067 - Be a Gardener, not a Builder - Platforms, Ecosystems, and Complexity, with Alex Komoroske

What is up PartnerUp?!

If you try to build a product, platform, community, or ecosystem like an engineer or architect, you will fail. Every time.

If you view it as a garden, you just might succeed.

Alex Komoroske is one of the most fascinating thinkers in business, and his wildly popular illustrated and emoji-based decks on how to build a platform ecosystem and how large companies are like slime molds have created breakthroughs for startups large and small.

We talk about whether all this abstract stuff is just a load of bull, why it has to come from the bottom up, and how to put it to use. We also dive into the problem of measurement, and why sometimes the most important stuff is what can’t be measured - and how to convince your boss of this!

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Mentioned on today’s episode:

Gardening Platforms https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cY95dRixFho0pMIlrEFcGL_XKVy9vnE4NGOD6TQMj50/view#slide=id.ge22ac2ec66_0_94

Slime Molds: https://komoroske.com/slime-mold/

FLUX Collective: https://read.fluxcollective.org/

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/4O7naTmRanY


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Isaac Morehouse  0:11

What is up partner up, I finally got to say that instead of Jared because Jared unfortunately is not here today, but I'm really excited to have Alex Komorowski joining us is going to be there's going to be kind of a wild down the rabbit hole sort of conversation. Before we get into it. I gotta mention, we have a really exciting event coming up August 5. So it'll be Friday, August 5, two to 4pm. Eastern is the kickoff of a series, First Fridays, the first Friday of every month, we're gonna be doing events. And this one is with key flow. And it's about how small partner programs can land big partners going to get in the big fish. And we're gonna have some really cool sessions, we're going to actually do a live recording of the partner up podcast there, have some great stories and conversations about people with very young partner programs. Or sometimes if you're the only partnerships person at your company, how to break in how to how to go and find out partners that normally you would think are out of your reach. So check it out, you can go to the partner hacker homepage to get some more info. Okay, today. I'm super, I'm super geeking out about this conversation. So Alex Komorowski, he's been a product lead at some of the biggest and best companies in tech, I mean, Google stripe, etcetera, etcetera. Like you name it. He's also a contributor to the flux collective, which is a very, very fascinating email newsletter that I've been reading for, actually, since you told me about it, Alex. But I want to ask you a question about what you are. Because I sense there's something that's going to be different than like titles you would find on LinkedIn. Okay, so I don't remember where I first heard this question. But I love it. If someone shook you awake at night, and said, What are you What do you do? What's your instinctive response?

Alex Komoroske  2:19

as I've gotten, as time has gone on, I've gotten less and less sure of the answer. And it's more and more like, Hi, I'm Alex. I don't know, I like, you know, and I've changed over the years not i You can see the glimmers of it from earlier. But I

Isaac Morehouse  0:00


Alex Komoroske  1:57

I'm a Systems guy. I guess I may I see this, like the sort of systemic levers and any like humans system, and like, instinctively know how and where to, like, hold them to get the right, like the right thing to happen, I guess. But I don't know. I feel like I'm, uh,

don't know, I'm just I'm me. I'm me. And I'm kind of a weird, quirky out there perspective, that approaches problems in a way that like, doesn't really fit in a lot of boxes. And I kind of gave up trying to fit into boxes on it

Isaac Morehouse  2:46

for years at the cocktail party when someone's like, so what do you do you have that sort of? How weird Do you want to get?

Alex Komoroske  2:53

How we're exactly I can go I mean, I can get really deep? We're like, we're to say things that you're like,

Isaac Morehouse  2:57

are you tripping me or something right

Alex Komoroske  2:59

now? Like? The I think that there is a generally I guess my rule of thumb is I like to be a kind of positive irritant in systems uniformly positive energy and collaborative energy, you know, almost to tickle to tickle systems strategically in the right place to help them kind of see maybe, maybe they might go in a slightly different direction. That might be end up becoming, you know, a much better long term direction,

Isaac Morehouse  3:24

that you know, what's fascinating is, it's easy to hear that and be like, Okay, so this is someone who likes to kind of sit up in the ivory tower and just play around with ideas. Which, you know, there's nothing like doing that, too. Yeah. Okay. All right. But you would assume Okay, so what does that? What does that how does that actually affect a company's bottom line? How are you know, how is it that you're working at these companies doing actual stuff in the real world where you have deadlines, and goals and quotas and revenue targets and you know, products that have to be delivered? That's what I find really fascinating. You seem to dwell in two worlds, you seem to have done a phenomenal job of mapping your short of abstract insights onto actual tactical stuff in the

Alex Komoroske  4:08

real world. And the reason the reason I think it has been it's worked, at least in some contexts, is because it's actually backwards, I take my intuitive understanding from the hands on experience, and mentorship, which helps you hone your own, absorb lots of interesting other experiences from other people that you're mentoring. And also hone your own intuition into words. And then I and then later, it kind of levels up into like, oh, we gotta wait a second. Here's a water pattern that applies in a lot of other places. So I don't start with the abstraction. I kind of start with this intuitive hands on experience that had been feeding lots of information and lots of perspectives and lots of weird signal for years and years and years. Because I like it and it's fun and then later also, that allows you to see these patterns pop out. I think if you start with abstraction and then trade Okay, cool. Now how we're going to apply it to the world is like almost certainly not like you have to have some kind of connection to, to the hands on experience, and that's why I'm really glad In retrospect, I, you know, my first 13 years of my career were product management, and you're an operator you have, you're like a mini CEO of a space and you're responsible for it holistically. And that requires you to, you're tied into this thing. It's like, you're sensing everything, your product senses, all the political threats, internally, all of the like, possibilities, all the like, downside risks, if you mess something up, and it's like being plugged into the matrix, and that you're like, Whoa, you're absorbing all this extra information, and intuition about what things work what things matter. But the downside is if, you know, if you make a mistake, like that project dies, you kind of die a little bit to like, you know, you lose some credibility, you might have to, like get a promotion, or maybe not even be able to work at the company anymore. And so there's like this trade off of it's really extremely powerful, high signal information, but it also is like, you know, you're the reason that you're learning lies is a little bit scary or a little bit out there.

