. Like why I will probably use HubSpot for marketing automation. Most early stage companies, I just know so many people in HubSpot agencies and people and they're my friends. Yep. So you can try to sell me, you know, that latest greatest marketing automation tech stack? I just I don't have any frame of reference. It's not my note of trust, it's kind of somewhat similar. That's a bit of a stretch. I'll polish that interesting. Yeah.

Isaac Morehouse  38:52
It's funny too, because you have these these nodes that have disproportionate influence in certain areas. And so like, I've got a buddy, who is, you know, he's he is always using all different tech tools and stuff. And he's, like, very passionate about them. Experiments with everything is always, you know, very actively tinkering. He's a tinker type and like a, like an archival memory of what he's used and what's good and what's. And so I go to him for that kind of stuff. If I have a certain use case, okay, I'm about to do X, which tool should I use? And I just do whichever one he tells me to use, not because I think that he's infallible, and that he'll know, which will be the most valuable to me. But because I know, at the end of the day, I would rather have done the one that he told me because then if something goes wrong, he'll feel at least a little bit obligated to help me solve it. Right. So when he adds a new tool to his own, or, you know, mental Rolodex or his it's suddenly now instantly a tool of choice for all the people in his network, right because he's Like a platform, in some ways himself, like a new feature that he adds to his own personal stack is now it's automatically made everybody now I'm more valuable every time he goes out there and experiments with a new product, he's made me more valuable because now I am one degree removed from valuable knowledge about some new product, right a new way to solve a problem. So there's this way that like this, this, this compounding is interrelationships. And like, if you find where are those relevant nodes, instead of just trying to go to every single person directly, and copy and paste the same message to them, most of whom don't really want to care about it unless and until they're solving a specific problem. But if you can find those places where people are tinkering and caring about those, like, one one of those types of people or communities, having that new product in their stack, is it's got like tentacles, it's got like roots, it goes out all over the place, you know,

Jared Fuller  40:59
1,000%, that's such a good point. Like being that's a much better way of phrasing it being the platform, like, Hey, here's my clarion call the partner leaders out there, embrace what makes you great about what you can be. And it's not to be the same as what marketing brings to the table, what sales brings to the table product, any other department, you know, you're supposed to be the combination thereof. But the point is, if you want to be the platform, that's what's going to make you different. And if I think back to every time I've done something, right, versus I've done something wrong, I've been, you know, Han Solo, like lone wolf out there, trying to trudge down something and prove that I can do it just by virtue of being a pack mule, weak mind strong back, like, give me the work, I'll frickin get it done. Sometimes I do, just out of brute force, but most of the time, it's where I've put incremental bets. And I've built trust over time. And that one of my favorite plays here is I call this a circle back play. This is with a former global VP of partnerships, Adobe reported directly into the CEO, right? So we're talking second in command for all of Adobe's ecosystem would not take a call with us, you should know what I did. I sent him a monthly email saying, hey, MIT study, you know, here's what happened this last month, no need to respond. We did this for like, six, seven months. And then on the eighth time, I asked him for a call, and he took it. That meeting was worth a lot. It was worth a lot. Like, that's not one that you just show up. And you get, because it's like, look, it's a $250 billion company. It's like that, you know, I'm building those things to where anyone else comes up and goes, Hey, I'm going to try and take that from you. Okay, we it's gonna take you seven months. Right? Like, I'm way ahead. Be the platform. I think it's probably one more that we want to get in, because I know we got to wrap up Isaac. And that this is something that all up and comers need to be thinking about, which is, or if you're just got promoted is how to bring that next layer in. That's the thing I screwed up a bunch to, I tried to hero with a lot of people. And Isaac, I'm sure you've, you've probably single handedly employed more otherwise unemployable people than any person on the planet. So I'm sure you've gone in and like seen some star and you're like, Hey, I'm going to show you the ropes and you kind of do all the work for them. And you're like, Wait, how do I actually make sure they get this knowledge with partnerships? Gosh, the best people I've got, it's like, yeah, I ended up having to spend 30 days on every single phone call doing everything. And then that second month, third month, really rough fourth month really rough. They kind of figured it out in the fifth. But super repping is a big problem for sales leaders. I think it's a big problem for partner leaders, because how the heck do you learn? How do you teach that first time partner manager had to go get what? What they're going to do? And I screwed that up many times. But we got got a minor solution for that.