Isaac Morehouse  5:58

I love the way you said that you're you're like wired in the matrix. I remember, I think it was Ben Horowitz, I heard one time say that when you have a company. It's like literally wired into your nervous system. And I experienced that firsthand. And in a brutal way with my previous company. It was like when we were just not succeeding. It's like this building a product as well, if you're not getting what you're trying to get. And you're and you're trying to figure out why and you haven't figured it out yet. Like, I'm not kidding, Alex, my physical health, I literally, I literally, like almost died. I had like crazy, like, hyper thyroid ins within the ER, and it was like, as soon as I just said, Okay, this failed. It was like, my whole body just was relaxed again. And

Alex Komoroske  6:45

I think we don't feel it as an industry as the broader tech industry. We really rely on heroics a lot. We like we put hooks up on a pedestal. And hooks always better. And some people are just more heroic, and they can just do more and like, Okay, fine. But it also means the human emotional cost on people is real. And I realized, you know, I used to work on a chrome web platform, I care very deeply about, morally about doing the right thing for the open web holistically. I used to say, my, my allegiance is to the open web, then Chrome, then Google and that order. And that means I was so passionate about it, but it means you take the world on your shoulders, and every little setback is crashing emotionally, to you and to your person. And I think there's something I think Frankopan or some few others call it is like, think of work as a game. Think of it as a thing that's really important, the game that matters, and you want it like you want to get better at it and have more impact, because that helps the world. But also, it's separate from you. It is not you it is a thing that like, you know, it can fail. And you can say cool, I am still as my myself, I'm you know, I'm still here. And like, that's a bummer. I learned a lot. I'm proud of the decisions and actions I took in that experience, but holding it a little bit at arm's length.

Isaac Morehouse  7:59

You know, it's funny. Have you ever heard of finite and infinite games by 100? Yes. Love it. Yes. Yeah, that made me think of that as well like that. And this gets us into some of the stuff we're gonna jump into that that frame or that lens, being able to, to apply that and say, Okay, I need to just change the way I'm looking at this, that the challenge is, as you mentioned, your way of generating these kind of abstract insights and pattern recognition that can apply and you know, give you a good, a lot of good strategies and ideas comes from close connection to an ability to observe what you're experiencing what you're going through with your product just with your life in general. And so like that level of close connection of being wired in, it provides you all the inputs necessary to form these, these more abstract models that are generally applicable. But it also can kill you, if you don't create that distance, like, I am wired into my company, but I am not my company, or my product or my job. And that can be a very difficult game to navigate.

Alex Komoroske  9:00

You want to have an infinite mindset, you want to have this open, generative, kind of like we're doing it for its own sake. It's a really powerful, powerfully positive perspective, but you live in a finite world. And the reality is you got to pay your bills, you know, rent or mortgage or whatever. And, and so there's a My rule of thumb generally is one, stay life, make sure the product gets product market fit. And I mean that for your product for your career for your make sure that if people ask to go, you know, no, you want to minimize them or people who go, Huh, why does that product exist? Why does that person why does that person employed here you want to minimize rd will say that, that's your, that's your lower bound. And this is this is not like and then this is your survivability. Now once you survive, you now are in a bottom position where your runway is longer because by default, you will survive because people think that you're adding value and doing the useful thing where your product is. And from there, you can now take an infinite mindset where you start saying, Oh, I've run my as effectively infinitely long. I can be placing small bets. I can be doing things that have indirect value when it happens. In modern tech, we are so like, we're like very high bar witness, we're very focused on measurability. And of course, if you can't measure, it doesn't matter. It's like, what like I get that where you can measure it, it's better to measure. But first of all, if when you measure something, it will corrupt the underlying things is good hearts law is a fundamental characteristic of anytime there's scarcity, and a metric that is used to handle and you know,

Isaac Morehouse  10:24

what's the old, the old analogy from? Or the story from the Soviet Union, the nail factory, right? Where they're like, Hey, you're gonna be judged on how many nails you produce. So they start making tiny, tiny, tiny nails, they're like, Alright, fine, you're gonna be judged on the weight. And then they make, you know, giant railroad spikes.

Alex Komoroske  10:41

Yeah, it's a, so you're gonna, this is a fundamental characteristic, it will never not be there, it will be there in every system. If you have a scarcity of administered by a metric, the metric will be gamed Period, end of story. That's because that is the fundamental law of the universe, one of them. So you have this. But so people look at these things that are measurable, measurable, like let's imagine that the the, the magic number problems are measurable like you can see the direct causal factor, you can administer it in an instrument in a way that you can measure it is like maybe 1/10 1/100 of the interesting leverage points. The vast majority of value in systems comes from the indirect effects, the ripple effects of small things that compound in nonlinear ways and other things like, hey, being a nice person and helping make, you know, make your team feel supported, and like they're part of something that matters and that they matter and that they feel seen, like, well, this is better than that change. Well, I mean, first of all, in the long haul, it actually does affect business metrics. It's just I can't prove it to you directly, ever. I can never draw a direct line to it. But I can tell you, it's really important. And so I think a lot of people are like, well, I'm going to focus on directly measurable stuff. It's like, the streetlight fallacy, you know, that some drunk loses his keys, and he's looking for him. And he's looking underneath the streetlight, and someone says, oh, did you? Do you think you lost them over? He was like, No, I have no idea. But this is where I can see easily, like I'm searching here. And we do the same thing in the industry of like, we're focusing on these things that like, are a direct measure of building causality, which is a tiny fraction of the ways to add indirect value. And yes, if you don't know, if you're going to survive six months from now, then sure, you got to get to PMF, you got to get to the point where you are actually a sustainable business, sustainable project student was an individual in a larger organization, but then do the indirect stuff, you know.

Isaac Morehouse  12:29

So I got to this is great, because I have a feeling this is music to the ears of our listeners, most of whom are working in partnerships. So something that is very, very common in the partnerships world is like, Look, our job is to create partner value, whether that's for you know, integration partners, service partners, whatever, you're trying to create value for your partners, which is like this very indirect way of knowing, hey, it's, it's going to come back to us so to speak, right? You treat them? Well, they're going to want to work with you that's going to grow your ecosystem, it's going to eventually it's going to impact your bottom line. But it can be very, very hard to measure. So partnerships are kind of like, by nature, and partnerships, not just as a department even as like an approach to marketing or sales or customers, you know, partnering with other companies and individuals in your ecosystem. People who, you know, they they hear this, and we're talking about it all the time. And they're like, Yes, I agree. How do I sell that? To my boss to my manager, right? And so what have you found the ability to say, hey, look, there's a lot of stuff that can't be measured, that still matters? How do you make that sales pitch? How do you convince leadership to give you the rope?

Alex Komoroske  13:40

Honestly, it's really hard. And the answer is that I found is two things. One, I make sure I add I have I earn credibility that I by adding direct value, and people see that I don't like that I am authentic, that I will do I will apply rigorous what I work on and I will focus on making sure the right thing happened to the broadest possible perspective and that everybody I interact with, I try to have that come away with that. So you earn the credibility to get the benefit of the doubt and say, I can't I cannot prove this thing to you. But I do think this is going to max maximize the value you're getting to a little bit of a risk. And so they need to have that credibility the first first place the second thing honestly, the part in my career where I got 10x what I believe to be my broader impact was when I stopped trying to get promoted and I just said you know what, I'm okay never getting committed ever again. I achieved director at which was you know, a long slog and like, I did it yay. And like cool I don't care to ever be promoted ever again in my life. Not because people who know me like it's because like, Oh, I'm just taking it easy. I kind of have a hard time taking it easy to get so spun up with creative ideas and talking to interesting people and connecting up interesting people. And that was when it was started. Be like, oh, I can just focus on indirect value. I don't have to focus on every perf review system, every single one. Like on that We finally fixed the problem in our system in our company. No, you didn't. Of course you didn't use again, it's Scarce rewards with directly measurable things, you will get good hearts law, there is no way to fix this, it is fundamentally impossible to because like, how do you differentiate between somebody who is says they're adding indirect value? So have you actually is, it's really hard to do it in any direct way, you can't run the counterfactuals. And so it becomes down to this kind of like, I don't know, but like, I really would want to work with that person again, because I feel like they're, you know, a multiplier, a force multiplier on the outcomes. So I just say, You know what, I don't care to be legible to the to a person anymore. That's okay. I'm just Alex. Hi. I'm not going to fit inside that box. I'm going to try to be the best version of B,

Isaac Morehouse  15:44

specifically. Yeah, it's funny. There's, there's that like, like, we all it's almost like we all already know the answer. Right? It's like, what's the old? The old? Like Supreme Court justice? The definition of poor? Yeah. Right. We all kind of know, it's like, okay, well, how do you measure all this indirect value, if you really just sit back there are people you work with, where you just know, we want that person on our team, we know they're creating value. And the fact that you can't put it in bullets is frustrating. But I think that's kind of part of your, your work. And I want to get into a couple of the things that you've put together that are so fascinating. And Elma, your work almost reminds me of the famous quote by FA Hyack, which is that the the curious task of economics is to reveal to people how little they know about what they imagine they can design, right? I love that. And you're kind of like reminding everybody that all businesses, all products involve humans. And that's a big problem. If you're if you're trying to make it map perfectly right. So this is how we got you on the show. Originally, Jared came across your this gardening platforms, it's kind of like a flipbook deck presentation thing.

Alex Komoroske  16:54

It's it's a big overwhelming, like if you if it were printed out on your on your desk, I think when it's, it's

Isaac Morehouse  17:00

incredible. It's incredible. So this, it sparked this conversation, because, you know, we're we're always talking about kind of an ecosystem approach for companies in that like, hey, direct sales and marketing channels are getting weaker. And those who kind of recognize that their customers are not, they're not this map, this metaphor of a funnel does not really match reality, that's not the way that people are experiencing the discovery and purchase of products and all these things. And, and so we're jarred, and I love to kind of play around with these metaphors and ecological metaphors. And I think when we came across your deck, it's really cool, because you have a way of doing that, but connecting it to the day to day. In fact, you say in the deck, you say, I'm going to quote you here, we'll focus on idealized abstractions to see the big picture dynamics better. Rest assured, all of this is based on more than a decade of experience designing and maintaining various real world platforms, abstractions work best when connected with your own practical experience. Instead of free floating concepts. You can recognize concrete examples from your own experience that that fit in that kind of ties where you said before, this is sort of like a bottoms up approach of like, practice first, and then theorize about what you practiced, is that that's sort of the genesis.

Alex Komoroske  18:16

Yeah. And also, honestly, that's just a part of that one of the rules of thumb, you always want low expectations to be low, and then blow them out of the effing water kind of. And so generally, I've learned some people love the conceptual stuff, and are super in it, and do it and some people are like, what is this? And so like, that is partially like, Hey, if you don't understand, that's fine. That's okay. It doesn't have to, you know, and I'm deliberately not going to connect this up to concretely to like, I'm thinking for each of these things. I'm thinking like 20 examples from my real experience or indirect experience, or kind of examples I'm aware of, I find examples are often are often really systemic problems are often if you were like, Oh, just give me an example. Well, now you're going to claim to this particular example and you're gonna take away the wrong things, any specific example, you look at it and say, Oh, well, actually, here's the causal factor, this person was right right here. This one they made the wrong calls. Okay. In retrospect, armchair quarterbacking, fine. Maybe they made like, a mistake. But like, here's another one. Now, the old in this case, like this product market fit was very clearly like we should have seen this new UX, it's like, Okay, fine. Again, armchair quarterbacking after the fact. It's this large scale thing. You cannot you cannot create an intuition for a large scale systemic effect via an enumeration of concrete examples. It is not possible. In my opinion, you need to do something that abstracts out the broader the broader

Isaac Morehouse  19:39

principle more clearly, as you were describing that I immediately thought of arguments I'll have with my kids sometimes, where it's like, hey, you know, you need to work on having a better attitude about this or treating your sibling nicer. And they'd be like, give me an example. And then it turns into a court case immediately.

Alex Komoroske  19:55

Yeah. The lawyer that will that one and actually she even pinched me first. or whatever like. And so just it's kind of a, I find it uninteresting, and I find it. It's like such a classic thing. It's so easy to say, Well, that sounds really abstract. And what they mean is that sounds like bullshit. And that sounds overly academic, especially the tech industry. That sounds very abstract is absolutely like throwing shade on the applicability of the idea for sure. And it sounds so reasonable, I believe in like concrete examples. Can you give me a concrete example that yes, I can do 1000? How much time do you have like the so I just find it to be I get frustrated with that freight. But that shows up a lot of places, that's one of the reasons that slide is in there is to like, practically defend it. Like, I know that it'd be very abstract and like, deal with it, like, you know, so so.