Isaac Morehouse  44:05
Yeah, actually, it's a great, that's a great segue here. There's some there's some native you know, native advertising, as they call it, no, we're partnering up. Pun very much intended, with sassy sales. And we are doing a course the partner manager accelerator. And this is really for kind of like maybe first time or early partner managers who are like, Alright, I'm gonna partner manager now. I'm gonna go up my game,

Jared Fuller  44:34
a partner manager, like some of the only people you can hire because you go hire a partner manager right now that has partner manager experience. Here's the problem. They suck. Like, like, if they're on the market, they're typically going up because there's so much demand. Like it's so hard to get a great partner manager that has experienced right now go steal some money,

Isaac Morehouse  44:51
and that and that's, I mean, in my, in my opinion, learning how to scale yourself. Bingo. is the hardest thing because the first temptation is okay. I will find clones, I will find people who are just like me and who will do all the same things I did. And they don't exist. There is nobody you truly are unique, special snowflake, the things your mother told you, when you were a child are actually true. No one is exactly like you. So you can't hire someone who's just going to come in and do the same thing as you did. You're like, oh, great, I just need to hire five more me's. That'll be perfect, you know. So that's not on the table. So then the next thing is like, Okay, I'll turn myself into I'll document myself so well, that a monkey could come and follow the rules and do the job, right? Turns out that's really, really hard to it's not enough to just document like you said, when you give someone a formula of how to promote a podcast episode. It doesn't. It's not enough, right? They can't just follow the rules, because especially in partners, this is inherently entrepreneurial and experimental. And so how do you? How do you do that? How do you find the talent? How do you train them? How do you scale yourself? You know, how do you learn those? To go beyond being a great, you know, scrappy? I mean, if you're if you're a recent recently promoted to a partner manager, for example, that's probably because you're really damn good at your job. Now, how do you how do you go and be more than just damn good at your job, but make other people damn good at that job? That's a big Leap, leap.

Jared Fuller  46:22
So Matt Cameron, Lisa Lawson, Matt Cameron changed my life. So sassy sales management, that's not an exaggeration. Matt's been a friend of mine since 2015 16. He's X Yammer, Salesforce. bunch of different great companies. So he actually trained me, like, I probably give a lot of paradox credit, success, credit to Matt, he trained me on how to be a sales leader, which was very different than anything I've ever done before. So I did Max, VP of Sales course. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, there's a formula. There, there are things that you don't deviate from that absolutely are true. And then there's the rest of your creative flair, kind of like the first principles. So that's this course that we have, with sassy sales management, the partner manager one on one course. It's like that formula that every first time partner manager needs to have, you're gonna love it. I'm not just saying that because I'm promoting it. It's because I've actually taken math courses. I've worked at least I've gone on site with them. I've done these boot camps live. So Isaac, is it a two day?

Isaac Morehouse  47:21
Course? Yeah, I think it's two days. And we will have will have links in the description here will also if you're subscribed to the PhD, you'll be seeing some links about it. I don't. Right now, I don't have a specific URL for that. Maybe we should just commit to one Oh, the URL. I mean, URL usually doesn't translate from podcast.

Jared Fuller  47:44
And we could do like sassy. But I don't think we'll have that ready. Because that's a redirect.

Isaac Morehouse  47:49
Yeah, look, just go find go find a hacker ad go find Jerry, we'll find if you're not in there. Yeah, you'll see it, you'll see it go to calm, you'll see it will be

Jared Fuller  47:59
me on LinkedIn, and we'll get you set up. I promise. It'll save you a bunch of headache. And it's awesome. And then we have a discount codes for all the partner up people just because I'm trying to like get back some of the stuff that is like amazing. And we need more of this development. So I think Matt and Lisa, because they've trained gosh, probably 1000s of STRS and sales leaders and sales managers. And they're all in on partner ecosystems now. So like, that's a big kind of CO investment there to help train the the frontline of future partner leaders. So hopefully, that's helpful to y'all out there. I may have done that on purpose, but at the same time, there are a handful of partner managers out there that could probably attest to and might even comment on a LinkedIn post with this episode about how crazy of a boss I was. Like, Jared, you've told me 6000 things today? Can you give me like three that I should actually remember? You know that you're probably wrong 50% of the time and you don't even know what 50% You're wrong about Wow, definitely, definitely huge value. Yeah, so find find that in the next episode, we'll have a dedicated URL but otherwise Isaac some lessons from the past notes to ourselves.

Isaac Morehouse  49:13
Amen. Yeah, we're a little all over the place in this episode, but it was a lot of fun and and we always appreciate Questions, comments from listeners. We love to we love to kind of use that as a guide for the stuff that you guys value here you guys and gals I'm from the Midwest, I say guys all the time. You the stuff that you value that and that's that's, you know the best the best content for

Jared Fuller  49:38
this conversation is part of what makes I think being in partnerships awesome. Like find find people around you, you can have these conversations with that's why I hate being in partnerships right now is a lot more fun. There's actually people you can go out and talk to and geek out and talk first principles like Isaac myself. So companies at the conferences. And yeah, reflect back on the lessons that you taught yourself you didn't teach yourself every once in a while. At least that's what it doesn't help me God. Remember when you screwed this up when you screwed that up? So good friends do so. Partner up. We'll see y'all next time


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