Isaac Morehouse  20:39

So you this, this presentation opens up that it's, you know, it's about platforms, guarding platforms. And the first couple of slides are a lot of people treat platforms like sleek, modern skyscrapers and gets frustrated when nothing goes to plan. If you see a more like a garden, everything's become easier. And you say, Well, what is a platform, people think of them as code. But it really means any kind of shared infrastructure, infrastructure, things that are pre existing that any user can take for granted and build upon. It includes code, but also processes documentation, know how marketing, it's, it's this sort of, it's like, Hey, you're working with something that extends beyond the bounds of what you can directly control. But you have to acknowledge that it's there. And again, you get into the ecosystem, this sort of the platform being nested in a broader ecosystem. How do you because it's easy, I think, to kind of like, to kind of get it this is like the classic kind of like, what can happen to some economists and why they don't become entrepreneurs, right? Like, okay, well, now that we recognize we're in this complex, interdependent market to just be like, the market will take care of it, right? Like, oh, well, we'll just we'll just let our community we'll just put this out there and hope that the ecosystem does the rest. How do you avoid going too far in that direction.

Alex Komoroske  22:02

So I firmly believe that basically, everything of any input that has ever happened in society, or the physical world is a set of adjacent possible things, things are actually viable ideas that are then put in place from the adjacent possible and then now become a stepping stone onto something else. And so like I do, I always have a big bold bet. I hate big bold bets, I want to see a constantly stretching the adjacent possible for viable ideas, and then building up into something much, much larger. So someone says, I'm going to have as great ecosystems to have, you know, all these different parties always thinks it's like, neat. The only proof that that idea works is the existence of such an ecosystem behaving as you described, it's I can I can point out very often ahead of times, why is extremely unlikely a given ecosystem frame will work, hey, you're doing value capture at every layer of the stack, and you have no all the benefit is theoretical, if you had a network effect going and you don't have that yet, like there's almost certainly is not going to

Isaac Morehouse  22:56

work. So describing every BTC pitch deck.

Alex Komoroske  23:00

I this, it drives me absolutely wild when people do platforms, like we don't know where we're gonna monetize it in the stack. So we'll reserve optionality at every layer in the stack. It's like, okay, but now this means what you're telling people is, hey, I have nothing to give you right now. But if this becomes successful, I will go to give you incremental traffic at some unknown amount, you know, conversion rate, or whatever. Oh, and by the way, if that happens, I own you, basically, because I can do anything I want any of these layers. It's like, why would anybody do that? Like, I don't understand how you get that thing started. So So you have to have a viable, that's why I look for little itty bitty seed crystals of things like patterns of usage and behavior, little flames that you can start from. And so like in an ecosystem, you just have a super duper simple, you make it so that there's like a place to a message board or something. And then when you see somebody come in and start asking questions, you fanned the flames? And you answer their question in that space, and you make sure it looks like a very active place. And you know what, there's lots of tricks for this. So in your message board, what you do is, people things come in, you want make sure it looks alive. You don't want anyone to look at and go, Is this actually still exist products still working? Is anyone actually going to respond to so you want to look at and think this community is alive is community is thriving. And so then what you want to do is make sure it's not just, you know, you responding to everything. Ideally, you want other people to be responding to it. So what you'll do is if someone asked you a question directly, you say, Hey, that's a great question. Give me a favor. Can you ask it on the public message board? And then nobody knows that you did that behind the scenes, all they see is this person proactively went out and did this thing, I guess, is the kind of place where people just proactively ask questions, no matter how silly they might sound, and then you answer it there and now other people see Oh, and it's the kind of place that people will answer and then what happens at a certain point once a committee gets going, you want somebody else from the community who doesn't work for you to answer the question for them. That is gold when that happens, because it is a it shows the community is thriving. People care enough to come here and actually do some work to help other people in the community which is shows extraordinary motivation and shows that you have something very, very real happening in your Because what

Isaac Morehouse  25:00

what's your take on because we've had this debate on whether you you know, if you're if you have a community is a big part of what you're trying to build, when you first launch something product a company, should you find an existing community that you try to infiltrate, so to speak, tap into, or ecosystem? Or should you try to build your own and this kind of like this, you know, this sort of ongoing debate, like, on the one hand, it seems like, there are downsides to trying to like, enter an existing ecosystem or community, you know, obviously, you can be, you can come across as a mercenary, or you can, or you can, you know, a lot of ways to do it wrong, or you could just not have control over the direction. But building from scratch, I don't know, it just seems like a fool's errand if it feels like community is something that has to emerge organically.

Alex Komoroske  25:52

And so when we're looking at this, as every single community, and every single, like thriving system has grown out of a previously thriving system, it's not possible everything everywhere has grown out of the same life force from back to the first organism and before indirectly so you can borrow like a you know, it is this community is a raging bonfire is awesome. And like little spark goes out over here. And then that starts in the grocery and larger, so every single community all the way back to the beginning of time to be traced back. So like, there's no new community, there's somebody who has a existing motivation or energy, and you're looking for not so much to steal it. Because it's an it's a positive, something your creates more energy and motivation when it starts going. So we're looking for people and communities of like, oh, wow, these people have a problem, that they really want this particular thing. So if I can help solve that problem, I'm gonna go talk to them, I'm going to say and you generally, my rule of thumb is you should know your top, you should know you have three concrete customers banging down the door, saying, When can I use your thing, I need it right now. And that demonstrates extremely clear motivation. And that's your starting point. And then from there, he will see it will see your spark. And then from there, you can grow that into a community. Another rule of thumb is, if you have customers calling to Broken Glass to do a thing, that is a thing that you would like to they're glad that they are doing. That's a really great sign that you have product market fit. And almost certainly an easy thing to do to grow your, your your market share is to reduce the amount of broken glass into crawl through, because there's almost certainly other people and right next to them who do not have quite as high the pay top pain tolerance. So you lower the bar pain tolerance required, and you almost certainly unlock adjacent demand. Now the question is, is that enough to have a plausible enough, you know, to support your valuation, your intended size and scope of your, of your opportunity? That's another question. But

Isaac Morehouse  27:39

you know, so in your, in your, your deck here, I won't always want to call it a deck, but I don't know what else to call on platforms. There's this kind of this idea that like, hey, this platform is something that a lot of other people can build on top of. And you sort of go through the pros and cons of, hey, if other people build on top of it, that's good. Of course, you can lose control, if they sort of have the entire top layer, so to speak, or if one party does what what's interesting is like everyone wants to, or at least they give lip service to wanting to be a platform. But if everyone's a platform, then no one's building on top of the platform. When you when you think about company strategy or product strategy. When do you say hey, we're perfectly happy building on top of an existing platform, and we can build a thriving business this way versus no, we need to now move down the stack and become the platform ourselves.

Alex Komoroske  28:36

I have. So first of all, I don't think everybody agrees with the platform framing. I think it's a common frame that people use in like VC pitches and stuff. I think in practice, most organizations do not like it. In fact, I got into my free from your previous lives as a product manager, I honestly just got to the point like I don't even try to make a pot from argument. I just create the conditions where a platform would emerge and go, Oh, my God, what luck? Like this thing? Is it showing up? You know,

Isaac Morehouse  28:58

what's the what's the resistance to that?

Alex Komoroske  29:02

That the rule, the rule of thumb, I'd say is, it's very easy to add negative energy to the idea is that I don't know if anyone wants that. What are the use cases. And this is another thing I hate when people say a new what's the killer use case for your platform, the entire point of having a platform is that you don't need to know the killer use case, if you knew that kind of use case, you would just build that thing and charge a premium for it. So the entire point is that you go from one thing that you build being the way that you extract value to anything that anyone builds, you get some value out of and you have a six amount relationship. That is a game changing the different thing. It is fundamentally different. People will ask I think I believe it to be fundamentally impossible to make a platform argument from concrete examples. I think it requires an abstract argument. And some people just won't go there. They just won't agree. And they'll say LSA another thing that happens a lot of ecosystems they go What does somebody does, I think that we don't like in our ecosystem. Ecosystems are messy. That's the point the mess is The magic, it's where all the energy comes from, to do interesting things that you didn't think about. That's the entire point. So people say I want an ecosystem, I don't want to be messy, it will definitely be messy. Now you can do things to hide the mess from most of your, from your end users. But you fundamentally do have to have it be messy otherwise, it's not. It's like its potential energy isn't very high.

Isaac Morehouse  30:19

Yeah, you know, you talk about this concept of increasing your luck surface, and sort of the whole platform idea is, hey, I know, because I've observed it. And I also have observed patterns that tells me that there's more of this, that there's people out there with problems to solve and things that are like, you know, somewhat partially legible, I kind of know they're there, but I don't know exactly in what way. So like, if we can build this, you know, increase our luck servers, build this broader platform, and then we get to observe how users behave. There's, there's an obvious beauty to that. And there's so many examples of that working. There is also plenty of basically, I don't have a product, I don't even have a problem to solve. I'm just gonna put out some stuff. And then just like hope that you know, product lead growth becomes I put out stuff and then I hope that people start using it in ways and find a use case. And that's kind of more like on the fringes of like maybe what would what would move out of being an actual business, but be more like open source communities and experimental things which are very needed. When it comes to like a business. What are some of the, what are some of the guardrails you put on? When you're sort of like trying to trying to create space for these platforms to evolve and emerge? What are the where are the places where you say, Okay, we got to rein it in, at some point,

Alex Komoroske  31:43

when you when you the, when you do that, like surface area move, you have to be able to survive for a long time, you have to have effectively infinite runway. So if you don't yet have product market fit for your product, or I'm using product, also a team within an organization where people are like, Why don't we and that team again, like then you don't have product market fit, then then your your horizon is your your runway is, is short, and you like it. So this method only works if you will survive for long enough, you will survive for long enough, you can plant some of these seeds that you have exposure to if an ecosystem start showing up, you can start moving, but if it doesn't, like what's one of the cool things about seeds, you can plant the seed and so you can sit there for 1000 years sometimes and then grow when the conditions are right. That's awesome. So like, if you don't if you need to, I need to go right now or otherwise, we're gonna go bust like, probably you did the wrong business model then because like, you didn't start from concrete enough demand or so you can't do the left surface everything unless you've survived for a long time.

Isaac Morehouse  32:35

Yeah, yeah, it's interesting. One of the we recently, a previous episode, I think, was just the last episode we're talking with the CEO of Impact, which is a it's a platform for it. Well, it started as a platform just to manage affiliate marketers, right. So if you have a bunch of affiliate marketers that you're connected with, you can manage your whole process there. And they just started to notice all of these companies and brands were using it in all these different ways. They weren't they were weren't just partnering with normal affiliates, they were doing all these weird, bizarre partnership types that they had never. And they and they for a while, they just let them do it. And they just called them non traditional, sort of use cases. And they're just like, whatever, they go in this bucket fine. And eventually, those became like, such a large part, they became like, almost bigger than this sort of traditional and they're like, Okay, maybe that is maybe they're the ones that are doing the normal thing. And we're just calling it non traditional, right? They're almost like forced to become to broaden their platform. But that's because they had already nailed one that had product market fit in one relatively tight area. And that kind of gave them the permission to say, Okay, now let's go crazy. How broad can we get? What can we do here now that we've got something that pays the bills?

Alex Komoroske  33:46

Yeah, exactly. That totally tracks is like, yeah, we build a product that is good enough on its own to at least don't keep on going and make bringing in enough money to like, extend our runway for longer. And now we have this positive exposure. And sometimes what happens is people use your ecosystem, you're like, Well, wait a second, they're doing this thing that like completely goes against their entire business model. And like, if they use that, then like, we don't exist anymore, and it kind of, so you get, you can get stuck in some of these situations where you don't. So ideally, what you want is the ecosystem to do like surprising things that you're like, Huh? That's kind of cool. Or like, Ah, I'm okay with that. Like, that's, you know, that's a but when you have that compounding growth dominates linear growth over time, it will crowd out linear growth in you, right? Like fundamentally. So people, people will do this thing where they're like, well, this thing is going to grow at linear rates like this. And this is going to nourish like this. How is your thing to do? If there is a compounding loop? Which ecosystem? Do you have a compounding loop? And it works, then it will dominate the other ones End of story. Like you don't need to go, oh, it's gonna be 23.2 and 25.8. Like you don't know. But you do know that the compounding growth will dominate the linear growth nearby it if it does become compounding growth.

Isaac Morehouse  34:49

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I'm curious, Alex, your thoughts on because we've been talking primarily about sort of the, the architecture or the infrastructure of Have a platform of an ecosystem or a community? I'm curious your thoughts on like, what might be called the brand. Or maybe just we say reputation? Because when I think about thriving ecosystems, I mean, even even take programming languages, there's because we're dealing with humans, humans care about status, they care about belonging, they care about being cool. And so when you look and you're like, Okay, what am I going to, you know, what, what language am I going to use to build this thing? Well, I love this community over here. They're really cool. I like going to their conferences, I like can this community even even if the code is better, if it works better for this use? They're kind of like, not cool, right? And that plays a role. And same with companies, like certain companies just have an aura. People just want to be around them. They want to be a part of their ecosystem, they want to brag about it, right? And like, how, how can you be deliberate about that? Like, where? Because that's where you often get this is where marketers will get what cat shit for being too vague and abstract, right? They'll be like, well, we just have to, like, create this brand and create this feeling. And, you know, write C suite is like, show me the ROI. What role do you think that like, brand and and reputation in that part of the tent, you know, plays into things?

Alex Komoroske  36:16

I think Brandon reputation is extremely critical. And by the way, I don't think it's just the human nature of like our status seeking monkey, isn't that some random fact about us is a reasonable test seeking monkeys. It's because status does confer in a scarce environment. Like, like, there's like, there's a lot of these heuristics that like actually make sense that humans do. And that, for example, like one of the rules of thumb, I call this the boundary gradient, people who are on the boundary and considering Should I join into this ecosystem? Or go to another one or does not join? Do they by default come in? Or do they fall out? And generally, when you got a party going on, people will fall in? Because there's something going on, there's strength in numbers, a bunch of other people, we're probably seeing something I'm not seeing. But it's also fully rational. Because if you have a two different things that you don't know which ones are viable, you don't know if either of them is viable. One of them has a bunch of people at it, and one of them doesn't. Oh, I'll see which one are you going to pick, I'm gonna pick the moment a bunch of other people that individually made that decision. Secondarily, there is strength in numbers, the more thriving ecosystem is, the less likely anything is to get cancelled, which leaves you out, you know, without, the more likely there are there'll be open source projects that plug into it or work with it, the more likely that you're a Stack Overflow, you don't have answers to your questions. So like, there's a very rational reason to join into ones that are already have momentum. So and I think brand, to some degree is this overall earned credibility to some degree that leads to people being the cash or oh my gosh, I know that brand, I will like that, I trust that brand. And now, I think marketing matters a lot for this, but I think we sometimes try to do it, we like to try to fake it, we tried to like, Okay, I'm gonna make this thing I'm gonna build this authentic brand. Brand is a is a mark, that credibility accrues to over time that allows people like through people's iterative experiences with this, if people like it or net promoter is that accrues to the brand and the brand becomes powerful. And now people will take the benefit of the doubt, and prefer to go, Oh, my God, this one has that brand, when it sure all else equal, I will go with that one. But you can't just make that up at a whole cloth, it is a you got to earn the trust, you got to earn the credibility. So if you know that brand matters, and you know that actions that that there is a credibility store of like amount of like a stock, if you will, in a systems lens of credibility for your thing that is largely driven by people who actually use the product, like thinking it was so good that they would like other they think others should use it to, then you can say does this action that we're going to do increase the brand or decrease it. So I was just saw an interview of someone, the leader of the economist, and she's talking about, you know, typos erode credit credibility, because they demonstrate that like we aren't the kind of puncture this this view of us as you know, thoughtful and judge but you know, holistically understanding everything, so like typing was looking at you obsessing over typos as a tactic to make to to have polish, which is kind of fits with a kind of earned credibility, but as a tactic, sometimes the tactic is, I'm going to be really authentic, I'm going to have a podcast where I talk to a bunch of people, and it's gonna be me. And I'm going to, you know, be very present as the CEO and founder in the message boards and very authentic about your right, that's a that's a bug or a gap in our functionality that loves just just being real, as opposed like this, we're perfect. And we're gonna, you know,

Isaac Morehouse  39:31

it's like, it's almost like the there's like a, there's a continuum or a trade off between, or a correlation rather between accessibility and polish. So like, the more accessible you are, the more it matters that you don't have typos and things like that, because it shows that you're like putting in time it's a good signal, the less successful you are like, people love that Elon Musk will just tweet something really quick and it's not it doesn't have perfect grammar it because it makes them feel like or like they got people going Joe Rogan and just talking off the cuff manner, it makes them feel like I'm just entering this guy's daily live stream of consciousness, he's not polishing anything or running it by legal or HR first. And that in that case, that's great some unknown person who has no nobody begging for their time and is very accessible in general, just spewing out a bunch of badly, you know, spelled stuff. It's not going to have the same effect, right? Yeah. The brand, the brand idea, I think is just so interesting that you can't, it's like you can be conscious of it, but you can't fake it. It made me think of the handicap principle in in nature, sort of the idea that animals with these handicaps write the extensive horns or feathers on a bird that make their life harder, it makes survival harder, but it makes them more fit mates. And you can't, you can't fake it. Because if you're going to carry those, you actually have to keep surviving. Right?

Alex Komoroske  40:51

Exactly. Yeah, it's an expensive. No, it worked. Like the other example, when my favorite job was with a handicap principle is that when gazelles are being chased by lions, the strong winds will print up and down in place. And it's basically like saying, Listen, if you chase after me, I will run so fast that you will for sure get country I'm so confident that I can waste energy right in front of you just show it off really. And so like go chase, one of the other ones, it's not gonna isn't able to do this like because it correlates with the underlying ability that is being tested for like, as a lion will able to catch this one. If I chase it is a really valuable signal. It's a very authentic and believable, credible signal. And you

Isaac Morehouse  41:29

know, I love like you said something. You said, it's not just like, oh, humans are status seeking monkeys as this sort of like, nihilistic kind of like, gotcha, or some horrible thing that you point out, there's, look, there's a reason to this, there's a function that serves. And that to me is such an important thing, too. And this is where like, like, just like Rational choice theory, or economic thinking, comes in, because it's really easy to let ourselves off the hook by explaining behavior. That seems bizarre by saying, well, that person is just crazy, or people are just shallow, people are just dumb people are just lazy. And in products. I mean, I've experienced this myself, it's easy to be like, well, our product isn't succeeding, because people are just lazy. Our customers are bad. It's their fault. That's not right. Definitely that. And the thing is, this is where like, a value neutral sort of approach to it to say, what they're doing is rational from their perspective, rational does not equal morally good. It may or may not be then rational does not even equal, that it's the most effective thing. But given the information and incentives they have, for some reason, they believe that acting this way is superior than acting this way, we got to understand what is that reason? Let's get to the bottom of this. There's some function that's this is serving that we can't see.

Alex Komoroske  42:44

This to me. It's one of the reasons I think that especially in like text in the tech world, I think there's like this notion of like, compassion is for like losers, like our heroes are going to just get things done with feelings, they just get shit done. And like, I think it's bullshit. I think compassion is strength. I think one of the reasons it's its strength is precisely because compassion requires you to stick your neck out and say that to go in and try to inhabit someone else's made mind space and see the world through their eyes and say, Oh, my God, wait a second, I totally get it now, like you, you're making this decision based on this trade off? That's invisible to me. And that allows you to be curious, it allows you to go and understand when you say Ahmed is dummies, why are they doing this thing? It's like maybe they aren't dummies? One of my favorite examples of when these illusions have you heard of this concept of ergodicity? And we talked about or maybe we talked about this, but

Isaac Morehouse  43:29

yes, I've heard I've heard the word. But I don't know it well enough to explain it. Or I don't even know if I know it correctly. So

Alex Komoroske  43:37

So let me do my amateur totally wrong description of it. It's like this. There's this organization concept from physics that talks about absorbing barriers came over conditions. And it turns out that a lot of our probability and statistics and financial modeling and economy economics rely on a distribute probability distributions component really, distributions assume independent trials. And so if you have 12 different people doing a thing at one time, yeah, sure, over time, those are all independent over time, you'd expect a certain percentage of each to have some outcome. But if you take one individual overtime, it looks basically the same, there's 12 different things. And so like, they're each one is kind of independent, like a dice roll each time. But it's not because that person can die. So that person goes bankrupt, they don't exist in time step. This is not existing in time. Step two, they don't exist in time six, six, this wildly changes the math and make is one of the reasons that people fear downside, Prospect Theory. And one of the reasons is because you can die like you can be game over and so nothing else matters. And so people are naturally risk averse. To some degree, someone potentially is like, you know, I remember, in college, there's like the man, people are so irrational. They would rather take $40 today than $80 in three months. It's like that's not irrational. Like they don't know if they're gonna live here. they don't know they're gonna find you. They don't know if it's gonna be some weird thing. Like, they can take the money right now it's for sure gonna work, or the existing like, maybe they're gonna tell them they have 15 minutes and it's weird window and then to get an appointment and it's like, it's like just take it man, you don't know what's gonna happen that's rational. And I think the and so this is this also reminds me of like the Monty Hall problem where the you know, this genius was she was describing why you should switch after the I actually I won't want to unpack the whole thing. So maybe we shouldn't go down that path, but

Isaac Morehouse  45:33

is the Monty Hall one where you have something behind the door? You ever like a behind three doors and there's a car and there's a goat or something? I'm trying I'm vaguely I'm piecing it together?

Alex Komoroske  45:42

Okay, so tell me okay, I'll just expect so it's an old, it's an old game show, apparently. And there was three doors. And behind two of them is a goat. And one of them is a car. So two losers one winner. And you know, the the player picks one of the doors, and then the host of Monty Hall will reveal one of the goats and say, Do you want to switch your answer? And the answer is you do it, like naive, like when you're applying normal probability approaches and stuff. The answer is no, no, it's still the same distribution and nothing changes. So you should stay with it. But you actually should, should change. And there was someone in the 80s. I don't know where it runs on, I think was your last name had a column where she said, Yes, you should switch. And basically cons of like, statisticians were like, Oh, let me explain to you. Listen, here, lady, here's how it actually works. And here's why you're wrong. And she was 100%. Correct. If you play out this, if you experiment with if you have to play the game, within like 10 rounds, the intuition will smack you in the face is so obvious why you have to switch. It's just very hard to articulate using the tools of statistics, which lead you astray, the same way we will get these things about people are being irrational, maybe our tools are wrong, the way that we were modeling actually, the trade offs that they're making are not accounting for it, it really irrelevant thing. And you ask the individual us like people, why they're making a decision they're making, and they can't tell you. But there was like a heuristic is like, I just think I should take this one. I don't really know why. But this one feels safer. And like just assuming that they're right, assuming that they actually are violent? No, no, no all the time. You know, to your point, this is not to say that it's a moral choice for them, it might be a very immoral choice that they're making. But

Isaac Morehouse  47:14

no, I'd like to just, you know, the more you the more you understand the context, that people are making these decisions, and the more you can start to see this, this is very applicable, actually to some of the things we talked about, you know, that a lot of people working in the partnership space talk about because creating value for someone so this idea that like, Okay, you create value for someone with some kind of offer, right, you're gonna you're gonna give them something and then it's going to make them you know, want to reciprocate whatever, it can go wrong in so many ways. If you're, if you're ignorant of the content con context, this is why like, like, let's say you're a b2b SaaS company, and you send out some kind of email that's like, hey, we want you to give us your we want you to fill out a survey. And so in response, we'll give you a $5 gift card. That's not going to that's not going to do any right. It's almost like I like to use the analogy, if like, my best friend says, Hey, I'm moving. Will you come help me move on Saturday? And I'm like, yeah, if he said, Hey, if you helped me move on Saturday, I'll give you 20 bucks, I would be less likely I'd be

Alex Komoroske  48:13

exactly I feel like, oh, man, I know you like I'm doing this because I care about this relationship and like the, like the commitment that we've done, and like the credibility and trust that we've earned in one another. And like, you're gonna sit here and cheapen it with this thing. That's transactional thing. Like,

Isaac Morehouse  48:28

sometimes, sometimes giving someone the opportunity to do you a favor, actually creates more value for them. Right. 100% is actually I think

Alex Komoroske  48:37

LBJ did this is one of the weird tricks I've picked up at some point is like asking specific people to do favors when you are in an authentic trusting, like non transactional, kind of looking out for one another kind of relationship, it does bring people closer, and yet to be really careful, because some of these tools, a lot of these tricks, by the way, tactics are morally or amoral, which is to say they can be used for good and they can be used for ill. And of course, you always everybody always thinks to the hero, there are things that they are the one making the right call. So you have to really challenge yourself at all times to look outside the outside perspective and say, you know, someone would have paid play me a clip of this decision, five years from now or 10 years from now, would I be proud of this? Or like, at least okay with it or be like, Oh, she's I can't believe it's embarrassing. Like, I tried to, like live my life, thinking about how 10 years in the future will look back and be like, and how I'll feel about my decisions in that moment. And that, you know, that's

Isaac Morehouse  49:26

funny, I was gonna ask you those one of the things in the near the end of your gardening platform, saying here, you said something about, like, what will be true in 10 years? Are there there were some 10 year question in there that related to that and kind of deciding whether and to what extent you invest in something like this. I think that's like that time horizon. Because it's often it's easy to kind of make these decisions are met form strategies with this sort of like indefinite or undefined time horizon and that can radically change like you said, get the product market fit first. Okay, so don't be worried about that until you but once you have it, now extend that time horizon, like what's going to be true of the world in 10 years that if I can get out in front of it now, you know, okay, we only have a few minutes here, and I'm gonna be super quick. But I feel like we can do like because

Alex Komoroske  50:12

it because this was the one thing I think my general rule of thumb is, the longer the time horizon you can under that you can incorporate into your thinking properly, because again, you have to focus on surviving to get to the point where like, you actually do have a long time horizon, once you have it, the longer it is, the more moral you can be in the more indirect more value maximizing you can be because you can think about it incorporate all the indirect effects. So one general rule of thumb is, the longer term your perspective can be, the better choices you will make for society and for yourself generally. So like, I believe that but again, survival, like the short term is survival, but it's a means to an end, the end is all the indirect stuff that you do all the infinite game style stuff that you're able to accomplish and, and make the world a better place.

Isaac Morehouse  50:49

Oh, my gosh, we're touching on like, all kinds of game theory, we could go all over the place is too much fun. So I got to ask you, before we go, though, you have another presentation that is super, super popular on slime molds, is essentially sort of like hey, as an organization grows in size, the complexity increases. And there's this tendency, like really hard to get things done, you get kind of bureaucratic. And you say that this like using the slime mold as a as an analogy, is kind of the best way to deal with these inevitable problems can you give us like the give us like the two minute give us the elevator pitch on this.

Alex Komoroske  51:31

So the elevator pitch is first of all, it's told in emoji, flipbook style, which it was as an aesthetic choice, I kind of tripped across. And like, it turns out to really work for that kind of that kind of argument. And the baked router point is everybody who's been in any organization ever knows that organizations that once were successful and fast moving unable to do a bunch of stuff overtime, as they grow, become it is almost impossible to anything done. And this effect arises fundamentally based on size of number of people interacting on a project, fundamental like probabilistic way it gets, it's an inescapable force of gravity, that is hidden that we all kind of ignore and pretend doesn't exist, which makes us all feel, frankly, kind of gaslit. And working really, really hard to accomplish and quite a bit less. And the answer, the way that you address these things are almost exactly the exact opposite of what you people think. So people think, Okay, I gotta be more heroic, I gotta throw more spreadsheet coordination spreadsheets into it. And like, no, no, that's not how that worked. Like you need to pull back, you did create a little bit more slack, you have to be okay with that something being good enough for now. And then on a path to eventual convergence. You to say, oh, we should break down boundaries and silos, actually, boundaries. And silos are precisely the answer to how you address some of these things. Just make sure that the individual things are talking to each other well enough, that they can be independent and autonomous, and yet also on a path to convergence and in a path for coherence. So it's a people have told me they have cried reading that deck, in that because it's my point, my point is, I want to reach out to give everyone a hug and say, You are not crazy. Like this is a real trauma. And I think it's funny, you know, I wrote this a number of original version of this. A number of years ago, I recreated it. And it's different. I did it for memories, I'm trying to, I'm sure it's different in some ways, but the story beats kind of, once you have the story beats like the emojis fall into place. There's not really that many choices at any given story beat. But it's funny over the years now, people it shows up in all these contexts, and people reach out to me and being wildly different contexts and church groups and you know, large government bureaucracies and startups and they'll say, this really spoke to me, and to see people come to me in the big data, this really spoke to me this is back to our company, it's a cool how big your company would be five people. And it's like, why I was physically impossible for it to show up in that small environment. But I think it has a fundamental characteristic is like the fundamental curse of human human existence of like, according to Bob, if only if only everybody could just go in the same direction where we wouldn't have these problems. And it's just it's a fundamental, it's a curse. And you got to embrace it, acknowledge that exists as opposed to pretending it doesn't exist because over

Isaac Morehouse  54:07

I love that you said like, instead of gaslighting, just acknowledge what you are, and what's true and try to work with that. It reminds me of you know, you'll hear some times like, oh, well, this is, you know, everybody's back channeling instead of doing the official proper channels, and rather than trying to like shut down back channeling, like, okay, cool, good. How can we make that easier? Or everybody's making things in their own spreadsheets instead of using the more robust software that we have for this purpose? It's like, well, what is it? How can we tap into the power of those spreadsheets? Right? There's something that's that's happening there, that people they feel the need to move to the margins to move outside of the central system for certain activities. We need to let them do that, and somehow allow that to kind of be you know what I mean, like, like, it's just, I don't know, there's something there about acknowledging what you are instead of pretending to be something else. And again, this kind of comes back to where So many companies, at least in their pitch decks, it'd be like we are a platform with network effects. When it's like, no, you're just a really good product for a really certain

Alex Komoroske  55:10

Yeah. And you hope to be, you know, those compounding effects, but I don't see it yet. Like, I'm not seeing that. And I think you're right. Like, there's people think that acknowledging some of these, like, these forces of gravity is like, Oh, that's such a bummer. What a nihilist perspective, what I don't think it's, I think it's actually a very empowered perspective, I think it's a once you acknowledge the forces that are, like, you know, once you acknowledge it, if you think you're adjacent possible is like this was they actually are adjacent possible is like this kind of a bummer. It feels to be a nihilist or whatever. But then you realize I do truly have agency within this adjacent possible, the actions, I just pick matter. And if you do it, you know, then you make another it isn't possible. And you can go and you get an arc to wildly better outcomes by acknowledging these constraints. So like, if you if you try to fight them, you will lose like, you will not win because you can't fight the force of gravity. And when it's just not possible. I'm sorry. But once you acknowledge that you can do all kinds of clever stuff. And so it's the past to like, actually, so like, it's funny that I managed such a nihilist what I consider my, the exact opposite, actually,

Isaac Morehouse  56:09

yeah, yeah, trying to try to build a flimsy seawall, when the wave is inevitable instead of trying to build a surfboard. You know, Alex, this has been an absolute blast. Give us like a flux collective. Who should check it out? What's it all about everybody?

Alex Komoroske  56:25

I mean, I think it's great. It's a community. I'm a part of a bunch of amazing, fascinating, interesting, different perspectives. Weird, interesting, thought provoking ideas. And we've published a newsletter every Thursday afternoon. And I just think honestly, our point is that basically anyone who read it will find at least one thing they got out, you know, in it each week is I have

Isaac Morehouse  56:49

I have definitely pulled tidbits from there and put them into the partner hacker daily email. So thank you so much, and until next time, partner up

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